"If you hear a voice within you say, 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." --Vincent van Gogh

Monday, September 29, 2008

Recent Dyeing Adventures

Here are a few pics of some dyeing I did while my computer was out of comission. The first piece is a combination of two techniques I learned while taking Marjie McWilliams' Shibori classes on Quilt University. I think it came out pretty cool. If I were to do it again, I would make the center portion (blue) smaller and make my dyes stronger.

Below is a blurry (sorry) photo of a glue resist piece I did with dye rather than the usual paint. I first stamped some flowers onto the white fabric with Elmers Gel Glue. I then dyed the fabric yellow, leaving it in the dye for only a short time so as not to soften the glue. I washed the glue out and had a yellow piece of fabric with white flower areas. I took a different stamp and stamped glue in other areas on the yellow fabric and then overdyed the piece (this time I sponged the dye on rather than immersing it) with a weak red dye. Of course the yellow fabric turned a beautiful orange. When I washed out the glue I had yellow flowers and where the fabric was white from the first stage, I had pink flowers. It's a pretty piece and there's a lot of potential in this technique.

Because I brushed on the pink dye, I got different shades on the piece. I set the piece on some paper towels so that the dye wouldn't run all over the place. I let it dry in place and the paper towels made a really interesting pattern on the back of the fabric ...

My daughter is on a year-round school calendar and she's been out for 3 weeks. She goes back today and my list is ready! I've got 9 weeks to "get 'er done" before she tracks out again. Go Go Go!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Guess Who's the BIGGEST LOSER?

My cat, Pumpkin, of course! Our vet held a "Biggest Loser" contest for the cats and dogs at the clinic. Miss Pumpkin was a prime candidate! And she did really well! She actually came in 2nd
place. She lost 3 lbs, which was 17% of her body weight. The winner lost 18%, but I guess he was on the program longer, so they awarded the grand prize to both.
Just what is the grand prize? A year's worth of cat food (the diet kind!) - free!!
We've been trying to get Pumpkin to drop some poundage for a while, and she was slowly doing just that, but this new food by Purina seemed to really do the trick (that and eliminating all dry food - apparently she doesn't handle the carbs too well). And no, we are not starving her, she is eating plenty. She's still got about 2 more pounds to lose. Now that she can jump up on my sewing desk, she likes to sun herslef in the window while I sew. I love it!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Another ATC

One of the groups I belong to - Textile Challenges - has been doing one-on-one ATC swaps. I really love this group, but I haven't participated in a very long time. I decided I could handle one ATC and joined the September exchange. The theme this month was "embellishments". We were each randomly assigned an embellishment and challenged to use it prominently in the piece. My assignment ....
Oh dear. Well - above is the ATC which is winging it's way to the UK at the moment. I started with a fairly plain purple fabric and spread some Lumiere paint onto a slick surface. I then used a pipe cleaner to "draw" in the paint and remove it from part of the surface. I laid the fabric face down on the paint and brayered it. It really gave a nice effect. Then I took another pipe cleaner and wrapped it with fibers and painted tyvek strips. I took a heat gun to it, added embossing powders, and finally stitched on beads. I cut it up and stitched it to the ATC. You can really disguise one of those babies when you want to!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Little Something

Here are a few more things I can share with you ...

This is an ATC (2.5x3.5") I made for a cyber-friend. She will be sending me one in return. The words are stitched with glow-in-the-dark thread. I will have to see if I can get a photo of them glowing. It actually worked really well. Anyone want to guess what the burned away black stuff is in the background? I'll tell you in a separate post!

This is another of the "brown" quilts that I made recently, in an effort to use up the pile of brown squares I traded for many years ago. This one is my personal favorite, as I just love the green fabric that the browns are paired with. I think it looks like an olive grove (though I imagine those are probably grapes?). This one is for sale at Fusions in Pittsboro NC, although I won't be too disappointed if it comes back to me!

That's all for today. Thanks for the welcomes back!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Back in the Saddle

We have a new hard drive and I am finally able to load photos to my computer again. Hopefully this means I will be blogging at a more steady pace again. Actually, I am working on a tutorial, so check back over the next few weeks to see what I can manage to come up with!

This is the finished "free cut" piece which I think I shared with you previously. I free cut the graduated circles for the flowers, and the leaf shapes as well. I've been experimenting with machine quilting techniques. I need A LOT of practice! Apparently just buying a fancy new machine is not enough! Sheesh. So I used this piece as an opportunity to do just that. My first feathers - please don't look too closely!

A few updates from previous posts ...

*The gorgeous purple flower is a Passion Flower. I really must plant one and see how it does in my yard. They are captivating. Thanks to all who helped me to identify it!

*The tree that was struck by lightening is dead as a doornail. The leaves are all brown and falling in droves. It's really too bad. It was a nice tree. We'll have to get a tree service to come out and take it down (it's probably 60 feet tall). I'm thinking we'll replace it with a nice maple and relish in the fact that it's one less tree to rain acorns down upon us!

*Our exchange student is settling in nicely. We actually had a second one here for about two weeks and that nearly put me over the edge, but she's moved on to be with her permanent host family. Slowly things should return to whatever normal is these days!

I guess that's enough for now. My thanks go out to all of you who continue to pop in now and then and who have not given up on me. Hopefully I am back - with things to share!!!