Sunday, October 26, 2008

New Piece on the Design Wall

I started on a new piece and it is going well I think. I really like the colors, although the fabric I used for the tree might be a bit dark. I'll work with it though because I don't like the fusing and cutting out so I'd rather not do it again. Quilting and beading can improve a myriad of problems and design flaws!

This piece will have some leaves dangling from the tree branches on strings of seed beads and I think one will also dangle from the moon. That decision will be finalized later after I get the background together and the tree on. I'm trying to decide how much, if any, of the background to actually piece together versus my usual method of machine appliquing the fabrics onto a backing fabric. I'm thinking possibly a combination of the two might work.

Note that this piece is cropped somewhat so that you don't see the clutter on my design wall and around the piece.  The red moon is actually set into the quilt surface a bit more than it appears.

My original sketch of this design has curved background pieces simulating a landscape and another sketch idea has the hills strip pieced from the various fabrics and then cut out and appliqued to the piece so each layer of the landscape has multiple fabrics in it. With the fabrics I'm using I think the strip pieced option might be too busy.  I'm leaning toward the current straight line background right now but trying to decide whether to curve them like hills before I attach them. It's not stitched down yet so I can still change my mind!

I definitely work much quicker on a piece when I can somewhat visualize the end result as I can on this one. Since I know I want to have dangling leaves and some beading I can see in my mind how it might look when it is done. At this stage it is quite simplistic, but by the end with the embellishment and quilting I think it will be a very intriguing and wonderful piece. More to come….!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Thread Class and Next Project

Yesterday I attended a workshop on threadwork and had a good time playing around all day. We did couching, thread painting, calligraphy with thread, and other techniques. It was good to create samples of all of these options for future reference when I can't think of what to do for a piece. One technique that created some interesting results was using highly contrasting threads in the bobbin and top and then increasing the top tension to around 6 to cause the bobbin thread to come up and create an interesting look on surface of the fabric. I used a black fabric, red upper thread and green in the bobbin. The spiral design I made looked very similar to a strawberry (red with little green dots for seeds)!  The flower below was done over a very simplified crayon drawing.  The tree is just a little postcard done freehand/freemotion.

I'm ready to begin something new and continue to ignore the large tulip piece for a while. I'm thinking of taking it down so I don't have to look at it for a while and then coming back to it later. Maybe in the meantime an idea will come to me. It happens. I'll hope for the best. At least I'll be able to move on and be a little productive!

My mom is also a quilter and obviously where I get any talent I might have and certainly my inspiration. We have both purchased some of the same fabric and are challenging ourselves to create pieces featuring it. Hers is well on its way but so far mine is nothing but a pile of fabrics. I love the fabrics I've chosen but nothing has come to me as how to use them. I think I'll have to go back through my sketch/idea notebook and see if I come across anything in there that triggers a design. Keeping that notebook has been a valuable resource for me and lets me never forget an idea no matter how incomplete a thought it might be or how unattainable it might seem at the time. You never know where the next great artwork idea will come from and sometimes they blossom from what you thought you'd probably never see come to fruition. So I write everything down. And sometimes it works for me. Serendipity.

Well, sitting at the computer never gets anything onto the design wall so I guess I'll end this here. More soon…

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Recent Works

This is my first post and I'm new to blogging, so bear with me!  I want you to see what I'm doing in the fiber art world so keep reading!

I've been stymied by one piece I'm working on (see above) and now I have some prior commitments to attend to outside the studio, so I guess it will remain undone on my design wall until I can be inspired to return to it.  It is a bold and colorful quilt that is much different than my usual---although I'm not sure I have a "usual" style!  It is also larger than most of my recent pieces and it seems to be a difficult size for me.   It is hard sometimes for me to show people my works in progress as they are quite rough compared to what they will eventually become.  Unfortunately I don't have a clear vision of this one and how it will look, but you can get an idea of the lines and bold color.  I definitely have some work in front of me to tie this together and balance it out.  It will come, it will come....!

I have just finished a piece (picture of it below before it was completely done) that is based on the log cabin pattern but has modern twist to the piecing and color.  I love how the colors (purple and lime) play in this one and I'm really happy with how the embellishments worked out.  It was a stubborn quilt when it came to actually quilting it and I had to put it aside for several weeks.  My machine kept skipping stitches and breaking the thread constantly.  I finally picked it up again last week and zipped right along with the quilting with very few problems, even using metallic threads.  I had planned to enter it in a show but that deadline passed and I guess it just wasn't meant to be.  It just did not want to be done for that one! I'm sure something else will come along for it.  I will be showing it at a trunk show on November 5 along with many of my other art pieces.  

My goal these days is to sell my quilts so I'm trying to get them out there for everyone to see and let people know about what I am doing.  I'll try to get some more pictures onto my blog so you can see the work I've been doing.  Right now I need to get ready for my quilt guild meeting tomorrow night so come back again later to see what I'm up to!  

Stuffed Turkey Thigh/Legs

Disclaimer: This is a cooking post not an art post!  But I will say that there is an art to boning, stuffing and baking this recipe--and it ...