Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Life is like...

Life is like a box of Chocolates

   I have to say that the challenges this year have been all over the place. I have had no way to anticipate which way these girls will weave and bob from one challenge to the next. The last challenge of Project Quilting is here. The Theme  was chocolate. I also don't have all week to plan a large piece and knew I had to get in gear on this one.
  I had a couple different ideas but settled on the quote from Forest Gump, "Life is like a box of chocolates". I made a 3 sided box to hold one of my favorite treats, Hershey Drops.
  I picked a fabric that had some shades of brown in it and contrasted it with a black print. I also am a new convert to Cherrywood fabrics. I've entered the challenge this year and had a few leftovers from that project. I've found that it is of an excellent quality to do fairly intricate cuts. I used it for the word, "life".
  I used decorative stitching from my machine and sewed everything down. I sandwiched a stiff pellon interfacing in between to make the box 3-D and a stitched through all layers for the fold lines. I hand stitched the tabs, which would normally be glued using paper, so it became the box.
  I've enjoyed the challenges this time around. I hope to do next year's as well.

Saturday, March 09, 2019

Challenge 10-5 Tsunami

T is for Tsunami
11" x14"

The challenge this week is called Abecedarius. I didn't even know it was a word, but is has to do with the alphabet and more specifically, those alphabet books and art that are "A is for..., B is for..." so I went in that direction.
 I've started back to work so my time available for these last two challenges are cut. I always say I regret being a couch potato on my time off and I always swear I'll do more exercise, but let's be honest, I am never prepared for all the bending and lifting and squats I have to do to set up the store.
   I decided on my subject fairly early in the week but I basically crawled into the house each night and did very little until Saturday. I loved the book, "P is for Pterodactyl" because it focuses on all the words that start with a silent letter. Wicked funny in my oppinion.  I decided to do T is for Tsunami. 
  Fabrics and techniques-  I used a gray sky fabric and the lovely Van Gogh print I've enjoyed so very much. I cut the letters 3 times before I liked the color and lettering choice. Pops of color with the red roofs of half submerged houses and the tiny boat. The spray of the wave was done with fusible angelina fiber. 
  I've used angelina fibers a few times for water, especially sprays and splashes. It is very delicate and I've used it on quilts that have travelled, but I've also had it get ripped by someone not taking good care of the piece, so be cautious on where and how the piece will be exhibited. Still, I love the effect it gives. I used to use parchment paper to fuse it (do not ever iron it directly or you will be cleaning your iron!)  but now I use the teflon sheets and it works great as well as being reusable. 
  I'm glad I got this one finished in time.  

Thursday, February 21, 2019

10-4 Pixelated Groot

I am Groot!
18.5 x 40.5
The Project Quilting challenge this week was "pixel play". 
I am not a big fan of Pixelated quilts and never really wanted to make one. But, I'm not one to give up on a challenge so I looked at options until I found a Groot image. 
I like Groot and I sure hope he comes back (somehow) in this latest movie my husband is looking forward to so much. I decided to get my nerd on. 
That was my last good decision on this piece. It's been a series of unfortunate choices from the very beginning. 
  • I chose to make it too small.
  • I chose the wrong interfacing.
  • That prompted a different decision in construction which was really wrong.
  • The fabric kept fraying (bad choice)
  • I kept trying to make it work and it got worse and worse. 
  • At a certain point, I felt it was a lost cause and didn't want to waste any more "good" fabric to the cause. 
  • I had a colonoscopy in the middle and lost time ( two days) working on this piece. I honestly think it wouldn't have helped it, but it made it impossible for me to start over. 
  • I like the image and will probably try it again sometime.
  • I will use better interfacing and bigger squares.
  • I will use better fabric.
But for now...
  • I will forgive myself for doing such a crappy job on this. 
  • I will take what I've learned and carry on.
  • I will see this as an aberration to my larger body of work.
  • Failure can teach too.

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Hawaiian dolphin pillow-PQ 10-3

Project Quilting 10-3

This week's challenge was, "bigger than a breadbox" and required that the entry be at least 16" x 8'. I decided to make a pillow and the dimentions are 17.5 x 17.5.

My local guild is gearing up for a "quilt day" which is a themed gathering of several local guilds (hosted by ours). The Theme is Hawaiian Tropical. I didn't see any reason why I couldn't make something for both this challenge and the quilt day later. 
I've just returned from Florida and felt like it would be a good way to remember an interesting day there, visiting the dolphins.
I've not made any Hawaiian quilts before, but I thought I'd give it a go. 

I looked at Pinterest and found a pattern by Stacy Michell called "Dancing Dolphins". It is made for a die cut, but I just cut it out by hand, since I'm not planning on making several of these. 
I used some batik fabrics I had and followed a technique of fusing a light underfacing to the back before doing a tiny satin stitch over the raw edges. I found it to be very helpful in stabalizing the edges and allowing the stitches to sit on top rather than sink into the backing. It's a new to me technique I will use again. 
The pillow back is a simple envelope closing. I've not made any pillows before, but this was a good project for me to try a design and techniques I'm not familiar with. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Project Quilting 10-2 Red, White and Blue


Making great use of the Park being closed, I had the chance to be in Florida for this week. I didn't bring any sewing stuff with me at all. I thought I'd just miss this one, but then an idea came to me and with limited materials and sewing by hand, I made a sailboat. 
  I just wanted to take it's picture on the beach, but the winds were SO high today that this was as far as I got without the entire boat flying away. 
  I used pellon stabilizer and quilted each piece of my boat before putting it together. I appliqued on the sails and I added the 98 to represent where I am. US 98, on the gulf coast. 

The waves are really kicked up today too.  Very beautiful as a study in whites and grays.

Just the other night, when the wind was calm, we were treated to a fabulous sunset. 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

10-1 Hope Springs eternal


12.5"x 13"

" Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul 
and sings the tunes without the words
and never stops at all."
                                                            Emily Dickenson 

Project Quilting Season 10 begins with the theme, "Hope Springs Eternal". 
I have spent years creating my art in a corner of my bedroom. I have patiently waited until my girls grew up and moved out. I made do with what space I had to create in. I was not willing to defer my creativity until things were perfect and I had great hopes that, someday, I would have more space to make my art in. 

That time has finally arrived. I painted and my husband spent a lot of time (and some blood) installing a new floor so I could start out with what I really wanted. I am still moving into my space. I have many of the major elements in place and now it's a matter of tweeking for efficency. But it's here and it's mine! This challenge piece was my first piece created in my new art space. I am hopeful that it is the first of many more beautiful things made here.

The fabrics I used include the left over piece from a baby quilt for our newest addition to the family, My husband's nephew's young son and a batik I fell in love with with aqua and fire combined. 

I chose Emily Dickenson's quote because she was mostly a hermit except for her corespondence with others. When I work, I meet thousands of people daily. I enjoy having this quiet time when the park is closed to recharge and focus on my home and art. 

Sunday, May 06, 2018

This week

  Thursday, I watched a man die. It was pouring down rain and I held my umbrella over the man as someone did CPR until first aid arrived. It was too late, despite all their efforts. ( Everyone worked with great effort to change the outcome.)  I don't know his name or where he was from or if he was in bad health, or if this was a complete shock to his family. I'm having trouble getting his face out of my mind.
  Friday, I held a beautiful baby boy. I don't know where the family was from and their ethnicity could be anything: Middle Eastern, Hispanic, Pakistani, South American, American Indian, or any combination of the aforementioned. He seemed happy to have me hold him and he loved all the pins on my name tag. Same as any other baby in the world. there's a comfort to that.
  A former student stopped by and she has two absolutely gorgeous babies and carrying her third. I have no doubt this one will be beautiful as well. I hope I'll hold that one too.
 I also found out my daughter became a meme. I'm not sure what that means, except that thousands of people have seen her in a photo, but then, thousands had already seen the photo and comments both good and bad upon it. It's been 8 or 9 years since the photo was taken and it remains active on the internet. Nothing goes away online.
  A coworker has pet chickens and doesn't much care about the eggs. I told her I'd take eggs. She brought in 4 dozen. I brought home two dozen.  As she loves a variety of types of chickens, the eggs were a lovely variety of shades of brown that look lovely in my egg basket on the counter.
 Saturday, the park had record attendance. Regardless of the fact that Marketing has something to answer for, I believe it all went really smoothly. I'm pleased that I had good sales and didn't have to hit the backup stock I've painted for busy days. I got to spend some time with my co-painter as we overlapped a couple hours. She paints roses with minimal effort. I'm so jealous. Since I went home earlier than most of my coworkers, I felt bad, so I made a cake. I used some of those gorgeous eggs.
The dogs went out. One refused to come in. I went to bed and woke up at 3 am. She wanted to come in then.
  Sunday the cake was a hit. The beautiful baby boy was back and I got to hold him again. He loved my pins again. ACES, the roller-coaster enthusiasts club was back and they love the new coaster. It was a much quieter day at work as most Sundays are. I got to visit with the guests more,  be more helpful around the store in general and let my drawing arm/ hand recuperate after all it's hard work Saturday. 
  I get to visit with some quilters tomorrow and finish putting my garden in and catch up with chore around here.