Sunday, April 28, 2013

Quilts For Boston


 The Boston Modern Quilt Guild is sponsoring an effort to make
quilts for the victims of the Boston Marathon Attack.

If you who are interested in making a quilt block for this effort
 or to donate fabric for the backs, you should go to the BMQG blog
for details.  Don't wait on this.  We are moving quickly. 

We've chosen the colors of the Boston Marathon: blue, yellow,
 gray and white for the quilt.  You can see some of the blocks
already done on our flickr group.

These are mine:


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

This is the very first time I've worked on a quilt without any looming deadlines and without any external factors influencing my design decisions.  It's not for anyone, just me, and I cast off any of the usual inhibitors, such as "I can't afford to go get more fabric!" Actually it's to exhibit in the Lowell Quilt Show, but that's not until August so it does set the bar a bit high but, given the time, that's just as I like it, a challenge without feeling overwhelmed by it.

This time I really went and got more fabric, including another trip up to Marden's in Maine.  Unfortunately I didn't realize that they close so early on weekends, but I still did some significant damage in a half hour!

Instead of having to rush, I could take my time and actually redo anything I wasn't satisfied with.  Well, that turned out to be almost every single square!  I have enough rejects to make another quilt!

The result is that I love every square of this quilt! 

But now I have my final design decisions ahead about how to finish it so I'm hoping some of you can help me make a good decision on this one.  I intend to Quilt As You Go (QAYG) this time! I've found some great tutes on this technique I'll share with you:
I'm inclined to go with Marguerita McManus' technique but I'm still open minded on this, although I did just order her book , "Finish (almost) Any Quilt: A Simple Guide to Adapting Quilts to Finish As You Go."
I have 2 reasons for wanting to add sashing.  One is to separate each block with a solid neutral to ease the view from so much pattern but also because these blocks are painstakingly cut to 12 inch squares and once I start to FMQ on these babies there's bound to be some serious distortion, so to keep the integrity of the blocks, I want to add on a border big enough to absorb the distortion and still end up with precisely squared blocks.  But what color?  Of course white is usually my first choice but I already have a fair amount of white built in so I have 2 colors I'm thinking of, though not locked into: 
 a very light grey/beige Kaffe Fassett's
 shot cotton used in the quilt
a tan broadcloth not used in the quilt but seems to compliment it
Any suggestions?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Discharge Dyeing

Here's a peek at a piece of what I've been doing.  Painted some discharge paste on dark blue cotton.

And I just received some more dyes and I'm looking forward to getting outside to do some dyeing and more dye painting!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

My Family Is Safe...

Sometimes I become so immersed in what I'm doing I become unaware of much else going on around me.  That's sort of where I've been this week but, of course, the outer world has forced itself into my consciousness with the insidious act of violence perpetrated on the marathon runners and innocent bystanders.  I was out and about town chasing down more fabric for my most recent project when I became aware of the turmoil "in town." (That's what we, who grew up in the Boston burbs call metropolitan Boston.)  My first thought was my son, Mark. I knew he must be there.  And he was - right there in Copley Square - but quickly at the end of my cell phone so I knew right away that he was fine, just trying to get home. Another ten minutes and he would have been right there where it all happened.  Another mother's son was not all right.  Neither was she or her daughter, and then another mother and another....this is NOT ok.  I hurt for them.  I pray for them.

My children are safe. My family is safe.  I am thankful for that!

Monday, April 8, 2013

True Expression

I want to know if the artist of this next piece reads science fiction.  She must - this shouts sci-fi to me - a beautiful, bold universal landscape.  Another painted piece, along with piecing, this draws you straight to it!

Two Thousand Seven, Elizabeth Busch
 This quilt speaks to me as a collage artist.  In the book, it's vertically arranged but this horizontal layout is how it was exhibited, and I believe, how it was meant to be.  Also, the colors in the book do not do this piece justice!  It's quite alive and very appealing to look at.
Desert Study Maryline Collioud-Robert
 Again, this next piece was upside down in the book if I remember accurately.  It's a textural master and a color spectacle!  Must be seen with your nose right up to it to thoroughly enjoy it.
Gold Canopy Gris, Tim Harding
 Night Rain, below, speaks to the inner me.  It's evocative of old and new meeting, colliding, integrating, remembering, experiencing - I love this!
Night Rain In Venice, Fenella Davies
One of the main themes that really took my breath away as I viewed this display is the raw bravery of experimentation and true expression. I aspire to be able to do least I'm working toward it, in small but strident steps in my fiber art.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Up Close

The Forest is the first quilt you see as you enter the exhibit and it is truly a treat to see in person,  The entire quilt is hand stitched and there's something about how each applique billows and falls with each stitch taken and so, as a whole, the piece becomes alive with color, texture and movement as in a symphony!

Close Up of The Forest, Misik Kim

The Forest, Misik Kim
  Town News is the funniest!  It depicts a small town in California by its police log in a delightfully quirky style of illustration.  I love the little eyes with legs on the lower left!

Town News, Linda McDonald

 This is the one piece I thought looked better in the books and photos than in person.  It just doesn't appear to be as cohesive in real life as it does in print.
Woman With Two Gents, Leslie Gabrielse

And this next piece is striking in its real up close and in your face craftsmanship!  Each stitch is lovingly taken and each thread expresses the artists natural affinity to the subject and the medium!  A joy to behold!

Cherished Times, Carolyn Crump



Saturday, April 6, 2013

I feel so inspired...

...I hope it doesn't wear off before I produce something!  We visited the Lowell Quilt Museum this afternoon and took in the Masters II exhibit - WOW!  It's one thing to see pictures of these quilts - I have the Masters books, but to see them in person is such a thrilling experience.  To see up close the texture and weight of the materials, the colors, the stitching, the luminescence, the layers, the varied sheens and sheers - well, I feel full, like after a good meal but with a buzz too!  

Here are a few of the quilts I saw.  Some photos of some of the quilts that I loved were way too blurry to post, although I chose to show some that are a wee bit fuzzy just so you could see what's there to see if you make it there before the exhibit closes on April 13th!

A Time To Dance, May 17th, Karin Franzen
this a lovely layered construction that HAS
 to be seen to be fully appreciated!
Waiting For Rain (close up), Margery Goodall
Incredible craftsmanship in this piece! Some of these strips
appear to be only about and eight of an inch wide.

Urubamba (close up), Jan Meyers-Newbury
When you see the whole quilt, it's gorgeous!  The colors and
textures of the hand dyed fabrics undulate even as they are
bound by geometric forms.

Frision Sky, Dirkje van der Horst-Beetsma
This is stunning in its' simplicity with some
amusing surprises in its construction.

I'll post more of these in the next few days, but before I go, lest you think I'm slacking off,
 here's one of the tasks I've been working on:

I'm trying to line them up according to value. Some of these groups of strips are 10 to 20 thick
and vary in length and width, although most are 1.5 inches wide.
 I really don't yet know how these strips will be incorporated into a quilt, but I'm in the process....


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Tree Study

A favorite old tree at Saint Mary's in Barnstable, MA
taken sometime in the eighties on an old SLR
 and scanned in.  These hardwoods were  indigenous 
to the Cape but now all we inherited
are mostly scrub pines.