Sunday, January 27, 2013

Inspiration by accident

I usually work in bright colors, but the piece I'm finishing right now is a little different, soft and monochrome, all because of some leftover paint.

Underwater piece in progress
A couple of weeks ago I was painting some fabric, using Setacolor and Dye-na-flo paints, and decided to try a version of snow dyeing, using the Dye-na-flo. Since we don't get snow here, I used a blender to chop ice for the "snow." I'd prepared a bucket with a couple of spacers and a can lid to leave room for the melting ice, then put in my fabric and the snow, then sprinkled with paint.

The melting colors looked beautiful, but when dry, the fabric turned out to be very light colored. Pretty, but not what I've seen from snow-dyeing with regular dye. It was an experiment, so no great concern.

I would probably have set the fabric aside with my other painted fabrics, if it hadn't been for the leftover paint/water mixture. It was a very pretty teal color and I hated to just dump it down the sink, so I grabbed some scraps of cotton quilt batting, and some cotton yarn and crochet thread, and dropped them in to soak for a while.
"snow" with paint

after the snow melted
The result was a very light green or blue green, depending on the material, and made me think of underwater scenes. They combined really well with the light blue fabric from the original snow painting experiment, for a couple of dreamy underwater scenes. They are not quite finished, so it's time for me to get off the computer and back into the studio to finish up. We have an art show next weekend and I have a couple of pieces to finish and frame.

And for my friends looking for more art quilt inspiration, check out this blog.

More later!

finished piece of fabric

leftover paint/water with cotton batting

dyed batting and yarn

Sunday, January 13, 2013

New Year, new art

My New Year's resolution is to take advantage of the time I have available for my art, and do more art. For the past year, work has dominated my time, and it looks like the upcoming year will be similar. But, I have some time, I just have to plan and use it for my art.

I've gotten started on that effort over the past few days by spending some time rearranging and organizing my sewing and art supplies. It's not beautiful, but now I have a better idea of where to find things.

So, today I decided to do something I haven't done in ages, and paint some fabric. Some day I'll have a space for real fabric dyeing, but for now, I'm happy with fabric painting using Setacolor and Dye-na-flo. So, I cleared off the kitchen table, set up a work area with a trash bag over a big piece of cardboard, and cut some fabric into fat quarters. I could only paint one at a time, but as each was fairly dry, I hung it up and moved on to another piece.

I finished up with five fat quarters and a few smaller pieces. Now I get the fun of coming up with a plan to use them.

 More later!


Sunday, January 6, 2013

A Treadle On quilt gallery

A few days ago, on the Treadle On list, we were talking about how long we've been members of the group, and I mentioned that it was thanks to Treadle On that I began quilting. I found my first vintage sewing machine, a Singer 15-91, in 2000, and found the group in researching. With their help, I found my first treadle, and began my sewing machine collection. In early 2001, I participated in the first of many quilt block exchanges, and in 2002, I began a Treadle On Block of the Month.

Precise Piecing Block Exchange. The blocks are
3.5 inches
By 2004, I had a bunch of blocks from the exchanges, but hadn't quilted anything, so decided it was time. I had begun the Block of the Month using Christmas fabrics, and the holidays were on their way, so I set a goal of finishing the Block of the Month in time for Christmas. I finished the last few blocks, put the top together and quilted it on my Singer 66 Redeye. 

From there I moved on to other block exchange quilts, making quilts that were not from exchanges, and art quilts. And I moved from quilting on the 66 to a Davis Vertical Feed, then to free motion on a Singer 15-30.

Since I don't have a photo site any more, I thought I'd share the completed Treadle On quilts, and my two Treadle On mascots, which are called dremls. We won't talk about the sets of exchange blocks that are still waiting to be assembled and quilted.

Treadle On Block of the Month from 2002.
Completed in 2004, my first completed quilt.
My dremls, they travel with me to every TOGA

Red and White Block Exchange, from 2001. My first
block exchange, though not completed until much
Treadle On Triple Star. Quilt completed in 2010.
Queen-size, free-motion quilted on my Singer 15-30.
Detail from the Triple Star

Winter Holiday Block Exchange.

Boat Shuttle Block Exchange quilt.
All the block in this quilt were made with a very
early style of machine

Captain's Courtyard,  made with
blocks from the 10th anniversary
Treadle On block exchange

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Black and Batik exchange quilt
Davis Exchange, all block made on machines made by Davis sewing machine company.