Saturday, May 23, 2015

A Day with Marcia and Priscilla!!

A drop dead gorgeous day here and I got to spend it out in the country with two good friends -- Priscilla Kibbee and Marcia DeCamp.  Priscilla has moved quite a distance to downstate so it was great to see her looking so chipper!  I was greeted by this beautiful quilt featuring nine of the molas that Priscilla has gotten from Panama.  She periodically visits and comes back with these wonderful pieces and sells them both on ebay and at quilt shows.  She, of course, offers them to us and I own far too many!!  Val Schultz did a beautiful job on the machine quilting on this piece.

Now I have to thank Marcia for the pictures taken on her Iphone 6 as despite bringing two cameras with me, I had dead batteries in both!!  I also forgot to bring my smart phone as backup!!  I am impressed with the quality of the pictures for sure!

Priscilla also showed us this beautiful embroidered textile she got from her last trip to Guatemala -- it is even more stunning in person -- the colors and it is just an inspiration for a quilt I think!!

Priscilla was working on an "envelope quilt" and got quite a bit accomplished today.  This was just the beginning!

I finally had a wall big enough to put up the quilt I did down at the beach to which I have added the border now.  I am pleased with how it looks as I bought the border fabric without having the quilt or any of the fabric with me!!  My job for today was to baste this quilt so I could get to the machine quilting.

Marcia captured me trying to get the basting done.  Her setup is perfect for this and I was glad to have the opportunity to do it.  I also managed to cut out two purses using some of my dye painted fabric from years ago.  Now to get to work.  

Monday, May 18, 2015

GVQC May Meeting

It was my first meeting back in Rochester since September.  As our quilt show is in just a few weeks, I figured there would be nothing to  "show and tell" and didn't bring any of my newly finished quilts!!  Well, I was just plain wrong!  There were a tremendous number of Comfort Quilts (made for charity), none of which I got pictures of as they were moving pretty fast across the stage.  I don't know the name of the woman who did this fantastic bargello quilt but it was quite spectacular.  She quilted it with a feather stitch.

I really liked this quilt.

All the baskets in this quilt are embroidered!  It has a very 30's feel to it.

This was done from a wedding picture.  I couldn't tell what technique was used at all -- maybe applique??  It was quite large.

This was a beautiful felted shawl done by one of the club members.  Loved the colors!

Pat P showed this beautiful cross stitched quilt that was done by one of her aunts. 

There were many more quilts in the show and tell but it was very difficult to get good photos on Thursday.

This next series of quilts was done as part of a round robin that several members participated in.  A member would do the center and then successive people would add borders.  They are all so different!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Some Experiments Work Better Than Others...

 I decided that I would try to do some smaller pieces than the 44" x 44" size than I have been doing so I made them 1/4 the size at 22" x 22".  They were somewhat successful.  This one and the next were my two favorites out of the eight I did.  I haven't decided whether to follow up and do some more.

I think this was my overall favorite.  I used purple, strong (or Chinese Red), orange and burnt orange and through in a little of some very old black.

This one was tolerable and obviously uses a lot of the same colors as the above one.  The original intent of these pieces was to combine them into one quilt made up of kalaidoscopic blocks.  May still do this....

This one wasn't bad as well.  Lots of purple and red in this one.  

The opposite of the above piece.  I lay the pieces next to each other on the rack but facing in opposite directions and these two most accurately reflect what happens.

This is one of the "not so successful" pieces as it is so much darker on the one side in the middle.

This is one of the larger pieces that I did and I do like it and consider it moderately succcessful.

This is the second of the large pieces and I like it pretty well.  Now to figure out what I am going to do with these large pieces!!

This is the third and the least successful of the big pieces as I would like more variety in the color even those the star is very obvious.

I am hoping that some new fabric that will be delivered tomorrow will work for this type of work as I have actually almost used up all my pfd fabric that I would use for this.  A couple of years ago I had almost 1000 yards for dyeing but have worked through probably 600 yards in the past couple of years.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Just Can't Stop Myself!

Well, once I get started on something new, I just can't seem to stop and it is taking all my powers of concentration to clean today instead of heading back to dyeing!!  As mentioned, I wanted to try to do some hexagon mandalas. As I was photographing these, I thought that this was the ideal thing to do with ice dyeing as ice crystals are six sided constructions.  I was moderately pleased with my results as there were not so many layers for the dye to penetrate and thus they look more even.  An even nicer part is that the folding for the hexagons is much easier than the eight sided figures!

I had decided to try the yellow again as it does not like to go into solution with the cold and used it sparingly.  The Sun Yellow did take but I didn't see any signs of the Golden Yellow which I also used.  The lighter areas here are turquoise and the darker blue is Intense Blue with a little Grape along the outside.  After it had been sitting for about two hours, I decided that there was too much yellow so threw some old black on top and definitely like the effect I got!

I especially liked the middle of this piece.  Unfortunately, for a couple of the pieces, I managed to not think about the fact that I needed to make sure I found the middle after folding in half so that I could do the folding into thirds that is the next step so they were off center a little.  However that gave me some ideas about actually constructing pieces that were way off center!  There may be a little of the Golden Yellow showing up here a well a quite a bit of Strong Orange.  I was going for an orange/green/purple piece as that is my favorite palette.  

I crowded three pieces together on one rack and two pieces on another rack, scrunching them as much as I could.  You can see how even applying the same colors, you get very, very different results!!  Obviously the first two were on one rack and the last three were on a separate rack.  I just throw the dye on willy/nilly trying to keep complementary colors separated a bit so I don't get a lot of mush.

The photo of this piece doesn't do it justice and again, I really liked the middle a lot!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

RAFA May Meeting -- Glad to be Back!

This was my first meeting since last fall and it was good to be back even though a lot of familiar faces were missing and probably will be missing at the next meeting as well!  I believe this piece was done as a result of a class held at GVQC and Caris did this one of a waterfall in California from a photo she had taken.

Julie was in the same class and did this lovely piece!!

Donna shared several of her jackets but this was my favorite which was done in fabric .  created by another artist.  Pictures don't do it justice!

Anne has been receiving a lot of recognition for her exquisite felted works.  Here she is modelling a cape she had done.

Here are two sets of warmers she also had finished. The link to her website is  Anne Fischer's Felted Garments.  There are many stunning garments there!

Many of us were fresh back from our winter snowbird environs and Diane shared a piece she constructed with her winter guild down in Arizona.  It sounded like a fun group project!

Barb was fresh back from Florida and shared this quilt she constructed for a grandchild.  Really nice!

Elaine showed this triptych she did from photos taken in Florida and shared that it could be seen in the Houston show this fall as part of a Jane Dunnewold exhibit!  Yeh, Elaine!!  

There were a number of other pieces that were shared but not photographed as people wanted to surprise visitors to the quilt show GVQC is having in early June.  The link  is  Genesee Valley QuiltFest.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Ice Resist Dyeing Mandalas

If you have followed my blog, you will remember that the last couple of summers I have felt compelled to experiment with folding fabrics, applying ice and then dyes trying to see how many layers the color will go through to get a repeating pattern.  Inspired by fellow dyer Kay Koeper Sorensen, I decided to try to do mandalas this summer.  These were my first attempts and this was my favorite of the three I did.  My process for this one was (1) to cut a piece of fabric 45 inches long by 45 inches wide. ( 2) I then ironed it well and started folding, first in half, then quarters, then eighths and then sixteenths, ironing in the folds. (3) I then refolded as much as I could so that I was getting more of a fan fold rather than just one thick side. (4)  I then soaked it in a soda ash solution making sure that the piece was saturated and making sure the folds stayed in place. (5)  Then I placed it on a rack and smushed it up some as I was running out of room because I had laid out another piece flat.  The folds in this piece were not as precise as the other two I did at the same time.  This was my favorite. (6) I used grape, blue violet, dark green and basic blue dyes pretty thickly applied over the ice with which I had covered the pieces.

 This is the other piece that shared the rack with the above piece.  Instead of scrunching this piece, I aid it flat on the rack.  If you look closely you can see that on top of the piece, you can clearly see the rack markings!  The third piece I did had this even more evident.  My conclusion was that I liked the effect of the crinkled up fabric much better.  With the scrunching, you get hills and valleys so that the dyes actually run down the fabric and give a much more organic feel to it.  So onward with more experimenting using different colors, concentrations and using a hexagon fold the next time so that I will have a six-repeat pattern instead of an 8.  I love kalaidoscopic images and of course have carried on a love affair with hexagonal repeats for a number of years now doing far far too many stack and whack, one block wonder and serendipity quilts!!  

This is far too much fun!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Musings From My Driveway

My neighbor's bird feeder is a source of many bird sightings.  Although the picture is a bit fuzzy, you can see the usual male Goldfinch, a couple of House Finches (females) and a male and female Purple Finch.  I see lots of House Finches in NC, but never the Purple Finches and had to look a couple of times to make sure that was what I was seeing.  The main difference is the extent of the crimson coloring and the lack of striping on the males which identifies a Purple Finch instead of the House Finch who has a red head but lots of brown striping on his body.  The female Purple Finch has the broad white streak across her face (right under the Goldfinch in the picture).  

Here is a male and female Goldfinch in their summer colors.  The male is on the left with his black forehead!

Just a closer view of the male Goldfinch just hanging out.

This is a closer view of the Purple Finch male.

I believe this is either a female or juvenile Cowbird which was sitting in the front yard and partaking of the bird bath water.  I haven't seen one of these for years (since leaving a more rural environment).

The weather has been beautiful since I got back here to upstate NY.  Here is the Purple Trillium that grows out back.

There is also a lot of the White Trillium whose flowers are quite a bit more showy than the purple but which will darken to pink as they begin to wilt.

Our Star Magnolia bushes are covered with blooms as is our Saucer Magnolia below!  Spring is coming with a vengence even if a little late!