Monday, May 31, 2010

Now I have added the forground stalks and leaves.  Next step is to add beads to the background stalks, and to sew on the blossoms.  I am off to Crab Festival to make waffles for Public Radio!  Of course, it is pouring down rain!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Back to work on Ingrid's fireweed quilt

I started this quilt last Fall, thinking I would complete it for my daughter, Ingrid, for Christmas.  The background was pieced and quilted, and I actually had all of the components laid out on the design wall.  I knew that I wanted to do the buds on top of the stalk with beads.  This is an early summer fireweed-they bloom from the bottom.  by the end of summer, the blossoms are at the top and the lower part of the plant has begun to go to seed.  Anyway,  I had many other projects that I was trying to complete for Christmas, and I didn't want to rush the process with this one so I put it away for a while.  then I spent January and February making little valentine quilts for my loved ones, March took me to Anchorage for the Alaska Fiberfest.  When I got home, I needed to get quilts ready for the Whale Fest Art Show and the Crab Festival Art Show.  I was really procrastinating.  I had gotten so far from the quilt that I didn't know where to start.

This morning I got everything out and got to work.  Here you can see my background stalks fused and sewn to the quilt.  Each flower will eventually have a bead in the center.  Then, I sewed on the foreground stems, and started to sew on the leaves but after I broke two needles, it was time to quit for the day.  The leaves are made of tulle, and I have yoyo style blossoms with bead pistils and stamens.  When I make pieces like this, the back is a mess.  I want the quilting to be the first layer, then I put on the fused pieces, and finally the forground pieces which will be 3-D.  Anyway there is alot of thread!  I put a false back in the piece to cover up the mess and quilt in the ditch with invisible thread to hold the back to the front anywhere that I reasonable can.  How much more quilting does it need at this point?  My quilts hang straight and square so my process must be adequate.  This quilt will have three lines of quilting at the top on the checkerboard section which is below the hanging sleeve which helps with the stability of the hanging sleeve.  I will post an update when I get the rest of the fireweed sewn on.  I still don't have a clear vision of the beaded buds, but it will come to me as I work.

My first hand dyes

These are the first hand-dyes that I have done.  I have a daughter that is a batik artist and I had fantasies of her being my own personal dyer but it has not worked out that way.  She is much to busy.  So, I ordered a beginner's dye kit from Dharma and you can see the results here.  I used only the three primary colors.  I used to can copious quantities of salmon, but I freeze fish these days and you can do anything with frozen fish that you can do with canned fish so canning is a thing of the past and I have lots of pint canning jars so that is what I used for this project.  I really liked using glass because you can see what is going on.  But I can see that I am going to need some larger vessels and that is probably going to mean plastic that you can't see through.  It will really be a surprise!  I love these peices, but I have a hard time seeing myself using such bright colors.  I need to learn how to tone down the colors.  As soon as I was done, I made a new order to Dharma!  Another thing to spend money on!  Just what I need...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

New Work

Dancing Lady is 24" x 24". I made the jelly fish by sandwiching watersoluble stabilizer(Solvey)and some unfused angelina fiber, for a little sparkle, between layers of tulle which were then place in a hoop, then free motion stitched. The tenacles are made from handdyed ribbon yarn, which are loosely stitched on, and strands of beads.
This quilt and the following two quilts were begun by sewing strips of the background fabrics together. I then cut slightly turned squares from the resulting fabric, and sewed the squares back together. I think it adds alot of interest to the quilts.

"Square Dancers" is 21.5" x 27". The jelly fish are made the same as for Dancing Lady. The quilting isn't very visable in this photo, but I love the texture I achieved. It was the first time I have used wool batting, which contributes to the great texture.

"Rockfish in the Kelp Patch" is 21.5" x 27". The rockfish were made in a similar fashion to the jelly fish but made using orange organza. Seaweed is made from various couched fibers. The seaweed in the borders is pieced in using Carol Taylor's technique of sensuous lines. In the picture above you can see a closeup of the fish.

"Treasures" is 16" x 16". The clam shell is made from white organza, again, with angelina and water soluble stabilizer sandwiched between and placed in a hoop for free motion stitching.

Monday, May 3, 2010

These are my most recent quilts, made for a local Art Show to benefit Whale Fest, a celebration of the return of the Gray Whales to Kodiak Island. I took workshops with Carol Taylor in March, and these are my first attempts at the new techniques that I learned.


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