Sunday, October 24, 2010

Building Challenges

I guess I am more successful with drawing characters than I am drawing buildings - even imaginary Seussical buildings.  Ah well.  But in spite of feeling inept at my Seussical experience - I did learn a lot.  About windows and shadows and such - and especially about HOW to add such things to a quilt.
The way the I accomplished the shading or side view of the curvy pink structure was to first fuse the pink shape (no holes yet) on top of a larger piece of blue fabric.  Then I cut out the blue shape to echo the pink shape.  So far so good!
Undulating Pink Quilt 15" x 21"
Then came the holes (or windows).  I cut holes thru the two layers of fabric already fused together with a tiny very sharp scissors.  And cut small slivers of blue that I carefully laid under each window and fused in place on my teflon sheet.  Then I added small scraps of gold to fill in the windows - and fused again.
You can imagine that the final pink, blue, gold contraption was somewhat thick by now.  But - on the positive side - it really did look like dimensional holes in the structure!  So that made me happy!
But here is the finished quilt - not my favorite but that's OK. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Trunk Show for Piecemakers

I had the most amazing experience on October 20.  For the very first time in my life, I presented a Trunk Show telling about my Quilting Journey to a group of quilters in Clinton, AR.  I have never done anything like this before and getting ready for this presentation was a revelation for me.  I had to view my quilting journey and for the first time realized all of the very specific times and events that sent me in new directions.  Almost like a map of my blossoming as an Art Quilter.
I was nervous when I arrived at the meeting.  You see, I am a very very shy person!  I hide it well - but talking in front of groups makes me shake and shiver!  But as I sat watching and listening to this group of ladies who had so generously invited me to share my journey - I was quite charmed.  I have never seen such a happy group.  There was much laughter and joking in their business meeting - and then it was time for me to show them my quilts.  They were most gracious and accepting as I shared my story and got to show off my quilts.  What PURE JOY for a quilter!
Because my current path is so whimsical, I am posting a few photos of portrait quilts that I used to do - and intend to do again - just so the readers of this blog get to know me better.  I am going to be teaching a week long class at Arkansas Craft School in Mountain View next August called "Contemporary Quilting - Portrait Quilts".  It will include both whimsical Crazy Faces and more serious Portrait Quilts.  I will post photos as I work on the samples.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Arnold Is Fine

After much fretting I decided that Arnold needed to stand in a puddle of water.  So I added the puddle lines with stitching - and it looked sort of stupid because the puddle and the background were the same color.  So I painted the water a different color and then added a boundary line at the edge of the water with several lines of stitching.  I think that part works now.
But then I looked at his hand.  It needed something.  So red beads to match the border were the answer.  In my world Arnold is making a Wish and dropping Magic Red Jewels into the  Enchanted Wishing Pond!  I wonder what he is wishing?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Trouble with Colors and Shapes

This is my newest little creature.  His name is Arnold.  And I am having a terrible time.  One of the ways that I am trying to stretch my creative boundaries is to use color more flamboyantly.  So once I decided that this was the next drawing that I wanted to make into a quilt, I chose a border fabric to inspire my color choice.  Notice it is RED.  So I wanted to use a light color as the background and some other color as the figure.  And this is where it stands right now.  And I am NOT sure it is working.
Although it may just be that there are no details yet.  But there is the problem of my new little guy sort of floating in space.... hmmmm.  Need to ponder this one for a while!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Did YOU see them?

OOOHHHH!  I just realized that you can spot Alice and Zoltan on the photo of my design wall from September 15!  I didn't realize they had been part of my life for that many weeks.     Sort of like little friends living in my studio......    How nice.      Barbara

Zoltan Gets a Present

Zoltan scan 4" x 6"
Zoltan Gets a Present quilt 13" x 15"
I just finished another quilt inspired by a scribble drawing.  After I made a bunch of these little drawings, I put them all on my design board - and then picked the ones that made me smile.  I thought this little guy was sweet and charming (OK he is sort of weird looking too but that's OK). 

Once I started the quilt I was stumped by the fact that the original drawing had just a squiggly line in his hand.  I almost gave him a butterfly - but that didn't seem to fit his personality.  I think he looks like he is anticipating a wonderful surprise once he opens his present.

The first draft of this quilt had completely different colors and was SO ugly I was just really depressed and left it sitting on the table overnight.  It was even uglier in the morning.  So I started over and really like the colors.  The rust colored border between the yellow and green was an afterthought - but I think it adds to the "portrait" quality of the quilt.

Now - which little creature should I work on next????         Barbara

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Can You See What I See

Sometimes a piece of hand dyed fabric just yells "don't cut me up".  This was one of those pieces so I stared at it until I found different flowers within the colors.  I started by inking the most dominate ones and then outlined them with thick, black thread.  Using Tsukineko ink to give shadows, help define them along with thread painting. Machine quilting and painting are two of my favorite things to do.

The class sample is now finished and I will be teaching it in a couple of weeks.  Hope the students enjoy this process as much as I do. Jan

Monday, October 4, 2010

Finding your Inner Dr. Seuss

I just started to work on this new section of the drawing book that I have successfully used to draw squiggly critters. Drawing buildings is SO different than drawing people or animals - especially whimsical people or animals! But I am trying. My first effort has way too much going on but it was a great experiment and effort just to get over my clumsiness. I did really enjoy using my new set of Prismacolor pencils to add the color - reminded me of kindergarten!
My second drawing has some very specific problems - note the red shadows on BOTH sides of the purple thing - what was I thinking? Good learning experience though.

And the last one I sort of like. I seem to have a fondness for floating Swiss cheese planets - maybe that could be a quilt? We will see.......