Thursday, July 30, 2009

Succulent VII & VIII

I got two 5 x 7 pieces out of the current project instead of the one I was planning. I am looking for a good source for pre-cut double mats for framing.

And I had some scraps leftover to make ATC's. Two of the ATC's have some stitching to join some of the smaller scraps together.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Looking More Like Succulent Plants

Nearly done with this one.

I'm thinking about adding a pale wash over parts of the flowers to define better where there is a bit of overlap. Then I need to decide the best way to crop it for a finished piece.

Monday, July 27, 2009

These are Not Flowers

My current work in progress looks a bit like chrysanthemums or Dahlias to me. The plan is to add green. Maybe it will begin looking more like succulent plants then.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Radial Symmetry

This month’s Fast Friday Challenge is to be based on radial symmetry and colors from nature. I didn’t have to stretch my mind at all to fit succulents into the radial theme, and colors from nature could mean anything.

Imperfect symmetry is more interesting to me than perfect kaleidoscope type symmetry. Nature is full of not quite perfect symmetry, and rather lacking in much that is perfect.

Radial symmetry makes me think of circles, so I began by painting some white fabric with circles. This will be an under-painting when the quilt is complete. Many of my green succulents have a bit of red or yellow in them.

I have traced some succulent shapes onto interfacing. I will place it behind the batting, and quilt the shapes from the back, and then add more paint.

When I am done, I plan to select a section which can be matted and framed, and turn the remainder into ATC’s.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tinta & Chiqui

We've made more sock creatures.

Camilla made Chiqui. She is made from chihuahua socks turned inside out.

Tinta is made from an experiment gone weird involving Sharpies, rubbing alcohol, and instructions for tie-dying socks. I didn't wear the resulting socks much, but they were perfect for a creature.

Camilla put a heart in with Chiqui's stuffing, and cut out a heart for my creature also. But I forgot to add the heart in before I sewed her up. Tinta now wears her heart proudly on her outside.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Dinah & Dino

Hi! My name is Dino. I’m the blue one on the right. Camilla made me, because Mom brought home a book called “Stupid Sock Creatures” by John Murphy from a garage sale this weekend. The green one is Dinah. She’s my best friend. Mom made her. I have a tail, but Dinah doesn’t. We’re modeled after Wronky, but look nothing like him. There are no patterns in the book, just instructions to eyeball everything. That makes each of us a little different, just like God made creatures.

Camilla did most of the sewing on me herself with just a little help. Mom sewed our arms on the sewing machine, because there were a lot of layers to sew through, and she wanted to make sure they stayed on well. Then Camilla and Mom got a little tired of all the hand sewing, and Mom used the sewing machine a bit more on both of us.

Camilla says she had lots of fun making me, and might make a pet for us.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Summertime Excursions & Projects

Yesterday we visited relatives & friends an hour away in Tiburon. We went for a couple mile walk down the bike path for lunch. That’s the Golden Gate Bridge poking up out of the fog. On the way back, I picked up some succulent branches that were broken off of the landscaping along the path. I am going to see if I can get them to root.

Ten year olds get restless after school has been out for a month. I let Camilla use my fabric paints. We have added batting, and I showed her how to add quilting with embroidery floss. No backing yet, because this way it is easier to sew through, and we can hide all the knots at the end. We will add a back when she is done.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Artist Trading Card Swap

I have traded my trading cards at my CQFA meeting yesterday, and now I have several from the group I belong to which I can admire.

Top row by:
Bronwen McInerney and Virginia Schnalle

Middle row: Nancy Riffle, Bronwen McInerney, and Terri Thayer

Bottom row: Diane Carver and Jaye Lapachet

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Georgia O’Keeffe, Ansel Adams, & Whisper Quilts

I am in a Whisper Quilt challenge with SAQA. We are divided into groups of ten. The first person received a photograph, and was required to create a quilt inspired by the photo. The second person gets to see the first quilt (but not the photo) and makes a quilt inspired by it. The third person gets to see the second quilt… and so on. It’s a bit like playing “telephone” where something is whispered from person to person, and by the time it gets to the last person, the message is completely changed. I got to see the results from the last Whisper Challenge (this link loads slow, but it’s worth the wait). Three groups went in completely different directions, and all of the quilts were really wonderful.

I am creating a quilt based on what Liz Berg has done. I had an immediate first impression of her quilt, and my family had similar thoughts. But, I put that idea away to see if it might lead me in other directions. Then I remembered a piece of fabric which seemed to relate to Liz’s quilt, and the fabric lead me in a new direction, and everything seemed to fall into place…until I got it all pinned together and it just didn’t seem right. The separate pieces weren’t relating to each other. Time to put it away for a day and come back to it later.

I went to San Francisco the next day to the SFMOMA to see the “Georgia O'Keeffe and Ansel Adams” exhibit. The exhibit showed works by both artists and compared their art. I hadn’t known that they were friends, or imagined that their work could have any similarities. Actually, I knew little about the work of Ansel Adams beyond a dozen or so of his most well known photos. I now have a better appreciation of his work after seeing the exhibit. I enjoyed seeing O’Keeffe’s paintings up close. I began noticing areas in her paintings how a shape or a line might be clearly defined in one area, and then fade into obscurity. I wondered if adding some obscurity might make my quilt better.

The following day, I got out my fabric paints. I darkened the background in part of the quilt to lower the contrast between it and the foreground. I added some visual texture to the same area which seemed to relate to the rest of the quilt. It’s been rescued from the “what was I thinking stack,” and now it’s one of my favorite quilts.

Sorry, I can’t show pictures. It must remain Top Secret until the last people have finished their quilts, and we are allowed to reveal them to the world. I will be taking it to my small CQFA group this weekend to share. There are two other Whisper Challenge participants in that group, but one has finished hers, and one said she won’t be there this weekend, so I think it will be safe to whisper a few secrets in the small group. The last person is scheduled to finish in December, so look for pictures in 2010.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

New Succulent Plants

There is a garden in the neighborhood with the most amazingly beautiful succulent garden. I stopped there today, because there was a plant sale in progress. I bought five dollars worth of succulent plants which would rival any nursery succulents I've seen. They will be a welcome addition to my garden, and should add nice variety to my succulent series.

ATC's are finished

I've finished my Artist Trading Cards for next weekend. I like these work better as smaller pieces than I did as the one large piece it was a couple of days ago.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Transforming a Rejected Succulent

Quite a while ago, I began a succulent for the SAQA Auction, and then set it aside as a reject.

I cut it into rough squares a couple months ago, with the intention of completing the Fast Friday Challenge which was supposed to be based on grids with an accent color. I picked out the fabric for the accent color, but then couldn't satisfy myself with the final arrangement, and it got set aside again.

This months Fast Friday challenge is to work with pattern or texture and triad color scheme. My rejected project was already the right colors.

I sewed the squares together at random, quilted, and then used orange and white paints to bring out the texture and add some dimension. Then I cut it apart again, and inserted orange veins.

This was a fun experiment. The current plan is to cut this into trading card size pieces to swap at my next CQFA meeting.