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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tangent Tuesday spillover

It was late when I finished sewing last night so thought I would post today instead. My fabric cutting with the cricut has been postponed until I can find a replacement blade. I decided that may be part of my problem so I went shopping. But, every store I went to was out of those blades. Hopefully next tuesday I can get back to that.

For those of you trying the bleach, from my last post, remember to use the bleach in a well ventilated area and/or wear a mask for your protection. Also we were using a product called anti-chlor to stop the bleach process. You can probably find some online somewhere. A local shop used to carry it here, but they closed.

On to Tuesday's Tangent. Have you tried making fabric paper yet? Everywhere I've gone on the internet lately someone is making fabric paper. I've been watching layer by layer, a DVD workshop with Beryl Taylor. I am such a fan of her work, so when I saw this workshop filmed on the set of Quilting Arts TV, I had to buy it. It is wonderful! She covers a lot of material in this hour long DVD. No I'm not getting paid for this. Just a fan. I found this on youtube, it shows an excerpt from the DVD.

I started by forcing my family to eat a bag of Reese's peanut butter cup candy. It was a sacrifice, but anything for art, right? The difficult part was getting them to unwrap carefully so the wrappers remained in tact. They did pretty good. I was impressed. The candy wrappers are what I wanted to use for my fabric paper.

Here is a beginning shot

This next shot shows some of my stitching

This morning I added some modeling paste, I'm not sure what I have is exactly the same as what she used, but I'm hopeful it will work.

Still have many layers to add, but I am having a lot of fun with this. The photo at the top is a paper napkin that I have just started to work on. Have a creative day.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Bleach, it's a wonderful thing!

Sunday was a play date for me with the Rosie Quilter's, my small quilt group. This week we played with discharging fabrics with bleach. You know you're having fun when you get so involved you forget to take photos! I didn't get any pictures of what the other women accomplished but I can show you what I made. It's so refreshing to be around women who understand the need to play and experiment with different mediums. They are so creative and inspiring, it is always motivational to get together to do something 'hands on' with them.

Bleach is a technique that gives you two choices of fabric when you are finished. The front and the back are always different, one more subtle than the other. This first one I used Sunlight dishwasher detergent and a stamp. The color is a little off in the photo but it is a navy blue fabric and turns almost a pale pink when it is bleached.

The next is a batik and I used a grid spritzed with a bleach water mixture. Front view

Back view

The next is a brown fabric. First I stamped the swirls with the dishwasher detergent, than I put a mesh bag on top and spritzed with bleach. Front view

Back view

Judy in our group is great at finding things to re-purpose. The next fabric was made using the leftover cardboard from a new game. The cards for the game came attached to the cardboard and had to be punched out. She was clever enough to hold on to the cardboard. Doesn't it make a great grid.
Front view

Back view

She also had some fun stamps Like this martini glass and high heel. Aren't they cute!

Thanks to everyone who gave me suggestions for things to use with fabric and my cricut. I will try that again this Tuesday using many of those techniques. Have a creative day everyone.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Postcards and Cricut

I've been working on my next set of postcards and learning how to use my Cricut machine. I purchased a DVD from Above Rubies Studios called Cricut A to Z. Megan Gravener, the author, covers an amazing amount of information in the video which helped me learn how to use the Cricut much faster than I would have managed on my own. If you are a newbie like me I would highly recommend purchasing this DVD. There may be others like it out there but this is the only one I found and it does cover everything from A to Z.
I started with my 4 x 6 rectangles of brown fabric. I began my postcards by discharging a lattice type of design on my fabric. I used a bleach pen to create the design.
I thought it looked a little oriental when I finished so I used the Cricut Pagoda shapes cartridge to cut some oriental designs. I tried cutting them out of fabric but only managed to shred some pieces of cloth. I'll have to experiment more with that. I did cut some out of some other heavier white fiber. I was thinking I would paint them before applying them to the cloth background but I kind of like the starkness of the white against the lattice.
I managed to cut quite a few different things out of cardstock with the Cricut and even a piece of metal. I'm excited about learning to use this machine because I do have a scrapbook I wanted to put together for my son before he has his graduation party. So, I'd better get busy, he only has one term left.

Have a Creative Day

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tangent Tuesday

I've been rethinking why I blog. This blog began as a tool to keep me motivated. In order to post I needed to create. My purpose is still the same but now I want to create a weekly challenge to try something new, or at least new for me. So I am calling this Tangent Tuesday. Each Tuesday I will challenge myself to go off in a new direction. The series of quilts I am trying to create right now take a little more of my time, so this will give me a chance to step back and take a fresh look at something else. Give me a chance to recharge my batteries. So join me on Tuesday's to create your own challenge or try the same one I am using. Let me know what ideas you come up with for your tangent's. I've started a list for future Tuesday's and it is already getting long. Maybe I will need to add a fancy Friday or a sensational Saturday somewhere down the road.

My daughter and I pooled our resources some time ago and purchased a cricut machine on ebay. She has used it quite a few times, but I'm embarrassed to admit I haven't used it once. So, this weeks challenge will be cutting some small details using fabric with the cricut. I plan to use them on my 'anything goes' postcards for Postmark'd Art.

I'll post photos once I get this thing figured out. Might have to call my daughter... (The photo at the top of the page is a little part of one of the quilts I have entered in Minnesota Quilt Show in June)
Have a creative day.

Monday, March 15, 2010


It seems as though I haven't posted for a year. My computer is finally back. After replacing the hard drive three times they finally realized that wasn't the problem at all. I didn't need one hard drive let alone three. My computer didn't like the new versions of some of the programs I have. My husband bought updated versions of ilife etc for Christmas. After many conversations with Apple we have not been able to resolve this problem but my computer was returned with the older versions and it now runs. If anyone else has had these problems let me know how you resolved the issues. They worked fine for my daughter's laptop but not for my desktop. I am now about 3,000 emails behind, mostly adds from quilt related businesses. Time to take myself off a few lists I think. So, I have some computer clean-up to do.

I have two quilts in the jury process right now. They are both for Minnesota Quilter's Show in June as part of the SAQA Minnesota exhibit. Now I need to finish a quilt for Minnesota Contemporary Quilter's for their exhibit and possibly one for Minnesota Quilter's as well. People have been giving me tips on how to survive rejection of a juried quilt. I have to tell you, I don't really have trouble with being rejected. It means I tried! To me that is a big deal. I know I have read before how many times Edison failed before actually inventing the lightbulb, I can't remember offhand but it was to me a number far higher than I would ever go. I don't even consider a rejected art quilt a failure, it is still an art quilt. Art is subjective, we don't all like the same designs. So, I just need to look around and find another venue. Most famous quilt artist's have more rejection letters than acceptance letters, at least from the stories they tell. So, I have a long way to go before I am famous and can tell stories about all of my rejections.

I'm feeling somewhat like a hibernating bear today. It was very cold Saturday night when I went to bed. I got up for a couple of hours Sunday evening, but really slept until about noon today (Monday). It's a beautiful spring day. The snow is almost completely gone, and I am feeling much better. Very surreal!

Last Sunday I went to a little retreat for the afternoon with friends. I took my embellisher with me and worked on postcards. I needed to make some cards that look like fire. My inspiration photo is at the top of the page. For this challenge you make a piece that is 12" x 12" and cut it apart for 6 postcards. I used a piece of black felt for the background and embellished with bits of ribbon, sari silk, angelina film, wool fibers etc. Anything that looked like it would work with the colors from my inspiration photo. (I took this photo last summer when we had a bonfire in the back yard.)
Here it is cut into the six postcards. I added a little stitching at this point. I like the back too, that's the fun part with an embellisher you really get two versions. One is usually more subtle than the other. So here is the back of one with the stitching.

And here is the front with stitching.
I have them finished, just need to address them and get them in the mail. They aren't due until the end of May, so this is really good for me to be so far ahead. Just one more group to finish up for Postmark'd Art, it's an anything goes exchange with 9 more people. I also have a spring landscape exchange for the Valerie Hearder yahoo group. That one is only with three other people. I did start to make those on my embellisher too but decided I didn't like those. That group is next as they are due at the end of this month.
Lot's more to post about since I have been absent so much lately. But this post is too long already so I will leave you for now. Have a Creative Day everyone.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

100th post

I can't believe this is my hundredth post on this blog. Wish it could be something special. I have had three hard drives in my Mac this past month and it's in the shop again!! Typing this once more on my dinosaur of a PC. Hopefully when I get it back this next time it will still run when we bring it home. Otherwise, I will have to invest in some updates for this old thing so I can post photos of what I am working on.

Sunday I will going to a retreat with friends just for the day. Hopefully my computer will be back again by Monday or Tuesday and actually work for me so I can share what I've been up to.

Today is my husband's birthday and thanks to a comment left by someone who read my blog we are fulfilling some nostalgic wishes for him. I'll let you know more after he has opened his gifts.

I didn't realize in all the off again, on again computer woes I forgot to post about my rust dye quilt. I didn't get chosen for the display but I have been busy looking for somewhere else to submit that quilt. If you are a fan of Lois Jarvis, she has been showing the winning quilts on her blog. They are really amazing.
Have a creative day