Monday, December 31, 2012

Ready for a new year with a new project

I've been thinking a lot about what daily project I will do when I finish my current one, even though I have 72 days left on it. I've come up with many ideas, way to many and I want to do them all. I've never started any of my daily projects at the beginning of the year, probably because it felt more like a resolution and I'm a failure at those. These are projects I really want to do, so I've picked one to start tomorrow and have spent a couple of afternoons getting everything ready. This time I'm using a striped linen fabric and since I discovered that there wasn't enough of it half way thru cutting the squares, I've added a grey fabric. Each piece will have either a red circle appliqued on or a red circle stitched on it. I have all the squares cut, 1/3 of the red circles cut and everything assembled in a box ready for tomorrow. The circles have been cut from a variety of my hand dyed fabrics; silk, cotton, rayon, organza, velvet and cheesecloth. I have also graphed out where the grey fabrics will go. I am also planning a weekly stitching project that will use some of my antique table linens. The linens are currently in dye baths. In March when my current daily stitching ends I've got one planned to take it's place starting on my birthday. And if all of those weren't enough I've got an idea for a monthly one also. I think some of this is an avoidance tactic, I really need to start and finish the queen size quilt I've been commissioned to do.
I've also gone back to the blue/orange piece that was started a while ago and have been adding some hand stitching.
Daily stitching #286 - #293
I hope everyone has a Happy New Year. I'll do my usual watching the New Year come in in other countries on tv and go to bed early. This post is now linked up with "Off the Wall Fridays".

Friday, December 28, 2012

Home from our Christmas trip to the woods

We drove over the mountains and through the woods to my daughter's house in Washington to spend Christmas with family. We has a wonderful time. Here I am the first morning checking out the pond.
The day after Christmas we drove into Tacoma and visited the Museum of Glass, always one of my favorite stops. I took yet another picture of the glass ceiling, I take some every time we walk across the bridge.
There was an exhibit of work by Lino Tagliapietra that was amazing. The next group of pictures are some of my favorite pieces from the collection.
I did my daily stitching first thing every morning, I was the first one up so it was easy to do while it was quiet. I forgot to take a picture of the individual pieces before I sewed another row of 19 on. There are now 15 rows.
I had some leftover dye that I poured over ice covered fabric before we left, look how great it came out.
As much as I enjoy spending time with my family, it's always so nice to be back home. This post is linked to "OFF the Wall Friday", go check out some other great blogs.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

More gifts and knitting for myself

We've bought headlights(small lights to wear on your head) for all the grandchildren that we will be spending Christmas with. So I've made a small personalized bag for each of them as gift wrap and for them to keep their lights in.
Since I'm done with making gifts, I'm working on a pair of socks for myself.
Daily stitching #274 - #281
I will probably not be posting again before Christmas, so I'd like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Stitching, stuffing, knitting, but no quilting

This year for the first time in several years we are going to brave the weather and drive to spend Christmas with some of our family. So instead of doing all my shopping on Amazon and having them deliver, I've been making a few of the gifts. The youngest is getting "Gertie the Garter snake".
The pattern for Gertie came form a magazine back in 1991, I made one then for our oldest grand daughter(now 26) and I think I have made one for each of the grand kids. It had been awhile since I've made one and I forgot how long it takes to stuff a snake and how large it is, as you can see it makes my sewing machine look small. I'm also knitting a scarf that has a really cool drop stitch pattern and knit a pair of plain black wool socks (boring) as requested by one of my sons.
Daily stitching "267 - # 273.
This post is now linked up to "Off the Wall Fridays"

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Friends,applique and daily stitching

Last night my friends Lisa and Kathleen had an opening reception for their show "Textiles x Two" at the Meridian City Hall's gallery. This is a beautiful gallery space and they each had an entire wall for their work. Both do beautiful work and it was a delight to see some new work in the mix. Good job ladies. If you are anywhere near Meridian, ID, go see the show. It will be up for the month of December.
Lisa on the right and Kathleen on the left, in front of one of Kathleen's pieces. I've taken the blue and orange pieces off the design wall and have started working on them. Yesterday I hand appliqued the little blue pieces to the orange fabric, by little I mean 1/2" x 3/4". Today I plan on appliqueing the orange pieces onto the blue, they are a bit bigger.
My daily stitching has reached another milestone, below are #262 - #266, only 99 to go. Which also means my birthday is less than 100 days away. While I've been stitching I've been thinking of what to do next birthday year. I love the stitching and the size has been just right, but I'm thinking of how I would add color, both in the stitching and the fabric. I've got some ideas, but I'm not real excited about any of them yet.
Yesterdays #266 gave me another 19 to sew in a row and attach to the rest of the group.
I've linked this to Off the Wall Friday ,go check it out.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas Postcards

I've been making Christmas postcards for several years and I finished the ones for this year already! It's still November, I'm rarely this on top of things. I make them in an assembly line so the process goes quite fast. First is to decide what to do and this year I got my inspiration from Better Homes and Gardens magazine. There was an article on home made decorations photographed against a background of pine boughs from a linocut. I drew my own sized to fit a 4" x 6" postcard, added Happy Holidays and then made it into a thermofax screen. For fabric I chose a very pale hand dyed golden brown cotton damask, put Misty Fuse on the back, cut it up into postcard sized squares and printed.
When the paint was dry the fabric was fused to Timtex, cut into 4"x 6" pieces. I cut small red circles from a discarded shiny red coffee bean bag.
Stacked them by the sewing machine, stitched around the red circle and added more stitching to create a bow so the ball was hanging from a branch.
Muslin was then fused to the back side of the Timtex, taken back to the machine and the edges were zig zagged.
The backs were signed and dated. I've been to the post office and purchased stamps, now all I have to do is address them, write a message and mail them.
The two pieces of fabric that I showed last week on my design wall have now become one piece. Nothing has been sewn together yet - but it will be.
Today marks the last day of the third year of my daily photo blog
Daily Stitching #256 - #261 This post is now linked to Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Published in Quilting Arts

Last August I wrote an article about using masks with deconstructive screen printing for Quilting Arts magazine, today my copy arrived. They did a wonderful job editing what I wrote and photographing my fabrics. So if you get the opportunity, check out the Dec/Jan issue of Quilting Arts pages 36-40.
Also today I had lunch with some good friends and our hostess has a large tablecloth that her guests sign, then she embroiders the signature. She started doing this in 1991, I signed it last year and got to see my name in red stitches today. Here's a photo of a small part of it.
Donna signed the cloth today.
I love this idea.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A nonproductive week

Well, not totally nonproductive, but I don't have much to show. I did do the quilting and the binding on a quilt for a non quilting friend. I've made a small stuffed dinosaur for another friends first grandchild.
I threw some fabrics up on the wall while trying to get inspired to make the queen size commissioned quilt. They won't be used in that quilt, but they do have possibilities on their own.
My daily stitching was done everyday. Here are #248 - #255.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Quilt done, funky fabric and daily stitching

I finished quilting the top that I showed last week, it even has a label! So now it's ready to be picked up for the silent auction at the end of the month.
The hexagons that have been on my design wall for several weeks have been taken down, put in a bag and are resting until I'm interested in them again. I think that sometimes it's best to just put things away when they're not working for you. An artist friend has commissioned me to do a queen size, usable art quilt. The only parameters were the size, jewel like colors with possibly some turquoise and dark red. Not much to work with! So I've started by dyeing some fabric with the red, turquoise and some gold and hope that gives me some inspiration for a design. When I mix dyes I always put a rag that has been soaked in a soda ash solution on my work surface. Normally when I finish I put the rag in a plastic bag so that it stays damp for the next time. This time I forgot and left it on the counter and it dried causing the soda ash to form some very interesting patterns. This is how it looked.
Of course it brushes off, or when I get it wet again the pattern goes away - but I took some cool pictures and one of them will be my daily picture tomorrow. Daily stitching #242 - #247
#247 gave me enough to do another row, so there are now 13 rows.
This post has been linked to Off The Wall Friday.

Friday, November 9, 2012

New quilt

Last Friday morning as I was getting ready to leave town for the weekend I took the following picture of Studio A, my sewing studio.
When I went in to the studio Monday morning it looked the same, almost as if the cat had slept there the whole time. I know he didn't because he had spent the night curled up next to my back. On the walls were two of my works in progress, the hexagons which haven't changed at all, and parts for a mystery quilt designed by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr that had been in the AQS newsletter. I don't normally follow patterns, but made an exception just because I needed to do something to get back into a creative mode. I finished the top this week and will get it layered and quilted soon because I'm donating it to a local fundraiser. That makes 25 quilts I've made and donated this year.
Daily stitching #229 - #234
#235 -#241
p.s.I've linked this post to Off The Wall Fridays . Go check out some other great projects.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Daily Stitching

My daily stitching project has become a very welcome part of my life. I'm really enjoying sitting down everyday to spend a bit of time doing some hand stitching, it's almost like a daily meditation. I spend anywhere from five minutes to an hour doing each one. I start with a four inch square of fabric that I've previously printed in black. All of my stitching is done with pearl cotton in black, I use three different sizes, #5, #8 and #12. Here's a look at my basic supplies.
Many of the squares were cut out of a large piece of fabric that I had mono-printed. The piece didn't come out as I had intended, but cut up each square is slightly different and works perfectly for some hand stitching.
Some of the squares were printed just for this project, but many of them were left over samples I printed from new screens, stamps or found objects. The squares are a variety of fabrics, most of them are cotton, either muslin or a white dyers cloth. There are also linen, rayon, cotton damask and some polyester. The next photo shows pieces cut from polyester that I had printed almost twenty years ago. It is a very thin, flimsy fabric.
This close up shows some damask,muslin and white dyers cloth.
I back each piece with white flannel for two reasons; it gives some definition to the stitches and it adds coverage and stability to the thinner fabrics. I don't use a hoop while stitching. I keep my flannel and thread in a basket, unless I'm traveling and then everything gets tossed into a plastic ziplock bag.
Each piece is numbered when I finish it. I started on my birthday and will finish the day before my next one. This is how the back looks.
#225 - #228
Sewn together in rows of 19 blocks each, there are twelve rows completed.
This is the start of today's square, it's a linen and hemp blend fabric cut from a failed mono- print, stitching with #8 thread.
On another note; the autumn inspired piece has changed appearances again and will probably continue morphing since none of it is sewn yet.