Posts Tagged ‘sewing’
There were a lot of other small items completed – some UFO’s and some brand new. The small piece at the left (24 0nches square) was an OLD top from many years ago – part of a pattern kit for customers using marbled fabrics. The quilt top had some serious rolls of fabric where the iron (and the user…) had pressed wrong. So I to0k out all the stitches, fixed it, made the sandwich, and then requilted it with my practiced free motion skills. A lot of new patterns from Lori Kennedy’s The Inbox Jaunt – she has amazing tutorials.
Then there were pieces where I looked through pieces of marbled fabric we had saved and waited for one to speak to me. A lot of them did in the course of the year. “Sonoran Desert” was one of those. this was done on white denim, and it was a pattern I’ve not quilted before – but it spoke to me of the saguaros of the Sonoran Desert.
Didn’t like this binding – too sloppy to control, so did a regular fabric binding. It hung in our library show and now has a new home with a woman who lived in Tucson for a number of years. Added a few semi-precious pieces of turquoise, agates and lava.
A friend keeps us supplied with all sorts of remnants of cottons, polys and silks. We used a couple to see if they would marble – and they did – spectacularly. One of them went immediately to our son in Seattle – he loved the dark colors – said they were “sexy.” The one he received was “Sliver of Moonlight.” First pic is of the plain marbled fabric, second is seeing the stitching. Unfortunely no final pic of it mounted.
This one is same fabric – black poly-silk, and is called “Whispers in the Moonlight.”
There are more pieces, but I need to move on to new projects…..more on an upcoming sale we are having – next blog post!
hitting 1000 b logposts……
This was a big year for showing our work – many more options and acceptances than most of our time in Arizona. We taught a beginning marbling class at BluSeed Studios in Saranac Lake, NY, and in the process of chatting, we became part of their arts curriculum grant project. I’m really looking forward to this activity; I miss the days of working with The Kennedy Center to bring integrated arts into the classrooms in the Chittenden East School District in Vermont.A lot of great memories from the conferences, and then great memories from arts work within the district (need to do a blog post and reflect on the work we did….)
A couple of pictures from our Saranac Lake class, followed by an individual machine quilting class I did for a fellow artist who wanted to expand her techniques. Mary Hill is a mixed media artist, with vibrant work.
We spent Vermont Open Studios sharing space with Mary over Memorial Day Weekend. LOTSSof great discussions on marketing!!
Plus, since May I have been working on an interactive teaching manual for the ebook Interactive Edge of the Sea. This takes all I have worked on in curriculum in 40 years of teaching and brings it together for teachers, with a modern update on using all forms of new assessment and social media within the classroom. My hope is that this manual becomes a template for other disciplines, as there are a lot of useful interactive teaching techniques – and everything is correlated to current educational standards. A labor of love with my second mom, Betty Hupp. Here’s the cover:
We are just about done with final edits, and after the first of the year it heads off to coding. I have a lot of links to check to be sure they all work!
Bunches of shows…..here are pictures of our small pieces at Sweet Grass Gallery in Williston, VT for the month of November.
There’s still more…..stay tuned!
I was very involved this year in helping others create some wonderful fiber art. First up was a baby quilt for a teacher at a former school of mine. The teachers all created blocks based on children’s books, and then along with the baby quilt, gave the books to the new mom. It came out so cute!
You can see the machine quilting – “leaves” for the pages of books – the leave of a book……a lot of fun to quilt. Next time….stabilize the pieces before they are sewn into blocks….
How many books can you identify?
LOVE Patricia Pallaco!
Two more baby quilts scheduled for the new year….prolific bunch at Camels Hump Middle School!
A good friend made a “science fiction” quilt for her son – a gamer, doctoral student, and avid reader. It was SO MUCH fun helping in the process, from using spray basting, to zigzagging quotes, to creating the dragon (a “must-have in this quilt). It hangs from a curtain rod that is very “Lord of the Rings” in design. I was responsible for the machine quilting of dozens of galaxies within the quilt. The dragon has a lot of marbled fabric within it, and it works so well! Kathy did an amazing job. Teeth, flame, wings, and horns all crafted from marbled fabrics. Hubby Dave did the design for the pattern, Kathy did the contruction with vinyl and a few other fabrics.
The last heavy sewing/quilting happened when my friend Kathy wanted to recreate a marbled wall hanging of ours that one of her daughters loved. Sure…..to find she wanted it reversible…and a few other changes….
The story of the original piece is here.
I don’t have any finished pics at this point – just an in-progress. Oh, did I forget to mention she wanted one for each daughter? Different colors for reversible? Different quilting patterns? It really was a lot of fun, and it challenged me to revisit a reversible binding….but I made Kathy do all the hand-stitching……
A close-up of in-progress……
The year started with this commission: The Arroyo –
…and we’re not done for the year!!
At one point I had three, with another on layaway. I guess four, counting my serger. It was the HUGE, HEAVY Singer that my mother had that first intrigued me. I sewed mostly at college on a small Singer a sorority sister had, but when I went home for holidays it was that old heavy Singer that I used – I don’t think the needle was ever changed, and it only went forward and back, but it was enough for wardrobe.
My first teaching job was in Hawaii, and after buying my very first car, I bought a Singer sewing machine. When I left Maui, I donated it to the drama club for costumes – that machine had done all the holokuus we used for two musicals, plus a lot of muumuus for me over the years.
Back in Vermont I needed a new sewing machine, so I bought a fancy Singer – with stretch stitches…yup, time for polyesters and stretch knits. This was when I took every Stretch and Sew class I could, and pretty much bought out all their patterns. I learned a lot of design, and for the next decade I made all my clothes…and a leisure suit for hubby. I wanted the capability to do fancy stitches, so when the funds were there, I got a new Singer – computerized, with lots of decorative stitches. And…a bobbin that wound itslef right in the machine.
My dear mother-in-law got the older Singer, as she would sew doll cloths and bags for the grandchildren. That new Singer did wonders and got me started in quilting. When my mother-in-law died, the machine reverted back to me, along with her Featherweight. Finances were such that I had to sell the featherweight, much to my regret, but it went to a good home – a quilter friend of mine.
I discovered that using the zigzag to edge cotton before marbling wasn’t really working on my old Singer. I seemed to always overheat the motor, so I went looking. Enter my serger, a Bernette. Two great ladies who had a fabric store and bought marbled fabric from us fronted a used serger for me. It’s still going very strong, although I must confess a profesisonal cleaning would probably be a good idea, even though I am good to it….
Between the marbling and the quilting, my other two Singers weren’t doing it for me, so I began to investigate Berninas forther, since I loved the serger. We were fortunate in that the local Bernina folks, Bruce and Mary Sue, were very supportive of our marbling. I put a hundred dollars down on a 1080 Bernina workhorse, figuring I could get it in a few months. Well, several years later I got my machine and it’s been purring since then.
In order to fund some basic expenses we had a yard sale, and the two old Singers went to new homes, feet and all. I miss them, but I do love my Bernina. There are times when I wish it did more – like needle-down and stitch regulator, but my basic skills have improved tremendously. In fact, when I was at the School of Threadology I was using a new Bernina and I wasn’t happy – mainly because I didn’t fully understand what it could do – I knew the limits of mine and wanted it with me.
I’m still lusting for new machines – my serger is nearly 15 years old, I want an embroidery machine, I want a machine that can take designs and new stitches along with a stitch regulator, but that’s in the future. For now I love my Bernina and all it’s teaching me.
I pulled out an old quilt to work on – not that I don’t have plenty of new projects going. This is my “deer quilt,” so called because of the pieced deer at the bottom of the quilt. I found this pattern about 12 years ago when I was learning a lot about piecing. It looked like it would be fun to do – and was, until I got to the deer, which was quite the challenge. The pattern was, I believe, from Pam Bono Designs, in an old book called Rotary Cutter Quilts. I looked on her site and the book seems to be out of print. I got the top pieced in about a month, sandwiched with what I know now to be REALLY cheap batting, and I started quilting it…with invisible nylon thread.
Needless to say, I have learned my lesson with invisible thread – use the poly thread from Superior Threads. I could see the brittleness and yellowing, so I have spent several hours pulling out a lot of old quilting. I had done a lot of free motion quilting in the background, which is literally ground. I loved the fabric choice, and it still looks great 12 years later. This is just a portion of the mountains, and two layers of trees.
One thing I am noticing is that I am MUCH better at machine quilting, even though I think I have a long way to go. This quilt shows me where I started, and just how I have improved. Here’s the deer:
They are done in a commercial marbled fabric because I loved the texture of the fabric. I am thinking of doing some thread painting on the deer to accent the design. We’ll see….I know I’ll add a little bit of cotton for the tails when I am done….
This second piece was in response to a group of us a couple of years ago (like 5) trying to do a group art piece. I had this in mind for a lava piece, and it was so-so. I serged some edging of black fabric, with the idea of tacking it into place to represent hardened lava. Didn’t really work. Here’s the piece without it:
The left side of this is my new approach – using So Fine black from Superior Threads – another new thread I haven’t tried – and I love it! No broken needles, and just some gentle tension adjustments. This looks more like lava than the earlier version. Here’s another shot:
Color is truer in the top one. I’ll be curious to see when I finally consider it “done,” only five years later….