Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A Theme for your SUDOKU Art Quilt

SUDOKU puzzle used for "By The SEAdoku"

Everyone in my "No-Sew SUDOKU Art Quilt" class will receive a different, pre-colored, completed SUDOKU puzzle. Coloring the squares helps you see patterns within the puzzle. You'll make fabric and embellishment choices based on those patterns. Note in the puzzle, how #1 and #2 (blue and yellow) are together quite often. I represented those squares with 1 and 2 fish (below) so it would look more like I have schools of fish swimming across the quilt.

"By The SEAdoku"

I submitted this SUDOKU quilt when proposing my "No-Sew SUDOKU Art Quilt" class for Art & Soul. Because this year's theme is "By the Sea", I wanted my art quilt to have a water/ocean theme. With my theme in mind, I chose appropriate fabrics, fish for my focal point elements, and sea-like embellishments to represent the numbers 1 through 9 (example: shells, pearls...). I find titling my art, makes it more meaningful to me. I was going to name this quilt after my focal point embellishments (as I often do): "One Fish, Two Fish Sudoku" but my clever husband came up with "By The SEAdoku" which is much more appropriate for this year's Art & Soul.

"By The SEAdoku" 9-square closeup

This gives you a closer look at how I represented the numbers 1 through 9:

  1. One fish with yarn sea grass on bottom of square

  2. Two fish with gold thread strands coming down from top

  3. Ribbon with three knots

  4. Two fabric strips that cut the square into four sections. Also square bead has four sides

  5. Fish net with five embellishments (shell, pearl, beads)

  6. Wave-like ripple of fabric with three dips and three crests

  7. Six rings of wire plus one pearl in the center

  8. Button with four horizontal lines and four vertical lines ( Also button with flower of eight petals)

  9. Nine tube beads at the points of the diamonds on the fabric

You can represent the numbers in obvious or obscure ways. When you put your mind and creativity to work, the possibilities are endless.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Why SUDOKU Art Quilts...

"Butterfly Sudoku"
This is my first SUDOKU Art Quilt.
It is a conventional quilt with three layers, using a sewing machine.
Welcome Art & Soul participants!
The prospect of teaching my "No-Sew SUDOKU Art Quilt" class - at the 2008 Portland, Oregon, Art & Soul Retreat - has given me the needed push (with LOTS of help from my friend, Paula) to get this blog up and running. I want to use this blog to give more information about my class and to answer any questions interested Art & Soul participants might have. I'm a blog newbie, so hang in there with me as I iron out the kinks. I seem to be having a little trouble correcting the spacing on this first post.
What is a SUDOKU puzzle and why use it as a basis for my art quilts?
After working and teaching in the paper arts world for 10-plus years at First Impression (in Portland, OR), I turned to the "fabric side" and the world of art quilts. I was inspired by all the beautiful art quilts in magazines and at quilt shows but when I started to think about creating my own art quilts, I became overwhelmed by all the possibilities and my mind went blank. I needed some structure to work against and to jumpstart my imagination. Enter the ubiquitous SUDOKU puzzle found in every newspaper and in the numerous books lining bookstore shelves (no lack of patterns for aspiring SUDOKU artists!). Originally fascinated with solving SUDOKU puzzles, now for art, I'm drawn to their geometric grid nature and the "random order" of the number patterns that provide wonderful opportunities to easily play with COLOR.

This is a rough drawing (because I don't know how to do grids on my computer) of an original completed SUDOKU puzzle I created. SUDOKU puzzles (we'll use in class) contain 81 squares with numbers 1 through 9. Every vertical and horizontal line contains the numbers 1 through 9 and every 3x3 block of squares contains the numbers 1 through 9. The puzzle part comes in when they give you just a few of the numbers and you have to fill in the rest.

For me, being creative within the constraints of a SUDOKU pattern and its numbers is a fun challenge. The wheels in my brain start racing with ideas of how cleverly and creatively I can represent the numbers 1 through 9. Throw in a theme constraint (which has sent me down a lot of research trails) and it's even more fun!

From Sew to No-Sew SUDOKU Art Quilts...

As shown at the beginning of this post, my SUDOKU art quilts began as conventional sewn quilts. When creating my class for Art & Soul, I figured most folks wouldn't want to haul a sewing machine, and for many, eyes start to glaze over at the mere mention of sewing (by machine or hand), so a "No-Sew SUDOKU Art Quilt" class (using foam board) evolved. Play with COLOR, fabric, fibers, buttons, beads, and create a piece of art with the look of a quilt - and no sewing. As an artist new to sewing, it really is a LOT easier and faster!