Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Palm Of My Hand Art Quilt Workshop

I am thrilled to announce a new workshop! Palm of My Hand Art Quilt Workshop! Here's the workshop sample.

What will students learn and do in this new workshop?!

  • Construct a fused composition loosely based on a landscape.
  • Work with fused fabrics.
  • Create and use simple patterns.
  • Identify and explore designs for personal symbols.
  • Create a coordinating pair of art quilts.
  • Plan stitching designs.
  • Finish edges with fused binding.
  • Have fun and celebrate the creative spirit!

Plus, I'm going to share a little mini-presentation about personal symbols used in all kinds of art. 

I'll have an options for a supply list or a kit. It's pretty simple... just five fabrics plus a stripe. (I'm loving stripes lately!)

After composition and construction, we'll talk about all the wonderful things you can do with floss and hand embroidery.

I'd love to bring this workshop to your guild or even a small group of creative people who are eager to make art with fabric. Email me so we can talk about possibilities.

So, what does a spoon and a bowl symbolize to me? It's about nourishment. Sometimes just a plain sip of broth is enough to provide energy and clarity to see the possibilities around me.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

This and That: February Edition

I've been working in the studio quite a bit. Not much I'm ready to share yet, but here's Lincoln keeping me company on my red couch.

I made linzer tart cookies for Valentine's Day, like I do every year. Yum.

Claire and Benjamin both passed the most recent belt testing! Ben will move up to "recommended black belt," which means one more test before he will earn his full black belt with his name embroidered on it. Claire is a now a First Sr. Black Belt.

Every Thursday I spend an hour tutoring a third grader at a Dallas elementary school with Reading Partners. Last week we made a Venn Diagram comparing characters in a simple story book. She loved this activity!

She's quite bright, but tests below her grade level in reading, probably because English is not her first language. Reading Partners has a curriculum that is proven to help kids close the gap. She's making great progress. It's an honor to work with her.

Claire played a solo for the annual district evaluation. It's always a delight to hear her play.

Anticipating a big ice storm, I cut all the daffodils from our yard and put them in a vase. The orchids were a birthday gift from a friends. I think they make for a lovely bright centerpiece.

The ice came and they cancelled school for two days. Not too cold for Benjamin and his friends to walk from one house to another in search of the best video gaming set up.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Finishing Uprooted

We left off here yesterday. It's all pieced together.

At this point I stopped taking process photos, I guess. Probably because it was a pretty arduous process. Even though I was generally pleased with the direction, it wasn't as joyful as the creative process usually is. 

Here's the finished piece. You may be able to see that I added a few more yellow vines to balance the composition and bring the eye through to the bottom right corner. I also added the stamped circles in light blue and the red circles suggesting fields of flowers.

I also brought back the central house shape by painting a large white house shape over all the layers in the center of the quilt. It's subtle. I would do it differently next time.

I also added lots of hand embroidery, of course. I also did a ton of free motion quilting, most of which doesn't really show up. But it's an interesting layer.

Here you can see the red flowers, the machine stitching and a bit a of blue circles and the hand embroidery.

I do like the chunky piecing that gives you that random blue square and small blue triangle in the middle of the "house" section.

This piece was created for The Festival of Quilt Art that is a special exhibit at Festival in Houston every year. Last year the theme was Home, so I was especially motivated to enter since "home" and "houses" are a common theme in my work. When it all went wrong and I had to slice it up and put it back together again, it was sort of an incredible metaphor for the many moves I've made in my life. So, Uprooted seemed like a perfect title.

Here I am with Frayed Edges friends Kathy and Sarah with Uprooted in Houston.

Actually, it's still touring with Quilts, Inc. You can see it at Quilt Festival in Chicago at the end of March.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Slicing Uprooted

In yesterday's post, I returned to the process of created Uprooted. Scroll down to see the red tulle tree and the fabric collage.

I hated that tree. Ug. It was so leggy and wide and red and ungraceful. Yuck. Maybe it could have been fine, but it was making me very crabby. I did nothing with it for four or five days and I still hated it. Nothing to lose at that point. So I sliced it up.

Here I kept the horizontal strips, but rotated them to vertical.

Horizontal might be better?

More slicing then reconfigure the house a bit?

House on the left? No this is too close to where I began. If I want to create something better and revised, I need to really revise.

I sliced the bits into smaller bits and explored a log-cabin-esque composition.

Even smaller pieces. Crazy quilt. Bleck.

Arranging the pieces somewhat by color?

Putting the sky back on top? Maybe...

I had to recreate and add a few pieces to make sure it would still be big enough, but this is the layout I settled on.

Keep in mind that all of that took several days of playing around and reminding myself that it's good to try something new.

I reconfigured each section into larger blocks so I could sew it together more easily. Sorta.


Can you see the tiny zig zag that holds each piece together?

I butted each piece together, then fused a strip on the back to hold them together, then did the zig zag from the front. It seemed to work pretty well.

Not that I'd recommend slicing a 50x50 inch quilt into more than 70 pieces and sewing them back together.

Tomorrow I'll show you the additional details I added and the finished quilt.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Looking back at creating Uprooted

Remember this from way back last spring when I was working on "five projects?" It eventually became a quilt titled Uprooted that was accepted into The Festival of Quilt Art: Home. I was thrilled to have it shown on the show floor at Festival in Houston.

Back when I was sharing the process, I realized I was not supposed to share finished pictures, then I never got around to sharing the quilt and the process behind it. So... here it is.

I started with this pinned to my design wall, the general composition and palette of fabrics.

Eventually I've got this all fused together. 

This is generally what I had in mind and it felt like it was progressing along fine. A giant sheer tree would be the next layer. I spent a bunch of time thinking and sketching the design and placement of the tree.

Then I made a pattern.

The I stitched the tree with a layer of red tulle.

Ug. This is awful. I can't even tell you how many things I dislike about the piece at this point. So many! Tomorrow I'll share with you what I did next.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Fabric Printing at Home Blog Hop and GIVE AWAY!

I am thrilled to join in the blog hop celebrating Julie Booth's amazing new book!

It really is great. So many wonderful -- and simple -- ideas! One thing that jumped out at me was the many ways she uses brayers for printing. I should totally do more of that. I really only have one brayer, but I pulled this wacky rolling pin out of a drawer in the kitchen along with a piece of plastic wrap. Hmmmm. Potential!

I wrapped the rollers with the plastic wrap and rolled it in some tan and brown paint.

Viola! I love this subtle texture and the way I could just roll it right across the fabric in any direction.

Here's the thing about Julie's book. This isn't a specific technique from her book, BUT... looking through the book got me thinking differently about the potential for various tools. There are techniques with rolling pins and with plastic wrap, so that gave me the idea to put them together.

A book that can get you to think creatively and give you ideas about how to put your ideas into action is a super valuable resource!

Of course, the book is full of actual techniques and excellent pictures and very helpful step-by-step instructions! I'd definitely recommend it for your bookshelf. Check it out.

Or win a copy by commenting on this blog post! Any comment will do or tell me your favorite color combination. I need ideas for more paint to squeeze onto my palette! I'll choose a winner one week from today on February 17.

Be sure to visit all the stops on the Tour:
February 2: Lisa Chin

February 3: Lynn Krawczyk
February 4: Jane Davila
February 5: Carol R. Eaton
February 6: Judy Gula
February 7: Susan Purney Mark
February 8: Teri Lucas
February 9: Jennifer Coyne Qudeen
February 10: Deborah Boschert
February 11: Lynda Heines
February 12: Cheryl Sleboda
February 13: Terri Stegmiller
February 14: Jackie Lams

Be sure to check out all these amazing blogs. Everyone is giving away a copy of the book. Lots of chances to win! plus, Julie is giving away all kinds of goodies on her blog every day during the blog hop. 

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Snap Shots...

I have always wanted to try an Asian sandwich on steamed buns. After our local SAQA meeting, a bunch of artists gathered for lunch at Tanoshii Ramen

I'm not a huge fan of ramen, so I was happy to take my chance to order steamed buns! I got the spicy chicken with cucumber and cilantro. Yum. I am so accustomed to crusty bread with a toasty color that these buns feel unusual, but I liked them very much!

My birthday was a couple of weeks ago. Part of the celebration included these delicious ice cream sandwiches!

We also went for a birthday hike at the Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary. Claire and Benjamin stopped to squeeze into a chair together.

Self portrait in shadow.

One of the things I got for my birthday was this wonderful box of bath goodies from Soaptopia.
Last year, I ordered myself a subscription for a "soap of the month" from Swamp Angel on Etsy. It was awesome and I was eager to resubscribe, but she no longer offers the subscription. So, I went looking for another soap-of-the-month program and I discovered Soaptopia. Then I sent the link to my husband and he "surprised" me! But he really did surprise me with the bath goodies!

It was a great birthday! I think 2015 is going to rock!