30 December 2010

Doll faces and a smokey house!

These are a couple of the attempts to do doll heads. The one with the painted face - lesson learned: don't use fabrico markers to color a dolls face. The blank face - lesson learned: don't use cotton jersey to make doll heads.

I will not concede defeat making a dolls head. I will persevere so stay tuned for future attempts.

Now about the smoke.
I thought, "What a great opportunity to do snow dyeing. I have with feet and feet of snow (drifts). So I set out to snow dye (pictures coming) and most of the blog posts I read talked about nuking the fabric after the snow melted. Yeah, you can see where this is going.
All went well til the last batch. The container I was nuking in, melted and great billows of smoke poured out of my microwave. Nothing quite as good for the respiratory system as burning plastic. The last fabric - of course the most beautiful - stuck to the melted plastic and tore - a lot.
So three fat halfs are in the washer with color grabbers and synthrapol. I am a bit bummed because I was so close to actually having one, now in the trash can, that was really beautiful. The other 3 are OK I guess. Maybe I should wait til they come out of the washer before I call the whole thing a loss...

OK so I was mistaken yet again. Here are the snow dyes.

27 December 2010

On a purse binge

More along the same line. I made another purse, a clutch, out of the same old quilt. I added the stars and lots of additional quilting in a spiral sun in chartreuse thread. I chose this shape because I had purchased 3 purse snap frames about a year or more ago and had never made anything with them.. This purse is about 18" wide by about 9 or 10 " deep. Nice and roomy. I added the loops to aid in opening the purse.

Then I made another of those purses that I love so much and have now made 3 versions of. This last one is made of the lovely batiked linen from the batik tutorial. I lined it with some fabric from a failed dyeing experiment and bound the edges and lined the shoulder strap with some hand dyed (LWI) I did with Rosalita this past spring. I ordinarily don't like yellow but it does go well with the batiked linen.

I just realized that I forgot to upload the photos of the first purse I made from the old quilt. It was beautiful and very unique but wasn't working for me as a purse to I gave it to my friend Jessie, of crow cookie fame. Well, here it is:

23 December 2010

Crow Cookie

These are cookies my dear friend Jessie made. She hand cut the spiral and crow cookie just for me. They need to be immortalized before I get too hungry. The tree and stars are gone already - YUM!
This is a photo Jessie took and manipulated in a photo program. She printed it and made a card for me. Isn't this gorgeous???

20 December 2010


Call me crazy but I just love doing portrait quilts. I love my other stuff and abstract art but I get such satisfaction from doing portraits. I like trying to capture the essence of a being in fabric. I don't know if you can see these details but the white is cotton covered with organza and it sparkles. The black is a curly flocked satin with glittery bling.

In case you are wondering who Molly is, she is a full sister to Gabby about 5 years removed. They both have the same parents just not the same litter. I think Molly must be around 9 or 10 by now and she is the queen bee of my friend Donna (a.k.a. my springer neighbor). We were neighbors in Portland many moons ago.

07 December 2010

Volusia: Wrapped in Fiber

This is my ENTRY piece for the Volusia show "Carbon Footprint".  This is just the beginning of the process. I finished my piece yesterday and took the shots outdoors in dim sunlight, cropped and adjusted the photos in Corel and entered online. I took six pictures to capture the 3 dimensional piece but you can only submit 2 pictures: one full and one detail. I submitted the full environmental side and the detail of the industrial side.
I  had no options on pictures so I figured I'll either get juried in or not. I just left it up to the universe. I should know within a few weeks of the due date, December 15th.
Full frontal view

Environmental side - one of the views I submitted. This is what the earth looks like without man's interference.

Environmental detail
Industrial side
Industrial detail
                                                                        Sole of the shoe
I made this by making a pattern for a wooden shoe tree I had just gotten. Each piece (right, left and bottom) were made individually and then sewn together. It was a disaster. I took the three pieces apart and decided to glue them onto a real shoe. I liked the look of this clog (still in use but sacrifices had to be made for ART). The bottom piece was made by scanning money and printing it on to fabric. The backing is my favorite, natural linen and the batting, organic cotton and bamboo.  This also went along with the environmental theme of the piece. I machine quilted the sole with green ($) dollar signs. Each side piece was made with hand dyed cotton, cotton/bamboo batting and linen. After all the work was done, I used dry wall adhesive to attach the three sections to the shoe. The "natural" earth side was pretty much just embroidery with a tiny shell and three stones trapped under my tulle "sea". The industrial side was made with my flame colored fabric (hand dyed) a leather oval, black "slick" paint, black tulle, an embossed old piece of discolored copper for the factory with a rusted key for a smoke stack, another building made with blocks printed with a tiny stamp and rust and copper paint and that brass bit as a stack. I embroidered and painted oil derricks and three three red X's are the universal symbol for poison. Both side pieces had a beaded edge done with a blanket stitch and bead. The beads on the industrial side were perfect and menacing in color.
This piece came out EXACTLY the way I had planned so I am very pleased whether I get into the Volusia show or not.

02 December 2010

New Tutorial Tab

I finally figured out how to make a tab list of all the tutorials I've made just like the BIG bloggers. I want to start doing more tutorials but I don't want them "lost" in page after page of old posts. I am pretty happy. Yum?? Now, what tutorial to do next...

29 November 2010


This past week I read posts on two blogs denigrating "certain kinds" of art quilts. I don't understand what compels people to snip at other people's art unless it is low or shaky self esteem. I commented in what I regarded as a thoughtful way to both posters and found neither of them "approved" of my comments so they never showed up in their comment section. One person even wrote that they wanted to hear what others had to say yet when my comment challenger her beliefs, it seemed to go into the cyber-trash.
I don't understand the "Us" and "Them" attitude that is pervading our country and many others. In my comments (now lost in cyberspace) I said something like, "Why can't we all just play nice?" and "This "us" and "them" attitude is tearing our country apart.
I am NOT the judge of the art world nor do I want to be. Just because I don't like certain types of art doesn't mean I have to denigrate it or say is is silly and sappy. There is room in this big world for all types of quilters, potters, metal workers, painters, designers.....
I prefer to find the good in someones hard work. I have found that the top art quilters I have met or had any contact with were all embracing, non-judgmental, and encouraging. If we were all the same , how boring the world would be.
Let's just play nice.

21 November 2010

SAQA email

The jurying is done! No Holds Barred!

The news we have all been waiting for!

Here is the list of Artists whose work has been juried into the "No Holds Barred" Exhibition opening January 20, 2011 at the New England Quilt Museum.

Drum Roll Please !i!i!

Beth Berman
Katya Bessmertnaya
Ann Brauer
Nancy Crasco
Linda B. Dunn
Mary E. Durda
Beverly Fine
Sandy Gregg
Carol Anne Grotrian
Rosemary Hoffenberg
Janice M. Jones
Denise Linet
Jeanne Marklin
Valerie Maser-Flanagan
Wen Redmond
Norma Schlager
Rosalind Spann
Bobbie Sullivan

A huge thanks to all who participated, supported, encouraged, ran errands, picked up supplies, and stayed up late keeping all who worked tirelessly and were able to make the deadline. There is so much that goes on in the background that folks miss but is not going unsung here today. Again thank you all who went for it. Results…There were 115 quilts entered by fifty two artists. Our artists reside in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
We had a note worthy group of seasoned professionals who participated in the jurying. As the process went from beginning to end of the submissions - numerous times, a harmony of works began to form. While the process was everything I hoped for regrettably all entries could not be juried in.
There are plans being worked out right now to produce a catalog. Watch for exciting news and the special way we plan to acknowledge all our artists. We are all excited and pleased with the way this exhibit is coming together. We hope that you will be able to attend the Opening Reception on Saturday, January 29, 2011. Watch for News from the NEQM about all the events that will take place during the exhibit. Come out and see your works in the museum. Come out and support your fellow SAQA members.

Warmest Regards,
Valarie Poitier

16 November 2010

a wanna be

I had a brainstorm that I wanted to do a batik portrait. Great idea that was lost in the execution. I saw it going downhill but kept going thinking, "Who knows. It might come out OK." I was mistaken yet again. For the process pledge: I used a pattern on freezer paper. As I did a section, I waxed (soy) the section last painted. Very complicated. I think I would have better results if I used the freezer paper as a stencil. Think I'll call it good and work on something else.


15 November 2010

I've gotten juried in

Yes, it's true. I have been juried in to the No Holds Barred exhibit at the New England Quilt Museum. I'm so excited my feet still haven't touched the floor. Part of the deal is that my piece can never have been seen online, on blogs or websites nor in any other show so you won't be seeing my piece here either until the exhibit is over. However I will include a description of the piece:
                             FALL  18W X 30L
On a linen ground: a strong vertical and horizontal made with torn strips of hand dyed (tray dyed) blue and brown fabric woven at their intersection, sari yarn in a switch back configuration indicating downward movement with vertical and horizontal bands of leaves made from magazine images attached to organza with mat medium and a silk screen of a beech leaf.

14 November 2010

Most fabulous design wall

I was just reading Judi Hurwitt's blog post about finally creating her design wall in her studio. I was going to make a comment when I thought, "Why not share your comment with the entire 1 or 2 people who actually read your blog?" So here is my comment on Judi's design wall.

I REALLY wanted a design wall in my studio but I am on the second floor and I only have 4' walls; the rest being slanted ceilings albeit with fabulous skylights. Sigh! Well, I just happened to be reading Pamela Allen's Blog and what do I see but her "Ikea design wall" made from a clothing rack on wheels. "I have a rack like that in pieces in my barn", says I. So I proceeded to get some styrofoam  panels and do pretty much was Judi did but then placed them back to back with the rack in the center like a sandwich and taped in place with duct tape. I cover with batting and heavy weight white flannel (no need for pins most of the time). I finally found a spot to park it and it can be rolled out for photographing quilts or near or far to see the impact of my design while in process.
An added bonus: It's two sided.

This is the wall in situ. It's parked next to my drying rack in the office section of my studio.

Rolled out from wall showing it's two faced nature!

Detail showing sloppy but highly functional construction. I have to add that one of the pieces on styrofoam panel was a scrap I found on the second floor of my barn so there isn't uniformity of size. However my thrifty Maine yankee nature just wouldn't permit buying two panels when I had a perfectly good but odd sized one at hand. It works. Thank you Pam and Judi.

13 November 2010

Looky, Looky, Looky

I have finished the "robins egg blue" shirt and I love it.

The brown dye ended up olive green, along with the purple final dye, and the combo is my favorite color combination.  
You can almost see the iridescence.  

These are details of the other shirt that was tray dyed. I think you just need to see the shirt in person to appreciate the nuances of color. On me it looks like a bunch of blotchy colors.

And now for the fun toys:
             NOW.... think quilt.........................................YEAH!

12 November 2010

the FIVE at play

Well. We had another playdate thanks to Veterans Day - Judith could come!! First, the big news our 50 yards of silk charmeuse came today with other play things from the west coast (Dharma).

Now all I have to do is measure and cut this 50 yards into 10 yard pieces.

During our play date, Marcella from Rockland came and brought me a surprise gift of two shirts from her wonderful store, Mace's, in downtown Rockland (Maine). I buy all my hippie shirts from her and they are known as my summer "uniform". She brought me a pale yellow shirt which I tray dyed with blue, turquoise, green and brown. You can't tell from the picture but it looks like an oil slick (in a good way). It's almost iridescent looking. VERY nice. Thank you Marcella.

 She also brought a robins egg blue shirt which I decided to batik with dye - much more traditional than my painted batiks. It is unbelieveable. I applied the wax with a tool that I think looks like a baked potato. Then I over dyed it in khaki. Please don't groan until you see the final outcome.

This is the blue shirt with khaki dye and the next wax applied with a rectangular sponge. See the dark shapes?
Judith did a black gradation which we read about on Melody Johnson's blog. You can check Judith's blog for her pics. Here are a few of mine:

I also dyed some embroidery floss and I also bought a gilded feather wreath which is fabulous so I MUST share!

I LOVE my playmates!