Life In August

I’m such a slacker on this blog!  I really didn’t have much of anything interesting to report.  I have been getting ready to teach and vend, so have not been making any art, that’s for sure.  I have some new products to sell and the class I taught last weekend was machine quilting.  What’s there to say about that?

I do have a sample that I quilted with my Featherweight machine.  That might be interesting to see.

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A complaint I have about stitching this way on the Featherweight, and it may be a problem unique only to mine and not to other machines, is that when the needle goes down in the hole a second time, a pretty noticeable knot appears (at least with black thread on white cloth).  But I made the sample to show my class that it is possible to do this on a Featherweight.

I love Kathy Sandbach’s books on machine quilting.  The one I used for the class was Show Me How To Machine Quilt.  She has developed a method of creating unique continuous line designs in stitch for quilts with diagrams showing how to start and continue. It’s a great book especially if you are looking to go beyond stippling and other filler designs. I have some left over from the class.  They are $16.95 plus shipping.  They are not up on the website yet.

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Another piece of news:  I now have Rayna Gillman’s book for sale on my website!  See here.

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Well, I guess that’s all for today…hopefully it won’t be so long between posts this time!

More Printed Cloth

Another piece of deconstructed screen printed cloth…I am working on some more…will show later since I may do more to them.  This one was printed with fuchsia and brown, then I painted the yellow dye on in places.

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I am leaving to go to Evansville, IN.  I’ll pick up some art pieces at a couple of places, some shopping, and then to a shopping spree  event tonight where I plan to sell everything I can.

My New Toys…

I got some new toys last week. They are called moldable foam blocks by PenScore. I have been wanting some of these for a couple of years.  I ordered these from Dharma Trading Company.

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They also come in other shapes and sizes.

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You simply heat the surface of the foam block with a heat gun.  You need 300 – 400 degrees.

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Then press the heated side of the foam block onto an item…such as Great Northern Beans…

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…or a pair of stork scissors…

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…this method of making a stamp makes a negative image, but it is loads of fun!

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If you tire of an image, you simply heat the block again; the block returns to a smooth surface, and you can make another image in its place.  How cool is that?

New Books Added…

Bit by bit I am adding new retail items to my website.  This week I added three of Ann Johnston’s books.  Color By Accident is a manual on low water immersion techniques.  Color By Design is full of dye painting techniques and ideas.  The Quilter’s Book of Design is a newly revised version with lots of quilt art to look at and design ideas to ponder and study. They can be purchased on the Dyeing Supplies/Books page of my website at www.mywildflowerdesigns.com.

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This ‘N That…

What…my first post for March…I have been busy.  I would have posted last Monday but I was packing and getting ready to leave, and putting the final touches on a lecture and workshop.  I traveled to Greenwood, IN (outside Indianapolis) on Tuesday to visit my artist friend, Cynthia.  This is now a yearly trip.  Her quilt guild asked me to do a workshop with them and the program for their monthly meeting.  It was lots of work getting ready as I was preparing something new.

The workshop was on Dye Painting.  They did rubbings, stamping, monoprinting, gelatin printing and I had some screens made up for them to play with.  Here is Jo working on a stamped piece of cloth.

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Here is a rubbing made by Cindy…

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…a monoprint carefully planned and executed by Mary….

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…another well executed piece by Phyllis…

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…the gelatin after someone printed on it…believe it or not, there is no dye left on this to print…the gelatin has soaked it up or something…

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…and Sandy’s 1 yard size clean up cloth.  I thought it was an awesome piece and urged her to save it for some special idea.

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I think everyone said they had a good time and we didn’t make too big a mess.

On Thursday, Cynthia and I went to the Indiana Heritage Quilt show in Bloomington, IN to see vendors, friends and quilts.  That evening I gave a program on Journal Quilt Techniques for the guild, showing them some of the quirky things I do on small art pieces.  All in all, a fun and exhausting time…I drove home Friday morning after sleeping in.  Now…to get ready for whatever is next….

Thursday This ‘N That…

Yesterday was my husband’s birthday. He turned 49 and I made him a New York cheesecake. I haven’t made one of those in years…too much fat! Even though I used the 1/3 less fat cheese and low fat sour cream it’s still a lot of fat. Then I quilted the Rosa and Friends sample and put binding on. Well, that part is over. Now I just have to get fabrics dyed for the kits. I was going to dye on Tuesday, but a water main was broken and we had no water all day.

On Saturday I am doing a presentation called All That Jazz at Sew Tech. They asked me to do a trunk show as well as show quilts for classes that I teach and my hand dyed fabrics. I will also do a small demonstration of a technique. I plan to visit Dick Blick and Joann’s while I am in Evansville.

Not much else going on as I have lately been spending so much time on this sample. I have to get in gear and start working on pieces that I want to put in the textile exhibit next month. I have less than a month to go before everything is to be delivered to the gallery.

Some pulls from a soy wax screen. I love using soy wax! These were printed on the back of fabrics that had gesso and paint applied. The white areas are from the gesso.

Stuff I’m Playing With…

A couple of weeks ago I promised to post pictures of my gelatin printing results.  I hadn’t gotten around to photographing them, because I just wasn’t sure I was satisfied with the results.  I don’t know if my dissatisfaction is because the prints are round (I used the cheesecake pan), or what it is.  For me, the texture freak, I usually go for backgrounds with texture and color.  I’m not necessarily about making a “picture” when I monoprint, so maybe that’s why I wasn’t so terribly thrilled with the process, but here are a few pictures of what I did that day.

I used paint rolled on with a brayer and then swirled my fingers through it to make the design.

This is two prints, one on top of the other (need more colors!).  I laid grasses and leaves on the paint to make both prints.  I think this one is pretty cool.

This is a closeup of one with grass laid on it.  I took a large piece of cloth and printed several of these together and overlapping…thought I might use it for a background.

This looks like two prints too, one on top of the other.  I really love what I get when I print on a piece of plexiglass, but I like the moistness of the jello, maybe that helps to keep the paint from drying out so fast.  I will have to try some printing with a square plate.  I also like the flexibility of the gelatin plate, meaning the “squishiness”, the give in it.  That part is pretty cool.

Friday This ‘N That

Just a quick post…some pictures from my first attempt at breakdown printing…

Plastic canvas and sequin waste placed beneath the screen. Squeegeed yellow-orange dye across the screen, let dry. Next day, made turquoise dye paste and activated and squeegeed onto cloth. The little dark rusty looking areas are where the orange yellow dye came off the screen. Interesting. Oh, and there was some pink blotches on the fabric when I started, just so you know.

These I screened the yellow orange dye on and then later dye painted with turquoise dye.

Observations:

1. It would be good to have several screens available to use to do this with. I have one at the moment, so I made the design on the screen and had to wait a day til it dried, before I could go on. I will be purchasing more.

2. Putting the textural objects beneath the screen and squeegeeing the dye paste on the inside of the screen worked very well, perhaps better than coating the screen and laying objects in it, at least for me. More exploration is required, but I definitely liked the images I got on the screen by laying the objects beneath it.

3. Some of the fabric had been presoaked in soda ash and dried and some had not. I’m not sure if it made much difference in the colors. The turquoise dye itself was activated on both kinds of cloth. The only reason I had some presoaked is that I had made it for another project. I did not do presoaked specifically for this process.

4. There is more work and mess involved screening with dye than with paint, but I very much like the hand of the cloth with dye. Lovely.