Archive for June, 2013

We’ll call it a progress report

I was in Wyoming last week for my cousin’s wedding, we got back to town Wednesday, and that’s totally my excuse for not posting sooner. Then I got home and got lazy, *sigh* sometimes I just feel like being a lazy bum. But now I’m going to post! Cause I need to clean off my dining room table so I can do more crafting, and if I tell you guys I’m gonna clean, then I’ll probably do it! Anyway, I did some fiber stuff on my trip, and got some new fiber and fibery things, to tell you about. And then I have an update on the Dreambird project I’ve been working on!

First, my fiber acquisitions.

On the way to Wyoming we made a stop at this great fabric store in Billings, MT, called Fiberworks. They had some of the neatest fabrics I’ve seen, and definitely the best collection of animal print fabrics I’ve ever seen at a store, along with lots of cool patterns. That’s where we got the penguin pattern. My cousin Colleen wants me to make a penguin for her, and I’m thinking I may start playing with colorful penguins… sometimes I’m a bit too ambitious I think, we’ll see how that goes. I also got the blue felt there, which I plan to use as the background for a couple pieces I’m doing for another show with the Designing Quilters, called Beauty and the Breast. It should be an interesting show, and those pieces are what I want to work on when I finally get the table cleared off. We also went to a fabric store in Wyoming which is where I got the plaid fabric. I just loved the colors, and it was on sale, so we got it for me to use to make an apron dress for SCA stuff. It is cotton, which isn’t exactly accurate for the time period and location, but it’s so pretty! And I figure it will be nice to have a somewhat lighter-weight apron dress.

The quilt blocks have a fun story behind them. I like to geocache, which is like a worldwide treasure hunt where people hide little containers (called caches), sometimes with little knick knacks in them, sometimes with just logs, and then post the GPS coordinates to the cache online and other people try to find them. It’s lots of fun actually, although when I first heard about it I thought it sounded strange and boring, but it’s not! The point is, there was a quilting themed geocache in the town where we were staying! I got my mom and my aunt to come with and find that cache which is where we found the quilt blocks, and then left a few buttons in exchange, because the rules are that if you take something you leave something of equal value. I’m not totally sure what I’ll do with the quilt blocks, but my mom suggested making them into a box of sorts to store/display the stuff I find from geocaches, and I like that idea. Then, on our last day in Wyoming, we stopped at a thrift store in town, which had great prices, which is where we found the pattern for the cute little sheep (I want to say it’s a counted cross-stitch pattern). It was actually a kit, but it looks like it’s missing the thread at least, unless it came with almost no thread, but it’s cute and it still has the directions and chart, so I’ll have to try it one of these days. Counted cross-stitch is one of those techniques I’ve never tried, and only been marginally interested in trying.

And now, the dreambird shawl!

I’ve been moving almost painfully slowly on it. I’m not quite sure why, cause it always feels like I’m making great progress as I work on it, and then it just feels like I stall out and suddenly it’s taking me a couple hours for each feather. And I can’t quite pinpoint a certain section that’s taking extra time, cause each section separately seems to go quite quickly and easily. Maybe I just have a weird sense of time when I’m working on it, although there is the saying that the whole is more than the sum of its parts. So maybe extra time is just disappearing… yeah, doesn’t make sense to me either. But I think I’m almost half done with the shawl, so maybe just another month or so, I hope.

 

Now, I need to go clean off my dining room table. It’s where I take most of my pictures and I seem to just pile up the stuff I’m taking pictures of all over the table. And the sewing machine is set up there. The poor table is just not that big, so I need to do something about the mess. And now, because I’ve told you that I’m going to clean, I might actually do it!

messy, messy table

messy, messy table

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Abq FAF final exhibits

I’ve got four exhibits to go in this post, but it shouldn’t be much more to the post than the others. I had totally forgotten that I took some pictures of the rug hooking exhibit, so I figured I’d toss those in with the ones I already had planned for this post.

First is the quilt exhibit, and there are a lot of these pictures. This was the biggest exhibit, and was actually split up into two locations cause there wasn’t space in just one! There were some very nice pieces with some interesting techniques and textures. Overall I quite enjoyed the exhibit.

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So it seems that I lied when I said this post would still be about the same size as the others. In fact there’s twice as many pictures as in any of the other exhibit posts :-D. The thing is, when I write a post, I don’t upload any of the pictures until I reach the point where I want to use a picture, at which point I upload them all. And this time it was a lot of pictures.

Anyway, next is the youth exhibit. I thought it was great that they had a youth exhibit, and there were some very nice pieces, and of course, some that were definitely not great pieces of art or very well made, but I have no problem with that because the kids tried and I figure they must have enjoyed making them if they put them in an exhibit. I chatted a bit with the woman who was manning (or should that be womanning?) the exhibit, and she said there was a little girl who came by and was incredibly excited to see her piece on display in a case, and was thrilled that she got a ribbon (all the kids got participation ribbons), and for that I would gladly look at a bunch of absolutely terrible pieces, it was just a plus that there weren’t any that I would say were terrible. I didn’t take many pictures of the youth exhibit though, lots of the pieces were very similar in a way that suggested they had been made in a class, so I took pictures of a few of the more unique pieces, cause I figured you guys won’t be interested to see a bunch of sloppy pieces that are all about the same.

Next is the clothing exhibit. I’m not really that in to clothes, unless they’re medieval clothes, in which case I get quite intrigued, but a few of the clothing pieces caught my eye as worth sharing.

And finally, the hooked rugs exhibit. This is the one I forgot I had taken pictures of, but it’s a good one. I have done a little bit of rug hooking and enjoyed it well enough, though I didn’t fall in love with either the process or the end product. But I really liked some of these pieces. I know I wouldn’t have the patience, and may not have the skill, to make most of these designs that I liked the best, but they’re just those pieces that inspire you and make you want to try the technique, convinced that the result will be amazing. I might try rug hooking again, I do have the hook tool now, but probably not for a while. And now I will stop rambling and show you the pictures!

 

Well, that wraps up my coverage of the Albuquerque (I’ll be glad not to have to type that anymore!) Fiber Arts Fiesta. It was a really fun event to go to, and I hope you enjoyed the pictures, but I’m ready to move on in my blogging. I think I’ve used up enough time, and I’ve got a bit more work done on various projects, so I’ll have something to post about. I’m going out of town this weekend so there won’t be any more posts until next week, but then I’ll give you an update on my two big knitting projects, the Dreambird and the Kimono Cardigan, and I have a needle felting project to share!

Abq FAF Mixed Media and Knitting Exhibits

The mixed media exhibit is the first one I saw when we walked in, and at that point I was a bit confused and thought it was the only exhibit. Anyway, I think this was my favorite exhibit out of all of them, even the knitting exhibit. Maybe it’s because there isn’t really a “traditional” way to do mixed media pieces, but I’ve always found them to be much more consistently unique and personally expressive than other genres of fiber work. Some of the pictures are quite blurry, I apologize, but these ones were all taken with my phone and some are the very first ones I took with my phone, before I figured out how to get the best pictures out of it.

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I thoroughly enjoyed the knitting exhibit as well, of course. I say knitting exhibit but this is actually the hand knitting exhibit, there was also a machine knitting exhibit which I didn’t look at very closely or take pictures of. I don’t dislike machine knitting but it just doesn’t interest me, and the finished pieces just never seem as complex, at least the ones I’ve seen. There were two or three more beautiful lace shawls in the exhibit that I took pictures of but I haven’t posted them because they came out so blurry that even I won’t  make you look at them. Which is a shame really, cause they’re beautiful pieces.

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I’ve really only got one exhibit left that I have many pictures of, and that’s the quilt exhibit. I also have a few pictures of the sewn garments exhibit and the youth exhibit, but that’s a total of about 6 pieces combined on those two. So those exhibits will be what’s coming up next, and then I’ll have to start actually putting work into my posts again! 😉

Abq FAF Embroidery and Crochet exhibits

For some reason I don’t really feel like writing much today, but I will share more pictures with you, cause I’m sure you’re eager to see them. The format for these is the same as the last post, if the label for the piece is not visible/legible in the original picture, then there is a close-up of the label following the picture, to make sure everybody gets credit for their work.

 

The embroidery exhibit appeared to have been a competition with several categories along the lines of non-original designs, original designs, and colcha embroidery. I think the categories were a bit more complex than that, but that’s really the salient information. If I didn’t mention it before, each exhibit was put together by the appropriate guild in Albuquerque, so the formats of the exhibits varied a little bit, as did the sizes of course.

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I will admit that I generally don’t find crochet as interesting as other techniques. I don’t know what it is, it just tends to seem boring to me, and I don’t find basic crochet stitches to be very visually appealing. That being said, I found some really beautiful pieces in the crochet exhibit that just struck me. So it seems I just haven’t been looking at the right crochet stuff.

Abq FAF Weaving and Silk Painting Displays

Before I get to the weaving and silk painting display, I realized that I left out one of the vendors that was quite educational for me! The booth was a woman’s fabric/quilt designs and she was demo-ing free-hand machine stitching. I don’t think she was there when I walked by the first time cause I just figured it was a fabric booth and I didn’t stop but my mom told me about this great booth with a woman doing machine embroidery, so she took me back there after lunch. This was the first time I had ever had a chance to talk to someone who does machine embroidery and it was great. The technique she uses is to make the shape on dissolvable stabilizer in such a way that the shape can hold itself together, and then dissolve the stabilizer. Then she puts the shapes on quilts and uses them in her designs. Most of what she had, at least that I saw, were trees, bushes, and coral, but she said she has had students make animals and letters that way and you could make pretty much any shape. So it was good to talk to her about machine embroidery, and I got a chance to just watch her work which was good for me too, and we had a bit of a discussion about creativity and how everybody can be creative if we just get out of our own way.

Now, on to the displays! Really there’s not a lot for me to say about the various exhibits, so the posts about them will probably be mostly pictures, possibly with a few captions. I didn’t take a lot of pictures of the weaving or silk painting exhibits so I figured it will work best to combine them into one post. First, the weaving exhibit. All of the entries were hand-woven, and while it didn’t say so, I assume they were woven on floor looms of various sorts. Because I think it’s very important for people to get credit for there work, I also took pictures of all of the labels on the pieces and those will be following the picture of the piece, if the labels are not in the original picture. It may be that no one who knows any of these people ever see my blog posts, but they deserve the credit no matter what! Please excuse the lower quality of some of the pictures as about half my pictures were taken with my phone. The batteries in my camera died :-(.

Next is the silk painting exhibit. These weren’t necessarily all painted as such, a few were printed on a computer printer and I think there was another technique or two that I can’t remember. Basically they were all pieces that began as a plain white piece of silk and were modified, all except one being by adding color, to create images or shapes. I had never seen silk paintings that were as vibrant or precise and crisp as some of these, and I was incredibly impressed.

That’s the weaving and silk painting exhibits. There were quite a few more pieces in each exhibit, but these were the ones that most struck me, and I just couldn’t take the time to get good pictures of everything. If you want to see it all you’ll have to go to the next Fiber Arts Fiesta :-).

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