Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Not yer Granny's Quilted Hand Bag

This is what's become of my "Burning Layers" homemade fabric experiment! I used Lazy Girl Designs easy purse pattern that called for added embellishments. I think the fabric I made is embellished enough! I'm really proud of it as it's only my 2nd little purse. Aint it kewl!

It's lined with little pockets and I even used a magnet closure instead of velcro.

Move over Luis Vuitton!

Click Here to see the whole evolution of this project.
Check out textile seahorse and Lisette's facinating burned art pieces and a very good tutorial that i can't make the link work. www.thequiltingweb.com/Free%20pro%204.htm

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Chocolat Centerfold in Art Doll Quarterly!!!!!

Click on to actually Read Mary's Article!

Yesterday my daughter and I wandered into Texas Art Supply looking for a few dyeing supplies (...ew and I found some Lutradur for $9 per giant roll yard). ANYWAY, I picked up the latest "Art Doll Quarterly" issue for the first time ever. I went about my evening of dyeing silk and velvets and at bedtime reading I'm casually thumbing through the pages, admiring the fabulous artist's dolls.... when WHAT to my flickin amazement....CHOCOLAT! I know that DOLL!!!! That's my friend MARY'S chocolate wrapper collage doll in a 3-page spread...all glammed out!!!!!

CONGRATULATIONS Mary on Chocolat and for another published article of your amazing work and your ability to make art out of ANYTHING. You are so famous.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Rough week. I think I'm gonna DYE

Nothing like a little dye-therapy to relieve the tension of working until 10pm every night this week. No worries, I'm close to quota and I still have a 3 whole business days left. Ew, that's stressful. Let's talk about dyeing silk.

I'm taking my favorite dye teacher, Marjie McWilliams http://www.fabricdesigns.com QuiltU silk dyeing class. The silk pieces are covered in plastic for the next 6 hours but you can bet they'll be posted by tonight. Since I'm not one to waste procion soup what with all those starving artists and all - I've stuffed and dumped silk velvets and silk gauze to see how they turn out. I'm overdyeing a few pieces of cotton and added salt to the left over dyes because I think I'm supposed to for cottons. Then, I plan to discharge with liquid dish soap and I think I'll write the words to Bob Marley's "Redemption Song" on the over-dyed cottons.

I'm so not excited about how my painted on and "blended" silk habotai lesson 1 turned out. My colors didn't really blend but looks like a pastely rainbow. This will be over-dyed next weekend:

This is how it's supposed to "blend" into orange and purples:

But the velvet and silk gauze that I immersed came out beautiful!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I have broken the blog

Like a fool i moved my template over to the new customizable whatever template. I've lost my archives. The blogroll has magically appeared....now it's gone!!! Why OH Why did I do it?? I hope when i wake up everything will be back to normal.. This is a bad dream!

*Update - it was a bad blogmare after all! Everything has magically returned...it just looks a little different. I'm already liking the these movable page elements!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Artists Gone Wild at Great Expectations Creativity Center in LaGrange, TX!!

You've gotta check out Liz Berg and Virginia Spiegel, artists in residence in LaGrange, TX!! OOhhh mi gaawddd....the incredible fabrics they're dyeing and painting and their unleashed creativity gone wild!!! Scroll ALL the way down through to day 10 at least! They have this GIANT space in LaGrange and they're eating fried shrimp and catfish like- every night, taking pics of icicles and creating complete masterpieces! I'm mean they're working their hearts out but really, they are having a blast! Sheer Heaven. I think they can get locked up for life with that wanton behavior down there ya'll!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Burning Layers Piece

I'm going to cut it up into postcards since I prefer quadrants rather than the whole crazy thing at once! Hmmm or maybe a Lazy Girl Purse. But what a great experiment. There does come a time when I have to stop it with the stitching and burning already! The cards will have a funky fiber "art binding"
(Click on pics for details)

I considered metallic threads but synthetics would melt away with the heat so I used varigated cotton threads. The various textures of Deb's Scraps from my stamped acrylics on her hand-dyed flannel and stitching over her red velvets give the piece interesting textures!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Frozen Texas Bush - not a political statement but could be! : )

At 5:30 am this morning we received a recorded call from Houston School District,

"HISD schools are closed today due to dangerous weather conditions"

My 7-year old sprouted up from the deepest dream, rapidly dressed and began euphorically chattering through the house. That recording would make a great child alarm clock. Later we explored our slushy "winter wonderland" as she called it, searching for tiny frozen leaf drips. Her excitement made me wish for snow....oh but for just for one day. By 2pm she was wishing she could go to school.

So while I worked, I let her make Martian cake out of whatever she wanted in the kitchen and we baked it. Yum...we're saving a bunch for Daddy when he returns from NY. Then she wanted to explore my blog. As innocent as I thought my blog was... she pointed out quite seriously that I use bad words in my blog. Oh no! So it is my goal and promise to you all to clean up my blog language and use care in my expressions and choice of word pictures from now on. The BAQ has been officially renamed to BOQ- Big OLE Quilt - kid friendly bloggin ya'll! Peace -

Monday, January 15, 2007

More Experimentation with Left Oeuvers

This time I took a little more time (not much) to come up with a more organized color scheme. I'm planning the same technique of overlaying with sheers and burning (yes, I bought a burning tool from Home Depot) I almost want to leave it alone at this point because Deb's scraps are just delicious as they are. Most of these are her hand-dyed flannel and cottons and do you see that deep red dyed velvet she included? -Yummy.
Want some? Hurry up, I think they're going Like Hotcakes!

....and here it is covered up with organzas and sheers. I've started stitching around the motifs and I can Hardly wait to finish the stitching and burn baby burn with my new hot tool! Throw fresh batteries in the smoke detector baby, moms cookin again! Click on the picture and feel the excitement I'm feeling with this technique!

I hope no one gets hurt during the frozen tundra of Houston Texas tomorrow. But I also wouldn't mind one single bit if we had to be shut in our homes for fear of being slammed by amature ice speeders. Just keep my power and heat on! ** Update! See above post- the power was on, the heat on, the sewing machine on, schools closed (oh well, can't have everything)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Layering Whiffs n Leftovers

I ordered a bunch of Deb Lactiva's fabric scraps from her ::More Whiffs, Glimmers and Left Oeuvres:: studio cleanup. Sampling these bits of funky shimmers and hand-dyed morsels is like eating someone else's cooking. It tastes just a little bit better! (Not that I really NEEDED more scraps) Then I read an article from Quilting Arts Fall 2005 issue where Annette Morgan shows us how to "Layer it On: Making New Fabric From Scraps"

I laid out pieces of Deb's stash mixed with painted velvet and silk pieces of my own onto Pellon stabilizer.

I fused used them down to the stabilizer. Then sandwiched onto a backing and batting. I stamped on acrylics and metallic lumieres. I worked fast.

Next I covered the piece with multi-colored organza and tulle and freemotioned around the stamped motifs and over the whole piece. I then cut/burned of the top layer of sheers within the stamped motifs.

I'm still in the process of snipping tulle and organza to reveal areas underneath. Next I need either a souldering iron or the nifty Textile Tool burning thingamagig. This piece will be a little wall hanging. The homemade fabric can be used to make little bags, wine holders, ATCs or whatever!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Bernina 440 Quilter's Edition is Da Bomb Baby

I've not sufficiently showcased this massive investment on the old "Bee Ell Oh Gee" (plus a lack of finished bloggable projects and the need to post drove me to this tonight) And I don't know bout you but I'm recovering from my sitemeter additction and it thrills the cheese outame to see fellow fiber junkies from across the US and Europe to Southern Australia find lil ole "StitchTherapy" when they search "nuno felting" or "doll therapy". I figure " Bernina 440 qe" is good for a couple of googling stitchmaniacs. Welcome Beautifuls! No offense. Do leave me a comment. It's free ya'll and they make me happy.

I know I've searched Bernina 440 a billion times and I think it should be mandatory for all of you fabulous studio quilt artists to tell us newbies what kind of machine you drive. We really want to know.

I bought this hunk of machineness after the Houston Int Quilt Festival this year because I was ticked I couldn't take pictures of the quilts and hang out like the rest of the ladies. I should be happy I live in Houston and there's always next year to hang out. Anyway I drove the thing full throttle until the Bernina ladies asked me to buy or leave and though it was priced WAY out of my budget (and I had no budget) I HAD TO Have IT. Not only because I fancy myself an emerging fiber artist who was in need of good equipment. Yo, this baby slices through big fat layers of fabs like buttah...but the deal maker was THIS:

Yeah, it's the stitch regulator that sucked me in. Accomplished freemotioners may not need a piece of technology like this but I DO! I finished the BAQ in no time with it

This humongus quilt was entirely free-motioned on my sewing machine. I didn't get the Bernina until the giant borders were to be quilted and I finished all four sides within a week with a day job. Big Ole Quilt in Progres

The regulator by no means makes perfect stitches without a little skill. It feels like a long-arm (another ride I've test driven at festival) and I can be more exact with it. With the Bernina, all of my stitches are MUCH more exact and pretty.

I also received -eh hum...for free- the 5 needle"embellisher" foot that works just like Babylock's Embellisher only it's a $120 foot for the Aurora. I'll post once I get around to embellishing with my 1000 pounds of merino wool that just came in. AND I have the freemotion coucher foot which I have no idea what to do with but I'm sure someone around here will need some couching soon.

BUT contrary to popular word of mouth propaganda about "Quilt Fest is the Best Place to buy a Machine" I wondered over to Houston's own
It's A Stitch Booth and asked them if I could get a better deal from my local quilt shop. Not yes, but Hell Yes! I booked it out of the George R Brown and blew off precious moments at Sacred Quilt
Cathedral to get over to Humble and buy it. I left in big debt but ecstatic. Not only did I get a better deal but I got the embellisher foot and couching foot for free, and a new machine vs a demo oh ...AND excellent classes galore.

Mainly I wanted a quality exact stitch and I got it. My Brother NX400 was fine and all, no major problems and decent stitches. But it ain't a Bernina. Plus the Brother had a drop in bobbin and was easier, but I couldn't do any bobbin work or adjust the tension like the real artists do. You know those beeotches I'm talkin about.

Love, love, LOVE this machine. If you've googled me because you're shopping, drop me an email and I'd be happy to share my sewing machine research with you!

Peace ya'll!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Nuno Felting Fun

Getting ready to nuno felt onto pieces of dyed cheese cloth. I'll also over-felt the pre-nuno'd long piece across top of photo. Cheesecloth pieces are laid out on pool-supply bubble wrap with tufts of combed wool, mohair and silk rovings arranged however you want. I have to remember to lay bits of wool on top of each piece of yarn, silk or mohair embellishment to felt it down to the base.
I've got a pitcher of warm ivory soaped water and use a plastic baggy glove to drip and rub with water. Then I roll them up rather tightly in the bubble wrap a few hundred times. Drop the wet bundle 10 times opening it up so I don't felt the edges together. Then, I chunk them down hard on the table about 10000 times for an hour until they shrink about 1/3 of the original size. ** Update - my arms are sore! Nuno-felting should be the new arm workout trend! (Click on the photo to see a close up.)

A couple of wet pieces after I've rolled and chunked them a few thousand times. They've started to shrink and the wool is coming through the wholes in back of the cheesecloth. It's finished when it's shrunk to about 1/3 of the size I started with

A few finished and dried Nuno pelts. (Click on Picture)

They remind me of fabric animal hides but without the killin and skinnin.

So far, I've only made doll clothes from nuno felt but I'm thinking of a small wall quilt or whatever else comes up. A few close ups:

eeew! I bought a bunch more felt, silk roving and a few yards of silk gauze from Wild Turkey Feltmakers and Polly Stirling. Polly is a magnificent fiber artist who developed the whole nuno felting process in Australia!