My Favorite Books

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

New Products

Not sure how many of you know Hilary B!   Hilary is from the UK and creates amazing work so make sure you check out her blog or her FB page.  I also love how she shares her work via video's.  A few of those video's Hilary was using products I've used before as well as one I had not heard of.  Well, of course, I had to order from Dick Blick (they had the best price I found) and Sunday I played with them!

My first purchase was  Neocolor Artists crayons.  I 've used these at a workshop I attended several years ago and honestly forgot about them.   These are nice and work well direct on the fabric or brushing on water for a watercolor effect.

Next purchase was Gelatos, pigment sticks (I ordered the pastels).  These are so cool!!   I honestly had not heard about them in a cave you know!  HA  This is the exact set I ordered.  I like the pastel shades

These are really nice...again, you can rub directly on fabric or use water to blend.  And they blend quite nicely on the fabric too.

And a pic of my Inktense blocks. I bought these last winter in Florida and they are fun to play with.  Really work well with stencils and you can add water to your fabric before or after (to blend).

One of my art friends in Florida, Beth, gave several of us gals this stitched flower so we could play with our Inktense blocks.

I use all three products to color Beth's stitched flower.     I started to use a little square (left side) to document each  product and how they looked with water or alone, which I will keep.  But once I got started I just mixed all the products together!!  And they each work well with one another.  That's a good thing!!

We'll see where this piece goes.  I need to do some highlights/shading/etc. to make the flowers look more like flowers!!  I don't want Beth to think I messed up her nice 'gift' to us!   Fun products and I just might use the blocks on my table topper I posted about last time!  Hard to leave well enough alone isn't it!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Table Runner

I started working on a new table runner for our dining room, per hubby's request.  I mentioned in a previous post that I was going to applique some huge leaves of ice dyed fabric on this piece of commercial fabric.  Not a very exciting I knew it needed something.

Well, I changed my mind about the leaves and I'm headed in this direction now.  I start off free motion stitching around the leaf shapes.

Then I got this great idea one night in bed that I would stitch wavy/straight lines on top of the free motion stitching!

I like the look and really would have been happy with just adding some binding!  Well, I finished all the stitching last week and today decided to add a strip of gold/orange...can't decide what color it really is but it looks good.

Then I added some free motion stitching across the center strip....I may even add some additional color.  Got some new products that I'll post about later that I may have to try out!!

And this is where I'm at so far!  I may add some other pieces like circles or triangles or just finish it off. as is.  Let's face it...this is only for our dining room...fall is coming and the colors will work just fine.  Nothing I don't have anything else to work on, right!  HA HA HA

We've had some rain on and off past few days, which we really need.  Of course, Gigi isn't so fond of wet grass so that can be a struggle...takes a lot of time for her to finally decide where to go potty!  At least she'll hold it and not pee inside...she is really good about that.   But some days I would prefer not to stand outside for 15 to get her to 'go'!  Geezzzz   Temps are still in the 80's.  I don't want winter to get here but I sure would prefer temps in the 70's or even 60's for the rest of the next few months......

Friday, August 19, 2016

Purge Time And It Feels So Good!

Yep!  It's time to purge!  My dye room in the lower level is a wonderful room for dyeing fabric, painting and generally just making a mess! times it does get a little disorganized and those who know me know I can't work in a room that is disorganized!  So, Thursday I decided to start another cleanup and with that came 1 1/2 bags of trash!
This was the before pics!   This is my table that I work on and lately has been one of those 'flat surfaces' where all the 'junk' gets placed!  Really, I haven't done any dyeing or painting on this table since last fall.  

And after!  Bob's work 'shop' is behind my table.  He build a half wall that separates our areas. 

That blanket/area under the table is for the dogs.  They like to lay there while I work.  The floor is cement as this is in the basement area and is very colorful in places!!  So is the sink!  But that's why it's called a dye room!!  There is a walkout door directly to the left of my table so easy in and out for taking projects outside.

These are the cabinets for my art work.  The first one on the left is for holding all my containers.  

The next 2 cabinets are for storing my paints/dyes/stamps, yada, yada!  Yes, I have a lot of stuff!  

Before...not bad but lots of stuff I don't use or need anymore.  

And cabinets after....this one now just has my stamps, screens, stencils, etc.  

I really didn't have to do a lot of purging in this cabinet but I did get rid of quite a few containers or old textile paints.  I see one of my shelves is a little tipsy!  Might have to remember to fix that in the morning!

This is a smaller cabinet (no before pic) that holds phemera, tissue paper, nuts and bolts (rusty of course and some new ones too!), just a lot of items you never know if I'll need!

I am really fortunate to have a room like this to work in and to make a mess in! And if I'm in the middle of doing painting or dyeing or stamping, I can leave the mess and shut the door.  Our family room is before this 'work' area and we have 2 doors that close this room off from the family room. 
This pic is coming down the stairs to the family room.

This pic was taken from my dye room doorway into the family room.  

This pic was taken standing by the end of the pool table.  See, you would never know this mess lurks behind the doorway!   HA  The sun is shining in from one of the sliding doors.  
So that was how I spent several! hours yesterday.  After a shower, Bob and I headed off to Menard's then to dinner at Applebee's.  Nice to know I can now work again.  I have a table runner I'm working on that I want to do some painting or stamping on.  Time to make a mess!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

How about a slice?

A few days ago I did a post on the 12"x12" exchange I've particapted in with Tommy and others.  Before Tommy started doing the 12"x12" exchange(s), she would coordinate with  10-16 of us a group 'slice' quilt.

Our first one was in 2011 called To Market.  We were each given a photo that Tommy had printed out in the size we needed to create.  There were 16 of us! participating and Tommy also provided  batting and backing.
This was my completed section.  
Why, yes!  That is bead for the little knob on the mellon!!!  I also printed out the little sign on the right top side onto fabric then stitched in the quilt. 

And this is the full quilt.  Amazingly each section just fit!  And Tommy did a great job putting it all together!

In 2012, Tommy once again was 'game' to put together another slice project!  This time there were only 10 of us.  This slice quilt was called A Street in Ireland and we were accepted at the Houston IQA show that year!  Woohoo!   We didn't win but as they say, it was an honor just to be accepted!

Once again, the slices just fit so well!  This time Tommy kept each piece as a separate panel so we could each have our piece returned after the IQA show.

This is a picture of my quilted section on the left and the picture I worked from on the right.  Below are some detail pics.

Really fun to work on...yes, a little nerve racking just because you are passing on your work to someone else!!  But I would do again!

In fact, back in 2008, our Aussome Fiber Group created Underwater Fantasy which was a color study done by six of us.  We did a random draw on selecting a color from the color wheel.  We could only use that color/shade along with black or white.  Mine is the blue colorway and it was tough to work only in one color!  But we were juried into Houston that year as well. Double woohoo!  


This was my section....and a detail pic of the turtles.  I printed out pictures of turtles then painted and used a dimensional paint to get a rough shell feel and look!  

Not sure if you can see the sign in the picture above...bottom right side says 'equestrian zone'....for the sea horses!  Clever, I know!  HA

So if you are looking for a challenge for you and some think about doing a slice project  I have some documentation for guidelines I would be happy to share...not a big deal but you do need some guidelines.  It's a great way to create something special.  

The first slice quilt we did, because all the pieces were sewn together,  Tommy just put all the names in a bowl and drew out one name.  She has the quilt...lucky Gayle!  

The 2nd quilt and our UnderWater Fantasy we were each given our piece back.  You just don't sew all the sections together.  Works out well!..Give it a go!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

12"x12" exchange

Tommy had another 12" x 12" exchange and fortunately I started on these before my hands/wrists got really bad!    These yearly exchanges are fun to be part of and I have some  nice 12"x12" squares for my collection from past years.  You can see those here:  2013, and 2014

 I created these pieces using Solar Fast paint and a negative that I printed onto transparency paper.  I've done several posts on using Solar Fast and this is the negative I used to print onto a piece of fabric for each block.
Each piece of fabric  was painted using a different color Solar Fast paint then  the transparency is laid on top, held down with a piece of glass.  It doesn't take long for the print to appear and the fabric to pop with color!  You just rinse out, dry and you're ready to incorporate in your work.  I just added borders to each then hand stitched the leaves and machine quilted around the leaves.

I've already sent my squares out and they have all been received so I'm showing what I made.  The due date isn't until September 1st but I have received Tommy's already - no surprise there!  HA  As soon as I receive the other two I will post those...until then this is what I sent out!

I used a commercial fabric for the border and  a dark navy 1/4 strip and same navy for the binding.

Again, commercial fabric added for border and black fabric for the 1/4 strip and a black/white fabric for he binding.  Lots of french knots.  I used Lana thread by Madeira for all the hand stitching on each square.

Again, commercial fabric for the borders and binding was another black/white commercial fabric.

All of these squares are 12" SQUARE!!  Funny, my friend and I were discussing how taking pics makes our pieces look crooked!  These are square..honest!

Hope the folks who received their pieces also enjoyed the exchange!  Look forward to what's next!  HA

And this one I kept for myself as part of the could or didn't have to make one to keep yourself.

This is Bob's favorite..

Friday, August 12, 2016

Shibori pillows

Our fiber group, Aussome Study, met this past Monday.  I just wanted to share some of the pillows one of my friends made.  Mary does beautiful work and I have posted some of it on my blog before.  Just check out some of her work on this post here!    She has been working on creating some pillows using some of her shibori hand dyed fabric (she used fiber reactive Indigo dye).  These are beautiful!

This is the back of this pillow.  I think it's around a 12 to 14" square.

Mary used french knots but I thought they were beads!  Really nice!

I know Mary has several more pillows to work on and I can't wait until next month to see what else she came up with!

Her work is wonderful!!!  She's another one of my idols!

I'm just working away on hand work (squirrel and modern quilt) and trying to stay cool.  The temp was 91 @ 5 p.m. on Wed.!  Is this Florida or Michigan!  Too hot for me!!!  Have I mentioned this before!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

This week is my DIL's mom's BD.  Nancy is a sweet lady who does for everyone!  She's been the cake baker in the family for the past 20+ years.  She and I bonded back in early July when she babysat for my son's DOG, Brody!

I thought I'd make Nancy a snap bag to hold her coupons.  I grabbed some fabric, batting and had at it!  I think she'll like it...and I hope she uses it!  I shipped it off in the mail and she should have before her BD.   I also made a fiber card for a friend but don't have a picture of it to share yet.

I'm also making progress on my Blue Squirrel.  I know it doesn't look like it but you can see the last pic on him here.    Keep in mind I'm using #11 and #15 delica's and seed beads so it does take some time to fill in!  HA
And several weeks ago I showed some eco-printing I was attempting to do with leaves, flowers, whatever!  Well, results aren't that great but it's a good 'light' fabric for me to work with!  Who knows...maybe even with Melody's Focus on Fusing!

I'm not sure what that really dark area is...there are some small pink areas from some of the flowers I had.  Almost looks like rust but it's from the wood chips I laid ontop of the leaves and flowers.

So other than complaining about our heat and eating lots of great corn on the's just summer in Michigan!