Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Real Florida

I've been hard at work on my quilt for the Color Wheel of Emotions exhibit. I photographed the ornament on which it is based and altered it in Photoshop. Then I made a sketch with pencil to check out the values and changed places that I thought needed to be darker or lighter. Then I got out my Inktense pencil set and did a few color sketches/paintings and with each one altered the colors to get them the way I want them. My next step will be to create it with fabric. I think I will paint the fabric base various colors and then add fabrics by fusing the appropriate colors and shapes to the base. I think that this piece will require a lot of stitching to get the effects I want.
     Since I can't show you any pictures of it now, I'll share some photos I took yesterday when I was on a bike ride. My husband and I rode our bicycles down to Blue Springs State Park and then walked the trails there to see the sights. We saw about 10 manatees including a mother with her calf, two bald eagles, a gator, and a corn snake. The weather was in the low 70's/ high 60's (Fahrenheit) and the sky was a crisp blue. I feel so lucky to live in a place that is, for many, a vacation destination, but far enough away from the crowds.
Manatee mother with calf

Blue Springs walkway

Blue Springs Run at the mouth of
the St. John's River

My bike with a friend

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

New Quilt?

I've been racking my brain trying to come up with an idea for an exhibit I want to enter called "Color Wheel of Emotion".  Everytime I got excited about an idea, I sketched it out or created a mock-up in Photoshop Elements from my photos and/or scans. But then after awhile they seemed too trite, too ordinary, or too difficult for me to execute. Then, I was gathering spices in my kitchen to make a batch of garam masala (a set mixture of spices for curry). And I realized how colorful they were and decided to use photos of them for my color wheel. I took individual photos of them on a plate such as these four:
whole cloves
mustard seeds
cardamom pods

cinnamon sticks

Then I manipulated them and merged them into one photo looking like (sort of like) they are on the same plate at the same time. (I wanted to keep them separate in real life so that I could put them back into their bottles uncontaminated when I was done taking photos.) My plan was to interpret the composite photo in cloth and thread to create my version of a color wheel of emotion. Here is that photo:
Composite photo
but in the end I decided I wasn't ready to make that quilt. I may do it another time. While I was in the shower this evening, I glanced at an ornament hanging from our curtain and I suddenly saw my color wheel of emotion! So I photographed it, manipulated it in Photoshop with background fabric and I like it a lot. I hope I still think it is a good idea in the morning. If yes, then I'll get out my gelatin plate and monoprint the background fabrics and start creating the foreground. The deadline is the end of April. If all goes well, I'll be able to make it.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Blog Hop Winner!

I used a random number generator to choose the winner from the people who commented during the blog hop. Gil is the winner! I'll buy him a fat quarter batik today and send it to him with the Christmas pin.

Monday, March 11, 2013

And The Wall Came Tumbling Down

Old windows on east wall
Old window and new window on east
Surprisingly it wasn't that noisy when the carpenters took down the exterior wall to connect the old small bedroom with the new spacious room they had built. I love the space. There are plenty of windows and I can see how the furniture I have planned will fit just fine. Next step is to put in insulation and then drywall.
New window on west wall
and the space where the old
closet was located
New window on west wall, space where
old closet was, and door to house.

Sunday, March 10, 2013


Well, I got an email that my prayer flag quilt did not get accepted into the exhibit. Even though I am disappointed, I do like the quilt and it has a lot of meaning to me. The whole idea of prayer flags is very spiritual to me and I plan on developing the concept deeper in future quilts. I think this rejection pushes me harder into trying to see what I can create around the concept of prayer flags. Here is a photo of the quilt. I think how I portrayed the monk is a weakness in the composition. I'm not sure what the problem is, but somehow he just doesn't seem to fit in to me. Perhaps I'll take him off or cover him up with something else sometime in the future. The text on the flags and in the background says "Peace on Earth" in many different languages. The name of the quilt is "Spread Peace". Any comments you have would be appreciated.
Spread Peace

Friday, March 8, 2013

Blog Hop Party

Hi Everyone,
Today is a Blog Hop Party. Many blogs are giving away things today. I'm giving away a Christmas quilted pin that I made. To get it, all you have to do is read a few of my older posts, come back to this one and make a comment about what you saw in my older posts. Then link to the address I've connected to visit more blogs with giveaways. On March 14th in the evening, I'll randomly choose someone from this comment list and send them the pin. Make sure to leave your email so I can contact you. So READ, COMMENT, and LINK.

NOTE: I've been reading the other offers from other bloggers in this Blog Hop Party and I've seen that their giveaways are pretty extensive. So I decided to offer a fat quarter of a batik fabric in addition to the Christmas pin. Tell me your favorite color and if you win, I'll make a run to my local quilt shop and pick out a nice batik for you.
Happy Friday.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

SAQA Auction Quilt is Finished

I finished my SAQA Auction quilt today by sewing on the hanging sleeve and label. I'm naming it :Daydreaming". Instead of putting on a binding, I sewed a gold yarn right next to the edge and then hand-couched a brown and black yarn to the edges. I couldn't get a great photo of this one. Either the colors came out a little off what they really are or it seemed a little blurry. Since I'm not entering this one into an exhibit or contest, I don't need to have perfect photos of it. Thank goodness. Once my studio is up and running, I'll have a permanent space set up for photos with proper lighting.
Detail of Daydreaming. You can see the gold yarn inside
the brown/black yarn.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Need a Certain Color of Thread?

I was finishing up my SAQA auction quilt and needed a small amount of powder blue Pearle Cotton thread. I had a light gray and a dark blue, but no powder blue. I didn't want to drive to the fabric store that has Pearle Cotton (20 minutes each way). So I took the gray thread and Inktense Watercolor Pencils in blue and a green and white and colored the thread directly. Then I dipped the colored thread in water. It was a little too intense a color so I folded and twisted the thread to double it up with uncolored thread. Some of the ink transferred to the uncolored part of the thread and I got the color and intensity I needed. The Inktense is permanent when it dries.
Thread partially colored

Dipped in water

Twisted to spread the ink to more of the thread