Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Brief Review of 2008

I feel that I have really moved forward this year in displaying my art and getting my name out into the public. I had a simple goal at the beginning of 2008 and that was to enter 10 events for showing my quilts. I actually over achieved by entering 14 events. Much to my surprise I have had some success by winning six awards. I also had a quilt published in Quilt Magazine and am one of the winners in the 2009 Quilting Arts Calendar contest. My journal quilt 'Flight Over Greenland' was also selected for display in the final Journal Quilt Project. Creating this blog has also been a step forward and I am so grateful for all of the people that have stopped by to take a look and especially those who have left comments. Now on the 2009. I am in the final phase of putting together my artistic goals for the new year.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Chasing the Grey Away

This is my entry into the My World in Black and White exhibit sponsored by The Fiber Arts Connection of Southern California. This piece will be traveling to several venues with over 30 other quilts for the next couple of years. I am finely able to post a picture since the book for this exhibit has been published.

This was an interesting challenge for me since I have never done a work with a limited color pallet. I also decided to try a whole cloth painted piece. The inspiration was a trip to the Smokey Mountains and I wanted to recreate the misty look of a rain storm with rolling clouds being driven away by the sun. All of the triangle shapes are intensional. I was experimenting with these shapes in the composition and trying to pull the viewer into the scene. It measure 41' x 41' and was painted with Setacolor paints on a very hot day in the Atlanta area this summer. I was working outside with sweat rolling down my face and it took several trys to get the sky the way I wanted it to be! After about 2 hours I finally had something I thought was acceptable. It dried quickly and when I took it inside and ironed it I almost put it in my scrap box. After letting it sit for a couple of days I decided it was worth quilting. Let me know what you think.

Friday, December 19, 2008

My First ATC's - Finally......

I have committed to an ATC swap with 7 other people and really am pretty excited about this. I have never made ATC's before and as always my optimistic estimating was not even close as to how long creating 8 of these would actually take. I do admit that I am pretty hard on myself when it comes to my art and really wanted to do my best since 7 other artist will be getting these. Now I am not used to working on things this small and my first problem was actually losing one when walking from my painting area to my work area. No problem as it only took 40min to find it. Finally made it to the point where I was ready to thread paint a tree on each one and I put them all in a stack next to the sewing machine. First one went well then grabbed what I thought was the next one off the stack. I did notice right away that the second one was much more difficult to sew and thought that I would have to change my needle when I finished it. When I removed it from the machine I gasped with horror when I saw that I had grabbed 2 not 1 and had sewn them together! My immediate thought was OM gosh how can I fix this one. I did manage to carefully separate them without too much damage.
The process:
  • Painted a 16x12 piece of PFD fabric in bright sky colors with Setacolor paints
  • Cut fabric into 8- 4x3 pieces - at this point each one became it's own piece of art
  • Adjusted colors in sky of each piece, added a horizon line and adjusted water color to reflect the sky
  • Added largest land mass and painted land reflections
  • Added Angelina and some sparkle organza to water and then sewed white tulle over water area
  • Added other land masses
  • Quilted land
  • Touched up skys to add a few light clouds
  • Quilted water
  • Quilted sky
  • Thread painted trees
  • Finished edges
I plan to keep my least favorite piece for myself. Can you help me choose? Do you have a least favorite?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Holiday Exchange - What I Recieved

Finally as promised I am posting a picture of the lovely piece of art that I received on Tuesday night at the FAF gift exchange. This is by Melinda Fulkerson who was also the president of the East Cobb Quilt guild this year. This is a large guild with over 250 members and she was a wonderful president. Thank you Melinda for this great little piece of art. P.S. I did get Melinda's permission to publish this photo.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Fiber Art Fusion Holiday Art Exchange

  1. I belong to a group call Fiber Art Fusion that meets on a monthly basis. This has been a great way to get to know some very talented artist and learn new techniques. Tonight was our annual holiday dinner and art exchange. Each person brought a gift wrapped 5x7 piece of art that they had created. We did a blind exchange so each of us came home with a great piece of art. This is the piece that I gave away and it was selected by Margaret Betz. It is called 'Goddesses'. The background is painted warm and natural that has layers of stamping, Angelina fibers and painted misty fuse. I then used puff paint to create the raised areas adding beads to the wet paint. After expanding the paint I lightly brushed it with gold paint. I drew the 3 goddess symbols and then free motion quilted them. The top symbol is for Isis, the middle one is for Inanna and the bottom represents Ishtar. I finished it by adding a few beads and painting the edges with gold. This is another unusual piece for me. Tomorrow I will post a picture of the art I received.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Do You Have a Favorite Thread?

One of the awards I won this year was a third place finish in the Home Machine Quilting Show in Utah. This was for my piece 'Flight Into Fantasy'. I didn't receive a cash prize but got a $150 gift certificate for Superior Threads. After much contemplation and deciding and re-deciding I finally ordered my threads that are pictured above. I have really enjoyed experimenting with these and have learned a lot about tension, needles and free motion quilting in general on my last 2 pieces. I love the threads and have never really felt any brand loyalty. I guess I have never really paid that much attention to thread before. The KingTut threads are 100% cotton and I love the low sheen finish they add. A couple of my favorite colors are Bulrushes, Old Giza and Sunflowers. The Rainbows are high sheen trilobol polyester and have been a little easier for me to get the tension right. Perfect Quilter is a heavier cotton and give a nice flat look. I really like the Pumpkin Spice color. This has turned out to be a great prize and has helped me focus on something that is important to my art. Do you have any favorite threads?

Friday, December 5, 2008

New Work - Envy - A Little Scary?

This is really outside of the box for me. This piece started with 1/2 yard of Phil Beavers Indiana Harvest commercial fabric that had the look of a hand dye. When I found it in my stash I put it up on my design wall for a couple of days and just looked at it in passing. I knew I wanted to do something with it since I loved the colors but I thought it still needed something more so I got out the paint.

I reluctantly cut about 3 inches off of one end and mixed paints to match the burgundy, green, blue and carmel/tan colors. This took several tries to get it right. I used Setacolor and Jacquard paints diluted only about 20% so I could get good coverage. I then just started to add color where I thought it needed it for interest and balance. While painting, one eye just seemed to appear quite by accident. Once I saw it I added the other eye and straightened the sinister looking face.

Once the face appeared I couldn't really see anything else. It was so scary looking that I debated whether I should quilt it or paint over it again. I decided to go ahead and quilt it since I have really been trying to focus on improving my FMQ. You can see from the detail that my FMQ is starting to look a little better. Finished size is 38h x 22w. If you have trouble seeing the face click on the full image to see a closeup.