Monday, March 23, 2020

Fiber Arts Sanity at the time of Social Distancing


Please send me pictures of what you are working on, questions, anything that will help us keep in touch.  And please comment on the blog so that we can still communicate.

Not really knowing what to say about this blog, I am sharing a wonderful message sent to me by a friend.

No, the world is not ending.  
But our big blue marble sure feels more fragile than ever. 
As we sit here, continents, countries, time zones and zip codes have all blurred into a single global community. 
What used to worry us now feels almost embarrassingly trivial.
We cared more about likes on social media than our social responsibilities. 
We were concerned with streaming our movies, not about the lines of homeless streaming out of shelters. 
We tended to look at our phones more than one another. 
In fact, we were social distancing without even knowing what that really was not so long ago. 
Isn't it strange that we're all craving human connection now that we can't have that connection for a while? 
The joy of breaking bread with friends, or raising a glass at the bar, or kneeling together in worship has been replaced with empty chairs and empty pews. 
Those in their golden years – the ones who thought they'd seen everything – never thought they'd see the day when they couldn't visit with their kids or their grandkids, all because a reassuring hug may put them at risk. 
Even the loved ones of those who have died can't come together in any great numbers to mourn.  
How do we quarantine tears? 
But in all this separation, we are still connected by what our better angels are whispering. 
We'd truly have to go out of our way to be uncaring in these uncertain times.  
For once, the road to kindness and compassion is actually the easier one.  
We can now see the plights of our neighbors, of the bus driver, or the cab driver, anyone who had been forgotten – all views that perhaps used to be obscured from the hustle and bustle of our lives before.  
For anyone wanting a re-set to get back to what matters most – the heart of the human condition – this may be that moment … a test to see if love really does conquer all. 
No, the world is not ending.  
Instead, we just might be getting a new start.

Make it a great Week

Tom Key

Suzanne Ditsler

Sent this pony to Smiles for an auction.  Smiles is a therapeutic riding stable in Wisconsin.  The auction was on line   3-21 2020

She also felted these fun loving bunnies.

     Suzanne just made this small hummingbird and a Kestrel Hawk.

                           Suzanne is keeping busy as a bee.

Wonderful little Mice carrying sticks.

Barred Owl

Chair Dog Jack Sparrow

Chair Dog, Labrador

Wendy Rice

This was a class at my Quilt Guild on making the tiled background, really fun.  The silhouette is from a picture I took at the Grand Haven Pier.  Also have been making several items of clothing which I will also post.

Trying to do a fun project in between not so fun projects.  This was an online class with Timna Tarr.  I used my own photo, each piece fits in a 2" square and is turned applique.  Loved her technique.  Like putting a puzzle together.

Jacket out of woven type fabric.

Knit shirt from class with Barb Wright.  Actually made 3 shirts. Was fun to color block this one.

Found this pattern online for a neck scarf with a zipper pocket to put phone or passport in.  Not thinking I need it right now to wear around the house, but some day.

"In and Out" Quilt Pattern by Quilted Turtle, just finished quilting and binding.

Made myself finish rug hooking this sheep picture, think I am
giving up this craft.  Not my favorite, and there are new 
crafts to try.

This is a baby quilt I just finished to be donated to the Hospital. 

Love this simple quilted bag.  Very practical to use.

Started this fish runner, 2 years ago, did some basic quilting to finish.

Finishing up a Pineapple Ruler Runner. Thought I was good to get outdoors but....

my daughter in law managed to take her whole sewing room out.

Made several doll outfits out of baby clothes.

I made and quilted 3 baby quilts to be donated to the Hospital.

And I think one of my favorite quilts that I made, it is called Mod Mountain, and the pattern is by Suzy Quilts.

Pleased with my Alabama Chanin skirt. Will be fun to wear, and warm.

This is a lab doll coat I made, it says Rice's Lab on it for my daughter in law who worked in a lab.  But I like it and haven't given it to her yet.

Finished the top of this quilt called "Linked".  If only I wouldn't have cut the side borders into little triangles....  The top is made up of over 700  3" triangles.  A fun challenge.

This is a free pattern with videos by Carrie Payne.  She is called Magpie Girl, I just need to put some trinkets on her dress.  Really fun to do.

Great mini free class from Claudia of Colorway Arts, cartonnage notepad cover.

This is a fabric collage picture I did from picture of my grand daughters.  

Jennifer Gould

Here are my January embroidered collages mostly due to my forced inactivity because of my foot surgery!

"Alien Monoliths" - 8.25” x 15”, again I'm working with an outside shape that's not a rectangle but asymmetrical.  Indigo dyed, monoprinted, freeform machining, hand stitching. 

"Silk Pagoda" - 6” X 22”, the characters in the bottom yellow panel give the piece its title "silk."  Jennifer updated her Silk Pagoda art work, and added some up close pictures.  Which are just awesome enlarged on the computer.  

Also, one of my favorite explorations this week have been the glossy magazine pages that I sanded with sandpaper and then did some freeform machine stitching on.  

And, I love fabric with initial holes!  So I used the very coarse cheesecloth to needle-weave holes and move the threads around. 

"Donuts Tumbling Through Green Air" 6.5” x 27” - A piece I started years ago and finished finally with all my sitting time.

 Detail of above.

 "Chinese Shoes"  7.25” x 10”, lots of hand stitching attaches all the pieces - My first piece once I was off of pain meds, I was watching Guo Pei's videos of her runway show of wild and wonderful costumes. 

"Wizard's Tower" - 5” x 16”  I've been working on pieces that aren't necessarily square or rectangular; and I love fantasy!

May, above : I've worked on 4 pieces for Holland Area Arts Council's community cardboard project as a donation to them.  Each is 12" x 12".  The theme for me was to use 3-D shibori stitched indigo dyed fabric.

1. Kumo Cobweb Square
2. Cottonwood Leaf
3. Mountains Along the Coast

4. Blue Sky Over Green Fields

I've been working on more 3-D shibori stitched and indigo dyed pieces and I'm almost ready to put the backing on "Oceans Deep1" which is 32"Hx22"W.

Oceans Deep 2
These are some images (full and detail) of Oceans Deep 2, the second 3-D shibori stitched and indigo dyed piece I just finished.  Entered it into the SDA Exhibition in Print so hoping to see my work in the Fall SDA journal.  This piece is 3 feet wide and almost 6.5 feet long.

Barbara Norlin

Cute as ever doll clothes for 18 inch dolls

This is one of 50 American Girl Doll clothes and a sweatshirt jacket I made to go to the Glen Arbor Art Fair
which was canceled this year.

Susan Jansen

 I wove a set of dishtowels in huck weave from a dyed warp I dyed last spring. The warp is 3 colors of gray. It didn't turn out as I expected so I am going to dye another  warp in similar color and try a different weave pattern. 

 I had a pattern for a stuffed olive quilt which I needed to use a template to use for cutting. I ordered the size the  pattern suggested but it turned out they measured differently from the way the template people measured and my stuffed pimento took about 1/ 4 of the area of the olive. I decided to drop the pimento and rename the quilt a pepperoncini quilt, a gift to my son who loves them.

  I wove a set of dish towels in spring colors using a broken point twill pattern. 

In trying to reduce my stash I found lots of thin wool which I decided to make into "Monks Belt" table runners. Working with 4 shuttles is a pain! Also not much of a reduction in my stash..

I finished my aboriginal quilt in record time for me, only 1 year after I started it. My quilter included aboriginal designs in her quilting.  I am in awe, the quilt is amazing, quilting too.

 I made a Japanese x-backed style apron out of linen, no fastenings. I love the simplicity of the pattern. 

I've been feeling like towels lately. The rainbow of colors make me happy. The third set are made with cotlin. They washed up beautifully.

Linda Slusar

We were in Tucson AZ which is why I missed the last 
couple meetings of our group. Looks like they were
 wonderful meetings.  I am working on a quilt that I
 found while in Tucson. It’s been keeping me going
 and coming along fine.  

April 15, Updated Cactus Quilt Picture

Also, cleaned up the garage so so could finally access my woodworking Tools

Water color Houses

And she has been making masks for neighbors.
June 2020, Linda has been busy making a variety of things.
Above a reversible bucket hat for her granddaughter.

I’m enjoying the quilted waist purse I made.  I also mentored a friend and helped her make one.

I stained my little garden bench.  I was inspired by it and so painted a water color rendition of the little bench.. I’m using the water color for greeting cards.

I made an herb garden using cedar 2 by 2s

I used concrete to cast some hosta leaves, painted them, and then,working, with my husband, we made a fountain!

Priscilla Lynch

“ My window on the world via The New York Times”

This quilt was done as part of a challenge assignment sponsored by the Saugatuck Douglas Art Club. The theme was ”windows”. The daily paper has become my window on the world during this stay at home period. I used clippings from the NYT that I glued to fabric so that I could stitch on it.

I have started a series of small fused quilts using my huge stash of fabrics. All are approximately 14” x 18” which allows me to complete them quickly.  My goal is try different abstract design strategies...although some have realistic elements in them.  So far I have made 7 completed quilts with several more in various stages of completion on my design wall.
Most of the fabrics in this quilt were screen printed with thickened procion dye.

I made this quilt by combining several mono prints I did with black procion dye paint on a large plastic surface.

This quilt is mostly silk except for the dyed cotton background.  The silk is eco printed, hand dyed, silk paper and a commercial silk scarf.

Masks on their way to Saugatuck Fire Dept for delivery by West MI OSMS!
These photos are of work I have done for the 7 week stitch
challenge sponsored  Each week a well
known UK stitch artist presented a challenge assignment to
complete.  The artists included Sue Stone, Cas Holmes,
Emily Tull, Richard McVetis, Emily Jo Gibbs, Anne Kelly,
and Christine Chester.  Almost 18,000 stitchers worldwide
joined this Facebook group and it was interesting to see the
work they posted.  I loved doing these assignments and
often did 2 for some of the assignments even though they
took a whole day to complete!  It was a wonderful peaceful
way to escape all the bad news in the world. The Facebook
group is still up so you can access the videos, Q&A and work

The text following describes the pictures below it.
I have joined the Stitch Club.  Every month 3 artists give a workshop project and we have a week to work with 2 Q&A sessions on Friday.  Members post there work on line as they complete it.  There are members from all over the world so it makes for a very interesting show and tell.  The cost is $27/month.

Workshop #1 was presented by Debbie Lyddon from UK.  Our assignment was to make a container(s) for precious objects using stiffened (painted with dilute acrylic paint) linen or canvas and having wire rimmed grommets for peeks inside the container.  My containers hold some of my collection of large and small petosky stones.  I loved this process so much I made 3 canvas unstiffened but dye painted cylinders and filled them with light from puck lights.  Another project was making 6 tiny containers to fit a bamboo box I have.  I’m not sure what I will put in these...  Have more containers in the works!
Workshop #2 was presented by US artist Merrill Comeau.  We were to do a portrait of a flower that was special to us.  I choose an iris which was blooming in my garden.  She had us appliqué and hand stitch small pieces of fabric using a net backing.  This allowed us to leave voids and created a very light airy piece.  Loved using net as a backing cloth.
Workshop #3 was presented by Australian artist Susie Vickery.  In this workshop we used strips from plastic bags to embroider on an open weave fabric.  I used an open weave upholstery fabric but burlap would have been easier to stitch.  A great idea for a reusable shopping bag I think.
I am learning so many new approaches to hand stitch and look forward to month two.

Jonetta Brown

2 small container to be fired in the wood fire kiln as soon as we are back to normal and a cowl I am knitting.

 Below, example from March 26, I have started on my UFO collection :) This is a small Hardanger embroidery from approximately 7 years ago. I got a little out of control with the cutting... overeager with the scissors, which is not a good idea. Anyhow now I am changing the pattern to fit my mistakes.  

Progress March 27

And finished March 28

Jeanne Emery

I contacted Jeanne last week hoping she was working on 
something new, this is what she sent me, which was from
our brown bag challenge. She was doing OK. She does text if anyone wants to text her.

Jan Koster

Thanks for helping to make all the masks. We're using them & are very grateful. They say that's one of the important things our hospital has, support from the community. It makes a difference. This is from Jan's niece.  So good to know.

I’ve been working on our remodel project; sewing new curtains, bed skirt, table coverings, etc..
Fortunately, I purchased fabric in February and have been using up all my existing drapery making supplies!

Gargi Hales

Still Point
 Original design concept and techniques by Vikki Pignatelli © “Promise of Spring"
Appliqué, quilting and design changes by Gargi Hales  
After a workshop with Vikki Pignatelli to learn her improvisational quilting techniques, I changed and expanded the design of this “Promise of Spring” study.   I used Vikki’s techniques to create the background, which I then free-motion quilted, and machine appliquéd the willow branches and leaves onto the background.

Wool Applique - in process.  Design by Stasha Ceglarz.  Design changes by Gargi Hales

Mandala - in process.  Design by Stasha Ceglarz.  Quilted by Gargi Hales.  Just waiting for me to paint it now and finish the quilting!

String-sewing masks!

Sherry Sirko

Here is something I am weaving,  using cotton, silk,mohair, and glass beads 

Judi Pulver

The denim one above is a Cacicedo coat by Diane Ericson (still need to find a button) 

and this one is my first attempt at a Alabama Chanin jacket.

Kathleen Solsbury

The center of this quilt/wall hanging is a vintage filigree
 crochet baby coverlet from the 30’s. Fabric is a mix of vin
tage and reproduction.

Deb Castaneda

Deb Homeschools her grandchildren and has shared some
of the projects they have been working on.

Thanks to Fiber Arts friends, we have sewn masks and made
 Art Council Projects and enjoyed what other folks are 
making.  We are doing lots of science projects and nature
 walks, too.

Our most dramatic science experiment was fireproofing a 
sock!  I am including a link to that video. We have also
 made kooky science videos with the kids as stars!

With a five-year old grandson, we had a dino day and made
 dino cookies, a T-Rex snout and a stegosaurus sock puppet

We made cheery form core signs to take around to shut 
in folks on cloudy days for sidewalk cheer and sewed 
face masks, too.

Dino Cookies

Preheat oven to 300 degrees

2/3 c. butter or margarine
1 2/3 c. flour
1/3 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla or almond flavoring

First cover a large cookie sheet with foil.  Then, mix 
2/3 c. softened butter or margarine in mixer 30 seconds 
or ’til softened. Add half of flour along with sugar and 
flavoring and mix throughly. Stir in remaining flour by
 hand.  Divide dough into 4 lumps, place each on wax paper 
make a well in the center of each.  Add food coloring and
 mix by hand. Shape into dinosaurs about 1/2” thick and
 leaving 2” between cookies. Bake 20-25 min or until dough 
is set (edges are firm).  We cooled our cookies on a rack.  
Kids love mixing the color in and shaping the cookies

These are butterfly boxes before we trimmed the lids. 
 We studied some impressionist paintings and a bit about
 Monet from a video interesting to children. 
Then we used watercolors to paint our own impressionist
 backgrounds on card stock.  We created boxes with card
 stock bottoms and acetate lids (from old transparency
 acetates), then added “butterflies” made from tissue or 
luna moths from metallic tissue, simply a tiny rectangle 
with a scrunch and a twist in the middle. When the lid is
 rubbed, static is created, causing the butterflies to
 flitter about.