Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Velvet Scarf Christmas Gift

I decided to make a velvet scarf for a friend of mine who loves to wear scarves, so I took one of my hand dyed velvet half yard pieces, split it, sewed the two ends together, then added some fringe and sewed the whole thing along the open sides. I think it turned out very well and was really very quick to make!

Side note: She LOVED the scarf!! I may have to make one for myself!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Give Away!

Hawthorne Threads is giving away a Firenze Bag Kit by Patricia Bravo, and a fat-quarter set to 2nd & 3rd place winners. Click here to enter, but do it before Nov. 15!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Bamboo Bird

Hi! Beth's sister Diane buttin' in here to show you this postcard I just made using some of the scrumptious snow-dyed silk on the QST website. Obviously, this is just a scrap - the full project is yet-to-be-revealed, but the fabric is so beautiful, there is no way I'm not going to use up every tiny piece!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Quilt Top #2 Complete!

The second quilt top is complete, I've pieced the backings and the batting so they're all ready to go. I've had a crazy couple of days, so I need to carve out some time to get these sandwiched and the quilting started!

Here's a view of the whole quilt - this one really does look better in real life. There were 31 students in this class, so I had to arrange the blocks in the bottom row differently.

Here's a close-up of the center of the quilt so you can see the detail in the fabric.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

First School Quilt

Top is finished, here's a picture! I've gotten half the blocks done for the second one, I hope to have that one put together by the end of the weekend, and then start quilting both of them. I think it really needed that black inner border to kind of break up the craziness of the background fabric. Thanks, Di, for the idea!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

October Project

My son's school holds an annual fund raising auction that usually raises somewhere in the neighborhood of $100,000.00. I have been involved with the gift basket comittee for the last 9 years which involves creating baskets using donated and purchased items. I have also personally made and donated a quilt each year. These can be seen on my website, Quilters Stitch Together as well as how much they raised at auction. My son is now in 8th grade and will graduate next June. For the auction each year, each class at school creates a project that is auctioned off to the hightest bidder. Traditionally, the 8th graders have created quilts. The woman who was making the quilts decided she was done 2 years ago. The projects changed, but they didn't have the fundraising power of the quilts, so I was asked to make quilts for this years' class. This is on top of making nearly 400 gift baskets with a crew of two other women. I agreed, and we decided on a project in which the students were asked to create a 6" block using their first name in a graffiti style. Another woman spent time with the 2 classes at school getting the blocks made. The art work I got back was amazing as you will see!

So inspired was I that I spent the entire weekend working on the first of the two quilts. Each will have a different background fabric, but I wanted an interesting set, so I found this one and thought it was perfect for these blocks.

For the first round of "sashing" I used black for framing the blocks. You sew on rectangles and then trim them into triangles. I found it in a book by Margaret Miller called Smashing Sets. Not as complex as you might imagine, but you do have to keep things straight!

Here's the second round going through the machine - I was chaining them to make it quick and efficient.

Here is a block with the 4 rectangles sewn on but before I trimmed them.

Aren't they fabulous??

Some of the fabulous artwork in the completed blocks which measure 9 1/2" unfinished.

This is the center of the quilt before borders. I'll add those tomorrow and either sandwich this one or start on the blocks for the second one. Both have to be done around the first of November, so the clock is ticking LOUDLY!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What I've been doing lately . . .

Things have been getting done in the studio renovations, just not the types of things that make for good pictures, so I decided to show you my ironing station where I have been spending a lot of time lately.

This is my mangle, for which I am eternaly grateful and which for now is tucked into a corner of the basement during renovations. I have a little TV where I can watch DVD's which keeps me sane during hours of ironing.

This is the first stack of 48 yards that I ironed on Sunday.

This is the complete stack of 96 yards that I finished yesterday. Sorry the picture is a little blurry - it was late and I was rushing to get to TKD.

All of this fabric is headed to Alberta, Canada, where a talented lady will turn it into beautiful quilts. She now has a nearly complete palette of my hand dyed fabrics. Funny - she has more of my fabric to play with than I do!!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

New Floors!

DH Tom has started the installation of the new floors in the studio.

It's going pretty quickly, as you can see.

He hopes to finish today, all the difficult parts are pretty much done.

The dogs are supervising the progress (as am I, but don't tell Tom).

Ta Da!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Studio Update - Paint!

A picture is worth a thousand words - finished the second coat a few minutes ago. I really like this color and I guess the cat did too - that's him sleeping in the paint tray in the first picture.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

And the beat goes on!

My son Alex helped me remove the carpet yesterday so that we could get it into the dumpster for the garbage pick up today. DH Tom finished up last night and got the foam padding (glued down) and the tack strips removed. The gross, ugly, nasty, stained, BLUE carpet is GONE!!

Tonight we'll do a bit more sanding, rip up the vinyl strip (also glued down) and hopefully get at least one more of 4 total light fixtures up (at least temporarily) so that we can put color on the walls tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Look what came in the mail today!

A wonderful gal named Lori Kasenter sent me this package today in the mail. I am the "printing czar" for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative, which means that I collect donated printed matter and send it to the venues where the AAQI quilts are being shown for distribution.

This volunteer went above and beyond the norm, sending me a half yard of fabic and a batch of very nice fibers to play with AND 400 flyers for AAQI. WOW!! Keep an eye out . . . you'll see it in a Priority Quilt one day. Sorry the picture is bad, low light and no time!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Almost there!!

Yesterday we got the walls and ceilings all primed, ready for paint. This morning, I gave the ceiling its final coat of paint. If I get really motivated and the blood returns to my hands, I may try to start removing the carpet - garbage pick up is Thursday and I'd like to get it GONE!! That way we can paint the walls and not worry about messing up the paint when removing the carpet.

We also took down the ugly old light fixtures last night so it'd be easier to paint the ceiling. The new ones will have to go up soon - it's kind of dark in there now! It's really starting to look like it may get finished!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Renovations Update

OK, I don't want to bore you with all the minutae, but this is exciting for me. Tom got 3 out of 4 of the new doors hung, now I just need to find the right hardware for them.

This is the first door that he put in, getting the system down just right.

Then this is the other 2 all framed out and ready to accept the doors.

In my head I'm seeing brushed nickel hardware, now I just have to find it . . .

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Studio Renovations

I'm taking over some formerly mis-used space in our home for my studio. I have a dye room and what I call a "cutting" room (where I cut fabric and store things) as well as a fabric storage closet adjacent to this room, so it really makes sense to turn this room into a sewing space where I can spread out a bit. My sewing space until now has been in the dye room which made me sort of uncomfortable because of the possibility that dye might somehow get onto a sewing project - eeekk!!

So here is a "before" picture - after we ripped off 2 layers of paneling to get to the original walls. We re-insulated that whole outside wall and got rid of that icky old insulation.

Here is a "so far" picture, the drywall is up and the mudding is going on, layer after layer, bit by bit.

And a "what color shall I paint it" picture - I committed to a slightly darker version of the color on the left. Looks great with the flooring and is nice and warm.

I'll keep taking them as things progress and post them here. My house is an old schoolhouse, in use as a school from 1914 until 1959 or so. This room was used as the student lunch room at that time, then converted to a "den" by the former owners. We used it as an office space for our business, then it became a storage room when we moved the business to another location. We're putting down laminate floors for easy care, and I will have countertops on 2 walls and a design wall on one wall with it's own light source and all new daylight lighting throughout the room. I can't wait till it's finished!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Priority Quilt

I've been working on an idea for a Priority Quilt for the AAQI and it involves heavily thread painting a picture I took of a rose in my garden. I love the way it's turning out, but I forgot about the shrinkage when you thread paint and so it distorted the borders a bit. I've gotten them sort of square again, but I'm not sure how this one is going to turn out. Luckily, it's a practice piece - I wanted to try it out before I tackled the "real" PQ.

I've added a stabilizer to the "real" one, hopefully that will help keep it from shrinking as much as this one but I really like the way it came out.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Cotton/Silk Comparison

Here are pictures of the cotton that I dyed along with the silk. There's the picture of the whole piece, both scrunched and pleated, and underneath that, a close up of one part of the piece. To me, it's amazing how very different they are - the fibers take the dye in a completely different way. These were odd size bolt ends that I dyed, so I get to keep them - yippee!

I'm also undergoing a major studio renovation, taking over some space adjacent to my current dye room and cutting room, so I'll be posting updates of that process as well.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Silk Revealed

So here are the results of the silk dyeing mudbath. These are just 2 pieces with close ups of parts of them - I dyed a large piece, then cut it into pieces approximately 20" x 40" for sale. Pretty, huh? Each piece is unique and as such, sold on a first come, first served basis through my website.

The colors are so much richer in real life - they're really gorgeous! I also dyed some cotton along with the silk, and the results are different again. I'll try to get those pictures up tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Silk Dyebath

I needed to dye some silk for the website, and I wanted to play with tray dyeing, using just 3 colors. I chose the warm version of the primaries (dyes are different than crayons!) and used Royal Blue, Scarlet and Golden Yellow.

Here are the "before" pictures, one scrunched tightly, and one pleated. You'll see that the results are amazingly different. I'll try to post the "after" pictures tomorrow - it's all washed out, but needs to become one with my mangle (a.k.a. super iron) before photography. Kind of looks like mud, you say? Just wait to see!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Eye Candy

Just thought I'd share a little eye candy with you! I was packing up this order to ship to a customer in Canada and it just looked so great in the box that I couldn't resist taking a picture of it. Don't you want some too?