Saturday, May 31, 2008

Lily & I ventured into the sometimes rocky land of metallic threads these past 2 days. I thought I'd be smart & start with Yenmet, a lusciously smooth Japanese thread, that sews like butter on my old Bernina. Well Lily is a little more finicky than Bernie. She ran just fine when I pulled her toward me, or side to side, but when it came to pushing her away, she didn't want to sew a stitch.
At first I thought maybe it was the new needle I'd put in, maybe I hadn't gotten it up in all the way, so I fiddled with that. I checked the timing. I futzed & fiddled, & that seemed perfect too. I decide to sleep on it over night & start fresh in the morning. I took off the metallic & tested with cotton. Ran perfect, full speed, all directions. It wasn't Lily, the needle, it was the thread. I decided to loosen the tension. I loosened A LOT. It helped. I could now get Lily to stitch in the push-away direction, provided I go slowly.
Fast pulling toward me, & slow pushing away. I finally got into a rhythm.
I finished up about 2 1/2 yards of fabric, in about 6 1/2 hours of careful sewing. The thread never broke once, though it still skipped a stitch every now & then.
I think I may have to charge EXTRA for quilting with metallics. I do wish you could see the depth & texture in this fabric in person. It is yummy. I can't wait to get started on the dress now!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I decided to do something a little different today. I loaded 2 yards of plain black cotton on to Lily.
Next, I got out the box of Angelina fibers that Mindy bought for me. I will be using them in her daughter Hope's Irish Dance dress.
I sprinkled bits of the Emerald Green, Butterfly Blue, & Opal on to the black fabric, then laid a piece of parchment paper over it, & quickly ran over it all with a hot iron. It only takes a few seconds, & the fibers fuse to each other, flatten out & become even more iridescent.
For my next trick...I took a few yards of silk chiffon, spritzed it with water & wrinkled it up good.
I wadded it into a tight ball, wrapped with rubber bands, & let it set for 3 days (or the 2nd ball I threw into the dryer with the laundry for a few loads). Note: Broccoli thought this was a new toy made just for him. We had to have a little talk.
This it what it looked like after 3 days.
I gently spread it out, over the layer of Angelina fibers, & pinned it in place along the edges.
I will place another piece on to completely cover, then I think I'll run narrow black ribbon vertically, & stitch it down in rows. Once I have the "Fabric" made, I'll be cutting it up & making parts of the dress out of it. I'll snap a picture of my sketch for the design later on.
The other think I played with was a little bleach. Well first I tried this Oxy pen, which did nothing. It really is color-safe. I think I bought it to try & remove the paint from my carpet a while ago.
So then I tried Beach. I Mixed 1/2 tsp. of bleach into 1 Tbs. of water, then used a little felt pen to dip into it & brush it on to the fabric. Much better results.
I also took 2 smaller pieces & folded the one on the left, & just dipped it into the solution. It wicked it up fast. The one on the right, & balled up & lightly dabbed the wrinkles with the pen.

It was an entertaining way to spend a warm sunny day. I spent a bit more time out on my deck. I do love that swing. Now I think I'll head back to the Studio.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sunny Day in Anchorage

It's that time of year in Alaska, when it's light out all the time. Lately I've been wearing this mask to bed at night, so that the sunrise doesn't wake me at 3 a.m. It fills me full of an urge to plant & play, & camp & hike. Maybe next summer I'll be able to hike again. I went for shot #2 of the Synvisc today. I think it may be already helping a little bit.
After the Dr appointment Warren took me to The Peppermill. It's actually a steakhouse, so we don't normally go there (we don't eat beef or pork either one), but Warren had gone there recently with his regular Wednesday lunch bunch, & he had something he liked, so we went there today.
With the glorious warm day we are having, we decided to eat out on their deck. The mountains were drenched in warm sunlight & so were we. Warren got a turkey sandwich that he raved about, but never offered me a taste. I ordered a strawberry & candied pecan salad, which was so pretty, I just had to take a picture! It tasted good too. Almost like dessert! The candied pecans tasted like Cinnabons. I ended up putting them to the side & actually eating them for dessert! My only thing that I might suggest they do differently with this, is plain bread sticks. The garlic just didn't match the salad.
We stopped in at the new quilt shop in the University Center Mall. It is a merger of my 2 favorite fabric shops, Seams Like Home, & Three Sisters. I will really miss Three Sisters, because it was so close to home for me. What was only about 4 miles is now more like 10.
I'm not sure how I feel about the new space. It certainly is a large space. It doesn't feel at all "Like Home" any more. I was hoping to get some threads, but they didn't have the brand I wanted (Bottom Line). It didn't seem to make much sense the way things were laid out either.
I felt lost, & disconnected...
Thinking about it on the way home, I wondered how I would do it differently. I think I would've made groupings, that went together, Like fancy trims & Crazy quilting stuff, in one area with the fancy fabrics. Right now it feels tossed together. I wonder if there was a master plan laid out, or if they just moved in a hurry, & will sort it all out later.
I wish them all the best of luck, because like I said, they were my favorite stores, & SLH is where I preferred to teach.
I sent "Why?", the quilt below, & "Oh! to Dance With A Dolphin", off to the Rockome Gardens show in Arcola Ill. today. It's the first show I've seen since I got "Oh! to Dance..." back from it's world tour, that would accept a quilt made more than 2 years ago. It's not a big show, but thought I'd enter it once more before it's retired.

Monday, May 26, 2008

More Bithday

My birthday was stretched to 2 days, when my DH surprised me with some new furniture for our deck.
I was thrilled. Now I HAVE to start another crazy quilt, so I'll have some hand work to do this summer!

Here's a trippy picture for you. This is the latest comfort quilt. I quilted it today. I shot it at the odd angle so you could see the quilting shadows.
We went & saw the new Indiana Jones movie this evening. It was fun, but felt a little more hokie to us than the older films. Maybe it's that we the audience have grown a little more sophisticated? Anyhow, I enjoyed it. I love Harrieson Ford & Shia LeBeouf both. Shia has been one of my favorites since "Holes."

Saturday, May 24, 2008

My Birthday

These flowers arrived from myDD Michelle & family yesterday evening.
Broccoli had to check them out.
This morning we got up & had our coffee, setting in the chairs in the bedroom , & I got to open my birthday gifts. Warren wrapped them in brown paper wrapper, my favorite wrapper, next to fabric. Broc liked it too.
Warren gave me a beautiful 6 qt. copper pot to go with the other copper pans he has given me. Also a red 14 cup coffee pot for the kitchen. We'll put the old pot down in his bar.
Ilene & Stu sent me a Gorilla Pod! I was so excited to get this. It's a little tripod for my camera. It's small & portable, & the legs will grab on to almost anything! I love it! Thanks Ilene & Stu! I got to talk toboth Ilene & my sister Em today on the phone.

We went to the Double Muskey in Girdwood for dinner. Mindy & John came with us. I love all the fun stuff on the walls & ceilings. I especially love the fused glass fish.

Speaking of fused glass, Mindy made a Bunch for me. I'm going to have to make something special out of these.

Dinner was delicious as always. Warren had a crab stuffed halibut, John had prime rib.
Mindy had Cornish game hen with some sort of mustard crust, & I had my usual blackened salmon. The salmon isn't even on the menu any more, but if you ask, the chef will make it, & it's my favorite.
The fluffy chocolate mousse cake for dessert was yummy too.
My package from Kathy came in the mail today too. She made this card with her wool hand dyed from daffodils. Needle felted fiddle-head ferns & a ladybug.
The DVD "In Search of Lost Colour", a story of natural dyes, which is something Kathy & I used to do together when we lived near each other. The quilt on my bed here, was from our natural dying. Broc was curious about everything.
He went a bit bonkers for the indigo dyed wool.
Do you think he could still smell the sheep?
I finished up another comfort quilt today. It's about twin size, & I did it in under 3 hours. Mostly just as allover stipple. I loaded another quilt on Lily & got it about 1/2 done before we went to dinner. I'm getting faster (now if I could be both faster & better!)
All in all it was a great day!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Signs of Spring,wed. at Pat's, & Art Scam Cont....

Last evening I saw the 1st moth of the season clinging to my backdoor. I thought it was cute.
Trees on our hillside are finally GREEN!
Pussy willow buds have lost most of their fur & are tightly curled leaves.
Lucy Jeanne Smith showed us her Cincinnati Reds hat that she buttoned up for a trip to Southeast Alaska. She was asking Jack if it would be OK to wear, as she was afraid some natives might find it offensive. Jack thought it would be OK as long as she doesn't add any totem signs to it.
Jack & his friend Allison showed us costumes they are using for some Performance Art they are doing. Jack's raven was particularly beautiful. It was made from hand-dyed muslin made to mimic a traditional Native bird skin jacket. It was overlaid with a sheer organza to give it the sheen.
No she isn't pregnant. It's just the shape of the coat. It was quite entertaining seeing these 2.
Above left, Fran Reed showed us photos of some of the things she's been up to. Fran makes the most incredible baskets from fish skins. Center is George Taylor, showing us samples from his latest class with Gail Harker. Seveeral of George's quilts have been published in books, by people like Roberta Horton & Mary Mashuta, & Judy Hopkins.
Linda Weatherwax brought her own chair for Show & Tell. She batiked the fabric, & put it on the chair. She also batiked George's shirt, & George made it himself. I bought a shirt from Linda for Warren for this past Christmas.
Fellow bloggers, Nancy & Roxane were both back from their travels, & George brought his special guest Stevii Graves, who just finished jurying for APNQ in Seattle. (Sorry I didn't get my camera pointed on any of them). Stevii paid me a nice compliment though. She told me my work should be entered into shows.
On the scammer news, a check came in the mail today in the amount of $3800.00 for the 2 quilts that only totaled $950.00. No return address on the envelope, but there were emails on the computer today, & messages on the phone. I called the FBI, & got instructions. Forwarded all of the email communications to them. Tomorrow I have to call the Postmaster, & will be turning the check along with copies of emails over to them. The check is very real looking even down to a watermark, but the bank address, doesn't include a phone number, nor does the name & address in the corner: Lee World Travel Service, INC
245 East Broadway
Eugene, OR 97401
The signature on the check is ..dotty.. really fake looking. Boy how does anybody believe this scam!?!