Wednesday, April 29, 2009

String Water

This morning I finished making the blocks for this newest string quilt. I'm so glad that I hand-dye my own fabrics. Can you imagine doing this piece with store-bought fabric only?
Here is a photo diary of how I checked and rechecked the layout of this quilt using my camera as a reducing lens...
First try...there is too much green at the top and to the right.
Second try...I rearranged the greens to make them look more natural and to add some weight to the lower half of the quilt.
Third try...the greens at the top are too much in line with each other.
Fourth and last try at rearranging...I still didn't like the look of the top row, second diamond's point. It was too green, so I added another piece to that point to change the look. This is the final layout (I think) for this string water quilt.
What do you think?
The title of this new piece is "Current". It will be trimmed down and sewn together, and when it's finished it will hang in our living room until I need it as a sample.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Hand-dyed Fabric

This is one of the pieces I dyed while instructing a hand-dyed fabric class this week. I was teaching the students how to fold a swirl and how to apply the two colors.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Fun in Florida

We had a wonderful visit all week with old friends in the Pensacola, Florida area where we lived for 7 years. It was a fine week and we got our "water fix" for the Spring. Ann & Greg were our first friends in the area, and they were our hosts this week. They have a beautiful bay-front home near Pensacola and it was great to see them. Here's the sunrise view...

...and the sunset view.

Another reason for the visit was that I was teaching a hand-dyed fabric class to the ladies in my former Pensacola area bees, the Killer Bees and the Fringe. Eileen G. graciously offered her barn studio and yard as our work area (and her expertise in culinary arts for lunch), so we all gathered at her Lillian, AL home for a day of creating, talking, eating, talking, and artful messy fun.

We had work stations indoors and outdoors. This was the indoor dye table.

And here's the outdoor area...

We had 6 ladies indoors and 8 outdoors (if I counted right). We were all dye stained and exhausted by the afternoon, but I think it's safe to say that fun was had by all.

Ann, Pat, Dorothy, Wynnell, Mary Elma, Lori we missed having you there. I love you all, ladies!

Saturday, April 18, 2009


This morning I'm off to Florida where I'll be teaching a hand-dyed fabric class on Tuesday. I'll be staying with my good friend, Ann, who has been an avid quilter for many years and owned a quilt shop in Jackson, MS. When we moved to Florida in 2000, Ann asked me to get together to sew that first week, and we sewed together every week for almost seven years! You know that I'm happy to be visiting with her.

I've had my eye on some historic landmarks around Athens lately. We have some truly beautiful old buildings and structures that I plan to photograph, manipulate in Paint Shop Pro Photo, and then print onto fabric. This old cotton warehouse (I believe that's what it is) is right next to the railroad tracks on the north side of downtown. Isn't it wonderful? This is not the best photo, but I can't show you my other ones until they're in a piece.
Drat! The covered wagon I planned to photograph was moved a couple of weeks ago...but I think I might know where it is. I'm on the lookout...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Borders, Scraps & News

These are portions of the projects I'm working on in the studio today...

Designing borders: These quilt top photos are printed on regular paper, two on each side (see yesterday's blog). I've sketched some border ideas and, at this point, I like the border sketches on the small quilt, but the larger one is iffy. I'll try another border design on the other side of the sheet. Once I've got the designs, I'll use colored pencils to find the best choice of color.

These pieces-in-progress were sewn using the scraps from the above two scrap quilts. Humm, scraps squared!...but we'll use the British term, "crumbs".

...And this is the start of a new project. It's another sample for my String Quilt Blocks workshop and Stretching the String lecture. These equilateral triangles are so fun to work with. More on this one later.

What's this? A lovely downtown Athens, GA shop with... hand dyed fabrics! The store is Helix (E. Clayton St., Athens) a unique boutique with wonderful gifts, cards, creative and hard-to-find items. I especially like the soy candles, unusual kitchen gadgets, tea sets and Moleskin notebooks. Stop in for a visit.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Border Patrol

Okay, I know I haven't posted much lately, but the taxes are done (thanks to our wonderful CPA) and I got an A+ for my record keeping! That was one of my very few New Year's resolutions: keeping better business books.

Anyhoo, I have these two quilt tops without borders on design walls and I've been trying to decide what to do for borders. I cropped the photos you see and printed them off on a couple of sheets of paper, which makes designing the borders easier. Border ideas are sketched around the actual quilt photos so that I can really see what they might look like. Colored pencils will help too.

"Border patrol" consists of hanging my quilt tops and allowing my subconscious mind to work while I'm doing other things. Last night while organizing my studio an idea developed for the rail fence border and I wrote it down right away before it disappeared. If the idea pans out, I'll show it to you in a future post.

The next time you have a decision to make about a quilt, try hanging it in plain view and allowing your mind to play with design ideas. Every now and then I get an idea in the middle of the night and hop up to write it down. This works with math too, by the way...a 20 minute nap always brought the answer for my Calculus homework. When I couldn't figure out a problem I'd get very sleepy, so I'd lay down for a few minutes. When my head was through figuring the problem, I woke up knowing the answer! We have amazing brains!

Monday, April 6, 2009

New Projects

I've been sitting at the sewing machine for two days making some string samples for classes coming up later this year. I'm very pleased with these two so far. I'll be using them for my String Quilt Blocks workshops and my Green Ideas for the Studio lecture.

The scraps that come from the large blocks are used to make the smaller blocks. I'm saving the scraps from the smaller blocks to make some tiny segments for a miniature piece. The scraps that are too small for the miniature piece might be just right for fabric beads.

I made these beauties following a Fabric Beads program at the Fiber Arts Alliance in Asheville, NC earlier this year.

1st Anniversary

This weekend marked the first anniversary of my little business, Anita Heady Fiber Arts! So many people have been supportive and encouraging, and some have helped a great deal in promotion of my classes and fiber art. Thank you!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Sewing Again

I'm happy to be able to sew today after two long moths of pursuing other areas of my fiber arts business. These quilts tops were made earlier this year but had not borders. Last evening and this morning I applied the borders.
This quilt top is a sample for my Beginner Quiltmaking class, and I'm pleased with the borders.

I like this new quilt top, which was made for my Bricks & Tiles class, but I don't like the way the border turned out. The dark indigo square and brick on the outside of the quilt interrupt the look of the border. That may be a good look for some quilts, but I don't like it with this one. Humm. How about a light inner border?