Tag Archives: art quilts

And “Solidarity” Is Finished

A little more than the original three-day estimate, to be sure. But with each closing, more time became available, and with it expansion of work to fill available time. I did end up quilting closer than originally planned; it was good to have the option.

I quilted everything except the sky then stopped. The original plan was problematic.

2 solidarity before sky

I’d planned straight lines with a scalloped bump for a cloud. First I stalled on where to put the bump. Then on how close to make the echo lines. Then on what to do with the little narrow spaces. If I hadn’t had three days to just look at it and think, I’d have quilted a big mistake. Finally I remembered advice from a quilting class: if you want something to recede, quilt it closely. I realized that all my previous ideas kept the sky at the same level as the buildings. So my old standby, meander. Or maybe it is stippling when smaller.

2 soliarity sky quilted

But I didn’t want to let the cloud idea go, so I did a wee bit of padded quilting. I’d meant to do two, but there wasn’t enough space on the left to get the padding stitched in and cut around.

Then I tried a new way of facing that I’d learned in Elizabeth Barton’s Mod Meets Improv class on the Academy of Quilting. (I was reminded of a tailoring class I’d taken years ago where at every class the instructor said of some technique, “If you don’t learn anything else, this technique is worth the class fee.” I feel that way about this facing; however, there was much else worth while too.) And the quilt is finished.

2 solidarity finished

And I can still go to the post office and get it in the mail. Time will tell if the three shows Stretching Art and Tradition is scheduled for will take place. Meanwhile I have enough books, fabric, and yarn to keep me occupied and enough food to eat for a week or so. I hope the rest of you are coping with this coronavirus thing.

ETA: As I expected, the first show has been postponed till June. I’d have had till May to complete it.  Glad it is completed.

ETA July 7: All three shows have been postponed till 2021.

History of this quilt

Stretching Art theme for 2020 and sketch

Embroidery and beginning improv

Improv finished

Template section finished

I will be linking with Needle and Thread Thursday , the Clever Chameleon, and various Friday linky parties. (Buttons in sidebar)

Linking with Free Motion Mavericks too. But, full disclosure.  The bottom half quilting was done with a walking foot. FMQ from the “river” on up.

Also linking with So Scrappy.  and Oh Scrap! The bottom section is made from true scraps; the upper from pre-emptive scraps–IE, cut from fabric purchased for another project.

 

 

12 Comments

Filed under design, quilting

Building a City

In the previous postI showed the rally/march; now I am working on the city background.

2 city partial

The next time I design a city, I’ll make it require fewer than five L-seams! In the above photo, three are finished. I had originally planned to cut and piece buildings so that the seams would be straight, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought it would break the buildings up too much. Photo was late afternoon while there was still some daylight, so the colors are pretty true. I had all those grays on hand because I am planning another quilt with city buildings. I don’t think I’ll miss the little bit of each that I used for this piece.

Now that the city portion is finished, there was less light, so the photos are darker.

2 city portion pieced

Several of the plain colors are oxford cloth, and it is really flimsy to work with. (I didn’t want to use starch because the piece will not be washed.) You’ll notice how ripply in the first photo. I tried an old embroidery trick of ironing it wrong side up on a thick bath towel, and it smoothed right out.

And here’s a preview layout.

top plus march

I still have some curvy green to add and the river. It seemed easier to make the buildings as if they were the whole section, then to cut away the curve later using freezer paper templates. I have an extra inch all around in case piecing or quilting loses inches (required size is 18 x 36), but templates seem safer than improv for the curves of greenery by the river.

This portion also took longer than I expected, since I’d not originally planned the L-seams. But I haven’t been working constantly.

I plan to link up with Needle and Thread Thursday (button in sidebar) Oops; not happening this week.

ETA: I had thought it would be finished by Scrap Happy day, but with all the cancellations because of the coronavirus, I had free time and you know the saying: work expands to fill available time. The bottom “march/rally” portion is all made of scraps. The city from pre-emptive scraps since the fabric was bought for something else. 🙂 All from stash.

Check out other scrap projects at Tall Tales From Chiconia.

 

8 Comments

Filed under quilting

How about Four?

Not four instead of three, but instead of one for the improv piecing (estimate had been made here). Here’s why:

2 improv detail

I knew I intended to make tiny pieces; I just didn’t know how long it would take. Good thing I have some wiggle room in the schedule! A comment about the letters.  They were too small to make curves (This one is the smallest, 5 threads high), so O and D look the same.  I hope the context makes this read “wind” and not “wino”! At any rate, the improv piecing is finished.

2 piecing (improv) finshed

My only nod to perspective was the decrease in size. The letters in the signs in the foreground are 10-14 threads high. I aimed for 10 but sometimes missed a thread.  I ripped out really bad errors but not skipped threads.

Tomorrow on to making the templates for the top portion.

Linking with Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Friday (button in sidebar).

7 Comments

Filed under quilting

Piecing

After two days, I begin to think I might actually finish by the 20th–my goal so that I won’t have to pay extra postage for 3 day or (gasp) 1 day service.

I finished the hand work this morning, made the big pattern, and made a mess looking for fabric, Then I started the improv part. I’m not trying for any realism, like making people shapes. I’m just aiming for the energy of the crowd.

2 piecing bottom half

Some pieces are attached; some are just placed to audition. At first it was hard to make the pieces as big as I wanted the for the “front”; then I had trouble sizing back down for the “distance.” So there is some adjusting to do.  The embroidery on the “posters” didn’t end up graded in as many sizes and I’d originally intended, but I think it will do.

They get quite small in the back.

2 piecing top half

I see my sketch of the “city” at the top is too light to show. The smaller sketch is here, in case you didn’t see it a couple days ago.

The plan is to finish the improv tomorrow and maybe start the “buildings.” Another day for quilting and another for facing and label and hanging sleeve.  I might not have to cancel any activities and still have plenty of time to finish. Optimism is a good thng, right?

Linking with the Clever Chameleon’s Colour Tuesday and Oh Scrap!

6 Comments

Filed under quilting

Stretching Art Project

The idea has been brewing for a while, but work has begun now. First the sketch.

2 sketch

As usual the required dimensions are 18 x 36 inches. The theme is community, emphasis on belonging and finding energy. Many people chose geographical responses. However, I don’t feel attached to any place I’ve lived. I went with the finding energy aspect of the prompt and thought of recent protests I’ve attended. Now all rallies are not protests of disliked policies; some are encouraging actions to be completed. (Was it FDR who said something like, “Make me do it”?) So I didn’t want to name the quilt Protests. I went for Solidarity.

I plan mostly an abstract mass of color representing a mass of people,with a few posters. I had originally sketched more posters and smaller. But once I did the lettering on a couple I realized I couldn’t get that small and have legible words, so I redrew the placement of larger pieces. The bottom portion will be improv; the top where the city background is will be made with templates. It is my hope that the windows in a couple buildings will link the two portions so that it doesn’t end up being two designs instead of one.

2 stitch

I had thought counted cross stitch would work for the larger signs and a sort of outline stitch for the middle size. I found some 32 count linen and started to stitch. It is more tedious than I remembered counted cross stitch being. Of course I used to use 14 or 16 count Aida cloth.

5 Comments

Filed under quilting

A Use for Yarn Scraps and a Small Quilt Finish

Yarn, like fabric, produces left overs after projects are finished. One of my friends has a great way to use them, making hats for the homeless.  The pattern makes a two layered, reversible hat. The first one is hers, then comes mine. The hat starts with a tube with closed ends.

1 stripe tube

You can see how it uses up bits of yarn.  Punch one end into the other to make a lining and fold up the brim; or change colors by punching the other end inside.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Fun as well as warm.  Here’s mine minus the final decreases.

1 red rock tube

Mine isn’t so dramatic as my friend’s–I had quite a bit of left over red-rock yarn, but not enough for a big project. The yarn for the multi-colored stripe is really nice, so here is a close up of it–also more true to the actual colors.

1 red rock detail

I’d made a fancy shawl for my daughter of the multi-colored yarn a long time ago. It was spun from recycled silk. My hat isn’t finished because I want to buy double pointed (DP) needles to close the tube. Her instructions actually call only for 16-inch circular needles and knitting back and forth when starting stitches and ending decreases make it too small to fit the circular needles, then seaming the opening. I see no reason not to use DP needles and avoid seaming.

So this is my non-traditional entry for Scrap Happy.  Click here to get links to see what other folks are doing with scraps (probably fabric).

Meanwhile, on the quilting front. Back in spring I was participating in several of Elizabeth Barton’s classes on the Academy of Quilting. The first one was Modern Art for Quilters.  One assignment was to draw a grid. The sketch is here.

I made some value sketches too, then stitched it up in two color combinations. They were about 11 X 15 inches. At the time  was thinking ahead to the guild quilt show and the small quilt raffle. However, only one got finished in time.

1 colot study finished

Color Study #1

The delay was in deciding how to quilt it. I had always thought of the blue as background, so went with outlining blue pieces with blue thread. Then I faced it. I wish I still had the mallet I used to use when tailoring to flatten the corners and keep the top and bottom straight, but oh well . . .

Here is the  unfinished one.

1 color study 2

Color Study #2

I’m thinking about making a larger version of this second palette.

I’ll be linking with the Tuesday Colour Linky Party (link in sdebar).

12 Comments

Filed under knitting, photography, quilting

Grid in Two Color Combinations

Back to the grid sketched for the More-Abstract-Art-for-Quilters class (sketch here among other things).  After the line sketch, I did several value sketches and then several color sketches of the best value sketch. I decided to make a very small version of my two favorite color combinations.

So yesterday morning I pulled all the shades I had of red, blue, yellow, and green.

grid fabric pull

I had no intention of using all of them, but didn’t yet know which I’d want. Notice the top green one–at least it looks like a light yellow-green to me. When I ended up using it, it looked yellow in context.

So I started cutting from the first color sketch.

grid start with sketch

You can see already that the look of real fabric will be quite different from the look of the sketch. And as I worked with actual fabric, I made a couple adjustments to the colors on the sketch–a couple things worked in pencil but not in my selection of fabric.

Sewing took longer than I allowed for it–I’d planned to make them both yesterday. Instead I finished one and cut out the second. Usually I can chop any design into all straight seams. Not this one.  There were several partial seam construction spots. I started sewing what could be completely sewn together, then calculated the order of partial seams. By supper time I had this.

grid color

10 x 15 inches

I figured I’d better cut out the second before putting the fabric away. It was a good thing I had.  It was much easier to work on it today having it already cut.  I should do that more often. So here is version 2:

grid color maquette 2

(You can rotate it once to the right if you want to see it in the same orientation as the first one.) This one is the same size.

I will face them both and do a little stitch-in-the-ditch quilting.  I had thought I might do matchstick since the piece is so small, but I don’t think I want the haze of color that would produce. The “stripes” don’t work out evenly even if I did change thread color.

Now the question is whether I want to make either (or both) and what size. For one thing, it will have to wait till I find that bright green. I haven’t seen that color in shops for years and I have only 6 inches or so left.

I have plenty of sketches from the class to keep me busy for a while. Plus ideas from the improv class. And I am now signed up for Elizabeth Barton’s class on color.  She had one exercise in the More Abstract Art class that was so helpful, I’m hoping for more like that in the color class.

I’ll try to remember to link up with the Clever Chameleon on Tuesday. (Link in sidebar)

7 Comments

Filed under Fiber Art, quilting

An Improv Start and More Sketches

An online class sure keeps me busy, but busy in a fun way. (Meanwhile I have 8 days for the Paint Brush Studio project. Plenty of time–a day to make the back, two to quilt, and another to bind.)

Lesson 2 of Mod Meet Improv involved improv stitching instead of sketching. So I did.

L2 design 2

Elizabeth gave some very general instructions which could produce quite a variety of quilts. Mine is sewn in strips, but I’m still adjusting exactly where I’ll be sewing them together. First I move one to the left, then another to the right. Etc. I’m waiting for Elizabeth’s comments before stitching any more. Once I decide where each strip goes and attach them, I’ll add unbleached muslin for enough border to get to 36-inch square. (Those slightly curved seams really shrink the final measurement.)

Then I combined homework for the quilt-design group meeting tomorrow with a project for Lesson 3. Last month we talked about Jacob Lawrence’s work. (I had associated the Harlem Renaissance with literature–was intrigued to learn it extended to art also.) One month the group talks about an artist and the next month sketches a design or makes a quilt related to that artist’s works. I’d been most fascinated by one piece in his series, The Great Migration: Panel 18, “The Migration Gained in Momentum” (here scroll down to get to it) . What intrigued me most was the composition showing the goal off canvas and the motion toward it.  Since I don’t do people, I wasn’t sure how to proceed.

The current lesson involved varying a traditional block.  So I started sketching possibilities using that idea. First I tried Ohio Star.

L3 Riff sketch 1

This sketch didn’t fill the bill. I felt like I should show the traditional block before I pulled out a part to vary. With the star in the upper corner, the goal was no longer off “canvas.” And the variations on the QSTs (Quarter Square Triangles) were too stable. (It reminds me of Christmas cards that say, Wise Men Still Follow the Star–without the “following”motion. Or chess pieces.)

So I shifted to Flying Geese.

L3 Riff sketch 2

A little bit better: Motion and off the “canvas.” But leading the eye off the quilt isn’t a good thing, and that is what this one does. Also the blocks are moving to the side not up.

Well, as you might imagine, there is no way to tip a Flying Goose block to the right and have it point up and right. At some point you have to let go of the inspiration and deal with the new design. I think this is that point. So here is the third try.

L3 riff sketch 3

I rather like this one. I think I avoided leading the eye off the design. We’ll see. It hasn’t had time to get comments yet. I suppose if I were to make it, I’d call it “Flying Geese Migrate.” One trouble with liking to work abstractly is that it is difficult to keep social meaning in the piece.

7 Comments

Filed under quilting

“Torii” Sketches

You’ve been dying to see what I’ve done for Elizabeth Barton’s class with last post’s photo, right? (Quite likely not, but I’m going to tell you anyway.) First I cropped the photo.

b torii corner

Then I sketched the major lines including some of the wires and poles in the background because I thought the latter added interest.

L3 lines

I put “torii” in quotes in the title because I was pretty loose with the lines, and only one of the sketches has anything resembling a torii look. And that maybe only if you already know about the photos. (I also wonder to what extent the three appear to have come from the same source.)

In the first sketch I kept some of the hanging tags. And added an extension to the left.

L3sketch 1

This one needs the most work:rotating, eliminating, etc.

The next was my favorite

L3 sketch2 adjusted 2

It needed the fewest changes, and they have been done. Mostly filling the upper left triangle with extensions of the lines below it. Since it was my favorite and needed less work, I’m thinking my judgment might be improving.

The third one has some resemblance to a torii.

L3sketch 3

But when  rotate it 90 degrees left, as suggested, the toriiness will be gone. No matter. I have more ideas from this photo, which I suppose makes it a potential series. But I don’t think I can call it my torii series since the torii keeps disappearing. I’ll come up with a name. Or maybe one of you will.

The assignment included grabbing colors from the photo, but the photo had so few that I took a photo of a nearby bush. And saturated it in iPhoto.

berry color_2 saturated

I also have a color assignment for Lesson 2 which has been fun to work on.  I did it armchair method, computer open and showing the art source, and a swatch book in hand.  I had planned to set it aside and move on to Lesson 4, but I was in the mood to think color. I can move on while waiting for fabric to arrive.

And I signed up for Elizabeth’s next class, Mod Meets Improv. I am especially interested in her version of improv since she emphasizes sketching so much in the art quilt classes.

Chances are I’ll not have any more progress to post before Friday so this will be my post to link to Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Friday (button in sidebar).

 

 

6 Comments

Filed under quilting

More Thinking than Sewing (and Vanport Mosaic)

I recently signed up for Elizabeth Barton’s “More Abstract Art for Quilters” through the Academy of Quilting, and it has been fascinating. It moves quickly, so I am gathering potential projects.

Most likely I will not make all of them.

L1Ex1

I like this one but I don’t see myself making all those circles out of fabric. Maybe someday if I run out of other ideas I could do it as fused applique or reverse applique. Time will tell. That was the first week.

The second week involved making grids.

grid many lines 1 and 2

This project at least has straight seams. The top grid was deemed stronger; the bottom one had the major flaw of being split in half horizontally. Multiple assignments followed.  Do several value studies for the top one; crop the bottom one into something useful and do value studies. But before I got to that, Lesson 3 came along. So this one moved into the potential folder.

Of course there have also been comments about and links to observe well known abstract artists–totally fascinating. The third lesson involved watching Mondrian’s path to increasing abstraction and the assignment to follow similar steps from a photo we had taken. So far I have only the photos to ponder.

b torii whole car

The car wasn’t there when I composed the shot, LOL.  And I will just ignore it as I work with this photo –if it is the photo I choose to work with.

I lean to working with this one.

b torii corner_2 cropped

That ends thoughts on art quilts for today; continue reading if you are interested in the photos of torii. I was attending a Vanport Mosaic event, and they are located at the site as well as integral to the weekend.
It is Vanport Mosaic weekend, a time of memory activism.  The story of Vanport is not well known, and the Mosaic project’s purpose is to unearth and perpetuate minority stories that have been silenced. The Vanport story is a story of race relations, some successes and some failures. The town of Vanport was constructed by Henry Kaiser because he needed housing for workers he had attracted from all over the US for his shipyards during World War II, and Portland was dragging its feet because many of the people coming in were African American or poor. The housing was segregated, but schools, work, and entertainment were integrated. Since families worked shifts, there was 24/7 daycare provided.
After the war, there was less need for workers.  White workers moved into Portland, an option not available to black workers.  Others moved into the vacated homes, they included veterans, Native Americans, and Japanese, who were returning from the concentration camps where they had been sent during the war. The torii are a memorial to the Japanese experience, an experience that is another major feature of the weekend.
Memorial Day, 1948, Vanport was flooded.  Residents had about an hour to evacuate with what they could carry. The town was totally destroyed. (For those interested in more, here is a link to the online Oregon Encyclopedia entries on Vanport, and here for the Japanese incarceration.)
The Mosaic project includes gathering stories from folks who lived there and filming them. The day, an annual event, includes showing the films, other exhibits related to the town, the flood, and the imprisonment. Often classroom projects are shown. This year one was from a human geography course with proposals for a more visible memorial than what exists.

Unless I get a lot accomplished on this week’s assignment and post again, I’ll link this post to Nina-Marie’s Off the Wall Friday (button in sidebar).

6/1/2019–ETA: Today was a play, Gambette, about the Japanese experience.  Here, from an exhibit in the lobby,  is a photo of an enlarged tag like those required to be on each person and item of property.

CC tag

These are memorialized in the rows of metal tags on the torii sculptures.

 

 

6 Comments

Filed under Portland OR, quilting, social issues