21 October 2010

Next Croatia Quilt

TelescopeORIGHere’s the inspiration for my next quilt in the Croatia series…. tentatively named “Lemme See” and featuring my two sons.

I know I said I’d keep my family out of my blog.  But this piece is more about the relationship of big & little brothers than a real family portrait.  Besides, do you know how much it costs to hire child models?  These guys work for free!   LOL

Maybe I wanted to move onto this photo because of the bright colors – I guess all those drab grays in “Safe Passage” got me wanting some red white and blue (which are coincidentally the colors of both the US and Croatian flags).

So here are the first broad areas of color for the quilt top.  I kept giggling to myself as the pieces fell into place.  That spiky saw-tooth hair was a bit of a pain to cut, but it really makes the picture for me. 


I decided to remove a lot of the original background and concentrate on the two figures.  I’m not sure if I’ll add anything in its place; it doesn’t matter what they’re looking at.

Sorry other family members… love ya but you’re cut from the scene.  Better luck next time!

18 October 2010

“Big Dandy” is going to Quilt National!!!

Oh my gosh I am SO excited, and I just can’t hold it in any longer.  I have to share the joy…

My quilt “Dandelion” was chosen to be exhibited in Quilt National 2011!!  This piece took me almost a year to complete, and measures 33 x 49.   It is in my personal style, raw edge appliqué with lots of colors and small pieces, covered in obsessive machine quilting.  As you might have guessed, the image is inspired by a dandelion plant. 

You won’t find my usual work-in-progress pictures of this one.  I’m sorry that I can’t share photos yet; QN rules prevent any images of selected work from being published before the show.  You can bet I’m not going to do anything to get kicked out now.   So you’ll have to wait until May 28, 2011 to get a glimpse!  After that you can order the QN ‘11 catalog, visit the show, or wait until I get back and I’ll post it online.

Last week was a little nerve racking, because I had to ship the quilt to The Dairy Barn Arts Center in Ohio for final approval & so QN can photograph it for the catalog.  I received confirmation that it arrived safely and met with approval from the organizers.  (Whew!!) Wow, I still didn’t believe it until I looked on their website and saw my name listed.


The exhibition runs from May 28 – September 5, 2011.  Some of the pieces will be selected to continue on with their traveling exhibition through 2013.

The Dairy Barn Arts Center
8000 Dairy Lane
Athens, OH 45701

13 October 2010

New Work: “Safe Passage” is Complete

"Porthole" is complete... but I’ve changed the title to "Safe Passage". SafePassage_blog

I'm very happy with the way it came out, and how quickly everything came together.  Here's a photo of the finished piece.

I'll include a detail of the quilting but I'm not sure if it will be readable at this size.
I'm pretty sure I will do another piece with some kind of rust in it. For some reason, orange is appealing to me right now. Maybe it's the change of seasons.

Which might also explain my next composition "Maple Leaf".  It is a very simple pattern, just 2 fabrics. But I'm choosing two pretty bold patterns to bounce off each other. One is multi-colored with a lot of purples and greens, the other is a bright orange and pink batik. Sounds nuts? Yeah, it might be. But at least it won't take long to put together. The real fun will be the quilting - that's when I'll add all those tiny leaf veins.

This weekend I'm heading to NY for an artists retreat. I'll put together the pieces for Maple Leaf so I can take that with me and work on it. If I finish that one this weekend I'll be ahead of schedule for the month. My goal is to finish 2 pieces that are 24 x 32 each. Maple Leaf will only be 24 x 24 so I'll try to get one more started by the end of the month.  Stay tuned!

06 October 2010

Sneak Peek

I made a lot of progress on “Valbiska-Lopar Ferry Porthole” this week.   Gotta come up with a better title!

Porthole_unquilted (2)As I was studying the photo and trying to sketch it out, I noticed that the circle is not a perfect circle and the composition is not quite symmetrical.  Hmmm, it could work.

I also found there is a lot of slate blue/ steel gray/ washed-out jeans kind of colors in this picture.   At first I almost put the project aside…who wants to see that much dull cloudy gray?  But I found some batiks that were in the right color family and too pretty not to use.  So there you go.

I also realized that the chipped & rusty paint around the porthole is my favorite part… more interesting than the view through it.  And somehow the orange rust makes all that gray/blue acceptable.

So now Stage 1: "broad strokes of color” = complete.   Here’s a partial look at it.

Next up: My favorite part – free motion quilting it, scribbling in more rusty details, adding ripples in the water…  Fun!!

04 October 2010

New Work: “Boatman Sketch”

DSCN2045My entry for "SAQA: Beyond Comfort".   The theme of this show is experimentation.  Artists are asked to create something outside their normal style.  

(I just finished the online entry process. Not bad for me... 6 days before the entry deadline!)

The back-story on this piece: 
Boatman Sketch was inspired by a photo my brother took last year. 

I will be teaching a class on free motion machine quilting, so I had to come up with an 8x10 example to demonstrate each lesson.

One of the lessons is on thread "drawing". I decided to see how far I could push that. What if I drew an entire picture with free hand quilting stitches?  My sewing machine became a substitute for charcoal pencil.  But since I can't press harder/softer on the charcoal to create dark & light lines, I used different shades of thread.

Here is the final piece. It’s on satin brocade fabric, which is shiny and a little hard to photograph.  I chose satin because the original photo has a cool sense of light & I was trying to capture some of that.
I'll include a detail too. Keep in mind the whole thing is only the size of a standard sheet of paper, so these stitches are REALLY small.

It was an interesting experiment but I'm not sure if I will attempt a larger one.  My eyes are bugging now. :-)