Friday, July 26, 2013

The Mystic Solanna

When I am in a meeting, I always (ALWAYS) have a pad of paper and a pen to take notes (I admit I am a compulsive note taker) and to draw pictures.  It helps me to pay attention at meetings to draw pictures while I listen to the meeting - otherwise I get distracted and my mind wanders and I don't pay attention at all.

I used to knit or crochet in college classes because it helped me to focus on the class - some of my teachers were annoyed until they tried to catch me by asking a surprise question and found that I knew exactly what was going on.  Am I weird that way?  Maybe.

Anyway - here is one of the little pictures that I drew last year - and saved because I liked the "feel" of the little critter.  She sort of reminds me of a fortune teller.

And here is the quilt that I made with that drawing as inspiration.  The border fabric was the inspiration for the colors.  At first I tried many different background fabrics - but none of them made Solanna really shine.

But when I chose the black background, I needed to do something to perk it up.  I used some of my really pretty new variegated thread and I left unquilted circles for contrast and interest and to mimic the circles in the border.  It was an interesting challenge to leave the circles unquilted.  I finally cut circles out of freezer paper and ironed them down and stitched a line around each circle before adding the vertical lines.

I also really like the stitch and different color of thread for the "floor".  I needed something other than a straight stitch and this one really blossomed with the variegated thread.

And I added a LOT of embroidery and beading - check out the detail photos to see some of the added dimension.   All in all a fun project.                  

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Little Faces Class a Success

Well it was a success - the mini-class that I taught at Hill 'n Hollow.  At least it felt like a success from the response of the ladies who came by my table to see what I was doing.  Lots of questions and lots of exclamations of appreciation for the little faces.  And I had fun.
They asked if I would do a class for HnH - but I think this would probably conflict with my Art Quilting classes at Sew Unique.

Speaking of classes at Sew Unique - the June and July classes both cancelled because not enough people signed up.  The June class was going to be about making paper and fabric beads.  Here is a photo of some of the samples.

And the July class was all about how to use Paint on fabric to enhance the design.  Not to paint the entire design - but just how to use a whole bunch of different products on both paper and fabric.  The
gals would leave with a sampler of how the various products would work with and without water and all that sort of thing.  This is what the Sampler would have looked like.

We are going to reschedule both classes for some time later in the year - or early next year.  I think the problem with trying to teach a class in the Summer is that folks travel and have company - and are just too busy.

So - we also cancelled my August class which was going to be all about Beading on Fabric.  I can't post a photo because I haven't made the sampler yet.  I will post it soon.

I am disappointed that the classes didn't make it - but just think - - now I have several classes all ready to go when the Time Is Right!  That will be great.


Monday, July 8, 2013

Teaching a Little Class at HnH

Many months ago when July seemed like FOREVER away, I was asked to teach a little mini class at the July HnH meeting - a Christmas project.  No problem I thought.  Until about June 1.  Then I started trying to think of something that I could demo to folks walking from station to station - and here is the CHALLENGE - NOT use any pins or needles in the demo.

NO pins or needles of any kind are allowed in the room that we rent for the meetings.  So that limited what I could do in my demo.  A lot.  So I am showing the process for making the Little Face Tiny Quilts (4" x 6") staring off with gluing scraps.

I am really excited because I think this will be different than the other projects - much less traditional.  And you know that I like to be a little bit funky and different, right?

The poster showing how the little faces are born..... step by step

So I made a really neat poster with samples of all the steps - and then had to find a way to attach the samples to the poster board and not make them permanent - because I could finish them into little quilts - right?  Hmmmm... An additional and unexpected challenge.  Once again sticky and not-so-sticky tape was the answer.  Blue painters tape on the back of the samples with Scor tape on the blue tape attaching the sample to the poster.......  Too much information???  Just know that it did work.

And these are the new little faces that I made as samples.......  I continue to be amazed at how a simple pattern can have such variation in the finished design.   

I will report back in after the meeting Friday to let you know if the demo worked.....  barbara

Aprons for the Show

Another Summer project to complete before the August deadline was an apron.  The Renegades were sponsoring and leading an effort for HnH members to make aprons for the October quilt show to be displayed at the show and then donated to the local Food Room to be auctioned off at a later date.

I made one apron out of fabric and it was .... fine.  But it didn't make me feel all sparkly and creative.  I wanted to make something weird and different and - - well - - artsy.  Yeah.  Artsy!

 This is a photo of my Culinary Mystery Apron on a dress form (that I just HAPPENED to have - of course I did!).  Detailed photos are shown below.

So I found this idea for using paper and paint and all sorts of layers to make an Art Apron.  But then I needed a Theme.  Hmmmm.  Well I love to read mystery books that also include cooking and
recipes.  They are usually somewhat more light-hearted mysteries.  One of my favorite Culinary Mystery writers is Diane Mott Davidson.

So.  How could I make an apron about Culinary Mysteries using this new technique?  I printed copies of recipes from my cookbooks on paper and used the copies to make the background for the Paper Fabric that the apron would be made of.  Then I made paper copies in color of covers of Culinary Mystery books.  With nifty titles like "Crepes of Wrath" and "Killer Pancakes".  Great fun.

After many layers of paint and glue and spray on stuff - the Paper Fabric was done and ready to make into an apron.  Cool.  No problem to cut it into shape and layer batting and backing - and WHAT???  After I made the petal shapes I had to TURN the piece right side out?  But it is made of layers of paper?????  YIKES!  That part was really scary - worried that the whole thing would rip and be destroyed.

But magically it all held together and the quilting added a nice finish and I love the apron.  And yes - - it is very artsy!             Success!          barbara

Summer is soooo busy.....

Renegadeville Sign
One of the joys of the HOT HOT summers in Arkansas, is the fact that I do NOT feel guilty for staying indoors and quilting.  I don't feel guilty about avoiding the intense heat and humidity and I really enjoy my studio time.

So this summer I have been working on completing a List of Things that MUST Get Done.  Soon.  Because I have deadlines.

Among those things was a poster for Renegadeville.  That is the project of little quilted houses that will be on display at the HnH Quilt Show in October.  I agreed to make a poster explaining the project.  Huh.  What was I thinking????

Anyway - - I had a vision for the poster.  A house with each Renegade looking out of windows in the house using little photos of the artists and little dresses for each and little arms and hands pointing to a photo of the house that they created.  Uh huh.  As I started on the poster I realized that my "vision" was not going to be attractive or visually enjoyable to look at - it was going to be confusing and sort of ugly.  The arms would take up much to much space and would distract from the finished look.

Text at top of sign
So I completely changed course.  The house itself is quilted scrapbook paper (to go with the theme of a quilt show!) and there are no little weird arms pointing from each artist to each little house.  It is a very much simplified design - and, I think, much more successful.

One of the amazing discoveries during this painful process was using Scor tape to attach all of the bits of this and that to make the poster.  SOOOO much easier and more effective than glue.  Love the stuff!  Thanks Jan!

Detail - each artist is next to a photo of her house
So check out the picture of the poster and let me know what you think.  And it will be at the quilt show in October so you can see the real thing.               barbara