Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year & It's finally done!!!

This will be my last post of 2010.   I've done way better on blogging this year than last year.   Hopefully - next year will see even more posts (if anyone out there is reading them).

Finally done (well except for the hanging sleeve) is my quilt for the RAFA Arts Council show to be held in March.   Our RAFA (Rochester Area Fibre Artists) will have a display at the Rochester Arts Council office for the entire month of March.   Last year I didn't have one in their show - I was new to the group, didn't have time after it was announced - blabbity, blabbity, blabbity!  When I saw the book they published with all the pictures, I knew I wanted to be in it this year.   I almost wasn't - due to the move and all, I sort of lost my impetus and steam on finishing projects.   But the idea for my quilt was always percolating in the back of my head and a small voice was telling me I could still get it done in time.   So, I charged ahead, starting right after Thanksgiving - a month later it is done.

 This was the inspiration photo on the left!
The photo on the right was of the orange lichen
all over the side of the gorge.

 At the left is the completed quilt.  I used 2 different
fabrics, cut different size strips of each and put them
together Ricky Tims style.   I thought they fit perfectly.

On the right is a closeup of the leaves and the cheesecloth I added below the leaves.   The leaves are done entirely of thread - lots and lots and lots of thread.

There are bright orange beads to depict the orange lichen on the walls.
Another closer viewof the cheesecloth.

All in all, I'm very happy with this quilt. I tried some different techniques and am please with the texture they added.

My resolution for the new year is to find more time for play and for my creative endeavors.   I am grateful for my artsy friends who keep me inspired with their ideas and their support.    My wish is for a healthy and prosperous new year for all of us.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

RAFA Quilt

My RAFA quilt continues to "take shape".   I seem to stop and procrastinate over each step - but, it's getting there.   If you don't remember, the theme for this show is "On The Edge" - portrayed anyway you want it.   I chose to portray the edge of the wall at Stony Brook Park near Dansville, NY.   It is an adaptation of a photograph I leichen on the dark walls and a single plant with these leaves coming out between the stones almost at the very bottom.

I started out by creating these leaves.   They are totally done with threadwork.  Lots and lots and lots of thread - at least 6 different colors of thread to give shape & dimension & texture.   I LOVE them - they add so much dimension.   Here they are just pinned to the background.

Yesterday they were appliqued to the background.

I struggle to get a good picture of the beading.   I wanted to portray the orange lichen I saw on the walls, a friend suggested I add orange beads.   It's great, they are the exact color of the deeper orange in the fabric and they do add texture.   They just "wimp out" in a picture.

This is the most recent step - adding the stems to the leaves and then some cheesecloth, dyed with Dyna Flo.   I love what the cheesecloth does for the piece.   I may add some more along the bottom.  

I left this picture bigger as you might discern some of the beads in the orange parts near the top and left side.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Straight Line Quilting

It doesn't sound very complicated, but it adds such a nice dimension to a quilt - especially when curves in stitching or gradations of fabric are present.   I'm doing one such thing now.   Varying size strips of 2 batiks were stitched together - Ricky Tims style.   I started quilting the gradations, but then saw some straight line quilting and decided I wanted to try that.  It's not stitch in the ditch - it's straight lines across the quilt; 1/4 inch apart.

This is the general look with the 2 fabrics.   The color isn't exactly the colors of the fabric as the 2 different batiks tend to meld together better than this.

Another view - you can see some of the stitching - it looks crooked because of the gradations, but it isn't.   This is just to be a background for some dimensional leaves.   In the orange sections I will portray - lichen.   How?   I'm not sure yet - but I have a couple of ideas.   It needs to pop off the quilt and be dimensional.

Much better colors of the background - and these are the thread embroidered leaves I will be attaching.

Reverb10 for December 23.

Prompt: New name. Let's meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why?
Easy - my alter-ego name is "EJ - my initials without my last name!   Why?   I think it sounds like someone who is cute, spunky, energetic, creative, popular (everyone wants her around).  

Reverb10 for December 22

Prompt: Travel. How did you travel in 2010? How and/or where would you like to travel next year?

Easy:   My big travel was a cruise.   We were aboard the Carnival Glory for a trip to New England, Canada, Nova Scotia etc.   It was our 40th anniversary celebration with good friends of ours.   We had a fantastic, supper, wonderful, unforgettable time together.   I'd do it again in a heartbeat.   It was noteworthy as I went out of my comfort zone to travel in a different way - one where I gave up control, just different than I had done before........and most thought I would never follow through on.

Next year?    I don't know - we're hoping for another joint trip - maybe to warmer weather!!!!   Having said that - I'd still like to go to Alaska sometime!!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bathroom Reno is completed!!!

Not much to write about in fibre arts, music or gardening..........but........I do have a new bathroom.   When we moved the bathroom here was SO bad, I knew it was the first thing to tackle and I couldn't wait.   I jokingly said last night that "I finally have a bathroom that is worthy of me"!!!   Here are some pics - you decide for yourself!!!

Lovely isn't it..........NOT!   Notice the harvest gold tile - the oversized vanity and the general lack of any style!

Mind-renovation!   The tub is filled with the ugly harvest gold tile and the walls are right down to the studs!

Voila!!!!!!!!!   The new and improved!  
The color is called "Spa Pool"!   I knew I wanted it when I first saw it. 
 I'm so pleased with the whole new look!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

RAFA Challenge

I'm working on my piece for the RAFA art quilt show in March, 2011.   It isn't really a challenge so much as a "call" to make a quilt for the show.

I posted embroidered leaves a few days ago - that is part of the piece.   I've been working on the background and have gone thru several ideas to bring forth the idea of "the wall".      After seeing the "Quilts=Art=Quilts" show at the Schweinfurth Art Center in Auburn, i decided I want to try a straight line quilting idea.   I was going to just quilt around the areas of the fabric, but changed my mind on that today.   (I am very good at picking out my quilting when I change my mind - I do it often enough).

I was going to show my art quilting group this work tonight and get some ideas, but the snow forced us to cancel.   Now I'm on my own!! are some more teasers!   The colors aren't showing up really's the best I could get tonight.

The top strip of fabric shows one of the strips before any quilting.

The bottom of this picture is after adding the straight line quilting.   (there is a different strip of fabric in the middle).
Another shot of the fabric!
Another view of the quilting.   I just LOVE this thread - it looks way better than this picture and all the different colors in the thread are highlighting the fabric.   It is a "King Tut" thread - heavy - uses a heavy needle.

Reverb 10 - December 14

Prompt: Appreciate. What's the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it?

This is another easy one!   I've come to appreciate my little group of art quilting friends.   They are always there to support and encourage me and they keep me going and make me think that I really can do this.

I try to express my gratitude for them by being available and offering to help if they are going thru a hard time.

Almost, almost!!!!

Today I'm painting.....(not onf abric either)'s almost starting to be worth it!!!

The wall above the shower meets the ceiling!!

Reverb 10 - December 13 Prompt:

When it comes to aspirations, its not about ideas. It's about making ideas happen. What's your next step?

This is easy for me!!!   I plan to simplify my quilting and projects to those I really want to do and to enter some shows or challenges.   I'm currently working on 2 challenges - they will be art quilts for 2 shows.   One of them may go on to another show later in the year!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Reverb 10 - December 12

December 12 –

Body Integration This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present? (Author: Patrick Reynolds)

Another hard one.   I reach this state most often during meditation or those rare times I do Yoga.   On a different level, I can almost reach this state when I am either creating my art or somehow otherwise engaged in viewing or appreciating my art.   Viewing Art quilt shows, programs, workshops etc. takes me to a new level - one where I am totally immersed in what I am seeing, how it is done, how I think I might do it, can I do it?   Do I want to do it?   If I am "in the zone" while creating - my quilts will "almost make themselves".   It's like I'm not doing it, it is just happening without a lot of conscious effort.

Not sure if this is the intention of this prompt........but it is what spoke to me.

Reverb 10

December 11

11 Things What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life? (Author: Sam Davidson)

Wow - this is a hard one!

1.  Expectations
2.  Stress
3.  More Expenses
4.  People who make it all about them....
5.  Quilt Show Meetings   (not going to be on the next quilt show committee)
6.  Negativity
7.  Clutter   -  (Routinely going through possessions to weed out those I don't need)
8.  Excess Body Weight   - (Continuing on with Weight Watchers)

                   Most of these are routine, generic things that most people will say they don't need.   I am in a conscious desire to make my life simpler with more play time and less time given to demands of others.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Reverb 10

I just joined a new group called "Reverb 10".    It is a 31-day challenge - check it out here!!!   Be sure to read all of it and check out the prompts!   I'm late in starting, but I was allowed to sign up anyway.   You are to reflect on one word, a different word, for each of the 31 days of December.   Today's word is    Wisdom - as noted below!   You can reflect in any way you want, but are supposed to post it to your blog.    Some days I may create something - for today, I'm just writing!!!

December 10 – Wisdom Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway)

The wisest decision we made this year was to move from our older 2 story house, to a new one story ranch house.   It was a decision long in the making and not without its share of angst, sadness & joy.   We moved to that house 33 years ago, I raised both of my daughters in that house, we had remodeled that house and made it our own.   On the outside, it was the showplace of the block as I had turned my entire front yard into gardens.     I had remade the backyard into a nice oasis getaway for us.   So, why move you may ask?

The neighborhood had become horrible - neighbors next door were impossible to live with, the language was horrible, the abuse of their family members was horrible and it had become horribly depressing and we couldn't even enjoy our house or gardens in the summer.

So, we found a perfect little ranch we could afford and moved the end of October!   Admittedly it is for the best and we are much more at peace here, we have more room, the house is a newer home.........but there are days "I still want to go home"!    I don't do change well anyway and it still doesn't totally feel like my home.   I feel like I'm living in someone else's house.   That's the result of being in the former place 33 years and not doing change well.   But it gets better each day as I change this or that to make it suit us and as I decorate for Christmas, I find it more "homey".   We are now making it our home with changes here and there (including bathroom remodel).   I know in my head it is for the best - I know in my head it will be a nicer more peaceful place to live (it already is), but I'm still waiting for my heart to catch up.

I'm a quilter and specifically now, more an art quilter, and as I create more, I feel better here.   As I hang my quilted treasures and put them out, I feel better here.   I know it was a truly wise decision to have finally taken this is still "playing out".

Thursday, December 2, 2010

'Tis Winter Now!!!

The first snow in my new house!!!    The whole street is just gorgeous - snow sticking to everything - a true winter wonderland.   I haven't taken any other pictures on the street, or in my backyard, but I should as we don't often get this kind of snow that stays clinging to the trees and bushes.

I don't have any quilting things to post right now, but I have been busy.   My "guild gift" is almost done - or at least one I can use for that.  I actually have a couple of things in the works and may have to pick between them.

Earlier this week my horoscopoe said I needed more creative time.   It said I didn't need more structure, I needed more playtime.   I decided to take that to heart and have been allowing some "creative time" each day.