rocket tracking


Friday, March 22, 2013

Someone give me a Forward Shove....PLEASE

The Miami Valley Art Quilt Network was so pleased with how their last series of co-operative "slice" quilts turned out, they decided to commit to another.  I signed up for one piece...and think I need to be committed. Once again, Ronnie Doyal went out and took photographs of buildings and scenes around Dayton.  I opted NOT to lead this time, but turned it over to Ronnie and Carroll.  They chose the images and sliced them, randomly assigning the slices to members.  Totally in you put your name in and you got a piece.

Mine is the towers of St. Mary's Church  in Dayton.  I love the colors and I love the way the light is striking the towers and the crosses in the upper windows are glowing.  But....I am having a really hard time getting into it.

In fact...I've been I've been busy.....and I've started a new chemo which has left me extremely fatigued.  I thought that I would quickly complete this piece last week and this week.  Instead, from Sat. night until Tuesday, I spent the days in well as the night too.  Not exactly the way to get my derriere going.

This is my section of the photo.  Rather than hand us the photos and have us make the drawings and patterns,  Ronnie and Carroll did this for us...primarily because although for the first series we said that the sketches we made should be blow up so that all of them were 42" long.....many of our members had problems with this.  Even the resultant quilts were not the same length.  One poor member who did indeed make hers 42" long had to shorten hers three times in order to make it match the others.

So....rather than have this issue again, Ronnie and Carroll supplied it.

Here is a section of what I got, a black and white print...I have a little difficulty because I have no idea what size the bricks should be.....but there's also another difficulty.

See the little tiny fragment of the second tower to the right? I have to match mine to the other side..completing these little whiskers of the tower.  It would have been better if it had been sliced not in the exact center, but to one side...just a smide to the left.  I would have to pick up the arch on the window surround, but the tiny little bits of the cupola would have all been on my partners slice.

I did paint my background fabric and then started to select fabrics.  Chris Landis had some brick fabric left from her slice which also included a brick building and it is the right shade for the light struck side of my tower.  I will mess around with it to shade it for the dark side.

For the glowing parts of the white, my rust dyes will work well.

I will use the back side and the top side of the upper right neutral, plus some linen, and a frosted cream on the left.  The blue is a shaded batik which I will use for the domes of the cupola as well as the slate roof, but I will add some threadwork for the darker part for the slate, and make sure the lighter parts of the batik fall for the domes.

Usually, I trace over my sketches with a sheet of clear vinyl, the kind people buy to put over their dining room tablecloths on top to prevent spills....or what is still on the furniture in the house my husband lived in in Cuba in the 1960s...  I use a sharpie, then I can make sure that I get the pieces in the right spot...but last time, the vinyl stretched and I had to fiddle with it to make it match it's partners, so this time I opted to put my painted background on my light box and trace directly onto the fabric.  I will also probably take a piece of tracing paper and make another full size piece to put over the top to double check.  Tracing paper tears, but it usually doesn't stretch.  I have made the background wider and taller as I know that it will shrink when I quilt it as I probably will put quite a lot of detail quilting in....if I don't, I will trim off the excess once my partner's section is done and reading to face (however, I will use an "escape hatch" finish on mine.

I like to use Mistyfuse as it is soooo thin.  I know that some people are put off by the fact it doesn't have paper on it....but I use it like this.  I lay a piece of baking parchment (I use the Reynolds brand which is readily available in the grocery store) and lay it over the top of the photocopied blow up (or sketch if I was doing this all from scratch).  I then take a soft pencil if the fabric is light enough to see a pencil line on it, a light colored Prismacolor pencil if it is dark, and trice directly over the RIGHT side of the drawing. No having to think about is a direct trace.

I then take the fabric I have previously fused with Mistyfuse (or you can do it in one step if you like) and place the tracing PENCIL SIDE DOWN on the Mistyfused side of the fabric.  I then iron over the top of it...Because nothing likes to stick to the treated Parchment Paper and Mistyfuse likes to stick to pulls the pencil lines off onto the back side of the fused fabric.  I then can use my micro-serrated scissors and cut the piece out, looking at the lines left on the fabric.

See? No switching out flipping things's just there and ready to go.

Now if only I can get myself ready to roll.  I'll show you what I am able to accomplish as we go along.....

I'm going to join Nina-Marie Sayer's Off the Wall Friday Fiber posts....I've been remiss and haven't participated....largely because I have been so bushed, or off the wall busy...

Take a look at the other blogs here

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

One Thing I like About the Midwest

One thing I missed about the midwest when I lived in Connecticut was the spectacular sunsets.  Don't get me wrong, there were some good ones there too, especially when you were at the beach.  However, the changes in elevation meant that sunsets were often short.  Since the land is so flat in Ohio (and in southern Michigan where I grew up) you could sit and watch the light change over along periods of time.

This series of photos were taken on February 24, 2013 and they have not been colorized.  What you see is basically what I saw.  I did switch from the front to the back a couple of times.  This is the view looking northwest.

This is the full view of the tree which is at the left of the above image....and it looking more due west.
Back yard, looking due west, just after the above shot was taken.

Back to the front yard again...closer to the spruce tree, again the tree at the center is the same one you saw in the first two images (Silver maples...acer saccharinum....they love wet soils and our heavy clay is famous for holding addition, the water table is really high here. Yellow fall leaves, brittle limbs, quick growing....and best suited to be left in the swamp...get a sugar maple instead.)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

More Piqua Pleasures: Treon's

 I've mentioned before about my love of building advertising....paintings above the roofline on storefronts, or on the backs and sides of buildings...usually NOT the side which faces the main drag.

On my recent photo romp in Piqua, Ohio I found these.  Some of it makes me giggle....the windows have been blocked in, but still remain reminiscent of the original fenestration.

But what was most fun was the one below.  You might recognize the name, Ruth Treon is one of my Batty Binder Art Quilting buddies.....Her husband's family owns Treon's Barbershop.  Don't you just love the barber pole and the little dingbat at the bottom pointing you to the back door? then at the back door you have another, in better condition, painted barber pole and the shop hours.
I think Ruth needs to do something with this....don't you?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Don't Wait

Several years ago, I had the pleasure of getting to know one of my husband's co-workers better.  He was a brilliant mind....and very intense.  It was at a Christmas party with other co-workers at the home of my husband's direct boss.  This individual was intense...but not personally was just that he was a deep thinker and passionate about things.  It was also obvious to me that most of the people at the party just "didn't get him."

My husband and I had contact with him from time to time, and he and I always said "we should really go out to dinner with him" or some such thing.

Then, he lost his job at Hartzell.  However, he came to one of the off site functions and I got to talk to him again.  This last fall, Carlos saw him on the bike path with his son...He wasn't wearing a helmet and Carlos gave him our helmet lecture....We've seen too many accidents with bikes and your noggin holds a lot of info...and without proper brain know the drill   Several of our friends survived bike/car accidents only because they were wearing properly fitted, properly worn helmets.  Two weeks after Carlos saw him, we got a phone call.  He had been riding, with his newly acquired helmet, only to be in an accident. His helmet was shattered, his skull was not and he thanked Carlos for giving him the riot act.

Once again, Carlos and I said "Gordon's a great guy, we should really call him and go out."  Only we never got around to it.  Carlos also noted that he had lost a lot of weight...although he wasn't by any means heavy when I knew him.

Yesterday, I saw a post on a mutual friends Facebook page.  It puzzled me, and I called her.  Gordon had committed suicide on March 8.  I am not saying that we would have been able to save him....but I am saying that if we had gotten to know him better we would have been the richer for it and just maybe, maybe he would have opened up to us....or someone else....or something.  At the very least we would have had a good time and I would have enjoyed talking once again to this very intelligent person.

I don't know what happened.  None of it makes sense, and I suspect, it only made sense to Gordon.  However, I do know that depression is a problem, and mental health issues are not ones which are handled well in the U.S.  But there is a cautionary tale.  Don't put off anything.  You never know when you will never have the chance again.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Fodder for Series

 Many of you are already aware of how much I admire the "industrial" inspired work by Elizabeth Barton.  She's starting a class on Quilt University.  I'd love to take it, but I have a pretty heavy schedule and since I started a new chemo today, I don't know how well that would turn out.  The last time I took a class from her, it was one of the first on-line quilting classes I had ever taken...and I woefully underestimated the time I really needed to devote to it.

So, I fear I have to wait and take it at a time when I could really put my all into it.  In the meantime, I continue to take pictures which will be fodder for my series if I ever get started.  Tuesday, I drove to Piqua, OH to pick up my Janome 3160 quilters edition...the little machine I take to classes and sew-ins. The place which gave it a tune up is in Celina, Ohio, but they drop them off for folks like me for whom Celina means an hour drive.  Linda's Sew-n-Sew used to have a store in Piqua, but they gave it up, so a local uniform store allows us to drop them off and pick them up there.

Piqua is another one of those towns around here which have wonderful 19th century buildings.  In this case many of the original doors and windows have been blocked out, but the lines, chimneys, vents and fire escapes just make me want to work with it.

So I take pictures.  Just as I was shooting the first picture, a woman came striding out of a building to the far right.  She scowled at me.  I looked at her and said I enjoyed taking photos of old buildings.
"Why?" she barked.  "Well, I like the lines and I have a background in history and these buildings speak to me."

 "Harumph." She snorted....and continued to scowl at me as if I was going to do something awful with my little digital camera and these old buildings.  And here I thought I looked like a pretty mild mannered middle aged lady....even if I do look at things through lenses.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Snow, but thank Goodness not a Snow Day

 We had been awaiting a snow storm.  At first they said it would come on Monday after 8:00 pm.  On Tuesday morning, I was somewhat alarmed as I got up to sun....and no snow.  I was alarmed as I had an appointment with my oncologist this morning that I had been waiting for since February 11.  I am to start a new medication, and if the office was closed, it was likely to be weeks before I could see him as he travels to 5 different locations.

Fortunately, although I awakened to these beautiful scenes, my husband and the neighbor cleared the driveway...the snowplow drove down the center of the street (not acceptable for this Michigoose/Nutmeger) and I was able to get out.  The highway was fine.....the secondary roads a little iffy.  It was wet, heavy snow with a layer of sleetyness underneath.  But I still enjoyed the view in my back yard from the window.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

More cool things about Retreats

Deb Neff's strips which started out as a HUGE pile of blocks

Diane Littlejohn with the Bag from...the netherworld. 
 My quilt group, the Batty Binders, is a really fun group of people....I think the name sort of gives it away.  They are the most "retreatingest" group I have ever belonged to.  In Connecticut, we would have sewing days, but going someplace and staying over night is something I don't remember, but then I had a small child when I lived there too.

Batty Binders goes on three weekend retreats a year.  In February, a group of intrepid souls who don't mind bringing potluck, our own bedding, and everything else (I even bring rugs so we don't slip on wet floors as we come in) go to a local Girl Scout camp to sew for three days.  This used to be the only place we went, but about three or four years ago, we managed to get a weekend at the Golden Eagle Christian Retreat Center in Palestine, Ohio.  Palestine was one of those little thriving farming communities in the Midwest   In 1922 (give or take a couple of years) they built a high school  Now, however, it was closed as school consolidated and fewer people lived or did business in Palestine as the highways pretty much by-pass it.  So, they turned it into a retreat center, which feeds you, changes the beds and provides everything a quilter could ask for.  Batty Binders go to Palestine in the spring (mid April usually) and again in the fall.
Debbie Black and Glenda Tron

Both times it is filled with fun and virtually all night quilting....even if Glenda is looking at something on her iPhone.

Retreats are good for doing group projects too.  One of our members had made a bag...and it was really neat, only she said it was really hard.  When almost everyone (I think that only 2 of us didn't make was me..I'm just not a bag lady) started working on it, it became apparent that one of the reasons that it was hard was that the directions were poorly written and had you do some things which could have been done more easily.  Fortunately, Teri Pyles and Gwen Brown were able to figure it out and share the fixes and the warnings.
Becky Kea and Joyce Newnam with Joyce's quilt

We hang up the tops as we finish can see Beth Ann Miller's 1600 quilt in the bright colors behind Debbie and Glenda, in addition to a doggie quilt she made for her granddoggie.

Joyce Newnam was able to finish this really bright quilt for her grandchild.  Becky Kea, who is a resident of Roanoke, VA but has come to keep her daughter company as she completes training at Hobart Welding Academy is helping.  Several people have mentioned how brave Becky is for signing up to go with a bunch of Batty Batts to spend a weekend with people she only knows from about 6 meetings....but just to show you how nice of a group it is, she didn't run away screaming.....

Hopefully you can find a group who does retreats or lives in an area where there are facilities you can use for a moderate amount so you can go.  I go when I can....and always have a blast.

Bear with me all...I'm having a tough time and I am not able to post as much as  I like, but I will be here at least once a week.  More, God willing. :)