Little Wallets

2 Wallets
2 Wallets

I started the purple wallet before Christmas last year to give as a gift, but never finished it. I finally got another package of snaps and finished it. I am a little short on handwork right now, so it made sense. It will be a gift, but for whom, I don’t know.

The Skull wallet goes with the Jane Market Tote bag I gave to Lil Sissy. Poor girl. I gave her her gifts over a month rather than all at once, nicely wrapped on the day. All I can say is that I hope the dribs and drabs method made the day last longer.

Skull Wallet Open
Skull Wallet Open

That is not one of my new, cool Photoshop Elements backgrounds. That is trying to get rid of the background and running out of time to figure out what I was doing wrong. It looks pretty cool, I think. I tried to center some interesting motifs on the inside, so when she opened it, she would see some skeletons. Hope she likes it.

By the way, this pattern is good for bus passes! I saw one made with a loop and clip on it, which I thought was a good modification.

Photoshop Elements Class

Denver Flower Mashup
Denver Flower Mashup

This Pièce de résistance for the Photoshop Elements class I took yesterday. It is not that useful for quiltmaking, but I am pleased that it came out well and is pleasing to the eye. I also learned a lot in that class and this piece shows a lot of what I learned.

I am so glad that people came out and took the class. I was nervous up until earlier this week when Lynn sent me a note saying 12 people had signed up. I wasn’t sure the class would go forward, but it did. I think everyone learned a lot. I think that Lynn put in the right amount of information.

Lynn Koolish teaches a variety of different classes, but they all seem to relate to printing on fabric, fabric dying and other fabric manipulation techniques. Lynn works at C&T Publishing as an editor. She contributes to the C&T Blog and teaches as well.

One of the things I wanted to learn was how to put multiple images into one space. I don’t always want to load 37 images that you, my dear reader, would also have to load, especially if I really want you to get the flavor of what I am discussing. I learned how to do that and the example above has that technique. In that case, I used the same image and put it into one file multiple times.

I also learned how to deal with layers, which was very confusing to me until yesterday. In the photo above, I was able to flip each image, because they were in different layers.

Breakfast of Champions
Breakfast of Champions

The reason the above is called Breakfaast of Champions is because the image started out as a picture of my breakfast. First we talked about various things you could do with color such as replacing color. I changed the colors using saturation and hue, etc so that my breakfast turned lovely shades of purple and blue. We also talked about different filters and effects, which is how I ended up with the spiky kind of image above. It is tempting to think of making it into a quilt, but I don’t know if I have it in me to do the colorwork required. Nice thought, though.

I also learned about adding text to an image. I don’t know why it seemed so scary before, but it isn’t scary.

Denver Flower Mashup 2
Denver Flower Mashup 2

By the end of the class, I felt pretty confident. I am not expert, of course, but I have some confidence, so I changed the frame (from above photo) to see what the difference in look would be.

 

More Housekeeping

I don’t like to clutter up the blog with boring web stuff, but I also don’t want you wondering what is happening. I don’t think the blog move went smoothly, because each evening for the past few nights, I have been unable to update the blog or write any posts. I am doing my best to keep the information flowing going, but it is frustrating. My webmaster was in the path of Irene and my blog is not her first priority, though she is being fairly heroic about helping me even though she has not power.

Stick with me. We’ll get it sorted out and I apologize for the inconvenience.

Block-a-Long #19: Backwards Flag

Backwards Flag #19
Backwards Flag #19

This very simple block reminded me of a flag motif, probably an American, Australian or Union Jack flag, since there is such a wide variety of flag designs. Also, the symmetry of various flag designs varies greatly. Another easy, small block. Backwards Flag are available.

All blocks are 6″ finished.

This block is probably best suited for 3 fabrics.

If you make this block, please put a link to it in the comments. If you do not have a blog or website, you can post it to the AQ Block-a-Long Flickr Group.

Ninth Circuit HQ Tile

Here is some eye candy for you.

I had so many photos (60 or 70??) that I couldn’t process them all for posting. I may use them for other posts in the future. If you want to go on a tour and see this beauty for yourself, check out the public tour information and sign up. Go and visit. Totally worth your time.

I know you are thinking “WTF? Has she lost her mind posting all these photos of things that aren’t quilts?”

No, I am not, at least for this reason.

You need inspiration to make quilts and the floors at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Building in San Francisco provide enough inspiration to last a lifetime. The thing I like about mosaic and tilework is that both translate well into quilts. The place was a museum of tile and mosaics, and a hidden gem. The intricacy of the designs rival Christine Porter and Judy Mathieson’s designs. I didn’t think there would be anything to photograph. (I don’t know why I ever think that, except that, perhaps, tiredness and laziness drive me to it.)  Fortunately, I had my new phone with me, which actually took some ok photos. I ran the battery down to the bone (lousy battery), but I got enough photos to keep most people happy.

Enjoy.

 

FOTY Triangles – Late August 2011

FOTY Triangles - Late 8/2011
FOTY Triangles - Late 8/2011

Bad news. I don’t think I like this triangle shape. What I really want to do is kind of row quilt like the Fons & Porter Kalamkari Strippy. I like the space between the rows, though you can’t see it very well in the size information they provide. Still, I want to be true to the idea of the Fabric of the Year quilts and continue with that series. The bottom line is that I have too many triangles to make that quilt unless I want to make one to cover half of San San Francisco – the City not the people in it!

I considered, briefly, cutting squares out of the all the fabric already cut into triangles. I like the idea of simple shapes and may have just gone too far this year in the shape department. That would cause a problem for the smaller triangles. I know myself and would not pull the fabrics out again to cut squares.

The other idea I had was to intersperse light colored or neutral triangles in between the colored ones so that I can give the fabrics some space.

I think I have decided to lay all the triangles out and see what I am really dealing with and go from there. I may lay them all out on the Pat Bravo Pure Elements white linen solid color fabric and see if I get the space effect I want.

I can’t leave you all fretting and worrying. There is good news. I am almost at the end of the giant pile of fabric needing to be pressed. My machine is back, though, so that effort will be slowed a bit. I do have a pile of fabric to be washed that will also need to be pressed, but for the zillion loads of fabric I did at the beginning of the month, I am almost through it. More good news is that the fabrics on the bottom of the pile had sort of pressed themselves!

Winner of Masters Art Quilts v.2

Thanks to everyone who participated in the giveaway of Masters Art Quilts, v.2. We didn’t have many entries, so the odds were very good. Angela O, a friend from BAMQG was the winner! Congrats, Angela!

If you didn’t win, I hope you will go out and buy it. It is loaded with eye candy and worth the money.

Creative Prompt #119: Wings

On a wing and a prayer

the appendages birds use to fly

covered in feathers

marble wings

shoes with wings

“Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings” Salvador Dali

spread your wings

wing chair

Take wing

When a bell rings an angel gets his/her wings

Bat wing

wing man

chicken wings

build a new wing

seated near the wing

skull with wings imagery

Wings on Pinterest (hope you can see the search results)

Paul McCartney and Wings

Detroit Red Wings

Wings (TV series 1990-1997)

buffalo wings

 

Post the direct URL (link) where your drawing, doodle, artwork is posted (e.g. your blog, Flickr) in the comments area of this post. I would really like to keep all the artwork together and provide a way for others to see your work and/or your blog, and how your work relates to the other responses.

The Creative Prompt Project, also, has a Flickr group, which you can join to post your responses. Are you already a member? I created that spot so those of you without blogs and websites would have a place to post your responses. Please join and look at all of the great artwork that people have posted.

Sketching #117

Numbers
Numbers

I know this isn’t really sketching. It is a response, however. I saw this clock display awhile ago and came across the photo when I was trying to get my new phone to submit to my will. I like clocks as art pieces not as a reminder of how late I am. I think that groupings of a large number of clocks is very effective in a retail space.

Cat Beds

For a long time I have been wondering why tiny bits of fabric couldn’t be recycled. As I tossed out stockings and holey socks, I wondered if there wasn’t something that could be done with them. Reading Victorian mystery novels didn’t help, because they describe ‘rag pickers’, but who wants that job?

How Much Work?
How Much Work?

I have often judged the amount of work I have done over the course of a week by how full my garbage can was. Still, I wished that I could put those bits of fabric somewhere to use without having to store them myself.

A few months ago, Amanda came to the BAMQG meeting and solved my problem! She told us that she and some friends were making cat beds for a local homeless cat shelter. She asked us to save our tiny bits of fabric including worn out clothing (no underwear!) such as t-shirts and sweatshirts. She would use them to fill the cat beds she was making so the beds would be soft and comfy for the cats.

Despite the fact that I had long thought about saving tiny scraps and doing something with them, I thought saving the tiny bits would be too much trouble. Then I remembered 1) all the times I had been reluctant to toss tiny bits; 2) Pam and what what good care she takes of her cats; and 3) how lame I was acting.

Cat Bed Filling
Cat Bed Filling

I got myself a zipper bag and started tossing scraps in. Thread, schnibbles, bits of batting, and selvedges all go into the cat bed filling bag. I was shocked at how many tiny bits I had and how quickly I filled up a bag. I brought two bags of bits to Amanda the first time she collected them!

Trimmings from quilting, e.g. the edges of the quilt sandwich fill those bags up faster. It is another kind of sorting I have to do daily and I haven’t quite found the right place for the bags. I am really happy to do one small thing to make a cat’s life better and to help Amanda, who is doing the heavy lifting on this project. The other good thing is that my garbage can is a lot emptier, which means less stuff going to the landfill.

I am really good at doing one small thing for various projects that all need time, attention and money. In other projects where this has been my M.O. I have found that I can see the difference – how my contribution changes things-when I do one small thing.

 

Opening Reception @ SJMQT

String with Grid or Lattice, Alabama ca.1950-1970
String with Grid or Lattice, Alabama ca.1950-1970

The Opening Reception for the Scrap Art exhibit at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles was on Sunday August 21, 2011. My quilt, Fabric of the Year 2010 is included in the exhibit. I almost didn’t attend the opening reception. The drive is long and I am lazy about leaving my house on Sundays.

However, I kept publicizing the event on FB and Twitter, and when Deborah Corsini emailed me to say there would be an opportunity for the artists to speak about their pieces, I knew I had to go. I am glad I did. It was an exciting experience. I had lots of support from my DH and my quilt friends. They all said how great my quilt was and how great it looked.

Milling Around in the Gilliland Family Gallery
Milling Around in the Gilliland Family Gallery

There were a lot of people at the opening. People in the know such as Maureen and Terri said this was one of the largest events they had seen in conjunction with an opening of a quilt show.

Listening to Roderick Kiracofe Talk
Listening to Roderick Kiracofe Talk

Lots of quilt glitterati, in addition to Terri Thayer, of course, were there including Lynn Koolish, Nancy Bavor (quilt appraiser), Marie Strait (president of the SJMQT Board) as well as my favorite CQFA glitterati. 😉

Rod Kiracofe, author, collector and former dealer was there. He had loaned several of the best examples of vintage scrap quilts tot he exhibit. Ms. Corsini had him speak about his quilts and he told a funny story about bidding on a variety of quilts including the the 9 patch (in the exhibit) against Julie Silber. I felt like I was in the shadow of greatness, because I have read his work and admired it for a long time. He wrote The American Quilt, a book I pored over when it came out. I bought it at Doubleday Books on Sutter Street back in the dark ages.

Nine Patch Variation
Nine Patch Variation

I didn’t recognize this quilt as a Nine Patch until Deborah Corsini pointed it out. I didn’t see the Nine Patch. No, I am not a moron, but I was quite distracted and not studying the quilts. Of course, once pointed out to me, I saw it. I love this quilt. It is dated ca. 1925-1950 and was found in Wingo, Kentucky. It is so lively and really different than most Nine Patches. It is an excellent example of why I love blocks: you can do something with a block, your neighbor can also do something and the two will not look the same.

Listening to Sande Stoneman
Listening to Sande Stoneman

One thing I enjoyed was that collectors had loaned their quilts. Deborah Corsini acknowledged them equally with the artists. I never really thought about the importance of collectors, but as I listened to Deborah and some of the collectors talk I realized all the ways that collectors contribute to the art world. I thought of all the masterworks of all kinds of art that are loaned to museums (big duh moment, let me tell you!) and how the same must be true in the quilt world.

Ms. Stoneman, with backpack, talked about the quilt she had loaned,which was made by her grandmother. She talked about trying to match fabrics from the quilt in photos.

Ocean Waves from Afar
Ocean Waves from Afar

The Ocean Waves quilt was really stunning from afar. For being made around 1890, it was in stunning condition.

It and a few of the other quilts were made from fabric that was not to my taste up close, but all of the quilts were quite stunning from far away.

Of course, the scrap aspect was a factor.

Trip Around the World
Trip Around the World

The Trip around the World quilt was my favorite. The sashing/edge of each block was a soft yellow, slightly brighter than butter yellow, but not so jarring as sunshine yellow. I have been thinking of ways to use scraps as I cut triangles for FOTY 2011, over the past few weeks sans machine, and this quilt really spoke to me. The scraps I have would not be large enough for 2″ squares, but they might be large enough for 1.5″ or 1″ squares. The patches in this quilt are all the same in each round, but I might be successful if I used similar values and hues in this block pattern. I might make one block to just try it out.

Discussion about many pieces
Discussion about many pieces

The quilt next to the door in the back of the photo is the half square triangle quilt in the collection of Sande Stoneman, discussed above.

Everyone in the photo is looking at a Trip Around the World quilt with about 14,000 postage stamp sized pieces. It was a couple of quilts away from another quilt with 17,000 pieces.  WOW!

14,000 Piece Trip Around the World
14,000 Piece Trip Around the World

The quilt with 14,000 pieces also has a jagged edge (you know I like those!). It was made by Minnie Kesler Murray, a native of Boones Mill, Virginia. She and her husband lived in San Jose in the 1950s and 1960s. She called this quilt her masterpiece. Her granddaughter is the owner of the quilt and lent it to the museum for this show.

36 Patch with Chintz Border
36 Patch with Chintz Border

I am really glad that not all of the quilts were made from thousands of tiny pieces. The 36 Patch with Chintz Border is another of my favorites and another that could be made from scraps in similar values.

Again, the background was more yellow than gold and really glowed. It is from the mid 1800s. The great great granddaughter of the maker was in attendance.

Crazy Block Quilt
Crazy Block Quilt

The quilt with the red and black piano key border that Ms. Corsini is showing in the picture was made of tiny string pieced silk blocks. She said that the quilt had some condition issues (what old silk quilt doesn’t?), but that the contrast between the tiny blocks and the bright bold border was fabulous. I have to agree. It was scrappy and, perhaps, string pieced and some of the fabrics congregated in areas of the quilt to make flowing dark and light areas.

I am really liking the idea of a piano key border. I was thinking about it before for another quilt. Seeing it on this quilt made me like it even more. I liked the way the maker joined the corners, too. The colors don’t exactly meet, but they look good.

Ocean Waves & Scrap Top
Ocean Waves & Scrap Top

You can really see Granny Burkitt’s Scrap Top (left of the Ocean Waves quilt) better — well, better than some of the other photos!

I was amazed at how large some of the vintage quilts were. I thought FOTY 2010 was a monster, but it is a baby quilt in sized compared to Granny Burkitt’s Scrap Top and the Ocean Waves quilt. Looking at both of them makes me want to start sewing light and dark half square triangles together. No, I don’t have an idea in mind, but if I come up with 1,000 half square triangles, I am sure I can do something with them!

String Diamonds
String Diamonds

Charlotte Kruk spoke about her strapless evening dress, Sugar, which is made out of sugar packets she collected over the course of 2 years. You can see it in the String Diamonds picture right behind Rod Kiracofe. Charlotte had another jacket and skirt piece in the foyer. I really liked the shape of her wearable sculptures. Charlotte is the creator of “Traje de Luces,” “The Reign of the M&M”, a kind of toreador outfit I saw at PIQF some years ago.

Just after she spoke Roderick Kiracofe talked about his String Diamonds quilt (found in  Alabama, made ca. 1930-1960). I felt a kinship with this quilt, having just made a diamond quilt. One of the interesting aspects of this quilt was the back. It was made from sugar sacks from Cuba! Not only was the Cuban angle surprising, but the location of that particular quilt near the evening dress (Sugar, 1998) was well planned and a pleasant surprise.

One of the things I liked about attending this event was somewhat less formal than just going to a museum. The artists and owners of the quilts were allowed to show the backs without white gloves.

String Diamonds
String Diamonds

A few artists had more than one piece included in the exhibit and Barbara Wisnoski was one of them. She is a Canadian artist from Montreal. Barbara came all the way from Montreal to be at the show, which I thought was wonderful and made me glad I had made the hour drive down to the South Bay!

She makes pieces using strip piecing, but she will cut strips, sew them together, cut those strips apart over and over. The effect of this technique is a lot of little pieces, almost shredded looking. She strives for a landscape look – actually she said that she makes landscape quilts.

Ruth Tabancay
Ruth Tabancay
No Two Alike, 2010
No Two Alike, 2010

The quilt by Ruth Tabancay is made from Republic of Tea teabags, which she as well as friends and colleagues use and then save. The teabags in this piece are painted with gouache (lighter colors) and acrylic (darker colors) paint. She started painting the teabags so she could get the colors she wanted. The shapes are reminiscent of Grandmother’s Flower Garden. No Two Alike is inspired by the six-fold symmetry of snowflakes.

Evening Star, 2010, Karin Lusnak
Evening Star, 2010, Karin Lusnak

I really love the Lone Star string quilt by Karin Lusnak. I have seen something like it, or perhaps this quilt, elsewhere and admired it.

The quilt is made entirely of string pieced diamonds, which are, in turn, made into larger diamonds. The photo does not do this quilt justice because it just glows and Lusnak has really captured the color of the sky when it turns from the blue of the day to purple-indigo of night. The aspect of this quilt that puzzles and amazes me is that she uses a variety of colors in each of the diamonds. The center diamonds that make up the Lone Star were not limited to gold tones. The same is true for the sky. I think this is an excellent example of the ‘weight’ of color. The artist has used more blues in each diamond for the sky even though other colors were included. This method adds a lot of interest.

Variation of the Snake Trail
Variation of the Snake Trail

I read an article recently about quilts with snakes in them. This quilt immediately jumped out at me as being from that vein.

I was fascinated by the green pieces and how they form a continuous line, except for some of the border pieces. In examining the making of this quilt, I think the maker would have had to be very open to serendipity or have made the blocks as she set the quilt.

I really never ceased to be amazed at how inspired I can be from looking at vintage and antique quilts. I would love to talk to their makers! Still, I look at these quilts and my mind starts spinning with new ideas. These quilts show, in a way, that the discussion of classifying quilts into traditional, art or modern is not easy. These vintage quilts are hanging on the wall. Does this make them art? Will they still be art when they are taken off the wall and put on the bed?

FOTY 2010 with JHL
FOTY 2010 with JHL

Julie corralled me and got a picture of me with my quilt. I looked at my quilt on the wall and thought that it looked out of place, but I told the monkey voices in my head to STFU and listened to my quilt board of directors who told me how proud they were of me and how great the quilt looked. Adrianne told me that my quilt was next to a quilt by Jacquie of Tall Grass Prairie Studio.

I have to admit that I was slightly terrified when I saw my quilt on the wall, seriously hung in a gallery. I couldn’t really comprehend what was happening, which I know sounds really strange. I just had no idea what I was I was doing when I submitted the piece for the show. I knew what I was doing mechanically, but I didn’t realize the ramifications, which were that my quilt would be on the wall of a real gallery for two months. I am really thrilled to have a lot of people see my piece. REALLY. THRILLED.

FOTY 2010 with JHL's QBOD
FOTY 2010 with JHL's QBOD

Here are members of CQFA and what I like to call members of my personal quilt board of directors. All the members of my QBoD weren’t there, but these are people who talked to me about the layout, spurred me on and kept me going. I was really excited to have them there. From left to right: Jaye, Dolores, Terri, Maureen and Julie.

I know the photos are not top quality, but the lighting was really difficult to deal with. I hope you can, at least, get the flavor of the event.

 

Housekeeping -week of 8/22/2011

You may experience some delays in reaching Artquiltmaker blog this week as my host moves from Washington DC to Utah. They plan to do most of the heavy lifting from 8pm MDT to 12am MDT, which translates to 7pm PDT-11pm PDT and 10pm EDT-1am EDT. Prime browsing hours for us on the West Coast, I know, but they didn’t ask me.

Finished: Skull Bag

Skull Jane Market Tote
Skull Jane Market Tote

Last year on my trip down to Long Beach, one of the many fabric stops we made was at Hart’s Fabrics in Santa Cruz. In case, I didn’t mention it back then, it is a great store. Great service, lots and LOTS of great fabric, indie patterns, notions, laminated cottons, embellishments, everything a girl could want.

While there, I saw some skull fabric that was sort of a canvas or home dec fabric, but smooth and not really heavy. I thought I might have trouble sewing it, but the print was so great I knew my sister would love a bag made from it. I intended to make it for Christmas, as her birthday had passed by the time I got home from the trip. Didn’t do it. The fabric sat and stared at me.

Skull Jane Market Tote - detail
Skull Jane Market Tote - detail

Sharona, owner of New Pieces and solver of all problems  point out the skull toile to me when I was in the shop a few weeks ago. Suddenly this project came together. I made the bag in a few hours. Now I just have to grab Lil Sissy so I can give it to her.

ABC Challenge: ‘C’ Block

Cake Stand
Cake Stand

I am a sucker for basket blocks. Cake Stand is a classic. Even though I said I was going to use Around the Block Again and Once More Around the Block, I took a quick peek at Around the Block and couldn’t prevent myself from making this block. I have to admit that the templates that I mentioned in the last post about the project make me not want to use those books. They are not hard to use and it isn’t that I can’t measure the templates and cut them, but I just don’t want to be flipping back and forth. I will get over myself, because I don’t want to give real estate to books that I don’t use.

The gold color is, again, one of the Pat Bravo Pure Elements. I believe it is the Empire Yellow. It has kind of a green tinge to it. I used it, because it was next on my stack to be ironed and I want a bit of a challenge in this project. The dots are a bit light for the background, so I may try the block again with a different background, but we will see.

For the moment, I am still making one block for each letter. I may make seconds for some of the letters. I am going to kind of go with the flow and see how the project evolves.