Monday, September 26, 2011

No Vacancy

No Vacancy
9" x 12"
This one is made like High Rise.  I originally made High Rise to accommodate these little worry dolls. It was the intention of having the cut out holes forming the little pockets inside. However, when I finished it, I liked it just the way it was.  So, I made this little mini-quilt to try out the idea of putting the people inside.  I LOVE it!!  Too cute!

Embellished with satin stitch, hand embroidery, and made from my original batiks, don't you love the crackle lines on this detail shot?

Friday, September 23, 2011


9" x 12"
This next little quilt is all about happy color!  Playing with my new batik stash, I arranged these blocks on batting and backing and then machine quilted them.
Next step...cut out the circles and whipstitch with embroidery floss.  Then decorate some more with satin stitch, and cut the blocks out.

Add to this quilted underlayer....
And you get this wonderful, fun, cheerful little quilt!
(I also faced the edges and turned them under, and added a hanging tube on the back.)

Sunday, September 18, 2011


29" x 45"
Yeah, I have finally finished this little art quilt that I started the summer of 2010! It has been patiently waiting it's turn to be completed, and 4 more are waiting in line.  I sincerely hope that you will like it too! This quilt is inspired by recent events and some not so recent events.  It is simply amazing to me what can be accomplished when we work together.

This quilt was made with what I call artist created fabrics. The blocks are made from dyed fabric which is batiked, then bleach discharged, and eventually overdyed. I like using lots of combinations of colors with a mostly bright palette. The blocks were fused in place and then machine quilted. I used a lot of hand embroidery in both the flowers and the stitching around the apartment blocks. The thread is all six strands of embroidery floss and requires a rather large needle to pull through the entire quilt sandwich, a bit physically taxing, but totally worth the effect.   Enjoy!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Permutations and Combinations

Permutations and Combinations
I have been homeschooling my son these past 2 years.  We are learning algebra together and got to Chapter 11:  permutations and combinations.  These have to do with the total number of possible combinations of lots of options.  Imagine how appealing this is and overwhelming!  Combinations allow for any set of choices from each set of options.  In permutations, the order of making choices is significant.  For example, if you have 4 choices of paint for a room.  One is the background color, and the other 3 will be used to stencil on top of the background color.  Not all options are available because you can't choose to stencil the same color as the background color (it won't show up!).  This makes it a permutation and is calculated differently.

Stacks of overdyed batik shapes
Well, I picked 13 colors, and dyed them in 3 different values, light, medium, and dark.  Then  I picked 3 different designs to either stamp out or draw with batik, in each color.  Up to now, there are 13 colors times 3 color values times 3 designs.  You can see how the numbers are starting to build up. My goal?  To overdye each possible combination in ALL the other possible color choices.  This step is a permutation, (which I could probably calculate now).  Well, except that my artistic side kicks in and I reject some of the possibilities for rather idiosyncratic reasons.  Regardless,  I thought the end result would be both interesting, but also very fun to play with making a number of new quilts. And as overwhelming as the entire project seems, each step was rather independent and I was able work in rather small increments of time.
A fat quarter of batiked fabric, the dark flowers are the wax.

The process involves bleach discharging all the fabric.  None of the discharged fabric goes all the way back to white, each is all discharged to very slight and pale as possible color.  Overdyeing is a transparent process.  It makes a difference what the underlying color looks like.  I took all the samples, cut each individual apart with a rotary cutter.  Then I reshuffled the samples into stacks of colors that I planned the overdye.
Stacks of fat quarters waiting to be cut into individual pieces
Stacks of all the shapes, in all the colorways, waited to be resorted for overdyeing.
Stacks of shapes in their new color piles awaiting the dyebath.
The fun part is the actual overdyeing.  Lots of unexpected and new colors pop up.  Last step is the boiling out of the wax.  It is hot and exhausting, but rewarding.  Dyeing is not always about getting what you thought you wanted.  I have been dyeing for years and I still get unexpected results.  This time, many of my colors did not go as dark or bold as I thought I was making.  And it's too late once you boil out the wax to overdye again.  There are so many variables that sometimes you just have to let go and accept what the dye does.  I didn't get what I was expecting, but what I got is simply beautiful and it all goes so well together.  I can see that I will be having lots of fun playing with all these samples!

One stack of shapes after it's red dyebath and after having the wax boiled out.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Working Big

Working Big
Here is a glimpse of a new project I have been working on.  The cat gives a sense of scale doesn't it?
It is king sized, bright and bold, fun and energetic, fresh and just lovely!!  Brings a smile to my face every time I see it.  Can't wait to start quilting it, so many ideas!  However, it is 4th in line, other projects are awaiting my attention. 
Isn't it funny how cats know instinctively what you would prefer that they Not jump on?
This precious Pumpkin did no harm, so he got a free get out of jail card and a kiss on his noggin.
Gift for Pumpkin