Sunday, June 07, 2009

Unusual Animals

Can you believe it's June already? I can hardly believe it. I'm almost halfway through another year of weekly quilts. I had a tough time deciding on a theme, so I went with an odd one.
I've been researching unusual animals for possible theme inclusion, and when I happened upon the narwhal, I knew this was it for June. The hard part is that I will be away 2 weekends of June, so I had to thin of something simple.
This weekend really disappeared fast... I spent most of Saturday drawing and painting ATCs for my weekend retreat in 2 weeks. Sunday was supposed to be a Mustang only car show with my dad and brother (both own Mustang Cobra cars... one day...) but it was "rained out" and I spent the time washing and hand waxing my car (a Saturn) instead. It never really rained, and I have a nasty "cloudy day sunburn" to show for it. So.... back to my narwhal.
I drew exactly 3 of these before it was right, a drawing in my bedside drawing pad at night, then the ATC, and the mockup for the fusible for this piece. I do love him, he's just so cute.
Narwhal's tusks were hunted by Vikings and often sold a fake unicorn horns, worth about as much as a castle in Medieval times.

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Monday, May 25, 2009

The Ends of the Earth

Sometimes I feel like I have to drag myself back into reality, and the past few weeks have been no exception. Since the funeral for DH's grandmother and the passing of my friend Rita, I've been waylaid by the head cold from hell. I'm still not 100%; I have shortness of breath and a cough that has been lingering.

This past weekend was our quilt show for the Fiber Art Divas group I am a part of. Our first show, and the first debut of my "large" quilt Road to Home. I worked through sickness, and a shortened time frame from being away, to get this done in time. I'm glad it's done, and I'm thinking ahead to other quilts to make, and the hopes that this will get photographed and entered into the Mancuso Show in Harrisburg PA.

There's so much to do around the house, the lawn and garden are sorely disregarded right now, and need some attention. My sister got a house and got engaged on the same day, so I have spent some time over at her place helping strip wallpaper and paint, but my own place is crying out for some TLC. The laundry, the dishes, all kinds of chores need doing. It can get overwhelming.

Sometimes, just keeping up with a weekly project or on some other task can make sure you see things through to the end, and be able to come back to reality. That's how it was with this month's weekly quilts. They started off with the best of intentions, the idea that they would be a form of perspective and the Principles of Art, and also use a unique shape. They look a little strage, the further along the project went, and I have one more week to try to pull the idea together...

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Monday, March 30, 2009

What a Difference a Weekend Can Make

I tempted fate with my back still not feeling 100% and decided that I had not sewn in my studio for far too long. I got to spend the whole weekend, or the majority of it, in studio at the sewing machine. It was really great.

These are the weekly quilts for March. The theme is "Historic Lady Collage". I had envisioned these being more "crusty" for collage, but I lose courage to continue to alter them, so the paint and stamping ideas went by the wayside. Part of the reason to leave that be was that I used some hand-dyed damask napkins I thrifted. There were only 3 napkins, and they were stained, so dyeing them last year was a fun project.
The quotes are what the ladies actually said, usually attributed through letters. I had envisioned Marie Antoinette saying "Let them eat cake", but that has been since not been attributed to her. So the even more fun "Don't Worry, I'll be fine" is somehow better. Prophetic.

I also made these cute Vintage Romance ATCs for a swap I'm in at I made one extra for me, and one extra to swap later. I used some hand made vintage French lace on these that I almost couldn't cut into. They turned out so sweet.

I'm excited to get more sewing done this week, and next weekend should make progress on "The Road to Home". I hope to show it in May.

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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Another year passes

I'm on vacation this week also, and have been enjoying the relaxing times I have spent at home with DH. I have not been sewing as much as I had expected, because my DH got a new video game for Christmas that I am enjoying watching unfold, probably as much as he is enjoying playing it. I have been doing a lot of thinking about the past year and am really looking forward to 2009.
I have decided to do another year of weekly quilts, but I have decided to challenge myself again with changing the size and continuing to do them in themed groups by month. The size for 2009 is 8 inches by 5 inches, landscape orientation. I have a theme already for January.
I got great presents for Christmas from the DearHusband, and he was even so thoughtful as to wrap my gifts in fabric! Plenty of things with which to make art this year, and some more Nohohon Zoku (Hidamari No Tami) for my office. I have the best collection of these now.
I have been doing plenty of Japanese culture research for some quilt themes this year. I love the idea of nengajo, New Year's postcards that are supposed to arrive on Jan 1. This year is the year of the cow (or Ox), and it's also the sign of my birth year too. I love some of the holidays and traditions of Japan.
Anyways, have a great New Years celebration, be safe, and see you again in 2009, with a lovely giveaway!

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Friday, December 26, 2008

December's weekly theme- GEARS

What a theme I picked to end the year....
These little gears were a real pain in the you-know-what to cut out. I designed about 4 gears total, because more would have killed me. The cramping in my hand over cutting the templates, and then the fused fabric, totally sucked.
On the other hand, they look somewhat as I intended. These are ideas for a larger design I plan to do for my dining room, which happens to be a golden yellow with black furniture. I wanted a more "steampunk" look to them, but I will need more flourishes and "lace" to go with the gears in the larger work to pull that off. In the end I am happy with it. This does complete "year two" of the weekly quilts. I'll post more on a look back at whatI learned in doing them in my next post.

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The rest of November's themed weekly quilts

November slipped away from me, but because I went to West River on retreat with the Baltimore Heritage Quilt Guild, I did get a ton of sewing done. I also did keep up with the weeklies, and here they are...

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Monday, August 04, 2008

Signature Styles

I recently had someone tell me that they knew a project was mine because it was my "style". Really? I has a style? This made me take a look at some of my past works, and I looked at sketches of upcoming projects I plan to work on. Indeed, a formation of a style is there. If you look at my Japanese Doll theme, and it continues with the Robots theme, I do have a signature look to the work. It actually came about before these works were thought of. My Journal Quilt, that was not made in time for jurying, was very much in this same vein as these recent themed works. Is it original? Well, the work is original, but is the style?

In clothing, it's easy(ier) to say that this dress looks like Betsey Johnson, or that looks like Michael Kors. Surely a painting style can be attributed to being "after Picasso", or "after O'Keefe", or whoever has the closest style to your painting. It seems like my style copies so many things that I am influenced by, that I did not originally see my own style. Am I inadvertently copying the style of someone else? Who is the original artist if my style and the other artist's style are developed independently? Is it then in the realm of who is more famous? At what point does your style become yours? Back to clothing, the recnet Project Runway winner Christian Siriano has a look that is becoming his own, but it is often still described as "Vivienne Westwood meets whoever". The point is: when does it become his own?

After discussing this with my husband for his feedback he had 2 comments:
1. This whole thing goes back to "are there any truly original ideas anymore" and because I am influenced by what I see, by natural extension my work is going to incorporate those influences. His own work has a style that I recognize, and someone mentioned to him previously, but he does not.
2. That I should not get caught up designing to meet my "style", but to continue to make art and let that style develop over time.

This second one is true. This got me thinking about why I am so concerned with even wanting/having a style at all, which led me to "why I make (my) art". Oh boy, that is a topic for another post!

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

"New Work" pages updated on my website and some non quilt art

The new work pages of my website are updated with weekly and monthly quilts. What's nice is to be able to see the themed works grouped together.
I do occasionally do non quilty art, and here is one of those things I did. Kelli Perkins had a tutorial on altering silver spoons in a recent back issue of Cloth Paper Scissors. I traded these online with friends. I plan to alter a few more and attach them to a quilted background. It would make a nice Christmas kitchen gift.

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Monday, July 07, 2008

July's weekly theme is Japanese dolls

I love Japanese culture. I especially love the idea of Kawaii (Cute) and Zakka (Simple living). This week's doll is a daruma doll. I first learned about these from a Nohohon Zoku special edition I have that was made as a gift for "good luck with studying for tests". The idea of the daruma doll is that the doll comes with white eyes. You make a wish, and fill in the one eye. When your wish comes true, you fill in the other eye and hang proudly in your home. I made my wish and sewed in the one eye. If my wish comes true, I will fill in the other eye and post it finished here.

I like this kawaii version of the daruma so much that I might offer it as a pattern. What do you think?

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Last of the June Weeklies

June turned into a long month. It has 5 weekends in it, making my weekly quilt project have an extra June quilt. After travelling so much for work, this theme ended up being a blessing. This week's is squared off filler quilting, as the rest of the month of June was all curves. It was also the only black background, with a nice light pink thread. July should be lots of fun with the theme I have picked out.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Recycling from IQA Chicago

My weekly quilt this week is firmly on the theme of "recycled" for April. As I described on my earlier post about the show, and the "Surviving the Runway" luncheon, I took some of the scraps on the table to use in this week's quilt. I think this makes a perfect memento of the event, and our win for our table team.

Used here are tissue paper, a bingo card, a paper doily, gesso, pink paint to take down the bingo card color, ink from a stamp pad in the prize pack I won, and Wright's hem tape used on our model, that was origianlly grey but I dyed with pomegranate juice. Too bad this is not 5x5 inches (my weekly quilts are 6x6) or I would enter it into Quilting Art's current reader challenge!

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Recap of International Quilt Festival Chicago

I did so much, it's hard to remember it all.

First off, here is week 14's weekly quilt, before I forget. The center is a scrap of fabric we played around with during QuiltingArts' Make it U class at the end of last year's show. Also, some silk rods I bought at last year's show in the corners.

This year's show had lots of classes lined up, and I hope to do more like this again. The Thursday preview was worth it, as I bought the majority of my purchases then. I also got into the two Make It U classes I signed up for on this day. Since these moved to a lottery system, Thursday is the best bet to get in.

Friday, I attended the reception hosted for email list and SAQA members by Karey Bresenhan and the IQA. I met fellow quilt artists at my table, got to see the famous tiara parade (which I will do next year), and also a beautiful 1860's silk quilt that was on it's way to a museum. It was a lovely event, and thanks to the lovely Karey for hosting it.

That same evening, I attended the very difficult to get into Friday Night Sampler, and those teachers were amazing. From Thermofax and gesso silk screening, to mosiac fusing, and other great classes, I learned so much in those 2 hours.

Saturday, I took a make-it-take-it on a felt flower pin, looked at all of the lovely art quilts and journal quilts, and shopped some more. I also met up with 2 fellow ATCers from my favorite ATC site, I also took my dyeing fabric in the microwave class, and made some great fabric. I was lucky to get into the second most sought after class, the Saturday Night Sampler. This evening was just as good, but the highlight was elinor peace bailey. She is such a joy to listen to, so inspiring, and it was nothing to do with technique. Her art journal was amazing to look at, and I am so glad that I took this class just so I could have met her. She reminds me of JoMomma, my MIL, except elinor had pink hair.

This is a piece of lutradur and collaged background in a Make It U class tought by Patricia "Pokey" Bolton of Quilting Arts. I love how it turned out.

Finally, Week 15. It's a quilting template I bought in 1997 that I traced and filled in with Fabrico fabric markers. I quilted it by hand, since I was away from my machine and needed to have something to do by handwork. You can see my pencil marking lines, which I will erase.

Before the show I went to, which will soon be my local shop, and Susan Marie's, a shop near my dad's house. Both stores were a delight, and at, even though the owner was getting ready for the show, was pleasant and very nice.

I left most of my bounty in Chicago with my DH and DF since I will be relocating there in 2 weeks, but I cannot wait to start making things with all of the great ideas I have in my head from attending the show.

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Saturday, March 03, 2007

Hello...hello again

I like this local radio station alot called Jack FM. It plays mostly 80's stuff, which I love, but also throws in a few 70's and 90's tunes. Today, it was really in gear, and played "Hello again" by the Cars. Holy electronica! I had forgotten all about this song, and how much I liked it! (Did you know Rick Ocasek is from Baltimore? I didn't either until I moved here.)
Anyway, I was jamming to Jack FM while making this thing. I was trying a technique from a book called "Fabric Leftovers", of which I have tons, so was a perfect book for me. This is rug canvas. Yup, that stuff you make hooked rugs out of. I actually BOUGHT some and used it on this. It was too stripey for my tastes, so I put the big round sequins on. Too bad you can't see them sparkle on this scan. They look nice. Yes, that is some of the rug canvas in the bottom right sticking out. There is no batting in this, just a backing sewn on. Also, I bought stripped fabric to use on this square, which is why it's so matchy-matchy, and defeated the purpose of using "fabric leftovers"....
Yes, this square is done really early. I spent all day out of the house so it could be shown, and came back and banged this out in an hour and a half. Guess I'm bored.