Sunday, December 1, 2013

An Ocean of Tears

Today is the reveal for the second Art Squared group project. The theme was "Element" and  I chose water.  I wanted to depict the sadness I feel about how we abuse our oceans and waterways... The never ending pollution due to trash, fertilizer runoff, oil and gas spills just to name a few. How must Mother Ocean feel?
While I was trying to come up with my design, I found myself looking through some photos I had taken of my oldest granddaughter  in 2010, she was just shy of 15 then. Playing in our pool without a care in the world...enjoying the water. Suddenly,  the design came to me... Kara would be the model for my "Mother Ocean".
An Ocean of Tears

My drawing of Mother Ocean is not Kara, but was based on these photos  I took of her that wonderful summer day.

Mother Ocean was painted on white PFD fabric using textile paints and inks. Then she was appliqued to the pieced background. The moon is Dupioni Silk and was also appliqued to the background. The piece was quilted with Superior's Kimono Silk, Lava, and Metallic threads. The battings are Quilters Dream wool over puff. 

And here's the back...

Be sure to head over to the Art Squared blog to see the work of the other artists in this theme.

Monday, October 21, 2013


Today I started quilting pillow shams I embroidered for Mother.  I embroidered one set for her, and one set that she will be giving as a gift.  I started with hers...

These aren't going as fast as the little quilt I did this weekend, but they're pretty! One Down...3 more to go.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Quick Little Quilts

I have a trip to visit my Mother , kids, and grandkids coming up in a couple weeks, so I've been making things to take with me.

I love to do quick strippy quilts when I need a kiddie gift. My sister Mary does these, but hers are a bit different than mine. I cut all my strips the same size and prefer to add applique, plus I do mine completely on the longarm. This one I did a while ago, all on the longarm...piecing, applique and quilting. Very fast and very easy...cute too!

But I needed 2, so time to whip up another.  I cut all my strips 6 1/2" x WOF. I cut 6 solid and 5 in a cute mermaid print.

Then I cut out hearts with my die cutter...the fabric was pre-fused with misty fuse

Next, I fused the hearts in place on the solid fabrics

All ready now to go.  I loaded backing and batting on the longarm, then stitched the first strip down at the top. (sorry, I forgot to take photos) Then place the next strip right side down on the first one and stitch along the bottom edge.  I use my channel lock to get a perfectly straight seam. Flip the strip down and press. Continue doing the same stitch, flip and press until all your strips are sewn in place. Stitch across the bottom edge of the last strip and now your top is all pieced and stabilized.  I then stitch up one side back to the top of the quilt.

Back at the top again I'm ready to quilt and applique each strip as I go. On these I did a blanket stitch around the hearts. I did a little video on this technique back in can find the post here if you want to see how I do it. I just made my way back down to the bottom row by row, completing the applique and the background quilting working back and forth from side to side.  The whole quilt can be pieced, appliqued and quilt all with only one stop and start.  On this particular quilt, it took me 15 minutes to piece all the strips, 10 minutes to applique and quilt each solid row, and 5 minutes to quilt each print row for a grand total of 1 hour and 40 minutes!  The finished quilt measures 40" x 66"....perfect size for a 7 year old little girl.

And one of my drip dyed backings

I also made a little shoulder bag for her ipod touch

And I  made a couple pencil rolls for budding artists to carry their colored pencils around

I still have a few more things to make this coming week.  And looky what came in the mail today...

My 8" round Gelli plate!  Can't wait to play with this! That's it for today,  have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Vision of the Night

Today is the reveal of the first project of our new group Art Squared.  The theme (chosen by yours truly) this time is "Mystical".  The works can be any medium, but must be in a square format with a minimum size of 6x6 and maximum 12x12.  "Vision of the Night" is my interpretation.

"Vision of the Night"

The first thing that comes to my mind when I hear the word "Mystical" is the Moon.  Much of my work incorporates images of the moon.  In this piece, I combined the "Wadjet" or "eye of Horus" with the phases of the moon.

Horus was a sky god whose eyes, it was said were the sun and the moon. Ancient myth describes a battle between Horus and Seth, in which Horus' right eye was torn out.  Thoth, the god of magick, restored Horus' eye.  It is said the myth relates to the waxing and waning of the moon, during which the moon appears to have been torn out of the sky before being restored once every lunar month.

The base fabric background was dyed with fiber reactive dyes. The eye is painted with Pro Chemical textile paints and Jacquard Lumiere.  The moons are black and white Dupion silk and are machine appliqued to the background.

The batting is Quilters Dream Puff and it is quilted with Superior metallic and silk threads. Lastly, it was mounted on stretcher bars.

Be sure to head over to the Art Squared group blog to see the fabulous work of the other artists.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Making Stamps

I use many surface design tools  for making fabric my own. Some tools I buy that other artists have created, but I also create a lot of my own. Stamps are one of those easy things to do.  You can make stamps out of a variety of materials and the end product can be used with inks, paints and dyes, bleach etc.  on fabrics, leather and paper.  I have 2 very large bins of stamps, most of which I have made either with fun foam, or carved from lino, speedy cut or speedy carve. It's fun and easy to do when you want a creative project that leaves you with new supplies you'll use in your art over and over again.

I thought I'd share a few I've made. This first set is made from fun foam. Easy to cut with scissors, an exacto knife, versa tool (though, have plenty of ventilation), or  even a die cutter. 

These next sets I carved from speedy cut and speedy carve...easy to carve with a lino cutter.

And here is what they look like printed with ink.  I use them with paints, dyes and discharge agents as well.

If you've never made your own stamps, why not give it a try!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

More Non-Quilting Projects

While I waited for my shoulder to heal enough that I could use the longarm again, I did other things...painting canvas was one. And while I showed the individual works in progress, I had a request to show them all together in one post, so here they are.

Selma and Herschel

Sea Dancer

Trudy and the Twins


and Mollie

And while I had fun with these( and I'll continue this series on canvas), I'm very happy to be back using the longarm again as of today.  It went well with no increase in pain, and I got a lot done on my challenge piece.  Tomorrow should finish it up, and the full reveal will be on Tuesday.

I also carved and made a lot of new stamps during my time away from quilting.... I'll share some of those tomorrow.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Tiny Glimpse

My new art group, Art Squared, has its first reveal on Oct 1st.   I've been working on my piece off and on for a couple months now and it's nearly finished.  Here's a tiny little glimpse of my piece.

 Be sure to join us for the reveal and see how each of us interpreted the first "Mystical"  theme.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

New Thermofax Screens

Yesterday, I posted a stencil design from my friend Terri Stegmiller.  Today, I'll show you some new Thermofax screens.

Terri is lucky enough to have a Thermofax machine and she has made some fabulous screens.  You can find her designs in her ETSY shop...along with lots of her other art.

But getting to my point, I sent some more of my drawings to Terri and she made them into screens for me.   I did a quick printing on fabric scraps  just to see how they looked.  I love them all.  The paint I grabbed was a little too thin, so there they are not as crisp, but that is totally my fault...the screens are perfect.  So here they are...


Small Leaf

Large Leaf

Sm Swirl Feather

Lg Swirl Feather

So if you are in the market to have some of your drawings made into screens, keep Terri in won't be disappointed!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Mollie is Done!

I finished my newest fish Mollie yesterday.  When I'm painting on canvas, I use many of the same surface design tools that I use on fabric.  This one is no different. I used a bunch of different stencils amongst the layers of both the background and within Mollie. Some of the stencils I used are below.

I love stencils and I use them interchangeably for quilting , painting and printing. I get them from all different sources including (but not limited to) joggles, artists cellar, stencil girl, the crafters warehouse,  and I even make my own.

This one was designed by my friend Terri Stegmiller and I love it!

I took lots of photos between adding layers so you could see the process.  

Now that she's done, on to the next project which is finishing up my first challenge piece for my new art group. That reveal will be Oct 1st.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Continuing My Fish Series

Another thing I've done while waiting to get back to quilting from this shoulder mess, is do another set of fish drawings.  This next set will be done both on canvas and as quilts.

The first few layers  of canvas number 1 are here is the start of  "Mollie"

and a little more

Now, back to the Saints game!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Garment Sewing

As I mentioned in the previous post, I've also been doing some garment sewing.  What started it all was seeing a cute jacket in a local boutique.  I really loved the cut and the fabric, but the seams were just serged. Well, I can deal with that EXCEPT when the price is almost $300.  For that price, I would expect fully finished french seams!  After all, it's not hard to do and is such a nice finish.

So, I passed up the expensive, marginally constructed jacket and proceeded to make my own.  Years ago, I made all my clothes, so that's not a problem for me. Just once I retired I quit doing it.  Well, I'm back at it and I got a little carried away.  So far I've finished 5 skirts, 5 tailored sleeveless shells and 4 jackets.  I say so far because I have another 5 jackets cut out and ready to sew.  And they are all the same style.  I modified an old pattern that I used to use to give it a more updated look. I also added princess seams to give it  a better fit.

So here are the 4 completed jackets...though these photos were taken before I added the buttonholes and buttons.

green lace

black,white,&gray cotton
Blue batik

rayon/linen blend

I had forgotten how nice it is to have clothes that fit of the many benefits of making your own! And all for much less than that poorly made jacket in the store.