Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Journal Covers @ Pats Play Day

A bunch of us got together at Pat's for a play day, sewing journal covers for black and white composition books, and for smaller spiral notebooks. We had a great time, sewing "skinny strips" into our hand dyed fabric to accent and add interest to the fabric. When we had what we wanted, Pat helped us trim to size and layer with lining, batting and pocket flaps. The sewing was quick, after getting everything assembled. I had one piece of fabric already done as a sample, and another I put together with scraps from a photo project. These plus the third piece I made that day, created some really interesting journal covers. My fabric was a red/orange/yellow dyed print that I added yellow and fuchsia strips to, or yellow and red strips. The one with the red, also got embellished with extra trim, dyed cheesecloth and yarn, and when I got home I added vintage red plastic buttons. I had made, at home, two smaller spiral notebook covers as sample for the workshop, I made a handout with directions, but we didn't have time for that technique. Mine were made out of two hand made soy wax batik fabrics, from the dye workshop at Vera's. Both were pink and purple, printed with cookie cutters, one stars and the other flowers, they worked great for covers, I had a hard time trying to use them in quilts, because of the large pattern. I added Angelina fibers to the stars and beads and couched thread to the flowers, both have a button & hair scrunchy closure.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Black Sheep Festival

Sunday, I went up to Eugene to the Black Sheep Festival, a large national show for spinners, weavers, felters and fiber people. It was at the Lane Co. Fairgrounds, and had over 100 vendors, with clouds of wool and other fibers in a rainbow of colors!! The art competition was beautiful, with felted items, sweaters, yarn and other items.

The sheep barn had all sorts of sheep, and Angora goats, of coarse one of the lambs was bright pink, she was very friendly and vibrant. The horns on the goats and rams had lots of twists and curls, I couldn't believe how big some of them are. We had a great time, lunch outside in the picnic area, the ladies from Fyber Cafe that I went with were lots of fun. The shopping was overwhelming, with so many colors of fiber to choose from and lots of accessories. See for more photos and details.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Painting Layers

The "Gelli" prints from the garden tour were not finished, they needed more layers of paint and depth. I took 6 of the pieces of fern prints and added more stamped prints of ferns in a darker green, metallic gold sponged over sequin waste, a clear wash of yellow to get rid of the "off white" muslin, and a dark green fine line hexagon pattern from a silicone hot pad. All of this painting added depth and more detail to the fabric, although one piece got to be a muddy mush of greens. The before and after pictures are quiet different in tone. I hope the photos show this difference. I did not play with the ones in purple yet.

Preparing for Pat's Play Day

Our textile arts group "Fyber Cafe," is having a play day next Tuesday, so I have been getting ready for some of the projects. I will be doing a demo with the "Skinny Strips" from the blog It will make a piece of fabric that will work well with the journal covers we plan on making. I also made a piece of embellished fabric with a strip of a photo I had leftover, some batiks, dyed cheesecloth and melted Lutrador. This will also be used for a journal cover. We will also be doing a variety of other sewing projects, covers for small spiral bound notebooks, a small change purse or other purse patterns. If we have time Kay will also do a hands on weaving project with found natural materials that she teaches to school kids in Alaska. So it will be a productive busy day, we can embellish all these projects with a variety of stuff also. Looking forward to just visiting with the creative ladies of our group, and PLAYING!

To Finish is Divine!

I finished up a few little journal pages for the garden tour, that I had started with my "Gelli" prints. Just adding a few beads, sewing sleeves down and adding labels, all the little hand sewing chores that needed to be done. The peachy one is called "Moon Wisdom" it is a gelatin print over stamped with a foam flower stamp and gold metallic dots, it needed beads in all the flower centers. The symbol was enlarged on the computer from a rubber stamp, and hand painted onto the fabric. "Purple Apple Wren" was a stencil used on the gelli plate, it was kinda blah, but I liked the blue and lavender, and the clean lines. I added white yoyo flowers with beaded centers, and extra 3-d fused lavender leaves. It still needed something and my husband suggested the white stitching on the bird, I kept adding more stitching, until it had a lot of thread painting on it, for feather detail. I was thinking of adding Angelina fibers to the blue background to spark it up, but the 3-d thread painted dragonfly added just the right touch of sparkle. My sister got it for a fundraiser in Monroe, Washington that she is in charge of. The Beatles Challenge - "Strawberry Fields Forever" got quilted in rayon threads, and bound, so another one finished! yea!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Garden Tour

Saturday our textile arts group "Fyber Cafe" exhibited at a garden tour, sponsored by the League of Women Voters. It was a fun day, we spent two hours hanging the textiles through out the garden, then spent the day playing with paints and watercolor crayons. We did demos for the visitors, but mostly just played. I made more "Gelli" prints, but used natural materials from my garden, ferns, candy tuft, geranium and maple leaves. I used the leaves for masks on the first layer, then used foam stamps to add additional fern, leaf prints, and some dragonfly stamps too. I want to add extra paint layers to the fabric, so none of them are really finished.

It was a wonderful event, a great opportunity for our group to present ourselves to the public. Unfortunately we did not sell any pieces, most of the people who came through were gardeners, not specifically looking for art work. This is the first year for the event, so maybe in the future it will attract more art lovers than gardeners. But the comments were great, everyone did appreciate what they saw, and loved our work. Because of the word cafe in our group name, everyone thought we might have a store/restaurant.

Friday, June 8, 2012

"Bent, Twisted and Mashed"

I was searching through the blogs on the artful quilter web ring, and found it has wonderful hands on technique info, and the June project was to add strips to a piece of already made fabric, to improve all those ugly unusefull pieces that we have dyed and printed. So I gave it a try, I found a hand dyed fat quarter of teal & pink, that had gotten a bit of gray on it, also darker purple lines and grids, the gray made it very flat. The teal was printed with a potato masher, hence the title. I used three hand dyed fabrics, a hot pink, turquoise in bright and light, and a darker violet to dark purple, I cut these into strips of 1/2" 5/8" and 3/4" NOT on the bias. I started cutting my fabric, eak!! always hard to cut into something you hand made. The idea was to make "Skinny" strips, the 3/4 and 5/8 were easy to sew, the 1/2" was not, I used a 1/8" seam allowance, I couldn't decide if I wanted the darker strips first or the lighter ones, I also pieced some of the strips in multiple colors. It looked too unfinished at first, then as more strips were added, the question became, "when to stop?" As I got around to the light turquoise I decided to insert folded strips, that could be twisted back and forth, I forget what this technique is called, it was done a lot, back when. I should have cut them at least 1" wide. The 3/4" doesn't have enough give to fold back and forth easily. I think I'll tack it down before quilting, and maybe use a bead at each tack. Deciding on the quilting patterns will be an interesting challenge. Lots of ugly fabric is lurking in my stash, so maybe it can be "beautified" too. I don't usually do abstracts, so this is a big "out of my comfort zone" project. I like the color on the piece better than the photograph, the gray is still a bit of a problem.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Me at the Iris Gardens

Peggy sent me her picture that she took of me at the Iris Gardens, peeking from behind the lupine.

Garage Sale Treasures

I hit the jackpot at a garage sale yesterday, a bag of vintage quilt blocks, circa 1920-30's. Yea! 20 large Dresden Plate circles, 25 small Dresden Plate blocks, 12 Jacob's Ladder and 12 Bow Tie blocks, and a twin size quilt top, with a very simple pattern of 1/4 square triangles, set with (Ugly) brown check setting squares. I love to applique Dresden Plates onto the muslin backing, and add a center circle. It will be fun to finish them. The smaller ones are already on muslin, I squared and trimmed up the muslin, cause the edges were frayed, and will cut scrappy sashing from my vintage fabric collection. It is fun looking at the fabrics, almost ALL of them are ones I have in my stash already, it's as if, these are the fabrics that were available in Roseburg at that time, and all the ladies used them, or shared scraps. My vintage fabric collection is quiet large, mostly from garage sales, but some from quilt shows and antique stores, and two sets from friends. I have already made a queen size top of Dresden plate blocks a friend gave me, a top done in Round Robin style with scraps, made by adding border to border, and a compilation of orphan blocks that I call "my time machine quilt." I am also making the "Dear Jane" pattern of 5" blocks with my vintage scraps. I have a lot of orphan blocks and partial quilt tops, that can be put together too.