Saturday, September 3, 2011

What I did BEFORE vacation

Decided I'd better keep working on new blocks for grandaughter Ana's Banana quilt.  Here's a few more
added to the collection:
Unfinished Banana Ruler

Striped Banana

Banana Hat

Banana Bush

And then I started on this piece:

which has a lot of dupioni silk and other silks, which start raveling immediately after being cut. It's going to be a satin stitch exercise!

And then my friend Robin gave me some baggies full of fresh figs (yummy in salads) and allowed me to take a few of the large leaves from her beautiful fig trees.  I fooled around with paint and acrylic ink and a breyer, and printed this I-have-no-idea-what-I'll-do-with-it piece of fabric:

....and then we went to Colorado!  

The sky!

The streams!

The flowers!

The aspen trees!

The trash bins!

My new Stetson hat!

What a beautiful place!

Problems, problems, problems.....

First, my old Epson printer finally gave up the ghost...or maybe I gave up on him.  He was using SO much ink, and making smears, and demanded that I clean his little "openings" frequently.  So I pulled his plug!

Then I went to the huge file of suggestions on "printers to buy" I'd saved from chat lists and web sites, and ended up more confused than ever. Luckily, my patient partner, Dave, went shopping with me and helped me find my new one.  It looks like the BIG BROTHER of my old Epson:  wide-bodied, many more ink colors, can accept sheets or rolls of paper (or fabric), and uses ultra-chrome ink.  It's name is Epson Stylus R 2000, and the day I bought it, it became obsolete!  So what; I got the floor model and a modest discount.
Here is is:

...and I never have to wipe his little whats-its.

BUT, then my camera decided that he needed to be replaced too.   My little old pocket Canon just wasn't able to do decent quilt shots.  Again, I went to my huge file of helpful hints on buying cameras, and after a good amount of discussion with the savvy saleslady at Penn Camera, I came home with my new Canon PowerShot G12.  I'm in love!  Unfortunately, I can't show you a photo of it, because....well.... you get it.

Now seriously, THIS has been my biggest problem:

width = 56", height from 33" to 17.5"

It's my "Fence" quilt.  Yes, it IS a quilt. From a previous posting, you'll see it was drawn on a big sheet of white fabric.  Then each twig or post was constructed with raw-edge applique (you can see that phase most easily, perhaps, on the tallest post which has several fabrics giving it dimension and the knots were added as well).  The piece uses dozens of different brown fabrics, shading from lightest to darkest  to indicate distance.  The entire sheet was then backed with Shirt-Tailor by Pellon to give it body (and three layers).  At that point, I did a heavy zig-zag in black around each and every twig, and then quilted each piece in a pattern that seemed to fit the fabric it was made of.  Finally, I took a very wide, beveled black market and colored a dense half-inch or so around every piece.  Then I cut out the fence.  It looks terrific in person, and what I especially like is the pattern of shadows created in the negative spaces behind the fence when it's just a bit off the design wall.

The problem is that all my semi-formed ideas on how to hang this open-work piece have flopped.  More correctly, the piece was floppy.  So then I traced each twig to get a template, and cut out those shapes from the stiffest interfacing I could find, and stitched them on individually, thinking that the piece could still be rolled or folded if it were to be accepted into a quilt show.  Well, stiffening it helped, but I thought the upright posts needed to be more sturdy.  So I attached velcro to the back of these and cut 1/2" thick black foamcore and velcro'd them together.  Feh.  The velcro stuck together, but didn't stay attached to either surface.

And what quilt show would take a piece like this with NO SLEEVE?  Sigh.

I'll probably have to mount it on a fabric quilt WITH a sleeve.  But if you have any suggestions for keeping it as an openwork piece, I'd seriously love to hear from you!!!!