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!

Looking backwards and forwards

Autism Home Rescue has challenged her readers to respond to the prompt:  What was your greatest achievement of 2010 and how do you plan to top it in 2011?

My comment is posted here because it’s more to do with fibre art than with homeschooling.  However reading her blog I’m humbled by what others have to take in stride day after day after day.

“”I completed an art quilt, Geode, I had started in 2003, involving hours of hand beading. It was shown at one of the exhibitions at the Canadian National Quilt Show in Calgary and I got to meet other quilt artists and had a very encouraging message from the author of the fantasy novel that inspired it.

My plans for 2011 don’t include one giant piece like this one, but I plan to be more consistently productive in my quilting and art endeavours, and more diligent in promoting myself through networking.”

People, please, whatever you did last year, surely you can do better in 2011?  Tell us about it and let’s spread the energy!

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!