Friday, December 31, 2010

Trying To Be Sunny Tangled Instead

 To close out this year, here is number 39 in the year-long series of six-word memoir quiltlets.  Hope your celebrations are as fun as possible tonight!

This one used the most ravely pieces of upholstery weight fabric (the light yellow), and I kept all those tangled pieces on the edge and even ended up referring to them in the six words chosen for the piece.  The two crossing pieces on top the blue and yellow are my hand-dyes, the rest commercial cottons.
 Words say: "Trying To Be Sunny
Tangled Instead"    Funny how these words kind of sum up the past year in a way...

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Decision Time Easy. Black And White

 Well, I guess I'm not going to be able to show all of these six word memoirs to you in the actual calendar year that they were created.  But I shall keep posting them until I'm done, one at a time, just so I can check that box off of my to-do list.  A second black and white one in a row, interesting for me eh?
This is the 38th in the year long series. 
Words say: Decision Time Easy. Black And White.  This was from the week that I decided that I would go ahead and have my hip surgery.
 I used the printed edges of an upholstery weight fabric that I had previously made Halloween napkins out of back in October.  Also I used the woven polyester static-free insert that came with my son's laptop.  Don't you love the overprinted registration marks and the lines of squares?  The graphic-ness of them all was too cool to mess up with extraneous stuff added on top.
Words were written on with a Pigma Micron pen, one of the best for writing on fabric.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Seeing Through To What Is Underneath

Keeping on keeping on catching up with the six-word memoir quiltlets, this is number 37 of the year.
 Words say: "Seeing Through To What Is Underneath".  Stitched words, with bubble wrap quilted onto the top of the quilt sandwich.  The bubble wrap was a little hard to stitch, but not too bad if I went slowly.  Sure squeaked a lot more than I thought it would!
I intentionally used a colorful bobbin thread (orange) in the hopes that there would be some spots of color showing through the bubble wrap when I was all done.  It doesn't show too well in the pictures, but in person it works to move your eye around the piece.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Finally Finishing Work Worth The Time

 Whoops, back to posting after the too-long break for celebrating the Winter Holidays, hope you have had a good break too.  I really have some catching up to do with showing you all the weekly six-word memoir quiltlets, so be prepared for one after another until I've posted them all.  This one is number 36!
 Words say: "Finally Finishing Work Worth The Time".  And yes, I'll be posting pictures of the pieces I did actually finish which these words refer to, ones that had been hanging around in the finish-ASAP-pile for an embarassingly long time.
Nothing terribly special about this one, just scraps from the work table from recently completed works, some of which were made using a silk skirt (the zebra-esque print), upholstery fabrics,and a cotton print.  I especiallylike the added texture and interest from using the stitched hems of the skirt and raveled edges of the upholstery fabrics.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

October Cornucopia

I made only a very few attempts at sewing in October besides the six-word memoir quiltlets.  First of all, I made this Halloween House quilt block for my Halloween Houses quilt-in-progress.  Yes, it is definitely supposed to wonky.  No I didn't measure or use a pattern.  I like this fabric combination a whole lot.  I've found there are two distinct colorways in my personal Halloween fabric collection.  The slightly dusky, muted, yet still bright  and then the just plain obnoxious, almost too bright.  Turns out they are hard to combine.  Going forward on this project I may have to rethink using them all together.  Or maybe one side of the quilt can be bright, and the other side can be dusky.

That makes 8 total house made now.  This Halloween Houses quilt is really taking a while to come together.  I know, I know, I write about it every year.  Some year (hopefully soon) I'll make a big effort and actually finish it.  (Hey, I have almost a year to get it done, right?!)  
 I especially still want to make houses with pictures of my boys in the costumes I've made them over the years in the doorways and windows.  Until then, it makes a nice, colorful, seasonal decoration in the studio when there isn't much else up on the design wall. 

Speaking of costumes I was only asked to make two this year for my son Alex and his friend CJ.  Alex found me the pattern online and we made these so he and his buddy could go as Finn the Human and Jake the Dog from their favorite cartoon show Adventure Time.  Have you ever seen this show? It is deeply strange, and very funny.  I can see why they like it!

 I had to do something with my favorite orange t-shirt, the collar was frayed all of a sudden.  The rest of it still looked fine.  This was one I overdyed a while ago, I think it used to be bright yellow and got very faded, very quickly, but the fabric was still in very good shape .
I just turned over the t-shirt neckline and stitched it down.  Mostly straight. ahem, don't look too closely please.  I'm pleased that it extends the use of one of my favorite shirts for a little bit longer.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Giant ATC Memorialize

This six word memoir quiltlet is the 35th in a year-long series.  It was done in the same manner as the last ATC's I made to trade at CQFA in September.  Just in a much  bigger size than an ATC.

I wrote the words: "Giant ATC memorializing trading with friends" on a piece of rice paper, tore the edges and then glued it into the plastic slide sleeve.  I like how the glue made it a bit transparent in some spots.

Colorful rubber bands, haven't used them as rubber bands yet, but they look cool here trapped in the slide plastic.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Watching, Waiting, Wishing, Hoping

Starting right back in with the year-long series of six-word quiltlets.  Yes I'veactually kept up with them and am excited to get back to sharing them with you now.  This one is from the week of 8/29 and is the 34th of the year.

The words say: "I'm always watching, waiting, wishing, hoping."  Written on paper, colored with colored pencil,  glued on top of rice paper, then glued onto a piece of a leather sample journal cover which I picked up from FabMo,  then stitched down with two buttons with orange thread. 

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Surprise, I'm Back!

Hello there, surprise! I'm back!
I now declare this very long blog vacation over.
This is my excuse note here, for why I haven't been posting to this blog for quite a long time.  It involves a very personal journey of pain and healing and physical transformation, but not much art or creativity.  So if you aren't interested in reading about any of that personal stuff, come back tomorrow for an art post.   

  I've gone and gotten myself a hip upgrade, nothing but the best titanium thankyouverymuch.  A plate, a rod and four screws to hold the top part of my femur together.  I was going to post my x-ray picture here, but I'm chickening out, sorry.  It is cool though, maybe it will end up in my art somehow.

The good news is now I can walk again without mind-crushing pain (which had been going on since June).  The bad news is that it was major surgery and I have quite literally been off in la-la-land recovering for the past 6 weeks.  Let's just say being able to write a coherent blog post was way beyond the scope of what I could do. So I didn't.


I'm so thankful that I had competent doctors that listened and figured out what to do and that it turned out to be just a mysterious growth in my bone and not at all cancerous.  
I had something similar in the very same place when I was 17. 
Is it related? Probably. 
Do they know if it will happen again? Nope. 
Am I glad I can stand up long enough to do the dishes without crying? Yep.

Thanks for being patient, I hope some of you have stuck around, I promise an art-related post tomorrow!
Because, yes I have been sewing during this time of blog silence.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Falling For Inspiration

Regular inspiration luckily comes in the mail, which is the fun of subscribing to the Equilter's Monthly Stash Club.  I'm currently getting the Batik & Bali Hand-Dyes version, but have gotten the Creative Juices before, both are useful and inspiring and useful!  Some of these will most likely make it into my long-in-process Halloween Houses quilt.
They also make a nice background for photographing random stuff, like this cool colored glitter.  Yes, I know, I know, Martha Stewart, but still, look at these colors!I know I've put this up before, but  I like the combination of the fat quarter fabrics, thiis notecard/envelope and my stamped eye.Now to think of some way to combine them all, instead of random happenstance on top of my worktable!
And lastly,of course an October must not be allowed to pass without the purchase of additional Halloween-themed fabric of some kind.  This year it is scary and Haunted Wizard of Oz.  It just cracked me up and I liked the way the design is done on this one.

I had so much fun last year participating in this blog-tour-Halloween Party, I'll be doing it once again, so be sure to come back on October 16th to see what I come up with.  And if you want to also participate (yes, do it!), go sign up at A Fanciful Twist.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

A Temporary Circle of Cats

A Circle of Cats had assembled on my worktable.
They are gone now.
Mostly due to being made of licorice.

This is what happens when I take phone calls in the middle of working, I fiddle with what is around me and make a little tableau, which got photographed this time.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Stack O' Books

Extra large stack of recent reading material.  I just liked all the colors together.  Have I read every page and tried every project or technique in all these books and magazines, um no.  But all of it goes into the data bank for future use, food for thought, etc.  
Should I do some book reviews? I've toyed with the idea and guess that it might be worth a try.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Beading Basics

I'm a wanna-be beader,  mostly I buy beads, and use them by sewing them onto my quilts. I finally read the magazines and books I've been collecting and actually bought some of the tools I needed to make some jewelry for myself.  Boy do these ever make a big difference.  Wish I had bought them back when I first started trying to make stuff.  Yes, the right tools really do make the job easier. 

Buying all the components from Fire Mountain Gems and Beads big selection, and then putting them together is pretty easy for a beginner like me.  I liked the expressions on these probably supposed to be Buddha faces.

Two pairs of moonstone earrings, haven't decided which are my favorite, but I'm enjoying wearing them and nothing has fallen apart yet.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Fabulous And Free

The accumulation  of interesting fabric items continues thanks to my friends in CQFA!   How about these mini zippers? (Note the heart charms on a couple of them).

 These jersey bundles are so cool.  I am planning to dye a couple of long-sleeved t-shirts in these colors and apply them *somehow*.. These are just layers of jersey, cotton/lycra stacked, stitched and then cut to make the interesting shag look.
 Textures, textures, textures.  All of these are from FabMo, and I find myself wondering for what real-world decorating applications one would use these weird, yet cool fabrics.  Zebra-striped padded vinyl, hmmm, I guess you could cover a padded bench or bar stools.   Guess I should check out some home decorating magazines if I really want to know!
Hey, looks like some heat-set fabrics down on the bottom there.  These just have the fiber content labeled, but no process info, I have to guess on that.

What will all these end up being?  Besides part of my stash?  Who knows....stay tuned.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Working In A Series Workshop

I got to attend a really fun workshop at CQFA last meeting, led by one of our member's Sonja Jeter.  She was helping us learn about working in a series.  First we water color painted white index cards with colors representing our feelings.
We also did a blind contour drawing of a simple bird shape, filling a page.  Then we selected a few we really liked the best (those are circled).  We traced those on tracing paper.

Using the watercolored backgrounds we started combing the birds with some other elements from our answers to a short quiz she'd given us at the beginning of the workshop.

Adding three birds to the vertical thing I see all the time (a redwood tree of course!).  We added the birds by ripping them off of the tracing paper and gluesticking them down.  Then we applied watercolor on top.  I really liked how this worked.  Plus Sonja noted that this is great for trying out placement, so you don't ruin a background you particularly like!
Three birds added to the horizontal thing I see all the time (a deck railing).Taking an abstract view, which is a closeup of some of the elements of the deck railing card above.  I think this is my favorite of all of these.
An abstracted bird shaped head.
The word summing up how I was feeling along with one of the strangest birds from my blind contour drawing.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Four New Lovelies

 The four newest
ATC's I acquired in trade at the last CQFA meeting.  Aren't these fun?  I love the sense of discovery every time we do this swap, we never know what everyone will come up with.  Always a surprise.
First is one from Bron McInerney,  this one just cracked me up.  I think she said the person was from a singing group she liked as a child.  I really liked how she stitched the body, along with the numbered stripe. 

Next is one from Caroline Ogg, you can't see it but the kitty picture is a lenticular so it changes as you move it.

A really interesting one from Diane Carver, love all the painted details.

Lastly, one from Nancy Riffle, which is very dimensional, with a complex surface.
Geez, I better start working on my ATC's for the next CQFA meeting coming up in early November, hmmmm, what to do this time?