Archive for March, 2016

…a notion to revive a tradition

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

Woodturners have been making fruit for over a hundred years, but we don’t see much of it in the US.  When we went to England, the turners made collections of fruit in different kinds of exotic wood scraps.  That way, the bowl was like  a memory palace for their work.

I’ve been experimenting with different color methods–fabric paint, fabric dye, acrylics, and milk paints.  Here’s a snapshot of my progress so far.  The pomegranate took a bit of carving, too.

Some familiar best-sellers, too

Saturday, March 19th, 2016

In addition to quilts, I always include some notions in our inventory of fine crafts.

This year, I had variegated fabrics for the cabbage pincushions.  They also have walnut shells inside (provided by my friend Toni Pollard) to keep the needles and pins extra sharp.

The seamrippers will have lots of new wood options, and a wide array of shapes to fit every size of hand, including XL.

New work for 2016 selling season

Saturday, March 19th, 2016

These Clock Blocks will be our feature item for the Kay & Dennis Studio Tour in September.  They start as circular designs made on the wood lathe and airbrushed with color. The big piece is then cut into squares.   We add zentangles®, bronze paint, and the clock insert.

The blocks are a terrific desk accessory that can be rearranged, or decorated further with upholstery nails, stickers, or drawings on the ‘plain’ sides.

New silk-painting process

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

Many of my silk quilts started with a drawing in a resist, so that the shapes within the painting could be flooded with silk paints.  This winter, I was looking for a more abstract way to paint silks.   The Gelli plate and some water-soluble crayons provided a faster way to generate colorful silks with the potential for Zentangle® designs and other patterns.  Once the fabrics were ‘built,’ I cut them up to make a very traditional quilt block.

I seem to like the contrast between the busy hand-painted or marbled fabrics and more typical quilting cotton prints. 

More Colors like Rio Mio

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

I’ve been working with marbled acrylic paints for almost a year.   It is quite a challenge to mix the ‘jello’ thick enough to hold vivid acrylic colors.  Traditionally, the paints are thinned out so they float better, which gives the more pastel colors more typically seen in traditional marbled patterns.

I’m learning to draw scrolls, so working with the many loops in marbled paint feels like a very free adaptation of scroll design.   These blocks provide many paths for free-motion machine quilting.  Once again, they show to best advantage when placed among traditional quilting fabrics in small patterns (calicoes) and solid colors.

In addition to fabric hexagons, I used the marbled acrylics on our 2015 Christmas ornaments.  The 3D marbling is even more unpredictable!