Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Creative Time.....

Not sure about you, but we don't get nearly enough time to "play".  This past week we took time, made time; however you would like to say it and it felt wonderful.  Even took time to be child like and climbed into the kiddie pool when the kiddies'  were done for the day....I know we are a bit old for that but when your hot, your hot!  To add to these precious summer days I even read a book....this makes the week sound like we really goofed off, but we dyed over 120 pieces of burlap....lost count of the yards of osnaburg and kona we also dyed.  This was really a productive week.

For those of you who do not get our newsletter, these little beauties are headed up to Checker Distributors for their open house event the end of August.  The young ones made them to be given to shop owners who attend.  They have a pin back on them so that they can be worn.....some of you may have seen them in Chicago at the International Quilt Festival.

One of the things I still cannot get used to is designing and planning way in advance.....like fall/Halloween/Thanksgiving, Christmas or even Valentines Day.  If someone has a tip for me, please share it....tried holiday music but with 90 degree heat and humidity it just didn't create the mood.  Given that, after the flowers were made it hit me that they would look great on a little heart pillow to be given as a gift to someone special or just as a holiday decoration.

 I may not have been able to get into the holiday mood but daughter dear certainly did, this table runner is made using 2 of our burlap bundles, little hand-dyed wool for applique and our hand-dyed perle cotton.  She even found some holiday decorations to stage some pretty photos with...
 The pattern and/or kit should be available soon at least I think that's what I heard.
 This new quilt was created using our hand-dyed Osnaburg....I love this fabric.  We talked about doing something out of osnaburg to send up for the open house and this is what came of that brief conversation...I did think the young one was crazy to suggest I make a quilt before Monday, but it went together between Saturday and Monday so quickly...don't you just love when that happens. 
Don't think we will get much "play" time this week.  Next week may be another matter!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Tons of New Items! Sale of the Week: Burlap

We hope everyone had a fabulous holiday weekend....we know we did!!  We fit in some soccer, a baseball game, and family time! 

My goal around all of that was to get all the new items up online.  We introduced a few things at Spring Market and things had been so crazy they didn't get out but now they are up there.  We now have a Linen line which is 60% Linen/ 40% Cotton.  It is yet another great texture!  Also we have some new Kona fat quarter packs, discharged fabrics, rubber stamps, and more.  Check out our website to see all the new things!

Sale of the Week: 20% off Burlap & Sparkle Burlap Fat Quarters & Smalls

Don't forget to check out all of our supporting patterns for burlap.  What is better then Christmas in July?  Make a Burlap Stocking!!!

Fiber on a Whim



Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Relaxing, Sorting, Surprises......

How can unpacking, sorting out studios; basically cleaning be so relaxing....not sure but this past week has been so wonderfully relaxing that a thought about how on earth will we get back to work did pass through my mind.  Problem was when someone did have the audacity to say it out loud.  Then guess what came in Friday...oh, for those who regularly read this you probably can guess on your first try.....yup..a distributor order.  Guess we know what that means.....in the mean time here is a peak at life this past week.

Kristin made some flowers from our hand-dyed osnaburg, cotton organdy and cheesecloth; a vintage button adds just the right touch. She also unpacked show boxes, finished knitting a shawl, did book/computer work and of course watched the World Cup....our puppies did not appreciate her yelling at the TV.
During my days of sorting out the cutting table in my studio I found a few "works in progress" that I do believe I will be able to finish up this week.  Some of our collaborative stacked landscapes that we have been creating can get the finishing touches very easily.  The first will get borders and quilted.  I think our Butternut Squash Kona cotton will be the perfect touch for this southwestern feeling piece.
Then a few more stitches on these seascapes and they will be ready to frame. The bottom piece seems to be calling for some sea grass and beads.

The clouds are created using cotton floss and the sorbello stitch, my go to stitch for texture and dimension.

Saturday  I spent the day watching the World Cup, weeding the front gardens. They look really wonderful due to all our rain, but not everything was something that "should" be there.  A few weeks ago I took a day to plant the large planters so as to add some punch to the gardens...also to give myself something pretty to look at while working.  Sunday they got new mulch spread so as to weather the rest of the hot season... they look like dynamite and I am be ready to get back to work.
Well, maybe "slowly....very slowly".

Somehow playing in the dirt really does make me feel relaxed.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Project Completed.....

Okay, I'm hanging my head.....on June 11, 2013 I posted a blog about a landscape I was working on telling you to stay tuned for what I had planned.
How on earth did this piece take me over a year to finish?  Even taking into account that I did make some other pieces in between....this piece took longer than most I have tackled in the last few years.  I am "big" enough to admit that I have WIP's (Works in Progress) in my closet that are much older than this one, but most as much larger than this one.....anyway....

All along I knew I was going to turn this landscape into a triptych, but initially the thought process was equal sections, until a friend suggested graduated sizes.  Hmmmmm! The more I mulled this over the more I liked the idea, so when I finished the needle felting and embroidery out came the rotary cutter...I have to admit I did pause.....what if I didn't like it or made a miss cut? 
It hung in the booth at International Quilt Festival-Chicago last week for the first time in it's FINISHED form and I must say I am pleased with how it turned out.  Sometimes I guess we worry about how something will turn out for just a bit too long....
The sky is done using our hand-dyed cheesecloth.  As I began this piece the cheesecloth when laid out had these folds in it and I knew I wanted to retain them....after a bit of thought I decided that if I worked on a muslin base with a layer of Mistyfuse© on it, that would hold things in place as I worked.  That muslin base gave the sky the right amount of depth.
 Because the needle felting "suggests" different aspects found in a landscape the piece didn't require and over abundance of embroidery to enhance it. 

Sometimes it pays to listen to constructive input when working....if my friend hadn't made the suggestion for cutting it in graduated sizes I would have cut them into equal portions and it wouldn't have the impact it does now.  Don't be afraid to listen to ideas/critiques of your work, someone with a fresh outlook may have a wonderful idea that will strengthen your work.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Playing Catch-Up.....

It seems that I have been remiss about writing on a regular basis, I will "try" to do better; however there really has been a lot going on around here. 

We made it home safely from market mid-morning, basically we drove straight through from Pittsburg with a couple of stops along the way to snooze.  Think we could hardly wait to start dyeing to fill those market orders.  To say we were happy to be home would have been an understatement, the idea of unloading this vehicle was just to overwhelming....the hatch was quickly closed and we headed inside for a well deserved NAP!  This could wait till later.....
The next day we mapped out our game plan to get the market orders filled and be ready for whatever came from the distributor.  So fabric was cut and gotten ready for the dye pots, the helpers took up their positions and we began.

The very next week began summer vacation and we implemented Camp Fiber on a Whim within view of the studio.  My grandson, Tony and our employees son, Remy took advantage of the warm sunny weather as I dyed fabric.

Now Grandma probably has enjoyed this pool being within steps of the studio and some of you may have caught a photo of that......I swear the cup was full of water.....

After 3 weeks of working hard we managed to fill and ship all the market orders, playing hard with the boys....I love the foam water guns ( you can see one floating in the pool above) they are so easy to load, aim and hit your mark.  Water fights break out around here frequently....ahhhh summer time.  So we decided to play "hookie", we drove up into the north Georgia mountains (I know there is something quite crazy about us driving 300 miles and calling it relaxing), then onto Highlands, NC....with views like this we came home ready to finish our prep for International Quilt Festival-Chicago.

Ahh.....Refreshed and Ready....
Now some creative time, made another of the cheesecloth rosettes that decorated our market booth in Pittsburg...not ready to show a photo of that because it is possible that it will appear with instructions in a future magazine....got my fingers crossed for that.  For month's I kept promising to create a seascape from our Ocean Waves Texture Pack, as usual something else always cropped up, well......at market I agreed to create a piece for a trunk show at a west coast shop....first I needed to get inspired...
here is what came about when all was said and done.....
the technique booklet on how the products were manipulated in order to create this piece has still to be written...and I will not promise to have it done for Chicago, but soon...and how you can split silk carrier rods will be included.
 As I write this blog I can hear the tape gun going in the studio as boxes are being packed, if you are going to Chicago next week be sure to stop by booth #1224, introduce yourself or for those old friends...we look forward to getting a hug....see you soon!


Monday, June 2, 2014

Exciting News for our IQF Chicago Booth!!

Do you like to manipulate fabric?  Have you wanted to try smocking but didn't know where to start?  Are you going to International Quilt Festival in Chicago?  We are so excited to announce that award winning artist Cheryl Sleboda will be in our booth in Chicago demoing her new Heirloom Smocking Template!  Cheryl recently filmed an instructional DVD with Quilting Arts titled Quilting Arts Workshop: Heirloom Sewing Techniques for Today's Quilter.  Both of these items will be available in Fiber on a Whim's Booth #1224!!!
Cheryl will be in our booth #1224 doing demos at the following times.
Thursday June 19th from 1:30-3:30PM
Friday June 20th from 4:30-6PM
Saturday June 21st 1-3PM
Cheryl is also teaching several Make It University classes as well as being in Open Studios multiple times.  You will be able to see this template in action straight from the designer herself. 

As an extra perk.......Cheryl will have on hand a few pieces from her Sewing Skull line!!!  If you don't have a skull yet, here is your opportunity to get one!

Next Show:
IQF Chicago June 19-21 #1224

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Spring Quilt Market Booth......

We are ready for Spring Quilt Market...tired, but ready.  Take a peek at our booth.  Before we left Georgia we raided the house for pieces to use for display, some we bought this past Labor Day when we went to the Hillsville Flea Market in Virginia and a few  other items we recently found on our quest to dress up our market booth.  As you can see we are in a dark corner, so on the way back to our hotel room we went to IKEA for some battery powered lights and a rug.  These should help make it more inviting.  We are the last booth on the 100 aisle so we left down the end wall to make it feel open....this also helps with cross ventilation....hope it's cooler tomorrow! 

 Isn't this little pink 50's ironing board just too cute!  It is so handy for displaying product that it has made an appearance many times in our booth's.
 Our little seating area includes 2 of our quilt designs and a vintage green step stool as our table.
  The child's chair, vintage carpenters ruler star and dough bowl add such charm....think these may have to make another appearance in our show booths as we travel.
A wagon from my childhood makes a cool display for our Kona and Osnaburg.  We are introducing the new paler Kona colors on the table between the wheels.

 This bench usually sits on our screened porch....after a good cleaning.....it now holds several of our sewing pattern projects published by Cut Loose Press.  Hopefully a shop by you will soon be carrying them...Burlap in Flight, Burlap Ditty Bag and Rose Garden Pouch.

Isn't this pillow adorable, it was finished just in time to put it in the car...the pillow is made from 2 of our Dulce de Leche burlap fat quarters, the roses are made from tea-dyed cotton organdy.  The pouch was screen printed using our new poppy Thermofax screen.