Sunday, January 27, 2013

Final Print for Solstice Exchange

It's done!  I seriously questioned by ability to bring this to a successful conclusion but the final print achieves the goal I set out to accomplish. 

And I learned quite a bit in the process.  I think I need to change my approach.  Not having the benefit of any classes or workshops in this media,  I suspect I've been approaching this as a painter, rather than a printmaker.   I think I need to simplify my designs, from the beginning, down to simpler color blocks.  Don't you think?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Pass five done! I am struggling now.  Almost had to recarve this one because it just wasn't registering right, but I played with it until it worked for me.

Fourth Pass on Solstice Print

Moving along here... onto the fourth pass of this print.  As you can see I didn't cleanly carve out that middle part above the boat because it'll be covered up and I'll like a little blue showing through haphazardly as it is.

Now I have to go upstairs and look at it to see where I'm at on this....time is running short to meet the deadline because I'm using Akua Ink and they need to dry before mailing so I'm going to speed it up here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 and art!

I'm still a novice at relief printmaking, as well as at fiber art for that matter!  But as I get older, I feel the clock ticking and it motivates me strongly forward to make the best use of my time and to do the best I can with what time I have left in this world.  I don't have regrets about my life and for the most part I've always propelled myself forward despite obstacles and there have been many!  But at 64, the urge to accomplish things that seem worthwhile grows stronger. And I'm lucky enough to have a partner in life who accomodates such desires and supports me in my endeavors.  That said.....

I do have such fun at this!  Earlier today, I was running off the next printing plate, I set up a tripod and took some pics of the process!  Keep in mind now, I'm always learning!

First, I mix up the ink I will be using.
Then I sandwich my papers/prints between layers of damp fabric,
while I prepare the next step.
I roll the ink onto my carving plate with a breyer.
Carefully, I lay down my paper onto the carving, aka registering my print.
That is the back side of the print showing through.
Now, I'm transferring the ink from my carved plate to the paper by
gently rolling my soft brayer over it.  I used to use a baren but this time
I tried using the brayer to see if I got a better print and I did!
Alas, I pull the print...
and hang them to dry!
This color is about half done.  So far there's about forty done in blue.  Soon I will decide if I'll do another darker blue before the black.  I've only done one other large edition of multi color prints like this, so any advise from those who are more experienced is welcome!

Pincushions of the Modern Quilt Guild ( a repost with corrections)

The Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild hosted a Pincushion swap and quite a few Boston MQG
members participated.
These are the ones I did:
and these are the ones I received:
 Made by Jane Bromberg - love the colors!
Made by Buff Jones, an excellent quilter - perfect lines and corners!
Some more made by members of the Boston Modern Quilt Guild:

Lots of color and fun!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Another Madrona Road Quilted Tote Bag

My Elna is back and in great shape!  Finished another Madrona Road Challenge tote bag.
The original Pattern that I referred to for construction of both totes is from Quiltoutloud, but the link I have seems to be outdated - it was published in 2009.
However, I'm not great at following patterns, due to both lack of technical proficiency and my dominant creative bent, so the creative pattern is mostly mine and the construction pattern is mostly theirs. 

Also, yesterday was the January meeting for the Boston Modern Quilt Guild where Hema did a great tutorial on free motion quilting.  Small world...we realized I was her daughter's Toddler Teacher in daycare! 
 Hema is quite accomplished at free motion quilting.  You can find her blog here:

Saturday, January 19, 2013

I'm happy to say printing has begun for the Southern Summer/Northern Winter Solstice Print Exchange for 2013!

The theme this time is: Dreams/Fantasies ... Dark/Light.

I have 2 color runs almost completed so far.  I'm playing this one by ear as I go.  I'm really not sure if I'm up to the challenge for this one but I'm persisting and hoping for the best!

First Run, Yellow
Second run, a muddied up yellow and  some white sponged onto the block.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I coaxed my old Singer back into service! Where there's a will there's a way!

Although I'm not much of a seamstress, I'm forcing myself to learn and I must say, I am so glad I persevered through this one! I don't know about anyone else's experience with free patterns but this one was no exeption for me - missing lots of information in the instructions, but I got the better of it after much stitchin-n-bitchin!

Here's the final product!

Friday, January 11, 2013

The minutes are swiftly ticking away at this new year! 
My sewing machine is in for repair.  My BMQG Challenge, using Michael Miller's new Madronna Road fabric in a quilt project awaits its return.  I'm making a quilted tote bag.
I've carved  and printed 2 new projects (not scanned in yet as they are drying):

CC Year of the Black (or Blue) Snake Swap and the Baren Year of The Dragon 2012 Exchange .
...and I'm working on a third.  The carvings are done for this year's Southern Summer/Northern Winter Solstice Print Exchange and I'm cutting my papers to size preparing to begin printing!  I've carved 3 blocks for this and have no idea yet how many colors I'll end up doing.  For me, life is a learning curve! 
Filling in some of time in between,  I'm doing some  zen tangleing which will probably end up being carved as well:



Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! 
It's sunny and bright here today - I choose to view it as a good omen!
I must say I had a good time snow dyeing and I'm pretty happy with the results of my first time experiments, so I'm glad to share some pics with you!

Right:  I used Cerulean Blue, Chinese Red and deep Hansa Yellow for this one and simply layed it down and scrunched it up to fit the size of the dishpan, layed on a pile of snow, squirted the dye and let it melt and set for about  8 hours.  It was cold in the garage so it took awhile.

 To the right: this is a long, narrow length of fabric that I just wrung around pretty tightly and layed down without tieing or binding it up. Because there was so much fabric in places, the dye didn't cover the whole piece. 
Below that is a detail of this same piece with what seems like the "typical" snow dye effect.

This piece, to the left, is more of a snow dyed shibori.  I twisted it up tightly and tied it off repeatedly until the whole length of fabric was twisted and tied, about 5 or 6 times, so it left lots of white undyed.


 Detail of the same shibori. I love the dark, intense colors along with the white!

Like my new outfit?  When I opened up these pieces, I could see that the entire underside was still white because the sweatpants were so thick, the dye hadn't penetrated so I just turned it over and left it for another 6 hours and it turned out perfect! 

I love the colors and the pattern, and in this case, that it covered the whole outfit!  A great fun way to start a new year!

Now, I better go clean up after myself and get upstairs. 

I have a lot of carving to do! I've drawn up my design for the 2013 year of the Snake print.

And I have to hit the drawing board for yet another print edition along the lines of light/dark and dreams/fantasies!