Thursday, July 31, 2014

Of late, I'm not sure why I feel I have to finish every piece I start

n matter what, but that's just me.  For the last three days I have been quilting and putting facing on these three pieces.  The red/orange flower below has been hanging on my design wall for over a month.  It was one of six pieces that I paint a while back that I kept putting to the back of the quilting line because it was my  least favorite of the ones I painted in that session and I have found every excuse in the book for  letting it hang on the design wall  until this morning.  When I walked into my studio this morning, with nothing else on my agenda and saw it hanging there, I said to myself... just finish it and be done with it.
Well I tried to get it done today, but two phone calls shortened my studio time so tomorrow I still have the facing, sleeve and label to do.  The do the hand work on the facing and sleeve tomorrow while visiting with the ladies of the Friday Fabs group. 
It will be a small group that will be meeting  as most of them are going on a road trip to see a quilt exhibit at the Stetson Mansion in De Land , do lunch and possibly visit the quilt shop there.
14" x 17"
Now that it's done.  I like it.  The quilting helped, then the shading and then the over painting with yellow to add some value changes to what was a flat vermilion and pedals without definition.  True red is a challenge to work with.  It  is hard to change the value of it without making it  pink or orange.  In this case I  do like how I pushed it into the warm orange range.  If you know me, red/orange is my favorite color.

7" x 10.5"
 These two pieces, which are quite small, were painted to try a combination of three paint colors to see how they worked together. 
I like contrast in my work and  I think the background value is too dark. 
I played around with some water color pencils.  Using them with a stencil and rubbed on a damp stamps.  When using stamps in the past, I have dabbed  not so diluted water color paint on them.   As I continue to test my silk samples I noted that these two pieces of silk were  more beige than white which I think also influenced the color/value.  I am leaning toward using only white or slightly off white in the future
6" x 7.5"

Sunday, July 27, 2014

It's always fun when....

you are with a friend which I was yesterday morning and it's always fun to rediscover a part of the area where you live that you love.
    Last Friday one of the topics of conversation moving through the group was the not being able to find a good tasting tomato in this part of the world.  We attribute that to the weather and the soil or lack thereof  "good dirt".  Our  soil is more sand than anything.
    Of course I had to brag about my friend Marti in KY and her tomatoes and the great Farmers Market that I visited every Saturday when I lived in Columbia, MO where the produce was brought in fresh from the surrounding farms by the farmers who actually grew the crops as opposed to the produce that is trucked in from who knows where.  "oh what I wouldn't give for a good BLT.  It's been years".
     Then Lyn, one of the ladies in the group told me about a long held  Farmers Market in Winter Park; a community not far from where I live,  which I wasn't aware of.  We made a date and off we went yesterday morning in search of a good tomato.    Lyn has lived in Winter park and knew the history of the community so it was great getting to hear all of her stories about her time living there and how the area has grown and changed.
This is my friend Lyn.   She needed a picture of herself in a pose for an online  Jane LaFozio workshop. 
These were the biggest carrots I have ever seen.  We were told they were really sweet and great grated in a salad.
We did get tomatoes, and dark cherries and I picked up a sweet onion, all grown in Georgia.  The tomato while not as good as I remember tomatoes can be wasn't bad.  I am looking forward to a tomato sandwich for lunch.  I wonder if Marti would overnight me a few ripe ones from her garden? hmmm...
There were also plants, flowering and not everywhere.  Of course I took lots of pictures.

After our stroll through the market we visited the rose garden in a nearby park.  Roses are just about at the end of their season here and while I got a few good shots, I have promised myself to come back next year in April.  That's when, Lyn who is a gardener says they will be at their peak.
Then we went to have our second cup of coffee for the morning at a nearby restaurant on Park Avenue that was "line out the door" busy, but we grabbed a seat at the bar and were served rather quickly. 

We had coffee where the yellow umbrellas are.  This is looking south on Park Avenue toward Rollins College.

When I got home, I started painting this piece on another silk sample. (15" x 18").  It was labeled as 100% silk Duppion made in India.
In the middle of quilting this piece I made a trip to the Quilt Shop in Lake Mary to buy some thread.   No - I wasn't out of thread.   I have almost every color that 40 wt. Isacord comes in.  But now that I am multicolor backgrounds I am changing the color of the threads on the top and in the bobbin  often along with having to decide where on the background to make the change where it will be a smooth transition.  To solve the issue I have been using and off white  Invisa Fil by Wonderfil and I love how it melds into different light value colored areas seamlessly taking  on the hue of whatever color it is being stitched over.  Wonderful..
No more having to make an  exact color match.  In this piece, I tried four colors, a very soft pink, a dull yellow, a soft grey and a off white.  I brought two values of beige and a true white that I am going to return and exchange for other hues. 
I hate that threads now come in these sealed wrappings.  Wrap that prevents you from  pulling out a length of thread to test it against your work to see if it is the best fit.  But then too, there is the lighting in most stores that prevents you getting a true reading of the color anyway.
After lunch I am going to paint on the largest piece of Silk I was given to try.  Will let you know how that goes tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Here is  today's small quilt, painted and quilted that was done using another piece of silk from my samples..    At the same time I am also working on ways to make the backgrounds more interesting at the same time trying to not have the background take over.
I do sell my quilts so if you see one on my blog that  you are interested in having, just send me an email.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Searching, I've been searching

For the longest I've been searching for a heavy weight silk in widths wider than 44-45 inches without luck.
About a month ago my luck changed.  I was chatting with Tee, one of my Friday Fabs buds,  telling her I was looking for a local source for silk to paint on.  At the back of my mind I knew she , worked  for an Interior Design Company that caters to the Florida  home decorator  market, but the thought of  asking her for help in my search never entered my mind.
Last Friday Tee  handed me a bag of samples of different silk.  All of the pieces were at least 19mm, which is equal to the silk broadcloth I order from Thai Silk and the Silk Connection.   All of the pieces were priced and labeled as being made in  India.  Best of all, all were  between 53-57 inches.  Most were off white or ecru.  A few were too beige and a few were white, perfect.
The sample sizes varied from 6" square to one piece that was 24" x 30", big enough to make something, as are the pieces that were 12" square.  I used one of the piece to paint the pictured below.
If you look closely you can see some slubs (?) scattered through  this piece of fabric, but to my eye they do not distract from the finished piece .  Good thing I am still working on building my inventory for the coming quilt show season.  This gives me the perfect reason to make small pieces to test  how the silks look and handle the watercolor paints. 
I was suppose be in Louisville last Saturday for my friend Kathy A's surprise birthday party.  Since she reads my blog I couldn't  say that when I posted last month.    By sadly I did not go.  Usually flying in and out of Orlando this time of the year is reasonable but for some reason the cost was way more than I wanted to pay for a quick two day visit.  Oh well a phone call to catch up was made.
Kathy, I'll be thinking of you tomorrow.