Monday, April 24, 2017

Knitting - It’s All About COLOR and TEXTURE

One of the reasons I enjoy knitting these afghans so much is that I love to work with color and use color flow in so much of my art. I am able to make these transitions because I have acquired quite a palette of yarn with more on the way.

The very first one I made was my attempt to use up some of the yarn I had. I soon had to start filling in colors to make it work. And now I have a lot more yarn than I started with!

Over the years I have refined and  improved the methods for the pieces I create. I can make them specifically for family and friends to enhance the colors they love. I no longer add fringe as it tickles you when you use them!
Coopers afghan 002
I rarely make them to coordinate to a decorating scheme and that is something that people change on a whim
The textures inherent in the yarns give me another way to make spectacular art. The yarns vary in weight and thickness which just adds to creating another degree of texture. I do seek out many novelty yarns in my quest as it adds even more interest.
I can also combine any and all types of yarn no matter what the fiber content.
Of course knitting (and most other handwork) is one of the most relaxing things we can do…unless it is one of those patterns we have to pay attention to for each and every stitch.
Since I only use garter stitch that is not a concern for me as I knit them.
This one is still a work in progress and I am awaiting more special yarns to finish it.
The finished pieces are soft, comfy and warm.
These are just a few of the 17 I have made to date and I am now working on number 18.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Back To My Color Roots?

My friend Mary Stori remarked that some of the current work I am doing reminds her of the colors I used when she met me 30 or so years ago.
Maybe it’s what comes around goes around.
Yet with the availability of today’s fabrics there is no comparison to what we had to work with 30 –40 or more years ago. I remember how excited we got when we found some of the newest most sophisticated fabrics at the time.
I remember Jeff Gutcheon telling me he would buy any yellow fabric he could find even if it was ugly! Yet, when I worked with him as he developed his first line of fabrics, there was NO yellow!
Autumn Rainbow was a break through piece for me. I used only solid colors which were extremely difficult to find at the time. I also included some lames. It was one of the first quilts I won a first place with. Yet more importantly it was the piece that developed my Tubular Spiral Patchwork technique that I went on to teach across the Midwest.
My Tree Of Life quilt was inspired by vintage quilts, yet was not a copy of anyone in particular. I did created kits for this as part of my Historic Concepts series. The kits are now collector items as I sold the last of them.

I designed and drafted this fan quilt. I taught it several times and it was not only a good learning experience in piecing and applique, but if was an excellent learning experience is using and balancing color and a variety of types of fabrics.
I remember my granddaughter Heidi who was probably 7 years old looking at one of my quilts and saying that looks like a “grandma” quilt. I thought she meant it looked like it was made my an “old grandma”. NO….that she meant was she could tell I made it as she knew the colors I used. (I had started her playing with color when she was between 7 and 10 days old. by the time she was about 3 she could arrange a box of 64 Crayola crayons in color flow order.
If you are following my recent color choices with my knitting and strip piecing I think you will see what Mary Stori was saying.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Dyeing Silk With Color Hue Dyes

It has been a few years since I used my Color Hue dyes. I had already mixed many of them with water. They worked fine with no loss of color. One of the great things about them is they don’t loose their potency no matter how long you keep them.
They set instantly so there is no waiting period or color transfer to the cotton towel I roll them in to dry before I press them.
Since I didn’t have any silk scarves to try the dyes on I just used a piece of off white silk crepe. This can be a scarf after I serge the edges. I just did an allover spray with some dyes I mixed with strong values. When I did this with friends most of them preferred making pastel colors. 
I was not happy with the way I sprayed the colors on this one so I did a second application. For the second application I folded the fabric in triangle folds and dipped each fold in a different color. This started with a white very lightweight silk. I will serge the edges of this also. 
There are so many possibilities of different ways to use these dyes. And how exciting that they are permanent within such a very short time.
I plan on using more of these soon on silk scarves.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Strips Waiting To Tell Me Their Secret

These strips have been sewn together for a little while.
I used a lot of my really wonderful hand dyed and painted fabrics.
The fabrics that were TOO precious to cut and use…mostly created by me but some I purchased for big bucks.
Yet what enjoyment does one get from fabrics that are folded and put away??? NONE.
I know eventually I will be slicing (and maybe dicing) this strata.
It measures approximately 40 x 80 inches with some longer sections at one end.
Several ideas have come to mind, but I have not fully accepted any of them yet.
Time will tell.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

What Do You Do In Florida When It’s 86 Degrees


You turn on the A/C and you knit an afghan.

It has been quite a while since I have taken time to knit.

All these delicious gorgeous yarns were calling my name.

Each of the 17 afghans I have made in my signature colorful style are so different than any of the others.

Whether it is quilts, dyed fabric, polymer clay, clothing or anything else there is nothing like color to start my creative juices flowing.

Not only color, but texture makes these afghans so appealing. Once I start it’s hard to stop since I want to see what the next yarn is going to look like, and the next, and the next, ……………..

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

New Friends

My friend Denise brought her sister Deanna and niece Cadence over to meet me Monday morning.
We had a nice visit and enjoyed some time on the lanai.
I really enjoyed getting to know them and hope they’ll be back again sometime.
They are having an exciting vacation here in Florida.

Monday, April 17, 2017

A Very Special Easter With My Florida Family

This is “baby” Andy who is named after Grandpa Andy, Mom Megan and Dad Ben. He is too cute.
Andy and Andy looking up
Baby Andy and Grandpa Andy were studying the dining room chandelier.
How many people have a merry go round in the middle of their dining room table? Baby Andy and Ryder were taking a few spins around on it.
Laney and Ryder were all dressed up for Easter.
BFF Sally and daughter Lauren. I’ve known Lauren since she was less that 2 years old.
Lauren, big brother Ted (hiding behind the Easter tree) and his wife Pam. I’ve known him also since he was about 3.
The weather was perfect, the food was delicious and plentiful and the company was the best.
My apologies to all of the family who didn’t make it into the blog….I missed taking a lot of pictures.