Monday, March 26, 2012

Print Day

This is where it started.  I tried cutting circles out of the long piece in the photo above and there were too many gaps between the fish.  Then I got up this morniung and had to face the prospect of making a plane reservation for Nick, my husband, who really didn't have a plan.  Not to mention that I can't go on this trip for various reasons.  So I was in a funk.  Art is a funk breaker so I set up a table and went to work.

It took a long time to get the ink right.  I though I had printed with way more black, but I think the match is adequate-once it is cut up and stitched.

A mandela arangement of the salmon stamp.

Another killer whale that I am not too happy with.

Humpback which I totally love-I plan to cut circles out of this piece.

Humpback Mandella
The best of the first set of killer whale stamps.
Another new less than perfect Killer whale-getting better though!  Like I said-art is restorative.  Even though it is not perfect work, I am feeling much better!

Saturday, March 24, 2012


My daughter wants Alaskan flags for wedding decorations, so here is the start-purple and blue fabrics were dyed on Tuesday.  I always have some trouble with these colors-the dye doesn't blend as I would like, but for the intended purpose, these fabrics will be fine.

I needed more images to print on the flags so yesterday I carved these whales.  I am happy with the humpback, but I think I can do better on the killer whales.  Below you can see the stamps that I carved.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Therapy Stitching

Sunburst Spirals
We had a meeting with the contractor who is building our new house yesterday morning which gave me alot to think about.  I do my best thinking when I am cutting or stitching so when we were done, I headed downstairs and this is what I did while I was thinking.  I dyed the fabric 2 years ago, and had cut it up and sewed it back together quite a while ago.  It languished for some time because I wasn't sure what I thought of it, and what to do next.  Yesterday, I layered and quilted, then today I couched the spirals.  I am still not sure what I think, and I may not even finish it, but I do have a clear head!

This business of planning a house is hard work.  We want what we want, but don't want to build a giant house that will make it necessary to work until we are 90 to pay for it!  I am excited that I am getting a studio, finally.  I have had a space of my own for a few years, but it is in the dungeon with no windows, and in the winter I have to start an electric heater well in advance of actually spending time down there because it is cold.  It is a very small space and I have stored my fabric in totes that are piled up so when I am searching for fabric, I have to wrestle the totes around.  My new studio is a long skinny room-10 x 20, I think.  Lot of room, and although it is on the first floor of the house, it will have alot of morning light-perfect for me since I work nights and my studio time is generally in the morning.  The laundry room is immediately adjacent to the studio so my intent is to do my dying in there. 

We are building on the same site that we live in now, so very soon we will have to pack up and move out of the house.  We do have a place to go during construction, but still I feel like I will be homeless.  On my mind is what I need to keep with me during construction in terms of art supplies.  My sewing machine, thread, beads, some fabric-won't have much space to keep thing so I must keep it simple.  But some sort of a sewing kit will be essential to my sanity.  I am trying to get several pieces started so I can decide what I will need to complete them.

Another thing I have been trying to do is destash.  I know I have way too much fabric, especially since I have started dying and printing fabric.  I went through everything and sent 6 large flat rate boxes to Anchorage to my daughters, but I know more has to go.  I have so much fabric that I don't see half of what I have.  I am thinking that I will have a different sensibility about my fabric stash after I live without it completely for 6 months.  Perhaps when I move into the new studio and see how much storage space I have, it will be easier to let go.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Reef

The Reef
30" x 40"
About a month ago I was asked to create a piece to hang in Representative Alan  Austerman's office in Juneau.  Very exciting, because it was my first commission, and because of where it will hang.  They looked at the pictures on my blog and decided that they wanted one with similar colors to the quilt on my header, and specified the size of 30" x 40".

The background is pieced-first by sewing strips together, then I cut squares from the resulting fabric.  I did 3 different strip sets- one for the forground, one for the mid section, and one for the water.  The fish and crabs were printed with blocks that I carved, and Daniel Smith water soluble printing ink. I carved a second, smaller crab so they appeared more distant.  I cut them out and fused them to the background.  The seaweed was stitched on tulle layered with angelina fiber and water soluble stabilizer.  I shaped the rocks using freezer paper, then used an invisible stitch to apply them to the quilt, with various ribbons tucked behind for more seaweed.  Finally, I added more embellishments with buttons, beads and hand dyed pearl cotton.  I love the little beaded jelly fish.


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