Saturday, February 22, 2014

More Works-in-Progress

When the snow and ice storms hit last week, I rummaged through my bin of unfinished projects to find a project that needed hand-stitching.  It seemed likely that the power might go out.  I worked on the day lilies piece and got a lot of the hand appliqué done.

Before I could get it finished, I developed a problem with cracked skin around my cuticles on my thumbs.  I often get this problem in the winter.  I had to give the hand-stitching a rest, so I dug out yet another UFO and did some machine quilting on my Janome 6600.

It now has all the quilting done and the binding done.  I am thinking of putting this one in the PAQA-South art quilt show with the theme of Whimsy.  Right now it looks like a still life in a Victorian parlor, but I have some embellishments to add which will make it much more humorous.  For a hint, the featured plant is a spider plant...and look at the quilting in the window in the above right.

The backing is a batik with lots of mottled color.  I am getting better at quilting with the Janome, but would much prefer my Gammill.  It is still with its "foster mother" in Clayton.

This weekend we came up to the mountains to check on the progress of our cabin.  It is looking pretty.

There is still a lot to do.  This weekend we had mild weather, and it did not snow at all.  It was a quiet weekend.  I am longing to get into that new cabin.  Our driveway has gotten so muddy that you can't get up it unless you have four-wheel drive.  One of these days it will all get done.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Tiny Art

This was a stay-in-Raleigh weekend for us.  Our mountain place got twelve inches or more of snow, so we did not travel up there.  We did some long-overdue tasks around the house, and I found two glass coasters someone had given me for a Christmas gift.  They had display windows to personalize, so I took time out to make title watercolor paintings.  Ten minutes, to be exact!

I made a small painting on a piece of scrap watercolor paper.  I just painted very quickly from memory of all our trips across the Christmas tree farms in the mountains.

Then I cropped two scenes out of the painting for the coasters. Each painting is just over two inches square.

This was really fun!  I might try to get some more of these coasters and make some more.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Not Armageddon...Just Raleigh

ABC-11 News

It started snowing in Raleigh yesterday afternoon.  It came down fast and piled up quickly.  Apparently, everyone left work at the same time...and this scene took place just five miles from my home.  If my husband had come home from work on the Interstate, his truck may have been abandoned next to all these other ones.

Once  he got home safely (taking more than two hours to go about ten miles) I was able to enjoy the afternoon.  

First it snowed for about four hours.

Everything got so pretty!

Then the ice started to fall.  It coated everything.  We woke to a winter wonderland.

This morning all was still...but this afternoon, giant snowflakes fell again, and it is still snowing now.

Charlie has been keeping the wood fire burning in the fireplace.  Kasey likes the snow, and is glad of her fur coat!

I made a bunch of Valentines for my kids and grandkids, but they are probably still sitting in the mailbox getting damp.  I picked up another old project from a Pamela Allen class and have been stitching on it in front of the fire.  A bright summer scene, LOL!

Hope you are warm and safe, wherever you are!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Work-in-Progress: Looks Like Ashe County

I was going through some bins in the sewing room last week, and came across a project from a Pamela Allen online class some years ago.  Pamela is always trying to stretch her students and impart some instruction on different types of art, and art history.  This particular piece began as an attempt to do an "abstract" piece.   I think it was from the Four Quilts class, where we interpreted our theme four different ways.

My theme was "Mountains."

Looks Like Ashe County, Jeanne McBrayer, 2014

As I recall, this did not win the teacher's approval as a good example of an abstract composition.  However, I liked the fabrics and colors, and the symbolic representation of the mountains, Christmas trees, rivers, fields, and trails.  It reminds me very much of Laurel Springs in Ashe County, North Carolina, where we have a cabin.  The fabrics include hand-dyes, hand-painted, sun printed, stamped, and commercial fabrics.

Typically, the pieces from Pamela's classes are cut freehand with scissors, applied with glue stick to a fabric backing, and then embroidered around the edge to secure the pieces to both background and a piece of batting.

This project had been in the bin with pins and glue-stick holding the appliques together.  In the interest of getting it done,  I used a zigzag stitch and a turquoise poly thread to get all the parts sewn on.

Now, I need to decide what to do.  I am thinking of making this into a tote bag, in which case it will not need additional quilting, or have a traditional binding.  If it becomes a wall-hanging, I will add a backing fabric and do some more machine quilting.

Now to some other photos of our Anything Art bee meeting last week.  The day's topic was hand-stitching.  We called on our member Peg Henderson of Raleigh to show some of her work and demo a few stitches that she likes.

Here is an undersea piece with hand-dyed fabric, cheesecloth, and various embellishments.

This unusual piece features some of Peg's unique fiber stitching.

She did some samples for us, showing how you can change the appearance of stitches like French knots, lazy daisy, and Y-stitch for different effects.

Here is another sample with running stitch used to make a basket-like effect.

Since we are featuring hand stitching, here is another piece of mine that I have never shown on the blog since it was finished.

It is a small piece mounted on black gallery-mounted canvas.  The photo is crooked but the quilt is not.

I started the background in a class with Larkin Van Horn at the Capital Quilters Guild in Raleigh.  She provided the words printed on Extravorganza, a sheer fabric you can run through your printer.

I decided mine looked like an undersea scene, so after quilting, I added some fiber seaweed, beads, and some real shells from my collection.  I think I also did some painting on the background with Lumiere paints, which gives it a little bit of a gleam.

And to wrap up today's post, here is a beautiful dish of treasures from Roberta's house.

She has made bangles, hearts, and hand-painted buttons.  That heart with the royal blue center now belongs to me!  A nice gift to remember a special day.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Lots to Catch Up On

Another week has flown by.  The Anything Art Quilt Bee met last week.

First was the reveal of our Five Funky Flowers group quilt! This picture is not good because it was on the wall at an awkward angle.

Five members of the bee each made one or more red/purple flowers, and then we divided each into four quarters and divided them back up.  After deciding how to construct our new flower from the four sections, we each added stems, leaves, quilting, and other embellishments.  We each bound our own section, and Roberta whip-stitched the five sections together.  My flower is the one in the center with the dark stem and leaves.  The quilt will be shown at the next guild quilt show in March.

Roberta Morgan showed off some of her tissue-bleed fabric projects.  That was our project last month, wherein we used wet colored tissue paper to tint commercial fabric.

This one is a landscape with amazingly strong color tones.  It reminds me of a watercolor painting.

She got some great colors on this one, too.

I finished my fabric-colored journal in time for the meeting.  The cover is quilted to a piece of Timtex interfacing, then fused to a piece of snow-dyed fabric that I made years ago.

I stamped the inside covers with botanical stamps and green ink.

I used three or four different kinds of paper to make three signatures, or sections of paper, bound into the book.  Each signature has a cover made of watercolor paper.

In keeping with the garden theme, I stamped many of the blank pages with green ink.

I recently made a whole collection of collaged tags, and added one to the journal.

Some of the signature covers are made from my grandchildren's artwork.  I have been letting them use a set of my father's watercolors when they visit.  I remember using the same set as a child.  It makes me happy to see them painting and carrying on the legacy.

I also finished my other tissue-bleed fabric project.  Here are my three little posies, now embellished with some quilting and hot-fix crystals.  I used a silk sari ribbon with silver threads to finish the edges.

I will have some more about our bee meeting and also another project I have almost finished next time.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Tissue-Bleed Fabric WIP's

I had a little extra time today, and did some free-motion quilting on the tissue-bleed fabric I created at my last art quilt bee meeting.

This is the piece where I doodled with neocolor II crayons over the fabric, and sealed it with Textile Medium.  I fused it to a piece of Timtex, a very stiff interfacing.  Then I did some free-motion machine quilting on my DSM in two different variegated threads.  

I plan to make a journal cover from this one.

I also started a few fabric bookmarks from the scrap pieces.

These will be zigzagged around the edges and maybe have some funky fibers added.

Last night we went to see Gravity at the IMAX.  Wow,  a very compelling plot! And it had gorgeous, beautiful scenes of the earth from space.  I highly recommend this movie!