Saturday, October 16, 2010

And Some I Sent

And now, some I have sent over the years. Some of you may be very thankful I have not been your partner. :o) When I first joined the swap, we made two blocks each month, so the first two pictures were a pair. They were the very first blocks I made in the swap, and the request was simply pinks and greens. I had a great time making them but I'm not sure the recipient was as enthused! As you will see farther on, I have slowed the pace since them.

Don't know why I didn't take a picture of this one when it was finished but, for whatever reason, I didn't. She wanted flowers with embroidered centers so I embroidered them with beads and stuff. I wish I had taken a picture since she said she never received the block. :o(((

She wanted a wonky house. This is as close as I could get!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Everything's Coming Up Roses (And Leaves)

For an uncounted number of sporadic terms now, I have taken a metalsmithing class at the college where I work. Much classier, of course, to call it silversmithing except that one is not limited to working in silver. I figured it would be fun to show you a few of the things I have made. You will be seeing more of some of these in another post, hopefully soon, so I won't explain right now what they are all about. You'll just have to stay tuned for further developments.

These pieces were made by a process called lost wax casting. The piece is created in wax then encased in a type of plaster, which is heated in a kiln until the wax burns out, hence is "lost", and molten silver is poured into the cavity left in the plaster. Various types of wax are available ready-made but none were suitable for what I wanted to do, which was to model the roses as one would do with clay. There just isn't a type of wax available that would do that, so I had to create my own. Hmmm . . . . . . . maybe I should market it . . . . . . .

These are all made of sterling silver. Not the traditional .925 sterling everyone is familiar with, these are Argentium sterling silver. The major advantage of Argentium sterling is that it doesn't tarnish. Well, it tarnishes exceedingly slowly, always a lovely thing with silver!

The picture shows the roses as they came out of the mold - there are three of them which are all on a common "stem". I later cut them apart. The leaves also were made into a sort of a tree-looking affair to cast and were later cut apart. The wax I created produces that matte finish on the roses. The leaves were made of commercial casting wax, so are smoother and therefore shinier. I polished the roses, which removed the matte and made them shiny, but I didn't like the result so unpolished them again, after which they looked more like the leaf in the third picture.

The picture below shows the third rose, which is behind the two in the above picture. It shows what the roses actually look like without the lamp shining on them. This picture and the one below it will give you just a hint of the end product. :o)

The brownish color in the first picture is due to the lighting when the picture was taken. The roses really are silver-looking, as in the second picture. Well, at least they were . . . . . before I baked them in the oven. Now they have a lovely bronze-ish color. Haven't photographed them since I did that, but will do that shortly.

As I said, stay tuned for pictures of the finished project. Yes, thank you, it was finished this past February. Our professor had a show of her work in the gallery of the college President's office and kindly included work by three of her students, this project being among them.

Quilt Blocks Received

Since I have so many quilty friends online now, I thought I would share some of the quilt blocks I have been fortunate enough to receive over the past four years. Hard to believe it has been so long since I originally joined the Quilt Block Swap. Time sure flies when one is having so much fun! I have not photographed very one I sent or received but a number of them I did, so I hope you will enjoy this selection of them.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Found a picture

In looking around that the quilt block swap blog archives, I found a picture I posted of Dad's quilt. Our local quilt guild hosts a quilt show every other year and I entered Dad's quilt in the last show. The bottom is cut off a wee bit but otherwise it is pretty much all there, including the little things I added in after the fact.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Round Robin swap

October begins the third month my mom, Joy, and I have been involved in a round robin swap with four other ladies. We each made our own center block, which was sent to the next person in the swap. That person will add a round and send it to the next person, who will add the next round, etc. After the sixth person adds the final round, we will each receive our own quilt top back. Theoretically, it will only need to be made into a finished quilt at that point.

If anyone would like to check out the blog for the swap, the address is

Feel free to comment!