Saturday, November 21, 2009

Rainy Day

What a perfect day to make this post, as it is really a rainy day in Tacoma. Winter has certainly arrived - can't remember the last sunny day we had! This is my first quilt using the 'Creative Catalysts'.

Here is a close-up of some of the beading  . . .

It was a fun day when I initially worked on this quilt, as several of my quilting buddies were over for a 'play day'.  Here is how the piece evolved:

1. Here is my start, sewed together a 'scrap' batik that I got after admiring it from my friend Debi, and a piece of Judy Robertson's hand-dyed fabric. If you aren't a member of her 'yard of the month club', you should . . . her fabrics are amazing!

2. The first thing I drew was "Use something from the bathroom - either on the piece or to mark the piece". I found a toilet paper tube, and used it to stamp circles on the beige hand dye piece.

3. "Add something shiny". I knew I had a rubber stamp with the same pattern of the batik, so I stamped with gold ink to unify the background.

4. "Cut in two pieces". I decided to cut the dark batik in half, and add it to the other side of the piece.

5. "Add something ugly". Okay, so last winter and spring, I made houses . . too many houses . . . I had plans for them, but really didn't like them. Some have ended up on other quilts, the others were just hanging around my design wall. This house seemed to go with the background that was evolving.

6. "Add a different type of fabric (silk, velvet, cheesecloth, chiffon, tulle, etc.). I wanted to add some interest and texture behind the house, and this sheer in my collection called to me to add behind the house, sort of like a fence. The shiny gold helps add some light and interest.

7. "Add a texture". Well, I cheated - I had already put beads on the house, and knew that I would be added more as I finished the piece, so consider beads the texture!

8. "Add a strong vertical line". The obvious is to add a tall tree . .

10. "Blindfold and grab a fabric from your scrap bag". Since most of this will be fused before being sewn and quilted, I pulled out my 'already fused scraps' tub. Trust me, there are lots of colors that wouldn't have worked well on this quilt. I was lucky to pull this piece! Perfect for making some flowers for the yard.

11. "Cover something up." This was easy, the flowers will cover part of the house and tree, and I added some green stems and 'fern-type' shapes to cover up some other areas.

To me, it was done . . . except for stitching, beading, quilting and finishing. So, I did not draw another 'Creative Catalyst'. This was fun, as I wasn't sure what I would draw and what idea I would have next! My goal was one a month . . hmmm . .. it has taken me two months to finish the first one. I will do more of these. Even though the finished product was similar to my current style, it did have to think. I generally don't embellish my fabrics with stamping, and I think that really enhanced the piece, unifying the two background pieces.

I quilted it with two threads, a sliver and a shiny thread I picked up somewhere, in a straight diagonal line to simulate rain. I named this Rainy Day because the background reminded me of the skies on a rainy day, but you can still see the beautiful colors of the flowers.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Recent work

After making the quilt for the Ronald McDonald House Charities, I've had requests to see some of my other quilts in this series.
Dancing in the Rain
This quilt has the quote "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain" embroidered on the borders. A whimsical woman dancing in the flowers in a rainstorm. Fusible applique, bead embellishments.

Flower Garden
A whimsical and happy spring flower garden, complete with a little bee in the upper left hand corner!
Fused applique, bead embellishments.

Fractured Flowers
Flowers were made, then sliced and put back together to make this piece.
Fused applique, bead embellishments.

Flowers for Me I & II
These quilts were made together, with complementary color schemes. A nice bouquet of flowers that always look happy and whimsical, for when you need a little 'pick me up'!

Red Flowers
This small quilt was made specifically for an auction, using only red fabrics for the flowers.

Peter's Flowers
A friend of mine is a greeting card artist, and one of his cards inspired this quilt. Check out Peter's cards on Etsy  - they are amazing!

The Neighborhood
This is the second of my quilts with houses on it - the first was made and donated to an auction, and I didn't take a picture of it.

House 1 and House 2
These quilts are just about trying new techniques. On House 1, I tried layering sheers with matte medium and on House 2 I layered sheers by sewing. Interesting techniques to play with, you'll see them more as embellishments in the future.

August Anemones
Trying more techniques . . .this one the flowers are actual images of flowers in my garden, printed on both cotten and silk chiffon. Then, embellished with thread and beads.

Postmarkdt Art

I finally finished my postcards to trade. I joined two groups this year, both Leaves and Spring. The intent was to make and trade fabric postcards based on a theme. Here are picture of the cards I made.

I've really enjoy seeing how everyone in the group translated the theme. It's like getting a present in the mail!


Monday, October 12, 2009

House Built with Love

Today I finished my quilt titled "House Built with Love" which is being donated to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Western Washington & Alaska for their annual auction on Saturday, October 17th. (size 32" x 32") My friend Tara is very involved in the organization, and this is the second quilt I have made for the organization.

The top background is a cut piece from a wonderful Judy Robertson hand-dye fabric . . . the remaining fabric is purchased print or batiks. The piece is heavily embellished with beads and sequins, and quilted in a spiral motif. A few embroidery stitches outline the walkway to the house - made with love!

Here are some close ups of the beading on the windows and roofline - full of bling!

I wish them best of luck. This quilt was made with love and thoughts of all of the families that Ronald McDonald House touches.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Beaded Button Fun!

September means a week at Padre with my family to walk the beach and celebrate Janet's birthday.

And, getting the girls together means its time for a 'craft project'. This year, I brought beads and stuff to try and make beaded buttons. I've seen pictures of some, and read up on tips to making them easier . . . and got some hints from my friend Melodie who took a class. I gathered together a few vials of mixed beads, a few squares of fabric, some covered button kits and a small hoop. Did I remember thread? Of course not! Thank goodness HEB had a little thread kit for not much money!

Before you get started, let me tell you - beaded buttons are addicting to make!

Here is my first one:

In looking at it, I wanted more texture. So, tried using different sizes of beads.

Then, I wanted to try one color - would a monocromtic button be better?

How about one big bead, and lots of colors?

What if I tried almost like a flower in the center?

My sisters decided I was having too much fun by myself. Here is Ginny's button - a terrific spiral . . .

Bobbie's first button used some bigger beads, and more monochromatic

And, her second button is full of color . . .

We had a wonderful week together, and a fun time making the beaded buttons - now what to do with them all?

Friday, September 4, 2009

It's finally time . . .

I read blogs . . . all of the time.

In my 'real job', I am developing strategies to reach out to bloggers, as a marketing tool.

Isn't it time to have one of my own? Understand what makes bloggers tick?

Back-to-school time, and time to begin something new. Since it's not school for me, it's time to begin playing with new techniques, and journaling about them.

Several of us were at a retreat last weekend - we want to explore textile collage art, but where to begin? Reading the latest issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors generated an idea - develop a list of 'prompts' for our collages, then we don't need to think of the millions of ideas - just do one thing at a time. I'm calling mine 'Creative Catalysts' - ideas that help the mental block of 'what-to-do-next'

Here is how it works:
1. Develop a list of your Creative Catalysts (see our list below), can be anything!
2. Cut them up and put them in a bowl, basket or bag. I have a beautiful new 3-D pentagon shaped box made by a very good friend. To me, this must be a special container!
3. Start with a base - it can be pieced, or just one piece. I'm going to try diferent bases. It can be 3-D, or 2-D.
4. Put your hand in your special container and pull out one of the Creative Catalysts. Do that one thing to your piece. Only that one thing.
5. Keep 'drawing and doing' until you think your piece is done. Is it balanced? Does it have repetition? Scale? Value?

This makes collage art very approachable, building a piece one element at a time. We have made a commitment to make a piece each month using this method. My goal will be to post my work on this blog. Come back and check out my progress - keep me accountable!

Creative Catalysts:
Add a straight line
Add dots
Add an image
Add text
Add a symbol
Add a star
Cut into two pieces
Add black
Add something organic
Couch something onto it
Add pleats / pleat
Gather or add gathers
Piece something
Add appliqué
Stamp on it
Use your fancy embroidery stitches
Free motion machine stitch
Add strips
Add some wire or something metal
Add something plastic
Cut something out and replace it
Add a different type of fabric (silk, velvet, cheesecloth, chiffon, tulle, etc.)
Add a trim
Add a printed fabric
Add a circle
Add something LARGE
Add a skinny line
Add a texture
Add a different value of a color already used
Add red
Add curvy lines
Add a strong vertical line
Add a strong horizontal line
Add a strong diagonal line
Add something ugly
Use a repeating pattern
Make connected dots with wavy or straight lines
Outline a shape and fill in with writing
Add something shiny
Add one shape in multiple sizes
Cover something up
Add something very dark or very light
Add something that isn’t fully anchored
Add a black & white doodle and color it in
Discharge it
Blindfold and grab a fabric from your scrap bag
Add a button
Add a facial image
Add a heart
Add paper
Add paint
Add newspaper
Hand embroidery
Your handwriting
Sign it
Add gold/silver
Use a kitchen utensil to mark the piece
Use something from the bathroom – either on the piece or to mark the piece
Add wings
Add yarn or string
Do bobbin work
Add a flower
Add a bow
Add a key
Add a checkerboard
Add a crown
Cut into three pieces
Cut into four pieces
Stencil it
Screenprint on it
Use paintsticks
Add fringe
Add foil
Add lime green
Add bright orange
Something torn
Add a shadow
Rick Rack
Make a pocket
Add a secret
Prairie Points