Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Such Great Friends

Since I knew my cowls looked better on a person I had them each model one and took a picture. They loved them and I loved how they looked on each of them.
Robbie and Beth were here for a visit…first Beth showed us some of her latest work and I am so mad at myself for not getting any photos of the wonderful work she has been doing. But I have a secret I will share in time.
We were able to have lunch on the lanai. Quiche, fruit salad, and croissants. Dessert was cookies from Betty’s Cakes.
After lunch Robbie shared some of her wonderful work.
imageRobbie stenciled the back ground fabric. She used metal, Untrasuede and a lot of watch parts in this piece.
This was a challenge for a group Robbie is in. The theme was “In the style of Andy Warhol”.
I think the theme of this was Medieval? I grew up on fairy tales and I was at least 12 before I realized unicorns weren’t real.
The quilting design on this piece is the same design she used on our cooperative quilt. It is all done by hand.
If you would like to see more of Robbie’s work her blog is:
Lastly I shared what I have been up to with my Olympic quilts and dyes.
They also enjoyed looking at so many of the unique items in my house and hearing stories about them.
It was a beautiful day made even better with the company of friends.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

I Found It

Someone asked me what my favorite piece from my Olympic dyeing looked like before this last shibori dyeing.
My photos are all over the place on my computer and it can take hours to find a particular photo.
I found it as I was scrolling through one of my ways to find photos…must have been well over 5000 there.
Piece I dyed olympic 2 2018 with leave silk hoil
This is the before: it is silk noil that has been painted and then shibori dyed once. I was not happy with it.
Shibori layers 2 2018 olympic dyeing
This is the after. I love it and it was one of my most successful pieces in the batch of fabrics I dyed.
Almost everything I have been (or will be soon) shibori dyeing recently started as Dye Dogs. I am finding the complexity of layers of pattern are creating fabrics that are so much more interesting than the results when I start with plain white fabric.
I can’t wait to see the next batches. Just need to wrap some more poles to fill the buckets.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Olympic Cowls

This cowl was made from one of my Olympic Gold Medal pieces of silk double georgette fabric I dyed.
The construction only took about 10 or 15 minutes after I had the machine threaded and the first seam pinned. It’s beautiful, drapey and one of my best colors to wear.

cowl aqua and brown circles
Once that was done I made this one with a piece of semi-sheer printed silk I bought in Austin, Texas when Frances Holliday Alford took me shopping when I visited her about 12 years ago. It is another one of my best colors.
I am going to feel so great when I wear these.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Olympic Quilt 5 Finished

This is the quilt before I turned it into a pillow. The top fabric is a piece of velvet I dyed and then textured with a rubber stamp and an iron.
The bottom fabric is a piece of leno weave silk noil I used to test how black dyes would work on silks.
The small focal point is a slashed sample I did to test the layering for the jacket I was making. 
It takes time to figure out how to work with each one of these small pieces. I did vertical quilting on the leno fabric and knew better than to do anything to the velvet or I would loose the texture I created.
I used a rough silk that looks like linen for the back of the pillow. I stuffed it firmly with a great quality polyester fiberfill. It will hold it shape and not slide down on the leather furniture.
I call these kind of pillows art pillows and they will be treated with respect. I may move them from room to room as time goes on.

Florida Ice Preview Of Possible Quilts

Some of these Ice Tapestries and Quilts will be in my show at the Ocala City Hall from March 16-April 26th.
Some of them are just teasers. You’ll have to see the show to figure out which ones are a part of the show.
I hope you can make it.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Black And White Is The Hardest To Dye

These 4 pieces were successful as black and white designs.
I dyed them for a particular use but they didn’t work so now I have 4 great pieces to use in another project.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Olympic Dyeing With Cotton–Creating Beauty From Former Dye Dogs!

When I look at this I feel like I am looking through some vegetation and seeing the sun go down. I thing this is a 3-5 times dyed fabric.
This piece of cotton fabric was dyed at least once before.
I am guessing this is the 3rd or 4th time this one has been dyed. It is perfect candidate for my Chasing Rainbows series.
It is great to get some dogs when you are dyeing a they give you the chance to overdye and get some amazing pieces. Almost all my Olympic dyes started as a dog.

Round And Round

I did all the quilting on Olympic quilt number 2 yesterday.
It is one spiral that started in the center and continued as it worked it’s way off the quilt.
I am super pleased with it.
I remember my sister asking me how I could do this so perfectly.
My answer is take your time and follow the foot! (Of course experience is a also an important factor)
I hope you like the quilting as well as I do.

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.