April 27, 2011

Fibervision Workshops

No matter how hard I try, I keep falling behind on my blog posts. Each month, after our business meeting and lunch, one of our Fibervision members teaches a mini workshop. They highlight whatever technique they feel someone would want to learn about. I like spending time with my friends and I like learning everything I can. I can't help it, it seems to be the way I'm wired! Some people believe that all these new techniques and subject will distract them and won't be able to focus on their own style. Not me.
Jeanne taught Free motion quilting in March. She has been doing some amazing stitching and were are lucky to some pointers from her. First we did a few pencil sketches using one continuous line, then we did the same sketch with thread on fabric. It's a good way to gain confidence in your FMQ. The next thing we did was new to me.
We dropped our feed dogs, and made a sampler of decorative stitches. It was fun trying to figure out what the stitch was going to do next. After a few minutes, you began to get a feeling for what it was going to do next and went with it. On the back side, I recorded what stitch it was and the different tension settings I used.
Here's a close-up. The stitches really have a personality of their own.
Kristin led a bookmaking workshop in April. Each of us made two different small books.
The yellow one has stitched signatures and the turquoise one has accordion pages. Both came out quite well for my first books. I'm glad I leaned how to make them, but I don't think I will be making more anytime soon.

April 24, 2011

Three's a Charm

This small piece is the third in a series, hence the title, "Three's a Charm".
If you're interested, you can see the other two pieces in the Art Gallery section. If you look closely, you'll see that they share some of the same characteristics. The reason is that the fabric was stacked in five vertical layers and paint was added to different layers. Depending on the type of paint used, some of it penetrated through several layers and some didn't penetrate at all. After it was dry, additional layers were added to enhance each piece.
The painted fabric and batting were machine stitched, then the beads were added. I painted a canvas for the background and hand stitched the finished piece through the canvas. The inner piece is 8 1/2 x 11" and the canvas is 11 x 14".
FYI: That white border is the batting.

April 17, 2011

Hormones: Divide and Duplicate

My intention was to finish this quilt for the Faulkner Gallery exhibit, but I just wasn't happy with the design. It needed something, and I just couldn't quite put my finger on what the something was. It hung on my design wall for a while until I realized that the hormones should be divided. I was afraid it was a mistake, and didn't want to start from scratch. So, I decided to do the cutting in Photoshop, and see how it looked before I took scissors to fabric. Once I played with the pieces, and saw the many possibilities, the scissors came out.
The hormones were cut apart and rearranged. But it still needed something . . . More Hormones, of course.So, here I am back at the beginning, creating even more hormones. Here's a close up of the plain yellow hormone fabric before the embellishment began. If you want to see the whole process, click here. The green strip in the middle is dyed cheesecloth that will float around the hormones. There are some other surprises in store, but you're going to have to wait a while to see the final results. It will debut in a group exhibit at PIQF in Santa Clara, CA. The exhibit is called "On the Way" and it will feature 20 Journey pieces made by Fibervision members. This will be our first group exhibit at PIQF and we're all very excited about it. Hope you get a chance to see it in person.

April 5, 2011

Scarf Redux

Thanks to the wonderful advise of Teri and Lisa, I ripped the offending scarf apart, and proceeded to knit it on circular needles. Unfortunately, nobody warned me that if you weren't careful, you could knit it together into a circle. Okay, stop laughing, it only happened twice! Now I have a pretty good idea how to make a hat. Seriously, it's so much better now. Thanks Ladies, great save!
This is my favorite scarf to date. It's knit with a yarn called Knit One-Crochet Too Cotton Ty-Dy. The lacy stitch makes and cotton yarn makes for the perfect CA scarf. LOVE IT!!
And here's a close up of the lovely lacy stitch. Another new knitting adventure!
The last post showed the orchid that was in the exhibit room. These are photos of MY actual plant. I absolutely love the visual texture! Isn't it gorgeous?
You're probably sick of reading about flowers and scarves by now. Next post will be about quilting, I promise!

April 4, 2011

The End of the Grapefruit Tree

We've been working really hard in the backyard. As you can see, the grapefruit tree is gone, the grass is dead, and quite a few plants have been removed. I'm still working on the patio design, but we're getting pretty close. No matter what we decide to do, it has to look better than it does now.The rain has finally stopped and the sun has returned to southern CA. This is a beautiful sunset that I saw from my back yard. I had to stop working and run inside for my camera. Spring is here!
A few weeks ago, I spent a fun, action packed day with my son, Jason, his girlfriend, Helen, and Helen's mom, Lisa. One of the things we did was attend a fantastic orchid show. There were so many colorful orchids in one place, I couldn't believe it.Every one of them was gorgeous and it was pretty difficult to choose a favorite, but I did. This lovely orchid came home with me.So far, it's doing great. Almost all the buds have opened, and it looks very happy in its new home. The real test is whether or not it survives long enough to flower again. I bought orchid food and read up on how to care for them. Keep your fingers crossed . . . the orchid I bought last year didn't survive. Sad, but true!