Monday, September 15, 2014

Just a Little Dyeing

In preparing for a dyeing class I am teaching down in NC next week, I found some old dyes (I have no idea how old) in some bottles but still in powder form.  I also found still more tshirts that I didn't know I had so....This tshirt and the second tshirt were inspired by the tunic that Anne Fischer wore to RAFA last week.  I just kind of accordion folded it but on a diagonal.  I then twisted it into a spiral and set the ice on top of it and poured yellow high concentration sun yellow and then spread some powdered strong orange and basic brown on top.  I was very pleased with the results.

This was the second of the tshirts and had a little better coverage of dyes.  I will enjoy wearing these.  If I had time, I would probably do some more, but.... am trying to get packed up to head south.

This is the first of two pictures of different parts of one piece.  Again, I used these leftover dyes, pouring the yellow dye and then throwing on some blue (not sure which one!!).  This was a piece of fabric left over from a bolt I had. I had wanted to dye just some plain yellows as I have used up most of mine so there is also six yards of varying shades of  yellows.




A Black-capped Chicadee enjoying a warm day last week.  It is COLD here now and supposed to get colder by weekend.

Friday, September 12, 2014

GVQC September Meeting

 Yesterday was the first meeting of the 2014-2015 quilt year at GVQC.  As I have been trying to de-stash, yesterday was a sale day for me.  So after having a mammogram at 6:45 in the morning (serves me right for calling so late for an appt.!), I lugged several boxes filled with fabric and books.  It was very busy and I did well.  I gave the leftovers to our Comfort Quilt group and the Community Quilting Bee.  

A perfect segue into the picture as there was an abundance of quillts for the Comfort Quilt project -- I think she said 47 were turned in this month.  This picture and the next two are collages of as many of the quilts as I could get from the back of the room as they were of course moving fast across the stage!




This was a nice "disappearing nine-patch".

Another closeup of a simple but very effective quilt layout.


As usual, there were many beautiful quilts in show and tell but this was one of my favorites by Lynn MacDonald.  This is a little tricky to figure out the pattern but think it is one of those that kind of uses a pattern in the sashing to create the look.  Will have to look at some more!

I was at quite a disadvantage for taking pictures as I was standing in the "show and tell" line.  This was an absolutely stunning dahlia quilt by one of our newer members. 
Of course I always like a good "one block wonder".  Wonder what the fabric was?

There were two of these beautiful wedding ring quilts.  Loved the quilting but again don't have the name of the maker!

Another really lovely quilt.

Our speaker and teacher for this month was Luanne Corts and her topic was "Up to My Eyeballs in Scraps".

One of the many scrap quilts that Luanne talked about.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

September RAFA Meeting


This is another Show and Tell from one of the subgroups in RAFA.  This month they were doing pieces inspired by the works of Georgia O'Keefe.  More detailed views follow.


This was a piece done by Liz S.  This is a whole cloth piece and the abstract image is taken from a picture of the lake and then manipulated in Photoshop and printed on cloth and quilted.  Our own Julie Brandon runs a business called Red Dog Enterprises that provides this service (Red Dog Enterprises).  Her prices are reasonable and she uses all different kinds of fabric.


Elaine did this luscious piece taken from a photo she took of one of her hibiscus.


Caren B has finished all her wonderful thread painting on this piece also inspired by one of her photographs of a lily.


Kate W chose to portray Georgia O'Keefe herself with her sad expression.


Julie Brandon did this whole cloth quilt manipulating one of her photos and then printing it on whole cloth.


Regina S is one of our newer members and extremely prolific!!  She does a lot with the embroidery designs found commercially.  I really liked this quilt especially.  She was the lucky lady who inherited by 9 boxes of upholstery and drapery fabrics.


Caris showed us some pieces from her dye painting class with Ann Johnston.  Ann is one of my favorite all time teachers and certainly is the "mother" of low water immersion dyeing.



This was a really large piece that Caris did in class.




Another very complex piece that Caris did in class.


Beth K took a class on making fabric and this is one of the pieces resulting from the class.  I was not familiar with the teacher but Beth really liked the class and felt it was the direction she wanted to go in. I also "make fabric" for a lot of  my backgrounds and even some of sections of the foreground as well these days.  For me, it was a result of taking a class with Cynthia Corbin which was probably one of the most freeing classes I have ever taken.


This is another very large piece that Beth did as a result of the class.  We all loved the sherbet colors!


Sue D, Marcia B and Beth also work together in a small group and this was one of their pieces.  Believe it or not, this is a disappearing 9-patch!!  I loved it and may do some like this with my hand dyes although I am already thinking about introducing some smaller pieces into the mix.


This is Beth's piece using the disappearing 9-patch.  Marcia just didn't hold hers up high enough!!


This is Tina (another relatively new member) showing us some of the detail is this absolutely stunning quilt with all the dragonflies.  Like  Marcia DeCamp (one of my featured blogs on the left), she has a piece in the new AQS calendar!


Anne Fischer has decided to focus on her felted clothing and this is a jacket she has recently completed and pictures do  not do it justice-- it is beyond stunning!!  I can see why she is moving in this direction!


This is an absolutely gorgeous shawl she also did -- unbelievable!!  

A number of the members also took a felting class with an Australian felter who focuses on jewelry and I managed to forget to take some pictures of that as there were all sorts of very different pieces.  It was a decidedly magical show at the group today.  


Last but not least is a shirt that Anne dyed.  I crept up and took a shot of the back while she was sitting as well!  I just loved the diagonal.  She dyed the fabric and then made the shirt which was tunic length.  Of course she looks like a model in anything she is wearing!!

You can see more of our group at  Rochester Area Fiber Artists on Facebook.  We won't overwhelm your news feed but will post pictures of art from the various members, give notices of shows we are either sponsoring or in which we are participating.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Quilting Finished!

Just one last picture from the trip to Montezuma.  I always carry my two cameras so that I can have one for the telephoto and one for more panoramic views.  The funny thing is that the two cameras have switched uses!!  Used to be the little Canon did better telephoto but since getting my Canon 100-400 telephoto, it definitely does better!!

 I finally finished doing the machine quilting on this second Lone Star quilt.  I used the Jan Krentz design but made it a bigger size than in her book and substituted these molas for the rocket blocks she has in her original.  I wanted the molas to have more border on them than the originals did.  I really spent a lot of time trying to figure out what kind of machine quilting to do and finally went back to the book to see how Jan had done it.  That is the choice I made for the points in the middle star -- kind of like veins in leaves and it was a fun stitch to do.  In the first of the Lone Star quilts which I did first, I outlined stitched everything first;  In this one, I worked totally from the center out, doing the leaf veins and then outlining the stars, working the stippling around the appliqued images and then doing the outside stars.  I think it worked better..



Here is even closer after all the stitching had been done.  I did straight line quilting in the border around the outside.  You can see the feather stitching in all the points and the stitching in the outside diamonds.  I like these better than the options chosen in the quilt in the book.


And here it is, all finished and bound!!  I may yet a littlle more quilting on the appliques themselves to make them sit a little flatter but hate to do that.  The quilt size is about 60 inches by 60 inches.



Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Of Mushrooms and Butterflies


Sitting outside on a beautiful summer day, my husband and I saw tufts of "smoke" coming out of the mulch next to the house.  This happened frequently and in various spots and we were at a loss to figure out what was going on.  Upon closer inspection, what looked like dead leaves were really "cup fungi" which are the most common of mushrooms.  They literally shoot out hundreds of thousands of spores.  This looks just like smoke!!  We used to have a veritable garden of mushrooms when we first moved in but over the years the lawn has taken over.  I don't ever remember these so they were probably imported with the mulch!


I continue to keep my eye on my neighbor's butterfly bush and was rewarded by a visit from a White Admiral the other day.  I have seen them before but this one did pose for me!


A really nice Spicebush Swallowtail also visited and kept his wings open enough for a picture!!

Humid days like yesterday are reserved for working on the two Lone Star quilts I made a couple of  years ago.  The first is completed and the second is almost done!!  

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Visit to Montezuma Wildlife Refuge -- a Test of Identification of Bird Babies!

Once a year usually earlier in August or in July, a trip down to the Montezuma  Wildlife Refuge in western upstate New York is in order.  There is a nice one lane car path that runs around the refuge.  In previous years, there was hardly any water as they have dried up the main pond to do work on it to make it better.  However, this year despite that there were lots of ponds as it has been an unusually rainy summer.  This was great as I saw some birds that I hadn't seen before up here and many juveniles.  Now water bird identification is hard enough as they have summer and winter plumage and of course there are differences between the males and females.  This summer I had to deal with many many juveniles which of course look different as well!!  So I will start with the birds that were fairly obvious and hopefully I haven't made too many mistakes in their identities!!

A nice Great Blue Heron.  I saw many of these.  They are very solitary.  I don't think this one is totally mature yet.

There were lots of Great Egrets as well with lots of pretty backgrounds.

Now I know where some of the Coots breed!!

These look like juvenile Coots to  me!!  All fuzzy and cute.  Have never seen the juveniles down in NC.

There were a number of examples of a close relative of the Coot, the Common Gallinule (Moorhen).  They were a bit more shy than the other birds.

Not really sure about this one, but think it may be a juvenile Gallinule.

This is a Caspian Tern which I have seen here before.  There were a number of these amongst the Ring Billed Gulls.

Of course, the everpresent Goldfinch on his favorite Scotch Thistle.  This thistle was a little over the hill though but the Goldfinches still have their summer color.

This is a juvenile Pied Bill Grebe.  There were a lot of Pied Billed Grebes hanging out including many juveniles.

I believe this is one of the juveniles of the Short Billed Dowitchers.  There were a number of these.  They are stockier than their look alike cousins -- the Yellowlegs.

This is an adult Short Billed Dowitcher showing their usual digging behavior.  He rarely  had his head up.

This is a Lesser Yellowlegs.  There were a lot of these.

I believe these are juvenile Lesser Yellowlegs.  Their beaks are thinner than the dowitchers and they are grayer underneath.

One of the highlights was seeing this lone Snow Goose standing in one of the plowed fields.  They are fairly common but I can't remember seeing them before.  I have warned everyone up here that winter is coming!!


Even those these purple flowers are one of those invasive species, they sure looked pretty yesterday with the water in the background.



I always look forward to seeing all the Marsh Mallows which were a little over the hill this visit but did find some nice ones.