Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pictures for earlier post

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Bird quilts for earlier post

Sorry, blogger was having a bad morning and images would not post properly.

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The overiding reason why I work with fabric

instead of paper is the wonderful colors and patterns you can find in fabric stores. And I do so love to look and fondle and buy cloth. Anything bright and with flowers begs to go home with me. I have a hard time saying no because I do not think in "fat quarters". Give me yardage. Yards and yards and more yards. On average at least three. I work big. I think big. Big. Bold. Colorful.
But unlike in years in the way distant past when I looked at cloth with the expectation of including it in the design of a quilt top I now buy commercial cloth with plans to put it on the back of my work.
I fell in love with this bold print a year or more ago; a Valori Wells design by Free Spirit and brought several yards of it. So to answer Carol's question posted in the comment section of my last blog post, this is what is the backing for the Morning Glory quilt. She also wanted to see the end results of the birds quilts which I thought I had posted but I guess not. They went to the exhibit in Kentucky and are back home and rolled and stored in the closet.
Truthfully, I had forgotten all about them.

I do not plan to make a habit of selling any of my work from this blog, but then again, I generally do not make work that I do not want to live with if it does not sell. However, these birds are in the, "I made them but,I don't want to live with them" category. So if anyone is seriously interested in having them come live in your house, inquiries and serious offers to purchase will be gladly accepted.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Whew, it seemed like forever

much much longer to get done than most of my whole cloth pieces. Not that I am making an excuse, but it is a little bigger than most of my work of late. As it is, it measures 40" x 55". I will loose about an inch when it is faced if I leave it as I have cropped it. I removed about 3 inches from the bottom, 2 inches from the left and 1 inch from the right.
So much for that and now on to the next thing....
I have a large piece of fabric 60" x approximately 60" that I soaked in soy milk and left to air dry yesterday. Not sure what I will paint next but I think I will get started on it before I spend a full day facing this piece. You know the sleeves will not get done for a while. At least not until this place has some place to go.
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Friday, August 27, 2010

Trying some new things

began last Friday when I rode my bike to Joann Fabrics for a bolt of wool felt. I was lucky enough to get a 60% scratch off coupon on my last Joann's newsletter and there was no way I was going to pass on paying $4.00 a yard vs $10.00 for something I use a lot of. So off I went with my Driver's license for ID just in case, my insurance cards just in case, my cell phone, again just in case, helmet on head and my VISA card to shop. Two bungee cords for attaching my purchase to the carrage rack over the rear tire and the  three mile trip each way on the bike without incident was a good way of breaking in my new bike. All went well.
Last week I began corresponding with a quilter in Canada who wanted to learn to dye paint using the techniques I did  to make a quilt she saw on my website.
I didn't think I could simply talk her through it or upload enough still images to get the point across so I started playing with the movie mode on my camera and my discoveries became another new thing for me to do last week.  I started a small piece as a "prop" to work along with her step by step
I have included one of my segments in this blog entry. With a little more thought and planning this could turn into something like a CD or online class. Who knows? HMMMMM
After I finish up this class sample today I will get back to finishing the quilting on the Morning Glory quilt. It seems like it is taking forever to get this piece done.
I am trying two new fabric, or new to me for my watercolor paintings or fabric dyeing.
 You know how much I love silk broadcloth for painting, but I asked for and got a generous sample of Pimatex from Robert Kaufman. I tried water color painting on a piece and I dye painted a piece,  then stitched two pieces together, then sandwiched and quilted some if it.  I like it.
The other fabric I tried and like I am sad to say is not longer being produced it too is by Robert Kaufman.  It is a blend of cotton and bamboo, which is what the class sample in this blog post is made with.  I like the way it took the dye and quilts.  It has somewhat of a soft sheen not unlike the silk broadcloth.
 The reason I am on the hunt for alternative fabric is because of my need for a PFD fabric that come wider than 45 inches for painting whole cloth compositions. My favorite silk broadcloth is only 44"-45", the cotton/bamboo is 55" and pimatex comes in somewhere about 60".
Why am I looking?
The only time I can remember making a quilt for a specific competition, either size or theme, was for the Husqvarna Viking Gallery of Quilt Art Color Couleur Colore Kulor-Houston 2004 which I was accepted into but as a renewed thing  I have decided that I will work specifically in sizes that will qualify for Houston 2011.  I have to look again to be sure but I think their size requirement  is for  work no less than 48" in either direction. 
And the best thing that happened this week is not a new thing at all but a person. Her name is Marga.  I met her several months ago when did a trunk show for the newly formed Modern Quilters Guild and she followed up with an e-mail that lead to a lunch date and a decision to get together to talk art quilts.  With two schedules to work around we finally got our schedules to match and I drove the six miles to her house on Monday for lunch and  we talked and talked and talked and looked at her work, and talked, looked at her work space, and talked, looked at some of her work in progress and talked some more.
Yeah for new things.

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ignore the old leg

check out the new shoes.
About three years ago maybe four now when I was shopping for a new pair of Earth Shoes while still living in Columbia, MO the sales lady tried to talk me into trying a pair of MBT walking shoes, but they looked to strange to me so I passed. A month are so ago one of my students was wearing a pair and reported that she loved them, that wearing them had helped her firm up without having turned into an exercise nut. She just wore them and went about her daily life.
I put on a pair of MBT sandals at my now favorite shoe store, Shootz on Park in Winter Park and fell in love with the way they felt and the way they "walked" But I had just brought a pair of sandals and while sandals can be worn here year round I must tell you I am not a shoe collector, I tend to buy wear and replace.
So about a month ago I noticed that my walking shoes were coming to the end of their life expectancy and I would need a replacement pair soon, I decided to replace them with MBT's instead of another pair of Earth Brand.
I have worn Earth Brand shoes for years, they are all I buy and I love them, but my feet are in joy with these shoes. I must say, I don't think they are for every one; especially if you have not worn a pair of shoes with a negative heel, such as Earth Brand, but MBT seem to have a more negative heel quality and an exaggerated curved sole that makes your foot   roll forward toward the toe as you walk that makes walking pleasurable.

I think I blogged several months ago about me entering quilt shows again, well I did and  "Red Petunias" was accepted for the AQS Show in Iowa.  So if you live in that area and are attending the show, look for it.

I am still quilting on the morning glory quilt and yes, I have to unquilt at times which is a bugger. In this case the bottom tension was messing up.  Glad I discovered it before I had done more.
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Monday, August 16, 2010

What I learned today...

One.  I don't need training wheels.  Once you know how to balance yourself on a bike, you can always balance yourself on a bike. 
Two.  I am not ready for the streets.  For that matter I am not ready for the sidewalks either.  Not because I don't know how to peddle and use the hand brakes.  Getting on this bike and feeling comfortable with its power was like the learning curve one has with  a new car of a different make than  the one you have been driving for one hundred thousand miles, you know the one that you can instinctive reach and touch the radio or the air conditioning controls  without really thinking about it. The one you know how fast you can enter a curve without losing control or in the case of my Jeep, not tipping over.   For the first 20 minutes of riding up and down the seven levels of the parking garage where I live I worked through the learning curve.
Three.  Wheeeeeeeee.  What fun.
The gears shift by twisting on the handle with the left hand and the throttle is operated by twisting the handle on the right.  Depending on whether you are climbing a hill or racing down one you have to gear up or down and throttle back or up and in some instances on the declines you have to put on the brakes least you find yourself speeding and exceeding the speed limits posted for the garage.  Wheeeeee!!!!
Four.  My bike came with one battery pack, but will hold two which puts the range of this bike at about 50 miles.  Can you imagine that!  I would have to put my bottom into butt sitting endurance training to do that much riding.  But that is not stopping me thinking of the possibilities.  This afternoon I am upgrading my phone so I can get a GPS ap.
Five. I like  the mode that assist you up inclines as you peddle.  The mode that does
it all by itself without any pedaling on your part.... welllllll....let's say I will leave that for times when I am on a loooooooog  straight flat road lined on both sides with marshmallows, least I hit a bump and go flying.   Boy 15-20 miles an hour is really moving fast for a old lady on a bike.  Daring as I might be, even in my youth I was never a  Lance Armstrong.....

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Well I did it...

or shall I say Rene' did.  Today after a few laughs watching "The Other Guys"  we went bike shopping.  Guess what? While I would have been quite happy with a run of the mill bike,  I am happy to report that I am  the owner of an e-Zip.  
While it is not a Vespa, it will move along at about 15 miles an hour.   Best of all, until I get throttling up and down and the rhythm of shifting gears, pedal power will make it go just fine.  The battery has a 20 mile range if I am using it only to assist on hills rather than using it to tool along so when the weather gets a little less hot I can see myself venturing further afield.  Hmmm, I wonder if I can get a battery operated GPS for the e-Zip.
And yes, I brought a helmet.  Will take it for a spin around the shopping center parking lot in the morning  before it fills up with cars and it gets too hot.  Will  let you know how it went and if I have need of band aids or plaster casts :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Life in Apartment 226

has been humming along without any sour notes, high notes or low ones. Just normal everyday life as I am living it. The weather has been too hot and humid to be out of doors after 9:00 a.m. for weeks on end now, hence I have put off visiting a couple of museums one of which is the Morse Museum in Winter Park. An unusually hot and humid Summer is what the rest of the country is experiencing as well so I will not complain.
It seems that it rains everyday here sometimes between 2 and 5 with an occasional clap of thunder and a few streaks of lightening. But this is the rainy season and I knew that before I moved here.
I am quilting and knitting and reading and listening to books on tape interspersed in this I love my life sort of stuff comes periods of laundry, meal prep and housekeeping. I must admit, the periods are quite short since there is only me.
Tomorrow and Sunday I plan to see several movies. "Inception", which wasn't on my list, but my son Myke called to say I really should see it, so I will. My  movies to see list as of yesterday includes, "The Kids are Alright","Love, Eat, Pray", despite it is not getting good reviews. And oh..." The Other Guys". I put "How to Train Your Dragon" on the back burner for so long that it is now at the $1.00 movie theater on the other side of the street. The $1.00 movie is still within walking distance. After all this time and me reporting about where I live, I guess you are asking, "What isn't in walking distance?"
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Sunday, August 01, 2010

I started quilting the blue Moring Glory

piece on Friday after I returned from Condo sitting. The final plumbing inspection was done. No problems found. Yea!!!
I went to the condo prepared to spend the day because I thought the windows were going to be installed, but I misunderstood. The window company was coming only to measure the windows for size. So my time spent condo sitting was real short. I was in and out way before noon.
I had delayed starting on the Blue Morning Glory in part because I needed several values of blue thread. After leaving the condo I made the short trip to Joann Fabric and brought four spools, plus a spool of bobbin thread.
Oh a lucky find. While there are three yarn shops within an easy drive, there was only Michaels or Joann's in a pinch. So I was delighted to happen upon a yarn shop within walking distance on Thursday in a strip mall behind the McDonald's. Less than a mile away. On Thursday morning I had a quick chat with the owner, but had no time to really shop. Rene' is a knitter. She and I went back to do some serious browsing on Saturday afternoon and got there as the shop was closing. Shucky darn. Neither one of us brought anything. Serious yarn shopping is not something done in a hurry. But I had enough time to find out that The Knitting Patch relocated from Mount Dora about 6-7 months ago. Lora the owner was very nice and chatty. The shop was filled with a great selection of yarns and great samples. I can see many dollars being left in her register drawer.

I went into my photo archives to see if I could find this piece in its original state. I wanted show you what it looked like before I cropped it the first time and and a second time before it came to be what it is now. But had no luck.
Originally when I made this piece I was just playing around with improvisational screen printing using different thickened yellow dyes which gave me the background. It was pretty uninteresting at that point so I used some stamps I'd made using fun foam. While making the stamps I tried to think of as many window configurations I could that would still look like a window to the casual observer when used. That was all I had in my head at the time and because I don't as a rule make abstract art I have to have something "real" I can attach my art self to.
Then the black window juxtapositioned against the yellow background was too stark so I painted some red into the windows, thinking maybe that would convey the reflections of a red sunset.
So in truth this piece never said anything to me other than "Hey look at all the windows"
Despite that I kept it. As I said, it was folded and put away until I read the call for entry from Sacred Threads and that there was a separate call for Liturgical art. So having used the cruciform shape as the under structure for this piece I began cropping it until the main shape became more cross like.
It still is too abstract for me to attach much meaning to it and any name I call it I feel would be contrived and that was the main reason I was asking what it said to any of you. And maybe from what you said to me I could say wellllllll. Hmmmmm. Maybe......
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