Sunday, December 31, 2006

Taking Stock

The craziness of Christmas is over, and 2006 is winding down. I'd have to say, it was a better year than the previous one, for reasons that range from the personal to the not-so-personal. Here's hoping that all have a happy, healthy, and productive 2007!

I like Terry Grant's idea of posting a collage of the work she completed in 2006. I spent some time with my new Photoshop Elements to do the same- not all on one canvas, however! I was actually surprised by all I completed during the year. It was definitely the most productive year ever for me. And, this doesn't include all my dyeing binges!

I never did post my Journal Quilts, so the first two are eight months of them, with the last month alone.

Next are a couple of other small works and postcards, mostly done for Fiber Arts for a Cause. I actually completed more than I'm showing- but this gives a good sampling of what I completed.

Finally, the large works I completed. Some of these were started prior to 2006, but all were completed this year. I think I have overcome my fear of quilting, now I am on to working on free motion technique, and improving my choices of quilting designs.

It has been a good learning year for me, and I have plans to continue the learning in 2007. I've got a drawing class planned for late January, and a design class through Quilt University. And, I'm waiting impatiently to find out how the Journal Quilt project will change for the final year. Blogging has helped me journal, something I've never been able to manage before. And I've made some online friends through this network.

Personally, I'm looking forward to a trip to Florida to finally meet my new daughter-in-law in person. She has been a delight to get to know by phone and over the computer- but that only goes so far.

I've had some goals in mind for 2007- once I have them a little more concrete, I'll post. I think that will be a good way to track my progress, and make it harder to let them slide! So, what goals do you have planned for 2007?

Monday, December 18, 2006

It's going to be a very white Christmas. . .

We spent most of the weekend watching the snow come down- sometimes heavy, sometimes just a white mist. But we've now got close to a foot of the cold white stuff here, and it's not looking like it's going to be melting away any time soon. And, more storms are forecast for this week and weekend. It is beautiful, if you don't have to be driving any distance in it!

We had our extended family Christmas party Sunday. We had family driving down to Spanish Fork from Salt Lake and Morgan, and they passed accident after accident on their way. So, if you have to drive in snow- slow down! Help keep yourself and everyone driving around you safe!

We went out back with the grandkids after the party, and had some fun sliding down the hill on big inner tubes. Stubborn Jaden refused to put gloves on until his hands were red, wet, and freezing. A hat?? Forget it!! We all had fun, Nana included. .

Dad obligingly rode down with both kids, much to their delight.

But the most exciting point of the weekend for me was last night at about 8 pm, while watching "The Devil Wears Prada." I put the final stitch in the house quilt. It is done, pictures taken, and it has been given to the intended recipient. I'm pleased with how it came out, and he seemed to like it also.

I learned a lot in the design and construction of this piece, much of it thanks to Betty Alof's Homebuilding class at Quilt University. My mind is already working on the next project. I need to have something for the show in Salt Lake in April, and what could be better than the theme "Blooms and Beyond"? With a week off after Christmas, I should have time to dye some backgrounds to use. My brother the artist will also be here part of thge time- maybe I'll even rope him into this! So I should have lots more photos of dyeing, painting, and maybe printing experiments to post in a couple of weeks.

It's late, I'm off to bed.

Monday, December 11, 2006

I'm still recovering

from a very long week at work, and an early Christmas present from Shannon and Sean. Trans-Siberian Orchestra has been around for awhile, but I only discovered them a couple of years ago. I loved their music from the minute I heard it- Christmas music for the rock and roller in me!! I only found out last Thursday night that Shannon and I had a "date" for Saturday- to the TSO concert in Salt Lake!

I've been to a fair share of concerts in my day- but Saturday's experience was in a class by itself. First, without knowing exactly what she was doing- Shannon managed to get us seats on the floor- third row, no less. Our view of the band was like they were in our living room. The light show and pyrotechnics were amazing, beyond anything I've been to before. And the music absolutely did not disappoint. The first half is a story, with a narrator and different singers telling it. The second half is just music from several of their CD's. All in all, they played for almost three hours, and had the sellout crowd on their feet by the end. It was a wonderful evening, and I will definitely be getting tickets for their concert here next year. If you have the chance to see them, by all means, GO!!

No pictures, but work on the house quilt continues. I did the quilting on the sky and the 'pavement', then decided this weekend that I didn't like what I did on the 'pavement.' I spent the better part of yesterday afternoon ripping it out, then steaming it with an iron the close the holes. It worked, and I got the quilting done to my satisfaction tonight. Now the only thing standing between me and completion are the borders. I'll be working on those this week.

I'm half ready for Christmas- still some shopping to do. We have our extended family party this Sunday, and my brother will be coming up from St. George to spend Christmas with us. And, I plan on taking some time off work to do some serious quilting. I want to have something to enter in the HMQS this spring- which means it needs to be done by March.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!!

While we haven't been hammered or without power like the unfortunate folks in the Midwest, we did have a distinct change in weather last week. We've had a beautiful, long, relatively warm autumn- and then the cold hit. We've got about six inches of snow on the ground, and the temperatures are going nowhere but down. Next week we'll be looking at the dreaded inversion, with highs in the twenties. Yuck!!!

I haven't posted in two weeks- too much going on. I have managed to get some work done, though. I finished postcards for the two who signed up on the ArtShare Meme, and they are on their way to new owners. And, I got my 'Postcard from Lake Michigan' from Nellie Durand from her ArtShare- the photos do not do it justice, it is simply exquisite- but I'm posting one anyway. If you want to see some wonderful art, cruise over to her blog.

Got a little more work done on the house quilt. I am looking at the calendar, and realizing I can't dawdle much longer if I want to have it ready by Christmas. The grass is done, I think I've figured out how to quilt the sky and the borders- now just to do it. I'm also going to have a late post for the Fast Friday challenge- the idea is in my head, and the pictures I need are now on the computer- but finding the time is another thing.

I had a wonderful surprise while surfing this week! Bonnie McCaffery has a vid cast of Quilt Festival in Houston, and since I've never been, decided to watch. I about fell off my chair halfway through- she has a segment on the Journal Quilt project, and highlighted several artists' work during it. Mine was one of them!! I've not posted my 2006 journal pages, so if you'd like to see what I did, and get a nice overview of Quilt Festival, take a look at Bonnie's vidcast. I've watched several of them, and she does a nice job.

We are getting ready for Christmas. Shannon and I got the gifts destined for our new family in Colombia bought yesterday, now to get them shipped to my son and daughter-in-law in Florida so they can forward them with their gifts. It's always harder buying for someone you've never met except through the computer, but I think Maria and Lina will like what we chose. The tree and decorations are up. So, I'll leave you with that. May all of you have a safe and blessed Advent season!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Color, Color, Color!!!

Despite feeling under the weather (I've been trying to catch a cold for a week, and I think it is finally winning), I decided to try something new (for me) with dye. My son Sean gave me a copy of Ann Johnston's Color by Design last Christmas, and I've been reading it off and on ever since. Saturday I jumped in with both feet.

I'm lucky to have dedicated space for dyeing- I have a sort of wet studio right next to my sewing studio. Cement floors, a large laundry sink, a nice large counter with room for supplies underneath, and room for a largish table. It feels cramped sometimes, but it sure beats taking over the kitchen to dye, which is what I did in our last house. Courtesy of DD Shannon, here I am in my glorious dyeing attire mixing dye concentrates and print paste.

First lesson learned- dye concentrates for painting go a VERY long way. I mixed a half recipe, and still ended up throwing more out than I like. I think I mixed about 8 colors, some single-shade dyes, and some mixed dye colors.

I used foam brushes, foam rollers, a big syringe. I love texture, and you certainly can get wonderful texture this way. It's also very different from the texture effects I get on my low-water immersion dyed fabrics.

I'd put about six fat-quarter size pieces to soak in soda solution the day before, and took out half to dry overnight. When I realized I would have tons of dye left over, I got more fabric soaking- but was too impatient to let it dry. So I have a good idea of wet on wet effects, less experience with wet on dry. That will just have to wait for another day.

Here's some of the first pieces ready to be rolled in plastic and left to batch.

With the arrival of cooler weather, I've had to come up with a way to keep the fabric at 70 degrees while it batches. I've used a heat lamp, cheap and available at Wallyworld. One has worked, but I think I will be getting a second to put on the other side= then I won't feel the need to move the lamp around to make sure all the fabric gets under the lamp at some point. Here is all the fabric rolled in plastic, before I cleaned up the mess in the studio!!

Today is my favorite part, washing out the fabric to see what I have. As I expected, I got some dogs and some that I like. Some look like they will be usable with some further surface design work- if nothing else, it will give me something to practice on. I particularly like the ones I've posted below:

And now that all the pieces are ironed, folded, and ready for the stash- I am going upstairs to bed. Hopefully with lots more tea and Nyquil, I can feel like a human again.

Friday, November 17, 2006

FFAC postcards. . .

Just a quick post before I go into work for half a day. I'd posted before about getting my postcards from Houston- thanks to Linda T. Minton, who was a "personal shopper" for many, many QA members who weren't able to go. Linda did a fabulous job of choosing for people she only knows "virtually."

First is Purple Passion, by Lynn Majidimehr of Woodinville, WA. I love the effects created by the hand-dyed fabric and beading.

I had only mentioned one artist for Linda to look for, and knew that I might not get it. So I was thrilled to find a Liz Berg card, Gone Dotty 10. I have admired Liz's work since I first saw it in Quilting Arts magazine, and I was not disappointed. The color is vibrant, and the attention to detail is- well, awe-inspiring.

To say I'm very happy to add these cards to my small but growing collection would be an understatement!!

Fabric cards have turned out to be such a nice way to see what others are creating, and to try new ideas on, that I've joined a group on Art2Mail. Judging from the group membership, I will have 24 more magnificent cards added to my collection over the next few months!! I'm planning to start work on mine this weekend, with some dye painting and printing.

And, while we are talking about postcards to exchange- I still have 3 spots left on the ArtShare Meme. Look at my November 8 post if you don't know what this is. Sign up and pass it forward!!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Back home. . .

after two very nice days in St. George- where the sun was shining, and the weather perfect! I was there with a friend for a professional conference, but also had the chance to visit with my brother Paul, who lives there. All in all, a nice getaway- even if it did include work.

Before we left, we stopped by my brother's place to visit. He gifted Robyn with a number of items, which she is showing off-

Here I am with Paul- someone I am always glad to spend time with, whether it be in an art gallery or hiking in the mountains.

Work on the house quilt is progressing quite nicely- I got the borders on today. I'd originally planned to do a mitered border, to imitate a picture frame- but my brain was not in gear when I measured them, so I ended up having to do cornerstones. Oh well, one day I'll remember to measure twice and cut once!

All the landscaping is done and added, all I have left to do is the quilting. So I should have this ready to give to the intended recipient by Thanksgiving. Here it is just before I took it off the design wall to pin baste--

I also need to be kicking it into gear making postcards! I've got two responses to the ArtShare Meme, so three left! And, speaking of postcards, I received mine today from Houston, thanks to Linda T. Minton. She chose two beautiful ones for me- Gone Dotty 10 by Liz Berg, and Purple Passion by Lynn Majidimehr. I love them both, they are wonderful additions to my small but growing collection.

I can't believe it, but we will probably wake up to snow tomorrow. I am not ready for winter!!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

 ArtShare Meme

I'm participating in a fun way to share art among bloggers.  The first five people who comment on my blog will get a fiber postcard from me.  All you have to do is post this same message on your blog, and make art for five other bloggers.  So, join in the fun!  

Not a lot of time to post today, I'm off to St. George for a professional conference.  Fortunately,  I'll also get to see my brother, and have some nice down time relaxing.  If there's anything arty going on in St. George, my brother will know about it.  So, I'll be looking for comments, and posting more this weekend.

It's a good day to be blue!!!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

A Red Letter Week!!

No, not from a quilty perspective, although I have gotten quite a bit done on one project. This week's events were of a more personal nature.

Not long ago, I blogged about welcoming a new member to our family, and joked that it wasn't an in-law or baby. Well, this week we again welcomed a new member into our family, and it most definitely is an in-law- in this case, a beautiful daughter-in-law. My oldest son finally decided to take the plunge into the matrimonial waters, and eloped with his chosen, Marly Sydney. I've had the pleasure of getting to know her long distance; they are in Florida, and we are in Utah. Thank goodness for today's technologies; without Instant Messenger, and, more recently a webcam, it wouldn't have been nearly as much fun. And, to add spice to the mixture, she is from Colombia. So I have been frantically brushing up on my very rusty high school Spanish, and learning everything I can about her homeland. But, speaking as one who had the opportunity to travel and live overseas when I was younger, I am incredibly excited. We Americans are sometimes just to insular for my taste! And, speaking of technology- I've also been able to use instant messenger to start to get to know Marly's mother Mary, who is still in Colombia. That most definitely would not be possible without the online translators! Can't wait until spring, when we'll be travelling to Florida and I'll have the pleasure of getting to know her in person. Bienvenida a nuestra familia, Marly!

Closer to home, you can tell Halloween is almost here when pumpkins make their way home. Bentlee and her dad Lance came over one night last week, and we carved pumpkins for their step. Bentlee was given the chore of pulling out the seeds and fiber, and doesn't seem too thrilled with her assignment.

Lance came up with some inventive facial features for his pumpkin--

A couple of days later, Shannon and I carved the last two pumpkins for our porch. We decided to take a different tack, and carved leaf shapes. Fortunately, I've collected quite a few to use as patterns, so we had a good variety to draw from. Here's lefty Shannon, hard at work on hers---

And, I've managed to get a lot done on the house quilt. I started thread painting the plants for the yard, and am quite happy with how they are coming out. Here's a couple of samples--

The larger 'bush' uses both thread and fabric 'confetti', which was fun to make. I've been using Aqua Magic for the soluble stabilizer, and am very happy with how it is performing. It washes out easily, and doesn't seem to leave a residue like Solvy sometimes does.

I pinned the piece up on my design wall for the first time, to audition fabrics for the bottom part- the sidewalk, as it were. I finally decided to go with the same fabric I've used for the walk and the driveway- which means I'll have to find more somewhere. Then, I'll have to figure out what I want to border it with- I'm thinking something that will help give the effect of a picture frame. Here's a picture I "photoshopped" to audition the fabric, with some "plants" pinned into place.

A few more bushes and plants to make, a rather large tree in the front planting bed, and a rock or two- and it will be ready for quilting. I think I'll make my self-imposed deadline on this one!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Getting the landscaping underway. . .

No, not on our home- thankfully, someone else takes care of that, so I don't even have to think about it. After finishing the luminosity quilt for our art quilt group, I'm back working on the house quilt. It will be a present for someone, hopefully no later than Christmas.

I got a sky I'm reasonably happy with, am auditioning my hand-dyes for the mountains behind the house, and have the front yard about done. Maybe this week I'll start thread-painting the plants and tress that I'll applique around the house. Lots of foundation plants, they'll help camoflage the join between the house and the front yard! Here's progress so far--

Rather than fuse multiple layers of fabric for the yard, I used Sharon Schamber's Piecelique technique. I've found it works great for curved piecing. I've thrown in a tweak of my own- I use Liquifuse (now Liquid Thread) instead of glue. If you want to know about using that product instead of fusible web, Terry Grant has a great tutorial on her blog. I used it to fuse most of the house itself.

We had an interesting experience last night. A friend of ours does wildlife rehab, mainly birds. She had two great horned owls that were ready to be released into the wild, and arranged with Sundance ski resort to do it there. The setting is spectacular, and seeing the owls fly gracefully into the night was awe-inspiring. Here's Patty holding one of the great-horns before releasing it.

And here she is releasing the owl-

She will be releasing an eagle at Sundance next Friday-- I'm thinking we'll be going to that also. I've seen golden eagles up close at Patty's, and they are magnificent birds. Don't think I want to miss that one.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

How Does Mickey Make It Look So Easy??

In case you are wondering, I am referring to Mickey Lawler, the fabric painter and author. It was taking a class on her fabric painting methods that first introduced me to the idea that I was not dependent on commercial fabrics for my stash.
I have been trying to paint a sky for background on the house quilt I am making for a friend for Christmas. A simple, not cloudy, summer sky. How can that be so difficult?? And yet here I am, three fabric lengths later, and I am still not totally satisfied. Too dark, too stripey, a vertical line down the piece---argh!!!
Here are a couple of my efforts---

I think what I will end up doing is using the back side of one of these pieces. I have never watered down my paints as much as I did these, and they are still too dark!!

I've also finished my luminosity piece for the Salt Lake art quilt group meeting this week. I'm trying to get over the feeling that every piece I do should be a "masterpiece", and tried to approach this one as a study and learning experience. I'm ok with what I ended up with from a color and value perspective- not so happy with the quilting design I came up with. The entire effect looks too stilted to me. Maybe after I finish the house quilt, I'll do another one of these and try some other, more flowing quilting designs. Food for thought, here's a picture of the entire piece and a detail.

And for the not-quilting content, Sadie and I have been hiking up the canyon again. No more tree canopy over the hiking trail, the majority of leaves are gone. But the view from Vivian Park is still beautiful. even though the colors are much more subdued now.

Sadie and Dieter have become best buds in the short span of two weeks. They play hard, and then crash next to each other. In fact, the only family member who hasn't yet figured out how to get along with Dieter is our cat Annabelle. She spends most of her time hiding in Shannon's closet, and then creeps out at night when he's crated. Hopefully he will figure out that she doesn't want to play with him, and that chasing her does no good.

I've added a site meter to my blog, and am fascinated with the locations of people that visit me. The internet certainly has given us a window to the world that didn't exist when I was growing up! I'm trying to be more conscientious about leaving comments when something strikes me on a blog I visit, since I enjoy getting comments also. So, if you see something you like, let me know! And, if you want to critique any of my quilts I post, please feel free. I consider myself a learner and a student, who is playing catch-up in many ways. There is so much gorgeous work out there- I'd like to think that I've got some striking art in me. So I keep plugging away, making pieces I hope others like and from which I try to learn how to make better art in the future.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

I DID IT!!!!

It has taken me over a month , two books, and endless frustration with HTML code that I understand just enough of to be dangerous- but I have finally managed to personalize my blog banner! Thanks to all those other bloggers who went before me, because frankly, it was looking at your coding that was the biggest help in figuring out my own.

I spent last weekend and part of the week working on a small challenge with the Fast Friday Fabric challenge group. If you want to see my completed piece, head over to the FFFC blog.

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago the "assignment" the newly formed Salt Lake Art Quilt group gave interested members. We were to come up with a small quilt to show the illusion of luminosity. I've been playing with ideas in my mind and on the computer, but this week I finally got to work. I had intentionally dyed my yellow to violet overdyes with this project in mind. I have gone back to my roots in quilting, I decided to use the simple "Strips that Sizzle" block from Margaret Miller. I have always loved how you can get spectacular results with such simple component blocks. Anyway, here's the arrangement I've liked best so far:

I really prefer arrangements that don't have a central focal point. I tried some arrangements that had more of a focal point with these blocks, and it just doesn't work for me. I was going for the "sprinkling" of light across the surface of the quilt. Have I succeeded? These are just up on my design wall, so I still have time to play with them and finish the quilt before we meet on the 18th.

We are definitely into autumn here. Last night we took the grandkids to the Spanish Fork Harvest Moon celebration. It was geared to kids, with a focus on the arts. Bentlee and Jaden got their faces painted, saw leaf art being made, and had fun in a kid-size hay maze. And, here they are as lively scarecrows--

It's a long weekend for us, so I'll be spending more time in the studio. I'm trying to get the house quilt done for a friend by Christmas, and I'm easily halfway there. Time to audition fabrics for the sky--

Monday, October 02, 2006

An Addition to our Family, and a Challenge Piece Finished!!

First, no, we didn't gain another grandchild, or in-law- this addition to our family is of the four legged variety. Daughter Shannon is an animal lover, and has been all her life. She has been working on us to get a second, smaller dog- and she finally succeeded. She is now the adoptive mother of Dieter, a Schnauzer DJ found for adoption at a shelter.

We figure he's about a year old, and he's been well-cared for- groomed and all. And, best of all, he has a mellow disposition and is getting on famously with our border collie Sadie. Here they are taking a companionable nap together while I sew--

As for what I've been sewing on- I joined a challenge group that formed off the QA list, the Fast Friday Fabric challenge. Once a month, a challenge is posted, and we have one week to complete the project. The first one was posted last Friday, and I finished it tonight. Since the challenge isn't up until this Saturday,I'll refrain from posting a picture until then- but I am pleased with my results, which incorporated a 3-D element- something I've never done.
Fall is here in all it's glorious color. The mountains just to the east of us are ablaze with reds and yellows, a sight I never get tired of. And we've been having wonderful Indian summer weather. If only we could skip straight from fall to a couple weeks of winter over Christmas, and then right to spring- I do so dislike all the long dark days in winter. But, for now I will enjoy the glories of God's wonderful creation.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

I finished up two more postcards for Virginia Spiegel's Fiberart for a Cause this weekend! I haven't done the quantity that some others have managed, but happy that I can contribute something. My Journal Quilts have kept me busy, but they are now safely in the hands of the International Quilt Festival staff in Houston.

Here's the two I completed: First, Tropical Heatwave II. This time I remembered to put the beads on before I backed it!

And the second: Moonlight Gingkoes.

Both of these used pieced fabric I constructed in Judith Trager's workshop this summer. I stared at it on my design wall for a couple of months, and then decided that I couldn't imagine what I would make with it- so I cut it up for postcards. I think it was a good decision, I've been happy with the ones I've made with it.

I owe thanks to some quilters who have posted on the QA list about satin stitching around postcards- I think Gerrie Congdon was one, I honestly can't remember the rest. I've always done just one pass with the satin stitch edge- sometimes it looked good, sometimes just ok. This time I did a multiple zigzag first, then a less dense satin stitch, and finally a dense satin stitch. I think it looks better. I also learned to do the sides separately on the last pass, not try to turn the corner. That way you can use the thread ends to tug on when you are getting started on the next side. That too worked better than what I'd been doing previously.

On a not quilty note, Sadie and I took a very long hike yesterday- from Bridal Veil Falls up Provo Canyon, all the way down to the mouth of the canyon at Borders. I figure it was about a four and a half mile hike. We had to share the path with lots of bikers, runners, and roller bladers, but it was fun. Just next time I won't go on a Saturday afternoon. It was perfect for walking- sunny, but not hot. The mountains still have snow on them from last week's storms, and had a lovely mistly cloud cover when we started.

I can't stop noticing weeds, after basing most of my Journal Quilts on them. I've never seen these before, wonderfully "hairy" weeds!

I think these are rose hips, the leaves look like the wild roses we see around water here.

This part of the Provo River Trail isn't as scenic as the upper part I did last time. The noise from traffic on the highway up to Heber is fairly loud, and you don't have that feeling of being away from it all in the woods. And, this is what you see as you come out of the canyon:

I'm sure if I looked at this as lines and shapes, I might get an interesting abstract design out of it. But, I much prefer the lines and shapes I see away from urban landscapes!!

It was a nice walk, though- I figure I got in 10,000 steps, and then some. Sadie was definitely pooped and ready to get in the car when we got to Borders! And the drive home took about as long as the walk- the BYU football game ended while we were walking, so traffic was a nightmare.

I've found a drawing in my sketchbook that I'm going to try using for my luminosity "assignment". Next step is to scan it into the computer, so I can play with it on EQ5. If I get anything interesting, I'll post them. Now to get ready for the work week. . .

Sunday, September 17, 2006

It hasn't turned out to be as gloomy and stormy a weekend as the weatherman had predicted- it has been cool, but sunny today- perfect walking weather.

But, I had promised to post the results of my most recent dyeing foray. I did another group of sequenced overdyes, but instead of using one of Katy Widger's color recipes, I did my own. I am still fascinated with what happens when you overdye complements. so I went with a yellow to violet group. First I dyed my fabric in five values of yellow- I used Dharma's Bright Yellow, which is a switch for me since I normally prefer to use single-shade colors, and this yellow is a mixed dye. But, what the heck. Here are the pots ready to go into the washer after the first dye run.

I have the groups of six fat quarters each in mesh laundry bags, ready to wash. This was another epipany I had with this dyeing session. Katy's instructions tell you to mark each piece with a code to tell you which it is. That never worked for me, because the dark values always made it impossible to read the markings anyway. So I have tried putting each group together with safety pins, but always had tons of loose threads to cut and untangle by the time they were washed twice and in the dryer. This time I tried the bags, $1.32 each at Wallyworld. It was worth every penny, I had minimal untangling to do.

Next, you re-sort the groupings, and run them through a violet dyebath in five values. I used Fuschia Red and Sky Blue from Dharma. And, I changed one other thing with this dyeing session: instead of using the low-water mottled way, I did it in buckets, as one would dye a solid color. However, I didn't spend hours stirring the dyepots- I put in the fabric, gave it a few stirs, and let it sit from there. I found I got patterning, but generally more subtle, especially in the lighter values.

Anyway, here's the pure shades of yellow and violet-

And, here are the other 25 fat quarters in various tones of yellow and violet-

I also did my first dyeing from Ann Johnston's "Color by Accident" book. I did three pieces, in a "color parfait." First you put one piece in a smallish container, and pour in a gold color dye, then a soda solution. Let it sit for a few minutes, then put in another piece of fabric, pour in a red-violet dye and soda solution, let it sit for a few minutes. Finally, put in the third piece of fabric, add some blue-violet dye and soda solution, and let the whole melange sit overnight. When I had finished washing and drying my fabric, this is what I had, from bottom of the container to the top:

The colors and textures are marvelous, I especially like how the gold and red-violet blend in places. I liked this so much that I tried dyeing a tee shirt the same way. It's a bit harder to manage this with one pice of fabric rather than three, but it came out ok- check out my new picture at the top of the blog!

I had a couple of nice comments from Karoda and Diane with suggestions on how to keep the creative juices flowing with the end of the Journal Quilt Project. I won't be totally bereft of inspiration: I'm part of a new group of about twenty art quilters, who met for the first time in August in Salt Lake. It looks like it will be a fun group, with some very talented people. In fact, our first "assignment" was what made me decide to dye this particular batch of fabric. We are to make a journal-size quilt to show the illusion of luminosity. I have the fabric, I'll be using the computer to develop my design. So, there is September's project. And it's not like I don't have a bunch of UFO's waiting to be finished!

We don't get much in the way of national-level teachers here in Utah. The Utah Surface Design Group, of which I'm a member, did bring in Judith Trager for a three day workshop in late June- I posted about that. The state quilting guild brings in national teachers for the annual meeting every fall- but they tend to be much more traditional than I am. I'm not even going this fall. Unless you have the budget for travel, there aren't a lot of options. And, my budget is limited.

I've rambled on long enough. I'll post my luminosity design when I have something interesting.