Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hang in there with Me

The holidays have kept me out of my studio and off my blog.  I had lots planned after we returned from our daughter's home.  I have been fighting sinus problems since early Dec. and when I returned home it turned into an ear and sinus infection.  I haven't had the energy to do anything.

I did spend a few minutes today taking down the meager decorations I put up and had to rest in between.  I did fix dinner but everything wears me out.

I do have a mile-stone to report.  I finished my first PSE 11 class last week.  I am taking the class through  I recommend them highly.  I am in the process of trying to decide what class to take next.  The instructor, Beverly Schulz and her administrator, Eric and both sharing, knowledgeable and puts the information out in for the average person to understand.   If you are looking for a good class in PSE I would recommend this one.  This class was actually listed for PSE 10 user.   Since I had PSE 8 and needed to update, I decided to update to 11.  Many of the students did the same and Beverly and Eric, always added the change between 10 and 11 in each lesson.  I recommend it.

Monday, December 17, 2012

A busy Time of Year

I haven't been in my studio for several weeks.  We have been traveling.  Attending to business and visiting with my husband's Mother and helping our daughter out after she had a medical procedure.

As soon as we returned I started working on this jacket for our granddaughter.  Sydney, age eight, was born in the wrong century.  She is not the typical eight year old as far as TV and video games are concerned.  She loves to create and have things created for her.

Since she is still wearing the hat and knitted cape that I gave her about four years ago I decided it was time for new duds.    I purchased the yarn for the hat on our trip and knitted in the car.  The hat was finished when we got home.  I also purchased the sweatshirt on the trip.  I started cutting the squares and rectangles out yesterday after  baking all morning.  Not too successfully I might add.  

Fortunately the sewing went a little better and I had the squares glued and sewed down by the evening.  Today I put the binding around the sleeve and outside and it's done.  Off to the PO tomorrow.  It has to go all the way cross county but I'm hoping it will be there by Christmas.

I decided to link this post to  NinaMarie post every Friday and invites other quilt artist to share a post on Off the Wall Friday.  Take a look there are always interesting post there.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Pink Perfection

I had my second cataract surgery, done this week, all went well.  However, I haven't gotten a lot done either on the computer or in my studio.  Looking at the computer screen this week has not been pleasant. Hoping this will improve.

I decided to go with the uncropped image for this piece and do some shadow or thread painting of leaves and stems in the background.

 All I had time to do this week was to make thread color choices and do the outline stitching around all the petals and leaves.  Now to pull all those threads through and bury them.  This will be a real test for my new eyes.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Pink Perfection

I've decided on the background, I love this color of blue.  If you remember the original photo from the last post you will see that the blue color is very similar.  I'm trying to decide if I want to crop some off the right side.  

This is what it would look like.  I think I've decided but wondered if any of you have a preference?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pink Perfection

I didn't have a lot of time in the studio today but I did finish cutting and fusing the camellia I worked on Monday.

I have lots of painting that needs done to get dept and define the petals.   But that will come another day.

The background is so important to my flower pieces.  I always try several different pieces of fabric, usually hand dyes.

This is another hand dyed piece I tried and I think this is the one I'm going to use. 

I cut three of the leaves today but I'm not really happy with the color.  I think I will go a little lighter.  I always have to play.  If I'm not happy with a piece I cut out, out it comes.  I can always use it in another piece or cut it up for a smaller item. 

 The photograph was taken in my front yard.  The camellia is called Pink Perfection.  I angled the camera so that I would see the beautiful blue sky in the background.

I may even get some time in the studio tomorrow.  Not seeing any of my family tomorrow so I can't think of anything else I would rather do.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Fondling Fabric and new project

I started a new project today.  I'm set to teach at J. C. Campbell in Jan. and wanted to get a new sample made for the class.  I always take out my basket of fabric that holds the color I'm looking for and go through or audition the fabric for the project.
I try to keep my hand dyed fabrics together.  I don't always have enough of one color to have a separate basket of just that color.  As usual when things are hectic I just stuff whatever, wherever.  This lead me to cleaning out two baskets, refolding and placing in the correct basket.

I was interested in pink so after I folded and put away the basket, I kept the pink out to use.

 After several hours this is what happened.  Actually this is just a small mess.  Usually the fabric is on the floor, the sewing machine table and all surfaces that I can reach.  I must be getting neater. 

It's interesting seeing this after a days work and then seeing it here as a photo.  I can see several things that I need to change that I didn't see when I stopped work this afternoon.

Taking photos and looking at them is one thing that I stress in my classes.  I believe you can see potential problems that you can't see after looking at a piece for a while.

No time to work tomorrow but hope to get back and finish the flower on Wed. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Spirit of the Kiva Revived

I decided that I needed to let my eyes rest and haven't been working on the thread painting since the surgery.  However, I wanted to get some other things done.  This piece was started about two years ago.  I started the quilting and had about 2/3 of the large design done when I realized that it was going wonky on me.  Because I have the straight lines of the boarder I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to get everything to look straight.

I decided to take the photo printed on fabric out, redo the printing and reinsert it in the boarders.  I started sewing the boarders on today.  Because the printed fabric area was larger that the first one I had to do some trimming.  It was quite confusing for a while.  I'm used to making the boarders match the center piece.  This time I had to make the center match the boarders.  You understood that didn't you?    I had to call in reinforcements, my husband, to help.  We finally figured it out and I hope to get the other two sides sewn tomorrow.

Cataract Surgery Goes Great

I had no idea that the colors I was seeing were not correct until after my surgery on Thursday.  I had the cataract on my right eye removed and a lens inserted that will allow me to see distance, in-between and up-close all in one.

My vision is still a little cloudy but today it appears that the right eye is becoming dominate and my overall vision is better.  I am having the left eye done on Nov. 27, then I will have all new vision.

It's been amazing to look outside at the Autumn leaves that are still around.  I close my right eye and everything has a very yellow/gold look.  This I thought was normal.  I then close my left eye and see the bright natural colors.  It's amazing.

I think I had forgotten how white, white can be.  I need to get out a few of my newer fiber art pieces to look at them with new eyes.  I may have some surprises as I view them with new eyes.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Learning Experience

Since my last post I've gotten quite a bit done.  It may not look like a lot to the observer but if you've ever thread painted you will know that I've accomplished quite a bit.

I recently purchased a book by Carol Shinn titled Freestyle Machine Embroidery.  It was recommended to me by members on the SAQA blog.

I am so glad I listened to them and ordered this book.  It is chocked full of great ways to handle problems.

Take this photo, you will note to the left I am attempting to thread paint a shadow on the jeans where the handle of the watering can is shading the jeans.  There is quite a distinct line where the shadow ends.

 After reading Carol's book I knew just what to do to make it look more realistic. 

I am beginning to get puckering with all the dense thread painting.  The one in this photo will be quilted out as this area is going to be as dense as the jeans.

However, I am beginning to get puckers as seen beside the pocket and above the flower where the area is not going to be that dense.

I also found a bulge today in the side of the watering can.  Carol to the rescue again.  She demonstrates how to slice the bulge open make the corrections and then thread paint over the opening.

I'm no where near ready to do that yet as I will be waiting until I finish the whole piece to make any corrections.

Okay, I would like a pat on the back.  The overalls and some of the watering can have all been done since last week.  It is so much fun seeing this piece take shape.

Here again you can see the puckering beside the jeans.  I'm not sure what can be done here, haven't finished Carol's book yet.   I have an idea of my own that is my fall back, just in case it won't iron out or the quilting won't take care of the problem.

Tomorrow cataract surgery so will be taking it easy for a few days. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

It's Slow Going

What little time I've had in the studio this week has been spent doing the straps, hooks and bib of Connor's bib overalls.


I am enjoying the process and I really love to see the results at the end of time spent.  My guess is that I have about ten hours in the bib, and straps. 

Tomorrow I'm out of the house all day so won't be back until Tues. for more thread painting.  I have cataract surgery on Thursday and I think the thread painting will have to take back seat for a few weeks. 

I have a new project to create on the design wall while my eyes are healing so I won't be idle. 

A closer look.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Copper Watering Can

I returned home yesterday after spending some time in NC moving my Mother-In-Law to a new facility.  She is settled in a good place and is Okay. 

I finished the thread painting of the copper watering can today.  I started it last week before we left but didn't get very far.  This was the results of about five hours of work today.

This is not a one day or even a one week project that I'm working on now.  However, I think it will be worth the time.

This is a closer view of the watering can.  I really enjoyed choosing the threads to achieve the patina of old copper. 

I used some green, red, and multi colors of golds and browns. I have a meeting tomorrow and it's not likely that I will get much done on this piece but, I have set aside the rest of the week and hope to really see some difference in the left side of the piece by the end of the weekend.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A New Connor Design

Connor III
but not really named yet  45" X 45"

A week or so ago I posted a closeup of a new piece that I'm working on.  I've been doing a study so that I can get the quilting and thread choices out of the way before I start on the big piece.

Tonight I decided to post the full print and give you an idea of how I came up with this design.

I knew that I wanted to continue experimenting with my computer generated images.  I went to my photo files to fine a photo that I wanted to work with.

This has long been a favorite photo of mine.  Connor was about three at the time and he really loved to garden.  He even wanted the cement to grow. 

I decided to dropout the background and then look for a photo that I wanted to pair it with.

After searching through my large file of garden photos I suddenly thought of this piece of fiber art I made several years ago.  It is titled Through my Window.

It is actually the front window of our log house.  Through the window is my great room with another Geranium quilt hanging on the wall.  The window box holds more geraniums.   The geraniums in the pots are made using the fabric Origami method.

After a bit of trial and error I learned how to increase my canvas size to accommodate Connor standing in outer space.

Lots of fun and I love the finished produce.  Now to get it quilted. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Good News, Lark Publishing Company's New Book

Just got an email yesterday that "Connor" will be published in the upcoming book, Art Quilt Portfolio: People & Portraits.  It will hit the book stores in April, 2013.  I'm excited.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Connor # 3

I finally have time to work in my studio.  I have only spent small amounts of time, doing really mundane things, since getting my class at Campbell ready to teach in Aug.  That is two months folks and I have really missed working.

I have a new piece started but I'm only going to show small pieces in this post.

The entire piece will be 45" x 45" or there about.  Because it is a big piece and I really don't want to do a lot of picking out stitches I decided that I would work on a study first.   This is another of my creations in PhotoShop and is printed on linen cotton canvas.  I'm very happy with the color and texture that I get with this fabric.  It will be the first time I've used it so I  that is another reason for the sample.

I've spent the last two days stitching this piece, and am so glad that I decided to do a study before starting on the larger piece.

I am not exactly a patient person and I hate to waste time.  Often I tell myself that I am wasting time doing the same thing twice.  That I'm going to be bored working on the same thing again.  And sometimes I do get bored but I learn something each time I work so that, hopefully, I will improve the next time.

I almost decided yesterday that I had done enough to this study to see how the fabric reacted to quilting.  How much quilting I wanted to do and which threads to use.  But as I look at the piece this morning I've decided that I will finish the piece because there are other issues that I need to get solved before I tackle the larger piece. 

If anyone who reads this has a good collection of thread for portraits that they like I sure would love to hear from you.  If you look closely at Connor's face and neck you will note that I used brown tone threads on his neck and red tone threads on his face.  Which do you like best?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Quilt National Entry Part Two

This is a continuation of my discussion on the making of Doors to the Past.   When I first printed the image I had thoughts of adding something around or to the side of the image.  However, the more I looked at the printed piece the more I wanted to keep it within  the confines that existed.
Having made that decision I had to decide where I was going to take the piece.  The shadows intrigued me.  I was puzzled as to why my shadow disappeared and wanted to explore that further.  At first I isolated my shadow, I guess I was determined to be in the piece, but I was much happier with the image of my husband.  I also really liked the aura that appeared around the archway. 
After I isolated the shadow image of my husband I placed it in various positions within the larger image.  A few of the images I tried.

This is the final image I decided on, I can't really say why except that it pleased me.  While working on the piece I spent time wondering how many people had passed through these doors.  Perhaps the eerie feeling that I experienced when my image appeared as a white spot at the top of the arches inspired the rest of the design.   I really enjoy going back over a piece like this an exploreing the whys and hows of the creation.  I hope you enjoyed it as well.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Quilt National Entry

Doors to the Past

This was my entry into Quilt National this year.  This was the first year I felt that I had a piece that might be considered for this prestigious show.

Quilt National is held every other year at the Dairy Barn in Athens, OH.   Many say that this is the mother of all fiber art shows.

You really have to plan and commit yourself and the piece of art that you are making to enter in QN.  One of the foremost rules in their entry form is that the art can not be posted on your blog/internet etc.  Nor can it have been entered into any other show or seen within a 100 mile radius of your home before entering into QN.  This takes quite a commitment.  Most artist who chose to enter this exhibit feels that this is worthwhile. 

I took the plunge this year and decided that I might have a small chance.  I didn't!  There were over 800 entries and only 86 were juried into the show.  Of course, I'm disappointed but not surprised.  I'm glad I entered and I will most likely enter again.  After all nothing ventured nothing gained.

 Now that I have that out of the way I want to tell you how I came up with the above design and how Doors to the Past evolved.

The photo show here was taken in New Mexico.  I can't really remember where but the thing that caught my attention was how the doors/arches opened one after the other.  I also loved the light that came through after the second doorway.

I've been doing a lot of merging photos in PSE and decided to play with this photo as my background.

 I also take lots of shadow photos of myself and my husband when we are out hiking or site seeing.  This photo was taken in a creek in the Smoky Mountains.  The stones are moss covered and the sky is reflected in the water.

 This was the final image.  As you can see my shadow disappeared with the exception of the light at the upper part of the archway.  Things started feeling a little eerie here.

As I looked at the image I began seeing images.  The design that emerged at the lower left looked to me as if it might be half of the Comedy Mask.  Because of this I decided to mirror image the design./

 This was the image that emerged after the mirror imaging.  This has turned into a much longer post than I had planned so I am stopping at this point and will elaborate on this more later this week.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Few Hours in the Studio

If you follow my blog you will know that I haven't been posting a lot recently.  That's because I haven't had time to work in my studio.

We have been on the road a lot and sometimes there are things that need done more than studio time. 

I did have a few minutes this week and decided that I would spend that time making a sample for a new class that I'm putting together. 

Fabricating Faces with Thread  is the title of the class.  It's difficult to give an accurate supply list when it comes to thread needs.  Because of that I am trying to put together a sample with different colors and types of thread. 

The above is about all I had time for this week but have a grip on what I need to do.  Wish me luck.

My next post will be from Arizona.  YEA!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Well. I finally have time to sit down and do a little blogging about the Lake and Mountain Quilt Show.  Time has been at a premium for me recently, but when I talk to my friends about how the time just flies by they have the same problem.

If you didn't get to the show you really missed one of the best.
My good friend Marge Edie won Best of Show, not once but twice. The general public had a vote and members of the guild had a vote.  She won both.

A well deserved win for Marge.  I followed this quilt which took about a year and a half to finish.

Marge and I are in a Focus group together.  She first brought her design to our meeting and little bits as she put them together.  This is an enormous quilt.  Well deserved Marge.
Husband and wife team Gil and Pat Huggins won a blue ribbon for this piece.  Gil told me it started out as a comfort quilt but they liked it so much they kept it.  Congratulations.

 Haley Kelley won for the miniature category.  It is the one with the white boarder.  I have great respect for the artist who attacks a piece this small.  Great work.

Mary Dusenberry won, I think, a second place for this delightful, warm looking quilt.  Mary's sister who is in a wheel chair helped her place the panels to make this very appealing design.

Sun Hunston, is and extraordinary long arm quilter.  She's also a wonderful piercer and her quilts always win an award at out show.  Beautiful work.

Well since I had to be somewhere else at 5:00 on Saturday this is all the photos I was able to get.  Wish I had more detail but I just didn't have the time to do so.  If you missed this show we will be doing it again in two years.  Barbara, Mary and Donna are you ready yet?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Preview LMQG Show

Visitors to the LMQG Show, Celebrating Silver will be met at the door with a view of this car quilt created by member Virginia Grobusky.

As always members came up with a wonderful table of refreshments.  Susan Wright and her team did a wonderful job.

The theme of the show is Celebrating Silver, this year is the 25th year of the guild.   The quilts shown here are part of the challenge for the 25th. year celebration.

A few of my favorites, the black and white piece was created by Margaret Barre.  My apologies to the maker of the red quilt, I didn't get the name of the maker.

This beautiful piece was created by Marilyn Ingalls.   Marilyn's machine quilting is incredible.

A closeup of Marilyn's quilting.

Ronette Askew's piece sent cold chills over my body.  Her daughter is in the Army and serves as a PA in Afghanistan.
A silent auction of pieces donated by guild members will be held during the show.  A great time to buy a beautiful piece. 

There is a boutique with wonderful handmade items on sale .  I did my share of buying there yesterday. 

And as always great vendors.  No more preview you have to come and see for yourself the great work made by the Lake and Mountain Quilt Guild.