Friday, January 30, 2009

New Work

I've just put the binding on a little project that was asking to be finished. Do you ever have your work talk to you? This one was very patient and polite! I think if we listen more to our work it would flow more smoothly and be less frustrating! And conversations could be quite interesting.
Now I'm not sure where to put the sleeve...should it be a landscape or portrait orientation. I'd love some feedback.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Stamping Monday

Today its about being green and using what is around you! We probably all have some styrofoam meat trays our community we can take them in for recycling, which I do after I've had a bit of fun. This is something that you can easily do with friends, kids and in a class room.
Begin by cutting the foam tray the size you want your stamp to be. Score it with a pen, pencil or the end of a paint brush. The tip doesn't have to be sharp but your lines will be the width of the instrument. Try a comb, needles, almost anything will leave an imprint. Press firmly but not too hard to create a design on the foam stamp.
Use fabric paint or thickened dyes and roll your brayer along the surface of the foam stamp. Don't push too hard or the paint will be pushed into the grooves and the print won't be as sharp.
Turn the foam stamp over and print onto fabric that has been pinned into a print table. (See December 23rd post for making a print table) You really want to have the fabric fastened down on something or it will tend to lift when you remove the stamp.
If your foam is flexible you can make partial stamps by bending the foam slightly or you can apply paint to only part of the stamp for other effects. If you get bored with your design, wash the stamp and add more scored lines for additional interest. If you're still bored, cut the stamp into squares or strips for "new" stamps. Remember to turn or rotate the stamp for variety in your design.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Friends for Lunch

With our modern communication methods we're always in touch instantly with friends and family but nothing beats spending time in each others company. Our friend, Tricia Sherman, producer of The Great Canadian Shop Hop( met Cathy Miller, the Singing Quilter, ( and I for lunch yesterday and we caught up on each others news. What fun....we never stopped talking the whole time.
Of course our visit also had to include a stop at our favouite quilt shop

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Beautiful Day for a Walk

Its a glorious day with sunshine and perhaps a promise of warmer weather to come. I couldn't resist a walk along the beach. This view is looking towards Mount Baker in Washington state and in the foreground are boats near Oak Bay Marina.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Stamping Monday

I'm here again with another idea for your stamping pleasure! I learned this technique in a workshop with Ruth Isset. This time we're working with string blocks that are so simple to make you should have dozens of them. You'll need to have good quality twine...what I know as 'butchers twine'. I think it has a very high cotton content and has a very tight twist. This way it doesn't have stray threads for the paint to muck up on and being a rather dense and hard twine, it doesn't unravel easily.
Find a block of wood or foam core and lay down a layer of carpet tape. Its super sticky on both sides and will not come off without some very serious tugging. Cut off a length of string about 18" and begin laying it down on the carpet tape. Take your time in deciding where to place the string as its hard to move it around. Try not to lay string on top of itself as it won't print well as two layers.
Think about design: wavy patterns, flowers, spirals etc. have fun with the possibilities.

You can then seal the string with a couple of coats of acrylic paint, the stamp will last longer that way and it'll be easier to wash later. Use a print table and pin your fabric in it for best results. I have instructions for a print table on December 23rd. Check it out!
Have fun!

Friday, January 16, 2009


I finished this a couple days ago and have posted it in my Etsy shop ( I had started it as part of a group challenge with my local art quilt group to interpret the four elements (earth, wind, fire and water). I didn't like it much until I put another layer of batting on and quilted it some more. I then discharged on higher spots of the quilt and painted over with some Lumiere paints. Adding lots of surface stitchery also made a big difference.
I remember a teacher once saying "if in doubt, do more" and have found that to be generally quite true. I tend to hesitate when the quilt asks me to be brave and adventurous!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Stamping Monday

This time I had all I needed right in the kitchen drawer! A whole pile of elastic bands that come off the vegetables from the supermarket. I love those broccoli ones! Wrap them around anything with a flat surface. It could be a piece of wood, I've used a piece of foam core, you'll find something else perhaps.

Make a pattern with your placment of the bands, it could be a sort of checkerboard or plaid or totally random. The best part is that you can move the elastics around and change your designs so easily.

Use a brayer or spread the paint on your tray and then roll it onto the elastics. You'll probably get some on the board as well, but that can be part of the design.

Press your little elastic board onto your fabric, repeat as often as you wish. Remember to use a print table to get the best impressions. Rotate the board to change the orientation of the designs. Change colours of paint to make layers of design and have lots o'fun!

I recommend that you make impressions of all your stamps in a separate sketchbook to record ideas, colours and repeating patterns. You'll find that you come back to them again and again.

Have you tried this method as well?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Opposites Attract

I took another leap of the technological cliff today and started an Etsy Shop. This quilt was the first item I posted! I love playing by weaving fabric strips to see the patterns develop.
The fabrics were ones that I had dyed and then painted as a demonstration in one of my workshops. I wove them together and then quilted through to hold the layers in place. I painted discharge paste over top, it was exciting to see how the colours and values changed while the painted parts stayed the same. That's because dye will discharge but paint will not.
I added some complementary colour with the stitched edging close to the binding to tie it all together. This little gem is for sale at !!!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Stamping Monday

Its that time of the week again! Today you might find what you need at home or during a quick trip to the local dollar store. You'll need a couple of pieces of non-slip mats. I think they're meant to put under dishes in the cupboard, kitchen appliances, under your sewing machine and I've seen them as glass coasters for the patio.
Each type seems to have some variation in their design so its worth buying a couple of different styles as they will stamp differently. Cut them into different shapes, circles, squares, triangles and strips.
I've stamped through a stencil I made from freezer paper, that made some interesting texture.
Then I stamped squares in a checkerboard fashion, use a good contrast on coloured fabrics for the image to show up. And don't forget to heat set the paint.