Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Rained Out at the Chicago Antiques Market

Nina and I went to the Chicago Antiques market down the street this weekend. Shortly after we got there it started raining and didn't really stop for the next 36 hours. We did manage to get a couple photos outdoors before we had to make a run for the inside part of the venue.

I love this naked bridal mannequin, ready to dance but without her partner. I feel like that sometimes, lol.

She should hang out with the other mannequin who lives in our neighborhood, she stands on a fire escape looking across at the el at Lake and Halstead. I think the mustache is a nice touch. Nina snapped this photo the other day on our way to the grocery store.

Love this box of glass fishing floats.

My big find of the day was this 1939 mens day suit. I couldn't believe the jacket was such a good fit, it just needs a little tailoring in the upper back, otherwise the size is perfect.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Chicago School of Fusing, Girls of May Birthday Bash

Earlier this week we met for the annual May birthday party for Laura, Frieda, Emily and Anne.

 Laura Wasilowski greeted us to her humble abode in Elgin.

Anne Fahl and Trish Williams listen attentively to Jane Sassaman while Frieda Anderson takes notes and Emily Parson knits. It looks like such serious business, but this is more like it

Frieda showed us that her newest book Fabric to Dye For was recently translated into Spanish.

We had a fabulous potluck lunch!
from left to right Emily Parson, Jane Sassaman, Ann Fahl, Laura Wasilowski, Trish Williams, Barb Vlack, Frieda Anderson and Anne Lullie.

It is always so nice to see sweet Emily, who dyes and sells the most gorgeous sock yarn. I gave her a big skein of yarn to dye that my friend Erylin from New Zealand spun for me last year.

Laura models some of Emilys knitted baby blankets as a sarape.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I have an article on sewing metal in Volume 3 of the emag In Stitches

Interweave's newest issue of In Stitches is now available for download. It's a great new magazine format that has written articles, videos and slideshows. Check out this great table of contents.

Along with my article, there is a slide show of high res photos of many of the ways I have combined metal with textiles

and a video showing different techniques for sewing and embossing metal.

If you'd like to learn more about what's in volume 3, watch this video featuring Jane Davila, the new editor of In Stitches and Pokey Bolton who gives an overview of the various ways to navigate the emag format.

I also heard there will be an ipad version available very soon as well!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Between the Spaces Curator Interview

Check out this wonderful interview in the International Quilt Festival spring newsletter with Jamie Fingal and Leslie Tucker Jenison, about their new exhibit Between the Spaces that premieres at Long Beach Quilt Festival this July.

Leslie Tucker Jenison and Jamie Fingal at International Quilt Festival

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Asheville, North Carolina

Before giving my lecture and workshop I had a day to run around exploring Asheville and meeting up with friends.

My friend Carol Sloan drove up from South Carolina. Carol and I met online when she took my very first Color Theory class and then a year later we met in person when she drove to Atlanta to take two workshops that I taught at Fiber on a Whim.

Our day began with a trip to Discount Shoes. I fell in love with these rubber rain boots, if they would have had my size, they would have been mine!

After walking around the shops in downtown Asheville Carol and I met up with online friend Gwen Diehn, the author of many fabulous books on nature crafts, journaling and book making, it's very possible you may have one of her books on your shelf.

We met at a wonderful tea shop called Dobra. We sat on floor cushions on a raised platform behind beaded curtains and had tea, pita bread, herbed goat cheese and olives. Dobra has a wonderful other worldly feel.

Gwen and I also made a toast to our good friend Melly Testa who was going through her last chemo treatment that day.

After tea, Gwen treated Carol and I to a private tour of Bookworks where Gwen often teaches classes. Lucky for us, she was meeting an after hours journaling group there. Bookworks was on our list of places Carol and I had wanted to go that day, but we thought we had run out of time to see it.

What a fantastic facility, they have all kinds of book making classes and you can rent studio time as well.

There are several printing presses and a wonderful collection of wood and metal type. There is also a set up for screen printing and equipment for making paper.

It's funny, I never thought about it until now, but I think I am sort of like a great dane, I don't really feel tall when I am around other women until I see myself next to them, LOL!

Fiesta Ornaments with the Asheville Quilt Guild.
We had a great day making ornaments and we learned something new and very important!

Plastic sewing machine feet do not sew well on metal! This was the first class I have ever noticed this problem, I guess in all the other times I have taught this class, no one has ever used a plastic foot.

The problem was the foot gripped the metal too tightly and did not glide along the surface, causing the ornament to not move forward while sewing. Once the foot was changed to metal everything worked great.

These two ornaments have been painted and stitched but have not been embossed yet. Isn't the painting is beautiful?

There were a lot more ornaments made but several people had packed theirs away, too shy to put them out for the camera, but I can tell you, there were many fabulous pieces.

What a great time, Asheville is my kind of town!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

An Artist Village

Welcome to my stop on the Artist Village blog tour.

My house is one of the little ones in the center circle of the village.

Symbolically the bird, who spreads its wings and flies, has spoken to me over the last couple years, so I decided to make a bird house.
The house incorporates floral/plant imagery for growth, bees for hard work, a heart for healing and love, roots for staying grounded and figuring out where to plant myself and even a couple of female nudes to reacquaint myself with being a single woman again. 

Making the House

I tried something a little new for making my house. I found out that abaca paper is often used to make tea bags (and money). Abaca is also used to make unryu tissue which I have used in my collages before. Unryu is the tissue paper that has little fibers visible in it. You can buy plain abaca here or here.

I created several black and white collages, combining text and imagery in photoshop, cut some heavier weight abaca paper to 8 1/2" x 11" and stuck it in my toner printer and printed out the collages. 

Next I painted the paper with textile paints and fused it to Peltex (heavy weight interfacing). Although the fuse from the Peltex did not stick that great, it did hold well enough for stitching.

These are the finished stitched panels, before I stitched them into a house form.

A sewed, stuffed and painted a bird to put inside.

My finished house is about 10 inches tall. 

Be sure to check out the last few stops on the blog tour

Melanie Testa  May 20 
Laura Wasilowski  May 23 
Kathy York  May 24 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Teaching in North Carolina

Friday, I flew to North Carolina to teach a Tsukineko Inks workshop on Saturday, to a group of wonderful textile artists. Karen Newman Fridy, my host and organizer for this leg of the trip, have talked about doing a class since we met on a trip I took to Winston-Salem 2 years ago. It was fun coming back and spending time with Karen and her art quilt group. There were a lot of great painters in this class, don't you think?

On Sunday, I arrived in beautiful Asheville NC. In the evening, I met with Amy Harry and her friend Nancy.

Amy was in one of the first online Color Theory classes I taught four years ago and when she became program chair for the Asheville quilt guild she booked me to come teach. So it was great fun to meet her in person after all this time.

We had a fantastic dinner at Salsa's, Mexican-Carribean cuisine, that we followed up with chocolate decadence at French Broad Chocolate Lounge.

We split a divine chocolate layer cake and a pots de creme and I had a pot of tea made in a french press with a hand made pottery mug to drink it in. Now that is my kind of bar!


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