Wednesday, February 8, 2017

A Dear Friend Returns

This post is a review of how my wonderful friend and I worked together to actualize a dream of making a quilted duvet cover with fabrics that she and her husband, Ken had collected over the decades of their marriage.  Ken, a master of many talents, created the design for the quilt top that was to be.
Helmi and Ken Flick
Last year this extra special friend, Helmi Flick, flew in from Texas to start construction of the duvet cover.

A little history of our friendship may be warranted here.  Back in the late 1980s and 90s Helmi and I worked together at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles.  I worked in Neurology and she worked in Neuropathology.  Childrens Hospital was an affiliate of the USC School of Medicine from which I had just come.  She was the very first person to come to my office to welcome me with open arms and her inimitable laughter to offer any help that I might need in acclimating to the ways of Childrens Hospital.  That was the moment which sparked a life long friendship with this lovely lady who I consider a sister of the heart.
Meeting Helmi at Lindberg Field Airport.in 2016

Helmi and Me in 2016 when she visited


When Helmi and Ken visited a couple years before, they left a banker's box of their fabric collection with me.  When they departed, they promised that Helmi would be back to create a quilted duvet cover with the fabrics they had collected.

After they returned to Texas, Ken worked up a design for what they envisioned to be the duvet cover.  I venture to guess that their love of the ocean was inspiration for the design
Ken's Conceptual Schematic

A Few of the Wonderful Hand Dyed Cotton Fabrics
All the Fabrics Laid Out on the Work Table
Helmi envisioned the quilt being constructed from strip pieces of the fabrics so we got to work cutting strips.
The First Cut!!
Once the first cut was made we were off and running.
Stacks of Strips
We only had one week to get this done.  We needed to be able to work both together and separately.I had set up two work tables and two sewing machines so that we could work in a somewhat assembly line fashion. 
Helmi Sewing Strips Together
Each striped seam needed to be ironed open.
Ironing the First Strips
And the strips started coming together.
Linda Clipping Wayward Threads As the Top Started to Take Shape
The Top is Starting to Take on an Image of Water
The first section started to become a little wonky, so it needed to be blocked before we could continue with the next section.
Linda Blocking the First Section on a Design Board
The next section which represented the sun shining on water was roughly laid out.
Preliminary Layout of Fabrics to Represent Sun
Individual pieces were then sewn together end to end and then the long strips were sewn together..
The Top Starting to Come Together and Laid on on Work Table
To represent shimmers on the "water" we used a satin stitch that went from very narrow to wider to narrow again.
To have an idea of how many pieced strips were used, one only need look at the back.
Back of Strip Pieced Top
To preview our work, we laid the completed strip pieced top on my bed.
Previewing The Strip Piecing on My Bed
Because we did not have a work table wide enough to lay the top flat, we took to the floor.  We used a carpenter's plumb bob and rulers to square up the measurements according to the size that Ken had defined in his schematic drawing.

Using Plum Bob and Rullers on the Floor
Once that was complete, black borders were added.
Black Borders Added
Helmi and I became intimately familiar with the floor as we then laid out fabric to piece together for the  backing. 
Helmi Laying Out Backing Fabric and Batting and Taping to Floor
Once the backing was pieced together, batting and top were laid upon it.
Pieced Top Laid On Top of Batting and Backing Fabric
The top was then pinned to the batting and backing.
Linda Pinning Top to Batting and Backing
Once the pinning was complete, the quilt "sandwich" was lifted from the floor and taken to the sewing machine.
Lifting the Pinned Quilt Sandwich from the Floor
Finally, the quilting began.
Quilt "Sandwich" Rolled to Fit through the Throat of the Machine
Helmi put the pedal to the metal and quilted her little heart out, right up to the time that she needed to pack her suitcase for the trip home.

We did not finish the entire quilted duvet cover before the week came to an end when she needed to catch her plane back to Texas and to her loving husband, Ken, and their wonderful kitties.  We talked about how we could confer via Skype so that she could finish the quilted work at home in Texas..  Instead of moving forward via Skype, Helmi made plans to visit again this year to finish the quilt.

Next week Helmi will arrive, once again, at Lindberg Field in San Diego and we will spend the fikkiwubg (translate:-]  following) week working on attaching fabric for the drop to the floor, putting on a second backing which will accommodate the duvet and we should have finally completed this very fun project.  The icing on this cake will be spending time together with lots of hugs and wonderful laughter.  I am so blessed to have such a magnificent friend.
Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2017.  All rights reserved

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

"Fruits and Flowers on the Lap"

Hoorah, I just finished #3 on my 2017 New Year's resolution to revisit and finish old fabric and fiber friends

Years ago I cut a stack of 6 1/2" squares from fabrics that I very much liked and had full intention to make a quilt with them.  Did I?  No.  They merely "slept" on a shelf pining away for my overdue attention.  When I saw them again a couple of weeks ago, I vowed that there was no time like the present to start sewing them together.

This is no art quilt.  It is merely a warm 35" x 46 1/2" lap quilt, but I still like the patterns and colors as much as I did when I first cut the squares, lo those many years ago.

Here 'tiz folks...
"Fruits and Flowers on the Lap"
May all your New Year's resolutions move along swimmingly.
...and 
Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2017.  All rights reserved

Monday, January 16, 2017

"Crisp Autumn Morn" in Fiber

I'm totally stoked to find myself on quite a roll thee past few days.  Here is another art quilt that was stashed away in a trunk waiting many years for me to revisit it and finally complete it.
20" x 20" "Crisp Autumn Morn"
This piece was made entirely with commercial fabric remnants.  The perpendicular central panels were pieced, as were the black and orange borders.  The 'L" shaped orange elements were hand appliqued.  The leaf and rectangular and "fussy cut" leaf elements were raw edged machine appliqued.  The inner panels were closely free motion quilted with gold metallic thread.  The entire top was then quilted to batting and backing fabrics.  It is mounted on 20"x20" stretcher bars over which I nailed a gesso finished, thin plywood sheet to prevent any possible migration of wood elements through to the quilt.

Thanks for dropping in.  Hope springs eternal that I will adhere to my 2017 New Year's resolution to finish many quilt tops that have been "sleeping" in trunks for years on end.   Perhaps I'll have more to show you soon.
Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2017.  All rights reserved
 

Friday, January 13, 2017

"Tulips in the Window" - Stained Glass in Fiber

As the years pass, unfinished works seem to add up and then fade into that abyss of time.  My New Year's resolution for 2017 was to revisit storage trunks, pull out uncompleted works and finish at least the ones that I had begun years ago.

I began this work over 8 years ago.  It withstood the test of time--I still liked what it might become.  Today I am ecstatic to report that this piece is completed!  Yay!!

Here are a couple of close-ups of this work in which I used hand dyed and silver lamé fabrics on a background of black commercial fabric

Here are a couple of close-up shots:

Now, I must get back to going through my trunks to identify more works in want of attention.

Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2017.  All rights reserved

Friday, December 30, 2016

Understanding

Often my works will have social implications.  Here is another of my quilted art works that seems to have relevance today.
Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2016.  All rights reserved

"It's Not a Black and White World"

I created this work a long time ago, but somehow it seems relevant today.
We are all of the human race and it is high time we respect others as we respect ourselves.
Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2016.  All rights reserved

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Illumination for Sewing Machine

The last couple of weeks seem to have been occupied with handy gadgets that make any sewing project a bit easier.  This tip relates to illuminating the needle plae of a sewing machine.  I have tried a number of lights but not one seems to cast a light from the left of the needle.  So far each has cast shadows which sometimes complicates a clear view of where the needle will enter fabric. Here is a link where I recently found this one on Amazon,  

The description reads, as follows:  "Bonlux LED Sewing Machine Light Working Gooseneck Lamp 30 Leds, with Magnetic Mounting Base for Home or Sewing Machine (30 LEDs)".

I received it today and here it is laid out on my work table.
The small columnar piece is a strong magnet so that the light can be attached to a machine that has a metal housing.  My machine has a plastic housing so I could not attach it magnetically.  I used sticky backed Velcro to attach the light to the back of my machine.
Light Attached with Sticky Backed Velcro
Here is a photo of the front of my machine with the light directed onto the needle plate.
In dark light with no background lighting
 and
With background lighting and project light turned off
and finally...
Needle Illuminated at Night with No Other Lighting
If you, also, experience a need for more directed light than the machine light can produce, you might want to give this a try.  For the price of $12.66, I don't think it can be beat.
Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2016.  All rights reserved

Monday, November 14, 2016

Great Tool Discovery for Sewing Machine Plate


My son-in-law showed me this little screwdriver a few days ago as he was installing a motion detector light.  I thought, "Wow, I could use that on my sewing machines' plates."  Even though machines usually come with a short screwdriver to help remove the plate, I invariably burn my knuckles on the sewing machine light bulb.  This little tool is just what the doctor ordered. 

Harbor Freight carries this tool for a mere $2.99   Here is a picture of it in Harbor Freight's catalogue.
If you happen to buy one of these little gems, you may be joyously surprised.  It comes with 5 different sized heads.
Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2016.  All rights reserved

Sunday, October 16, 2016

"Infinite Connections", A Video Overview

The "Infinite Connections" collection of quilted fiber art works by members of Beyond the Edge Fiber Artists has been exhibited at the Pacific International Quilt Festival  in Santa Clara, California from October 13 through today, October 16, 2016.  The superb duo of Laura and Luke Bisagna has created a tremendous video that features these works.  I'm honored to have my work, "A World Changed Forever" among the exhibited works. 

Click on this link to enjoy the video:  https://vimeo.com/user13849930/review/187116390/d25ef9925a

As you peruse the video, here is my interpretation of the Infinite Connections theme.
"A World Changed Forever," ©Linda Friedman 2016
Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2016.  All rights reserved

Saturday, October 15, 2016

"Between Heaven and Earth" to make a showing

I was totally thrilled to find out this morning that my work, "Between Heaven and Earth," has been accepted into the upcoming "Plant Life" show at the Linus Art Galleries in Long Beach/Signal Hill, California.
"Between Heaven and Earth" ©Linda Friedman 2012


This 38" (W) x 48" (L) quilted work contains elements of hand painting, stamping with flora from my garden, machine and hand applique, and free motion quilting.  It first debuted with the Quilts on the Wall, "Bridges" exhibit and traveled throughout the United States for two years.  Again, it appeared with Beyond the Edge Fiber Artists in the "Fiber Perceptions" exhibit at the Cerritos Public Library in Cerritos, California .  Now, this fiber friend of mine comes back to take another stroll with me, this time into an outstanding art gallery.

I must say that I thoroughly enjoy greeting each new day.  Surprises always await the rising sun.
Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2016.  All rights reserved