Archive for the ‘quilt art’ Category

Work in Progress – Continued….

Yesterday I started the “winter” quilt for the group of Seasons, and I made quite a bit of progress. It was an interesting day, as design decisions kept sneaking around as I was working. Now, a while ago I realized I had some “branch” left over from some silk flowers that I thought I could use on this piece. I got a bunch of pieces cut, and then I  realized that about 3 years ago I bought some snowflake glitter for just such a reason as this. And what follows is proof you need to be a little crazy to attempt mixed media….

After spreading some of the glitter on the quilt top itself, I liked it…and realized I had to do some massive clean-up of my “trial and error.” Then I wondered if I could coat the small branches with the snow glitter. Once I was able to finally get the glue bottle open, the fun began. I put part of the branch in the glue bottle, tried to shake off excess (not successful), and then dunk the branch in the bottle of glitter. Messy, and lots of snowflake glitter that would shed constantly.

Time for a new plan…dip the top part of the branch in the glue, and then using fingers, distribute the glue down the rest of the branch, and then roll the branch on the pile of glitter on the paper. Shake well and let dry. Clean off very sticky fingers, covered with glitter, and repeat….

I did about nine branches and worried about them drying and sticking to the mat board. I did about 8 small branches, and I love the effect….but I still have to figure out how to attach them. this is certainly a first for me. I’m not one to mix these different media together, and I can see why people get hooked on mixed media collage. In the meantime my idea to add a small piece of blue fabric before the binding changed – I ended up wrapping it to be the binding itself – a lot more subdued that way. I also did some stippling in the gray area – it gave it more texture and lightened the gray slightly.

After a lot of pondering, I took some of my beading processes to attach the branches to the top and bottom of the quilt. The reveal will be next Wednesday.

This last is the truer picture of colors – very icy, which is my complete intent.

 

Work in Progress Wednesday

If you remember last week, I was about finished with my little autumn quilt/table runner. You can see the process here. I finished it this weekend, and today we marbled a piece for the winter piece. “Marbled Seasons” will shortly be available as a kit – all the seasons, or just one of them. I am writing the pattern now, and by the end of December should have all the quilts completed. They would also work as table runners. So here it is….

There are plenty of variations in this pattern. “Autumn Marbles” will have hand-marbled silk leaves in the kit, as well as directions for the “windy” free motion quilting. There is enough marbled fabric to add another set of log cabin blocks to make the quilt a little longer. The strips in this block all start out at one inch. the two different browns in this, as well as the backing, were from my stash, so you can “shop” at home for extra fabric.

I have started my next major art piece, from a piece of fabric we marbled over ten years ago. It’s time to do something with it. Here you see the marbled unpolished satin with its backing. I was auditioning threads.

The piece itself looks very flat and pretty uninteresting. It will be a challenge of my new skills to make this do what my mind wants.

This piece is a little over 18 inches by 54 inches. We did it when we still worked in the big tray. The additional years make it very difficult for us to work longer hours and do larger pieces of fabric. So I am hoarding those pieces I still have.

A closeup showing some very interesting veining within the piece. That needs to become a focus point.

I have started the basic “first level” quilting. All the stones are getting outlines. Already a lot more interest.  Those two upper right beige ovals have been taken out, requilted, and lay a whole lot flatter.  And, you won’t see more pictures until finished and entered……..

Top Ten Tuesday

We hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, if you celebrate it. We were around lots of friends and had a wonderful time. It was so nice to know I didn’t have to face a 5:30 AM alarm on Monday! Been catching up – here’s a few cool things this week from the web.

From the Philbrook Museum of Art….LOVE. THIS.

Now I will admit, I am not a car enthusiast, but I can understand…when we gave up our Rav4 I gave it one last hug, and I still miss it. That said, on Cool Hunting comes some really wild cars. By far my favorite….

A new blog by Vivian Swift has a great water color tutorial on doing leaves – on my list for this coming year is a water color class.

From The Best Article Every Day comes this little bonus clip…..The article is also quite funny – Ten Things 90s Kids Will Have to Explain to Their Children.

From NASA comes a look at the new Mars rover, curtesy of The Best Article Every Day. Pretty amazing the steps it’ll take to land on Mars.


From Joan Wolfrom comes a look at a color challenge, with four really interesting quilts. Each is based on one specific color, and the techniques in them can’t help but spark creativity.

It’s always a joy to discover new math videos…thanks to Kathy Nida for this one…..Pythagorasaurus……

If you’re not following The Free Motion Quilting Project, you really should. I just bought two embooks on quilting designs, and I am SO looking forward to expanding my repertoire. Here’s a snap of Leah’s latest – OMG, amazing……

From Kate Harper’s blog was a link to Joan Beiriger’s blog on Advantages in Using Google Reverse Image Search. Who knew? I tried using it – pretty simple, and it should be interesting to see if any of our images are showing up on the web – beyond my blog and website.

From Artsy Shark comes an article on some creative marketing – love the use of the iPad!

And some political sites that might be worthwhile to explore. This article on Facebook privacy comes from The Blog of Rights. You may agree or not, but I’m a strong proponent of civil discourse. At least we can be aware of issues as they arise.

Enjoy your week!

Work in Progress Wednesday

Wow, being retired has given me a whole new appreciation for preparing for the holidays. In the past, if I was lucky, I managed to get some things done during the Thanksgiving weekend, but everything else depended on just how tired I was at the end of each school day. Not this year – my cards are designed and ordered – the pic at the left is of a great piece of red silk that I took into Photoshop. Really pleased with them.

Before I go in to the latest project, an update on the deer quilt from last week. We finally got it hung in our bedroom, its designated spot for the last ten-plus years. It looked awful…..there was absolutely nothing redeeming in it at all. Even hubby, who has loved the quilt since I first saw the pic realized it was pretty bad. So Karen S is the winner of the give-away of border trees, and some lucky child is going to get a “huggy” quilt. In the bedroom now hangs our Desert Heat quilt, and it looks perfect.

Now for the new stuff…..Hubby created a really great fat quarter of cotton that reminded me of a New England autumn. We had marbled some silk leaves earlier this fall, and I had in the back of my mind to make an autumn quilt and use the leaves. Well, now I had all the fabric, pulled a couple of browns from the stash, and was ready to go.

The start of the log cabin….this is the fourth restart….for some reason I wasn’t able to follow my own directions…..

First tentative layout…..

Another tentative layout…sorry for the lousy pic….

The three finished blocks – reminds me of walking through woods carpeted in falling leaves.

Playing around with the marbled leaves….have probably decided on this layout. Love the border fabric, which was very serendipitous. That fabric would not have worked had I gone with a different layout.

I love the leaves!

Ready for batting and quilting……more next week. Suggestions on a quilting design?

Top Ten Tuesday

 

Under the category of food art comes these really interesting images, found on the Cool Hunting site. Caren Alpert goes through a lot of prep to get these amazing photos. The one below is a pineapple leaf……

From Cool Hunting is a look at an eclectic furniture collection form a hotel in San Francisco. Some pretty cool stuff – but I’m not sure I’d sit in it!

Under the category of “Remember When” comes some “pre-internet” reminders……(are we really that old?)……..from The Best article Every Day. (This is in honor of Sheldon of BBT)…..


A very cool tutorial on making initials….color, glitter, easy instructions. From Lisa Engelbrecht.

If you are not a Twilight fan (don’t even get me started on lack of correct punctuation….) you will appreciate the poster from Mad Magazine…Breaking Wind, Fart 1. I don’t want to spoil it by putting it here……

From The Best Article Every Day comes a little bonus piece at the end….

I can’t find really good attribution, (I think chromestory.com), but I SO LOVE Explorer – kind of sums up what I, as a MAC person, think of IE.

And from The Best Article Every Day comes the “origin” of Angry Birds…..since I got hooked earlier this fall, I found this really funny….it’s the bonus piece at the end of protecting your Facebook account (which is also interesting….).

A new site discovered from Kathy NidaThat is Priceless. Art – with captions….how did I miss this all this time?

Admiring Herman Cain's "Thanks for not coming forward" Bouquet

And thanks to Kathy, again, for The Bitchy Stitcher. I LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. sarcasm. I am fairly fluent in the language, and I am always practicing in order to hone my skills. I practice often with my sarcasm twin Michelle.

And…another wonderful new blog, courtesy of Kathy – great rant on IQF!

Great week behind me, another great one to come! Life is AWESOME!


 

Top Ten Tuesday – Eye Candy from Houston

Someday I’ll get to the Houston Festival again, but in the meantime, I can live vicariously through blogs! Here’s some great eye candy, plus a few other goodies….and Jack Nicholson……

From Frieda Anderson comes a look at some spectacular quilts from The International Quilt Festival in Houston.

Autumn Beauty by Barbara Shapel

Gloria Hansen– first place!!

Refracted Lily - Gloria Hansen

From the folks at C&T Publishing comes a wrap of market with some vendors that look so wonderful!

From Susan Brubaker Knapp comes another look at Houston Market.

A cool discovery on YouTube…I’m not one for music videos, but this reminds me of something the kids on Glee would have done. From Panic At The Disco comes “Ready to Go.”

From JPG Magazine comes pics from their latest – “Smokin'”. As usual, great stuff!!

Space Flower by Greg Byer

From Mad Magazine comes a very different offering – a look at a USO tour. From someone who ALWAYS watched Bob Hope, this article gives good insight to life overseas serving our country.

And also from Mad comes a send-up of the Family Circus….great cartoons by Bill Spleen…..

From The Best Article Every Day comes great ways to maintain your learning. As someone who will probably never stop taking classes, there’s some great stuff here to explore.

And now this….is really wrong – and oh so funny……suppose The Shining had been a romantic comedy…….someone with waaayyyy too much time on their hands……

Work in Progress Wednesday

I finished the fish quilt, and I absolutely LOVE it! No question the machine quilting is getting much much better. Amazing how a good amount of practice will do wonders!

First of all, what it looked like last October….when I had plans to redo it for the arts and crafts show…..not…..well, evidently I don’t have a photograph. Suffice to say it was straight line quilting in the ditch – nothing fancy, because I didn’t know anything else. I took it apart….all the quilting stitches,,,,last fall, because I knew I had learned way more and wanted to see if I could improve on it.

I think I succeeded……

Marbled Fishes

I did so many things I never have before. I used two different decorative stitches on my machine. I did a lot of free motion bubbles, and I added a few beads, a la Lyric Kinard (whose video on beading is fabulous!). The story behind this quilt goes back to creating the marbled fabric. It “read” fish to me as it came out of the tray, and I looked for a traditional block that looked like a fish. I threw in some batik, some Moda, and a lime green backing and border. It was okay…..

I just knew I could do more with those fish. A lot of Superior thread later…….

Marbled Fishes

I am loving it. What’s great about this is as we embark on guild presentations, I want to have a variety of small quilts so that beginners can see that marbled fabric really isn’t any different from any other specialty fabric. That was the motivation behind this series of quilts. Now it’s off to look through my stash of patterns to see what’s next.

…and yes, I know I still have three table runners to finish in three weeks…..

Visions Art Museum

   “Visions” is a major quilt art exhibit usually held in Oceanside, CA, every two years. It’s like the Holy Grail for art quilters. The Visions Art Museum has now opened in San Diego, at the old Naval Training Center, and will now host its own show. Just to be able to finally get to the museum this last trip to San Diego was a delight. The docents were wonderful and took their time showing us quilts, as well as asking us about our work. It is SO NICE to be with other artists who GET your work! One of the disadvantages to being an artist in the Southwest is unless you’re a painter or sculptor who “does” the southwest, no one is really interested in your work.

The major exhibit was Urban Landscapes and Soft City, with a special collection by Marilyn Henrion. Pictures were allowed in the outer area and in the gift Gallery. You can view a gallery of work by Marilyn here.

Here’s one of the really intriguing quilts from Urban Landscapes by K. Vellis Turan:

I purposely left this large so you could see details.

The challenge had some really interesting small quilts – 12 by 12 inches, which is a size I have just started to work with. These are all by members of the Visions Museum. Sorry I don’t have names….

Here is an example of Marilyn’s work. Her Photoshop skills are superb.

There were a couple of quilts by members in the gift Gallery – really superb work – and again, sorry for no names.

An interesting take on the “log cabin” traditional pattern, with lots of details.

Love this one. Those are definitely my colors!

We bacame members, and I am looking forward to our November trip to see the new exhibit on “Interpretations.” LOVE LOVE LOVE seeing fiber!!

It All Started with the Yucca…..Wednesday Work in Progress

Albuquerque Outdoors - http://outdoors.itsatrip.org/

This new piece has had an interesting origin…..we were in Cornville , AZ visiting friends, and our driver wanted to stop in the high desert and see about getting some yucca stalks for walking sticks. If you look at the picture, the stalks are what’s left after the gorgeous blooms are done. They are evidently extremely strong and hold a lot of weight. So we have two collected stalks in the car, and I’m thinking, hmmmmm – these could make interesting wall hanging “hangers.” Turns out we got as a gift two really strong, perfect-height-for-hiking sticks from another friend we were off to visit, so I decided to keep these two, one as a walking stick for me (I just need it for balance) and one for a potential hanger for a wall piece.

I was looking at it today, as I was kicking around another weaving piece. It would make a good “topper” for a new piece. I had in mind a set of seasons pieces, and then suddenly I got the thought to create the fabric and weave them all together for a year of seasons.

Here are two samples of some of the weavings I have done with marbled fabrics. The first is my very beginning one, Gaia 1: Interdependence. The second is  Gaia 3: Autumn.

All of a sudden the design was in my head, and I sketched it out, something I don’t normally do. Here it is:

Creating the fabric will take some time, and I know with other projects in the pipeline, I won’t get to this until mid-September. Hubby is the main marbler, so he will have his work cut out for him. I will need to also watch the proportions in this piece – ever mindful of Michael Kors and Nina Garcia from Project Runway…..

Stay tuned for progress. In the meantime, here’s a few stories for past weavings in the Gaia series.

Sunday Stories: Autumn

Sunday Stories: Gaia 2

Sunday Stories: Gaia 1

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…..

The Start of a Commission…..

This past April I was asked to do a commission for a friend of a friend, based on three things: 1) she loves our marbled fabrics; 2) she wants a fiber piece for a small area in her bathroom; and 3) she would like it to draw on the colors from the new granite counter tops. So for 6 weeks I’ve been mulling over possible designs, knowing that the final one would be based on what happened with the marbling session.

We marbled yesterday, and I worked with the colors I thought would go with the granite – gray, black, brown, russet, copper. I tried a couple of different patterns, and what follows are the pieces I came up with. Warming – they’re pretty blah in the pictures….

Marbled patterns

Marbled patterns

I chose the stone pattern to begin, for two reasons. One, I like quilting that pattern, and two, I figured this would give me some ideas. Well…..it sure did. I started snapping pictures as I was quilting. I used a Rainbow thread from Superior (of course) in a rust shade to bring out the rusts in the painting on the opposite wall of the bathroom. It was just what it needed.

Quilted marbling pattern

The texture is incredible and no longer flat. The piece also now has a title, “Hiking,” as its future owner hikes the mountains and canyons of Arizona – and especially Sedona – often.

This is so totally different from what I had originally been thinking. I know that this will act as the center medallion of the piece, so I went looking for coordinating fabrics – in my newly organized studio, so selecting was a breeze.

Lots more ideas, as the white area is probably going to become a small bubbly stream, and I pretty much know what’s happening with the borders, but that’s for another post.

Ideas???

Work in Progress Wednesday

Sometime this past autumn, I posted a picture of a quilt completed at least 10 years ago, asking for suggestions on quilting it. I had used invisible thread (waaaayyyy before the improvements in threads) and did basic in-the-ditch quilting. Pretty darn blah. So I took ALL the quilting out, including taking the binding off, and washed it to hopefully remove the shadow lines.

Silly me, I was thinking of having it available for sale at the art show we did in November. Well, that didn’t happen, so it moved to my “to do” list for when I retired, and then to the top of the list as I saw the studio coming together. I thought of attempting some feathers, because most of what I have done for quilting has been stippling or stitch-in-the-ditch.

Before I could start, I discovered this video on stippling, and I was hooked. Sharon Schambler had an hour-long video (actually longer) with 9 free motion patterns she has used in one of her quilts. Easy to watch and very easy to do!


I chose the second pattern, used some variegated thread from Superior (of course – I am totally hooked!), and started. I wasn’t sure I could really do this. So voila –

I was thrilled at this point, because I realized 1) I could do this, and 2) the quilt was going to look SO much better!!

This is the completed center. I’m not going to quilt the marbled stars (unless someone has a really good idea for me?? Hint hint…). I ABSOLUTELY love it! I’m doing a variation of the pattern on some of the side strips, and it’s coming along well. Hopefully pictures this weekend…..

Work in Progress Wednesday – Two New Quilts

Awright, so they’re not technically WIPs. But I haven’t shown all of them on here before, and I really do love them. And close observers will recognize the blog heading as the fabric in “Salmon Run.”

“Salmon Run” returned from its several-month engagement in Alaska at the Cordova Historical Museum. I love having it back – I am so fond of the fabric.

Here’s a close-up of the quilting.

You also haven’t seen my latest piece, “Bamboo Grove,” in a full shot.

This piece had so many techniques I hadn’t tried before. I am reconsidering the tops of the bamboo stalks…I may decide to take the leaves off and try another way of attaching them to increase their fullness. So I guess it still is a “work in progress.”

What am I working on now? I am doing an art show on November 20 with the Tucson Art and Craft Association, so I am preparing fabric for that, as well as requilting a few small quilts. I am thinking of revising my still-unfinished “Iceberg” piece from several years ago into a series of Icicles for Road to California – I have till December 15. I can still use all the techniques I had planned, just in some different forms. I am still thinking about the next “large” piece with marbled fabric and don’t quite know what it’s going to be……I have some really great large pieces of fabric lying around.

But…I also have about four other quilts in various stages that I need to get to! Such decisions we all have….what’s waiting on your list of to-do?

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.

Sunday Stories – Gaia 2

Gaia 2: Beginnings. Photography Steven DeVol

I love this piece, absolutely my favorite so far of everything I’ve ever done. I really had no idea going in to this just what would emerge…everything was trial and error, but thankfully, very little error.

This piece started as a result of finishing a commission that was done on red unpolished satin. Six half-yard pieces were marbled, with my using a total of four of the finished pieces. My idea was to create a piece that would represent the volcanic origins of the earth and the goddess Pele. For the longest time this piece was known simply as “Pele.” I used a different marbling pattern on each of the half-yards, as I wanted interest within the piece.

Ever since my first teaching job on Maui, I have been fascinated with the stories of Pele, the Fire Goddess, and I was always on the lookout for the Lady in White when I drove home over the Pali at night. I didn’t realize it then, but Pele and fire have woven their ways through much of my work.

I really had no idea how these were going to weave together. I experimented and ended up with this weaving, starting with a tighter bottom and then “exploding,” much like magma does as it reaches the surface and becomes lava. The only problem with this shape came as I realized I had to figure out a way to anchor everything together. The strips are heavily hand-stitched together on the back – twice, as I discovered I had to make it much tighter to hold the weight of the piece.

A free-form pattern makes up the bottom four strips. The next four strips are the “wave” pattern, and the last four strips are what we call the ”fountain” pattern. A fourth pattern of a very small feather was ultimately not used in the weaving.

Each piece was sandwiched and serged with a variegated thread before any quilting was done. I liked the effect from the variegated thread, and I use that technique a lot now. But I have since changed how I put the individual strips together, with serging only one side or none at all, leaving another design element for later. The free-form strips were quilted using a variegated Sulky thread to accent the pattern. The four “wave” strips were quilted by following an initial curved line throughout each of the pieces and then coming back with a different metallic thread to accent the marbled pattern. The four “fountain” pieces were quilted in a distinctly different shade of thread to accent the eruption of lava.

Gaia 2: Beginnings. Photography Steven DeVol

Now, you have to understand I hadn’t done a whole lot of machine quilting to this point, beyond stitch-in-the-ditch. This was brand new territory for me! But ultimately I was hooked….I quilt most of my marbled fabrics now, and the patterns can be very zen-like to quilt. Here’s another close-up:

Close-up of Quilting

I truly love this piece, and I know I’ll never get another one just like it. It’s a little bold for any of our walls where we are living now, but one day, when I retire and the place is a little bigger, it will hang again!

For those of you who haven’t subscribed to our newsletter, we are doing a drawing again from all our subscribers for a FREE Sampler Package 1. You can visit our website to see this. Be sure to sign up – the form is at the top on the right.

And…tell me the story of one of your favorite pieces. I’ll include stories in a future “Sunday Stories” post.

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