Wannabe Art

A place where one old woman shares her daily ups and downs and her attempts at art with strangers and friends out in Internet land.

Friday, December 30, 2005

New Machine Sick

My new Bernina developed a loud clinking sound...it appears that the needle threader has started to hit the presser foot that goes up and down.....called dealer who lives far far away...and have set up a drop off time for the 5th of January....with another scheduled pickup for the 12th if there aren't any big surprises. This made the Fallen Painter jump ship...he left the Bernina port of my sewing room and moved over to the Viking area...will continue to sew....so glad that I have a backup, and a second backup to that backup. You just can't ever be to0 careful.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Fun for the Fallen

I have been able to release a lot of stored up stress with my piece Fallen Painter. I have had fun trying out new things on the machine and new techniques that I have read about in Quilting Arts. Today will finish it up and then am going to try Melody's J. pillowcase binding technique...will go back and reread that section of her blog so that I fully understand it...since there will be a wee bit of beading will do the beading before doing the closing. Everytime I shut my eyes and think really hard I can see our painter on the ground all twisted up looking up at me with a kind of shocked look on his face. It is not a very comfortable view or memory...think my little quilt will change that image both for him and me...and since there were no major hurt done...it seems like a perfect way to record that moment in time. Will share as soon as complete...Hope everyone has a creative day today.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Great "After" Day

No gifts needed to be returned...no visitors to shoo off or to fix breakfast for...just me and my sewing machine and my small CLEAN sewing room. (Can't call it a studio because it is so small.) It was great...I worked on my Fallen Painter quilt...tried out new machine's stitches, bobbin work, new sewing feet, and a few new techniques that I had been wanting to try...it was a great day. Can't wait for tomorrow so I can finish it. And then it is back to the QUILT.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas 2005

I woke up this morning to find Santa had left me a massage chair cushion, so as I am writing this morning, there are two little hard balls twirling and running up and down my back. It is very delightful and very relaxing. (Especially after sewing bias edges and points all day yesterday!!!!)

Today on my agenda:
1. Eat breakfast.
2. Clean up kitchen.
3. Pick up the living room from all the Christmas clutter.
4. Sew but not on the QUILT, but on a small wallhanging called "The Day the Painter Fell."
5. Cook lunch (easy this year, I got a Honey Baked Ham from Honey Bake Store.
6. Clean up Kitchen.
7. Take a nap. ((old folk necessity)
8. Sew some more on the Fallen Painter.

Looks like a great day ahead for me.
My Christmas Wish is for all to have a great day today and every day!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Guilt is a bad thing!

Guilt is a really bad thing. I told my husband the reason I put the quilt up was because I needed it off the bedroom floor as the painter was going in and out to the porch painting and might step on it or even worse spill paint on it. It was a fib, of course as you all well know. He spoke to the painter and he and his helper stayed late yesterday to finish that porch...so this morning what could I do but pull out the quilt and start again. Even the painter took an interest and came up to see the quilt this morning. He also told me he got into trouble with his wife because he was late in picking her up at work yesterday...so now my guilt is really deep. What is my point, you ask? The #%& quilt is back in the sewing room...bias edges and all...and I am sewing on it!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

First Day of Winter

Nothing worse than being cold at the beach. The sun is out, the waves are rolling in, folks look like commercials for winter wear walking on the beach...no swimsuits or tanning lotion here. My painter arrived back on the job this morning...brought a helper...and tells me he plans to be finished with all trim by Friday afternoon. Must admit thought I was going to get a breather and not have to dish out money until after Christmas...now all that is changed. Good for him, bad for me.

"The quilt" is boxed up and now looks down at me every time I go into my closet...I placed it at eye level so I can't forget that it is there and waiting. Today is experiment day...try out new stitches and new threads....tomorrow I need to create something so that when our Art Quilt group meets on January 5th...I will have something to show...I have Bo, but would like to have something else.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

That #%$ Quilt

I'm very tired of the star quilt...very tired. I hate to admit this but I think I am going to box it up for awhile...I need a change...I need to create! Sewing points together that are on the bias is not creating..it is mind damaging. I am sure my hubby will not understand and will think...another UFO going in the closet...but he is wrong...it is only going to be closet bound until after the holidays and then I will pull it out again and start it all over.

I had a very exciting Monday...our painter took a fall off his ladder and landed on the ground...had to call 911...he is a "big boy", medics words not mine....and he survived with only bruises...he was only one story up...my house is three stories, so it could have been worse. I was a useless individual yesterday...I sewed rather unsewed a piece about 4 times and those bias edges will never be the same...I kept seeing him looking up at me...as I looked down at him from the porch. I'm too old for this kind of excitement. Even dreamed about it last night.

I think some practice freemotion quilting (Melody J.'s style) is today's plan with some playing around with bobbin work is just what I need...might even pull out my watercolors...painting always soothes my soul. I guess this day will pass without any true accomplishments...just body and mind unwinding ( which isn't a bad thing.)

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Say YES to Glue

Today after viewing a new watercolors tape...I took some waterdowned YES glue and coated a piece of fabric. While it was still damp...I dropped some watercolors paint on it and watched the colors swirl around...I let it get "damp dry". Then I ironed it dry. The piece of fabric was just like paper...The colors were vibrant. I was able to trace templates onto the back and cut them out. There were no frayed edges or hanging threads. When I free motioned the pieces down on a scrap fabric...It sewed like a dream...No frayed edge ...I think I will continue to play and experiment with the YES glue using some fabric paint.....YES glue when dry does not repel the paint in watercolors paintings and it also doesn't repel the paint on fabric. I can see all kinds of possibilities. This YES glue is amazing stuff. Will keep a list of my YES discoveries and will post at a later time.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Tuesday Quilt Update

The quilt is coming together .. it is now "growing" on my bedroom floor. This was one of Fons and Porters' Great little quilts that go together in strips. Maybe for them, strips are easy but for me there is too much matching. After the first three hours I gave up my goal not to repeat fabric or patterns in the stars...I am now at the point of grabbing the 12 triangles and sewing them together... and breathing a sigh when the lump in the center doesn't stick up over a half inch.

Who cares if there are repeats. Would anyone dare point that out to me? And that center lump, only my long arm quilter, my friend Pam, will be offended by that little buldge.

And since today was the release day of my Bo Bice's first CD.....
I can now quilt to his voice on my Ipod...so all is well in my little corner of the beach.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

My First Full Size Quilt

I am making my first real bed quilt. It is a queen size quilt. ( I usually only make lap size quilts. I had to make 300 scrappy triangles, which in turn will make 25 scrappy stars. It took me about two weeks to make all of the star points and believe it or not 300 star points are a lot of star points! Then I had to lay everything out on my bed to make sure that I had made enough stars to cover the bed and still have an overhang on the bed. I think I have enough but will likely need more after sewing, as those 1/4 inch seams to add up.

Next came the hard part...(which I am still doing, in fact spent all of today sewing) putting the stars together so that there are no star points that are just alike. Each star is made up of 12 triangles so that means that I have to keep 12 triangles straight and not choose colors that are alike. I have piles of stars on the sewing table to choose from. It would be mindless sewing if I didn't have to worry about the colors and keeping the fabric patterns straight. My goal is to have the quilt pieced and ready to go to my long arm quilter by next weekend. She has already expressed her feelings about the center of each star block where six triangles come together. She tells me that she will try to avoid having to sew over them as they are rather lumpy. Will post a finished picture of my quilt (minus the quilting)hopefully by the weekend.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Bobbin NO MORE Woes

I guess it does pay to be persistent and not give up...It also helps to have internet ....I went on line and asked for "BOBBIN WORK DIRECTIONS" and came up with not only directions, but directions written for my machine! Now isn't the internet wonderful?

I have been bobbin working away....It is so much fun to flip the fabric over to see what you have created.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Lots of Pretty Threads

Bobbin Work Woes
Have the new machine. Have an extra bobbin case. Have beautiful yarns and threads. Wanna do bobbin work. It just isn't working.

The directions say to not thread through the tension guide on the bobbin...to place your special bobbin thread so that it feeds from the top opening slit of the bobbin case. I did all of this...but it still doesn't work...the bobbin thread just doesn't seem to catch so therefore I am not creating any stitches at all. Have been trying to do this for the last 90 minutes! My frustration level is very high right now.

So if anyone out there ever reads this plea...can you direct me to a site that gives directions...or a book or article that explains this? Or better yet can you tell me what I might be doing wrong?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

My New Best Friend

As you know I just got the Bernina 640 and of course I had to check out all of the feet that are available for it....and there are oodles of course. I had heard about Foot 55, a leather foot with a wheel that was being used with quilting...it is a wonderful foot, as the needle is in full view, without any metal foot support in the way. There is a little wheel on the left of the foot that rolls along providing pressure and control of the fabric. It now occupies it's own little grove in my Accessory Box. So far I have only played with it...making curves, following a pattern, retracing stitching, etc., and each and every time it has not failed to perform. If you have a Bernina ...I would suggest that the next time you are at your dealer's shop, you give it a test run. I'm not a dealer trying to sell you anything...just sharing a foot that I have added to my Best Friends' List. If Foot 55 information had not been shared with me, from a fellow Art Quilter, I would have ignored this foot...because I don't Sew on Leather!

"Drool" Cloth Update

I was told that Melody Johnson is taking off the months of December and January and will not start selling her hand dyed fabrics until early February...that gives me two months to start saving my pennies...

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Drool Maker Fabric

Today I saw up close and personal (and with a lot of lust) some of Melanie Johnson's hand dyed fabrics that my friend Pam had purchased. They are fantastic and are really "drool makers." I have always love looking at her quilts and admiring the bright bold fabrics in them...but photos don't do the her fabrics justice. (I borrowed photo from her blog site...am not trying to violate her copyright, just wanted everyone to see how beautiful her fabric is) If you were ever lucky enough to own her fabric, and ever got up the courage to cut into it...I bet you would save every little scrap. I have now put this fabric on my wanna-wanna list. If you would like to check her fabrics out...here is her selling blog.
Wanna buy stuff?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Future Creations

I am always collecting sayings or funny little bits of humor that come across my computer screen, sent by a fellow e-mailer. I store them on a another computer program that works like an index card file. Today I received a couple that instantly caught my imagination, and I said to myself....I've gotta make an art quilt of that! Thought I would share...they aren't copyrighted so feel free to steal or borrow.

Going bra-less pulls all the wrinkles out of your face.

Brain cells come and brain cells go, but fat cells live forever.

A Friend Is Like A Good Bra. Hard to Find, Supportive, Comfortable, And Always Close To Your Heart!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Finished with Bo

Not really finished with my Bo, have just completed my painting of him and have stitched him out. Did not use my BSR foot for my free motion...just did it the old fashion way. I found that I really need to plan and map out my stitching directions as I stitched myself in to some pretty tight places. I now want to try to capture him in fabric...would love to do it like Elizabeth Poole did in the Quilting Arts magazine..but my collection of fabric, (which is huge) just doesn't fit the bill. I must go shopping! I also need to spill bleach on some fabric to get some of the looks she got, this should be easy to do as I have many bleach splattered garments that I accomplished just by accident. ( I consider myself an expert at spilling bleach.)I plan to put binding and a back on to cover all of my wild stitching...and then will hang him in my sewing room to give me inspiration. His new CD should be out soon...can't wait...then I can quilt to his singing!!!!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

A True Confession

Here I am ...almost 62 years old. Happily married for 39 years and I'm in love with another man. The man in my life understands this love and knows that he is not in danger of being dumped. He also knows that this is a silly type of lust and that old women sometimes have to dream and hope....in my case that would be a "LOT OF HOPE."

Anyway the eye of my attraction is Bo Bice...2nd runner up on American Idol. I am going to do an art quilt of him... Have my drawings and photo images ready to go. Thought that if I published my intentions and working photos that I would actually commit and follow through...sometimes I put off things that I really want to do...so here are my working images...and when I hit the publish button...then I will have to follow through and actually try to create my quilt.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Picking up my New Bernina 640 Today

Today I drive over to Crestview to exchange my Bernina 440 with a new Bernina 640 with a BSR foot. In case you don't know the BSR is a foot that regulates your stitches so if your hand and foot don't play nice together, you can use this special foot and your quilting will look like a pro...all stitches even and neat. Since I am always looking for gadgets that make life easier for me...and a long arm machine is really out of the question as my house just doesn't have room to support one...this new foot seems to be an answer to my quest. It is my Christmas, birthday, Valentine's Day and Anniversary present. I am really looking forward to playing with it all week-end while my husband soaks in football. If you are interested in the BSR foot or want to read more about it, you can visit:

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Elizabeth Poole Shares All

I am still digesting the beautiful pieces in the Face Challenge that came our in the Quilting Arts magazine. My favorite was Elizabeth Poole's Study in Reds...I thought it was wonderful...now mind you it wasn't a face...but it was a beautiful body...I stared and stared at it and was in awe...wondering How did She Do That?

I went online and posted a message asking how it was done...hoping that some how my message would be read by Ms. Poole. It was and not only did she answer my question she also went into great detail. I think that it is wonderful that folks are willing to share their techniques and their crafts with us Wannabes.

This is what she wrote about her work on pg 64 of the Winter Quilting Arts 2005:

To begin with, a lot of the fabrics were my own monoprints -- I use either my own hand-dyes or regular commercial fabrics and then monoprint them, either with bleach discharge or thickened fabric dye. Sometimes I put lots of layers of process on a single panel, basically until it's done. There are a reasonable number of examples of these fabrics on my website:http://elizabethpoole.com/gallery/fabrics/index.html I sell these at galleries and shows for $10 to $30 per fat-quarter panel,and desperately need to update the site. A lot of the ones there have sold, and I have a lot of new ones. My partner took the digital photograph I worked from. I cropped it to the section I wanted to use, then made an 8.5x11 drawing of only that section.Then I used tracing paper to trace each part of the drawing that I wanted to do in a different fabric, and positioned the traced patterns over the mono prints. The translucence of the tracing paper lets me position thepattern piece over the design lines in the fabric that I think will be effective. And then it's just like a garment pattern piece -- I cut it out. :) I also make a rough tracing of my drawing on Wonder Under, then iron theWonder Under onto interfacing or batting. Now I have a rough guide for positioning my pattern pieces, as well as something slightly tacky to use to hold the pieces in place. Position all pieces, curse while recutting the ones where my initial fabric choice just doesn't work right, and lightly press in place once the pieces ARE working. I once recut the same piece out of five different fabrics before I found one that worked.
From there I free motion stitch, either running or satin, with a darning foot on a Bernina 801 that I bought in 1980 and love dearly. I use rayon threads almost exclusively these days.If you wanted the art how-tos rather than the technique ones, like "how did you happen to pick those fabrics and not flesh tones?", well, that's harderto articulate. Those were the fabrics that leapt into my hands, and that' about the best I can do. :) My thanks to the gang at Quilting Arts for taking such a killer picture ofthe piece. I've received word from the piece's owner that it's ok with herfor it to tour with the Quilting Arts challenge through 2006, so it will.--cheers, Elizabethelizabeth.poole@gmail.com http://elizabethpoole.com