Saturday, June 30, 2012

Carolyn's Memories

One more quilt is added to the Route 66 exhibit ( see link at top left)... This is a different route honor than some as it is not directly a landmark... but instead a personal recall of the owner of the Road to California Quilt Show. Carolyn Reese shared with me that as a little girl in Oklahoma ( I'm an Okie too) that during WWII, she used to walk along the highway and wave to the troop trains carrying soldiers. She told me too, that she remembers wearing a little green dress. This experience made a deep impression on a young Carolyn, so let's honor that aspect of the highways role. First a drawing was needed and ofcourse without a photo of her experience, artistic license prevailed. First a rough drawing :
Followed by the beginnings of an ink painting on the white fabric atop the drawing.
then the slow build up of images. For the troops, I was not looking to create detailed portraits...
This will take one more day to finish the painting.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Finish of Caesar

We all know how the first Caesar was finished,,,but for this quilt, a Doric column was beckoning for addition in the background. First it was drawn with a fine line chalk pencil... then carefully quilted in very thin white thread.
Adding the clothing was a bit of a challenge but as they say... where there is a will, there is a way.... The fabric used for clothing were beautiful but not as solid for fusing as they are at least partially man made fiber. So extra careful effort needed, but doable. Pauline had added folds on Caesars clothing. At first I thought I would stitch the fold edge down, but later decided to quilt underneath the folds and let the folds stand 'free'
Now to finish the background fill, trim, and he's done!!!
Caesar is now on his way home to Pauline and Anthony. I already kind of miss this guy!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hair and Laurel leaves for Caesar

Now off the skin so some fatter thread might be used ... I'm using 4o wt thread here which is actually pretty average size. The goal working with fused pieces is NOT necessarily to go around / outline every fabric segment but instead in order to secure most edges insure we sometimes are crossing outside the perimeter of a fused fabric piece. Fused leaves added too.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Quilting for Pauline

Talented Art Quilter Pauline Pearsall recently created this fused quilt top portrait interpretation of her hubby Anthony who is reported to routinely pontificate (in fun) as Julius Caesar. It's a great piece and is due thoughtful quilting. Art Quilting for hire is different for me than quilting my own art pieces. I'm always thinking for someone else, how do I do this piece justice and show off the important stuff while keeping the time and cost investment down for the quilt owner? That's indeed the challenge here. I tend to quilt my own portrait quilts almost like a thread painting so I add no quilted furrows to the brow, no wrinkles. In this case... I want a fairly smooth face surface ( ie few wrinkles) and don't want a bunch of thread. It would be wrong!!! I have NO desire to have thread compete with the great varied fabric textures. So... I want to use very thin thread ( I'm using Invisafil 100 wt. matte finish thread) on his face. There are some 60 thread colors in this line and these small looking spools hold 400 meters each. They do make large spools too. These threads are not easily found... I got mine from ( ) and.. I'm doing most of the facial stitching with about 1/3" apart echo lines with only stabilizer behind the quilt top. I'll still have to secure this area when I make the quilt sandwich, but can pick and chose where I do so.. The white head shape below is the BACK side of the quilt top. ( Not a quilt sandwich yet) more to come....

Monday, June 25, 2012

Santa Monica Pier and the Pacific

I'm feelin' the breeze and fresh air as I get this end of the road landmark painted on this final panel for the near 66 foot road map that will accompany the traveling Route 66 exhibit. NOW... it is a matter of machine stitching the addition of city names along the route. ta da!!! This last panel can now be shipped to my co curator Kelly Gallagher to long arm quilt. After painting on these panels since April, I must admit, I'm happy to place them in someone else's hands. Kelly recently asked me.."How do you want these quilted?" I'm pretty sure you can guess my approximate response. In that moment of being pretty pooped ..... "I Don't Care!" ;-)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Hollywood or Bust

We are nearing the end of this 8 state journey honoring Main Street U.S.A. aka Route 66. Tinseltown is the next to the last stop. Hurray for H O L L Y W O O D!!!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Pasadena Bound

The Rose Parade / Rose Bowl town of Pasadena, California has one of the most beautiful bridges in the country represented in small partial bridge scale here. Wait 'til you see the art quilt representing this location for the Route 66 exhibit that will be traveling later this year. It's a beauty (made by one of our contributing artists).

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Not Far from My Studio

My studio in Claremont, California is but 3 blocks from historic Route 66 known locally as Foothill Blvd. Just east by a couple miles is this enormous beautiful sculpture of Madonna of the Trail which presides over a major intersection in Upland, California. This Madonna honors the strength and beauty of all mothers. Only a few miles westward is the city of Laverne, one of many cities once blanketed with orange groves. As populations grew,so many of these fragrant and beautiful groves gave way to new homes and businesses Nice memories here of a more simple time.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


This quaint old town of Cucamonga ( now Rancho Cucamonga ) has become a thriving modern suberbia... but the old gas station/car shop was a big thing in it's day. Little of the original shop is left but artists in the exhibit have beautiful representations of it in it's hey day.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Heading Down to Rialto

As one comes down from the high desert, in the old days of Route 66, one might have entered Rialto, Ca and spent the night at the old WIGWAM motel, complete with California Palm trees. I admit to experimenting with an acrylic "So Soft" fabric paint for clouds and sign background. Not all that happy with it (a bit stiff) but visually it's okay. Names of the towns will be added later.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Victorville and Apple Valley, Ca

So Victorville has it's own Route 66 Museum and they are so proud of being on the old Route that the highway name spans overhead in Old Town. Apple Valley hosts a ( now deteriorated) homemade ancient history sculpture. There's a great bit of home grown fun represented along this route. I must admit I took artistic license and repaired the sculpture. :-)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

California here I come...

At last, I can begin the final panel for the Route 66 traveling exhibition. Painting a giant Route 66 map seems like all I've done since Late April so I'm looking forward to this one. First I review the map locations/cities artists had pre indicated an interest in representing. So again a long paper roll came out using pencil drawings, then permanent marker over final drawing by location. The prepared fabric atop and here we go. Again moving from east border of the state heading toward the Pacific Ocean, I did a quick representation of the Mojave Desert National Reserve.. specifically Kelso Sand Dunes because they are so danged artistic. Beautiful dunes. Moving west thru the town of Amboy to"Roy's" famous diner. These images are around 6 inches high on the road map also containing city names. They are intended to help exhibit viewers identify the location the larger accompanying quilts represent.

Friendship Project DONE

Each month at my Wanabe Quilters Friendship group.. we exchange projects for a month. This month I get to make a block for a crazy quilt with the theme defined by the owner. "Make something" like it has been in my grandma's closet for some time, the owner said... so here 'tis. First I had to restrain myself from adding additional colors I would also love. I kept dragging myself back to the owners original comment about grandma would have had these fabrics. So todays jewel tones were out for my thinking anyway. Please don't examine the handwork embellishment. I love crazy quilts but admit it's not my thing to make so we all agree... when we pass off a project, we do what we can and nobody whines. maybe wines.. but no whine! ;-)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

West To Seligman and Hackerry

Going west from Flagstaff, Route 66 traveled thru williams and then to Seligman which still celebrates and has access to a good amount of the original Route 66 highway. If you ever wanted a momento honoring this route, this is the town to shop in. One of the successful businesses in this small town has quite a sense of humor. The ROAD KILL Cafe offers fresh food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It's quite a large place too so they must get plenty of business. Buffalo Burgers are one of their specialties. Route 66 went slightly north heading out of Seligman to a town called Hackberry. I don't know it's history but it had a quaint general store in it's day.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Lettering for Flagstaff

One each of the BIGGER cities in each state is lettered as follows. My 2 1/2" ruler is sure a help for this effort. First a pencil draw of parallel lines 2 1/2 inches apart. Then a line at bottom 1/2" up, and from top line 1/2" down. These become the top and bottom of 1 1/2" letters. Add 1 more line... slightly below the mid point between the last 2 lines... then sketch in pencil each letter. It's not so difficult to do when you have guidelines. Once through making subtle corrections to penciled letters, outline each letter with a permanent marker. Light box under for easy viewing, red marker for outlining letters, then fill in with matching red ink. Lower photo...A black marker line around the 'callout' box which will point to the city name... and an added drop shadow for emphasis. A 2 stage process of placing texture and color around the callout box. I first did a rubbing with a textured 'light fixture panel' then added yellow color for interest. The final effort on the lower photo includes a darker outline of each letter. I used a darker purple for this as lots of color variety for this effort seems a good idea. nnn

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Don't Forget Winona

Driving west into the city of Holbrook, one comes across a wigwam motel. Such a sense of playfulness was present all along this old route and remains present today. Moving west past Winslow, I remember Bobby Troups "Get Your Kicks on Route 66 song" so I can't forget Winona ( the place with enormous arrow sculptures embedded in earth.) The message really is clear "DON'T FORGET.. here we are!!!!! The names of these cities will be added later. Some preprinted on fabric, then machine appliqued on. You'll see.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Can't Help Myself

I'm drawn to post a note of pride. My grand daughter is growing up as a sweet,smart, and gorgeous young lady. YEAH! I can't believe how she has changed/grown in the last year. She loves music,art,science, math and last week, Mom Allyson took her to a special event concert and Meet and Greet with one of their family favorite music acts...Daughtry. Kaley girl poses here with the band leader/song writer Chris Daughtry.

Movin' West

When painting, I tend to move east to west as did many road travelers back in the day!! On the north east edge of state of Arizona is the beautiful "Painted Desert" Moving westward, not far away and near the town of Holbrook is the fallen trees of the petrified forest. In order to see my drawings on this fabric, I do place a light box under the drawing laid under the fabric. The drawing looks like the end of a cut of a cucumber but It will be a tree log when I'm done. The light box helps big time.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

On The Road Again

I'm still running to "beat the band"(complete) to get the final 2 10 ft. fabric maps to be quilted and exhibited with the Route 66 traveling exhibition which will begin exhibiting this August. I've previously done 4 large 10 foot+ panels following the historic Mother Road from Chicago, Illinois, through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico. Thats 6 of the 8 states through which Route 66 existed. Heading now into Arizona, a wide state with many landmarks along the original route. All the panels were previously background painted at the same time so we are now tackling adding the physical route and reflecting a few of the elements we anticipate the 60+ surrounding art quilts will represent. We've seen some of the pictures of finished quilts ( Spectacular!!!) and anxiously await the deadline date ( June 15th) for the rest of them. The first thing as I begin traveling again Route 66 again is to get a full size paper drawing of the route. This is a bigger challenge than I thought as the route no longer exists across all 8 states so some cities that were on Route 66 aren't anymore. It' all doable with a little patience and persistence. First things first... a pencil drawing using my necessary tools (including Kirkland chocolate) Once I've stopped erasing and redrawing, I use a black permanent marker to create a final contour drawing of various elements. There's much to see in this wide state, so this one will be extra fun to paint. Here is the big picture lying across my work table!!!