Friday, February 25, 2011

silk applique

I am in applique mode right now trying to finish some pillows I have been working on. This piece is a wall hanging I finished a number of years ago and always loved the colors and the sheen of the silk.
All of this is dupioni silk- we have a warehouse fabric outlet in the area and everything is always 50% off. Some of these silks can normally run about $40 a yard but since I need such little amounts I can buy 1/4 yards and only pay $5.00! By the way, the bolts are 54" long- quite a nice deal!
I have also bought plain white dupioni and hand dyed it for a mottled effect.
If I were to do this one again I would probably add more background stitching- or maybe not!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

neverending winter

Just when we thought there was a light at the end of the tunnel ( it was 50 degrees three days ago with a little bit of melting) we are now awaiting the arrival of a huge storm that is expected to dump another 13" of snow and last through to sometime on Monday. This is the time of this very long season- we've been snow covered for about 4 months- that I am desperate for greenery and color. Thank goodness for the Como Conservatory in St. Paul and the orchid show at the Arboretum. We always hit both in February.
The Conservatory is about 100 years old and is located on the grounds of the Como Park Zoo. I've been coming here since I was little- at least 50 years. I remember when there was a huge tropical plant inside the front entrance labeled a "man eating" plant. I have no idea what it was but to a kid it was both scary and intriguing. I kept expecting it to reach out a tendril and grab an inattentive kid Addams family style. I always stepped lively coming in the door.
The ferns and palms lend such a tropical feel- warm, humid and with that wonderful scent of damp earth. It is hard to believe how cold and snowy it is just outside the glass.

Scattered throughout are lilies and orchids- little pockets of color. The lilies smell divine.

It can be so peaceful just sitting and listening to the trickling and bubbling water. We try to go during the week so we almost have the place to ourselves.
One area in the new section has varieties of tropical birds flying around. Warmth, greenery and birdsong- the perfect antidote to winter.

All these patterns and leaf shapes are inspirations for applique work.
And the colors and patterns in the orchids remind me of my batik fabrics.
All these orchids are in the orchid show at the Arboretum.
I can't believe the variety and the intensity of the color in some of them.

Well, the wind and snow has started now. Here's to at least another month of Winter!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

the winner!!

I have thoroughly enjoyed this year's OWOH event visiting as many blogs as I could and meeting so many like minded people. I've added a number to my blog roll and plan to visit often! I am looking forward to next year's new and slightly different event that Lisa is putting together-sounds like lots of fun! Read all about it and also how to sign up for info. on Lisa's blog. Thanks, again to Lisa for all her hard work hosting. Now for the winner of the pincushion- Morna Crites Moore at Wicked Waif. Congratulations! I will be emailing you for your shipping instructions. Thanks to everyone who stopped by and left such nice comments- hope you visit again!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

batik applique

I have been having so much fun visiting blogs this week that I haven't had time to post. Now orders are coming in and I have to get busy. I recently dug out my stash of batik fabrics to experiment with Jude's weaving method and decided to do some applique work while I had it all out.

I use a very light fusible web when I cut out all my pieces. I don't like stitching around pins
and since I use a buttonhole (or,rather, a blanket stitch) on all the edges basting everything down is just one more step I can do without.
The batiks are just so perfect for leaves and flowers- they add such texture and color . This piece will become a pillow. This is my relaxing project to work on between all the eyeglass cases and pincushions I have to finish.
I have ideas worked out for two more pillows I need to finish this month- will show them later!