rocket tracking


Friday, April 26, 2013

Keeping it together

Things have been really busy here at Casa Quintana.....and I've also been struggling to keep on going because the current chemo has me wiped out.  Thus, you haven't been seeing much of me.

However, I have been talking about Mistyfuse....partly because I had the opportunity to work once again with Attached Inc.'s head and Empress of the Sheerest most environmentally friendly fuse, Iris Karp.

I started working for Iris because I had found the Mistyfuse Ultra-violet and believed in it.  Having said that...I think that Mistyfuse-UV is probably the most misunderstood fuse out there.  It doesn't glow in the dark.  It is no different than the regular white Mistyfuse, except for one important aspect.  Mistyfuse-UV has an ultraviolet retardant in it.

All fusibles will discolor over time.  When Iris heard about a 9-11 memorial quilt which had discolored areas where the fused sheers had been exposed to ultraviolet light (from sunlight and flourescent light), she spoke with her chemist who worked with her to add a retardant to slow down the discoloration.

Of course, since Mistyfuse uses fewer extra chemicals, it is probably a slower one to change anyway, but after I had little dots of brown show up on the clouds in a baby quilt I made....the curator in me started investigating and found Mistyfuse-Ultra Violet.

I use a lot of sheers as you can see from these two well as some solid, light colors.  Mistyfuse-UV is perfect for these as it won't be as much of a problem overtime.  Of course, I do have to be careful as when I'm working with it...I can't tell the difference between the regular Mistyfuse and the Mistyfuse-UV....I HAVE to keep them in their proper envelopes.

Mistyfuse is easy to needle through, doesn't leave things stiff or hard, and doesn't gum up your needle.  It doesn't come with a release paper, so you must use a teflon pressing sheet or silicone coated baking parchment....but it makes things so much can transfer the pattern by tracing it in pencil (or light colored Prismacolor pencils if your fabric is dark) RIGHT SIDE UP onto the coated baking parchment, then flip it over onto the fused piece of fabric, and iron the graphite/pencil side down on to the fused side....this transfers the pattern without having to reverse it or change scissors to cut through your paper...and it makes things a lot faster and easier.

Since my hands are so numb, I have turned to using more fusible...but with Mistyfuse it leaves it supple.

Here are a couple of tutorials: Sue Bleiweis using mistyfuse:

And Iris herself:

There are others out there as well....and there are lots of ways to use decorative elements, in order to make your own fusible batting...and lots more.  I showed you in the Dayton Landmarks' St. Mary's  piece I recently finished how I used it to create shadows.

So...because I like it so much....and because I have some which Iris sent me home with...I'm sharing a package of Mistyfuse Ultraviolet, which contains 2.5 yards by 20" wide piece.  I will use a random number generator from online to pick a number.  All you have to do is leave a comment....if you don't use sheers, that's can use Mistyfuse-UV just as you would use regular Mistyfuse.  I will pick the number on May 5.  Good luck!

To read more about Mistyfuse, go to  or like the Mistyfuse FB page.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Dayton Landmark's Part II St. Mary's Church Completed

So...I am finding that I am really bad at taking process photos.  Here's what my semi finished piece looked like on Friday.....before I did the background quilting and cut it back.

I struggled a little bit, trying to figure out how I would do the ornate brick work at the tops of the towers.  I decided that the easiest way would be to make little lozenges of net with black Mistyfuse to make the regular brick project.

Here you cn see it after I've quilted it which added the shading lines....and you can see that I have added more detail with threadwork around the window cornices.

And here's the finished piece....only I discovered that I somehow made it an inch too short! That's what comes of measuring it alone while feeling nauseous!  I measured it twice...and goofed.  At least the quilting pattern I used in the sky is pretty much straight I can add a piece in and fix it so that the sky portion is just an inch taller.  DUH!  To quote Burns, "The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men Gang aft agley,"

Come back tomorrow, and I'll be having a give away!

Once again, I am participating in Nina-Marie Sayer's "Off the Wall Friday" posts.....go to her website and check out the other participants!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

When the World Seems so wrong....

look at the beauty of nature and observe simple things.  Spread peace, spread compassion and to defeat evil.  Make beauty.

Red Maple blossom (Acer Rubrum) Troy, OH April 9. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

International Quilt Festival Cincinnati 2013

Last week was the International Quilt Festival's show in Cincinnati.  Once again, I went and worked at the Mistyfuse Booth with Iris Karp.  It is such fun to go....see people at the Studio Art Quilt Associate's booth, and all the wonderful quilts.

This year, I opted not to take a class.  I did go and stay in the hotel, sharing the room with fellow MVAQN'er/SAQA member Carroll Schleppi...the thought of driving in rush hour traffic on I75 southbound wasn't my idea of fun, so that's why we stayed down there.

I ran in on Thursday morning and grabbed my badge....75 had been particularly bad as it was raining buckets and we were about an hour later than we had anticipated.  I didn't notice the typo on my name badge until one of the customer's said "Is that REALLY your name????"  OOOPs.  I sometimes make that mistake when I am typing my watermarks on my photos....but I didn't notice this one....certainly I'm saving it!

 This year the show was a little smaller than in previous years and rather than running through Sunday, it closed on Saturday.  I had to quickly see the quilts as we were so busy demonstrating in the booth.  I would have liked to show you lots of photos....images of pieces I liked from a number of quilters....but...IQF has rules about photography, as do most shows, and I have not been terribly successful in reaching a lot of the artists to get permission (something I try very hard to do) I decided I would share one of Sue Reno's quilts.

I had the pleasure of meeting Sue at the SAQA conference in Philadelphia last year....Sue loves to hike and take photos, as well as work in her garden.  She is a kindred soul even if she does get out more than I do these days!  Here is her website.

This particular piece uses a cyanotype print (a method of printing originally used to make blueprints) on silk of a columbine.  She framed it in a patchwork of small silk pieces which just sparkle in the spotlights.  Sue often combines things from her garden, or that she has found on her walks, particularly skeletal remains of animals (although sometimes she buys the remains in order to make the combos she wants).  She likes columbines for the wonderful habit they have of seeding find them in new places each spring.  I also love them for the interesting color combinations and mutations that they produce.  You can see more images and learn more about this piece here.

I always enjoy going to Cincinnati.  I love all the wonderful things around...bits and pieces that surprise well as being able to meet up with friends like Iris and Stephanie Kleinman.  One surprise is the art that you find tucked away....  This wonderful piece is made from chipping away the plaster/paint areas on a wall.  Pretty cool, eh?

I'm happy to say that I was so busy that I didn't get a lot of time to look at the vendors.....I did manage to get some 12 wt threads from Wonderfil and Superior.   I've been wanting to try these heavier threads to see what they can, I didn't do a horrific amount of damage to my pocketbook....always a danger when one attends such events.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Working on Dayton Landmarks Redux St. Mary's

 I've been being a good little doobie and working ever so slowly on my St. Mary's Church for the Dayton Landmarks Redux exhibition.  I need to have it done by the end of this week, and I think I will..but it has been a very busy time around here with lots of distractions.

For the body of the building I am using brick printed fabric which Chris Landis was so kind to share with me.  However I need to show some of the building in shadow. I could paint it, or I could use Shiva Oilsticks to add the shadow..or even just oil pastels, but I think I want to use sheers. This is a layer of netting laid over the print.  Works...but it needs to be a bit stronger.

Attached Inc, the makers of Mistyfuse carry a black fusible web which I like to use as a design element.  It is great to use with dark fabrics, but when yo use it on top of can get a really neat effect.

On the right, you can see the black Mistyfuse under the netting and on the left, it just has the netting.

Here's the shape of the building fused.  The far left has no netting on it at all, The center portion has a layer of black illusion netting with a layer of black Mistyfuse, the far right, a layer of black netting (the coarse stuff), a layer of black illusion and the layer of Black Mistyfuse.

One of the things you have to be aware of when using sheers, is that netting and other open fabrics such as lace will have the fusible coming through the holes.  This is great, because you can add other stuff if you so desire, such as Angelina, glitter, or whatever and it will stick to the exposed glue....but it also means you have to be careful.

See all these little black specks on my Goddesss Sheet? (aka Telflon sheet made by Attached Inc.)  If I ignored this and didn't clean it off by brushing it off with a Scotchbrite pad, then it would get all over whatever I was going to fuse next....and this would not be a good thing.

Tomorrow I'll show you how I'm positioning all the building parts and fusing them down.  I've spent several hours adding in stitching line guides (pencil marks) on the pieces as well as cutting them out.  

Friday, April 5, 2013

Row-By-Row Quilt

I felt well enough to go to Batty Binder's, my local guild in Troy last week.  They usually have a challenge or some sort of group project.  They have been talking about doing another row-by-row quilt.  A row-by-row is where someone collects a group of fabrics and does one row, then passes the box along to the next person who completes the next row...without the first person seeing it....then the process is repeated..  The originator has no idea what is being done until they get the top back.

Several years ago....prior to 2005 when I moved here, this was a themed row by row that Marjorie (Jo) Heffner did with the group.  You can see Jo at the left...and I was  really taken by this one.  Although the group was really pretty traditional when I came, there were a lot of people who were very much open to the concept of working outside the box.  Jo did the top row of pinwheels..

 No one remembers who did the second row...but I found it charming.  The "quilt shop" has meaning for this group as several of the members are sisters, and we also have several mother/daughter(s) combos.
 Sunbonnet Sue has options....she can go on a "slab" swing, or a tire swing.
And then, here's the Heffner farm, with an establishment date of 1947.

Jo said she thought the theme for the next row was stars, and the 4th row was nature.  I had never seen this set of Drunkard's path to make birds.  The beaks were three dimensional.

The next row's theme was hearts, and you can see on the overall, that the quilter made tossed hearts.
 Becky Goodwin, Jo's sister made the last row, which really tied in well with the second row and was a masterful completion of this quilt.  Becky is extremely talented and did her own drawings and design.

All in all, I find this a charming piece, and probably one of the best group row-by-row's I have seen.  I hope that Jo finishes it as it certainly deserves completion.

I am participating in Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Fiber Fridays....take a look at the others on her blog. Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to show you my progress on the St. Mary's Church slice. I've been working on it...but it isn't ready to show you.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Book Review: Art Quilt Portfolio: People & Portraits by Martha Sielman

A couple of weeks ago, I received a review copy of Martha Sielman's  People & Portraits from Lark  .  I have been waiting to get some more photos to share from you...but I feel that I must sidestep that in order for you to really get in on this wonderful book.

Once again, Martha has collected works from fiber artists from around the world.  21 artists are featured in depth, with a gallery of 120 other artists filling the pages in a riot of wonderful, inspiring and delightful images.

Each feature artist was supplied with questions about their work.  Their answers are enlightening and well thought out.  For people who are interested, most include sections on method, technique and inspiration.  Although Martha lists the home countries of the featured artists, she doesn't include this in the feature articles...unless it has bearing on the work. I suppose that this is appropriate, but I would like to know where these artists work as in some cases, I keep on wondering "how could I have missed out on this before?"

One case where the artist's environs have impacted her art is Bodil Gardner. Bodil's work has a joyfull, childlike aspect to it and I am pleased to see that she was included here.

Here's Amazon's Peek Inside so you can get a better understanding of what's included.

I have been struggling lately...both from a lack of energy as well as hitting a creative wall.  I have always found that visiting museums and galleries is a great way to jump start creativity.  Unfortunately, that's not a possibility for me right now, but I'm happy to say that taking a walk through this volume, as well as its predecessor  is almost as good and certainly enough to give me that creative push at present that I so desperately need.

I highly recommend it!

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Lark Crafts (April 2, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1454703512
  • ISBN-13: 978-1454703518
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.6 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds