Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Painting, Stamping and Resist

This is my very first attempt at painting fabric. I even tried ironing freezer paper on and painting over that to create a resist... it didn't work that great as my paint was too thin so it leaked under the paper. You can see my stamping through the middle of the fabric.

I have signed up for a course at quilt university on using thickened dyes to do this kind of work. I am excited to learn that, as well I have a book by Melanie Testa that describes this kind of technique.

Last night I went to the city with 2 other ladies from my guild and gave a trunk show to the Sudbury Quilt and Stitchery Guild. They were the nicest, most supportive quilters I have met. They loved the fact that I work outside the box, which was very refreshing.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

New Quilt Books

How great is it to get new books in the mail? This was my birthday present, and they arrived on Saturday. I also received '500 Art Quilts' as well.
The books are proving to be fantastic. I am earmarking so many pages, I think I will have to reread them right away.

I want to learn more about stamping, stencilling, and screen printing. I think Melanie Testa's book and Lyric Kinard's book are going to be great in this area.

I am off to read.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I'm In Here!

Okay, I guess I have to confess, I am in the magazine. And not for lack of trying. I sent in some work, but they didn't think it was their cup of tea.

But I did make it in the 'letters from our readers' section. And I didn't even do that on purpose. I follow a couple of their blogs, and one had asked a question about the magazine, so I commented. Imagine my surprise when I read my comments in this very esteemed magazine.

More good news, but on a non accidental front. I am going to be doing a column in Canada's quilting magazine. It is a humourous outlook on quilting. I just submitted my first article, and the editor gave it a thumbs up. Then she asked for a profile picture and a picture of my stash. The stash picture was the easy one to take. But after many, many shots, alot of cropping and touch ups, I sent one in. Thankfully the editor didn't send that back!

Laptop Case

I whipped up a laptop case for a dear friend of mine.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

More Thread Painting

I sat down today and did some experimenting with some heavier threads. I have never used the 100% cotton threads and was nervous about thread breakage. But I put in my metallic needle and had great success.

This piece is about 10 x 10, and I just wanted to get more practice. You can see in the outline of the butterfly, I did some bobbin work. I wound some embroidery floss around the bobbin, turned the project upside down, and outlined the butterfly.

I am enjoying the thread painting and plan to use it on my next art quilt.

Monday, March 22, 2010

I Swam, I Smiled

I am back from competing in the Ontario Provincial Masters Swimming Championship meet. It was a long 3 days of competition but I had a blast.

I am thrilled to say that I came home with 3 gold, a silver and a bronze. But the best part was that I improved my time by 2 seconds in each event. This is compared to my last swim meet in 2007. One time I did this meet was the same as I did a decade ago, when I swam 4 times a week with a coach.

Not every race sailed smoothly, one race I went out way way too fast and my body actually shut down 15 metres from the finish. The last 2 metres I didn't know if I was going to be able to complete the race, as my arms literally wouldn't move. That is my first experience in all my years of swimming to have that happen. It clearly was mind over matter to make it to the wall. Definitely a lesson learned=) And I took quite a bit of ribbing from the team. But that is what competition is all about.

I see that many of you enjoyed my thread painting post. I will try and put another one up shortly, once I recover from lack of sleep.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

We have been having a ton of fun with this holiday. I have the kids convinced that there were leprechauns in our house. One day green milk showed up, another day green mashed potatoes, snacks were mysteriously eaten, and treats left for them.

It is March break here so the kids are home for the week and we have been playing outside for 6-8 hours a day. Posts will resume a better schedule next week.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Creative Process

My friend Terry sent me a link today and told me to watch it. It was a talk by Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of 'Eat, Pray and Love". You can watch it here

I must tell you that it is 20 minutes long. And I know that is hard to find time for, especially when you don't know what it is about. Ms. Gilbert discusses the creative process and how to continue on.

Really, watch it for 2 minutes and if it doesn't grip you, stop.... but I bet you do watch all 20 minutes of it.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thread Painting

I have never taken a course on thread painting, so am not completely aware of the techniques it requires. But I wanted to give it a try so made a small wallhanging for a friend who recently gave me a bunch of delicious fabric to match my upcoming art quilt. This was a piece she thought I could do something with as the fabric had such a pretty pattern. So I did, I made her an art quilt!

The first image is my initial finished product. But I didn't like the way the stems and leaves were so light. So I took the piece and put it back under the machine. I apologize for the blurriness of the final product and the way it hangs. I was in a rush as it was being delivered as soon as I was finished. It does hang straight and does look way better after I darkened up the stems and leaves.

The middle picture is a close up shot of one of the flowers.

I enjoyed this process and think I will use it again.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Upcoming Provincial Swim Meet

Much of my time lately has been driving an hour each way to swim. Sometimes I go to another city and that is 2 hours each way, to swim. This meet is a provincial one and will involve an 8 hour drive. I have been swimming for 5 months now.

This meet will be different as I am swimming 2 events I have never swam before. One consists of 4 lengths of each of 4 strokes. 2 of these strokes I do well, but the breaststroke and backstroke I don't do well. At all.

My freestyle and butterfly strokes are good, meaning my technique is good. My speed? Well that will be determined at the meet.

Many will say butterfly is the hardest stroke to do. That is the stroke I am doing in the above picture.

The other event I chose to do, that I have only done once, 31 years ago is the 200 m butterfly. This translates to 8 lengths of this painfully gruelling stroke. This is the last event of the meet. Mostly cause not many are crazy enough to do it, so most will be able to go home a bit early. Not me.

One of my team members sent the following quotes about swimming. The author is unknown, but I enjoyed them.

"It's been said that swimming is a wimp sport but I don't see it. We don't get timeouts in the middle of a race; we can't stop and catch our breaths; we can't roll on our stomach and lie there and we can't ask for a substitution." (especially on a Saturday morning workout!)

"Swimming: from the outside looking in, you can't understand it; from the inside looking out, you can't explain it."

"Breaststroke is an athletic event; butterfly is a political statement."

"We swim because we are too sexy for a sport that requires clothes."

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Design Process

Nest month our guild is doing a program on different aspects of quilting. I have been asked to talk about the design process that I go through in making an art quilt.

The first thing I do is grab my sketch pad and pencil. These are not fancy items. I find both at the Dollar Store. Sometimes I have no idea what I am going to do, so I just start doodling objects and shapes that I like. In my last quilt, I knew the shape I was using, so I started with that. The one I am currently sketching, I started with a piece of fabric I love.

I put a date on the sketch book at the front, so I know when I used it. I keep all my pads so I can go back and look stuff up, or for different ideas, and just for memory.

From the moment I start sketching a new design, the pad stays at my side through the whole process of making the quilt. It sits on the cutting table, or at night, if I want to work through something I bring it up to bed with me to work on.

Not only will the sketch book have the original design, but I will jot down notes, especially if I am trying a new technique. I will write out the steps so I don't forget them.

As I near the end, I will start colouring parts of the design to see what colours work with embellishing, quilting and borders.

And when my art quilt is done. I grab my sketch pad and start again.