Today it was one if those “what was I thinking” days. You know how you have an idea you think will be great, then a little way into the execution of it you shake your head and wonder why on earth you chose to do something this crazy?
A wonderful friend has opened her home for a sewing retreat this week. Perfect timing for getting some serious work done inpreparation to film a DVD workshop. Today i got several step-outs and samples done for “Picture It Framed: how to display textile ART.” I seriously need a better title. You got one for me?
Can you believe it’s autumn already?
I blinked and summer flew by. Before I know it the cold and the holiday season will be here.
It’s got me thinking.
(uh oh – that’s always dangerous!)
So many people get stressed out about the holidays but it’s my favorite. Believe it or not it’s one of my slowest and most relaxed times of the year. I’ve worked hard to make it that way. I don’t travel and I won’t take on deadlines from Thanskgiving until mid January. My husband and I did something years ago that has made a huge difference for our family. We sat down together and figured out what parts of the holidays we loved and what parts made us crazy.
For us it is family time, service, and music that bring joy. We absolutely love Christmas and concerts (we play in and go to as m any as we can fit in) and the trees and decorations on the homes and especially the joyfulness of giving – but the commercial aspect of giving has turned us off. Shopping went waaaaaaaaaay down to the bottom of the list. So we decided not to shop. Since they were born our children have only ever received one “Santa” gift and a few small things to fit in their stockings on Christmas morning. The kids know to only ask for one thing and have never come up with long lists of items they are craving. Instead, they come with us for the service projects we take on. They do the shopping with us for the giving tree at school and help us go all-out to help other families. Their favorite thing to do is dressing up like spies (all in black) and doing the ring-and-run-gift-basket-drop on someone’s doorstep. And no – we are not the angelic perfect family you are imagining… we’ve had our full share of whiny toddlers and surly teenagers at all of these events. Getting them to participate in all the things we love isn’t easy. What has amazingly and surprisingly worked is that nobody has yet thrown any fits about what stingy parents we are. At least not where we could hear it.
As they have gotten old enough we also MAKE STUFF! We live in the usually temperate mid-atlantic region of the United States where we rarely see snow so often we will have a full day of snowflake cutting and every window of the house will be full of intricate paper beauties. And of course because I am a textile artist and just happen to have, oh, five hundred thousand yards of cloth in the house, we often make things from fabric. My two youngest (I have five!) have been begging me to do some more screen printing with them so this year I do believe we will be printing snowflakes as well.
It works out wonderfully well as that just happens to be the project that I’ve shared with you all in this year’s Quilting Arts Holiday magazine. Convenient eh? We might even get as far as beading the snowflakes – the kids are perfectly capable of doing it so long as nobody requires perfection. (We definitely don’t do perfection at our house!!!)
In the magazine I describe how to use the screens (there are also video tutorials available here on my website) and some basic beading techniques. (You can see lots more beading instruction on my DVD, Bead It Like You Mean It.)
You can find the issue HERE. It is chock full of other fabulous projects for you to create.
And here is a gift for YOU!
I will be shipping out a copy of the magazine to one lucky reader who leaves a comment here. (If you are an international reader please only enter if you are willing to pitch in on shipping costs.)
Leave a comment here telling me your favorite thing about the holiday season.
Really think about it.
What do you love and what stresses you out.
Then DO SOMETHING!
Find a way to eliminate or minimize at least one thing that gets in the way of what you love about the holidays.
I will choose a winner on Sunday evening the 21st, the last day of the blog hop.
Make sure to stop by the other blogs on the hop and see what they are up to.
And…. if you want to create your own sweet little beaded snowflake ornaments you can purchase a kit from Interweave here.
It contains all the beads you will need, beading thread and needle, and two 5″ snowflake thermofax screens. Can’t you just see this with blue snowflakes on a white background? I might need to go make some more.
And just in case you love these four sweet little snowflakes they are available for purchase.
Four printed, stitched, and beaded snowflakes. Framed at 6.25″ x 6.25″ each.
$210.00 includes shipping.
Please e-mail me if you are interested.
Something wonderful and big is happening her in Lyric Art studios this month. In several weeks my wonderful and talented producer, Bonnie McCaffery will be here to film a couple of DVD’s. She did an amazing job with my DVD, Bead It Like You Mean It so I didn’t hesitate to bring her in when I was ready to film another.
I’ve been thinking of doing one for several years and have a number of outlines hashed out but life is always very, very busy here. It seems that with my business the only thing that forces me to get things done is a deadline – so I just called up, set a date, and viola! Deadline to be met.
Now I just need to choose which topics I’m going to cover. I’ll have time to film two DVD workshops and have three ideas. Perhaps you can give me some feedback?
I’m sure I’m going to film a Thermofax Screen Printing DVD. All the how-to of finding or creating a design, making a thermofax screen, what kinds of paints to use, print set-up, design possibilities and so on. It will be jam packed with lots and lots and lots of information.
I’m also thinking of filming a DVD workshop on various methods of mounting and framing textile art. I would include matting and framing, wrapping the quilt around stretcher bars, and also mounting the textile art on painted canvases. What do you think? Is there actually any interest in this? Is anyone even interested in framing or mounting their quilt art?
What do you think? Granted, I sort of think that a lot of things I teach are only interesting to a very small number of people. I’m pretty much OK with that. When I self publish I’m not really worried about how fast the publication actually sells. It won’t go out of print until I’m ready to be done with it.
I would really love your feedback!
Friday, September 12, Vivika Hansen DeNegre, http://quiltingdaily.com/
Saturday, September 13, Lyric Kinard, http://lyrickinard.com/blog/
Sunday, September 14, Claude Larson, http://randomactsofpiece.blogspot.com/
Tuesday, September 16, Lori Miller, http://lorimillerdesigns.wordpress.com/
Wednesday, September 17, Melanie Testa, http://melanietesta.com/blog/, and Liz Kettle, http://www.textileevolution.com/index.php/our-journey
Thursday, September 18, Susan Brubaker Knapp, http://wwwbluemoonriver.blogspot.com/
Friday, September 19, Lisa Chin, http://somethingcleveraboutnothing.blogspot.com/
Saturday, September 20, Sarah Ann Smith, http://www.sarahannsmith.com/weblog
Sunday, September 21, Catherine Redford, http://catherineredford.com/
On my recent trip to Grand Rapids, MI I was able to wander through the Art Museum on more than one occasion and quite unexpectedly fell in love with a painting. It was in this gallery full of mostly very large scale and abstract works.
…stopped me in my tracks.
Every once in a while when I head into an art museum I’ll ask a security guard or someone at the desk what their favorite work in the museum is, and why. It makes something of a fun little game and gives me something to hunt for. The delightful receptionist said she liked a piece with butterflies. Who knows, I might not have given it a second look but I recognized it as the piece she liked. Then I was drawn in and completely hooked.
It might help you to know that Andrew Wyeth is one of my current favorite artists. This spring I stumbled into a newly opened exhibit called Andrew Wyeth: Looking Out, Looking In at the National Gallery of Art in D.C. that also stopped me in my tracks. And made my heart beat faster. And took my breath away. That collection of work spoke to my soul… so quiet and powerful.
Andrea’s work does the same but with an added layer of…. something. Her work is just a little twisted, darker, quirky. Or at least it speaks to me that way. Are the girls the same person or sisters? Are they wistful, sad, deep in thought? Why, when every other of the painting is meticulously filled in is the hair suggested as what seems to me a cloud of flame and wind and air? It’s just a little surreal. I find the turkey absolutely and delightfully humorous. The butterflies are sweet in a non-sentimental way that I am very attracted to.
The composition of the painting and the technique is beautifully executed. The lines and shapes lead your eye through the work with precision and grace and the palette of warm, muted colors is inviting and interesting enough to pull the viewer in.
Everyone comes to art with their own unique lens of experience so I don’t ever expect any two people to have the same experience. That is part of the beauty of the visual language. It is universal yet speaks in many, many different tongues.
Check out Andrea Kowch’s website to see much more of her delightful work.
a week of travel
These are polymer clay cabochons and faces. I suppose I could drill holes in some of them and call them beads but that hasn’t happened yet. Since these are meant for sewing on cloth and adding a beaded bezel (which you can learn to do in my Bead It Like You Mean It DVD) I added a rim around many of the cabochons. They still need a little polishing and perhaps varnish but it was fun to get my hands into something.
Take a peek at the new HOLIDAY magazine by Quilting Arts.
(it used to be called GIFTS)
More fun with the Waterlogue App for iPhone/iPads.
If I’m remembering correctly, I ran the original photos through the Snapseed App first to really boost the contrast and color saturation.
Who knew there were so many kinds of soda in the world!?! Look at some of those flavors: cookie dough, hot ginger.
And yes, there was a bacon-loving batman mannequin front and center.
The photos were all played with using the Snapseed App.
Getting ready to teach in Grand Rapids for the American Quilters Society QUILT WEEK. Here is a little peek into the work it takes to teach at a show like this. I’ll be teaching four classes, giving one lecture and one demonstration. And I’ve been prepping and packing all week. The only class with space still available is Photos on Fabric next Wednesday although the lecture will have plenty of space if you want to just drop by.
1-print out handouts (run and get more ink for printer)
2-remember which supply list students have (did I update it?)
3-print transfer paper and images for citra-solv method
4-call ahead and see if my usual store has citra-solv on the shelf
5-call four other stores while trying not to panic and wondering how much overnight shipping costs
6-remind myself to pull together supplies further ahead of time on the way to the store that HAS IT THANK GOODNESS!
7-stay up very, very, late making kits as the day was spent with children who are not quite back in school yet
8-spend several hours gathering supplie
9-go through sample binder and reorganize it because I didn’t after the last time I taught this
10-wonder how I’m going to find suitcase room for the three other classes I’m teaching
11-the list goes on but I’m too brain dead right now to remember other things… and I still have three classes to pack for.
wish me luck!
I always end up muttering “I don’t get paid enough to do this” under my breath as I’m packing. Once I’m in the room with students though? I feel like shouting “I can’t believe I get paid to do this!!!!!” Because I love the students, and love seeing people do creative things, it’s worth it.
More fun with the Waterlogue App for iPhone/iPads.
And here are the rest of the original abstract creations of my incredibly talented students from APWQ in Tacoma WA.
I feel like asking you all to stand and give them a round of applause. They certainly deserve it.
I don’t usually post advertisements – unless it’s more of an in depth book review sort of advertisement. But I thought you might really like this collection of digital media from Interweave.
I own the Making Faces DVD and love it, and love anything done by Esterita Austin. The downloadable collection also includes a magazine and two ebook downloads. And yes, in the interest of full disclosure, I get a kickback if you follow this link to buy it. I, ummmm, bought the collection myself as it is a good price for a lot of things I’m actually interested in. I shouldn’t have. But I did.
I think this is my favorite class. Yes, I say that about almost all of the classes I teach but I really do think this one might have risen to the very top of the pile.
There is something incredibly rewarding about helping students find the tools and the structure so that they can use their own unique experiences, access their own creativity, and create their own original art!
The tops are small studies, not masterpieces.
I have had the great good pleasure over the past several years of being juried into the D@8 special exhibits curated by the talented and beautiful Jamie Fingal and Leslie Tucker Jennison. This year’s exhibit, which will premier at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, TX at the end of October is titled: REFLECTIONS. Lovely, don’t you think? Open enough that it can be interpreted in many different ways.
The theme is announced a year in advance of the deadline so there is plenty of time to think about ideas. I’m usually pushing things up to the very last minute but this year I actually had an idea early on. Over Christmas my oldest daughters were home and consented to a just-for-fun photo session in my studio. As soon as I saw this picture of Haven I knew it would be perfect for the theme.
I’m pretty sure I have a DaVinci sketch of a maiden in a similar pose. Very REFLECTIVE don’t you think?
Digital processing is often an important part of my process, and this time I played with the image and came up with numerous variations and possibilities. My two favorite options were opposites in a way. One deepened the contrast and gave me a feel of a Rembrandt painting with it’s face shining in the darkness. The other was a mere sketch. I actually couldn’t choose between the two so I had them both printed up, 60″ tall by Spoonflower onto cotton cloth.
If you haven’t discovered Spoonflower yet you are in for a treat! You can print your photos up to 60″ wide if you are looking for something whole cloth or you can create fun and funky patterned cloth (like this music themed cloth I created)
Well as soon as I had the two options full sized up on my wall I knew my choice needed to be the sketch. Mostly because I had no idea how to turn the beautiful painterly work into a quilt. Faces, especially large scale portraits, are very difficult to add quilting lines too. My personal opinion is that if you follow the facial contours the quilting lines look like wrinkles. Threadpainting solves that problem but I’m not interested in that technique and don’t think it would work on such a large scale.
I used the printed sketch as a guideline and suggestion rather than as a pattern and painted over the whole cloth. I added in more dark and played here and there with seeing how much detail I could leave out and how much needed to be added in. My brush slipped and she now has a mole beside her nose. No worries.
Once the painting was done I felt I needed words. With the editing help of Facebook friends I worked out a simple haiku expressive of my feelings about this daughter as she was at the time preparing for her marriage.
rings ripple outward
whispers in waters mirror
The bottom left corner was blank and unbalances so I added the writing in. I got it crooked and it still felt too blank so I printed a hint of texture over the top. Now of course, I’m not so sure I like the writing there at all but it’s too late – the piece is off on it’s own now. Once the writing was done it suggested the theme for quilting lines of overlapping concentric circles. That part I really, really like.
I’d love to hear your comments and thoughts. What do you think of words in art? What do you think about portraiture in textiles? Do you use digital processing as part of your creative process? What do you think of the composition? And yes, I do actually love constructive criticism. I think about it, learn what I can, and don’t take any of it personally.
There is an interview with me over on the D@8 blog if you’d care to check it out. While you are there go ahead and read through some of the other participating artist interviews. I’m so honored to be in such good company for this exhibit.
Ann Fahl is a quilter I’ve admired from the very beginning of my art quilting days. In fact, I still vividly remember one of her quilts that was in the first large quilt show (Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival) that I ever went to.
If you are wanting to sell your work, I have had the best luck when I am teaching. I pin a small hanging price tag on each quilt, so people can check the price without asking. After a group has heard you talk about your work and taken a workshop, they become more interested in purchasing.
It is a good idea to have a solo or small group exhibit from time to time. Over the years I’ve sold very few quilts at a museum. I don’t even do very well in a gallery. For a time, there was a gallery owner that worked with commercial designers and sold a few pieces for me.
Here are things that help to sell:
1. Offer a layaway plan, with no interest. Break up the price into 12 payments, when they finish, they get the quilt.
2. Take PayPal online
3. Talk to your bank and figure out a way to take Visa and Master Charge. This costs me every month, but it does increase the numbers of transactions and the dollar value of each sale.
4. Make sure that your students know that you have various plans to pay for your quilts. I mention it in my brochure, that is always sitting in a small stack on the table, and on my quilt student tab, that each workshop attendee gets with the class handout.
5. Have work at a variety of price points. Little pieces for $100-300 sell quite well. A quilter will just write you a check for that amount. I have work from $50-10,000. You never know when somebody will give you thousands of dollars for a quilt to hang in their new home, or redecorated space.
Also, now might not be a good time to find buyers for your work. Make plenty of new work, so when the economy improves, you are ready to sell. As quilt artists we are at the end of the food chain, so to speak. People need to buy their necessities, and maybe a few extras from time to time. They have to be in a strong financial position to buy a piece of art to hang on the wall.
Author of Coloring with Thread, DVD
Creating Beautiful Bias Binding
Dancing with Thread
So a lot of people play games on their tablets or smart phones when they have time to fill or kill. It seems that the only time I EVER have time to fill or kill is when I’m traveling. Even then I usually have hand work or something to keep me busy while I listen to an audio book. But sometimes I just want to play. Instead of playing games I end up “playing photos.”
I was cruising Facebook and saw that Susan Brubaker Knapp had posted a picture using the Waterlogue app for iPhone and I was immediately hooked. I had just enough time to download the app before I boarded the plane and spent the whole ride playing.
Here is the original photo, taken at the top of the mountain at Snowbird Ski Resort in ear Salt Lake City, Utah.
I learned that the best pictures for use in this app have clearly defined contrast – light/dark etc.
You can adjust the setting within the app and try different filters to give it different looks.
Congratulations to Donna (comment #34) on winning the sketchbook cover demonstrated on QATV! She wanted to see Jane Sassaman on QATV and guess what!? Today is doubly lucky as Jane was there filming the same day I was. She is delightful and you will LOVE seeing her work!
(remember there are still two sketchbooks left at my Etsy shop if you want one!)
Sometimes an artist needs a friend who steps in and says, “OK STOP! It’s done now!” Sometimes I can keep working a piece for ages. For now, I think I’ll be my own friend and say “It’s done.” (for now at least)
I think perhaps I’m working in a series as this is the second with this theme (you can see kisses and hugs here) and another one is actually on the design wall waiting for my attention.
I thought you might enjoy seeing the full process. It began with my hand dyed cloth, and some ink doodles from my sketchbook. I made marks with this super cool japanese brush pen then played around with them just a bit in photoshop.
These images are available in my thermofax shop by the way. I grouped and rearranged them a bit for this piece. I like to play with grouping and layering images of different sizes. Then I created Thermofax Screens to print with.
The first layer of printing was done with Cascade Dishwashing Gel – thick enough to use like paint with enough bleach to discharge the dye. It’s not so strong that you have to hurry with your printing though. Remember it wear gloves and use good ventilation when you do this on your own! Bleach isn’t a chemical you want to mess with.
The next layer is another fun photoshopped image. I screen printed it with Profab Textile paints, a mix of white, red and a touch of yellow. I like to keep the background prints in an analogous color scheme if I know I’m going to add a focal point color with lots of contrast and pop.
This layer is two different screens, a full sized X and a full sized Spiral. I printed each screen in solid opaque white Profab Textile Paint then after washing the screens out printed the same images, just barely offset, with opaque yellow. The white really gives the yellow a huge bit of POP, don’t you think? I used some transparent orange paint to brush in a few shadows, opposite of where the white peeks out. If you keep your directions consistent as if a light source was coming from the top of the frame in this case, the highlights and shadows tie you a feeling of depth.
I think the main composition of the cloth itself was done at this point so I layered and quilted the thing. I chose a thread color to blend with the cloth and stitched it to emphasize the lines that were already existent in the composition. If you look closely you can see that I stitched around a few of the background spirals to emphasize them, but most I stitched right through with my softly straight lines. The geometry of this piece isn’t very rigid.
This was a great “to go” project for the next few months. It was just small enough to fold up and take with me to meetings or on the road. I don’t think I can exactly verbalize why I chose to add the grid of x’s. I had considered emphasizing the smaller spirals with beads but I didn’t have the right colors (a peachy pink that wouldn’t be too flashy) in my stash. I think I just wanted a hand project to work on and I love further emphasizing the 1/3 – 2/3 compositional structure. A contrasting thread color further brings out the XOX but the small scale of the embroidered pattern and the repetition of the X keeps it from becoming a dominant element.
I had finished it off and thought it done until I put it up on the wall to photograph. Then I felt the embroidered grid was a little unbalanced, and I wanted some more hand work to do while watching an episode of Sherlock late one night. I LOVE that show! I rarely, rarely, rarely watch TV so it’s nice to find a series on Netflix that will keep me interested but I can get through in a year. Yup – it will take me more than a year to find time to watch all 8 or 9 episodes.
So what do YOU think?
A few more stitches?
If the right color bead happen along should I add them?
It will probably go out to a show for now as I’ve finally got some cloth dyed so I can keep working on the first set of XOX print that are still patiently waiting on my design wall. If I feel like it later I can add more to this piece… but for now finished is a word I’m loving. And if you’ve stuck with it and read all the way down to the end of this post – I’m impressed! I really don’t mean to get so long winded, really I don’t.
As a treat for you – I’ve discounted these three screens (X, Sprial-bog, and Brush Strokes) for you in my thermofax shop for at least a week – or until I remember to change the prices back. Enjoy!
Welcome to the Quilting Arts TV Blog Hop! We are celebrating the start of series 1400 with a little bit of fun from most of the guests for the season. I hope you’ve had the chance to stop by lots of the other blogs to see what everyone is up to.
This wasn’t my first time filming for the show so it was much more relaxed, knowing what to expect before I got there. The exciting part was to come in at the end of a long week of filming and watch the shows new hostess, my friend Susan Brubaker Knapp, just soaring. It’s an incredibly difficult job and she was a natural at it! (Yes, I miss Pokey, but she has other exciting things up her sleeve my friends – just you wait!!!) Don’t you love how Susan and I could be sisters? We kind of feel like we are… oh and here is some great news. We will be teaching a retreat together again next year! If you want to know more as information becomes available sign up for my newsletter. (There is a sign-up box up there on the right.)
Another wonderfully fun thing is to walk into the studio and see FRIENDS! Sarah Ann Smith and Jane Sassaman filmed on the same day I did.
They film the entire season (plus a few episodes for series 15) in one week. That’s a lot of people in and out of the studio. That’s also a LOT of wardrobe changes for the hostess. They film according to when the guests can get there, not linearly, so Susan actually has a chart with pictures and notes (make sure you have the right jewelry with the right blouse) and she has to run and change between most segments.
Do I look a little shell shocked here? Who knows what I was doing…. probably listening to the producer, or talking. My hands are never still when I’m talking. If you want a little peek at what I’ll be showing look for Episode 1402, Groovy Gifts. I’ll be constructing a sweet little sketchbook cover. What you don’t see in this picture is that I had a stack of “step-outs.” Those are the same project repeated in various stages of completion so that you can do that magic oven thing. You know where they put the ingredients in the pan in the oven and immediately pull out the finished product?
It’s a good thing I really like the project as I have about 8 of the finished covers now.
(you know you do!)
I’m going to give away one of the finished sketchbooks to one of YOU!
You need to leave a comment HERE telling me what and who you want to see on QATV.
I’ll pick a winner on Saturday morning – so please make sure to leave me a way to contact you.
And in case you just can’t wait
I’ve listed three of the other finished sketchbooks in my Etsy shop
available for you to purchase.
And make sure to check out the following links for the blog hop!
July 18: Vivika DeNegre at quiltingdaily.com
Oh what a GLORIOUS mess!!!!
I don’t think there is anything more fun than throwing all of your creative inhibitions to the wind and just PLAYING!!!
Creative Collaborative Collage is as much of a game, an event, an experimentation, as it is a class.
You dive right out of your comfort zone, working with scraps that aren’t yours, working with designs that you didn’t create to begin with.
You are pushed and challenged and through it all we LAUGH! We PLAY! We EXPLORE! These fabulous students were in Fort Collins, CO
We do hard things – like making fun and funky faces that look more human than alien.
Just a quick heads-up – this post is long and personal. But I couldn’t resist sharing.
My firstborn daughter, Haven Kinard just got married to her sweetheart, Ammon Simmons.
Two great names!
We love him!
You can tell that she does too.
Don’t you love their matching Converse tennis shoes?
She spent two weeks back home with me and we made her dress together.
She designed and constructed it. I did most of the patterning and fitting.
We both sewed things inside out and upside down and it still turned out beautifully!
They live in and were married in Utah… which is why we were on the road.
She was the most easy going bride I’ve ever seen. The weather was beautiful which was a blessing.
The reception was held outdoors at a park near Sundace, up in the Rocky mountains.
We strung paper cranes all over the picnic shelter and they fluttered in the breeze.
This is my dad, telling stories. It looks like perhaps Haven and Ammon have heard this story before.
For food they had WAFFLES from a fantastic food truck named “Waffle Love.“
We did. Love the waffles. And the nutella and strawberries and whipped cream!
Look at my gorgeous girls…..
And see their silly faces! There were a LOT of silly face pictures. That’s how she/we roll!
These two have been living far away from home for several years now.
How on earth did I get old enough to have two grown daughters?
And how on earth did they manage to grow up so well!?
Haven is low-key enough to say, “Hey friends, buy a dress you love in green!”
No ugly bridesmaid dresses to hide in the back of the closet.
They are definitely a silly and fun loving couple!
Don’t you LOVE her cake? My favorite part about it is that she just gave the recipe to us and six of her extended family members took part in making it. She stacked it – which is a good thing.
None of us are quite that skilled.
Her maternal grandmother and an aunt made the cake, her paternal grandmother and sister made the frosting, and her sister and I decorated it, and everyone fought over the leftover frosting. It was a lemon buttercream to die for! This picture was run through an App called Waterlogue – more posts soon about that!
And there they go… off on the next and greatest adventure.
Yup – that’s me over here wiping a happy tear from the corner of my eye.
In celebration of QUILTING ARTS TV new season with a brand new hostess, the lovely and talented Susan Brubaker Knapp, we are having a blog hop.
July 18: Vivika DeNegre at quiltingdaily.com
(I’ll be giving away something FUN on my day, so make sure to stop by on the 23rd!)
Another late night session… quilting this time. I have gone old-school and used my Bernina 930. I think it’s one of the best machines ever manufactured. There is no computer do be outdated and the parts will last forever. I quilted with simple straight lines and using a walking foot after drafting a mariners compass.
With art quilts, the added element of line and texture through the stitching can be problematic with portraiture. If you try to follow facial contours with quilted lines the face ends up looking wrinkled. The only way I’ve seen it done very successfully is basically thread sketched rather than more open quilting lines. I often choose to quilt lines that are entirely different from the face itself.
The compass was painted on after the piece was quilted with ProChem’s ProFab Textile Paint, transparent white. For the chartreuse I mixed in a little green Dye-Na-Flow (by Jacquard) with the white… only because it was the first bottle I touched with the perfect color. This piece is title Direction.
When hubby travels I tend to stay up waaaay too late.
But I manage to get in LOTS of creative studio time.This piece started with a silly selfie using the Paper Camera App.
A trip to the top of the world…. it seems my heart lifts right along with the elevation.
I grew up just down from this mountain. Some day I will climb it, but this day we rode the tram.
Yes, if this sea-level girl was acclimated to 11 thousand feet I might have burst out into some serious Sound of Music singing! Look at that! REAL mountains… with tree lines and everything!
(click to see this larger!)
One of my daughters found out about Little Wild Horse Canyon
and suggested that we try it out.
Well – easy once you get over a little rockfall at the very beginning of the hike. We were too busy laughing uproariously at ourselves, pushing and shoving each other (mostly ME) up and over to get pictures to that. The little ones were totally easy, just hand them up. It’s only about 6′ and there are a few clamber points but I found myself to be hilariously uncoordinated – especially on the way down. Good thing we all have a sense of humor.
Welcome to the moon, otherwise know as Goblin Valley State Park.
We’ve all decided it’s our favorite Southern Utah Park.
Pictures almost never do this landscape justice. They can capture a little bit of the vastness and beauty of this landscape but I don’t have the skill (yet) to truly capture what I see. And seriously, until we have that Star Trek holodeck you just can’t get that depth and dimension, the feeling of the heat on your skin and the sharp dry smell of the desert.That doesn’t mean I didn’t have fun playing with apps that stitch lots of photos together and make ghost people in the process. (AutoStitch Panorama in this case.)
This is the last little bit of the trail that we skipped during our night hike. With kids skipping in and out of the narrow path of our flashlight beam I think that was a good idea. It was really interesting how different the same hike was during the day in the scorching heat vs. the cool night. For one thing, there was no little pom-pom puff ball of a desert mouse thinking that my feet were a great hiding place from the big scary lights. That was another favorite thing about night hiking … seeing a few night creatures.
Another difference between night and day: when you can’t see how very far you’ve come, how very steep the path is…
The views all along the trail are spectacularly rewarding though. The hard work paid off dramatically.
I thought I’d be posting pictures during our recent family trip. If anyone has experience posting to WordPress blogs via an iPad let me know. Because it just wasn’t working…. there must be an app for that right? No matter. Just like going on a hike – the best view when you rest is looking back at where you came from!
The family went to Utah for my firstborn’s wedding. But first we skeedoodled down to Arches National Park in Moab for a a few days of playtime. We couldn’t fly all that way and not catch up on a few things we didn’t have time for on our epic road trip last summer. The big boys went mountain biking on the slick rock trail and managed to not take pictures. Imagine that! The rest of us took it easier and mosied along near the Green River on horseback.
It was a very long and active day and the weather was, thankfully, perfect! After a hearty meal we rested up and went for a little wander to view some exposed fossils. It was good they had interprative signs because it took us a while to figure out what we were seeing. They looked just like the rest of the rock to us for a while until we learned what to look for. Then we went on a spectacular night hike. Truly spectacular!
If you’ve been to the Southeastern part of the United States you will understand how much I miss having a view and seeing the sky. I love North Carolina. I also call it the “Great Green Tunnel of Trees.” If you don’t mow or pave there will be a very tall tree there. It is beautiful but there are no views anywhere and you can only see a postage stamp of the sky right above you. I miss the stars.
We didn’t actually hike all the way up to the arch – we skipped the very last bit that involves narrow ledges and steep drop offs. Right before that last bit is a very large flat rocky place where we laid down on our backs and just gazed for a good hour. We had the Star Walk apps on our iPhones and enjoyed finding constellations and watching satellites zoom across the sky. Shooting stars, the Milky Way! What a beautiful and vast galaxy we inhabit.
I take photographs hoping to save some of the beauty for later. But then i get home and there are kits to make for students and supplies to order and kids to schlepp. All wonderful things. I keep telling myself that there is a time and place for everything. There will be a day when i will have time to come home and create the art I’m longing to make before those inspirations slip away again.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
8:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Photos on Fabric, #55501 Lyric Kinard
(scroll down to find out the winner of Melly’s fat stack giveaway!)
Last week we took a peek at some things I made for Melanie Testa’s booth space at the Quilt Market trade show to introduce her line of fabric for Windham. If you can’t wait to see who won the Fat Stack of her fabric scroll to the end right now! The same day I put together projects for her I decided to use the leftover cloth I had and make a purse to take with me on a trip I had. And yes, the trip was happening early the next morning and it was late in the evening when I decided to throw this thing together. I used to do this ALL the time. (Make stuff the night before a trip that is.)
And every time I do it’s an adventure. I needed a travel purse big enough for my iPad. My every day purse is really just a hanging pocket – just big enough for my keys, iPhone, and my important cards. When I travel I need something that will fit my camera, and now my iPad. My usual travel purse has a zip opening about half an inch too small to slide my iPad into it.
I’ve had the pattern for Linda Ghee’s Bellino Purse (you can take a look at it here) ever since I met her somewhere I was teaching. Nope – don’t remember which where it was. She is a delightful person and I LOVE this bag! I vaguely remember her driving me somewhere (this could all be completely wrong in my head) and her letting me completely root through her purse as I examined the inside as closely as the outside.
I really love shoulder bags that convert into backpacks. My bones are getting old enough that they hurt with all the weight on one shoulder. I also love the adjustable straps to it can be long for an over the shoulder bag or shortened so the weight just hits the small of my back when it’s worn back-pack style.
I decided the medium bag would suit my needs well enough and sat down at my HQ16 and super quick quilted the lovely toile looking cloth to a backing. I do mean super quick. It’s just straightish lines back and forth at top speed – which on the HQ16 is fast!
I found this super funky lime green flower pin in my closet as I was taking photos and trying to stag them. I’ve decided it’s staying. I’ve also decided I’m better at playing with my photos than staging. (The magic straps in the air were really held up with hot pink shoelaces which I then erased with an app called Touch ReTouch.)
The funny part of the story is that it’s been about 8 years since I’ve followed a pattern. With clothing I can usually look at the pieces and choose how to put it together.
Don’t get freaked out by that – it comes with having put together lots, and lots, and lots, and lots of sewing patterns. This was my first time following a purse pattern though and this things has three interior pockets and a zippered back pocket as well as the one you see in the front. I had to THINK about the construction. And it was late at night. And every time I got ahead of myself and thought I knew what I was doing I’d sew in a pocket upside down. It really does go together win a very clever way and the instructions are not difficult. It was just me and my brain late at night that got a little loopy.
So nearing midnight (with a 4am wake time for the next morning’s flight) I stitched the final stitch and triumphantly zipped up the main zipper – only to watch the zip/pull go sailing across the room.
I must admit I shouted something loud enough that my husband came running down to see what was wrong. No – I didn’t swear – but I wanted to. I’ve repaired zips before. I also knew I could unsew and resew the other end. Except that I sewed the other end REALLY, REALLY good and tight and it was late. So I just snipped a few teeth, ignored the hole I poked in the cloth, and was really careful about opening my zipper on that trip. I have to admit that I zipped it right off again (and fixed it again) the next morning. When I got home I finally remembered to sew in some zipper stops on BOTH ends of that wonderfully chunky purple zipper. (Oh – the hardware and zippers can also be purchased at Ghee’s website.)
And finally, congratulations to Denise Spillane who wins a fat pack, one 10″ square of ALL 26 of Melly’s fabrics! If you love what you see here ask your local shop to order the line! (Meadowlark by Windham!)
Here is the beginnings for a beaded piece I started as a sample for my class Picture It Framed. I like it.s It’s nice and hot like the weather outside right now.
Yesterday I started monkeying around with my website – trying to figure out how to boost my ratings with google so my Thermofax shop shows up AT ALL. Before I remade my website it always was one of the top two or three links when you searched Thermofax anything. Now it’s entirely gone. Sigh. I’ll work on figuring that out when I get back from my oldest daughter’s wedding.
Then I mysteriously broke most of my paypal buttons. My web designer is a hero and found the solution in a very buried, very hidden and tiny checkbox that got unchecked in the last update. She’s a genius.
I’ve just pulled a bunch of cloth out of the dye bath and hopefully tomorrow will make my mother-of-the-bride dress. The bottom layer is a sheer striped skirt. I think I’ll print the top layer with this thermofax screen. Just for fun.
And then I’m going to have a little fun and shop Interweave’s Hurt Book Sale. (Bwa Ha Ha Ha!!!) Free shipping on US orders over $30. I’m all over that.
What are you doing today?
I know most people hate air travel. It isn’t like it used to be for sure. My mother in law was a flight attendant back when they wore heels and white gloves and a prescribed lipstick color and had pat down checks to make sure you were wearing a girdle – even if you were an ultra petite size nothing. No jiggling allowed apparently.
I wouldn’t really know how it used to be because it used to be unaffordable for the majority of people. Now most of us can afford to fly and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. It’s still a miracle that we can get from coast to coast in one day.
I know it might be a hassle, but personally, I can keep myself happy forever in an airport or on a plane. Nobody is needing me to do stuff. I’m not fighting about getting homework done. I’m not driving endless hours dropping kids off and picking them up and grocery shopping and making dinner for people who won’t eat it. Frankly, it’s sheer luxury for me to sit and read a book or listen to one while I do handwork.
And then there are flights like this one. Perfectly ordinary but if you look out the window you see miraculous things. I flew over the most beautiful farm country. I watch as the geometry of the flat lands became more and more abstracted as the rivers and hills interrupted the long straightaways of endless roads.
Three hours flew by as I gazed out the window and snapped shot after shot then madly filtered them on my iPad (mostly Snapseed again) until the blended beige filter of the airplane’s window lens came close to matching what I was seeing in my minds eye. This is a beautiful place!
Welcome to a wonderful blog hop celebrating Melanie Testa’s first line of fabric for Windham
I already wrote about the sweet little table runner I made as part of Melanie’s sample team. She needed to fill a booth quickly with projects made from her line of fabric. How lucky are we to be able to play with her fabric!? I also put together a little set of nesting boxes in which she could hold things for display.
And here is the biggest – using a leftover bit from the table runner.
And here is a picture of the crazy abundance of beauty that was just one small bit of Melly’s booth at the Quilt Market trade show!
(The picture is Melly’s – go check out her Market videos – in a minute!)
Off they all went for display and as is the usual in my schedule, off I went to another teaching gig. Only THIS time I did something that I haven’t done in years. Started a project for the trip the night before I left. I’ll write all about that next week when I announce the winner of the following giveaway. Believe me – it’s a funny story! Here is a peek at the project and yes, I couldn’t help myself. I had to “play photos” first and run it through a couple of apps to make it all funky looking. I’ll post big clear pictures next Monday June 15th.
One of you lucky blog readers is going to have the chance to win a fat pack of the entire collection – that’s 26 10″ pieces!
All you have to do for a chance to win is to leave a comment on this blog post between now and Thursday, June 12th. I’ll use a random number generator to pick a winner and announce it here on my blog on Friday June 13th. Good luck!
(update – Denise Spillane is our winner. Congratulations!!!)
There’s a lot more stops and chances to win a fat pack stack on the blog hop. You can stop by and leave a comment on each blog and have that many more chances to win.
Melanie Testa –June 2
Vivien Zepf –June 2
Chrissie D –June 3
Sue Bleiweiss –June 4
Leslie Tucker Jenison –June 5
Jamie Fingal –June 6
Lyric Kinard –June 7
Jen Eskridge –June 8
Jacqui Holmes Calhoun –June 8
Stephanie Forsyth –June 9
Victoria Findlay Wolfe –June 10
Teri Lucas - June 11
Scott Hansen –June 12
Helen Eckard –June 12
In fact, when the blog hop is over, the blog with the most comments will also be able to draw an extra name to win a copy of Melanie’s book, Dreaming from the Journal Page. (It’s one of my favorites!) And if you love what you see – stop by your local quilt shop and ask them to order Windham Fabric’s Meadowlark line!
I’ve had a few requests to show my workflow/process as I play with my photo apps on my iPhone or iPad. So here you go.
One of my first favorites was Snapseed. (Which I believe is also available for Android users.) You take your photo as usual then open the app on your device and start messing around. I don’t spend time on games on my divides – well – Sudoku once in a very great while. The few games on my devices are there for children to play ONLY when we are waiting in a Dr’s examining room or somewhere that they aren’t involved in the main event andmust sit still and behave for more than 30 minutes. (I’m such a mean mom!)
Open the app then choose a photo from your library. You also have the option to take a photo right in the app but I find them to be much lower quality than those taken the regular way. The original photo is always still there, when you save your altered photo it saves as a new copy.
My “go-to” first process is to click Tune Image then numb up the Ambiance, then adjust the Contrast, Brightness, and Saturation a bit. Click Apply when you are happy with what you have. If you are playing and like a photo at any step simply save it then move on. If you apply a filter and don’t like it you can open the most recent saved version and mess with it from there.
Then the real fun begins. In this photo, sort of humdrum, I’ll play with Center Focus. I move the blue dot and expand the circle so that the flower is centered then mess with the inner and outer brightness and blur strength.
Now it’s time to get funky. The Grunge filter has about a thousand variations that you can slide through and you can also vary the strength of the Texture, Saturation, Contrast, etc. In this case I think I’m going to Crop the image so the petals aren’t quite so much centered. I always like a little more visual space on the side the subject seems to be “looking” towards.
And just for fun, here are a few more workflows….
Some of my classes get taught all the time, some only occasionally. Picture It Framed is a class that is seldom chosen by guilds and I had completely forgotten how much fun it is!
The Canadian artist Emily Carr said,
“Do not try to do extraordinary things, but do ordinary things with intensity.”
I was given this quote as a basis for making a piece for consideration for Lesley Riley’s forthcoming book Inspirational Quotes Illustrated. The words spoke to me and I knew I wanted to work on a piece with neutral cloth but intensely textured. Bits and pieces from my stash appeared and were collaged onto a piece of batting. I can’t remember what size I used. I have a small bin of batting scraps that I keep for my small collage works and this piece looked good enough. I think it might be around 10×14.
After I stamped a coppery paint over part of the piece and looked at all the elements I decided they weren’t hanging together enough, not really integrated. A little bit of white opaque textile paint would meld the pieces all together. I had the words “ordinary” and “intensity” from an old dictionary and wanted to keep the words “ordinary” and “intensity” visible so I covered them with bits of paper before rolling.
A good pressing flattened out the cloth and set the paint. Textile paints are an acrylic but they have a polymer added to them to keep them flexible and soft instead of feeling plastic like regular artists acrylics. I’m a textile artist because of the wonderful element of touch – that tactile connection to the material. I like my cloth to feel like cloth instead of having a hard plastic feeling surface.
It seems like in almost every project I get to a point where if I had a plan, it went awry. Or if I didn’t have a plan, I just plain am not sure what needs to happen next. This was that point for this project. Sometimes I toss the piece and start over. With this one I simply waited for a bit.
What do you do when you don’t know what to do next?
This piece need to be tied together even more. The color palette was all neutrals and I wanted to keep that, but I wanted to bring out the texture more. The actual texture of all those different fibers on the surface is something I really love but the visual patterns didn’t mesh until I did some serious stitching with embroidery threads. I love the mostly controlled and very delicate lines contrasted with the heavier and more chaotic seed stitches.
Now to deal with the words. The black wasn’t working for me. By the way, if you haven’t tried the Pentel Gel Roller for Fabric pens yet – they are WONDERFUL! They go on super smooth and dark and so far appear to be nice and permanent. It’s just that they were too much for this piece.
With this much time and effort invested in the piece I didn’t want to start over. I have found that with many pieces if something stands out or is bothering you, sometimes the way to make it work is to add repetition. In this case, even more stitching. Varying the weight and intensity of the stitches felt right here. ah. Intensity. I get it.
“Do not try to do extraordinary things, but do ordinary things with intensity.” That makes sense. There is some fairly intense stitching happening here. Adding in a little more value contrast and then the red adds a focal point – and also feels intense. I think I’m good with what has happened here. In fact, I really like it. At some point I’ll probably mount this on Canvas. I really like the presentation although I’m finding that those thick canvases take up a LOT of storage space. Perhaps what is happening is that I’m getting ready for my one woman show, right? In that case I’d better get busy.
You know how the colors yellow and orange can behave like Divas in a work of art if the whole color cast is not well balanced? Red can lean in that direction but for me, it has a certain intensity to it that keeps it from simply being brash. It’s all subjective, I know. This is simply how it worked out for me with this piece.
(and a quick congratulations to Susan T who is the winner of Whimsical Lettering by Joanne Sharpe!)
Sometimes dreams come true.
Sometimes it takes a lot of hard work!
Melanie Testa has dreamed for years of having her own line of fabric and now she’s done it. She has worked like crazy for the past year and made it happen. Spring Quilt Market just happened. Manufacturers and designers come together and show off their stuff to the quilt shops and Melly needed a whole booth full of stuff made out of her fabric to display.
Well – what are friends for!?
Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to play with this gorgeous stuff? This is a simple fused table runner, satin stitched over the raw edges with a layer of batting in between.
Stay tuned for an upcoming blog hop and giveaway featuring projects made with Melly’s fabric.
Melly Testa – June 2
Vivien Zepf - June 2
Chrissie D – June 3
Sue Bleiweiss – June 4
Leslie Tucker Jenison – June 5
Jamie Fingal – June 6
Lyric Kinard – June 7
Jen Eskridge – June 8
Jacqui Holmes Calhoun – June 8 (guest post)
Stephanie Forsyth – June 9
Victoria Findlay Wolfe – June 10
Teri Lucas – June 11
Scott Hansen – June 12
Helen Eckard – June 12 (guest post)
As I’m coming closer and closer to my truer artistic voice (I should write about that) the work that takes careful thought and considerable time and effort becomes more and more enjoyable. The works that make my soul sing have multiple layers of visual texture but are becoming more and more neutral as far as color is concerned.
So in the midst of this wonderfully painstaking work I find myself taking quick little breaks to play.
I find related images and layer them into the cloth with thermofax screens, discharging color first then adding paint.
Even pink, which is a color I usually shy away from, emerges as a welcome option.
All of these screens are available in various sizes in my thermofax shop.
Pop over and take a look – or doodle some of your own designs and I’ll make a custom screen for you.
The Art of Whimsical Lettering
By Joanne Sharpe
First thoughts – why is a textile artist/quilter reviewing a book about lettering?
This is why.
I love putting words on and into my art so it was fun to see what Joanne had to say about the subject. I never hold myself to education in just one medium. I look at all kinds of art and am interested in all kinds of art. Lettering is lettering is lettering be it on paper or cloth or canvas. Oh, and the fact that I’m an English major who loves words probably has something to do with it too.
So – a little bit about the book: the first bit describes lots of different pens. Are they waterproof, colored, etc.? It’s an informative place for people like me who love trying out all sorts of marking tools.
The next part of the book is a series of prompts to warm up and explore your materials. She asks the reader to get a composition book and spend time playing. Play write repeat. It is well illustrated with page after page of Joanne’s writing composition book, a glorious mess of eye candy. Sweet with all of its bright colors.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book: Pg 37, Make time for creative “pen play” in your inspiration journal every day. Try different lettering styles with different pens, assorted papers, new colors, and collected materials. Experiment constantly and use the composition book as a “safe zone” for making lettering art with no rules and no judgment. This is the journal where anything goes!
Pg 42, Let go of your inhibitions and fear of failure. This isn’t formal calligraphy. This is whimsical lettering—creative expressions and exploration of letterforms—using the writing you have harbored and evolved since childhood.
Get into a “pen Zen” or “pen trance” and just write! Pick a favorite pen and write in a designated practice journal for 15 or 20 minutes, in cursive or print, as a warm-up exercise before you begin your lettering art. Write words continuously without picking the pen up off the page. Letter your thoughts without stopping.”
Doesn’t this sound a lot like my 15 minutes of bad art warm up? If you target your warm up play (bad art time) towards a skill that you will be using in that days artwork you will be well prepared to do your best work.
Interweave Press has lots of great mixed media materials to play with and peruse.
If you click on the link below to check them out I get a little kickback.
SOOOOO – GIVEAWAY TIME!
Leave a comment here on the blog
(if you get this via email you need to click over to the blog and leave a comment there please)
TELL ME WHAT MEDIA (other than quilts) THAT YOU LOOK TO FOR INSPIRATION
I’ll pick a winner on the 25th – which is a long time away – so let your friends know and send them over to check it out as well. US entries only please.
congratulations to Susan T who is the winner !!!
I got to play with something fun a few weeks ago. Shhhh! It’s a secret.
Take a look at Melanie Testa’s video and see if you can guess which two projects I made to help Melanie Testa fill a booth with fabulous things made from her new line of fabric!
Stay tuned, in a few weeks we are going to have a wonderful blog hop and giveaway! You won’t want to miss it.
Melly Testa – June 2
Vivien Zepf - June 2
Chrissie D – June 3
Sue Bleiweiss – June 4
Leslie Tucker Jenison – June 5
Jamie Fingal – June 6
Lyric Kinard – June 7
Jen Eskridge – June 8
Jacqui Holmes Calhoun – June 8 (guest post)
Stephanie Forsyth – June 9
Victoria Findlay Wolfe – June 10
Teri Lucas – June 11
Scott Hansen – June 12
Helen Eckard – June 12 (guest post)
There is a reason I love teaching the Surface Design Sampler Platter!
Many of the students haven’t ever painted cloth before.
And look what they do!?!
They carve stamps,
screen print and stencil,
learn to layer imagery,
do photo transfer,
… and even learn to bead!
We call it “drinking from a fire hose!”
We also call it…
Thank you to the wonderful women in Fort Collins, CO for two days of wonderful play time!!!
I had some trimmings left over from making a million step-outs for the Quilting Arts TV segments. For one of them I demonstrated how to make the slipcover for a book. You can click on the tutorials link under the “teaching” heading up there at the top of the website if you don’t want to wait for the segment to air.
So I took my strips and a little bit of Timtex. It is fusible on one side so I just ironed the strips down. No fuss, no muss.
I even like the back of this little piece. Almost like a wild heart-beat monitor printout.It’s only 6″ x 6″. Any ideas for a title?
I’ll be jetting off to the great Rocky Mountains to play with the creative quilters of the Colorado Quilting Council next week.
I’ll be lecturing at around 11am on Saturday the 26th about the Elements of Art for quilters.
Kick-start your creativity and learn about the basic elements and principles of good design. Learn why some colors fizz while others explode, why some quilts calm and some excite. A few simple tools from the artists kit will help you take your work, whether traditional or contemporary, to the next level.
Later that day join me for Creative Collaborative Collage. It’s a riotous event more than a class where you never know what is going to happen next. There will be fabric flying, friends being found, design principles being learned, and art being made.