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August 18, 2006

EDM Challenge #80: Part 2


EDM Challenge #80: Part 2

Although being with my whole family makes me happiest (see part 1 below), my Bernina 1030 sewing machine is also a source of enormous happiness.  I have had a sewing machine for 50 years - sometimes a rented one (poor student days) and sometimes a very inexpensive one.  The above Bernina was purchased in 1989 and as I told my husband, it cost almost as much as our first car - a new VW bug purchased in 1967!  I don't use the sewing machine for days at a time, but when I need to have it serviced I feel very lost.  The months leading up to Christmas are busiest - but I also set aside one week during the cold weather in February and call it "creative week."  I try to arrange my schedule so it is the week before President's Day so I have an extra long weekend before I need to go back to work.  I love immersing myself in projects all day, every day, for 8-10 days and each year have done something different - including making lots of baby clothes for our first grandchild who was due 4 months later, dying silk for a wedding chuppah and making the 6' by 6' pieced top that was then quilted, cutting out fabric pieces for group wedding quilts, and planning and making baby quilts.  Two year's ago I designed a machine quilted whole cloth quilt with cotton velveteen on one side and 100% pima cotton on the other.  I made 5 of these already for immediate family members and still have more to be made.  These quilts precipitated the last emergency service visit - velvet lint buildup that paralyzed the feed dogs!   


January 28, 2006

Wedding Chuppah #1


This is the first wedding chuppah that I made (Puck Building, Soho July 1999).  While wandering through the Jewish Museum design shop in New York City, right after my daughter was engaged, I saw a painted silk chuppah that could be commisioned by a local artist.  At that time I was learning how to use procion MX dyes to "paint silk" using 16 mummi white silk crepe de chine and wax resist.  I immediately realized that I could make one if my daughter planned a chuppah for their wedding.  These colors were mixed from the 3 primary color dyes to match the flower colors that my daughter selected for her wedding.  The streamers at all 4 corners are made from tubes of the same color dyed silk.  The piece was quilted using silk thread.  The design was created from small bits and pieces from multiple illustrations in a Dover publication.

To see the other two chuppahs that I made for my children's weddings click on "Threads" in the sidebar to the right and bypass all paper entries.  Thank goodness I don't have a 4th child!  Each one of these took me approximately 6 months to make because I had a full time job and could only devote small blocks of time to the project. 

My newest daughter-in-law just made me a large framed photo with each couple standing under their chuppah taking their wedding vows and a beautifully written piece entitled "What is a Chuppah" that she used as a reading at their wedding.  It makes me ecstatic to have this composite visual memory of 3 of the happiest days of our lives. 

Wedding Chuppah #2


This is the wedding chuppah that I made for my oldest son's wedding which took place outdoors in July 2004.  The bride asked for turquoise and shades of pink and chose this traditional applique design which was adapted from a commercial pattern by Nancy Pearson.  The silk crepe de chine was dyed with procion MX dyes and then the flower heart wreath was created with machine applique.  Every petal was a different color and the machine thread had to be changed for each!!  The white border on the top was part of the florist's canopy and I was unable to attach the 6 foot silk quilt any other way.  The streamers were all tubes of silk fabric that were dyed with the dyes that I mixed for the quilt. 

A Quilt Journal Page


I've been spending most of my leisure time since Christmas sketching and painting and I needed to remind myself why I named this website Paper and Threads.  For most of my lifetime my passion was for fabric.  As I began to dye my own fabric (background and pink fabric here), I learned about painting fabric with instant set dyes or thickened procion MX dyes.  This required me to improve my drawing and sketching ability and I reopened my sketchbook and bought some watercolor paints.  This Quilt Journal Page (so named in the quilt community because it is exactly 8.5 X 11 inches) is one of many that I made to play with designs and some of my dyed/painted fabric.  She hangs above my sewing machine as my muse....



January 9, 2006

Thread vs Paper Supplies


 My Fabric Studio:  This is the old maid's room in my 1920s New York City apartment.  The previous owner made this 7 ft 3 inch by 9 foot 9 inch room into a small library and the lovely cabinets/bookshelves that line both side walls are just visible.  It would be hard to catalog all of the fabric, thread, and supplies that fill this small room - there is one ceiling to floor cabinet that is just filled with procion dyes and all of the supplies necessary to paint/dye silk. 

Below: EDM Challenge #9 - Controlled Chaos

This is a quick sketch of my fabric studio.  I love this space and can lose myself for hours in the midst of all of this fabric and these supplies.



My rudimentary art supplies:  French School student grade pan watercolor paints, several 5 ml Winsor Newton primary color tube watercolor paints, assorted brushes, a plastic palette, Pigma micron pens (03 and 05), a Derwent graphic 2B pencil, and a Bic click eraser.  I don't have room to expand so I'll have to continue to work in small format journal sketchbooks!

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