Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Sew Pieceful Bee Exchange 2014

My local traditional bee, Sew Pieceful, decided to do an exchange of table-runners in December, 2014, among its members.  We drew names and created a table-runner to the requested theme.  I made one to an Easter theme for Suzanne.
I was able to play with shading, fabric collage, inktense pencils, and free-motion stitched cartoon designs in negative space (see Figures 1-4).  The finished work was called Happiness is...Making a Table-runner for Suzanne  (see Figure 5).  This is actually my second Happiness work, the first being Happiness is...Making a Quilt for Suzanne several years ago...another Suzanne...putting together blocks made by her mother (see Figure 6 & 7).  Next years exchange will be a wall-hanging, anything goes.  I can't wait as I will be making it for my friend, Inez, who will be 99 in 2015.  Hmmm....wheels are turning...

                                                                  Figure 1
                                                                 Figure 2
                                                               Figure 3
                                                               Figure 4
Happiness is...Making a Table-runner for Suzanne
Figure 5
Blocks made by Carol Hatch - Figure 6
    Happiness is...Making a Quilt for Suzanne - 1998
Figure 7


Friday, November 14, 2014

Quilt Festival Classwork 2014

I took a very interesting mixed-media class this year with Cecille Whatman of Australia.  We transferred images onto very thin Lutradur, stamped images onto Teabag paper, used commercially-designed papers, gel medium, paint and encaustic wax to create our own surface design.
I began with the back of a commercially-printed neutral off-white fabric and began painting and layering on images, finishing with an encaustic wax "smear" overall.  I ultimately cut my work down to 4" x 6" postcard size pieces in order to have a primary focus on each piece and a greater sense of scale.  This was a fun class (see figure 1).  My favorite - see figure 2.


                                                                                        figure 1
                                                                    figure 2

Monday, September 29, 2014

September Beach Retreat 2014

At last week's beach retreat with some of the girls from FiberVoices, I worked entirely out of my scrap basket, hoping to reduce it from heaped and over-flowing to half-full.  I finished one I started in February - Home Spun  (Fig. 1).  A few "fix-its" - backwards "N" and color tweaks (using paint) and it will be ready to quilt.  Quilt consists of old blocks, new blocks and antique blocks never used and a girl block created years ago in a Roberta Horton class at quilt festival.  I don't think mine turned out like it was supposed to.  It now features a skirt made from left-over, pieced wedge-ruler work created by friend, Nikki Strimpel, the scraps of which she gave to me.  Connie's Block (Fig. 2) used small pieced triangle bits left over from I-don't-know-what and wee hexagons, both hand appliqued.  I will do a table runner as there are only three blocks and a left-over half-block.  The scrap basket?  It is now level with the brim...maybe I just repacked it better...LOL! 

 Home Spun               35" x 56"     Fig. 1
Scrap Basket Block  10"x12"                     Fig. 2

Monday, September 15, 2014

UFO's 2014

It was my goal this year to have four UFO's completed.  I did finally stitch down a binding on a really, really, very, very old project...a Robyn Pandolph kit project from the 90's ( Fig.1).  I used the then very popular but grey, valueless colors available (I used to call them no-color, color).  I don't remember when I finished the quilt top.  Diane Anderson of Quilter's Cabin did a wonderful job machine quilting it several years ago and I am now happy to add it to my limited collection of large quilts. 

About 4 years ago, I bought several different striped fabrics, one in two color ways which went into Flower POWER (see post this blog) finished last year.  The second is another under-the-sea quilt.  View From the Bowl II (Fig. 2), was created using silk organza overlay and gesso on cotton...my own design.  I used the actual striped fabric "as is" in the border at the bottom.  It hangs above the tub in the guest bathroom (Fig. 3).  I think when I finish the third in this striped-fabric series I will have it out of my system...hope so anyway!

UFO 2014            6' x 8'                             Fig. 1

View From the Bowl II         27"x47"                               Fig. 2
View From the Bowl II in place      Fig.3

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Making Something from Nothing

I love it when I can find a use for a fabric I never expected to use - like a cloth used to scrub down ink prior to its intended application (Fig. 1).  Just such a cloth was used on my latest project, Brushstrokes.  I found a piece that had random scrubbed ink marks on the lower half and a large white space above it.  I was able to rough-in trees and a sky in the top half using watered down acrylic paint before laying dyed scrim over the lower half.  The scrubbed-ink below the scrim then served as the under-painting. I continued the layering up process to the final design by adding dyed scrim, fabric bits and small pearl beads to the trees and fabric bits and thread trash to enhance the scrim landscape.  Quilting fleshed out the lay of the land and contributed to the overall texture of the work. Simple children's buttons were the sheep on the hillside.  A name tag on the front instead of the back completed the final design. Yarns were couched down the sides and across the top/bottom then braided to finish the edge (Fig. 2).

 Scrubbed Ink on Cotton                      Fig. 1
Brushstrokes                                               16" x 20"
                                                                          Fig. 2

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Color Study

Our fledgling art quilt group, no name yet, did a color study exercise this past month.  This was a much more interesting exercise than it appeared to be on its surface.  It was supposed to be 12 squares of varying colors and patterns with a medium color square in the middle, and using the same medium color on each of the 12 fabrics.  We then viewed each square at different distances to note observations.  It was interesting to see which colors were enhanced and which went flat, how sometimes the medium color looked darker and sometimes looked lighter and sometimes did not show at all.  Have you ever viewed a painting up close and had no idea what the painter was trying to convey in design and/or color, only to step back 10 or 20 or 30 feet and go, "Wow, I get it now"!  A quilt viewing experience can be much the same.  See photos below (Fig. 1-8). 

I had so much fun with this, I ended up with 20 squares, and 4 different mediums, two of them blended warm/cool colors then added warm and cool neutrals plus black/white to view impact.  I decided next month we will explore the color intensity, value and temperature exercises as described by Elizabeth Barton in her book, Inspired to Design - which again seem simple enough on the surface...we shall see...knowing me, I will find a way to complicate the obvious!

Susan's Color Study                     Fig. 1
Jerry 's Color Study                    Fig. 2
Liz's Color Study                                         Fig. 3
Dot's Color Study                                 Fig. 4
Connie's Color Study                                     Fig. 5
On the Wall                                                   Fig. 6
Susan's Quilt                                                  Fig. 7
Jerry's Quilt                                                    Fig. 8

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Children's Art

It is no secret I love children's art.  I once selected a group quilt made by a Kindergarten class as my Judge's Choice Award quilt at a quilt show.  I don't think it had ever been done before.  The show's sponsors made a disclaimer saying "a Judge's Choice award is NOT a merit quilting award" for those attendees who did not understand what a Judge's Choice Award was all about.  I think it is the children's innocence and inexperience that attracts me.  Picasso himself said, "I could paint the master's by age 18, but it took a lifetime to learn to paint like a child".  Only two pieces of children's art survive from my own children - Richard's Family Portrait done in pen when he was in first grade (Fig. 1) and Peter's Fish in crayon and watercolor done when he was in third grade (Fig. 2).  When my granddaughter, Abby, was here, she and Elizabeth created name paintings on scrap shelving (Fig. 3, 4).  Finley, age 5, also painted but Grammie could not resist going in and "finishing" it and, of course, was sorry afterward (Fig. 5).  I then cut up many of his drawings and paintings and created a collage (Fig. 6).  I'm told the smiley face with the little brown point is Chewbacca and R2/D2 is down in the right hand corner.  I was able to make my contribution here as well.  I drew Finley's Minion which he painted yellow.  Having too much fun with grandkids.

Family Portrait - Richard Fahrion    1979  (Fig. 1)
Fish - Peter Fahrion                       1984    (Fig. 2)
Abby's Celebration 2014                           (Fig. 3)
Elizabeth Celebrates 2014                          (Fig. 4)
Finley & Grammie Celebrate 2014            (Fig. 5)
Finley's Work/Grammie's Collage              (Fig. 6)

Monday, July 7, 2014

A New Art Quilt Group in Town

A few months ago friend, Sylvia Weir, called and said she wanted to start up an art quilt group in the Beaumont area.  Yep!  I was there.  There were three of us actually as fine artist, Jackie Stubblefield, attended also - all SAQA members.  So, feeling we were a bit small, we decided to see if any non-SAQA quilters were interested in joining.  We have 6 more members!  Yippee!  We meet at my house once a month.  Our design exercise last month was Zentangle (some of mine were posted on another post - Putting the Zen in Zentangle).  See Figures 1-7 below.  Dot drew hers on fabric (Fig.5) and Sylvia began hers directly on a quilt sandwich in stitch (Fig. 7). 

Zentangle work on Wall                                                     Fig. 1
"S" is for Sherry   Sherry Walker    Fig. 2
Untitled              Kathy Risinger                   Fig. 3
Untitled        Susan Cornell                       Fig. 4
Untitled              Dot Collins                         Fig. 5
Love Changes Everything               Fig. 6
Jerry Lynne Kelley
Zentangle Beginnings in Stitch                     Fig. 7
Sylvia Weir

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Postcards - Working 4" x 6"

I've discovered I love working in the 4" x 6" format.  It is perfect for design exercises and small compositional experiments.  I began years ago in the Beyond the Borders art quilt group exchanging birthday postcards with members.  Many of the early cards I received are framed and at the beach cabin.  Today, I still create and exchange them.  Below are a few of my favorites from friends, followed by some I have created over the years.  Some I would have posted were never photographed.

  A Dog for Connie              Linda Teddlie Minton
Peacock's Feather
Susan Fletcher King
Untitled                                    Nancy B. Dickey
Untitled                               Mary Ann Littlejohn
Sand Art                         Elizabeth Ann Broussard
Heart in Hands            Beth Johnson
                                                                                            Spatial Elements                                            
Beginnings in Time 1                                      
Beginnings in Time 2                                     
Both property of Mary Ann Littlejohn
Sound Effects                                                 
Happy Birthday, Derek                                  
Aurora Borealis                                              
                        Property of Peter and Tory Fahrion
Beneath the Surface         
 Jazz Hot                                                        
For my stepmother, Jean A. Thompson
Studio Work                       
Happy Birthday, Abby        
Words on the Surface         
Susie Monday-Class Scraps
Happy Birthday, Mary Ann
Life Force                           
Property of Daniel B. Doherty
A Terrible Affliction                                     
Garden Nemesis
                 Property of Yvonne Black