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Monday, February 28, 2011

Snow Lace

Another snow left the trees lacey.
Intense cold has returned, with a colorless pale sky on the morning walk.
In the studio, color abounds.
'Water Woozle' 12"x12", Procion on cotton, machine and hand quilting
 'Water Woozle' detail 1
'Water Woozle' detail 2


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Making Scrap Cloth for Wearable Art

I always have way more scraps than common sense!  This fabric is fun to make and a terrific way to make use of excess scraps.  Here's how, adapted from a technique taught by Rachel Clark.
Collect lots and lots of random strips (1” to 2” wide x 6” to 18” long).
Sew the strips end to end until you have several meters or more of sewn strips. You don't have to worry about matching widths.  Go right ahead and sew randomly.
Chain piecing is the way to go.
When you have sewn together many many yards of strips, press the seams in one direction. Fold the long sewn strip in half so that the right sides are together and stitch all along one long side.   
 You don't have to be concerned that the raw edges meet exactly.  Sew merrily away.
Cut the fold at the end off and open, pressing the long seam in one direction. 
Repeat folding, stitching and pressing the long side until you have the width you need for your project.
I am using this scrap fabric for the front and back panels of a jacket for the wearable art extravaganza next month in our town.
Here is the back panel, ready to be cut out.  The sleeves and sides are of solid black cotton.  I am debating discharging the black with bleach. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

President's Day

There was a holiday at the Mighty Mighty Day Job as the country honored two past presidents.  I went to the studio where I finished the woven piece. 
I finished the sides and top with a conventional quilt binding and left the bottom as fringe.  The dimensions are 42"x21".
  Here is a detail. Each of non-orange units is machine quilted.  I was thinking about Peggy Shumaker's poem 'Mother Tongue'.  She writes:
'In a language recently
disappeared, god is talking...
 In a language lost to us
god is singing'.
I am praying for the people of the countries struggling for justice under presidents they can no longer bear to honor.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Weaving

Clear weather here always means very cold temperatures.  Sunlight flooded my studio, but it was too cold to dye fabric today, so I started a new project inspired by Els over at Fiberrainbow
Weaving strips of the fabric I stamped on last time I was in the studio with some raw silk dyed last year was meditative.   I experimented stamping with  Dharma pigment dyes, and liked the results.
Golden acrylic paints are my other go-to for stamping.  I have one precious bottle of Lumiere gold acrylic and love it for textile painting.  I plan to get additional colors of this magic stuff when I am in Juneau in a couple of weeks.  I apply the paints to hand cut rubber stamps with foam brushes.
Weaving was complete mid-afternoon, final size about 20" x 41".  I hand basted all around the edges, batted it with two layers of flannel and backed it with cotton before starting to machine quilt.  Tomorrow I'll finish the stitching, I think.
And the moon will be full.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Writer Laureate and Studio Update

The week was full and went by quickly.  Our town was blessed by a visit from Alaska’s writer Laureate Peggy Shumaker, who did a reading of her work Thursday evening and taught a writing workshop I was lucky enough to attend today.  I enjoyed exercising my creativity in a different way, writing a couple of poems and the starts of some potentially longer pieces in a memoir vein.

At the studio, I was all over the place.  Our annual wearable art show is coming up the end of March.  I had an idea to create a pair of giant wings from acrylic emulsion and pattern tissue.   


Although beautiful to look at they don’t have enough stiffness to stand up on their own, so I abandoned the project.  On Friday I began surface design experiments toward creating more practical wearable’s for the exhibit.  Sort of slow going and I took no pictures...
Today I finished a little piece started some weeks ago from my hand dyed fabrics which I had drawn on with Prismacolors and pieced together prior to machine quilting and adding further, unifying color with oil stick. 
Meanwhile, Daily Drawing continues until morale improves:
‘Whatever you do, because you are an artist, will bring you to the next thing of your own’. –Hubertus Bigend in Zero History by William Gibson

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Gray Area

Yesterday we were still in the rainy zone.
Overnight, temperatures dropped just enough to give a return to snow - I am glad. 
Early this afternoon, a beach walk while the bread dough was rising.  The geese were not about to take wing while it was socked down to the water.  So still... 
 
Even Flossy took a barking break to listen to the little waves cast up by a passing boat.
The old driveway reminds me of Robert Frost’s poem
 Even my sketchbook page is in this gray area.

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