My Favorite Books

Friday, June 23, 2017

Stencil Time

I was inspired, as usual, from one of Mary Stori's recent posts.  Mary added some little birds to a piece she recently finished.  This quilt is beautiful and the 3 little birds Mary added just completed her piece.

As I said I was so inspired, and unlike Mary who just found some birds to draw, I headed to Mary Beth Shaw's web site to find some bird stencils.  I have several of Mary Shaw's stencils and use them often in my a stencil for rubbings or mono printing, etc.

 Of course I found more than one stencil!  Here is the bird stencil I purchased.

Then I found these clustered leaves.....

And finally this tree!

Funny I ended up playing with the tree rather than the birds!  Go figure!

I had some black fabric that I wanted to use so out came the fabric paints and off I went to do some mono printing!

I started off covering a plastic scrap booking 12"x12" sleeve (waste not..want not!  HA) with a metallic fabric paint.  I like using these sleeves if I want a larger surface to stencil/mono print.  Otherwise, I use a piece of 8" x 11" glass from an old frame.  I use a foam brayer to roll/cover the sleeve (or glass) with the paint.  Works great.  The white around the sleeve is my stamping pad.  The entire 12"x12" sleeve is covered with paint.  My stencil is 9"x12".

Then  I placed the stencil on top of the painted sleeve....

Next, I laid my fabric on top of the stencil and using a hard brayer rolled over the entire area  to ensure all the fabric was printed.  Ignore the leaves on this piece/picture.  This is really the back of my fabric!!!  I previously did some thermofax screen printing and this was one of the results...yep, back to waste not, want not, right!  I wanted just to print on the  plain black side.

I ended up making six of these!!

They all pretty much look alike so I won't bore you with any more pictures....I have some ideas to play with these but I really think I need to mono print the birds next.

I do get off track from time to time...After all, the birds were my inspiration, right Mary!!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Art Quilts Around the World

I joined the online group, Art Quilts Around the World, back in November of 2012.   You can read a current explanation on how and when this group started here.  

It's been quite fun these past few years creating a small art quilt (11.5" x 16") six times a year.  Each member gets to pick a theme and there have been some unique themes that certainly have pushed us!  But that is the push ourselves into creating and even exploring new techniques.  

Back in 2014, there was an article in Embellish magazine about our group.  I was lucky enough to have one of my themed quilts included in this article.  

This was my finished piece for the theme Carnival, which was included in the article.  You can see how I created this piece in my blog post here.

Recently, our group was once again show cased in another magazine  

This was a FB post from Fleur Maddern, who is very instrumental in keeping this group going and  in the promotion of our group.  

And I feel so honored to have another one of my themed quilts, Flights of Fantasy, included.  Once again you can see the process on this quilt here.

Flights of Fantasy

Our next theme is 'Nursery Rhyme'
"Illustrate your own amusing reason for an author to have written what he /she did. ie was little jack Horner a naughty boy and was sent into the corner as punishment?  Did another egg push Humpty Dumpty off the wall?"
 by Christine Lee

This is such an interesting challenge!  Aren't they all, HA!!!  I have an idea that I've put to paper and I've started on the actual design.  Once again...what is in my mind may be difficult to put to fabric but I'm up for the challenge!  Do check out Fleur's blog post on the group and, if interested, you can sign up to be put on the 'waiting list'!  

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 all about it!!!

YEA!!!  No wrist surgery for this old gal!!!!  Dr. said that having the injection so close to surgery (has to do with cortisone/immune system) as well as I have had SO much relief with the injection from two weeks ago that I can hold off!!!!
I am SO happy...I wasn't looking forward to the surgery and I am a firm believer that you need to have confidence in your operation/surgeon/decision to just have surgery.  I have been  leery of the surgery...not so much my surgeon (he has done over 3,000 of these surgeries) but for some reason not comfortable.  Some of it had to do with the fact I have been almost pain free the past week!  I had a little setback stitching a few weeks ago but I am now using my splint/wrap when sewing and cleaning.  Dr. said if the shot is working then we should hold off.  I'm to call if/when the swelling and pain returns...otherwise, it's playtime for this old gal!!!  WOOHOO!  Time to celebrate tonight...Mexican, of course, and Margarita's!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Book Review Time!

Those of you who follow my blog know I love handwork.  I've dabbled in shibori from time to time and have posted posted some of my results.  You can see one post here, which also links to a previous shibori post.
In creating some shibori pieces, I've used templates from Jane Callender's web site, which you'll see in post(s) above.  I have several  templates and have used them with great success...her instructions are easy to follow and the diagrams are perfect for us "show me" gals!

Recently I ordered her book Stitched Shibori and I LOVE it!  What a great book!!!

I even did a review on Amazon for the book, that's how impressed I am!  She takes you from beginning to end of the process.. There are so many different stitching patterns and well explained/detailed pictures and instructions. I can't wait to get started!! She also includes sections on Indigo dyeing, natural dyeing, fiber reactive....This book is for beginning shibori stitchers or those just wanted to learn!!!  

If you have any interest at all in shibori type work, pick up this book!!!  Well worth it!  Now to see how much I can do before surgery!!  Woohoo!!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

My latest band wagon

OK, so ya all know the issue with my old wrist, which by the way, will be taken care of next Friday!  Woo I don't know how much I'll be posting after surgery.  The first week entails hard cast and no movement of the wrist.  After that it should be in a soft split or some such thing!   Piece of cake!

In the meantime, I have another issue that affects most women...osteoporosis.  I know myself for years and years, my Dr. has cautioned me about how brittle my bones are and that I have osteoporosis.  OK, so I go on different forms of calcium, vitamins, bone drugs...all of which caused me more issues with my stomach/etc. so of course, what do I do but stop all drugs.  Yes, I am known for this...I don't like putting drugs in my body because of all the side effects, of which I usually get them and more!

But this year after getting results of bone scan and being referred to osteoporosis clinic, I decided to be a big girl and research some of the vitamins/supplements to take.  AND will most likely be getting the every 6 month injection of Prolia.

Why the change?  I finally got frightened...the clinic PA scared me!  She said my bones are like a 90+ year old and are 30% worse than my last scan in 2015.  They also said just bending over could result in breaking a bone in my spine because the bones are so brittle and fragile!  You can see how brittle the bone is in this picture.  My Dr. actually had 'real' bones for me to see!

WHAT!!! Last summer I bent over to pick up a small dog (around 15 lbs) and broke a rib..I thought it was no big deal but the PA said "if that doesn't wake you up to how brittle your bones are, well....".  Talk about tough love!  OK...I'll do whatever you say!  HA HA

So...I am going to preach to my family and girl friends to make sure they get the bone scan at appropriate age and if not getting a bone scan...make sure you are getting enough calcium in your meals and take supplements!   Look up osteoporosis....see what foods are good for you to supply some calcium and get taking those supplements!!!!  Otherwise, we'll each be in a hospital room or assisted living housing, room bound,  because we are bed ridden with broken bones!!!!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

It's been a busy week....

I guess it's always busy when you are retired! Right!  Seems like I'm always going somewhere every day!  But in between lunches, meeting with friends, I have been sewing!

I wanted to play more with thread painting that I showed last week (you can see that here).   I ended up using this piece as a practice piece for painting the thread work (no, I don't like the green either!) and to decide what thread for quilting the background fabric.

I  also started to design some different patterns to add to my deconstructed screen print fabric I want to use.  I just didn't like the one strip on the piece above.  I still had some of the purple/maroon fabric leftover from the quilt top I made a few weeks ago so I cut 1 1/2" stripes into different lengths (2 1/2", 3", 5" etc.).  Then I sewed them together in long strips.  Then I traced my leaf design onto the screen printed panel  and free motion quilted the leaves.

Since I didn't like the green paint I dug in my paint box and came up with some of these samples!

Yes, I cut up the quilt practice piece!

  Yep, I played quite a bit!  But what worked the best was my Neocolor ii crayons!  Who knew!

Once I colored the thread painted leaf, then I took a brush with water and blended the crayon.  Then I free motion quilted the rest of the piece.

End result with the inserts...

And now with the binding added.  I'm happy with how this turned out...but now I'm on to a new project or two!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Less is More...but wait!

Yes, "less is more" but in some cases not so.  I posted on using the discharge paste on my table runner...results were ok...I was kinda satisfied but wanted "more"!  HA  This is what I had discharged the first day.

I didn't like the stripes being so rigid...So I used a wide paint brush and applied more discharge paste!    Looks much better not being so rigid!

Once again the color isn't showing up that great...but I do like much better!

Now I am happy!  I really like adding more of the paste and discharging more color on the runner.  Now I guess nothing is safe in my quilt box!  HA

Friday, June 9, 2017

Another standstill.... :(

After Ron left on Sunday, I prepped dinner, started laundry and then went into my little studio to play.  I took a piece of a deconstructed screen print I had made while in Florida.  When we got home in May, I did rubbings from one of my hand carved stamps and NeoColor 1 pastels...I really like the colors and had visions of what I could do to enhance the piece.

 I copied from one of the Dover books a leaf and printed onto to tracing paper.  I  added a 2 1/2" strip of green batik I had in my stash on the right side, which you can't see there!  Then I spray basted the the piece onto some batting.

I free motion stitched over the transfer paper...which does make it easy...but not so easy to remove the paper.  I used this same technique when creating the leaves on my table runner (see my last post) but it was more difficult, for some reason, to remove the paper today.  May have been due to the fact i spray basted the paper onto the fabric.  I don't think I did that last time...think I just used pins.   That dark area you see on the first leaf is the printed tracing paper.  I had already removed a good portion of the print.  And now you can see the green batik I added on the right side!

This is the back after I quilted the leaves..

And stitching a 99% of the paper removed!  HA

So then I decided I would do some hand embroidery...well, so much for that.  I barely got through on this leaf and had to quit.  My wrist won't take the motion!  So interesting what I can and can't do..even with the injection.  The free motion quilting didn't bother me at all..other than my back, which always hurts when I sew!  HA

So now to decide how to quilt this piece.  It's only 13" x 14" or so...just wanted to play....but guess I need to just play with the dogs or come up with another way to keep myself entertained!  Yes, Betty Davis, you were right...getting old isn't for sissy's!

Today I'm off to the Osteoporosis Clinic!  Who knew there was even such a thing!  Dr. said I'm in great shape for a 70 year old but my bones are like a 90 year old!  So....previous meds didn't agree with me so now she's sending me to this clinic.  Should be interesting and we shall see!!!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Amber's coat

Several, several years addition to quilts, I made a really cute coat for Kayla, the first grand child.  I actually made her mittens to go with hers.  I don't have any digital pictures of  Kayla's coat but it was adorable and so cute on her.

When Amber was born I couldn't wait to make her this coat too!   At the time, the kids didn't have a dog so we put a picture of our dog, Mandy on her coat!   And, yes, those are my feet on the bottom of the picture and Gigi's head on the top left!

This was a pattern on display at our local quilt shop and I thought adorable!  When I was at the kids a few weeks ago, I saw Amber had the coat hung on her closet door.  I took pics while the kids were at school but I forgot to ask why she had it out.

This is the back...isn't it cute!!  The flowers are fabric pulled through the coat...if I remember correctly.  Seems to  me I gave this pattern away but I don't remember who got it!

I ended up making one of these for a friend of the kids too.  By the 3rd coat, I could make them in my sleep!  HA  I had to add another 'baby' name to theirs when they added to their family.

This is the inside of the coat.

It's hard to tell in the photo but that little square fabric with the teddy bear is for putting a name card in it!  I love the Jack and Jill fabric  for the lining too!  Oh the being Amber never wanted to wear it!  HA  I still think it's adorable and I hope they pack it away and keep just to keep!!!  Yes, I am too sentimental!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Discharge Paste

Busy week...something different, right!  Had visit with ortho dr. for my wrist(s) and we'll be scheduling surgery to correct the tendon in my right wrist (I have what is known as de Quervain's) sometime in June or July...waiting to hear a date.  Not looking forward to this but I'll be happy to (hopefully!) be semi pain free.  If successful, I'll get the left one done as well.

In the meantime, playing again!  I was watching an old video from Laura Kemshall on using discharge paste and I just happened to have some on hand!  So what quilt could I use the paste on!!  Last fall I made a table runner (see that post here)  and it just called me to play with it.

This was the table runner before the paste!

I used a small foam brush to apply the paste, let dry, then ironed over the paste (with window open!)

Waiting for the paste to dry...which doesn't take long....

I still have to wash out the past but I do like the effect on the leaves.  If I had to do over I might just do the leaves and let the rest of the piece as is...but it looks good and who knows...I may just cover it with some more past instead of the 'lines'....

The background color is actually brighter than what appears in this picture.  But I'm happy and Bob still hasn't noticed!  HA  So I guess it's not that bad!

We also had an overnight visitor Saturday!  Ron, Bob's son, was in a bike race not far from us and he took 1st place!  Woohoo!!

It was really nice to have Ron for dinner and just to sit and talk Saturday night.  He left by eight  Sunday morning to head over to Holland to pick up MaryJo who was visiting her dad.  Then they were heading back to Indiana!  A lot of driving for him but so nice to have the time with him!!!

I have started to work on my 12" squares for another exchange...these are due in September but I'm not sure how much I'll be able to do come surgery time!   So I best get busy!!!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Eyes Have It!

This is my finished piece (11.5" x 16") for the online blog challenge, The Eyes Have It!.

 I started working on my vision for this piece while in Florida.  I initially wanted to have a piece with animal eyes in it but then decided on a flower created from eyes!  So I started off with a Google search of eyes, selected different color, size and shapes of eyes and printed them onto white fabric with fusible on the back. I cut out each eye and started to layer into a circle, starting with the largest eyes first.  Then the fun began!  Organizing the different sizes into the shape of a flower!

This was my final circle of eyes...

 I then fused the eyes to a piece of white muslin but just around the middle of the flower.   I did this because I wanted to fuse the eyes to my background after it was quilted.   Thanks to my bud, Susan, for the assist in selecting the background!  We took my 'eyes' flower with us to the quilt shop to find a good background and, as you'll see, the brown fabric was perfect.  I just free motion quilted leaves on the whole background using brown thread.

Next up was the layout on where to place the eyes and create the have leaves on their stems, right!   I sandwiched two layers of green fabric between some batting then traced different shape leaves onto the fabric.   Next I free motion quilted the outline of the leaves then I cut out each leaf.  I did color some of the edges with a green marker if the white batting showed too much.

Next, I played around with making some stems, which I wrapped with a piece of brown bias fabric I had in my stash around a piece of bias green fabric I had fusible already on!  Then I added my leaves where I thought they might look good.  And I had to add some 'eyes' inbetween some of the leaves!
 Once I was happy with that, it was time to start to work on the center of my eye flower!  For this, I used my tailor tack foot which worked perfect.

When I was totally finished with the edging and sewing down all the leaves, I did go back and snip some of the tailor tack threads.

And as they say...that's my story and I'm stitcking to it!