Last week was a busy week. Generally both PTA and Fiber Junkies don't meet in the same week, never mind back to back days. But it is our duty to have fun with our fiber friends!!
We met at Judy's.....as always we are so appreciative of having access to her large, well equipped and beautiful studio. Denny brought her die cast cutting machines....there are several manufactures of these machines with accompanying dies that make fast work of cutting both simple and complicated shapes. We were all awed by her large electric one.....not to mention the huge inventory of shapes she owns.
Gen was very methodical and concentrated on cutting specific colors and shapes. She's trying to get a bunch of kits prepared in anticipation of a huge downsizing and move.
Each of us had piles of fused fabrics ready to be cut.
Here's an example of the Ohio Star block Denny cut using her machines. I love the unusual color & busy print combinations, the black sets it off so well.
She also worked on a t-shirt quilt for her husband.....using his collection of very unique shirts.
The backing is personalized too....he grew up in Scotland and is an engineer type.....thus the numbers and sport theme.
Kate has been on a roll creating the most charming small pieces from orphan blocks. She has an extensive fabric collection which she utilizes with her great eye to make the blocks so much more interesting.
And....a total surprise for me. I had a rather big milestone birthday back in the spring. We don't normally celebrate birthdays, only the significant ones. However, about that time, two of our members had major family matters to cope with and the time passed. That was totally fine with me as it made it easier to ignore the big 70...unlike many who worry too much about those things. But....the FJ's didn't forget.....and when I walked in to Judy's house I was greeted with birthday greetings and all the wonderful trappings. The theme was beads as you can tell.
As is tradition, each birthday girl is given a crown & scepter. I also received this beautiful eco-dyed scarf that Val created....complete with the screen printed words "Bead Queen on Board". I'll treasure these memories forever. Thank you dear friends.....this was such a wonderful surprise!!
AND....on another personal note.....'the husband' is now recuperating from major surgery and I'm playing nurse maid and wicked witch.....keeping him from doing things he is not supposed to do. The recovery is going to be LONG.....however with any luck I'll be back blogging and in the studio before too long.
We had another inspirational and fun filled gathering this month. Our decision to rotate the responsibility of organizing a monthly meeting among each member has proved to be very successful and less stress free for all. We met at Gen's, high up in the mountain in Hendersonville.
This group is more of a show and tell, chatty, foodie group. Of course we occasionally gather to make community quilts, but mostly we each do our own thing and share how-to's and inspirations.
Dort made this clever bag for her granddaughter who loves to draw. Easy access for markers and plenty of room inside for paper.
Mary B. showed off her hand painted shoes. She was recently asked (obviously by a non-sewer/crafter) where she got them.....with the accompanying remark that 'they didn't match'!! Of course we all howled at that comment.
Cathy is one of our members who is still in the workforce (not associated with sewing)...she finds the most attractive clothing...this one at a small shop featuring hand made clothing.
The label of Cathy's stunning jacket.
Oh....did I say food?? Gen made these yummy ice cream filled cream puffs.
We have 13 members in our group.....so Mary B. and Gen shared the planning this month. Mary surprised us with goodie bags filled with items that were personal for each of us. Like many....Mary B. is trying to downsize and her loss is our gain!
Judy is displaying a tatted piece of lace that was in her bag.
And of course....this bumper sticker was in mine! Perfect.
Dort creates clever, detailed folk art quilts....these books belong in her library.
Here's our hostess Gen.....(I speak of her often when I blog about the Fiber Junkies....several PTA members are also in Fiber Junkies). Gen can do it all....and does it at the highest level......
I too found a piece of tatted lace in my bag.
Connie is wearing a t-shirt that she created while demonstrating how to transfer (by rubbing) indigo leaves onto fabric during a meeting she hosted.
Here's Connie again....donning an apron that she received, Connie LOVES aprons....what an appropriate treasure.
For long time readers....perhaps you may find it fun to match a face to the names that I bounce around in my posts.
Our area has been experiencing dry weather since the spring.....it's now officially being called a drought. I've never really worried about wild fires before....but now one can't help but pay attention to this very real risk.
This is the view looking East from Gen's house in Hendersonville toward the largest and growing fire in the Party Rock area.
Unfortunately, it's hitting closer to home....it took nearly 3 hrs. to travel what should have been an hour + drive home from Gen's. Interstate I40 going just West of Asheville was down to less than one lane as another fire popped up along the highway/ridge. No rain expected in the future.....the fires we so often hear about in the West are getting all too real for many of us.
My work will be available at another gallery soon. This one is in downtown Asheville....details when the date is finalized. So......in an effort to have items at a lower price point then my wall art quilts that will also be displayed, I've been making a variety of felted baskets and bowls.
The make up of each varies, many feature a layer of National Nonwoven Woolfelt, some feature layers of wet felted wool, some have been acid dyed, others have been ice-dyed, several have been needle felted.
The method I'd been using to wet felt bowls involved using a resist. Basically, the size and shape of the plastic resist determined the look of your finished bowl/vessel.
This time I decided to forgo the resist, instead I eye-balled circular shapes as I felted. Once fulled, each was placed on a base to dry. Here a glass flower vase and rubber band held the felted wool during the drying process.
Some 'circles' were not too even! An upside down bowl and an embroidery hoop helped to shape this larger piece. Below you'll find the results of my experiments. Contact me if you are interested in any of these pieces.
This October Fiber Junkies 'report' is a tad late.....but the results of our experiments will live on! We had such fun.
At a previous FJ meeting, we stenciled, painted, drew, and otherwise created designs on paper using disperse paints and crayons. My example above was made using two colors of paint and a stencil. The lower section is what it looked like after transferring the design to synthetic felt.
This month we all brought our completed papers and a variety of fabrics and using a HOT iron, transferred the designs onto our chosen fabrics. This technique works best on synthetics, at least 50%, though one must take care working with temperature sensitive fabrics such as nylon)
Kate gave me some white synthetic felt. It's not a product I normally use given that it's too thin and distorts easily. However, it held up well to this technique and I've already incorporated this piece into a folded felted basket that was recently featured in a post.
Both Denny and Val are so adept at layering designs. That inspired this piece that I created by first transferring the orange design, followed by the blue- green paper.
......And another layered design, using 3 different papers which were transferred onto Peach Skin poly.
This is Val's, also on Peach Skin poly.
Here are the three paper designs Val used.
Denny likes to use masks, particularly human figures, which she incorporates with the layering of a number of other designs.
Because disperse/transfer methods work best on poly fabrics which are generally lightweight, Denny stabilizes the work with a heavy fusible and machine quilting.
Another example of Denny's work.
Kate created this complex piece using multiple designs.
It's going to be interesting to see how FJ members utilize the pieces we completed at this meeting. It was A LOT of fun and all of us are anxious to explore this method again.
We haven't had rain in weeks and weeks......our fall temperatures are like summer, and sadly this makes the leave fall so quickly. Yet, this is way better than cold, snow, and ice.......so I'm lovin' it!