Wednesday, July 27, 2011

More Quilty Road Trip

I thought I would be quilting on the holiday Monday- but no such luck.  My Juki decided it wanted to eat whatever thread I fed it.  So I was thankful that the Bernina shop with the sewing machine doc was open.  I dropped her off, and I'm really hoping to have her back by the weekend.

So for now, we have more of the quilts from our road trip to Brigham City.  These are the other artists that were part of the exhibit.

Melody Randol is a Colorado artist who belongs to the same art quilt group I do, AQuA.  She's from the Denver area, but had so much fun teaching in Grand Junction that she joined the group.  And one of her pieces was my favorite in the exhibit- Tall Grass.

This one just draws you in to have a closer look- is that really a tiger?  Subtle, interesting, wonderful color- it had it all.

Melody had some others in the exhibit, also.

Underground Story

Glacier, 2011

Jinny Lee Snow is a Utah artist- I've seen her work at the Springville Art Museum a couple of times.  This piece just jumps off the wall, the color is so vibrant.

Dianna Grundhauser from Maui had some pieces that caught my eye.  I loved the simplicity of this one- the batik background was perfect, and the understated quilting set off the flowers perfectly.  She calls this one 'Naupaka.'

I didn't catch the name of this one, but I do remember that she pieced almost the entire quilt using Ruth McDowell's method.  Only the little purple flowers are appliqued.  I loved the checkerboard border and how well it sets off the flowers and leaves!

So those are the quilts that caught my eye at the exhibit.  Wish me luck getting my machine back before the weekend!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Quilty Road Trip

This is a long weekend in Utah, so I decided to take a road trip.  There is a small art museum in Brigham City, which is about twenty five miles north of Ogden and about an hour and a half drive from my home.  There is an exhibit there featuring Lenore Crawford, with quilts exhibited by others also.  Since Shannon had the day off from work also, I had her and Bentlee for company.

It was fun to watch Shannon's reaction to one quilt, since it was depicting a scene in Annecy, France- a place she visited a couple of years ago.

(If the pictures aren't the best, it is because they were taken with Shannon's Droid.  Stupid me assumed they wouldn't allow pictures, so I didn't take my camera.  Note to self- don't assume, take the thing!!)

There were also some that I immediately recognized, since they've been published.

I was surprised to see that she creates the backgrounds of her floral quilts out of two-inch squares of fabric.  This one, however, was different.  The flower was created and then appliqued to a Ricky Tims' hand-dye.

The exhibit is small, but I'm glad I went up.  They are even giving away neat posters of the exhibit with the Annecy quilt- I grabbed a couple, intending to frame one for the studio.

There were other beautiful quilts, but those are for another post.

I have also been doing quilty stuff today.  That blue cotton knit that spent time in a turquoise dye bath last weekend got another layer today, this time with paint.  I loved the effect this created!!

I like that it tones down the green even more than the turquoise dyebath did.  The printing tool was incredibly simple---

It is rubber bands on a piece of foam core.  I finally got around to using an idea in Print and Stamp Lab by Traci Bunkers.  She has some cool ideas for making simple printing tools.

So now I wait for the paint (Speedball Screenprinting Ink for Fabric, opaque white) to dry, then heat set it.  Then a couple of hours of sewing, and I will have another unique tee to wear!!

Ah, one more day of weekend tomorrow.  I plan to start quilting on my next challenge piece for Tangled Textiles.  I'm hoping my idea looks as good in the execution as it does in my head!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Washed and Dried

Got all the dyed fabric through the washer today- and for the most part, I'm happy.  The cotton knit is much better, not so flat with different shades of blue running through it.  It still has greeny blotches, but they are much less obvious.  And I'm not done yet, I think I will be adding white paint with a homemade stamp.

The warm colored cotton also came out pretty well.  On the left is the one I did by sponging the dye on the fabric, then leaving it flat to dry.  The other two were loosely scrumpled in a tub, then five different colors squirted on with syringes.  I thought I got dye everywhere, but there is some white.  Good thing I don't mind.

Strangely enough, even though the colors aren't as intense as I like, I see the most possibility in the one on the left.  And I think I can pump up the color with my thread choices.  I think I will be leaving these hanging on my design wall for a couple of weeks while I work on the jacket and tee I have cut out.  Who knows, something else may present itself, given enough time.

On to another work week.  Hope your week is a creative one!

Saturday, July 16, 2011


That is how I would describe a day like today- satisfying. Shannon and I were up early (for her, anyway!) so we could hit some local yard sales while the pickings were good.  We hit  three huge sales in parking lots that had absolutely nothing, then scored big time at an estate sale.  We walked away with a brand new coffee grinder, a hand mixer, three Anchor-Hocking baking pans, a couple of large metal baking pans, a nice oval crockpot, and a waffle baker- for ten bucks.  Unbelievable!  I also found a nice small vacuum for the downstairs for $7 and a lint roller that I will make into a roller stamp for surface design for a quarter; Shannon got a couple more pans and a Brita filter pitcher for a couple of bucks.  At the last stop, I found some great metal cookie cutters for batik; Shannon scored some wooden clothes hangers that we can cover with crochet to make padded hangers- all for two bucks.  Oh, and she also got a tabletop Weber charcoal grill for $5.  All that before 10 am!

After getting the grocery shopping done, I was down in the studio.  I finished printing on one of the lengths of cotton knit I'd dyed last weekend.  I'm happy with how this turned out, even if the champagne Tsukineko ink doesn't show at all.  It will be another tee using that great pattern I found!

I also threw the blue cotton knit I was not happy with in the pot with turquoise dye.  Hopefully that will tame those ugly green blobs I don't like, and be more interesting with multiple shades of blue.

I wanted some cotton dyed in warm colors in the hopes it will work for the next Tangled Textiles challenge, Celebration.  The first piece is on my table with rock salt , under the heat lamp.  Two more half-yard pieces are in a tub stewing in shades of yellow, orange, and red.

And finally, since I already had turquoise and orange dye mixed up- I did a half yard in orange, toned down with just a couple of drops of turquoise.  Amazing what a difference just that little bit of blue can make!!

All this will stew overnight, then I'll wash them out tomorrow afternoon when I get home from church.

I also cut out fabric for a simple summer jacket yesterday, so I'll need to get that done and out of the way.  I'm so glad that next weekend is another four-dayer!!

Hope your weekend is a creative one!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Two Minute Chocolate Cake

Need a quick chocolate fix?  Shannon has purchased some cookbooks in preparation for moving out on her own next month.  She found one published by the Food Network, and we've already sampled some good recipes from it.

The dessert section is really interesting.  No complicated recipes, but a lot of simple ideas and single portions.  She decided to try the Instant Chocolate Cake- mixed in a coffee cup, and baked in the microwave!!  Five minutes from start to finish, and we were eating warm chocolate cake with whipped cream  Yum!!

The portion size is pretty large, we shared it and probably could have split it three ways.  Next time I think I'd cook it in small ramekins (at least 3), and cut down on the cooking time.

The book is Great Easy Meals if you're interested.  We made the Moo Shu pork over the weekend, and everyone enjoyed it.  I may have to pick up my own copy when Shannon leaves with hers!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Undyeing and Other Adventures

I parfait  dyed three pieces of cotton/lycra knit this week intending them for tees.  It was a parfait recipe I've used before, and loved the results.  I didn't have such good luck this time.

The bottom layer was golden yellow, and it is already sewn into a top- the same pattern as the lime green I did last weekend.  The middle layer was supposed to be a red violet, and it turned out a yucky dull purple.  The top was blue, with splotches of greeny yellow and pink.  Yuck!!!  Can you tell I was unhappy, I didn't even take pictures.

Then I decided to dump the purple and blue into a pot with Rit color remover.  One of them turned into an okay yellow/green.  I decided it could be improved with some printing, so I pulled out some stencils I got from QA a few months ago.  I'm using metallic Tsukineko inks I got at HMQS, and mixing them with aloe vera gel for screenprinting.  One layer done so far!

I'll do another layer with squares and champagne ink, then evaluate.

The blue piece was still ugly in my eyes.  Yesterday I decided to get out the Thiox, and see what it would do.  It swam in a Thiox bath for over an hour, with me adding additional Thiox every ffifteen minutes.  In the pot, it looked successful, almost no color.  Once the air hit it, the blue returned.  I cannot believe this fabric has been in two discharge baths!!

About the best I can say at this point is that at least the ugly pink splotches are gone.  I still am not happy with it, though.  I think the next step is another dye bath, I think in turquoise.  Unless someone else has a better idea??

I'm still working away on my beading.  This multi-strand necklace is coming along nicely, if I could quilt dropping beads off!!

Another work week beckons.  I've got my salad for the week done, breakfast burritos made, and my turkey sausage out of the oven.  Hope your week is a good one!!

Monday, July 04, 2011

Happy Fourth!

We did most of our celebrating on Saturday, heading up to Scofield where friends have a home on the lake.  We visit, drink, eat (too much), and finish off the evening sitting in their yard watching the fireworks over the lake.  A really fun day!!

But I have also been spending lots of time in the studio.  I made more card holder for DIL Marly--

I dyed a piece of silk I bought on my recent trip to Reno.  I really had to think about what color to do, since the fabric wasn't white.  I finally decided on a pastel green.  I was really happy how it turned out.  There's patterning, but it is subtle.  It will make a gorgeous summer blouse.

I made a tee with some cotton knit I bought- a vibrant lime green.  I think I have found my new favorite top pattern!  Three pieces (front, back, and neckband), and two hours start to finish.  Love it!  The vee is deep, so if I want to wear it to work, I"ll just wear a cami under it.

I made some beaded jewelry- I've been wanting something in green.  I think this necklace and earrings go great with the top!

And I am reconsidering finishing the lavender top I started last weekend.  I think I can salvage it with some buttons to hold the gapping edges of the front.  What do you think?

I will make the pattern again, but with a lighter weight knit, and something on the edge of the V to stabilize it.  I've already got a hot pink cotton/lycra knit, and found some twill tape in my sewing stash.  Maybe next weekend?

I've also got the white cotton/lycra knit I bought in Reno for a song.  I'm thinking I'm going to parfait dye it in my favorite combination (gold, fuschia, purple) in pale tones, and make three of that first top with them.  So I think I've already got my next weekend's projects planned!