Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The pleasure of finishing a project!

This is a piece I started a couple of months ago. It took a long time to sew all the sequins on the feathers. It is about 10" x 28"

In December, I had made a similar peacock, in the more traditional "peacock" blue.

We have a friend who breeds peacocks in unusual colors like bronze, gray, and other exotic colors. I had some fabric with more purples than blues, so I decided to do a peacock with those colors. The feathers are made individually, with several fabrics fused in layers. And then LOTS of sequins are sewn on each feather, and the feathers  are applied with a combination of fusing and stitching...

I also finished a fish made of silk, which I started several years ago. I have been cleaning my sewing room, and adding shelves to accommodate all my boxes and projects. (The fish is about 13" x 13")

 In the process, I have uncovered a bunch of unfinished projects.  Some went to the permanently unfinished file (AKA, the garbage), and others will eventually get finished.

It is such a pleasure to work in a room with adequate working space, and to have everything stored for easy access. I just hope I can keep it this organized. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Salmon map

In our Thursday night group, most months, we have a challenge for the next month. I almost always enjoy these, because they give me the chance to work on smaller pieces, and can provide a break from other work.

The challenge for March is to use an experimental technique. I have recently tried working with Solvy, and have also tried out some other surface techniques and materials. So I decided to try something else that has been on my mind - using a map collage to create a picture.

I had a pattern for a Pacific salmon, and that suggested using a map of Oregon. I had a map I had used several years ago when I drove up the Oregon coast with a friend. It was a beautiful trip, and so the design for this quilt included things I like - travel, maps, and of course salmon!

I based the salmon for this quilt on the pattern, and I used fussy-cutting to show Portland and the Columbia River prominently. I used the map borders and the blue and green areas to cut the details from - the "bones," the head, the eyes etc. 

I was fortunate to have a piece of marbled fabric from India with colors that complemented the map colors perfectly, and the design on the fabric suggested water, mountains, and terrain - a fitting background for the fish. 

I used a combination of glue and machine stitching to attach the fish and the details to the fabric. I also applied a small amount of paint to enhance the bones, fins, tail, and head.

It came together very well, and will be a gift to friends who live in Portland. 

I hope to do another piece from a different map. I have  lots of maps to choose from. 

I wish the photograph were a better one, but you get the idea.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Hubcap art for Route 66

Two years ago, when I was working at KY Museum of Art and Craft, they had a show of 101 pieces of art done on hubcaps. I had two pieces in the show, and it was a lot of fun. After that, I started collecting hubcaps, when I saw them by the side of the road. (One of my pieces is the pink chicken, second from the left on the bottom row.)

So when I decided to do another small piece for the Route 66 show, it seemed natural to use a hubcap for a canvas. I made a small quilt showing the historic round barn in Arcadia Oklahoma, and mounted it in the center of a hubcap... it was fun to do, and it turned out well. if you look closely, you will see that the windows open and close. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Route 66 and Vintage Travel Poster Quilts

While I am playing catchup from not posting for almost a year, I will add this quilt which was part of a group project with my Thursday night group. Several of our members suggested that we do Route 66 quilts as a group challenge. We tried to choose images which represented states along the entire length of the famous highway.

I chose this filling station, which is in McLean Texas. It was built in the twenties, and is the first Phillips 66 station built. It is said to be the most photographed filling station along the route...

I wish I had chosen a different photograph, one in which the building was at an angle, instead of straight on. However, I was able to rescue it with the station wagon, and the paving out front... Check out the little thread-painted bicycle on the left - my first experience with Solvy.

It will be displayed with about 14 of our group's quilts at Quilters Day Out, on March 9, in Louisville...

Here is another quilt which I referred to months ago, but it was not far enough along to post a photo. I was part of another group project, to make quilts based on vintage travel photos. Initially, the quilts were going to be entered in the AQS show at Grand Rapids. Then two in the group dropped out. We added two new members, but eventually, the group effort fizzled. I had trouble with the quilting, and decided that my work was not good enough quality for the show. 

However,  I really am pleased with the quilt in general. I simplified the image, and omitted some of the figures on the beach. I like the Art Deco feel of the quilt, and I love the colors. It is the first time I have worked with solids, or near solids, and I enjoyed the challenge of the quilting. The quilt is 36" x 48", which is why I had trouble with the quilting...

                                                Based on a travel poster by Roger Broders

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Back again!

It has been nearly a year since I have posted anything on my blog.  It has been a busy year, and a productive year.

I have had pieces in several shows, and I have had several commissions that I really enjoyed.

Not sure why I haven't written anything, but I hope to do better this year.

One thing that slowed me down a little last year was major surgery in July - - a new shoulder.. I am now 99% recovered, and back to bicycling and kayaking. and sewing!

The three pictures here are examples of things I have done recently. The wool felt chameleon was based on a steel and glass sculpture in a local interior designer shop. The shop owner showed the Polish artist a photo of my quilt (one foot square) and the shop bought the quilt for the artist! Although I have pieces all over, including Prague, I'm certain that is my first piece in Poland! I did it while I was recuperating from my shoulder surgery, and the felt was easy to work with, and fun.

The second piece is another chameleon, made of dupioni silk, and lots of #11 delica beads. It was done for an on-line challenge group that I am in. They issue challenges once a month, and I try to keep up with them.

Things have changed a little locally. Our nearby quilt shop closed in December a year ago. Although it was doing very well, the women who owned and ran it, needed to do something different with their lives. Unfortunately, no one was able to buy the shop and keep it going, so there is a huge gap in Louisville. There are other shops in the suburbs, but not a good quality quilt shop in the metro area. So I count on shops in other cities when we travel, and also some good online shops. I also have a wonderful stash of fabric, and can usually draw from it for my projects.

Our monthly art quilt group, which used to meet in the quilt shop, now meets in the nearby library. It is not as stimulating as the quilt shop, but in spite of meeting in a comparatively dreary room, the group is still doing well, and provides fun and stimulation and support. 

The third piece shown above is our February challenge for our group - - we were to do a quilt, using only black white and gray. I chose a subject that is itself  black, white, and gray. It is a black-crowned night heron. As herons go, it is not as showy or beautiful as the others, but I am happy with the way the quilt turned out. It is 18" by 19".

 I have lots of other photographs to post, so I hope I can do a better job of keeping up with my blog this year... Even if not many people read it, it at least serves as a journal for me. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Checking in...

It has been over a month since I had a blog-post.
I have been working, just not at my computer much...

The Kentucky Artisan Center in Berea, KY sent a call to artists for pieces in their spring show, "About Face."

The art, not just quilts, was to be based on the human face. I chose to do a piece inspired by this painting "Senecio" (old man) by Paul Klee, whose work I love.

I have this print hanging in my house, and love it. So I did a small quilt, about 18" x 18" in cottons, some hand-dyed.

For my background, I stayed in the palette of the painting, but branched out with the colors in the face.

I was happy that it was chosen to be in the show. The show opened in March, and there was a reception in the gallery, at which many of the artists were present, and were given the opportunity to say something about their work.

I really liked the show, and will get to go back and see it again in a few weeks. It will be up until August 2012.

I also pulled this rooster out of my unfinished stack. I started it before Christmas, and my goal was to do a rooster using marbled fabrics. Even the "grass" area in the picture is an Indian fabric, lovely pastel colors on marbled fabric.

Something happened when I was finished with the rooster! A bunch of "Eggberts" showed up. I had some fabric with marbled eggs, and it came to the surface, and before I knew it, there were 9 little eggberts running around on the quilt.

So it became a sort of Easter quilt! Lots of fun for me.

This past Saturday, I invited several friends from my Thursday night group to my sewing room for a get-t0gether. It was a lot of fun. Not sure how much work we got done, but the conversation was good, and it was very inspiring and energizing.

A good side effect was the fact that I did some cleaning and organizing in my work area, so people would have room to spread their things out as we talked about them. The group will be coming back in a couple of weeks!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Quilt from a Sketch

Our Monday night art quilt group is now meeting on Thursday night at the neighborhood library since the fabric store has closed. We are hoping that the store will be bought soon , and will reopen; we are also hoping that the new owner will welcome our group to have our meetings there again.

There is certainly benefit for everyone... the shop provides good display space for our work, as well as a comfortable and attractive place to meet. And the people who attend the meetings inevitable buy fabric and books, so it is a win-win situation for everyone... The former owner of the shop is a member of our group, and now she will have the time and energy to join our challenges and activities...

This month, our challenge is based on the challenge in the current issue of the Quilting Arts magazine. We brought sketches in, and people drew a sketch at random. each person participating in the challenge will make a small quilt (around 8" x 10" ) based on the sketch.

the sketch I ended up with is a simple sketch of a tree, with circles, which could be fruit or flowers. I actually made three little quilts.

The first two were done with scraps of lime green and black fabric.

I love making things from scraps. I have a whole bag full of leftover fabric that hash been fused, and I used some of those scraps for the circles...


For the third one, I pulled some of my favorite fabrics from my drawer of polka-dot fabric, and had fun with the contrast in the background and design.

This was a lot of fun. From a simple drawing, I got a lot of entertainment, and the opportunity to complete some quick little projects.

Show and Tell is always fun when we have a challenge. The challenge here was working from a drawing by someone else. It will also be fun to see the pieces done from the sketches I took.