Suncatchers for year-round flowers

Another gift recently given was to my younger brother.  He grows Dahlias in the summer and they are gorgeous.

Living in Wisconsin, these beautiful blooms are only around at his house for a few months each year.  With his birthday coming up, I thought I would make him some sun catchers to bring some color to the winter months.

The background was a single sheet of clear glass, with strips of the same glass used as the hanger.  The stems were green noodles, the leaves were scraps of transparent green glass, and the flowers were various sizes of glass frit.  The project was fired following a Contour Fuse schedule.  Quick and easy project with a lovely outcome.

Fused Glass Daisy

IMG_2127Last week’s post reminded me that I have not posted about a another four pane glass project that I created for my sewing room.  This project was ultimately inspired by two different items.

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The first was an image of flowers that I saw when looking for ideas to embellish for one of my landscape quilts.  The image was a collection of four canvases each with a white daisy painted on a different colored background.  I really liked this and thought it would make a good glass project.  However, since I had just finished my four seasons tree (shown at the end of my previous post),  I wanted to try something other than four panels side by side.

White DaisyAbout that same time, I received a birthday card from a friend.  This card had only part of a daisy printed on it.  This gave me inspiration for how to display my daisy idea – four corners in different colors.

IMG_2423I found a four section frame at Michael’s that looked like a window. After purchasing it, I removed the hardware and spray painted it white.

Since the leaves were green and the center of the daisy was yellow, I decided to use the other colors of the rainbow for the background (orange, purple, red and blue).  Originally I was considering hanging the project in a window, so the background glass is transparent. When the project was finished, I realized that it would look better hung on the wall.  The transparent glass still looked really nice even though no light is shining through it. Maybe someday I will add some back lighting to it.

For each background, I cut two pieces of glass the size of the individual window pane – one piece of clear glass and one piece of colored transparent glass.  These were fused together using a Full Fuse schedule.

The daisy petals were cut from white opaque glass.  To add texture to the center of each petal, I sprinkled almond colored opaque glass fine frit down the center of each petal.  The petals were Heat Polished (maximum temperature 1300) to round the edges.

The leaves were cut from Uroboros glass – Oasis Green on Dark Green. Each leaf was scored with a curve near the middle and split into two halves.  The resulting pieces were then Heat Polished.

One set of leaf pieces and three daisy petals were placed on each background and Contour Fused.  The center of each daisy was Tack fused and each pane was secured to the frame with E6000 adhesive.  Due to the size of project, each color pane required four separate fusings for a total of sixteen kiln cycles.

Very colorful addition to the wall of my sewing room!

Fused Glass Sun Catchers

I’m playing with glass again!

I have read that it is best to put glass on a kiln shelf to make sure that the temperature around the glass is as uniform as possible. But, I have a small kiln with a bit over 4 inches of height, making using a kiln shelf only possible for fusing flat. Also, I have been wondering if I can “double up” and flat fuse a couple items at the same time, one on the floor of the kiln and one on an elevated kiln shelf.

To test the effects of location in the kiln, I decided to make some sun catchers for my sewing room.  After cutting the glass pieces, I compiled one sun catcher on the floor of the kiln. Then the kiln shelf was elevated above it on 1″ posts. Two more sun catchers were put together on the shelf. The glass was fused following a contour fuse schedule. I selected contour fuse because I wanted the glass pattern be more distinct and crisp than full fuse would create. Also, I thought this temperature would better show if any differences would result from the location in the kiln.

What a learned was that placing glass directly on the kiln floor caused the glass to reach a higher temperature.

The sun catcher fused on the floor of the kiln was closer to full fused and lost much of its defined lines. Still pretty, however. 

The two sun catchers fired on the kiln shelf were truly contour fused – defined glass edges but nicely smoothed. 

These are now hanging in my sewing room window. I think I may actually make some more soon for the other window in the room.

Garden Art – Fused glass flowers and butterflies. 

I’ve recently shared some of my art projects for my gardens. Over the years I have enjoyed making several other projects. This year, having to  redo a worn out front yard (retaining walls and plantings), I am relocating some of my older pieces of art.

So, I decided to post a few pictures of some flowers and butterflies that I made in the past.

Enjoy the images!

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Spring Has Sprung!

It’s April, the birds are singing outside my window, the bulbs are coming up in my gardens and the grass is starting to get green.  So, it’s time to change the decor in my bedroom – a new Daisy Bed runner really added some springtime color.

 

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To make this bedrunner, I used the leftover blue fabric from the backing of my butterfly quilt as the main background.  To supplement the blue, I took out some of my custom dyed fabric samples, generally ones that were trials on different dyeing techniques. For added color, I decided to try out some fabric paint crayons.

A few years ago, I took a class on Shiva Paintsticks and Rubbing Plates.  I enjoyed the class and purchased some supplies.  However, time being in short supply, I really hadn’t used them since completing the class.

This project, I thought would be a good use of the paintsticks to embellish the fabrics that I had in my collection. After a day of painting, I set the fabrics aside for a week to allow the oils in the dye crayons to dry.  The dye pigment was then heat set by ironing the fabric between pieces of brown paper (absorbs the excess oils very nicely).  The resulting fabrics were really interesting.

Triangles were cut out of the fabrics and the border was then made by alternating triangles of blue and color.

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To enhance the bedrunner, daisies and leaves were appliqued onto the center panel. The runner was quilted and the binding added.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Window on My World – quilting and hand embroidery. I’m done!

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After hours of quilting and hand embroidery, I have finished my lanscape quilt. I am very pleased with the result. Hopefully when I look at it, I won’t find something that I want to change.

Each season has lots to look at – animals, plants, etc.  It really does look like my backyard.

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Winter / Midnight
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Spring / Sunrise

 

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Summer / Midday

 

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Autumn / Sunset

 

Some of the details:

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Our first dog, a German Shorthair Pointer named Striker, and some hand embroidered flowers.
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One of our first cats, Comet, who liked to climb trees, and some more flowers.
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Our yorkie, Duke, barking an our cat, Onyx.  Onyx is always trying to get up and away from him.
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Our oldest cat, Squigglez, who will be thirteen years old this summer, does enjoy wondering in the yard in the summertime.
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Having a heavily wooded yard and lots of plants, we have lots of wildlife that visit.

 

Window on My World – designing a landscape quilt.

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Our home, once filled with the busy-ness of four boys, is considerably quieter with only one son still living at home.  And, this week he is on a field study trip with his school making our house even quieter.

Looking to the future, my husband and I have started thinking about moving in a few years.  When that happens, we will leave behind a house that I have spent considerable time and effort into making a lovely place to live.

My backyard is especially enjoyable to me, with the trees and flowers and many places to sit and relax.  To help remember this space, I decided to make a landscape quilt that shows my yard.  I plan to call this quilt “Window on my World”.  The idea is that the quilt will depict a view of my yard looking out of a window. Since all seasons and all times of the day are enjoyable, I plan to incorporate various times into the quilt.

The window will have four panes in it.  Each pane will depict a different season in my backyard – Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn.  And, each pane will depict different times of day – Midnight, Sunrise, Midday and Sunset.  So, starting from the farthest left pane and going right the landscape quilt will show the my yard:

  • Midnight in Winter
  • Sunrise in Spring
  • Midday in Summer
  • Sunset in Autumn

The first step in creating this quilt was to draw out my ideas on a few pieces of paper. I’m not very good at drawing, but these do show the idea fairly well.Composite.jpg

I now need to plan out the background.  To make the quilt more visually interesting, I am playing around with different piecing ideas for each pane. That will be the topic of my next posting.