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.