Wednesday, February 21, 2007

WIP Wednesday

" Sunshine Pier" 12 x 12, mixed media

What have I been doing? This weekend I refinished a new wooden table for my sewing room. In a perfect world, I would have been able to cut a hole in it and make a place for my machine to drop in. Unfortunately, Jerry is not handy with this sort of thing and neither am I, so I will have to wait until I get someone else to do it. In the meantime, it's still an improvement.

I spent some time painting, thread sketching, and fusing. I made lots of things and ended up liking this one. "Sunshine Pier" was created by first thread sketching on a fabric "sandwich", followed by painting and fusing. I used Tsukineko inks at first, including the technique of blending them with aloe vera gel. I just couldn't get them bright enough, so I went back in with dye paint and acryllic. After all the paint was dry, I still wasn't happy with it, so I added fused pieces. This is what I love about working improvisationally. You can always do something else. Of course, sometimes you go too far and have to start over, but that's ok too.
I am really happy with this one. I got the watercolor look where I wanted it, the brightness of more opaque paint where I wanted it, and the solid shapes to help the design where I wanted them. Yes! I will be using this approach again.

And here is Jerry's quilt, coming along. I got rid of the angel fish blocks, increased the number of light blocks, and found some great "coral" fabric to make more of the alternating nine patches. The border will be next. I don't know how well the colors are coming across, but they are just wonderful "in person", and I am happy with my progress.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

WIP Wednesday

Here is the quilt I am making for DH Jerry in progress. I have about half of the blocks finished. He loves scuba diving and taking underwater film. He also sails, but once I started auditioning fabrics I decided to stick to the underwater theme.

I don't have quite enough of that batik with blue fish, so I am going back to the batik stash to look for something else. I would like to find something that looks like coral or seaweed. It could still change, but I've pretty much settled on the nine patch and snowball blocks. They look like little windows into the sea, at least that's what I'm after. Those angel fish are looking kind of like "op art", do I like them? Not sure.

I've made lots of quilts for everyone else, but somehow never one for him. His birthday is next month, so I hope he likes it. Don't worry, he doesn't read my blog, it will still be a surprise. He's also kind of oblivious to what is going on in my studio, he just knows I spend a lot of my free time in there.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Nice and Neat

Well, it probably won't last, but I have the sewing studio nice and neat once again. I went through almost every bin of fabric I have and (gasp!) gave some of it away. My SIL Diane is selling on ebay to raise money to participate in the breast cancer 3 day walk. She will also be having a garage sale, so I have had lots of motivation to clean out closets as well. It feels great to be organized, even if I know it's only temporary.

I was happy to get my cutting table raised to counter height by adding some PVC pipe to the legs. Works great, and no more back strain. I view my current space as temporary since I will move to a larger room once our son moves out again. I want to plan it thoroughly and look into a better fabric storage system as well as better furniture

Check these out.
You Tubes for Book People:

Introducing the Book

Banned Books

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Baghdad Day to Day: Librarian's Journal

Read about the war from the perspective of someone who is still trying to live and work there.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

WIP Wednesday

"Blue Tulips in the Garden of Evening", handpainted silk and commercial cotton.

Nikki decided she needed to be in the picture. She is my sweet and quirky little border collie, thirteen years old this year. I put area rugs in my sewing room so she would have better footing. Actually, we have put rugs all over the house, even where the placement looks odd. She just can't keep her balance on the slippery wood floors anymore.

Here is a closer look. Handpainting silk was a new experience for me. (I used silk charmeuse from Dharma and the Dharma Pigment dye paints. There is also a little Tsukineko ink used in drawing.) I love the colors, the shimmer, the stitching. I am using lots of delicious hand-dyed embroidery threads and perle cotton to make very big textural stitches. Next time I paint silk, I want to try the "resist" and work for a better focal point and more control. I'm definitely having fun.

My donation kid's quilt is almost together but I haven't worked on the pineapple blocks again since last week. I started a new gift quilt for Jerry that features lots of tropical fish and sailboats since his favorite leisure time activities are scuba diving and sailing. It will be a simple "nine patch and snowball" quilt that showcases the fabrics. I would like to give it to him during his birthday month (March), but it will be a nice surprise any time he gets it. I have a trunk full of quilts in the family room that we all use to wrap up in when we watch TV, but I still think it will be nice to make one that is just for him.

Between work, water aerobics, and the daily household stuff, there are just not enough hours in the day. Good thing I am needing less sleep as I get older.