Friday, April 30, 2010

April Interpret This

Here's the photo:

And then we have the good, the bad, and the ugly. Which is which?

This is version three, the official one.  You can read more at the Interpret This! blog.

Down to the Root
14 x 12, machine applique and quilting

Version one:
8 x 11

This lay unfinished, in pieces on my worktable, until last weekend because I was so unhappy with it, but then since I wasn't happy with the others either, I thought I'd finish it. So here it is.  It looks much better finished, and I actually like the way I pieced in the diagonals.  Also, it was good quilting practice.  I wish I'd thought of the free-motion zig-zag for version two.

Version two:

Untitled 2 (Working title: The Big Root)
12 x 11 (in reality)

 I'm cheating here.  It's actually almost square, but it occurred to me that it would have been less boring if I had elongated the root.  Through the wonders of Photoshop, I have done that.  Except that the rocks are now oddly shaped, it looks better this way.  I hope I can remember this technique in the future, not to use after the fact, but in the planning process.

So there you have all my dirty little secrets.  April is truly the cruelest month.  And to continue the T.S. Eliot theme, we're ending April not with a bang but a whimper. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Anne Lullie Workshop

I spent a very enjoyable afternoon yesterday at a workshop presented by Anne Lullie, one of the "Chicago School of Fusing" quilters.  We used some of her beautiful rainbow gradation hand-dyes to create a fused piece of our own.  It's was terrific fun, very relaxed and spontaneous.  Most of the group are traditional quilters, and many had never done any fusing before, so it was wonderful to see how everyone took to the process and how pleased they were with what they produced.

I had intended to blog about the workshop, but forgot my camera.  (Age, maybe?)  Here's a picture of some of the fabric with its lovely clear colors.   I also bought, and used, a less saturated version.

 The workshop pack was pre-fused, a wonderful thing for me because WonderUnder and I do not get along, but maybe I learned something about that too.  We'll see.  Anyway, I bought an extra 3/4 yard of pre-fused, and a piece of unfused also, so there may be some of this fabric showing up in future work.  I left the piece I started at the workshop unfinished because I wanted more time to think about what more it needed.

Also, reveals have started in the Interpret This! challenge; three pieces have already been posted, and are worth seeing.  Go take a look.

Friday, April 23, 2010

One More Dress

Up early, I finished one more little dress, and changed the ties on the one on the left.  Cute.  Now that I've worked out the best way to finish armholes and make ties, I could go on.  But I think it's time to think about  the Hoffman Challenge.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Change of Pace

I finished my Interpret This! piece for April  and have taken the chance to take a break and do some other types of sewing.

Our guild is making and sending dresses to Africa with a member who will be going there in a few weeks.  We're using information from Little Dresses for Africa, a project you can read about on their web page.   One way to make the dresses is from gently used pillowcases, and I made one that way.  But since I've got stash fabric that is suitable, why not use it?    These are easy to make, and quick.  I made the pillowcase one in less than half an hour last night, and the from scratch one in a bit more today.

My other project was to make pillowcases for the twins.  I had the brainstorm of piecing their names into the band.  When you have young geniuses who can find "A for Aidan" and "C for Conor" on cereal boxes, you should celebrate, right?  I wish I'd paid a bit more attention to fabric choices, but these were fun.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Chicago Quilt Fest

Here are the highlights from my highly biased viewpoint.

I always like In the American Tradition exhibit, contemporary spins on traditional patterns.  Here's a favorite, all polka dots and stripes.  It's appropriately named Sunny Side Up, made by Tamna Tarr.

Another dependable highlight is Hands All Around, quilts from around the world.  This year's Japanese best, Spring Field by Akiko  Kawata:

Love, love, love this quilt.  (I actually like dandelions, too.)

Here's one I liked from Tactile Architecture,  Remembering Sweden, by Helena Scheffer.

And this should be familiar:

I bet the Hoffman Challenge people will never again choose such a drab fabric for the challenge.  Although the individual quilts are striking, the overall impression of the exhibit is dull.  Most people stuck to that earth tone palette, with only a couple of brave souls adding red, or in one case a reddish purple.

The best part, which I can't show, was the SAQA exhibit,  SAQA @20.  This was fabulous.  These quilts are art, no matter how you want to argue about the definition.  If this exhibit comes near you, it's well worth seeing.

And as a final note, this is the last year for this show in Chicago.  Apparently there have been many complaints about the venue, so next year the spring show goes to Cincinnati.  Too bad for those of us here; Cincinnati is not a day trip.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tomorrow,  I'm taking a bus trip to the Chicago International Quilt Festival.  I always have mixed feelings about this show.  The crowd is too large for the venue, or the venue is too small, and the press of people is unpleasant.  I also don't like the way the vendors overshadow the quilts, but I guess that's the way it is at all shows.  Still, I would hate to miss it, and am looking forward to the beautiful exhibits, and some of the vendors,  and especially to seeing my quilt, I Dreamed of an Elephant, in the Hoffman Challenge exhibit.  If anyone will be there tomorrow and would like to say hi, email me, and we can arrange a quick meeting.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Tulips, Art, and a Rock Slide

When I showed the postcard on the left to my husband, he said, "What is that?  Is that a mango?"  Since this is a photograph of a tulip, printed on fabric and fused to painted fabric, I can't think my drawing skills are at fault this time.  Then I showed him the other one:  "Now that's a tulip.  I can tell that's a tulip!"  Isn't it odd that a grade-school level stamp of a tulip looks more like a tulip than the real thing does?  That says something profound about art, I think, but I'm not sure what.  Of maybe it just says something about Bob.

And speaking of art, I am now on Plan B for Interpret This.  As often happens, I had the idea when I was half awake this morning.  I'm hoping it will look as good on paper and cloth as it did in my drowsy brain.

Friday, April 02, 2010

What's Going On

Here's the new Interpret This photo.  My first reaction was that it's almost too easy to do the first thing that came to mind, so that means either a) I'm totally wrong about how easy it is, or b) if it's too easy, then it won't be interesting.  (Am I a pessimist, or what?)  Anyway, I pulled some fabric, made some notes, and things are simmering/festering/maturing in the creative part of the brain.

 I'm also working on the Hoffman challenge,  after waltzing around the idea for several days.  I have an idea and have been pulling fabrics for that too.  Today I made a paste up, played with it in Photoshop, and may start some actual sewing later.   All I'll say is that the colors will look a lot like the blocks I posted recently.  The Hoffman stuff was lying on a table nearby while I worked, and it looked lovely with those fabrics.  You see, a cluttered work area does encourage creativity!

Have a wonderful Easter weekend, everybody.