Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Cold and Hot

Yesterday I sewed a vest in a hot red passionate fabric that I had woven a while back.
Red Passion Vest
I love the richness of this red color with black and white along with a few other colors subtly mingled in with it.

Today I switched to a cooler color palette and made another vest with fabric in blue and black that has bits of green, silver and white.   The silver has a really nice sparkle.
Ice Crystal Vest
 This vest is versatile in that it can be worn with  the lapels open or with both closed or even with just one open as shown above.  Truthfully, I am sure there are other possible variations.  With both closed, a nice pin or brooch would really add a sophisticated  look.  I think this would look great worn with a a white shell under it and a dark skirt or pants and heels.  It could be dressed up very simply.  But it could also be very stylish for a casual workday with jeans and a t-shirt.

I have had a great time sewing up some of my handwoven fabric to make garments. I am not sure which ones will be displayed in the gallery show.  I probably have more pieces of art, wall hanging and clothing than they will need.
Who says "less is more?"  I say "More is more."  (Of course I errrr..... acquired that line from Dolly Parton. )
I hope you are having a wonderful week.

Big Smiles,

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Sewing a Garment from My Handwoven Fabric

The starting point was a pattern in a book for making clothing from handwoven fabrics.  I messed up the pattern because I didn't quite comprehend the fabric requirements. I needed not one but two of the pieces for the top section and I had only one. So I improvised.  So I dropped back and changed it completely. It is a large size and was intended to be longer than it is.
Originally it was a bit boxy, so I decided to add seams that are sort of like darts in the front. I think that makes it look a bit more feminine and tailored as it slims toward the waist.

Here is the "boxy" version:
I also sewed pieces on two quilted works to make them hangable for the gallery show in April.
There is at least one more garment that I wish to make for the show.  Of course,  I have a medical appointment today (Tuesday) and Mom has one on Wednesday.   Perhaps I will manage to get it all done.
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Saturday, March 18, 2017

World Wide Quilting Day

Today, March 18 is World Wide Quilting Day.  I put my other projects aside and worked on making a quilt top.
First two pieces of fabric that I hand dyed were sliced and converged a la Ricky Tims and became this.
It didn't seem to have enough punch. Strong black was called into play and with more slicing and re-piecing, it became this:


While the plan was a little bit different, this is a very happy piece.  Some of it changed due to the restrictions of fabric size. But some of it changed due to going too quickly. (aka operator error - says the peanut gallery.)

I hope you are having a great weekend.

Big Smiles,
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in posts may be affiliate links for which I am compensated if you click through and purchase.

Sneak Peek

Here is a sneak peek at a piece I am working on.  The hummingbird was planned for a different background. But there was too much blue and purple on that woven background. Instead, a piece of my hand dyed fabric was substituted for the woven background.  This piece makes a perfect background for it. Pure serendipity.
I am not sure the flower is finished.  Only time will tell how I finish it.  This little fused appliqué makes me smile even in its unfinished state.
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Thursday, March 16, 2017

This 'n' That

Another busy week - that is what this has been so far.  Mom and I both had to go for routine blood work.  I had a routine visit to one of my doctors.  I see another one of them next week.  Sheesh.  I have more to do - so I guess I had better take care of myself, right?

A few things I have gotten finished since the last post include:
Reframing a painting for the exhibit.  I moved a watercolor from a simple metal display frame into a nice wood frame. I think it will display better.
Sewing a facing on another art quilt piece so it will be ready to hang. I also bought dowels for hanging the art quilts.
Weaving off the rest of a hand dyed warp that I had on the loom.

Of course there are some photos.  The paintings, I didn't photo because the glass glares badly on them.
But here is that strange little art quilt.
A very abstract design created in fabric and other fibers.  I need to find a name for it
The fabric off the loom has been wet-finished and hung to dry.

And the loom?  Well it sat empty for part of a day.  But a bit of inspiration had me changing the reed out and rethreading it so that the warp forms a bit of a pattern in areas as I weave.

Perhaps you can see it in these two photos.

It is a bit subtle but it changes the "plain weave" to a bit of a more patterned weave.

The weekend is fast approaching and with it, my "baby" brother's birthday.   I have been chosen to bake the cake. That could be because my paternal grandmother taught me to bake a cake and she was the master of delicious cakes.  I think it was also this Grandmother who started me on a life of creative cooking.  She didn't follow the rules or necessarily the recipe.  She knew, and taught me, which cooking rules you can break and still have a great result.  It was also her teaching that led me to trust my "taste" when cooking.   And as you probably know, all of that spilled over into my other creativity too.  (wink.)
So if you don't see me for a couple of days - just know that I am not standing still.  My life is full and happy ---and busy.
Have a great weekend.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Gone Fishin'

Lots of fish are swimming in the waters where I am "fishin'."  Of course this is my kind of fishing as there are no hooks, no worms and best of all, no mosquitos to bite me.
The Bama Belles quilt guild decided to make a quilt called "Goldfish Crackers."  One of the members found this online and the group decided to make these quilts for the children at a nearby residential school.  Here are the blocks I made for our team's quilt.
The directions said to use orange for the fish and I cut lots of them. If I am not mistaken, I cut 23 orange sets of "fish parts" and one set of red - all from scraps!
Before the day was finished we started laying out the quilt.  Linda was busy doing several things at once so her blocks were not yet completed when we did the initial layout.
As you can see, she still needed to sew on the corner triangles and add bubbles on the ones that would have bubbles.
So, as she sewed that part, I sewed the top three rows together.
Linda will take it home and either complete it there or bring it back to the next meeting to finish it.  Two of her fish still need bubbles, but isn't this the cutest little quilt?

We had decided to use blue backgrounds for all of the quilts, but the blue fabrics varied between quilts.
Brenda was sewing away on hers.
She was speeding along and had all the fish blocks completed before we left.
Although you can't tell it so well in the photos, the blue is made up of hearts that look like heart-shaped bubbles.  It is just delightful.

Bev was away from her table when I was taking photos - but she made some very cute blocks also.
I just love the music note fabric - Is that a SongFish?
And she had more in process- 
Lois was also a busy bee making her blocks.
Her light blue background  is very soft and lovely, but even better is the green fabric she was using for the fish bodies.
Isn't it adorable?
On an interesting side note, I discovered that I can use the magnetic clasp on my Fitbit band as a temporary pin holder. However, when I went to the other side of the room to square my blocks, the pin apparently brushed off of it. Luckily I found it before anyone got jabbed by it. 

We had a great day and have three quilts well on the way to being ready.  I left my spare cut pieces to be used by anyone who needs them to make another quilt or for some of their blocks.  

I mentioned a few days ago that I am preparing pieces for a gallery show.  In April, the Mountain Valley Arts Council in Guntersville, Alabama will be displaying my work along with that of Rita Winters, a traditional weaver.  I will have paintings, woven garments and art quilts in the display.  At last count, I had over 40 pieces ready for hanging.  I am very excited about the exhibit. If you are in the area, the exhibit opens on April 5th.  There will be a reception on April 6th from 5-7 p.m. Central time at the Gallery.  I would love to see you there. 
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Friday, March 10, 2017

Busy Busy - Creating and Preparing

Wow, this has been a busy week and it has flown.  I did some creative things.  I also did a lot of preparing.   I have a gallery show coming up in April and I needed to get some things ready.

I sewed a facing on this Wild Quilting piece so that it can be hung in the show.
The triangles are open on all four corners for a hanging rod at the top
and a weight rod at the bottom. 
There were a number of paintings that needed framing. Many of them are now in frames and only need the dust covers and hanging wires added.
There are several more that need framed and prepped also. Next week will be very busy too.

There was fabric dyeing also:
This should make a great background for an art quilt.
Another good background for an art quilt. 



Those are all roughly half yards.
This piece is probably a fat quarter - it has been overdyed twice!
The first time it was used under a piece and only got a little bit of dye.  The second dyeing left a good bit of white space and too much yellow.  The orange was added when I did the first piece in this photo- again as a piece to soak up extra dye.

But then there is this  small strip that was used to not waste some dye that was mixed with soda ash. Because once you add the soda ash to the dye there is a limited time before the dye expires.
Just the dyed fabric going across the covered board.
It is about 4 inches wide and probably 12-16 inches long
And that covered board?  That is over my ironing board. It gives me a nicer place to iron yardage.
There are two slats on the bottom of the board -one on each side of the ironing board - that keep it from sliding around. I covered it with some cotton home dec weight fabric over a layer of cotton batting.  It makes for a flatter ironed fabric also. You can see my Reliable iron in the background.  My board doesn't cover the entire ironing board as I bought an edge finished board that is 3 feet long and 16 inches wide. I didn't want to have to cut or sand it - just cover and go! The size was a personal choice- it is easily removed if I have to iron clothing and need the "point" on the ironing board.  A bigger board would give me issues in the space I am in.

It is National Craft month and Craftsy has a weekend sale. All classes are under $20 - so it is a great time to buy that class you have been wanting - or just to give yourself a creative boost.
You know that I have taken several Craftsy classes and had lots of fun in them.  I have also used the Craftsy Money-Back Guarantee at least twice when I realized a class just didn't work for me. (Sometimes a teacher just isn't your style or the class isn't what you expected.)
This sale ends Monday March 13 at 11:59 Mountain Time - so don't miss out if you want to get a class at a bargain price.


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in posts may be affiliate links for which I am compensated if you click through and purchase.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Bits and Pieces and Strings

Wow, it has been almost a week since my last post.  My apologies for being an "absent" blogger.  I have been working on several projects - one of which has been house cleaning.  Luckily I forgot to take photos of the housework.  

Fabric dyeing has been one project I am working on. Several pieces of fabric have gone from white to bright.  Some are more colorful than others.
This one reminds me of an inkblot test





I was thinking this blue and green was a bit pale, but it looked
nicer out in the sunlight.  I may do a bit of overdyeing to intensify
 the colors

This piece was folded in half and I didn't realize it. I wanted more of an orange
transition between the fuchsia and yellow.  But I can certainly use this. 

The odd shape of this was caused by the cut at the end of the piece from the
merchant. I didn't square it up before I dyed it. 
Another thing I started was from a free class on Craftsy called Chemo Caps.  The first part is knitting a scarf. I haven't gotten far, but it is working out.
Some scrappy "parts" were calling out to me so I sewed the three sections into one cohesive piece.
I may just keep adding to this until it is lap quilt size. It is certainly a fun piece.  The crazy strips were made with a paper piecing technique that I learned in the Quick Strip Paper Piecing class on Craftsy.  I think the instructor used them as a wonky border.  I like them as a main design element.

Meanwhile, I have cloth soaking in dye.
These are "stacked" color pieces.  I am using recycled containers that had cake icing in them.

This is an attempt at a three color gradient dye in a plastic shoebox. 

Another three color gradient - this one is in a wallpaper tray. 
I have to wait until later to wash out the dyes - did I mention that patience is not one of my stronger virtues? I will try to make it until 8 pm before I do the washout. If I were really patient, they would stay until tomorrow morning.


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in posts may be affiliate links for which I am compensated if you click through and purchase.