Friday, December 3, 2010

What's Up?

Please forgive my absence - life has been quite busy - I am knee-deep in a huge project which is simply consuming me - yikes!!! My goal for the month of December to post twice a week - it's a goal, a flexible goal.

A few months ago I created a project for C&T's Creative Troupe that I never reported on - well, today is the day. I was asked by C&T to experiment with their Liquitex Inks and was sent 3 colors - blue, crimson and umber - my mission was to create a project using the inks. I decided to play with a pop-up application - I had wanted to try this with fiber and this was the perfect opportunity. And, this being the year of the bird, so noted by me, I decided to include a bird in my pop-up. Here it is - Flutter-Fly!

I used the inks in a variety of applications - the bird is made of white on white fabric that I painted with undiluted cobalt ink and the magnolia leaves in the background received a pigment wash of crimson ink.

I used a sheer for the center section - I really liked the way the ink took to the sheer, a cotton organza. I used a Print Gocco to create a silk screen to print the Flutter-Fly on the organza.
Here's a close-up of the be-dazzled bird - - - this is so not me - rhinestones, silver rick rack and googlie eyes, but it was just for fun!
I added this stem of flower blossoms that I shibori-ed using the transparent crimson ink. I love the way these turned out.
Take a closer look.
This style of pop-up is referred to as a 180 - quite a structural achievement for me. It was my first attempt at a fiber pop-up, but not my last - I plan on trying to construct another pop-up in the near future and know exactly what to do different. An old friend of mine, Duncan Birmingham from the UK, has written a number of books on pop-ups and provided me with his recommendations. Working with the fiber adds a lot of bulk as compared to working with paper - I think I know what I need to do to make this work better the next go-round.I used the transparent umber ink to shibori the outside fabric to resemble a wooden box.
Hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving holiday - here is my brother-in-law Rick. What is he doing - let me explain - Rick has taken the art of roasting a turkey and elevated it to a new level. He cooks his bird breast down for the first part of the cooking process, and then flips it over to finish the breast during the final stage of the roasting process. That act of flipping the bird - stop, I know what you're thinking and that is so not what I meant - of turning the bird over has caused a few problems in past years - imagine trying to pick up and rotate a roasting hot 22 pound turkey without having it fall on the floor. Well, this year Mr. Smarty Pants struts into the kitchen with his new gimmick - his broom stick - which he shoved into the cavity of the bird and successfully rotated that bird breast side up without so much as a slip toward the floor - touche Rick! Hey Williams-Sonoma it really worked - Rick gets the royalties if it's in next year's catalog!

Here are our two veteran carvers going at the bird - this process is as much part of the tradition as the meal itself. Rick breaks the bird down and carves the white meat and Todd handles the dark meat. What you can't see are the hands of the ravenous diners diving in for their share of the warm crispy skin and fresh roasted meat - it's a veritable feeding frenzy. We eat so much turkey during the carving stage few actually eat the turkey at the table - there's so much other good stuff to fill up on.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thread Obsessed

Not me - Gabriel Dawe. Take a look at this amazing installation by Gabriel Dawe made completely of Gutermann thread. When you're finished being amazed by this example of his work go directly to his link to see more of his incredible work - you can see examples of his massive thread installations, as well as his fiber art and object art. His object art is a series titled Pain, and just looking it the pieces will set you nerve endings a-twitter.
I've been quite busy so please forgive my spotty posting - the holidays, the kids coming home from college, and a massive project due - have all served to stand in the way of regular posts.

Enjoy Gabriel's work!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Everyday is Veteran's Day

I didn't have an opportunity to write a Veteran's Day post last week so this is my belated Veteran's Day post - hopefully everyday we give a silent nod to the men and women charged with ensuring our freedom, preferably a loud shout out every now and again as well.

I found this wonderful quilt-in-progress last week on Sherri Lynn Wood's Daintytime blog and was captivated. This is her MERCY Quilt, the second in a series of prayer banners designed to evoke a connection with the loss of our American soldiers and Iraqi citizens killed in the conflict. Looking at the imagery of the quilt and reading her post gave me goosebumps.

She is looking for people to help stitch names on the coffins, a virtual Veteran's Day Sewing Circle, and I was happy to volunteer. Here are my coffins - I received them in the mail today and stitched them up immediately. She provides you with the person's full name, ranking and date of their death. With this information you can learn more about these fallen soldiers by looking up their information online at the Washington Post website.
Check out Lynns' blog post on this project.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Denyse Schmidt Delicious!

I love packages - look what the delivery man left for me today - surprise - - - Hope Valley by Denyse Schmidt for Free Spirit. This is the orange / pink color way - oh, do I have plans for this! This stuff is hard to get a hold of, especially the complete collection - lucky me!

I just love this collection - so cozy - I need a solid to play with everything - road trip to search for the perfect solid. When I look for solids I head out to Intercourse, PA. Both Zook's and The Country Store, located in Intercourse, have a large selection of solid fabric.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sculpture in the Great Outdoors!

What a beautiful weekend!!! On Saturday my husband and I visited Jenkins Arboretum in Wayne, PA to take a stroll and to see their current exhibit - Wind Through the Trees - through June 2011. Here are some of my favorites - hope you enjoy the inspiration!

Here is Picnic in the Park by Janet Bauman - made entirely of plastic salad bowls from a salad restaurant and individually painted - I love the dangling cutlery.

Stamen Chime by Lauren Reinhard.
Pando by Steven Wright.
Wind Sheer by Jeff Kahn.
A portion of the Flying Bird Mobile by Steve Zartman.
Captured Flight by Ralph Berger made from a saw blade - wish the photo could be better.
Flyer by Rein Triefeldt.
Revolve by Peter Trout Gard - love the reflection!
Erstatz by Marisha Simons.
Wind Chain by Fielding Brown.
Wind Chime Pods by Rory Mahon - so elegant - - -
climbing into the trees!
Three Moons Rising by Jeff Kahn.
Sedge Wren by Pat Brentano Bremnick - first photo.
Same sedge wren with a different background peeking through.
Air Dry by Douglas Jarrett - wonder how this would go over in a neighborhood where outdoor laundry lines are prohibited? Tree Pod by Lauren Reinhard.
Know what this is? A watermelon radish - so beautiful in a salad, and deliciously crunchy!
This was another hit from Aarti Parti - Roasted Root Jumble with Halloumi Cheese served over polenta. This was a delicious vegetarian entree - the lemons make the dish - loved it! FYI - halloumi cheese does not melt - you can actually fry it. It is great in this dish.
A great pairing - Chimay!

Friday, November 12, 2010

You're Welcome

I was calculating fabric requirements today for a quilt I'm drafting and had way too many numbers stuck in my head - along with other things. I thought I might be able to find some handy-dandy charts on-line to help me avoid all of the number computations - and, boy, oh, boy did I ever. A veritable treasure trove of resources all at one site - hallelujah!

Want to calculate backing requirements for a quilt (this is where I always get tripped up)??? Need binding algorithm to help you make adequate binding for your new project??? Do you know off the top of your head how to do yardage conversions??? Just how big is a queen size bed, and how big should a queen size bed quilt be??? Well - I've got the place for you!!!

Run, don't walk, to this link and print off everything you can get your hands on - lots and lots of great links to ease your quilting math queries. Thank you Neeedlepointers, from the bottom of my heart and the corners of my number congested brain - - - you saved the day!!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Now What?

I'll bet you think this is what happens to clocks around my house when we spring forward or fall behind - seriously, I'm not that destructive! I do hate this time of year when we lose light so early in the day - but oh, the autumn sky we saw today at sunset - a stunner!
Now What??? O.K. - here are my hexagons - all completed during my assignment at the polls last week - a very productive day despite processing 1200 voters - power multi-tasking!
I'm using these hexagons to make a baby girl quilt. My initial thought was to applique them onto white fabric bordered by my groovy guitar fabric. Yawn - - - this just feels so sleepy. I really don't like the strong contrast of the black to white. Hmmm - white fabric and a newborn - what could possibly go wrong???
Now I love these two colors featured in the quilt - a lovely gray and a soft lavender. What if they become the background?
Here's a not great photo of what I'm thinking about - a left lavender border, three rows of hexagons, the soft gray and a right narrow border of my groovy guitars. I think I'm leaning toward this coloration - any ideas??? Oh, that gray space - I'm thinking of appliqueing a bird on it - - -
- - - pretty much like this birdie - she's so cute! Suggestions, comments - I'm open to all ideas!
I'll share two more clock photos with you - I love these photos - they were taken at Merritt's Antique Clock Shop in Amityville, PA - if you love antique clocks this place is not to be missed! I see so much inspiration in this one photo - the colors, especially the verdigris copper surround, the brown-red hatch marks, and springs. Can you see me snapping the photo in the pendulum?
Look at the close-up of the movement - so beautiful - they just don't make them like they used to!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Jury Duty

Today was a big day - something totally new. I was asked to be a juror for the upcoming quilt show - Celebrating Nature's Beauty in Stitches - at the Jenkins Arboretum in Wayne, PA, opening February 4th through the 27th, 2011.

What an interesting and rewarding experience - and a big responsibility. A total of 5 jurors from different mediums participated in the process. This is the first juried quilt show being hosted by the arboretum and we were very aware that this show needs to set the standard for future shows. We had a wonderful collection of entries - and after critical review I truly feel that we selected an inventory of quilts to that will impress quilters and non-quilters alike.

In a few days I'll be posting an entry on the arboretum's current show - An Outdoor Sculptural Exhibit of Sound and Motion - Wind Through the Trees. The variety of sculptural works is truly amazing and inspiring.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wait - - - I'm Coming!!!

Tomorrow is the deadline and as usual I'm jumping on the caboose - wait for me!!!

The deadline is that of the Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by Amy Ellis and a collection of sponsors from the world of quilting - the idea - quilt bloggers post a favorite quilt and link into Amy's site where thumbnails of your quilt, linked back to your blog, are posted in an on-line quilt show. This is the first time I'm entering - looks like fun!

What do you think of my entry??? This is the quilt I created for my oldest daughter's graduation from high school - and yes, there is a lot going on in this quilt. It all started with a purple quilt - I was convinced she would love a simple purple quilt - - - not so fast - - - she had her own idea of what she wanted and it was far from simple. I like to think of this as a quilt sampler from someone who's a thread from the edge. Many of the elements were inspired from art quilts - it's all about color, and black and white. Take it all in . . .

Now let's break it down into more manageable components so you can appreciate my level of instability - here's her M - her name is Meredith so I decided she needed an M.
This is a section from the right border - if you refer back to the whole quilt you can see how sections of the border gradate from white to black as you move down the quilt.
Here's a close up of the surface design stitchery I added to the squares in the left border using contrasting thread.
This is a color block section and one of the inner borders - I really like the quilting in the color block sections.
I called this section the seeds - again, I really love the quilting in this section - or the sewing of the seeds - get it???I love this fabric - the face fabric - I'm fairly certain it was Alexander Henry - this is one of the borders on the top of the quilt.
My mandala sun - I had a lot of fun with quilting this section.
This is one of the borders on the bottom portion of the quilt - I call these my propellers. I designed them on paper and then paper pieced them - there are two different designs.
Here is the center block - a quilt in itself if you ask me - paper pieced.
This is the label I put on the back, a flannel back (she goes to college in Boston and needed the extra warmth) - I'm not a label person, but felt this quilt warranted it - this is the tattoo she is forbidden to get. Let's talk about size for a minute - this quilt measures 90 x 110 inches - and, yes, I quilted the whole thing with my Bernina, and yes, it's heavy as all get out, especially with the flannel.
I'm going to regret posting the next photo - why - because this quilt is still not yet finished - this is my younger daughter's graduation quilt (she graduated in 2009, and I know 2011 is staring me in the face). I'm getting there Liv!!! My inspiration - a mobile! Liv and I had a smitch of trouble meeting a comfortable creative ground - she is an artist and is what some might call opinionated. Why is this not yet finished - the quilting - what a bear! It measures 90 x 110 and is jut a beast to handle in the Bernina.

Take some time to visit the Blogger's Quilt Festival!