Monday, November 29, 2010

Weaving becomes a pin cushion...

My goal for 2011 is to finish more of the projects I start as well as the works that are already in progress. I'm starting early and I actually finished something I started just a few days ago. I had fun with the old weave-it loom I found in my closet. It is in the previous post if you missed it. I didn't have the instructions at the time so I just did my own thing, first with a linen thread and then with silk ribbon. I later found the instructions and the website is on my sidebar if you need them. Maybe you have this old loom as well. Anyway, the weaving has now become part of a large pincushion. I like that it is square so that I can easily separate different kinds of pins and needles. It measures 5" x 5" x 1¼".  Click on the images for a closer view.

woven with linen thread and silk ribbon
stitched onto upholstery fabric with piped edges

all around view

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I've been busy...

I've been busy the past few days with more natural dyeing and experimenting with some new things.
Click on the photos for a closer view.

a paper star made from newspaper
tutorial from here

cotton/linen and scrim dyed with onion skins

silk on left and cotton on right / chinese tallow leaves and onion skins

more silk with chinese tallow leaves and onion skins

playing with stripes and dropped in dye bath

another cover with vintage quilt block
the ribbon is orange and white check as it appears in the reflection

weaving with linen thread and silk ribbon
just realized that this loom is for bias weaving.
lots of good info on old looms here.

this if for those who posted pictures in overalls
these are me in the 1970s in San Antonio, TX

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Moons and Beasts

If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I'm always working on several things at one time. I've been playing around with 'moon stitching' for the moon quilt I hope to put together. I saw some silk scrim with embroidery at the Houston Quilt Show and it inspired me to try embroidery on scrim. I put 2 pieces of scrim together with a temporary spray and starched it so it would be easier to stitch through. I placed it in a hoop, added some hand dyed scrim in spots and started stitching. It still needs some work but I think it will work.
I also started stitching on the moon piece I put together a couple of weeks ago.
I had put some little weavings together a few weeks back and a beast appeared in one of them so I decided to stitch him into the weaving. I don't know what he will look like when he's finished but I'm sure he will help me decide what stitches come next. Click on the photos for a closer view. If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

silk scrim with embroidery viewed in Houston

my embroidery on scrim

moon stitching

the beast that appeared in my weaving

Monday, November 22, 2010

Bobbin Lace class with Hilary Davies

The Austin Lace Guild arranged a class with Hilary Davies from the UK. She does beautiful Bedfordshire lace and was a delight to spend time with in class. There were 10 of us in class for the 2 days. I learned a lot even though I didn't do very well on the pattern we worked on. The 'light bulb' has not yet been turned on for me with bobbin lace but I am persevering and hope to get better with time. It was nice to get to know some of the lacers I had not met from the guild. Here are some pictures of all of us working hard. Click on image for a closer view.

that's me with Karen, Karisse and Pat in the background

Karisse with her beautiful lamp

Karen, my Austin lace teacher and Pres. of the guild

Joy having a good time

Karisse's wood block to hold down her bobbins

Susan Merritt's beautiful work. She came in from Aquilla, Tx to attend this class.

Hilary Davies instructing Pat.

Hilary's beautiful lace

Monday, November 15, 2010

Remembering Pica and Elite...

Jude posted a picture of  'Was' sitting on a carpet today and it brought back lots of memories for me of the days when I had Pica and Elite, my 2 best companions. Their mom was Callie, a calico cat that belonged to my sister and brother-in-law. This was in the mid 1970s when I had just moved from NY to TX. I was staying at my sister's house until my furniture arrived. My brother-in-law was a writer and was typing on his typewriter when I was trying to think of a name for my 2 new family members. Pica and Elite seemed appropriate. Elite is the all gray one. She was afraid of everything, except me, of course. When company arrived, Elite was nowhere to me found. Pica, on the other hand, was very friendly, outgoing, and always wanted to be the center of attention. As I said on Jude's blog, Elite would come and sit on my lap, look straight into my eyes and 'talk to me' in short little chirping like sounds.  She was trying so hard to tell me things that I could not understand. When we finished our little conversation, she would just curl up on my lap and go to sleep. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could read the minds of our pets. I still miss them even though it's been about 17 years since they're gone. They both lived to the ripe old age of 18.

I love that reading other people's blogs brings back so many good memories. Here are a few very old photos. Click on the photo for a closer view.

looking out a 2nd story window

Elite at her best

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Old quilt blocks revive a treasured box...

In the 1960s, my dad built me a mahogany table with a glass top for my first apartment. I remember carrying that very heavy glass up the stairs and thinking we would never make it. There was some mahogany veneer left over and he put together a wonderful little box with a hinged top that I used for various things through the years. The hinges came loose a few years ago but I never got around to fixing the problem. While at the Houston Quilt Show, I saw some old sewing machine drawers made into beautiful boxes by covering a base with quilting blocks to place over the drawer. I removed the hinges from my box and surrounded the cover with some thin batting and used 2 old quilt blocks (given to me by a quilting friend) to cover it up. The old has become new again. Click on images for a closer view.

old mahogany box with new cover

mahogany table made by my dad in the 1960s
it sits in my living room with all my supplies close at hand

What Was I Thinking???

Wish I could go back in time and eliminate the turmeric, but since that's not possible, I will be doing a lot of overdyeing. I just sprinkled some of the turmeric but it does take over. In fact, when I unrolled the bundles, some of the turmeric was still in powder form and had to be brushed off of the fabric. I love the lines formed from the twill tape I used to bind the bundles. Colors in the photos are a little off but close.
All the beet slivers used washed away. The leaf prints are chinese tallow. Caramel coloring is from the oak leaves.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


One of the thrift shops had 50% off on most things today in honor of Veteran's Day and I just couldn't pass it up. I am addicted to searching for old and unusual cloths. Thankfully it's an inexpensive hobby. Most of my finds are from the 'bed and bath' department.

thrift store finds
When I got home, I went out and collected lots of leaves to save for the days when there are no longer leaves on the trees. Can't go for months not dyeing some fabric with leaves. They are such a beautiful color right now.

Japanese Oak leaves

Several bundles waiting to be opened after submerging them in water this time instead of steaming. I just love opening those bundles to see the magic that took place.

bundles of oak leaves, rose leaves, small orange flowers, dashes of turmeric

Monday, November 8, 2010

I Love Prairie Points...

When I was at the Houston Quilt Show I sat and listened to some of the teachers talk about the techniques they use in their quilts. Susan Cleveland showed how she scatters prairie points of all sizes throughout her quilts. I recently put an edging of prairie points on the bottom of a shirt. You can see that here. I never thought of putting them in the middle of a cloth stitching. I made a bunch of small prairie points and stitched some into my cloth weavings. It adds that 3-D effect and I love it. Try it and let me know what you think. Click on the photos for a closer view.

prairie points

prairie point slipped into weaving and stitched

2 stitched prairie points

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Houston Quilt Show 2010

I have uploaded my pictures from my trip to Houston starting with boarding the bus, a view of the city streets, the convention center, a view of the show from up above and then some of the individual quilts followed by the artists name and their explanation of their process. I tried to photograph a variety of the different types of quilts, that is, traditional as well as art quilts. I apologize for the blurry ones but I thought they were still good enough to view.

Click to view the photos. Please let me know if you have any problems as I've never done it this way before. Enjoy.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Visual Overload

I spent 2 days at the Houston Quilt Show and had a great time. I literally walked around for 7 hours each day. I think I did see most everything. On Thursday, I concentrated on the vendors so that I could put all my purchases in my suitcase and be free to walk around on Friday to see all the amazing quilt displays. It was a 2 day bus trip and we didn't have access to our luggage or the motel except for Thursday night. I've been to the Houston show several times but continue to be amazed at the enormity of the whole thing. I went with a list of what I wanted to buy and found everything I wanted and more, of course.

Listened to several of the teachers demonstrating different techniques at 'Meet the Teachers' and took lots of notes. I will share all that info as I test it out. So many new ideas brewing. I can hardly wait to get started.

I did take lots of photos of the quilts but haven't finished editing them. Will try to link to the picture album so you can view them in a day or so.

In the meantime, here are a couple of collages of all my purchases. I took lots of business cards to view, online, some of the things I loved but did not purchase (I do have a limit). I saw a couple of very interesting wooden looms and will link to the websites as soon as I find them. One of the looms simply had a long, narrow spring tacked across the edge to hold the warp threads. So simple to make. Click on the images for a closer view.

all the business cards, crochet thread, bobbin holders,
basket made in Ghana, 60 yds silk ends,
 indigo and silk packs from Glennis, stencils

shot cottons, silks, velvets, wool, raw cotton from Ghana,
japanese kimono bits, bombyx silk for felting, indigo fabric,
variegated silk embroidery thread, dyed scrim

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Memories of Grandma...

I have lots of things around my house that were made by my grandmother (mother's mother). She taught me to crochet, knit, embroider, cook, etc. She didn't read or write english so she designed all her own patterns. I have used lots of the thread and yarn she left behind on shawls, doilies, tatting, etc. I was going through some dresser drawers the other day and came across this little outfit she knitted when I was close to 3 years old. I went through some photo albums to see if I could find pictures of me wearing it and sure enough, I did. I guess my mom couldn't get me to wear the hat. It is in excellent condition and it was suggested to me that I give it to a museum. It was made in 1944. Thought I would share some photos with you. Click on the photo for a close-up view.

grandma knitting, of course

crochet table runner that I framed and hangs over a narrow window

skirt, sweater and hat

pictures of me wearing the outfit
mom is pregnant with my sister in picture
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