Monday, January 28, 2008

I got up this morning

rearing to go and I was in my studio before my first cup of coffee of the day (actually a 20 ounce mug) was lukewarm. I finished up yesterday with a discharged piece that was first pre-quilted with an image that has taken my fancy. I was somewhat happy with the result but wished for better control and should have used a a thickened bleach solution like, Sunlight but when the thought hit me I discovered I had none, so my next thoughts went to using freezer paper as a resist and misting diluted bleach onto the surface instead. The results: where the freezer paper remained firmly affixed I was left with a nice clean/crisp edge, in places where it lifted, there was more spreading than I liked. With the help of a dark purple fabric marker I recolored those areas and redefined the edges of the images. Here is what I finished with.
The reason I am blogging about this piece is not so much about the piece itself but rather the memory of a nightmare I once had that kept running through my head this morning as I was cropping this piece to its final size.
Long years ago when I was very new to quilt making I belonged to a rather large guild in Louisville with very talented and skilled quilt makers. As a group effort there was a quilt designed, constructed, quilted and subsequently accepted in the group category at the then upcoming AQS show. When the application was made and slide submitted, the quilt had not been squared and the binding was yet to be done. This task was left to about four of us to do with me being in charge of the squaring since at that time I lived in a complex with a club house that conveniently had a dance floor that was large enough to spread out a queen size quilt fully in order to measure, mark and cut it, squaring the corners in preparation for binding.
The night before I was to start on this task I had a nightmare wherein I was measuring, marking and cutting the piece repeatedly without being able to get it squared. Repeatedly I tried squaring it to the point that when I finished and was pleased with the results I was left with a small wall hanging size quilt. Believe me in my dream I was greatly distressed and I woke in a cold sweat, with my heart pounding so hard I thought," Oh God, I'm having a heart attack." This morning this nightmare came back to me with a humorous note of rememberance and no panic because I was having a devil of a time getting this most recent piece to square to my liking and I was tempered to wish I could be happy with a more loosey goosey look to my work.
As you can guess I did finally get it to my liking, for if I was not now happy with the piece I would still be in the studio measuring and cutting and re-cutting and yes praying that I didn't end up with a jounal page.
Rather I am taking a break from sewing on the facing and getting another cup of coffee that in all likelihood will go lukewarm as well.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The facts, just the facts,

that's what it will be today.
The interview for the magazine went well. Am waiting for the photographer to call for a photo shot. Sounds more interesting than it really is.
Fact is I hate getting my picture taken and the older my face gets the more I hate it. (not hate my face, hate the picture taking.) Maybe I can talk him into just taking pictures of my work, or my hands at work.
Facing and sleeves are done on latest piece. Complete except for the label, again I have no clue what to name it.
Fact is I love this stylized, abstract floral image and I will contemplate additonal compositions and colorways for this motif.
My way of doing dye painting is fun, so much so that

Fact is I wish I had thought to soda ash soak some fabric early yesterday and get it on the line, instead of not thinking about it until near bedtime. I made the soda ash solution and put the fabric in to soak while I slept. (Only 15-20 minutes is required) As of this morning 10 yards of soda ash soaked fabric is now dripping dry on the clothes line in the garage. Its going to take nearly all day to dry. GRRRR
Fact is it is cold and grey here today, maybe I'll treat myself to a hot tea and a good book day while I wait.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Before I go chase a few dust bunnies around

I thought I'd give you a look at my latest piece. It was created with a combination of dye painting and screen printing. It still needs facing and sleeves, but that is the task I will undertake tomorrow morning.
Why are there two images of the same work? Because I ask Picasa to color correct the image and it gave me this wonderful green background that I wished I had done rather then the real background color that is ProChem's Safari Grey. The colors of the large petals are the colors in the green background piece. It is a good thing I will not be using either one of these images for a juried competition.  
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The reason I will be chasing dust bunnies in a little while is my less than enthusiastic effort to tidy the house before a reporter come tomorrow to interview me for an article that will appear in a locally published magazine titled Inside Columbia I think it is a quarterly so I am not sure when it will be on the news stand but will let you know, when I know.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Had a good day

but have no images of my smiling face to prove it.

Had 4 quilting ladies in for about 3-1/2 hours yesterday. I got to show off my latest 6 pieces and was rewarded with ahhhh and questions about my techniques and the process I used which I am always happy to share with others. I am doing a series of short sessions with them focusing on design/composition. Yesterday was a paper, scissor and glue stick exercise. I sent them home with an assignment and will see them again in a month. Jan, one of the ladies brought me a small package of stuff she thought I could use for measuring dyes, dye stuff and possibly applying dyes. She was right. I loved getting this little surprise.

After they left I made a trip to the library. Then stopped at Steak and Shake and picked up a made for me salad for a late lunch.
On my latest trip back to Louisville if you recall I told you I listened to two book. I didn't tell you they were by J. D. Robb who is Nora Roberts of the romance genre. Her main character in these books is a female Lieutenant in the NY Police Department. The stories are set in the year 2059 or there abouts. Lots of Big Brother type techno computer info stuff is available to them for solving crimes. What I like is the future in these book is realistic and not so far out that it is unimaginable even though they refer to people being "off planet" working or vacationing, etc. In the first two book I listened to there seems to be a gun ban in place and none are used in the murders and crimes; a lot of knives though. I think the police's weapon of choice is a Taser(sp?) At any rate the actress reading the book to you is great with lots of drama and inflection, very convincing voice changes for each charter so you know who is speaking without the usual, he said, she said. I so enjoyed those two books that I went on line when I got home

to see how many book Nora Roberts had written under the name JD Robb and was pleasantly surprised to learn there were at least a dozen. And to my great pleasure the Columbia Public Library had 14 titles on CD. I promptly checked out 9 of them. Leaving 5 on the shelf, two of which I had heard. Of course I had to put four of them on my daughter's library card since 5 audio's are the limit for one day's check out.

I was happy.
I found by accident the quilt store on my side of town that had relocated from a failing shopping center on the main east west drag on the south side of town. I had been in the store only once before it moved and did not find the material/fabric they carried to my liking way way too traditional, drab in the homey country kind of way. Browns, yucks. But they did have 505 which was sold out at the first quilt store (north side of town) I went to on my way back from the Library. I needed the 505 and wanted some thread, You noticed that I said, I wanted not needed thread, I won't need thread for a long long time I have so much, but I am finding I like Mettlers polyester very much for free motion quilting. No shredding and breaking at high speeds. Right now I don't have it in a lot of colores but will rectify that soon.
Has anyone tied these needles. Klasse' They are much cheaper than the Schmidt's; buy two get one free, and the regular price per pack is $4.95 about $2.00 less than a comparable Schmidt's.
I am beginning to make a serious dent in the my needle stockpile which I always kept replenished when I lived in Louisville by frequenting the 30-40-50% off sales at a sewing machine store where there was no limit on the number of packages you could buy at any one time. If these needles do not prove out I think I better tell Marti or Valera in Louisville to let me know the next time " Oh, what's his name???" Oh yeah, Jerry, has a sale.
This is the latest piece I am working on. It is now being quilted and would have been ready today to block, square up and face except that I did not like the quilting in the flower and I began ripping out the quilting yesterday as I listened to the first of the nine books on CD.
I only have a little more ripping out to do. Rip and re quilt, block and bind and I will make myself put on the sleeves too otherwise I can see the beginnings of another roll of quilts at the foot of the bed.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Artificial christmas trees grow!!!!

You can not convince me otherwise especially after I spent the last half hour wrestling with what was nine feet of tree, trying to get it to fit back in the box from whence it came without success. As I sit here blogging waiting for my heart rate to returns to normal, I've decided that the manufacturer of said trees need to package them in a box that is at least 1/4 larger so that I and others can get them back into the box and store it for the next time. I know I can not be the only one with this problem.
On the brighter side, it is a good thing there is such a product as duct tape because that is what I resorted to in order to close and secure the box. Now I am waiting for the Grand-boys to put it and all of the other bins of holiday fare away in the over the garage storage room.
I came home from Louisville wanting to get back to the two pieces I left unfinished but spent the larger part of the last two days catching up on my sleep. There is nothing like your own bed.
Now that the house is almost back to normal, I plan to get back to work.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The trip over and back was

a blur mainly because I have somewhat of a hot foot, and I listened to two very entertaining books on CD as I drove. There is nothing of interest to see along I 70 in Missouri once you leave Columbia and cross the bridge into Illinois at St Louis where you pick up I 64 until you get to Louisville
I left on Sunday in 70 degree weather and I confess that some part of me wanted to stay home and work in my garage dye area. I kept thinking of the amount of work I could have completed in two days of record high temperatures. But my arrival in Louisville to be greeted by friends warmed my heart.
Of course as all of my trips to Louisville of late during this one too I was very busy. Dinner out on Sunday and Monday Night with two different sets of friends. And breakfast out and gallery hopping with Karen and Valarie on Tuesday morning along with an impromptu visit to an art supply store to get some water color paint and paper and brush. The knitting just wasn't satisfying my creative urge during my down time between gallery hopping and waiting for an appointment to close on the sale of my youngest daughter's condo which she was lucky enough to have sold in one week. She moved to Orlando for a new job and it made no sense for her to fly back in when I was going to be there anyway. It is funny that I had to with her Power of Attorney sell her place, when it was I who with her POA closed on her condo and sighed the paper when she brought it about 7 years ago. That time too she was out of town on business.

The initial reason for me going to Louisville was to help hang Form Not Function at the Carnegie. Once again I think it is a great exhibit. In no particular order of importance as to why I took what shots here are some images from the exhibit. There is no signage at this point so I can not tell you who's piece is who's. And believe me, when we are hanging we do not stop to read the labels on the backs of the quilts . I must say however that I continue to be surprised at the number of works that have no identifying information securely affixed to them.
This view is of the East Gallery
The above and below are of the West Gallery.
As a group of six we were short handed this year. From left to right, Kathy Loomis, Valerie White and me. Joanne Weis left us at noon to take an art class, Pat Darif's job life intruded and Marti Plager was out of the country but will be back in time for the Opening reception on Friday.
Short handed or not we don't look any the worse for wear and could still smile when this shot was taken at the end of the day after the last quilt was hung. I had to include this shot. I now know why some people become veggie eaters only. I was waiting for a turning light behind this truck loaded with cows. His or her eyes just got to me and made me feel a little sad, knowing what was probably waiting at the end of the trip.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

A trip to Wally World and time in the studio

was how I filled the day. Was out early while the wind was still blowing strongly, making for a really cold day here in Mid Missouri with temperature reading in negative numbers because of the wind chill factor. But I was out the house and back in less than an hour. I was on a mission to find two things. A battery operated tooth brush since mine died yesterday. (Don't cry, it was time)and a DVD player to replace the one I borrowed from the youngest Grandson that gave up the ghost yesterday as well when I wanted to see the movie Kingdom. The onscreen message from the DVD player kept saying there was no disc when I knew there was. And since there is no arguing with a machine there was nothing left to do but trash it and get another. John the youngest GS let me use his new X box yesterday long enough to see the movie but I knew I could not use it forever, he has GAMES to play. In truth I really didn't want it forever, there are too many buttons. I like simple, straight forward, uncomplicated.
When I returned from my quick shopping spree having spent less than $30.00 and less than an hours time, I went to the studio and worked while keeping one ear atoned to the talking head and the Iowa caucus polling data.
I am working on two pieces, which is unlike me. But of late I have been doing a lot of stuff that is unlike me. One of the pieces is in the quilting stage and there other one is stretched on my large ironing surface that I covered with plastic to make a temporary print surface in the house since working in the garage is not an option until the weather warms a lot. I am trying a new to me dye painting technique that I should be able to give you a glimpse of the result in a couple of days if all goes well. So far it is fun and that's all I will say for now.