Saturday, July 24

It's Finished!

Well I finished with this piece today, and ahead of schedule. I was thinking I'd be working on it till Wednesday. I hoped right on it this morning after my coffee and toast and didn't stop till almost 4:00. I'm sure my hands will be sore tomorrow, but I'm real happy with the way it turned out. This is my fist attempt at a sculpture and I sure learned a lot. Also used several of the techniques from the Metal Embellishments DVD I got a few weeks ago.

At this point it has no name thou. Nothing is coming to me. Guess it could be cause I've have it in my face for 2 days solid. If you look at this and a name jumps into your head let me know.

It's 95 here today, and after I came in from taking these photos I think the feels like is, 120!
Man the plastic chair on deck was atomic hot. Well I need to clean up the mess I've made. Wire, beads and my tools are everywhere.

Friday, July 23

Fire & Metal

I've been in a flurry of activity today working on a new piece. I sketched this up, hum maybe 2 years ago and it's been floating around in the back of my mind ever since. When I was watching the DVD on metal/wire on art quilts thou it finally was clear to me how to complete this idea.

So today I've been bleaching fabric, burning fabric, doing free motion and then playing with wire. That is screen from a window in the middle and I even was brave and sewed that on the machine. Normally I do hand work only when I'm doing embellishing such as beads, and had planned on sewing the screen on by hand, but thought - hum I'll give it a try. It worked!

The light gold fabric is very sheer and I made the holes in it with a wood burning tool. It was a little smelly, but worked great. I've had that tool for a good bit and have never used it till today. Had the Dremel out today too making the legs for this which are bamboo. I have a little group of "girl tools" in my play room and today they came in very handy.

Thursday, July 22

Poof & It's Gone

Tuesday I went out to JoAnns to spend the afternoon sewing. It's really fun to sew with a group of people. The instructor, Edna is pretty all knowing to me and I always have a question of the week for her. This week I had taken my disappearing 9-patch table topper to work on. (Wednesday I basted this with Stefanie's swift tag gun, I'd never used it and LOVE it)

Back to Tuesday: When I'd finished my D9P Edna said she had another block to show me - oh goodie! So to get me wondering she said you need 2 high contrast fabrics. So we go out and pick out some fabrics (the good thing about sewing at JoAnn) and then she told me to cut out 2 strips 5.5" wide, and sew them together. I do this. Then she said cut the strips into 5.5" sections, and sew together with light to dark. I do this. Aren't I good at following directions. I have no idea where this is going at this point.

Then she tells me to cut here and here, here and here.
1.5" from the center point.
(I cut these the next day while I was watching TV and cut them
at 1", but it still turned out OK. I can't cut and watch TV I guess.)

Then she did a quick switch-a-roo and WOW!
So this is the disappearing 4-Patch! I never knew.
What fun. I was so tickled you would have though I'd just won the lottery.

Sew them together and you get this.

I don't have my 9 blocks finished yet, still have 3 to cut/sew, but won't this be a cute little table topper! I am in love with this. It sure looks like I went to a lot of trouble cutting strips and doing a lot of thinking/piecing, but no, pretty darn easy - and that's the way I like it.

Yesterday I went to Stefanie's to sew. We had ordered some fabrics from Hancocks and my stuff was there waiting for me. Had to share this darling Alexander Henry fabric called Merry Moderns. I knew when I saw this on line it would be mine and I bought it to make something for my little sister. Not sure yet what it will become...hum. It's screaming fussy cutting thou.

And for my collection, I couldn't pass this up. They were HALF price. OK I do think there is a rule somewhere you have to buy stuff when it's that cheep - you've heard that right? That's what I told my hubby - can't break those quilting rules.

Today I've been working on some illustration for a cute little book "Here We Go To Grannie's House", but think I need to take a sewing break and finish up that blue D4P. I have an art quilt project floating in my head for after that. I just have to try out some of the techniques from the metal work DVD. My brain might explode if I don't.

Monday, July 19

New Goodies & Old Friends

On Friday I drove over to my buddies mom's house and picked her up and we went out to hook up with my little sister so she could take a few photos of us before Janice flew back to California. I know I'd mentioned this before but Janice and I went to high school together and had lost track of each other for over 30 years and it was beyond description to hear from her one day on facebook. She found me and I just can't say how happy I am that happened. As much as we tried to sit for our photos we ended up giggling just like we did back in the 70's - some things never change. It was a really good day.

Saturday hubby and I had errands to run and one of our stops was to my good quilting buddy Paula's house. She was having a yard sale and I needed to check out what goodies she was letting go of. She has a wonderful collection of 30's - 50's stuff and I was on the look out for 50's stuff for Angel (her kitchen is dotted with the 50's) Did find a wonderful square cake carrier in shinny metal with a cool slanted handle. Not a speck of rust and ready for Angel to carry a pretty cake in.

After looking over the yard sale stuff Paula said oh I have something for you and after a quick trip to her sewing room comes back with this,

Isn't she just to die for. I have started a small collection (will it stay small?) of children's sewing machines. So far I have 4. Only one is electric. One day while wandering around on flicker I stumbled across a person who has a wonderful collection and after drooling over them I decided I just had to have a few. I'd looked at them at quilt shows and just never used my fabric money to get one, so Paula got me my first one and then continued to build my collection. Now she has given me all 4 that I have. Thanks so much Paula, I just love them.

They all sit on the shelf above my cutting table so I can see them all the time.

Yesterday I started the beading on the fiber art I am showing at the Tomato Festival. The gallery Art & Invention always has a great show with themed art for the festival. This will be my 3rd year to show there.

This is the canvas the fiber art will be mounted on, hopefully today.

Also on Saturday I picked up 2 new goodies at the post office. One was a book on how to do wire wrapping (jewelry) and the other was this great DVD on adding metal to your art quilts. I do think - trying not to sound dramatic, but this may have changed my outlook/direction on my art quilts. This is a wonderful class on DVD and covers tools, supplies and has great how to info. I just can't wait to try some of this stuff, it will happen very soon. Up to this point all I've added to my fiber is wire I'd either just bent or bent/hammered. Now a whole new world has opened up, and I can't wait to run threw that door. There is a video on the link above to see a teaser of what is on the DVD. That was what hooked me what I saw this.

Thursday, July 15

Great New Book

Yesterday I was blessed to have a very good friend come by to spend the day. We don't see each other very often due to her living in California. She was home visiting her family and came by to see me, see we went to high school together. We kind of lost touch for quite a few years, but she found me again on facebook (thank you facebook) It is wonderful to be back in touch with Janice. We looked at our old annuals and laughed about old high school memories. Hubby was very interested in these old stories.

She had brought me a belated birthday present and I just love this. I've so far only had time to just flip through it. This morning while on the phone with another quilting buddy I screamed at something I'd turned to.

When I got to this page I recognized the quilt right off and was so tickled. The "Duke" at the bottom of the left hand page was made by Diana Bracy. She is a member of the Quilt With Us group Art Quilts. I met her threw this group and have been an admirer of her work ever since. Take some time to check out her site, it's amazing.

The fabric paint is dry now so I can start the free motion on the tomato piece, so I really need to get going on that. I'm hoping it can be completed in several days.

Tuesday, July 13

Lycopersicon esculentum DNA

OK that title is a mouth full, but it's latin for tomato, oh so simple. Well it's that time of year again to be getting my art work ready for the tomato festival. This year I have 3 things planned and I just may get them all done...maybe. I always get a late start. I did get a good bit of this piece done today thou.

This was step one, the needle felting. I used synthetic woven fibers, rather than the normal wools a lot of folks do needle felting with. I love the textures. Not just anything will work thou, and I had to do some experimenting with different fabrics to see what did well. Cotton for example just gets eaten up by the embellisher. It must be yummy. I use duck cloth for the base to capture the fabric into. I started out with white and dark cream fabrics. There were several different fabrics - they accept the fabric paint differently which gives more color texture.

After doing all the felting came the painting - fun. I love painting fabric, it can be totally unpredictable, when you use a fabric / paint for the first time. I have my favorite fabrics to paint, but I did use 2 new ones in this - they did very well in both the felting and painting.

This is a detail of the texture.

The tools I used are simple, just paint (Dya Na Flow) and a flat 3/4" brush. The water in the spray bottle helps the paint to bleed in places where you want it to, even more than normal.
This also shows how much dimension the fabric now has.

So now I wait, and wait for the paint to dry.
Then after that it's time for a ton of free motion, then hand beading.
It will take 2 days to dry enough to sew on.

So now I'll work on something else. I have several projects started and need to get back on them. But I'm too excited now to work on stuff cause my high school girl friend who lives in California is in town and is coming over tomorrow and I just have time to make her a little surprise.

Thursday, July 8

One of Those V8 moments

There is a wonderfully cute book by Art To Heart with a quilt called Blessings. I love her designs and thought I'd make several wall hangings from these great blocks. I like to give a little Christmas decoration to a few people at Thanksgiving. I did get a little crazy this year and planned to make 7 of these! Yes I need my head examined. In all honesty I thought they would be pretty quick to pull together. This is the most complicated one of the 3 I'm making. I find it very relaxing to cut out tiny stuff and have these tiny little scissors that are very sharp and can cut while watching TV. I'd cut out all the parts below while at Stefanie's last week watching a movie.

Then this Tuesday I started putting it together and ran into a "little bump". Lucky for me I was out at JoAnns at the sewing group and after struggling with placement for a good 20 min. I asked my constant savior Edna was there a better way...she walked me out to the quilting section of the store and AAAALLLLHHHHH (that's angel's singing) shows me this pressing thingie.

Well if it's not the best darn thing! You can see threw it so placement is a snap. I some times think after almost 5 years of sewing I haven't scratched the surface of what is to be learned. And quite honestly that is why I like it so much. Edna was also the one who turned me onto the Fonts & Porter flying geese ruler - GREAT! I'd tried making them and almost always cut their little "beak" off. I now know specialty rulers and gadgets are very helpful. I figured all I needed was my machine, rotary cutter standard long ruler and mat. I should have known better after seeing the GO Cutter in action. Speciality rulers and sewing gadgets are great and once you find the ones you need it's a true joy.

Monday, July 5

Relaxing On The 4th

Yesterday we opted to just stay in and relax. We grilled out of course, it's almost a must do. It was hard to pull me away from the tv thou cause they were running all the Star Wars movies back to back. It's almost unbelievable to me that those movies (the first ones) are 30 years old. I clearly remember taking little Angel (my little sister) and standing in line at the downtown theatre - which is gone now - to see the first movie on opening night. She was about 6 then I think.

After breakfast yesterday thou I got out the poly clay and had a fun time. I needed to make some custom buttons for several Christmas wall hangings I am making - reindeer noses and snowmen carrots noses. I also needed to make a finial for a lamp for my friend Paul. She has made a wonderful lamp for the tomato festival. I'll post a photo when she has finished it. But she needed a tomato for the top. I made her 2 sizes and then got silly and made one with a face (not for her pretty lamp thou).

Then I made this for my hubby. I'd made one of these years ago and gave it to a friend,
and he wanted another one. As soon as the antiquing dried he had it on the base board.
It's about 6" tall. Our old house has huge base boards.
So now the fairies can get into the house.

Today it's back to sewing. I am going to make some inchies today for a friend who is making an inchie bracelet. She is getting inchies from several other quilters and going to wear her finished bracelet to her local quilt show. I did make my first clay inchies yesterday and will embellish them today and send her one of those too.

Sunday, July 4

Fun Day With Sister

This is the pie I made with the fresh peaches we got when I was on my recent trip with Stefanie up in Golconda Indiana. I tried to get a photo before hubby got into the pie but just wasn't fast enough. We had ice cream of course and it was very good. I didn't add any sugar to the peaches and it was just sweet enough.

Yesterday I spent the day with my sister. We went to a great pizza place in her area and it was super yummy. They had a buffet and we ate way too much but it was great. Will have to go back there some time soon. Then we went shopping! She took me to World Market which I'd never been too and just loved it. Then we went to Yankee Candle, she had a coupon and they had a great sale going on. She bought me this candle holder for just $7. I just love it.

Then we went back to her house so I could show her a few things on the sewing machine I was giving her. It was my old (2 years) Singer. She was thrilled to have extra feet and tried out the rolled hem while we were playing with it. We were sitting at the kitchen table and out her back window her husband has a wonderland for birds. He just loves them and has many feeders.

We caught this squirrel in action stealing the birds food. Clever little thing.

It was a wonderful day and we had such fun.

Friday, July 2

First & Last Denim Quilt

Today I spent the day sewing or rather cutting at Stefanie's house. I took over some more fabric for my next quilt which will be the drunkards path. I'd already cut out the floral prints but when I looked at them they just needed a solid so today I cut out a burgundy solid to go with these. I am hoping to get started on it by Tuesday. I also had a wonderful surprise today and the insert for my sewing cabinet that will fit my new Pfaff came in. So now the new Pfaff is in the cabinet all snug in it's new plastic insert. It was only ordered on Tuesday so Horn really got it to the sewing machine shop quickly.

I also started working on several small wall hangings that will be for Christmas decorations. These are from the book I Believe from - Art to Heart. I just love her patterns. I have several of her books. So I sat and cut out tiny little red birds and other parts of the hangings.

Yesterday I finished the denim quilt I'd been working on. It was a choir to quilt. I was told that most folks normally just stitch in the ditch and use no batting and put flannel on the back. I was just determined to free motion this and found out why it's not normally done this way. I did the top from old blue jeans and for the most part didn't cut the "blocks" down very small except for the one surrounding row of 5" blocks. The rest was just squaring up the cut up leg parts.

We weren't sure if Auggie was scared of the flying skull or just over come with joy.

The Back

I painted one of the motifs of the flying skull on the front with shiva paint sticks.

I started out using a regular quilting needle which bent then broke so I changed that out for a denim needle and it did much better. I still had to change the needle out prior to finishing the quilt so I used 3 needles! The seams in the top were so bulky that it caused me to have problems when I was quilting. It just didn't want to slide over the machine cabinet top. I did some of the quilting close like I normally do (in the black areas) and some was about 3" apart. What I had thought I'd do was quilt from the back and outline the flying skulls. This was harder than I'd thought due to the weight/thickness of the quilt. It's really heavy.

A quick signature at the bottom of the front.

So now I've made a denim quilt and I'm not too sure I'll try it again. This is for a Christmas present for a good quilting buddy's husband. Good thing he won't be looking at the stitches too close. Well need to go my peach pie is in the oven and smelling pretty good.

Thursday, July 1

Road Trip!

With way too much coffee in me I hopped in Stefanie's car and off we went to her folks house early yesterday morning. She was taking her mom's new laptop to her and setting it up. I've always remembered stopping at road side places to get fruit and veggies in the summer and this place was sure no disapointmemt. It's near Stefanie's mom's place and has been there for many years. The orchards were just so pretty and they are very generous with the amount you get. We decided to split a box and they sure smelled good. I'm thinking cobbler...

This was only one of the orchards, we drove threw more
to get to the building where they boxed these beautiful peaches.

Then we were off to Stef's parents place which is beautiful and on the river. While Stefanie is setting up her mom's new laptop, yelling at automated help lines and loading software I'm out on the deck watching hawks fly the currents and listing to the leaves blow. Aaaahhhhh, peaceful. Stefanie's mom called in an order for our lunch from this little meat & 3 not too far from there house and I rode down there with her to pick up our lunch. The food was really good. The down town area is one of those if you blink you'll miss it but it's a cute little town.

Shortly after lunch with Stefanie's tech supports duties completed we climbed back in her car and were off to the exciting part of the day - fabric shopping! Less than an hour away was Hancock's of Paducah. I hear angel's sing when we pulled into the parking lot. It didn't seem like we were in the store very long but before I knew it Stefanie was telling me it was 4:00! Yikes and we still have a little drive back to Nashville. Head for the check out line.

I got this beautiful stack with Maria Elkins portraits in mind. I've only done one since I got her DVD. I've wanted to start another one and these fabrics are perfect while I'm still on the learning curve for her technique.

I've been in love with this Moda collection called Fruitcake for a while and have been wanting some of the teal background with the ornaments on it. Also picked up one of the "grunge" fabrics that are designed by Basic Grey. Couldn't pass up the charm pack either. This is for a table topper that will be a pre-Christmas gift.

Then of course I always have to add to my Civil War and Oriental stash too and here is what I got for those 2 collections I have going. We had a wonderful day, good weather and I was bushed when I got home. Hubby fixed dinner and I slept last night with dreams of fabric.