Thursday, October 23, 2014

Fabric Dyeing 101 - for me anyway...

Spent 2 days with my dear friend and frequent mentor Beverly in her dye studio in VA. We created some beautiful fabrics and I learned so much about the process, the experimentation and the fun of it.
Here are some of my results. I used regular PFD and some sateen, not sure if you'll be able to tell but I'll describe how each one was created. We used ProChem's MX Fiber Reactive dyes on 100% cotton.

These two are folded, pressed between small wooden boards, then clamped to provide a mechanical resist...




These four are sewn to fit tightly on a PVC pipe, then crinkled onto the pipe and placed in a dye bath while squished on the pole, no over-wrapping was involved. The wider, non patterned area on the last ones provides some matching fabric.



 

These two are fat quarters that were wrapped diagonally on the PVC pipe, then squished down to create the ripples. The bottom one was also dyed the day before with non-soda ash prep so that the colors washed out a bit and are softer.



These three are fat quarters wrapped and squished onto thick marine rope. This is my favorite fabric result.





These fat quarters were bunched then wrapped in tulle and rubber banded before going in the dye bath.





These two long quarters were dyed without a soda ash dip, dried, then stitched and scrunched onto PVC pipes before they went into their second dye bath.




This last fat quarter surprised us with how well it came out. Whiffle balls were covered with fabric, then tightly rubber banded before going into the dye bath.



A lot of fun! What I hadn't realized was how much preparation of the fabric was needed before the fabric got near the dye bath.

We also did some ice, tray and coil dyeing. They're coming in the mail as we ran out of time - can't wait to see them.

Very pleased with the results and ready to tackle more dyeing as well as more fun techniques in my new dye studio in the basement. Have the used restaurant sink and the used washer all installed, ready to get going - such fun!!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Amazing Exhibit of Quilts at Washington's DAR Museum

In MD visiting friends and made a trip into the city today to see the antique quilt exhibit at the DAR Museum, right near the White House. Titled "Eye on Elegance" the exhibit features amazing applique, Broderie Perse style and Album style quilts from Maryland and Virginia from the 1800's. The exhibit runs through September 2015, so you have plenty of time to visit! And, it's free...


Here are a few, many with extensive trapunto (boutis) and teeny tiny hand quilting stitches.



This delectable mountain one was hard to walk away from, just mind boggling.






Traveling to VA tomorrow to stay with a judge friend. We'll be spending some serious time dyeing fabric, including pole wrapping of all varieties. She's even asked me to bring some heavy chains which Bob kindly donated from his garage collection, he's still shaking his head. Can't wait to see what we're going to do to that!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Tribute to Yoga - Rebecca's quilt


Just finished up quilting Rebecca's quilt, an original design, each block fun to explore. I need to ask her the meaning of each motif when she comes by to pick it up.



She selected the digital pattern "Mermaid Fingers" for the quilting, a great choice. It supports her modern quilt theme and gives her block motif format some visual movement as well as a bit of whimsy.

Some close-ups of the blocks... Enjoy!





Monday, October 6, 2014

Sandy's Beautiful Applique Quilt - Complete

Just finished Sandy's big and beautiful applique quilt. Two weeks and two cones of Superior So Fine later, I'm very pleased with the way it came out.




When I design the quilting on a quilt this large and detailed, I take a full view picture of it, print it up in black and white in 8" x 11", then design the major design areas on an overlay of tissue paper .

SID around all the applique took about 2 days but is a step that I strong believe gives the applique the emphasis is deserves. I also stitch within the applique in matching thread ,as I'm not a fan of the shine of  monofilament, to give the applique further dimension.






Here's a close-up of "Sherry's Swirls", a fill pattern designed by Sherry Rogers Harrison before her Inklique days, that I remembered from years ago. She was kind enough of draw it out on her phone for me and send it along when I bugger her about it.

Added some  pearls to the McTavishing in this area for more variety for the quilt and for me.



All the background fills and feathers were stitched out freehand.




Hope you've enjoyed these pixs of Sandy's quilt. Can't wait for her to come see it .


Monday, September 29, 2014

Coming along... slowly - Sandy's Beautiful Applique quilt

Been working on a customer quilt for a week now and it's coming along... slowly. Besides its massive size - king and its exquisite applique - its just BIG!

So far.. all the applique has been stitched around and the quilting areas within the HUGE negative spaces are divided up, so now I'm on to the fill. Which is simple, but very time and thread consuming.

The bobbins are full - about 20 of them - and I'll putter along on it for the week and probably then some.

It will be in the Quilters by the Sea show in Middletown, RI the weekend of the 18th, 19th.











And, with the exception of the straight lines and a few of the shapes, everything else is free hand.




Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Rising Star Quilters of Lexington, MA

Bob and I enjoyed out trip up to Lexington, Ma yesterday afternoon. The trees are turning and the bright, sunny day made for beautiful views.




We got to Lexington early to find the guild meeting site, then drove into the village of Lexington to find some dinner. The Panera's was closed due to a lack of hot water so found another restaurant on Yelp, Vine Brook Tavern, right around the corner and had a yummy dinner there, (they even had GF pasta) then off to the guild hall to set-up. We've never had so much help schlepping all our stuff in - Bob does tend to bring a whole lot to sell... so set-up went very quickly.




My Power Point lecture on "You be the Judge" went well, they loved the trunk show of about 35 of my quilts, then had a chance to visit with many of the guild members to discuss my work. The guild's annual show is the weekend of October 24, 25 and I think it will be well worth the trip, here's their website for more info www.risingstarquilters.org. They had to change the show's location recently, always a nightmare for a guild and they seem to be handling the change well.





I'm always amazed by guild's that have annual shows. I've always wondered if having that annual routine is actually easier than the every other year scramble of my two guilds, food for thought.

Everything is finally unpacked and back in place, now to get back to quilting Sandy's very large applique quilt. Still working on the SID around all the applique, very time consuming but so very worth it for the final impact this quilt deserves,it's a beauty and I should have it ready to show you by the end of the next week!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Busy Weekend

On Friday, after a bit of a drive to Lowell, MA spent the day at the New England Quilt Museum pitching my workshops and lectures to a group of guild program chairs. The museum sponsors this day every year, this is their third, and it gets better each time. We're given 3 minutes to share what we do before the bell dings and the next presenter's turn begins. Tough to put all I do into a 3 minute blip! Enjoyed meeting all the other presenters and the guild members. Looking forward to hearing from the guilds, booked a few while at the museum.





Also had some time to spend with the current exhibit, "Down by the old Mill Stream" featuring quilts from the University of Rhode Island quilt collection. I had visited this exhibit late in the summer but it's amazing how you absorb different quilts each time. I remember that same thing happening at the Houston show when I was there a few years ago. You'd walk by a quilt and swear it hadn't been there the day before. I think your mind becomes visually "full" after a certain number of quilts. This phenomena was even worse at the Pilgrim Roy exhibit in April at the MFA in Boston. The quilts were of such high and strong contrast that one's brain filled up even faster.

On the way home, I stopped at Ryco in Lincoln to set-up for their Teacher's Tea on Saturday and got the last table with a plug for my laptop. Spent the day there on Saturday demonstrating EQ7 to lots of interested quilters. A number plan on joining my monthly EQ group meetings. We have a ton of fun exploring EQ.






Back to Ryco this afternoon for an EQ group. We spent the afternoon designing medallion quilts working with two pre-designed layouts from the Layout Library, then creating our own medallion layouts from the new quilt tab. They had fun trying out lots of unique blocks in their layouts, rotating and flipping the blocks to get the best effect, adding pieced borders, then coloring and fabricing them in. Some amazing designs. I always tease them that I expect to see a quilt or two at the next group meeting, I'm hoping some day they'll surprise me!

Here are two of the sample medallion quilts I designed today, both with the same purple and green color palette. The first is from the medallion layout library horizontal aspect, the second is an on -point version.





Let me know how you like them...