Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Necessity is the mother of invention.......

I'm involved in a photo-challenge and have been struggling with this image.  I'm just not a landscape person.  I've looked at the image many ways, undecided, and finally uploaded it into Photoshop.  I tried a bunch of different filters and still couldn't see something I wanted to work with.

(Note: Click on images to enlarge) 

Finally, in desperation, I started drawing lines on it.  After I'd finished, I realized I'd created something similar to Ruth McDowell's pieced patterns, but much more quickly than the ruler and tracing paper method.

Quickly flipping the pattern horizontally.......

....and turning off the image layer (the first layer I started with) by clicking on the eye next to it, Voila!  I have my pattern. 
Print and start sewing!

I'm not a big paper piecer, but it seems to be working for this project and now that I've figured this out I feel lots more ideas brewing in the back of my mind!  Here is the bottom half of the quilt, in progress.  It will be embroidered and embellished before it is done.  (Update--to see the finished piece, click here)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Finished or Almost Finished?

I've almost finished the quilt inspired by our play day at Riverhouse. The first photo was the inspiration for my abstract quilt. The second photo is the quilt in process - almost finished! My mother-in-law swears I should call it "done" but my original inspiration included the circular bruises from hammer marks on the wood. I think I have to follow my instinct and add the circular element. Although I love the strong geometry of the piece now, I also want to stir it up with something different.
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Something Different

Lately, I've seen some really interesting art books. These are usually books that have been altered with a variety of mixed media techniques. They look like they'd be a lot of fun to create, so I've decided to give it a try.

I started with a board book, purchased at my local childrens' consignment shop. I painted the pages with gesso, and propped it up to dry. Because some of the pages briefly touched, the gesso got "messed up" into a frost-like pattern. No problem: I took detail shots of the cool pattern and then smoothed on another coat.

Now that my book is dry, it's on to the fun part!

P.S. If you're not familiar with gesso, it's the stuff that covers prepared artists' canvasses. It provides a good base for just about any medium.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

An Evening with Bonnie McCaffery

On Monday evening, Ruth Anne, Ellen and I attended the Bonnie McCaffery lecture as guests of the Cabin Fever Quilt Guild in Orlando. Besides her own methods, her presentation included a variety of artists who use different techniques in their portrait quilts.

As a long time admirer of her work, I was thrilled to see those fascinating pieces from her book, Portrait Quilts, which has now been reprinted. I was so inspired, I think I'll finally have to try a painted portrait!

Bonnie is also known for her vidcasts. Check out more from Bonnie at http://bonniemccaffery.com/

Monday, April 6, 2009


I have been adding a new medium to my fiber art - Fused glass!!
I add fabric / fiber to fused glass, as in this sculpture (called Transcendence). I also add fused glass cabochons onto my fiber art quilts! I call this process FiberFusion!!

Friday, April 3, 2009

I Did it Again

I changed horses midstream.

I was happily working along on a new piece, deciding on the placement of lots of small orange circles. Then, I had, what was for me, a very radical thought: What if I made this a very calm almost monochromatic piece? What? ME monochromatic? I let that idea percolate for a while and decided to audition some sheer fabrics in similar colors.
So, this is where I am now. The photo shows my collection of "cut" (actually soldered) sheer circles. My circles went from opaque orange to sheer blue-greens and such. I'm liking it!

This is the thing about changing horses: I generally find the new one much fresher. I'm almost always happy with my midstream radical changes.

And this is the other thing: these ideas come over time. They're not my first inclination. I think that's one of the good things about the slow process of quilt making. If I were a painter, I could more quickly display my first thought. But then, these slow ideas wouldn't have a chance to develop. Something for me to remember when I get in a hurry.