Now, I just need to decide if I need to go get a couple more to go over the sliding doors. I don't think so. Less is more.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
And so it goes . . .
At night we can hear what sounds like hundreds of frogs out by the creek, but I don't ever see them. Do they hide during the daylight and just come out and croak their hearts out at night? I was out hoping to see some frogs yesterday. Instead I noticed this view of layered roofs.
Inside I am working on a small piece. It is becoming exactly not what it started out to be. I pulled out these fabrics, and more, with a very geometric idea hopping around in my head, but that green fabric, leftover from the tree, just begged to be cut into that organic shape and the quilting wanted to be the grass that I had sketched awhile back. It wasn't until I was nearly finished with the quilting that I recognized the creek, green with the reflection of all that verdant spring out there. Are there frogs hiding in there? Maybe.
Spring seems to be having it's way with things. Bring it on.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
Big snap. The heart comes out of the little purse, but is permanantly attached with a piece of cord.
Button. The star resides in the pocket.
My sewing machine can be programmed to make words. This is the first time I've ever used that function.
About that pinata...
Sunday, March 22, 2009
An Elmo from another planet
I think my son-in-law did pretty well at getting the proportions right, just by using balloons. The arms and legs are made using those skinny balloons made to twist into balloon animals. The tissue paper covering had to dry before I could try to make this alien look like lovable little Elmo.
My daughter went to Target yesterday and got goodies to put inside the pinata and picked up ping pong balls and an orange plastic easter egg to use for Elmo's features. I cut his mouth and black circles for his eyes from card stock and glued everything on.
OK, I think he looks kind of like Elmo! Will he pass the Sofia test? That remains to be seen. He has a trap door in the back, from which party favors will fall, when a string is pulled. It seemed best not to go for the traditional blindfolded whacking that is the traditional way to get the goods out of a pinata. A blind-folded two-year-old, armed with a baseball bat just didn't sound right.
I just googled "elmo pinata" and yes, we could have bought one who might have looked a bit more like the real Elmo, but we are amused by our "Elmo from another planet."
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Answering some questions
Ann asked if it is for a specific show and where it will be seen. Yes, it is for a show called "Line Dance" that my fiber art group, High Fiber Diet, is having at the Umpqua Art Center in Roseburg, Oregon. It will be there April 17 - June 5. I am the chair of the show and I think it will be good and has an interesting premise. Each piece will have a horizontally oriented lime green line running through it—an element that will loosely unite all the work. And, again, to Ann. No, nowhere near Maine, though we are looking for other venues for the show. Do you know of a gallery in Maine that would be open to a fiber art show? I'd love to send them a CD!
Barbara asked if the design of my quilt is original and if it is hand-quilted. Yes, the design is original. I made a smaller piece using my own tree design about a year ago. You can see it here. I wanted to try it at a larger size and different techniques. No, it is not hand-quilted. The quilting is done on my sewing machine. It is what is called "free motion" quilting. The feeddogs are not engaged and the quilt is moved, by hand, under the needle—kind of like drawing if you held a pen still and moved the paper instead.
Penny asked about the bamboo hanging apparatus. This is a hanging method I developed several years ago and I really like it for certain kinds of quilts. It really appeals to me for quilts with natural themes, and I used it for a lot of the pieces I did for High Fiber Diet shows at the Japanese Garden. A lot of the HFD members liked it and adopted my method, too. It has become kind of a HFD signature finish.
I buy bamboo or wooden poles for this. I have found these at garden centers, craft stores, Pier One, Cost Plus, craft stores and even Ikea. I cut the pole a little wider than the quilt, then drill holes about 3 inches in from each end. The hole goes all the way through the bamboo. Be careful to drill them evenly! Using heavy thread, I stitch through the binding or edge of the quilt, leaving a long tail of thread, go up through a bead, then the bamboo, then another bead, then turn around and go back through the bamboo, the bottom bead and back through the quilt edge. If you can manage to do this all a couple of times, the connection is sturdier. Finally, end the thread back where you started and tie it to the tail you left and trim it so it doesn't show on the front. Everything should be snugged up as tight as possible. It looks sloppy if you can see the thread between elements. For large quilts, or flimsy pieces I have made a little pocket on the back of the top edge and inserted a small dowel to hold the edge nice and straight. For small quilts and very firm feeling quilts this isn't necessary. This piece, because of the large amount of quilting is quite firm, so it doesn't have the additional dowel in it.
Added: Linda asked another question. What size is it? Answer: 23" x 29"
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
I took the nearly finished piece to STASH last week and mentioned that I felt the color scheme was a bit boring and they all assured me I was wrong about that. I do love more unconventional color than this piece turned out, so, to me, it falls down in the color column, but I am eager to try this all over quilting/drawing on some less representational work and see how that works. When I showed this to my family the other evening, my 2 year-old grandaughter pointed to the sky and said, "water," which I thought was pretty perceptive. I do like the movement in the sky section, but I have to say my favorite part is the leafy motif in the tree. Click on the picture and take a closer look at that.
My hearing is getting better in increments—two steps forward, one step back. My ears pop and gurgle and my hearing improves as the day progresses, then is bad again in the mornings. I suppose fluid and pressure build up overnight. I think there is progress. I see the Dr. again on Thursday. I feel a much greater empathy for people with hearing impairments and understand why they say deafness is so isolating. Trying to follow a discussion is tiring and frustrating and it is very tempting to go read a book, go play solitaire on the computer—opt out of social interaction.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Domestic still lifes
I haven't stepped foot outside my house today, except for a quick trip to the grocery store. It was cold and rainy out and nice and cozy in, so the choice was simple. I worked on the tree quilt for awhile and noticed how pretty the messy top of my little chest in the sewing room looked with all the thread spools. This is where I plunk them as I change thread on the machine. When things start falling on the floor I gather them up and put them away on the thread rack. (do I really need three pincushions/pin holders? I guess I must.)
My hearing is returning, slowly. What a relief. I have never had an ear infection that bad.
Friday, March 13, 2009
So the good news (besides the fact that the new prescription cost less than $5—when does that happen?!) is that hearing is not essential to quilting. I have been working away on the tree quilt and adding the pattern I love, with quilting.
This has been really fun. I am only doing some minor pre-thinking and no marking, just quilting spontaneously and making up the designs as I go. Lots more to do in the tree itself, but you can see the leaf-ish pattern I am concocting for that. You can see the unquilted version here to get an idea of how much this is changing the piece. The quilting, except for the sky, is all done with a dark purple thread, which comes across quite neutral, but I think it is livelier than black would have been. The dark lines in the quilt, by the way, are also not black, but a charcoal gray color. I quilted the sky using white thread.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
You'll notice that he refers to me as "he", which is not surprising when you have a gender neutral name like Terry, but is probably also an assumption that anyone doing things like staining and tiling is a "he". Oh well, I'm just happy he liked my hack.
Monday, March 09, 2009
Happy Birthday, Barbara Millicent Roberts
Sunday, March 08, 2009
Friday, March 06, 2009
Fabrics are painted and fused. For those who asked, you can now see how the green line fits in. Now I have this idea to add pattern and texture with the quilting, almost like drawing all over it. I did some doodling on some scraps to see how I like it. I'm not sure, but I think I am going to try it. Once I get started I'll have a better idea of how it will work, I think.
Regarding yesterday's post—you guys are hilarious! I loved reading everyone else's favorite grammar and spelling peeves. You hit on a lot of the same ones that make me cringe. One of my favorite un-favorites is "Wallah!" (intending to say "Voila!") Makes me roll my eyes every time I see it.
Thursday, March 05, 2009
And so I offer, as a public service, the following:
- A tapering, projecting point; a pointed extremity: the peak of a cap; the peak of a roof.
- (Abbr. Pk.)
a. The pointed summit of a mountain.
b. The mountain itself.
a. The point of a beard.
b. A widow's peak.
- The point of greatest development, value, or intensity: a novel written at the peak of the writer's career. See synonyms at summit.
- Physics. The highest value attained by a varying quantity: a peak in current.
a. The narrow portion of a ship's hull at the bow or stern.
b. The upper after corner of a fore-and-aft sail.
c. The outermost end of a gaff.
intr.v., peeked, peek·ing, peeks.
- To glance quickly.
- To look or peer furtively, as from a place of concealment.
- To be only partially visible, as if peering or emerging from hiding: Tiny crocuses peeked through the snow.
- A brief or furtive look.
A state of vexation caused by a perceived slight or indignity; a feeling of wounded pride.
tr.v., piqued, piqu·ing, piques.
- To cause to feel resentment or indignation.
- To provoke; arouse: The portrait piqued her curiosity.
- To pride (oneself): He piqued himself on his stylish attire.
Any questions? Next week's lesson will cover Piqué, something altogether different!
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Rayna wrote something on her blog tonight that really struck me. She was quoting T.D. Max,the author of an article about the late writer, David Foster Wallace, who was struggling to change his writing style. Max said "style runs so deep, you think you can change how you write. But to change how you write, you really have to change how you think. ..." Rayna commented that the same thing probably applies to visual art as well.
I have tried, in the past, to emulate other fabric artists that I admired and it just doesn't work. I go back to what I do, because that is what I do. It used to be frustrating, but I am resigned that my style comes from my way of thinking, which would be pretty hard to change in a big way, but should constantly change in small ways. Otherwise you are just repeating yourself endlessly. So I am working with my own painted fabrics, but I haven't lost my love of pattern and a kind of graphic line work. It may be a mess, but you are invited to watch over my shoulder. I'll tell you the truth and show you the mess, if that's what happens!
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Making a pattern
Do you remember this little quilt? I made it about a year ago for a STASH challenge. Yesterday I decided I want to try to make one more piece for the green line show and thought I could expand on this idea. Fortunately I still have the Illustrator drawing I did for the small version. The new one will be bigger, so I enlarged the drawing to the size I want, printed it out on nine sheets of paper and taped it up on my front window.
The digital drawing is never exactly as I want it to be, so once I have it all taped together, I like to draw over it with a permanent marker and refine the line.
Better, I think. I also decided that bottom, broken-thumb of a branch on the right has to go. It won't be there in the fabric version. I apparently decided the same thing when I made the small version. I had forgotten that until I found the photo to post here.
That is the full extent of anything useful I did today. Mostly I lounged around in my pajamas and slept. I have the crud—sore throat, full head and the worst are my ears, which are plugged, painful and I can hear my pulse thumping away in the right one. I'll call the Dr. if they still hurt like this tomorrow. So now, I'm off to bed. Hope I feel like cutting fabric tomorrow.