Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Autumn Leaf Warm-up

I used this wonderful tutorial for an oak leaf and acorn to warm up.

It's available at: http://theinboxjaunt.com/2014/10/14/the-oak-leaf-and-acorn-free-motion-quilt-tutorial/

  And the finished motif with an additional line of quilting around the leaves.  I used a piece of my own hand-dyed cotton sateen, a wool batt, and a bit of decor-bond to stabilize the back. I think it would be nice as part of a bag.  

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Monochromatic 2 Challenge - Construction

In the previous post I showed the finished piece.  Following is the sequence of construction.

I drew the outline, some of the spots, and the eye on this commercial batik with a washaway marker.

The inks I used are lined up and you can see a tiny sample of each color on the side of the fabric next to the bottles of inks.

Using temporary adhesive spray I attached a piece of wool batting to the wrong side and stitched around the outline with a medium orange thread.

After the initial stitching, I inked in the eye, spots, and shadow.

I arranged all the threads I might want to use in order of value.

This is a closer view of the inked portion before I added more thread. 

I used straight stitching on the eye with four different threads.  I used a couple of different weights because I wanted a lot of color and texture variation.  I used a free motion zig zag stitch to give the rest of the gecko the appearance of scales, using brown thread on the spots and orange for the rest. The blue ink was rinsed away after this.

The back before I cut away the excess batting.

Then it was layered with another piece of wool batt and DecorBond, then quilted.

This is my model in repose in another shot. She is actually more gold/yellow and black.  I used my artistic license to make her orange and brown for the challenge.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Monochromatic 2 Challenge

16.5" by 11.75"

This is my work for the "Monochromatic 2" challenge at Art Quilts Around the World. There is terrific texture that doesn't show up in this photo because it is cloudy today.  I will replace the photo when the sun comes out.

A detail of the eye.

And the back side.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

I have not been a very good blogger of late.  Life keeps getting in the way of blogging.  I was invited to participate in a blog hop by my good friend Beth (who blogs here).  I was supposed to nominate three more to participate, but I procrastinated too long and couldn't find any one.  So any of my regular blogging friends or anyone who is not yet a friend who would like to participate and be one please comment below and I'll add you to the post.

I am supposed to answer four questions:

What am I currently working on?  Well.  I have several projects going on.  The photo above is the one I promised a month or so ago when I expressed my dissatisfaction with my current projects.  I got out the Caribbean hand dyes and paired them with white and viola!  Beautiful ocean colors that just make me happy, happy, happy!

And they pair so well with these beautiful greys that are so popular and readily available right now. 

Another project I am working on was going to be a blog post.  I will share it briefly here, but there will be more in the future.

Hexies!  I took this class on a whim at my guild's annual quilt academy and had no idea how utterly addictive these are.  

The other thing I am working on is my monochrome challenge for Art Quilts Around the World.  It will be revealed on the blog tomorrow and I will post here after that.  Stay tuned...

How does my stuff differ from others?  Probably because of my utter fearlessness to go where others fear to tread.  I mix traditional with contemporary with experimental.  I love to try new things and incorporate them into old things.

Why do I create what I do?  Simple.  It's cheaper than therapy.  I prefer to make stuff.  The alternative?  Ax murderer?

How does my writing process work?  This is a tough one.  I am a writer by trade and training.  I love to write.  Sometimes I include poems and short stories on my blog.  I would include food, but I fear it would take over.  I made a decision when I started this blog that I would focus on fiber and visual art, so adding some photography is ok.  I will save the food for another forum.  

Now thanks to Beth, I have given up more personal information than I am really comfortable with. I am trying to be a better blogger, but I have teens living with me and I would rather make stuff than write about it right now.  I have a couple of posts drafted, so I expect to improve.  Now I have to dress in my mother-of-the-teen clothes and go to back to school night.  -back soon!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Photos

 I haven't seen any egrets at the pond since last May.  I noticed this one hanging around last weekend, but couldn't get close enough for a photo that showed more than a white blob along the shore line.  Patience paid off and Rosie and I saw him in the little bay next to the park yesterday.

Fish for breakfast is good.

These little flowers grow along side of the boardwalk through the pond.

Lots of ducks hatched this year and they're still hanging around.  These are mostly immature mallards.

And this lovely Great Blue heron snuck away when I looked down to take a picture of a flower.  I looked up and he was gone.  

Monday, August 18, 2014

Time for a New Palette

 I've been using these colors and fabrics for a couple of years now.  I still don't have enough blocks for the quilt I was picturing in my mind, but I was very dissatisfied with this last block.

Mine is the one in the middle row, one over from the right.

It's a nice block.  But it doesn't make me go, "yeah!"

So I put all the blocks from this group up on my little wall and took this photo.  They're nice.  But they don't make me go, "Wow!" anymore.  I think I'm just tired of the fabrics.  I do love them, but I need something new.  So I folded them up and put them and all the corresponding fabrics on a shelf and got out some new stuff.

Stricker's Pond, Madison, Wisconsin
Early July, 2014

My daughter took this pic of me in front of the sunset over Stricker's Pond a couple of nights ago.

I thought it was a good way to say goodbye for a while to those fabrics that I love.  I'll go back to them sometime, but I need to give them a rest.

Next post:  some new colors!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Green Herons

Because I am lucky enough to live in an area that values its wetlands, I can walk to a number of ponds that are teeming with wildlife.  

I recently upgraded my camera situation and thought I would share some of my photos here.  I'm going to try for once a week and no more than five or six pics; which should keep them from becoming boring.  

Generally, I am taken with the large birds, sandhill cranes, great blue herons, egrets, etc.  And I love the colorful ones too.  But I've been lucky enough to capture a bunch of photos of these little green herons.

Almost every night during the summer, I can see them fishing from the lily pads.  They use twigs and other matter to lure the fish.  

This guy was hanging out on the water grate.  I assume he was fishing, but I watched him for a while and all he did was hop around from pole to pole.  

 This is an immature green heron fishing by the side of the new retaining pond.   I did have to crop this photo to get the image large enough to see.

And here is a green heron keeping sentry on a log out in the pond with a set of turtles.  That big old snapper is a bit scary.

Yes, this last one puts me right at  my self-imposed allotment, but I love the way the light hits the heron.

For a better view, click on the photos.