Monday, 7 October 2019

Busy times

September /October are always busy months. Surprising as there are no school schedules, just life.

After a few days cleaning up after the workshop, and digesting the idea of a journal, I finally found the focus to return to and stitch my woven SAQA piece.
I spent three hours this afternoon stitching patches of leaves and SID.
While it doesn't have much of a presence, it's taming all the loops and twists in the fabric.
Am I half done? Not quite.
Another few days and then decisions need to be made.


Thursday, 3 October 2019

New Month - October

My workshop last month came and went. We were all so busy and engaged nobody took any pictures.
But they went away happy and recharged to finish or start the landscape of their dreams.

It was interesting for me in a number of ways. When a person asked me a 'problem solving' question about their work, a crowd quickly gather to listen to the discussion. Every moment truly was a teaching moment. It became clear to me that a lot of choices I make in my own work are based on ideas other people don't automatically see, such as colour blocking and perspective.

So I hope to see some of the fruits of their labour soon.

Yesterday was a meeting of my home fibre art group.
One of our members is an avid journaler. So we all decided to give an honest try......for the rest of the year......every month.....with something to show at each of our gatherings.
As I sat there with my mouth open like a baby bird, some kind soul pointed out to my that this blog is a form of a journal....

I guess it is.
So it may not be too traumatic.

We'll see.

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Eco Dying

Well I managed to wait 5 days.

The only materials used this time around were golden rod, sumac berries, walnut leaves, onion skin and a few blackeyed susan flowers.

Here are both front and back.
They each have interest on their own.

Saturday, 21 September 2019

A Little More Painting

I didn't paint all the material I had prepped yesterday. It got too hot and the paint was drying too fast. This morning I had also planned to set some Eco-dying to boil. Yesterday evening I soaked and dried the cottons in milk (for animal protein).
I had collected some local materials the day before, Standard fare, golden rod, walnut leaves, (I already have the nuts), sumac berries and some rose hips.
The rose hips are really for planting later this fall but I had read they would add a rose tint, so into the mix they went.
Four tightly rolled and wrapped FQ  went into the pot boiling water with Alum. I let it work until I finished my mornings painting. I learned my lesson last year and now that pot will sit undisturbed until next weekend.

I had two more pieces of white fabric I wanted to paint this morning. One predominately red and the other a mix of red and green. That one got a little sun printing as well.

Friday, 20 September 2019

Painted Fabric - September 2019

Well everything finally came together and I this morning I had time and space to paint.
It feels like it's been a very long time, but since I had sold a number of FQ in Orillia last spring I've been aware my supply was getting low. And I needed to replace my Birch Tree bark.

My first efforts felt a little awkward and didn't grab me right away, but using salt or scrunching them I 'saved' some of the first efforts.

There will be more.
It looks like a good Fall to paint and eco dye.

Thursday, 19 September 2019

6 inch Mosaic Frog

I've been putting together some samples for the workshop I'm leading on the 28th. I want to show the versatility of what I consider a real short cut, hooping detail work off the quilt.

This is the guy I decided to do and while he turned out great he's not really practical to use in this lesson. He took me 4 hours but then the whole thing 'grew like topsy'.

Step one: trace the image onto both light stabilizer and a tearaway 'solvy' product.
                Add registration marks top and bottom for re alignment

(But then I veered from my original intention and I decided to treat it like a mosaic. I had these confetti  from another project that were just a perfect Frog colour.)

As there is no adhesive on these bits so each was anchored with a glue stick.

Step 2: Colour the body of the Frog with the method of your choice. Material, paint, crayon....

Step 3: place the 'cartoon' into the hoop layering it in the following order.

            !st layer - netting (for strength)
            2nd layer - stabilizer with image
            3rd layer - green organza
Step 4: Hoop the sandwich.

           4th layer - pin the second image of the frog over the sandwich matching the registration  marks     and outline. It was too fiddly to keep the four layers aligned so I added the solvey after everything was secure.

Step 5: The image was stitched all round in green. With its purpose finished, the solvey was torn away. The cartoon was removed from the hoop to facilitate satin stitching on another machine.

And as a nod to Neil Gaiman (Coraline) .....Button Eyes

The stabilizer will tear/trim easily as the edge is full of holes. The structural strength now comes from the netting. It may not be necessary to remove it. It all depends where it is used.

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Summer 2.0

Glorious weather leading into Fall.
Time for some of those messy chores that are always in the back of your mind.

A) Washing the Wool Duvet.
MY machine is too small for a King size duvet so laundry tub it was. Barely!
I did spin it in the washer a couple of times but I was getting a little nervous about the sounds of labouring gears and/or belts?
A quick run from the basement outside with a still wet and heavy duvet to the drying racks.
It's been there 3 days now and is almost dry. I covered it each night with a tarp to keep the dew off (though in retrospect it probably wouldn't have made a difference.)
And the Sun has certainly helped with the yellow discoloration around the edges from heavy use.

Just one corner stubbornly wet. Maybe tomorrow I'll take it to the drying and make sure it's really dry.

b) Splitting and Repotting.
I know I just did this last year but the warm wet summer made my Kafir lily grow to the point where it was all I could do to get it off the deck. 

While it didn't bloom this spring, either because of wonky weather or the fact that I re potted it last fall, it definitely was healthy and big.

Note the knife buried in its guts, (sorry, root ball). With liberal hose spraying to get the dirt out and brave but steady tugging it apart, I ended up with 5 good sized babies. But like a litter of kittens you daren't keep them all. Three into a bag and free for who ever wants one and two potted. This is up from the one pot Ive usually kept for the last five years, but I just couldn't throw them all out.

These two will sit in the front window now until April/May.

I know they won't bloom for at least two years now. They like to be pot bound.....but not the way they were.

Saturday, 14 September 2019

XMAS (Don't hit me!)

Another Grand for my sister and a request for the Christmas Stocking.
My mother started this and it has spread through the generations but I think we've hit a road block.
No one under 30? in my family knits.

If you're game the pattern link is at the bottom.

Mom made the originals in wool. Back in the 50's I don't think anything nice was available in other fibres. The wool yellowed over time and she replace the orginals (4) in acrylic.
But try to find an acrylic in the right weight in 'nice' Christmas colours. So this one is much larger than the original. More Santa loot?

Once you get past the Fair Isle work it goes very quickly.

If I remember rightly, the last few I've knit have been bigger. (Those electronics come in big boxes.)

The pattern is a little vague in spots but it's a standard sock pattern.

Christmas Stocking

Thursday, 5 September 2019

Quilting Someone Else's ART

It's one thing to finish a bed quilt for someone. They generally know what they want and the actual quilting is seldom the star.
An Art Quilt can be different.
A member of my SAQA pod passed over her hand painted, silk screened panel she had birthed at a class. She was delighted with it but was at a loss as to where to go now.

In some ways, someone who does know what they want can be more difficult than someone who only knows  what they don't like. But we made it through. Progress photos were e-mailed daily. Some things were discussed and left, others were changed.
In the end was my decision that left the work off square rather than damage the motifs.

I hope my friend Diane will be pleased with how I've finished her work.

Friday, 23 August 2019

Wet Felting - That's More Like It!

A friend had sprinkled some lime green silk thread on the brown wool.
Seems a long time ago.
I liked it
I still like it.

Add a little roughage (sticks...and cliche I know) and a black? background......

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Revisiting Some Summer Work - Wet Felting

I had originally thought of this as a scarf, not knowing how stiff it would become.

It's length told me it should be made into a Triptych piece. This was the first step.

So I played with some backgrounds? Most of my hand painted pieces weren't large enough. Then I layered on some cutoff pieces of cheesecloth.

 This doesn't come instinctively to me....

Monday, 19 August 2019

Time out for a Toddler Quilt

Now that my GS is turning two and out grown all his sleep sacs, his mother is considering blankets for the fall in the crib.
A quilt!
Nothing fancy.

I spent a few days looking for some suitable fabric with themes he'd recognize and the closest I could find was some charm squares and yardage from the "Pout Pout Fish" line.
And a crib quilt also needs a 'stuffy' 💗 (loosely based on the backing whales)

found on the internet

So this is made up with an 'eye spy' concept, bits of everything.

And I couldn't resist stitching a few characters into the border and scattered across the surface.

It's big enough to make the transition to a big boy bed, but that's doesn't matter right now.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Lino Block Cutting - Part ... DOH!

A month later the other half of our intrepid group found their way to Jim's dining room studio.

Another great morning was spent carving and looking at colour effects and the myriad of images we choose to use.

One of the interesting observations was the variety of carving materials that showed up. Some were 20 yr old blocks from a lifetime ago, some were hard as rocks and some were squishy and a few "pink pearl" erasers even found their way to the table.

I had lots of questions and spend most of my time chatting, unlike some of the more productive members.

What will we do with all this new info.

And many thanks to Fearless Leader Jim.