Thursday, March 11, 2010

Workshop, Starts and Finishes...

Yesterday I took a workshop from Leora Raikin, on South African Folklore Embroidery. It was a very fun class and she is such a kick. On Tuesday evening she did a lecture for the guild (Riverwalk Quilt Guild), about South Africa, the animals, the people, languages and the arts and crafts of the country. The embroidery threads were also from South Africa, and hand dyed too. Her kits are clever, and you could choose what you wanted to do in class from many. There were teacups, teapots, baskets, villages, flowers and animals, (I chose the elephant). In the class you do the embroidery work and she leads you through the stitches, if you are new to embroidery. So, I started out with what I thought was a berry color of pink, (it looked that way against the black), but when I went to choose a pink to with it, discovered it was red. Tried to work with the red, but really wanted pink so just before lunch I ripped it all out. So essentially, I had a bare canvas again. I am behind, way behind, but it won’t take long to get it done… I have a plan… well an idea… we’ll see if it gels… The black square is the piece I began in class, and the pink elephant fabric I picked up in South Africa, and I thought it would be a good way to use the embroidery... how... well we're still thinking about it.

But the bottom line is it was a fun class and if you ever have a chance to see her… DO IT!

If you want to see more of a picture, you can click on it for a larger view.

On Monday, I worked on some foundation pieced blocks for the Riverwalk Quilt Guild Raffle Quilt. We are using handdyed fabrics. I have all the sections done, and need to stitch the sections into units. The quilt is going to be very bright and beautiful. I think I am going to have to buy extra tickets!!! I will share a photo when the quilt is completed and ready for chances.

I have two finishes to share as well. In November I took a class on Altered Photo Artistry with Beth Wheeler, (her blog is here). I worked on the piece a bit after the class, but I had some other deadlines and a departure date for South Africa, so I finished it about a week ago. To enhance the thread work I added beads, lots of beads, (sorry they don’t show so well in the picture) to enhance the texture of the center and the 2 closest petals. Out in the background and the other petals are some crystals scattered about, just to help the eye wander. The whole piece is 16x20 inches. A view of the original photo is here.

The other piece… I made in Nebraska to fill up some wall space in the master bedroom. After living in California, and the chance of earthquakes, you don’t hang anything heavy or hard over the bed…. In case it comes down while you are in bed… Anyway, the wall in Nebraska was big and plain and I wanted to sell the house. So I copied a motif from the duvet cover, cut it out and stuck it to fabric and then stretched it on a frame. Did the trick… we sold the house. However, in the move to Chicago, the frame got damaged… and it just didn’t look right, so I pulled it off the frame, squared up the sides, sandwiched it with a cotton batt and backing, and started quilting… NO plan, no lines -just thread and go, and since I wasn’t sure I would like it… wasn’t too careful… and from the end of the bed who’s going to see any ‘not too carefully’? I did mark the outside frame and straight readiating lines, the rest was no mark no plan quilting. Size is about 36x48 inches.

Last post I mentioned Spring. Well I think it is here. Yesterday I spotted Robins myself and this morning we are having our first thunderstorm of the season. There will be many more T-Storms in the next few weeks.  These are always fun, Axel dislikes the thunder- not fear, but disturbing his peace so he thinks that by voicing his concern he can make it go away, oddly he does the same thing with firecrackers, but not with guns. The other thing, is when the weather radio goes off, he runs to it to listen... because that is what I do. The audio part is very low, so you have to stand next to it to hear the warnings.

More Later-


  1. I like that embroidery on the elephant.
    The photo-flower is wonderful -- I looked at it close up and the beading really makes it sing!

    Those are some pretty nice motifs quilted in the background of that wall thing from Nebraska. I wouldn't have guessed you for those colors, tho'.

  2. The new floss color really does match the batik you brought back from Africa. I'm sure you are glad you mad the change. Your flower looks almost as good here in the blog as it does in person. I;d love to have many of the real thing to be growing in my yard.


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