Friday, 10 October 2008

Praise From On High

These are two comments from Beth Wheeler, author of "Altered Photo Artistry", and moderator of the rust-dyeing group I'm a member of:

Hi All! Sue Cottle has a KEWL rust-dyed piece on her blog.
Sue, tell us about it!

Wow, Sue! This is a wonderful explanation. It really illustrates how we absorb techniques and ideas from a variety of sources and put them together in our own work. Well done!

Beth Wheeler
faculty of Quilters Keep Learning

Here's the link to the group:

I'm really rather blown away by this - I feel like I'm crawling up the steps from "wanna be" to "gonna be".

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Ghost Gums

The rust dyed fabric behind the trees is from the mailbox pole. The trees are ghost gums, an import from Australia – they’re very tall, with straight, almost white trunks, and a lace-like leaf structure, right on the end of the branches. These are the two trees that drew me to the area we now live in, and are balanced by two glorious oak trees at the opposite end of our area – Summerland. (A later project!)
I used the technique described by Beth in her rust-dyed, printed fabric technique on The Quilt Show website – that’s what got me interested in all this to start with. I photographed the trees, manipulated them in Paint to get rid of the background, ironed the fabric onto freezer paper (ordered specially via the internet!), and then ran them thru my inkjet printer (HP PSC 1210). The Bubble Jet Set doesn’t arrive for another 2 weeks, so the fabric hasn’t been treated. The trees are thread-painted on using about 4 shades of brown, 2 of beige, and the leaves are about 3 shades of green.
The fence was taken from a "how to draw" book, traced with Glad Press n Seal, then transferred onto the fabric. The three large fenceposts were made using Judy Simmons "Machine Needlelace" technique on Solvy. I used around 6 shades of beige to brown. The "barbed wire" was made using Solvy, and a decorative stitch – sort of a daisy chain, and handsewn to the fenceposts. As you may gather from this, I don’t draw – but I’m really good at cut n paste!
The dry pond fabric is from the wheelbarrow, using a "contour line" image from Gloria Loughman’s book "Luminous Landscapes". The lines are threadpainted on using Mettler Amber variegated thread.
I’ve just bought Beth Wheeler’s "Altered Photo Artistry", so once I get my sewing machine back, I’ll use monofilament thread to create texture, as she suggests. I was originally going to use the rust-dyed thread I made, but this refuses to go thru my sewing machine.
I also want to create some dried grass, and pampas grass (we call it toetoe). I've removed the green "blobs" - they were meant to be grass, but just didn't work.
For a border, I was thinking of using Loughman’s diagonal squares technique, also in rust dyed fabrics.
Now that I have Beth’s book, I have a copy of Adobe PE 5.0, and I think I’m in love. Unfortunately it won’t talk to my laptop, which runs the horrid Vista, but does work on my daughters’ computer.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Mother of Two, and Quilt Art Inspirations

Spent some quality time being mother of two these last 3 days. Saturday and Sunday were spent emptying Becca’s room and restacking it. One and a quarter rubbish bags of "junk", a large box of toys for the school gala, some bits and bobs for Trademe. She now has EMPTY storage containers, and I’ve taken 1 basket off her for my quilting fabric.

Today we went to Quilters’ Dream first. They have a small stock of YLI variegated threads. I chose 3 – "Cafe Romano", coffee & cream; "London Drizzle", light and dark greys; "Teals", shades of teal. They also had a copy of "Altered Photo Artistry" by Beth Wheeler & Lori Marquette. Beth is the moderator of the Yahoo Rust dyeing group I belong to. I feel like a bit of a "wanna be", but then we all have to start somewhere. The book has a trial version of Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0, which I’m looking forward to playing with. I’ve already got some interesting ideas to try out – including using monofilament thread for texture.

Then we went and played Miniputt golf in the pouring rain - two rounds – lots of fun. Becca did very well for a first timer, and Tom (just turned 20 on Saturday) also did OK. Me, I’ve only ever played it once before, WON! Both rounds! Hehehehe. Fish & chips for lunch, then a visit to the grandparents – B&B.

Other recently inspiring input has come from old episodes of Simply Quilts – Machine Needlelace with Judy Simmons, and Nancy Prince’s Thread Painting – very cool. I’ve already made some logs, and next is some plants for my pond edge.

David is dubbing old episodes onto DVD for me, and about 1 in every 10 episodes have something really interesting or inspiring.

I've also discovered the joys of HGTV on-line video clips, and feature pages, which have instructions. Someday I'd like to sign up for The Quilt Show - Alex Anderson & Ricky Timms, but it's $25 USD, so will have to wait.

This is my Ghostgums rust dye print. I think the fence looks a bit wonky, and I'm not sure about my green grassy lumps, made using solvy and the needle lace technique. I think I'm going to remove them - They will live again! I've stitched in a dried pond, so next is to use monofilament to create texture.

The attempts at using my rust dyed cotton thread have not been successful - it won't feed thru the bobbin, or from the top spool, getting jammed each time. I've tried washing and soaking it, but to no avail. I'm going to try rust dyeing some Birch 50wt polyester thread, and see what happens with that. Might just have to use it for hand sewing - ugh!

I have a half day off tomorrow - I've told Becca it's a "stay at home" day, as I'd like to spend the morning sewing, not driving round the countryside in the pouring rain (gale-force north-westerly's are forecast!)