Saturday, October 31, 2015

Humble Beginnings

This week, I finally started working on some samples for my upcoming Hand Stitching class. I've had lots of thoughts bopping around in my head (and I've gotten many of those down on paper) but for some reason I just wasn't sitting down and starting to make samples.

I decided to start by reintroducing myself to three basic stitches that I use a lot in my work...back stitch, stem stitch and running stitch. One thing I really want to do is set limits...both in size and color. So, I am trying to stick with black and white to start. These samples use black DMC floss on a slightly off-white Prepared for Dyeing Kona cotton. I also have black cotton and will use white floss. And...I'll probably try white stitching on white cloth and black stitching on the black cloth. I do want to try out some different fabrics....linen, silk, felt and maybe a sheer of some kind. The students will have the chance to paint and print (black and white) some designs during the first session...just for some variety.

Back stitch: Changing the thickness of the lines.

But getting back to these samples... I focused on thick versus thin so I stitched lines that gradually used fewer strands of floss. I tried to keep the stitches pretty uniform in length. Stitching the lines using 5 and 6 strands was not very easy (especially trying to keep an even tension as I worked) and I think that the weave of this cotton may be too tight to comfortably accommodate that many strands. The linen and felt will probably work much better (more samples to come!). Even doing these simple  samples has got me thinking...about designs with lines that become thick and thin. I want to try that next. And then I want to think about and explore the concept of line. Using descriptors for lines...and then trying to stitch them (for example...can a line be angry?).

Stem stitch: Changing the thickness of the lines.

Running stitch: Changing the thickness of the lines.

So this is the humble start...

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Lots of Print-A-Bag and Book Signing Fun at The Muse in Frederick

I had such fun yesterday afternoon at the wonderful art and fine craft shop, The Muse, in Frederick, Maryland. Along with signing copies of Fabric Printing at Home, I had a make and take printed canvas goodie/book bag project. First, I demoed how to carve and print with a variety of veggies. Many people were surprised to see how turnips, radishes, and carrots could be turned into print blocks. And rolled corn prints are always a big hit! I also had some carved Speedy Carve blocks on hand and a few hot glue blocks too.

Fortunately, many people were not shy about getting a little paint on their hands! I was delighted that some younger folks also joined in. Here are some of the results...


The Muse will be carrying Fabric Printing at Home through the holiday case you missed out on yesterday's fun. The book makes a great holiday gift for the craftsy people (including young ones) on your list!

Thanks again Whitney for being such a wonderful host!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Meet Me at The Muse...Book Signing, Demos and Print-A-Bag Fun!

Here are some samples of the "make and take" book/goodie bag project I'll be offering this Saturday at The Muse.

I spent yesterday in the studio prepping for this Saturday's event at The Muse in Frederick, Maryland. I had fun carving and printing with veggies, designing some Day of the Dead freezer paper stencils and creating a series of festive goodie bags!

Day of the Dead bag design #1: Skull is created with freezer paper stencils. Flowers are carved from turnip slices.
Day of the Dead bag design #2: Pink skull created with a freezer paper stencil. Details on skull printed with carved carrots.
Mola Cat bag design: Masking tape mask to create the blue background then textured with a carved carrot. Cat carved out of Speedball Speedy Carve.
I used masking tape to divide up the printing areas, then painted the exposed areas and printed with hot glue on cardboard blocks.
A quick and easy design using a carved cross-section of a carrot.

I'll be at The Muse signing copies of my book, Fabric Printing at Home, demoing a number of printing techniques and offering the opportunity for the first twenty guests to create their own make and take Halloween goodie/book bag (which coincidentally is the perfect size in which to carry a copy of my book!)

A perfect fit!

If you happen to live nearby...I hope you'll stop by and say "Hi" and maybe have a go at printing up your own bag!

Saturday, October 24  1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
The Muse
19 North Market Street
Frederick, MD 21701
(301) 663-3632

Sunday, October 18, 2015

October Stitch-In

Zita hand stitched to emphasize the rectangular shapes in this piece by her friend.

We had a nice turnout for today's Stitch-In...six of us and lots of interesting projects and discussions.

Zita S. made it for her first time and it was so great to see her. She brought along a very special piece to work on. It was an eco-dyed and hand felted piece that her dear friend Sharon J. had made. Sharon passed away unexpectedly at the very end of last year and our guild recently had a trunk show sale of her work to raise money. Zita purchased the box labeled "India Flint" (Sharon took a class with India) and found this piece at the very bottom of the box. Zita says that Sharon was never really "into" hand Zita is going to continue to work on the piece...hand stitching it a bit at a time. What an amazing way to feel connected to her friend (reminds me of how connected I feel when I stitch on my Dad's letter).

Zita plans to take her time hand stitching areas of this eco-dyed piece.
Ann Z. brought along Buffalo Boy's head (a sock) to stitch. I had to laugh...she was using a maraca as a darning egg to help stitch through the sock (ingenious!).

Buffalo Boy's head.
Ann also brought this in-process piece. She is trying to decide how to finish the bottom half of the piece.

Cheryl is following up on her Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year's) resolution to complete pieces. She brought in this luscious knitted scarf that she started a while back. It may go to a friend.

Cheryl also brought in a gorgeous silk scarf created by Ellen Hoverkamp using a high resolution scan of vegetables. It reminded all of us of Dutch still life paintings.

Detail of a scarf by Ellen Hoverkamp.

Alice H. brought in one of her shibori pieces to stitch on. She is painstakingly stitching her fabric to resist the dye she'll later paint on it. I just love the texture!

Barbara M-C brought in a number of things to share. She's been working on a series of cloth dolls symbolizing her childhood (she's posted some on Facebook and I believe is now selling some on Etsy). This one was influenced by the traditional Hungarian clothing her grandmother would sometimes wear.

Detail of hand stitched motifs on the dress.

She also brought a cloth and paper book she created using some of her fabrics from the Story Cloth class and handmade papers from her friend's collection.

And here is a piece she's started using some of her indigo dyed fabric. The theme is "day and night".

I was hoping to stitch on my Dad's letter but I'm waiting for a skein of hand-dyed thread to arrive (probably tomorrow). In the meantime, I started setting up a new piece about my Dad...a great story that my brother told me. I spent some time on Friday going through a folder of family photos and reading through stories my siblings shared with me about Dad. I think that there is really a wealth of inspiration and I'm looking forward to working on a number of pieces about family.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Searching for Roy G Biv 4: Gray/Grey Final Update

A detail from the Swedish pioneer house at the Zilker Botanical Garden.

It's time once again for the Search for Roy G Biv (the colors of the rainbow) and Beyond. We are now Beyond! This month's color is GRAY or GREY. I'm posting a day early since I'll be traveling tomorrow...returning home from Austin, Texas. And since I'm in Austin, I decided to look for my GRAYS here.

Detail of a foot bridge at the Zilker Botanical Garden.

Detail of ants from the ornate Rose Gate at the Zilker Botanical Garden.
Canoe sculpture on the University of Texas Austin campus.

Structure on the grounds of the Texas State Capital.

Detail of tree bark on the Texas State Capital grounds.
Gray stones outside a hotel.

To join in the fun, just post up to five GRAY photos and leave a comment here or on Jennifer Coyne Qudeen's blog. We'll link to your post for our monthly blog hop. I'll continue to post updates through Saturday, October 17. Let's see how many different GRAYS you can find!

10/15/15 6:30 PM Eastern time....I'm home and am delighted to see so many folks playing Roy this month!

Fiona at Paper Ponderings reminds us..."that the things we can do and make offer people a salve to the ordinariness or mundaneness of life." She also has a beautiful page from her book "Silence Helps No One" that is a symphony in GREY.

GREY is a "current favorite" for Margaret at Charlton Stitcher! She has a wonderful selection of photos and art to share.

Jennifer has GREYS from shadows to owls to her lovely rusted cloth.

Lisa at arzigogolare has been a bit frustrated by the GRAY days in Florence but, as usual, her photos sing! Love the paving stones after a storm...they look almost metallic!

Sharmon Davidson has architectural and natural GRAYS. Love the weathered wood, the soft GRAYS in the fungi and the silvery GRAY of the fallen leaf.

Mary Ann at Blue Sky Dreaming has hand printed and stitched (leafy) GRAYS. Love that first piece!

Susan and Elizabeth at PG Fiber 2 Art have some textural GRAYS...from elephants to tree bark!

Maya at Take Diversion has some surprising GREYS from a suspended feather to industrial brushes!

Linda Stokes has some outdoors GREYS. Love the pottery path!

Fran at At the End of the Day found Five Shades of GREY...even a self portrait!

Thanks to all of you for playing this month! Only two months left:

November 19: PINK
December 17: Blogger's Choice

Sunday, October 11, 2015

New Newsletter and Roy Reminder

Just a quick post before I head out for a few days to Austin, Texas.

I just published Issue #30 of Julie B Booth Surface Design News. I talk a bit about my experience taping TV segments for Quilting Arts TV and then there is a fun project about using a resist with leaves to make leaf prints. Click here is you'd like to read it. The newsletter is free so feel free to sign up for it!

This is also your monthly reminder that the next installment of Roy G Biv...searching for the colors of the rainbow and beyond...continues this Thursday with GRAY. If you'd like to play along, post up to five GRAY photos and leave a comment here or on Jennifer Coyne Qudeen's blog and we'll link to your post for our usual colorful blog hop.

I'll be traveling home on Thursday but do promise to post my Roy photos no later than Friday morning.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

All Caught Up! The Printed Fabric Bee Architecture Theme Challenge

I'm finally all caught up with my Printed Fabric Bee fabrics! It's been a great two years of learning, stretching and making new virtual friends. I've now also had the pleasure of meeting some of my PFB buds in person! What a treat! This has been an awesome group and an awesome experience! Some of us have agreed to continue and, as I mentioned in the last post, we are coming up with a new format. All of this will start in stay tuned!

I just finished the Architecture theme fabric for Deborah Boschert. The winner of the fabric collection was chosen on September 15...congrats to Nancy Roberts...I'll be sending the 6" square off to you this week.

Here's how I made the fabric...

Deborah requested blues for her fabric color. I mixed up a couple of blue transparent fabric paints and free-hand painted the background.

To give the piece a bit of texture, I slipped one of my hot glue on cardboard texture blocks under the fabric and did some brayer rubbings using a couple of blue opaque fabric paint colors.

For the architectural motifs, I researched on Pinterest and found some column and arch designs which I enlarged and traced. I then transferred the designs and carved a number of Speedy Carve print blocks. I also created some adhesive fun foam blocks in the shapes of some of the motifs. I had such a great time playing with layering that I ended up creating two pieces for Deborah.

Here's the second piece I designed for Deborah.

And here is the 6" square that will be heading Nancy's way.

This theme stymied me for a while...but I'm finally happy with my solution.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Printed Fabric Bee Caribbean (Ocean) Giveaway

It's time, once again, for a Printed Fabric Bee Giveaway. This is the last giveaway of the year. The group is "re-grouping" and will have an exciting new series of online "how-tos" and giveaways starting in January 2016. We'll be spending more time posting on the official The Printed Fabric Bee blog. I'm really looking forward to it!

In the meantime...this month's Queen Bee is Judy Gula. Judy requested a 12" x 12" fabric with the theme Caribbean Ocean...colors were up to us. can probably see that the "ocean" part of the theme seemed to slip my mind...only the "Caribbean" part seemed to register. Fortunately, Judy is a good sport and seemed just fine with my tropical addition to her collection.

Here's how I made the fabric...

I tore strips of freezer paper and ironed them to my fabric. Then I painted between the strips, alternating colors and let the fabric dry before removing the freezer paper.

I cut a slice from a large turnip and used a cookie cutter to cut a shaped piece. I carved a design in the turnip slice with my linoleum cutters. I also cut a large carrot and carved that for the smaller motifs. You can see the final fabric at the top of this post. If you want to see some more inspiring ideas about how to print with fruit and veggies...I have an entire chapter about it in my book, Fabric Printing at Home!

Here is my 6" giveaway fabric.

And here are the giveaway fabrics for this collection so far.

To be eligible to win, leave a comment on The Printed Fabric Bee blog or on Judy Gula's blog. Judy will be announcing a winner on October 15. Good luck!!

See how the rest of the Bee members created their pieces...