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Thursday, December 8, 2011

New Challenge - In the works

This is what I have been doing, in between Christmas Shopping and the usual fun.  It is for a new challenge of Rachel Clark's, based on fashion designers. Title "THEY ARE CALLED A CLASSIC FOR A REASON". After doing a quick search I found Elsa Schiaparelli and fell in love with her amazing designs.  One of my favorite was a dinner jacket that turned writer Jean Cocteau's 1937 drawing into a dinner jacket.  You can see it on wikipedia.  At first I wanted to make a jacket, but realized I do better making flat bumpy bust lines to contend with!  As you can see I used some very nice silk in beautiful colors.  The pattern portion is also inspired from one of Elsa's coats.  After seeing the layering at the Houston Festival, I wanted to see what I could come up with, and that is where I am currently stumped.  The face is hand stitched on to a double layer of tule and the hair is appliqued on to the tule.  A double layer of subtly colored chiffon goes behind the tule.  The original plan was to let these pieced hang free but that seems to "dull" down the silk piecing.  I could sew it behind the silk but I had my heart set on free flowing fabric.... like some of Elsa's formal dress designs.  So here I am... tune in later for the final decision.  You won't have to wait long as the piece is due the first week of January!
Also, in January, I will have three pieces in the Main Street Gallery in Weaverville, CA  The three pieces are Birch Tree Sunlight, Nuggets, and Hope Out of Despair.  Address is 490 Main Street  and phone - 530 623 9259.  Show title "Quilt as Art".  Maybe you would enjoy a ride during the January show.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

We're all better artists for----

Pam at Houston with Leaves of Costa Rica
"We're all better artists for having come to Houston".  This was said by a fellow visitor to the Houston Quilt Festival during one of those wonderful instant friendships that spring up on the the gallery floor.  How true!  Every piece, both traditional and contemporary were inspirations.  The subject matter was often thought provoking and the techniques were amazing.  The skill all the artists displayed was something to aspire to.  Guess by now you know how I felt about the show, but that was not the only thing that was note worthy.  The people I met, the tours that SAQA  provided, the enthusiasm and excitement was overwhelming.  I was fortunate enough to have a piece in the show and so I wore a ribbon declaring me a "Finalist".  What fun and how humbling.  Have you ever felt that maybe they had left the back door open and you just got in?  Well that is how I started out, but with all the kind and excited people coming up and congratulating me... I soon just relaxed and really enjoyed myself.  Self doubt is always there.

Speaking of self doubt... I hope all of you that have considered entering a show, will do so in the next year.  Entering is sometimes confusing but manageable.  There are friends that will help with the photography and computer work.  Please consider trying because it is not just you that will miss out, but the others who would be inspired by your work.  Don't let self doubt hold you back.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Turning a Pigs Ear into a Silk Purse!

"Cathy's Flowers" - The silk purse 
Have you ever heard the above phrase before?  It means that from something so common or ugly as a pigs ear you can create beauty.  My Mom would often use this phrase when she would miraculously create a beautiful garment from cast down fabric.  Anyway, this project started as a Wearable Arts Challenge (below) that was going no where, into successful (?) Wall Art.  A big improvement!  The belt was wide and at my age I do not need a "belly band"!  This piece is named "Cathy's Flowers" for my friend Cathy.  Her favorite comment is that something needs more Shinny S...t.  While making the flowers and background from upholstery fabric I could see that all the colors were the same intensity and that they really needed a spark.  Then I heard Cathy's voice in my ear!   What a difference and just what the piece needed.

The Pig's Ear!
Just a little note, I am going to Houston for the huge quilt/quilt art show so I won't be doing anything to show you for a spell.  I expect to come back with lots of inspiration and new techniques to try, so it shouldn't be too long before you will be seeing more posts.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Promise

The Promise... MAQ Challenge
Here is the almost finished MAQ Challenge.  What a challenge !  After selecting a beautiful picture of sunflowers we divided it up into five sections and then each of us did all five sections.  We all wanted a finished product and the challenge was to see what each of us would create.  Everyone did a beautiful job.  It only took 15 minutes to exchange all the sections with each of us having one from each person.  The curve lines were my idea and I hope the others forgive me!  The center line had four curves so that meant taking it in and out of the machine four times.  As I said I hope they forgive me!  Then came the tricky part ..... what to do next?  After a couple of ideas - adding black crows and maybe stained glass look.. I came up with the idea of the seed packet.  It seems a little out of proportion but I couldn't bear to cut anybodies work.  So, next Wednesday, the MAQ group will have the big reveal and I can't wait.  There is so much talent in the MAQ group.

Do you like the mane?  The Promise      If you have a better name just add it to the comment below.

Vicky and Gail
Jo and Marylee

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Wearable Art or at least wearable!

Here is another instance where I can hear my Mother laugh!  I have avoided sewing for most of my life.  Mom always was there to teach me, but for some reason it just never clicked.  I mostly made fabric rags.  Well here I am and with the help and patience of several friends I can actually wear the product.  And there is more!  Soon on these pages you will see a truly amazing sweater!  Anyway, I find this somewhat enjoyable and am starting on another art jacket for another Rachel Clark Exhibit.

First is my coat from a pattern by Indygo Junction - Amy Barickman #IJ885.  I had to narrow the sleeves and eliminate the pleat because of the fabric.  It should be fun to wear this winter.


Fall Jacket

Second is a sweater that I bought because of the pockets and zipper, but then felt it was too plain.  At a Needle Arts meeting last year, Claudia Knous gave a presentation on her beautiful felt pieces.  I just had to have one.  It was felted leaves that you would wear around your neck and shoulders.  Loved the piece but didn't like it on my neck!  What to do... so I combined the pieces and I do hope that Claudia doesn't mind the liberties I took with her work.  But now I have something I will wear for sure.

Just a note.  You might have noticed the new bar at the top.  It indicated how many of you kind people review this blog.  I was shocked and so pleased at how often it is reviewed!  Don't worry, I have no idea who you are.  In another area, a map displays in which countries/states visitors reside.  I hope to find friends all around the world and you can help.  If you have an out-of-country friend, please forward my blog site.  It will only take one per country!  Thanks again for your visits and I hope you are all enjoying your own creative journeys.

Lincoln Internal Medicine Exhibit

Sharpie Demo
Several months ago a good friend suggested that I join the Lincoln Hills Art Association and what a great idea that was!  So far I have won a prize (including money), shown at Mina's in Lincoln, and gave a talk on my Sharpie Pen art work.  All for the low price of membership.  Thank you to the officers and members that are so generous with their time.

This next month the Association is showing at the Lincoln Internal Medicine @ 801 Sterling Parkway.  I'm not sure you can just wander around to look at the art, but one of my Sharpie pieces is in the exhibit. 
You have most likely seen it before, but it is a good example of the technique.
Raspberry Flowers

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sunflowers & Me

Preliminary MAQ Challenge

Well, I am back and fresh off a great week of sewing at Tahoe.  Did the majority of the work on the MAQ Challenge.  Next step is to put all the pieces together and figure out how to make it my own.  That is always the quest.. to make it my own.  It does drive you to push the borders and find something just a little different.

We had a wonderful time on our trip back to Colorado and saw such beautiful country.  Lots of inspiration, really fun co-travelers and too much food.  Hope you all enjoyed your summer and are ready for more fun this winter.  I know it is 95 outside but you have to think ahead.

If you have the time, you might want to see the Blue Line Gallery in Roseville.  The show is photography but with a great twist and a lot of imagination.  Try to see this gallery when you can.

I'm getting excited about Houston and my two pieces that will be shown.  It is sometimes hard to imagine that this has happened.  It just pays to dream and try.  After all I wonder how many people just thought about entering and then talked themselves out of it. Lets all make a pack to not let ourselves talk in a negative voice.... to just go for it.  Eat that chocolate, drink that wine, enter that contest, just have a great time.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Summer is here and relaxing

Just a note to my blog friends, the summer time is for having fun.  While I think spending the day in my sewing room is the best kind of fun (other than going to lunch with friends), I am going to slow it down a bit.  So if you don't see an entry don't worry, the fall will have lots of fun stuff to talk about.  Take care.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Houston Here I Come!

Leaves of Costa Rica
Great News!  I just received notice that my Leaves of Costa Rica will be in the Houston Festival this Nov.  A friend and I are attending the show so this will be lots of fun.  They even give you a ribbon to wear, that says  Finalist.  At least that will explain the grin I will have on my face. 

My Johnny Appleseed in Sebastopol is included in the West Coast Wonders Exhibit and that too will be at the Houston show as well as in Long Beach.

Thanks to all of you for your encouragement.  It is scary to create something and then put it out into the world.  You feel very protective of each piece and your feedback is so very valuable. 
Johnny Appleseed in Sebastopol

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Almost Done with Challenge

No Name - MAQ Challenge
This piece has changed and it's been quite a trip. First I completed the center with beads, couched gold thread, and paint.  Looked okay but rather ordinary, so I decided to add a background.  Still ho-hum.  It needed curves but since the challenge selected was "Whole Cloth and Beyond" I wasn't sure a pieced border would qualify.  Great news, the other challenge option was "Illusion of Motion"!  Off I went and added the curved boarders using the Joan Dyer's technique.  But wait, the cotton batt had been cut off.  Well, I won't go into detail, but the additional batt had to be added by hand and the facing became the backing.  The final piece will have curvy edges for the top and bottom and the quilting lines will be extended over the border with beads.  This was definitely a challenge and I will have a difficult time answering the question of --
                                     "How long did it take you?".
I have to figure out a name so if you have any suggestions - let me know.

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Before Pictures

Some of you have mentioned that you enjoyed seeing a piece develop.  Seeing it start at one point and watching me struggle!  Well, here are two projects I am currently working.

First is the MAQ Challenge - Anything but panels.  There are five of us.  We chose a picture of sunflowers on a blue checked table cloth.  The picture was divided into five section using curved lines. (We didn't want to make this too easy)  We all agreed to not make pink sunflowers but that we were encouraged to use our own techniques.  This is just one of the sections.  Doesn't look like much but since I now have the "engineering of the process" done, I feel like I can really go to town.  Just need to settle down and dedicate some time.

Second is also a MAQ Challenge that is due at the end of this month!- Whole Cloth and Beyond.
My whole cloth is more of my Sharpie work.  I made a stencil design and  added some fabric paint.  The quilting gave me trouble.  The circles were so pretty that I was afraid that heavy quilting would cover the watercolor movement of the piece.  Cathy helped me with this and made several suggestions that spurred me in the right direction.  Of course I had to add beads and might add more.  As you can see, I am auditioning a couple of colors for a separate background.  At the last MAQ someone suggested that a black background would show off the work on my Leaves.  Since I can't really piece this whole cloth, I will just make a separate background piece and see if that works.

More to come later this month.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

blue line gallery - Juried into the Fabricated Exhibit

Just wanted you to know that I have had three pieces juried into the blue line gallery - Fabricated Exhibit.  Yes three of them.  Pumpkins, Birch Tree Sunlight, and Nuggets.  It is very exciting.  A friend, Susie, had three of her gorgeous dolls accepted.  I am proud to show along side her work.
The show is July 9th to August 3rd, at 405 Vernon Street, Ste.100, Roseville.  Phone is 916 434 7368.  The Artist Reception is on July 16 at 7:00 - 9:00 PM.  Hope you can drop by. 

I have been working on two pieces.  One is a whole cloth with my Sharpie colors and the second is a MAQ Challenge.  The Sharpie is coming along but need to add embellishments to create a line for your eye to follow.  The MAQ Challenge is for the five of us to create from the same pictures, then each will be cut into five pieces and exchanged.  The artists will then re-join them how ever they want.  We will see what happens.  I just love the sunflower so far.  The reveal will be in Oct.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Two for One - or the Tale of Two Landscapes

Here is something a little new.  Suzanne (friend that creates Glass Art) gave me a beautiful glass tree, and earlier she let me play in her studio where I made a black/purple stick tree.  The question was how to use them.  I kept thinking of wool roving and felting so out came the boxes of roving and then the fun began.  Using a pizza pan as a template I cut two 12" black felt circles.  The different colors of wool were used like paint but it was too bold.  Remembering a  felting class, I mixed the wool - blue and steel blue for sky, brown and white for distant hills of snow.  Some wool  is "raw", which means there are still twigs and unknown brown stuff.  Sounds weird but it makes great snow.  Some greenish brown yarn made the furrowed hills.  This was getting to be a lot of fun but then the hard technical stuff came up.  Like how do I attach the felt circles to the felt board, how do I make sure the trees are both going in the right direction, and finally how do I attach the trees.  In the end everything worked out.  My new plan is to make round design using my favorite fabric - Quilter's Lame'.  I have ordered two more round  and square base.  Hope you like it.... do you have any suggestions for a name?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Lincoln Hills Art Association Winner

Seed - Tree - Home
This is a new and exciting group that my friend Suzanne encouraged (?) me to joined.  President Bill Szabo issued a Art Challenge for 2011 with the theme of "Pastel Colors".  Art was divided between two categories - Fine Art and All Other Art Forms.  The piece above qualified for the Other Category.  Membership voted for the winners and I received $$ for the Other Art Form Category!  How great is that!  I promptly went out and bought more Quilter's Lame' fabric.  Thank you to all the members for their votes.
While I am a new member, this looks to be a great group (aren't they all in Lincoln Hills!).  I have already met lots of fun people with a passion for their art.  This group has two shows planned - One at Mina's Coffee House  June 11 - Sept 9; and Umpqua Bank (date to be added soon).  So plan to swing by these great establishments to see the art and enjoy their service.

About the Art - Tree and birds were created using Sun Printing technique - an easy way to start your fabric dying exploration.  Other fabric was dyed using fiber reactive dyes with Elmer's Glue resist.  Flying Geese were paper pieced.  I used free motion quilting to get the flow of birds and wind and a "nest" for the seed pods at the bottom.  Beading was added and sheer fabric was cut into leaf shapes and added to the tree.  The piece flowed together until the tree and leaves.  That was pondered over for several years!  Finally as the deadline approached, an idea came to me - add little sheer leaves that would appear to float over the tree and ground.  Sometimes it takes awhile for inspiration to hit!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

West Coast Wonders-I'm in

Got the good news last Monday that my Johnny Appleseed in Sebastopol has been accepted into the West Coast Wonders Special Exhibit 2011. It will tour the major quilt shows starting with Long Beach. It will be in Houston for both the market and show andbI will get to see it there. This is really exciting and I hope you get to see one of the shows. I'll add a photo soon.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Leaves of Costa Rica

Leaves of Costa Rica

You might think you remember Leaves from before, but look again.  The first piece had holes in the design and balance and background seemed too big.  At least it looked that way to me.... kept feeling something was just not right.  So I cropped the left edge, added three new leaves with more embellishments, and nudged a few leaves in new directions.  I also now call it Leaves of Costa Rica.  Their forests are dense and I did wonder what was hidden behind.
Hope you like it and don't forget to comment. 

Side comment.  The other day someone asked how long it took me to make my wall art.  Well, I had to ponder that one.  I figured that he was trying to judge if my work was worth the prices I was asking.  The answer was that if a piece goes together quickly - the design just flows and ideas come easily - that would take less time.  But them I pointed out that the quick flow was often what made that art piece the most successful.   Beautiful art is art no matter if it takes a day or twenty.  If I struggle, the piece often feels not just right and I can work it to death or just set it aside and hope that everything makes sense later.  I'm sure this is true in any area- cooking, golf swings, gardening, or being a friend.  If it flows it works. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Artisans in the Lodge

Here is a chance for you to see my work up close and personal!  On this upcoming Sunday (May 15), 9 to 3 at the Orchard Creek Lodge in Lincoln Hills Lincoln Ca, there will be an art sale with approx. 30 vendors!  I will have 10 pieces with special LH Discount prices.  There will be a variety of art work - paintings, ceramics, fused glass, pottery, metal art, photography and more.  Hope you can come for a visit.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wooly Wooly Challenge


One Wooly -  MAQ Challenge
The first MAQ Challenge of the year was revealed this Wednesday.  The theme I chose was Wooly Wooly and since there was no further explanation, I could pretty much pick my own direction.  The center of this piece was originally an idea I had for the Davis Artery - 8" by 8" Small and Great exhibit but it just did not work.  So at a later date, I added the gold  metal mesh, black squares and punched it up with beads and gold.  It is so much fun to have a project without a due date or definition that allows me to just play.  Things would be laying on my table and I would just enjoy thinking of what I could do with the piece.  I am very pleased with it.  The name is a bit odd but since I only had the one piece of wool felt..... I called it "One Wooly".

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Prize for Pam

My Norwegian Coat won Second Place in the wearable art category at the Foothill Quilt Show.  Another prize for my coat which makes all the time I spend on those 1/4 inch diamonds seem worth while! 
What a great show.  The quality of the quilting was amazing and truly inspirational.  The MAQ Exhibit looked good and there were many compliments and ooo's and haaa's while I was there.  Lots of ribbons for the MAQ members.  I came away really impressed (again) with the wealth of talent in this area.  Thanks to Marylee and her team for such a fantastic show.

8 x 8 Small & Great - at The Artery

Three pictures of a really fun evening.  This was the Artist Reception for the show.  I think everyone in Davis took advantage of the warmer weather and came downtown on Davis - Art About - 2nd Friday event.  Here are my two pieces and even if I do say so myself, they looked good.  Thanks to The Artery and my sponsor TC for hosting such a fun event.  Hope that you can drop by before the show ends on April 19. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Hat - A Crown - A ????

This is a secret but I am showing you my entry into our LH Wearable Art Challenge.  The challenge was to use upholstery fabric to make an accessory.  First I tried a belt... well it started out okay but then I couldn't get the fabric to stop fraying and I realized I did not want to emphasize my waist!  I then saw a beautiful hat in a new book (I'll tell you about the book and give credit for my inspiration later).  It was only a little picture but I figured out the engineering and used prairie points vs tie folds and changed a bit more.  Lots of fun and I really like the hat.  Now if I don't sell it at the Davis Artery show I'll be able to wear it to the Challenge meeting, otherwise I will have to make another or bring pictures. 
This is another time that I am so glad I can just do what catches my interest.  Sometimes I cause so much stress with the competitions I want to do and gifts I want to make.  I know I am not alone in this habit and wonder if it isn't some left over thing from work!  The things I might have accomplished if I had just stopped to wonder and ponder.  This is something I am going to add to my "Remember This" list.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I'm Showing at the Artery

My friend TC has again extended an invitation for the Davis Artery's guest show titled "8 by 8 Small and Great".  Show dates are April 8 - 19.  The gallery is on 207 G Street, Davis, phone 530.758.8330 web site-   There will be an artist reception on the evening of April 8 between 7 -9pm.  This is the same night as the Davis Downtown "Art About" so there will be many other art venues to visit.  Of course wine, sparkling water, and tasty goodies will be available.  It would be fun to see you there.

Spring- Long view and detail during construction!

I decided to create a pedestal piece.  This is a new area for me and there were lots of engineering issues but I had great fun creating the three dimensional piece.  Does it remind you of Spring?

For those of you with a more professional perspective... I am work on the picture taking skills!

Now that you made it..What do you do with it!

Isn't this always the question after you try a new technique or dye a new piece of fabric?  Well since I needed a Wearable Art Show and Tell, I used the Tie Dye fabric (shown in a previous blog) for a scarf.  It went together in 45 min!  Just a simple tube with a channel down the center for some wired ribbon, plus a cool pin from the Stitches show.  It is comfortable and fun to wear.  Now I just have to figure out what to do with the rest of the fabric!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Tie Dying to Die For...

In the Oct/Nov 2010 Issue of Quilting Arts, Kathy Barinholtz wrote about her adventure with dying silk fabric with silk ties.  So last week, Cassandra, Carolyn, and I set up for our own adventure.  We were surprised with the color that transfers and pattern combinations.  The ties don't transfer exactly but often "bleed" components of the original dye.  Brown would give us orange, reds would go both bright and light, so the best part was unwrapping the bundles.  (I have not included the process here because of ownership concerns but read the article and you will find it is an easy and quick process that leads to beautiful muted shades)   The ties can be re-used so I have a full stock for the next adventures.  One note on the process - we could not find an aluminum pot but a friend's husband (a chemist) told us to line the pot with heavy duty foil.  This proved to be all that we needed.  Hope you can try this.  Let me know in the comment section how your adventure turns out! 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

More Sharpie Fun

How does one out of three sound?  Yesterday I was in the mood to play with my Sharpie pens.  I had wanted to do some sun flowers with 3D leaves but I had also found a beautiful water color of a windmill.  The sun flowers did not work out.  Not enough ink but too much alcohol which caused it to wash completely out to mud.  The windmill turned out just fine.  I am going to thread paint and add the "windmill fans" in black fabric.
I am really looking forward to seeing pictures of my friend Carolyn and her friends at their recent discovery day.  Glad you had a good time with the process.  I understand that there are some other pens that have more muted colors and hold up better in the wash.  I'll pass this on when I get the information.  In the mean time, try this fun and easy process.  When is the last time you didn't have to pay a fortune for equipment for a new technique??

SAQA Whisper Quilt Challenge

Here it is, the piece I have been working on for months.  Actually a week before it was due and then another week just before the reveal.  The challenge is set up like the old telephone game, where you start with one story and see how it changes as it move around the circle of friends.  The first person in each of 5 groups was presented  with a photo to inspire a 22 x 24 quilt.  Those quilts were then passed to the next in line to inspire another set of quilts.  Last week was the reveal of over 30 quilts.  How inspiring and how funny to see how a scene of sea rocks and a crab ended up as trees, flowers, and then back to the sea.  Hard to imagine but go to the SAQA NorCal blog and see the show. I have more work to do with my piece.  First I am cutting off 2 inches on the left (as shown)  and then adding a few more leaves.   I needed to have it done, but upon reflection and some very helpful comments... I have decide to work a bit more.

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Istanbul Vest

The pattern for this vest is from an article in Threads Magazine  and is designed by Pat Moriarity of Plymouth, Wisconsin.  It is called the Istanbul vest but my shawl came from a wonderful trip in Spain.  These long shawls are everywhere but if you are like me (and Pat) they are hard to wear.  The pattern was simple to make and I have had loads of compliments and "where did you find it" comments.  Find the pattern in the Oct/Nov 2007 Threads Magazine.  At the end of the article is another kind of shawl pattern!  Thanks to Pat for being so generous, my only comment is that I wish I looked as good at the model in the article!!