Sunday, February 19, 2006

February Journal 2006 Reveal

It is time for the February journal page reveals. You will be able to see all of the new journal pages over the next several days by going here.

I have chosen an Asian theme for the February journal page. I am thinking that I will stay with the Asian theme (since I have a lot of those fabrics) for the entire time but I really haven’t committed to this one way or the other.

I chose to do a simple kimono image.

(click on images to enlarge)

I drew a template and then found just the right place in my fabric from which to cut it from, focusing on the butterfly. After cutting out the kimono, I then went looking through my stash for a fabric to use for the kimono background. I debated between a white on white background and the black that I ended up using. The white on white was sort of okay, but when I chose the printed fabric to use for the frame, I decided the black looked better.

I fused the kimono to the black and then I fused the black to the printed fabric. I decided to cut the print larger than the finished size so that I could wrap it around to the back and use as the border for the back side. At this point I really hadn’t planned to do much to the back side, so I chose a piece of the white on white and thought I would just fuse my label to it.

Well after I did this, wouldn’t you know I decided to be a little more creative with the back. I found a poem about the butterfly and wrote out the wording for my label. Working in Paint Shop Pro, I added the butterflies and combined everything into the label. I had jumped ahead and had fused the back together and discovered I wasn’t that happy with using the white on white after all. I liked the print from the front showing on the back so I didn’t want to just fuse another fabric over the white. I really didn’t want to print my label on a piece of fabric either (because that would mean using the Bubble Jet Set, etc. etc.) I had a piece of beige vellum and decided to use it. After printing onto the vellum I fused Wonder Under to it and then fused this onto the back. Now, the back did not have that white glaring out at me. I like how it blended more with the print fabric. I just wish I had thought of this before I had fused the print fabric onto the back, then the edges of the vellum would have been underneath the print instead of on top of it.

The picture is a little fuzzy. I tried to sharpen the image but I just couldn’t get it any better than this.

I added the fan charm before fusing the front to a piece of pelmet vilene. The bamboo was created later using a stencil. I taped the stencil to the front and then applied a thin layer of Xpandaprint. Once the design was filled in, I removed the stencil and then used my heat gun to puff up the Xpandaprint. I then applied gold acrylic paint to the design.

I’m not sure that this piece really qualifies as a journal “quilt” as there isn’t any quilting on it. And I still have no idea as to what I will do with all of these pages. I like the idea of a fabric journal, but since January’s page has no relation to February, I know I would just leave January out. Also, I am still looking through my books and magazines and trying to figure out if I will be able to incorporate February into the journal or not as the style I am considering would not let you see the back of this page.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


If you are a regular reader of my blog from way back, you will recall that I had mentioned that my hubby sometimes thinks that he is Paul Bunyan or some other lumber jack and likes to cut down trees at the back of our property that he thinks are either 1) a nuisance because they drop nuts/leaves in the yard and we have to clean that mess up or take a chance of breaking your neck from walking on them or are 2) a hazard and might blow over in a storm.

So once again, he has been at it cutting down trees and this is what happened today.

He usually is good at getting the tree to fall where he intends for it to, but not this time. And I admit that way back when he first mentioned about cutting this one that I told him I was afraid it would land exactly where it fell. But he was like “Oh, no. I can get it to fall in the other direction.” I am usually out there with him when he does this, but today I stayed inside (working in my art room). So, when he came in and said “don’t look out back” of course I had to go take a look.

The damage: two cross rails on the fence were broken and I had the bottom part from an old bird bath with the top piece from one of those concrete Japanese lanterns sitting on it in the flower bed that was slightly broken. Also the back half of my lilac bush is now history.

Did I fuss? Yes. Did I cuss? Some. But the bush will eventually grow back and the rails can be replaced and the yard ornaments just look a little more ancient now. It could have been worse. For instance, take a look at this next picture:

The tree trunk in the circle is just a piece of what used to be there. Hubby has been whittling away off and on at that thing for a year and a half with his little chain saw. Where did it come from, you ask? Well, back in July of 2004, we had a really bad storm (with 60 mph winds) come through about 8:00 p.m. and this is part of what we saw the next day.

This looks good compared to the mess that was all over the yard earlier in the day. I took this picture after we had raked up branches and leaves from all over the property for about 3 hours.

This is only about half of the humongous tree that actually belongs to our neighbor.

We did eventually find the shed under that mess.

This gives you a better perspective of what landed on top of the shed. This is a beech tree and it has a base trunk that measures approximately 40 inches across.

And here is a closer picture of the monster:

Seeing all that green in the picture further up makes me want to see warmer weather get here.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Working on Tree UFO

I have been crabby and complaining for sometime now about how I just couldn’t seem to be able to come up with any ideas or to create anything. Since my journal piece for February is about half completed, I decided to get out one of my UFO’s and work on it.

It is something from a workshop I took several years ago. I did not get to see the sample piece before the class, so when the supply list said to have fabric for a tree I was concentrating more on fabrics for leaves than for the tree trunk.

I had this solid brown fabric and thought that it would be okay.

When I got to the class and discovered there was just a bare tree and no leaves I had to go ahead and use the fabric I had. This is the way it looked by the end of the workshop class (layered and quilted, no binding) except that the tree was just that solid cocoa color.

After the piece was made I wasn’t happy with the plain tree, so after I got home I decided to take a fabric marker and give the tree trunk some “texture”. It was better but I still wasn’t happy with it, so it ended up in the UFO pile.

Close up after using fabric marker:

At one point I took freezer paper and traced the tree and made a pattern to cut another tree from a different fabric and was going to fuse it on, but I never got around to finding just the right fabric for it.

A couple of weeks ago when I was cleaning and gathered all the UFO’s together in one spot, I took another look at it and decided that I would give it texture with some thread painting.

Here it is partially done:

here’s a close up shot:

Now I have experimented with this before and I know that a piece will shrink up some when doing this but I just didn’t think it would be quite so much. By the time I did the entire tree, the body of the piece, which was flat before, was now very puckered. Now this is in no way a great “work of art”, but since I decided I was going to finish this piece, I was determined to do just that. After all I am just going to hang it in my art room.

I had planned on adding another piece of fabric for a new backing and only doing minimal quilting, but now I knew it would have to have a lot of quilting to get it flat again. So, the first thing I did was to steam press the heck out of this thing to get it as flat as I possibly could. Then I used temporary spray adhesive to baste the new backing fabric to it. I then started in the middle and quilted in wavy lines about a quarter of an inch apart, but only in the grassy and water areas.

The sky area had minimal quilting in it from before and did not pucker up too much from the thread painting, so I decided to remove the old quilting and then re-quilt it again very sparsely to catch the new backing piece.

Close up:

So here it is with all the quilting done, steam pressed again and squared up.

size---15 3/4" x 23"

If I were going to do another piece like this the next time I would create the tree separately and do a lot more thread painting to fill it in entirely, and then attach it to the background.

Now all I have to do is bind it.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Close, But Not To Be

I went on a bit of a road trip today. Actually it was 400 miles - round trip. My son ordered a bed cover for his truck and since it was so costly to have it shipped, he decided he would just drive there and have them install it for him. He asked his dad if he wanted to go with him, but to be honest, DH is not the best with directions or reading a road map. So I was invited to go and be the navigator.

It took 3 hours to get there with a brief pit stop and no wrong turns (but it should have been closer to 3 ½ hours, but someone has a lead foot). The cover was installed in less than half an hour! Then it was back on the road again to return home. Or at least it was suppose to be. I made a slight miscalculation getting back onto the parkway and we drove about ten miles in the wrong direction before we realized it.

This little miscalculation brought me to being within less than ten miles from the Museum of the American Quilter’s Society in Paducah, Kentucky. I live in Kentucky and I have never been to the Quilt Show or the Museum. Did I get to go today? No! We were sort of on a tight time schedule, so even though I was that close I did not press to go there. So we got turned around and headed back home with no other little mishaps.

*Note, this was actually on Friday, February 3rd. I posted this late last night, but for some reason it must not have posted. I know that blogger has been having some problems.