Archive for the ‘beads’ Category

Making Progress…..

Just a Collection....

Just a Collection….

So I have finished reorganizing my Bridge folders for all the digital work and storage of all things art. About 6 hours total, but it feels good to have it done – serious loose end. Now I need to go through iPhoto and get some folders made to organize photos there – hopefully won’t take as long. Slowly setting up the to-do list for all things business.

Organized!

Organized! (Aren’t I just so good?!)

The fist item over the next 12 days is to get every piece ready for a major display for Burlington City Arts. We will have 10-12 of our medium and large pieces on display in the Maltex Building on Pine Street for six months. Quite a nice venue, and our first major exposure in a contemporary gallery in the state. Lots to do – Ocean’s Bounty needs some work with the connecting beads and Gaia 2 (Pele) will be making its debut also, and I need to get it on its new hanging system.

Gaia 2: Beginnings

Gaia 2: Beginnings

LOVE this piece and have since it was completed many years ago. Will post when I have the new hanging system….hopefully cholla wood and braiding to hang each of the points.

Ocean's Bounty

Ocean’s Bounty

Heavy piece with all the beading and layers and stones – but it will be good for it to see the light of a gallery.

(Wow – I just took less than two minutes to get those pictures from the digital folder – nice organization, Linda!)

Hubby is marbling a lot, as we have new ways of marketing our fabrics. We are selling marbled fabrics in the Red Mill in Jericho, which is “coming home” again – his family settled this area and now he’s helping to support the non-profit mill craft and art gallery.

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Four weeks today is knee surgery, with a three-six month recovery…I want to be back at the sewing machine within two weeks – too much to do!! I am finding guided meditations that will help prep for before and after surgery. My yoga practice is reviving itself as a way of strengthening the  knee and thigh muscles for surgery. I found an integrative medicine doctor through the medical center, and I LOVE her. Looking forward to working with her over the coming year.

On to attaching a piece to a covered canvas with fabric glue….will post when it’s finished and dry…..

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.

Works in Progress…..

…yeah, I know, I’m still behind….but I have been working.

There are a bunch of things going on, one of which is finished and waiting to go up in Etsy, and the other two in various stages of completion. The completed piece started in a traditional clam shell pattern that I put aside in my stash. Since most of the small quilts i have done as practice pieces have all sold in Etsy, I figured to do a few more. This is a great piece of fabric, and it reminded me of the few times I went clamming on the Eastern Shore of Virginia and the Outer Banks, especially the bay side. So I just let the design guide my free motion quilting.

Quilting pieces like this is so zen-like, and I love the effects.

I serged the edges in a fine stitch, just shy of being a rolled edge. I knew I was going to add some yarn to the outer edge to simulate the foam of waves receding. But the piece also needed some focal points. I was looking around to perhaps buy some small clam shells and not having any luck (had no idea that there are so many packaging types labeled “clam shell”). It finally occurred to me to go to my second mom, who is a fanatic when it comes to shells…..she has LOADS of clam shells, so I had my pick, and then hubby added clear nail polish to bring out the subtle colors.

Problem was I still felt I needed some blues for accent, so I spent about an hour sewing on a variety of blue seed beads…..and it looked terrible. I pulled them off, only to realize I shouldn’t have any problem with beads coming off other pieces I do…they were secure. Went to get the white yarn and saw some cool blue yarn I have used in the past to simulate water. So…….got the fabric glue and went to town on the edges. I like the final result – don’t love it, but I do like it, and since it’s really a practice piece, I know someone else will like it too. Here goes:

Next up are some small squares and rectangles from about 10 years ago, as I wanted to do something with geodes. I pulled these out again to see about small Etsy pieces. I laid them out and realized I had kind of a cool wall hanging developing.

The quilting is completed on all seven, and the serged edging just kind of fades into the background, just like I like it. This is the basic stone pattern in marbling. What I discovered with them this time is I used a “micro” stippling for the white spaces, and all of a sudden I had a great sand effect.

Love the effect!

I was thinking originally to connect the pieces with beads, but then I found some beige Offray ribbon that we marbled. Gorgeous!! What I don’t use will go up in Etsy or Tophatter.

And then I decided to look through the beads and stones to find something for the very bottom. Lava and some tree agate…..

Hopefully by next week I will have a finished piece.

And then…as I am trying to work on some patterns, I started free motion quilting another piece of stash fabric. I used some Superior blue silk, with Bottom Line in the bobbin. I like the effect of not too large thread just outlining the design.

I have decided to go with an orange Rainbow for some of the piece.

Again, hopefully, a finished piece for next week, along with a completed pattern. Lots to do!

Work in Progress Wednesday….The Commission, Part 2

Two weeks ago I showed the start of a commission here, and I am almost to the end of it. Lots of interesting decisions to make along the way – I am really enjoying the decisions in the design process, especially as they relate to using marbled fabrics. My biggest problem is trying to photograph the colors so they are true.

The quilting of the marbled fabric went really well – I emphasized the white area with bubbles, as though it were a stream working its way through the rocks. Went through two different colors of threads before I decided which one I liked. That’s different for me…in the past I would just let it go.

The first border is a very soft corduroy, and I left it a little “puffed,” rather than pulled straight. I liked that it played off the roundness of the pebbles. I love the batik for the outer border, and I also used it for the backing. I realized again why I’m not fond of mitered corners (but that’s what this piece needed), as I took two of them out several times. I still need to trim the outer border by an inch so that it seems better balanced, but I decided to quilt the outside first. Again, a struggle with what I wanted to use for thread, as well as how I quilted it. I wasn’t happy with following the pattern of the batik, as it looked too crooked. So I opted to play off the idea of the frame, and I’m quite pleased. What faces me tomorrow is making sure the piece is completely square, which I need to worry about, as it is a commission. Thank heavens I know about the diagonal to check for a square.

I’m going to use the Alzheimer Quilt hanging system – the little triangles in the corners, as I think this will help the quilt lay flat on the wall. I also plan a label for the back with all the information about the quilt, including care. I found a “certificate” on line to use for the new owner of the artwork with all the official details.

Here’s the large shot, still untrimmed:

I am really loving this piece, which is actually more true brown and copper than in the picture. Still thinking about some seed beads……see what happens next week…..

Sunday Stories – Black and White with a Hint

Yesterday I wrote about what’s happening with the bamboo piece. Here’s a sneak piece of it in VERY rough form:

Now to today’s story – my piece for “My World in Black and White,” a show curated by Anne Copeland, like around 2003. This was a challenge issued on the QuiltArt list, and I decided to try something. Here’s the piece:

This was the first show where I realized I had to pay more attention to the theme. Mine was a more abstract look at black and white. We marbled a three-quarter-yard piece of unpolished white satin in blacks and whites. There was still a little orange left in the tray from a previous piece, so the name became “Black and White with a Hint.” I cut five strips and quilted them, following the marbled patterns. You can see the hints of orange.

At this point, I really didn’t know what form this was going to take. I decided to stagger each of the strips, but it was pretty boring with just the strips. That’s when the “hidden” architect in me took over. I marbled some ribbon, serged the edges of the ribbon to carry the serging motif through, and attached it to some strips of gray cotton. I did eight strips all together, some of them plain with just a meandering quilting line, and some with the ribbon, and then I wove them through the other strips.

I liked how it was shaping up, and now I had to deal with a hanging system, as well as finishing the bottom. I figured I wanted some beads to hang at the bottom. I went to the local bead store and found these teardrops – have NEVER seen anything like them since then.

If you look closely, you can see how each strip gets hand-stitched to the ones around and underneath it. I figured I would use a plexiglass rod for the hanging system. I marbled some thinner ribbon, and with careful measurements attached the various lengths at the top, with a bead embellishment.

I learned a lot, as I seem to do on every piece, and this is still one of my favorites – my first piece to travel (to Ontario, CA as well as the online exhibit), my first piece that was professionally appraised, my first piece that “hung” in a very different style, and my first ribbon (for entering, but none-the-less still special!).

I am really enjoying revisiting these pieces and their stories. I hope you enjoy as well.

Work-in-Progress Wednesday

Marbled Fabric

I think one of the biggest challenges we face as artists and business people is making sure our art doesn’t suffer, that we continue to create. My summers away from school usually lead to one big new piece being finished, and this year it will probably be my bamboo piece. But right now I am finishing up some small pieces to go in my soon-to-come Etsy shop.

This is my lava piece, which is not from marbled fabric, but was part of a group challenge a couple of years ago.

Lava Fields

Originally I didn’t do any background quilting beyond the whitish streaks, but the more I looked at it over the years, the more it felt like it wanted additional quilting. So I free-motioned the whole background, so it would look like rougher solid lava. Then I thought it was done….but now I want to add more lava, and as I was looking through my beads and stones, I realized I have some actual lava pieces I bought at the gem show. I will add that around the piece to represent more of the rougher hardened lava.

This piece originally came about because of a quote I had read concerning the volcanoes of Hawaii: “Seeing lava that has traveled from the center of the earth to the ground at your feet is something that speaks to the soul.It is the most basic of things. The creation of earth unfolding before your eyes. Each person has their (sic) own reason for wanting to see this awesome power of nature. For some, it is the scientific aspect that fascinates and confirms. For others, it is simply creation unfolding before their very eyes.” This from Gloria Hopkins in her article “Photographing Hawaii’s Lava Fields.”

If you have stood on the rim of a volcano, walked a hardened lava field like some of the beaches on Maui, or watched the lava creep across the road on the Big Island, then you know what a spectacular sight you are witnessing.

On another matter, check our yesterday’s blog for details on our Give-Away of marbled goodies. You need to use the Subscribe button to the right here to add your email address  for our monthly newsletter. You have till July 13 to do this before we use the random generator to choose a winner! And – there is a big coupon coming in this first newsletter, so sign up now.

Gems from the Bead Show

Went to one of the big bead shows also in town with the gem shows and saw lots of great goodies, only one of which I had to have…these stones at the right. Don’t know the name of the stone, but it is gorgeous. Bought one strand – with 60 percent off because of my wholesale license, it was 19 dollars for the eight stones. Somewhere, somehow I will get at least a pendant necklace out of these, and then some lucky piece of fiber art will have the rest included in it. I have learned over the years that when I see stones I fall in love with, I better get them then and there, because it seems I never find them again.

There were lots of other goodies, like these gorgeous glass fish. I was sorely tempted, but I really don’t haave a project in mind for these – they certainly won’t fit the “glacier” piece that hopefully gets finished this year. But I have the card…

Lots of other stones with great textures:

These are glass hearts, and if you look closely you can see various marbling patterns in them Really gorgeous patterns and a great blue color.

I took this for a potter friend – raku pendants – just beautiful, with really intriguing ribbon.

I saw this wire lace “ribbon” a year ago and went specifically looking for some – but out of my price range (I still have the card…). Many widths, would be great in a fiber piece, let alone jewelry….

 
Gem show has another week, and maybe I will get there again – depends on the pocketbook…and the schoolwork.
Also yesterday I readied a few pics for VistaPrint for note cards for the March show. (I’m an affiliate for VistaPrint, just so you know, and I obey the law….) They do very nice work.

I really love this piece – taken from an Art Deco design, and then marbling added for textures.

One of my absolute favorites – not only cards, but I am using this for our Mixed Media Arts banner.

This is another favorite, done about three years ago. I did a little more work yesterday with some filters.

Lots of productivity, and even more today!!

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