Blogger’s Quilt Festival

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It occurs to me that I still haven’t posted the quilt I made in the Ana Buzzalino workshop that set me off on my current explorations.

And since it’s the Spring Blogger’s Quilt Festival, this is the perfect opportunity to share.  So do hop off  over there and vote for your favourites.  This is in the art quilt category and is 12 inches wide and 39-1/2 long.

And on the topic of voting … I put a poll which is just two posts back from this one, requesting artistic feedback, so please feel free to vote on that and help with a current project too.

Ana is a very encouraging teacher who brought many of her pieces to the workshop where we could study her techniques as we went along.  There were several examples of the Birds on a Wire that we made in the workshop, also others using the technique of piecing mixed fabrics straight onto foundation, batting and backing and then overdyeing the whole piece.

Mine includes white on white prints, black and white cotton, broderie anglaise, upholstery fabric, heavy cotton that feels like wool, assorted trims, and seersucker.  Some of these were fabrics I never thought I’d really be able to use.

beading, assorted b/w prints, eyelet trim at top

beading, assorted b/w prints, eyelet trim at top

 

I mixed peach and tangerine fibre reactive dye powders from Dharma to achieve my colour.  It’s fascinating to see how each fabric dyes differently, yet everything goes well together.

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This detail shows dupioni silk, a strip of hook tape which I bought for the workshop because it’s polyester cotton blend so I knew it would take some dye.

It also demonstrates Ana’s saying that there’s always a fix for everything.  A hook fell right at the edge and I had to snip it out to be able to sew the binding down.  This left an ugly hole because of the way the hooks are sewn into the tape.  I found a couple of beads and covered the hole with a trim.  There’s a row of seed beads towards the bottom of the piece (below the sitting birds) but sewing through all those layers was quite tough so I left it at one row.

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Spring Quilt Festival

Finally we are having somewhat spring-like weather here on Vancouver Island although our jackets stayed on throughout our family picnic last weekend.

This is my entry for the Spring Quilt Festival.

It’s just 12″ square, and beaded with vintage beads from Austria (among others).

The cut-and-slash style has developed from a workshop I took eons ago from John Willard

It’s similar to my Geode, but on a smaller scale.  For ages I’ve been talking about working smaller, blah, blah, blah, but the impetus to actually do this was the upcoming Artists in Motion at the Empress Show I’m going to be in, for which I need a body of pieces to sell, especially as we’re all donating 20 percent of our sales to the Canadian Red Cross for Japanese earthquake relief.

Knowing that my work will be displayed alongside painters and photographers I quizzed Dale MacEwan about how to mount them on artist’s canvas, which I think is very appropriate for this size of piece, what do you think?

The painterly fabric is Paintcubes, designed by Ormolu, a.k.a. Jay Trolinger from Spoonflower, so you too can get it!  The orange is my own hand-dyed.

Am so looking forward to the online Festival and the chance to see what everyone else is doing.


Alzheimer’s ~ Chance to do your part

Idea Tree was made over a year ago, mainly to teach myself beading in order to complete Geode.

Just 7 by 10 inches, it’s small enough for the Alzheimer’s Quilt auction.  So that’s where it’s gone, and is waiting to go into an auction!  Please pop over to their website where you can look at a better photo, plus pix of all the other little quilts others have made.

Check out the current auction for a chance to get in on this great way to own a piece of original fibre art AND do something about the ever-increasing tragedy of Alzheimer’s.

The auction runs every month, so quilters, take a look and see if you have something small to send.  If not, challenge yourself to make something!

And needless to say once Idea Tree is in the auction I’ll be posting again, in utterly shameless self promotion!

Geode

Here in all its glory is what I consider my magnum opus, to date at least.  Geode is approximately 54 inches in each direction and heavily embellished with beads, as seen here.

It’s on display at Satin Moon until Saturday.

I was inspired by this quote from Catherine Asaro’s book The Veiled Web, describing traditional Moroccan homes:  “The houses were like geodes, those rocks that appeared featureless and unadorned on the outside but when opened revealed a sparkling beauty of crystals inside.”

As I worked on completing it, it dawned on me that this is very much a metaphor for how I prefer to live, which was why the original title of this blog was Chameleon’s Nest.  I’m just not a person that wants to blurt it all out all over Facebook!

This piece is constructed of traditional strip piecing which has been slashed and reassembled.  This was the first art quilt technique I learned in a workshop with John Willard in 1998.  He doesn’t have much of a presence online, but this posting by the London Ontario Quilt Guild has lots of information about his work.

Quilted by Andrea Hamilton of Sydney, B.C.  I can’t say enough nice things about Andrea because my quilting skill is not up to the level of my design, and she definitely made all the difference!

Strictly speaking I believe it’s a house quilt, although not the traditional house block obviously.

 

Dragonfly

Last night my fibre arts group met and I took this to show everyone.  This is a mola made following Cathy Miller’s method, with a little wrinkle I thought up myself that saves you from the torture of sewing the binding on.  It also has the too-beautiful-to-cut fabric as the backing as well as forming the dragonfly image.

Some of the beads were made in Laine Canivet’s workshop, others were made earlier, and some were purchased.  I learned that it’s best to use black beading thread when attaching embellishments to a black background!

We discussed how to continue our Round Robin/challenge into next year or perhaps start a new one.  Since the weather has been snowy we were a smaller group than usual so no firm conclusions have been arrived at.  We need to balance the group work with personal control over the pieces we are working on.

Does anyone have any thoughts on how to do this or ideas for creative challenges we could consider?  It’s always interesting to share different concepts.

Shading

Today I was aiming for shaded effects and more control over the pen.  When it has thoroughly dried I might post a page from my sketchbook.  I really have to think hard about shading because my brain thinks more in terms of outlines, shapes of things, and of course quilting reinforces that.

I used way less ink on the pen at any one time and that is making it better.  But I find it scratchy and not flowing.  In contrast, here is a doodle I did on kraft paper the other night.  It’s about 12 by 14 inches so this is part of it, since the whole piece won’t fit on my scanner.  Will try more with brushes in Melly’s challenge I think!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last night while watching Bride and Prejudice, which was fine entertainment, I got around to beading my Dragonfly mola, using mostly hand made beads.

Of course as soon as I stitched on the wire beads I knew I needed black silamide, but since it’s a small piece I kept going to see how it would turn out.  Now I’ve been to Bead World so it will not take long to redo those three beads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And no trip to Bead World would be complete without a) extra inspirational shopping

b) boasting about Geode, my large beaded art quilt, currently on display at Satin Moon!

Collection

I’m reading Thr3fold 04 by Laura and Linda Kemshall, based in the UK and Catherine Nicholls, who’s in Vancouver.  Usually I get inspired by exercises in books but don’t translate that to action (Does anyone else have this problem?)

But the first challenge in the book spoke to me, so I’ve put together a jar of precious things.   Precious meaning cool, attractive, meaningful.

Determined not to overthink this exercise, I used Goo Gone to clean off the gucky label on a honey jar that I particularly like because when I was rinsing it out with hot water to get all the sticky honey out, the bottom buckled so now it sits on my desk like the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Here’s a scan of the flattish objects from the jar:

Catherine suggests drawing the jar contents or some of them, or taking photos and manipulating them for use in mixed media.

I’m thinking there are various ways to classify the contents.

Flat vs. three dimensional

Bought vs. acquired

Colour — lots of blue and purple

Object type, several beads and buttons, some made by me and others mass produced, also two bracelets which I guess count too, one is beads with my name that the hospital put on my son when he was born (don’t think they would do that anymore!)

There are three spools of thread (2  are antique wooden spools from my grandmother) and one spool of jewelry wire

I love it when colours have names, one of my grandmother’s spools is Pale Rose, I snaffed a marker from my grandson called periwinkle, and I have a light green paint chip called Yucatan.

I can see this has a lot of possibilities.  Dumpr is one of my favourite sites for messing around and one way and another I’ve had good mileage from it.  Here’s a Legoized version of my photo:

Well, there it almost wasn’t because Dumpr wouldn’t let me post it directly here (it said it would but I couldn’t get it to work.  Downloading to the PC and then figuring out how to copy it to the right folder and upload was a challenge.  I’m pleased that I finally figured it out, but frustrated that things have to be so complicated.

 

I see this as needlepoint or a quilt design.  I see things in the composition that I didn’t see on the scan, such as the blue diagonal which is partly a bracelet and partly the couching on the brown bookmark.  And I think I like the colours better, tan with pastels is interesting.

 

How about you?  Have you tried anything along these lines (collecting objects) and where did it take you?