Thursday, May 30, 2013

Thought I would begin

where I left off the last time I blogged showing you what I am working on.
Progress has been made but there is still more shading to add.   I know it  has been almost two week since I last blogged.  Normally in that length of time I would be at the quilting stage, but sadly I'm not, because for all of that two week period I've been on medication and in bed with back and hip pain.  This morning when I put my feet on the floor  I happily noted that the pain had  subsided to the point where I could stand up long enough to make my own breakfast sit. 
Then I tried sitting.  Sitting was good.  The desk chair at the computer is the one my lower back likes best.   Now no to push it I am back to bed until lunch time.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Today I painted

for a spell and went off  for a little retail therapy in one of my favorite places.  The Bernina Sewing Center in Lake Mary, FL.  Here is what I got done on my commission piece today before lunch.

I haven't been out of the house for a few day except to walk to the mail box  and I can't say how long it's been since I was in a quilt shop so after lunch I drove to Lake Mary and this is what I came home with. 
It was so fun seeing all of the pretty colors and happy patterns on the shelves of the quilt shop.  Getting out of the house was a good thing too even though I was stuck in a traffic jam for 30 minutes on the way home because of a multi-car accident at the intersection before my turn lane to the condo community where I live. 
While in the shop, as I looked and of course patted and narrowed my choices to these seven fabrics, I chatted with the ladies in the shop knowing as I asked for two yards of each that  none of them would  be used for any quilt top of mine.
Oh what fun I'll have using  them for backings.  
Between dyeing and buying fun stuff, I am slowly rebuilding my fabric stash.
At the end of the day this is where I am. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

If I was asked three days ago

if there was anything else I needed or wanted for my studio, I would have without hesitations said, "no, there's nothing I can think of".  That nothing changed to something  when I accepted  a new commission that came my way on Sunday.  What I realized I needed was a printer that enlarges and reduces a drawn image.
     When I lived in MO, Lyn and I had a small office type fax/scanner/copier/printer in the home office that we shared.  When I moved to Florida, the apartment complex had a conference center complete with a multi-tasking office size unit that did even more things.  During the three plus years I lived there I used the office equipment in the conference center a lot and the walk from my apartment to the conference center gave me a reason to get out of the apartment, plus the walk did me good.
     As I began to think about the composition for the commissioned  piece that will measure about 54' x 40" in a horizontal orientation I realized that I would more likely than not needed to run out several times to a copy center to have some images reduced and once reduced, more than likely I would have to enlarge them to the right size for projection.
     No mater what size my finished pieces are, I design best on 8-1/2" x 11" note or graph paper.  But in both cases when using my Prism by Art-O-Graph, I have to reduce the final composition down to fit the 7" square area that my projector has.  From experience I know I get a clearer projected imaged if the image I am projecting is  no larger than 5-1/2 inches in any direction.
     Shucks and be darn, was what I thought when I realized there is no copy center close to me.   So off to the closest office supply store I went yesterday and brought this.  It works great and is so user friendly, thank goodness, because the manual written in 10 different languages was in my opinion worthless.
The composition was completed last night and projected onto the right size piece of silk.  I will begin painting on the new piece probably tomorrow.  Right now I  am quilting the second of two pieces that will serve as class samples.  Both measure about 18" wide by 26-28" long.  One is pinned to the design wall waiting for facing, sleeves and a label, the other is under the needle more than half quilted.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

What's a girl (grandmother) to do

when a guy (Josh the grandson) moves a car into what you have claimed as your wet studio.
  My car lives in the driveway but his with no top and the unpredictable rains that central Florida is known for, his no can do.
I know, I could be mean and say, no way, it's out of here... Put the hard top back on it, but it is such a "cute"  girl speak  kind of car.  Not sure what guy's say, except he's gotten quite a few thumbs up from other guys who have walked past our garage when the door has been up.
But for what I use the garage for, there is still room for me to get to the sink and the work table even when this short stuff of a car is inside.
Here is what I dyed two days ago using bleach and unbleached Roc Lon muslin from Joann Fabric.
I like the feel of the bleached but not the unbleached  muslin which took some hard pressing with steam and could have benefited greatly with a good spay of starch or sizing to be usable and if I were to use this cloth  for a functional bed quilt it would definitely have that used looked after the first washing.  But I don't make those kind of quilts.
So now I am waiting for a samples of  James Thompson's bleached and unbleached muslin to arrive by mail to see if I like the weight of it.  I am so used to using Kona PFD that I am spoiled by the weight  of that cloth even when I know some other fabric lines take the dye better.
Will blog again soon, For now, I am off to the cardiologist where I expect to get a good your heart is healing just fine report. 

Monday, May 06, 2013

Life is so unpredictable

and mine was thrown a curve I didn't see coming Sunday two weeks ago.  On April 21 when I had planned to spend the day in the garage preparing to test dye some one yard cuts of several pieces of muslin I  brought from Joann Fabrics on Saturday .  But I never got to do that.  Instead, my daughter Lyn died unexpectedly that Sunday morning and then I was hospitalized with a heart attack brought on by the shock of her death.  I am sad, but my heart is healing from both the grief and the heart attack.

In my last post I said I would not talk about the house again, but I will tell you what I have done as far as getting back to creating, which my daughter Lyn strongly supported.

The sink is in.   As it turns out my grandson Josh is a very handy person who reads instructions, follows them  and has a perfectionist streak, so you know when he does it, it will be done right.  So not only can he install ceiling fans, and light fixtures, he can put do-it-yourself furniture together and now, a sink in the garage.  No plumber was needed after all.

All the restaurant type metal sinks I wanted were too long for the space I have so this sink from the Home Depot so far is working very well.  I have installed some shelves (rather Josh did) on both sides of the sink, over the sink a dry erase board for notes and I have a small refrigerator  to keep  the dye solution in and a few bottles of water. 
This looks a mess, but I just finished dyeing some fabric that is in the washing machine.  I am waiting  for the rinse cycle to stop.  I am anxious to see how well the beached and unbleached muslin   from Joann Fabrics took the dyes.   
Here is my dye area, Yes it is a mess.  I will let you see an image of the dye area when I have neatened it up a bit.
Oh, yes, Justin the middle grandson, installed two 4 bulb shop light with day light bulb to go with the one two bulb fixture that was already in the garage.  So now  with ten - four foot bulb turned on I can work late into the night if I want to and it's like high noon in that area of the garage.