Monday, April 30, 2007

Morning of inspriation and afternoon of quilting

This morning I met with my local fiber friends for our monthly gathering. We shared some of our latest work. Then got into what we wanted from the group. Different views for different folk. Just like we each have different styles of work yet the love of fiber and fabric is common. I do get inspired and energize just being with them.

I spent the afternoon machine quilting 5 small pieces - no real creativity involved. 3 are fish prints that I added top and bottom borders and two are pelicans: one using the pattern I designed before and a smaller one I drew up, added borders to those as well. I can get into a meditative state with my free motion quilting. The pieces are ready for binding. I'll finish them up tomorrow. I have to do some labelling, pricing, packaging of things tomorrow as well before I get into the next project. The Shrimpfest is approaching ever so fast.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

More Saturday's Doings

Besides finishing the "Florida Foliage I," I worked on some greeting cards: flowers and some sea turtle ones. I love to search the net for appropriate quotes and used them on the front of the cards. The inside is blank. The turtle ones are going to First Street Gallery, Neptune Beach, Florida for their Sea Turtle Exhibit. I have a couple of wall hangings to deliver and some smaller pieces and silk scarves as well. I'll be making a trip shortly.

The teeny beach scenes are incomplete wearable art pins. The beach is raw-edged and quilted, the foliage is done by free motion embroidery. I'll be adding a sea turtle bead and maybe some teeny shells and beads and the pin back.

Saturday's Doings

Florida Foliage I, 23x20", finished after a long resting period. Many moons ago I used Shiva paint sticks to rub a palmetto leaf onto my own hand-dyed fabric. I had tried to print the leaf by painting it and then turning it over onto the fabric but that didn't work. The leaf was too big and thick. The rubbing worked beautifully. I used different sticks for the color changes. I quilted the piece and hung it up. I couldn't decide what to do next. I photograghed palms and palmettos and printed them out on specially treated fabric, cut different fabrics and played with the arrangement. And left it hanging. Finally I decided it was time to finish it up and here is the result.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Tree III completed

This is it!!! 30 x 24" in size. I free motion machine quilted the trunk first, then the leaves and, lastly, the background. Thought it needed the brown flat piping with the binding. Now, I think I'll do some bright leaf printing!

This is what I've been working on - Tree III. I raw appliqued the trunk using my own hand-dyed fabric, I machine blind stitched. I then did some leaf printing, using leaves from my ivy house plant. Hung it up to dry, ironed it, then got it ready to free motion quilt.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Gee's Bend and Nature printing

Traveling with 3 fiber friends to Orlando certainly made the trip go fast! We had a ball. The Gee's Bend exhibit was grand. The quilts were nicely displayed. Old, old ones as well as some newer ones. I especially liked the older ones - the designs, the colors, the energy. There was a good documentary with many of the quilters using their own words. The old photographs helped tell their story. They quilt because they have too. Sounds, oh, so familiar. After lunch, we headed to a couple of fabric stores. I think we entertained the staff and customers. We were a little punchy. We did have fun!

The second tree quilt, on the right, is a sample - raw edged appliqued trunk on my own hand-dyed fabric. The leaves were rubber stamped on. Then free motion quilting. I plan to add the following quote printed on ExtravOrganza: "working in the spirit of the tree can bring us renewed energy, powerful inspiration and deep communion." Philip Carr-Gomm. I, then, printed ivy leaves still on their stem, and stenciled the tree trunk. Free motion quilting followed. A few loose leaves were added to add dimension. I'm not sure I'm enamored with the leaves on the stem printing not the stenciled trunk. I'm going to try a larger piece: raw edged appliqued trunk and single leaf printing.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Nature Printing

After spending the morning getting my Bernina 1090 Quilter's Edition serviced, I spent the afternoon printing leaves. How I just love the whole process: the selecting of the leaves, the fabric, the paint, the inking up of the leaves, and the meditative state of pressing the leaves onto the fabric. I get into a rhythm. The product is neat as well. I hand press but can still get good impressions of the leaf margins and veins. I'm trying a new idea - well, new to me - hope it works out. If all is good, I'll post a photo in a day or two.

Today, shortly, I'm off on a day trip to Orlando to see the Gee's Bend Quilt exhibit with a few of my fiber friends. I'm looking forward to a fun time. So, no quilting today, just more inspiration then I know what to do with!!!

Monday, April 23, 2007

A Lull in an Artist's Life

After being away from my studio and sewing machine, I thought I would just settle in and get to work. Wrong! I'm at a standstill. So, I do what I always do and just sew. Soemtimes I just pieced scrapes together, sometimes I finish up work. This time I finished up work. The crab on the right is one of a series of 4. I had the tops collaged and fused. Two I had finished earlier, the other two have been just sitting around. The crab is an itty bitty one I found on the beach and scanned, printed out on specially treated fabric. The quilting on each is different but folks do tell me I have my own style.

The weaving on the left is a piece I did at my dear fiber friend, Nancy's home. I used yarn for the warp and various bits and pieces of fabric and fiber. I had a ball. Then, it has sat around here for awhile. I just needle felted it to a piece of felt and will probably frame it. I just love it. I taught this simple but fun weaving project to a bunch of children at my local art association. They, too, had a ball.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Back Home Quilting

I'm back at home and not far from my studio. I have some work to get ready for the upcoming "Sea Turtle" show at a local gallery. I have several hallhangings that are going, some silk scarves I dye and then stamp, some pillows(I have yet to make), small turtle pins. Here is a terrible photo of the scarves.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Jazzfest closes, Shrimpfest coming

"Invasion of the Hearts" 36.5x32.5" Mixed media: fabric dyeing, leaf printing, Shiva paintstick highlights, free motion machine lace, loose appliques, beading, couching, piecing for the border and free motion quilting.

Jazzfest ended in strong winds. Luckily for us the sun added some warmth. The people traffic was nothing to compare to last year. The city had 3 Jazz venues going at the same time so the people were spread out throughout the city. Disappointed in the turnout but I certainly enjoyed the music and the people stopping by.

I'm off traveling for a few days. I'll be back blogging at the end of the week. When I get home, I'll be gearing up for Fernandina's Shrimp Festival, May 5th and 6th. A grand art/craft festival with lots of seafood to devour.

Have a great week.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Jazzfest Continues

I've taken the old Japanese art form "gyotaku" - fish rubbing, a step further, on fabric and quilted. I do so love nature printing. Check out I also thoroughly enjoy leaf printing as well. There's an example. Since I am not a fisher person, I purchase my fish, paint it, place the fabric on top and gently rub so the paint transfers to the fabric. I add borders, maybe some leaf printing, and finish the piece with free motion quilting. Both leaf printing and fish rubbing is very meditative to me. Crazy as it sounds, even to me, I seem to commune with nature during the process.

Saturday at the Jazzfest - beautiful weather for most of the day. The music was grand. The crowds increased in size as the day progressed. A few customers; the return ones thrill me. Future ones??? I continue to talk about the world of fiber art. The rain of this morning is supposed to move along by noon when the show opens. I sure hope so. We did need the rain as Florida is mighty dry. Rain does tend to keep folks away from outdoor events.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Art shows

"It Takes all Kinds of Music" a fabric collage, raw-edged and fused appliques, and free motion quilting with metallic threads. This is the same technique I use when I quilt up my sweatshirt jackets.

Yesterday's weather was fantastic: warm, sunny, and breezy. The Art at the Met, Jacksonsville, Florida is held at riverside for 3 days. Our spot in facing the river with a beautiful, wisteria covered gazebo in the back. It's at least 10 degrees cooler there - great when the sun gets too high and hot. The music was great as well. Foot traffic swells when the music acts take a break. I do spend a lot of time talking about fiber art - art quilting. People seemed amazed what I can do with fabric, thread and a sewing machine. Many comment that they have never seem anything like this before. A teacher always. I am wealthy with compliments.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Jazz Festival

I beat the sun this morning. I never seem to sleep well before a show. Adding the finishing touches to the music pieces took more time then I allotted so I was stressed. I managed to take some photos though not ideal ones. I finished 3 medium hangings called Jazz I, II, III. These I surface designed a batik using Shiva Paintsticks - rubbings and stencils. Appliqued the instruments and added yarn covered pipecleaners for the treble clef and buttons. An African Queen series, 8 x 10", similar style to a larger piece I entered in my local Art Association. I used some African fabrics my darling sister, Marlene, and another quilt friend gave me. I love the African doll idea and went for it. 6 quilted fabric postcards, 4 x 6" following the music theme. Some I put in fabric frames that JoAnn's used to sell and others I hung with a wire and beads. Think I'll look into shadow box frames in the future.

I better get going. My dear husband, Jim, will be ready to pack the car shortly. Can't forget the art! Nor the cooler, lights, canopy, lights, tons of stuff - we fill the minivan. With the show close by, we get to sleep in our own bed at night. I will give you an update on doing shows tomorrow morning - early!

Thursday, April 12, 2007


I made two pieces featuring a pelican swimming. As I live at the beach, I am lucky to see pelicans swimming but mostly flying and diving. What graceful creatures they are in the air and floating on the waters. I was challenged to begin the pelican series (well, I believe it'll be a series) when a potential client asked if I could do a pelican. So I made two. The client loved this one and bought it. The other will be hanging at the upcoming art show. I raw-edged appliqued the pelican, quilted it along with the background and borders, then highlighted the bird using Shiva oil paintsticks (which I love).

First Fabric Book - Daughter Kara

A new fun way to work with fabric collage. Used glue which was at first very difficult. I printed digital photographs on fabric of my ballet daughter Kara. This book was a gift to her. I am quite thankful I have such a woman as my daughter! By the way, Kara has danced since she was 2 1/2 years old. Now Kara is a woman dancing her dream as a classical ballerina. I'm one proud mama.

Activity prior to a show

I get a tad manic when I have an art show coming up. Deadlines are intriguing, I guess. I have more ideas rolling in my head then I can ever produce. But what fun! Jacksonville, Florida's Jazzfest is this weekend. For the second year, I'll be part of the art show. So JAZZ is the current theme I'm working with. In the throes of near completion are 3 medium quilt wallhangings, 6 quilted postcards and 4 8x10's. Once completed, I'll photograph them and get them on the blog. Well, maybe not all of them, but enough for you to get the picture.

Art shows are exciting, though sometimes disheartening (when little interest is shown). But I like most of what I do and enjoy talking about it.

Oh, family members commented that I have made a good start but where is my art. I've included some of my recent work.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A new beginning

I'm taking a baby step in the world of the Internet. I've been asked by many art show visitors if I have a web site. The answer has been "No, but it's on my list of things to do." The web site is not up, but thought a blog might be a baby step towards that end.

I spend much of my day while at home in my seaside art studio - a beautiful space where my sewing machine overlooks the beach, sea, horizon. I am so fortunate to be able to live and work in such a beautiful environment.

I love fabrics and fibers. I have to make art. I love to play with new techniques. Come play with me.

I hope to share my latest creations and techniques.