Thursday, June 28, 2012

Jacket Progress at Marcia's

Well, there are still pins holding it together but the jacket is almost done.  Just have to do the hem finish, hand sew on the band and then do some straight stitching on the band to flatten it a bit more.  I ended  up  using one of my hand dyed sateens (shiny like the silk of the rest of the jacket) and put a small band of purple dupioni next to it.  It actually looks okay on so I did cut out another jacket today from the same pattern.  This time it was of a very stretchy highly embellished knit that I bought some time ago to make some kind of evening  jacket from.  It has bling and is black, red and gold and so will have a black silk band on it.  I couldn't use my trusty Featherwieight for sewing it as I really needed a stretch stitch -- not a FW specialty I am afraid!!

This is one of the two jackets that Priscilla put together today. She had it on and off so fast, neither Marcia nor I could snap a picture. The fabric was just beautiful and Priscilla carefully matched up all the squares. Just don't ask Priscilla how many jackets she has.....

Marcia has the only design walls big enough to photograph this large quilt !!  It is done except for a couple of strips of white I will run down the sides.  It will be big enough for the king sized bed at the beach and will have all those light airy subtle beach colors -- the bedroom is a pale blue with a natural colored carpet.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Priscilla's Cut Up the Sari Class

I have wanted to try this class of Priscilla's for some time and today she offered it out at Marcia's studio so off I went.  Priscilla has sold a number of us sari's (5 1/2 yds of fabric) or these long scarf-like pieces and this class was developed as a way to utilize these pieces in jackets.  You had your choice of utilizing these very light weight sari silk (which you fused to another fabric) or these  "quilted" pieces (pictured to the left) which are about 36 inches wide which are two pieces of silk sewn together every 1/8 inches which this running stitch.  I am using the lighter blue as the outside and the darker blue with be on the inside.  Priscilla had some strips that I cut up and inserted in both the back and the front to make them a little more interesting.  She nicely also provided me with some lovely turquoise silk as well.  I haven 't decided yet what I am going to do for bands yet around the front.

Here Jenna is cutting a piece of paper off of Priscilla's HUGE roll of pattern -making paper.  It was a wonderful weight.  Priscilla guided us through the measuring and the making of the three pattern pieces for the jacket which is based on a Japanese kimono jacket.  It has dropped sleeves and a slight V in front.
 Here Priscilla is guiding Liz through the refinements that we make to the pattern after cutting out our rough rectangles.
Priscilla always brings lots of fabrics and trims that we can buy or which she just lets us use to finish off the jackets.  I am trading her hand dyed fabric for some of her fabric.

I couldn't resist taking a picture of this trim that Priscilla developed for a jacket that she never made.  The bottom layer is a krinkled fabric ironed onto a medium weight interfacing (she teaches a class on this and other embellishment techniques -- I have taken it three times already as she always has something new and I like to harass her!!).  She then does lots of embellishing with threads and those fancy yarns we all have saved up (and now I remember why!).  Click on the picture to see it better -- it was awesome.

Here is the back of my jacket with the inserted panel.  These jackets always look much better when done and all pressed and trimmed and banded!   Priscilla wants me to use more of the turquoise for the bands but I brought the jacket home to test some other fabrics I have here.

This is the back of Jenna's jacket.  She also used the same kind of fabric that I did with the lines of stitching although the stripes are not as pronounced in her fabric.

I am getting better with the little camera with the 35x optical zoom and got this hairy (I think) woodpecker at the feeder. 

I did see two does and three fawns on the way to Marcia's today which was very unusual!

Hoping my poor sister is okay in Colorado Springs.  So far the closest fire is still five miles away but she has posted some horrendous pictures.  They are having these horrible high temps (they don't have ac so have to keep their windows open) and all that smoke.  I would have had to leave because of my asthma by now.

I now have two new books for identifying Butterflies and Dragonflies -- both from the Stokes and already I have identified a dragonfly and butterfly that had eluded me!!  Their books are so excellent for helping in identification.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Doing Inventory the Easy Way!

 Well, I took my pen and tablet down to the basement to do the inventory of my hand dyed fabrics (just the larger pieces of a yard or more).  I wanted to do this so that I could do some fill in of the colors I don't have.  I also had to see what I had in the way of dyes left as I am doing that impossible task of trying to  use up all the dyes and the fabric for dyeing simultaneously -- never happen!  I suspected I didn't have enough lights and bright colors and think I was pretty accurate there.  Above there are a few brights.  Most of what I have is made up of three colors though and there is a lot that changes color depending upon the light source!!  

Here there are lots of browns and golds.
 Took me forever to find this box that contains all my greens and also some other nice brights!
And these were all the browns and golds that I made for the lions.  I did use up a fair share of the beiges doing that lion quilt.

I also have many boxes of fat quarters -- many many boxes as a matter of fact as I must have been doing a lot of those at one point.  I may just cut those apart and make some cool scrap quilts with all the colors!!  I also have a sizeable collection of shibori, salt dyed, painted and tie dyed fabrics although I am a little low on some of the shibori patterns that I like the best.  

From my calculations, I have about 300 of  the dyed yard  pieces. When I am in full swing, I can do 50 yards a day or more.  The longest part is measuring, cutting and prewashing the fabrics.  Just have to order a couple of colors and I will be good to go while Warren is gone to Charlotte.  

Definitely think some brown/blacks,  lime greens, bright blues, sky blues, bright greens, dull blues etc are in order!!  Also will have to do some greys as I used an awful lot of what I had on the Colin portrait as well as in the Cynthia Corbin class.

Much easier to do inventory this way than writing things down!

Next will be the marbled fabrics -- I have an awful lot of these and have yet to use but a few in jackets as I can't seem to decide what kind of quilt to make with them.  

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I LOVE New York (City, That Is)!!

I just returned from a very short trip to one of my very favorite cities! My friend Debi had landed an audition for Who Wants to be a Millionaire and had to go to New York for testing and an interview on Tuesday.  As her husband hates the city, she invited me to come down with her and I jumped at the chance as I haven't been down there in a couple of years.  

We found a great hotel to stay in by the George Washington Bridge but on the the NJ side -- the Best Western in Ft. Lee.  I mention this as it was cheap and excellent with a large but mostly Continental breakfast in the morning.  Debi had rented a car so we used that to get in and out of the city  which was easy.

We arrived in mid- afternoon on Monday and headed immediately into the city to see where the interview was the following day and to find parking nearby so we wouldn't have to guess on Tuesday.  It was easy (but expensive).  We parked the car and got subway tickets to head to Time Square (pictured) to find the Majestic Theatre where we were going to see Phantom of the Opera later.  I had seen it in London but Debi hadn't seen the play before.
You can see the absolutely gorgeous weather we had as we head across the George Washington Bridge to the City.  It was in the low 70s and breezy.

Debi decided she couldn't live with her phone any longer and went to store to buy a new one!  I headed further uptown to the heart of Times Square.  They have closed off part of the road so there is lots of space to walk from about 41st street up to 46th where the TKTS booth is (half price tickets for the shows).  I checked this all out and there was a huge screen on one of the building which was projecting the crowd that was standing there.  If you look just next to the bottle, there is a woman with a very flowered shirt (must be a tourist) taking a picture of the screen -- that's me!!  What a hoot except for the bottle kept moving and covering me up!

After a lovely stop for some pizza for dinner, we headed to the theater.  Here we are inside in our box seats waiting for the show to begin.  Can't imagine why I am not smiling as I was having a very good time.

Before the performance began, there was a lot of picture taking so I took the opportunity to take a broad picture of the audience and stage.  I was amazed that by the time the performance began, there was hardly an empty seat anywhere even on a Monday night.  The performance, the staging and the costuming were superb!!!  I was surprised how much better it was than the performance I saw in London!!  The singing was wonderful with the lead Phantom  being mesmerizing in both his singing and his acting!!  Debi and I really enjoyed it.  Back to the subway and our car parked at Lincoln Center and across the bridge to Jersey (all very easy).

We didn't have a whole day to do much on Tuesday as Debi had to be at the ABC Studios at 5:30 and needed to get ready.  We had another beautiful day with temps in the 70s and decided to visit the Bronx Zoo.  I hadn't been there in almost 50 years and Debi had never been there.  Google and GPS said it was about 6 miles from our hotel.  It would have taken less time if we hadn't gotten lost a bit in the Bronx but our GPS got us back on track in no time.  We decided to take the monorail first to get a feel for the zoo.  Their shuttle system is a little confusing but they were very obliging in giving us directions and recommending taking the monorail early in the day before the crowds.  This is a view of the Bronx River which you pass over on the tram.

After the monorail which passes through their Asia exhibits, we headed to Tiger Mountain.  I took these just for Priscilla of course.  There were two tigers in the exhibit (there had been at least one additional tiger over in the Asia exhibit).  Both the tigers woke up while we were watching and one did all sorts of cute kitty rolling on his back things!  I think this first tiger thought I would make a tasty lunch.

The tropical rain forest exhibit was spectacular.  This is a Painted Stork and there were several of these.  The exhibits themselves are works of art as they are so naturalized, even inside.  I would not have recognized it as the same zoo I saw in the 60s.  There was vegetation giving the animals lots of space everywhere and the indoor exhibits just had all these wonderful backgrounds.  I love the directions that zoos have gone in since the 60s.  There were animals in the Asia exhibit that are extinct in the wild.

There were peacocks galore int he Asia exhibit but this one was in with the giraffes and the ostriches.  Many of the peacocks were around strutting their brilliant tails (looking for a lady I suspect).

There were a lot of giraffes of all different sizes in the exhibit.

They have a camel ride but I just watched as I love the facial expressions on these large docile animals!!  Unfortunately, we had to leave after only a few hours and head back to New Jersey.  I definitely want to go again!!

The polar bear (being the New Yorker that he is) was entertaining us the whole time we watched!!  This has to be the liveliest polar bear I have ever seen!!  There was a large ball in the pool that he kept diving after and then he discovered this rope with these three balls.  Well like a toddler, he was obsessed with having these three balls and the large brown ball and kept diving and trying to group them all together.  I guess he thinks he has to earn his keep in this high priced real estate!!

Last, but certainly not least, Debi and I were taken out to dinner by my nephew John (John's website -- he's a well known numismatist ).  After Debi left us for her test and interview, John and I sat and talked for a couple of hours at the tables on the road divide at Lincoln Center.  I snapped this picture for my sister and right after John had been anointed by one of the local bird life. John is soon moving down the Charlotte area and I look forward to seeing more of him when I am in North Carolina!!  

As Debi was called back for a second test and an interview, it was too late to go to another Broadway show and we had to get up early in the morning to get back anyway.  It was perfect timing as the temps were forecast to be in the mid-90s the day we left and are supposed to reach 99 today!!  So we are keeping our fingers crossed that she makes it into the contestant pool and is called so that we can make another NY trip!!

Friday, June 15, 2012

It's Not Finished But...

Well, accidentally this morning when I was sewing the blocks together, I placed one of the rows upside down (just pinned up on the wall) and solved my problem of how to make the quilt longer as I wanted it for a king sized bed.  It is wide enough (six of these rows).  The setting I was going to  use had three rows horizontally and they were offset with a half block alternating on the top or bottom.  It had never occurred to me to not offset the blocks!!  So now I will add the half blocks (you can see them at the bottom here) on the top as well and that will make it long enough for a king sized bed.  Now I don't have to play around with borders just for the heck of it although I may add a small border.  Of course now I had to make an additional 24 background hexagons, unsew the finishing triangles and resew.  Here I thought I was almost done...
I added this picture so you could really see how pale the colors are next to my rather bright stash!!

Here is the view across the room to more of my stash that actually looks halfway neat for a change!!

Last but not least, this is the fabric that I used to make this latest quilt.  It is a nice sateen and I had six yards of it so still have enough for more borders even after cutting out one heck of a lot of hexagons!!  I will back the quilt with a nice pale blue batik.  I think it will look great in the beach house master bedroom which is a pale blue, beige and white.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

GVQC June Meeting and Garage Sale and a New Toy!

Genesee Valley Quilt Club decided to do our annual picnic at our usual meeting place instead of in a park facility and as a result we had excellent attendance which was very good for me.  For weeks now, I have been accumulating a pile of fabric plus books that I needed to get rid of (even though it was definitely hard to part with some of it, believe me as it was fabric I did love but had no plan for).  I had a table just filled as well as a couple of boxes on the floor.  The  nice quilt club members made sure to buy enough that I could indulge in a treat for myself -- another camera!!

When I was in Florida and met Lilian and Don Stokes, Lilian was using a Canon point and shoot with a 35x optical zoom as her backup camera and was liking the pictures she was getting.  I have been investigating the camera over the past few weeks wondering whether I should indulge or not.  As I am heading to NYC for a couple of days next week, I thought a smaller camera would definitely be in order and since I did sell enough to cover the cost.....well you know the rest!

After all, a camera takes up about 1/1000 of the space that all those books and fabric took.
I donated all the remaining fabric that I didn't sell as well as the books before returning home so came back with a nice empty car!!  Very nice...

This is all finished and quilted and was from the first of the two workshops that Jan Krentz taught. I do love the pattern and loved the quilting as well -- click to see it closer!
I could only take pictures of smaller things today as I was still right in front of the stage where I was selling the stuff.  This is an all silk quilted pillow by our extremely prolific and talented Chris Wickert.  It is just stunning -- of course all hand appliqued and quilted and puffy applique at that!!   Pictures don't do it justice.

I really loved this scrappy quilt which was the second done by our own Janet R.  This will be part of our yearly Fall Migration retreat.  I have been collecting pictures of quilts that use black and white fabric with one additional color and I had been already planning  yellow as my additional color.  These may be the projects that go south with me this fall.  I like to challenge myself and carry a limited palette with me. I still have quite a collection of black and white despite giving away a large bag of black and white strips a couple of meetings ago.

I am beginning to feel the need to do some dyeing again now that I have the upstairs hallway pretty well sorted out and boxes removed.  My dyeing area is disaster as dear husband has been dumping anything he views as mine onto my table!  So, as I have let my dye selection dwindle a bit, I will first check what dyes I need (I only use primaries but several different ones) and then will look at what I have already in the dyed fabric boxes.  I suspect I need some lights and some primaries as I don't usually do plain colors. Maybe after I return from New  York!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

RAFA, Serendipity Update, Birds and Dragonfly!

This latest Serendipity quilt is almost completed and is a very mellow  merging of lots of neutral beiges, pale greens and pale blues.  Hopefully it will look nice in the blue bedroom at the beach.  It photographs darker than it is.

The two quilts are actually made from the same pattern.  Mary Louise will be teaching it at the local quilt shop.

This was a shirt that Julia had which was stained and she had asked someone to try and dye it for her.  She was more than pleased with the beautiful result.  Looks like someone did snow or ice dyeing to get this affect --  nice...

This was a quilt that was done in the Jan Krentz class that I didn't take.  I did buy the book that this quilt is in though on my Kindle!

Well, there were lots of goldfinches at Joe's feeder today.  You can see the males to the right and in the back and the female off to the left.
Here is one of the male House Finches that frequents the feeder as well.  There were a number of females but they are kind of boring in color!

This is a dragonfly that I haven't been able to identify but you would think it would be easy with these white patches on the wing tips!!  It was sitting on our beach umbrella set up in the back yard.
And last but not least, the first of our roses ready to burst open.  The roses up here in western NY have been fabulous this year -- our neighbor's yard is aglow with color!