Monday, July 28, 2014

Hot July -- getting lots done inside

July has been a hot, hot month here in North Carolina.  So, staying inside on weekends and quilting/sewing is a good thing to do!  I've been going through some quilt tops that have been around way too long, finishing up some things...

A small lap size quilt top that I made probably 3 years ago now is finally almost quilted.  This was sewn on paper, using random sized strips, a great way to use up fabric stash! 

And I'm also sewing lots of my homemade fabrics into strips, and am going to make some table runners to sell on Etsy.
 Just have to get motivated in the evenings after work, sometimes it's just hard to focus...

And can you see the praying mantis in this picture?
 How about here?

Here's a close-up, I swear it was watching me while I took the pictures.  It climbed all the way up a hibiscus stalk, which is about 6 feet tall, then hung out there under the flowers.

And here are some more things I worked on this weekend, beachy scenes using more of my homemade fabrics.  These pieces are potentially for a challenge with a local group of art quilters that we might be setting up, and need to be cut down to 12" x 12".

The piece below was done with wax resist, then painted over with setacolor paints. Both are just pinned up right now, and need to be quilted, then they're done, too.  

I'm trying really hard not to dye or paint any more fabric until I use up most of what I have!  Hope you're having a productive summer, too.

Edited on Friday, August 1st to include link to Nina Marie's Off the Wall.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Blog post from another site today

From my post on And Then We Set It On Fire blog today:

When I thought about what I was going to do for this Round Robin, I realized that almost every piece of fabric that I've created over the past few years was a series of different techniques that I performed on it, which is technically what a round robin is.  Usually it gets passed on from one person to the next, but we're doing our own kind of round robin here--a Solo, which is a little bit harder, in my opinion.

We all probably have some fabric we've dyed or done something to that we aren't in love with--what do you do with it?  I tend to put mine away for a while, and think about what else I want to do with it to try to get something I want to use.  So, for this, I pulled out a piece of fabric that I dyed a while back that was just kind of "blah". It's about 2 yards long x 44 inches.  It was originally dyed with turquoise and sun yellow.  I had dyed it flat, pouring the colors onto it and leaving it in the sun, covered, for a few hours.

I really had hoped that the two colors would blend more and create more green, which didn't happen.   So, I ripped it up into several smaller pieces.

I decided to batik one of the pieces, so I got out some circle shapes.  I choose the smaller one, part of a pool noodle (not recommended, as you will see)...

Heated up my beeswax in the electric frypan, and stamped one row. 

My pool noodle piece started to melt after I stamped one row, so I had to find a replacement tool quickly.  I found a potato that was a similar size, cut it in half and carved out a hole.
Then I got one of those corn-on-the-cob holder thingies and used that to hold the potato while dipping into the hot wax. 

Here it is all stamped, you really can't tell the difference between the pool noodle shape and the potato shape, can you?

 Then, it gets dyed in some turquoise dye (a strong solution).

Here it is all done:

On another piece of the turquoise & yellow, I used a foam paintbrush with cutouts to make some stripes, and dipped into the beeswax and spread it on.

 When that was done, I folded it up--

 And poured some dark navy blue dye on it.

Let it all soak in for about an hour--

Here it is with the wax removed, washed, and ready to go:
I may leave these pieces as is, and not do anything else to them.  Any suggestions from readers out there?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Felting class

I had someone come over Saturday morning and I taught her how to felt a vessel.  It was fun, I've never taught anything like that before.  Debbie--please send me a picture of your vessel and I'll post it here if you read this!

This is a vessel I made while she was here.  It took forever for this wool to felt, but finally it did.  These colors are the first rovings I've dyed myself, I like being able to buy the white and dye it whatever color I want.

And on Sunday, I decided to felt again.  This time I cut some white circles out of a piece of prefelt I had made previously, then felted on some grey Norwegian wool and used some shetland black for the centers.  This felted really easily.
Then I thought I'd make a pillow using a resist, so I made a beachy scene on both sides.  This was my first time trying to make a square using a resist, and it turned out rectangular instead.  It actually turned out to be more like a bag than a pillow, so I might try to make some handles for it and use it as a bag instead.
 This side looks pretty funky...oh well, it's a good practice piece!