Thursday, June 29, 2006

Fauna update

I think our entry is going to be okay. I called Crystal at IQA to ask more about the sharp object rule, which came about because a quilt was enterd last year with barbed wire on it. The biggest problem arises when the quilts are stacked for judging. Will the quilt withstand 20 quilts stacked on top of it and will the quilt above it not be damaged? Does it need special handling in this instance or with shipping?

The cactus spines on Fauna are made using a very fine gauge wire, that basically rolls over flat when stuff is put on top and will not scratch your hand if you run it up and down over the top of them. The panel in question has been stacked with other quilt panels for several months now with no damage what so ever to the surface of the other panels.

I wish I had a photo of the whole thing to post. The quilt is made up of five panels each painted with various fauna and flora in different environments. Each one with a style completely unique yet complementary to the others and all painted beautifully.

Saturday, June 24, 2006


Hand dyed cotton, machine appliqued, machine quilted. 2006
56" x 47"


Hand dyed cotton, machine appliqued, machine quilted. 2006
56" x 47"

Friday, June 23, 2006

Houston Rule Changes

Well International Quilt Festival changed the entry rules this year and now the group quilt we have been working on may no longer be eligible. It says quilts with sharp embellishments that need extra care, will not be accepted. Our newest group quilt, Fauna, with panels by Frances Alford, Julie Upshaw, Vickie Hallmark, Kathy York and myself is really incredible, one of our best. Vickie's panel has a cactus on it with metal wires for spines. The spines add a wonderful element that none of us want to sacrafice. In my opinion, The International Quilt Festival in Houston is the best show to enter with so many art quilt categories. It is such a bummer we may not be able to enter this quilt, I think it could do really well. Besides the fact that for the first time in five years I don't have a quilt to enter myself.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

When in Rome...

Okay so I bit the bullet, now that I live in Chicago, I thought I would try my hand at a fused quilt. Actually, I have also been wanting to use some of the fabric I dyed right before I moved, and fusing seemed to make the most sense, I am not much of a piecer. Besides I have a whole bolt of Misty Fuse that I got from Esterita Austin.
Here is my inspiration, a lovely agave from the hillside by my old house in California. If this goes well, I have two more agaves I would like to do in a similar way. This one is the least complicated of the three, so I thought I would try this one first. If I do make two more quilts like this, I am going to have to unpack my dyes to dye some more fabric. Now I am stuck with figuring out what to do with the background. I think it needs to be broken up, and I have a few colors in mind that I think would look good. But I am not quilte sure what to do with it yet.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Awesome Balloon Sculpture

Saturday afternoon we were coming back from the Origami Society meeting and saw these large creatures bouncing and jumping in the alley
outside the NavtaSchulz gallery around the corner from our loft. They were having an opening for Jason Hackenwerth the creator of these fantastic balloon creatures. Inside we were greeted by this gaping sucker like mouth.

These sculptures evoke sea creatures, larval insect forms and creatures that fall some where between the plant and animal world. They are massive (10-15 feet) yet light and etherial. Tied to the ceiling and floor with deflated stretched balloons they bob and dance in the air currents. They are transient forms that will wither and die. I absolutely love it!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Latest Project

This is the Lotus Blossom tank from the latest issue of Interweave Knits. I am knitting it with Knitpicks Shine. It is cotton and modal and is so soft. I spent a lovely afternoon on thursday with friends at the Blues Festival in Grant Park knitting this and listening to great music. Unfortunately it rained all last night and is chilly today and they will really be feeling the blues at the festival today. We will be off to Ty's Origami Society meeting instead, where I will be making more progess with my knitting.

Friday, June 09, 2006

200 Origami Butterflies

My son was hired by Chuck over at Aiko's Art Materials, a japanese paper store here in Chicago, to fold 200 origami butterflies. Chuck is going to attach them to his business cards and hand them out at a scientific illustrators convention. Ty folded all these butterflies in four weeks from two sided origami paper so each butterfly has wings that contrast its body.

Monday, June 05, 2006

2 socks on 2 circular needles

I have finally gotten the hang of knitting two socks at the same time on two circular needles. The benefit to this method is you don't end up with a bunch of single socks or socks that are slightly different sizes.

It was very confusing keeping the yarns from getting tangled and picking up the right needle and knitting in the right direction to begin with. Once I got past the initial toe increases things started to go more smoothly. I am getting a little braver with adding pattern to my knitting by adding a simple lace pattern up the front. After I turn the ankle I may add a few more lace sections up the sides and back. This is some of my sock yarn I dyed last january with Emily Parson and Laura Wasilowski.

Friday, June 02, 2006

My kids first quilts

This is my son Ty's first quilt. He made it last year when he was eleven. I designed it and he chose all the fabrics, cut out each piece and fused it in place. I helped with the fusible seam tape because I did not want him to burn his fingers. He quilted along each side of the 1/4" seam tape, and did a beautiful job. He really enjoyed the sewing part of the project.

This wolf is my daughter Nina's first quilt, she made it when she was 15. She designed it herself. She enjoyed the process of designing and choosing the fabrics the most. When it came to the quilting, she had the least interest and had to be pushed to finish the quilt.

A few months ago she began sewing clothes for the doll she bought from Korea. She now has a whole new appreciation for sewing. She goes through all my fabric and creates clothing for her doll. She has never sewn a garment from a pattern before and yet she has figured out how to make all of these clothes.


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