Friday, November 30, 2012

It's A Mystery

I wove and stitched this test piece early this week, with strips from the edges of collages that I've been using in books.  Not sure what this will become, if anything.  But it's inspiring pinned to my design wall.

Yesterday I completed the first step on my project for Fiberactions' 10+ color challenge...and I love what I've come up with.  I'm going to let things marinate for a few days before moving on with it.

Re: designing projects, I've never been one to spend a lot of time noodling things out in a sketchbook.  I'm such a visual, that I'll preview different scenarios and solutions in my head before deciding how to proceed.  This has always worked for me.  I'm not good at translating what I see in my mind through my hand onto paper.  Which is another reason I don't draw. 

We're in the midst of a huge rainstorm on the North Coast -- I don't think it stopped raining for more than a few minutes yesterday before pouring again.  I need to go outside and check on my storage leaks, although not from the ceiling like you'd imagine.  No, this Rubbermade thing leaks from the floor, go figure.  And it's not even standing right on the ground.  I've had every crack and join on the roof sealed and in the past taped up vertical door jambs etc., and still, it leaks.  It gathers pools of water in two places.  Beyond siphoning out the water between rains with a turkey baster, I've got everything of value OFF the floor, and to the extent possible everything standing on the floor is plastic or rubbermade.  I've got my own Mystery Spot. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Before the Fall

Before the Fall ~ 23 x 26 inches
I finished Before the Fall last night.  The various ecodyed fabrics are all from the same vintage linen tablecloth.  There were oak and eucalyptus leaves in the bundles, along with rust and copper, and possibly some alum in the cooking water.

I love the way the all-over running stitch looks and the texture it gives to quilted cloth.  And then there's that mokume thing that happens to the fabric, running perpendicular to the lines of stitching, giving the quilt a shibori-like finish.  I used a single strand of embroidery floss throughout.

I'm in the development phase of Fiberactions' January 15 challenge, which is to use at least 10 colors in a project.  Planning to do something unusual with scraps of my own surface designed fabrics. 

And I have several book projects waiting in the wings.  And nowhere else I need to be for at least ten days.

Monday, November 26, 2012

We Are The World

I made another map book yesterday -- We Are The World -- with seven maps of sections of the world.  Three are below.  The book is 5.25 inches square, and the maps, opened out, are 10 inches square.

I really like this book structure and know it has other uses too, besides featuring maps.  The oldish Rand McNally Atlas I'm using was purchased for a buck during the summer, specifically for bookmaking purposes.  I'll recycle the book board covers at some point as well.

I love looking at maps.  The atlas I regularly use is by National Geographic and although it is a bit dated (from the 1980s, before so many geopolitical changes in eastern Europe and the Balkans), every time I read a novel that takes place in a different part of the world, I get out my atlas and pore over it for a good hour or so.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

There's Always a Story

This brand new book is bound with the Lightning Bolt stitch (from Keith Smith's Non-Adhesive Binding Volume 2).  I designed the book specifically to showcase the binding stitch.

Isn't this upholstery fabric the best?  When I ordered my pea green couch eight years ago, I had two throw pillows made in this fabric.  And bought an extra yard for who knew what.  I still have the couch and the pillows, of course, and now I've got a book to match!

Almost all the pages are recycled.  Probably 60 percent have been stitched somewhere, horizontally or vertically.
And at least half the pages have fold outs.  Meaning the book is a bit thicker at the edges than it is at the spine.  Oh, and there are just two fat signatures inside.  Finished book is 7.25 inches square.

Sale happening this weekend in my Textile Shop!  Visit the shop for details.  Thanks!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Life's Short ~ Use Your Best Stuff

A variety of things to share this morning.  First, this ecodyed hand-pieced quilt I'm working on, covering it completely with running stitches.  I'm about three-quarters finished; I've been working on it for a couple of weeks.  Finished size will be 23 x 26 inches.

These are photo cards that I'm creating to use in my Shabby Journal.  Since I don't get out and about much these days, I've been enjoying using images of the books and journals I'm making.  I print the image on matte photo paper, then cut it down a bit, place it on a piece of cardstock (pattern facing to the back), add a few other paper doodads then stitch it all together.  Some have room to write on.  All will be slipped into the numerous pockets and flaps in the journal.  I'm actually thinking about making a book of wonky cards like these.

Finally, about using your best supplies ~ I haven't knit in nearly a year so it was time to start a new project.  I'm making a wide scarf out of my most favorite hand dyed, hand spun silk hankie yarn.  The color is a bit more pea green than it appears in the photo, with flecks of aqua and yellow orange.  One of several batches of yarn I spun in a tropical colorway.

I'm slow knitting, savoring every stitch I knit with as much joy as each yard I spun several years ago.  The yarn is so fine that in some sections a single ply resembles spider silk.  I'm using two two-ply strands together on size 4 needles.  I'm really enjoying this.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Maps of Italy

I made this little book on Friday, called Maps of Italy.  It's a Lotus Map Book (likely goes by other names as well).  Finished size is 4.25 x 4.25 inches, and the pages are folded maps of Italy from an old atlas.

And speaking of Venice ~ I am so stoked that I'll be going to Venice for Christmas, leaving on December 15!  Well...actually...I'm not going in the flesh, I'm taking Mary Ann Moss's brand-spanking new online class, Ticket to VeniceShe's going to Venice, and taking the class participants with her.  Daily private videos of Venice, making a travel journal right along with her, PDF printables, daily digital postcards...

I'm very excited.  I'm afraid I'll never get to Venice myself, not in this lifetime.  But I can't think of a better way to go than with Mary Ann.  Check out the class -- registration just opened.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Coasting in Neutral

The last of my Fiberactions "neutral" challenges, this 6 x 9.5 inch book is discharged linen with digital images printed on muslin.  The images are paper collages of mine, most were black and white to begin with, two I color-desaturated before printing.

The images are on the front sides of pages, only.  The quilting shows through on the backs.  And I used no interfacing or stiffener (except a wee amount of Mistyfuse to hold the images down before quilting).  So this book is floppy.

It is bound with 2 strands of pearl cotton in a 5-hole pamphlet stitch.  The beads on the ends of the binding thread are labradorite.

Regarding the colophon above, I printed it on the piece of fabric underneath what you see, then quilted over it with the fabric added to the back of the book.  So it was difficult to read.  I reprinted the colophon and fused it over the original.

Each fabric book I've made thus far has been constructed differently, so I can try out materials and methods.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Another Ecodyed Book

This is the second book I did for the Fiberactions challenge.  It was a single piece of ecodyed silk/wool that I stripped in half lengthwise.  One piece is the front, one the back, so this accordian book is fully reversable.  I've got Timtex inside the pages.

There's no quilting here, just wonky zigzag stitching around each pair of pages.  Abalone beads grace the two opening edges.

Click on the photos to enlarge.  Last challenge book tomorrow.  Have a great Friday!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Autumn Leaves

Today is the reveal for Fiberactions' "neutrals" challenge.  I made three fabric books for the challenge ~ Autumn Leaves here, the second I'll post tomorrow and the last one on Saturday.

I stretched the boundaries of the concept "neutral" to include natural botanically-colored fabrics (raw silk, crepe de chine, and vintage cotton and linen).  Since they are earth tones, they're neutral to me.

The book is 7 x 10 inches and consists of 12 individual tiny quilts.  Two quilts were sewn together to create the front and back of each page.  Then each two-paged sandwich was beaded on each side.  The covers are one long piece of silk crepe de chine that was lined with linen and then quilted.  Then I assembled the book by handstitching the cover and pages together, then added handmade buttons on front and back as a decorative elements.

Although I didn't make the buttons myself, my first husband made some of them back in 1972.

Click on any of the photos to enlarge.

I'll be posting the second book tomorrow (an image of it is now my blog banner) and the last on Saturday.  If you regularly get the blog in full fashion, you see I've made a lot of changes since yesterday.  If you get the blog via email or a reader, click here to see what it now looks like.

And hop over to Fiberactions to see what other group members have come up with for the challenge.