Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Olympic Quilt/Pillow 3…Another Gold Medal

When I started this I planned on making a small quilt. The center was a piece I layer painted and then thermofax screened. The borders were fabrics I had done layers of pattern on.
silk noil I used in pillow 2 2018
This is the fabric I used for the inner border.
silk noil 2 I used in pillow 2 2018
This is the fabric I used for the outer border.
When I got it to this size I realized the proportions didn’t work to use it as a quilt so I changed course and made it into a quilted pillow.
Olympic quilt pillow 3 before stuffing
You can see the quilting clearly in this picture of the top before it was sewn to the pillow back.
I wanted it to be firm so it would stand upright. I used a full pound of that non clumping polyester stuffing and it really is looking full and comfy.

I love it and I think it is the beginning of changing all the pillows in my great room over time.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

My Olympic Dyeing Medals

I want to share a few more of the best pieces from my recent dyeing personal Olympic event!
This piece of silk noil coordinates with the one I shared yesterday.
I was doing a color test on this piece of vintage 14” wide kimono silk.
I had to scrunch up this piece of silk double georgette to get it all in the picture. It is a large scarf
All of the pictures today are silk fabric.
I love the way silk takes color and these are no exception. All won GOLD medals!

Monday, February 19, 2018

If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again - Olympic GOLD

I have been doing some shibori dyeing recently.
Some of these pieces had been real duds and I could have been tempted to cut them up and use them as strips in simple quilts. I didn't give up and got some amazing pieces.
Some have 4-5 layers of pattern, both dye and paint.
I finished 18 pieces and there was only one dud and it will go into the pile to be dyed again for the 4th time.
I got one piece I consider spectacular. I must have started it 25-30 years ago. I believe this was the 4th layer of pattern.
This one earned a GOLD in my personal Olympic dyeing competition!
What will it become?

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Florida Ice Opens In Less Than A Month!

                            SAVE THE DATE

These are the new business cards my son Andy made for me for the show. I mentioned yesterday he brought me something he made and these are it.
He designed and printed them.


I am so pleased with what he was able to do and I couldn’t be prouder of his artistic and design talents.

The show opens March 16th with a reception and I hope I will see you there.

The show is open to the public and there is no admission charge.
Parking is free in a large lot at City Hall.
Hope to see you at the reception.
This is one of the quilts that will be in the show.

All of the work in the show will be for sale.

If you can't make it to the reception you can see the show on any of the dates listed on the card.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

A Beautiful Day Today

Today my friend Carol came over to visit.
We could talk quilts and lots of other stuff for hours.
We grew up 1.8 miles from each other in Wisconsin.
kayandcarolgat clubhouse2262018
My middle child was on his way over to bring me something so we waited quite a while to go to lunch until he got here. It was something he made for me and it was perfect. I am not showing it yet.
So Carol and I went to the clubhouse for lunch and they went riding around in the golf cart. When they were done with the first part of their ride they joined us in the club house for desert. After dessert Carol left for home and I went home.
The “kids” went for another golf cart ride as it was a perfect day. They brought the golf cart back and picked up some things I was sending back with them and found a space in the already full cargo area of our truck.
Love friends and family days.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Olympic Quilt Number 1

I hope you can see the quilting on this photo. If you click on the photo you can see a larger version.
I am thrilled it is finished. I love how the fabrics worked and also that I was able to come up with a quilting design to compliment the quilt.
The machine quilting emphasizes the strong graphic image in this quilt.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Inspirations For Creativity & Finding Your Ugly Fabric!

And so it began top 1

For me inspirations comes from the fabric and color.
I may have a very very vague idea of what I will create.
Once I start I let the fabric tell me what to do.
This is nothing new for me as I have worked this way since I started sewing clothing way back when. For clothing the hand of the fabric was another very important consideration.
At first my quilts were traditional designs but even then the fabric had to speak to me.
Currently the fabric has to carry on a conversation with the other ones in the project. This has been extremely evident in “And So It Begins” where I had a glimmer of an idea and spent a lot of time playing with the fabrics in my collection of hand dyed fabric, yet nothing gelled until I added a large piece of printed fabric.

I always told my students every quilt needs an other words it has to be different enough to add interest to the work. This is my ugly in this quilt.

That was all it took and this ugly fabric was right at hand in my hand dyed options.
Of course this means I go through a lot of fabrics I own and take a lot out of their respective storage places.
The fact that I have a large collection of fabrics is very important to me as it gives me possibilities I could not have with a meager amount of fabrics.

Even the backing fabric has to past muster for me to use it. My recent quilts have facings and casings, rather than bindings, which mean I need a lot more of that backing fabric.
In the few instances where I am binding a quilt the binding fabric also is an important choice.
When I finish creating it means there are a lot of fabrics to put away that didn’t make the cut….unless they are in the running for the next one!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Hearts To You!

This slashed work has a heart theme. The fabric I used for the center was painted with diluted artist acrylic paints. The embellishments were an important part of this project.
I call this quilt a time traveler. I silk screened the blocks many years ago. Somewhat recently I dyed them as I didn’t like the contrast of the off white with the paint. Most recently I added the sashing and cornerstones, all from one piece of fabric I had hand dyed using all but about 20 square inches of the piece. It will be quilted, but who knows when!

Monday, February 12, 2018

And So It Begins………..

Who says you can’t use artist hand dyed fabrics and printed fabrics together?
This is the very beginning of a new composition I am working on.
I have been auditioning fabrics for the last couple weeks finding combinations that played well together.
These made the cut and will be joined by others as it goes merrily on it’s way to completion.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Quilting: Sneak Peak

I’m moving right along with this newest quilt.
This is a section that shows part of the border and a little of the main quilt.
I hope to finish the quilting today and then maybe get the facings and casings ready for the hand sewing.
I could do the handwork as I watch the Olympics this evening.
Wish me luck!

Saturday, February 10, 2018

My Olympic Quilts

There is nothing in the quilt designs that may make you reference the Olympics.
To me an Olympic quilt is one that takes a major effort and I most likely worked on it for more than one Olympic year’s competition.
Here are a few of them.

This is a work in progress worked on during a somewhat recent Olympics. Seeing it in this photo makes me want to get it out and finish it. It will be a large wall quilt. I can see now why my friend Mary was so excited when she saw this one.

jessicakkevinquilt (3)
This was quilted during an Olympics. The quilting was the biggest challenge creating this. The thread kept breaking. I only realized after it was finished I was using a blue jeans weight of thread.
I believe I worked on One Woman’s Dream for at least two Olympic competitions. It was a challenge to design in this unusual shape. My dream for this quilt with 6 pointed stars was to have it hang in many different religious denomination places of worship.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Ice Dye Surprise Quilt

I have a feeling a lot of you were expecting a piece with a lot of bright colors. This was a new combination I tried.
These two parts were probably in the same batch.
It started with the center section. I dyed some pieces of fabric to go with it. They did not work at all.
Plan B! I had another piece with similar colors but it had a totally different manipulation. It took me several tries to come up with an idea that worked. It was a challenge to design especially with a very limited amount of the border fabric.
I'm not afraid to cut up a piece of my precious hand dyed fabric and try to make it work when I'm designing.
Once I came up with a rough idea I did a lot of figuring and trial and error to make it work and fit. 
I have to say I am very pleased with it.
Always remember, color gets all the credit, but value does all  the work.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

MORE On Creating Original Work

One of the first things I find necessary is having a design wall.
It can be simple or it can be complex. I’ve done them all. It’s never too soon to start.
Studio Quilts 4
Although most of the pieces on my design wall here are finished work, I use this wall to do my designing and there is one WIP that you are not seeing on the far left end. I put things on the wall and then walk away and turn around quickly to see the total picture at that point. Often the work stays on the wall for a period of time so I can make the right decision.
You need to be able to look at your work from a distance…you say you can’t back up that far? Then get one of those peepholes that is for a door and look through it OR take pictures with your digital camera or phone. Let the work tell you what it needs.
Share your work with someone who is not a quilter/artist and ask their opinion. You will get some of the best comments that way.
Listen to everyone’s opinions and then do what you thing works best.
And most importantly : DO THE WORK

There is no substitute for practice, playing and studying.
When I look at some of my finished work I can see how I could have changed it, but done is done and it’s time to go on to the next one.
I’m created and finished the work and I have learned a lot and a lot about myself and what works and doesn’t work for me.
Don’t beat yourself up if you are disappointed with a project. Put it away for 6 months and when you take it out you will look at it with new eyes.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Kay, The Quilter Is A Real Doll!

A few days ago Jamie Fingal posted a picture of a doll made in her likeness on Facebook.
This one was made in my likeness years ago by Delores Jacobs. I love her.
I have several of her other dolls and Santa’s.
For this one I supplied the dress fabrics and the piece of tatted antique lace.
I have always intended to make a real pieced miniature quilt to put in her hoop.
At the time my hair was red….and I still am a red head at heart!
I never intended to collect dolls, but there are so many art dolls that have spoke to me and I had to have them.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

On Creating Original Work

It is much easier to create original work if you don't spend time looking at what others have done. I would never have created these I have if I had let myself be influenced by the work of others. It can be good to work in a vacuum.
Turning Point was created in the 1980’s. It started with a rectangular block I drew spontaneously.  The black you see in the center is actually a hole. It was the first quilt I had accepted in a juried ART show and went on to be included in many shows and win many awards.
Blooming Balloon was created with an adaptation of the same block. You could say these were a series of 2!
Santa Fe Rhythm was created by using the right and wrong side of the fabric to give it a dimensional quality.
Chocolate Peppers was the result of making units and them coming up with a design to put them together. The pieces on the edges were designed after I came up with the layout.
I have designed many quilts using this approach.
These are all fairly early quilts on the journey to where I am now.
My motto when creating is “To thine own self be true.”

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Appeared On Super Bowl XLIII on TV-My Grandson Jared & Family Super Bowl Stories

My son Greg called and said my 10 year old grandson was on the Super Bowl broadcast. How was that possible when they weren't in FL? Well, it was part of the Walter Payton award ceremony and was photographed elsewhere. So of course I had to run down and play back the recording which thankfully I hadn't erased. Sure enough there he was at about minute 14 waving and getting himself noticed easily.
I took photos and they looked good on the camera. When I put them on the computer screen they were full of lines. Does anyone know if it is possible to take a decent photo of a TV screen with a Canon Power Shot SD550 Digital ELPH?
Jared is the one with blondest hair on the right and his mouth open!

His 15 seconds of fame. I know it won’t be his last!

For Super Bowl XXVI Greg & Jerry went to the game at the Metrodome in Minneapolis, MN. They were used to going to sporting events in Milwaukee and there you dressed like a bum (at that time) as you were likely to get beer spilled all over you.
Their tickets were gifted to them and they were in a prime location. It didn't take them long to realize than people dressed up for the games in MN.  Sitting right in from of them was Donald Trump and Marla Maples. This game was in 1992. They were quite embarrassed.

And lastly we have the story of Dana’s Super Bowl Party!

My time machine is going back to 1997.
I had become quite proficient in using my knitting machine and decided to knit the sweater you see my granddaughter wearing here.
She watched me work on it and was thrilled to have an original Packer sweater knit by her grandma. She was also quite a story teller.
She told me she needed a matching skirt. I told her I didn't have any fabric to match.
"No," she said, "you have to knit it".
After struggling with this uncooperative yarn and never wanting to use it again and certainly not wanting to buy more of it, I told her I didn't know how to knit a skirt. She told me it was easy and her Mom had done it - no, it was her Dad that did it. Neither of them had ever knit to the best of my knowledge.
Well, she finally got me to agree to knit a skirt. My criteria was I would start at the bottom and knit until the yarn ran out at the top so I would NEVER have to use this yarn again! I finished it and she was delighted. I think I must have taken a whole roll of film of her modeling it!
I was scheduled to leave for Jinny Beyer's Quilting Seminar the day before the Super Bowl as I usually did.
When I told her that she said "Oh, you can't. Change your ticket. You have to be here for the Super Bowl." I explained to her that it wouldn't be possible to change the ticket.
She then told me they were having a party for the Super Bowl at their house and I HAD to be there. I again explained I wouldn't be able to make it. She then told me "Someone who used to play for the Green Bay Packers would be at the party."
I asked her who and she said her dad's friend Bobby. I knew he had never played for the Packers knowing he was a runner and not built like a football player. I played along with her and said "Oh, I didn't know that. Next time I see him I'm going to have to congratulate him"
Knowing she was caught her quick reply was "Oh, he only played once. He didn't like it".
This was one of her stories I don't think I'll ever forget. She told "stories" for quite a few years!
I did leave on Saturday for the Jinny Beyer Quilting Seminar and watched the Packers win the Super Bowl on Hilton Head Island. The game was on so late I'm sure she did't even stay up to watch it.
If you don't live in Wisconsin you may not understand the devotion those of us in Wisconsin have to our Packers.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

A Few Of My Favorite Dyed Fabrics

silk test dye for jacket 1
This is a piece of silk noil with a leno weave. The leno weave was a bonus when I manipulated this fabric.
This one is velvet. Love the starburst effects.
An ice dye with unique manipulations and pleasing colors.
When finished this will be a great piece to be used on a narrow horizontal space.
All of these pieces are dyed fabric only and at this time, not finished work.
I continue to create new and different designs with my dyeing.
Without change there is no growth.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Newest Afghan Finished!

This afghan is quite different than the ones I usually knit. It is knit with a very soft bulky but light weight yarn called POOF.
It is HUGE so I scrunched it up for this picture.
This was the best I could do with it laying flat because of space limitations. I used 16 skeins of yarn knitting each one until it was gone.
I hope you can feel how soft it is.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Finished Work By My Students

I have mentioned the fact that I taught for many years and had some students take classes from me for over 30 years. I guess you could call them my groupies,
Nothing gives a teacher greater satisfaction than seeing their students create work when she has given them instructions and then turns them loose to use that information. image

This 8 pointed Star for One Armed Quilter is a bed quilt made by Suzie McCormack.

This was part of a two piece exercise when two backgrounds were created and then shapes were added to each one. I love the way she used the spiral or similar design in all these  different shapes. This was also by Suzie.

I taught my own technique for constructing a tessellated quilt and each student designed their own tessellation.
Char Burns made this outstanding quilt for her son. It includes a machine embroidered wolf head in the center and she stenciled all the leaves after I gave her a quick lesson on stenciling on fabric.
These are just a few pieces my students created over the years. I am so proud of them and was so happy to have so many talented students.
Often I did not get to see/and or photograph finished work by my students. My classes in my studio and for the technical college were lecture/demo and the students created their work at home with their own machines, etc. This made the best use of their time and mine as I could share a lot more information in the least amount of time and they could work in their own familiar surroundings with all their supplies at tools available to them.