Friday, September 30, 2011

Marcia Derse Studio Tour- Oh Baby Baby

*Edited 10/3/11 to include the name of Carolyn Griffin's pattern, Crossroads...see below.

I'm so backed up in my blogging I'm embarrassed...but what can a girl do?  I'm working toward more balance in my life and that may mean delays...guess it is time I accept I'm not super human!!

Back on Sept. 15th I had the privilege of going to Marsha Derse's studio and her home.  Marcia is a  fascinating person.  Her "artistic" process seems to mirror her creativity and willingness to play and stay open to that creative process.    
 Here Marcia is in her studio giving us a demonstration of how she creates/plays with paints and inks.
(the faces are blocked because I didn't get  permission to photograph them and I don't have time to call everyone today :)
 These are some of her toys that she plays with....yes that is bubble wrap over a piece of wood.
Marcia took some "ready to dye fabric" and used a paint brush to cover the fabric with paint.  She then  put her finger through the paint to create the grid...then wiped off the excess with a paper towel.
Next she used a plastic spoon to spread the second coat of paint.
The first layer shows under the second....very cool ay?  There are many more steps of course, I just wanted to show you the basic process so you could see how she creates such beautiful fabrics. 

Marcia is a re-purposer....a green gal....a bargain hunter....and a garage/estate sale enthusiast.  Many of her tools and fun things in her home and studio come from her "green-ness"...for lack of a better word...LOL.
This is Marcia's studio inside her home.  Check out the wall between two side windows...those are fabrics she has made.   I think every one's eyes were glued to the wall when they entered. 

 Marcia is holding up a photo-shopped picture of her mother Gerta.  All of her lines of fabric are dedicated to her mother and they have a tag that includes a photo of Gerta and Marcia's fabrics.  Absolutely wonderful and so creative.  The clothes on the line are Marcia's fabrics.
Ok, this cabinet is to dye for....I'm telling you my mouth waters when I see those fabrics stacked so beautifully in that lovely cabinet.  Each fabric is a sample of  Marcia's dyed fabrics.  Marcia said at one time she used to catalogue the fabrics and dying process.  Now she isn't into the science of it....and she just gives herself freedom to play.  Don't you just love that?
This just so happens to be one of * Carolyn Griffin's quilt patterns,  Crossroads.   (make sure to check back...Carolyn is a great model in an upcoming blog post :)

This next quilt looks like a doozy to piece doesn't it?  Guess what?  It's not pieced!  It is two panels put together with sashing and a border.  Now that's what I call a "quilt in a day"!!!  Yes, I did buy them...and lots of other fabrics...I couldn't help myself.  You'd think I would have some restraint because she only lives about 20 minutes from me....but nooooooo.....guess I some issues (join the club right?).
Two long tables fill the center of Marcia's studio loaded with pre-cuts....and I think I touched every single one...no kidding :)
On one of her walls, she has bolts of her fabrics.  Wonder if she locks her doors?  Do ya think I should sneak back over and hide in the bushes?  Geez....I would.... but I'm not really into prison food :)

While walking through Marcia's home, I filled my heart with lots of beauty and playfulness that I see as Marcia's style.  To respect Marcia's privacy, I'm only going to show you some of the things I saw.
 I just love this picture....read the caption below the photo ...well....below!

I
 More of Marcia's work displayed in her house.  Don't you just love the color and designs?  I know I do.
 These are pieces that are on a stairwell.....it's like being in a very hip museum.

I received so many gifts that day.  Not only was I invited to this wonderful tour but I was able to spend time with several wonderful women and Taylor and Lola got to join us (my sister and niece).  I felt delight in my stomach because Marcia's process is so open and free....she seems to give herself permission to play and see what happens.  What an enormous gift for me....I typically don't allow myself those freedoms and I am always saying "I'm not an artist."  After reflecting later in the week I can see my talents differently.  I am a very creative person and I love to be playful....and I've not given myself permission to enjoy my gifts because I was hung up on the word "artist."  Permission to play and see what happens....an amazing gift...Thank you Marcia!   (check out Jean's 3-part blog post on Marcia studio tour....we were both there.....it is an excellent read)

 While in PA "fishing" I made what Jean calls a "Derse Purse" (pattern is actually called Carmel)  MJ set me up well with her Bernina 820....talk about sewing in high style....I felt like a gal about town!
I marked a basket weave design on the front and back ...I used the Sewline Air Erasable Roller Ball Fabric Pen....a funny story about that at the end.


And here is my "Derse Purse"....I'm in love with it.  I even walk more proud when I'm carrying it.  I learned so many things while making this purse.  MJ and I thought the pockets were flat on the inside and would not be open enough to hold the things I carry and remove them easily.  So I made the pockets on the other inner panel extra long and sewed puckers into the bottom so the pockets would provide more room.
See how the back is flat and the side facing you is more open?  That's so I can put my camera in one side and my lipstick bag in another and my glasses...a pen...etc.  Then I added the little loop (lower right corner) and my cell phone clips into my purse....no more searching through the bottom of my purse.

Now the funny story about the Sewline Fabric Pen:

I used some long white paper to draw out my pocket design.  I laid all the things that I wanted pockets for on the paper and drew around them.  Smart ay?  LOL  Since I had used the Sewline Fabric Pen to mark the basket weave design on the outside of the bag it was laying right there on the table.  I used that pen to draw out my design.  The next morning I looked everywhere for the pattern I had drawn.  I could not find it anywhere.  I picked up the long white papers I had laid on the chair and no design.  Well I was so tired of looking and I was complaining to MJ about being absent minded when it dawned on me.....the ink disappeared....just like it is supposed to.  I laughed my butt off.    I know I've blogged about how much I like the Sewline Fabric Pen....you won't believe it unless you use it....it is really all that and three bags of Frito's!

Smiles,
Kelly


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Raise Your E-Notion IQ-Hugo's Amazing Tape Product Review

It is Wednesday!!  The best part is 1. I know it is Wednesday, 2. I'm back from fishing and I have lots of non fish stories :) and 3. I'm a little more rested than I was before I left for my "Fishing Trip."

Do you know about Hugo's Amazing Tape?  I have known about Hugo's Amazing Tape for quite a long time but never really considered buying it...until Patsy Thompson (Patsy Thompson Designs) loaned me some of her threads.  She had her spools covered (keeps the dust out too) with Hugo's Amazing Tape. 

When I brought her threads home with me I fell in love with the tape she had around the spools.  I knew I had to have more Hugo's Amazing Tape.  It keeps your threads from tangling and those loose tails from being annoying.  (I know you know what I'm talking about...LOL)  You can also use it for marking seam allowances on your sewing machine....no more adhesive on the plate or table.

 Here is a photo of the one inch clear tape on a spool of my thread.  What is "Amazing" about Hugo's Amazing Tape is that it is reusable and it sticks to itself without adhesive and best yet....it is self clinging too.

There are hundreds of uses...here are a few examples:
 I hate messy cords....Hugo's Amazing Tape to the rescue!!  I wrap all cords so they don't get tangled and especially my camera cords.  When I travel I can 't seem to find the cord to the right camera so I tape them around the camera before I put them in my camera bag!!! 
Who wants adhesive glue on your fabrics?  Yikes!!  If you have a stack of fat quarters that you are storing or taking with you....wrap some Hugo's Amazing Tape around it and you are good to go.

How about using Hugo's Amazing Tape for playing cards, game pieces, storing things in the freezer (yes it works in the freezer), holding your sugar and flower bags closed, keeping the lids on liquids when you travel (cosmetics etc), perfect for holding things together so they don't get separated when you move or travel, keeping all threads, ropes, cords, fishing line, cut fabric strips, patterns,etc. together.    My skin is very sensitive and the typical adhesive on band-aids can irritate my skin.....you can use Hugo's Amazing Tape over gauze and wrap it around your owie too :) ....I hope you don't have any owies!  OK, you get the idea. 

Reusable....that is huge to me because I'm all into re-purposing and reusing what ever I can.  After you are finished using it on one thing.....you can use it again on something else.  The piece you cut not long enough?  No worries....just cut another strip and it will hold to the first piece extending it's length.

Hugo's Amazing Tape is available in the following widths:


                            1/2" x 50 clear             1" x 50 clear           2" x 50clear
                                                                  
                 2 3/8" x 50 clear                                1" x 50 blue

If you use Hugo's Amazing Tape please leave a comment below and tell me the uses you have found for the tape.

Many thanks to those who have been very patient with me replying to emails and blog comments.  I took a much needed break and I never once forgot about the kind comments and emails I  have received.

Big Fishy Smiles,
Kelly

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Putting My Fishing Pole Down

But just for a second.   There is so much material for blog posts but I promised myself I would take a much needed break and visit with my quilting girlfriends here in PA. 

The Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild (I am a member) has volunteered to make place mats for the Meals On Wheels Program.  Before our meeting on Monday night Mary Jane and I whipped up these place mats.  Nothing fancy...just functional.

These are Debbie Mum panels that were once calendars.  Who needs a cloth calendar from 2000?
 
 
This place mat was made from left over blocks Mary Jane had left over from a quilt.  I disassembled them and sewed the blocks together and put the border on them.  I think it is cool to use up blocks like these.  Notice they were not my blocks...I don't have many left over blocks....I make just enough for my quilts....I'm too lazy to make extra blocks.

I hope all is well with you....I'll be in PA until Monday.  If I get time I'll check back in before then.

Smiles,
Kelly

Friday, September 16, 2011

Gone Fishing


I am going to be out of town for a week.  I will be blogging and filling orders to the best of my ability.  I'm available by cell and e-mail.  My phone number is on the front of my website at the bottom.

I so desperately need to get away with my girlfriends and sew....I know you all understand!!!

Big Ole Happy Smiles,
Kelly

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

In A Perfect World

Yes....in a perfect world (my mental insanity) I would have time to do everything on my to-do list.  Yes I know it is Wednesday and the day to Increase our E-Notion IQ....however

I took the opportunity to visit with my 6 month old niece, Lola. instead of blogging this morning...or this afternoon....couldn't help myself.  I know you understand but I have that mental nagging in my brain ...."Kelly today is Wednesday....you must be consistent....you could have planned ahead...blah, blah, blah."  Instead I told those pain in the rear thoughts to go jump in the lake and I had a wonderful time with my sister, Taylor and her daughter Lola.

Check out my first locker hooking project.  I've wanted to learn how to do it for over a year and finally made a practice piece....a mug rug.

This mug looks good on my mug rug....don't ya think?  Ya gotta love the saying on the mug...Don't Make Me Count To Three! 

AND
Patsy Thompson came to visit on Monday and we made this heart block.  It is from  Sarah Vedeler's  Machine Embroidery Hearts CD.  I have heard that machine embroidery is addictive....I gotta be careful!

Some folks asked to see the close up pix I took of "Look At Me."  So here you go....more pix...with some close-ups.




 
Hopefully I'll get to my E-Notion IQ post soon...however I'm leaving for PA on Friday and I'll be gone for a week.  A much needed vacation and I'm going to visit my stitching friends.  I'm going to put a sign on IHAN website that says "Gone Fishing" will ship orders again on Monday Sept. 26.  If anyone has a dire need...I'll do my best to get it shipped...but no promises....I'm planning on really, really, really soaking up some me time :)
Big Smiles,
Kelly

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"Look At Me"

I promised when I was finished with my Power Suit Challenge Piece I would show everyone a photo.  Here it is, "Look At Me"

The Theme for the Power Suit Challenge is:
What does “Power Suit” mean to you? Does it conjure images of smoke-filled rooms where deals are made? Is a Power Suit a garment or a person? Do you plug in a Power Suit? What if a Power Suit gave you Super Powers? Using Power Suits as your inspiration, create an art quilt that expresses your point of view.
Here is my "artist statement"...I say that lightly...very lightly!
This is a picture of the entire back.  This is the first time I ever sewed a facing on a quilt...I was so proud of myself.  I used Susan Brubaker Knapp's tutorial....click here if you want a great tutorial on facing a quilt.

Remember when I said I would NEVER enter another challenge as long as I live?  Well, my lesson is "never say never." 

"Look At Me" is my very first finished art quilt.  It took me longer than I would have ever expected.  If something could go wrong....it did and I'm not kidding.

Before you scroll down and see some of the "process" pieces I thought I'd tell about the process.   I got a great idea from Ricky Tim's Grand Finale DVD.  He suggests making a mock up so you are not attempting something on the final piece.  EXCELLENT advise!!! I did many mini mock ups of different steps to see what I liked and what looked good to me. 

Yes, this is a bold of Mistyfuse.  I went through two packages of Mistyfuse and decided at the rate I use this amazing fusible....I better just have a bolt.  I'm in love with Mistyfuse....I was able to get many layers of fabric fused and it remained soft....oh yeah!!!

An entire bolt....pinch me....I think I've died and gone to heaven :)
This is Mr. Peacock's third head....he had two others....but for various reasons....this was the almost final version.  I added Swarovski crystals to his eye and stitched his beak....well...you saw all that in the pix above.
I think I may have 8-10 feather mock ups....where I tried all sorts of threads, stitches and even paints.
I'm only showing a few here.

 
 
Thread?  I'm telling you if you want to make art quilts....you better have lots of thread....and embellishments.  I'm telling you I used some of every brand I own....not all ended up in the final piece....but I sure did try lots of different threads with several fabric colors to see how they stitched out.  Save all those strange little items you find....you just may need them for an art quilt one day.
Yes....you need to have lots of space for a huge mess....if you are anything like me anyway.  I can make an enormous mess when I create....I pull everything I think might even remotely work, out of the drawers, off shelves and out of closets.

  
Believe me, I'm sparing you tons of other mess that I made....however it is all put away now.
I learned that it took a lot of determination to keep going every time something didn't work out.  I tore out and tore out and tore out.  I had a puckered piece and had to block the piece no less than 4 times to get it to lay flat.  People say, drink a glass of wine before you do free motion quilting.  My advise is wait until 12:30 am when your defenses are low and go like a bat out of H E double hockey sticks...LOL.  I tore out lots of free motion quilting that didn't look good....went back and re-stitched it.  I have a very personal relationship with all four of my Famore seam rippers....yes I have four (because I misplace them and get frustrated so I have one on each surface).

I used my new Portable Handi Iron and I'm still in love with it.  I noticed another feature that I missed when I reviewed it a week or so ago.
Check out the groove on the back of the handle....guess what goes in there?
The cord.....I didn't notice that before....how cool is that?  The cord stays out of the way and its perfect for right and left handed folks!

I put it on my ironing surface upside down....no I didn't use it for a elbow rest!  YIKES

I put my hot fix Swarovski crystals on it and heated them....used my tweezers to transfer them to my piece and they were ready lickity split.
I encourage everyone if they haven't entered a challenge....jump in....it can be very difficult but I think going through the process is well worth the lessons learned.

Smiles,
Kelly

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