Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Painting the Pots

Today I've been painting the pots for my quilt.  I painted each one individually on a piece of Roc Lon blackout fabric.  This is lighter weight than the RL multipurpose cloth, but heavier than cotton.  It lays flat and like the effect I get when I paint it.

I started by doing a rough sketch of a pot outline on the fabric with pencil.  Then I wet the fabric liberally with water and a foam brush.  Then I VERY freely threw on some paint, sprinkled it with table salt, and left it to dry in the sun.  It's sunny and HOT today, so it was dry in five minutes flat!
I had a happy accident that appeared once the paint was dry.  The texture of the deck table...
appeared on the fabric.  Very cool, indeed!  

Next I fused each piece of pot fabric to Pellon Wonder Under, and cut them out.
Here they are pinned in place on the wall.  I may add more paint here and there before I fuse the pots in place.  My favorite part of the quilt is still the wall.
Here's my assistant.  Mickey has been following me back and forth from the deck all day long.  He will sleep well tonight!

Starting a New Quilt

I have so many quilts in progress already.  But after taking the Ginny Eckley class on fabric painting and thread painting, I was itching to start this project.  I took this photo in Europe last year.  One of my memories of the trip was the geraniums.  Every home, every business, every bridge had window boxes full of red and pink geraniums, all in full bloom.  I noticed as we walked across one bridge over a canal that the window boxes there had a watering system with little tubes running up from the canal water.

I adored this row of blue pots on a wall.  It's one of my favorite photos from the trip.  It has been whispering to me for the last year, asking me to make a quilt from it. 
I started by painting a blue sky.  I found it's harder to paint a BIG piece of fabric.  This piece is about 40 inches by 50 inches.  I did the painting on my deck in the hot sun.
After a few layers of paint, letting it dry in between, I roughly pleated it and brushed paint along the peaks, trying to get a horizontal striated effect.
Next, I used a different piece of fabric to start painting the wall.  I have the photo handy for reference.
After 3 days of painting layer after layer, this is what I have so far.  I like the wall better than the sky, but most of the sky will be covered by the plants anyway.  At this point, the wall fabric is simply lying across the sky fabric.  I'm going to make the pots individually, and then I'll put it all together, adding the greenery and flowers as the last step.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

My LIttle Fish

I wanted to share an example of the thread painting technique I learned last week from Ginny Eckley.  To make these little fish, we painted one piece of fabric, traced the little fish on some Wonder Under, fused the Wonder Under to the back of the fabric, cut them out, and then fused them to the background.

Below is one little fish fused in place.  I know, he's a bit drab and lifeless!

And here's another little fish (his background area is darker, obviously) after I thread painted him.  Both fish were cut from the same fabric.
Much better, huh?  He has a bit of a personality now.  Plus he doesn't blend into the background anymore.  I need to practice much more on this, but hopefully by the time I finish this project, I'll be much better.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Ginny Eckley Workshop - Part 2

Day 2 of the workshop was for thread painting.  Above and below are two example that Ginny brought.  Hopefully you can click on the photo to see them close up.  It's amazing what she does with her sewing machine.
LOVE these birds above.  And below is a little fish.
I did a lot of practicing on the thread painting.  Then I finally worked on a little fish on my own piece.  I don't have a picture yet, though.
I had to show you the "star student's" work in progress above.  This is Cyndi W's background.  She's just started to put in place the coral and some little fish.  Plus she's already thinking ahead to borders.  We were all in awe of her work!
And here's Gerda having lots of fun.  We all had lots of fun!  This is the BEST class I've taken in a long, long time.  Cheers to Ginny Eckley!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Ginny Eckley Workshop

I've been trying to load these images all day and blogger wasn't cooperating.  Finally, success!

I can't say enough about how much I enjoyed this class!  I learned so many new techniques.  Ginny provided us with wonderful kits.  She gave us each a yard of PFD fabric, a wonderful little plastic paint pallet, and a variety of brushes.  We helped ourselves to the Setacolor Paints that she provided.

We started by painting on a small practice piece so we could familiarize ourselves with the paint.
Then we each painted our background piece, using salt to create cool effects with the paint.  Here are several pieces drying in the sun.  We had a choice to create a fish piece or a bird piece.  I picked fish.

Once the background pieces dried, we would add another layer of paint to it, letting it dry again.  The day was very hot, so the fabric dried in about 30 minutes.  While the background dried, we painted our fish (or birds) and some fabric for coral.
We learned to screen print next.  The bird people screen printed leaves on their backgrounds.  The fish people screen printed lots of organic shapes onto our fabric for coral.  I even screen printed some "ghost" fish onto my background.  Can you see them below?
Next we fused our fish and coral pieces onto our background fabric.
Tomorrow I'll share what we learned on day 2 of the class - more fun stuff.  I'll also show some other classmates works in progress.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hexie Love

Here's my latest stash busting project.  I'm loving these hexies!  They make a great project for me to work on when I watch TV in the evening.  More on these later.

Saturday was my mother's 80th birthday.  And she doesn't look a day over 65.  Hubby and I had my parents over to grill out steaks to honor the occasion.  My brother and his sons came from Augusta, GA, to join in the fun.  I made her a yummy birthday cake, too.  We had a great day.  The only casualty was my nephew's Ipod Touch - he lost it while here.  We looked everywhere in our house and haven't found it yet.  I'm sure it will turn up when we least expect it.

Today will be a FANTASTIC day!  I'm starting a two day class with Ginny Eckley.  I saw her on Quilting Arts TV a few weeks ago.  Her work is amazing!  We'll be painting an image on fabric and painting a separate background piece.  Then we'll fuse the image to the background and add trims to make a lovely vignette.  We'll be screen printing, too.  I'm so excited about her screen printing techniques.  I've always wanted to be able to design my own screen prints, but it seemed so costly to get a thermofax machine.  And those toxic chemicals from emulsions - I didn't want to go there.

But she has a product that makes it so easy!  It's a nylon screen that comes already coated with the emulsion.  So all you have to do is print an image on a transparency sheet, place it on the coated screen, and either put it in the bright sun for one minute or put it on a light box for about 10 minutes.  Then you rinse the screen - the area of the image rinses out.  Voila - your own custom screen print!  Can't wait to try this!

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Very Busy Week!

Sorry to have been away a few days.  Daughter 1 got a job offer - yay!  She starts work on Monday, exactly one month after she graduated from college.  Not bad, huh?  She and I have busy shopping for work clothes and shoes - very nice business attire.  She got her hair cut.  Now she's all ready for her entry into the working world!

Daughter 2 is safely back at college for the summer, already busy with her classes and a part-time research position.

As for the house, it hasn't sold yet.  Our agreement with our agent expires in a few days.  What to do?  We're thinking about going back to selling it ourselves for a while - we can really drop the price if we do that.  But if we don't get it sold before too long, we'll take a break and start over next year.

So my picture today is my collection of teeny tiny 9 patches.  They're beginning to add up!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Rug Update

Here's a pic of the rug I'm working on for Rockland Industries, made with their Roc Lon Multi Purpose Cloth.  You may remember, I used acrylic paints on the small sample.  I loved the effect, but decided I wanted more pattern.  So for the real rug, I'm using scraps of fabric between the traced letters.  I'm LOVING the effect!  It will take some time, but it will be worth it.
Here are yesterday's teeny tiny nine patches.  From now on, I'll post these on the Teeny Tiny 9 Patch blog I've set up for all those who are participating.  Click on the button on the right side of this blog to get there.  I'll be sending out a link soon to all those who are participating; that way we can all share photos of our TT9P progress.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Teeny Tiny Nine Patch Tutorial: Part 2

To continue, sew a seam one quarter inch from each end.  These seams should be PERPENDICULAR to the original seams:

Cut apart again, into three 1 inch sections:
At this point, press these two seams OPEN.  I have the bottom section seam-up to illustrate:
Sew the middle strip sets to each double set, pressing the seams open.  You now have two teeny tiny nine patches!
For the final pressing, give each a spritz of sizing, a shot with a hot steamy iron, and then immediately put a heavy book on top of them.  When they cool, they'll be as flat as pancake.

My own goal is to make one set (2 blocks) per day.  What's your goal?

Teeny Tiny Nine Patch Tutorial: Part 1

I'm so excited to have a great turnout for this challenge!  Let's make use of our scraps together!
I'm writing this tutorial in two posts, one right after the next.  And I can't take any credit for this technique - it's been around for years.  I first saw it on "Simply Quilts" taught by Billie Lauder, but she started with bigger squares.

Start with two 3 inch squares of fabric, place right sides together.  Sew a quarter inch seam on either side:

Cut into three equal pieces, each 1 inch wide:
You'll have two units with two strips sewn together (press seams to darker fabric) and two single strips:
Sew the two single strips to each strip set, again pressing toward dark fabric:
Place the two strip sets together, right sides facing, so that the seams line up:
Go to Part 2.