Sunday, September 26, 2010

Alice Has Something to Say!

4" x 6" scan of Alice
The cooler weather has me all energized and ready to go!  I just returned from a wonderful week of hiking and kayaking in Southern Illinois and today got to work on finishing my newest quilt.  Actually I started it before we left - and truth be told, it was hard to leave the quilt unfinished.  So I got right back to work when we got home. 
17" x 24" Alice Has Something to Say quilt
This is another one of my "scribble" drawings and I really enjoyed the design and watching her come to life.  AND I got to practice my machine quilting technique.  I can really tell that I just need a few hundred more hours to become more smooth in my hand motions..... uh huh!  But very very slowly it is getting less stressful and more fun.   Barbara

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Busy Busy Week

This week started with a dog, house sitting job in the beautiful Ozark Mountain.  The house feels like I am at a luxury spa minus the special attendants who pamper you.  The only pampering that is happening is by me as I totally spoil the queen of the palace.  Tally is a black lab that keeps me on my toes every minute as she tries to get my attention by stealing everything she can get her mouth on.  I desperately needed a replacement for myself since I had a trunk show in Little Rock on Monday so my good friend Cindy (the Dog Whisperer) saved the day.  She has a mysterious ability to get this sweet package of fur to do anything that she wants her to.  She told me that it works because she is the "pack leader".  I am a marshmallow so I don't have the same success that Cindy did.  We have spent the last few days relaxing and catching up together.  Today she left for Washington, DC as the nurse for the WWII vets who are going to see the memorial.

The trunk show was a great success.  If you ask me how I know, I will tell you that they laughed at all the right places and swooned at my art quilts.  The afternoon was filled with a class that I teach called "Tsukineko meets Aloe Vera"  and all the students were stars.  When I get home at the end of the month, I will post some pictures of the students work.


Butterflies in the Garden

Trout Unlimited Butterfly
So what do I do when I am not quilting? Lots of strange things - but this week I made 10 butterflies to go on table displays at the Trout Unlimited fundraising banquet. I cut up some beautiful notecard watercolor photos of a butterfly (from Heron Dance), fused purple batik fabric on the back, added beading wire for antennae with tiny blobs (don't you just love these "technical" terms?) of Stickles glitter glue on the end to make them sparkle. Always having fun....

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Too many ideas - how to choose?

Drawings using watercolor blobs as inspiration
Finding an idea for my next quilt has rarely been my problem.  I always have a list of ideas to try or new techniques to experiment with - the problem is narrowing down my list and PICKING just one.  And the drawings that I am creating from this new book are a perfect example.  This first picture is more of the watercolor technique.  I like them all but some more than others.... I think what draws me to certain ones is that they have a personality to them.

Drawings using Picasso technique and scribbles
 The second picture is a bunch of drawings from the Picasso technique and also some from another new technique where you just start with a scribble and then see what it becomes.  Truthfully a lot of those end up in the wastebasket because they don't turn into anything but scribbles!  But I really like some of them.  You can tell the Picasso ones from the scribbles because the Picasso ones have different sized eyes.    Barbara

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Colorful New Critter

Well Norman is finished and I like him. Especially his sweet little face.

I have been busy drawing lots more little critters and can't decide which one to work on next.  This is such a new and wonderful surprise for me - to be able to create drawings that are ALL mine.  What a joyous experience!
18" x 15" Norman quilt

Yesterday I showed my fellow art quilters how to do some of the new drawing exercises.  Our group is called the Renegades and we have such fun at our meetings.  Well they did such a great job making beautiful creative drawings - I wonder if any of their drawings will end up becoming quilts?   Barbara

Friday, September 10, 2010

Painting Champions

The ladies in Little Rock are all stars at painting with Tsukineko Ink and Aloe Vera.  Here is some of their work. Enjoy

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Crazy Days and New Projects

7 1/2" x 5" scan of Norman drawing
What a weird couple of days.  On Monday I sliced my thumb open while changing my rotary cutter blade and required four stitches at the emergency room.  Yes I was being VERY careful and I still have no idea how it happened.  I actually think I am very lucky it wasn't even worse.  AND I have a whole new appreciation for thumbs.  I had to literally sit for two days and do nothing that required my hands - and nearly went bonkers!  It made me realize how much my quilting lends calm and balance to my life.
But enough of "poor me".  I am now back working - VERY carefully - and have focused on a new drawing exercise as a quilt.  In this exercise you paint blobs of watercolor (red, blue and yellow) on a small piece of watercolor paper and, after it is dry, look at the intersections of color and find the shape of an animal.  Some of my animals weren't too interesting - but I really like this one.  His name is Norman.  The quilt should be finished in a day or two.  Barbara

Monday, September 6, 2010

Aloe Vera Meets Tsukineko

I will be going to Little Rock next week to do a trunk show and class for QUEST quilt guild.  The class is on using Aloe Vera and Tsukineko ink to paint a simple lily.  A class sample is always a tricky thing since everyone wants it close to them.  I decided to become a walking class sample which may work better than passing a sample around.  I just painted this shirt as the sample and the only down side is that if you want to see the lilies, you will spend a lot of time looking at my butt.  Didn't think this plan through too well.  Maybe nobody will notice that it is wider than normal.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Golden Girl Quilt

I did make a small quilt from the Picasso Critters lesson.  And it was fun.  She is pretty strange but she makes me smile.  One of my ongoing challenges is to use different values of fabric - I usually use too many dark.  Originally my little creature was going to be on a dark purple fabric but I heard my good friend Jan's voice in my ear saying "Needs Contrast!" so I changed to the lavender - and I think it is a lot better.  I included a close up so you could see her sparkly lips and eyelashes!

Golden Girl Quilt with borders

16" x 10"

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Picasso critters

4" x 2 1/2 "
4" x 2 1/2"
I am working on a series of drawing exercises to find my "style" of drawing.  I have always been able to copy other drawings, but have great difficulty finding my own style and drawing freely from my imagination.  That is until I got the book Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists by Carla Sonheim.  Totally amazing book.  These two drawings are from Lab 19 where you draw sort of like Picasso.  I especially like the blue and green one - I think I will make it into a quilt.  Barbara

Dancing in the Rain Quilt

In July we went to visit friends in Marquette Michigan and stayed at the beautiful home.  Each time we sat down to eat I saw the most charming drawing from Linda's granddaughter Naomi.  It made me smile because it was just so happy.  The original drawing had been inspired by two race car stickers that made her think of shoes - and the drawing grew from there.  I asked if I could take it home and make a quilt of the drawing and was lucky enough to get that opportunity.
Well.  It was more challenging than I thought it would be.  One of the biggest challenges was finding the correct fabric to match (or at least come close to) the skirt.  But I love challenges and I really enjoyed making this quilt.  The original drawing was 8 1/2" x 11", the quilt is 12" x 16". I included the close up so you could see the lovely little zipper and the raindrops.
A friend asked if I want to do more quilts from children's art and I do - but only if the drawing really interests me - so we will see......  Barbara

Dancing in the Rain Quilt

Dancing in the Rain Quilt, 12" x 16"

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Between Sets

I love this quilt. I sold it to a good friend and am just tickled that it now lives in his house.
The black and white fabric for the jacket was a skirt that I found at a rummage sale - it was a really ugly skirt but a really great jacket because the black and white squares are some sort of sparkly little squares that in real life catch the light beautifully and add a lot to the quilt.
This quilt was in the Arkansas Governor's Calendar in 2008.  Barbara