Monday, August 30, 2010

More Journal Pages

I used some of my new painted journal pages to make a spread about our weekend house guest.  I hated to see him go!  We also enjoyed getting to see his parents, Dave and Emily .

This one uses a Moroccan-style whimsical border from Violette's book Journal Bliss.  The frolicking couple are yard ornaments from a garden catalog that I painted black instead of the rusty copper that they were originally.  This one makes me chuckle!

I used another bright painted background for a spread about my recent trip to the Art Institute of Chicago. I like the layered look of the background.  I printed with bubble packaging, net bags, and bottle lids, as well as a commercial butterfly stamp.

I have not been totally neglecting my Zentangle journal.  Here is a Zentangle bloom.  Kind of busy, but it was fun to do.  I have been trying some ideas with my Zentangle hand, but have not arrived at anything I like yet as far as an art quilt.

Here is another background  just waiting for some collage, doodling or journaling.  Right now it looks like a colorful fringed stripper bra, no?  If I added some glitter?

Maybe this weekend in the mountains will inspire some journaling.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

New Journal Pages

I made this little watercolor pencil sketch of Lily playing at the creek at our mountain place back in July.  Since then I have embellished with a few more "found" butterflies!

And here is a completed page spread featuring my recent river and lake "architecture tour" in Chicago.  Collage, silver pen, black Sharpie pen, white acrylic paint.

We are home this weekend and babysitting for our grand-dog, Roo.  He has been an excellent house guest so far!  We had steaks for dinner, and he waited patiently on his rug while we ate.  He has enjoyed chasing the Frisbee in the yard.  Dave said he would experience separation anxiety.  I think he must have meant the papa, not the doggie!

It has been good to have a doggie in the house again.  Maybe we will think about becoming "parents" again.   It's been almost a year since we lost Maggie.  Maybe I am getting over it!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Quilt "Rasslin"

Friday already?  I have spent almost every afternoon this week working on the old quilt top made by my SIL's grandmother.  Lots of construction issues here.  As I quilt, I am also trying to flatten out the puckers and gathers

points that don't match, and seams that are coming apart.  So, as I sew, I am trying to hold the star points together.  And mash down the big 'old puckers.

So far, it is working!

For a project like this, a puffy batting really helps take up some of the fullness.  I am using Quilters Dream Puff.  Normally, I use a flatter batt that is mostly cotton.  But, I love this batting and the sculpted look of the quilting.

 In addition to the puffy batting, it takes a LOT of quilting to flatten down the fabric.  Preferably, curvy, informal quilting.  I have feathers, but they only work because of all the tiny filler patterns in the surrounding areas.  Pin the heck out of the surrounding area, mash down with one hand, hit the gas and quilt the H**L out of it!

There are two giant squares like the one above, a lot of small squares, some rectangular areas in the borders, and some triangles in white.  I am using the same stencil for all, but just changing the size of the feathers or choosing a section of the circle to fit.

And, I am not even halfway finished yet!  Today it will be stars again.  See that big puffy star point sticking up?  Time to teach it a lesson!

To keep myself sane, I have been painting some journal page backgrounds which I'll show you soon.

Did you all watch Project Runway last night?  I think that was the best show ever as far as drama.  I watch it the morning after, since DH can't tolerate the whole concept.  I was crossing my fingers that Gretchen would be "aufed" since she was one of the last two on the runway, and obviously took responsibility for the losing team's whole concept.  After I watch the video, I like to visit the Project  Rungay blog and read all the comments.  Almost as entertaining as the shows themselves, and sometimes more so!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Silk Packets

Got some nice little packets of silk pieces in assorted colors from on sale.

There are six pieces in each bag, 7.5" X 10.5".  Not bad for ten bucks.

Here are a couple of other packets I just had to purchase for the mountain weekend:

Why does Blogger turn pictures sideways some days?  The packets are Dingo Dog Treats.

Had to get them for the Dingo.

Dave photoshopped this fake magazine cover when they were trying to figure out what kind of dog they were adopting.

Answer:  A cute, smiley dog!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mountain Weekend

Charlie and I went up on Thursday to our cabin in Ashe County, North Carolina, for a weekend of fun, family, and friends.  It rained on the way up, but Friday was gorgeous.  We enjoyed a great ride over the mountain in the sunshine.

Friday night our son Dave and DIL Emily arrived, as did our friends Tom and Pauline.  On Saturday, we headed out to Todd for an outdoor concert featuring two bluegrass groups, and then the beloved legend Doc Watson.

Here I was while we were waiting to the acts to begin.

Here is what happened about an hour later.

Yep, it started raining hard.  We were game for quite awhile, but it just did not let up.

Finally, we were getting soaked, and just went home.  Too bad!  The first group of young ladies called the Forget-Me-Nots were very good musicians.  Two are sisters, and their dad accompanies them on guitar.  So cute, and they performed many of their own songs.

So, of course today was bright and beautiful again.  We took several rides up the mountain.

The wildflowers are huge and colorful.  These are asters and goldenrod.

Our granddog, Roo, was along, and had a wonderful time.  Here he is cooling his feet in the creek after we came back down the mountain.

Just look at all that bright sunlight on the wildflowers in front of a neighbor's barn.

You can't win them all.  It was too bad about the concert, but you can't really complain when you have such a beautiful place to visit on weekends.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wednesday Work in Progress

It has been a long time since I've posted a Wednesday Work-in-Progress.  Maybe because I have not been working on very many personal quilts this year.  I've decided to work on some of my own projects for at least a part of every day. 

Here are some squares and rectangles on the design wall.  Some are sewn together, others just being auditioned for the right placement. 

I also began preparations for the second blazing stars antique quilt top that I promised to complete for my sister-in-law.  Here is the first one, which turned out very pretty after it was quilted. Lots and lots of feather circles, micro-stippling, and "line dancing" within each diamond.

Before you can begin to quilt one of these 1970's quilt tops made by my brother's wife's grandmother, there is a lot of work to do.  The two quilts with the blazing stars were sewn partly by hand and partly by machine.  The seams are coming undone, are twisted all around

and there are unbelievable thread tails and tangles.

In addition to that mess, I had to add three-inch strips of white muslin around each border, to even up the sides and keep the points from being chopped off when I squared the finished quilt.

So, while I watched the rain and lightning from my third-floor sewing room window today, I ironed and trimmed and stitched and listened to an audio book.

Now the quilt backing is draped over my Gammill rollers, misted and under the ceiling fan, which I hope will remove all the wrinkles so I won't have to iron it before mounting the quilt sandwich.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Road Trip!

Three members of my bee and I had fun today on a quilty road trip.  We met at Quilts Like Crazy in Wake Forest, our LQS where Donna Sontag is the long-arm quilter.  From there, we stopped by Tuxedo Junction, a new entertainment venue in Wake Forest offering live music and dancing.  I had read about a display of Roxanne Lessa's textile art at Tuxedo Junction.  We were able to go in for a quick visit with her beautiful artwork.  She had both large and small works on the walls.  Many of her pieces featured very organic leaves, flowers and trees.  This was one of my favorites.
Roxanne Lessa, Crepe Myrtle One: Summer
From there, we were off to Cary, NC for the PAQA-South exhibit at the Page-Walker House.  Before we even looked at the quilts, we decided to visit the temporary outdoor sculpture exhibit in the gardens before it got too hot.  This piece was one of my favorites.  It has two layers of scroll work, with light diffused differently through the varying sizes of openings.

This one, Balancing Act, was probably the most whimsical and fun.

Although, the kids probably enjoyed the sandbox inside this giant bucket.

Inside the bucket the sand is flowing out and it looks like houses have been submerged in a flood.

The sculptures were impressive in stature and design.  This was a handsome fellow.

I know goats like to is one on a two-story pole.

I liked the attitude on this little guy, titled "Electric Slide."

The giant dragonfly was a shiny sight to behold in the garden.

Inside the historic Page-Walker House, we were treated to some terrific art quilts.

One of my favorites was by local quilter but international teacher, quilt judge and author Jane Hall.  She is known for very precise, graphically pleasing foundation-pieced quilts, especially pineapple log cabin quilts.  This one in soothing greens is called Hope---the thing with feathers, and was made in response to 9/11.

Jane Hall, Hope---the thing with feathers
There were two quilts by Annette Rogers of Raleigh.  (I happen to own one of her quilts that I purchased at an online auction for a cancer fundraiser.)

Annette Rogers, Water's Edge

Annette Rogers, Ebb & Flow

There were several by another  local quilter named Lyric Kinard, who is getting well-known by virtue of articles in Quilting Arts Magazine, a book, a teaching DVD, appearances on Quilting Arts TV, and many teaching engagements.  And many ribbons from national shows!

There were also several pieces by former members of my Anything Art quilt bee- both Margaret Jordan and Antoinette Brown.  That made me beam with pride for them!

Margaret Jordan, "Is This the Way to the Secret Garden?

Antoinette Brown, Twelve Months

There were several more delights to behold from Roxanne Lessa.

Roxanne Lessa, Ripples
Roxanne Lessa, In Orbit

These are by no means all of the quilts on display.  After we finished at the Page-Walker House, we had lunch at the Food Factory, then went to Etc. Crafts, Mill Outlet Village, and finally back to Quilts Like Crazy.  A mini-stash-dash and art extravaganza day!