Cynthia St. Charles Store

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Block Printed Pieced Pillows

I created pillows in four different sizes. What size is a "floor pillow"? I was not sure. So I made one each 24", 20", 16" and14".

This is the front and back of the 14" pillow.

Here is the front and back of the 14" pillow.

Not the traditional baby shower gift, but I hope she is happy with them.
If not, my daughter and husband think they are awesome!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Block Printed Pillows - Shower Gift

My niece, Sara is having a baby in May. Her baby shower is coming up and I asked her if there is anything I could make for the baby. She responded with a request for pillows! She wants floor pillows and a pillow for the rocking chair. I asked her about colors and she told me the colors in the room are brown, green, yellow and beige. She also sent me a link to the rug and the curtains they are putting in the room. (click to follow the link)

So, I sorted through my scraps and identified everything I thought might coordinate. I spread these on the work table and block printed them. Then, I got busy putting things together.

It was a really fun project and amazingly quick.

I did a little planning, but not a lot. The main thing I was trying to accomplish was keeping things in the proper size range for efficient use of my printed scraps.

I'll show the rest of them next time.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Pryor Mountains Backroad Scenery

As we drove south into Wyoming, we took a last glance at the Pryor Range.

Ahead, we could see the Bighorn Mountains in the distance.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pryor Mountains - Red Rocks

Here are a few more images from our time in the Pryor Mountains.

It was a beautiful March afternoon.
The thermometer indicated the temperature was 65 degrees.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Pryor Mountains - Lichens

We admired the snow capped Pryor Mountains viewed through the red rocks.

We admired the colorful lichens growing on the rocks.

We also really loved all the texture on these red rocks.
We hope to return someday soon.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Pryor Mountains - Red Rocks

We enjoyed spending an hour wandering among this geological formation.
We had a picnic while the sun warmed our backs.
What a pleasant reprieve after the long snowy winter months!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Pryor Mountains - Red Rocks

After wandering around in the high desert for a while we gave up looking for gizzard stones (our pockets were full enough) and climbed back in the Honda Pilot. We decided to continue on down the rocky backroad. ( This road is most definitely a 4 x 4 only road! Very rough.)
As we dropped down into a wide canyon, we were surprised to discover this scenic red rock vista.
It was like a Mini Canyonlands park. The red rocks are no more than 2 stories high at the most, but the eroded shapes are wonderful.

We estimate the size of this geological feature is about 20 acres.
I loved all the red sand on the ground!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pryor Mountain - Gizzard Stones

We had a beautiful day last week with temperatures in the 60's. That is when we like to visit the Pryor Mountain foothills. We drove to Warren and turned east, then followed Gyp Road to a favorite site for gizzard stones. Here is a gully wash where I found a number of stones freshly uncovered by the winter's run-off. You can see the Beartooth - Absaroka Range in the distance.

Gizzard stones are easy to identify.
They are very smooth - almost polished. They are really obvious against the rough jagged rocks of the area.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Skylines Challenge

This is my piece for the Skylines Challenge. The challenge is to use this particular sky fabric with at least 6" of it showing. The maximum size is 36" and this piece is 36" tall. I have it quilted. Yesterday, I dyed silk ribbon and I plan to add more detailing to the flowers using the silk ribbon. I've had several large spools of natural silk ribbon in my stash for several years. At one time, I was doing a fair amount of silk ribbon embroidery, but I got away from it. I do really love doing it and love the look, so will finish this piece off with that.

With the exception of the commercial batik that is used for the sky, the fabrics have all be hand painted, with the addition of block printing (water) and screen printing (mountains, and botanical foreground).

Monday, March 22, 2010

Screen Printed Baltimore Album - Border Added

I managed to piece together enough fabric to create a border for my screen printed Baltimore Album quilt. I spread it out on my work table and did the screen printing.
I am a bit disappointed that I did not get the pink color matched quite right - the shade looks different wet vs dry.

Now I have to try to figure out how to quilt it . . . there is a lot of detail in the flowers, but I am not sure I should quilt that. I am playing with the idea of adding the floral details with embroidery and beads (by hand), while doing some kind of diamond grid in the background. I am even considering adding some details with a marker and/or colored pencil, etc.

I am also thinking I might just put this one away and try again on a different fabric - maybe something in a lighter shade and with different colors of printing. Critiques and suggestions welcome.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Pueblo Resurfaced


Please excuse the stray threads. I didn't trim before I took the picture.
I am so happy that I have finally been able to complete the quilting on this piece! I'll post full image when I get it trimmed up and bound! The new Juki handled the pieced rust dyed fabric like a champ! I love the speed of this machine - finally something that can keep up with me!

Friday, March 19, 2010

New Juki!

I think I mentioned, recently - that I have been fighting with my Janome 6500. It has betrayed me and I went looking for a replacement. I did some test drives and a lot of online searching, before settling on the Juki. This is the machine I almost bought when I decided on the Janome because I wanted the zig-zag (which the Juki does not do) back in 2004.

In the background you can see my Pueblo quilt made of pieced rust dyed fabrics. This quilt has been in a drawer for a very long time. I had to abandon using rust dyed fabrics because my Janome could not handle them. The electronics would just freeze up.

When I tested the Brother - I took this quilt with me. The Brother did not freeze up, but it did skip stitches when I tried quilting over a seam. Natch on the Brother.

The biggest downfall for going with the Juki (which had an impact on my decision back in 2004) is the fact that there is no Juki dealer in town and thus no place to do a test drive.

However, this machine is recommended by several friends. I wanted speed, reliability, space between the arm and the needle. The Juki gives me all three at an affordable price. Plus - it fits into my sewing table where the Janome used to sit!

I do not want a long arm, although I considered a sit down model of the HQ16 and the Tin Lizzie Queen Quilter that comes built into a table. I did not want to spend the equivalent of a used car on a sewing machine, and I did not want to completely rearrange my studio for new equipment.

So far, I am really happy with my purchase!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Painting - Yellowstone Valley

I am messing around with some different mediums and this is a mixed media painting I did recently. It combines acrylics and watercolors on paper. Size is 15 x 20. It is representative of the Yellowstone Valley, where I live. A stormy sky, sandstone cliffs, and the Yellowstone River.

This was really fun for me to do and I am pleased with the result, but now that I see it in the photo - I realize I have much to learn! I've ordered supplies from Jerry's Artarama!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Group Quilt - My Piece

A group of art quilters from Montana and Wyoming are combining our talents to create a group quilt. A photograph from Becker Lake in the Beartooth Mountains
(which straddle both states) is the subject.
Each of the 15 participants is to create an 8 x 11" portion of the photograph.

Here is mine!

Hand dyed fabrics were fused, and screen printed. Then I dyed some silk ribbon and pearl cotton for the embroidery. There are a few pieces of that vintage lace for flowers and finally - I have stitched on some glass beads.

I hope this was not supposed to be kept under wraps. I really love the way this piece turned out and I must admit I am starting to think about expanding this style for a larger piece!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

More Vintage Lace

OK - this will be the last of the lace images - I have lots more scraps of lace I could photograph, but I think it is time to put the lace away now.

I do have several ideas for using it in future art projects.

I will store all this lace in a single plastic tray in the studio. No more cardboard for this lace! It can all be gently folded or flat.

I keep thinking I have found my favorite until I see another piece!
I've never been crazed for lace or frills, but this stuff does intrigue me.
I wonder about the person who carefully collected and stored it. . . . what did she have in mind for it? Thinking about the previous owner of this lace is probably what interests me most.
I feel responsible to do her some credit by doing something special with it!
Stay tuned!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Vintage Lace Cleaning

It was fun unrolling the lace and seeing what it actually looked like.
There are several lace collars.

It looks like most of this lace has been removed from garments, etc. Most are small pieces that would trim a slip or petticoat. Many are mended or torn.

Some have stains that cannot be removed.