Tuesday, June 30, 2015

On the Plus Side

On the Plus Side
Hand dyed silk and cotton, fused, hand quilted and embroidered, machine quilted. Mounted on painted wood panel, 11x14" $100 Email me. SOLD

Getting back to my mounted pieces has been on my mind of late and I was happy to have the piece I started yesterday waiting for me when I got back into the studio today. The silk used in this piece has been in my 'saving it for something special' drawer for quite some time, and I was happy to have it to be the focus of this new work. 

Visiting with Victoria Findlay Wolfe

O My Goodness! We had a special treat yesterday at my friend Mary's loft. Victoria Findlay Wolfe was staying with Mary on her summer road trip to Texas and we were the beneficiaries of an impromptu trunk show of some of her dazzling quilts. We learned so much from her and O I am all on fire to make some LARGE SCALE PIECING. She has her own line of templates and when I saw them, I realized that somewhere in my stash I too have templates, rarely used and some brand new and never used. Finally I get the idea of what to do with them and all my collected prints.

The Arty Girls, assembled. Victoria, left,  is in the back row, so tall, along with also tall Vista and Kathy. Then from the left, Margo, Joan, Mary, Audrey, me, and Ann. Notice Mary's stellar work behind the gathered multitude.
 The idea that stuck with me is to cut really large pieces and not be fiddly. Let the fabric do the work. Duh! How many times have I said that to my students? The quilts below, made from my homemade templates were tiresome (for me) to piece, but what if I used big bold prints for each section instead of skinny strips of fabric? It would be a totally different result. So that's got me thinking...stay tuned.
Spidey | by Melody Johnson QuiltsSpiderweb by Melody Johnson Quilts,Pink Spidey finished | by Melody Johnson Quilts

Monday, June 29, 2015

Cotton Candy #5

Cotton Candy #5. Hand dyed cottons, machine pieced and machine quilted. 13x12" $100 Email me.
And here are  #2-#5 in a set. These were all made from the same container of scraps, which was my personal challenge. The scraps are all used up now, thus ending the series. Working in a series like this is waaaaaaay fun!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Cotton Candy #4

Cotton Candy #4
Hand dyed cottons, machine pieced, machine quilted. 11.5x12.25" $100 Email me.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Cotton Candy #3

Cotton Candy #3
Hand dyed cottons, machine pieced and machine quilted. 12" square. $100 Email me.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Cotton Candy #2

Cotton Candy #2
Hand dyed cottons, machine pieced and machine quilted, 12x12.5" $100 Email Me.
As a challenge to myself, I gathered a bunch of scraps and decided to make some small quilts from them and only from them. This limited palette helps to define the design and made the ensuing work look cohesive. They will all be quilted in a grid pattern too, furthering the series idea. 
I like this idea so much, as it eliminates the huge piles of possible fabrics that could stall the process.

My pal Margo went to the show in Blue Ridge GA and here's a cute video of her trip to see our quilts.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Cotton Candy

 Cotton Candy
Hand dyed cottons, machine pieced and machine quilted. 12.5x13.25" $100 Email Me.
 Yes, it is a pieced quilt, not fused. I thought I would make some pieced work in the new studio just to try it out for functionality. Works great!
Something else new...I have finally decided to try out the Command Picture Hanging Strips. They are sticky backed Velcro and work just like we'd expect. One side sticks to the artwork and the other side sticks to wall, and is removable with no damage to the painted wall. They come in various sizes depending on the weight of the artwork. The round velcro dot is not part of the deal. It is something that I had in my sewing notions, and it comes in sets with the loops on one dot and the hooks on the other. I am using them on the back of Cotton Candy, picture below.
I used them here for two small canvas paintings.
And then I used them for hanging this wonderful quilt by artist Mary Keasler, Hydrangeas.

Mary made a rod pocket and a wooden slat to hang it but I thought I would just stick the strips at the top and on the wall and VOILA! it hangs perfectly flat against the wall.

 Here's the velcro dot at the top corner of Cotton Candy. I can place the removable Hanging Strip on  the wall and then stick the dot onto it. It doesn't matter if the dot is loops or hooks, either work.
Isn't that a quick and easy solution to hanging small quilts? And no rod pocket to sew on!!! Yeah, baby.
A set of hanging strips is included in the purchase of this quilt.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I'm Baaaaaack

My blogging routine has gotten disrupted by early doggie and garden demands. By the time I have finished feeding and watering and the consquential showering, I am off on another task for my day, leaving the blog unattended.
Today I asked Dave to water... But on the other hand, I have already been to the Emissions Testing station (7 am) and finally got my car to pass the test, hurray! in time for the required sticker. Doesn't sound like a big deal but I have been trying to get this done for a month, with one failure and a large repair bill in the middle. Now I can rest easy, knowing I am in compliance and won't get ticketed.
OK So here's what has been  happening at Casa Johnson

We are harvesting tons of tomatoes and green beans everyday. I am giving them away as I pick.

 The tomatoes have grown out of their cages and we are supporting them on chairs, but of course they grow right down to the ground. The green beans have to be picked twice a day to keep up, and consequently I am way behind and they are getting really lumpy with seeds. O well. I have no more room in my refrigerator. So I am making friends with my neighbors, leaving bags on their doorsteps.
 It's my first year with zinnias and it won't be my last. I have been rewarded with lots of flowers, really little in the way of maintenance and lots of colors. woowoo! Also mentioned: the lobelia, rescue plants!

My fig bed wins  Best of the Yard honors, with tons of flowers and fig trees loaded with fruit. Yay!!

 A close second is the Japanese garden aka Koi Pond garden. There isn't a square inch available for anything in this bed.

 And today the Stargazer lilies opened. O happy day!

I've had mixed results with the Proving Ground bed. 47 feet of ups and downs. I am focusing on the ups, and learning what works and what not to bother with. I vote for more zinnias next year, as well as begonias and cosmos. The coneflowers are great too. Pink and yellow and white.

 I just finished and sent off this last jacket to Maureen in New Zealand where it is now winter.

The studio remains PERFECTION and I have acquired a new chair and ottoman from my pal Mary's estate sale. It is well loved and just right for my studio tv watching/knitting spot.
I can't seem to motivate to make something arty...so much fun stuff going on with the girlfriends and the remodeling and arranging furniture over and over again.
Now it seems we have finished a lot of what kept me hopping and that even includes having 15 pieces in a the Blue Ridge Art Center show in Blue Ridge GA.

 After thinking about all the stuff that has been going on here lately, I am ready for a morning nap!
And what a nice cool room to have it in. 
If I get back to work soon, I'll post the results here. I promise.