Monday, March 29, 2010

Cheery O's
12" x 12"

This is my little piece that was in the Feb/Mar issue of Quilting Arts. I have since added borders. A group of friends had a small quilt exhibit at the Dallas Quilt Show a few weeks ago. My piece was one of the ones included, and I was so happy that it has now sold!

I wanted to try satin stitch free motion quilting, so I just started quilting in circles. Then I just kept changing threads and making more and more circles. With increasing time behind the wheel, I slowly got better, which was fulfilling and fun. Slowly, the beautiful colors started to sing. Then I added the hand embroidery and french knots and it turned completely fun! The borders were quilted separately, trimmed to size and then added last. So on this tiny little quilt, I used satin stitch to create the central design, structurally add the borders, and finish the edge of the quilt! Ta da!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Fifty and Female and Fearless
36" x 48"

I am thrilled to announce that my quilt has been juried into the invitational Beneath the Surface exhibit curated by Jamie Fingal and Leslie Jenison and Dinner at Eight Artists. This is my second year to participate. Last year the exhibit was Edges and opened at the International Quilt Festival in Long Beach and then traveled to Houston. I believe this year's venues are the same. We are extremely fortunate to have two sponsors, Moore's Sewing Centers and Brother International.

The quilt is 100% batik. I batiked the yellow central figure first on a yellow whole cloth. Then I etched the design lines and dyed it. Next I made a big stash of blue fabrics by batiking thin lines on commercial blue and turquoise fabrics, bleach discharge, and overdyeing. Each sample was then trimmed and fused into place, in a reverse applique style covering everything except the yellow figure. Lots of machine quilting, everything but the letters are heavily quilted every 1/4 inch.
The title comes from the book Silent Passages, which has come in very handy as I enter a new decade and face new challenges. What inner resources will I need to make the passage?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Urban Circles
50" x 50"
No, not like crop circles, more like CD circles. I was inspired by CD envelopes that have the shiny clear plastic that you can see through. I made these circles of my fabric, Urban Landscapes, by drawing the circles the same size as the hole in the CD envelope package. I fused them on, satin stitched the edges (all 100 of them!) in white thread, and then pieced the blocks together. LOVE IT! I especially like how the design entices your eye to move around and explore the entire quilt. Now that the top is done, all I have left is to quilt it!

The photography. I am not happy with how the full size photo looks. On my monitor, it has a quality that looks plastic and harsh. The designs are bright and crisp, but in real life they have a softness to them, much more similar to the detail picture. Maybe I will reshoot and see how it goes?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Safe Home
12" x 12"

I am donating this little quilt for SAQA's annual auction fundraiser, Studio Art Quilt Associates. Hoping that it finds a good home! It is a follow up from my piece Falling Through the Cracks, and in fact cut from the same cloth. The little special 'bead' has fallen into a safe nest at home.

I had so much fun working on this little piece. Making art again is such a joy, I was practically in a frenzy!

Friday, March 05, 2010

Teaching Again
I taught my first two classes this last weekend for my guild, the Austin Area Quilt Guild. Most common comment from my students...."This is the first class you have ever taught??" (with astonishment). No, this is not the first class I've taught, just the first quilting class. I used to be a science teacher for high school kids. I loved that job. Honestly, I LOVE my parenting job the most, and it's the hardest. And the new career of quilting and art is uniquely satisfying and rewarding and well suited to my strengths.

I have found that if I teach on the weekends, the child care is doable. For the first class, Satin Stitch, we learned about machine settings for getting a nice looking satin stitch in straight lines. We moved up to curves, and traveling, and satin stitch as a quilting line, and lots of other cool stuff. We mostly made small samples, which could be made into Affordable Art, or postcards, or coasters, or uniquely joined to make small art quilts.

And you should have seen their faces when I took my 8" x 8"class samples and cut them up into 4" squares! You can arrange and rearrange, and then satin stitch them together to make a completed quilt. Sadly, I lost one of my little squares for this little quilt that I planned to donate to the Austin Area Quilt Guild auction. Hopefully I will find it soon and get this little quilt all stitched up!

The class was so fun, lots of very friendly and willing participants. I so admire their willingness to try new things, like free motion satin stitching! And I appreciate their patience with me, especially when I gave them tiny circles to satin stitch (very difficult)! They did a terrific job. Perhaps you recognize Michelle, holding her little circle? She was a first place winner in the embellished category in Houston last fall. Also included, Janis, holding up her wonderful satin stitched composition! Just lovely!

The second class was Finishing Techniques. Using some altered trading cards and postcards that I had, along with small works owned or made by my students, we learned how to: apply fabric to canvasses, paint canvasses, apply traditional bindings, fuse bindings, hand stitched edges, and more! It was fun! A very creative group made the day pass so quickly!

First up, a postcard made by Heidi Miracle McMahill (from Virgina Speigels fundraiser for American Cancer Society) that I mounted to a stretched canvas. The canvas was wrapped with a hand batiked, dyed, and quilted piece. It looks as if it was made to go together, but it was quite serendipitous!

Next, two samples for my class, one a monoprint with hand quilting demonstrating the escape hatch from Laura Wasilowski, and small piece showing a satin stitched edge.
Next up, a couple of samples from students, and last a group photo of their work! Amazing!

These are class samples, incredible aren't they?