Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Quilt Show

I recently had the great fun of being invited to do a segment for one of the episodes for The Quilt Show, hosted by Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims. The show can be viewed via computer and with a subscription. However, when a new show is aired, there is a week when it is free for viewing by following a link. My episode is to air tomorrow - November 23. For non-subscribers, it will air free between November 29 and December 6. Click on the button above right (The Quilt Show) and the link should come up.The Quilt Show travels around the country seeking out quilt artists with interesting techniques or work to share. Most shows are divided into 2 segments - 45 mins with one artist and the last 15 mins with another. I'm in the 15 mins of fame category ( - : and am paired with an extraordinary artist - Susan Lutz so I hope you'll watch.
When the Quilt Show came to Asheville, they were invited to film at the Governors mansion which is not a mansion but a lovely home with beautiful views. The morning episode was filmed out on the deck as the sun was still rising and we were facing west;  the morning still cool to be outside.
 It was such an interesting experience to see the many people involved behind the scenes.
 It was also amazing to see how long it took to film a 15 minute segment. This is the gal doing the morning 15 mins and she was working with Ricky Tims.
 Part of the segment includes a demo of a technique and samples of your work.
 Here I am with alex and Ricky.
 In the afternoon with the sun moving west, the deck got to hot and too bright for filming so we moved indoors.
 One of the things I truly loved about the show was the different venues for each show. It is also quite laid back both in filming and interaction between the artist and host - no scripts, just a general idea of what's to be done during your segment. It gave the show a very spontaneous feel and I enjoyed that approach.
The 15 mins segment is with either Alex or Ricky. I had done an episode of Simply Quilts with Alex years ago and loved working with her, so I was very happy to be paired with her again. We had a great connection and it was a wonderful experience. The show airs tomorrow, the 23 for subscribers. For non-subscribers, tune in between November 29 and December 6. Click on the button above right (The Quilt Show) and the link should come up.
Thanks for watching.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

You Can't Get Good Help These Days

My group - Fiber Junkies met at my home this past week to play with the technique of collage. My 2 cats Molly and Fraggle love to be where I am, often in my studio and usually don't mind when girlfriends are around. I thought it would be fun to let them supervise and be part of our day. 
They were in charge of supplies, but Molly took it too seriously and wouldn't let anyone near them...
and Fraggle totally fell down on the job and went to sleep, so I had to gently fire them and then it was full steam ahead.
Everyone in this group is the epitome of generosity. I'm always a little nervous when they walk through the front door...Uh...are you staying for a week or more? I'm thinking - No just the day and thought we needed lots of stuff. This is for 5 people - WOW!
We spread ourselves out making it easier to see all we had to work with. Notice the glasses of bubbly which seem to help with the creative process.
Val brought each of us an 8x8 canvas. It was a perfect size for working on and stiff enough to serve as a good substrate. There were other good backings to use, light weight unmounted canvas; I've used single weave 7 oz. for a lot of things, drapery samples, or just plain muslin. All worked well but it was interesting to try the canvas.
We used a variety of materials for the actual collage part from hand made paper, dyed sheers, papers treated with citra solv, fabrics, tulle, lace, buttons. The wonderful thing about being in a group is the creative energy. We all help each other with feedback and input. It makes it that much more fun.
Val was working with mostly paper,  a little fabric and paint. She used an acrylic medium to adhere the pieces in place.
Kate found this painted sheer and this is so Kate - kind of beachy, blues and greens. She will use this as an overlay with some interesting materials underneath. I'm anxious to see the finished piece.
Gen was working with ripped paper turning this
into this, almost finished and a lovely piece.
Kate was also working on trapping silk flowers under a layer of sheer fabric. She started with a sheer on top of a patterned fabric, layered the silk flowers and held them in place with a sparkly sheer - a very pretty effect.
I was using some old tea bags (lower right), sheers, handmade paper and a leaf transfer - a process I do on silk using real leaves and image transfer paper. I also had an old silkscreen done on a sheer of a page from my mother's autograph book from the 1930s. One of the things I love about this process is that you can use bits and pieces so effectively. As quilters we/I tend to save every little piece of fabric etc thinking someday I'll find a place for this, Well...someday has arrived!
Here's Val's finished piece - Amazing as always. Mary is always so productive but was coming down with a cold at the time and just not feeling right, but she got lots of ideas to bring home.
Gen showed us some painted dryer sheets and we decided one of our meetings has to be devoted to painting on sheer materials - anything that is sheer including paper, fabric...whatever.
Kate got the ball rolling. She pulled this out of her pocket - some toilet tissue which had a nice design on it - perfect for painting. We had a big laugh over that.
Our 6th member Denny has not been able to be with us as she's caring for her daughter who had a stroke. Our thoughts and love are always with her and Denny if you're reading this...We miss you!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

My Mothers' Name was Alice

My mothers' name was Alice. Thinking of her reminds me of a wonderful movie from years ago; It's still on TV sometimes around Mother's Day - "I Remember Mama" - about a Swedish family who had migrated to the US and  living in New York in the 1930s. The story is simple, everyday life involving 3 children, parents, aunts and uncles, but the message it sends is heartwarming. The mother and main character played by Irene Dunne has incredible emotional strength and "moxie" - the kind of mom many haved wished for or have been lucky enough to have. I fit into the latter.  
 My mom was a single parent and I was an only child so we leaned on each other a lot. It was 24 years ago today that my mom passed away from breast cancer. She was 71 and left us too soon. She gave me with a lifetime of wonderful memories and I miss her still. I think of all the things I would say if I could have her back for just one day.
 She loved, loved to sew and started on her sewing journey at a very young age. It continued throughout her life. One of my fondest memories was sitting next to her, watching her use the machine and wishing I could be sitting there. The spark for my love of sewing had begun.
 Although there was nothing she couldn't make, to my knowledge this yoyo quilt is the only quilt she ever made.  She started it when she was 10, don't know when it was finished.
 I pulled it out the other day thinking I need to mend this and then keep it out. How lucky I am to have this.
 There is some deterioration of some of the yoyos and I know I can take the yellow yoyos from the border to replace the worn ones here and there. But that would mess up the border; I've never attempted anything like this and don't know if one adds a new vintage looking fabric or works with what is there. I guess it's a matter of personal choice but right now I don't have a clue.
 My mom gave me a love for so many things but my love of sewing has brought me so much joy and opportunities over my lifetime, for that I'm forever grateful.
My mothers' name was Alice - a beautiful lady both inside and out. Thank you for everything.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Silly Things

I use a lot of deconstructive screenprinted fabric and love the process. If you're unfamiliar with the technique, it goes something like this. You place thin objects, under 1/4" thick under a blank silk screen. You squeegee a thickened dye over the screen which takes on the outline of the different shapes underneath. After the dye dries, you use a clear print paste and squeegee over the top, loosening the dye which is released to a piece of soda ash treated fabric underneath. The most interesting fabric happens and you never know what you'll get (like in a box of chocolates!).
A local craft store had all their Halloween decorations reduced way down I thought...why not, they're less then 1/4" thick, made of soft foam so they should hold up to water. What a fun image to use in deconstructive screen printing. So I went home with some spider webs (Denny would be proud)
a 3-D haunted house which comes apart ...
to give me 2 houses...
and a 3-D tree which also comes apart.
I can't wait until we do deconstructive screen printing again. I think these will make some interesting prints. We usually do this in warmer weather so the screen will dry quickly, so it will be a while. I have plenty to keep me busy until then.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Llamas and Bunnies and Bears....Oh My

The Southeast Animal Fiber Fair took place this past weekend at the Ag Center in Asheville, NC. It is a huge facility with many buildings all of which I was told, used by this group. We recently had our Asheville Quilt Guild quilt show here. It's a perfect venue for this type of show with lots of room to stand back and take it all in. 
I attended this fair several years back and the thing that struck me the most was the incredible amount of color - everywhere!
This was a sock yarn wall. I would love socks in any of the colors here......well almost.
So many of the yarns were braided and variegated.
It was a heaven for anyone who knits, felts or works with rovings, yarn, pelts etc., it was hard to take it all in.
The displays were very unique...
and colorful.
Well of course I loved these little animals, quite expensive as they were all hand made and often used wonderful fleece like alpaca - so soft. At first I thought of my granddaughter, but these are for collectors.
An artist who made Santas with hand carved faces really caught my eye. The beards were made from  Alpaca fleece. Not only were they beautiful but many were life-size.
I'm always drawn to the animals and this French angora rabbit was getting pets from everyone.
My favorite (and kept in another tent) were the Alpacas.
They were very sweet and some had the longest eyelashes. Follow the red arrow - those wisps on his/her face are eyelashes!
They were very approachable and interesting to hear about the farms they lived on.
The Llamas were not as friendly - a little larger and not at all approachable.
It was a fun day, almost makes me want to take up knitting but I know I have not ONE OUNCE of talent for it, so I will stick with fabric. There was a vendor who was selling flat folds of woolens so I did get some tartan plaid yardage and some wonderful hand made soap. I came home a happy camper.