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Hand Stitching….

I have been doing some hand stitching. Who…me? Yeah. It’s something I don’t do a lot of, but there was a project in the 2007 Quilting Arts Gifts issue that caught my eye. As Christmas approaches, I am thinking about a present for a certain friend. It’s a quilted bag by Linda and Laura Kemshall on page 21. I figured the hand stitching is something I can do in the evenings while watching tv…and then there’s election day coming up. I will need some handwork to do!

I don’t do much hand quilting…like, none, to be exact. Not thinking, I layered my layers with a piece of cotton batting, since I use that exclusively in my quilts and only have that around. I will have to remind myself not to do that again! Hand quilting with cotton batting is not good. It will take much longer, I can tell. And I’m only working on a 14″ square. Here is the full view of the first stage in progress…layered paint rag, polyester sheers, dryer sheets, painted cheesecloth…

…and the close up view…

…this is kind of fun…I just have to remember to use some poly felt for the batting next time!

…And The Winner Is…

….Marilyn Davis! There were 243 total sheets.  I counted them several times to be sure. A few of you were very close, but Marilyn’s estimate was 247 and she came the closest.   Congratulations, Marilyn! I will be sending you a bundle of these painted dryer sheets as your prize. If you will send me your snail mail address, I will get these out to you pronto.  My appreciation goes out to all of you who participated!  I will be putting some bundles of these sheets in my etsy shop this week if you are interested in purchasing some.

Dryer Sheets….

Thanks to everyone who has made a guess.  I plan to announce the winner and final total at 6 p.m. central  time.  27 of you left a number.  You still have time as of this writing if you haven’t posted one.

Here are some pictures of some of the individual sheets.  You could lay these out flat and paint them and get more paint on them.  For my use, I don’t want a block of color, but just a bit of color and transparency for layering. They can still have paint added to them as well as stamping, and I’m even wondering how they would take a gel medium photo transfer…hmmmm, I may have to try that!

How Many Dryer Sheets…

…can one collect? I have been saving them for quite some time. I painted these this morning. If anyone wants to take a guess how many there are in this picture….when I iron them, I will count them and the person who gets closest to the actual number will get a prize! So leave your guess in the comment section. How many painted dryer sheets are in these 6 containers?

Stuff I’m Working On….

I am working this week. I am preparing for a fabric dyeing class this weekend at the Rend Lake Visitor’s center. I have been studying and writing my handout and getting kits ready.

I have also been playing/working in my room. My new best friend is gesso. A friend of mine had given me several books of home dec samples. Being the little hoarding and can’t-waste-anything person that I am, I have found a use for some of these pieces. I usually work fairly small, so these do come in handy. (When, oh, when will I work larger?) I am taking the large florals and painting them with gesso, then painting over that with the Adirondack iridescent paints. I love the whitewashed feeling the gesso does to the fabric. The paint is not put on solid, but a bit randomly. You’ll see. I am using these pieces to frame other small pieces of art. I like the look. Now to find a way to mount them for hanging. I glued (PVA, acid free) the gessoed, painted home dec fabric to matboard, but have stopped there so far. These pieces are not stitched yet. The only problem I see so far, is that the lovely gessoed florals are mostly covered up, but I do like the “framing” look of it.

I am thinking “Fragments of a Life”. What do you think?

Again using scraps…home dec fabric, gesso, acrylics, stamping, dyed craft paper, torn paper from a photo, screening, painted dryer sheets, hand dyed fabric, calligraphy pen. This started with a georgous earthy hand dye I wish I could repeat.

I think I will be adding more to this one. I am thinking more background texture. The home dec fabric pieces have a lovely ragged edge on one side (shown here on the bottom), from cutting them out of the book. I would like to utitilize that.

I am looking forward to soon spending a few days dyeing, painting and screening with soy wax out in my patio…if this cold, rainy weather ever clears up!

Wednesday This N’ That

Ahhh…..it feels good to be home and working in the, ahem, “studio” (aka the 9’x 9′ shrinking spare bedroom). The Arts In Harmony art festival is this coming weekend. I have been experimenting with some ideas, altering fabric, and going back to some pieces that have been started, but somewhere along the way I had gotten lost and did not finish it. First, the cloth, because it led to what I did with an unfinished piece.

I took this rather dark clean-the-brush-cloth….

….and turned it into this….

…took this fabric….

…and turned it into this.

See my new stamps in there?

I started this piece back in the winter (not so long ago). It is mostly painted dryer sheets, but there is some cheesecloth and scrim and painted fusible web in it too. I got to a place where I was not satisfied, but lost interest or got busy with other things. It needed more….more depth…more something.

Yesterday, I gave it a go using the same technique I did on the cloth. When you are a week away from a show, starting new work is not an option because of the time factor, but pulling out unfinished pieces and finishing them is! A show is a great motivator for getting stuff done.

I am much happier with it. I’m not sure it is done, but it sure is better!