Saturday, December 21, 2013

Photo Doodles

Our snow is melting but has not lost the ability to delight:

Warm solstice wishes to you all!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Had to Find Time to Do It

What a joy to take these beauties out of the washing machine on a cold, gray, wintry day!

It had snowed two days before--just a couple of inches but enough to call it the first real snow of the season and I realized I had to seize the moment before the sun melted it. I prepared the fabric but when I found a place that had enough snow to scoop up I realized this was the light, fluffy stuff, the kind that did not usually produce the typical petal patterns I love. So I created an experiment--the green/blue one was covered with the fluffy snow and the purple one got snow from the car windshields that had melted and refrozen a bit so that it packed better. And you can see the difference: while I will easily find a use for the first one, the purple one is definitely more dramatic and petal-ly.

Of course, neither had just one color. The top one had very dark green, with a bit of gold, strong navy, azure and better black added. The purple one had, of course, purple with added bits of gold, azure and better black. I mixed a new batch of purple (and this may of skewed the results, but I don't think so) but all the rest were old dyes that I needed to use up.

Definitely worth taking time out to do this! I am two yards of fabric richer for doing it.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Art Trade

From a quick survey of the Internet, it looks like just about everybody has made artist trading cards, called by those in the know ATCs, but I had never tried my hand at them until one of the members of our local art quilt challenge group suggested we make them to trade at our meeting this month, a suitable challenge for the gift-giving season.

I first of all had to figure out how to make one, easily finding the dimensions (2 1/2 x 3 1/2") thanks to Google. I knew they should be somewhat stiff and thought Peltex would make a suitable batting only to discover my leftover Peltex was in MA and I was in PA. But in my search I uncovered some Roc-lon that had been on my shelf for several years and in my quest to use something up rather than buy something more that must be moved I discovered an excellent backing for quilty ATCs. I still added a bit of thin cotton batting but the Roc-lon gave stability without stiffness to the cards.

I decided to go with the exploded shapes that I have been playing with the past couple of years and opted for basic circles or squares cut from hand-dyes on a pieced background. Originally these were going to be raw-edged attached with hand stitching but the Thanksgiving weekend was fast approaching with the meeting immediately after and fusing them down was a surer guarantee I would have something to trade. The hand stitching with perle cotton was added during the long drive to MA for the holiday.

What took the most experimentation was finding an acceptable way to finish the edges. The Roc-lon was just thick enough that a close zig-zag stitch did not cover the edge well and a full-fledged satin stitch was going to take too much time. So I opted for couching perle cotton around each edge and tying the corners. Luckily I only had to do six.

But in return for my work I got six lovely and totally different ATCs, along with a bookmark from one member who felt she did not quite follow the rules and was assuaging her guilt.

So I got to add one more thing to my Thanksgiving list of things to be thankful for--gifts from creative friends. And, of course, I am grateful for your company, as always.