Wednesday, August 17, 2016

For ME Friday - Screen Prints

I realize this is late but, last week I took another For Me Friday but this time, it was for my Journeys Thru Art group meeting.  It was a project update - all of the bridges are coming along nicely, except mine.  Well, that's another story, for another day - let's just say I'm having a do-over (more to follow on that).

So, on to the other part of the meeting. We used Deb's Thermofax machine for screen prints. What a fun project!  I took three of my doodles and scanned them so I could print them on the laser - you need a carbon based toner for the Thermofax to work:

Then we placed the doodles under the special screen (I don't know what it's called) and put them through the Thermofax machine.  Here's Deb & Marian:


Tape up the sides to ease with paint and removal.  Add some of this:


Grasp firmly and pull the squeegee at a 45-degree angle:

And, magically get this:

Here they are drying: 

It was an awesome day. Oh, and I can't wait to see how all these bridges progress. They are going to be awesome.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

For ME Friday: Trenton Makes

I always try to take Friday's to work on my own projects.  I have to, if not, I would never get a chance to work on my own stuff.  As much as I love stitching on client quilts, I also love creating my own pieces (although sometimes I get to a spot of dislike).

So today I worked on my bridge project as it is due in November.  My Journeys Thru Art challenge for this year is bridges.  I am doing the Trenton Makes Bridge - also known as the Lower Trenton Bridge as well as the Warren Street Bridge.  It is a truss bridge that crosses the Delaware River between Trenton, NJ and Morrisville, PA.  Why did I choose it?  It's a part of me, my history - you all know I'm originally from Trenton, NJ right, besides, it is a really cool bridge (especially at night when the words are lit).

So awhile back I had asked my good friend's brother (a pro-photographer) to get a fantastic pic of the bridge for me -- since I'm way down here in SoFlo.  There are a million photos on the internet but I wanted something special and also didn't want to deal with tracking down sources and rights and attempting to obtain permissions (and yes, I do have Robert's permission for use).  Here's the photo that Robert took:
Photo credit: Robert Bruschini Images, LLC
It is an awesome photo but, it comes with a story...
Robert and his wife wanted to get the sunrise behind this bridge.  So they woke up super early to get over to the PA side of the bridge to get the sun rising on the NJ side.  It was awesome, right?  BUT... did you know that they shut down the neon letters in the wee hours of the morning?  Nope, neither did they, so Robert did a little photoshopping to add the neon back into the awesome pic.

It is truly an awesome photo but, I needed to crop it down to be more bridge less scene to keep with the guidelines of our challenge.  So here is the cropped version:
Photo credit: Robert Bruschini Images, LLC
I still wanted to keep those intense blues in the first picture, so I commissioned Cindy Lohbeck of Hands on Hand Dyes to dye up awesome fabrics.  And she did!  She dyed up a few samples and sent me a bundle of goodies to choose from -- hahaha, choose, I wanted them all - just look at them!

Only two made it into the bridge project, but I will definitely find a use for all the others!  So here is the sky (sapphire blue) and the water (sapphire blue & black - Arashi shibori).  I had to piece the water on the diagonal to get the ripples going the right direction.  The background is much wider than my design board, which is why there is so much drape on the side -- the master copy I'm working from is about 65x36.  And, of course, the lighting isn't perfect (it was late):

So then came the steel work.  Hmm... all I can say is it was frustrating.  The master copy is black and white and trying to find the lines within the pattern was confusing and difficult.  I finally realized that it would have to be constructed in two layers.  Once I figured that out, the rest was just a lot of tracing to get my pattern pieces:

So that's where I'm at -- today I'll finish cutting out the pattern pieces and decide on a bridge structure fabric.  The bridge is that weird green, what I call Statue-of-Liberty green, but at night and with the glow of the lights and neon it turns into an even stranger golden-green-grey -- yeah, I'm sure I'll find fabric like that, or... paint!

So happy Saturday quilty peeps - hope your weekend is wonderful!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Quilt Odyssey 2016

Last week I was lucky enough to be a longarm instructor at Quilt Odyssey in Hershey, PA - it was awesome!

First was one of my favorites, Build-A-Stitch.  These ladies were a super fun group!



Then in the afternoon was Doodle Quilting - and there were some awesome doodlers letting their imaginations run wild and having a blast:






My last class was Filling the Space - these ladies created some awesome pieces and stretched their design ideas way beyond their comfort zones!


Halfway through everyone gets to walk around to see the other students creations:


I did manage to see the quilts...
although I don't have a single picture.  I only had an hour to wander through the quilts and it was crowded.  There were some amazing ones that I would have loved to stand and stare at for quite a while!  Congratulations to the winners - they were definitely some amazing quilts!

And I did get to spend a little time in the Gammill booth with Steve & Lori of Threads Run Thru It (and no pics there either - wow, I'm seriously photo-slacking) -- they are wonderful people and I owe a big thank you to both of them, as well as Emily for setting up my classroom and making sure I didn't need a thing!

So my trip home... eventful!  And, not at all in a good way.
Some of you that follow on Facebook got bits and pieces of the story.  Here goes, in a super-quick nutshell.

My flight home was delayed 35 minutes.  Not such a big deal right?  Wrong!  I had a 36 minute connection in Charlotte.  It was obvious that I was going to miss my connection.  I ran up to the counter and the representative assured me that I would be fine, along with the other handful of people that also had a very short connection.

So we take off... low and behold we were supposed to land at 9:40pm originally.  Didn't that pilot book it and get us there by 9:41pm!  So see, they are allowed to speed when necessary!  Yeah, awesomeness, I was going to make my connection after all!  WRONG... upon taxi-ing over to the gate we stopped and sat.  The pilot came over the intercom and stated that the gate we were assigned to was occupied and we would have to wait for a new gate assignment.  WHAT?  We actually made it here on time and now it is being taken away by someone's negligence in gate assignments!  Well, about 10 minutes later we got a new gate assignment -- the gate right next to the one we were waiting at.  Okay, I'm thinking it's totally still possible to make it -- if I run like I've never run before.

So I run....
from Terminal E to Terminal C.  As I am running (mind you scared to death that I'm going to fall and face plant and need to visit an ER), I can see my gate, the representative has his hand on the door.  I am yelling, running, waving my boarding pass in the air.  What does he do?.... you guessed it, closed that door.  Noooooooooooo...

So in my best out-of-breath-I-can't-even-talk I hand the woman at the counter my boarding pass and she says the next flight to Palm Beach is tomorrow afternoon.  Nooooooo!  Then she asks if I can go to Miami.  I'm like how the heck am I going to get from Miami to Palm Beach (where my truck is parked).  So okay, Miami it is.  She hands me my boarding pass and says they'll fix it at the next gate - which leaves in 10 minutes (not boards, leaves).  So I run, again, from Terminal C to Terminal B.  I get to the gate for the Miami flight and hand the woman my boarding pass and try (with no breath) to quickly explain.  She bluntly said this flight is full, I can't help you and directs me to Customer Service.  I look over to Customer Service and notice that approximately 300 people (no exaggeration) in line and start to cry.  I call my husband, explain it all to him (as I have less than two minutes before this plane takes off) and I can hear my phone is altering my of a text.  I hang up and look... it's the airline confirming my seat on the plane to Miami.  I ever so nicely (not, sorry dealing with less than a minute) stick my phone in front of the woman and say I'm on this plane!  She looks at the text and prints my boarding pass and I'm now sitting in the only seat and no sooner did I sit down we were taking off.

So I land in Miami.  I have no clue where my luggage might be -- I proceed to the baggage claim desk.  I begin my claim and they tell me my luggage will be there in the morning (in Miami).  Honestly, the only thought that crossed my mind was how is my luggage getting here in the morning when the first flight I was offered was in the afternoon?  I think I was delusional at this point.  So I walk outside thinking I'll catch a cab... posted rates only go as far as Fort Lauderdale airport (which was $160).  A big sigh... I walk around and find a SuperShuttle booth -- I ask how much for a shuttle to Palm Beach airport.  She has to dig out the big binder and look it up -- $116.  That's it, get me on it!  So at 2:00am I started my journey home from Miami.  The shuttle driver got me safely to Palm Beach at 4:00am and I then drove another 40 minutes home.  Yes, I had been awake for over 24 hours!

My luggage you ask?  On Saturday I called to check on it.  No, it wasn't coming from Miami.  It got back on a plane, flew back to Charlotte, then caught another plane back to Palm Beach.  Apparently, they can only deliver your luggage from the closest airport.  It didn't get home until Sunday.

I'm guessing no more short connections in my future...

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Build-A-Stitch 2 is done!

Finally, after squeezing in every possible moment to work on it, Build-A-Stitch 2 is finished!  I am so excited to share it with you:

Build-A-Stitch 2 contains 60 new stitches!  Part 2 is set up more as a sourcebook, it is full of stitches -- some of which are a little more complex than the first 20 (Build-A-Stitch). If you haven't tried the Build-A-Stitch technique, you'll probably want to start with Book 1.  For those of you that have already conquered the first twenty stitches, watch out, this book is full of fun (and info too)!  You will have a stockpile of go-to stitches when you're done with Book 2!!

If you want to order, click here or the photo above to be taken to the website store. You can also use the Buy Now option in the right sidebar as well.

Thank you all for wanting more stitches - none of this would be possible without all of you!  Now, on to Book #3!!!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Lion King Challenge

Cherrywood Fabrics held another challenge!  This time for the Lion King.  You might remember the last challenge, Wicked, if not, here's a link about my entry.



So the entry deadline for the Lion King Challenge was at midnight last night.  I can not wait to see all the amazingness of this challenge!  Honestly, if you want to see the creativeness of our little community, just hold a challenge - these people will knock your socks off!

So here is Panache, my #lionkingchallenge in its finished glory.  I love it... although, I didn't at first.  I'll tell you all about it in a minute.  I've decided there are stages we go through while creating our art - at least I do (hoping I'm not alone here).  In the beginning you sometimes struggle with finding inspiration.  Then, once you have an idea you are crazy excited about starting. So you start and its is great, then something happens to make you not so happy - the patterns not working right, fabric fraying, a fabric is running somthing... whatever it may be.  So you trudge on, tackle the problems - fix, correct, or incorporate - and you're back to liking it again.  That's sort of what happened on this project.

It officially started with the challenge fabric pack:

And from there I thought about it, and then thought about it some more.  I came up with two ideas and started doodling.  This is the one that I chose:

You'll see from the finished picture that it did change slightly.  It always does - I have yet to have a finished project come out exactly like my original drawing.

Here are some pics of the process:


You see that last picture?  I hated that pic... I thought it looked like a lion wearing a flower petal hat! So I immediately started adding the mane.  Yes, it was helping.  You'll also notice I numbered the pieces -- yep, always helpful after the fact!




Once I had all the mane pieces constructed and in place, I started on the inking.  Yes, this part was FUN!



Since I used only the four challenge fabrics I felt it was lacking a little something.  I decided to add hand embroidery on some of the pieces:




A funny thing happened when I transferred all the pieces from the working copy to the fabric background.  You might notice the mane pieces are different on the bottom right side.  I lost track of a few, added a few, and well, they got moved around.  Here's the best part -- the universe added a little monkey face to the bottom right corner!  I was so upset that the pieces went together in a different order until I saw that.  Like it was totally meant to be, because when that piece is right side up (like it was intended) it doesn't look anything like a monkey face.

So then started the invisible applique... ugh.  Although totally necessary, it takes hours!  And you all know me and my laziness!


And then on to the quilting...


Again, project ups and downs... I hated the quilting on his face.  Yes, hated.  Maybe because it was only the first color and it wasn't anywhere near done.  Sometimes I wish I could not look until I'm finished.  


Yay! Background fill - that always makes me happy!

So.... some of you know I had a few issues.  It seems I'm always having issues on my own projects (not sure if that's a good or bad thing).  Well, I didn't prewash the black fabric.  Why?  I didn't have a single issue with it on the #wickedchallenge.  Well.... deep breath... it came through on several of the yellows as well as stained some of the embroidery threads.  No worries, I added some black thread to the yellow embroidery threads - fixed that!  Then I added some white shiva paint to the offending areas - it looked so good I added it to a few more!  Do I have pictures, no.  Apparently, when I'm stressing and trying to fix something my let's document this falls to the wayside.  

So then I added some crystals - with all that ink why not have some bling too.  Then it was on to the binding and label, and it was done!



Now we just have to patiently (hahaha) wait for the finalists to be juried - 120 lucky entries will be chosen.  Oh dear, waiting until July 8th just may kill me!  Until then, here's a couple detail pics: