Sunday, August 29, 2010

Therapy Sewing

That's what Rayna Gillman calls it anyway, and I concur- even though what I'll be doing is a bit different than what she does.  I'm finally making some headway on a gift quilt for my son's girlfriend.  I'm using competition shirts from her father, who did triathlons (I think).  I new experience for me, but I think it will turn out well.  I had to figure out what to back the shirt fabric with (woven fusible interfacing), and then cut the shirts up and figure out a design.  I now have the blocks up on my design wall, and it met the intended recipient's approval.  I'm glad she likes bright colors, because this one just screams at you.  Apparently competition biking shirts don't come in muted or pastel colors!

So here's what I have-

I'm figuring it will be 40-something inches by 50 something inches- a good size lap quilt to curl up with in the miserable Chicago winters.

This fabric is heavy enough that I've decided to have 3/4" black sashing between the blocks- that should help keep the bulk down. 

I didn't count the number of shirts I used, I just know the scraps I have left are fairly small in size.  I have some extra in case I run into an issue and need some, but other than that, they are in pieces.  I also found out that synthetic fabric dulls a rotary blade really quickly, and my large cutting mat needs to be replaced soon.  I've worn grooves in it over the years.

I'm hoping I'll have the energy to put in an hour or two after work on this.  All the hard work is done, as long as I work from my design wall I shouldn't screw up adding the sashing.  We'll see.  I don't have any projects I have to get done until the next photo for Interpret This!, and that doesn't post until mid-week.

Time to get started on the Sunday night get ready for work-week chores, like ironing.  Hope your week is a good one!

Friday, August 27, 2010

August Reveals Start Today!

The reveals for August on Interpret This! started this morning, and since it was my picture this month, my quilt is first up.  So here it is, Buildings and Bridges--

If you want to know what my thinking was in making this piece, head on over to the Interpret This! blog.  There's also some detail shots of all the quilting I did.  I'm finding it pretty hilarious that someone (me!) who was quilting-aversive six or seven years ago now does all her own, and uses it as an important part of the overall design.  I can't imagine leaving it to someone else now!

I'm really looking forward to seeing what others did with the photo- some of the hints this month have been intriguing.

I hope to get some work done on another project that won't involve  lot of design brainpower, but I really need to get it done.  And I'll be in the dyepots a bit this weekend.  Sigh- so many projects, so little time.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mental Health Day

That's what I took off from work today- spent all of it in the studio, finishing my IT! piece.  It will post tomorrow at 7 am.

The rest of the day was spent downloading my CD's to this laptop.  I have finally joined the rest of the world and bought an iPod Touch.  I figure I can use it for my calendar, since my work phone is due for an upgrade and I won't be replacing it with a smart phone like I have now.

I bought an 8 gig Touch- plenty of room, I figured, and besides, it's what I had the budget for.  Today I learned how much music I have in CD's- almost 6.5 gigs.  And I am not a music junkie!  I have wide-ranging tastes, but I don't buy a lot.  How can I have so much???

I have another quilt project to work on this weekend, and some onesies to dye for a friend.  So I'll be spending more therapy time in the studio!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Over The Moon!!

  Reap the Whirlwind, 2010 
By Beverly Hart

Can I just say I am excited beyond belief??  Not only did my wholecloth pieced Reap the Whirlwind get juried into AQuA's special exhibit at PIQF, the juror chose it for the image on the postcard!!  I've been doing a happy dance since last night when I found out, I'm surprised I slept at all!

AQuA is a fairly large group, with lots of very talented artists.  To have my piece chosen for the card is absolutely incredible to me.

Here's a detail shot-

It rather boggles my mind that the quilting is what makes this piece, and I actually enjoyed doing it.  Two years ago, I'd have been stressed beyond belief.  Just goes to show, it's all about the practice, practice, practice.  That, and making all those pieces for the crap quota.

It has  been a GOOD weekend on the quilt front!  I got started on the quilting for my IT! piece, and get this news!

Saturday, August 21, 2010


No, not sleeping- but in the zone creatively.  I spent probably twelve hours in the studio yesterday, only coming out occasionally to refuel or move some clothes from the washer to the dryer.  My IT! piece is now sandwiched, and I'll be working on the quilting today.

As usual, what I thought I would do isn't exactly what I ended up doing.  Some of what I've been thinking about the past two months is there.  But the fabrics I thought I'd use (the ones I screenprinted in Grand Junction) just didn't work.  So here's what did end up in the quilt---

The two piles on the right are the ones I used.  the two on the left are ones I thought I'd use, and didn't.  The green one on the left I even overdyed with a pale shade of red to knock the vivid green back a notch or two.  That part worked, but the fabric still didn't work in the piece.  So I solved the issue of value with  thread.

This has been a fun adventure.  I found batiks in my stash I'd forgotten I have!

I will also be on edge today, waiting to hear from my friends in Grand Junction what the juror (Melody Randol) has to say about my wind turbines piece.

So now I'm off for coffee and some breakfast, then back down to the studio.  Housework?  What's that???

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I'm Excited. . .

about this article that ran in the Grand Junction Sentinel this weekend!  Thank you, Sherida!!!

Springville Art Museum- Again!

I have more quilts to post from the museum show- at least it's quilty content, since I don't have anything of my own to post!

I really liked this one by Marilyn Fashbaugh.  She's a member of the Utah Surface Design Group.  I like the varation in scale, and the movemnt implied by all those little pieces flying about.

This small piece fascinated me.  The artist used actual sisal twine- you can see it exposed towards the top.  It winds its way through the whole piece, hidden under a layer of transparent fabric.

What not to like about a big, red strawberry in the summertime?  

Another Surface Design Group member did this lovely little study of one of the red rock canyons of Utah.

I have enough photos from the show for one more post, so I'll save the rest for then.

I finally have the fabrics picked out for my Interpret This August piece.  The ones I thought would work- didn't.  Interestingly, I ended up with mostly batiks, with a couple of my hand dyes.

I have thought a lot about this one, while I finished the construction on Reap the Wind.  I don't want something representational.  What drew me to the photo in the first place was the shapes- the straight lines of the buildings against the curves of the arches under the bridge.  I'm trying to focus on those, and not worry about what colors are in the photo, or will my quilt 'look' like the photo.  This is not necessarily an easy process for me, since I've long thought Jane Sassaman was describing me when she talks about the "tragically literal."

I also need to spend some time dyeing- a friend is having a second grandson shortly, and I promised to dye some onesies.  (I'll be getting some gorgeously embellished socks for my granddaughter in exchange!)  And I'll be leaving for ten days in Florida in a little over a month- a last chance to enjoy some heat before winter hits!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Reap the Wind

That's the title I chose for this quilt- it just seemed to fit.  It's from the Old Testament, the book of Hosea: "They sow the wind, and they reap the whirlwind."  

I'm not going to post the front of the quilt here until after the jurying process in Grand Junction a week from tomorrow.  I've got to find a box wide enough for it- I don't want to roll it up tightly, or fold it.  

I will show the back, however.  

Less than stellar hand dyes are perfect for backs and sleeves.  I pieced the back with several value gradations I did on Kona cloth several years ago.  The sleeve is a piece that was just ok.  I even used a hand dye for the label, although I really can't remember when or how I did it.

You can see the trapunto better on the back than the front. I don't know if I'd do trapunto with paint again, I can see the possibility of issues if this quilt is rolled or folded for any length of time.  I'm glad I learned how to do it, though.

I think I can leave the label out for the jurying process- I'll just pin some fabric over my name and address (which I've blurred for the blog post!).

All in all, I'm very pleased with this quilt.  I've got some more hand dyes I want to try doing a whole cloth with, sometime in the future.

Monday, August 09, 2010

More from Springville Art Museum Show

One of the reasons I wanted to go to the museum on Friday was to see a trunk show.  The museum scheduled six quilters to come and talk about their work for half an hour each, and one of them was my friend Sandra from Moab.  She didn't talk about her work, but brought many of her collection of antique quilts.  I didn't realize how extensive her collection has gotten until she started talking about it!  Sandra is one of two certified quilt appraisers in Utah, so she knows her stuff.

Sandra is also an attorney, so speaking to an audience is familiar turf for her.  She looked and sounded very comfortable, and kept our interest the entire time.  Too bad this picture from the beginning of her lecture was more focused on the ladies in front of me!

I also took a couple of pictures of quilts that caught my eye- I thought this tone on tone was lovely in a low key kind of way-

And how could I resist red and green, especially when the green is limey?  

You can see more of Sandra's own work on her blog.  She's also got a blog about her antique quilts and appraisal business- the link to that is on this blog also.

Now I'm off to read my copy of the latest Quilting Arts magazine.  Later!

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Springville Art Museum Quilt Show

Today I managed to sneak a couple of hours from quilting my wholecloth to go see the annual quilt show at a nearby art museum.  This is a very traditional area when it comes to quilts, so I go in the hopes there will be a few art quilts, or at least some quilts with extra punch.  And this year I wasn't looking at the awards wondering how the judges came up with that decision- the quilts that had ribbons, I thought deserved them.

This beauty got Best of Show.  Unbelivably, it is both hand pieced and quilted- I think it's a Jinny Beyer design.  I can't even fathom working that way- I'd never get anything done!!

This one is my favorite color combination.  I love the bold design!

This was a small piece, only about 12 by 12.  But I liked the wonky design, color, and embellishments.

I absolutely loved this one, based on a child's watercolor painting.  What a canvas for lots of quilted texture!!

I've got more, but I'll save them for a future post.

On the home front, I washed out the rust dyed raw silk last night.  I'm very happy with how it turned out-now I just need to find a pattern that will work with it.

I don't know if I will get anymore quilting done tomorrow- it is a busy day.  But I hope I can get the little bit I have let done on Sunday, so I can get this one faced and shipped off to Susan in Grand Junction.  I still have my IT! quilt to get done this month!!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Rusting the Silk

The raw silk I discharged in the thiox bath last weekend has been stewing with vinegar and rusty stuff since Sunday.  Tonight I decided it had sat long enough with the rust, but it needed something else.  I made a half-strength batch of tannin, and poured it over, mushing the fabric to get it distributed.  I'll let it sit until tomorrow- then rinse and wash.  Can't wait to see how this turns out.

I got the bottom half of the wind turbines quilt done last night.  I also did some auditioning of quilting designs for the top, which will be different.  I think I know what I want, I just hope I can pull it off.  It will mean the bottom will be much more densely quilted than the top, so I hope I don't have hanging problems because of it.

Half the work week done, half to finish.  You know it has not been a good week when you are ready for it to be done at 10 am on Monday.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Undyeing, Part 3

I got more quilting done yesterday- and also ended up ripping out some.  This piece really is demanding that the thread colors be carefully chosen, and when one part was screaming for attention, I knew it had to go.  Fortunately it wasn't that big of an area.  I also had to run to Dave's Bernina to pick up some more thread colors.  I'm hoping to get the quilting done this week, then face it and ship it off to Grand Junction.

Three or four years ago, I dyed and printed this two yard piece of raw silk.

It has sat in my fabric storage ever since.  The screenprinting doesn't work together, and I couldn't figure out what to add to make it work.  I'm just not experienced enough with printing, especially on larger pieces of fabric.  So last night I decided to try discharging it with thiox to see what happened.  I folded it into a square, and then put it between two pieces of plexiglass with rubber bands to hold it.  I honestly wasn't expecting much to happen, since I'd used turquoise dye at least once on the piece, and turquoise is notorious for not disharging.  Imagine my surprise, then, when the edges discharged to a lovely greeny-gray- and not that long in the pot.  So I chucked the whole thing in the thiox pot, no manipulation, and let it stew for a good half an hour.  Here's what I got--

What a difference!  There are ghostly lines from the first dip in the thiox, which I like.  There is really nothing left from my first efforts with dyes, which works for me just fine.

So now this piece is stewing with a bunch of rusty objects.  When I see how it rusts, then I will decide whether or not to hit it with a tannin bath- then hopefully I will have fabric I like to make another top.

Oh, yeah- and on top of all that, I got my copy of Jane Dunnewold's new book yesterday.  What a visual treat!  That will be my bedtime reading for the forseeable future!