Archive for the ‘art quilt’ Category

UFOs No Longer – From WAY Back….

Botanicals 3

Botanicals 3

This next piece I started when I lived on Nastar, which has to be 18 years ago – it was part of a Block of the Month project for our online customers. This was September/October, but when I finished it, it had a VERY noticeable bulge from bad ironing – in two separate places.

The Original Top

The Original Top

Took both borders off, made a new sandwich, and then sewed the borders back into place to hold the top for quilting. I did a lot of work with new patterns from Lori Kennedy and her Craftsy classes.

Craftsy classes

Craftsy classes

There are amazing motifs, and Lori’s technique of doodling them first works like a charm. Here are some pics of patterns:

AutumnRedo2

Lori’s Twist, which I can finally understand how it’s done – parallel lines up and down and everything looks perfect. My bubbles and straight-line quilting. An example of quilting the marbled fabrics.

AutumnRedo3

LOVE the leaf motif – now I have several in my bag of tricks – way easier than it looks! New motif in the turquoise – an exaggerated swirl.

AutumnRedo4

A better look at the orange peel (I know it as a cathedral windows variation) and the swirl.

AutumnRedo6

Lessons learned –

  • I want to be able to do what Judi Madsen does with the negative space and have one pattern rather than several, depending on the space.
  • STILL love the colors in this quilt!
  • Markers help cover up tension issues from a different color bobbin thread.
  • The back doesn’t have to be all one color, especially if you’re having tension issues from two different weights of thread.
  • Outside (final border) can be very simple.

UFOs No Longer

apache4A

Lots of finishes going on of projects that have been around for a VERY long time! I had a productive weekend of finishing three, and next blog post should be about two more, as well as a new project undertaken.

First up – a Halloween quilt I pieced probably 15 years ago, when I was using McCalls Quilting and piecing lots of quilt tops. It didn’t really need much – cats’ eyes (variegated thread) and eyes for the ghost (small pieces of lava). I examined the machine quilting, back from when all I did was stippling – I was very happy with how it looked. I added free-motion words in the sky and then added binding. Really happy –

HalloweenFinish

This small 8 x 8 was done YEARS ago in response to a challenge on the QuiltArt list. The theme was “brown,” and this was way back when I was still pretty literal and linear in putting work together. This is “Candy Box,” and I used a zigzag in variegated thread like you would see in the wrappers in a fancy candy box. Added the binding and much pleased with the finished table-topper.

CandyBox

This last piece was a remnant from about 10 years ago. I quilted the bubbles, but it still needed a focal point – so I quilted in some sea urchins…hence the name “Sea Urchins.” Another 8 x 8 stitched to canvas after quilting was finished.

SeaUrchins

For Sale: $125.00

A great weekend, more happening in the studio…..lots of upcoming opportunities!

 

 

The Arroyo

The Very Beginning

The Very Beginning

This was a wonderful collaboration with dear friends. Dave wanted a present for his wife (our maid of honor many moons ago), and he came by to watch the marbling process. He had in mind something similar to one of our “stone” pattern pieces, so he went and bought about a half-yard of an unpolished white satin for us to experiment on. The top picture is the very beginning – good colors, a focal point, but oh, my, was it flat! This would be my chance to use wool batting, and the piece started to pop after only outlining three of the “rocks.”

Arroyo8

If you look at the center right top of the next picture, you will notice some darker brown that is very lacy-looking – not a good marbled stone. However, the more I studied it, the more it looked like moss and lichen – I couldn’t have asked for something better. Serendipity.

In progress

In progress

Lots of little green specks throughout the piece, so that was more moss and lichen, and I used my “lichen” stitch, as I call it, to accent them.

Arroyo3By this point, I had a bird’s eye view of a southwest canyon, reminding me of Sedona and Oak Creek, so I knew I wanted to accent the creek throughout the piece. After lots of variegated threads I added seed beads in four shades of blues to pick up sparkles.

ARROYO6

I played with a variety of fabrics for a border, and this is where Dave’s color sense really helped. He picked two fabrics I never would have thought of, and they worked perfectly. The only change I made was to thin the first border a little bit. And then the final reveal……

Arroyo (Spanish for "Wash")

Arroyo (Spanish for “Wash,” where water runs when it rains)

Our First Vermont Show

Yowza – we had such a great time hanging this show – first one in Vermont, and first we’ve hung on our own. Lots of great decisions – hubby and I are so in sync with our thoughts. In and out in an hour so as not to disturb the folks working there. A lot of moving around of items to balance the show. We’re discovering that wainscotting is common in New England, so many of our really long pieces don’t work as well. But – the whole office looks much softer with the fiber on the wall. We’ll adapt!

I was glad to see the Four Seasons played well together, since I was worried one was a different size. Not to worry, so I’m hoping I can go ahead and finish the pattern for the website. Ah, so many things to do!! Open studio is now the next item, end of May, so planning lots of marbling sessions for goodies. A couple new gift baskets if my wrist allows it – too much at Christmas and the ligament is still repairing itself.

Without further ado – some pics of “on the wall” at Unsworth Law Firm, Essex Junction, Vermont.

The Four Seasons

The Four Seasons

Atty2

Champlain Waters

 

Atty4

Misfiring Synapses and two small Digital pieces

 

“Storm Coming” – New Fiber Piece

Asian Fantasy

Asian Fantasy

I’m unearthing a lot of unfinished projects and pieces of fabrics that can be turned into small art quilts for Etsy, and I also came across a couple of digital pieces (like the above) that need reworking for an upcoming show. It is just amazing to me how productive I have been at getting new – and old – projects completed since we set up the new studio. Here’s pics of the new studio – taken right after we unpacked and stored, so things are cleaner than they are now after three weeks of solid work. Good north light, and lots of surface area.

Large marbling tray

Large marbling tray

Stored behind the door, along with mats and combs…..

Cutting table and storage

Cutting table and storage

This can be closed up for an air mattress on the floor for company.

Extra storage

Extra storage

Filled with fabrics and patterns and lots of other goodies….no longer used for clothes!

Bernina 1008 and sewing table

Bernina 1008 and sewing table

Sewing table for the last 15 years, lots of room to the left to support larger quilts….almost impossible to keep clean……

Additional sewing area

Additional sewing area

For the serger and decorative stitches on the Brother machine….

Storage cubbies

Storage cubbies

Happy as a clam, and now to the piece in progress….which is some leftover from another completed piece.

WIP – Storm A’Brewin’

Thread choices –

Thread choices - Storm A'Brewin '

Thread choices – Storm A’Brewin ‘

Didn’t use the blue – too much contrast, and not what I liked – ended up pulling out all the threads…one advantage of not checking the tension – easier to pull out.

Thread work

Thread work

 Finished project, available in Etsy. I needed to simplify the design – got caught up in following the patterns, so I ended up leaving the bottom corner free of stitching, so it looks like everything is approaching from the northwest.

Storm A'Brewin'

Storm A’Brewin’

Serged edges, mounted on wrapped canvas, 12 x 16 inches. Moving right along!!

More Random Ramblings…..

KathyNida Yes! One of my favorite art quilters actually does exist beyond a blog!!! Kathy NIda (long i, as I have been pronouncing it wrong all these many years) is an artist I have been following for well over a decade, and it’s not just because she uses our marbled fabrics in her art quilts. She is one seriously cool lady – and amazing teacher to boot. We finally were able to get together on our last trip to San Diego, as she was also on school break. What a fun two hours! Laughing, lamenting, giggling, telling stories, talking shop – a fabulous time was had by all. Even better, I got to see one of her works at Visions Art Museum, and by far the best in the exhibit, which I didn’t really care for, especially after having seen the exhibit of fiber at the Mingei (yes, Kathy, everyone is right – you MUST go see this show!). But it was so cool to see the actual art quilt up close and personal, as I am in awe of her technique. Here are a couple of photos shamelessly borrowed from her blog (kathynida.com).

Here’s the quilt being dried after a washing (something about pet hair….) – our fabric is the pavement. Second one is a closeup. I so loved seeing an actual quilt of hers, because her process is so intricate, and seeing in person how it all came together is fabulous.

Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 12.18.30 PM

 

Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 12.18.40 PM

Now, about the exhibit at the Mingei at Balboa Park in San Diego – one of my favorite museums – the emphasis is on “every day objects,” and this time the exhibit was two brothers, William and Steven Ladd, who work with beads, fabric and boxes in developing labor intensive, meticulous and abstract work that expresses their shared memories of family life in Missouri. )from the website) While some of the work I didn’t “get,” I was in awe of their use of unusual materials. This is from their website, explaining their “towers.”

Towers
A Tower is a stack of approximately 24 hand sewn boxes placed into a specific configuration.  Towers are often constructed of fabric, found materials, and board.  Each box in the stack measures approximately 9” square and can be closed or open.  When all of the boxes are open, they are  laid out into a specific grid-like configuration.  Textiles and found objects are meticulously sewn into the boxes and often resemble organic structures such as trees.  The Tower originated as a convenient way to stack and store boxes of the brothers meticulously constructed objects.
Each Tower has a story attached to it that is rooted in Steven and William’s shared memories.  Volcano, 2008, explores memories of extreme exercise while sharing a studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  Explosive muscle building and marathon running evolved into forms that resemble volcanic structures.
Volcano, 2008
Archival board, fiber, beads, metal
Closed 13.25 x 19.875 x 18.875 in.
Open 39.75 x 19.875 x 8.5 in.
These are examples, and the top is a detail – needles, pins, metal ants, rolls tapes and biases….a feast for the eyes!
Ladd1
Ladd2
Ladd4
Ladd5
Ladd6

Day Nine on Road Trip……catching up…..

If you caught my Facebook post yesterday, you heard the story of the horrendous borde crossing at Niagara.

Oy, one for the travel nightmares. Awoke to a beautiful morning on the Upper Peninsula, great views as we went across the Macinac Bridge, lots of green forests…..and then…..yea, verily, on the eighth day it rained…and rained…but we drove out of it. Our plan was to go to Flint and then east through Canada to avoid going through Detroit….same mileage essentially…..but then the border crossing south of Niagra Falls…..three and one-half hours from end to end…and I am NOT exaggerating…..construction on Canadian side, two to one to. two and back again to one lane that hardly moved. Finally could see booths, and that was just the Canadian side…..an absolute crawl over the bridge (and I am ot fond of bridges…freaking out, thinking how I would escape if the bridge broke)…and then more single lane to two lanes to three lanes to four lanes…NONE of which moved. Oy….probably not going too far tomorrow until we recoup…..eating dinner at 8:30 PM, which is unheard of for us…and it’s still light out. Must be karma paying us back for a great yesterday………

Here are a few shots of crossing on the Mackinac Bridge.
Crossing Lake Michigan

Mackinac Bridge

Mackinac Bridge

..and the beginning of the traffic at the border crossing….

Border crossing

Border crossing

Now  back to the art museum…

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A fabulous sculpture outside the museum…can just see loads of kids climbing on it!

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Another outside sculpture…reminds me of one in Tucson, near the downtown public library.

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There were two coral sculptures inside the exhibit. This is one of them, talking about coral being the indicators of the health of a reef. This is all crochet….. The Branched Anemone Garden, Margaret and Christine Wertheim.

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Kathryn Spence uses “dirty, discarded pieces to indicate the invasion of the natural environment by human-produced garbage.”

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Leonardo Drew – “Number 162 is made from raw materials (wood, metal, paint, thumbtacks, paper, ink, graphite) that are manipulated and aged to suggest the passage of time and the cyclical nature of our existence.”

Even More from The Textile and Fiber Art List!

Oh, for an endless amount of money to spend on art! TAFA is like my own private store, and I WANT WANT WANT everything I see. Enjoy these new artists this week.

From Hana: “Weaving technology is the use of woolen thread on mesh canvas with the aid of a hook. The weaving in itself is accomplished in free flow on a direct path from the “picture in one’s mind” to the canvas, without a previously drawn sketch on paper or canvas. This type of work enables maximum spontaneity and allows for a free flow of mood and color within the framework of the subject on the one hand (desert landscape for example) but on the other hand, enables the carpet to evolve and “breathe” in the process of its creation. In addition to weaving wall carpets I also paint, mostly oil on canvas but I use other techniques as well. My paintings are strictly figurative and very different from my carpets. While the carpets essentially try to convey the mood of a landscape through the free and more abstract use of form and color the paintings are either portraits or still life scenes that emphasize the composition of the scene or the mood of the person in the portrait. The colors I use in the paintings are not as bright as those I use in the carpets and they have a more introvert and subdued nature.” Woolscapes

From Wil Opio Oguta :”Inspiration for the quilts I make comes from a variety of sources. It can be nature, an expression, a color or a material. For most of my quilts I use my own hand dyed fabric. My quilts can be very colorful or simply black and white. I work in a contemporary style, but have no objection at all to incorporating traditional blocks. Often I use raw edge appliqué, but don’t be surprised if I switch techniques for another quilt. I love working with fiber, but if the quilt wants/needs it, I add other materials to it. This can be bark, buttons, lutrador and paint. It all depends on what I feel is needed. For me, making art quilts is a way of expressing what I see, translating the world into fabric and fibers, emphasizing/focusing on what is important to me and to show you how I feel about it.” WilOpioOguta

From Kim Buchheit: “Kim is a designer and artist living and working in Grand Canyon National Park. Her love of felt is rooted in an affection for its understated beauty, a fondness for the old-world craft of felt-making, and the simple earth-and animal-friendly nature of the materials used in the process.” Wildly Woolly

From Wen Redmond: “I am quite passionate about my work. I continue to explore my chosen medium, fabric, to see what it can do, to stretch its perception as art medium. When I work, I encourage a collaborative process with spirit or my higher self, that mind-boggling principle of the universe. This process can also be called ‘flow’. When you are in this state of mind, the intuitive is tapped and the work can become more than the sum of it’s parts. I work out insights, inspirations, feelings and reactions to the outer world. Allowing time for these inspirations to percolate up from my unconscious is a vital part of my process. Each piece is wrought individually and is one of a kind. These include original photographs, artistically manipulated, printed on prepared fabrics and various textile substrates. The works can include painting, dying, stamping screen-printing, mono printing and other means of surface design. Among a variety of presentations, I created an innovative technique, Holographic Images, employing photographs on silk organza to create a unique 3-D effect. Layers peeled back reveal the source, the inspiration, and my mad desire to capture thoughts, dreams and the beauty of nature. ” Wen Redmond

From Salley Mavor: ” have had a life-long fascination with little things and needlework. Toward the end of art school, I rediscovered my childhood delight in sewing and creating miniature scenes. Leaving traditional illustration mediums behind, but still interested in narrative work, I taught myself stitching and fiber art techniques. For me, manipulating materials with my hands with a needle and thread was so much more satisfying than rendering with a pencil or brush. I found that I could communicate my ideas more clearly this way and that my hands would direct me in a compelling way. My early pieces were soft sculpture, and then turned flatter, with raised figures and objects on a fabric background. I came up with the term “fabric relief” in 1982 to better describe my evolving technique. My 3-dimentional pictures resemble miniature, shallow stage sets, with scenery, props and characters telling a story. I embroider, wrap, appliqué and paint different materials and found objects to create scenes in relief, with figures imposed on an embellished fabric background. My work is decorative and detailed, full of patterns from nature, all stitched by hand. For the past 20 years, I’ve been working in the field of illustration, making artwork which is then photographed and printed in children’s books. The original fabric relief pictures have a second life when they are mounted and framed under glass in shadow boxes, ready to display as individual pieces. ” Wee Folk Studio

Top Ten Tuesday

Well, it has been a while, what with projects and a few days in San Diego. I have loads to work through on my blog list, so I am thinking there’s at least three posts here!

First up, from the 365 Project, some amazing photography yet again. In honor of beach time in San Diego……

Beach Sand by Michael Elliott

From the ArtBizBlog and Alyson Stanfield comes some organizing ideas. I just happened to see her Evernote mention, and I have just started using that on my iPad, so I want to go into this post more in depth….organizing lately has been off, to say the least!

Studio Art Quilt Association (SAQA) does an auction of artwork every year as a fund raiser. This is the first year I have contributed a piece. One thing members are doing to promote the auction is doing 6-piece “collections” around a theme. I pleased to say my “Hotwired” has made it into two collections.

Here are a few more samples of SAQA collections, put together by Kathy York.

Here’s a quick video from Freida Anderson with some fusing tips, something I am just getting in to:

Jane LaFazio interviews Leslie Riley. I’ve admired both for a long time. Jane is a very successful water color, mixed media, and art quilter, and Leslie Riley is quite the motivator. Enjoy the interview!

Alisa Burke has a fabulous post on tools for sketchbooks and frequently asked questions. Lots of “I wants” in this list…it’s probably a good thing I don’t do a lot of sketching……

Thanks to Rachel of Rayela Art and The Textile and Fiber Art List, here’s a cool look at a new tool called PicMonkey for editing pictures easily. Rachel did some fun playing around with pictures of her own.

Here’s a wonderful sense of humor video from YouTube about European shopping bags. Some very clever designs!

A very “enterprising” story of a 10-year-old who has started her own sewing business. You go, Lizzy!

And finally, a piece of honesty and courage from an Eagle Scout from The Best Article Every Day.

Have a great week! Let me know what you find that’s cool.

New Work and Progress….

I have been participating in the Free Motion Challenge this year sponsored by SewCalGal, and it has done wonders for my quilting skills. Each month a different machine quilting instructor, and I now have a variety of patterns to use. Part of my goal for this second year of retirement is to complete some of the unfinished projects over the last few years. Now I feel like I have way more tools than just stippling. I am working on a quilt from Stripper’s Club of three years ago at my LQS (Quilter’s Market), and it is looking amazing. I anticipate being done by the end of the weekend, as the quilting really doesn’t take that long. I just need to take breaks every half hour or so since my neck and shoulders are tightening.

In spite of feeling pretty lethargic  over the last two months, I finished a small green color study, the June and July free motion lessons, completed the samples and wrote the pattern (which is now being tested by my new pattern testers), started work on my forest quilt, and completed a small piece called Desertscapes.

Desertscapes started as seven separate pieces that I knew would go together, but I wasn’t sure just how that would work. I just started with some free motion to accent the idea of geodes, as well as desert landscape. I loved the use of microstippling to mimic sand.

Here’s the finished piece, which already has a home. It looks so much better – and straighter – on the wall! Loved the way the marbled ribbon brought everything together.

Crazy? Maybe Yes, Maybe No……

So.

Crossroads.

Had dinner last night with a really good friend to discover she had a rough week, nearly turned upside-down. And her former boss has medical problems (like being the 179th case of an artery problem since 1745). All of a sudden my depression didn’t seem that all important. And I left dinner feeling hugely better and came home to hit the machine for an hour, making good progress on a new small piece.

This was the culmination of about a week of wondering if my art quilt had made it into a fairly prestigious show. Antsy for the whole week, as I knew all the decisions had been made, and I was wondering why we hadn’t heard anything. I was trying to stay positive, as I believe if we send negative thoughts out into the universe, we will be repaid with negativity. Hard to do when I already was 0 for 2 in submitting work this year. I kept thinking “third time’s the charm.”

At 4 PM I had the email. Not good news. Very nice rejection letter – I’ve had loads of those over the years, especially in writing. The very first fiber show I entered I was accepted in, and I think had I been able to keep up creating work without having to worry about a teaching load, I would be in better shape as an artist, with many more shows on the resume. But that was not to be. I looked at the accepted list, and it seemed like it wasn’t the same-ole same-ole list of people who always make it into shows. That was encouraging, at least. Out of 128 entries, 20 were accepted.

Once I heard that, instead of feeling better, I think I got a little angry. Had I known that so few pieces were going to be accepted, I really don’t think I would have entered and saved the 40 bucks. The odds are definitely against you with those numbers.

The thing is, I do think this piece is exceptional. It’s unlike anything I’ve done so far, and it certainly met the theme – I felt it did. Your reaction to the stigma of mental illness. Have suffered from depression and needing drugs to help me through the last years of teaching, I know how the brain can react in stress situations. It’s nothing we can see, but it’s there. So I chose to look at mental illness from a single brain cell that is misfiring. I thought in the overall collection of pieces this would be one very organic “don’t forget the brain’s role in all this” statement.

And let’s face it, no one is working with marbled fabrics like I am. I think I was able to show with this piece that you can a textile that isn’t often used and manipulate it into a statement. It seems like “different” is what art quilt shows are looking for, and this piece was quilted to emphasize the message, not quilted just for the sake of showing off quilting skills (which is what one quilt show seemed like that I attended – and this January show wasn’t an “art quilt” show).

So now it’s a case of really thinking through what I want to focus on for the next couple of years, while I still have the vision (literally) to create pieces. While working toward a specific show and deadline works for me, especially when I have to really think through the creation of a piece from idea to finished product, maybe it isn’t where I need to be. Bottom line, I want our business to make some money. That means more online product and outlets. Smaller quilt pieces are selling in my Etsy store, so I need to create more of those (and three are right now in the works). And I want to continue to learn and take classes, which isn’t possible when I’m trying to meet a lot of deadlines. I want my work in galleries, and I want to be able to travel and do some teaching of marbling. I need to take the time and think through new possibilities.

Which means that karma and the universe may be showing me why the piece was rejected (and maybe not……).

Without further ado, here’s the quilt in its online debut. “Misfiring Synapses,” 17 x 21 inches, unpolished red satin, black satin, Superior Threads, batting, cotton backing.

PS – may just have lined up my first gallery……

Thoughts for a Friday…..

Ack…..where did the week go? For the first time in three weeks, my list has sat unopened on the table. This started last Saturday night, I think as a result of staring at the computer for my first Tophatter auction, and consequently really wrenching my neck. Two chiropractic visits later on Monday, life was better, but it wasn’t until Wednesday after yoga that I really started to feel better. Three days of no work on my deadlines for fiber pieces, and I was beginning to panic.

Yet at the same time, I wasn’t worried about everything else on my full-page list, because there was really only one deadline that had to be made. And thanks to a lot of concentration on Wednesday afternoon and all day yesterday, my depression piece, “Misfiring Synapses,” is ready for photography and submission.

Am I pleased? Yes. It pretty much came out as I was picturing it in my mind. It has good depth, lots of layers, and definitely tells a story.  Here’s a close-up, with no full reveal until I know something about acceptance or not. I took a leap of faith with my entry to Visions. This one, however, is HUGE for me – very unlike anything I’ve done yet, and the whole process was very different. And…I’m looking to play with the “big girls” now, so we shall see what happens.

Lots of layers, lots of decisions as to thread. If you look at the center of the close-up, the red thread looks like it just breaks off – the idea of a misfired synapse in the brain. This is actually a Rainbow thread from Superior Threads. It has red, black, and purple, which works perfectly for this center neuron. I stayed with red unpolished satin for the rings, wanting the interior inflammation of the brain as we struggle with depression. The red fabrics are slightly different shades, with different patterns and quilting within them. I cut and layered each piece, finishing each edge with serging – again with a Superior Thread, this time a King Tut, as I didn’t want a shiny effect. I gotta tell ya, I never really paid much attention before to the effect thread would have on a fiber piece. The multi-toned gray was to look at the outer layer of the brain, with all its folds and ripples.

This probably should have been next Wednesday’s entry, for my work-in-progress, but it’s on my mind today as I think about photography and submission.

I have a couple of other self-imposed deadlines. I was going to enter another show, but I’ve decided to wait and see about these two current pieces making the rounds. One, I want to know where I stand, and two, entering shows is expensive, especially with shipping. So I will continue with the next mandala, and then that piece will be finished and in “the wings,” so to speak, if something else later summer looks good. Two, I want to do some simpler sewing/designing for myself, especially practicing the free motion quilting lessons. Two weekends ago I took apart one of the first quilts I actually finished and machine-quilted so that I can practice this month’s patterns. I don’t have to worry about hubby missing his quilt right now because it’s in the low 100s for temps already – and it’s not even summer in the desert.

I’m reading Dune by Frank Herbert. Never read it, and I am enjoying it. Then I have two Robin Hobbs to read, plus an ebook and a tutoring book to work on. My scheduling still seems overall to be working, as I am making progress on the many projects I have (not accounting for the lost days this week).

And…we’re in the midst of a local election in Tucson to replace Gabrielle Giffords’ seat, since she resigned. It’s ugly and annoying, with misleading adds on both sides. I’ve read about the “Fair Tax,” and I think in it’s purest form, it’s a good idea. But that’s not what is being presented by the Democrats. And the Republican challenger is trying to back away furiously from everything he said in 2010 in that nasty election. I’m at the point where protecting Social Security and Medicare are crucial to me. Saying you’ll protect them after you’ve called them “the biggest ponzi scheme in history” really makes me nervous.

Even on line it’s getting hard to get unbiased, well-researched and reported news. I keep looking back at various points in our history and wonder about the directions we are moving. A someone who is a baby boomer, who loves history and reads about it all the time, has been a union member for protection (and walked a picket line), and has a sense of service to this nation, I am appalled by what is happening in this country. We are Americans, and as such, we should be a leader in all things – health, welfare of our citizens, concern for the planet, and true proponents of the Bill of Rights for all. We should be better than water boarding, regardless of the claims of national security. We should be better than cutting education. We need to look at our programs systemically. If there’s medicare fraud, then go after the ones defrauding the system. Don’t do away, willy nilly, with the program.

So….my thoughts for the day…..from sewing to politics. Quite the rambling mind……

Have a great weekend!

Work in Progress Wednesday…..a Bump in the Road

….well, probably not a real bump, more like a slight detour in the development of this new piece. I am trying to represent depression as something that is hidden in the brain. I have a great center piece that looks like dendrites. I want to build around it in reds for the angst that comes with depression, and I was running into some issues with how to quilt the third piece. So I looked at the rest of the fabric pieces I had to see if anything looked like it would work better. Found a piece that will be fabulous, and it’s going to take a lot of quilting to make this piece really happen.

As I’m auditioning threads, hubby comes in for his opinion, and as I’m trying to explain what I want to attempt, he brings up some legitimate questions on construction. While this is an art quilt, it still needs to hang like a quilt in a gallery setting, so I have to keep that in mind. I’ve had issues when trying to construct “unusual” fiber pieces in the hanging, so I have learned to keep that more in mind.

We’re drawing back and forth on the ideas, and it finally occurs to me that I need to do a mock-up to see if this design is really going to work. If I can get it together, it should be pretty amazing. So that’s the task ahead of me tomorrow morning after marbling. It’ll set back the actual quilting a day or so, but next week looks pretty darn clear for work…..

With that in mind, it has been a productive week. I finished my commission for my yoga instructor. Did some minor beading to represent the little bits of water we have in the desert, hence the name “Desert Stream.” This is a smaller version, with a number of changes, from “The Shallows” piece. I’m quite partial to how the lichen looks in this piece….a lot of use of the reverse button on the sewing machine! My yoga lady LOVES it.

 

Along with this has been my auction piece for SAQA. It’s along the lines of the depression piece, but a whole lot more positive. It’s called “Hotwired.” It’s simple in execution, but I think pretty effective.

"Hotwired" 12 x 12 inches for the SAQA auction

Because there’s not enough deadline sin my life right now, I decided to take apart one of my first quilts to requilt for the May Free motion challenge. I love the pattern, and I think it would look good on this pretty masculine quilt for hubby. Boy, you can tell how old it is (15 years?) by the really lousy batting I used – what was CHEAP at the time. I’ll post pictures as it get finished. This is it with the binding already gone, and I am starting to take out the really awful straight-line quilting in the ditch…with invisible thread, no less, back when I didn’t really have a clue. Should look considerably better when finished.

NOw fort he other piece in progress, my piece on depression. I spent some time today actually trying a pattern from some old white fabric, pinning it up on the wall. It was an interesting process, as I usually just try things as I go along. This time I just wasn’t sure that was going to work, as there were a lot of issues I wanted addressed in this piece. Here’s the finished pattern – and now I have pattern pieces to use – a bonus I never considered.

 

 If I’d thought about it, it would have been in different colors……but I really like the shape – very organic, very like a brain. Here’s a reject piece of fabric, now available for another piece.

 It just wasn’t playing nicely with the other fabrics. Here’s one of the reds with the thread to remind you of the colors of a PET scan. The problem with this piece is going to be the photography – the red is showing pink, the black is showing red….not quite sure what I’m going to do, so I need to get it finished with time to spare for the final shots.

THis is a little better, but you can’t really make out the sheen of the thread.

So it’s been a busy week, and hopefully it will continue!

Gallery Walks and Artists…Oh My!

When we were on our trip to Seattle, we didn’t have a lot of time (coming or going) to do our favorite activity – browse galleries and talk to artists. When we went to Sedona this past weekend, it was high on our list, and we were not disappointed. First up was the Native American artists at the lookout at the top of Oak Creek Canyon. These artists are all certified by the Native Americans for Community Action, and the work is wonderful. We enjoy seeing the contemporary designs in jewelry that have a rich heritage behind them.

Overlook Program: A significant development for NACA was the establishment of a partnership with the United States Forest Service, Coconino National Forest for a project called the Oak Creek Vista Overlook project. Beginning in 1988, the Overlook Project is an economic development program that allows Native Americans artisans to sell their arts, crafts and jewelry at the prime tourist location. This program has grown in popularity and reputation each year. To date this year, 280 vendors have registered to sell their crafts. For many of the vendor, money made through the Overlook is their major source of income.

We bought a plate by a Navaho artist that depicts a wolf, one of hubby’s protective animals. While I love all the jewelry, I really don’t wear much – but I do so enjoy looking. And it was a gorgeous day on the rim, with a light breeze and absolutely gorgeous views.

From Stock Photo, Scott Prokop

We strolled the Hyatt galleries in Sedona, especially our favorite, Visions Art Gallery. The glass chandeliers are always spectacular.

www.ulladarni.com

One of my favorite artists is Alexei Butirskiy. You feel like you are in his paintings.

I also like Eyvind Earle. This is Crimson Eucalyptus.

The Lou DeSerio Gallery has wonderful photographs by both father and son. You need to spend some time looking at their work, especially of amazing Sedona.

We also spent some time at a small art fair in West Sedona. Gabriel and Jennifer Ayala had some really great copper sculptures. The copper weavings are quite interesting, and all completed by hand.

All-a-Glow Jewelry has some great wire work.

This was also Open Studios weekend in Sedona. On Sunday morning we visited two fiber artists, Margaret Anderson and Mary Fisher. Margaret’s work is luminous. She uses silk and cotton as a surface for paint, rather than canvas. She’s been in Visions, Dairy Barn, and Linda Seward’s book on art quilts.

Wildfire, Margaret Anderson

I’m saving the best for last…Mary Fisher’s studio. Check her amazing studio on tomorrow’s blog.

Work in Progress Wednesday

Oh my goodness, life is busy! We returned on Monday from StashFest, a benefit for the La Conner Quilt and Textile Museum, with lots of new momentum and ideas for the business. I’ll be addressing some of the marketing issues and challenges in a later post. For right now, there are lots of new things in the works, as well as some current projects to finish.

We have two commissioned orders awaiting us. One has gone in the mail today to England, and the other is awaiting fabric and paint to arrive. On my walk this morning, I set myself the task to come up with what my “spring” and “summer” designs would look like for my seasons quilts. The marbled fabric is all ready to go, and I now have two specific designs in mind. This was a little trickier than fall and winter, because I still wanted to keep the log cabin basis for the new quilts. I’m hoping by the end of May to have the two new quilts finished and the pattern pretty much ready to go. Then I can consider the marketing for the kits.

I have a commissioned piece – a three-part triptych – that will pay for my yoga lessons, so I want to get that completed by this weekend. I have several small quilts that I am going to take apart and requilt, based on what I am learning with this year’s free motion quilting challenge. April’s lesson, about creating your own stencil, will solve my problem about wanting to do snowflakes for an old holiday quilt. I’m looking forward to trying this. The three quilts that I have requilted were all big hits at StashFest, as they were god examples of how marbled fabric can be used in traditional blocks. And I had LOADS of great feedback on how wonderful my quilting was. Yay me!

Now that I have installed Quilt Album software, I need to start putting in my quilts, especially since as I am traveling more, I can create an album to show at any time. This ties in to the portfolio we took with us to StashFest. We were able to show the article about us and the actual process through pictures, examples of Bernina garments that used our fabric, and other interesting patterns we had. The portfolio needs some updating….need to get that on the to-do list.

I really want to get to the DVD on quilting various marbling patterns. I need to perhaps start with just a couple of tutorials, and then let that determine where I go from there. As my quilting skills increase and improve, it will be interesting to see how that transfers to the marbled fabric.

Mainly I want to do a lot of sewing, designing, and quilting. So many ideas in my head! Hopefully next week there will be actual pictures to show……

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