Just about a year ago my friend Natalie Barnes orBeyond the Reef Patterns asked me to be part of the rollout of her first fabric line for Windham fabrics. To say I was excited to be part of this celebration of Natalie and her accomplishments would be an understatement, and I jumped on board to have a bunch of her quilting buds create a wall of smaller quilts - 30"x30" for her quilt market booth promoting the new fabric line.
Each of us on the wall created a quilt especially designed for Natalie and her wonderful #handmakerfabrics. When I received my fabrics I just had to make flowers -- the colors are vibrant and fun, and I loved the simple (yet complex) patterning.
This bundle of fabrics contain all the fabrics from Nat's new line and could be yours.... keep reading for further details.
It sounded intriguing, and on arrival I found it just the type of book I like. Examples galore and small exercises to get your creative juices flowing.
This book has opened up some conscious exploration into mark-making in general for me. I say conscious, for I have been making my mark on textiles for a while without being aware of personal choices and where they come from, and without really being aware of what other artist's mark-making may say about them no matter the media. A personal story-telling tool.
As prompted by one of the exercises in the book I have started collecting and creating marks.Then a couple of weeks ago David and I took a fused glass workshop and had a great time. We are both a bit addicted to the process for the moment, and I began to see how we created our initial pieces - mark-making with the glass. (the ones below are my 1st attempts after they were fired)
While visiting Cedarhurst Art Center yesterday to get in some more 'glass time' we came across an exhibit of Jun Kaneko's work entitled 'sense of spirit: mark-making & space in the art of kaneko'. I found his work pretty exciting in its extremes, and then while looking over several books he had about his other projects I was drawn to one which documented his work with the San Fransisco Opera House's production of the Magic Flute. Again... for me it was about how he took his mark-making to extreme from everything to background projections on the stage to the costuming he created for all the characters.
All of this makes me have a stronger understanding of how important mark-making... and how much it is an expression of energy, focus, and textural story telling.
The pieces below are ones David and I made on Saturday and are now awaiting firing. You can definitely tell how different our mark-making styles are.
My friend Marie wanted to try and make a quilt -- for a gift, but she has never even learned how to sew.
And, she wanted it to be an art quilt.... We can do this!
So, we have been taking some stolen bits of time and going step-by-step we're heading down the 'fabric road'. It started with a bit of pattern making- but once a theme was chosen the design emerged and then the pattern. (secret stuff at this point).
Next, I gave her a bit of a crash course on the sewing machine and of course stitching. This went really well after Marie's initial fears went away. Starting first with stitching straight lines...then straight stitching curves.
This went really well... so, Marie quickly moved on to appling her newly acquired straight stitching knowledge to Fast-Piece Applique some practice pattern pieces together -- then how to use those special Kai scissors to trim.
We were on a roll, so next we went fabric shopping for the background pieces needed for Marie's quilt. There is nothing like fabric in hand to speed thing along, and Marie quickly had the background completed.
Since the project really is hush, hush you'll just have to believe me when I tell you that Marie is doing GREAT!
During our last time together Marie pulled fabrics for the main characters of her quilt -- Stacks of reds and golds began to pile up.. with Ralphie's help.
I'll keep you posted--but I hope you join me in welcoming Marie to the fun of quilting. She is proof that you don't have to start with traditional... you can jump in anywhere. (she's already planning out her 2nd quilt!)
Hi All, It has been a while since I last sat down and shared stuff with you, but I want you to know that it has not been for lack of stuff happening or lack of thinking about sharing. Time has just been flying by.
Today though, I am hoping to share something that may be of interest to some of you and useful...especially as we approach the holiday season.
For several years I have added a stretched and mounted quilt finishing method to the others I use. Once completed these pieces hang nicely on the wall as would any framed art item.
The quilting remains the same.... though if I know I am planning to mount a piece my backing fabric does not have to be anything fancy, for it will not be seen. Once the top is done, I create my quilt sandwich and quilt and embellish the piece. With the piece done the mounting process begins by first selecting the size pine wood you want for your frame (I use 1x2s-but note these are not really 1"x2"-more 3/4"x1 1/2") then:
1. Trim the quilt to the size desired. 2. Cut binding strips. (for the 1x2's I use 3" wide straight of grain binding strips) 3. Attach the binding as 4 separate strips. 1 to each edge of the quilt. Starting 1/4" from each edge. Leaving about an extra inch unstitched on each side.
4. With all the sides stitched into place I fold back each corner, right sides together, matching the binding edges. This creates a 45 degree angle on the quilt edge and lines the the binding up below. From that corner point of the quilt edge I drawn a line straight down to binding edge.
5. Once it is lined up, line drawn I stitch on the line, then trim it back to 1/4". Repeat on each corner, and turn the corners out to complete.
With the corners done, I move on to building the frame.
1. Measure the inside dimensions of the prepared quilt. Note the measurements of the width and length.
2. Cut width pieces of wood to the dimension noted.
3. Take 1 1/2" off the length dimension (for 1x2s), and cut length pieces to this size. 4. Line up frame pieces widths to the outside with lengths on the inside to create the corners. Use wood glue and nails to hold frame together.
For the mounting and stretching:
1. Cut batting approximately 3"s bigger than frame all around. 2. With batting on flat surface, place frame in middle and starting in the center of each side stretch batting around the frame, while either gluing or stapling in place.
3. Lastly, slip quilt over the batting covered side of frame, and again working from center of each side stretch the binding around frame and staple in place.
If desired, a backing can be made and glued in place over the back before adding hanging hardware as below.
Since the last time I posted I must confess to have filled an inordinate amount of time reading. Reading for the fun of it, and having a grand time. Oh, there have been days filled with building planters, others filled with stitching on several projects and of course with rains slipping by to the north of us or to the south there has been plenty of mornings of watering all the new plantings.
But, throughout it all I have enjoying a bunch of books. In January a group of us here started a book club. We plan on a whole year of women authors -- with a couple of books with lots of recipes thrown in for our June and December meetings.
Since sometime last year I have known that the extra colorful quilt I kept on my bed would have to be replaced. It had been way overly loved since it was made in 1998 and had gone beyond just showing wear to having holes. These holes were made even bigger by a certain kitten who will remain nameless.
I had tried time and again to think of a design that I wanted to use, but it wasn't until I got my birthday present from my friend Angelique that I KNEW what the bed was calling out for. Angelique knew that I wanted a lap quilt for the living room which had been redone and she sent me a wonderful rag-quilt!
When I saw that quilt, I knew Angelique had provided the perfect idea for the bed quilt redo. All the colorful fabrics in my stash could be used.... I was off!!
So I pulled a ton of fabrics from my stash.
And, even though Ralphie took over the piles I managed to get all the fabric cut.
I could tell from the scraps that I was going to like it.
and Ralphie helped with the sewing....
until the blocks were stacked high...
then the blocks were stitched and stitched.
Lastly, all was cut and washed to fluff.... leaving a very contented kitty.
He no longer has the holes to play with, but I don't think he misses them.