Thursday, November 24, 2011

8 of Cups progress

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I am finally getting some time to work on my latest piece. I decided I want the quilting to have less loft and dimension and instead have more stitched illustrative details, so I am using wool felt instead of batting. Luckily I had a big piece of yellow felt that a friend gave me during a recent purging that was just the right size.

I placed a layer of Mistyfuse between the felt and the painted top and did the same with the back. I wouldn't do this with batting because the fusible web penetrates the batting, glueing both the top and back together reducing the loft of the batting, but for this project that is not a problem.

For the back I used left over fabrics that had mistyfuse already adhered to them from the Agave quilt I made several years ago. I don't do fusible applique very often so the fabrics have just been sitting on the shelf not getting used.

For the quilting on the cups, I am using back thread in an illustrative way, using it to create more visual dimension that looks more like drawn lines.


That's it so far, I don't think I will make very fast progress on this piece right now. I have a very busy couple of months ahead of me, not only with the holidays, but I need to start clearing out possessions and get my place ready to put on the market in January. I am planning to move back to California in the spring. I need to stop living in the limbo I've been in the last three years and take my life back and that begins with moving and getting my divorce finalized. Never thought I'd be starting my life over at this age, but hey if it doesn't kill ya, it will make you stronger right?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A day out with my sister

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Over the weekend my sister Deb came to visit me from Maine for Thanksgiving. With finances being so tight we haven't seen each other in 2 years, but a month ago we were able to find a flight on JetBlue for $80 roundtrip from Boston to Chicago to split, so this holiday has even more to be thankful for.

On Sunday we headed over to my favorite local gallery Packer Schopf to see the closing of Brian Dettmers exhibit of incredible carved books. The bonus was getting to meet artist Kathy Halper who also has an exhibit in the gallery this month.


I love Kathy's work, she does stitched drawings that explore the lives of teens in social media. Her images come from sometimes disturbing and often very humorous posts on facebook dealing with sex, drugs and the loss of privacy and innocence. Her work is so timely and relevant and perfectly executed in neutral colored floss on linen.


After the gallery, we walked over to my favorite coffee shop La Colombe, but had to stop at this dumpster when we saw it's public service message

Mmmmm hot coffee on a cold afternoon!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Experimental Letters!

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Check out Lisa Engelbrecht's tutorial on Experimental Letters. I love the retro look these initial letters have. Very fun, I'm going to have to try making some of these.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Kelli's posted a new sparkly holiday tutorial

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Make a Whimsical Spool Garland that you can repurpose after the holidays. Plus, sign up to win a copy of the Quilting Arts Workshop dvd "Stitch Imagery: From Photo to Fabric Fun," a leather bound journal, fantastic paper packs and more! Hop on over for another day of ArtSpark.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Folk Art Inspired Ornament

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What you're going to need


4" square Walnut Hollow aluminum and cardboard from package
embossing tool
ribbon for hanging
red paint
paint brush
decorative craft scissors
paper scissors
hole punch
E-6000 glue or similar adhesive
Adirondack alcohol inks and blending solution (optional)

Click on the heart image to open a full size jpg on another web page. Drag image onto your desktop and print heart design so that it fits on a  4" square (on point, measure on the diagonal).  Trace outline onto the 4" cardboard square that came in the aluminum package. Cut it out and paint it red on both sides. Punch a small hole for the hanging ribbon in the top.



Center line drawing over the 4" metal square and trace the small heart, this will lightly emboss the heart on the metal.


Using decorative edge craft scissors cut just outside the embossed line.


Glue metal heart to cardboard with E-6000 or similar strong multipurpose adhesive, it may need 24 hours to dry completely. Then emboss decorative designs on the metal, I prefer using a nylon tipped tool for this.


Draw the design of your choice on the paper heart, place over the metal and trace the design so that it transfers to the metal.


Go over the lines with the embossing tool to add more depth to the design and add more decorative details.


You could stop here with a silver embossed design or add color with Adirondack Alcohol inks.

Use Alcohol blending solution instead of water to lighten colors, rehydrate the inks on your palette (because they dry very quickly) and clean your brush between colors.



Thread ribbon through the hole and tie it for hanging.


Tomorrow be sure to see Kelli Nina Perkins Whimsical Spool Garland, you know it's going to be fun and colorful!

Check out all these other great tutorials:

November 9:: Jane LaFazio Sketch & Stitch Gift Bags   
November 10: Lyric Kinard Glitter, Glisten, Glimmer: Beaded Snowflake Ornament
November 11: Tracie Lyn Huskamp Christmas Cardinal Ornament
November 13: Traci Bunkers Moldable Foam Stamps 
November 14: Melanie Testa Zipper Pouch
November 15: Judy Coates Perez Folk Art Inspired Ornament 
November 16: Kelli Nina Perkins Whimsical Spool Garland  
November. 17: Lisa Engelbrecht Experimental Lettering
November 18: Jill Berry Geo Papers and Projects
November 19: Gloria Hansen Resizing a Digital Image the Easy Way
November 20: Diana Trout Japanese-Style Fabric Wrap (Furoshiko)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Saturday: Make it U, friends, Surviving the Runway and Pokey's Surprise Birthday Party

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Saturday I taught a Make it University workshop using DeColorourant, a product used to discharge color from fabric using an iron. I have an article on DeColorourant in Quilting Arts magazine after the new year. 
Hanging with Friends
Melly, Rice and I ran into Jamie and Leslie on their way to open studios and had to stop for a photo



In the afternoon, I had my first real down time of the week and spent some time with Melly Testa and Rice Freeman-Zachery.



Surviving the Runway

Click on photo!
Saturday night was the last Surviving the Runway and Melly was the star of the show, so happy to be back with all her friends and cancer free and we were so thrilled to celebrate with her.

The theme was creating a fascinator/ hat out of a cheap black flocked plastic bowler hat with a variety of supplies like craft foam, duct tape, paint, glue, ribbons, feathers and pipe cleaners in less than an hour. Music is playing and there are challenges such as doing a curtsy or dance to get extra supplies for your hat.

Cheryl Sleboda
Melly and I getting our groove on
Catherine Redford, the winner

Now the fun really begins
Following Surviving the Runway, we walked over to the park for Gala on the Green where we ate BBQ brisket and danced some more and after an hour, much to Pokey's disappointment, several of us made excuses to leave early.

We then gathered for a surprise birthday party for Pokey. This was a pretty elaborate party that we began planning several months ago. We had the QA crew in on it to make sure we got Pokey over to the party.


As many of you know Jamie Fingal is a mad Barbie collector and she and Leslie have been using a couple Barbie alter egos in their travels over the last year.

This spurred the idea of planning a special calendar for Pokey with each of us creating a scene for each month with a Barbie alter ego and some way that Quilting Arts has been part of our life, whether it was reading the magazine, incorporating a project from an article or teaching a workshop at MIU. There is even a page with the whole Quilting Arts/ Cloth Paper Scissors staff as Barbies.



Jamie and Leslie set a beautiful table with all the Barbies in the center in various poses and Barbie party favors.


It was a fabulous party, celebrating friendship, Pokey's 40th birthday and our years working with her as the editor of Quilting Arts.



Farewell Houston, it was a fantastic week, looking forward to next year!


Head over to Melly Testa's blog to see her zipper pouch mania tutorial.

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