30 March 2018

At least it involves sewing

OK, please indulge me and my fascination with the new puppy. He is up from Louisiana and #1 has never felt COLD (like 7 with 30 mph winds) and #2 he has no coat. He has Phyllis Diller hair. I walk at 4 am every morning and it is COLD so I decided to make him a little coat out of the sleeve of my partner, Brian's, sweatshirt. The knit cuff was too tight and long so I trimmed it right at the cuff seam keeping the sweatshirt fabric from stretching. Then I split the sleeve up the long seam. I had some olive green bias tape left from the Magpie quilt so I bound the raw edges

Binding the edges

You can see the cuff seam keeping the fabric from stretching and the arm seam open and bound

He wears a harness so I made a sloppy bound button hole for the ring to pass through


Doesn't he look like a little race horse in that coat?

Owen Approves

27 March 2018

The coverlet

My distant cousin sent this white knit coverlet because she had one she didn't need and thought I could use it in my dyeing/art work. It turns out I liked it on my bed but because it was white the dogs would get it smudged with their feet. 

Yesterday I was home, sick as a dog with nothing I could do, so I decided to get my "cement mixer" and give it a whirl. I arranged the coverlet in it, poured warm soda ash water to saturate it and dump all these bottles of dye that were in my fridge for over six months on in some interesting way. I don't know how interesting it was but I applied it like I apply dye to snow.

Sakrete cement mixer (Home Depot)

Color was not penetrating well
I did MEAN to wear gloves but...

After about four or five hours, I decided to rinse it. That's when I realized my lack of planning. It was like the dog who chased the car but didn't know what to do when he caught it. How will I ever rinse out this huge heavy wet chunk of knitted cotton?

You can see how the dye didn't penetrate well

I carried in the entire cement mixer and put it on the shower floor then with the sprayer, washed as well as I could, section by section til it was out of the cement mixer and on the shower floor. I managed (somehow) to lift the whole dripping mess up to a grab bar, then Brian brought me a plastic dishpan so I could transfer it to the washer without flooding my house with a stream of watery dye.

The washing and drying was without drama!! I like the result especially considering these dyes we so old. better than plain white.

You'll never spot a dog paw print on that!!

In the background you can see the IKEA shelves on their sides with the 4' X 8' table top on it.

23 March 2018

Psychedelic Magpie Sunrise

This was a "save". I made Magpie Sunrise as a sample of how to make quick "tricks and cheats" flying geese. It just took less than a day to do the 24 X 32 piece. It sat on a shelf in one of my baskets for well over a year and when I saw it one day I thought about using it to make a lap quilt to donate to PuppyLoveME. I told Laurie at Puppy Love that I would take "James" as a foster - at least get him up here to Maine where he had a better chance of being adopted. I knew this was a great way of giving myself a deadline. 

First I had to sandwich up the center panel and quilt it. I am using the quilt-as-you-go method of assembly. For more info on QAYG, check the tutorials above.

I showed the fabric choices on yesterdays post. I picked the turquoise because it reminded me of the sky (flying Magpies), the black and white fabric which I made as a link to the Magpies, pulling them out into the border. The pink also pulled the pink from the center out into the border and the green which I dyed actually matched the green dots in the pink. The last stripe was that 60's psychedelic curvy strip which had all the colors in it.

I am attaching the first side piece to the body with the turquoise fabric, then I quilted it.

Both side pieces attached.

Now the bottom section laid out on the bed above the center and two sides.

Attaching the turquoise strip on one side and a white backing strip on the other.

 Laid out on my work table

Backing piece ready to go.

Laying in the batting

Pinning the backing strip in place.

Bottom piece on

All pieces joined waiting to apply binding. I made the binding from the green fabric that is in a stripe.

Binding on

No one way home to hold it up for the camera so I tried to improvise. Within an hour I was in my car and on my way to pick up James.

I hope it sells well for the dogs sake. It's all about the dogs!!

20 March 2018

Puppy Love ME (Maine)

We found both of our current dogs through puppyloveme.org and yesterday we got our foster puppy named James. I have made a few quilts for them and posted them here on the blog. They either raffle them or sell them at their annual "Yard Sale" which it is isn't. Supporters from all over Maine come and buy the donated items to benefit this great organization.

Our first Puppy Love rescue, OWEN, now 5 years old

Our second rescue, NIKI, turning two tomorrow

and our newly arriving foster, JAMES.

James before leaving Louisiana

The new threesome

In honor of our newest Puppy Love family member, James, I am making another lap size quilt for the "Yard Sale". A while ago I made a sample quilt called Magpie Sunrise (24 X 32)

Now I want to expand it with various borders making it 48 X 56. I was think of super bright colors and here are a few of my fabric picks.

 I liked my hand dyed green and the black/white fabric. The green and pink with green spots would be half square triangles.

Here the green and purples would be half square triangle but they are all hand dyes and the point is trying to use up donated commercial fabrics. I am still keeping the black/white/grey fabric because it is a great segue.

On the left are some dessert-ish fabrics since Magpies live out west but it just seems dull. I decided to make a separate quilt using all desert-ish fabrics with perhaps a spark here and there of turquoise.

I would love to get input but the truth is that this quilt will be finished by the time this post goes live a month from now. I sure hope it is a winner (fingers crossed).

16 March 2018

Maine Coast Surface Design Workshops

I am probably jumping the gun, but Marcella and I have raised our surface design workshop website from the ashes and are advertising them online again. We both just joined "Maine Fiberart" which is predominantly fiber, as in wool, artists. However they have a directory of teachers and workshops throughout Maine and we wanted to be included. I am in the process of adding my current workshops to this site and I have added a new workshop on "Spirit Dolls" for October 6th. This is the Columbus weekend and our town is abuzz with parades and activities so I thought this would be a great time to schedule a workshop.

Meanwhile, Marcella is firming up her plans which will appear on the site as "The Art Incubator" in Rockland, Maine. All of my workshops are under the tab "The Art Greenhouse" in Searsport, Maine. Check it out.

13 March 2018

I think I like this

This is the former book cover that I thought I might rework into something more:

The original bookcover

I have added a band of deconstructed cotton on the top

I covered the bottom most band of linen with this strip of snow dyed cotton

Now there are side pieces that actually look very similar but they are from two different pieces of snow dyed material. I like this arrangement much better and I will try to get it framed as soon as possible.

09 March 2018

Been busy lately

I have been making these 86 book covers for a conference I am attending. I sure home to sell A LOT of these puppies while there. Wish me success!!

06 March 2018

An A5 size sketchbook

I think I put this on the blog when I made it a few years ago but it is so beautiful I had to post it again

02 March 2018

IKEA score

I went to the IKEA in Boston for a small storage system to use as a base for my ironing table as well as storage. This system was so tiny flat packed I could have placed it on the passenger seat of my car BUT since I was going anyhow I offered to pick up a ton of bookcases that could become the base for a studio table for an art friend. I got her 2 each of the Kallax 2X4, 2X2, and 2 drawer inserts.

 Picture this on it's side along with the unit below (2 X 6 in all) with parallel units on the other side and a table on top

                                     These drawer inserts go into the cubby.

Now for my purchase. I was going to get a metal frame with 3 baskets as drawers but then I saw the Algot series which is the same but better looking and better quality so I got 9 baskets along with the three frames. This should be a perfect fit for my ironing table. When I got home and assembled them I realized I had gotten the shorter baskets and I needed 12 of them. I have ordered things from IKEA before and the nightmares still haunt me. However I persevered and ordered the three missing baskets with a 99%  confidence that IKEA would yet again screw up my order. Today, and much to my shock and delight, the three baskets arrived in a box about 24X36X4 which is perfect for mailing my work to buyers. Double win. I am now the happy owner of a fabulous ironing table.