Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Thanks Quilts, Inc.!!!

Thanks Quilts, Inc.!!!
I must have done something good to have all this wonderful publicity!! Quilts, Inc. has put an image of my quilt, Red Legged Bird with a Tale to Tell on page 5 of the Class Catalog for the Houston quilt show this year!! If you are planning to go, don't forget the earlier dates, October 15-18.
AND, they are also using an image of A Few of My Favorite Things on their web media page (see here) to advertise for "Edges", an invitational exhibit put together by Jamie Fingal and Leslie Jenison, for the IQA Long Beach Show. This show is coming right up, July 24-26.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

How to Build a Picture with Batik

How to Build a Picture with Batik
The IQA quilt show in Long Beach California coming soon, and I have been meaning to share with you the process I used to make my quilt, A Few of My Favorite Things. It will be debuting in a special exhibit called "Edges".
First, I will explain that batik is simply putting melted wax on fabric. The wax 'protects' the color of the fabric from successive dyes. With that in mind, I set out to 'paint' this picture with batik. First I lightly drew the picture in pencil. In the first pass, I divided the canvas into mostly light blue for the sky, and pink for the rock. Notice that right in the beginning, I have waxed the sections that will eventually be white in the end, namely, the rope, and the tape on my hands.
 Now that I have the pink and blue sections marked out, I will start adding wax marks to sections that I want to eventually stay light pink and light orange. You can see the wax marks in the photo because of the angle of the light, the wax looks shiny.
Next, I will overdye with darker pinks and oranges, and then repeat the process. Each time I add a new dye color, I will wax part of it to preserve the new color, and then dye again. While working on the section that will become my body, I also use the wax to set off areas, like dams, and dye paint inside the section.
On the next photo you can see many layers of color built up and the last layer of dye the browns and blacks. They only go on a few sections of the quilt, so those areas have been protected with a line of wax drawn precisely around them. After the darker dyes are added, they make the bright colors from underneath really pop with the contrast.
On this close up, you can see the many different colors of hatch marks to make the surface of the rock look like granite crystals. Though probably not noticeable, I also used a layer of bleach discharge to make some marks as well. The colors are further enhanced by using different quilting threads.
 For the final image, the words have been quilted on the sky, but they don't show up very well. I printed the words on freezer paper and ironed the paper strips on the quilt. Then I quilted, right through the paper, and tore the paper off. It made beautiful little letters, but even with white thread on the blue background, hard to see. That's is why in the last step, I added the white ink. I simply colored inside the already quilted lines.
Thought you might like to see the back of the quilt to see the quilting lines.

Monday, June 22, 2009


21.5" x 23"
Leftovers from my entry to IQA, I took these scraps and fused them into a whole. The colors are so rich and vibrant, I just love it! This piece evokes for me a dog looking for a home. I have been thinking a lot about how pets enter our lives, sometimes how they choose us instead of the other way around. At least, that's how it seems we have our kittens.
I picked the dog though (or so I thought!). She has been with me for 14 years, and is on her last legs. Literally. She has Cushings disease and is losing muscle mass, along with her other health problems. She is a BIG Weimeramer and can barely struggle to her feet. I will miss her when she goes.
Also, while I was working on this quilt, my mother's cat went missing. I think it is exceeding rare to find a missing cat. We have coyotes here, and I assume they eat the missing cats. But, back to our story, her cat went missing. On day 3, she was found. Like baby Jessica that fell down a well, so too is the case of this cat. She was stuck in a drainage pipe next door and couldn't get out. And it is really hot in Texas. The end of the pipe had been blocked with a huge brick, and the cat could not turn around to get out. My mother was able to move the brick and then coax her close enough that she could stick her arm inside the pipe and pull the cat out. The cat was hungry, stinky, and happy to be home! Made us all cry with joy!
Pets and homes, a common thread that makes the fabric of our lives colorful. Enjoy!

PS. I made all the fabrics for this quilt. The 'Windows' fabrics are batiked, bleach discharged and overdyed (except for the one white window, no bleach on that one!). Lots of embroidery floss. Update: the binding is finished now. I went around the edge 3 times with an overcast with embroidery floss. It looks wonderful! Despite the extra time it takes, I loved every minute of it because it is so rewarding!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Snake in the Grass

Snake in the Grass
 Economic Blues--I've been feeling a bit stifled by the economy and listless, unable to work much. So this fun, quick project really appealed to me. I had promised to make a snake for my daughter, which is another long story. And so, have finally gotten around to it. This adorable little creature (out for her morning walk), is made from leftover scraps of hand dyes and batiks and one black sock....oh yeah, and a few buttons. Quick and easy, made in less than a day. Enjoy!