Saturday, December 20, 2014

My Amazing Friends - AKA - Fiber Junkies

Our Fiber Junkies group met this week for our holiday party - always a highlight of the season for me. I am lucky, not only have I succeeded in surrounding myself with wonderful girlfriends, but very talented ones also as you will see. 
 The table is ready for the food;  the cake (which Denny claims is made by elves) arrives first - Yum...don't know if we'll be able to hold off that long.
 Well, it just keeps getting better with homemade bread (our in-house baker - Mary), homemade soup, broccoli salad, crab hors d'oeuvres and lots of bubbly.
 All the presents are put on the table, cleverly wrapped. Since it's too early to eat, we start with show and tell.
 Kate does a beautiful job using marbled fabric and lots of quilting. This has become her signature style - using tiny circles of quilting in the background to make the foreground pop. She also mounts them on a canvas or stretcher bars for a really nice presentation.
 Mary made this wonderful piece for her son and his wife. It's a simple pattern but so effective using the fabrics that Mary chose.
 This is a detail of one of Denny's pieces which fascinated me as it looked so much like a tree bark. She told us how she did it but my old brain forgot, will check again and report back. If you love doing landscapes, this is a great technique.
 Well, Denny has brought this piece to every meeting to see if she could fix it, painting over it, screening etc. I think she nailed it this time.
 Denny has been working on a series of healing quilts - all quite large. She is going on a retreat this summer and wanted to show and talk about them but they were too large to bring. She photographed each one and sent the pictures to Spoonflower, where they made a block of each one which she pieced together - how clever is that.
 Another layered photograph featuring Denny's dog (lower left) and printed at Spoonflower.
 After eating it was GIFT TIME. We all made "small" gifts for each member. Gen knitted hats for us - each one different and beautiful...Gen is our knitter and very good at it. Here's Mary modeling hers.
 Kate's had a flower on the side, She looks adorable.
 Denny made fabric bags to hold the decorated aprons - great for our play days which are often very messy.
 Val made books with decorative paper inside and also included paper napkins for our paper fabric which we plan to do next month.
 How nice is this.
 Kate did hand made cards and tags using our paper fabric - beautiful!
 Mary made beaded credit card holders - each one different and so lovely.
And here is my hat from Gen, such beautiful patterns. I love mine and it fits perfect.
It was a wonderful day and addition to all this, we made plans for the coming year - things we want to try. Val is leaving for her 2 month stay in Florida so we try and plan things we've done before during Jan and Feb. We will miss her.
Hope the coming week is wonderful and you have a moment to take in the magic of the season. I thank you all for coming to visit my blog and sharing my projects and adventures. I wish you all the happiest of holidays.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Cute Holiday Gifts

A couple of weeks ago, my good pal Mary and I got together to make a cute Christmas gift for our grandchildren - both around the same age. It's a memory board game, but for now, since they are both only 2, it is a matching game. Mary found the tutorial on the blog - See How We Sew, Oct 28, 2014. It's a wonderful tutorial.
We used felt as the base and cut 2 identical images of 32 different fabrics.
The images are child friendly but we also found using some "solid - like" were good as they broke up the busy-ness of all the prints. The squares of fabric were fused with fusible web and then cut 2 1/4" square using a fancy edge blade. We placed 4 down and 8 across, allowing for the "spine" in the middle for an easy fold.
After fusing, we stitched in parallel lines and also stitched the matching squares.
The cover used another piece of felt and attached to the first piece by stitching around the edge. Before attaching, a pocket was added to hold the small squares.
And on to project # 2. My daughter is always saying, she wishes she would remember to write things down that Audrey does and says. She is not a "journal-er", I wasn't either even though I always envied people who did it so naturally. I suggested she keep a little notebook in the family room, handy to jot something down and so I made a cover for an old fashioned composition book. The fabric is leftover from throw pillows for the same room so it will look very natural sitting on the table.

This is the back of it....
and here is the inside....The nice thing is that the book is removable. When you fill up one book, just insert another compostion book. My friend Val made these for us last year at our Fiber Junkies Christmas party with gorgeous silk screened fabric, such a nice idea.
Here is the finished journal - my daughter doesn't read my blog so hopefully, it will be a nice surprise.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Spooky Old Tree

I've been grabbing moments in my studio in between holiday activities. I just finished a small piece which in orange - a challenge from a group I'm in. I'm not into orange so it definitely was a challenge. I started with a piece of fabric I marbled.
 The marbling was black veining over the orange which I liked, toned it down a bit and added some movement.
 I used some paintsticks to emphasis some of the areas.
 Since this piece was going to be one of my layered pieces and covered with an organza, it was a good idea to highlight areas to show through.
 I silk screened a tree on top of the marbling, layered it with batting and backing and did some minimal quilting.
 Before laying the organza on top which is done after the quilting, I felt it needed more, so I discharge the same image on the organza, allowing the underneath to show through.
 I added a little more quilting - now to the 4 layers - organza, top, batting and bottom.
I bound it in leftover organza which gives a soft edge.
I'm off and running once again to Atlanta to do our annual Christmas shopping, lunch, etc with my daughter. Have a great weekend.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Holiday Fair

I like to do the holiday fair each year featuring the artisits of the Southern Highland Craft Guild. It's a one day deal, 10 - 4, no money handled - the head table takes care of that and sends you a check, very little set up and people are there to shop....seriously for the holidays. So it's a win-win all around. I usually sell my scarves which I have on hand; they also make nice gifts.  I did some rayon/bamboo dyeing using mx dye and nuked them in the microwave, good results...BUT
 think I need to change the container, Wow, what a crazy mess.
 The scarve did fare well...
 the container, not so much. It might make an interesting piece of art though ( -:   !
 Some of the plainer ones - dyed some time ago, I went back and silk screened using Lumiere paint for some sparkle.

I did leaves, pinecones and some dragonflies.

Pinecones are my new favorite screen, nice for winter and the holidays.

 I did some acid dyeing on silk blanks - my favorite way of dyeing.

Some of the bigger scarves needed an overdye like the one on the left, overdyed in another blue giving it a little more interest.
Set up my booth and am ready to rumble. I have to leave in 30 mins, the sale is this saturday and next wee, same fair only with a whole new set of artists. It's at the Folk Art Center in Asheville on Blue Ridge Parkway. If you're around, stop by, lots of great deals and good fun.
Til next time