Friday, August 22, 2014

Teaching Beginners

The other morning while I was at my sewing machine a flock of turkeys came across my front lawn, right in front of my window. The cat popped her head up out of a basket with a purple quilt in it, looked around and went back to sleep. I chased after them and got a pic on the neighbors lawn. They come down from the oak hillsides in the fall, looking for water, birdbaths, kiddie pools, or the creek on the other side of a busy highway. They don't usually come into my yard, because I have a 2-4 foot river rock wall, but they can fly. I saw the other cat stalking them for a moment, but then she ran passed them, just too darn big for her.
My friend Bonny has recently retired, and is looking for something to do, so I gave a beginning quilting class. She wants to make a quilt for the veterans, as she is a air force vet herself. She hasn't gotten a sewing machine yet, so I set her up with one of mine. Susan of the discharge birthday party, came along too. She has only made quilts by hand, the old fashioned way.
After a little lecture on the basics, and safety with a rotary cutter, they cut out some patriotic fabric that I had. Beginning patchwork "Hole in the Barn Door" was quickly and easily sewn, and they were both so proud of their finished blocks. I love the moment when a student gets addicted to quilting!
I taught beginning sampler classes for years when I used to work for Joann's Fabrics. But as I became addicted to art quilting, teaching beginning classes lost it's appeal for me. No one in our smallish town wanted to pay money for advanced quilting and art quilting subjects. I almost wish we were closer to Eugene, Oregon. It's at least an hour drive North, and has a more varied quilting community, with more opportunities. But I do love our textile art group Fyber Cafe, that I am a member of. I sent them each home with a little bit of fabric for homework, to make a few more blocks. A friend gave Bonny an old "Jaguar" sewing machine. Has anyone ever heard of that brand before? So now I am back to my UFO's, I've got a few more tops finished, as soon as I can get my husband to hold them up for the camera, I'll post them.

I am linking this to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Friday" click on the badge in the right hand column, to see what other talented textile artists are doing.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Dye Workshop - Resists

Nine fantastic artists from Fyber Cafe, went to Vera's ranch for our annual dyeing workshop. Vera presented a structured class, working with different water soluble dye resists. She used us as Guinna pigs for a class she is teaching for Oregon SAQA. We used potato dextrin, corn dextrin, flour paste, sugar paste, soy wax, commercial water soluble resist, school glue, masking tape, and wet newspaper resist. We applied the resists with many different tools and techniques. The top pic is a flowery potato masher and masking tape. The next is a squiggly soda straw from the dollar store. We each made 8 or more fat quarters, on already pastel dyed PFD fabric.
They were laid out to batch after the first coat of dye was added. The gold one has a checker board stencil, and a plumbing connection used as a stamp.
Pink and purple were added to the resist treated fabric. After everything was coated with the resists, we had a lunch break, wonderful broccoli salad, peach cobbler, fresh salsa and chips, spice cake, quiche, melons, sandwiches and other vegie salads. Feeling like we needed naps, we got back to the workshop and started to coat everything with dyes. We used Procion MX Dye concentrates, with a thickening paste and painted each piece, many with multiple colors. They were left over night to batch the dyes and the next day we added layers of more resists, and more dye. I used mostly the potato dextrin the 2nd day, because it gave a nice crackle effect and the soy wax because it dried immediately, so I could add another layer, with out having to batch the dyes. All the fabric was wrapped in plastic to take home and batch, then rinsed and put in the washing machine with Synthrapol, then dried. We had so much fun, we scheduled another day next week to finish adding layers and make a few more pieces. So here are the finished pieces, they dried lighter than they looked when wet, all but two had multiple layers, the sugar was too sticky too work with even when dried, and the dextrins had to be ordered from Dharma Trading Co. click here
It was all so much fun, I hardly wanted to take time out for lunch. It is really wonderful to work with creative people, we each inspired the others to try new things. When we were cleaning up and packing things in the cars, I spotted a rattle snake, heading under the cars, we chased it away and ended up trapping it in a hole. So we got an extra kick of excitement to the workshop.
I am linking this to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Friday" click on the badge in the right hand column to see what other wonderful artists are up to this week.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Vintage Traditions

I have been on a mission to complete a few UFO's. I still love my vintage fabric collection, it's so soft, and the colors are muted. Most of it came in a large green garbage bag at a garage sale for 50 cents. Another bunch was given to me from a friend in the quilt guild, who cleaned house for an older lady. Many of the pieces are so small I could not cut out a 1 1/2" square. I finished appliqueing circles on the center of my mini Dresden Plates. The plate is 6" and I have over 40 of them, with half the circles left to do. I had to cut the sashing and corner squares, so I got to play with my vintage fabric. I also had to make two more blocks from scratch, good thing my pattern files are so good, I found the one I wanted immediately. The mini plates have got pointed wedges, so it looks like a saw blade.
I also have some larger 12" Dresden Plate blocks, that needed to be appliqued to the muslin. They have scallops on each wedge and quiet a lot of plaids. Some one gave me the larger blocks, some complete, some needed a few more wedges, and a bunch of loose wedges. I finished up the plates, cutting vintage fabric as needed, until I had 20 blocks. Both the mini and the large plates are appliqued onto new muslin, but all the rest of the fabric is vintage. Only 4 more blocks to applique. Cutting the larger 16" long sashing for these blocks, really challenged my stash. I had to piece the fabrics to get the longer sections. Many of the wedges are already pieced fabric. When you work with scraps, many of the older quilts have pieced fabric to cut out a certain size square.
I finally got my mini put together with wide muslin borders and blocks in the four corners.
Another vintage project I decided to finish, was the vintage Hankies folded into butterflies. I thought I had enough blocks done to just add sashing. NOT! I had 14, what an odd number to set together. So I decided I needed to make 6 more blocks, to make a large quilt. I had extra hankies, that I pick up at thrift or antique stores, and also from garage sales. I had gotten a light green with purple and blue butterfly fabric the last time we went to the coast to use as sashing. So I am still doing applique to finish the last few Butterflies and Dresden Plates, I am determined to get these FINISHED!!!!

I am linking this to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Friday" click on the badge in the right hand column to see other wonderful textile artists.