Thursday, December 31, 2015

Welcome 2016!

A New Year is always time for reflection on the year just ended and the one about to begin.  Time for resolutions, trying new things, and continuing to work on "old" things.  With that in mind, over the next few days we're sharing some quotes from Lesley Riley's book "Inspirational Quotes Illustrated" along with some photos of our work from 2015 - an attempt at looking back at what we've accomplished along with some inspirational words to keep moving and creating in 2016.
"It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: It would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg.  We are like eggs at present.  And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg.  We must be hatched or go bad."    C. S. Lewis
"Look not too far afield...Answers lie within.  What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."     Henry Stanley Haskins
"It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else."     Erma Bombeck
"So you see, imagination needs moodling - long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling and puttering."     Brenda Ueland

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Final Project for 2015 - Fabric Boxes

The PGFiber2Art studios (aka sewing rooms) are quiet these last few weeks of the year.  Elizabeth is off on a cruise with her family for the winter break, and Sue is nursing a cold (that arrived quite unexpectedly) while finishing last minute holiday preparations.  This year's handmade project was stitching up some fabric boxes used as containers for gifting mason jars of a bean soup mix. Tutorial instructions for these boxes can be found on the Seaside Stitches blog.
Aren't these cute?  They start with coordinating squares of fabric that are layered with batting, stitched and turned right side out, then quilted.  You could quilt anyway you choose; Sue used concentric squares on hers. 

After quilting, they are folded in half and corners are stitched to form the box.  The resulting points are folded down and secured with buttons, and the inside triangles are tacked down.  You can vary the square dimensions and sizes of the corner triangles to end up with different size boxes.  They could be used to hold any number of things, from sewing supplies to wrapped candies, makeup, a square tissue box, or a small potted plant. These are easy and fun to do.  Enjoy!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Searching for Roy G Biv - Blogger's Choice

This month's search for Roy G Biv and Beyond is the blogger's choice.  Elizabeth and Sue decided to look for pictures that feature the various colors of the rainbow.  Go to Julie B Booth's blog and Jennifer Coyne Qudeen's for more photos and link-ups.  Here are our selections.
 This is a 2014 row by row piece that Elizabeth made using hand dyed/screen printed fabrics.
These are some batik squares that were hand washed and are drying on the line.
Elizabeth created these wonderful spiral tie-dyes.
These are some sun prints that Elizabeth did last summer.
Sue created this table runner from pre-cut circles and squares.

We hope you enjoyed our finds this year throughout this Roy G Biv challenge!   It was lots of fun to add a dash of color every month and will continue to let color inspire us!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Holiday Open House at Artistic Artifacts

What a great turn out yesterday for the holiday open house and pop-up market at Artistic Artifacts!  It was a very busy day as we, along with a few other teachers did demos and make & take downstairs, while other creative minds displayed their wares in the pop-up market upstairs.
Here's a shot of the market space, courtesy Artistic Artifacts, before the crowd.
StitchesnQuilts booth, knitting and quilts by Christine Vinh.
 One of our participants adding some embellishment to her screen printed tree.
Sue helping Beth choose screens to use on her bookmark.
 Julie Booth with her book and other display items.
Julie brought along some of her carved vegetables for printing.
The make & take project, an angel tag, was a big hit.
It was a fun day with other like-minded creatives and visitors from far & near.  We met a couple visiting from Wisconsin and introduced them to the thermofax printing process.  Even saw some friends we hadn't seen in years - so all in all, a great day!

Friday, December 4, 2015

UFO Busting for November

In the quest to get some UFO's out of the studio, Sue joined Vicki Welsh's UFO Busting initiative at the beginning of the year.  Even though I just remembered that Vicki is not posting this month, I had my post ready, so I'll share anyway.  Let's see, while sewing occurred in November, not much furthered the completion of UFOs.  I did work on my plaid quilt project at fall retreat, making 3 more blocks, but still have 13 to go for the whole top.  I also did some preparation for my quilt repair project, but again, that has a ways to go before it will be finished.

The things I did finish were also new starts - small projects that I made at retreat - and my postcards that I shared yesterday. These were all posted previously, so you get to see them again.
A set of zipper pouches for supplies.

These fabric boxes.  (technically, they still need buttons on the triangles but the machine work is done.
My six postcards for the swap.   

So, for my end of month count, this is where things stand:
  • Projects in progress November 1 - 7
  • Projects completed -3
  • New projects started - 3
  • UFO's trashed - 0
  • Projects in progress November 30 - 7 
Sadly, I don't have much hope for December as being any better for getting UFOs out of the studio.  There could be a few more small project starts and finishes, and I'll count myself lucky if I get those done.  But at least this effort has kept me more aware of what's on the list - hopefully I'll be more successful in 2016!  If you want to see what some of the other UFO Busters have been doing, here is the link to Vicki's November post.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Fall Postcard Swap

Sue participates in a postcard swap group that exchanges cards twice a year.  What started out in 2005 (10 years ago!) as a group of about 15 has dwindled to 5, sometimes 6 - a much more manageable number for making multiples!  The fall exchange has just completed with the theme "The Code" - open to whatever interpretation the artist makes, whether it be literal, abstract, or somewhere in between.

For her card, Sue chose to highlight the "coded" language of knitting instructions.  Here's how she created it.  First was taking a photo of this knitted scarf to make into a screen.
The screen was printed onto a hand dyed piece of fabric with red, yellow and blue.  Sue tested with white and sand colored paint, and ended up blending the 2 colors in the prints.  This is the left over "test" - she printed only enough for the cards she was making - and the screen.
The next step was creating the "code" which she did by creating a document with various knitting instructions on it, and then printing it on Extravorganza.  The Extravorganza was overlaid and fused (with Mistyfuse) onto the printed fabric, which had already been fused to the base.  Sue uses Peltex 72F as the base for her cards.  It is a double-sided fusible ultra firm stabilizer by Pellon.  She likes using the fusible stabilizer because it makes it easy to assemble the card, and they hold together well for going through the mail.  
Here is how the finished card turned out.
And here is the group of cards from this exchange.  They include Dress Code, Morse Code, the Language of Flowers, and of course the knitting code.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Upcoming Events

We cannot believe it is December already - this year has flown by!  I guess we say that every year, and it seems each year gets faster.  I guess that comes with the territory of getting older.  At any rate, we wanted  to update any local folks (and those close enough to make the drive) on 2 things on our agenda. 

As we have for the last several years, we will be participating in the annual Open House at Artistic Artifacts this coming Saturday, Dec. 5, from 10:00 to 5:00.  Artistic Artifacts is located in Alexandria, VA at 4750 Eisenhower Ave.  Visit the store, see product demos, and enjoy a make and take table. This year there will also be a pop up market with some of our Creative Minds selling some of their art work. Meet the artists and take home art for holiday gifts or a treat for yourself.
Bring your family and friends and get inspired!  PGFiber2Art will be there to demo thermofax printing and show you how to make yourself a little gift tag or bookmark to take home.  Hope to see you there!

In addition, we are on the calendar to teach our Thermofax Printing class at AA again on January 30.  So if you've been wanting to learn this technique but haven't been able to fit it in, now's the time to put it on your calendar!  We cover basic printing techniques, supplies needed, discuss types of paint and other products that can be used for printing, and give you plenty of time to practice on as much fabric as you want to bring.  Inspiration provided by our many project samples and our large collection of screens that we bring for you to work with.  Come join us for a fun-filled day and learn a new way to think about your fiber art!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Thermofax FAQs

We frequently get questions about thermofax printing through our Etsy shop and students in classes.  To answer those questions, we have added a Thermofax FAQ page to the blog, with a link at the top next to the Tutorials.  They cover such topics as what the size categories are, what kinds of paint we use, requirements for custom images, etc.  If you have a question that is not answered on this page, please email us ( or comment on this post and we will address your question and add it to the page.

Since there's no photo to go with the FAQs, here's a shot of what we were up to over the weekend. We spent most of Saturday testing a new type of screen with our Thermofax machine.  It's really quite amazing how many variables there are to take into account when burning a screen!  Since our testing is not complete, we will save publication of results until a later time.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Searching for Roy G Biv - PINK

This month's color in the search for Roy G Biv and Beyond (colors of the rainbow "plus") is PINK.  Go to Julie B Booth's blog and Jennifer Coyne Qudeen's for more photos and link-ups.  It's so hard to limit the choices to just 5, so here are our 6 selections!
These pink hearts are created using a blue school glue resist.
Pretty pink hydrangea.
Pink sky at sunset.
Happy pink and white flowers.
Bursts of pink color created with a shibori dyeing technique using whiffle balls.
Delicate pink lilies are a perfect addition to this garden.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Pounded Leaf Prints

We enjoy following the blog of Carol R Eaton.  On Thursday, November 12 she posted about pounding fall leaves between layers of fabric leaving a mirror image of the leaves on the fabric.  The idea was intriguing, so before all the fall color is gone here in VA, Elizabeth decided to give it a try.  Luckily, a few trees still had vibrant colored leaves and she was able to pick leaves off the trees so they would be fresh.  The first try was with two red red maple leaves. 
Folding the fabric over and taking a small hammer to the fabric, it took only a few seconds to see the outline of the maple leaf bleed through the thin muslin fabric.
Lesson learned here was that pounding on the sidewalk makes holes in your fabric!
Moving to pounding on the deck and trying some yellow colored leaves from a silver maple also gave satisfying results.  This tree started turning before the red maple and the leaves did take more pounding before they released color. 
Adding in a leaf from a Japanese maple looked rather uninteresting during pounding but once the fabric was unfolded the look was better than anticipated. 
On this last sample a red leaf from an oak tree was still hanging on the branch and although it seemed that nothing other than the veins of the leaf would show, once opened the result was very satisfying.
Still to be determined, will the color stay in the fabric after heat setting with an iron and washing?  Of course, many art quilts will never be washed so an application where washing isn’t important is also a possibility.  Stay tuned…

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

More About VCQ

Here are some more photos from our VCQ meeting last weekend.
This is Marisela Rumberg(behind the quilt) and some of her students with their practice quilting samples from class.
Needle turn applique students taught by Mary Beth Weisner.
Paper piecing of the block for our Celebration retreat Block Lotto, taught by Marty Moon of.
Show and tell by Wilma Gerald of Virginia Beach.
Show and tell by Mary Grogan of Culpeper.
Karen DuMont (Karie Patch Designs) from Richmond showing one of her new patterns.
This "Inside the Twister" quilt was made by Jackie O'Brien and donated to the Virginia Quilt Museum for a raffle fund raiser.  The winning ticket was drawn at our meeting.

Our meetings are held the 2nd Saturday of March, May, August, and November.  Each quarterly newsletter has workshop information for the upcoming meeting; newsletters can be found on our website. If you are in Virginia, we hope you will check us out and join us for a meeting some time!