Monday, December 31, 2012

Closing On 2-12...Here Comes 2013

 I need to think about what I DID get done this year rather than the dozens of unfinished projects.  I'll cut myself some slack so you do it for yourself too!  For tonight... I plan a quiet evening with my hubby.... a movie, and dinner.  I wish all of you a happy and safe evening.

Kudos to Diane

In  Oct 2012, I was lucky to teach a 2 day Painted Quilt Art Class for Arizona Quilt Guild.  Student Diane Hansen took to ink painting on fabric lickity split ( i.e. fast) .  Already, Diane has finished her sweet doe portrait and gave me permission to brag about her work.  The face on this doe is just wonderful. Thanks and CONGRATULATIONS Diane.
Click on photo for closeup.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Quilting Through The Holidays

To those familiar with my work, you may be asking what is Patt doing?  I do sometimes quilt for others. Yes.. the art quilter quilts traditional work too... especially when this new quilter was referred to me by my pastor who had seen one of my art quilts.  One cannot say no to a pastor's referral!!!   Pam is a fairly new quilter.. this being her 2nd quilt and is it ever a big one... 96" x 102". .....Definitely calling for a longarm.
Pam wanted a fairly dense leaf pattern throughout though I did do some custom work in center squares (not shown).

I can't miss church this Sunday... Time to deliver.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas To Me !

Sometimes... after months or in this case years of wanting something.... you just do it.  So I justified all these new built ins as a Christmas present to me.  My studio Condo down off the mountain is set up to let us stay there when the cold, snow, and ice overtake our little canyon in the mountains.  I've kept a small bedroom set up in the smallest  room since I bought the place in 2007.... but dang... it's pretty small and I've been sorely deficient in storage space.
So first... some storage units on either side of my bed. Shelving up high behind doors and drawers down low.
I've struggled keeping my quilts stored efficiently so now I have it covered....  along one wall a tall shelved cabinet where traditional quilts  might be folded and stored but my art quilts can easily be rolled and stored. YEAH!!!!!
This last week, my custom desk was installed to finish off the plan.
Because the space is small... I kept furniture white with light maple finish tops to align with light hickory floors and woven rug and baskets.  I drove the furniture maker crazy designing this simple looking desk. I insisted upon a back panel all the way to the floor to hide cables. It looks so much cleaner than the normal design. YEAH again.  Now to keep it tidy.....I hope.

I sure hope your holiday was wonderful.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Santa Claus is a Comin'

Oh you better watch out... and if you're a kid ( at heart counts) or a kittie cat watch out the window.  You may catch a glimpse....  Now to start cookin'

'Lookie What I Got!"

For those that thought I gave MY Secret pal a nice gift... LOOK AT THIS!!!!   Have you ever seen a more stunning 30's quilt?  The black background beautifully showcases every single 30's print.
I think this is a stunning setting as well.  My key learning on this Christmas.... sometimes it really DOES pay to advertise.  Years back at a UFO retreat... friend Hilary was making this pattern for herself.  I was sooooo impressed with it, I know I commented something like "Gosh, I'd love to have a quilt like that... actually I may have said "THAT" quilt."     I received a copy of THAT quilt...I'm so happy and thankful.

 Now, back to wrapping gifts.   Merry Christmas all.  Stay Warm....!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Parties Have Begun

The once a year Christmas Party for the Wanabe Quilters  friendship group (originated in 1989) was today in the beautiful home of Laurie Lyon (Laurie in red on left) in Anaheim Hills.  What FUN!!!
First arrival of members brought food.  Phyllis Reddish (on the right) carried in ( with help) a HEAVY bag of homemade peanut brittle destined to be gifted to individual members.  WOW.... I must hide this from my hubby... He loves Phyllis' brittle.

Then it was appetizer time.  Phyllis brought 2.... first shrimp with a hot pepper. Hot and nummy! Great car, eh?

and  a gang of Strawberry Santas.. too cute!
A few of the early eaters!!!! L-R Hilary Field, Carol Culbert, Karon Cornell, Carol Pankow, Carol Lundquist, Laurie Lyon, Janmarie Halliday.  Early arrivers get the most appetizers... ha ha. 
Karon's incredible cheesecakes were camera shy... guess they were in the fridge already. 
I forgot to photo the dining food... duh!...but check out this cake.

And of great importance to me ... my secret pal HILARY FIELD from England...LOVED her Father Christmas.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

My Favorite Holiday Appetizer

 Lots of party prepping going on today... I'm making my favorite Holiday Goat Cheese Log appetizer. It's soooo yummy and just as easy as it is yummy! What could be better?... well maybe 007 calling me for lunch, but hey... I have a better chance of winning the super lotto ( I don't even play.)
Here's a photo overview. I'll put the real recipe below.

First Goat Cheese, Cream Cheese, and coarse grind or fresh cracked black pepper... in a bowl to be mixed together.

In a pie plate... chopped dried cranberries, chopped fresh rosemary, chopped fresh italian flat leaf parsley.

Cheese mixed and rolled into a log, then rolled in the cranberry mixture, and placed on a nice serving plate.

At serving time surround with crackers of choice, I LOVE both these cracker crisps... The Raisin Rosemary Crisp came from Trader Joes, the Cranberry Crisp  by Open Nature at Vons Grocery.  The party is tomorrow.. I can't wait and BY THE WAY.... a holiday mimosa in a classy champagne glass tops off a brunch appetizer round.

Holiday Goat Cheese Appetizer Log

1  Chevre Goat Cheese Log ( 10.5 oz )
1  Package of softened Cream Cheese ( I used 8 oz .. though
    you can use as little as 3 oz with a creamy goat cheese like Chevre)
1/2 teaspoon cracked or coarse grind black pepper
     In medium bowl mix these cheeses and pepper,  roll into 1 or 2 cheese logs.

1 cup dried cranberries... chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh italian (flat leaf) parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
      In a pie plate , mix ingredients in preparation for rolling the cheese log.

      Roll cheese log in cranberry mixture and Serve with crackers of your choice.... 
In is unlikely there will be any left at the end of the party... but if so... lucky you to have at home!!!
Have a great holiday weekend everyone.  ;-)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Little House for HIS House

The race to Christmas Day has begun.  This simple quilt ( pieced by members of our Wanabe Quilters Friendship Group) is targeted for gifting to a homeless young boy at His (our Father in heaven) House in Placentia, Ca.   Life has been so crazy, I hadn't been on my long arm for months.... so this was a good warm up. His House is a transitional living home helping individuals and families get a new start. Philanthropy Chair Janmarie Halliday for the Placentia, Ca based North Cities Quilt Guild will present this to a young man once binding is complete.
It's a crazy busy time but spending time at this was a wonderful calming experience knowing it would go where needed.  Early Merry Christmas all!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Dang... Not Previously Shown

Well Rats... a couple important things I failed to post... eg
How I finished off  the curved lines from the dark background as I got down to the lower quarter entering the white show. I turned the final curve of the line 'downfall' into a directional meander some of which entered in the completely white snow area. Not too much I hope... just enough to tie the two areas together.
I also failed to show the much earlier quilting of the edge of the coat.  I chose the most simple continuos line I could think of to start at the bottom outer edge... and climb slowly to the opposite end of the fur. You can click on a photo for closeup.

The final thing I do before binding and adding a sleeve and back label is sign my name. I use a 40 wt thread.... mark a water soluble blue marker line on the quilt top..... quilt each name forward.. then backtracked for better definition.  I picked this up from Ruth McDowell.  It works well for me. .

There you have it... but for the bit of keystoneing in my photography... here you can see the final quilt.  I think I may need to create a class for this piece... one that allows students to add there own special memories on the great coat!!!   Whaddaya think? 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Quilting The Border Fabric

I chose to just secure both edges of the stopper, then use the elegant pattern on the gold satin to guide my quilting.  I've placed some plain fabric in view for reference. Here I merely chose to outline secure some parts of the design using the Superior Gold Thread ( Highlights #728).  There's no pattern decisions here but for what to free motion outline stitch. .. eg long S curves , petal-like curves coming off floral-like images, etc... Anything that allowed me to keep a continuos line going without too much backtracking. 

 I love this  Superior Gold #728 thread as I said previous it is a friendly/forgiving alternative to a true metallic.  I need to order more after this quilt.

One can get a close-up look by clicking on the photo to get a better idea how little quilt line work is done in comparison to complex fabric pattern.  This was pretty simple work though time consuming...about 4 hours for all 4 border areas.  It makes the quilt special though so it is very much worth the time.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Making My Mark

I seldom mark quilts but as I thought about the background where snow and snowflakes are falling... I wanted to keep it simple and suggest a graceful downfall ... so spaced graceful curvy vertical lines going from the top of the quilt to the bottom snow seemed a good plan.  Because this is a distance and I would surely get confused where things where already as I worked... I did some thin chalk markings top to bottom with some curves passing behind or through other large snowflakes... or snow drops. I LOVE that Sewline skinny chalk pencil.
 This is kind of funny actually.. this is the most simple looking quilting but had a good bit of start / stop time.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Hit and Miss Quilting

Father Christmas' beard needs to be quilted/look different than anything else that is white.... so I decided to barely quilt limited areas by securing with a few stitches here and there.. locking threads by machine at the beginning and end of each stitching segment.  I'll clip threads later. This will allow his beard to really puff and look smoother as ofcourse  Fathers Christmas' beard does look. ;-)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Quilting Begins

Since I am not heavily quilting this piece, I will quilt the body of the coat before the "fur"... were this to be heavily quilted... I would work from the inside(center) outward so I'd at least quilt the front vertical section of fur first.. then the body of the coat.. then the remainder of the fur. Hope that makes sense... but here goes.  I decided I would use a simple teardrop filler on the coat  because this filler is both graceful and flexible.

One side done... It seems amazing to me still how important even simple quilting is to enhancing a quilt top.

Now to finish the left side.  Notice the central fur area is a bit lumpy... no problem as it is mild and the quilting there will be open and fairly loose.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Prepping To Quilt

I managed to darken  to my satisfaction the background from the previous post. While much of my work excludes the addition of a border, this piece begs for one.  I have 2 fabrics I'm using... a 2" cotton/metallic gold print as a stopper... then an elaborate "non quilting" fabric for a border.  I long ago picked up this elegant satin/gold metallic holiday fabric for just this piece I knew I would eventually do. Don't you love it when what you need is already in your stash?!
The backing fabric on the outer edges gets turned to the front and pinned so I needn't worry about accidental "turned under backing" getting stitched during the quilting process.  You only need to have made the mistake of not securely keeping the backing fabric edges AWAY from the quilting needle once to start religiously pinning this way.  

This quilting project will be very different from most of my pieces in that 1) I want the painting to tell the story mostly on it's own, and 2) I don't plan to do very dense quilting even in plain areas.  You'll see why as we go on... but bottom line... I've chosen in advance most of the thread I plan to use.
I plan to use monofilament first to secure major areas.  I considered both smoke and clear but ended up using clear only.  I am using a clean bright white (40wt.) on snow and coat background, a dark teal (i.e. matching background) thread as I don't really want the thread to show much, and a Superior Thread "Highlights" Gold (#728) I often use as a forgiving/friendly metallic alternative.
 First effort is with monofilament to simply free motion outline major elements.  You may note I still  pin my quilts as I'm not a big fan of basting glue but for areas when pins don't work as well.. example... the satin/gold border fabric. There I did use basting spray for fear of screwing up the luscious border fabric with pin holes.

I'm not quilting in the added memory drawings so I have simply secured the perimeters around each design. Here I'm merely stitching the edges of the 'coat.'

 After all is 'secured'... all pins are removed allowing much easier quilting with planned decorative threads.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Darks Push Light Forward

The background was always to be a dark cold night. I'm laying in a Tsukineko ink color called Blue Bayou... a dark blue with a slight teal hint.  I first lay in a dark mid value ,, getting lighter as Father Christmas emerges from darkness into white snow.

I will layer in greater value as I move along.... but note in the closeup below where I have placed really dark value behind Father Christmas' head and profoundly white the whites are and how much more important the central figure becomes when showcased this way.  He's coming along well I think.

One last thing on the background.... once I got the entire background layer in including coverage over the snowflakes seen in the first photo above, I came back to place my snowflake rubbing sources again under the fabric, in the same locations as the original blue rubbings I could still barely see from the front view.  I then used a white dry brush fantastix rubbing of the snowflakes.  I liked this look. ( fuzzy photo.. sorry).

Soon to begin the quilting process....

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Adding Memories

In addition to adding the kinds of enhanced rubbings that were shown as experiments last post... I added more than one line drawing.. then a little color here and there.  The one below is  of a RED  vintage  English postal box.

A bit of keystoning here ( looks like a small head on Father Christmas) as the painting is placed flat on a table.  I think I am happy with the added 'coat' images...  Next I will attack the background.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Play, Pray, and then Dive In!!!

I am choosing to place several images atop Father Christmas' coat... some relating to sewing, others more personal to the intended recipient.  I love doing rubbings on fabric... and am playing on scrap fabric here using a rubber stamp placed  rubber side up under fabric and then rubbing across the stamp from top side using ink on a dry brush fantastix. You'll notice the image is reversed to the stamp top. This worked well...and I can see with a little playing with markers, that I can enhance values where desired.

I've used wooden ornament blanks as rubbing sources too...again under the fabric.. rubbed on the top in the same manor. This  idea will work too.

I've done a bunch of little tests.. most I like... some not so much... but it was well worth the time.  I've also planned some simple line drawings of country scenes.  I think I can set up the real thing to get going now.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Begin at the Heart of Things

I almost always begin with the heart of an image... in this case the face of Father Christmas. White sheer PFD fabric atop the drawing... and here we go. I'm using Hoffman's PFD No 1377 fabric... I can see through it... Yeah!
 My gosh this guy has a large nose... but he is a chubby dude anyway and I think he looks 'friendly.

Steps... I first used a light flesh colored marker to outline the face, the eyes, the edges of nostrils. The eyes usually go in before much else... in this case,,,
1.    for iris...using blue fabric markers,
2.    when  iris is  dried, a black fabric marker for pupil, and when that dried
3.    eye highlights in white using a fine tip art brush. When that is dried,
4.    I usually darken the upper edges of the eyelash area with a darker color
       in this case a darker brown fabric marker was used.

The drying between steps addressed is to be certain things don't BLEED where they shouldn't.  Use a hair dryer or the like... or protect with a pressing paper atop the painted image and iron on a dry cotton setting.  I use a Marvy Embossing dryer (a very hot heat focused artists version of a hair dryer available anywhere scrap booking or card making supplies are found.) Be careful not to scorch fabric by blowing heat too close to fabric for too long.

Now for the face area:
A.a flesh toned  skin BASE ( I used Tsukineko All Purpose Craft Ink No. 95 ( Tuscan Beige)

B. atop a dried skin tone base, a very dry brush fantastix application of Tsukineko All Purpose Craft Ink No. 52- (Sand) to create simple contour around eye, nose, cheek edges.

C.   a very dry brush transparent fantastix application of Tsukineko All Purpose Craft Ink No. 33- (Rose Pink)in his pudgy cheeks

Now the step by step process of adding the fun elements...