Friday, May 26, 2017

Free motion quilting baby quilt

Its been quiet here on the blog because I've had the most lovely visit from my daughter and 6 month old grandson, Ollie. Hubby had a quick visit before he left for Labrador and then it was the three of us. The weather was pretty good so we got outside in the yard, on the deck and went walking on the trail and through the park.
I let everything else go for the four days except making meals and spending time with them. I was a bit teary eyed when they left yesterday, so I threw myself into more cleaning and purging. This afternoon, I put the Stacked Squares baby quilt under the needle to free motion quilt. Most of the time I have my quilts done on a long arm. For the first time, though, I had to press all seams open and i thought I'd do it myself to keep the stitches and quilt pattern denser.
Im finding it a little painful on one forearm that has been troubling me. It's good that I can leave it and come back to it for little sessions. I can also  take little rests to breathe and watch the bird activity. We have a pair of swallows setting up nest in the house on the pole. Earlier we had chickadees.
Sometimes I find quotes that inspire me and like to save them in my journal. The pages where I cleaned off my brushes and brayer during my Gelli printing sessions are perfect for that. The figures on the right  look like trees but they're actually the outlined shape of dandelion leaves.
It's cold today, too cold for the garden, 9C, would you believe. Hopefully, itll warm up for the weekend. I hope you have a good one.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Gelatin monoprinting workshop

Ive been recuperating from my little workshop trip to the Spruce It Up Quilt shop in Port Elgin, reorganizing and putting away supplies for the last  few days. We had just the right number for the space, six in all. I must say that my host was very welcoming and well organized making my job a lot easier.
I think we fed off each others enthusiasm! Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. There was always a pleasant surprise when the fabric was slowly pulled away from the mold and a print was revealed.
 
Although no one really knew what to expect, nit having seen the process before, they all were excited and pretty creative. They took my demos and immediately played and experimented developing their own style. I enjoyed feeling and seeing it all.
They were all pretty inventive with textures. 
  After a quick lunch break, I showed them how to make and incise craft foam stamps.
In the last hour we quickly cleaned up to make time for a little hand stitching on a piece that they chose to use to make a small sewing kit like the one featuured in Quilting Arts October/November 2016.
 
They left with several fabric prints and and supplies to finish their sewing kit. I enjoyed my day so much that I didn't even notice my sore feet until i had loaded my car and pulled away! Yesterday, I needed to get groceries and then I had my knitting group in the afternoon. I was happy to have a day at home today to catch up and even do a little stitching. This is one of my demo pieces that I used to show the lazy daisy stitch. This afternoon, I added the free motion stitched black to the ferns and flowers. I always like how it defines the images.
The sun came out warming the day so I headed outside to do a little gardening. There's not much up yet. My husband and I have been watching a pair of chickadees going in and out of the burdhouse. Lady year, racoons got a swallow nest in the same box which was mounted near the fence. We're hoping this will be safe.
Each time I'm out I hand till a small section of garden, adding more mulch and the odd garden ornament as I go.
Tomorrow, I've got to head back to Moncton for a check up with the orthapedic surgeon.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Preparing workshop

I've spent a good part if this week getting ready for my mono orinting workshop this Saturday in Port Elgin, NB. The fact that its been cold, windy and rainy meant I had to stay in anyway. I had been enjoying getting started in my gardens. Last night, we even had some snow! At least I'm all prepared and can relax. I watched the movie, The Light Between Oceans, on Netflix. A bit of a tear jerker but very good. I ended up ripping out the last socks inwas workingon. The pattern was tight and they seemed small. I've restarted using another pattern which is working out well.
Then, last night, I cast on an infinity scarf that is plain knitting in the round using 209 stitches. It's a yarn with half cotton, half acrylic and would make a nice mid season scarf
I like to have something eady to travel with. There's been time for a little free motion play too. I stitched with black thread on six bookmarks cut from a loosely painted and printed large piece of canvas which I cut up to make various little projects.
It's almost used up, so I'll soon be due to paint another piece.  As im doing painting or printing projects, i continue to use my journal pages to print second orints or to clean off the brayer. Im finding the pages are fun to sketh on top off or to write quites that I find interesting.
I liked this description if the seashore in my most recent book, A Piece of the World, by Christina Baker.  This is a gelatin monoprint that i tested on a journal page.
And this is anither 'clean off' the Gelli page which is imperfect but will appeal to me in the future and spark an idea for finishing or writing.
Now, im going to get ready for the pool.  Im wishing you a great week and weekend. I will try to have some workshop pics next week.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Free motion stitching ferns

This morning, I had errands, and then my standing lunch date with friends. Except for a few small patches, the snow has gone from our yard, so I took an hour plus to do some outdoor work before the rain. Gord took the afternoon off to get a few things done outside too. Of course, once the chores were done, he went to hit balls at the golf course. Its opening soon. I've been packing up my baby quilt blocks to take tomorrow to our second last sewing day for the season. I made the decision last week to put a hold on some fiber art pieces because I was feeling scatter brained with the pending monoprinting workshop and the preparations for that. It's all organised now.  I couldn't help but try a wee bit of free motion stitching on one of the gelatin mono prints. 
It's one that didn't come out as I'd hoped but I  think the stitching really helps --as it often does.
I've no idea what it will be for yet. Maybe a bag. Yesterday, I tried another method to make a stamp. I drew some flower shapes with a low temp glue onto craft foam. 
I see potential for all kinds of printing. I'll be taking this along to show in the workshop. You can make stamps using a glue gun onto a pressing sheet. They peel off but stand alone or would have to all be connected. The craft foam base means you can create an overall design with some elements unconnected.
Here are my latest socks.
Happy Friday!  

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Hand stitching a monoprint

I haven't been here as much as is usual for me. Its a combination of better weather and being able to get a few things done in the yard, getting ready for a workshop next week and stitching on a baby quilt. In this pic all the little blocks are laid out.
 
I'm currently part way through getting some rows together. I've been experimenting with a few different stamp techniques. This one is made with aluminum tape added to craft foam and drawn into.
I don't think the end result is any different than plain craft foam. It may be more durable but you're limited to the size of the tape. This afternoon after getting back from a hospital appoinment- a mammagram which got cancelled part way due to machine malfunction-- I needed something a little creative. I chose a monoprint that i thought would work with hand stitching. Participants in my workshop won't have sewing machines. If time permits, we'll start stitching on one of their prints. 
I enjoy hand stitching; its relaxing; however, I  can't do it as long as I once could because of arthritis. Its fun to do little projects.
I always like a little splash of color.
X
 I can hardly believe our grandson turned 5 months!
Im hoping your week is going well. Happy Wednesday!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Gelatin printing

You'd think with hubby away this week that I'd have been creating all kinds of art with lots to blog about, but not so. It has been both a satisfying and frustrating week. I vowed to get most of the prep done for my workshop and it is. Little kits all put together. White cotton fabric is cut, lists made, notes typed. Yes, this is good.
I continue to add exercise daily, rowing, walking and finally now that the shoulder is healed, some swimming.  Last week, i was getting stressed over all of the mundane sewing that was piling up. I decided to put my fiber art aside and get some repairs done. I have put elastic into pjs, sewn a bathroom curtain, and made other clothing repairs. All good. Just for fun, i wanted to try some monoprints  and the gelatin mold that I'd seen on Linda Germain's blog using two colors and two steps with the gelatin mold. My first attempts didnt work at all. She was using ink and paper. I used fabric paint and white cotton. The results were a bit blurred and not inspiring.
The clean up on my journal pages was better than the fabric prints.
At least I'll have some nice pages to draw and journal onto.
Then i went back to her post and rewatched the video. Aha, I'd left out a step. This afternoon, I decided to try again. Still the results were less than inspiring.
The under layer of paint doesn't stay moist enough to transfer.
There should be color in the white areas. 
A small bit of gold shows here.
I'm using Setacolor fabric paints. When I search on line, I can't find an additive that would extend the drying time. This will require more research. I'll need to call a Canadian supplier to see what they recommend. Maybe, ill need to try a different brand of paint. Its not a complete loss. The prints are all useable. I can, add color, print on top, and free motion stitch to bring them alive to use in lots of small projects. I like it though--who doesn't--when the print is revealed as one pulls back the fabric from the gelatin mold and it makes me smile. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Domestic creativity

Currently, I'm having a little respite from fiber art. Some of my mundane sewing repairs and odd jobs were adding up. I'm in between pieces so its a good time to catch up on these things. My artwork is never completely oiut of mind though. I picture new processes and how i might approach a new piece when i walk or swim--speaking of which--i may go back tomorrow for the first time in a while. My shoulder is healing well. Before physio this morning, made muffins. Banana, oatmeal, blueberry. I dropped a couple off along with books to a sick friend.
In my studio, I put up new shear curtains for the summer. The snow has gone down a couple of feet, but as you can see, we still have lots. 
After lunch, I made a gelatin mold using a recipe  I found for a 'permanent' one on Pinterest. I wanted to try it since im teaching a printing workshop in May in Port Elgin, NB. Also, its a bit bigger than my purchased Gelli.
Our local yarn shop is closing soon and the nearest one is about 2 1/2hrs away. Ive been stocking up a bit. Several of us ordered a bag each in assorted color ways to make a sweater.
Believe it or not they're all one color way. I gave up on making my own swearers a while ago but I've seen a couple of these done and i think it will suit me.( i hope) The owner alerted us by facebook this morning that she'd just received a sock yarn shipment, her last, so i had to run down after lunch. They will go fast.
When i got home from guild sewing day last Saturday, I randomly put the pieces of a baby quilt up on the design wall.
  I can see that i will need a few more blocks with light centers. Before the next sewing day, I'd like to have all the blocks done so i can get them arranged and start putting it together.
Ive been out for a walk and made my afternoon snack. After posting this I'll read a bit.
The book is good! It's a fictional story inspired by the artist Andrew Wyeth and his painting, Christina's World. The setting is a mid century farmhouse on the coast of Maine. As you can see, im never at a loss for something to do!  I'm linking over at The Needle and Thread Network. The address is below but i have yet to figure out how to add it as a link on this new blogger platform im using, Blogpad Pro. http://needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.ca/2017/04/wip-wednesday-283-tn.html