Monday, November 5, 2012

Studio Update

Thought you might like to see the sight of my spare bedrooms. When we unloaded my studio last week all of my treasures (aka fabric, notions, machines, mixed media items, patterns, etc) took up the space in three guest rooms, the office/playroom and one bathtub (that's the part that kills Mr. Wonderful). Here are the pic's for your amusement.

Cabinet top from the Hutches
Patterns are getting sleep on the bed in
the "Pink Bedroom"

Mixed Media storage found a
home in the bathroom

Other Mixed Media found a home in the
other bathroom

Fabric, pool noodles and other items
are sleeping in the tub for now
Boxes of fabric, fabric bins and boxes of books and
pictures are in the "Twin Bedroom"

The Fabric / Thread Cabinets and the Ironing
Table in the Office/Playroom
Iron Cart and too many other things
are in the "Red, White and Blue" Bedroom

The Studio is complete on being painted. I just have one more flat file to spray paint white and the floor to install. Hopefully we will be done in just a few days and then the "Reveal"!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Studio Redo In Progress

These past two months have been busy! We took a wonderful cruise to the Northeast to see the beginning of the Fall color. I took a disk full of pictures and have yet to go through them. I know there are several inspirational photos in the collection.

New Office Space
As soon as we got home, we started clearing out my Studio for some redecorating. We moved my office out of my Studio and into the playroom to give me more space. The Office/Playroom has been painted a soft yellow, called Peaceful Calm. The Studio will be the same color. This color gives energy and gives a “Peaceful Calm” to my nature. And, with all that is going on in my life, having a room, or two, to go to and have peace and find some calm, is definitely a bonus.

I have not had time to work on any art quilts, but have made several little doll quilts for my granddaughters for Christmas.

Here are the pictures of the Studio “Before” we started pulling everything out. This weekend we will, hopefully, be able to finish the painting the walls and start painting the worktable and the flat files. The flat files will be white, instead of industrial grey, and the worktable will be white with graphic/abstract accents. 

Right now the only item that is in the studio is the worktable. It was custom built by my husband and step-son for me several Christmas' ago and is too heavy to move out of the room. The carpet has been pulled up and we will put down 5/8" high density foam flooring that looks like hardwood. This flooring is what is put in weight rooms and is used by vendors at trade shows. The pieces interlock so it will go down fast and easy and if I ruin one of the tiles, I will just pop it up and replace it with one of the extra tiles.

Work Wall
Fabric and Thread Cabinets (and no, this is not all off my fabric!)
Flat Files for Patterns underneath my worktable
Flat Files for Mixed Media underneath my ironing station

Part of my Mixed Media Organization

Stay tuned! I promise not to wait 2 months to post again!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Texas Quilt Museum

A couple of weeks ago Jeff and I traveled down to La Grange, Texas to the Texas Quilt Museum to see my "Old Alton Bridge" quilt. The Texas Quilt Museum is beautiful. The historic building has the original floors and brick walls. It is a gorgeous way to display quilts.

I enjoyed meeting the women at the museum and there were several visitors there too. I was told they have hundreds of visitors each month to the museum. That is awesome to have so much traffic.

The manager was so kind and asked me to speak about my quilt to the other visitors. This was a treat to talk about my art, inspiration and joy of art quilting (and see my husband beaming in the background).

Today I was able to spend the afternoon in my studio working on my project for the Dallas Area Fiber Artists "Recycled Runway" event in a couple of weeks. This was the first time in a long time I have had the time to get into the studio and it felt good to have time to work on a new top out of hand dyed silk. It is almost done!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Old dye test was a success. I love the way the colors came out. Several of these pieces are going to be great background pieces for some art quilts.

One piece of the discharged pink silk is being ice dyed. I want to see how it comes out before I ice dye the second piece. Plus my ice maker hasn't caught up completely from yesterday and I didn't have enough ice to dye both pieces. I can't wait to unveil and wash it tomorrow to see how it comes out.

The fabric that I "Ice Parfait" dyed yesterday is in the washer. I looked at it earlier and I love the way several of the pieces came out. As I was looking at the fabric I had clearer vision for our bedroom quilt. I need to sketch out my ideas so I can start working on it next month.

Off to make my top pattern and fold up these beautiful pieces of dyed flannel. Glad I know I can hold on to my dyes for a while.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Finally, a day to spend a few hours in the dye studio. I have been wanting to try the process of "Iced Parfait" since I read in the the June/July 2012 issue of Quilting Arts Magazine. The article was written by Carl Ludington. You all know I love to ice dye and my other style is parfait dyeing, so it just makes sense to combine the processes.

Two of the vats are in colors for our bedroom quilt, that I keep changing my mind on how it is going to look and be constructed. The third vat is of old dye that was in my dye refrigerator. These dyes have been sitting in the fridge for months, so I don't know strong the colors will come out. I just threw in diaper flannel to see what happens. If they don't come out well I will use the diaper flannel as batting in my art quilts.

This morning I also discharged the last of the pink silk in my stash, about 4-5 yards. Since I emptied the icemaker this morning, on the iced parfait dyeing, the silk will have to wait until tomorrow to be dyed. Have to let that icemaker catch up with my dyeing habit. I am going to make a new blouse of the silk and use one of my current tops as the pattern. I found the top in a shop in California, it is lightweight linen, cut on the bias and the most comfortable and flattering top I own.

Yesterday I was honored to help hang the latest show for the Dallas Area Fiber Artists. The show is at the Lovers Lane United Methodist Church in Dallas. Beautiful church and gallery area. The Dallas Area Fiber Artists never cease to amaze me with how all of our varied styles and processes work together in a show. Here are three of the walls of the show. I didn't get a picture of one of the wall. Check the DAFA website later for all the pictures.

Okay, time to get back to the studio and start drafting my pattern.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Finding Balance

The Broken Line

A few weeks ago I was listening to a book while in the Studio. Okay, don’t ask me which one. I listen to a couple of books a week and cannot keep track with which one I was listening too at the time. Anyway, there were several profound statements, but the one that made me stop mid-stitch and write it down was that “fear can suck away our creative powers”. Wow, how I can relate to that one. With all the adjustments around my house right now, my creative juices have been sucked out, purified and poured down the drain. It has been a struggle to get back into the studio and “want” to do something.

Honestly, I have been able to complete two baby quilt tops for the Baptism Quilters at church. I am fortunate to be a part of a wonderful group of ladies and one of them is going to quilt the quilts for me. I just don’t have the will power to quilt anything larger than a 9x12.

Another quote from the book I was listening to was that our brains are our “Imagination Machines”. All artists can relate to that one. It is a great concept to ponder and concentrate on while I work. This past week things have mellowed out and I have been able to complete one 9x12 for AAQI (The Broken Line). I have two other art quilts that have been sitting on my board for three months that are growing on me and I have visions of completed pieces.

This week I am going to work on my “Imagination Machine” and finding balance in my life. My days don’t have to be all or nothing, they can be a balance of God-time, care-taking, administrative work and creative time. I hope you are finding this type of balance in your life too.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Pondering a Thought

Today on Maria Shriver’s Facebook page she posted a quote by Juju Chang (and I love Juju Chang). “What does your best day look like? Live a piece of it every day.” What an inspiration. It makes me think about how my world is changing now with Jeff’s diagnosis and having him home all day, every day. Honestly, I love having him home. I don’t have to grocery shop and do errands by myself. He’s a great companion.

Juju Chang’s quote has me thinking about showing Jesus in my everyday life, in the little things. Making sure I don’t get exasperated answering the same questions several times a day, doing things differently than  I had done them before (because I’m not by myself any longer), taking a slower pace with things and enjoying the little things that life brings. I am also reminding myself to stay thankful in all situations, even the hard and difficult ones.

Since my world is changing, there isn’t as much time to spend in the Studio. Lately, I have been lucky to snatch a couple of hours a week to work on a baby quilt for church. I haven’t had the opportunity to touch any of my art quilts that are in progress or dye fabric. But I am content working on the baby quilts right now. When I get the one on my table complete I will hopefully have time to get out one of my art quilts and finish one. And being a women of faith, it will all happen in God's time. For if I try to create the time, something will happen and end in frustration. And what would that solve? How would that feed my creative spirit?

So, here are my questions this week for you. What is the best part of your day and how are you going to spend it? And, what is your favorite part of your art and why?

Let me hear from you, some days you are my avenue to the world outside. Keep me entertained.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Beginning of a New Era

This morning I woke up very grateful and with a very large amount of appreciation in my heart. When I get to church later this morning, there are oodles of people in my life that I am going to be singing praises for, along with God and Jesus Christ, of course.

As most of you know, if you read my last post, my life is in a constant transition right now with Jeff’s diagnosis of Early Onset Alzheimer’s. This past week I have been able to enjoy him being home every day, all day, doing things together, him doing the yard when he wants, him cleaning the house and helping cook the meals. It has been a great week (I hate cleaning the house)! The past couple of months have been very stressful and our financial adviser told us this week, “Your homework is to go home and book a vacation!” Now that is an assignment I am all over! The next day I got busy and we leave soon on a cruise. Best way to vacation, see several places, only unpack once and the only place I have to drive to is the airport! Whoo Hoo! So our financial adviser is one of the people I am most thankful for, not just because of the vacation, mind you, but because she has shown us that God is taking care of us by surrounding us with HIS people and is providing the emotional and physical things that we need.

Then yesterday, oh my goodness, we had the first official Dallas Area Fiber Artists Board meeting of the new board, and I am President. This board ROCKS!!!!!! The energy and new ideas these artists have is amazing! New ideas for new programs, working together to move things around to accommodate each other, and being so supportive of each other and excited about how we are going to promote and increase membership! The biggest step  DAFA is making right now is a totally new website and blog. Click over and see the beginnings. A lot has been done and I am so proud of our Web Goddess and her team for all the hard work they have put into it. Okay, I do have to brag a bit more, I am on the team and have done “some” of the work on the blog and I get training this week on the website. This awesome board was the group of people I woke up this morning thinking about and thankful for. They are going to make my year as President easy, fun and filled with excitement!

As for work in my studio, well, nothing is going on there right now, but maybe I'll have a day this week to work on one of the baby quilts I'm making for the church. I'm hopeful that during our cruise I will take some pictures that will inspire new pieces and collect some things on a beach to work into a new piece. Wouldn't that be grand?!

God Bless everyone, have a great Sunday and remember to be thankful for the people and artists God places around you!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Little Did I Know...

Shattered Curves

I love “Shattered Curves” and the way it evolved for months in my studio. Little did I know when I created it that it was going to speak so loudly and boldly in my not too distant future. God has a way of working through us that way, doesn't he? 

Last year was a great year for me. Venturing out to sell my hand dyed fabrics at quilt shows, “Old Alton Bridge” was published in Lone Stars III: Texas Quilts Today, “Outside In” and “Truck Quilt” were juried into the International Quilt Festival in Houston and I taught my first workshop to the Dallas Area Fiber Artists. Not to mention, my regular duties with the DAFA Annual Show and being on the board, oh, and I volunteered to be the President of DAFA for 2012-2013. It was my year of stepping out and on the path of working to build up Studio Jules.

Oh, but wait a minute! This year the path has come to a screeching halt and my best laid plans have been shattered.  My “Mr. Wonderful” was having health issues and we needed to figure out what was going on. And this, my friends, is why I haven’t blogged in two months. “Mr. Wonderful” has been diagnosed with Early On-Set Alzheimer’s. Yes, at the age where we are starting to plan his retirement in 10-12 years, we are facing the worst nightmare we could imagine. The past two months we have seen to two neurologists, one neuropsychologist, MRI’s, PET scans, you name it, we are doing it. It is a roller coaster each and every week. We are at the point of accepting the diagnosis and trying not to talk about it every day. We are getting use to making adjustments and re-thinking the future. There is so much information out on Alzheimer's and so much research work that is being done. At times it is all very overwhelming. 

So, my friends, if you don’t see posts from me as often as you would like, know that I’m still here, just other issues are taking up my studio time. And I am fighting each week to make time in the studio!

What am I working on now? Well, baby quilts. Our church just started a Baptism Quilters group and I am working with them. I have a couple of art quilts on my table and wall, but those are slow works in progress.

I'll try to post as I can, they just may be short and sweet posts about what I'm working on, or just completed.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Dallas Quilt Celebration 2012 is Underway!

The Dallas Quilt Celebration 2012 started yesterday and opening day was fantastic! The quilts are awesome, as always, and the vendor area is rockin'! The Dallas Area Fiber Artists are in the Special Exhibit area with our community service project "Pathways" benefiting the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative.

My booth was busy yesterday, quilters and fiber artists are loving the ice dyed fabrics and the hand dyed perle cotton. They are snatching up the hand dyed thread trash like you wouldn't believe!

Here is a picture of my booth (number 196) if you are coming out today or tomorrow, come by and say hello! I am thrilled to meet so many creative people and share my excitement about my fabrics!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Getting Ready

This coming weekend is the conference of the Texas Federation of Fiber Artists. I've been dyeing, ironing, labeling and getting ready for the weekend. For those of you who are going, here is some eye candy for you!

Hand Dyed Perle Cotton

The Dallas Quilt Celebration is coming up fast on the heels of the TFFA conference, my booth number is 196, so if you are in the area, come by and see me. 

I will have lot of fabrics, fibers, thread and Misty Fuse at both of these venues.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Finished and Ready to Go!

I finished my two art quilts for the Dallas Area Fiber Artists collection for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative. Here they are!

The one to the right is named "Who's Path Did I Cross?". My inspiration statement on this one is this: I sketched this from a picture I took in Charleston, SC. It makes me think about all the people that have walked across this building entryway and the people they have influenced, people they knew and people they didn't know. I think about the people that can't remember due to Alzheimer's. Nonetheless, they played a significant role in the lives of others, directly and indirectly.

The flag quilt below is named "Path of our Forefathers". Here is the inspiration statement for it: The idea of this flag came to me from the flag hanging in the entry way of the Smithsonian. Thinking about the image of this restored flag, it reminds me of our forefathers and the thought process they went through to carve out the path of our country. Reading the writings of Thomas Jefferson, I know it was a hard process, done with a great deal of prayer and obedience to God. I’m thankful for the process in building our beautiful country and wish we could get our current leaders back to working together instead of tearing us apart.

Okay, today is my day to get to spend the afternoon creating a new quilt.
Have a great and creative day!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Time to Get Busy!

Didn't I say I was going to post more regularly this year? Where has the time gone? My excuses? Family in from out of town, playing with the grandkids and catching a cold. This past week I tried to play catch-up, but my cold was getting the best of me. I tried to do some quilting one day, but when I caught my thumb with the machine needle, I gave up and turned off the machine. Yes, I'm current on my tetanus shot.
Today I'm in the studio and ready to quilt two 9 x 12 art quilts that I created last week. Misty Fuse and the iron I could handle without hurting myself.
These are the two 9 x 12's I am going to quilt, thread paint and bead today. They are two of my donations for DAFA's Special Exhibit in their Annual Show for the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI).

Building Entry
Left: "Building Entry" is from a picture I took when we were in Charleston. It is the entry way to one of the buildings we passed by when we were on a walking tour. I used Tsukineko Fabrico markers on duck canvas.

The Flag
Right: "The Flag" is an image I have had in my head for years. We toured the Smithsonian years ago when we were in Washington, DC on vacation and this is of the flag hanging in the entry. I have beads for the stars. The background is hand dyed batting ~ a new technique I think I really like.

Okay, time to get busy, because I also have fabric to dye this afternoon!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Happy New Year and New Goals

Ice Dyed Fat Quarter in my Etsy shop
As usual, time gets away from me and I'm late on my New Year's post. I spent time looking back to my posts a year ago and realized that I've come a long way in the past year. I don't think I created as many pieces are art /art quilts as I did in 2010, but I accomplished a lot. A year ago I opened my Etsy shop and it has been a success, in my opinion. Those of us that sell our creations, always wish for more sales, but I can't complain. I'm happy with the progress. I started selling my hand dyes at quilt shows and have 4 shows planned for this year, so far. My dyeing methods have grown from parfait dyeing, to snow dyeing, to ice dyeing. I have dabbled a little more in surface techniques and this year I plan to expand more in this area. I feel the direction I want to move this year with my art quilting is calling for an expansion in this area. I tried some new styles of art quilting this past year and plan on trying to be more abstract this year, but using the influence of structures and geometric objects and colors that are out of my normal palette.

I hosted Sandra Sider for a weekend, while she was here for critiques and lectures (she is a lot of fun!). I learned so much in the few days that I spent with her and it has given me a broadened view of where I want my art quilting to grow. Thank you Sandra!

Part of my plan for this year is to take time to photograph new structures to use in my art. I usually get up and head to the studio, but this year I'm going to make an effort to have a day or two each month to spend time outside and photograph.

This past year I was able to show in three different quilt shows, this year I already have three planned and need to spend time planning others to enter and broaden my scope of entering quilts, that means, I need to get busy and create some more art quilts!

The Dallas Area Fiber Artists have their annual show in April and this will be my last show as Show Co-Chair. When our new board takes over mid-year, I have volunteered to be President and have several ideas in mind to encourage our group to expand and grow as artists and in membership.

Well, I'm sure there is more in my brain that I wanted to share with you this morning, but right now I have to get busy and photograph more fabric for my Etsy and Art Fire shops. The end of the year was very good to me and now I need to get busy and post post post!

My big thrill of the year? Having "Old Alton Bridge" included in the Lone Stars III;Texas Quilts Today book and the "Truck Quilt" included in IFQ Quilting Scene Magazine. Plus being interviewed by the Alliance of American QuiltsBeing in these two publications and being interviewed made going to IQF so much fun this year, especially since Jeff went with me to enjoy the festivities and see all the quilts.

Happy New Year everyone and I pray that your creative dreams and goals are accomplished this year!