Friday, October 30, 2015

How Would You Finish Off A Crazy UFO?

     Do you have any wild UFO's laying around? Most of do. I never know what to do with the really crazy ones. Usually I cut them up into smaller pieces and rework those. Awhile back I threw an art party at home and posted about it here. Each of my friends took home a "finished" piece. Mine is still laying in the UFO pile. One of the participants, Mary McBride, was given one by another so she took home two. She actually added on to them and created finished artworks from them. Go Mary!
Here's the starting piece of one of them.
starting piece 1
She went with the cat theme and went to town.

starting piece 2

after rotating it, Finished!
She made this one for a friend who loves art with Madonnas. Mary is a fantastic collage artist. (This last photo isn't great because I took it in a cafe and the lighting was terrible and I had to take it with my iPad from above it as it sat on the table.) I guess I'll have to take another look at mine and see if I come up with any collage ideas based on what's on the background or a possible recipient. Maybe I'll just have to go really crazy for once.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Are You Going To Festival In Houston?

     Are you one of the lucky ones going to The International Quilt Festival in Houston this year? I hope you get to go. I got to go for the first time in 2012 and went with an elementary school friend. We spent the first two days in the vendor area and I was amazed how large it was and the variety of things sold there. I was expecting only the usual quilting fabrics and notions. When I left, I had purchased sari silk yarns, gorgeous glass beads from the Czech Republic, hand-dyed silk fragments,  I watched many demos, and I traded about 30 ATC's with other artists. Then the next two days we spent in the gallery area viewing the quilts. I even had a quilt on display that year in the SAQA exhibit Sense of Scale.
     I haven't been since, and I don't get to go this year. But I do have a quilt in the SAQA exhibit Balancing Act.
Inner Balance 2
I wrote a post of how I created her here. This was one of those creations that just flowed. The exhibit will also travel to the festival in Chicago in April. I may get to see it there.
So if you are going to Festival this year in Houston, enjoy all the many things to see and do and try to visit the SAQA exhibit, too. Thanks for visiting.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Do You Make Your Own Christmas or Holiday Cards?

     Should I make my Christmas cards this year or should I just buy a set and send them out? That's the question I pose each year. If I make them, I like to do it in the summer when I'm less busy and then they are ready to go. But I forgot to do it this summer. And I'm not one of those artists that can just slap a collage together. I take a long time to make design decisions. I'm getting quicker about it than I used to be. This week, I decided that I would give myself two days to put together a design and finish a small art quilt for a card cover. If I didn't accomplish that, then I would purchase cards.
     I began by choosing a previously monoprinted fabric for a background. I thought I wanted it to be zen-like. So I chose another previously monoprinted fabric in a complimentary color and cut out a sun shape and hand embroidered it onto the background which I had placed onto batting.
in progress

     Then I got the idea to put a bird and a saying on it. For inspiration, I browsed through my book Inspired to Quilt by Melanie Testa, which has helped me often. And I reviewed my notes from a class called Spirit Cloth 101 which I took from Jude Hill. That class not only showed me many marvelous techniques in hand stitching, but it also passed on the art of story telling in cloth. And the great news is that the class is now open to all for free. Here is a link to it.
     So I finished it up by thread stitching a bird with my sewing machine onto commercial fabric, cutting it out close to the stitching, and hand sewing it onto the background. Then I embroidered branches using two colors of embroidery floss (3 strands) in a wrapped back stitch. I printed out text onto white cotton muslin, cut them out and hand stitched them on. Next, I cut out a piece of commercial fabric an hand sewed it on with embroidery floss. To finish it up, I added a piece of fabric on the back, and then I used two colors of embroidery floss and whip stitched around the edges (6 strands of the dark teal and 3 strands of the rust).
Joy and Peace
     I plan to scan the image in the computer and add a frame. I'll use that for the cover of the card. I'll put some text for inside the card and take it to a printing company and have them print the cards for me. That's the plan, anyway. We'll see how it looks as a printed card. Of course, the watermark won't be on it.  If it doesn't look good, then this year will be about store-bought cards. At least I tried and I ended up with a small art quilt. I'm linking this to Off The Wall Friday where you can find other art quilt blogs. Please make comments on their posts to let them know you stopped by. Thanks for visiting.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Do You Like To Work With The Seasons?

          This week not only did I tie up another loose end, but I tied it in with the autumn season as well. Way back in a blog post here,  I wrote about how I had some artwork that was going nowhere and I decided to rework it. I started it off and it was going well, but then I lost my verve for it and it sat waiting after I had added the top section and bottom section. Part of the reason was because I didn't have the right green fabric for the sides and I hate shopping. I went to the closest quilt shop and they didn't have the right hue. Finally I drove to the next nearest quilt shop and found exactly what I needed and I was off sewing on it again. I'm sure there was an easier way, but to finish it these are the steps I followed:
1.) Hand sew batting onto the sides.
2.) It wasn't nearly straight so I had to add extra fabric to the sides in places.
3.) Sew magenta fabric strips onto the sides.
4.) Sew green fabric onto the magenta fabric.
5.) Quilt onto the green fabric with a rayon rust colored thread (no backing fabric).
6.) Sew tabs with green fabric.
7.) Pin tabs to backing fabric and make a pillowcase backing.
8.) Quilt in the ditch down two sides lengthwise.
After all the handling the leaves were starting to show some wear so I dabbed them with matt medium to keep them together. (After all, they are from 2007.)
     It was nice to know that I was able to rework the art to a form that I like much better.
I bought the hanger at Ten Thousand Villages a fair trade store. It was amazingly inexpensive and they come in many sizes. We have one about 40 minutes away, but you can get them on-line, too.
Autumn Leaf Scroll

Scroll Detail 1

Scroll Detail 2
     So now the problem is what to do with it. I can't find anywhere in the house to hang it (Unless I take another one of my husband's things down and put it in its place instead.) No, I think I've done that enough times already. Working on this now did help me get in the mood for autumn even if it is still pretty hot here in Florida. Our first real cold front may come through next week. Maybe I'll get to wear a sweater soon. Exciting!
     I'm linking this to Off The Wall Friday where you can find other art quilt blogs. Please make comments on their posts so that they know you stopped by. Thanks for visiting.