Tag Archives: art quilts

“Do the Work” Really Finished

And I can do real celebration now, as the final details are finished. I always forget how long it takes to stitch down the facing, sew the hanging sleeve, and add the labels. And my labels are quite simple and as small as I can make them. One of my friends makes counted-cross-stitch labels on special quilts. I should consider that. The light on today’s photo is only a tad bit better than last night’s.

The shine is closer to the actual look, but the colors are still too light. You can almost see the red big stitch in the lower left. The next photo shows the value and shine closer to the in person look.

I guess when the camera focuses on the light, the dark comes out right. If I knew how to do the manual settings, I could probably have outsmarted the automatic settings–actually I think I can view the settings on a photo and then I could duplicate them. . . . But the quilt is boxed up so it is too late to try that approach. The 8 x 8 block needed some quilting, but I didn’t want much and I didn’t want to distract from the print. This mix of fabrics will never be laundered, so minimal quilting was enough.

And here is a view of all three rows of big stitch.

As I said before, my daughter sent me the vintage kimono fabric when she lived in Japan. I made two small quilts from it right after she sent it. They are dated 2007–didn’t seem that long ago.

Japan I: Torii; Japan II” Mt Fuji

These are 10″ x 10″. Someday I’ll make something big enough that I can give a better sense of the whole fabric design. When I first got the fabric, I thought, ‘Silk=crazy quilt’ and started to gather fabrics. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the embroidery of a crazy quilt would detract from the print. So it sat waiting for another idea. I’m still thinking toward the big one.

8 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

“Do The Work” Almost Finished

All that is left to do is a little more embroidery on the big block and to attach a hanging sleeve. And maybe get a photo in better light. We’ll see if the sun cooperates tomorrow. But I couldn’t wait. 🙂 (Premature celebration.)

The dark colors are much darker than the flash allowed them to be. I tried a photo without flash, but it was as much too dark as this is too light. I used a walking foot to do the grid quilting. There are three curves rows of big stitch–a red on each side of the peach.. I’d wanted the red to be subtle, but I did want it to show more than it does. Here is a detailed views that shows one side a bit better.

History of the quilt starts here

7 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

When One Door Closes: from sketch to fabric

This quilt has been incubating for a long time, partly because the 2020 show was canceled and partly because I couldn’t settle on a design. The show theme was “When One Door Closes” (after our 2020 show quilts went in waiting for their show). I’d started sketching over a year ago (here). Off and on I’d tried others.

I’d liked the new idea of the diminishing sizes to show the door closing, but was still unhappy with the larger clump of light to show a new opening. I’d also gotten the book from the library on fabric manipulation and pondered possibilities for the light fabric. But when I got the vintage kimono fabric out I decided that texturing would obscure the design, so I shifted away from that idea. Working with various textures of fabric was a good enough new technique for a show that asked us always to try a new technique. Here’s a look at the fabric.

I’d waffled between two ideas for the background. First, inspired by Rothko Chapel, I’d thought of all black or brown with only the textures changing. I wasn’t able to find enough varied same-color-different-texture fabrics to pull that off, so shifted to thinking of a progression from dark to light as the “window” got bigger. I finally decided that the decision would be made after I cut fabric–I’d just rearrange squares till I was happy. I pretty much abandoned the progression for well balanced as I rearranged.

My thinking on the theme evolved too. I’d been thinking along “Another Door/Window Opens,” then shifted to “Dreaming of an Open Window” because another window doesn’t always open. then the ah-ha moment. The title became “Do the Work” as I remembered a response I’d frequently gotten when making excuses for not doing more. And my statement will be something like this: When one door closes, do the work so as to be ready when another opens or maybe even so as to create the door to be opened.

And so the top is now finished.

24 x 36

The greens don’t stand out so much in real life, and of course the textures’ varieties show more. I abandoned controlling some of the shine as the exact angle made so much difference, and in a show the direction of light source will change it too. I figured if they showed up “too” light, they were just windows thought to be opening that didn’t. (I can rationalize most anything.)

I decided to use big stitch quilting/embroidery to signify doing the work and did a tiny test piece to see whether the white batting would bleed through and if I would be able to hide a knot in the tightly woven coat lining I was using for backing.

Luckily it didn’t bleed and the knot could be pulled in. So it would be big stitch quilting not embroidery. The next question is, of course, whether the big stitch will convey the idea of doing the work to anyone but me.

I have until about the 20th of January to finish.

6 Comments

Filed under quilting

Another Beginning

So the T Quilt doesn’t have a deadline after all. (Plans had changed when I wasn’t paying attention. ) There is no rush for the baby quilt. What better time than now to start something new?

Stretching Art and Tradition is coming up early next year. This year’s entry is being held to show next year, but we have also been given a theme for next year: When One Door Closes. (Wonder where that came from. )

This time the size requirement has changed to 24 inches by 36. A little easier than the old 18 x 36. So I started thinking. As you will remember, I prefer more abstract design, and that makes following a theme sometimes challenging. Also I have some Japanese kimono silk that I’d like to use; working with silk would be the new technique.

The first idea I had was an overall 9-patch structure composed of 9 9-patch blocks, each adding one more light square (well, rectangle and an odd size at that).

The idea turned out to be more interesting conceptually than visually. So I shifted to a grid of 4-inch squares with a dark to light movement. First try

I plan all the light squares to be the silk with fabric manipulation for variety and the dark to be one shade of dark, varied textures (velvet, cotton, satin, corduroy) and maybe different close hues ( brown, purple, black).

Not sure I like the clump of four, though the idea was to have it reappear after being blocked. Again the visual interest may not equal the conceptual. So I tried again.

I’m liking it better but not committed to it. Stay tuned.

6 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

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