Monday, January 31, 2011

Color Stories

I spend a lot of my time exploring color in the dye studio. I create new formulas for my fabrics on a regular basis and looking for inspiration is a constant. I have often been asked how I come up with the ideas and so I thought I would start a series of posts about color and the resulting fabric.

I am very lucky to live on a hilltop overlooking a prairie, beyond which is Mt Spokane. One of the things I enjoy the most is the 180 degree view and the feeling of expanse one gets from this vantage point. It is a constant reminder of how small we are and how exposed we can be to all the elements. We see a lot of different weather moving through and during certain times of the year we are treated to amazing displays of color.

These photographs taken from the hilltop are my inspiration for this collection of fabrics. Gorgeous shades of orange mixed with blues. I decided to create a new fabric bundle of four different fabrics using this combination.

The fabrics are silk charmeuse, silk rayon velvet, silk matka and wool. I started with orange and then added various proportions of blue at different stages of the dye process. I kept no formulas and made no notes, I just played. They are spontaneous and therefore not exactly repeatable. They are available through Sue in 1/16th yard bundles in limited numbers. I dyed just three yards of each.

I am hoping to create a different bundle each month using a photograph or two for inspiration and each month tell a unique color story.



Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Central Coast Quilters - San Luis Obispo CA

I have just returned from a wonderful 10 days in CA. The last guild I taught at was in San Luis Obispo. I was welcomed with open arms by Wendy and her husband Russ. They made me feel very welcome and Wendy treated me to the local Quilt store as well as to a wonderful vintage trim store.
The guild members chose to do one of three of my 'Altered Texture' classes. We played with ribbon, wools, cottons and velvets. Then embellished with wonderful threads and beads.
It always amazes me what a difference a little couched edging makes.
Ribbons attached with French Knots and a Cross stitch.
Bullions and beading.
A bird starting to get a personality.
Fabrics fussy cut to give dimension.
Fun way to attach rick rack.
Use of silk and cotton fabrics on leaves.
The Fly stitch using variegated threads.
One of the best parts of my visit was being able to sit outside and eat lunch in the park in 76 degree weather. On my return to Ohio it was 15 degrees. Well, I guess it is good sewing weather.
Keep creating

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Surfside Quilt Guild - San Clemente, CA

What a wonderful time I am having in CA. It was a delighted to teach at Surfside. I had 24 enthusiastic stitchers in my class each one working on my 'Altered Texture' Flower Pot quilt.
All the students worked with ribbons, couched yarns and layering of fabrics along with embossing on velvet. I just love the way our hand dyed velvets give such texture to the wool pieces. I am so fortunate to have a great sister how dyes about 50 different colors for me. I also taught many stitches using hand dyed perle cotton. I am always surprised what wonderful dimension this gives to each piece.
We also used seed beads to enhance our leaves and flowers.
The fun part about this class is that each piece is unique.
At the end of the day I was treated to a meal over looking the ocean. What a special place! Thanks everyone for being so kind. I had a wonderful time.
Keep stitching

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Quilts to Share - Carole Crawford OR

I just have to share a note I received from Carole Crawford of Arch Cape, Oregon
"i just had to tell you about my christmas gifts to the girls that work in 3 of our quilt shops here on the coast.. altogether i made 11 quilts... they were about 36x36 some a bit large and some a bit smaller.... one of our shops creative fabrics in wheeler oregon... has started to carry some wonderful wools.... i made them each a quilt using one of your patterns and then left a lot of areas undone so they could finish them... it was such fun...and i had a hard time not to finish the quilts... they were all thrilled and i am anxious to see how they finish them.. thanks for your wonderful designs.... i am hooked.. sincerely carole crawford
"i originally was just going to make 1 quilt for one of the girls... as soon as i walked into the shop she said that's sue spargo... so i thought hmmmm christmas... as i started making it i then thought hmmm will everyone else at the shop would feel left out with just a pin cushion... so i made 3 for jane's fabric patch... then i decided i should make quilts for creative fabrics (wheeler) and there were 4 girls there... so i made smaller ones...then center diamond (cannon beach) came to mind and i knew one of the girls there would love it.. so there were 4 more... and they were such fun to make... i can't remember when i had such fun working with fabrics and wool.. and there were no boundaries.. anything i did worked! and making 11 quilts there were all different.... i got them all done the week before christmas (took me 3 weeks to make them).. now i didn't put backings on them or finish the fronts... i just did the applique of the objects and added buttons and stitches here and there... then i gave them each a quilt that they had to finish... ! they were thrilled... today i had to deliver a 4th unfinished quilt to creative fabrics as one of the girls was on vacation and we forgot about her.... so most are going to have them done and on display for our quilt hop starting feb 11th... creative fabrics (tillamook) owner doris is going to order some of your patterns and books to have on hand as we know people will want to make the quilts..... thanks again so much for your creativity and the fun patterns.. your directions are terrific... i thought i would have trouble making the little house border but it came out fine..." carole
Many thanks Carole for sharing your story and all your quilts with me. Many are from my designs and I can't wait to see how everyone finishes them. What a wonderful gift! They are all very fortunate friends. I wish I could see them on display at your shop hop.
Take care