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.