Monday, November 17, 2014

Cold, warm socks and leaves

We have had an early snow storm and then to top it off very cold temperatures. It has been 0 degrees F  the past two mornings, I heard on the radio that we have set new record lows for this date. Last night I finished my latest pair of socks and am wearing them this morning, my feet are warm.


I must be getting faster with my knitting, this pair took less than two months to make, usually it takes me most of the winter. I've used yarn that creates patterned stripes and I like that they are different, yet the same.

The snow and cold weather have pretty much stopped my collecting of leaves. Every Autumn I pick up an assortment of leaves as they fall, press them and then as a rule do nothing else with them. I have lots of dry leaves. One of my favorite places to press them is an old Webster's Dictionary. It's four inches deep so it can really fill it up. This is how one side of it looks.


The other side and the front look similar, I like to keep the stems sticking out so I can find them all.

On our last play day two weeks ago Trische gifted me with a pressed black lace elderberry leaf.


The following day I did two cyanotypes (blueprint) with it. Here's one of them in the sun doing its magic.



The finished prints.


I've been saving up all my blueprinted and SolarFast printed fabrics.


Now that winter has arrived, the printing will probably stop and the creating something with them will hopefully start.

I also used the Black Lace Elderberry leaf for my weekly leaf. I used my favorite standby the Gelli plate. Here's the leaf on the plate.


The print.


The Weekly Leaf #46


Daily Stitching updates

Line Dance #315-#321


The Daily Paper #243-#249





Linked to "Off the Wall Friday"

Monday, November 10, 2014

Thickened dye play, magic stamp and gifts

Last week we had another dye play day in Studio B, this time with thickened dye. I did get one picture of everyone hard at work.

Trische, Sue, Thea and Lisa all hard at work playing with thickened dye. You may note that the table is a bit high for some of them, I'm very tall and I had it built to fit me. Lisa took some good pictures and has them on her blog.

Sue gifted me with some little books she has been making.

She's been using fabric that she's done during our play days for the covers. Each book is about a  3 1/4" square.
Trische also gifted me with a pressed leaf, you'll see it next week.

I decided to go a bit abstract for this weeks leaf. I used a piece of Magic Stamp which is a flat dried sponge, that is easy to cut while dry and flat, but once it gets wet it swells up. I used a 4" x 6" piece which fits wonderfully on my 6" square.


I freehand cut a leaf shape out of a 4" x6" scrap of paper as my template and then traced around the template onto the magic sponge.


I cut it out with a craft knife because I wanted to keep the outer part whole.



This is how the leaf looks once I've gotten it wet. I wanted to keep the outer part whole so that in the future I can use it for a negative image.

Then I used Jacquard Textile paint and printed my leaf.


The Weekly Leaf #45



Daily Stitching updates

Line Dance #308-#314

The Daily Paper #236-#242





Linked to "Off the Wall Friday".

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

World wide blog hop

Several weeks ago Regina Dunn invited me to participate in the World Wide Blog Hop. I declined because of a looming family concern. Last week Jeannie Aird invited me to participate, so this time I agreed to play along. Be sure to go and check out both of their blogs, here and here. I have to answer four questions.

#1. What am I working on?
Every day I hand stitch on two different daily projects. Every week I print and hand stitch a six inch square with a leaf for my Weekly Leaf project. I also do a hand stitched eight inch square void in either black on white or white on black. I'm also working on an 80" square that will be all black, made of assorted fabrics, machine quilted and then painted with a white circle for my circle series of quilts.

#2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I like simple, so the techniques and stitching I do are quite simple but sometimes appear very complex. I have been involved with surface design for about twenty years and have mastered a lot of techniques. Most of my work involves circles and leaves, and I like nothing better than to see how many different ways I can create either one of them.

#3. Why do I write/create what I do?
I am happiest when I'm creating something. I am very drawn to circles, leaves and very bold black and white images. I also have a large collection of fabrics and 'stuff' and have challenged myself to use these things  to do my daily stitching projects. I'm currently working on my 4th and 5th one, all using in stock goods and have more planned.

#4. How does my writing/creating process work?
I rarely know what a finished project will look like. For my daily stitching projects I plan ahead to the extent that I have squares ready to go all the time, sometimes I will have the whole years worth cut and ready before I start. But what I do on each of these squares is not planned, I just start stitching and see what happens. I like to see how much I can do with simple embroidery stitches, my 2013 weekly stitching use only eight different stitches on fifty-two different pieces.

The next part of this blog hop is that I have to pick another blogger to answer the same questions. I've asked my good friend Lisa Flowers Ross to be next. I am so impressed with how Lisa simplifies and abstracts images. If you are near Ketchum, ID her work is currently in a gallery there, or if you are near Auburn, NY she has two pieces in the Quilts=Art=Quilts show.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Shibori stitched leaf

Last month when I was preparing for our dye play day I stitched a ginko leaf to dye for my weekly leaf and as a demo for the group. I lightly drew a large ginkgo leaf onto my square of fabric, and then started putting in the stitches to gather it up and make the design. This is how it looked prior to gathering up the stitches.



Then without thinking about where I planned to use it, I put it in a brown dye that was already mixed and got this result.


Which gave me the leaf image I wanted but not in a color that would go with the rest of my weekly leaves.

So this week I redid the entire process.
Put in the stitches.

Gathered them up.


Then this time instead of dying the fabric, I used a hand dyed green that I knew would discharge to yellow and I discharged the leaf. Here it is with the bleach just on the folds that were gathered.


Used a bleach pen.

In the above photo you can also see the bleach is working.

Here it is rinsed well.

Then all the stitching was taken out, the piece was soaked in Bleach stop to neutralize the bleach and then washed.

The leaf didn't come out quite as well as the one that had been dyed, but it is perfect for adding some hand stitching.

The Weekly Leaf #44



Daily Stitching updates.
Line Dance #301-#307


The Daily Paper #229-#235





 Linked to "Off the Wall Friday"

Monday, October 27, 2014

A Finished Quilt

Just so you don't think that the only things I do are my daily, weekly and monthly projects, I've got a finished quilt to show you!

"Leftovers"
66"x72"
This is one of those unplanned projects made from lots of leftovers and scraps. I don't remember when I started making the blocks, but it was at least three years ago. Every time I had leftover green , blues and reds I would cut them into strips, make four patches from most of them, add borders around the four patches, then put them in a bag to save. It was one of those things that I would do when I just needed some mindless sewing. This summer I took all the blocks (3 different sizes) with me when we went to the lake for girls week. This was the layout I worked out, sewed them all together while at the lake and then brought it home to languish again. I finally decided to quilt it and be done with it. The picture isn't great, the edges really aren't wavy, but thats the best I could do with it stuck to the design wall. I have no idea what I will do with it, for now it will just be added to the 'pile'.

The Weekly Leaf

This weeks leaf was plucked from my slowly dying garden, it's a cantaloupe leaf. I used the gelli plate to print it.


Weekly Leaf #43



Monthly Stitching
Void #7

Daily Stitching
Line Dance #295-#300


 The Daily Paper #223-#228


Here's how it looks at almost 2/3's done.

Linked to "Off the Wall Friday"