Saturday, March 26, 2016

My love hate relationship with my computer

was in full force last week, right before I was about to leave for Venice, FL and the quilt show I was vending at.  The first one this year.  I like the small city of Venice, especially the "on island" portion of it that you reach by driving across a really short bridge.
     I dropped my CPU off at Stables on my way out of town.  It was acting like it had a virus.  When I checked to see if the virus program I had purchased was even installed and it wasn't.  Needles to say I was NOT happy.  Sure enough it hadn't been so they de bugged the CPU and installed the software that I paid for along with two years of tech services. 
     Then after I got it home and was going to blog about my trip to Venice, I could get to my blog.  Not even sure how I did it this morning.  Just let me say, it wasn't how I have done it for all the past times/years. 
     There is usually a guild show somewhere in Central/south Florida every weekend beginning in January and lasting to maybe the middle of April.  Because this was the first one for the year that I have attended I can't be entirely sure my observation is accurate, but I am going to put my thoughts out there anyway.
     Two, no three things have happened in Florida in the last several months that is changing the outlook and profitability  long range  for small guild shows.  First, the Mancuso show moved to Orlando from West Palm where it steadily decreased in show floor size mainly because of poor attendance. I did that show as a vendor once and swore I'd never do it again.  The attendance was terrible.  When they opted to move to Orlando their  dates collide with an established guild here in  Central Florida which prompted them to cancel their show instead of competing with a more professionally staged one. 
The second thing is a AQS show was held in Dayton Beach this year for the first time.  AQS always puts on a quality show.  More competition for quilt guilds.  And lastly the Sewing & Quilting Expo overlapped the show in Venice and according to the guild show chair she felt that caused their attendance to drop.  Since this was my first time there and I was steady busy, not sure how I could have handled  being much busier by myself so they must have  in the past had a tremendous gate.
    I passed on both the Mancuso and AQS show even though I could have done both and driven to and from each day and slept in my own bed. 
    I like small guild shows. I get to see different parts of the State that I wouldn't get in my car and drive to alone, just to be going.  The cost of a  vendor space is reasonable and doesn't  dent the bank account even if I have a couple of not so good selling days, like this past weekend.  But I had fun.
I talked to a lost of quilters.  I passed out a lot of peppermints and my business card (post cards with contact info on the back)  At quilt show is where I get most of my teaching engagements in  other parts of the country.  I even had an inquiry about coming to Canada and another inquiry about being an artist in residence for a private school which was something I did in Kentucky back  in the 1990 for two weeks.  hmmm not sure if I want to do that again. :)
My cactus finally stopped blooming a week ago, so no blooms for Easter.  But 10 of the 12 battery powered candles from Christmas are still flickering. 
I am still taking pictures of the sky on days I am in the studio.  While at the market the other day  I brought myself some flowers for Easter.
And because I miss Tulips I brought these too

Happy Easter everyone.


Friday, March 04, 2016

Not quite a tutorial

just showing one of my former student ( Claudia)  a way she can finish her painted quilts since she hates doing facings and sleeves as much as I do.  Of course for this to work, you have to begin the piece knowing what size stretched canvas is  available. 
So I started this piece knowing I had a 11 x 14 inch stretched canvas in the house.  I also had several larger ones but opted for the 11 x 14


Using my favorite no thinking flower which is more like a doodle to me I painted this quickly to test my approach to finishing a small fiber art piece.
 I started with a piece of silk that was 15 x 19.  I layered it with a piece of 35% wool x 65% wool, leaving out the first layer of Warm and Natural that I normally use with the felt layer and backing fabric. The felt layer was cut about 11-1/2" x 14-1/2".  I also used a piece of heavy weight Pellon (R)leave in interfacing as the backing.  That was cut to the exact size of the canvas  11x 14.
I quilted the piece and was surprised that the shrinkage from quilting was negligible.   I guess due to the interfacing.  The piece was pretty flat,  no blocking was needed so I just dry pressed it to remove the Pilot   Frixion pen marks  I use this pen to draw on the silk with.  .
I trimmed the piece down to measure 1-1/2 inches larger than the 11 x 14 piece of interfacing all around

I used a generous application of Aleen's Fabric Fusion  clear glue and pinned the silk in place until it dried with  t-pins, ball head pins and  mostly tacks.   The variety was because I didn't have enough tacks and only a few t-pins, but the wood is soft enough that they all worked well.  I let it dry over night

This what the 11 x 14 stretched canvas looked like and below what the other one looks like on the back side

When the glued down in place silk edges were dry I cut a piece of interfacing 1/2 inch shorter length and width and used the same glue and glued it in place to cover the opened back a metal hanger can be added

I put a heavy book on the back to weight it down until the felt dusk cover dried
Time wise it was longer due to the glue I used needing to dry so maybe another kind of glue would speed it up some.  Or a stable gun if you had another pair of hands to help would be faster.
At least there was no needle, thread or sewing involved in finishing the edge of a piece and you are only limited by the size of the stretched canvas you want to buy.  I think to if I did a large piece, I would apply some archival glue to the front of  canvas that would secure the back of the quilt to it before pulling the excess to the back to prevent sagging. I hope that made sense.
Laura, I was quilting that piece without a backing testing out a way to finish a quilt without a facing and for a way to add a sleeve without having to do any hand work.  I worked it out, but did not like the way the edges looked.  That's why I tried one more approach, todays blog post,
Normally my quilts have four layers,
the top
the batting (warm and natural)
the felt 35% wool/65%rayon
and backing fabric (usually something cheerful and totally unrelated to the front.