Monday, September 18, 2017

Wondering What My Neighbors Think......

Over the 40 plus years that I have quilted and created using a variety of fibers I have done many of this outdoors where my neighbors have had full view of what I am up to.  For example, once I stretched out white fabric in my front yard, taken a bucket of dye, a broom, dyeing the fabric by flicking dye on it with the broom.  The cars passing frequently slowed, stopped and wondered "aloud" what on earth I was doing.  Another time I was discharging fabrics on the driveway, once rinsed they were thrown over the holly bushes along the driveway to dry.  The grandson of my neighbor pulled her down the street, shouting with glee...."look Christmas trees".  I have new neighbors so today this is what they were viewing while sitting on their deck.

These luscious bits of ric rac, vintage laces, doilies and linens greeted them as they enjoyed the late afternoon.  Pretty eye candy...I hope they enjoyed the riot of colors.  So far they have not asked what on earth we are doing....

Thanks for stopping by...its been a long day...good night.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Finally, A Little Time Found For Stitching.......

We needed to make some new prayer flags for a trunk show we are shipping soon, so happy dance for me....I got to stitch....play time.
Using a pattern called Flora and Fauna by Susan Edmonson Designs

As I layed them out and played a little with what I thought I would do I could feel my blood pressure going down....ahhh! Happily pulled out all my supplies and got down to business.


Sorry this one got a bit dark (tried to lighten it a bit and it really looked sad), I actually wound up cutting out 4 different colorways of leaves, before settling on these.  
 
 
This shows most of the stitching done, the reason for the pins in the ric-rac is because the background needs some seed stitches, then I can put on the backing and complete the stitching.

Here I played with putting the ric-rac down one side or both sides.  I love love using our hand-dyed ric-rac, using it even for flower buds and flowers.  Yummy!
As you can see I finally decide on using it only on one side, gathered rayon seam binding is on the bottom of the flag. 


 As I was working on the flag below, I kept laying skeins of thread on it to "audition" them, I tend to work intuitively, which means I always have things auditioning when I am working.  Also if you look at the piece and think the leaves on the larger left flower look heavier, that's because they are.  I used some of our hand-dyed floss and did not realize that I had separated the threads unevenly...until I went to re-thread my needle.  Go with the flow was my policy....so the fly stitch leaves on the other two are finer.



 Decided I liked the size of the buttons, so stitched them on and finished embroidering the flag.
On the last flag below, have absolutely fallen in love with this color combination.  The background is our Spicey Mustard Osnaburg and the skinny strip is our Stream. 

 However, no matter how happy I was with the color combination...it needed a little "pop" of color....in comes our Tuscan Perle Cotton.....it really did the trick in my opinion, really making the piece sing.


 The reason for these two photo's is because after stitching around the top flower in our Butternut Perle Cotton, then I wondered if it was too bold.....so I wondered if maybe I should use our Stream Perle Cotton that I used for the French Knots in our Rayon Seam Binding instead.  Sent them to Kristin in a text....her input was that the gold was good.  Yippee!
Think I am happy with these flags, can hardly wait to finish them and ship them out.  These are so fun to make that I have to admit my fingers are itching to make more.....don't be surprised to see more to come.



Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

What Influences My Work.........

As I sit ironing yards and yards of hand-dyed fabric my mind wanders, over this past few days I have been wondering about the influences that have been most important to my work.  My daughter and a good friend of hers noted years ago that I am happiest when "near" water....they loved to tease me whenever we headed south to the Gulf, but they just did not realize how they had hit the nail on the head.  They knew me so well.  I love the water.....lakes, rivers, oceans...it really doesn't matter, just the peace that comes from being near a body of water is enough for me.
 Lake Superior, Duluth, MN. 
Frequently, my work depicts water, it just happens.  It seems that my hands go to work and before I know it; blues, muddy greens begin to emerge.  Sometimes I am surprised by how quickly my hands/mind go there....but over the last several years I have come to realize that it is who "I" am.
 Lake in northern Minnesota
As you can see the evergreens of the northern woods also emerge, they are part of my soul.  I was brought up to appreciate, respect and love nature.  To be a caretaker is as important to me as it is to pass along an appreciation of this beautiful country.  I think I am succeeding as my grandson now feels that it is an important part of his summer to make the trip north to the lake and upon arriving runs for the dock, breathes deeply and says "it is so good to be back....I love it here".
 Gulf Coast, Sarasota, FL

The seagulls have also begun to surface in my work over the last several years, along with sea oats and the grasses found on the dunes along the Gulf Coast.  To feed my soul a trip south to the beach works wonders mid-winter when I begin to notice myself craving the feel of the sand beneath my feet, the warmth of the sun on my skin, the need to fill my mind with all the shades of blue I can see to bank in my "minds eye".  That color....referred to as "sky blue" will forever take my breath away, as will what seems like the layers of blues I view across the water's surface.


 Carmel and Big Sur, CA

Since returning to the west coast a few years ago for a quilt show, I have found another favorite place to feed my soul.  When I was a teen my family took a road trip to California, my memories from then do not match those of a trip we took with our kids when they were in elementary school....I loved the ruggedness of the western coast line.  Returning several years ago reinforced my love affair with the central California coast and I have found myself back there many times of late.  That feeling I get while there has surfaced in our work, over and over, sometimes quite simply with just a simple branch, but it creates in me a feeling of peacefulness.

Years ago I was asked for an artist statement to accompany my work for an exhibit I had been juried into, at the time I struggled to write those words.  Now I realize that the statement about my work being influenced my "nature" was so very true.  However, I have come to realize that it is even more specific than that...."water and trees" are at the very core of who I am.  In order to survive each day I need to fill the "well" periodically throughout the year with time in my favorite places in order to keep producing work that make me feel at peace within.

I hope that each of you have such a place that is important to you and your work.
Thanks for stopping by.


Saturday, August 12, 2017

Back To Work, Means Gearing Up For Fall.....

The weather this week has not been cooperating with our efforts to prepare for the fall shows, guild lectures and classes....but we out foxed it by opening up the drying area to other spaces in order for the air conditioning and fans to assist us.   Results have been very effective 13 bolts of Osnaburg so far that have been dyed, dryed and ironed, there are still still 7 bolts washing out, 6 bolts drying (and a few odd sized pieces).  I'd say that is pretty doggone good.  Now add to that 1100 skeins of Perle Cotton and 1200 yards of Rayon Seam Binding. 

 Pieces to create Bindles in the foreground, with bolts to the back.....

 They look so pretty once they are twisted.....
 This pile makes me want to stitch.....
A basket full of newly created Bindles, needed to fill these empty shelves.....
We still have Linen bolts, Cheesecloth, Burlap, more Perle Cotton, Organdy, Silk Throwsters, Cocoons and  Carrier Rods.  I'm sure I have left something out, but I think you can get a picture of what we are looking at.

Tomorrow we are not doing a single thing related to "work", I'm hoping to get a few minutes gardening around home.  Oh how I'd like time to play too....but I will take what I can get.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Vacation Over, Back to Work....

A great time was had during our vacation;
 a little fun in the lake...a flotilla was usually part of the fun,
nightfall found us gathered around the fire.
A little too much rain almost cancelled our "glow stick" party, but as you can see we found a way to have a bit of fun anyway.

Most vacations must come to an end at some point and ours did with a great deal of discussion about next year.

Our newsletter went out today announcing our "Sale of the Week";  Whisper Silk Thread.  I thought I would say a bit about our hand dyed silk threads.  Whisper is a "spun" thread, it gives a softer look when using it in your embroidery.  Compared to the other two silk thread lines; Luster and Shimmer are both "reeled" threads which have a sheen and subtle twist to them.  In the piece below I used the silk threads and silk ribbon, I love working with Whisper on our hand dyed Osnaburg and on wool.
Also included in our newsletter were details about our classes this fall at International Quilt Festival in Houston.  They are not listed as being taught by Fiber on a Whim, but under our names Kristin Rodriguez and Janelle Girod. 

 Altered Art Journal-#117  Monday, October 30th; 9am to 5pm
 
Layered Pages-Fabric Book-#217 Tuesday, October 31st; 9am to 5pm
Texture Explorations-# 546 Friday, November 3rd, 9am to 12pm
You can go to www.quilts.com to find out more information and/or to register.  We look forward to having a lot of fun in these classes and sharing many different techniques. Come play with us.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Sweet Summer Days......

The sweet days of summer are fully upon us and it is time to retreat to my childhood refuge for a week....
 
We are headed to my favorite place, a place that is so dear to my heart that it will draw me back for the rest of my life.  This is where I spent much of my childhood,  in turn I took my children there as often as I could during their childhood and where I now take my grandson.  They in turn have come to love this special place as much as I do....the second year my grandson returned, he ran from the car to the dock, where he breathed in deeply and said; "oh it is so good to be back".  Out of the mouth of babes....

My grandparents built here when I was but a infant, I grew up surrounded by family all around the lake and I can feel all those people watching as we come together here.  Siblings, husbands, in laws, cousins, children, nieces, nephews and grandchildren; and I know my grandparents are there with us reveling in the fact that we are all coming together in this special place.

In this day and age of technology it is surprising we all pretty much embrace being "unplugged", that we choose to spend this time with a sketchy internet connection and phone service "for some of us" is available without bouncing off a tower in Canada....this is my way of letting you know another blog will probably not appear for a week or so....

Thank you for stopping by and we will return, recharged and ready for another year!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Ta Dah......

I think this needs a drum roll and a shuffle step dance move with arms outstretched as I say "Ta Dah"!  On March 27, 2017 I ended the blog post saying to stay tuned that a pattern for the pillow would be coming soon....welllll.....3 months later....okay that isn't really soon, but it is now available.

This is the first version of the pillow that has attracted many of you as you passed our booth during this last year or so and each time we were asked about a pattern I had to say, sorry we don't have one.
During vending in March at the Quilts in Paradise Show put on by Friendship Knot Guild in Sarasota, FL I was embroidering on this pillows center panel and once again many of you asked about a pattern...
Okay we finally got the message....yeah....I know it takes us awhile, but we finally got it accomplished.  The pattern cover has a third rendition of the pillow photographed, we absolutely love making them .  Trust me you can put any combo of colors together and it will look wonderful. 
 Then a couple of "sweet" friends and they know who they are started "hounding" us about more patterns....yeah....they seem to think we are just sitting around with nothing to do...but...they had and have a point.  So....we finally put together the pattern for our Textured Collage that we filmed for Quilting Arts TV.  For those of you who found the article in Quilting Arts Magazine, or have taken a class from us on this technique...we thank you.  Now it is available for those of you who have asked for the pattern.
This is another version of the collage and it can be found on the back of the pattern cover.
 You can find both these patterns at www.fiberonawhim.com   Oops...they will be up in the store before the Fourth of July I promise, you won't have to wait three more months, I swear.  We just shipped out the market orders, cleaned up the website and did a inventory in house of things we were getting low on...but today we did yard work...in anticipation of hosting what is becoming our annual July 5th barbecue.

Thanks for stopping by and for keeping us on the ball.
To everyone here in the States have a wonderful Fourth of July.




Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Sometimes It Looks Like This.....

Whatever you call your work space; be it sewing room, studio, office....or something else it is a space we cherish.  Today as I briefly walked in and out of my space I looked at this...
this is my design wall.  Do you see a problem with it, I sure do, there is nothing on it.  This has been what it has looked like for quite awhile.  Has this happened to you?  Have you had a dry spell creatively?

For me it is an on and off kind of thing, especially when I have been working on shop models.  I then find myself exhausted for doing my own work, but usually there is something on the design wall.  Just viewing something waiting for me does trigger ideas, desire to plot out something new....I found myself mulling over "when" do I find myself in this place.....summertime!  Time for so many other things...yard work, gardens, possibly some discharging of fabric or even printing on fabric.  Oh so many things I could be doing....hmmmm!  Or simply a book, a chair and a cold drink on the porch, time to be....we all need that to...right?

My problem isn't lack of family support, daughter is my business partner, grandson spent last week helping in the dye studio (at 11 1/2 years of age he really is a help) and my hubby has always been my biggest supporter.  Look what he brought home over the past couple of weeks!

 
When he came in and set this Bernina down, all I could do is look at him. How does he find these?  At this point I haven't even had a chance to see how it stitches.  This makes 3 Bernina's he has come home with over the last 7 years or so.  I have to admit his timing on the first couple was excellent because I had run my Pfaff to the brink of no return and I really needed a new machine.  Now....well I'm going to check this one out, cause it seems a lot lighter weight wise and might be perfect to take on the road.
 A few days later he walk in with this little gem....a white Featherweight!  As with the one above I haven't even plugged it in yet.....but as I gazed upon it today....I think I have got to try it out this week...just want to see how it stitches.  I think this means there are presently 3 different Featherweights around here.
He is also pretty good at spotting vintage quilts too!  He brought this crazy quilt home last fall.  It smelled, so I did something I never really do....I left it all winter on a table on the screen porch.  You know what, it doesn't smell bad anymore...probably helped that I took it apart, removed the back and edging.  It does have some rough areas, so I am planning on creating other things with it...pillows, critters or maybe a surprise or two.  When I questioned him about why he brought it home....his response went like this; "I know how much time it takes you to do this kind of stitching, I just couldn't let it get thrown out."  Oh I have trained him well...haven't I?

Wishing you all some creative time.
Thanks for stopping by.