Friday, August 29, 2014

Quilting Arts Holiday Issue is Here! (Read on for a chance at my giveaway)

Hello fellow fabric enthusiasts!  I just received notification that the Quilting Arts Holiday 2014 - 2015 issue will soon be hitting the shelves.  I have a project in there that I am very enthusiastic about.  It is a small purse that uses upcycled jeans and a bunch of my hand dyed fabrics as well as some silk and commercial print.  The project inspired me to make a bunch more of these purses which can be seen on my Etsy shop, RandomActsofPiece.  However, the only way to see the purse that is published in the magazine, is to buy the magazine.  You can do that using the following link:

And you can use the coupon on the side of my blog to save a few dollars on your purchase.  Just enter the code at checkout.

Here is the cover of what looks like a really cute issue.   I have the other holiday issues and have always found them to be good resources for gift giving and decorating ideas.

As part of the blog hop, I am giving away a hand dyed silk scarf to one person who leaves a comment on blog about either the magazine, previous posts on my blog or my Etsy shop.  Good luck and have fun on the blog hop!

Here's a quick sample of one of my faves from the collection of upsycled jeans purses that I have made.  I love keeping functional things really fun!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Rock Cairns Continued

After a hectic winter snow dying and shoveling mountains of the white stuff, I finally finished another rock cairn quilt.  This one has a hand dyed background with black and white batiks and one commercial print.  It is mounted on black and grey silk dupioni.

Keeping with the theme of what I like about rock cairns, this one is named "balance".  In a whole of so many black and whites - yes and no - and things to do - It is a reminder that it isn't all black and white, hence the shade of grey.

Ironically, I cannot get this image to be centered on the blog page.  HMMMMM coincidence?? I think not.  I'm letting it go.  

Final shot - here is one of the batiks that I collected at a quilt shop in Fairbanks, Alaska.  I have been adding to things here and there - so there it is.  

Thanks for checking out the newest release from my studio!  I'm glad you stopped by.  Feel free to leave a comment, I'd love to hear from you.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Rock Cairns - Interrupted

So, I was all gung-ho about my rock cairns and then a shiny thing went by.  Dupionni silk to be exact, and some jeans, and some pretty fabrics and away I go.  Inspired by a little scrap of fabric that I was about throw away, I put together a purse.  And then another purse, and then another and then two more.  While I was at it, I used the same fabric combinations to make some journal covers.

Here is one of the purses that I have recently been focusing on.  I used a back pocket from a discarded pair of jeans.  I have some Dupionni silk, hand dyed fabrics, crossweave cottons, batiks and so on and so on.  As you can see in this picture.  I cut off a jeans inseam and added it to the purse strap for interest and added strength.  

This is the other side of the bag.  I hand dyed some crocheted doilies that I bought at yard sales and flea markets and cut them to add color, texture and interest to the reverse side of the bag.  The strap has two pieces.  One is long and had the jeans inseam and the other is hand dyed .  There is a couple of D rings to make the strap adjustable and to keep the loose strap end in check, I sewed a couple of belt loops together. It is sturdy because I quilted it using low loft cotton batting and good quilting thread.  

I like the way the colors pop through holes in the doily and the luster of the silk is a nice contrast to the denim fabric.  I free-motion stitched down the doily very closely so it wouldn't catch on stuff.  And finally, since the table was covered with all these fabrics, I made a journal cover with them.  

The journal is about 8 inches high and 5 or so inches across.  I think this photo might be upside down but, you get the idea.  Have these projects completed in 2 for 1 time due to consistent fabric selection is making the task more efficient - which is not often how I work.  But the productivity is keeping me motivated to go on.  Now, I am on the lookout for any jeans headed for the trash.  I've even used a pair of my less comfy ones - which takes them out of my closet and reduces my guilt for keeping them hanging around.  Here is a journal made from one of my other fabric collections.  

Love the silk on this one.  I hope this inspires you to cut up (or at least save) some of your own jeans.  Thanks for checking out the blog and  happy stitching.  Feel free to leave a comment.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Rock Cairns - The Series Continues

Well, we hosted Thanksgiving, recovered from that, had a surprise surgery in the family, immediately followed by a scheduled surgery in the family, recovering from that, one ice storm, two snow events, hit a deer, mourned the passing of a faithful dryer and survived it all with only mild exhaustion.  In the midst of all of this confusion, I finished a piece that I had started well before Thanksgiving.  It was done 10 minutes at a time but, none the less - finished.  It is the third in my series of Rock Cairns.

Dimensions 8" x 8" x 2"
The back ground is ice dyed cotton using shades of rust, bronze and grey.  I then applied used teabags over the top with matte medium.  I made my own stencil of the om symbol, the sound of the universe, and used a Shiva paintstick that I outlines with a micron pen.  I used misty fuse to attach some gold foil wrappers from long gone fancy candy.  Then I collected some branches (before the ice and snow), painted them black and stitched them on using cotton floss.  The rocks are book pages that I gessoed, cut and stitched.  The piece was cut to 8X8 and the edges were sealed with metallic gold paint.

Rock cairns, beside being a fun think to make while hiking, are also used as a tool for meditation.  I imagine they represent some sort of balance which is always a goal in life.  They certainly are nice too admire and I think meditating with them could calm the mind.

Because the piece was made using an open back wooden box, I had a chance to carry my thoughts onto both sides.

The box was covered with book pages and gessoed over.  I added a little rock cairn to the back with a saying I found on the end of my teabag.  I wrote the quote on a piece of very thin white tissue paper and once I liked how it looked, I used matte medium to add it to the back.  The tissue is almost invisible, especially if you don't know it's there.  And I just love the sentiment - especially this time of year when sometimes feeling light is quite elusive.  

Here is one last view of the box from the side.

I think it's a nice piece for a sofa table or some place where people would see it from both sides.  I suppose it could also be hung on a wall with the secret message being a reminder to the person who hung it.  Either way, I am pretty happy with my third rock cairn and rejuvenated to start on my fourth one soon.  Hopefully before Christmas, but if time does not allow, I understand that it is all part of achieving balance.

Thanks for stopping by and if you are in the northeast - stay warm and be sure you have bread, milk and hot chocolate!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

New Etsy Shop

I am rather notorious with my friends as being either oblivious to a new trend or the last to follow a new style, if I ever even discover it at all.  So, keeping that in mind,  I have finally opened an Etsy Shop.  I listed it under my studio name "Random Acts of Piece" and I have uploaded three things to it.  Once the Thanksgiving holiday is over and my 20 some odd guest depart I plan to post more things on it.

For those of you who have an Etsy shop, I would love to hear any advice you may want to share with me.  For those of you who may want to purchase some of the things you have seen on my blog, please check it out and feel free to email me if anything you have seen in the past here interests you now.  If it is available I will certainly let you know.  And if it isn't, I will let you know that too.

For now I need to get the mashed potatoes peeled and the vegetables prepared so I will wish you, in the word of Arlo Guthrie,  a Thanksgiving dinner that can't be beat!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Cairns Continued

So as I set my mind toward rock cairns, the mind wanders much like a hiker.  I have ideas all the time about what technique to incorporate or what fabrics or mixed media materials to use.  I write it on sticky notes and transfer it to my sketchbook and basically everywhere I look, I see an inspiration.  Which tells me that this idea came along at just the right time.

So here is my second rock cairn art quilt.

Dimensions 17 1/2 " X 21 1/2 "

Here's the details.  The background for the center panel was a piece of ice dyed fabric with orange, bronze, green and several other colors.  I then marbled over the ice dyed fabric using primarily chartreuse and violet, with hints of blue in there probably left over from the fabric piece I had done before.  The "rocks" are machine appliqued and hand turned pieces of cotton batik.  Finally the center panel is mounted on a piece of hand dyed chartreuse fabric.  It really makes the center panel pop off the piece and I just love this quilt. 

Today I brought it somewhere to show a friend what an art quilt was.  I tried to explain it but, she just sort of turned her head to one side and I could tell that what she was thinking of wasn't even close to what I was thinking of.  So, how better to illustrate the concept but by showing her a quilt.  Anyway, we placed it at a distance, which is different for me since I am used to seeing it up close and man, did I fall in love with it.  I really liked it before, or I wouldn't have taken it to show anyone.  But, now as I step back a bit farther it really has a nice movement and unity.

I plan to use the center panel to make some postcards and note cards.  But I have to get a better picture because I think there is a shadow of my knee on the left hand bottom corner.  Rats!  oh well back out to the cold.  

Thanks for stopping by and checking out  my work.  Happy wanderings!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Mind Shift

For the past several months I have been focused on completing small works and projects to sell at a local craft fair that is coming up next month.  Since I made a New Year's resolution (remember those - I am one of those 1%ers that keep their resolutions), to only spend what I make in sales and gifts on supplies this year, it followed suit that I should find a good venue in which to make that money.  I digress.  Anyway, the process has been good in the sense that I have completed a lot of projects and have a nice inventory that I will bring to the show.  However, I miss the randomness of my usual art endeavors.  So it is time for a mind shift.

I have recently worked in series that focus on utilizing one specific technique.  And that has served me well enough.  But now that I have a bunch of techniques in my artistic arsenal, I had a bit of a mind shift.  Instead of working with a technique, I stumbled (no pun intended) onto the theme of cairns.  You know, those cool piles of rocks that hikers make on their travels.  I love those things.  And so here is the first in my new series.

It is mounted on some hand dyed teal fabric and the rocks were hand dyed in a gradation that I tried this summer.   The sentiment came from, of all places, the little paper at the end of the string on a tea bag.  Interestingly, as I embraced the idea of cairns little sayings and more important quotes seemed to lend themselves to the topic.  And with some amazement, they also seems to just fall in my lap with no effort.  Makes you wonder.

Here is the close up of the tea bag sentiment.  I stamped it on some off white batiks that I had in the scrap pile.

And here is the rock pile.  These fabrics were thread painted a bit and then turned appliqued onto the background.  They were combinations of blue grey and bronze that I dyed over the summer to capture the color of Jersey Shore sand.

So, as I wander onto this journey, thank you for stopping by to see my first cairn.  Feel free to leave a comment.  Have a great day!