Friday, October 13, 2017

Wool Fiber Dying, Visitors and Drying

Wool Fiber Dying with the Southern Tier Lamb to Loom Fiber Arts Guild
This past summer my fiber arts guild met at one of the member's farm to do some fiber dying.  I am not a spinner, but I like to do needle felting.  I wanted lots of colors - but didn't need vast quantities of any one color.  I chose to do a rainbow in some of my mom's old canning jars.  While watching my pot simmer (not boil), I thought I was alone in the barn, much to my surprise I heard noises from behind and saw that I had a visitor!  A couple of furry ladies also peeked in to see what I was up to.  After waiting 24 hours and some gentle rinsing, I hung out my roving to dry on my front trees.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Apple Blossoms from the Same Tree

Grandma Ruth and Granddaughter Louise - Same Family Tree

This past week my son and I went to visit some relatives a few towns over.  I hadn’t seen my cousin in a few years and wanted to show her my crazy quilt, The Velvet Hex and some of my hand embroidered fabric collages.  As we sat around the table show each other our latest projects – me my stitching; my aunt Lydia her wool woven scarves; and my cousin Katie her ‘ceramic tile’ tent she was planning.
Our grandmother Ruth visited the V&A Museum in the 1920s, and Katie was using her designs as inspiration for her tile motifs.  A couple of Ruth’s sketch books were at the table, so my son and I flipped through them.
Much to my surprise, I felt I could have been looking at things I would have sketched.  I had just shown my angler fish applique (which my son Walter has claimed once completed) and could not believe how similar her subject matter was to mine.  As we continued – more drawings showed similarities!
The funny chicken had me laughing – I have several on my quilt.  The rabbit on my quilt was seen on the crazy quilt in Hawaii, at the palace where the queen stitched it while under house arrest in the late 1800s.  The little dragon-like creature was the first motif I stitched for my CQ background. 
As they say, the apple doesn’t fall from the tree – in this case, so true!  Almost 100 years ago my grandmother sketched things she found interesting. Today, I am stitching motifs I find amusing – and they just happen to be the same!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Duo of Birds Plus an Owl

A few weeks ago, my friend returned to work and I presented her with two of the framed birds (the third one was done, but not framed yet).  I had to laugh, on her first day back, she wore her owl shirt - the one her husband was quoted as saying "Advertising?" when she showed it to him.  When I saw what she was wearing, I literally ran to the car and got out the owl I had just finished the day before, and was going to call just that!  So the Trio of Birds is split up, and an owl is taking it's place.  Welcome back!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

A Trio of Birds

Here are some birds I embroidered for a friend of mine who needed some cheering up.  They are free-form cut and raw edge appliqued, to a machine stitched fabric collage, using DMC embroidery floss.  They are approximately 5x7-inch in size.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Valentine's Crazy Quilt Postcards

Crazy Quilt International Valentine Postcard Swap
Here are the postcards I made for the 2017 Valentine Postcard swap hosted by the Crazy Quilt International Yahoo Group.  I made two, one to swap (top) and one to keep (bottom).  I always regret sending in something for a swap, since what you made is gone forever - but by making two, I have one to share and one to keep, so everybody wins!  These were done almost entirely by hand, as my machine of 16 years made its last stitch as I was making the base of these postcards.  I only got one piece stitched on, when the motor died....oh well, I have another one to replace it - I just have to take it out of the box.
I have included two fabrics that hold special memories.  First being the white with gold threads - it was used when my son Walter was in grade school for the Odyssey of the Mind competition costumes and the second being the red sequins that was used for making a tuxedo jacket for one of his high school marching band performances.  
Oh, and I just noticed a third significant fabric - the cotton with gold hearts - it was used in Walter's Mojo Doll - see my 2010 post on Meet the Mojos.
The top one is headed off to the Netherlands on Monday.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Center Medallion of the Velvet Hex

Center Medallion of the Velvet Hex 

Here is a snap of my Crazy Quilt Journal Project (CQJP) that I started designing in February of 2012, when I first found the CQJP 2012 on-line.  I joined the CQJP 2013 and CQJP 2014 to make the 13 hexes, 6 half-hexes and 24 triangles.  I finished making all the medallion blocks and pieced the center 7 hexes in 2015 using the English Paper-Piecing method.   During my medical leave from work, I worked on the embroidery for seam embellishment.  In the spring of 2016 I added the center border triangles with the black velvet to complete the center medallion.  I joined the CQJP 2016 to work on the border triangles, I need 56 of them in all.  I still have to embellish the seams on the next row of hexes and half-hexes - it make take a while, since it is too big to bring to work - so I bring the border triangles.  This snap was taken in Elk Lake, PA by fellow quilter Debbie C. of Binghamton, NY.  I am behind the CQ holding it up for show and tell at the National Quilt Day Celebration, sponsored by A Stich in Time quilt club of Montrose, PA.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Folded Fabric Tree Ornaments

Folded Fabric Trees

I have been busy these past few days making folded fabric trees.  It all started innocently enough when my quilting group, Stepping Stones (of Binghamton, NY) had our annual quilting demonstration at the Roberson Museum.  For the past few years we have had a ‘make and take’ demo when visitors to the Home for the Holidays event can make on ornament and take it with them.  This year was folded fabric trees – and I was hooked!

I had a stash of Christmas motif fabrics and decided to make some from each of design.  Well, several hours later of tracing an 8-inch lunch plate on each fabric (2 layers) and then cutting out along the line, I had enough for 76 trees!

Each circle was cut in half, and matched with a second half-circle.  These were sewn together, with right sides together; leaving a 1.5-2 inch opening for turning on the straight edge of the half-circle.   Press and clip corners, being careful not to cut into the thread.

Using a hemostat clamping tool, I turned each of the half-circle right-side out and pressed flat [you can hand sew the opening closed now if you want].  Fold the fabric from the curved edge to the straight edge – making the sections of the tree ‘branches’.  The ornaments pictured have 4 folds, but 3 work well too.  If you have directional fabric, sometimes you have to fold from the other side to make sure the motifs are upright.

Next I sewed a loop of 1/8-inch ribbon, knotted at one end, into a fold of the tree.  This will be hidden inside once the tree is completed.  Now it’s time to embellish!

Decorate the trees with trims, buttons, etc. prior to tacking the sides down.  This will hide the sewing inside the tree and won’t show on the back.  Once you are happy with your little tree, tack the sides with blind stitches and matching tread. [If you didn’t close the half-circle opening yet, this is the time to stitch it closed.]   I put the star buttons on top once the other decorations were added – saves from getting your thread all tangled up.   

Now I have LOTS more trees to decorate – will likely spill into next year too! 

P.S.  The Stepping Stone Quilt Club decorates a tree every year at the Roberson’s Home for the Holiday’s event with handmade ornaments.  Members of the group also loan quilts to decorate the walls and hallways – it makes a really warm and cozy feel to the event.