Mini Quilt Fun

Today, I decided that I had caught up enough from our trip and that I could play some in my studio.

Just before I left for Italy, I had purchased the book “Inspired to Quilt” by Melanie Testa …..61IzVmZ1HoL._SS400_ I loved her ideas about using paints and different layers to create the quilt top and then I REALLY loved the way that she quilted her pieces!!!  One of the tutorials was about using freezer paper as a mask when painting with thickened dye.  Well, I didn’t have any dye to thicken, so I decided to use the Water Soluble Oil Pastels that I had learned to use in a Margaret Hunt workshop back in May  (here is the post about that workshop).

The brand that she suggested were Portfolio Brand _A230917 I began the process by picking out a floral design that I liked and then I transferred it to freezer paper and then carefully cut out the design.


I ironed it onto a piece of PFD (prepared for dyeing) fabric and then ironed a larger piece of freezer paper onto the back of the PFD.  The purpose of this was to stabilize the fabric better and to also remove the worry that the colors might soak thru the fabric…..


I then picked my palette of colors and scribbled swatches of each color on the shiny side of another piece of freezer paper….


I dipped a brush in water and used it to liquefy the colors and then apply them to the fabric……


When the piece was completely colored, I took the pastels and used them directly on the fabric to add some extra highlights…..


In each case, I would draw a few lines and then use the brush to “scrub” the color into the fabric.

I removed the freezer paper resist…..


….let it dry, added a border fabric and then sandwiched it in preparation for quilting.     Then the really fun part started….  I first quilted around the design and then started using various threads to add more interest to the piece.

I finished the edge by simply folding the border over to the back and stitching it in place.

Here is the one of the finished pieces……


and here is the second…..


They were SO much fun to make and I am looking forward to playing with this technique lots more!!!!

A fiber day

We had no plans for Wednesday, so I decided to use it to do some fiber stuff. 

Before I left, I had read about using  Golden “Open Acrylic” paints) to paint on fabrics.  I was thinking about painting an underwater scene and had bought two shades of blue and one yellow…..


  Supposedly you can thin them with water and then use them to do a color wash on fabric.  I had brought some PFD fabric, so I took a piece, wet it, and started playing with the paints….

_9088245_9088247  Then I opened another bag and discovered that some ink stamps that I had brought had come open and made a mess in the bag, so I grabbed a brush and started picking up the “spilled” ink and adding it to the piece.  I also discovered that I could stamp a small area and then take the brush and blend it in as well…..


I left this to dry and went out on an errand that I will describe later in this post.

When I came back, the piece had dried, but was now too light in color.  I sure wish that there was a way to keep the colors so intense when it dries. So, I pulled out my water soluble pastels and started adding layer upon layer of colors.

Here is the resulting piece…….


Now is where the day started to get interesting….  I had searched out one quilt shop and decided to take a field trip to visit it.  I had to ride a LONG way on the Metro and ended up in an area that was not on my map.  I had sketched out where it was located from the station and was able to find it fairly easily.  I did stop to ask one security guard and he started spouting directions in Italian.  After I explained that I didn’t speak much Italian he resorted to pointing and smiling.  But, it worked because I found the street!!

The shop was a mixture of fabric, paint and other craft products.  There was one lady there working on a machine applique piece and there was a quilt set up on a long arm machine.  Most of the work was fairly simple and cute….not much “art” quilting.  The biggest problem with the shop was that no one spoke ANY English so I just kept to myself and shopped.  Most of the fabrics were from US manufacturers, but I did come home with 3 meters of Italian batiks, some fun Aurafil threads and an Italian Quilting Magazine.

I made my way back to the Metro  and hopped on the train home.  Then, I had a brain-storm that turned into a pain-in-the-butt!!!  I thought that I would stop in at the Eurostar Train terminal and pick up our reservations for the next day’s trip to Florence.  I left the Metro and found the ticket kiosks but couldn’t figure out how to buy a reservation only (we were traveling on a pass and didn’t need an actual ticket).  Unfortunately, while I was standing there, a sketchy looking man came up to “help” me so I quickly left the area and went back down in the Metro to get back home.  My Metro ticket, which should have still been valid, would not work so I had to find a ticket machine and buy another one.

THEN, when I got to the train platform, they were not letting people onto the platform that I needed to go and there were hundreds of people being funneled onto the train that would go the wrong direction.  I quickly decided that I did NOT want to do that so I turned and walked past all of the “do not enter” signs and made my way out of the tunnel.  I thought that I would have to go all the way back to the train station to get out, but saw some steps that led up to the sunshine so I took those out.  Fortunately, I was able to figure out where I was on the map and I set out back for the apartment.  Unfortunately, there was a big thunderstorm heading my way so time was of the essence and it did start raining about 10 minutes before I arrived at home, but at least I had an umbrella!!!!  So much for my fun field trip!!!!

David, Lyn, Michael and I had decided to have dinner at a little place that is just across the street from the door of our building.  Here is a picture of it taken from our front door…..


…..and here is our table, with our door visible in the top, middle of the photo….


We all enjoyed wonderful pizzas and deserts, and of course, wine…..


On the way back to the apartment, Michael decided to show exactly how steep the final set of stairs are…….

_9088262    It was a fun and and (mostly) relaxing day!!!!!

Fun Workshops – Day 1


Friday and Saturday I had the privilege of spending the days in workshops with Margaret Hunt from South Carolina.  She is a renowned fiber artist and has won many ribbons and accolades.

The class on Friday was about using Portfolio Oil Pastels to color on fabrics.  These are water soluble so you can draw on the fabric and then brush with water to blend the colors.  Here are some photos from the day……

This is how the fabric looked before the water was added……


Now, brush on water and this is what you get……..


This little piece was quick and fun to do……..



Marilyn did this wonderful bunch of flowers…..I would love to take these to a sewing machine and add a lot of machine embellishment to them…..

Here, Margaret (center) watches Madeline work on her piece while Nancy and Francyne look on……..


After lunch, Margaret donned an apron and demonstrated the use of Seta colors to produce wonderful Sky Dyes……_4305076

This sunset is gorgeous……_4305090

Margaret was fun to watch because she worked quickly and didn’t worry about making a mess.  Her painting method was fun and free…..

Here are a few more of her pieces……._4305067


She even does some on paper……._4305066

Finally, I just had to take a photo of Anita taking a photo….check out her blog for more info about the day…….    _4305050