Saturday, March 31, 2012

Portland "NW Quilt Show" 2012

Four of the Fyber Cafe ladies went up to the Portland Guilds show on Friday, it rained all the way up, we got an early start and got there about 10:30. The show was in a smaller exhibit hall, and was not the big Expo show I had been expecting, that is in September. The vendors where wonderful, and they had some very creative quilts. I am more drawn to the art quilts now, rather than the more traditional work. The guild challenge "Portals" had some beautiful entries, and they are entering several quilts in the Guild Group Challenge in Houston. I am not going to post any photos due to copyright considerations. I mostly bought some new stencils at the booths, some hot fix crystals, and ceramic buttons. After enjoying our lunch we headed across town to "Fabric Depot." It wasn't as busy as usual on a quilt show day, so we got to spend a little time there. I got Jacquard De-colourant, and spray adhesive and some more stencils. We beat the rush hour traffic out of town, and stopped at "Greenbaum's Quilted Forest" in Salem. It is such a bright cheerful shop, lots of color and projects on display, it is one of our favorite shops!! We always make a point of stopping here. We dragged ourselves home about 6:30pm for a long eventful day, we had a great time with friends, enjoying our passion for textiles. We are already planning another trip up to Keizer/Salem for the IRIS gardens blooming, between Mothers Day and Memorial Day.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Play Day at Vera's

6 Members of the Fyber Cafe, textile arts group, went to Vera's for a play day. We took several homemade gelatin plates and our acrylic paints. The young girl that I mentor was able to go, 'cause it was spring break, and I love having her along, she is so creative. We played all morning with the paints, masks, and foam stamps on the gelatin plates. Peggy worked in a series of lavender purple and yellow moons, with stamped dragonflies, Pat made a raven print and a red lily on a textured green background. Several people played with wood carved blocks from Indonesia to stamp their fabrics, and a new lady worked with a discharge process, to remove the color from black fabric. She used "Finish" dishwasher liquid for her discharge medium. I made several "Moon" prints also, as it leaves a big area to show through the bottom layer of paint, also a favorite was a bird on a branch stencil that we used as a mask. We had a brown bag lunch, but Vera had made a pineapple/rhubarb pie, oh delish!! After lunch the new lady, Landreth, showed us how to make 3-D flowers and bugs for decorative coffee sleeves. They were beautiful finished up in a cluster. She uses Golden Medium GAC400 as a sealant, as it bonds into the fibers of the fabric and is very stiff and permanent. After that we made a few more prints and cleaned up for the afternoon. We had an awesome time, and tried different techniques, which is a great way to spend a play day! I'm looking forward to see what everyone makes with their fabrics. Next up, a field trip on Friday to the Big Portland Sewing and Quilting Expo! Yeah!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Photos: Still adding beads. Chartreuse leaves, made with Lutrador.

I just can't wait for our Tuesday Play Day at Vera's. Today is the first day of spring break, I slept in late, walked to the coffee stand for a Sugar Free Mocha hazelnut, yumm! and came back and quilted. I went to Joann's Fabrics and got more plain white fabric for the painting, and also a light blue and a light peach. Vera has a bolt of Prepared For Dyeing fabric, but it is a muslin color, which is fine for dyeing, but I prefer the white when printing and some of the fabric shows through. Micheal's Crafts had bottles of acrylic on sale so I bought an assortment of new paints. I am trying to finish a few more of the "Gelli Prints" I made, but the hand work to embellish them has slowed me down, my hands hurt too much, so I just sew a few beads everyday, or stitch the sleeves down or hand print label patches. I tried to find one to work on that did not need beads, so I machine quilted a pale yellow leaf print, with a bark textured background. Then I painted and melted holes in some "Lutrador" and stitched leaf outlines and veins on it. After cutting them out I stitched them down 3-D, and added a twisted fabric branch to tie them together.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Daffodils & Crocus, Pink Hand

I finished the quilted wall hanging "Daffodils and Crocus" it is made from my photographs printed onto treated fabric and printed through my computer printer. One of the authors I read said something about finding your own recognizable style, I had to think long and hard about that one. What is it about your quilts, that makes them instantly recognizable as yours? It finally dawned on me, it was the intense quilting with rayon threads, that tied all my quilts together. Wether it was an applique quilt, art quilt, or vintage quilt, I love the texture of dense quilting. I don't use rayon on my vintage fabric quilts but the quilting for texture is important. When thread painting photographs, I use many different shades of green, and the flower colors, I have to quilt ALL the details in the background as well. What started out as a quickie spring project became an intense quilting experience. It certainly gets my spring fever in full bloom, pun intended! I also finished another "Gelli Print" journal page, it is a hot pink hand with a blue-purple background with 1/2" circles in the background patterning. I quilted around all the circles, and added details to the hand, knuckles, fingernails and texture. It is embellished with a beaded bracelet and ring. I call it "Caught Pink Handed" it reminds me of when I use fabric dye and forget to wear rubber gloves. My hands have been many shades of different colors, I hate wearing the gloves.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Peggy's Prints

My friend Peggy came over several times to play with painting fabric, the first two times we made collagegraph plates and printed with them, see my previous posts. I didn't get any pics of her work then, but she brought them to the Fyber Cafe meeting for Show & Tell. The one piece is from her collagegraph of a bird, she printed it on a previously dyed piece of fabric that had curly cues on it, and added sunflowers too. The other pieces she made with a homemade gelatin plate, after I got my "Gelli Plate" They are very different from my pieces, they have lots of texture from the gelatin which had bubbles on the surface, and she used thinner paints, and got a more washed out look. She made a set of house/butterfly/tree blocks following the directions in Quilting Arts Magazine Feb/March 2012. She made paper masks for the houses, etc.. then added details with more paint, colored pencil, and Shiva oil pastels. Then the next day she made four blocks with blue/green fish and seaweed. She used foam stamps for the seaweed and sashed it with Bali batiks. We can't wait to get together next week to work on it together. Her watercolor teacher keeps telling her to use more paints, I think I used too much paint, we'll try for a compromise and experiment with more or less textile medium too.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Masks for Gelli Printing

I made several pages of masks for the Gelli printing process. I had started out using freezer paper, and after 1 or 2 uses they were no good anymore, and I had to make new ones. So I decided to make a whole page of masks, scan them into the computer and then I can print them when I want one. I made a page of several different butterflies, teacups, fruit(apples, pears, cherries, lemon) teapot, creamer and sugar, tulips, and I traced my hand, did a left and right and a smaller one too. So when I went to do some Gelli printing I cut out a bunch of tulips, made light colored textured backgrounds, arranged the tulips, in pairs, trios, with the page horizontal and vertical, and had some fun trying different arrangements. If I had to make each tulip cutout as I needed it, I would have lost the creative spontaneity. See the previous post for some examples of finished prints. Make your own page of masks, or I give you permission to save and copy my masks, to use for your own personal projects. Peggy said she made some fish masks, I'm thinking of quiet a few more pages to draw and scan. I can certainly paint and print, faster than I can quilt them, so maybe I need some restraint(oh Yea, that's gonna happen!) I hope you give it a try, you can order the "Gelli Plates" from and watch the instructional videos on their blog, they were very helpful teaching tools and beautiful examples to look at. You can also make your own gelatin plate, directions are in the February Quilting Arts Magazine. Use 4 packets of unflavored gelatin to one cup of cold water, stir to disolve, add one cup hot water, pour into a 9x9 pan, set for several hours or overnight. You can remove the gelatin from the pan or use it as is, roll acrylic paint on the gelatin with a brayer, stamp, draw or impress objects into the paint. Lay a piece of fabric on top and smooth with your hands. Lift off the fabric and dry, add additional layers if desired.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Even More Gelli Prints

Peggy is right, this is addicting, she made a gelatin plate the old fashioned way, and has been printing landscapes with directions from Quilting Arts magazine. I spent a little time making a few more "Gelli" prints. I wanted to try some of the different masks that I had made. I used a butterfly, hand and tulips masks, and scanned them into the computer, so I don't have to redraw every time I need one. The butterfly with the moon is my favorite one, I just cut a circle out of freezer paper, it has a shimmery opalescent turquoise acrylic paint, I already know how I want to quilt and embellish this one. Also the pink hand will be fun to embellish, bracelet, watch, rings, etc... I have to finish some other stuff before I start quilting these. More paint is needed, a shopping trip to Micheal's, yea, it takes quiet a bit of the liquid cheap bottle paints.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

More Gelli Prints

Having fun!! I made more Gelli prints the other evening, just started with a few, because I knew I would add extra layers of paint and I didn't want to get overwhelmed. I keep coming back to circles, maybe my subconscious is trying to tell me something. I also cut freezer paper masks of tea cups, and I really like how that worked, the second print is a ghost print with the leftover paint, when I removed the mask. I got distracted for a while, drawing images for masks. I didn't want to have to re-draw each time I wanted a teacup or butterfly, so I decided to draw a whole page and scan them into the computer. I made a page of teacups, teapot and creamers, butterflies, fruit, tulips, and my hand. Now I want to "Gelli Paint" again!! Now I can just print out a page, cut out and use the mask, with out stopping to draw each item. Go ahead and right click on the tulips, and "Save Image As" try it for yourself, and let me know what you make, share some pictures with me.

Loran's Giraffe

After the marathon procrastination session, I finally got down to finishing Loran's Christmas present. It is "Gerry the Giraffe" pattern from Linda Lee Designs, I don't usually do commercial patterns, but it was just so cute, and my sister-in-law collects giraffes. I fused the applique, and added the leaves and little blue bird to the picture. I had found some appropriate "dingle balls" and fringe trim to add to the mane, they had been out of the trim, when I bought the pattern. I added the African border print for the border, I had just enough when cut carefully, to balance it symmetrically. It took longer to quilt than I had planned, but it came out very well. So now, a trip to the post office. It is 21" x 46" just right to hang on a door.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Purple Bellflower, and Orange Sherbet Leaves

Oh, what fun it was to play with the Gelli Plates. I love the fabric I made, I immediately wanted to make something with several of the pieces. I really like making "Journal Page" size pieces, they go together quickly, and can be finished, I have a problem finishing things. So the 8" x 10" Gelli size was perfect. I guess I could've added borders, that would have made it more "quilty" but not as "arty" It is strange how our perceptions work like that. I added a raw edge applique of a purple bellflower to the teal print, with the silver lattice. A few beads in the center of the flower helped, and I am still thinking of doing a thread painted dragonfly on it. The second piece had subtle orange sherbet colored oak leaves masked out, with a medium green overlay. It quilted beautifully with a delicate orange rayon thread to outline and add veins to the leaves. I echo quilted the background with a light green rayon, but it did not differentiate between the leaf and the background. A small stipple in the background would have made the leaves pop out more, and create a textural difference. So it needed something else. I had a collection of leaves I had made with painted Tyvek and Lutrador, that had been melted with holes and bubbles, and then free motion stitched into leaves. They made a very 3-D addition to the page, I thought I had a closer color match, but the redder leaves are now the focus, not the subtle background. But that is ok, the background should BE the background. I can't wait to do a few more pieces of "Gellied" fabric!


This is what procrastination looks like! I am VERY good at it. Last Friday night, I should have been finishing a Christmas present(only quilters understand Xmas presents in February) and I decided to cut up some sports fabric I had for my nephew. I started cutting 6 1/2" squares of a variety of fabrics, baseballs, soccer balls, equipment etc... and I just kept going. I saved the biggest piece for the border and maybe the backing. Instead of putting the stack of squares away, I started to sew them, and never stopped. I knew if I stopped it would end up in a drawer or shoe box for several years, so I kept at it. I can be very stubborn, and I didn't feel like doing anything else, so I sewed, and sewed, and it got bigger and bigger. After using all the squares, I added a border and finished the top by Sunday afternoon. Whew, a marathon, I always say, "Yea, you can do a quilt in a day, a 24 hour day!" It will eventually be for my nephew, he is a great soccer player, and he is going to college right now. Maybe I'll get it quilted in time for graduation. Ha, ha, ha, maybe! I have started to make, adult, queen size quilts for my nieces and nephews, they all have baby quilts, and got wall hangings, as they were growing up. Now as they are into adulthood, between 16 and 28 years, they need bed quilts. The first one is going out to my niece who is getting married in April, as soon as I can get it packaged and shipped. So now I need to decided what else I don't want to do, and get something else made instead.