Saturday, April 30, 2011

Things don't always go right.

When upper or lower thread tension goes wrong... you can't ignore it... It's time to 'unquilt! I have found it works best to seam rip every 2 to 3 stitches from the back side... then turn your quilt to topside and use my favorite slant edge tweezers to lift loosened top thread. After that, I am always worried the stitch holes will show on the finished product, so it's worth a little quilting down time to bring in my trusty water spray bottle to help fluff things up.
I spray the recently "unquilted area."
Then carefully using my finger move the wet fabric back and forth closing up the vacated stitch holes.
Once dry... the fabric looks pretty much like it started and is ready for quilting.

Friday, April 29, 2011

I 'm up at 3am too

I can't believe I am up with all the U.K. watching this. A beautiful and graceful bride indeed. I wish them well. May God Bless them both.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Water Water Everywhere....

There is a bunch of background water in this piece. I do enjoy quilting water but I admit the volume to be done is days worth so it can get laborious.

Back At The Dragon

A primary reason for this trip is this guy worked on months ago and begging for attention. The sea dragons body was quilted subsequent to this pic... now to work on the sea growth and water.
The plan ( we'll see if it works later) is to have bubble-up patterns throughout the background water. When I use a bubble pattern as a filler, I just fill without marking ( I hate marking) BUT in this use of bubbles... I wanted a drifting, rising pattern so light marking seemed smart.
and away we go!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Here Kitty Kitty

Yes I DID come on this personal retreat to get back with my own art pieces.... but first day here, I needed less mind challenging efforts to unwind. I brought to blanket stitch 6 previously fused Kitty blocks destined for my granddaughter. (6 more to fuse). These Cats are such fun... all named after food.
Let's see if I can remember the names given by the pattern maker. (Walla Walla Onion Kitty)
Broc Kitty
Purrmesan (eggplant) Kitty
Avocato Kitty
Mushroom Kitty
and lastly.. The Stalker
I may have messed up afew of the names somewhat but I got the drift.
I'd guess we all know a Stalker Cat!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter.. He is Risen!

Life often follows death.. no greater truth than this is embedded in this day.. Easter, the day of Christ's resurrection. After my Aunt's internment, I left Southern California to drive to my personal annual retreat in beautiful... near heaven on earth, Sedona, Arizona. Checking in last evening, allowed me to attend the Church Of The Red Rocks for Easter Service. Check this out.. these are views from the church parking lot. WOW!
I am alone here til Friday when my husband Ray arrives so I admit to being a bit timid about attending a church far away from home...alone. BUT... anxiety disappears once inside this warm church. God is present... and I can't stop smiling.
.. and hey.... 2 quilts flank the side walls.... so quilters attend church, too

In honor of passing

My mother's best friend and sister, my aunt Virginia recently passed in Idaho. Her ashes returned on Good Friday for internment beneath her son Steve.

Rest In Peace Aunt Ginia!!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Up with Sawyersville!

A work in progress by family matriarch Marguerite Sawyer .... a closeup of storm trooper grandson ( He loves/lives Star Wars as a storm trooper) posed on the 2 sun planet of Tatooeen ( I'm sure I mispelled that one)
The storm troopers Mom.. Rachel is moving at an incredible clip in producing paintings ( well... after all, how often does a young Mom get time away from family responsibilities so she is making her time productive)

Rachel challenged herself to do sometime soft toned/ subtle.

The most simple one.. (above) was a big challenge . Secondly came a stronger value oversized poppy

Rachels final of 3 projects set her 'fairy-winged" daughter as a flower center, and dang.... I can't find that photo at all. I told Rachel, she is fearless... all true.

Monday, April 18, 2011

New Favorite Things

As I play with learning my new long arm machine, I find there are new problems and new solutions... no surprise.
First is... How do you get that fuzz and thread etc off the velcro strips on the machine table. This tip came from Ron Paul, an exceptional long arm maintenance teacher. Off to the Pet Store for this one.... a dog grooming slicker brush ( contains wire brush combs extending a short distance from the handles base) cleans the velcro in a flash.

Thanks Ron
Another great tip came from Kelly Gallegher-Abbott on 'spraying" the wrinkles out of quilt backs ( or fronts) as opposed to ironing them. On a long arm, the backing gets pretty well stretched between rollers thus minimizing back wrinkles anyway, but Downy's wrinkle releaser is a great substitute for ironing out stubborn wrinkles. I generally lay the quilt backing etc over the rollers the day before I am going to quilt. This allows things to 'relax a little" so this is a great time to spray on a bit of Downy's wrinkle releaser wherever stubborn wrinkles are present. Rather than using it full strength, Kelly mixes about 1 TBSP of Downy wrinkle release liquid with water in a mid sized spray bottle. Sounds good to me.
If you look at the top half of the quilt top in the photo, you can see a soft remnant of a fold after spraying and the bottom half was not sprayed at all so you can see a stronger wrinkle. Hey, we can use all the help we can get, eh?

Planning The Quilt Line

When Marguerite Sawyer completed this painting, she asked we create a quilting plan for her piece.
We laid a piece of clear heavy mylar plastic over her painted top ( you could easily use tracing paper or clear plastic tablecloth material) and then drew a quilt plan atop the plastic. I used a dry erase marker on mylar ( you could use dry erase on clear tablecloth plastic too or even colored pencils on tracing paper.)
Once the plan is created, one can position it as a reference next to your quilting machine as you prepare to start the quilting process
This piece is fairly small so we would be able to quilt a little looser in some areas. Remember though, generally, if you quilt densely in one area, the same should be true in all areas.... or the wrinkle in the rug effect takes place

Friday, April 15, 2011

On The Shore

I had yet another great photographer having photographed her own source photo of a sea turtle having just come ashore. Sandy Jones of Southern California took her time and really looked at her photo as she interpreted this guy in ink on cotton, Way to go Sandy!
I've long said, this type of painting is less about painting and drawing as it is about seeing. I don't really care as much about students directly interpreting their source image as I care about everyone slowing down their eyes and really seeing what is going on both in the source photo and on the textile surface. IF a artist chooses to do something different on purpose... I'm good with that. I just revere informed decision making. Crimanee, that might not sound like a really creative artist speaking here.... but what you paint is really all about choice anyway.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

One Fun Turtle Painter

Dee Dee Kelley from Southern California tackled a large under water sea turtle portrait in my Painted Quilt Art Retreat earlier this month. What you see here is a closeup of the whole image of" the guy" himself but yet to be added is the dark sea floor that will make this turtle stand out something great. Dee Dee has a good eye for detail and worked carefully to get his body and face area right on.

Dee Dee took the source photo herself and it alone was spectacular. She did give me permission to post her post retreat email text to me about how well received her painted turtle has been.

"Everyone loves my turtle. He's looking good. I don't usually share my art because I don't think it's as good as what all my professional creative friends produce for a living. So I decided to walk the streets showing it to complete strangers... so far no one has run or looked at me like I'm a crazy, not that I noticed any way. Hey what they don't know.. " Needless to say, but I will anyway.... The April 1-4 retreat group was full of plain fun people.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Wow..Powerful Wolf

I do love teaching! It's great fun to work with artists that are really stretching themselves. Talented Riverside,Ca artist Tim Tourllett is thoughtfully creating this piece interpreted from a photo for which he gained pre approval for this interpretation.

This guy is looking pretty ominous!!!

A Purring Lioness

This lioness is the in progress work of Cindy Tinsley. When Cindy began painting with me in a previous retreat, it was because her hubby brought her despite her resistance. Today Cindy says the 'light' has come one and she is really enjoying her work. I'm like a proud family member now. She is doing beautifully.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Love Those Doggies

This is one of 2 pets captured in portrait by owner and dog daddy Larry Tinsley. When in their mutual presence, the love between these are is mighty obvious.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Artful Playmates Creativity

The work this year at my "Painted Quilt Art (Apr 1-4) retreat is WONDERFUL! Look at some of the in progress work. I am so pleased and again, what a fun group! Most attendees have already signed up for next years retreat too. Historically, I've done 1 retreat each spring.. though this year it will be 2 by request. Maybe this will have to become 2 a year. We'll see. Some work follows and more to be added in future posts.

Look at beautiful Noel, the daughter of friend Janmarie Halliday. Eye shadowing and clothing 'stripes' await completion but..... look at this beauty! The original photo from which this was done was taken in sharp shadows. With Noels pale white skin tones , this was quite a portrait challenge in severe contrasts.
Artist Copyright (c)

Here, meet "Chaos", the 'lapdog' of Emily Tate of Washington state. "Chaos" is well over 200 lbs.... Emily is less than half that I suspect. This is Emily's first ever painting project. YEAH! Emily is a fearless woman.

Artist Copyright (c)

Terri Hunt of Apple Valley, Ca is working on a project that inludes the eyes of several animals. Her second in her series is this 'baby tiger's eyes. Pretty cute 'lil guy, eh?
Artist Copyright (c)

see via a link on upper left.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Decisions Decisions Decisions

So, where have I been this week? Absolutely in Mother Nature's back yard... the beautiful wine country in Temecula, California at the first of my 2 2011 annual Painted Quit Art Retreats. There is an air of freedom and serenity in this exquisite valley filled with horse ranches and vineyards. The question is... do I paint, should I paint, do I take a walk to wine tasting?... etc etc.

This was a special group this year ( well they all are). This group was playful and fun and pretty danged talented. Ofcourse the class photo had a last minute change for my behalf....
Instigators of such frivolity are often proud and stand front and center for the real photo! They had a great laugh as did I. More pics will follow.... Off now to breakfast with this gang of artful playmates...