29 April 2015

Paper bowl

* Please check out Judith's website, Quilt or Dye

Two weeks ago Judith came over and wanted to make paper bowls. She brought her bowl to use as a mold and I picked a small bowl to use as a mold. We covered our bowls with plastic then laid layers of paper pulp we had made by wizzing shredded paper in a blender. We lifted it out with a screen, pressed as much water out as possible  then let it dry for a few days.

Of course (as usual) I took no process pictures but don't lose heart, Judith is coming back Thursday and we will do it again. MUST remember the camera. I do have to admit, I did it halfheartedly but I will be a bit more vigorous this next time.

Next we painted both sides with a heavy coat of matte medium. I did two coats.

Then I painted the outside with a few coats of Seta-Color in a mildly metal purple. This was just the first coat. 

The best part was painting the inside of the bowl with gold.


Below is a great tutorial Judith found on YouTube.

27 April 2015

Creativity exercise becomes a quilt

On November 28th I posted some squares I made when I didn't know what to do next, felt stale, or just wanted to unwind. Well, the pile grew. They kind of reminded me of people engaged in conversations. Recently, I decided to make them into a quilt called Conversations. I dyed six yards of olive green and started to plan how to piece these oddly shaped squares into a unified piece.

Of course I took no photos while piecing. I was listening to a book on MP3 narrated by a friend called "The Postmistress" and I was VERY involved in the story. This is the way I love to sew, my machine and a recorded book!! I am even reminded of the book when I look at the quilt.

Here is the quilt on the design wall "suck" to the felt. I arranged the squares which proved to be very time consuming and each square was judged as to it's location. This was not my usual "fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants approach. I took a photo and printed it. Then I took the squares down in rows and marked them then pieced them referring to the photograph on every square making sure of the placement and orientation.

After the pieceing, it went back up on the wall and because of the wonkiness of some of the squares, I wanted to make sure it laid flat. I only had one small seam to re-do.

Next I laid it on my work table which is only 4 feet wide. Getting on my knees on the floor is out of the question.  I sandwiched it up with white craft felt (72") which I buy by the bolt with a 50% off coupon from Joann. It holds it shape a bit better than batting which I hate to use. Then I backed it with 108" muslin - also an old bolt buy from Joann with the coupon.

As I sit here it is rolled and clipped and ready to go under the needle which won't be happening for a few days. I knew from the beginning how I wanted to quilt it so I sure hope I can pull it off! Stay tuned.

24 April 2015

Design Wall

I have a small design wall about 4 feet wide and 5 long but it just wasn't big enough for large pieces. I live in an old Maine farm house with windows everywhere. In the entire house there were 2 walls that would hold an 8X8 design wall. The guestroom wall was just too close. I could only get about 7 feet away. The other wall was in the apartment I made for my parents - downstairs. Judith said it should be by my sewing machine but my studio has 4 ft knee walls with a pitched ceiling. I decided on the apartment wall.

I ordered two 4X8 sheets of 1.5" thick Styrofoam from the lumber yard down the road which they delivered. Near the door to the garage was a bumper on the baseboard which I installed to keep the doorknob from damaging the wall. I propped the first sheet of Styrofoam up on the bumper after trimming about 6" off the 8' height. I only used one sheetrock screw at the top to keep it in place. I had another bumper so I installed that one on the baseboard 4 feet from the first one and propped to second sheet of Styrofoam on it, locking in the tongue and groove on the Styrofoam then using a second sheetrock screw to keep that in place.

I had some 60" felt so I covered the sheets with that even though the Styrofoam was showing at the top and bottom.

Sorry about the unfocused picture. Since finishing I have left the ladder against the wall for pinning up high.

Next I used 108" wide muslin to cover everything.

I had to use pins with the muslin because the fabric wouldn't stick. Later, Joann had a sale on flannel and I covered it in flannel which worked a charm. Everything just "stuck" to it - no pins.

I LOVE this design wall and even though I have to walk over 100 feet to get to it, it is SO wonderful to use.

22 April 2015

This past weekend

A woman I met through the blog asked if I would consider coming to her house for a bookmaking workshop. It was quite a ride but it sounded like fun to me so I did. She very graciously put me up at her house on Saturday and Sunday we had our workshop.

I am always so wound up hoping I don't forget anything  important like paper (smile). Much to my delight the women I met were lovely, no one got hurt, and the books came out wonderfully. I of course made sure I charged my camera battery and brought the camera but I was so involved I forgot to take out the camera and take pictures. The best I can do is show the type of books we made.


Long Stitch with a leather cover

Inside a long stitched book

 Accordion Fold

I have tutorials for the Coptic and Accordion fold but there is nothing likes "hands on" and personal instruction. Some folks can learn from a picture and others learn by watching.

The bottom line was everyone learned and the books were all so unique. Thank you ladies for a wonderful weekend!

20 April 2015

Holy Cow!

I knew I hadn't posted lately but a MONTH!! I had no idea.

Well, I have been busy. I am just getting ready to put a quilt under the needle. 

I also made a beautiful piece months ago and couldn't decide how to quilt it. I mean I was in angst about it. Suddenly the thought occurred, "Don't quilt it at all". SO I will get some wood for a frame and stretch and frame it. More about that later.

Meanwhile I will have to get some posts together about what I have been up to.