Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Japanese Maple Quilt by William Steck

As those of you who read the blog from time to time know, I love sharing quilts by friends and students. Here's one by a former student and friend! This is "Japanese Maple Quilt," 43.5 x 36.5 inches, by William Steck. Years ago as a fairly new quilter, Bill took my class which was an introduction to Ruth McDowell's techniques and has gone on to take several workshops with Ruth. He does great work. This is just a lovely, lovely quilt and very timely for this time of year! Thanks to Bill for letting me share it on my blog.

Ruth was in town to teach classes at the Quilt Patch ( and to give a lecture, which I attended. It was great to see Ruth and see some of her newest works up close and personal. I bought her latest book, Design Workshop, too. She told me that her book "Pieced Flowers," long out of print, is being reprinted! This is a fabulous book, and a great one to add to your collection. Check her website for details on both of these books.
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Monday, September 22, 2008

New Business cards

There was a discussion of business cards online at the QuiltArt email list. I recently ordered two new sets of business cards from; I chose to have images on both sides of the card for the first time. I ordered a "serious" set and a "less serious" set. The "serious" set uses my quilt "Winter Chair", now in a private collection and the "less serious" set uses the self-portrait I did in a Sue Benner class. They're pictured below with both sides of the cards. I also use the "less serious" self-portrait as a kind of logo and it is on my hangtags.

The "serious" set:

The "less serious" set

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

My Color Lecture (and test of using Scribefire to post to the blog)

Here's the first slide in my color lecture "Use All the Colors!"

I wanted to test using Scribefire to post to my blog; it works pretty well, so far! I'm able to upload an image exactly where I want the image to be (Blogger puts them automatically at the top of the post, and you have to drag them to where you want them).  Now I'll try publishing this to see where it goes.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

My Palm PDA Cover

I decided I need a new cover for my Palm T/X PDA. The old one, which was attached by a narrow spline that slid into a groove on the Palm, was just a cover. I wanted something where I could keep the most used SD cards with the Palm at all time, so I decided to make one. Here's the result. It was kinda fun, so I may make more, so I can change them when I get bored. It's spring, so I made happy flowers. I only used scraps I already had with fusible on them, except for the ultrasuede, that was a scrap without fusible. The spine is on the left, there's a piece of fabric that goes from the roughly 2" x 3" cover. I made the spline from a tiny piece of template plastic and fused it into a folded piece of fabric. The lower picture shows it open, with the little pockets for SD cards. I used ultrasuede for this side to be gentle on the screen. The cover and the ultra suede were each fused to a piece of Timtex(TM). The little pockets were stitched on. The cover was quilted, then the spline hinge was placed between the two pieces of Timtex which were satin stitched around to join. Kind of fun.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Green Postcard Challenge!

I took part in an Earth Day postcard challenge at . The challenge was to create a postcard for Earth Day using only recycled materials and materials already in your stash. There had to be some fiber in it. Here is my entry and the explanation that I posted to that blog. Check out the others at the above link!

I wanted my postcard to not only be from recycled materials but to present visually an Earth Day theme, so I chose Please Recycle! Litter is very harmful to wildlife. Birds and fish have been killed by eating or getting trapped in litter. The gray fish body was made from a scrap from a 3D project and was already quilted in a circular pattern that looked to me like fish scales (sort of). The fins, tail, sequin around the eye, pop top and Please Recycle logo as well as the vertical pieces behind the fish are from a Diet Coke can that I cut up and stitched onto the project. The Timtex postcard base was left over from a previous postcard project. The background is cut from a sheer that I used to mop up all my leftover paint in a painting workshop. The sand is a scrap from a strip pieced quilt project years old. The hook is a Christmas tree ornament hook. (Funny story--I was looking for a leftover hook--usually they turn up all over the house for months after the holidays. Could not find a one, thought I was going to have to dig out the Christmas decorations. I bumped a pile of fabric on a table in the sewing "studio" when an ornament that was behind the fabric fell to the floor, hook attached!) Beads and thread were in my stash.

This was a great challenge. I had never sewed aluminum from a can into a project before, though I had read about it. I had shears for cutting metal already, and the can cut up quite easily. Now I'm thinking of new projects and ways to use metal from the cans.
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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Rayna Gillman Soy Wax Batik Workshop

This was a great workshop on using soy wax to batik. Rayna is a great and generous teacher (Rayna, is that what you told me to write? LOL!) No, Rayna is not paying me to say this, I had a blast and learned SO MUCH, both from Rayna and my classmates. If you get a chance to take this or another class from Rayna, or to have her come to your guild, do it! You can tell I enjoyed it by all the pics I posted!

More Soy Wax Batik

More pieces from Rayna Gillman's class at Potomac Craftsmen this past weekend.

This piece was layered underneath the turquoise piece when I did it, resulting in the greenish splotches.
It's got all kinds of marks; some of Rayna's tjap, some potato masher, and of course the resist of the fabric. I wanted to do something bright. I painted the whole thing yellow, then used fuschia around the edges. I kinda like it.

This one was next, using up some of the dyes that I had left. I also used some wooden words I got out of the impulse bins at Michael's, painted the back and stamped them. This also has the blotches of teal on it. It was the other half of the piece of fabric I used for blotting, so the dye came through this piece, too! There's a hibiscus tjap of mine creating the resist, on top of a white on white....

This was one I batiked and screened. It's also the one I drew on, that I decided to blot. The birds were a wooden tjap that I had. It's on top of a white-on-white with birds. This is actually the back of the piece, it's a little lighter.

This is the side I screened from. There's paint on top of the wax batiked birds that will come out, I guess, when I iron the wax out. I like both sides a lot, and different ones better at different times.
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Blue and Fuscia Madness

Here are two more pieces from Rayna's class. The triangles and circles are made with was using one of Rayna's tjaps. Thanks Rayna! The fainter white circular pattern that is all over the fabric is because I started with a white-on-white fabric in that pattern. The white- in the white-on-white acted like a resist. This is going to be a great way to revive a lot of white-on-white fabrics from my traditional days.

These two pieces are companions. I did the above one first, and really liked the purple I got when I mixed the fuschia and turquoise, so did another one with more turquoise and less fuschia. The teal blotches are because I tried to draw little lines on another piece, and they spread too much, so I used this (before I painted the rest of it) to blot it. I kinda like the blotches. I may spatter some more teal on top of it. Or ink in some of the "scales." The scales were done using hardware screen, as shown below.
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Tools of the trade, Soy Wax Batik

We were using all sorts of things to stamp the wax, including whips (for beating egg whites, not the other kind) and mashers and hardware screen! This made lovely fishscale looking patterns that you can see below on the silk and also in the blue and pink piece above. (The silk was not mine).

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Rayna Gillman Soy Wax Batik Workshop

So this is what I did this weekend: took a workshop from Rayna Gillman through Potomac Craftsmen I've always loved batik, so I jumped at the chance to take Rayna's workshop and I'm SOOOO glad I did. It was a blast! I'll be Batik Girl from now on. Now, if I can only learn how to milk soy beans so I can make my own soy wax flakes, LOL!

In the picture below, we are oohing and aahing over one of Cynthia's pieces. That's Rayna, 2d from the left, looking at Cynthia's work. After this, I don't remember anyone's names, I'm SORRY!!!! If you know some of these people, or ARE one of these people, let me know and I'll put names with the faces.

This participant already did batik, but not with soy wax. Her piece is wonderful, and half the piece is a mirror image of the other piece, as it was folded in half when she painted it.
I think some of her marks were made with potato mashers.

This participant was working with her own woven fabric. I loved the texture!

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Friday, January 04, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

I have some quilter's New Year's Resolutions:

Spend time every day in the creative process, at least 15 minutes.
Do 10 pieces this year in my nature series.
Have discipline!
Try a new technique.

Some others that I'm not bold enough to make public at this time.

Do you have resolutions? Quilting or otherwise?

I also have the usual nonquilting resolutions--exercise more, weigh less! Which sort of go hand-in-hand, you know.

And most importantly, be kind to others!

I've include pictures of some of my 2006 Journal Quilts, recently returned from their travels. One, the most realistic wave above, is still travelling with the Creative Journey book.