Friday, February 24, 2012

couldn't resist the thrift store today...

I have been staying away from the thrift stores because I do have enough stuff right here at home, but something pulled me in this morning. I couldn't resist these 2 finds that I got for a song since I'll be able to incorporate them in my Play Ground magic cloth. Click on the images for a closer view.

a partially stitched grid on a light cotton cloth including the green wicking thread. and a partially stitched embroidery with some beautifully colored floss.
I like the idea of incorporating parts of someone's unfinished project into my cloth...a kind of mystery collaboration.

I'm also gathering the supplies I'll need for Karen Ruane's next embroidery class...EXTENDING EMBELLISHMENT. You can read about it here. You might like to join in, especially after seeing some of the embroidery she shares with us on her blog.

I found some wonderful white scrim locally and ordered some interesting papers to play with when class starts.
I ordered the papers from here. They have some beautiful choices in lots of different colors and patterns.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

update on Vintage Pincushions

The original post is here if you missed it. Here is a before picture:

before renovation

and after. Margaret embellished a vintage silk cloth, and used the original stuffing and lace.

It has been established that the stuffing was, in fact, kapok, as most of you indicated in your comments. I bought a bag of kapok on ebay to use in a future project so we just compared the two.


Thanks to all of you who weighed in with your thoughts.

Monday, February 20, 2012

meditative stitching continues...

since some of you asked...a bit more has been done on the meditative stitching. The needle weaving in those holes is very fiddly work. I pick up this work when I don't know where I want to go on my magic cloth or when I want to be able to work on something small. Looking at the picture here, I'm seeing that those crossed triangles are purple and not black, as I thought. Will have to change that.
Click on the images for a closer view.

there will be more holes, more needle weaving and more...

I'm also working on a needle felting project that I can't show yet but while gathering my supplies, I found some wonderful silks in my stash. I'm thinking there will some weaving, braiding and spinning coming from some of this in the near future.

lots of possibilities with this silk

And wanted to share this wonderful video that glennis posted on Facebook this morning. It is the first exhibit of mandalas created by patients of the Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung.

Friday, February 17, 2012

looking back and forward...

There's been lots of talk about Weaving (with a big W) on Jude's blog here. I would love to be able to Weave on such a loom but there is no time to do all the things that are already on my list. So I will stick to weaving (with a small w), on small home made looms, to still get the wonderful feeling of the under/over motion that is extremely satisfying to the soul. More than 35 years ago, when still living in NYC, I did a weaving on a wooden frame using my grandma's angora yarns. I went and searched for it this morning and here it is. It needs a good washing and I really should do something with it. Any ideas?  It is soooo... soft to the touch. Click on images for closer views.

woven on a wooden frame---7" x 5"

grandma's angora yarns

This is one of my favorite cloth weavings that I did in one of Jude's classes.

 While searching for the weaving, I pulled out some older stitched pieces. All the pieces I've done by hand,  in the past,  have been small so working on my magic cloth is a very new experience. A large cloth is not as easy to handle and takes ever so much longer. One really forms a relationship with a large cloth. I'm constantly thinking about what to do next and ideas that pop into my head are written down immediately so that I will not forget. Here is a small piece that I did about 5 years ago. It is mostly hand stitched but there is some machine stitching as well. It measures 12½" x 15½".

that orange color that I do not like always shows up anyway

I just love that cow.

And while looking back, I discovered that I have done a portal in a quilt before the ones on my magic cloth. It was back in one of Jude's classes, I believe, during the terrible oil spill in April of 2010. That portal was an escape hatch for all the fish and sea life that were in such danger.

an escape hatch...piece measures about 12" x 12"

Looking to the future, after my magic cloth is finished, or maybe, nearly finished, I think this piece will be the beginnings of my moon cloth. I have lots of moon pieces but I'm going to stick with colors I really like this time so many of the moon pieces already made will not be used. There is lots more incentive to continue working on a piece when you love the colors you are looking at.

a piece made in Jude's 'sun, moon and stars' class

Jude's classes are very inspiring, even if you are an experienced stitcher, and they give a different point of view in hand stitching cloth. They have been a constant motivation for me to continue stitching on a daily basis. Her classes are still available and you can read about them here.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

creating a softer edge...

I've been working on the portal (not porthole, as I previously posted) that will be on the front side of the magic cloth (The Play Ground). I tried several different things but I think I will settle on this one. I wanted this portal to have a softer edge to provide a soft, gentle entry to the other side where the harsh realities of life are experienced in a more linear fashion. Click on the images for a closer view.

the spiral is on a hand dyed silk and the edge is a sari silk strip.

This is the beginning of the portal on the back. If you missed that post, you can find it here. The portals will be placed back to back.

portal on the back. center is japanese silk stitched into a hand dyed silk cloth.

I'm so anxious to start putting the front and back together but I have lots more stitching to do on the front before that can happen. Things are moving quite slowly but progress is being made. I like having different areas to move to on the cloth when I run out of ideas of how to proceed. I have never worked this way before. Jude has been the inspiration for this new method of putting it all together.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Lacey Heart

Tuesday is always Bobbin Lace Class for me. Pat laced a beautiful heart during the week so I thought I'd share it here on Valentine's Day. Click on the pictures for a closer view.

Pat and her bobbin lace heart. Pat is also an accomplished knitter and crocheter.

Jo is very happy to have finished her lace duck. Jo is an excellent tatter as well.

Susan has been into lace bells and did an excellent job. She is also an experienced quilter.

top row: Pat and Karen (teacher) busy at work., Shirley (teacher's assistant).  bottom row: Donna (her first day), me, and Denise

we're all busy at work but chatting and laughing at the same time.

Sorry I didn't get some better pictures of all these wonderful lacers. We always enjoy the morning lacing together. Hope you all had a sweet Valentine's Day.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Beading Workshop

The Austin Fiber Artists group sponsored a beading workshop this past weekend. It was 2 days of fun and learning lots of new beading techniques. Harriet Turner was the teacher who had lots of patience with all of our questions. Barbara Johnston was there as her assistant and did a great job of helping us choose beads for all of our samples. There were only 7 of us in class so Harriet provided us with some great one on one instruction. We went home with lots of beads, instructions, graphing paper, some samples we made and for me, lots of enthusiasm to experiment on my own. Click on images for a closer view.

Harriet Turner instructing

Barbara Johnston helped us select beads and knitted some beautiful socks while we were learning.

Anita beading around a cabachon

samples of Harriet Turner's work. I just love that basket.

This was a gift from Harriet to Barbara. Barbara shared lots of her beaded items.

There are lots more pictures of Harriet's samples, and what Barbara shared, on my Flickr stream which you can find here.  Enjoy.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Vintage Pincushions...

Yesterday, at quilt bee, my friend Margaret shared 2 vintage pincushions that were in her family. The first one is made of silk with a lace edge and has a very soft natural fiber as the filling. She took it apart right in front of our eyes, as she will try to restore as much of it as possible. We could not identify the fiber inside. Maybe some of you will have some ideas.

the silk, which is very thin, is quite faded on the top

the bottom section is less faded and sits on a glass base. not sure if the lace is crochet or part tatted.

here it is removed from it's glass base which has quite a jagged age. it was not glued but just stitched over the base. there were many needles found in the stuffing.

I, kidding, said that the glass base looked like a weapon. Maybe some violence was committed and the pin cushion was made to hide the evidence. My imagination goes wild sometimes.

just another view

The second pin cushion is in much better shape. It is quite large (about 6 - 7" in diameter)  and very hard to the touch. I imagine it is filled with emery. The lace piece was obviously moved from one side of the pincushion to the other, as you'll see in the images. The lace is a tape style bobbin lace and there is needle lace done in the center of each motif.

tape and needle lace doily over the satin like cloth pin cushion.

the reverse side of the pincushion where the doily originally was secured and the cloth exposed has faded leaving the doily pattern.

Margaret has lots of interesting vintage items left to her from family members and I love that she shares them with us. If you have any experience with these type items or have any idea what that fiber is in the first image, please share.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

moon magic...

I missed taking pics on the night of the full moon but took a few this morning. When I get up in the morning, I usually open the kitchen shutters just to see what's happening outside. It's still dark at about 6:30am and what I saw this morning was a beautiful moon peeking through the almost leafless trees. I ran and got my camera and went out in the garage to take pictures through the little windows. It was much too cold outside and I wasn't yet dressed. So this is what I got.  Looks like my camera saw more than one moon...

that thick trunk is a huge dead sago palm in my neighbors yard ... i keep collecting the bark as it falls off.

a hint of a second moon in the upper left corner. if this image enlarges, there is a face in that moon

and then there were three

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

bits and pieces of this and that...

It was time to do some yard work this morning even if I was just mowing weeds. The front yard looks better now and another day I will work on the back. Amazing that there are already some flowers appearing here and there. The poor trees and flowers are so confused these days. I think clicking on these images will give you a closer view.

Spring is on its way

Started some work for the back of my magic cloth...The Play Ground. Its story is about the concept of time which has been a kind of obsession with me since childhood. More about that another time and more of an explanation of the cloth's story as it progresses. The last cloth I double dyed seemed like a kind of porthole to me so that is what it has become...a porthole to the front of the magic cloth where there are no boundaries, no order, a kind of timelessness. The front of the cloth will also have a porthole to the back.

just the beginnings of stitch...

Several years ago, I made a small quilt whose story was also about taking you to another time and place. That one was called An Other View. It is quite small...just 12" x 14".

mostly machine stitched

a little mirror is stitched can see my hand holding the camera here

the back...this little one was made in 2007

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

a couple of things I thought you might find interesting...

I've been stitching, knitting and lacing but don't really have anything to show yet, but thought some of you might find one or both of these things of interest.

An interesting video on The Creative Brain

And a wonderful post by BE*MUSED about the Tokyo Quilt Show with a link to lots of photos from the show. It is here.

I'll be back with some stitching soon.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

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