Thursday, May 24, 2007

Monstera Project

This is a sketch I did of monstera leaves. I want to use them in a project in the very near future. This is something I have in mind for an upcoming guild challenge: 36" square quilt using only black and white. I might just transfer this to a white piece of fabric and quilt the lines. We'll see! (Sorry about the glare from the flash...gotta figure out how to avoid that!)

The Mill

This is a shot of the last sugar mill in Hawaii. I don't know what it is about the mill, but I've always wanted to draw, paint, quilt or photograph it! This shot really appealed to me and I just happened to have my camera with me.

Maui's Bounty

How lucky am I? Bruce picked these up in Lahaina yesterday - delicious Hayden mangoes!

These beauties will be in season until about August, then dwindle away. The trick is finding someone on the Lahaina or Kihei side of the island (where they thrive in the dry heat) who is willing to sell them.

It doesn't look like it will be a very big crop this year, so they will probably be hard to come by. We will enjoy what we can get.

One of these went into dinner - mango black bean chicken salad from the Best Life Diet book by Bob Greene. Yum!

Thursday, May 17, 2007


I've been painting Honu II.

Last night I got a little carried away and went way to far overboard with the paint on his head. I just kept adding and adding, then told myself, "Step away from the paint." I thought it would look better this morning.

It didn't.

In fact, it was so awful that I pinned a piece of fabric over his face in embarrassment.

I don't know if I will be brave enough to post a picture here or not, but let's suffice it to say that I'm going to need to make some major corrections before I can go forward. I'll either have to pry off the pieces that have already been fused down or fuse something over the top of the goofed areas, which I think will make it too stiff.

Someday there will be a day when I can make a major quilt without a major blunder before I finish it. This has happened on each of the last few quilts I've made. "Hula Kahiko" actually suffered two traumatic incidents which were subsequently corrected without notice. At least I'm not in tears over it, so I must be learning something!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Fun with Bleach

The Maui Art Quilters group met last night and experimented with bleach discharging. Alyson has been bringing some great discharged pieces for her theme projects and inspired us to want to try it. Here are some of my results:

This piece is done on very cheap black fabric. It was in a bag set for donation, but when I heard we were doing this I yanked it back out. I sprayed pure bleach on a stamp carved by Bev, then stamped the fabric. It's very hard (from what I've been told) to find black fabric that will discharge to white, so I'm hanging on to the rest of this stuff because I'm very happy with the result.

On the second piece I tried writing with Sunlight dishwasher gel in a ketchup bottle. I discovered that if you want to have your words actually look like writing, you need to use a finer point (or something else!). When I laid the fabric over the gel and pressed down, the words smooshed and became even more illegible. I still like the effect, though. If you have a suggestion for discharged writing that works better, please let me know!! This fabric was a good quality, very intense solid black Michael Miller fabric. In my opinion, I think it's the best black on the market for any use. I love the beautiful reddish color as well.

OK, I think this is the Kona black, but I can't remember. I was going to mark each piece (I had five different fabrics) before I started, but didn't. This was damp fabric, crinkled up, and sprayed with bleach. I was hoping for a more swirled effect, but this is what I got.

Lastly, the El-Cheapo fabric again with the Sunlight. I took inspiration from Liz Berg and smeared out a layer of gel on the plastic, then drew lines in it. Hers were more artful, of course, but this is OK for a first try. I actually see people walking in this one. It's a stretch, I know, but I saw an image of Jesus and the Genki Sushi man in one of Kathy's, so I guess I have a very active imagination!

I'm setting these aside for a short while so I can finish up Honu II. I might actually get to start on the threading this weekend!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

7 More Things About Me

I picked up the tag from Robin, and since this meme seems to be petering out, consider yourself tagged if you want to keep it going.
  1. Before I met my husband I was thinking about becoming an officer in the California Highway Patrol.
  2. I recently passed the Hawaii Hunter's Safety Course with a 97%.
  3. I have three sketch books in various sizes and they all intimidate me.
  4. I will never put anything in the child seat of a shopping cart ever again.
  5. I don't like to have dirty feet and, consequently, rarely go barefoot.
  6. I shun plastic bags and use my own supply of canvas bags when I shop. Everywhere.
  7. I'm an excellent proofreader. Misspelled words pop out at me like laser beams, from menus, signs, websites, newspapers, etc. My mom says I've had this talent since I was little. My husband sighs and resigns himself to the fact that I will let him know every time I find one.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Turtle Soup Postcards

Using Esterita Austin's technique for fusing creates lots of little bits of leftover fabric with fusible already on it. Before I tossed them into my scrap box, I took a piece of leftover batting and laid out a bunch of the snippets.

Since these are all made with the leftovers from Honu II, I decided to call them "Turtle Soup."

When I haul out my Bernina to do the threading on the quilt, I will add thread to these as well. I think they turned out pretty cool for just a bunch of scraps!

More Honu II Progress

I had a chance to work on Honu II again this weekend. I finished his flipper and fused all of the pieces down. I'm pretty happy with the arrangement.

I'll start the painting tonight. As I've been working on him, I've mentally noted where I'll need to add highlights and shading. Hopefully it won't take more than 1-2 nights to get the painting done, then I can do the threading, which will take a lot longer.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Fun in the Studio

I worked on Honu II for a bit last night, then needed to do something else for a change of pace.

Our art quilt group meets next Tuesday and we'll be doing bleach discharging, and sharing our projects for the theme of "Shoe." However, I'm getting a jump start on June's theme, which I thought up after I had this thought:

How many supplies have you purchased that you've never used?

So, the theme for June will be to list five things you've purchased but never used, and to use at least one of them for your June journal page. Note: fabric only counts as one item!

Last year I went a little crazy on art supplies. I love office supply stores, so an art supply store is like nirvana - so much potential in there! On various trips I bought Shiva paintsticks, some Sennelier oil pastels and recently succumbed to a Quilting Arts email suggestion and purchased some rubbing plates. Here's what I started:

This was a piece of fabric from a dye painting class with Ann Johnston years ago at my shop. Before we got into the class she did a short demo on "color by accident" and this was one of the gorgeous colors. She kindly gave me the samples and I've hoarded them ever since.

My fabric, rubbing plate (hard to see but it is the ginko leaf one), Shiva paintstik and Sennelier oil pastel at the ready.

I learned, after a goof with the first piece, that you should really tape down the rubbing plate after you slip it under the fabric. It helps to keep it secure so there are no shifts in your pattern.

Ta Da! The completed rubbing. I used a Shiva stick for the base color, then highlighted it with the iridescent oil pastel. I really like the Sennelier oil pastels because they don't seal over like the Shivas. I must get a small pocket knife for cutting the skin off, and some gloves since I managed to get paint all over the place.

I purchased the gingko Bali fabric just yesterday. It's what inspired me to do something with my rubbing plates and paintstiks. I had the Ann Johnston hand-dye out as potential turtle shell fabric, but it went so well with the Bali, I had to make something! The only thing I think I'll change is the green rubbing. I think a dark burgundy color will go better...the green is just a little bit off.

I'll show you how it turns out soon!

Monday, May 07, 2007


I stopped at the local Minit Stop for a bottle of water and a Diet Coke. I paid for the items and, as I was ready to step away from the register, the lady behind the counter (whose first language was not English) sweetly said:

"You need baggage?"

I wanted to reply, "No, thank you, I have plenty already." But I politely said, "No, thank you," and giggled my way out to the car. I don't know why it struck me punny, but it did. Ha!

Honu II Started

I received so many positive comments on "Honu" at the Viewpoints Gallery show in February that I decided to make two more. They would be happy to have them at the gallery and there were two people who inquired about commissions, so maybe they will sell quickly? Even if they don't Bruce and I would be happy to have one hanging in our house again.

I was thankful to find that I had saved my full size pattern. I originally drew this on freezer paper so I could cut it up; now I'm glad I didn't. As you can see from the various freezer paper scraps, I trace (and subsequently place) each piece as I go. Since you can sometimes use freezer paper more than once, I'm saving the pieces this time so the second one will be faster.

Here is an in-progress shot of the "studio." Bruce recently added a light track and more lights so it lights up the back corner MUCH better than before. I've noticed, though, that it's getting warmer in there with summer approaching. I hope we continue to have light trades when I'm working!

As you can see, I'm using a photograph of Honu I for reference with the fabric pieces. I still have many of the same fabrics I used in the first one but, as is the case with Balis and hand-dyes, no two fabrics are alike, and Honu II will be slightly different. I'm also using Hoffman Macaw for the background, which is a brighter, clearer blue than the original Hoffman Delft.

I'm going to try to get the head and neck done tonight. It's the flipper that takes the longest. Then it will be time to paint. I'm using Misty Fuse again...a nice change of pace (I still like it as much as I did before) after all of the intricate piecing I've been doing on the agapanthus. I also got a chance to use the large Transdoodle sheets for transferring my pattern to the background. Both products, designed by Esterita Austin, are wonderful for this type of work.

I'm naming this one Honu II, since I am using the same pattern as before. I am working hard to keep the negative voices at bay while I work on this project. The first one was such a success, I'm feeling the pressure to have this one come out just as good. Or was the first one a fluke? I feel like a novelist writing my sophomore effort after a blockbuster best seller. Only time will tell!