Dec 12, 2006

Holiday Colors

This is my current favorite holiday color combination. Love the cream and the soft pink and maybe a touch of gold. If I were going to decorate, I might use these colors. Instead I'm just making these little cards and ornaments. Yesterday someone at work asked if the ornament was a Christmas cookie. Sorta looks like it, yes?

This combo is running a close second. I had to run out to Ben Franklin to buy these after an idea for a little Christmas-y quilt popped into my head. A quilt I have no intention of even trying to finish before Christmas, so don't even ask. A fun little quilt that I will work on in January because it's fun and the colors make me happy.

Here's another possibility that's intriguing. Wouldn't a mix of these colors make a pretty pile of packages? (as well as some nice alliteration?)

Dec 3, 2006

OK, so it hasn't been all trashy novel-reading

Here's the little postcard-size piece I made today. It's collaged and painted paper, cut up and sewn onto a felt backing. I love the look of the collaged/painted paper and haven't been successful in translating that look to fabric. So today I finally decided to just sew the paper. It was surprisingly soft and pliable once I fused it onto the felt. I will definitely do more of this!

Dec 2, 2006

Winter Wonderland

I pretty much detest winter, but I have to admit I was enchanted when I stepped outside this morning and discovered the spell Jack Frost cast overnight:

I had big plans to work in the studio today but then I slept for 12 hours straight and woke up feeling swarmy (my college roommate's term for that time when you aren't sick but you can feel the germs swarming around trying to make you sick). So now I'm thinking that instead there will be a lot of trashy-novel reading, soup eating, juice drinking and some simple handsewing on those quilt blocks I posted earlier this week.

Nov 26, 2006

Quilt blocks

I picked up one of those sampler packs of 5" squares at a quilt shop in Boise last spring. It didn't take me too long to figure out that I wanted a bigger quilt from these fabrics than I could get with 40 5" squares. A few weeks ago I finally decided to sew the little squares onto bigger squares of muslin with perle cotton, so I've been sewing these little quilt blocks while I watch the backlog of Simply Quilts on the DVR. I have some 2.5" strips from the same fabric line that will make a nice border. It's nice to have something to just sew without too much thinking...

Nov 24, 2006

I love hosting Thanksgiving because...

1. I love to cook.
2. We don't have to drive anywhere.
3. The house is clean, the fridge is FULL of leftovers and now I get 3 days off!

I started the morning with the pie baking:

Dave and Pistol were very busy "cleaning the house"

Once the guests arrived, we all jumped right in to the traditional division of labor. Here are the boys, very capably handling their job of watching football on the giant tv:

Meanwhile, the girls were busy in the kitchen. Silly boys, they don't know how much fun it is to cook with family:

Here's the Thanksgiving spread:

Traditional and oh so yummy!

Here's the hostess gift, also quite yummy:

I think I'll have to find some nice chocolate-y browns to go with these. But not today. Today is a Stay Home and Goof Off Day. Now that's something to be thankful for!

Nov 19, 2006

How 'bout them apples?!

There is great joy in the Rey/Gamon household this weekend as our much-loved Washington Huskies football team beat their cross-state rivals, the WSU Cougars in the annual Apple Cup. Go Dawgs! Winning the Apple Cup can makes even a disappointing 5 win, 7 loss season not so bad. We hosted all the parents plus AshLee for the game and there was quite a bit of loud celebrating to go along with the yummy beef stew I made for our halftime dinner. Unfortunately, I was too busy pacing and yelling to take any pictures.

More yummy food tonight - steak and baked potatos are on the menu - Ash is home from the University of Idaho for a long weekend and she requested "real food - chunks of meat!"

A couple of folks asked about the small quilt I posted a couple of weeks ago. It started with this picture, taken in my aunt's yard back in October:

I printed the photo on ExtravOrganza and layered it over a commercial fabric that had script printed on it. The embroidery is done on a yellow handdye that I stamped with a diamond pattern to add a bit of texture. And Caity was right about the other commercial fabric - those Jennifer Sampou swirls that I wish I'd bought in every color.

I've spent most of today fiddling with my blog with not much visible effect. I switched over to beta and I figured out how to make a custom header. I played around quite a bit with updated templates, but I don't know enough HTML to figure out where to insert my custom header or my Artful Quilters blogring code into any of the fancy new templates. Anyone have any wisdom to share on that topic?

Nov 7, 2006

Fun with paint

I gave a program on stamping on fabric to my local quilt group, Cheney Frayed Edges last night. At the end I turned them loose with a box of paint and stamps. I think the results are wonderful!

Nov 5, 2006

What's so hard about touching your nose with your tongue?

Now if I could only get someone to pat my head and rub my tummy...

Finished this today. Just in case anyone was wondering if I'd ever get around to making a quilt again.

Oct 22, 2006

Now I've gone and done it

Dangit. I've been successfully resisting the lure of dyeing my own fabric for YEARS. Too many chemicals, too messy, too much work, I can just buy them, I like using commercial fabrics, blah, blah, blah.

Yeah, well, resistance is futile. Dyeing is too much fun and the results are too freaking yummy. And I can make the colors I want instead of hunting high and low. It's that last part that got me. I REALLY wanted an 8 step gradation of a bright clear pink (also a bright clear yellow, but I haven't gotten to that one yet). The most I could find was 4. And so 2 weeks ago on a Friday afternoon I got a crazy idea and this is the result:

Here are some of the individual pieces:

These are actually a little more mottled than I want for the particular project I have in mind. Just on general principle however, I completely love the mottled effect.

Much credit must be given to Melody Johnson and her wonderful blog post, The Lazy Dyer. Because, hey, I'm lazy too. I've read this post many times and it's the thing that convinced me that maybe I could dye fabric without the too many chemicals and the too much work.

The method I used to get the gradation came from the book Dyeing to Quilt, Quick Direct Dye Methods for Quilt Makers by Joyce Mori and Cynthia Myerberg. Nice simple methods similar to Mrs. Mel's and excellent step-by-step instructions for a wide range of gradations, color runs and different effects. I had every intention of buying this book until just now, when I looked it up on Amazon and discovered it's out of print and a used copy will set me back $85. I guess I'll keep checking it out from the library.

Oct 14, 2006

Spokane Quilt Show

The big WSQ-Spokane quilt show is this weekend so I headed to the gigantic new convention center after work last night. I only had a couple of hours at the show and I have my priorities well in line, so naturally I headed straight for the vendors after a quick dinner with mom. There are over 500 quilts in the show and I saw only a fraction of them, but there were a few things I liked quite a bit in the art quilt category.

I'm really liking Kris Calney's work right now. She did the Marble Manifesto quilt in the Kress show that I have pictured below in my post about the opening of that show. And then last night there was this:

Improbable Conspiracy of Genetically Modified Organisms by Kris Calney

I also really liked these two by Lisa Calhoun:

Three Pink Flowers by Lisa Calhoun

The Blue Cup by Lisa Calhoun

Oct 2, 2006

Helping Hands

This is the block I'm donating to the 2007 Cheney Relay for Life raffle quilt project. I think they're hoping to make 3 quilts to raffle off this year with all proceeds going to the American Cancer Society. I had planned to do some embroidery on the flowers, but the block is due and, well, I'm tired.

Oct 1, 2006

Cool new(ish) stuff

Well, it's day 35 of the Sinus Infection from Hell. I've got a new and different antibiotic and now a corticosteroid to reduce the swelling in my sinuses. Still not much going on here - yesterday I read a book and listened to the football game as my Huskies beat Arizona. Go Dawgs!

I did get something really excellent and lovely in the mail on Thursday so I decided it's time for a photo-roundup of a few of the cool things I've managed to acquire during this strange interlude of being so dang busy and so dang sick.

Rayna Gillman does wonderful and amazing surface design work. I love her blog and I love to drool over pictures of her work. Lucky me, Rayna put some pieces of her art cloth up for sale a few weeks ago and now I have my very own piece to drool over:


Next up is this adorable apron that my aunt gave me back in August. It belonged to my grandmother and goes perfectly with my red and black retro kitchen decor:

Also way back in August, at Pacific Northwest Quiltfest, I couldn't resist this little package of buttons or this little package of retro fabrics. I have no idea what I'll do with the buttons, but I had to have them. I do know what I want to do with the retro fabrics...a quilt with circles!

And finally, on the way to my cousin's wedding at the end of August, mom and I noticed a little quilt shop about a block from the grange hall where they were having the wedding. We were a bit early, so naturally, we stopped and I got these:

Sep 26, 2006

conversation at the art store

I had some time to kill before picking Dave up from work yesterday so I popped in to Spokane Art Supply and picked up 2 tubes of oil paint and a small tin of Prismacolor pencils. And then I had a conversation with the art store cashier guy that put a smile on my face:

Art Store Guy (ASG): you work in oils or in colored pencil?
Me: Oh, neither, I work in fabric.
ASG: Fabric, really? So what are the oils for?
Me: Paper plate know, with lazer copies? It's a great way to put text and images on fabric.
ASG: Really? It works on fabric?
Me: Yeah. And the Prismacolor pencils are great for shading, they blend so well. They work on fabric too.
ASG: Really? On fabric? So do you do a small picture on fabric and use it as a mock-up?
Me: Oh no, I just do surface design to create my own fabrics and then I make art quilts with them.
ASG: Oh.
Me: Yeah, I have a piece at the Kress right now, although that piece is all commercial fabrics, not surface design...
ASG: Oh. Really? Wow!
Me: (as he hands me my bag of stuff) Yeah, anyway, thanks!
ASG: Thank you, have a nice day...

Hee hee. Still giggling about that one...

In other news, I've been sick sick sick and not much is getting done around here. I'm starting to feel better, it's like emerging from a fog. I finally started stitching again this last weekend, just finishing up some postcards I started ages ago. Anything to break up the inertia of not sewing.

Sep 14, 2006

Shibori class

Way back at the beginning of August, right at the beginning of this stretch of being way too busy, I took a Shibori class from Debra Lamm. Here's a shot of some of our pieces drying on the line outside Debra's garage.

Here's a pole-wrapped piece, dumped in fuschia dye:

This one is a stitch-resist:

Here's one that was clamped with a circle template. Debra and her husband are developing a line of templates to sell for this type of dyeing. I'll post a link once they get their website up and running. I'm really intrigued by the possibilities of this technique.

Near the end of the day Debra said "Ok, feel free to do a couple more pieces in whatever technique you like." It's always the stuff I do on the spur of the moment without much of a plan that I end up liking the best. I did a bit of pleating on this black piece, then clamped it with my plastic clothespins and threw it in the discharge bucket. I love the result:

Overall, I liked the clamping techniques best. I can see a lot of possibilities for combining surface design with hand embroidery with these pieces. When I get completely healthy and have a minute to sew again.

Sep 5, 2006

Imagination Unleashed opening

We had a really great opening for Imagination Unleashed - Art Quilts from the Inland Empire at the Kress Gallery on Friday evening. The downtown Spokane galleries have their openings on the first Friday of the month and there's usually a big preview in the Spokesman Review the Thursday before. Our show was the featured show for the First Friday preview in the newspaper! Tons of people came through, I don't know how many, but the room was always comfortably full. The gallery director told our group it was the most people they had ever had for an opening!

I was tired and excited and failed to take pictures of all the lovely people, but here are a couple of pictures of some of the quilts.

Here's me with my quilt, Summer, looking like I have a sinus infection. Yep, all that fun and running around in August finally took its toll on me:

Here is Road to the Zyder Zee by Lorraine Gilliland:

This is Interference #2, a wonderfully surface designed piece by Debra Lamm. Debra lives just outside Cheney and was the instructor for the shibori class I took back at the beginning of August. That I still need to post pictures from. Debra is taking a City and Guilds course and I'm hoping to get to see more of her surface design work soon.

This is Marble Manifesto by Kristine Calney. Because I'm still thinking a lot about circles.

Sunday, on the ride home from yet another trip to Seattle, in somewhat of a delirious haze from the sinus infection, I came up with two new quilt ideas. Neither one features circles, but they both feature the type of scrappy pieced strips background I did in the Summer quilt. Hmmm.

Aug 24, 2006

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Whew! Despite the usual last-minute obstacles (ran out of lint roller tape, ran out of printer ink, had to stuff timtex in the top to make those uneven edges stand up straight, etc.), the Summer quilt is finished and out the door.

What's the big hurry? That's the exciting part! Back in June, Anna Turner of Sew Uniquely You asked me to make a quilt for a show she's curating at Kress Gallery in Riverpark Square, the fancy mall in downtown Spokane, during the month of September. The conversation went something like this:

Anna: Are you going to make me a quilt for the Kress?
Nikki: Ummm, sure. When does it have to be done?
Anna: Oh...August.
Nikki: Yikes. How big does it have to be?
Anna: least 30" by 30"
Nikki: Aaannnaaaa! Oh man. OK. I'll try.

Obviously way bigger and way faster than anything I've accomplished for quite some time. But what an incentive!

So, the exhibit is Imagination Unleashed - Art Quilts from the Inland Empire and it's at the Kress Gallery for the entire month of September. There's also a one day exhibit on Sept. 16 of additional quilts in the main atrium of the mall and two other dates with quilting demonstrations and book signings by local quilt authors.

Aug 20, 2006

On the home stretch

Summer. 38" by 40".

It still needs a bit more pressing, some handwork on the back and a sleeve and label, but this piece is finally mostly finished. "Finally" makes me laugh a bit as I just started this quilt in June and have knocked it out MUCH faster than my usual timetable.

I'm coming to the realization that for me, quilting is mostly about color. This quilt was inspired by a tangled up jumble of red and green fabrics I pulled out of the dryer. I didn't think "oh, what a mess" I thought "oh gosh, must make a quilt out of that!" Winter around here is pretty much gray and white and brown and the older I get, the more delighted I am by the bright exuberant lush riot of color that is summer here. This quilt gives me that same feeling.

Aug 19, 2006

Road trip!

Hey, how the heck did it get to be the 19th of August?!?! Holey buckets, things have been crazy around here and I'm running at least a week behind on more than just my blog. But some things are better late than never - like photos of awesome quilts!

Last weekend I took a bit of a road trip to Seattle with my longtime quilt-and-track-mom buddy Julie and my new friend Tamra. Here we are at our destination, the biannual Pacific Northwest Quiltfest:

Here I am with fellow Artful Quilters bloggers Melissa from Bothell and Gerrie and Terry from Portland. Melissa, Gerrie and Terry have been much more timely than I have in posting about the show and there are a lot more great photos from the show on their blogs.

I found this quilt to be completely amazing, mostly because I can't imagine accomplishing something like it. It's wholecloth. All of the design and coloring is done with threadwork. Amazing.

Here's a detail shot:

I've developed a bit of a circle thing in my red/green quilt and I found myself endlessly fascinated with quilts featuring circles. Like this:

And this:

More circles:




It was an excellent weekend, filled with color and wonder and visiting and laughter. And it will be fun to see what, if anything, comes of the circle obsession...