Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Clam Cove II – Finished Again

There was a suggestion on the Fast Friday Blog to add some darks to the water area to help with the balance of this piece. I decided to act on the suggestion add just a bit of dark to the water area.

I’m not sure about how this affected the balance, but I think it has added some dimension to the middle section and unified it more with the rest of the piece.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Learning to Machine Quilt

I was a featured artist at the Piecemakers Quilt Guild show in May, and gave a short talk to a few groups of people that weekend. I was surprised and pleased to get an email today from Chris Crawford who came to here me speak. She says I gave her the inspiration to try some new things. Take a look at Chris’s blog to see some of her early attempts at free-motion quilting. It’s looking great Chris.

I did a lot of hand quilting, and some quilting with the feed dogs down for about 10 years before I got brave enough to try free-motion quilting. My problem was that I didn’t think I could ever make my quilting look as good as the expert examples in books and magazines, and I imagined that it would be very difficult. And then one day I saw a quilter demo a free-motion feather design. She made it look so easy, I decided I would try it on a small sample and see what I could do.

My first attempt at free-motion was on a small piece of fabric about eight years ago. I quilted a free hand feather design and then filled in the empty space with stipple quilting.

The first bits of stippling were very jerky, but the time I finished stippling the whole piece, I had the rhythm down and it was becoming easier.
I finished it as an 11 x 16 doll quilt for my then one year old daughter.

The progress I made on the first piece made me realize that I could do free-motion work, and that I could get better with practice. I decided it was good enough that I could tackle a larger piece, so I put together the blocks from the Piecemakers’ Block of the Month drawing that I had one into a 46 x 75 quilt, and free-motion quilted an allover pattern.
This is a well used quilt, as it is the perfect size to make just my side of the bed a few degrees warmer.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Completed Abstract Project

Clam Cove II (15" x 10½")
A few more minor changes to this piece this weekend, and then completed the quilting today. I have been reminded again how important contrast is to the success of a piece. I seem to be learning this lesson over and over again.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Progress on Abstracting a Photo

My initial attempt at this piece didn’t excite me. Too many small pieces, no defined focal point, and not enough contrast. Adding some abstracted trees and a dark line near the horizon helped with the contrast, but didn’t relate to the rest of the piece.

I’ve added some dark neutrals to the bottom to create a foreground. Now I think I have enough contrast, and it seems to relate to the top shapes. I may put it up on the wall to think about for a day or two.
Names often stump me. Any ideas?