Saturday, April 30, 2016

Precious Pieces

When I have smaller pieces of fabric that are left after cutting the big ones I do what I call precious pieces. I try unique manipulations of the fabric before I dye them. They are usually dyed in the same batch with others of the same colors.
There are so many  interesting details in this precious piece. Of course it was a surprise when I opened it up. This one will remain as a whole piece.
It’s nice to have some smaller works of art.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Juke Box

This piece I iced dyed is the brightest yet.
When I look at it all I can see is a Juke Box,….maybe a Wurlitzer!
What do you see when you look at this one?
Again, this is a totally different fabric manipulation and dye combo than I have ever used before.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

I’m On A Roll….Creating Faster Than I Can Share

This piece uses colors I dearly love. I associate them with my hazel eyes.
The teal color is my favorite color to wear and the rust/browns accent the teal so well.
This is smaller than my usual mandala….about 22 inches square.
I wanted to try a specific color combination and I am pleased with it.
Of course if I try this again it may look totally different.
And that my friends is the roll of the dice when you ice dye.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

It's Good To Be Green

This is one of the ice dyes I just finished. I love the splitting of the colors and the way the colors flow.
I tried something different (as usual) when I made this one,

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Typical After Dinner Activity With The Family In Florida

I have been remiss in posting pictures of family and friends this season,
We had dinner on the lanai tonight. Salad, ravioli and garlic bread.
Then we adjourned to the great room where we spent time together with our cell phones! We may have been sitting a few feet or a little more from each other but often communicate with our phones. Andy was having fun brainstorming names for the quilt I recently showed on my blog.
Drew looks so serious, but I think he is probably just conversing with his friends.
And I am behind the camera on my cell phone shooting these pictures!
Of course the evening concluded with ice cream served by Drew who also set the table and cleared the table. He narrowly escaped having to do the dishes as if anyone used their phone at the table they would get to do the dishes.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Orange Marmalade OR Citrus Circus?

This is my most recent ice dyed Mandala….different that all the rest.
Which name do you think fits this one?
I did use the same color dyes I had used in another piece but in different amounts and there is little or no similarity between the two pieces.
That is one of the things that keeps me coming back to this quest….I play while using what I know about color and dyes and keep getting gorgeous surprises.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Playing Gave Me A New Ice Dye

To create this piece I tried some new manipulations. There are no rules, guidelines or lessons to create specific designs.
This one is really quite different than previous pieces.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

More Ice Dyes

I set up two more batches of ice dyes. I never have any idea of what the results will be. I choose colors I hope will work together and produce an interesting design.
This is the other batch that is steeping!
I use whatever I have in my “dye studio” as containers to do this. Mostly it is things I have recycled from other uses in my home.
As usual, I am always so anxious to see what the results will be. I can never predict what will happen the way I do this. It is an adult way to play!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Sharing This Beautiful Vista With You

Today is another one of those perfect days with sunshine, ideal temperatures, slight breeze and low humidity.
I had to share it with you and you can look in all directions and pretend you are here on the lanai with me.

Monday, April 18, 2016

I Needed To Knit

The most relaxing thing I do is knit. Once quilters gave up hand quilting for machine quilting so many of us went back to knitting as that had the same benefits we had previously got from hand quilting.
I had a nice collection of burgundy yarns and variations of burgundy from red to pink to lavender and beyond.
This one is being knit with one strand of burgundy mohair throughout and one strand of a variety of yarns. I have already knit one afghan using one strand of burgundy throughout and after I finish this one I think I’ll have enough of that burgundy mohair to do two more with this idea. I don’t remember how or when I acquired all this burgundy mohair!
I really love this one. When I started it I didn’t know who it was going to be for. By the time I got the first 10 inches done I knew I couldn’t give it up and it will be MINE!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Guest Closet Reorganized To Fit Hand Quilting Frame

I feel like I moved a mountain and accomplished a major task yesterday.
I was given a gorgeous collector quality hand quilting frame made by a master craftsman. It has been in the trunk of my car for several weeks while I figured out where to store it.
I finally realized by reorganizing (and purging a few things) in the guest room closet I could store it in here.
You can’t see everything as I couldn’t open both doors at once!
I was able to rearrange things to make use of almost every inch of space, including the 2 inches between the stacking drawers and the wall.
The main use of this closet is extra bedding for when the entire family visits.
It also has become a minor part of my studio (OK a little more than minor now that it holds the quilt frame). It holds my serger and my table size rotary cutting matt as well as my Bond knitting machines.
There is also plenty of room for guests to hang clothing in the closet as well as nice hangers.
What a relief to be able to cross this task off my list last night.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

What A Neat Surprise!

My girlfriends surprised me Friday.
Some of us were together working on projects.
All of a sudden they brought out a tablet and I could see my girlfriend Mary Stori who lives in North Carolina.  They really caught me off guard as I thought it was a video!
NO, we were Face Timing,  something I’ve only done once or twice before. It was so neat. She got to see what we were doing and we got to see the gorgeous piece she had just finished.
Now Mary didn’t have a mask on and wasn’t dyeing fabric but this was the only picture I could find of her.
We have been trying to get her to come to Florida to visit, but if lived where she does and had to go through what she does to fly somewhere I wouldn’t be visiting either!
We have been friends for a long long time but haven’t seen each other in person for quite a while so this was the next best thing! It was just the best.
Mary and I both started as very traditional quilters and taught for years. We now are both “retired” (if there really is such a thing for people like us) and enjoy creating our own fabric and make original work with that fabric.
And to top that off my friend Jean Sands was able to join us as we played with fabric. Jean is hard to keep track of as she travels and teaches (academically) all over the globe. We caught Jean before she leaves for France next week and China after that and then back to France for another semester or more.
And that’s not all….our friend Bonnie Banks who was back home in Michigan was doing pretty much the same thing as we were doing at the same time.
Aren’t girlfriends the greatest thing ever!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Inktense Blocks

Today I did a little playing with Derwent Inktense Blocks and some stencils. This is the first one I did. It needs to dry and then I will seal it with a fabric medium.
This is the other one I did. Because of the design of the stencil the effect is quite different.
At this point I have no idea how I will use these, but that is not the reason I create. Each different thing I try gives me a new tool in my design arsenal.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

It Had Been Too Long Since We’d Seen Each Other

It’s hard to believe that my friend Peggy and I live about a mile from each other and yet have not see each other recently.
Her friend Jill was visiting and they are spending the week doing fun stuff.
She brought Jill over to see my quilt Bordering On A New Millennium which is the quilt I take pictures in front of. It was so good to see her and catch up and to meet Jill.
They also got to see my other recent quilts.
Peggy is the FIRST quilter I met when I moved here and I sure was lucky to meet her.
We both are currently involved in projects which has prevented us from seeing each other but we do keep in touch on Facebook and with emails. Next year we WILL see more of each other.
Hard to believe that it has been 12 years since we met as it seems like yesterday.

Do You Recognize What These Pictures Are?

I know some of my blog readers ice fish.
These are an extinct species of ice fish. They appeared when I did some ice dyeing. Since they are not identical they may be a male and a female or one may be older than the other.
These are also something most of you may or may not be familiar with. This is the record of all the information from my computer from 2007 on discs. They are paired with rubber bands which we all have in our offices! Those reds are auditioning to see if they will be a part of a creation using them. I don’t think my current computer can read these discs!
I wonder if you guessed that this is the blueprint to build something. You may be able to build one from this print! It’s trying to become friends with these fabrics.
So these are some of the things you may be seeing in my future work if they tell me a little more about what they want to be when they grow up.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

No I am not talking about Christmas, snow and all that embraces.
It is perfect Florida weather now. We have had strange weather here just like everywhere…hot/old/hot/cold, etc.
It is now beautiful tropical weather and most days a fan with it’s gentle breeze is all that is necessary…no AC.
It is also the beginning of the quieter season as some snowbirds have left. I used to be a snow bird….now I am a chicken….A chicken doesn’t leave until the weather up north warms us to some degree.
So while I enjoy all my time here, this is what I love most.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Another Finish–Ice On Fire

It is always such a good feeling to have another finish. The fabrics are ice dyed. After the washout and ironing what I saw in these fabrics was fire.
I used the pieces without cutting them up. I did a quilting design that suggested flames.
This is my 8th finish for the year and my 444th overall finish for the years I have been creating quilts.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Party’s Over!

Tom was the last reunion participant to head home early Saturday morning.
He decided to stay long enough to visit The Villages and also eat at Eaton’s Beach one more time.
I have heard from Terry and he arrived home safely.
Pat and John Maranger arrived home “exhausted” this evening. I have a feeling they should have stayed longer as they are expecting snow in southern Wisconsin tomorrow.
The rest of us are here either permanently or until the snowbirds decide to fly north.
Until next year, the reunion was such a great time to spend time together once again.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Racine Washington Park High School 57/58 Reunion Part 2-Funny Photos!

Kissing cousins!
We have to have brats and kringle at our reunions. I ordered Bendtsen’s kringles sent from Racine.
Ron is our brat master…knows just how to cook them.
Ron, we have no idea what this is about????
Pat and Pat……but in high school they were Patty and Pat!
Racine people do know how to have a good time!
The parties over as the last guest leaves early this morning.

57/58 Racine Washington Park High School Reunion

We started having our high school reunions several years ago in Florida. It all started when Terry Hagen visited Florida. You can see how glad he and Gloria Rickard Harden are to see each other. Gloria moved out of our area but is back in our area in Florida so it was so great to see her.
Arlene Rohde Mathiesen lives in our county. Tom Hansen was visiting from Pompano Beach Florida.
Pat Davidson Maranger and Ron Brodsko are cousins and both have homes in our community.
I caught Pat Brodsko, Gloria and Arlene in the kitchen getting food ready and sampling.
Pat Maranger and me! Pat and I were not only high school friends but were in the same classroom in second grade.
John and Pat Maranger preparing a pitcher of sangria….Oh, it was good!
We had such a great time reliving memories, looking at the Kipikawi Arlene brought along, catching up, and just being together again.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Debbie Jones Silk Fusion Part 2

Do you see the sparkly threads she has included in this one?
Although most of these have the thin wispy edges this one has some very smooth edges. I love this unique color combination.
The silk fibers can go in any direction. You can also add other fibers such as wool in addition to adding things that sparkle or add interest.
I have seen three books on Silk Fusion but being with Debbie doing this she adds so much information that I could never have done what I did without her instruction.
In case you are wondering how to find out more about what she does, her classes and what she has available I am including this ink.
She is a wealth of information, an excellent teacher and besides that a really nice person. I hope you get a chance to take a class with her. Your guild or group can contact her with the information on her page.
When time permits I’ll also share information about her other techniques and her fabric painting book.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Chair Cushions Finished And I Love The Look

So that makes it two cushions done and 6 more to go! Even though I still have quite a ways to go just seeing one completed makes me know they are going to be wonderful.
The project will be put on hold for a while as I have company coming and our class reunion here Thursday.
I do have them all cut and edges finished and still plan on doing the rest production line style.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Spiral Ice Is Done

Sometimes a piece has to be totally finished to fall in love with it. I am totally in love with this now that it is finished. I am not sure how many colors of dye I used but after ice dyeing there seem to be an infinite number of colors.
It is dyed in a spiral type of design and the quilting is one spiral to compliment the dye design.
Took me a while to hand sew down all the facings and casings. I put a rod pocket at both the top and bottom for quilts of this size…slightly over 40 inches square.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Debbie’s Departure

Debbie was up bright and early and heading home. I was sorry to see her go, but was thankful we had time together to catch up, share information and do some projects.
You can see here how she has here van packed to the max but still can see out the back window.
I'll be sharing more of what we did soon.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Silk Fusion Pieces

It is hard to share the way the fibers glow in a photo. These are absolutely gorgeous. Debbie was so excited to share this technique with me and once I saw the pieces I understood why.
This piece has some iridescent fibers included. It is so exciting.
The color possibilities are endless. You can also add some other things to them.
When Debbie teaches a class she brings all the fibers for you to work with. (I couldn’t believe it when she told me she also gives each student TWO finished pieces included in a modest material fee.)
 It is an excellent class for a quilt group, art quilt group or an art group with no prior experience required. She does travel to teach.
These can be framed, cut up and used in a wall hanging, made into accessories or anything else you can imagine.
I was fortunate to create a piece with her tutoring me today. It is drying right now and of course I can’t wait to see it and share it with you. She is one the best teachers out there.
I also will have more of her work to share.
I just wish you could see these in person and touch them and you’d also want to learn how to do this.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Debbie’s Studio In A Van

Keep reading to hear about all the treasures lurking in Debbie’s van.
She has been in Florida for a month travelling the state and teaching some amazing classes.
She is the expert on enhancing fabrics and/or clothing with paint or dye.
Just “a few” of the things she took out of the van while she was rearranging and finding some things she needed than were buried below other things.
Can’t you just imagine taking classes from her….she knows so many secrets about what she is doing and shares them openly with her students.
Have you ever heard of Silk Fusion? That is what we are going to play with today. She brought all the things we will need. I had heard of it but anything I could find about it didn’t excite me. When she got our her examples that she has done yesterday I was super excited to try this. She has done some amazing things with it and it is one of her newest workshops. If you belong to a quilt guild or an art /quilt group this would be a perfect workshop for your group and she will travel far and wide from her home. Another nice thing about this one it is appropriate for all levels of artists/quilters as it does not draw on what one has done before. 
Of course I’ll be sharing more of what she has done and also what I accomplish after my pieces are finished. If you haven’t figured it out yet I AM SUPER EXCITED TO DO THIS!