Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I took a vacation from my blog.

Can you believe it is the last day of 2013? I don't know about anyone else but  WHOOSH, skip and a jump is how I feel the year has flown by.
So many blessings through out the year, then of course add a few trials and tribulations lots of joy and there you have it, the year has passed.
I admit this past year was the worst for me RE: posting on my blog, not sure I can explain why or give any excuses as to why I let the habit of posting about my art creations or my day to day life slipped away.
Tomorrow is the start of a brand new year, the time for new beginnings I'm told SO as my New Year resolution I have set a goal to get back on track and back to journaling via my blog.

While I am here I might as well post a little teaser about what's on my design board today...
couple of quilting buddies and I belong to a nearby Modern Quilt guild and throughout the country a challenge was posted "The basics Challenge with Riley Blake Designs" Members that were interested each received 6 fat eighths from their basic category fabrics. 
Members may make anything they wish with the fabric as long as it is quilted. 
Deadline is in mid Feb 2014.
Here are some pics to show the evolution (so far) of my project.

I choose to begin with some simple 4 piece blocks (2 sizes)
Discovering that this was not going to make a very large quilt top I decided to regroup.
 Rules state that you may use the 6 fat 8ths they gave you and are allowed to add any solids you might want or any Riley Blake fabrics, that is it!

Tried using my paint program to see if I might want to stretch the size of the quilt top by using various solids.

Finally came up with a plan which will use lots of white as the main solid. 
Thankfully the quilt top seems to be coming along without any troubles.

My design board today.

Happy New Year to all.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

So many choices now to find the time

The Keystone quilters (my local quilt guild) had a guest speaker come in and not only present a great presentation but also a workshop using her technique to make scrappy quilts with very little fabric waste. Her technique entails sewing strips of fabric to create a new fabric from which you could then cut out a template to use to create your quilts. For my template I discovered one of my mom' sold quilting rulers ( a 60 degree ruler) worked perfectly.
I also have been trying to stick by my resolution to use my present stash for my new creations so for this creation I grabbed the many brown fat quarters I was gifted at my 60th birthday party a couple summers ago. As you will probably be able to see from the photos the technique gives one many possibilities MAYBE too many lol.
This is as many triangles as I managed to complete yesterday and sadly this will have to take a back burner for proabably a month while the hubby and I go to help get some painting done at one of the kids home then there is the guilds big quilt show next week (which of course we members put on so lots of work to be done) and then more painting to be done but in FL.
hope to try to get back to blogging more yet betting I will not be quilting much for almost a month :-( will have to find some thing art wise to fill my soul during the sabatical.
So until...be good and hope you are enjoying a great fall.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Plugging along and having fun

So week two and three have sort of blended together for me in my abstraction class. I am feeling a sense of growth but also some frustration or feelings of being too literal or holding back in my exploration of art quilting. It's funny I have been able to gain a confidence in my design work of functional quilts but now I need to gain that confidence into my wall designs. I am completing pieces so far that show no risk, I need to learn to break the boundaries I seem to have set for myself. Instead of so literal I need to try to simplify more. Time to keep plugging away.
So here are a few of the things I have accomplished the past two weeks.
Abstracted landscape pieced with my own marbled fabrics
Homework #2
photo inspiration

I used my IPAD app to design
Added color using the IPAD app
Now to create the idea

Homework week 3 Abstracted object/s
NOT abstracted sadly if you ask me, I need to simplify, but it was fun.

Finally got my larger Nancy Crow piece quilted after having it sit in the pile much too long!
Still one of my favorite pieces to date. Now to get it hung up.

Close up of the Nancy Crow inspired piece, color is not correct in this photo.

Next up to piece together, my own design using some of my marbled fabrics and solid kona cotton.
Time to sign off and get to the work!  ENJOY…see you later it's time to sew.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

First assignment completed!

I managed to complete my first assignment of my online class w/ Lisa Call on time.
Sadly my goal was to try to have it quilted too lol Yup probably a little unrealistic yet one never knows.
If my memory had served me better this week I might have actually had it quilted but instead I spent quite a bit of my sewing time refreshing my memory of how to cut and piece a design from drawing to completed quilt top.
So I will share photos of my process but not written details of the assignment out of respect to Lisa and the hard work that is involved in her prep for (me) & her students.
My chosen sketch
Cutting, marking and then piecing
Make sure to pin when sewing curves
Completed assignment 41 x 34 inches
Now time to clean up my mess and get ready for next week's assignment.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Almost made the June goals... Rest of list will have to wait

I set a tough goal for myself to complete all unfinished projects I had either neglected and put to the bottom of my list while life sometime hit me with unexpected stuff (aka=Sh#%) lol or the list of requested projects from family that had deadlines looming, the goal was set because as I have explained to my family "no requests can be made on me during July, August and Sept while I try to focus on 'ME' and 'MY"art."
I intended to clear my head of 'others desires' and to try to focus on getting my voice back in my art work. I want to focus on Art quilting versus what I refer to as functional quilting, I want to do some drawing, designing and push myself to produce my own art while I get help via an online class that I am fortunate to be a part of via LisaCall.com [Abstraction].
I intend to try to blog a little during my art sabbatical about my class and my creations.
Until then I will share if I can get my IPad blogger program to cooperate some of the many projects I did manage to complete during June even with a two week vacation in MI.
I finally completed Claire and JB's guest bedroom bedspread quilt, made 30 hand dyed silk scarves for wedding shower take home gifts for my nieces shower in June, got the binding on a couple quilts that have sat in the pile for way too long, created wedding invites for nieces upcoming wedding, keeping up with my local quilt bee's projects, and finally got the 5 packages I needed to mail off to the post office $58.00 dollars postage but my reward: a nice clean dining room table :-).
We are headed to Chicago as I type away for another family celebration!
May the sun be shining where ever you are :-) Enjoy!

JB and Claire's guestroom quilt

A few of the 30 hand dyed silk scarves

close up of silk scarves

quilting done on a couple of the quilts completed while in Nancy Crow class long ago

Sister's quilt/one side her son's t-shirts

Other side quilt top completed by our mother

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Playing catch-up with maybe too many things at once?

My goals of late have been #1.) Try to get my studio finally organized and set up with lighting for my HQ16 and design boards #2.) get to some of my unfinished projects completed and out of my thoughts so I am free to focus on my upcoming online class via LisaCall.Com.
Sad to admit I might be trying to play catch-up with too many projects at once, because even though I have managed to bind a few quilts, contacted the electrician, have my squares ready to swap with my bee, 2 squares completed for a quilt along I've decided to participate with I just don't feel like I have accomplished much. Oh well, got to keep trudging along and hope not to get distracted or discouraged.

So to keep with my goal to use my stash I am going focus on my blacks/whites and solid red for the Quilt  Along notice the button link on the side panel of my blog.
Fabric chosen for first lesson
First block completed
Second block completed
 One block added weekly until Sept.
Fabric from stash that will be used for Bee Project 
One square of strip sewing completed
Each strip square then will become two
Each member of bee will complete two blocks of my quilt top.
Finally quilting the quilt tops I made during my Nancy Crow classes , While working on these old projects I can see how much growth I've made as a quilter, was sad to see how weak my sewing skills were back then, yet glad  to be able to state I have learned so much about my machines and sewing a straight seam. I would love to do a focus on ribbon quilts in the future.
Since this was just a design assignment I decided to try to quilt it on my HQ16 freehand lots of practice needed to accomplish straight lines and continuous quilting, but heck that's what assignments are good for after all. PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE
One of my NC black and white assignments that a buddy of mine threw in her  indigo dye bath.
Hoping now that I have posted about a few of the things I've been working on I will feel like I have actually stayed on task and have something to show for it. ;-) Ok so back to the list I go…..
Let's get some things checked off, one by one, little by little…..

Friday, June 14, 2013

A very special quilt made just for hugs

So I am unsure how many of you will recall this photo of my mother taken last August 2012 while she was visiting me in PA. My mother had not sewn or quilted for quite a few years so during the month with me she decided she wanted to try again and she completed a few quilt tops, which I promised her I would quilt for her.
I set my mom up in my family room with her own little Elna she had given me 
Mom was very proud of her first completed quilt top and went on to sew a few more.
After we lost my mom last December I made it my goal to complete her quilt tops and I mentioned something about this one to one of my sisters. In 2005 we lost my nephew Chris to suicide. Something the whole family feels forever..But my sister (his mother) had mentioned having a few of his t-shirts that she treasured and wondered if maybe I could create something out of them sometime.
My sister Gina was the daughter that lived in MI year round the last 10 years so much of my parent's care fell on her shoulder's so I wanted to make her something to thank her and to let her know I appreciated all the care she gave my parent's when we other's were not in MI.
It was difficult to cut into those treasure shirts but somehow I managed and I hope I managed to create a special quilt for her, one I think my mother would have loved and I hope my sister Gina will find comforting in the future whenever she might need a hug or two from our Angels above.
Mom's side of the quilt

Chris's side of quilt

Sister holding her new quilt, son's t-shirts.

Quilt top mom made.
Hope you like it Sis...

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Thankfully my test run with the dyes were not as bad as I felt

So Thankfully even though I told my husband I not feeling the flow while working on my dyed pieces they did not turn out as bad as I imagined they would.
One has to love the dyeing process / the unknown it always intrigues me…..Keeps me coming back for more…
So here is reminder of the projects hanging on my new drying rack yesterday
Next photos up are the results...
Test one
Test two (sadly this photographed poorly it is really more of a turquoise/no yellow or green in it at all)
Test three
Test Four 
All four test scarves
Now if only I could say I had the flow today with my HQ16 ;-( sadly had some bobbin trouble today for some reason I'm sure I'll figure it out tomorrow but gives me time to go back to shibori stitching
So until next time….May the Sun shine on you all….