Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Good Thing It's Not Combustible!

The Girls* were talking about dyeing wool. The tall (5"5") one was considering wool on wool applique.

No need to buy wool to dye. I have plenty of wool scraps in the basement. As promised, I descended into the fabric storage cave and came up with a basket full of wool and wool blend scraps. Most of the pieces are dark because the non-scrap parts of them were or are slacks, skirts, jackets and coats. There was a fairly large piece of light beige wool melton whose other part was made into a very nice coat in 1978.

I washed the wool in my front-loader machine. There has been some discussion about whether wool will felt in a front-loader with no agitator. Due to the fact that I have only this particular washing machine available, I was unable to do a truly scientific experiment. I ran it through the express cycle twice, both times with hot wash and cold rinse and the highest spin speed.

This is the basket of wool.

Then I put it in the dryer on hot. I had a fleeting thought that I should clean the lint filter part way through the drying cycle, but, as is common with fleeting thoughts, the thought flit. When the dryer buzzed, I went down to the basement, and this is what I found in the lint filter.

Thank goodness wool isn't very combustible! One would not want to start the house on fire for ayrt or even for art!

*The Girls are in the last photo in the previous post. They are the ones on the far left (the tall one) and on the far right (the not tall one). The two in the middle (along with another person) used to be The Girls. The two in the middle have ascended to become The Mothers of the Girls. The one who is not pictured has ascended to become The Grandmother of The Little Girls.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Girls Gone Wild!

Last weekend my sister-in-law, my daughter, my niece and I all went to the International Quilt Festival in Chicago. We had an absolute blast! It was GIRLS GONE WILD!

On Thursday I took a Fabric Painting class with Cindy Walter. It was too much fun. There were only six of us in the class, and we were able to play with all the toys shown above.

Messes were acceptable, and you can see my mess in progress below.

My masterpieces drying are shown below. We painted on wet fabric and dry fabric and noted the differences. Then we experimented with five colors of paint on a single piece of fabric. It's hard to make that look good. We scrunched and we salted and we painted silk scarves.

Here's Cindy holding one of the quilts she made with hand painted fabric. She's a super teacher--relaxed, upbeat, and encouraging. Everyone had a great time.

On Friday my sister-in-law and I took Organic Beading with Nancy Eha. This was a fun class, too. I learned some new stitches and enjoyed looking at Nancy's work. The samples she showed us are below.

My sister-in-law's practice sampler is below. Hers is much neater than mine.

And here at last are the Girls Gone Wild! We saw all the quilts, all the vendors, all the food on the restaurant buffet, and all the furniture in the Ikea store. We also had lots of laughs. Plans are underway for another adventure at the Quilt Festival next year.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Purple Doll Is Finished!

I finished the Purple Doll today. It will go to the auction to earn money for scholarships for the Florida Library Association. She is five inches tall and three-and-a-half inches across from fingertip to fingertip. Not shown in the photo is a ribbon so she can be hung up. The back is not beaded.

At the bottom part of her skirt are iridescent sequins. The beads are 15/0s, 11/0s, 8/0s, bugles, cubes, and triangles. Her heart started out white, but I colored it with magenta and purple alcohol ink. That turned out pretty well, at least on the third try. I found out that it was possible to erase alcohol ink with rubbing alcohol.

I'd read about stuffing forks. I didn't want to order one so I decided to make my own. My stuffing fork is made from two bamboo skewers and masking tape. The directions for making one are simple: Place the skewers side by side. Tape them together. I consider this fork an amazing success. I found it much easier to stuff the little doll with my fork than with a chopstick or a single skewer.

Good-bye, Little Purple Doll! Find a good home and enjoy your new family.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Purple Doll

I'm working on a new spirit doll. This one is for an auction to raise money for scholarships for the Florida Library Association. You can see the underside of the doll's front above. She is about five inches tall.

The front of the doll is below. I wanted a spring color so I chose lilac. I've made purple pieces before, but none with this more reddish purple. That was an interesting challenge since I gravitate toward bluish purple. But I'm happy with the way it's turning out. There's not much more beading to do. The back will be fabric lightly decorated with paints or ink. After the front and back are sewn together and it's edged with beads, I'll send it down to Florida. My plan is to do this before Wednesday, when I go to the International Quilt Festival in Chicago.

One question remains: What caused her heart to leap like that? She must be in love!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Here Be Monster!

Not too scary, I hope.

Last month our fiber arts group had a monster making workshop, and here is my result. At present, she doesn't have a name so suggestions are welcome.

Her defining characteristic is a unique form of synesthesia. Because her eyes are jingle bells, everything she sees is interpreted as a sound. To her, everything visual is musical. Imagine what that is like!

Her bright colors indicate that she likes peppy, cheerful music best. But she also has a tolerance for avant guard music. She also has a bit of a rebellious streak. She has repeatedly ignored her mother when told to cut her hair and trim her eyelashes. She is a warm, loving monster, with cozy, fuzzy skin and arms reaching out to hug.