Friday, July 30, 2010

This chair has my name on it. Sunset Cove on Lake Nipissing in Ontario, Canada. One week of relaxation in a cottage on the lake.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Nancy Crow's Workshop (Boot Camp?) ....Awesome!

Nancy Crow, my quilt and me. You can't see how sleep deprived I was in this picture! My week at QBL was a whirlwind of creativity, sewing, good food and great company. I loved every minute.
Nancy was demanding in her rigorous assignments to sew strips into fabrics using line & shape (defined by the width of a strip) and color & value gradations.
I am not able to discern a warm or cold color, I need to work on that. Value in fabrics, don't see it. I can, however, intuitively put colors into gradation of value. Go figure.
Our first exercise was in black & white. Strips of each in varying widths were used to make a composition. In my critique Nancy remarked that the top half was not grounded, but the bottom had good figure to ground composition. She is an artist and composition is what she does.
I love the little square/line thing going on throughout the piece and would like to do more with that element.
Then we got into color. Lots of color all over the room!
Seemingly miles of strips in many complicated variations kept me sewing til 2 AM one night and past 11 PM each other night. (not unusual in her workshops). We were all in the "zone". I love that feeling. Susan, the woman who set up camp next to me said it was like we all didn't want to disappoint Nancy. She makes it clear she expected hard work and we all delivered. There is a lot to be said for high expectations.
Below are some of fabrics I made.

I love black (obviously) and deep color (obviously) and find working with light/bright color more challenging (obviously).
The middle strip was my favorite fabric. I knew I would begin with that.
Nancy assigned a ribbon quilt formation (basically a stripped quilt or strips inside a rectangular formation) 4'x8' or 7' or 6'. (mine was on the diminutive side of 4'x6' coming in at a little over 3'x5'...
My progression to final piece. I do like it.  I truly love the center bit...the not-rigid structure, the color, the lines.
I need to decide how to quilt it now.
Rewarding experience.
I will save the the pics of the class projects for another day. I need to do some things around here! My mower broke and a few acres of lawn already need to be cut.
I forgot about the Buffalo Garden Walk tomorrow with Sandy and Carol.

I have learned:
  1. Nancy began class with a disclaimer that she is NOT mean. She IS not mean. Just demanding (her own words).
  2. How exhilarating it is to be amongst women that "get" my passion for all things fiber and creative. 
  3. I CAN stay up past midnight!
  4. Spell check is back on blogger. Good.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Summer Days

The tag said thistle when I bought this a few years ago. I love the green, spiky head.

I have nothing new to show! I have been stitching on a block, but not done. I have the bones of my freedom quilt on the wall.

I am working on getting all my supplies, mounds of fabric, clothes, more fabric and all the other bits I will need at QBL next week. Registration is Sunday afternoon, should be about a 2.5 hour drive. My class with Nancy Crow starts early Monday and from what I hear, I will be consumed by it. I welcome that! I am going by myself, which I  prefer since I don't have to be concerned with socializing~~ the kind that knowing someone would make you engage in vs. new acquaintance socializing. I want to be in the zone.

After a weekend of trying to get my machine to run smoothly (thanks for trying Melanie!) I took it to the dealer yesterday after work and picked it up today after work! I am happy.All fixed, cleaned and ready for improvisational strip piecing.

Had a wonderful afternoon at Marthas Pig Roast and celebrated her 50 years of living!

I have learned:
  1. "Flickendecke" is the German word for crazy quilting...thanks Elaine! My CQ friends will like that. Say it fast 10 times!
  2. That Singer Er10 embellishing machine is AWESOME! I made fabric with it Saturday within 20 minutes after I took it out of the box. Easy.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Katazome Class, Day 2!

A sampling of day 2 in my katazome class. My "One Blue Fish" is second from right. We painted over the dry rice paste resist with pigment paints Karen mixed up in these great muted shades. They all look rather messy don't they? But next week (yes! NEXT week) we can soak the paste off in water and see what grows up.

My second piece is going to be spectacular! I love the golden yellow, charcoal black and crimson combination and once the paste is removed.....I am so anxious!!
Diane did an all over color wash, five layers of color...over a fern stencil. It glows. I can't wait to see what this looks like next week.
My favorite Karen Illman Miller piece. That tree is from one of her intricate, hand cut stencils.
I learned so many things in this class. I appreciate that it is very labor intensive, that you are fully engaged in each step, that it is completely toxin free and that it is doable. Karen has availed herself online to her students for questions and information on supply vendors. Her love of the craft is evident.

If I were a felted vessel this is what I would look like! Anne, one of the lovely women in my class and a member of RAFA (Rochester Area Fiber Artists) brought this wet felted vessel she created to show. Love the organic shape, the pebbles and the swirly bits!

I am thinking.....of what to do.....for my Bra for a Cause! Was thinking crowny points....then a thistle (flower) ran through my mind.....then the crown idea was in question since the bra is very shaped, not straight across...then "the girls" was an idea, you know, two girl faces, but then I don't know how I would make faces, but wild spiky hair sounds I am only at this stage still. A paper pattern pinned as a preview for something! I have til the end of August.
THEN I started on my art quilt for the Bakers Dozen blog. A group of 13 women that my friend Thearica gathered up. We all are part of  HGTV message board and some of have actually met. It is a diverse and interesting little clan of creative souls. I am happy to be amongst them and to be motivated to make things!
The first theme is "freedom". We can do whatever we want which is magic to the mind. About a year ago I sketched a little something and knew someday it would become a quilt. I don't want to give it away before our reveal, so here is a little part of the sketch.
Today I got out the cheap little projector I bought from ebay last year, taped a piece of fabric to the wall, pulled the shades and penciled in the image BIGGER. Thanks to Marylee for the idea and then actually remembering I had one!
Picked the color/fabrics out and hope to get the embellishing machine out tomorrow on her maiden voyage!

I have learned:
  1. That I gotta go....I am picking up a pizza, going to Melissa's where Ian & Darcy are staying during the week in July. 
  2. Darcy is giving me a pedicure!! So worth it! She is excellent and my feet are aching.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Katazome cool

Just a quick post about my first, of a two day class, with Karen Miller, learning the Japanese technique called katazome. RAFA, Rochester Area Fiber Artists, allowed me to be a fill in for my friend Sharon. Thank you all!
I love every step in the process so far! We chose two designs from her collection of images and spent a couple of hours diligently cutting them out with a very small #11 exacto blade. Exciting to see your stencil take shape while learning to wield the knife. I didn't get a picture of my two I see, so tomorrow I will be sure to get one.  Fine silk is adhered to the stencils next using  black enamel paint and a roller. The paing and the type of paper you use makes for a very substantial stencil. Tomorrow we can print with them. Fun!
In the afternoon, Karen demonstrated how to apply the rice paste resist (which we made in the morning)then she graciously let us use her stencils to apply paste to a couple pieces of fabric.
It was a very full day with an hour ride each way, so I am sufficiently whooped.  My mind is reeling with ways I would use this technique.

It is hot. So hot." Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"  hot. "Some People Like it Hot".

I have learned:
  1. My friend Sandy has had a lymph node that has tested positive for cancer. She begins chemo again. Please include her in your prayers as this has proven to be a great comfort to her over the last 18 months. Sucks.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

Who can say it better than Bob? Everyone in Batavia knows him by his red Jeep that roams the roads decorated (and by that I mean DECORATED!) for each holiday. I love his get up! He is serious in a completely endearing way.
This and other sites to behold were part of 4th of July.......
A true small town gathering in  beautiful Centennial Park. There were not a lot of craft vendors but  I did find this awesome woman selling little works of art. Real collaged cards .I love collage. Always have. (I need to do more of it because it IS my mind!)  I bought 3 cards, but wish I had purchased more after really looking at them.
Michelle's baby will get this welcome. 
The artist is from Pennsylvania and was up visiting her mom. While admiring her work she was so gracious. An artist that does what she does for love of the process....for her it's cutting up little bits of paper & making mini works of art! Making money doing it is secondary.
Do check out her website.

I don't have fantasical gardens but what I have managed to create are a few areas of flowering/foliage that I love. 

I have learned:

  1. The Sketchbook Project. Maybe. I would choose "this is not a sketchbook" theme since I don't sketch or draw. Fibers would be my medium. Thinking..... 
  2. Somerset Studio. New editor, refreshed & I am buying it.
  3. Melissa on her own cell plan now! I will inherit her Blackberry. I need Blackberry 101, 102 & 103 lessons! me!
  4. Under the Dome by Stephen King, the 1074 pg. tome I am good. But heavy. Heavy as in it must weigh 8 pounds!
  5. Bras for a Cause. Due August 30th. Will be displayed in GoArt! gallery in September this year. If you are local consider making one. 36C is the standard. A molded cup is best. Salvation Army. I picked up a pretty lacy Victoria's Secret number for 1.99. I have a couple of ideas!