Monday, September 26, 2011

Through the Window

Through the Window is made using all cotton fibers.  The center motif is made using cotton which has been slightly felted so it tears apart rather easily.  "Inside" you see bright colors depicting warmth and comfort,"outside" the night is dark and cold.

This piece was made using a vinegar dye bath and the microwave oven!  The color saturation is intense and the vinegar neutralized any odors that were lingering in the kitchen!  Though this method resulted in brilliant color, I would not use it in a sewn item that might need to be washed at some point as the the color bled out quite a bit.  Seeing as my plans for use were only ornamental no harm done. 

In subsequent experiments I tried other pieces of cotton fabric using more heat, less fabric, more vinegar, less vinegar - the results were pretty much the same.  My thinking there was to leave the fabric in heat longer to set the dye better - well that didn't work very well as the fabric charred (caught on fire) in areas where it had folds.  That left some interesting patterns in the fabric.  Those fabrics did not go to waste though as the blackened areas added some interest and I will find a purpose for them as well at some point.

So be wary when using vinegar dye bath, it does work to dye fabrics -but be cautious what you use that fabric in!

Friday, September 16, 2011

RI Mini Quilt Countdown !

"Shades of Blue" mini quilt unfinished today, maybe I'll finish it tomorrow, maybe.
This is indeed a mini quilt - only about 5" or 6" square.  It isn't quilted yet or bound.  You would think that a thing so small would be finished before I start showing it off.  Soon, but I wanted show something of interest rather than just a bunch of words to remind everyone that the Rhode Island Mini Quilt Challenge deadline is only 27 days away!  Yikes!

Need some more ideas?  How about the beautiful Block Island, you can rent a bicycle and ride the entire island.  There are 20 lighthouses of historic value.  There is an island off the coast of Jamestown that is covered by a house that can be rented out - you get there by boat!  How much fun is that?

In Providence on Federal Hill you see a great pineapple overhead welcoming you as you enter the area.  Some good food there.  In fact through out the state you could "travel the world" via a culinary experience - restaurants that feature foods from near and far.

Hope this is of some help.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Some Simple Stitching

Free motion attempt, click to enlarge and click again to see a detailed view.
  Here is my attempt at free motion stitching on a small scale.  I wanted to try out some different design work on a small piece with small areas to stitch in.  I carefully measured each area on a scrape of fabric, placed a piece of cotton batting between each fabric and then put the fabric into an old wooden embroidery ring (because I didn't want to go out and buy one).  The feed dogs were lowered on my Janome sewing machine and a dark purple thread was used and I closed my eyes (not really) and let the needle do it's magic.  Here is the result.  The big circle that you see is the impression of the embroidery ring.  Not too bad for a first attempt, can only get better with practice and maybe a larger piece of fabric scrape.  What do you think?

By the way ONLY 28 days left before the Rhode Island Mini Quilt Challenge deadline. .  . October 13th.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Update on the Rhode Island Mini Quilt Challenge

Only 29 more days left until October 13 as of today!  Is anyone having a hard time with subject matter, or have any other questions?  Feel free to contact me  through this blog, I will try to help.

There is much to see in this small state!  Of course a familiar thing that is heard quite frequently in Rhode Island is "That's too far!" or "Way out there?"  "Oh, that's too far!" - and that is traveling within the state!  LOL   The state is only about 40 miles long and 30 miles wide!  About 1000 sq miles of coastline.

There are mansions there and not just in Newport, home of The Breakers, but also Blithewold Mansion, which has an impressive bamboo garden on it's grounds.  The Tennis Hall of Fame is in Newport.  The capital building has one of the world's largest unsupported domes.  The biggest "bug" is seen off of Route 95.  The famous Dell's Lemonade, coffee syrup, Pawtucket Red Sox -the farm team for the Boston Red Sox, Providence Bruins, Waterfire ( a great event that happens during the summer months multiple times).  Home to Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design of which many well known textile artists have been taught at. 

Benefit Street is a lovely street of Victorian and Colonial era homes that you can go on a guided walking tour.  It is quite charming.  The famous poet and writer, Edgar Allan Poe, spent some time there.  H.P. Lovecraft was born in Providence.

Gilbert Stuart Museum is in RI - you know the artist that painted George Washington.  And much much more.

If you need any more ideas let me know- I'll be glad to help.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11, 2001 Quilt

This wall quilt was made shortly before the events that took place on September 11, 2001 but it is reminiscent of that terrible day.  As we mark the 10th year anniversary of the fall of the Twin Towers, The Pentagon, and the heroic actions that took the lives of a plane full of, at the time, anonymous heroes on United Airlines Flight 93, I would like to share my 9/11 Quilt with you.

The two white sections represent the innocence of the victims, while the pieced border represents all the races of man as none were spared.  The blue blocks on either side are the darkness we all were in watching the catastrophe unfold.   Another surround of colorful strips borders the entire piece as we hold together as a nation and a family in support of one another, no matter our walk of life.  The final border is red velvet which binds us all together in love and tenderness for one another on this haunting day.  There are tiny stitches of metallic thread throughout the solid blue sections and all around the red velvet representing stars of hope in the darkness.

                                                          WE ARE STILL HERE.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Textured Fabric - make your own

I thought it would be nice to show some textured fabric that I made some time ago.  It was a piece of fabric that I did not particularly like and decided to change it.  So I put it on the sewing machine and put the pedal to the metal going back and forth with a couple of different color threads.  In doing so the fabric itself has become somewhat of a back ground and the texture is the design part.

To accomplish this all you need to do is pick out one of the decorative stitches on your sewing machine, a thread that appeals to you in colors you like, a piece of fabric, a good, if not new, needle in your machine.  Set your stitches close and start stitching.

Click on the picture above to get a close up view.  Have fun with this - there are NO mistakes.

Just a reminder for those of you who are doing the Rhode Island quilt challenge, there is just over a month before the deadline.  See previous posts.


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