Tag Archives: art quilts

Stretching Art and Tradition

Back in January I finished Dreaming of Cool, Clear, Abundant Water and got it mailed off. Today all the Stretching Art and Tradition quilts are online here and next year’s challenge is here.

Enjoy viewing and consider playing.

Meanwhile, I’ve prewashed my Riley Blake challenge fabric, and I’m plodding away at my Threads of Resistance piece. Templates made, pieces cut, and a few stitched.  But it isn’t photogenic yet. Soon.

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Idea Forming for Threads of Resistance

The Threads of Resistance challenge has been in the back of my mind for a while. I’ve been thinking and sketching and thinking and sketching some more. Actually mostly thinking. I probably should sketch sooner as nothing shows an unformed idea so quickly as trying to put it on paper. Until I actually sketch, I can delude myself that an idea is good.

Because of my interest in the Standing Rock Water Protectors, oil accidents contaminating water sources have been my first consideration.

threads-sketch-1

One of the first tries, oil pouring out of the slash-zero ‘Forbidden’ sign. Meh. Too in-your-face. I tried again, making stripes of blue and black for a background an forgetting the oil falls.

threads-sketch-2

Not much better. Then I got the idea of fragmenting the sign.

threads-sketch-3

Now I feel like I have something to work with. My next design move is to cut the sign full size, cut it in parts, and then move the parts around on a full sized piece of paper. (Minimum size is 20 x 20–not sure what size I am aiming for yet.)

Penciled in dark = black, medium = red, uncolored =blue. The background will most likely be shades and tints of blue; I’m debating on what shade of red (or varied) for the fragmenting ‘Forbidden’ sign; and the dark will be the black for oil.

Then there is the matter of title and the question of how much to depend on it. Ideas so far include “Waters of the United States,” “Deregulation,” and “Foxes Guarding the Hen Houses.”

Come Friday I’ll link with Nina Marie’s Off the Wall–button in the sidebar.

 

 

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“Dreaming of Cool, Clear, Abundant Water” is Finished

It isn’t often that two posts in a row document the start and finish of one piece! But deadlines (real ones) can promote that.

water-finished

So here is the piece quilted, trimmed to 18 x 36, and faced.  The balance is back to something closer to that in the sketches. If I do something approximately this size again, I’ll add only one inch all around. It lost very little in quilting.

I had to wait a couple days to photograph the quilting–there was no sun and  my artificial light keeps the quilting from showing. The sun finally appeared yesterday–along with temperatures in the 50s.

I like the background quilting; if I had it to do over, I’d put another layer of batting under the “drops” to fill it out better. It’s okay as is, but I think puffier would be better. Puffier would be nicer for the big “pebbles” too, but that would be impossible to place extra batting since I decided on placement as I went. Maybe the whole thing needed thicker batting.

The ice finally melted so I got it to the post office in plenty of time.

I’ll be joining Friday links (buttons in sidebar). 2/3/17 ETA: Actually linking late because I spaced it the week I finished.

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Stretching Art Progress

The Stretching Art challenge was posted long ago:  This year’s theme–Dream Big; Requirements–Size 18 x 36 and try some new technique.

So I started to think on dreams. I’ll admit to censoring out options that I couldn’t imagine a design or technique for or ones that I could imagine but didn’t want to do. I prefer abstract to representational, and that seemed hard, given this theme.

About the time I was exploring ideas, I was also reading of drought and forest fires, so dreaming of water seemed a good thing. Out came the graph paper..

water-early-sketch

Grid = 1 square x inch

I doodled more than two, but kept only these. Early thoughts were flowing rivers and drops containing trees, fish, and something else. Oversized drops to convey abundance. The right sketch got me into shapes going off the edge. And the plan moved on.

water-sketch

The new technique would be inserting those drop shapes rather than appliquéing them. And I did.

water-top

The upper left drop was inserted whole, but I have since trimmed it and will trim a bit more. I had added 2-3 inches on each side so that after quilting I could trim to size. My estimates on how much measurement will be lost to quilting are never accurate.The biggest trim will be at the right and bottom.

I tried sewing the first drop by starting at one side of the point, then starting again in the other direction. It was okay but not great. Better was starting at the side of the shape, holding the clipped background on top and stopping, but not removing the piece from under the needle, to turn. Yes, there was stay stitching first. I tried the first one without pinning, just like I do circles, matching registration points. The second one I pinned very closely around the point. If I ever do this again, I will pin. There will never be a tutorial for this, because there is no way I could interrupt sewing to do photos.

So on to the quilting.

water-detail

You may notice lines near the point. Yes, it was for reinforcement as well as design. I’d sketched a possible design (too lightly to photograph), but this is what has emerged as I worked. The unquilted background is waiting for me to decide how many more “pebbles” and where among the lines. Then on to quilting the drops.

The Stretching Art project is an annual event, unjuried.  You can join the Yahoo Group, if you are interested in considering it for next year.

ETA link to Stretching Art website.

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Sketching

No, I’m not stalling on the ocean top. But I have to think interesting thoughts while doing repetitive tasks like trimming HSTs. As often happens, I have an idea for a motif, but not for a whole piece. And I have difficulty expanding.

A while back, Mary of Zippy Quilts sent me some fabric.

fabric

She was decluttering and had decided she had no idea to go with this piece. She thought I might like the challenge. (I had mentioned enjoying making something out of what others thought ‘ugly’ fabric, and while this wasn’t considered ugly, it prompted the thought to send it.)  I found two coordinating pieces.

fabric-plus-coordinate

The motif that had immediately come to mind: a big diamond (to finally use that ruler that I bought so long ago) with a circle cut out the floats somewhere. But what else?

I started sketching.

fabrics-sketches-1

My first idea had been partial Lone Star as in 1,3,and 4. But I wasn’t thrilled. So I thought forget the star and tried #2. (Numbering doesn’t reflect order of drawing.) I also was asking the question: Do I really need odd numbers of items?

I tried some more.

fabrics-sketches-2

Number 5 looks too much like PacMan, #7 looks blah, but I almost like #6. Is it detailed enough?

Those ideas can cook for a while while I get back to trimming. Meanwhile, I’d like to hear what you do when you have a partial idea that doesn’t a whole quilt make.

ETA corrected spelling. Always shows up better the day after.

Linking with Let’s Sew and  Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Fridays.

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It’s Not Working . . .

Because I have been guilty of commenting on quilts that “it’s not working,” and have tried to get more specific, I really appreciated this blog post by Elizabeth Barton.  Hope you like it too.

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City Quilt Renamed “Skyline”

The top is finished. I’m working on use of space and balance. Not sure I’ve captured it in this one.  On the sketch the 3/4 size partial petal looked okay; here is looks like it could have been larger. And I never did comment on the reason for the partial petals. To get the amount of the fabric print that I wanted into one petal would have been too big to add anything else other than dinky little things that didn’t seem to fit the whole. So one night before sleep hit, I got the idea of half petal shapes.

Skylne top

50 x 68

Here’s hoping those bumps quilt out.

I love open spaces, but I never seem to buy enough fabric. This background had to be pieced more than I had intended. While looking at it and pondering how to piece either of the background ideas I had sketched, I came up with another idea and went with it. The idea was to echo the shadowy/misty silhouette in the print. You can see the lower one in the above photo. And here is the upper one.

City background detail

Now my question is how to quilt it.  Do I ignore the piecing to make it even more subtle or do I draw attention to it with different quilting from what is in the green? Let me know your opinion in the comments.

Linking with Nina Marie’s Off the Wall and Em’s Moving it Forward–buttons in sidebar.

 

 

 

 

 

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