Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday Night Painting

A couple of free hours this evening was a perfect time to do some painting - first trying out a new wooden stamp, and then adding some screen printing to a work in progress.

The idea for this stamped design is to make 2-sided ornaments with peltex in the center - more later.

Above left is a work in progress called "I Can Fly".  On the right is a close-up of screen printed text.  The background of this piece is rusted fabric.  There are still more ideas in the works for this piece.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Color Challenge

An art quilt group I belong to issued a color challenge last spring - create an 18 x 24 quilt based on the colors of a fish.  We picked from envelopes with paint chips representing each fish; I got "cowfish", which had 4 colors: turquoise, gold. rust and dark brown. This is the finished quilt. It started with a fat quarter turquoise sunprint, then I added stenciling and printing with a textured brayer. The sunprint was done in summer of 2010.  Since the colors fit this challenge, I added the dark brown by adding the wavy strips and borders.  Because the background reminds me of things celestial, this is called "Cowfish Cosmos".

VCQ Charity Project

Last weekend, the Virginia Consortium of Quilters met in Blackstone, VA to work on our new charity project: pillowcases for foster children in Virginia.  In one day, we completed 186 pillowcases, and sent home another 110 to be finished.  Working with an organization called First Care, the finished pillowcases were divided up to go to organizations in 5 different areas of the state for distribution to foster children.  We had a great time and wonderful sense of accomplishment putting these together; the prints and colors are all so happy, we hope they bring lots of smiles to the children who receive them.


Postcard Close-up

I finally found a way to keep a picture in landscape view.  By opening it in photoshop elements and saving it as a png file instead of jpg, it maintained the landscape orientation.  Here's a close-up of the postcards in the previous post.  This photo was a really lucky shot.  The mother bird kept flying in with worms to feed the babies, and flying off again.  It took many hours to get this one shot!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Postcard Revealed

Here's the set of postcards that I previewed with a snippet a few days ago. The theme of this exchange is 6 degrees of separation from the word "seed"; in other words, start with seed, and take 6 "steps" in any direction for what is depicted on the card. My progression was seed, sapling, tree, branches, nest, bird. I'm curious to see what direction the other participants take! Techniques: a gelatin print background and screen printed birds; the print of the birds is done with a thermofax screen made from a photo I took.

I've been trying to add another image of a single card, but blogger keeps turning my horizontal picture to vertical orientation and I can't find a way to turn it back.  Anyone know how to fix that?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Weekend Projects

Next weekend is the quarterly meeting of Virginia Consortium of Quilters, our statewide quilitng guild. We are devoting the workshop time to our new charity project, pillowcases for foster kids in Virginia. So I took some time to collect and cut some fabric combinations so they are ready to begin sewing.
Another project I worked on this weekend was finishing a set of postcards for a swap. This swap group is a small group of VCQ members who create cards based on a theme twice a year. We've been doing this for about 5 years. We started with a larger group and a quarterly exchange, but when that got to be too much, those of us left settled on twice a year, which is just right. The current swap is "seed" - with 6 degrees of separation. In other words, the card is based on an object/idea 6 steps away from seed. Below is a sneak peek of my card - I'll share the whole image after they arrive at swappers mailboxes!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fall in Virginia

Virginia is a beautiful state, especially on a crisp autumn day. What could be better than a motorcycle ride through the gorgeous countryside of pastures, woods, vineyards, and small towns, enjoying the colors, sights and scents of fall.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Photo to Black & White Image

Here are the leaf images, converted to black & white using photoshop elements. After converting the color photo to black & white, I then used a filter choice called Sketch, and within that, a "stamp" effect. Now they can be printed on paper, and the print used to create a thermofax screen for printing on fabric.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


A few days ago, I collected some fall leaves while out for a walk. After pressing in a phone book to flatten them, I pulled them out today and took photos, with the intent of turning them into thermofax screens.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Marvelous Mushrooms

Found these marvelous mushrooms in the woods behind my house today.  I have never seen such large clusters or all the ruffly edges.  They are quite firm, not nearly as delicate as they look.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


We survived Hurrican Irene with lots of rain, and leaves and twigs scattered everywhere.  Power flickered but stayed on, thank goodness.  So I was able to get in some quilting time.  I added borders to 2 of my quilt camp pieces, got them sandwiched with backing and batting, so they are ready to be quilted.  Also played a bit with some printing.
Above is a piece called Color Theory.  The primary and secondary color rectangles were hand-dyed and textured with paint sticks, and fused to the background.  Next, some hand stitching to highlight the color theme.  The other piece I worked on is for a challenge, so pictures of that will have to wait.

 These are some pieces I dyed earlier this month; some half yards and an assortment of other linens and crocheted pieces.
My husband's been growing okra in the garden but nobody eats it!  So it seemed like the perfect thing to use for making some vegetable prints.  The cross-cut pieces make a nice little flower shape.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Busy at work today when I suddenly felt a strange vibration under my feet.  I couldn't imagine who was moving something that would make a concrete floor rumble like that!  Next thing I know, the top section  of my desk (shelves full of 3-ring binders) was on the floor.  Luckily I was not sitting at the desk!  Close call!

Friday, July 29, 2011


I made these 2 pillows for my daughter who recently moved to an apartment.  The blue & green segments with screen printing are hand dyes and the screen is of money plant, made from a photo I took when the plant was going to seed.  The other fabrics are commercial prints.  I did the printing and put the tops together at "quilt camp", and did the quilting and fnishing at home.

                                          Above is a close-up of the quilting.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

"Quilt Camp"

Earlier this month I spent 2 weeks with a friend at her lake house where we have a "quilt camp" retreat - a chance to try various surface design and dyeing techniques.  We have been collecting rusty bits for a couple of years and used them to rust fabric.  Here are 2 of my rusted pieces and some of the rusty objects we used.  The piece in the top picture has some additional texture added with gelatin plate printing.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Mixed Media

At the May VCQ (Virginia Consortium of Quilters) meeting, I took a class with Catherine Etter using mixed media - fabric, paint, paper, discharge and other embellishments.  This is my (unfinished) piece, elements are glued down but not layered and stitched.  A few more things may be added in the process.  It was a fun day, learned several new techniques.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Stink Bugs!

I see it's been over a month since I added to the blog - my intention was at least once a week!  I'll try to do better!

These are my "Bloomin' Stink Bugs!", postcards that I did for a Virginia Consortium of Quilters postcard swap.  I used the shield shape of the stink bug's body in 2 sizes to create a flower-like design and screen-printed it on a hand-dyed fabric that has a first layer of gelatin plate printing.  Paints are Jacquard Lumiere textile paint.  Machine stitching enhances the flower design.