Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lines on The Lion

Since this mighty animal is already secured on the outer edges using clear monofilament, I don't anticipate the need for much quilting on this guy.... I pretty much think anchoring in the darks will do the trick.
I'll leave it at that and can always come back and add if necessary, BUT I think I'm done with this guy.
After this, I'll move on the quilting Wrigley Field's scoreboard.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sky High

Now for the real deal.... the fun part... using thread and quilting to 'hopefully' enhance the quilt top. I try to work inside out when any significant quilting is anticipated. The sky is somewhat central... so that is first up. I'm using a 40 wt. poly variegated to play with the cloud formations.
I'm trying to use the painted surface as my quilting guide, Since the painting is purposely irregular, more organic like nature.... I think using the fabric as a guide makes me keep my quilting pattern more spontaneous.

Next up we'll tackle the mighty lion which graces the front steps of the famous Art Institute of Chicago. I love that place. I often kid that Renoirs "Two Sisters" portrait is mine and I have it on loan to them. I unknowingly said that once in front of a docent there... and she let out a mighty hearty laugh. "A girl can dream, can't she?"

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Let It Begin!!!

Getting started for me means securing the main elements with a thin monofilament. I may not secure the entire piece at this time, but certainly the central elements.... In this case.... Wrigley Field, the Chicago Art Institute lion, and the Sears Tower.
This process is more than functional for me. It starts to give me ideas about what elements will benefit from more OR less quilting.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Starting Down THE Road

Soooo many choices of projects to complete!! 'Better get going on quilting this one for next summers premiere of my traveling Route 66 Exhibition. Click here for details... I'd love it if you joined in.
For now.... I'm just getting this pinned and ready to go. NO... I know it may look like I've added a busy print border... but it's not so and is the loose edge of the backing rolled over to the front and pinned.
Perfect timing for a nostalgic Route 66 print to be out on the market. I got a bolt ofcourse. We are hopeing for 66 quilts (24" x 30" each... not too big for you to get in the game) The Click Here blog link has all the details including what other people are already planning.

Thursday, November 24, 2011 is off the air for a day or so.

Sorry for anyone trying to go to my web site... domain name fell out of the WWW. network. It has been reset but will take a day or 2 to repopulate in network servers across the web. Sorry. Great time for this to happen on a holiday, eh?

As The Turkey Trots...

HAPPY THANKSGIVING everyone. This was a great way to start the day... Several thousand runners gathered in downtown Claremont, California for the Annual Turkey Trot 5K run. It was a total joy "to watch". The Rotary Club HEAD Turkey was there ( or is he a turkey viking?)
Best Friend turkeys and corn were there.
The mascot Turkey promoting the consumption of "MORE HAM".. was there to start the race.
There were mothers and fathers with strollers, dog owners with pets on leash, individual runners from 4 to 80. It was all quite beautiful and so full of spirit. At last.. they are off and running.
My 72 years "Golden Age of Running" hubby Ray Hughes was right in the thick of it.
Near the finish line...I saw tired puppies human and otherwise...

Nice to see the best friends stuck together to the end.
The best time was a bit over 16 minutes. My hubby reflected his best time ever on a 5K was 14:15 at age 33. He's still running though.. every day.... 5 miles! I've quilted a mile in a day I think. He's in a lot better shape. Happy Bird Day all.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A better idea for a U.S. holiday!!!!

For the next 2 days... let's forget about Wall Street and Congress.



Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Speaking of Birds...

With Thanksgiving only 2 days away...One says to the other....
"I say let's get out of town while we can!"...

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Double Duty Label

I make my labels as a slide in Power Point because it is easy to use and is pretty versatile. I insert a photograph of the finished quilt, add materials, size, technique info, an artists statement, and contact info for me. I print the slide on a fabric sheet that is then added as the back label. I've saved the slide for the "Winter's Veil" label as a .jpeg to show here.
(c) photo copywrite

The extra advantage of having done this is that the label slide becomes a permanent record of my quilt. It makes it easy to answer questions about upcoming exhibition needs for space, etc.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Call It Done!

This piece is D - O - N - E DONE!!!!! I've faced it and now will be adding the sleeve and label before shipping it off to the exhibit curator.
(c) photo copywrite

This and other "Winter Season" exhibit quilts will premiere at Road To California Quilt Show in January ( I'll be teaching there again this year...a 2 day Painted Quilt Art class, and a 1 day Art of Quilting class.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sign This Baby!

One of my favorite things is to sign my quilt...but the reason is because the quilting is DONE! Yeah!
I do a simple double line with washout blue marker ... then free motion stitch forward then backward the first name.... then repeat the same process on the last name, and finally a standalone dot over the "i" in blair.
Clip the threads, mist spray the area... and we're done.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Dang Those Pin Holes

For a surface as pristine as crisp white fabric, the appearance of pin holes left by quilting pins is just NOT ALLOWED!
A misting of clear water will help fluff the hole closed.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Carrying On!!!!

Some of this blue shadowed area needed to be played up(or maybe I should say DOWN), so even some shadowed snow drift lines were quilted with a light blue as opposed to white.
At the other end of this piece, I took the same approach to keeping shadows chilly by knocking down coolest areas with tight overlapping blue thread circles.
Now to finish the foreground snow!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

When Cold is in Shadow

To keep this cold feeling going, the shadowed areas within snow were painted in cool blue and need be quilted similarly. Because the cold spots are lower toward the earth than the puffy white surface, I chose to tightly knock the surface down in this case using small overlapping circles.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Let the Bird Stand Alone

I often treat the quilting of painted species much different than areas surrounding. I generally like the painted creature to appear without much thread showing. Of course there are exceptions like the mountain lion of "Winter Hunt" where his fur became a serious thread painting. Click Here to view.
For this little winter bird (a Snow Bunting) found in Alaska, thread would interfere... so monofilament was used strictly to create texture.
The breast area brought a special challenge where 2 to 3 stitches were placed here and there as little stitch islands. I think it works. This "no viewable thread" approach to quilting allows the nuanced coloring/shading to be seen.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Time To Quilt The Snow Bunting

Remember this piece painted last July???? Time for me to get cracking on the finish as it is due for exhibition shipping early next month!
I decided to double batt this piece to make the snow a bit more puffy. Can't say already I'm happy with my choice as there is more stiffness than I remembered with double batting... Oh well. I can make it work. My first thoughts about this piece are based on where I live... in the mountains... where winter seems sooooo long and cold.... so when I quilted the blueish background I kept thinking about how it seems to me that 'cold hangs in the air like a heavy veil!' That said.... I considered what a cold heavy veil might look like and this is what I came up with.
A medium to light value variegated thread added some interest and avoided the boredom that might come with so much repeated pattern.

I've learned the hard way that I can't quilt as many hours a day as I can paint. I can paint all day and into the night... but about 3 hours at a time is my quilting limit. Longer than that, I get extra careless. So time to break!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Highs and Lows of Patriotism

Friend Laurie, hubby Ray,and I had the good fortune to spend Friday morning at a Veterans Day celebration. Both current service personnel and young and older Veterans (from as far back as WWII) were present and delighted to be in company of fellow servicemen and women. It was something like a multigenerational family reunion though assuredly some had never before met. We enjoyed beautiful patriotic hymns, singing, and talks by public officials. Nonetheless, the most moving talk of the day came from Commander Everett Alvarez Jr., the first and longest held POW in Vietnam. "Ev" as he is called by fellow veterans, spent the first year of captivity alone (NO other U.S. captives) in the infamous Hanoi Hilton prison. When others were taken captive and brought in, they were as you might imagine treated poorly, tortured, barely fed, humiliated in public forums, and were NOT allowed to speak to each other. Commander Alvarez talked of the wall tapping code prisoners derived to communicate with one another. That code, while a life threat if caught, held them all together. To quote the Commander, "Faith in God, Country, and self" brought him through.
Hubby Ray being a history teacher, already knew much about Alvarez and went to speak with him. A friend of Rays had bunked 2 bunks away from the Commander before Alvarez was captured. Their friend had been later killed in that war, and both remembered their mutual friend on this day. God Bless America and all those who love and serve.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Wanna Play ? Summer 2012 Exhibition on THE MOTHER ROAD!!

I need to be doing some promoting of this great fun/nostalgic opportunity. I am co curating this traveling exhibit honoring The MOTHER ROAD a.k.a. Route 66. 24 x 30 inch quilts honoring/depicting a spot along the 8 state route through Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California will premiere next summer at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Festival in Colorado, and then begin touring including Jan. 2013 at Road To California Quilt Show in Ontario, Ca.
Check it out... CLICK HERE

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

For Our Veterans

So... what does an art quilter/teacher do following a week of frenzy at Houston International?
Quilt !!! What else? I had loaded this philanthropy quilt for a U.S. veteran before I went to Houston. Quilting this scrappy/ loving quilt top made by friend Mary Lou Ripper was just what I needed to 'come back to the real world!' Mary Lou and members of her friendship groups made over 35 bed sized quilts delivered last week to a Southern California Veterans facility. They've already started on next years delivery. Kudos to Mary Lou and her friends and most importantly thanks to our veterans. Veterans Day is coming. We don't always know who some veterans are as they seldom speak of their experiences. About 5 years back, I thanked a Vietnam Vet friend I knew and was taken back by his response. First, he did appreciate the acknowledgement. He said it was the first time ever to be thanked for his service. We can all fix that!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Home From Houston

What a blur of a week at Houston... I am barely home... not yet unpacked,
and 'am officially exhausted. One lecture, a machine quilting forum (105 participants), a media sampler (hundreds), 2 classes, and Meet The Teacher forum. Life at the Houston Festival is much like life might be in a turned on blender. Time in classes is so special... I had a great experience with my Santa's Secret Class members. Many took a leap of faith taking this class... anxiety about painting a portrait was high... but seemingly all were so pleased with what they produced. You know it's going well when people don't want to go to lunch or ask to come back early. My thanks to all students who participated. Here's just a few Santas. (click on photo for close-up)

My thanks again to all students, and my special teachers pets. You all were soooo great to spend the day with. I gifted all of you with 4 markers that were designed as part of an optional kit. Please enjoy and use them and hope to see you all again. I'd love to see a photo of your finished quilted piece. I had an optional photographed quilting plan available for take home and use or even handing to for hire quilters. This was a new type of offering. It seemed very well received.

My one entered quilt.."My Kind Of Dragon" ribboned in it's category. That's always nice. There were many exceptional quilts that were not recognized and thus I was blown away. Houston is quite competitive.