Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Joy Jam!

Beth Wheeler from the blog "Confessions of a Thread Junkie" is having a Joy Jam!   She challenged her readers to make some hearts with the word Joy on them and give them to people you think might need some joy in their life.   It's nearing the 1 year anniversary of my father's death (Father's Day 2011), so I thought a little joy in my life would be just the ticket.  Here are my hearts:
Basically, I took out my ribbon basket, made a quilt sandwich out of muslin and started sewing all types sizes of ribbons across the sandwich.  I cut that ribbon quilt up into 3" x 3.5" pieces and then cut out hearts.  I didn't want to run ribbon through my printer, so I experimented with a bunch of pens and found a gold metallic gel pen that would write on satin ribbon without bleeding too much.  Here's a close up of one of the hearts above.
Now I can't wait to pass them out.   My father's sisters are coming to visit on Monday, June 4th...what would have been my father's 81st birthday.  They might need a little joy to take home with them.       Where the other hearts go is a mystery right now....but I'm sure I'll be able to spread a little joy for a while.  

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Recreating a lost miniature

Recently I've been getting some of my creative mojo back....challenging myself to try new things.   Almost 2 years ago, I made a quilt for the 100th anniversary of Naval Aviation.  It's still in the "Lost Quilt Come Home" database.   So, two weeks ago, I decided to recreate that design in a 12 inch block for the EAA AirVenture Quilt Block Contest.   It's not an exact replica, but pretty close.   Here's what I sent off to Oshkosh, Wisconsin yesterday.
Instead of meandering the sky, I decided to echo the aircraft.  To simulate the tiny little sparkles on the top of the aircraft carrier, I randomly took little stitches with that silver metallic thread I haven't been able to use with my sewing machine because it breaks all the time. It took over three months to make the original.   This one only took a couple of weeks.  Remaking it was healing.   Here's to hoping the Post Office doesn't lose this one too. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Doing the Wasilowski

Recently my guild offered a two-day class from Laura Wasilowski.   Yes!  I'm now a member of the Chicago School of Fusing.   I still sometimes murder my glue, but I enjoyed the class and lecture immensely.

First, we were given two pieces of hand-dyed material and asked to create a garden using nothing but our scissors, wonder under, and an iron.   Here's my attempt:

I'm not pleased with the huge pansies in the right hand corner but love the hand-dyed fabric and the four-leaf clover I added to the clover patch at the bottom.  We were given variegated threads with which to embellish the piece.   I relearned how to do some french knots and started outlining the bleeding heart branch.

The next day, we were instructed to take the left over pieces of the garden projects and make collages by cutting and layering fabric.  Eventually, the pieces I was playing with began to look like my dog.  So, I cut her out of the collages, and glued her to another piece of fabric.   Here's Misty:

Ok, so I haven't really touched these pieces since the fact, they've been relegated to my UFO (for the non-quilters UFO = UnFinished Object) file for a while....that is until I figure out what I want to do next.  Any ideas?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Zentangle Fun!

I had the opportunity to take a Zentangle and Zen Quilting class recently.   What a lot of fun!   Of course, anyone who knows me knows that I am a doodler.   So, it's no surprise that this class spoke to me.  Pat Ferguson taught the two-day workshop.   The first day was learning how to doodle, Zentangle style.   Here's what I ended up with:

It's not exactly my style of doodle, but it was fun and satisfying.  Now on to quilting Zentangle style:
Does it look at least a little like a four-leaf clover? first one of the season!   Here's where the price of the class was worth every penny.   I've been trying to do this on my own with my sewing machine and colored thread... always running into difficulty representing heavy colored lines or designs with lots of stops and starts.  I began doodling only doodles that I thought I could quilt. That hampered my doodling creativity.  In this piece, I quilted the basic sections, then used archival ink pens to doodle on the fabric.  When I was finished doodling, I took a dry iron and heat-set the color, washed the quilt, and used a pencil to add shading.  The final result?   A whole new realm of quilting possibilities!   Woohoo!

Monday, May 14, 2012

A New Day, A New Way...

My life has been consumed co-chairing a quilt show for a local quilt guild.   Now that I'm on the other side looking's time to work on some creative stuff for me.   But before I start posting some new creative stuff, I just want to record here the quilts that went into the show:
This little gem is a thread painting of a pattern from Debra Gabel's book: "Quilt Blocks Around the World".   Only the size of a piece of printer paper, I used canvas as the foundation and to provide some stability for all of the thread.
I call this one:  Mildly Magnificent Tree.   The pattern is from the Sally Collins book: "Mastering Precision Piecing."  
The Ultimate Guild Challenge this year was to depict a Beatles song or lyric in a quilt.  This is my original design titled "Back to the USSR". 
This original design titled "Orange You Glad You Like Jazz" was my entry for the guild's bloomin challenge.   I'll be auctioning it off at another guild's Silent Auction later this year.  Hopefully, I'll get enough from the auction to pay for the beads and fabric. 

Dad's t-shirt quilt.   I made 5 of these last year when he passed away and gave them to relatives.  This one is my favorite though for chilly nights.