Monday, March 30, 2009

Official Quilting Retreat Vocabulary Lesson

Pulling a Sharon, (′pull·iŋ ah ʹʃærən), n.,
1. The act of sewing a zillion scraps together without first having checked that your bobbin is loaded with thread.
2. Sewing like Sharon.
3. The title you receive when you're actually silly enough to state out loud that you were sewing with an empty bobbin.
Scrappy Spice said she pulled a Sharon!

The hands of busy quilters:

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Still spending my time making a mess...

I was hoping I wouldn't post until my sewing room was organized and all that stuff had a home. I think that means I won't be posting for a long time!
I did get all the velvet sorted and put away in storage containers. I'm so jealous of Stephanie's Studio. All those shelves with everything spread out.

I am sewing a pair of wool slippers, but not for my brother. It's been so long since I made slippers I want to make a practice pair before I make his.
They aren't turning out the way I want, so it's turned into another thing that frustrates me.

It's frustrating to get frustrated so easily! But that's who I am.

Tomorrow night is MCQ and I don't think I have anything new for Show 'n Tell. And Thursday night is one of my Quilt Groups. Then Friday I go to Wapo with 24 other lucky quilters. Now that is something I am soooo looking forward to. Trying to figure out what to bring is another many choices. It's got to be something brainless so I can socialize while sewing. Except one defining item is that I'll only bring my straight-stitch machine. I don't like hauling around my $2,000.00 worthless Bernina.

Back to sewing and sorting...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A book in my ear.

I finished listening to Inkheart on CD while I've been organizing my sewing room.
It was a delightful read, or 'listen' in my case. It is read by Lynn Redgrave.

Monday, March 16, 2009

What a fine mess!

Would you look at this mess!

^ Felted wool sweaters all in a heap.
^More stuff to organize...


You can see all the way to the back wall of the closet! It's been stuffed floor to ceiling for about 8 feet out.
I'm just going to keep plugging away at this today, hopefully to be finished in a couple days.
(Following my normal course in life, a couple days means at least a week. I am forever optimistic when it comes to how much time it takes to do a task.)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Roseville City Hall

My "Almond Joy ~ Sometimes you feel like a nut" is the top two pictures, in the office.
"Silence!" is hanging in Council Chambers!
And last is "Fire at your Fingertips" hanging in one of the conference rooms.
I forgot to look for my piece titles "Dishes 1" and the Tree Bark piece is hanging there too.
I was amazed at the quilts, many I hadn't seen before. The exhibit is inspiring and layed out very nicely.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Rehashing and reheating leftovers?

The photos are my project that was turned in last December for Ikea's "Project Patchwork" in association with the Textile Center. It was the worst challenge I've ever done, worst fabric, worst inspiration, worst timing on my part, worst end result...can you see the negativity in the air? After several months I'm still holding a grudge!
There's a long story attached, but I'm not in the mood to tell it! At last the end result is coming soon, when Ikea will have the Artists (all 50 of us) come for the sale of the wall hangings on March 21st at the Mall of America Ikea store.
It'll be a party for me because I am convincing myself that after that occasion I will no longer hold a grudge. I'll spend my $50 giftcard for turning in my piece and hang around the other artists and go home, leaving my grudge at Ikea. ~poof~
On to my next problem.
Creating is fun, Organizing is NOT!
I just don't understand why I'm so anal about the way I have to do things. One friend was nice and said I was "methodical". Doesn't that sound professional?
Let's say I have a list of 'things' to do; I decide to do "thing A", but then something comes up and maybe "thing B" presents itself, I feel like I can't do "thing B" until I get "thing A" done. Even tho' there's no rhyme or reason one has to be done before the other, I feel pressure to get "thing A" done and now "thing B" is staring me down!
I "planned" on making my brother his long-ago-promised wool slippers this weekend. It's not like it's the beginning of winter anymore, it's getting to the point where he won't need them for months.
My wool is deeply buried in that sewing room closet...the closet that was going to be so well planned but turned out more like that expandable foam you put in cracks that even tho it looks like 1/4" bead when you spray it in, it grows all over the place and is sticky as flypaper, and it oozes onto everything it's not suppose to ooze on.
So I start pulling this stuff out of my closet...but where to put it? I'm pulling it downstairs and trying to organize it a little. The dining room table, with all it's leaves is 99" long. I can't believe how much velvet I have "for those quilts I'm gonna to make". And the woven wool for braided rugs, I thought all of that was piled at the office, but I've found more!
I've pulled out about 1/4 of the closet and I haven't gotten to my wool sweaters for slippers yet!
I should be enjoying organizing everything, making it easier to use, getting rid of what I don't need; but instead I feel like what I'm doing is in the way of what I should be doing.
Downstairs is starting to look like a yard sale.
And I have so much flipping fabric! My cotton fabric cabinet is full, and I still have piles that need a place to live.
I have useless scraps of fabric that I'm saving for 'something artsy'.
I have useful scraps of fabric that I'm saving because...why would anybody throw that out?
I have lots of pieces of fabric that, even if it's ugly, I can't let go of it.
(uh-oh, did you feel a tremor?)
Ok, that last statement is my whole problem: "I can't let go of it"
I already had the epiphany that I am going to make myself get rid of old projects, but I see now that isn't the real problem. I have over-consumed on so many levels. (boy, does that ever apply to so many facets of my life...maybe I shouldn't be going here...pandebras box or something.)
So what's my defense?
I don't know, give me a minute; I'll give you a bunch of excuses!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Oil painting on fabric with paint sticks

Above is the back of the blue and white quilt. I added my first layer of gold oil paint that comes in the form of a paint stick. The blue in the corner is on the excess backing fabric where I was testing some colors. It's been over a week since I applied the yellow and it's still not dry. The paint sticks smell like oil paint, and the smell doesn't go away until it's dry. I would have started applying my other colors, but it smells too much to do in a house that's shut for winter. Summer is a better time for that.

Paint sticks are a form of oil paint that are solid, but can be used like a crayon. When the sticks dry out they develop a skin that you just peel off and there's fresh paint underneath. They claim that they can dry in a day but I've never put it on so lightly that it could dry that fast.
Below is a wall hanging I did a few years ago, and it's also from paint stiks, I used glass and crystal dishes to do rubbings under navy and red fabric, cut the fabric up and put it back together with 1/2" strips of a stripe fabric.
I've been getting these dishes at thrift stores when they're down to $1.50 or less. I have quite a collection now, but I still always notice the patterns on glass dishes, ready to add to my collection if a beautiful intricate pattern catches my eye.

I scurried around yesterday and this morning to get my pieces ready for the Exhibit that's being hung tomorrow at Roseville City Hall. I've entered my Almond Joy (10,000 piece quilt), Silence!, Tree Bark, Dishes 1 (above) and "Nature's Star". I believe the Exhibit is for 2 months. It's free, all the quilts will be hung in the hallways.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What should this piece be named?

This piece was the start of one of those "What if I do this?" where I took an entire yard of a batik, cut the whole thing into those diamond shapes and then started playing on the design wall.
The black is a whole cloth, with the diamond shapes cut out. The diamond batik is not a whole cloth...the batik did not have radiating circles of color; I arranged the diamonds to look like that.

The 'color wave' was mostly determined by how many diamonds I had of each color and if they gradated into another color, lots of green, hardly any red. There's lots of orange leftover too, but it never flowed into the other colors.
Only the outer rim of bright green developed that optical illusion of a line travelling through the ring of color. (Humph, should have been the orange and it could have been "My ring of fire".)
My grand idea of trying the fusible thread in the bobbin for part of the applique didn't really work out, which resulted in the project 'resting' for months because of my frustration.
I stretched the project onto a wood frame and that's the way it's going to stay. It's 26" square.

And I don't even remember the name of this particular 8 pointed star quilt block. Radiating Star, Lone Star?
I need help coming up with a name for it, so I can fill out the entry form today!
Please post your suggestions below by clicking on 'comments'!
Thank you!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

QWASOH...Quilts With A Sense Of Humor!

Title: "You're looking through rose colored glasses" ~ 16 x 17"

I love everything that Mimi Holmes creates, so I pretty much copy what I see she does. Mimi's done lots of fun pieces with layering tulle/netting/anything else she can and so I used that as my medium for this project. It's layers of tulle (sparkly and otherwise), and the rose 'glasses' were cut from the liners of clothes I kept from harvesting woven wool from thrift shops.
I photographed it against the wall, but against the light it's more luminescent.
The close up shows my stitching (sewing a straight line is difficult!) by machine and then I used some Sulky Holoshimmer sliver for the longer stitches by hand.
The sleeve is see-through-ish too, but I can't remember the name of that material.
Unless I think of something else to do to it, the piece is completed except for it's hanging stick. If I can find time I think I'll cut the stick from a piece of clear plexiglass.
I almost quit working on it tonight before I finished because I had the iron too hot and scorched the sleeve. My usual therapy is to immediately fix the problem and then quit, so that when I come back to the project I do not have the dread of having gone back a few steps. Tonight I was ready to just forget it! But then I just trudged on, repaired the error, then finished the sleeve, attached a label so I could photograph it.
Tomorrow the plan is to photograph the thingy with diamond shapes I made...I need help with a name for that piece, maybe you all can help me with that. And fill out the forms for entering pieces at the MCQ exhibit at the Roseville City Hall and get them to the Textile Center Library for Holly Wolhart. Then on to my brothers belated birthday or christmas gift...wool slippers!

Monday, March 2, 2009

The casualties of quilting...

Quilt group meetings are NEVER boring!
(Never means NIEMALS!)
Our 'Cave Women' group met tonight...let's see, there was a pool of blood, injury to a brick sidewalk, wine consumed, the faint smell of oil paint, orange-cranberry bread, chocolate, a reading of the 1888 blizzard with second by second detail of your eyeballs freezing, a personal injury attorneys wife, and some sock knitting and quilt block pinning going on...
It's never a dull party at Sharon Englunds house. I'm almost speechless about what to write, but all thoughts tonight are on Sarah "Scar-face" Gannett, her forehead, likely concussion, and her new resemblence to Harry Potter sans the nerdy glasses, all because of an injury in the line of quilting.
I can hardly describe her condition without having a sympathy headache! Or maybe it's just the mix of Gladiator wine and oil paint fumes.
Although I have small suspicion that Sarah always wanted to prove that her head is harder than a brick step (myth busted!), I too have fallen in the past and was amazed that it was my face that got damaged...I have other mass that would 'hit first', but my thick head has that whole mass times speed equals velocity and E=MC² or something like that.
The AP is running the story after an anonymous tipster sent in the photos taken at the party showing Sarah holding a glass of wine and fake flowers stuck in the icepack on her head.
It is her story to tell, but she is home safe and sound now...atleast she tells us she's ok. Is denial a symptom of a brain injury? I told her dog Ruthie if anything happens to call 911 and then call me and I'll meet them at the hospital.
Hugs to Sharon too, the hostest who feels terrible about what happened and is wondering when it's 17ºF outside how is she going to chip the blood off the brick without leaving a stain? I'm sure Martha Stewart has advice for that.
Ruthie's calling her attorney.