Monday, December 31, 2007

Ice Challenge

For this months Fast Friday Challenge, we are supposed to create an abstract based on “fire” or “ice”. It was suggested that we write down all of the words that we associate with our chosen subject and then create whatever image we have imagined.

The words I wrote for ice:

I thought I would include organza to give a layered look, and used a stencil with blue and white acrylic fabric paint to add some texture to it. While I was at it, I added white paint to some bluish green cheesecloth.

I piece the background in gentle curves, layered the organza and cheesecloth over the top, and anchored everything down with some free-motion quilting.

I like the layered textures that I have ended up with, but something is missing. This could be a great background for something else.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Table Runners

I was inspired by Gerrie to make table runners a couple of Christmas presents and one for myself. I used Kristen’s “Mod Log Cabin Table Runner” pattern that she has on her website. If you follow her written instructions, you will get two rounds of logs around each center square, but if you are going by the photo that accompanies the instructions, you will get three rounds of logs (not that it makes a whole lot of difference). I have three rounds. I guess that means I'm a visual learner and don't like to follow directions.

Making the blocks for one runner at a time, then afterward searching my fabrics for something that coordinating and big enough for a border, is not perhaps the best way to plan colors. But I am pleased with how they turned out.

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:14)

Have a great Christmas.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

A Bag of Stuff, Sérusier, & A Thought for a New Quilt

"Clam Cove" was made for the Quiltart "2004 Bag of Stuff" exchange. It is based on a photo I took while vacationing on the New England coast. It was made while I was transitioning from traditional to art quits. I spent a couple of years making what I consider "inovative" quilts. This is the first "art" quilt that I made. It began as an appliqued landscape that was very stiff and unnatural looking. I decided if realistic wasn’t working, then I would abstract it. I got brave and stenciled designs across it with acrylic paint. Then I got extra brave, cut it up, and pieced it back together. It now lives in Alaska with the owner who put together the bag of stuff that I worked from. I was surprised after I did it that the more abstract version seemed more lifelike than the original version. Making this quilt taught me that it's okay to cut things freehand and allow things to happen. To respond to the piece I am working on, and allow it to change.

This is my interpretation of Paul Sérusier's Le Talisman which I made for a Fast Friday Fabric Challenge a few months ago.

I think it could be interesting to reinterpret the Clam Cove photo using a style similar to the Sérusier piece. This idea will be filed away for another day. I have some Christmas sewing I thought I might do, and then there will be another Fast Friday Fabric Challenge coming up Christmas week, and January I will doing work for Pamela Allen's class.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Fabric Shopping for a Class with Pamela

I have signed up for a Pamela Allen online class next month. I took a break yesterday from catching up on housework and other mundane tasks to go shopping fabric shopping at the Goodwill store for her class. Large bold prints are on the supply list, which I don’t have a lot of.

Large bold prints in the ladies clothes section seem to be mostly rayon, which I have a particular aversion to, but I did have rather good luck in the men’s shirt department. I found a cotton print shirt, and a silk shirt with lots of wonderful texture. Not quite the bold prints I was looking for, but I fell in love with the fabrics. The problem is I like them a bit too much and they fit rather well, so I may not use them after all.

I also found a Malaysian batik skirt which will not be kept to wear, because I can’t remember when I fit into something so tiny. It came with a label printed near the bottom hem in the back, which got me searching the internet for more info about this fabric. I found this website about Malaysian batiks which details the process by which they are made, and has beautiful pictures.

I went looking through my own things a bit better, and found a couple of cast off cotton shirts and some lightweight decorator fabrics some of which I had over-dyed. I may go searching through the flat folds of decorator fabrics at the fabric store to see if I can add a few more large scale prints.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Framing a Small Textile Piece

I have a small quilt that I plan to enter in a juried show for small quilts. I thought a frame would make it look less trivial, and more significant as a piece of art. I liked what Pat Dolan did a few months ago with similar sized pieces and decided I would do something similar. I wasn’t able to find a Pre-assembled square frame in the size I needed, so I decided to build my own.

Two sets of pre-cut 11 inch wood frame sections were easy to assemble with a bit of wood glue and plastic pegs that push in to hold the corners together. The plastic pegs don’t make quite as tight a joint as I would like, so I was glad the salesman at the art supply store suggested I color the cut ends with a black marker before assembling it.

The artwork was centered on a piece of acid free foamcore, and lines were lightly drawn onto the foamcore about a quarter of an inch in from the edge under the fabric. Two small holes were made in the foam corner at each corner.
Using multiple strands of thread, the quilt was sewn at each corner through the holes, catching just the back of the quilt and a bit of batting, but not going through to the front of the quilt.

Plexiglas was cut to fit the frame. Standard frame quality Plexiglas was recommended over non-glare, because non-glare is not completely clear, and becomes more evident if the artwork is set back from the face of the plastic.

Plastic spacer was cut to fit around the perimeter of the Plexiglas. What was available was an eighth of an inch wide and a quarter inch in depth. It can be scored with a utility knife and snapped to the correct length. It comes with adhesive on the back which is used to fix it onto the back of the glass.

One more piece of foamcore was cut for a back board, and glazier points were used to hold everything in the frame.

Scotch Tape Roller meant for mounting photos does not work well on the back of picture frames. It seems to need a smoother surface to dispense well. Aleene’s scrappbooking glue worked great to attach the paper dust cover to the back.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Saturn Returns Exhibit & Other Things

Today I went to San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles to see their 30th anniversary exhibit. Well worth seeing if you are in the Bay Area. They’ve brought together an impressive exhibit of many contemporary textile artists. Many artists I’m familiar with, and it was wonderful to see their work up close in person. And many artists I wasn’t familiar with, and their work was wonderful also. The exhibit contained weaving and other textile work in addition to quilts. Pictures weren’t allowed, but they had a full color catalog which I failed to purchase.

I have a small six inch or so quilt made about a year ago which I am hoping will be juried into a show of small quilts. So while I was in San Jose, I went to University Art to purchase a frame for it. Spent way more than I intended to. Perhaps I should make quilts that I think might get framed rectangular so they will fit into standard pre-made frames. Assembling the frame will be a project for this weekend.

I had time in the afternoon and evening to make a block for a traditional album quilt. It’s in a color scheme that I probably wouldn’t have picked, but I think the recipient will like it.

Saturday, December 1, 2007