Sunday, July 31, 2011

Zentangle® play day

Yesterday was our second Zentangle® inspired play day. There was a small group this time but some interesting  sharing. I wanted to show a slide show of all the photos that I took but my photo program is not cooperating with me so I will only show you what was translated into fiber art.

Janet put her designs on fabric that she colored with watercolor pencils.The one on the top left is done on paper and the top right is fabric. They are all fun little pieces and show me that what  I do does not have to be a big serious piece of art. N(not that I  really make big serious pieces of art)Janet also made so very nice note cards using the same technique.

Sue experimented with a lot of different applications and she used different colors of watercolor pencils and pens for her doodles.

Little hexie bag with doodles on patches and around top

Doodles in squares on printed fabric

Enhanced printed motifs plus doodles

She also experimented with doodling on the squares on printed fabric with different motifs, and enhanced the lines of printed designs as well as adding doodles. She doodled also in the squares of leftover 9 patch and log cabin blocks .(not shown)

Below is a postcard she made by cutting out and fusing doodles to a background. She used printed fabrics and drew over them.
On the left is a collage she made by filling in the shapes on a white background with fused "doodle type" black and white fabric.

black and white collage


Stitches on the sewing  machine

Sue also used the fancy stitches on  her sewing  machine to fill in spaces of a collage.

Other  people worked on paprr drawing collages or hands. I would like to show them but blogger gets testy if I try to used too many pictures and won't let me put them where I want.

It was very interesting to see what everyone was doing and we decided  to meet again this fall to see how people have used this in their work.

I was really pleased and excited when Lori said she would be interested in quilting my bigger piece that I was  not so sure I wanted to tackle after having done some small practice pieces. I feel my skills are not up to what I had originally planned (or any of the other ideas I had). She took the whole pattern home with her, with my blessing to do with it whatever  she wants. She is a very accomplished, patient machine quilter and I am sure it will be wonderful. It is such a relief to me to be able to give it away and feel free to change directions.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I Spy top and back

 I went out today and got my thread and WonderUnder and I found something for the border of the I Spy quilt I am making for our "caring closet" at church.
I put the top and back together this  afternoon. I will finished it after I get some batting from our quilt supply closet at church.

I Spy Front 41 x 41 inches

I Spy back

I used a Moda Bake Shop pattern and tweaked it a little to fit my I Spy squares. I went through the bag with all the I Spy fabric last week and sorted and cut and bagged.  I thought I better make one myself as there is always a new baby arriving and I haven't made much for the closet recently.
Our fabric at church just seems to multiply or maybe it reproduces. More stuff appears all the time. The closet is kept locked most of the time but apparently there are enough people who have access that it isn't too hard to drop off the fabric. Most of it is not new and not all of it is quilt fabric but some it is very nice.  It always needs to be sorted and put in one box or another so it will be used. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

New look but old quilt

 I decided I need a new look but I don't have a new quilt that I want to look at every time I open my blog page.

 Here is a photo of the whole quilt, front and back.This is one of my favorite quilts. It is all scrappy except for the sashing. I had cut squares of various sizes from all of my scraps that were stuffed into large popcorn cans and pretty much unusable in the mess they were in. I ended up with  about six boxes of squares in increments of 1/2 inch and sizes from 2 1/2 inches to 6 inches. This was one of the early quilts I made from those squares; the block was not so much my own design as it was inspired by a secondary pattern that came together in another quilt. This was also one of the first few quilts that I quilted in sections. First I quilted the center and then made the borders from sashed blocks and quilted them and added them around the outside. I think I  added the prairie points before I added the borders to the body of the quilt.

 I like the scrappiness of it, all the floral fabrics, the yellow and pink in the sashing, the prairie points, and the pieced back.  This is my kind of traditional quilt.

I ran out of thread that I need for my iris but I will get back to that tomorrow. Maybe today I will work on a new traditional quilt.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

On the other hand

Yesterday was another hot day that left me wilted. We went to the Y to walk and work out and it was nice and cool there but I still felt wiped out. The tree in front of our apt makes the AC work much more efficiently than the other apartment and I appreciate being able to feel comfortable but I hate to have it on all the time. It bothers my sinuses after a while.  I had printed my right hand sketch and was all ready to work on but just couldn't get up the enthusiasm to do it. After we had a short thunderstorm around dinner time it  cooled off and I perked up. I layered up and started quilting it and I finished it up today. I am going to hang them both on the wall above my desk.

Here it is, crooked fingers and bumpy knuckles and all. I did this one the same way as the left hand except  I put in a layer of Warm and White cotton batting along with the Timtex and I used very light gray instead of white for the echo quilting. It makes the echo quilting show up better. I also did  a lot more quilting on the long lines on the right hand. I went veeeerrrryyyy slow using my walking foot.
Here they are side by side. I won't hang them this way because I should have paid attention to the orientation of the right hand sketch before I printed it. There really is no yellow cast to the background, they are more like the one above. I printed the right hand on an EQ fabric sheet and it is not quite so bright white as the PFD fabric that I soaked in Bubblejet Set and ironed on to freezer paper. I think I am going to have to take notes so that I won't have to start out every time as though I have never done this before.

I guess I will work on the iris next. I can't start the bigger one until I get more Wonder Under. I went to Joann's the other day and they were out of Wonder Under on the bolt. It was there when I first looked but the line at the cutting table was so so long I decided to get the other things I came for and when I went back it was gone. Oh well..........................................

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Zentangle Addiction

It was pointed out to me that the Zentangle® name is a registered trademark and I was concerned enough to remove it from all my posts, however, I visited the Zentangle® legal  page and found that it is OK to say my work has been inspired by the Zentangle® art form.
 The Zentangle® art form and method was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas and is copyrighted. Zentangle® is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at
I think I have a Zentangle addiction. I have been doodling on every piece of paper that is on my desk. An idea pops into my head and I have to put it on paper. I have been trying for 2 days to put things away in my sewing room but I sort through some papers and find something I want to sketch or a sketch I want to improve.
Today I traced one doodle/sketch onto release  paper and then I ironed it very lightly onto a piece of fabric with fusible web on the back and and yesss!!! the design did  transfer to the back of the fused fabric. I cut it out and fused it to a square of light lime green fabric.
Here is the original sketch and the fused  piece. I think it looks like an iris. I am at that point where I am eager to begin to do some stitching on it and yet I am hesitant to start because I don't want to  mess it up.

I am also ready to to scan my sketch of my right hand and print it on fabric. I will then trace over the lines with a black Pigma pen and quilt it. I think I will  fix that  dark area on the thumb first. I like printing it on fabric and then tracing the lines. For one thing, if I really mess it up I can print another one and start over. It is also kind of like coloring in a coloring book. I just have to stay within on the lines. I  figure it is not cheating since the original drawing is my own.

I plan to do my fish the same way. On the left is my first fish. I liked it until  I realized the fin on the side looked more like a birds  wing than a fish part. The one on the right is better but not sure I like it well enough to make it in fabric. I have a few more fish but they are all pretty similar. I think I am fooling around with the hands and fish so I can avoid admitting I am reluctant  to work  on the iris and on the bigger one that I made the sketch and pattern for. I guess I will do the hand and see what I want to do next.
Laura Wasilowski  posted today on her blog how to do a wrapped binding on a small  piece with Timtex in it. I think I am  going to  give that a try on my right hand piece I am also going to put a layer of batting between the quilt  top and the Timtex. The left hand could use a little more dimension.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Play Day

Thirteen of us met yesterday to play with the Zentangle concept and it was a fun kind of day. We first got to know a little bit about each other and I  shared some of my explorations, several people shared some  books that they had , there were a number of sketches and doodles,which were all pretty impressive. We talked a little about supplies and then we all traced our hands and doodled all over them.
I did get a new camera and spent an entire afternoon figuring out how to get the pictures from my camera to my computer. Then......I did not take one photo at our get together. However, one of the ladies sent me a picture of the one she did. She drew it  right on the fabric and then colored it with markers. I am not sure what kind of markers she used but I am pretty sure they were something new that she was trying out. When we get together again I think we will all exchange ideas about what we used and how we liked it and what we would do differently or the same way. If anyone else sends me pics I will  show them and I will remember to take pictures next time.

I had a tracing of my hand that I had done when I first starting playing a few weeks ago.
Someone mentioned on her blog about a group tracing their hands (guess where I got the idea to do that). I think she then traced it on to cloth because she said she could have printed it on her ink jet printer.  AHA.......I had some treated fabric already ironed onto  freezer paper. I could do that! I scanned it and I did print it out first on paper. The first one was teeny tiny, about 3 inches square. The second one was from my photo program and it was too big the third one was printed from Paint and it was just right; so I printed that one on fabric. The original on paper was never meant to be used but I liked it and cleaned it up a little but it was not nearly as nice and clean as the work the ladies were doing yesterday. I am still just experimenting and I decided that though it is not perfect I would do something with it. I traced over all of the lines with a black Pigma pen to sharpen them and I did a little "fixing up" also. I laid it on a piece of fabric that I was going to cut for the back and I liked the way the pattern showed through on the white background so I fused the pieces together then I fused them  to a piece of Timtex (remember I am experimenting). I fused the backing on the other side of the Timtex and quilted on the line outlining the hand with black and then echo quilted with white over the background and added the binding.
It is very stiff and will stand on a little easel if that is what I want. I have a sketch of my right hand too so I guess I will  do the same with that one.

BTW, Jack had a look at my old camera, he went on line looking for a solution and found one, so now he has my old camera. It used to work the other way around; every time he bought an new (more expensive) camera I got the old one. My new camera is not expensive but has better features than the old one. It worked out well for everyone.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Not much sewing

Not much sewing going on here. It took me two days to sort out all the I Spy squares and cut some 10 1/2 inch squares from some of the fabric to make pieced backs. I bagged up sets of squares in Ziploc bags and it is all packed up nice and neat in the zippered bag it was in.  I would show it  but my camera died on me yesterday. I am looking for a new one on Amazon; I like shopping on Amazon so I can read the reviews and also the specs. Shopping in the store is never very satisfactory anymore; the people helping me decide what to buy often don't know the answers to my questions. When we get ourselves together in an hour or so we will probably go out and  have an "in person" look. I really would  like to have a camera tomorrow for our Zentangle play day.

We went to the arboretum after dinner yesterday, we walked around the pond, we counted the frogs and then I walked a mile.  I took this photo before my camera died. These are Bear's Breeches and they usually stand up nice and straight but here they look like something or someone sat on them. I have been watching them for over a month as they slowly get ready to  come into full bloom. They are interesting flowers that look good for a long time.

This is an earlier photo of part of the pond that we walk around. Actually the area is called the Butterfly Garden. there are flowers everywhere and something new opening up every day. Lots if inspiration all around.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sorting and stitching

I  have been getting my stuff ready for our Zen tangle play day this Saturday and also sorting through a zippered plastic bag with "I Spy" fabric that I brought home from our church group.  BTW all this made a real disaster of my sewing room but I am getting it all sorted out.
This is where I am right now. I made 22 - 4 patch blocks from purple and yellow squares that someone had cut and I am going to make this quilt from the moda bake shop. I will need to find one fabric to use for a constant square throughout the quilt. I like this pattern as it does not require so many "I Spy "squares.
I sorted the fabric into multiples of the same fabrics, stacks of single squares of 5 inch and single squares of 4 1/2 inch and fabric that aren't cut that might be used to piece large pieces for backs.  There is a Ziploc bag of 4 inch squares that are multiples of floral fabrics that might make nice adult lap quilts.

For now I  am going to take what I intend to make and set it aside. I will put all the rest back in the bag neatly organized with the pattern to make a quilt and I will take it back to the church. Maybe now that there is some rhyme and reason to it someone (maybe even me) will do something with it. I hate to see all  these scraps go to waste. I  am a hopeless scrapaholic.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


At Quilt Camp I brought in some of my zen doodle sketches. One of the girls who will be going into 6th grade, made a drawing then copied it onto cloth. She went over the darker lines with a marker and colored it with crayons. Her grandmother heat set it and cut out a circle and appliqued it to a piece of black and white fabric, quilted over some of the dividing lines, trimmed it with pink rick rack  and made a pillow. How nice is that.

 I love her drawing and the repetitive designs and the black and white fabric is a great choice.

Next Saturday a group of us are getting together for a play day. I  borrowed this to show.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Busy week

Almost a whole week and no post. Hmmm must have been a busy week.

After quilt Camp finished I just did nothing much for a couple of days. I did put my sewing room back together. I had taken my work tales and my ironing board and some of my cutting stuff to the church to use. I thought while my room was on the bare side I would get a lot of organizing done. That didn't happen because I really need my tables to put stuff on while I am organizing.

On the 4th we went to our great grandson's birthday party. It is always a lot of fun. There were 5 large bins or coolers filled with water balloons. After we ate and the presents were opened they bought out the water balloons.
Here are all 5 great grand kids and grandma and grandpa (my daughter and son in law) the birthday boy's daddy is hidden behind grandpa.

The 2 are plotting something I know them well.

Minor mishap, grandpa to the rescue.

After the water balloons were gone things calmed down and we went home to rest up for Tuesday.
We took the 3 oldest great grand kids to Geneva on the Lake where we played miniature golf at the oldest miniature course in the US. I took my usual bad photograph and then my batteries died. We had lunch at Eddie's Grill and then stopped at a playground . The playground  was cushioned with small smooth pebbles and the kids had a great time filling their shoes with  stones and dumping them down the purple slide. We were the  only ones there so  I let them have fun. and we cleaned it off before we left. I didn't get many pics because the kids were too fast for me.

Today I finished up the binding on my sample from quilt camp. It will go in our cupboard of "caring quilts". The quilting is nothing fancy, partly in the ditch and partly across the rectangles with a serpentine stitch. I got "that man" to hold it up for me so I could get a pic. Wasn't he nice?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Quilt Camp Day 5

Quilt Camp is over and  most of the quilts are completely finished. It was a fun week for me and I hope for everyone. There were 10 kids this year and all but 3 were returnees. Everyone made the same pattern but there were some individual design decisions.

Here they are with their finished quilts. They have them folded so the backing is showing. Most of the quilts were tied but 3 girls wanted to quilt theirs and they are coming  to our regular monthly meeting to finish up.

 All of the fabric in the strips is from our quilting closet donated fabric; they purchased the fabric for the backing and the one constant fabric that is in the horizontal strips and the inner border. They also decided how they wanted to handle the borders.
Maybe next year we will have the more experienced kids use some techniques that we haven't covered yet at Quilt Camp. If we have more sewing machines and more adult helpers we can do that and we can also take more  kids.
One of our adult helpers worked on some extra projects for the times when they didn't have anything to do but that didn't happen for most of the kids. The early finishers were the ones who didn't make the piano key borders. A few of the kids worked on something they made up themselves. I did see that some of the girls took the kits that were made up for the extra projects and at least one of them started working on it. One mom told me her daughter made something (by herself) at home this week with pieces of fabric that she put together. This is what we like to hear.

This couldn't happen without the adults who were willing to give up a week of their time. I am retired and  my time is pretty much my own but all of the other ladies have work and/or family obligations. It amazes me is that they are willing every year to give their time. They all deserve gold stars.