Friday, June 30, 2006

Goings On

It's been a very busy time since I got home from QSDS. This past weekend we (husband, daughter, x-dil, and 3 grandchildren) flew to Chicago for the weekend. While there we attended a family picnic, a birthday party for 2 nephews and a niece, and a brunch. It was exhausting. And we chose to fly back right in the middle of the horrendous rain storms that have pounded the East Coast. Our return flight was late getting loaded and we finally taxied out to the runway and were preparing to take off when the pilot told us that BWI had just closed and we had to pull out of line.

We sat on the tarmac for 2 hours. This is not an easy wait for adults, but imagine doing it with 3 small children. They were real troopers and never complained. Of course, the adult companions had to pull out multiple bags of tricks to keep them entertained. We finally arrived home at 1am. Monday was a tough day for everybody.

My surface design class at Miami University is next week. Last week I packed up 3 boxes of supplies and sent them off. This week I've been reviewing my class plan and typing up handouts for the students. Yesterday I dyed fabric using the same dyes and same exercises we will be using in the class. The first two days of class we will dye fabric, and the rest of the week we will work with paint - gelatin plate printing, stamping, simple screenprinting, etc. I will have to remind the class (and myself) to not dye everything dark because we will use the dyed fabrics for painting. I have a difficult time restraining myself; I tend to be heavy handed with the amounts of dye. I will encourage the students to use their measuring spoons at first so that they can see how much dye they are using. With fat quarters, it only takes a drop or two for pale colors. Never seems possible that it will be enough.

No picnic is complete without a water balloon fight!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


Several people have asked the sizes of the QSDS pieces. They are all fairly small, between 12" and 15" long, and 12 or 13" wide. The edges are only stitched down and there aren't any formal bindings. To put a nice finish on them, I would do a satin stitch around the edges - too many innies and outies to bind or face.

Monday, June 19, 2006


Arrived home late Saturday afternoon after 8 hours on the road. I sure wish they would work on that "beam me up" thing.

Here is the final piece I did in my workshop. On this one I deviated from the square/rectangle shape and ventured into randomly cut pieces. Most have 4 sides but they are laid down randomly so the edges aren't so even as they were in the previous pieces. Makes for a livelier composition. I do like all the little fabric pieces but securing them to the base is a problem. Not so much when it's small like these but if I were to do the same size pieces in a much larger quilt, it would become quite a challenge. I don't want to use wonder under. Maybe a little dab of glue to hold them in place while I stitch them down. These pieces were stitched to the batting and backing all at once. In some cases, a piece of canvas served as the batting, resulting in less dimension, but providing lots of stability.

Now I have to pack up the supplies for my class that I'm teaching at Miami University and get them shipped.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Not Red

Here are five little pieces. The first was a test for quilting designs and it's red because I wanted to use the commission fabrics. The rest are not-red and I was limiting myself to the other fabrics that I brought.

These are probably out of focus a little and the pictures aren't all that great. They are in order of my making them.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Tuesday at QSDS

I'm making progress on the commission - it's about 1/4 quilted - so I'm going to put it aside and do something else. Michael is strongly encouraging me to do something that is *not* red. Gasp. I'm accepting the challenge and have sorted my fabrics and put away all the red stuff and tomorrow will create in non-red.

We had group critiques today where each person got 10 minutes. First she described what she was doing, then Michael and the class offerred comments and asked questions. As usual, I hear only the sort of negative stuff and totally miss out on the positive stuff. I think this is universal. In talking to others about what they heard, it's as if we were in different rooms entirely. We zoom in on the 'bad' stuff and sometimes hear stuff that isn't even said or implied. Probably ought to tape it so we can go back and re-hear it.

Then the Mini-bazaar and the Ice Cream Social. I haven't been taking any pictures so you can't see the bowl of ice cream covered in toffee heath bar bits and chocolate sauce that I had. It was an effort but I ate every last bit.

Sunday, June 11, 2006


After an 8 hour drive through western Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, West Virginia again, then Ohio, we arrived at QSDS. It was great meeting up with old friends. Hauled our stuff into the classroom, reserved our little corner, and began to spread out. Each student gets two tables and two design boards. Somehow it's not enough space for some.

So far Michael James is turning out to be very enjoyable. Not stuff or professorial at all, but laughs with us and tells jokes and stories from his teaching. People are working on different types of things: some of us brought work in progress, some started something new, and some have no idea what to do.

Tonight the 5 day crowd is moving in and there is more excitement. Since my class goes for 7 days, we don't have to pack up and move out of the classroom, and can even spend the evening doing more work.

The weather the day we arrived was beautiful, but since then it's been quite chilly and rainy. I'm wearing lots of layers again. Went out for my morning walk and there was a flock of Canada geese on the path. We had sort of a standoff - those things are big and mean. I made myself as non-threatening as I could and walked by, but they hissed at me anyhow. And I had to pass them again on the return trip. Picked up a stick and swung it and they stayed away.

Back to sewing....

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Here is a photo of the fabric fading experiment. I sprayed one side of this fabric several weeks ago and also saved a separate piece of the original. It's either been out in direct sunlight or in a sunny window ever since.

The original fabric is laid across the center. The red and the yellow don't seem to have changed, but the blue/purple is noticeably lighter. Even on the sprayed side. Actually I can't see a difference between the sprayed and unsprayed blue. Even the red and yellow look the same sprayed and unsprayed. Makes me wonder if I did it wrong. Maybe I will try this again.

On Friday I'm leaving for Quilt Surface Design Symposium. I'm taking Michael James' Master Class, which goes for seven days. There were some assignments posted on the QSDS web page (which I haven't done), an article that he sent us (which I haven't read), and some books to read (some of which I ordered but they haven't come yet, so much for Amazon re-sellers, so I haven't read them, either). I do have something to work on in class, thank heavens. I sure hope he's not reading my blog....

I need to start packing in earnest, plus get a million other chores completed before I leave. I sort of lollygag along thinking I have plenty of time, then suddenly the deadline is here, and oops! now I'm rushing around. I need some of that goal-setting practice.

I'm taking a laptop so that I can post from QSDS. I wonder if that duck has laid eggs in the atrium again this year.