Geri Ann

My journey of re-creating myself

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

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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

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

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

Experiments with Shading

This weekend, in our Quilter’s Palette Class (quiltuniversity.com), we began working with black dye added to our colors to produce shades, and basically deepen the colors.  Black can be a difficult dye to work with – we actually combined 2 different blacks to try and create a “better black.”

I’m very happy with my mottled greens and blues:

The darker fabrics in the photos are a combination of the same blue or green with black added to it.  I love the effect!  It adds to much more depth to the fabric.  I’m still working with the black by itself to produce a good grey. Will keep you posted on that one.  Even when the fabrics don’t turn out that great, I know I can over-dye them and usually get a pretty incredible fabric anyway!  Just more fun to try out!

If you are the least bit interested in dyeing fabric, I highly recommend any of Marjie McWilliam’s classes – you can find her @ FabricDesigns.com.

Peace.

March 2, 2009 Posted by | Fabric Dyeing, Quilt University | , | Leave a comment

Never Start at the Beginning

Where to Start? Where to Start? I even went so far as to Google “start at the beginning.” And sure enough, the advice I got was “NEVER start at the beginning.”

So, heeding that advice to writers, I’ll start with tomorrow!

I’ve enrolled in another Quilt University class. Yeah! Another fabric dyeing class with Marjie McWilliams – she is the best! After reading book after book on dyeing cotton, and following all of the recipes I could get my hands on…no one, but Marjie, has explained it all so well! She not only makes you think, she’ll then explain it all in easy-to-understand detail! Plus, for anyone who has dyed cotton before and thought you had to leave your fabric sit in the dye for 6-24 hours! Great news…YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO THIS! With Marjie’s techniques, most fabrics are done in 1 HOUR…yes, you read that correctly. And yes, the colors are rich and deep!!

My first class with her (Cotton Dyeing) has just finished up and now we will begin Quilter’s Palette tomorrow! She’s promised to show us how to mix our dyes and come up with incredible colors to create “colors of nature.” Such as sea, sky, trees and flesh tones! And, with 50 yards of new fabric waiting to be dyed…I’ll be busy for weeks!! 🙂

I’m also taking her Silk Dyeing class – this is a totally new field to me and has been just as exciting and informative. Now I’m wondering what 50 yards of silk will cost me! Better hold off on that one for a little while longer!

I can’t say enough wonderful things about Marjie! She is funny, excited and a wealth of information! Yeah, Margie, you rock, Girl!!!

Can you see the specks?

Can you see the specks? Still a cool piece.

March 2, 2009 Posted by | Fabric Dyeing, Quilt University | , | 2 Comments