Friday, October 08, 2010

Falling For Inspiration

Regular inspiration luckily comes in the mail, which is the fun of subscribing to the Equilter's Monthly Stash Club.  I'm currently getting the Batik & Bali Hand-Dyes version, but have gotten the Creative Juices before, both are useful and inspiring and useful!  Some of these will most likely make it into my long-in-process Halloween Houses quilt.
They also make a nice background for photographing random stuff, like this cool colored glitter.  Yes, I know, I know, Martha Stewart, but still, look at these colors!I know I've put this up before, but  I like the combination of the fat quarter fabrics, thiis notecard/envelope and my stamped eye.Now to think of some way to combine them all, instead of random happenstance on top of my worktable!
And lastly,of course an October must not be allowed to pass without the purchase of additional Halloween-themed fabric of some kind.  This year it is scary and Haunted Wizard of Oz.  It just cracked me up and I liked the way the design is done on this one.

I had so much fun last year participating in this blog-tour-Halloween Party, I'll be doing it once again, so be sure to come back on October 16th to see what I come up with.  And if you want to also participate (yes, do it!), go sign up at A Fanciful Twist.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

A Temporary Circle of Cats

A Circle of Cats had assembled on my worktable.
They are gone now.
Mostly due to being made of licorice.

This is what happens when I take phone calls in the middle of working, I fiddle with what is around me and make a little tableau, which got photographed this time.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Stack O' Books

Extra large stack of recent reading material.  I just liked all the colors together.  Have I read every page and tried every project or technique in all these books and magazines, um no.  But all of it goes into the data bank for future use, food for thought, etc.  
Should I do some book reviews? I've toyed with the idea and guess that it might be worth a try.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Beading Basics

I'm a wanna-be beader,  mostly I buy beads, and use them by sewing them onto my quilts. I finally read the magazines and books I've been collecting and actually bought some of the tools I needed to make some jewelry for myself.  Boy do these ever make a big difference.  Wish I had bought them back when I first started trying to make stuff.  Yes, the right tools really do make the job easier. 

Buying all the components from Fire Mountain Gems and Beads big selection, and then putting them together is pretty easy for a beginner like me.  I liked the expressions on these probably supposed to be Buddha faces.

Two pairs of moonstone earrings, haven't decided which are my favorite, but I'm enjoying wearing them and nothing has fallen apart yet.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Fabulous And Free

The accumulation  of interesting fabric items continues thanks to my friends in CQFA!   How about these mini zippers? (Note the heart charms on a couple of them).

 These jersey bundles are so cool.  I am planning to dye a couple of long-sleeved t-shirts in these colors and apply them *somehow*.. These are just layers of jersey, cotton/lycra stacked, stitched and then cut to make the interesting shag look.
 Textures, textures, textures.  All of these are from FabMo, and I find myself wondering for what real-world decorating applications one would use these weird, yet cool fabrics.  Zebra-striped padded vinyl, hmmm, I guess you could cover a padded bench or bar stools.   Guess I should check out some home decorating magazines if I really want to know!
Hey, looks like some heat-set fabrics down on the bottom there.  These just have the fiber content labeled, but no process info, I have to guess on that.

What will all these end up being?  Besides part of my stash?  Who knows....stay tuned.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Working In A Series Workshop

I got to attend a really fun workshop at CQFA last meeting, led by one of our member's Sonja Jeter.  She was helping us learn about working in a series.  First we water color painted white index cards with colors representing our feelings.
We also did a blind contour drawing of a simple bird shape, filling a page.  Then we selected a few we really liked the best (those are circled).  We traced those on tracing paper.

Using the watercolored backgrounds we started combing the birds with some other elements from our answers to a short quiz she'd given us at the beginning of the workshop.

Adding three birds to the vertical thing I see all the time (a redwood tree of course!).  We added the birds by ripping them off of the tracing paper and gluesticking them down.  Then we applied watercolor on top.  I really liked how this worked.  Plus Sonja noted that this is great for trying out placement, so you don't ruin a background you particularly like!
Three birds added to the horizontal thing I see all the time (a deck railing).Taking an abstract view, which is a closeup of some of the elements of the deck railing card above.  I think this is my favorite of all of these.
An abstracted bird shaped head.
The word summing up how I was feeling along with one of the strangest birds from my blind contour drawing.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Four New Lovelies

 The four newest
ATC's I acquired in trade at the last CQFA meeting.  Aren't these fun?  I love the sense of discovery every time we do this swap, we never know what everyone will come up with.  Always a surprise.
First is one from Bron McInerney,  this one just cracked me up.  I think she said the person was from a singing group she liked as a child.  I really liked how she stitched the body, along with the numbered stripe. 

Next is one from Caroline Ogg, you can't see it but the kitty picture is a lenticular so it changes as you move it.

A really interesting one from Diane Carver, love all the painted details.

Lastly, one from Nancy Riffle, which is very dimensional, with a complex surface.
Geez, I better start working on my ATC's for the next CQFA meeting coming up in early November, hmmmm, what to do this time?

Friday, October 01, 2010

Stretching For More ATC's

For the latest round of ATC's I made for the CQFA exchange I started with this fabric I'd made with Shiva Paintsticks and an arched design rubbing plate.  I layered it with batting and backing and did a bunch of linear quilting in rainbow rayon thread.
Then I cut out the ATC size (2.5 x 3.5"), focusing on choosing interesting color and texture combinations.
I experimented with which color to satin stitch around the edge.  First with the rainbow thread, and then with a darker purple.  I liked how the darker purple looked so I did the rest in that color. 
They didn't look "done" yet, so I went to one of my boxes of collage stuff to find something interesting.
How about these small colored rubber bands?
They look pretty cool and I like how the colors pop against the background.
Just stitching them down didn't look very good.
Should I add more? No, just one of each color per ATC, I decided.  These are from the Container Store by the way, although I bought them a long time ago so I don't know if they are still available.  I love finding unusual office supplies don't you?
Going back to my "collage stuff" box, I found the plastic sleeves from slide development (remember those days).  Turned out that worked perfectly, like a little clear envelope.
Here's a closeup so you can see how the stitching looks on the plastic.  I liked how contained the rubber bands looked now.This time I made labels in Word and printed them out on fabric, adhering them with fusible web.

Proverbial Quilt

What a thrill and surprise to receive in the mail this scholarly international journal, Proverbium.  It is the yearbook of international proverb scholarship published by the University of Vermont. 
 A while ago, the author of the article my quilt is in,  Marsha MacDowell , contacted me to see if she could use the image of my quilt and my artist statement from the quilt challenge I participated in a long time ago.  The Proverbial Quilt Challenge has some really excellent  and creative quilts, you should check them out.
And here's the quilt in color.