Saturday, December 6, 2014

Show Schedule for 2015

I updated the Show Schedule for 2015.  As we are getting older, Paul and I are flying less and driving to shows closer to our home which is in PA.  (Believe it or not, not wanting to fly has to do with the disruption of our body cIocks: if we have to get up at 2 or 3AM to catch a flight at 6AM to someplace out west, losing 3 hours of time change...we never seem to catch up to local time and it is time to come home. Then it takes three days to get back to normal.)   I have indicated which shows have invited me to teach.  You can click on those shows’ web sites to see which Felted Applique class I will be offering.  We still have a few shows that haven’t gotten back to us yet, so we may be adding a few more.

Woolly Alphabet and embroidery progress

I finished the Woolly Alphabet quilt in September and am now writing the pattern.  This is a pattern that needs to have all the designs in color detail photos.  We have decided to add an extra color page or two so you can see all the stitches and beads and color changes, not for you to copy exactly what I’ve done, but to show you options.

The first time I will be teaching the Woolly Alphabet pattern will be at Mancuso’s best show on the east coast: Hampton VA.    Nothing like having a deadline over your head to get things done.   I entered the quilt in PIQF, Mancuso's best show on the west coast, and it didn't win any prizes.  When I saw the judges comments I understood.  They said glowing things about the quilt until they got to the zinger (encouragement to make better quilts in the future).  They said I should have hand quilted it.  Okay, my next crazy quilt will have no batting…I am thinking it might have a fish theme.

Paul and I have decided that posters of Crazy Sheep and Sheep Wannabees will be our next offering.  Then Paul came up with a unique idea: let’s print one quilt on each side.  The paper is the same as we use on our pattern covers and the ink doesn’t bleed through it.  That gives you, the customer, options.  Which one will you hang?  Or maybe you want to buy two posters.  You know Pau, l he’ll give you a deal.  And the Wooly Alphabet and the Dragonflies in Wool will be another poster.  Our thinking is that these posters could be incentive for quilters to finish one of these quilts if they had it hanging on the sewing room wall, or it is something that show goers could take home to remember what they saw at the show.  

Because we have five shows bunched up close together in the Spring, I have been dyeing up a storm.  We were invited at the last minute to the Fiber Festival of New England in November.  There were large bags of fleeces to be had, and I bought four of them.  I thought that was a LOT of wool.  They are now all washed and dyed and some are still drying so the rovings will be bagged up shortly.  In this photo, the curly fibers are goat hair (angora) which are shiny and take dye well, and the smooth fibers are sheep wool which sometimes have different colors on the tiny curls on the tips.  None of the fibers I dyed look like anything you can buy at a big box store.  They only sell flat one color dyed  combed roving.  My colors in the baggies are assorted because I want more variety in my colors  to work with.  I never mix one color and dye that in a batch.  I put the fibers in a container, and pour one color and then another shade of that or another color close on the color wheel, or sometimes opposite color on the color wheel, and heat set it.  Then the fun happens when I rinse the wool and see how the colors took.   IMG_5086.JPG

So this is what  three of my baggie assortments might look like:IMG_5089.JPG
Two on the left are going sideways, and one on the right going up and down.  The goat hair is on the very left. All my white wool is now dyed or bagged up, and I asked one of the suppliers for more of her Cotswold wool and all she had left was "natural". What color is that I asked? It arrived this morning and it is heather grays, beiges, and darker, all with nice curls. I washed some right away and this afternoon it will be dyed. I can't wait to see how it comes out. The natural color will change the dyed colors, but how?

I am also dyeing wool fabrics in 6” strips  (think quilt border) and 10” strips  x the width of the wool fabric, to be sold at shows.  They are all different, so it would be hard to put them on line.  I used these colored wools as my backgrounds in the Wool Alphabet.   If you are interested in having some of these to play with, give me a call or email what colors you like and I can take photos of some for you.  They can be cut into shorter pieces.  The price is not outrageous.. for a unique piece(s) for your art.  A 10” square is $4.00, a strip 10” x 58” is $24.00, a 6” strip is $14.  
This is a piece I’ve been working on.  It is still a work in progress, but it gives you an idea of what can be done with a piece of hand dyed wool in odd colors for a landscape.  What is it going to be? I don’t know.  The important thing is that I am having fun talking back and forth with this piece.  My friend thinks that is a fire going on in the forest.  It looks like fog to me.  I took lots of photos of trees to make this piece.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Update on the Alphabet quilt in Wool

I am thrilled to be able to finally see the end coming to the Alphabet quilt in Wool that I have been working on since last summer.  The border is on, and I am now adding some trim between the main part of the quilt and the border.  I have auditioned the trim here to see if I liked it.  The trim is two wool yarns that I had in my stash that I ply-ed together and then ply-ed that on itself so that it is four yarns for thickness to cover where I joined the border.

This trim also helps to hold the border on because I hand-sewed it on and the sewing goes through the border and the part with the letters.  

Here is a closeup of the hand embroidery.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Our next show is the MD Sheep and Wool Festival.  In preparation for that I decided that I would like to be able to spin my own yarn, so I bought a book called Respect the Spindle by Abby Franquemont.  I learned how to make my own spindle with a 1/4" piece of dowel which I cut into a 12" length, and a wooden toy wheel as my whorl, and a cup hook at the top.  My purpose for spinning is to have lines that I can felt into landscapes pictures, making just one more element to play with in my designs.  I've been watching Youtube videos on how to spin, which is easier than reading about it.  I used lines of commercially made yarn,  for stems on the flowers in the Dragonflies in Wool.  But I want to expand that to become tops of hills and valleys.  I've collected a lot of scenic photos and put them in my Pinterest board called Felting Art.   You can find me on Pinterest by searching for Debora Konchnsky.  This is sort of what I am working toward:  But my pictures will have trees sitting on my hand dyed wool fabric.  Here is the beginning of a piece I am working on:

I am using photos for my inspiration, but as you can see,  I have changed some colors to go with the fabric I had dyed, and I used curly fibers as well as straight ones to achieve the current look of the piece.  The pine trees are hand dyed pearl cotton embroidey.  It is fun to have time to play.  

Friday, March 14, 2014

Dragonflies in Wool

This is my newest pattern, Dragonflies in Wool.  Each of the images of the dragonflies is an applique.  The stems of the flowers are green wool yarn and the flowers are free form created, not using appliques, based on a photo I took last summer.  Here is the dragonflies with flowers from my yard laid in place.  I copied the positions of most of the flowers.  Here it is 9 months later and I finally finished the pattern.  Sometimes it takes me a long time to figure out what to do next.  I hand dyed all the roving (wool fibers) threads and wool fabrics, because this is fun to me.  The colors work well together because of this.  The bees and the dragonflies wings were made by mixing Angelina (thin iridescent plastic fibers) with the wool rovings, making them sparkly..