Sunday, March 30, 2008

FACE QUILTS

I thought if you can bare with one more post on quilts that I would show you the FACES quilts that I went to Lancaster to see. They were made by members of my Thursday mini group of quilters. There are 12 of us in the group and 10 of us took part in this self imposed challenge.

This is how it worked. We were each to make 10 quilt squares (1 for each member of the group participating in the challenge). The squares were to represent how we either saw our selves, wanted to see ourselves, or maybe feared we looked like. All 10 could be the same or each could be different. They could be realistic or whimsical. After we had all our individual blocks finished we got together and traded them around so each person had a block from each person in the group. That was the easy part....

Next we had to on our own come up with a way to set our blocks into a quilted wall hanging. I found some fabric in my stash that reminded me of old wall paper; so my faces where all framed with fabric and placed over a mantel in a turn of the century parlor scene. Everything was machine appliqu├ęd down and I actually did stamp the clock face. I machine quilted it and voila I had completed my "Gallery of Friends"

Here are a few of the other quilts made by other members of the group. They were also in the Lancaster Show though only three of us went to actually see them. this next one was made by a good friend who actually went with me on this adventure in Lancaster. She asked that all the faces that would be made for her be made with small floral print backgrounds. Then she set them in what reminded her of a garden path. Can you pick me out in her quilt. I've taken on a different personality in her's than I had in mine.

The name of our mini group is "Fabrications" and so this person actually titled her quilt by that name. I think she made a dramatic use of black as her background color. Here I've taken on my wild and crazy persona once again.

This last one that I have a good picture of has a more traditional setting of the blocks, but I love the use of color around the individual blocks. Also this one and the one before it have in the corners color photographs of our group on various outings added to the front of the quilt. This was a nice touch as it allows the viewers to see what we really do look like.

This was a fun project. I will be a wonderful memory of our time together as a group of women who have formed friendships that began with our shared love of quilting and grew around shared joys and sorrows that life brought our ways.

Though most who find their way to this blog are paper rather than fabric artists I hope you still found something to enjoy in this post. Thanks for stopping by and please leave a comment if you enjoyed visiting.

CARVED WOODEN STAMPS!


Now that I found my camera (YEA!) I was able to take a picture of the hand carved stamps I purchased while in Lancaster. I haven't had a chance to use them yet, but hope to soon.

I laid a couple of the stamps on their side so you can see how they are carved right into the top of a beautiful piece of hard wood. The piece of wood they are carved onto is the shape of the stamp image. I don't know which came first in the process. The image designed for the shape of the piece of wood used or the design is carved and then the piece of wood shaped down to fit it. Anyway because they are all different shapes and sizes I find them fun to just look at.

I have also uploaded a close up picture of the owl stamp so you can see the detail with which the stamps are carved. The carving is very delicate. I am amazed with the workmanship. I wish I could better describe how beautiful the stamps themselves are. I guess you will just have to take my word for it.

Friday, March 28, 2008

BACK FROM LANCASTER!

I am back from Lancaster and had so many wonderful images to share with you, but alas somewhere on the return trip my camera was lost so the only things I can share are verbal which is not nearly so much fun. The quilts were wonderful and it was great fun seeing my FACES quilt hanging with the others made by my mini group of quilting friends. I love driving through the country side up in Lancaster County. The Amish farms are amazing. I can't say the air is fresh, since they were plowing the fields and putting down manure for fertilizer. It was very interesting though seeing the farmers on their plows being pulled by a team of six mules. No tractors here!

At the quilt show I found some items that I really wanted to share with you all. I had planned on taking a photo of them this evening, but obviously that will not happen. I will try and describe them for now. One of the vendors was a lady from just out side of NYC. She was born in India and though she came to the USA with her family when she was 3years old she was sent back to India every summer after she turned 8 to learn the family trade of making batik fabrics and now whe is in charge of running the business. One of the items used in making batiks, at least by her family is hand carved wooden stamps. She had some for sale. They are beautifully intricate. I purchased 5 of the smaller ones that I thought would go together on making designs for cards; a butterfly, an owl, and three with various flowers. They range in size from about an inch to and inch and a half and the design is carved onto the flat top of a two inch tall piece of beautiful wood. I don't know what kind of wood, but it is a gorgeous medium brown with a wonderful grain along the sides. I can't wait to use them. The women I purchased them from said they can be used with any type of ink.

So I don't have a camera to show you the stamps, but I will try and soon create something with them to show you. I haven't lost my scanner that I know of........

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

STILL IN QUILTING MODE

Here is another block that I have completed. This is the March Block of the Month from the Carol Doak Yahoo group that I am a member of.
Carol is a wonderful designer, teacher and author of all things Paper Pieced (a very accurate manner of piecing quilt blocks).

There will be 12 blocks is this series. I am making the blocks in a 6 inch size and they will all be in Black, White and Red. So it is one down and eleven to go.

Up until a week or so ago I had really let my quilting fall by the way side. But I am back on the quilting wagon and my machine has been humming away. I am currently working on my third project which you will get a peak at soon. Unfortunately I can't seem to sew and stamp at the same time. (Probably something to do with the fact that my sewing machine is sitting on my stamping table and bits of fabric are lying all over my stamping supplies.)

There are only so many hours in a day. Oh why didn't God create a 48 hour day, only 8 of which needed to be devoted to work, 8 to care and feeding of family, and 8 to sleep. That would leave 24 hours in each day available for craft pursuits! Definitely my idea of heaven.

In keeping with my focus on quilting at the moment I will be gone for two days to a quilt show in Lancaster, PA. Once again I have the joy of visiting one of my quilts that is hanging in the show. Here is information on the exhibit my quilt is hanging with. It is the Fabricated Faces.
I will try and get a picture of the quilt as it is displayed. So I will be gone until Friday night. Until then have fun with your crafting what ever form it takes.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

FRIENDSHIP START CHALLENGE QUILT


Here it is. I have finished piecing the Challenge quilt for our 2008 quilt show. I am very happy how it turned out. Now I have to quilt it. I have until April 19 to finish it completely.

I have one more quilt to design and finish before the show. It is what we call the Bloomin' Challenge. IT got it's name from the fact that the fabric we are give to work with is by most peoples standards bloomin' difficult to work with. I have no idea yet what I will be doing with it. I actually like the fabric, but don't have a clue hoe to use it effectively. I will keep looking at it and hopefully soon something fun will enter my brain. That too needs to be completed by April 19.

In the mean time since my sewing machine is out and usable I made a few fabric hot pads today (after finishing this quilt top) that I will have for sale in the boutique during the show.

I love sewing again, but am anxious to finish these projects so I can get back to stamping. I have so many ideas of things to do running through my head and I'd like to work with them before I forget them. So many ideas and so little time! The story of my creative life......but what fun!

Friday, March 21, 2008

A LITTLE QUILTING TEASE

Here is a little tease as to the quilting project I am working on. This is one block of the design. Now I need to go and work and the last two I need to make and then put it all together. Stay tuned!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

FROM QUILT IMAGES TO QUILTS

I have changed projects for the moment here at home. I have a quilt show coming up the end of April and I am so behind on getting ready for it that the stamp stuff for now has gone away and the sewing machine has come out.

Currently I am working on a quilted wall hanging that is part of our guild challenge. This was called the Paint Bucket challenge. We were given a piece of black and white base fabric and then 4 paint chips. The challenge was to use the base fabric and then find fabrics that were the color of our paint chips and make a quilt not less than 30x30 inches or more than 48 x 48 inches. My colors were two grays and two yellows. I have one block of four completed and after I finish this will go up and finish the other three. The design I am using is based on a Carol Doak paper pieced block that she made up for a Yahoo on line group that I am part of.

It's been a long time since I have sewn at home and it feels real good!

Friday, March 14, 2008

QUILTING IMAGES

Another card from Impression Obsession. I am so excited to have found this company as it is the only one that I have found that has quilting related stamps.

These images are yet more of my NC colored images. I am currently, among other things working on items that will be in my quilt guilds boutique at our Quilt Show in April. We have a program in the guild called Secret Sisters and am making cards that can be used for that. This is one.

The Secret Sister stamp is from the very first stamp set I purchased. It is a retired set from long ago that I got on E-bay.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

SWITCHING GEARS TO SCRAPBOOKING

Its been a long time since I have done a scrapbook page. I probably wouldn't have gotten this one done if Erica Martin hadn't issued a sketch challenge at GinaK's recent release party. I've needed to get going on a scrapbook I am doing for my nephew and so I took the challenge as the opportunity to get started. (I've been been gathering paper, stamps and other supplies for some time and also been thinking, but not actually doing.) Having a layout to work from really made the process go much faster than I anticipated it would. AND it was fun doing it. THANK YOU ERICA! I needed that push.

Erica is on GinaK's design team, but she has a wonderful BLOG herself. Lots of great ideas and projects as well as her own store. Check it out. And while you are checking out BLOGS if you have never been to GinaK's you are really missing out. And both Gina and Erica often have wonderful drawings for BLOG CANDY. and who doesn't like candy???? Check them out.

ANOTHER IN THE COLORED IMAGE SERIES

Here is another card from my North Caroline set of colored images.

This was a very simple card to put together, but not so simple to color. It's an image from Impression Obsession Rubber Stamps. Being a quilter when I found this stamp while surfing on line stores I knew I had to have it. I am fairly happy with my first attempt at some serious water color painting. I still need some work on getting the shading and light sources correct, but I think that will take quite a bit of experimenting and practice.

I stamped the image with stazon black and colored it with Stampin' Up markers. Then I went over it with a damp watercoloring paint brush. Blending and removing colors as I went. I've done a few others also using slightly different color schemes in the quilt, but this is my favorite so far.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

MORE OF OUTLINES STAMPS

Here are two more cards I made with images colored in while I was in NC. They both are stamps from Outlines Rubber Stamps. So far I have only used my images from them to color. IN the future I hope to shoe you some other ways to use them.

I'm sorry that my little snail looks crooked. In real life she is straight; I promise. I just didn't do a very good job of scanning and cropping. I used a combination of Copic and Prisma markers on both of these images.

I've never been very happy with the stamps that have a solid back with writing etched in (like the Happy Birthday tag on the snail card). The writing never seems to show up well. What I tried here was stamping the image with craft ink and then embossing it with clear embossing powder. I really like the way it turned out. I think it is much clearer.

I'm really liking having all these images colored in advance and then just waiting to be made into cards. I need to remember this trick.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Ah, life is good! BLOGGER is behaving again.
Before I show you another card I made from my images that I colored I thought I would show you the project my mom and I worked on while I was in NC. It was a quilting project and a challenge.

What we started with was some oddly shaped pieces of fabric with machine embroidered designs of trains. There were 8 of them to be exact. From the shape of each of the pieces it looked like someone had plans to make a lot of baby clothes with the embroidered image as the center piece of the yoke on top of something. (The yoke for those who don't sew clothing would be a fitted or shaped piece at the top of the shoulder of a garment.) The woman in my mothers quilting group at church found them in with some other fabric that was donated and was going to through them away. My mother being ever the frugal one said, "Don't throw them away, give them to me. Suzanne is coming to visit and she will make something out of them." Ha! This is the third time she has done that to me!!!!!! She has great confidence in her daughter's ability to turn nothing into something. But she does know I love a challenge! So this is what we started with, after trimming them into a usable shape. Any ideas what they will be made into?

They are about 2 1/2" x 5" in size. As I said earlier there are 8 of them and and in order to be useful they need to be turned into something measuring at least 36" x 45". That would be a small baby quilt. Hmmmmm? What to do? First thing is to pull out my trusty computer, yes the computer is now a quilting supply! Then I open up my quilting program, Quilt-Pro, and begin to play. After a bit of playing I came up with a design I though would work and ran it by my mom. She approved so I printed off yardage charts and we headed to a fabric store in search of the perfect fabrics. This is the fun part of quilting. Looking at all the luscious fabric that are available. Seeing as we already had determined the color scheme picking the right fabrics didn't take that long at all and soon we were back home.

Now the not so fun part had to be done. My dear mother oversaw this part of the project. All the fabrics had to be washed, dried and ironed. Then Everything needed to be cut out. This is what we had when that process was completed. Any idea yet what is coming????

Now the real fun began. I sewed and my mom pressed. We shared in the trimming and a great time was had by all! We had 8 blocks to make and a design to follow. Well I thought we were following the original design, but of course being a SHE I didn't go back and re-look at my computer design to be sure I knew what I was doing. I just jumped right in and made the blocks. And I made them all the same. Ooops! I should have made half of them one way and half another. Oh, well we'll just change the design a bit. No one else will see the original computer design and frankly we decided the new design showed off the embroidered trains better anyway. So this is what we ended up with. It is a good side for a toddler a bit big for a baby. The quilt block I came up with is a variant on a log cabin block. The only difference being is that my block is rectangular rather than the traditional square.

So what do you think? Was the challenge met???
Thanks for looking and listening to me ramble about this quilting adventure. Next post I will return to card making. But for now its bed time. Good night!

Monday, March 10, 2008

YEA!!!!!

So I finally got one image uploaded. I guess persistence does pay off. I love this line of stamps. I have acquired quite a few of them and you will be seeing others in the future. The company is Outlines Rubber Stamps. Not only are they wonderful to color, but you can do wonderful things with cutting and layering them.

For this card I stamped the image with Brilliance Graphite Black ink and colored in using a combination of Copic and Prisma Markers. I've decided that I like them both. They behave the same and each have their benifits. For really small narrow spaces I like the fine point that the Prismas have. For broader sweeps of color I like the brush the Copics have. I do like the lighter colors I have been able to find with the Copics. The Prismas seem bolder. One thing I have discovered with both, but especially the Prismas is that you need to give them time to "cure". I have several images that I didn't really like how they turned out as soon as I have finished them, but if I come back sometime later they are softer and much nicer. (Once again I am faced with that patience stuff!).

This card is a Z-Fold card. It is very easy to do. Simply make your normal 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 side fold card and then fold back the front of the card on top of it self. Yea BLOGGER has cooperated and allowed me to up load another image! (Thank you Lee for the suggestion to do one at a time!). On this second image of the card you cand get a better idea how I mounted the image acrossed the fold and how I stamped the sentiment inside. I didn't like the blank space on the left side so that is where I stamped the Happy Birthday. I placed it under the image because when you open the card the image does flatten out and I didn't want the sentiment covered. On the right side of the card I stamped a Birthday wish.

Just a few more details the Card stock is Old Olive and so is the Designer Paper.

I AM GETTING VERY FRUSTRATED!

Still can not upload photos. I am getting very frustrated here. If anyone has any ideas on what to do besides being patient please let me know. Are others having this problem. I thought maybe the problem was the weekend. NOPE! I've tried rebooting my computer NO HELP! I've checked that my files aren't too big. NOPE! I am not a patient person. I guess for now I will just upload them to my SCS gallery. I hope that works for me as I know people have been having problems there as well.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

I'M TRYING!

I've been trying to upload some photos all day and BLOGGER is just not cooperating! I have about 7 cards finished from my images that I colored and am really happy with how they are coming together. I will keep trying to get them up. The first card I am going to share with you is what some folks call a Z-Fold Card. While you are waiting you might like to check out Scraptime. This is where I got the inspiration and directions for the card.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

I'M BACK

I am back and I am ready and excited to be back BLOGing. I've missed sharing with and hearing from all of you. Where have I been? North Carolina; Chapel Hill to be exact. I went down to spend a wonderful and relaxing weekend with my mom. We had a great time catching up on each others lives and just being together. Of course we did some shopping (not much) and did make a crib quilt. (More on that in a later post.) I challenge I faced when planning to go was how was I going to survive with out having all my crafting goodies for a week. I know thats a sad thing to be concerned about but crafting is a big part of my life and when I have free time from work well I like to be able to try things I've been putting off. I knew we would sew; we always do as this is something we both love. And I knew we would knit together while watching TV at night together, but I didn't want to give up my enjoyment of card making for a week, what to do?????

What I did was stamp off some images both on water color paper and regular card stock. Then I simply packed my various markers and watercolor pencils. (When I travel I tend to pack more craft items and projects then clothes. ) I did resist taking my watercolor crayons so I can't be accused of packing everything I own.

Here is a sampling of what I worked on. It was fun playing with a variety of coloring techniques and products in a short period of time. It provided me the opportunity to go back and revisit my exploration of which tools and process I liked to use the most. (I didn't want to pack my Gamsol so I didn't take my Prisma pencils either.) What did I discover? I like them all! As to Prisma and Copic markers they both have their pluses and minuses but are enough alike I used them together just fine. I like the brush on the Copics, but I like the fine point on the Prismas. What I don't like is the broad tip which is on both. The Copics and Prisma markers I used on regular white card stock. The Stampin' Up markers I used on the watercolor paper. It can be used on regular card stock, but I didn't like that as it tends to leave lines when you don't blend with water and I don't particularly like using water on regular card stock. For the images I colored with the Copics and Prismas I used Brilliance Graphite Black ink and for the images to be watercolored I used Stazon Black.

This was a fun project and now that I am back home I have lots of colored images to turn into cards. I have begun this process and will post them here (along with the quilt project) in later posts.