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.  

"Not Quite as the Crow Flies"

"Not Quite as the Crow Flies"

16.5" by 11.5"

Created for the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Challenge at Art Quilts Around the World.

I usually dislike these kind of challenges.  I tend to save and recycle everything anyway, so it wasn't necessary for me to have a specific challenge to do that.  

However.  When this was announced, I had previously made arrangements to gift another artist a couple of bags of the tiny scraps from my little hand-sewing project.  Mainly because I recently drastically downsized my living arrangements;  I just can't keep everything anymore.  Fortunately, I still had the baggies full of tiny scraps and used them for the leaves on my tree.  

The crow was drawn on a leftover scrap of fabric from my scrap fused fabric bin.  I used fabric, paint, and beads from my stash for the rest.  I did have to purchase a new spool of black thread, but that was because the one I was using disappeared and I would have needed another one anyway.  

This piece reflects my main impetus for recycling -- to save our environment for the wild things.  I took a winding path to get here, hence: the title.  

Monday, July 28, 2014

Tiny Beaded Dragonflies

I needed something to fill up a corner of my next piece for Art Quilts Around the World, so I am making these tiny beaded dragonflies. Consider this a sneak peek in advance of the July 31 unveiling. 

My computer needed service after lightning struck the line outside my house last night, so I'm doing this on my iPad.  My apologies for the rather primitive post. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Woodland Ridge: The Walk

 Directly behind the building at Woodland Ridge Retreat is a path through the woods that leads to this beautiful lake.

I walked down there in the afternoon and, since I forgot the bug spray, became fresh meat for the local  insect population.

I heard lots of bird sounds, but it was hot and they were hiding in shady places.

On my last morning, I walked down the road to the trail.

I enjoyed the view of the river from the trail bridge.

There were interesting webbed creations on some of the bushes.

The view through the bridge coming back.  I am so looking forward to returning here and perhaps spending a day walking the trail.

And this is my unfinished piece.  That is a chalk outline of a heart at the lower right that I am currently cogitating.  It's for after the dashes in the upper right corner.  

Monday, July 21, 2014

Dots and Dashes at Woodland Ridge Retreat

 Last week I was fortunate enough to take a class with my friend Lisa Binkley (you can find her blog here) at my friend Chris Daly's Woodland Ridge Retreat in Downsville, Wisconsin.

Three days of stitching and fabulous food: all in a wonderful wooded setting in northern Wisconsin - as close to heaven as I've been lately.

We started with these hand-dyed cotton pieces layered over a thin batting and with cotton fabric on the back.   We had a pack of beads, some threads and a couple of needles.

You can see some of Lisa's work on the wall behind the ladies stitching.

I think these were taken after the second day of stitching.

That's mine on the upper right corner.

Here we all are at the end of the second day.

And after three days of stitching.

Next up:  the area surrounding Woodland Ridge Retreat.  I walked to the lakes behind the retreat and down the Red Cedar Trail a bit and I have some photos of the beautiful woods and water in the area immediately adjacent.