Geri Ann

My journey of re-creating myself

Quilted Photograph

After spending way too much time writing To-Do Lists…it seemed like I wasn’t doing anything but making a list of more things to do…I finally came up with a DID LIST.  And while my to do list is still growing, my Did List it quite comforting!

One of my fav’s on my Did List, is this quilt I made of my daughter.  From a distance, it looks like a photo…but close-up, all the eye sees is tiny little pieces of fabric.  Using a computer program that turns a photo into basically a paint-by-number print out, 12 different colored batiks, and some heavy duty embroidered quilting…I’ve come up with the quilt below.

Yes, those are tiny little pieces of fabric.  I’ve included a “close-up” and a smaller image to help you see this “optical illusion.”  You could also just squint at the larger picture to get the idea.  The photos really don’t do this justice!

Quilt of RE (detail)

Quilt of RE (distance)

The hardest part is choosing the fabric and arranging them from light to dark.  This is made a little easier by photocopying your fabrics (in black & white)…you want to judge the values of the fabric on a grey-scale, going light to dark.  When the fabrics are all pieced together, your eye will only register the VALUE, not the color.  (It’s recommended to stay away from red or pink fabrics, however – because your eye will see the red).

I’ve already got another one in the works…this time, a picture of Billie Holiday! Wow, that woman could sing!

Peace

Photo of RE

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May 21, 2010 Posted by | Art, Art Quilts, Completed Projects | , , , | 1 Comment

Bernina BSR Class

Free-Motion Quilting Class

So many people have the BSR (Bernina Stitch Regulator) – and for good reason…this free-motion “foot” is incredible.  But…so many our so nervous about even trying it, that it remains tucked away in it’s cute little tin box.  Time to open that box and start stitching!!  These classes were designed to help you become COMFORTABLE with free-motion stitching. You’ll be amazed at the incredible results you’ll get!  In the first class, you’ll be stitching cables and feathers…and I’ll bet you’ll even be able to write your name in stitches!

For anyone in the Palos Heights, IL area…I will be teaching my popular BSR classes in July @ Susan Marie’s quilt shop.

Quilt Designs With Your BSR (1st in Series)

Become more comfortable with your BSR – it’s fun!  We’ll start with the basics of machine quilting, including discussion of supplies, notions, threads, batting, design marking, etc. You’ll have plenty of time to practice and get comfortable before jumping into feathers, cables, motif designs, as well as stipple quilting and free motion.  There will be a lot of in class practice before you start on a whole cloth wall hanging project.  You” be amazed at the results you can obtain with the BSR!  This is a PREREQUISITE to Skill Building (2nd in Series).

Saturday, July 17, 9:30 – 1:30 pm, Class Fee $35

Skill Building 1 With Your BSR (2nd in Series)

You have played a little with your BSR foot – everyone tells you to PRACTICE, PRACTICE, and PRACTICE.  But where do you start?  What do you work on?  This fun class will get you going on a small, whole cloth quilt with all types of designs to work on.  The designs are already pre-printed on the fabric and include stippling, feathers, cables, cross hatch and more!  We’ll show you where to start on the quilt, which designs to do first, review the structure of various designs so you’ll learn to “see” the flow and structure of the design.  Threads, basting and batting will also be reviewed.  Come practice with others, it’s more fun this way! (Fabric Panel and booklet is in your kit.) This is a secondary class to “Quilt Designs with Your BSR”

Two Saturday Sessions: July 24 and 31, 9:30 – 1:30 pm, Class Fee $55 plus kit fee

(The BSR and a Bernina machine are NOT necessary – ALL machines with free-motion capabilities are welcome.  (You must be able to drop the feed dogs and a darning foot is required.) )

Hope to see you there!

Peace

May 21, 2010 Posted by | Art, Bernina, Classes I'm Teaching, Quilting, Susan Marie's, Teaching | , , , | Leave a comment

Hand Dyed Charm Packs and Jelly Rolls

After weeks of dyeing fabric, and more planned.  I’ve finally started cutting!

Hand Dyed Jelly Rolls (2.5″ x WOF) and Charm Packs (5″ squares) will be up in my new Etsy Shop soon!  These are all die cut, with my wonderful Accuquilt Studio, so you can be assured accuracy on every cut.  Great product and wonderful customer service.  I stopped by their booth at Quilt Festival in Rosemont last month and looked at what all the fuss was about.  Took some literature home with me…surfed their website…and went back the next day to by my new Studio and as many dies as I could possibly afford.

This is just the very beginning of my little foray into the wide-world of Etsy and selling my little beauties! The name of my shop is “Blue Frog Fabrics.”  So keep an eye out for this little guy:

Hand Dyed Fabrics for Quilters & Crafters

Stay tuned…pics and more info will be coming soon.  I’ll have a lot of rainbows of color…warm and cool, light and dark, as well as a few very interesting gradations.  All of the fabric is high quality cotton, with a wonderful hand (not too heavy for those that like to applique). I’ve used Procion MX dyes, and each piece has been washed at least 2x with Synthropol, to help ensure the colors won’t bleed.

This fabric will be great for quilters, fabric artists, crafters…anyone who wants to work with beautiful, richly colored fabric!!

Peace

May 21, 2010 Posted by | Accuquilt, Art, Art Quilts, Charm Packs, dyeing, Fabric Dyeing, Jelly Rolls, Quilting | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New fabric + New dyes + New Recipes = HAPPY!!

New fabric + New dyes + New Recipes = HAPPY!!

Frieda Anderson’s newest book, “Fabric To Dye For,” is out – and it’s a winner!

I’ve created just about all of the colorways in her book and am LOVIN’ IT!  There are no fancy recipes, just simple instructions…and great results.  Here’s a sneak peak:

More photos and info to come!

Peace

PS – I’ve got 100 yards of new fabric coming in.  Keep a look out for charm packs and jelly rolls in my hand-dyed colorways!

May 13, 2010 Posted by | Art, Art Quilts, Color Theory, dyeing, Fabric, Quilt Fabric | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gorgeous Hand-Dyed Silk Scarves

I had to get my creative side from someone…and my mom has always been there to encourage me.  She’s the type of mom who doesn”t mind making a mess.  She was the first with the finger-paints, glue, Play-Doh, fabric, scissors, papers, etc.,  She knew that to create art, children (and adults) needed to be free to create a mess, especially if it meant creating something “artistic and creative!”  Well, we are both still making messes and beautiful art.  And while my little blog has mostly been about my attempts at art, I thought it was high-time I share some of this space.  Most artists I’ve met have always been some of the most generous people you could possibly know.  Artists, musicians, etc., know that great pleasure can be gainedmom scarf in sharing and teaching what they’ve learned.  They realize that to inspire others is inspirational in itself, and one of life’s sweetest rewards.  It’s a well-learned lesson for all of us.

So – time for a shameless plug for my Mom’s New Etsy shop!  Yeah, Mom!

Her silk scarves are all hand-dyed and/or hand-painted, and quite simply:  BEAUTIFUL! Scarves have been all the rage in Europe forever and we’re finally catching on here in the States.   I’ve talked her into a couple for myself, but she has plenty more and loves making them.   So keep checking her site for new ones.

Click here to go to her Etsy shop:  Sparx

Here’s just one of the many she has for sale.

Thank you & Peace.

July 20, 2009 Posted by | Art, Completed Projects, dyeing, Fabric Dyeing, Quilt University, Serger, Sewing, Silk, Thanks, Zentangle | , , | 1 Comment

Diving into the (water) Colors!

I’m getting a little more into painting than I had originally planned.  My intent was to get a few watercolor classes under my belt.  Mostly so I could keep a watercolor journal.  But I find myself diving deeper and deeper into the beautiful waters!  I find it so relaxing playing with colors, whether fabrics, dyes or paints.  I’m also seeing how the bits I learn in one area, carry over into the others.  For example, starting off with a basic color theory class with the incredibly inspirational, Judy Perez, has been the catalyst for me to feel more comfortable when mixing dyes, paints and even fabrics. (Thanks, Judy!  Your classes have been fun, inspiring and so rewarding!)

Here are photos of some of my first pieces:

first painting in Carmen's Classcat painting cropped

The flower was my first piece done in a watercolor class at the La Grange Art League.  I painted the cat while following a tutorial on Wet Canvas – TONS of info on that sight for ALL types of artists…a wonderful community of very generous artists…a DEFINITE must see!!

Who knows where tomorrow will take me!  I’ve no clue…all this started with a little Color Theory Class! :

Peace,

Geri Ann

July 10, 2009 Posted by | Art, Judy Perez, Water Color, watercolor | , | 6 Comments

Many Thanks to Jack Hamm

Well, I have a new friend…Jack Hamm.  I’ve picked up a copy of his book Drawing the Head & Figure, and after just sitting down for a little while with him…I am actually drawing!

I have never really drawn anything in my life, other than some doodles and cartoon like creatures.  But I’m actually quite inspired by my little friend.  Below are some pics of some quick sketches that I have done.

So, thank you, my little friend, Jack!

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I’ve always been fascinated with the fact that a person could scribble some simple lines and create recognizable images. (I apologize for some of the darker images, could quite get the lighting right on the photos.)

Peace.

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May 29, 2009 Posted by | Art | , , | 5 Comments

Virtual Sketch Date (VSD) In May

0905 VSD - Rhoden copy I surprised myself with this little drawing.  A little too late to submit to Virtual Sketch Date (I mistakenly wrote May on the page, it’s actually April’s), but it has me geared up and impatiently waiting for this month’s picture. This photo for reference is supplied by Jeanette Jobson.  Be sure to check out this inspirational site, if you haven’t already:  Virtual Sketch Date.  It’s very interesting to see different people’s interpretation of the same photo.

I started off with a light sketch in pencil…everything else was pretty much done backwards…then I colored in the flower and leaves with my new watercolor pencils, drew the lines with my Micron Pen, then wrote my journal notes, and finally applied a watercolor wash.  Still, I’m much happier with it than I expected to be.

Peace

May 7, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Doodle (Zentangle) With Color

colored-doodle

Doodle with watercolor pencils

I was playing with my Prismacolor Water Color Pencils last night.  These things are beautiful. After making various swatches of the various colors, I wanted to draw something.  It was late, and I couldn’t come up with any ideas…so I doodled!  Then I colored in the doodle with the pencils, overlaying yellow and red to make orange…and blue and red to get the purples.  Basically, just mixing the colors on the paper.  Then, using my small waterbrush (another great invention), I started wetting the colored areas of the drawing.

Here is what I came up with.  It definitely showed me some of the possibilities I could have with actual sketches.  Pretty exciting! And much easier and faster to use than my tubes of watercolors.  I tried to just use mostly primary colors to test the mixing capabilities on the paper.

Let me know what you think…I’d love to see any work you’ve done with these types of pencils!

Peace

May 7, 2009 Posted by | Art, Doodles, Water Color, Zentangle | , , , | 3 Comments

First Sketch

It’s a week of many first’s!

Below is my first sketch.  It is taken from an old Japanese woodcarving by Choki (c 1795) and is entitled “The Courtesan Somensosuke with an Apprentice.”  However, it’s my version, and I ran out of paper to include her apprentice.  So…she’s just goin’ solo!  But isn’t that usually the case!

I found the design in the Dover book “120 Japanese Prints.”  I love these old Japanese designs!

The Courtesan Somensosuke, with apologies to Choki

The Courtesan Somensosuke, with apologies to Choki

I’ve decided to be brave, to take the plunge.  To draw, to paint, to sew, to color….and put it all out there in the world.  Time to listen to my positive, more quieter inner voice…and embrace and enjoy my creativity as much as I do others’!!!

Peace

April 30, 2009 Posted by | Art, Sketches | , | 8 Comments

My First Painting

painting-with-neutralsHaving enrolled in the WaterColor Journaling class at Artists of the Round Table (A.R.T.).  I finally have completed my first painting, practicing with neutral colors.  This is a wonderful program that the ladies at A.R.T. have put together.  They provide free classes in varicolor-wheel1ous art forms, such as watercolor journaling, ATC’s, and much more.  They really put a lot into these classes and really seem to enjoy what they do.  Definitely a very generous and warm group!  Be sure to check them out!

So, after months of only creating color wheels and color charts, I finally have a picture to show from it.  Not too bad for my first painting…but definitely room for improvement.

My latest color chart is to the left.  I highly recommend making color charts – you’ll learn so much by taking the time to mix the different colors…can’t make too many of these!

Peace

April 27, 2009 Posted by | Art, Color Theory, Completed Projects, Water Color | , , | 7 Comments

Doodles – the Ultimate Rorschach??

My doodles have been taking on a life of their own.  I start out with just a scribble of lines and start filling them in…and then…they change and take on an identity of their own.  Could this be the ultimate Rorschach test – create your design and then describe what you see…a true look into your subconscious.  The first one starts off as a simple doodle, but you’ll see as the pictures progress:

doodle22

Simple doodle, nothing really to analyze here…but keep looking!

Here’s where the fun begins….try this on your own…see what kind of pics you get.

doodle32

Art on The Brain

This one was made while I was attending some art classes at the International Quilt Festival in Chicago.  I had art on the brain!

doodle13

Zen Dragon

A co-worker was going to Hong Kong – I was waiting for him to get back with some China silk for me.  Sure enough, he returned with some beautiful silk and surprised me with some silk pillow cases with dragons and phoenix’s on them!  A premonition of things to come??? 🙂

And finally…one of my favorite things!  COFFEE…RICH, DARK, COFFEE!

doodle43

Coffee Zen

Doodling can be so relaxing and surprising at the same time.  I never started off to draw any of these pictures…I just began with some random lines and curves and started filling them in.

Try it for yourself, I’d love to see what you came up with!

Peace

April 27, 2009 Posted by | Art, Doodles, Zentangle | , | 2 Comments

Share Your Passion

Hello, My Name is Geri Ann, and I’m an addict.

Fabric, paints, dyes, brushes, paper, books, and of course, more CLASSES.  I cannot learn enough!  I’ve signed up for another…this time a sewing class at Pattern Review, Sewing 103 for garments.

My classes at Rosemont start tomorrow – Fabric Painting with Judy Perez and then Saturday I have the 1/2 day Sashiko class.  YEAH!  But I’m also in the middle of the Shibori Class and the Gutta Resist class will be starting soon at Quilt University.  Did I mention the WaterColor Journaling class thanks to Artists of the Round Table?  Oh, Yeah, I’m definitely an ADDICT!!  I need a 12-step program something fierce!  Someone stop me before I get to the Market at this festival!  (No, please don’t…really, I’ll be fine! I can control myself!)

I just do it a little at a time – no rush, no worries!  Work on my color wheel one night, sew the hem on my curtains another…and try to feed the family (something healthy, I’m also on a diet), mix up a little dye, paint on a little silk, read my new book, go to work, come home and do it all over again…

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining…I LOVE THIS STUFF – IT MAKES ME HAPPY!

It’s important to know yourself and accept yourself – and so, in that effort:  I AM WHAT I AM!  I realize I’m not the only one out there with this problem.  You know who you are, you’re out there, I’ve met some of you before.  Many of you also have more fabric, more thread, more books, more paints than you could ever get through in a lifetime.

But it’s not just about hoarding all of this stuff.  It’s about sharing it with your friends, and I have some great friends to share these things with.  I used to guard my fabric stash like a mother bear, not anymore!  If my daughter wants me to make something for her (like the new makeup bag I made for her this Easter) – I tell her to go in the room and pick out ANY fabric she wants.  No fabric is too good to be used for anything.    When I talk my girlfriend, Lisa, into trying to dye some fabrics with me — come on over!  You don’t need a thing!  I have plenty of fabric and dyes for all of us and 1/2 of the city of Chicago!

rachart

Rachael's Art

When I learn a really interesting technique, I want to rush out and share it…teach it…and most of all…contribute to the addiction of others. I truly recommend sharing your art and your knowledge.  If you are going to be an addict, such as myself, then be one! Be Proud! But be sure to participate in the Joy of Sharing!  You know you’ll never use up all of your stuff!  Share it with any one else who shares the same passion for beauty and art.  Children soak this stuff up – they can be the most fun to share your talents and stash with.

My daughter is an artist in her own right.  She’s only 15, and is quite the budding artist.  I love it!  Here’s a piece she had in the Art Show at the local community college.  I didn’t even know she was working on this.  It was a wonderful surprise to her dad and I!  I wish I was as good as this kid!

While visiting my Grandmother in the hospital, I bought some watercolors and paper to keep my little nephew, Max, entertained.  This kid had a blast mixing all the colors, painting beautiful pics for Grandma’s wall.  Art brings joy to people of all ages.  It exercises their right-side of their brain and leads to joy in all areas of their lives!  Look at the fun on this kid’s face!

max

And speaking of my dear Grandmother Clara…she passed away Tuesday morning.  She was loved very dearly by her 10 children, and tons of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  She will be greatly missed, but always in our hearts.  She was an incredible woman, and a blessing to know.  I was able to spend about a week with her about a month ago after her stroke.  It was wonderful to get her laughing everyday.  I bought a set of watercolors for her as well, and even got her to paint for a little while (something she used to love to do).  It was time well spent and will remain an incredible memory forever!  The photo below is her and her 5 girls.  I’ll have to dig up another photo of them with the 5 boys!  She was beautiful and a wonderful grandmother!

girls

So share your passion…it’s contagious and a very precious gift!

Peace

April 16, 2009 Posted by | Art | , , | Leave a comment

Painting on Silk and Doodling

My first painted silk

My first painted silk

Finally tried my hand at painting on silk with a resist.  Since my Gutta resist hasn’t arrived yet from Dharma Trading (my fault, not their’s) and I have so many things I want to do and try, I decided to use what I had on hand — Elmer’s School Glue.  Now I have never tried this technique before, but I think the glue acted as a pretty good resist overall.

I stretched a 1/4 yd of silk on my frames and I laid a copy of the fish graphic under the silk.  Then I traced the graphic with the glue, added some swirls and dots, signed in (in glue) and let it dry for a day.  Then I mixed up my Procion dyes with a 1/2 cup of chemical water, and started painting.  I tried to blend some of the colors on the fabric, rather than relying solely on the colors I mixed.  I let the fabric sit (covered in plastic wrap) for about 2 hours and rinsed, trying to make sure I got all of the glue off.

All-in-all…I’m pretty happy with my little fish design.  Think I’ll quilt it into a little wall-hanging.

My other current project has been doodling.  Now most people see this just as the ultimate time-waster.  But this couldn’t be doodle2-cropany further from the truth.  While surfing the net…I ran across a very interesting website:  www.zentangle.com.  There I found some of the coolest artwork I had seen.  Artwork that anyone could create.  So off I went, doodling my little heart out.  What I noticed, while looking at various doodles, was that, in addition to being a great right-brain exercise, many of the fills were very similar to free-motion fills in quilting.  AHA!  I’m currently teaching a series of free-motion quilting at Susan Marie’s (a Bernina dealer in Palos Heights, IL).  Learning to free-motion quilt really just takes practice, and a few pointers.  But one big practice technique I have been stressing is for the students to practice drawing their designs on paper before even trying it on the machine.  I could see where this

Can you see familar quilt fills?

Can you see familiar quilt fills?

doodling can tie in very nicely – not only does it give you a chance to try out some new design fills, it gets your creativity flowing and you are producing some pretty cool pics in the meantime!  Another WIN-WIN.  Here’s some of the doodles I recently drew, notice patterns that are similar to quilt fills?

Get some white paper and some extra-fine tip Sharpies, and create!

Peace

March 30, 2009 Posted by | Art Quilts, Classes I'm Teaching, Doodles, dyeing, Fabric Dyeing, Quilting, Silk, Susan Marie's, Teaching, Zentangle | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Start Keeping Track

I’ve got a lot of stuff to do!  Including the fact that I must get more focused in my life and learn to live in the moment!

  1. Start an art journal
  2. Re-dye the color wheel in cottons, keeping copious notes and examples of work (all neatly bound in a binder)
  3. Organize all my color recipes
  4. Create 2 flower girl dresses on new serger
  5. Create FQ kits of hand-dyed fabric
  6. Work on and complete at least one object with painted/quilted fabric – maybe a purse or pillow
  7. Design beginner and intermediate EQ class, to teach in the Fall
  8. Work with Paint Sticks – make something with these (wall-hanging w/leaf patterns?)
  9. Practice Doodling – this is a great creative outlet!
  10. Make some great looking T-Shirts on my new serger – and some yoga pants to go with them!
  11. Learn how to make lingerie! Whoo Hoo! I already have some patterns and fabric – time for some new panties! 🙂
  12. Get back to the gym and lose some weight (is this on almost everyone’s To-Do List?)
  13. More YOGA!!
  14. Create a fabric art Self Portrait (this should be very insightful)!  Maybe make a couple of different ones – feel like I need to re-examine myself and my entire being right now.  This should prove a wonderful exercise!  Great way to use up some of my hand-dyed fabrics.
  15. Keep this blog going and make it interesting.  Add some tutorials and more pics of WIP’s.

This list should be doable.  The hard part is the incredible slow-down at work and my mind keeps racing with everything I want to accomplish.  Most of which has nothing to do with work! UGH!  I wish I enjoyed my job more…the bosses are great and the money is good…I really have nothing to complain about…at least I have a job!  It’s just not creative IN ANY WAY.  And my creative juices are flowing!

I’m sure there are at least a dozen other things I will add to my To-Do List…this list is also a work-in-progress.  So much to do…so little time!

I still have a few more classes lined up – then I’m taking a break from the classes and begin to put my training into finished projects!  One of the classes is Shibori techniques, again with The Queen of Dyeing, Marjie McWilliams.  And then finally, to wrap it up with Marjie, a Gutta Resist class on silk!  All of these dyeing classes have been on Quilt University.  I cannot recommend them enough.

I’ve taken other classes on QU and enjoyed them as well.  If you are interested in using/learning the Electric Quilt (EQ6) software, I also recommend ANY class by Fran Gonzalez.  Fran has written books for EQ and knows her stuff.  Her classes are also well organized and very informative.  In addition to her being one of the most knowledgable people on EQ, she is also one of the most positive teachers I’ve ever met!

Finally, to wrap up my training for a while…2 more classes at the Chicago International Quilt Festival!  An all day class with Judy Perez on Painting Whole Cloth Quilts.  Judy is a very talented artist and has published numerous articles for Quilting Arts Magazine. To round out the training…I’m taking a smaller class on Sashiko.  Sashiko is an old Japanese style of quilting – very beautiful.  I like to keep a little handiwork going for those times I don’t want to be in my “studio.”

After typing all of this, I’m starting to wonder when I’ll get to my To-Do List!?

Peace

March 26, 2009 Posted by | EQ6, International Quilt Festival, Judy Perez, Quilt University, Quilting, Serger, Sewing, WIP's | , | Leave a comment

Playing with the new Serger

I was playing around with my new serger – trying to make a t-shirt.  Hancock’s had this fabric so cheap, I had to give it a try. Everything went together well.  I did a narrow hem on the shoulders (nice).  I did a standard 4-thread OL on the sides and sleeves.  The sleeves even went in nice.  I did a basting stitch to help gather them evenly. Yeah!  I hemmed the bottom – with the cover-stitch. That was going great until I got back around – the top-stitching didn’t quite match up – and got a little wonky. No problem, it’s pretty small and on the back. Anyway…I’m just practicing.   So onward to the neck I went. This is when the trouble began! I ironed the hem down and off I went – then the stitches didn’t catch the whole edge of the fabric….so I ripped.  Pressed it again, and pinned it (stabbing myself multiple times with the pins).  Now I had problems with the threads and had to rip again (one of the threads kept popping out of the tension). So I sprayed it with a little water, cleaned up all the pieces of woolly nylon (what a mess) and laid it to rest on my ironing board. Then I went to bed.

When I woke up this morning…I had a flash…TAPE THE HEM down! Forget trying to use the guide (which by the way, usually works quite well). So I will try this technique tonight.

I’m really glad I got this fabric so cheap!  But that could be part of the problem anyway, it’s cheap cotton-knit fabric, very thin, but great for a t-shirt or yoga shirt! And I love the khaki color! But I can’t help but wonder, why I wouldn’t just hem all of the pieces first, then sew the seams. I’m sure I won’t be re-inventing the proverbial “sewing wheel” here, but I am sure I could get a much nicer coverstitched hem if I didn’t have to sew them in a circle. I’ll probably run into a huge problem at the shoulders when I try this, but I think I’ll do it anyway!

I ordered the “Serger Secrets” book – that will probably help a lot – but haven’t gotten it yet. I’ll keep you posted! Having a blast!

(photos to come)

Peace

March 19, 2009 Posted by | Bernina, Serger, Sewing | , | Leave a comment

The Serge(r) is Working!

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Bernina 1130MDC

My new Bernina 1300MDC serger that is!  I finally got my dream serger this weekend.  And my wonderful friend, Lisa, spent all day with me going over the Mastery Class – how to thread it, how to do wonderful little tricks on it with decorative threads…how to make beautiful stitches! Thanks again, Lisa!!  And thanks again, to Linda! 🙂

I highly recommend this serger!  The threading is not difficult at all.  It takes a little time to learn it – but I think that is just because it LOOKS complicated.  After rethreading it all morning, you realize it really is pretty simple – all color coded and pretty easy to follow.  I don’t think the quality of the stitches can beat!  Simply perfect.  I was recently in an art gallery in Scottsdale.  A woman there had beautiful hand-dyed silk garments displayed.  I, of course, started looking at the seams, checking out the quality of the construction.  I turned to my mom, and said, “I bet she uses a Bernina.”  Sure enough, we were lucky enough to talk with the artist.  I had to ask her, and sure enough, she used a Bernina!

This machine does it all! Cover-stitches, chain stitches, overlock, everything!  The Berninas are pricier than other machines, but if you have a good dealer in your area that can provide good support, and you can scrap together enough money for it, do it!

With our daughter getting married (to a wonderful Jazz Man) this Fall, and me promising to make the flower girl dresses…I just had to have this machine.  How else would I get wonderful stitches and finishes on those dresses, that I have yet learned how to sew!?? Oh, I’ve made my now famous “clown pants.”  These are just pajama pants that I wear around the house (and would even wear to work if I could get away with it).  I make them with batiks or any crazy fabric I can find in the quilt store.  The have elastic and a draw-string in the waist and are quite simply…very comfy!  But that is about the extent of my garment sewing.  So, this is where the new serger and my BFF comes in.

I know…I’m supposed to be creating…not learning something ELSE! But I’ve had my eye on this beauty for about 2 years now – and just couldn’t pass up Linda’s great offer!  But at least there are 2 projects that are already slated to be finished with my new baby! Maybe my path in life right now is still to learn.  Actually, I hope I NEVER stop learning!

The fabric dyeing classes are going great.  I just need more time in the day to work on them.

Next assignment for myself:  Make a list of things I would like to accomplish this year.  A little late getting started on my New Year’s resolutions, but late is typically my MO.  First thing on that list will be to go over all of my dyeing recipes, re-do them.  Taking great notes, tweaking the recipes, cutting samples, etc.  All with the hope of getting some wonderful sets of FQ’s together – possibly to sell, possibly as gifts.

Peace

March 16, 2009 Posted by | Bernina, Serger, Sewing | | Leave a comment

Couple of Quilts

Just a quick post of a couple of quilts I’ve made.  The first is a Drunkard’s Path variation in batiks and hand-dyed fabrics.  The 2nd pic is a Stack-N-Whack (by Bethany Reynolds), using Oriental Prints.  I’ve taught class for both quilts.  The Drunkard’s Path was a very fun class – I taught the students how to piece curves without pins, using their #10 Bernina (stitch-in-the-ditch) foot.  I’ll try to get a tutorial together on this technique.

Peace.

crazycurveslarge1

Stack-N-Whack

Stack-N-Whack

March 10, 2009 Posted by | Completed Projects, Quilting, Sewing Curves | , | Leave a comment

The Ever Present Red Specks

Any fabric dyer worth their salt…will not have red specks on their fabric.  You must filter the red dye.  No problem, I can follow the rules with the best of them.  But I’m still getting the red specks!!!!! I filtered the dye, I swear, I did, Marjie!

Can you see the specks?

Can you see the specks?

But there they are, ever present.  What’s a girl to do??  This is my new mission…get rid of the specks and make that red spread and blend beautifully.  Also known as, “How to get the red to play well with others.”

Greys…those are posing  a problem also, first too pink, now too green.  I’d post  a picture, but the photo looks great, not the actual green it is.  So, back to the drawing board with that one too.

And I’m getting behind on my silk dyeing classes.  While I find the silk to be absolutely beautiful and even a pure joy to work with, I still love my cottons and really want to master them first.  Looks like I got my work cut out for me.

On the home front…darling hubby went for standard bloodwork.  Couple of hours later, his doctor calls up and sends him to the ER.  Supposedly, his Potassium count was over 7.  The good news is, with his history and a Potassium count of 7, you never have to wait in the ER again…you just bypass everyone in the ER and get in immediately!  They had already run an EKG and had the results before I even got back there with him.  They ran more bloodwork and his Potassium is fine. LAB ERROR!  He can go home…in a couple of hours…it will take that long to get a call back from his doctor to release him.  So all Saturday was spent in the ER.  But I truly have to say, this was the best news we’ve ever gotten in an ER room!!  So we happily went home…quietly thanking God all the way home!  He must have forgotten we were there!

March 9, 2009 Posted by | Fabric Dyeing | | Leave a comment

Color Theory

Learn, Learn, Learn!  If I really want to become an artist – I realized I needed some basic color theory under my belt.  I feel like all I’m doing is learning, but not making anything…that’s OK!  My big transformation is not going to happen overnight…

I’ve signed up for a class with Judy Coates Perez at the International Quilt Festival in Rosemont in April.  This will be a whole-cloth painting class.  Judy’s work is wonderful…she’s always getting published in one place or another.  Probably most often in Quilting Arts Magazine.  Well, she also teaches an online Color Theory Class (see her blog for more info, link above).  We use fabric paints (since this is the medium we’ll be using in her painting class), and mix our colors to our hearts content.

Color Wheel

Color Wheel

Only using the primary colors (red, blue and yellow), we learn to mix the entire color wheel.  Then things really start getting fun when we learn about tints, shades and tones…and mixing complimentary colors…and on and on.  Really a well-rounded class and recommended to anyone who uses color: quilters, artists, knitters, scrapbookers, etc.

We are always surrounded by color, but we are usually unaware of it…we take it for granted.  This class will help open your eyes to the colors around you.

Adding White to the Color Wheel

Adding White to the Color Wheel - Making Tints!

Speaking of color…we’ve been working with our chakras in yoga class for the past month or 2.  The chakras (Chakra is a Sanskrit word meaning “wheels of light) all have colors associated with them.  They start with red and work their way through the color wheel, ending in violet.  Anyone remember ROYGBIV?  This is the acryonym to help learn the colors in the spectrum:  Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet.  So, while I was meditating and picturing my prana moving through my body, all I could think of was ROYGBIV!  It appears that color theory class even applied to yoga!  Who would have thought?

Peace

March 4, 2009 Posted by | Chakras, Color Theory, International Quilt Festival, Judy Perez, Quilting Arts Magazine | | Leave a comment