Thursday, February 23, 2017

A Peak At Our Booth at Mid-Atlantic....

I really planned on posting photos yesterday after we finished setting up, but left without taking any.  Hope you enjoy...



 Cheesecloth gradations.
The red bird is the one I was working on in the last blog post. Burlap smalls and Linen fat quarters.
Osnaburg fat quarters sitting on an Osnaburg quilt in the greens.
 In this little space we have our hand-dyed rayon seam binding, sari silk, 2 sizes of rick rack, lace....I probably have overlooked something.

In the event you are at Mid-Atlantic in Hampton, VA come by and say hello...we are in booth 1310.  Or if you are at QuiltCon in Savannah, GA stop in and say hi to Kristin.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

A Little Stitching Time.......

Finally a few minutes to stitch.....with an audience to boot
pm
She did not appreciate my intrusion into "her room" especially my taking over "her chair and table", to add more insults, the sun was shining, access to her window was blocked by yours truly.  It is always fun to be scolded by this very sweet kitty.....and somehow I do feel guilty even though I did pick her up so she could sit in the window.  I have come to realize she does not like how the table vibrates and the sound of the sewing machine. 

I did persevere and managed to get a couple of things stitched together
This pattern by Susan Edmonson called "Birdie Bird" has been so much fun that I am on my second set of birds...for those of you attending QuiltCon in Savannah, Georgia these two will be on display in our booth there. 
These are the first two I made and they made an appearance in Houston at Quilt Festival 2016.....

they will be coming with me to Mid-Atlantic in Hampton, Virginia next week.

I am contemplating creating an entire flock of these guys....cause they are so much fun to make and each has their own personality.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

"Ironing" Elbow vs "Tennis" Elbow......

After ironing for a week now I swear I am suffering from "ironing" elbow/shoulder....but we have more to do to be ready for 3 shows over 2 weeks...cause there will be no time to restock between.  Whoever thought this would be a good idea....needs to be put in time out.....hmmmm!
These little bits of burlap will get tied up with our hand-dyed cheesecloth, osnaburg, and kona, becoming what we call "Bindles" yummy little packs of texture. Great for adding dimension to your work...just need a little bit in a landscape.  Love them.
However, most of my time over the past week has been taken up with ironing 8 yard bolts of osnaburg...15 bolts worth....holy moly that is a LOT of fabic.  By the time Kristin came back from her week of "relaxation" there were stacks of fabrics ready to wind onto the cardboard reels....as you can see that hasn't happened yet...even though she's been home for a few days.  It is like sitting in color heaven!

Oh and we have folded cheesecloth and folded cheesecloth to the tune of 4 overflowing clothes baskets.  Remember the stack in the chair I showed previously...well this is the last basket full...yeah the chair is empty...yippeeee!  This does not even take into count the perle cotton we have twisted, rayon seam binding or sari silk we have package.....oh boy will our booths look good come Mid-Atlantic in Hampton, VA, QuiltCon in Savannah, GA and Quits in Paradise Show put on by the Friendship Knot Guild in Sarasota, FL.

Guess I've had a bit of a break and it's time to go tie up all those goodies.....

Thursday, February 2, 2017

We Will Be Teaching At Houston 2017.....

We got great news yesterday....we are thrilled to announce that we will be teaching 2 classes in Houston at the International Quilt Festival this fall.  Upon leaving Houston this past fall we talked about wanting to teach again but we wanted to offer a new class or two....so we got down to business and developed two great little book/journal classes.

This is a peak at our Altered Art Journal.  You will make a mini art quilt as a book cover and then you will create unique signatures out of a variety of papers.  It was so much fun creating these that we have been working in the paper arts more frequently...book making like this is so much fun. 
Here is a little peak at our other class project; Layered Pages.  I have made fabric books for years, beginning with making them for my kids when they were small, but this one was so very special.  This was a collaboration with Kristin, once again she did the background for each page, then turned them over to me...the only thing we agreed upon ahead of time was a theme...."Flowers". 

We will keep you updated as the year continues....Yippeee!




Monday, January 30, 2017

Back To Prepping For The Coming Year.........

After a few distractions we are back to dyeing, Kristin recently handed me 4 inventory lists with numbers that need to be dyed in order to have the numbers we normally take to a show.  Ohhhhh.....I'm tired just thinking about it.
The weather here finally cooled down a bit from the 70 degrees of a couple of weeks ago...so out came the portable heater...just to make it comfortable.  You can see the sewing machine in the background, figured if I I needed to be stitching I wasn't going to shiver the entire time.  Something about comfort making it easier to work.
We each have our specialties to dye.....burlap has been mine to do since we started....it's messy, smelly and time consuming.  Once we are done with the dyeing and washing it is gorgeous, not stinky and not stiff.  Hanging on the line to dry is looks pretty darn good, but I know there are many more pieces to go.....yikes!  At the same time I am dyeing silk carrier rods, which are very time consuming....also kinda yucky....why I decided to do these at the same time I don't know.....will probably have to make a note to myself so I won't do it again. 

I plan to take time to do something creative of my choosing before I write again.  Have a great week.


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Reminiscence and Creativity......

Sometimes we aren't even aware that what we do is different, not everyone does something creative everyday and many don't look at themselves as creative, but I have been blessed to have creative people in my life.  Is it simply how we look at things, how we challenge ourselves, or is it something much deeper...harder to express.

I was speaking to a guild on Tuesday, talking about "harnessing my creativity", what I do to take note of all the ideas, inspiration that comes my way.  As I was sharing a couple of quilts in a series based on my home state of Minnesota I was thinking about the people who shaped me, guided me and I was struck by one fundamental thing....they taught me to look closely at the smallest, most subtle details in the world around me.  For example, my uncle was 7 years older, I can remember the first time he put a snake, a frog, a lizard. a fish in my hands, I was about 4.  He taught me to really study their colors, markings, shapes and the feel of their skin,  eventually he became a wildlife biologist, working for the Department of Natural Resources.  He taught me respect for the environment, to care about the world around me. Today I am comfortable in the woods, spending time in the northern Minnesota woods gives me balance and I create based on those experiences.
One of my grandmothers and my mother was/is an artist, without ever realizing it color was an everyday conversation.  Whether it was in the garden, in a painting or in a project they were sewing.  I remember having a discussion with my grandmother about the flower seeds/bulbs, why she was placing them where she was.....because the colors worked well together.  Hmmm....simple color theory without even knowing what it meant.  I can remember the first time my mother attempted an abstract painting, it was extremely hard for her to do.  Once finished, we discussed it and I can remember thinking that compared to other things she had done it didn't speak to me.  Now I don't know if I would look at it differently today, but I do know that creating abstract work is very hard for me to do, it is a challenge.  So occasionally I challenge myself by creating outside my comfort zone,  hopefully one day I will convince myself that it is not so difficult to do and just maybe I will enjoy the experience. Turns out that I am my worst critic when I'm done.  It seems much safer to work in a more realistic way even if it seems I am being quite literal as the photo I'm using for inspiration or the memory in my "mind's eye".
 I believe creativity can be learned.  It can be cultivated and allowed.  For many of us we just need to give ourselves permission.  It is hard to let go of what may block/stop our creative process.

Enjoy your creative life!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Inspirational 48 Hours.....

This past Saturday......Fiber on a Whim went to Washington DC. To experience this event with my daughter made for a very emotional 48 hours and one I will cherish forever.  It was a fabulous experience to be a part of and we loved seeing so many people in one place treat each other with love and respect. It didn't matter one's gender, race, religion, nationality, or sexuality. It gives us hope that we as a nation can be united no matter the powers that be. We the people....all of us....matter.


Now I will return to the post I was planning on writing for Friday when we found out that we would both be making the trip to Washington DC. 

Reviewing the different watercolor mediums I used to create the first month's pages in my 2017 Planner.

First I will admit that I changed up the color scheme...just couldn't help myself. I love color!  Last weeks page spread was done using Caran D'Ache Neocolors.   Soft, yet enough color to give the page interest before even beginning collaging onto it.  From my stash of scrap papers came pieces of a French map, a fortune from a fortune cookie and I ripped a piece from my tea bag packaging. 

Since I'm behind I think I will include this weeks page spread today too.  For this set of pages I used my Derwent Inktense Blocks.  In this case I wasn't as thrilled because I seemed to need too much water in order to soften my marks made on the pages and the pages warped a bit more than I would have liked them to.  This may have been different had I loaded my brush directly from the block and then applied the paint to the page, so I may try that out next month or at some point during the year.  The pages were divided using washi tape and painted lutradur.  Lutradur is a stabilizer, but has so many other uses, you will frequently see it "pop" into my work, especially since I save painted scraps like they were gold.  For me the way it takes paint makes me look so much more talented that I have been known to spend an entire day painting yards of it.
Beside painting on lutradur you can use an inkjet print to print directly onto lutradur giving an ethereal look to your photograph.  Use Transfer Artist Paper to transfer a photo onto it, which gives you results entirely different than that of direct printing.  You can stitch, using natural fiber thread and then use a heat gun and burn it, the stitching will act as a resist leaving you with a cool pattern.  Create 3 D pieces....it does not tear, you will need to cut it; the 100gram weight is perfect for this purpose.  I'm sure there are other uses...these are but a few and if you haven't tried it you may wish to play with it a bit.

Time to call it a day; as we will be on the road tomorrow evening for a guild program in Anderson, South Carolina.