Cynthia St. Charles Store

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Quilting Finished for Hot Flash

The quilting is done.
I am not sure how well you can see the silk chiffon overlay in the images here, but I really like what they do to the entire piece. The silk is so sheer that the paint does not really show up as well - it becomes a ghost of a print.

The background fabrics are of varied fiber content. Of course all my fabrics are hand dyed or hand painted. However, some of these are acrylic satin, and raw silk - which give the piece a nice glow. I do not use commercially printed fabrics except for my backs.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Quilting the Hot Flash

Did I mention - I think I am calling this piece "Hot Flash"?
I have several pairs of gardening gloves that I wear for machine quilting. The rubber bumps on the fingers help me grip the quilt more easily. This pair is on it's last legs. The rubber bumps are nearly worn away!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mail Art Project - Week Sixty Two

"Chinese Gold"
Hand dyed cotton block printed and screen printed. Machine quilting and hand embroidery.

Today's Quote:
"Health is the greatest gift, contentment is the greatest wealth, faithfulness is the best relationship."

Extra postcards are going out this week to:
Judy in Flagstaff, AZ
Susan in DePere, WI

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thread Audition for Hot Flash

Now this piece is pinned and ready for machine quilting.
I always audition my threads before beginning. The five above are from Aurifil.
The group below is a mix of polyester and cotton threads.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Pinning the Layers

For machine quilting, I prepare my work by stretching the backing to my work table using big clamps. Over this, I lay my batting, and my top. Then I pin with safety pins through all three layers.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Red Glow - Printed

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone! I am cooking turkey today and having a big crowd of family for dinner. But I do have some progress on the red piece to share.
Here it is - printed - needing a few touch ups that I can see now that it is up on the design wall. That gold spiral in the upper left corner bothers me - I want to tone that down a bit.
In previous work - I have been doing another layer of printing - usually screen printing. However, I really want to push myself to work simpler, more abstract, and more minimalist and spare. I would like to try to stop at this point, finishing with quilting and binding, but with no further embellishment. . . . .

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Printing the Red

I use a plastic disposable plate for my paint palette. This one has been used many times already, but here I have puddled gold and orange metallic fabric paints. I use a wide sponge brush to apply two colors at once.

I chose three hand carved blocks I thought would work best for this piece.

Here's how it looks as I start printing:

And a couple more details so you can see the effect.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Quilting Arts Cover!

I am thrilled to have my work featured on the cover of the latest Quilting Arts Magazine.
The December 2011 - January 2012 Issue arrived in my mailbox today.
I think it looks great! This is the second time my work has made the cover!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Seeing Red

I was very happy with the way my piece - "Stone Wall" came together - and I thought I would like to tweek the process a bit - by sewing pieces together rather than fusing them to a background.
I pulled my scraps of red, yellow and orange and started tearing them up and sewing them together. Here is what I had by the time I decided to be done:

I wasn't really all that pleased with the way it looked - too blocky along the stitch lines. I wanted to soften this a bit, so I dug out this lovely piece of hand dyed silk chiffon (below). I added fusible web to the back of it.
Then, I cut the silk into rectangles, which I fused in strategic locations.

Here is how it looked by the time my silk was all used up. Better, eh? Next to do the block printing.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Stone Wall Completed!

Here are a couple of closer images of the binding from the front. It was block printed commercial cotton, fused and stitched with a free motion zig zag.

Detail of stitching.

Here is the full image. It looks rather wonky, and that is accurate. I cut the edges and bottom to be slightly irregular.

It always feels good to finish a project!

eBay Auction of American Alliance for Quilts Donation

The small quilt I created for Alliance for American Quilts is currently being auctioned on eBay. This quilt won first place in their annual contest. It has shown in various venues over the past 8 months and now it is being auctioned to generate funds for the organization.

You can view the auction here.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Mail Art Project - Week Sixty One

"Pencil Posie"
To make this postcard, I drew on muslin with a colored pencil. Then, when I got the fabric wet, the colors became more vivid and less clear. I was disappointed in this piece when I made it and it got thrown into a drawer for a couple of years. When I started the postcard series, I started digging through my drawers looking for failed art quilts that might be interesting cut down to make postcards. This one, I think is quite successful.

Here is the entire group.

Today's quote:
"Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made and forgot to put a soul into."
-Henry Ward Beecher-

Extra postcards are going out this week to:
Lynn in Woodstock, Illinois
Lillian in Delta, BC, Canada
Del in Placentia, California
and Frances in Grafton, Vermont

If you would like to receive one of my Mail Art postcards, please send your full name and mailing address to me at Please put "Mail Art" in the subject line. I will add your name to the drawing.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Back

As you can see, I opted for irregularity as I trimmed this piece. To achieve this look, while also having a piece that would hang straight, I first trimmed it to a perfect, straight edged rectangle, then took the scissors to it to create some waves to the edges.

One of the nice things about having a solid, contrasting background is the way the stitching shows up. However, having all that stitching show up so clearly makes it possible to see every single irregularity and tension problem, etc. This piece is intended for an invitational show - don't expect to send it to a judged show, so I indulged myself and went with the solid black backing.

I stitched the edge of the fused binding with that same irregular free motion zig zag I used to connect the fused fabric pieces together.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Fusing the Binding

I applied fusible web to the back of my binding fabric, then I cut it into strips about 1 1/4 " wide.
I used scissors to achieve slight irregularity on the edges, which I felt would compliment the rustic nature of this piece.

I then cut my binding into smaller pieces - varying from 4" to 7" long. I laid my trimmed quilt on my Teflon covered pressing table. The binding sections were placed along the edge and fused into place with the iron.

After I had the binding pressed in place all the way around the front, I turned it over and folded the binding over the edge, fusing it to the back using the iron.

This created a very nice firm binding, giving my quilt a nice firmness I have never achieved before!
Here's how it looked on the back (before stitching)
And this is the front of the fused binding, prior to stitching.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Printing the Binding Fabric

I chose a wide strip of black cotton lawn, left over from the quilt back, for the binding.
I realized it needed to be printed, so I pulled out some metallic paints.

I printed the entire length (60") . It is about 18" wide.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Stone Wall Quilted

Here it is with the quilting finished!

Next, I will trim and bind it. I plan to try a new technique for binding this piece.
Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Stone Wall Quiting

Time to quilt this piece. I chose three thread colors. A Signature cotton variegated, a Aurifil cotton in rust, and YLI black cotton threads.

I decided to follow the printing pattern with my quilting stitches.