Thursday, July 9, 2009

Fast Friday Quilt #4

I'm finally back with some art to show... Fast Friday Quilt #4
Color Concept: Triad (Three on a Triangle) --
I chose Violet, Orange, and Green because I rarely use that color combination.
Composition Concept: Texture/ Pattern
What a serendipitous coincidence that at the same time, I'm taking a wonderful Joggles online class, "Studio Journals" taught by Sharon Boggon. One of the design exercises is texture rubbings and I did a collage of those rubbings in my journal so... I decided to translate that collage into fabric design and machine/hand stitchery for my Fast Friday Quilt.
This is my texture rubbings (plus a bit of used computer paper) collage. Had great fun with the rubbings which included items from the kitchen and the outside siding of my house! The collage is a bit busy (I was trying to include a variety of rubbings) ...

And here is my quilt...with some slight variations in the collage. I used lighter value fabrics to represent light value rubbings and darker fabrics and threads for darker rubbings. The "flower" rubbing is free motion machine stitching (also upper left light purple section and middle green). I couched braided thread on the circles and used fly stitch, running stitch, and stem stitch in other areas. A mesh overlay for the computer paper part. Please click on the picture for a more detailed view. Also this is the first time I've scanned my art rather than photographing it (learned something new --Hooray!). The colors are quite a bit brighter and more intense than the original but you can certainly see the texture.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Preponderance of Pears Sudoku Update

Well... It's been awhile (March 23) since my last Preponderance of Pears Sudoku Quilt progress report. I was waiting to post the finished project, but that appears to be too long of a wait. So here's what's been happening...

The pear fabric (on the right) wasn't quite the right color -- wanted to add some red -- so I played with raspberry tea to dye the fabric. What a happy surprise with the resulting richer orange color...
I messed up the order of my pictures. The last "preponderance of pears" picture was suppose to be next before the closeup... I free motion stitched and stuffed my focal point pears... Still not real accurate with my free motion stitching so I'm calling these pears "organic looking" with the squiggly lines. I like the pears and I worked a long time on them, but... they don't look right on the quilt. I tried adding some embellishment (red grid below) and that was too busy... I'm at a standstill... I have a Preponderance of Pears Sudoku Quilt with no PEARS! I learned a new stitch (pictured below) which I love -- Spiral Trellis Stitch -- which looks lovely in the rose color with my quilt. I could try to make pears out of this stitch but it would take me forever...
My embellishments (pictured below) are coming along slowly. I've finished the #9 and #3 squares. The lace, which I raspberry tea dyed to add a touch of pink to cut the stark contrast, is on the #9 squares. The red ball point pins are on the #3 squares (colored white pins with Sharpie pens). Put raspberry mesh over the yellow spotted squares to add color and texture and I'm going to add some kind of fiber to that to represent the #6.

Lots of "organic" pears that just don't work... I am so disappointed, but I'll save them for another project...


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Fast Friday Quilt #3

Finally finished my third Fast Friday Quilt.
This is Challenge #32 ...
Color Concept: 3 Side-by-sides with an Opposite Accent
Composition Concept: Grids and/or Frames...
I'm definitely attracted to grids. I could have posted one of my SUDOKU Art Quilts (81- square grid) and be done with it, but wanted to try something new: Irregular Checkerboard Blocks from Sandi Cummings' book, Thinking Outside the Block. My colors are: Green, Blue-green, and Blue with an Orange accent.
This is what my quilt looked like after the original piecing. Planning the irregular checkerboard was more complicated than I thought it would be -- trying to get one set of colors (blue-green left side and bottom) leading to a darker set (blue), then to the orange rectangle in the upper right. Also, I definitely need more piecing practice. I didn't mind that the checkerboard was a bit "wonky" but the orange stripes were so crooked -- it drove me nuts. Had to cover up those stripes...

This is my finished piece -- 9"x 16". I'm so much happier with the added rectangles. Also adds more interest and dimension. Added hand stitching (for texture) to the machine quilting. Pillow-case binding -- improved from my last quilt. Left the bottom open and got a wonky corner (reason for adding buttons), so next time I'll try a slit in the back to turn the quilt inside out.

Close-up for a better look at my blue French knots (also have French knots on the orange flowers) and blue stem stitch.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Online Stitch Class -- Week 6

Here is my final Week 6 sampler for the "Library of Personal Stitches" class. This week's class is: Texture Creating Crusty Surfaces...
I love those crusty surfaces.
A sampler of dimensional, built up stitches. Had lots of fun experimenting with the "Detached Buttonhole" stitch to build dimension around the wheels and on a variety of other stitches.

Didn't do as well with the "Cast On" stitches. The little purple blobs are suppose to be flat partial circles. Didn't quite get the "flower petals" stitch either (purple "flower" at bottom of sampler).

The "Casalguidi Stitch" (purple cord above) is very cool, but time consuming. I've shown all four stages of this stitch on my sampler:
1. Couch several strands of fibers (red yarn) in the desired shape
2. Satin Stitch the couched strands
3. Do a loose foundation stitch over the satin stitch
4. Do rows of Stem Stitch onto the foundation stitch until the cord is covered.

I'm sad to see this class come to an end but I still have plenty of stitching to practice and improve upon. Again I would highly recommend taking a class from Sharon Boggon at Joggles. In fact Joggles has the new Spring classes listed and I'm planning to take Sharon's "Studio Journals: A Designer's Workhorse" class in June.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Online Stitch Class -- Week 5

Here is my practice sampler from Week 5 of the "Personal Library of Stitches" class. This week's lesson covers direction and shape.

Only one more week left of this wonderful class. I've certainly learned a lot!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Fast Friday Quilt #2

What a happy surprise, after posting my first Fast Friday Quilt, a member of the Fast Friday Fiber Challenge group left some nice comments. I don't know how she found my blog -- I thought I was posting my quilts inconspicuously and relatively unseen. Just goes to show, you never know who might be dropping in...

Here is my Fast Friday Fabric Challenge Quilt -- Challenge #31
Color Concept: Highly saturated colors combined with muted colors (to create the illusion of luminosity)
Composition Concept: Use planes and masses (to create light and shadow)

My quilt concept: A saturated colored leaf falling down in front of a muted wall, casting a shadow on the wall. My thought process is good -- my execution leaves something to be desired. But again, the point of this is to practice and get better.

Still not happy with my art photography skills -- the color is not accurate. And yes, these really are two different photos. I like the background best in the photo above and the leaf best in the photo below.

Thought I'd try Colleen Wise's shadow technique from her book, Casting Shadows. To get an accurate leaf shadow, I hung a leaf template to a piece of paper, put directional light on the leaf, and traced the shadow. The leaf template flipped up causing an elongated shadow and I didn't recreate the flip in my fabric leaf, so the shadow looks a bit wonky and unnatural.

I like the way my wall turned out -- looks like a wall. I made lighter free motion lines in the upper left corner (source of light) and darker lines moving to the bottom right.

Tried a "pillowcase" style of binding/backing, with some success but not exactly straight.

Original leaf

Improved leaf (except the flash picture took away some of the dimension)
Made the veins more visible, changed the shape slightly, and added hand stitching (French knots and Bullion knots on stem). My free motion foot went bad, so I had to hand stitch (outline stitch) the leaf onto the quilt which took me forever.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Online Stitch Class -- Week 4

Here I am at Week 4 of my "Personal Library of Stitches" online class. This week's practice sampler covers Contrast of Texture, Scale and Density:

I concentrated mostly on the buttonhole stitch and its many variations. I liked overlapping, layering and stacking stitches to get scale and density contrast.

The wild pink fiber created a funky look in the buttonhole stitch. Had fun with the wheel buttonhole stitch once I figured out how to do it properly. The two top left round masses are attempts to cover up and layer over originally defective looking buttonhole wheels.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Online Stitch Class -- Week 3

Here is my practice/learning sampler for Week 3 of my online "Personal Library of Stitches" class taught by Sharon Boggon. The element of design this week : Lines

My samplers seem to be a little funkier than others in the class, but I'm having fun and learning a lot. And that's what it's all about, right? This week I wanted my lines to express different feelings -- I tended toward whimsy quite often. I also wanted to show how the same stitches looked in different fibers.

When I stitched my sampler, I oriented my lines vertically. Changing the orientation to horizontal creates a somewhat different feel. Looks almost like a mountain scene ...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Preponderance of Pears Sudoku progress...

Since my last Preponderance of Pears post I've made a few changes, decisions,
and some progress...

I switched the #5 (originally yellow spots) and #6 (deep yellow-ORANGE) so that the two deep yellow-ORANGE squares (#1 which will have pears on top) are not side-by-side so much. Also rearranged and reoriented the rose design fabric to show off the design to it's best advantage. If your fabric has a design you want to be aware of what direction it's oriented on your quilt.

Next step... Putting the "no-sew" construction into the No-sew SUDOKU Art Quilt. Just a reminder I will be teaching two classes at the Portland Oregon Art & Soul Retreat in the Fall using this construction technique: "No-sew SUDOKU Art Quilt" and "COLOR Play". Registration for classes started March 15. In my class supply list I mention two tools (photo above) needed to construct the quilts: a dinner knife is absolutely necessary and the thin bladed 1/2" square tip paint spatula is very helpful for getting the fabric into tight corners. This shape seems to work better than the pointed paint spatula. Although very helpful for corners, the blade seems a little too flimsy to use on all the straight sides -- the hardiness of the dinner knife is much easier.

Here is the quilt in foam board. Isn't it starting to look so much better than just laid out? Again, I still don't have all the 3-D pears to cover the duplicate deep yellow-ORANGE squares. The next decision is what fabric to use for the border. The choice can change the whole look of the quilt.

The quilt looks even better with the border (and even prettier in real life -- haven't gotten a real good photo of the colors yet). I want to emphasize the raspberry color, so debated between the light rose fabric and and deep raspberry for the border. I like the intensity of the deep raspberry.

Now the next step that gives the quilt its real pizazz -- embellishments to represent the #1 through #9 of the SUDOKU puzzle. The focal points will of course be the 3-D pears (#1 squares) but I have to decide how I want to represent the other numbers with fabric, fiber, beads, buttons... I also like to do research on the subject of the SUDOKU, in this case pears, to see if I can relate any of the numbers/embellishments to the subject and figure out clever ways to represent the numbers in sometimes very subtle ways.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Online Stitch Class -- Week 2

Here are some photos of my Week 2 practice sampler from the online "Personal Library of Stitches" class I'm taking and thoroughly enjoying. The element of design we're studying in stitches this week is: Points ...

I'm loving all the knots, Spider Web Rose (raised rose looking stitch) and Whipped Long Armed Chain (red circular stitch with spokes and green/red/ purple circular stitch) .

I also like the butterflies but am having a time getting the wings even. Some of my butterflies look more like moths... oh well I'm trying.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Taking My First Online Class

I'm taking an online class through : "Personal Library of Stitches" taught by Sharon Boggon. I'm new to hand stitchery and I'm taking the class to: 1. Learn stitches so I can add that dimension to my art quilts and 2. Get more comfortable with Internet classes and participating in class forums. I have a desire to teach an online class someday in the future...

I am so impressed with Sharon's class. I'm blown away by her extensive and organized class handouts. It's more than just a learn-some-stitches class. She also incorporates the elements of design and how they relate to stitchery. I would highly recommend this class and I'm just on the 2nd week of this 6-week class. Sharon has a fantastic stitchery blog, if you're interested in hand stitchery or crazy quilts.

The following are photos of my Week 1 Stitchery Sampler. I put them here, not because they're great (keep in mind I am a beginner just learning the stitches) but because I want the practice of chronicling my class.

Working on border stitches here. My stitches are a bit all over the place but I did have fun learning new stitches and experimenting by adding stitches together and using different types of thread and yarn. I'm finding myself drawn to couching stitches and stitches that weave threads through straight stitches to create patterns.

Close-ups of my stitchery sampler. I'll try to get better photos next time.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Fast Friday Quilt

During my Internet travels, I came across Fast Friday Quilts. On the 4th Friday of each month a quilt challenge is offered. Participants make a "fast" (in a week) quilt that follows the Color Concept and Composition Concept listed, then post their quilts to the blog and other members comment on the quilts. The group is closed, so I decided to just do these challenges on my own and to post them to my blog. I view it as a way to practice and improve my machine stitching and quilting skills and committing myself to putting them on my blog, will push me to get the quilts done in a timely manner.

The Friday, Feb. 27 Challenge #30:
Color Concept: Split Opposites Color Harmony on the color wheel
Composition Concept: S Curve
The challenge hostess, A Carole Grant, had so many interesting links to read about the S Curve that I got a lot out of the challenge before even starting my quilt. And then those links lead to other links and I ended up learning about drawing and seeing the human figure as a series of opposing convex curves (this is really going to help me in my sketching).

I found a photo of a dancer and I could see the S Curve in her body. I decided to use this as the subject for my quilt. I enlarged the photo and traced the dancer. In tracing the dancer's body, I could really see the opposing convex curves I'd just read about. I cut out the body parts and used them as a rough pattern.

This is my finished piece. I used the Split Opposites Color Harmony of Red with Yellow-green and Blue-green. In focusing my attention on the S Curve, I kind of short changed the color harmony and used a lot of black and white (which doesn't change the color harmony). I used this quilt to practice my free motion stitching -- as you can see I don't have a lot of control. I tried to do the big S Curve in free motion red stitching but it didn't show up and was rather ragged, so I showed the S with the ribbons. It's hard to see, but I also did some S curve stitching in the black background.

My first Fast Friday Quilt challenge. I'm so pleased with myself that I actually completed it and got it on this blog.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Preponderance of Pears Sudoku continued...

I've made some decisions on my "Preponderance of Pears Sudoku". Ive decided to change the finished size of the squares to 2 1/2" x 2" rectangles rather than the normal 2" x 2" squares. I'll have more room for my 3-d focal point pear embellishments. The finished piece will be 23.5"(height) x 19" (width).
Color decisions:
Main color -- Raspberry (RED-violet)
2nd color -- YELLOW-orange/Yellow-ORANGE
3rd -- Yellow-GREEN
Possible embellishment accents Yellow and Violet (to pick up colors in rose fabric)
I've also decided to add another color fabric.

I like the intensity and color relationship of this arrangement I have in my living room. I wanted to add some of that intensity to my SUDOKU quilt so I added the deep yellow-ORANGE (below-middle) to my colors.

Fabric for "Preponderance of Pears Sudoku" with possible thread and bead embellishments.

This is the SUDOKU puzzle pattern I want to use. It's the same pattern I used for my "Orange Juice for the Ear Sudoku" and "Brazilian Carnaval Sudoku" quilts. Looking at the patterns of the numbers, which numbers are often next to each other etc. -- I assigned a fabric to each number.

Here are my fabric choices and the square numbers I've tentatively assigned them. I made one pear embellishment (making these will give me much needed practice with my free motion machine stitching) so I could determine which fabric I wanted it on top of. Decided on the deep yellow-ORANGE. The pear will cover most of the square so I've assigned the fabric to two squares -- #1 and #6. If you notice in the puzzle pattern, the #s 1 and 7 are side by side quite often. I assigned the deep raspberry to #7 to create a dynamic contrast. Notice I have the rose fabric twice, but different parts of the fabric -- #3 fabric is covered with roses, #9 fabric has more of the background color. The lighter value green #4 and rose #3 look nice together and #4 and #3 appear together quite often in the pattern.

Next, I've set out the fabrics in the puzzle pattern to get a look at the arrangement and decide what changes I want to make -- fabric number switches, changing design orientation of squares, etc. At this point I'm still looking it over and getting impressions.
First thoughts:
1. Because I only have one pear embellishment done, it looks like a lot of deep yellow-ORANGE checked squares. I can certainly see the #1 (pear) and #6 squares are together quite often.
2. I'm getting the feel of the color intensity I wanted (like in the 1st blog picture). I want the raspberry to be the predominate color and I don't now if that's coming through. I can always add more raspberry in my embellishments. I can also add raspberry thread stitching and fabric to the pears.
3. I want the lighter value rose fabric for some value contrast but it might be getting a little lost among the other vibrant colors.
4. I do like the deep raspberry #7 and yellow-ORANGE #6 and #1 together

O.K. that's all for now. I'll be studying the sudoku quilt for awhile before I start putting it together.

Monday, February 23, 2009

SUDOKU Art Quilt... Thought Process

I'm starting work on a new No-sew SUDOKU Art Quilt so I thought I would use this blog tofollow my thought process from beginning to end. It won't be a step by step how-to but rather my decision making-- starting with theme, fabric choices, and colors...
While shopping at Fabric Depot (a huge 1 1/2 acres of fabric store in Portland) during one of their 35 percent off fabric sales, I came across a pear fabric (above). I love pears and my house is filled with pear art... a preponderance of pears... I like to title or have a theme for my SUDOKU art quilts, then create with that theme in mind. The pear fabric set the theme and "Preponderance of Pears Sudoku" became the title. Next to choose the fabrics for the 81 sudoku squares (9 squares each of 9 different fabrics). I wanted the art quilt to include colors in my living room (raspberry/blue-green or yellow- green/yellow-orange) and decided on the rose fabric (above). I later learned that pears are part of the rose family so this fabric enhances my pear theme.

I used this fabric as a basis for my other color choices. A handy way to see exactly what colors are used in a fabric is to look at the color chart (circles) on the salvage of the fabric where it breaks down every dye that is used. Colors in the fabric include opposites on the color wheel: Red-violet (closest to red) and Yellow-green (closest to green) and accents of opposites Violet and Yellow.

These are my preliminary fabric choices. There are more than nine so I still have to decide which I want to use to represent base squares and which for embellishment or not to use at all. Notice I have a variety of values (light and dark). The squares of the sudoku quilt are only 2 x 2 inches. I'd loose my pears if I used that fabric as a square so I'm definitely going to cut out the pears and use them as a 3-D focal point embellishment on top of the #1 squares. That's where I am so far in this process...

Just to give you a sample of some of the preponderance of pear art that I have in my home... This is my Pear Wall in my living room. All the art, except the lower right corner art, is done by a local artist, Lin Haak. I love her whimsical art and of course it doesn't hurt that she highlights pears. Lin's art makes me smile.

I also use pears in arrangements to highlight other art. This arrangement is in my converted dining room built-in hutch. It use to have glass doors and shelves -- I took them out and now it's my art gallery. The watercolor is done by another local artist, Kaye Synoground. I framed and matted the watercolor print. Probably can't tell from the picture but I added texture to the white mat with a stamped clear embossed weave design and the inner dark border is fabric.

Monday, February 16, 2009

SUDOKU Art Quilts from 2008 Art & Soul Class

I want to show some of the SUDOKU quilts, students made in last year's "No-sew SUDOKU Art Quilt" class. In the excitement of teaching my first Art & Soul class, I forgot all about taking any pictures of the participant's art or of how I'd set up my classroom with the fabric square choices in a colorful color wheel arrangement. Duh... I'll take pictures this year. Three students were nice enough to send me pictures of their art...
Karen Barr's SUDOKU Art Quilt.
Karen represents some of the SUDOKU puzzle numbers with button and fiber embellishments.

Bridget Benton's SUDOKU Art Quilt and close up.
Bridget used her embellishments to create an overall design.

Marcy McKenzie's "By The Sea" themed SUDOKU Art Quilt. This is a close up of the #1 through #9 squares of the SUDOKU puzzle pattern. I'm guessing the starfish is #5...

Overall view of Marcy's "By the Sea" SUDOKU Art Quilt.

I consider my first Art & Soul "No-Sew SUDOKU Art Quilt" class a great success. My ten students seemed happy and each student created a lovely and unique piece of art. Everyone completed the 81 squares of the quilt base (Hooray!) with students in different stages of the embellishment process. It was so much FUN to see all the colorful quilts. I look forward to teaching my 2009 Portland Art & Soul classes. The classes are now listed on the Art & Soul website.

Other ART Stuff to talk about... "Coraline"
I want to enthusiastically recommend the 3-D version of the animated movie "Coraline". It is one of the most artfully skilled movies I've ever seen. It's been a long time since I've been to a movie that took my breath away (and left me a little motion sick Ha!). The story, color, animation, and 3-D that jumped out of the screen are beyond words... ART at its best. One of my favorite parts was the deconstructing of the doll at the very beginning before the story even starts. I also related to the locations... Coraline moved from Michigan (my state of birth) and her father was wearing a Michigan State University sweatshirt (located in the city area where I lived) and she moved to Oregon (where I am now). Curious who has connections to Michigan in the making of the movie. Coraline lived in Pontiac Michigan and nobody just pulls that city name out of a hat.

Valentine Flight...
My husband is a pilot and co-owner in a small 1952 Cessna 170 airplane. To celebrate Valentines Day we took a sunset flight over the Columbia River Gorge and Cascade Mountain foothills (beats dinner and flowers anytime!). The art part is the spectacular scenery. A picture is worth a thousand words... but I didn't think it would be so pretty and didn't take the camera, so you're stuck with the thousand words more or hopefully less. It was like entering another world. We departed snowless/mostly green Portland into a mountainous landscape covered in fir trees with just enough snow that they looked like they were covered in frost. The hillsides shown in the setting sun (orange and pink sky to the west) with a backdrop of bright white snow covered Mt Hood to the east and pockets of clouds below us in the ridgeline valleys. One valley /canyon looked like a lake of clouds and the clouds were rolling over the ridgeline in such a way that it looked like a huge wide waterfall flowing into the cloud lake... Fantastic! I'm always so thankful and feel so lucky to be able to see the world from a perspective most people will never get to see...