Saturday was the CQFA meeting and I actually made it! It was held in Maureen’s backyard. We sat around on outdoor chairs wearing hats and sunscreen had had our meeting. The meeting was followed by a workshop with Zoe Umholtz.
There is no news on the show, but I haven’t made my piece or my book yet, so I still have time.
My favorite part was the ATC exchange. I had mine made from early in the year when only Bron brought ATCs. We exchanged, I made another and didn’t have to scramble to make some before the meeting. Like Amy’s Color My Quilt piece, I need to get busy making ATCs for the October meeting. I have some schnibbles that I was eyeing the other day that might make great pieces.
In order from left to right, top row: Bron, Maureen and Diane.
Bottom row: Julie, Jaye, Angela, Nancy
I received some very nice pieces. There were two that I really wanted. I got one of them and am happy about that. Maureen (left, top) used some indigo pieces she made in a Zoe Umholtz workshop she took earlier. I think it was in honor of the workshop.
Nancy did some nice threadwork (right, top).
Diane (left, bottom) hasn’t been at a meeting in a long time, so it was great to see her. I saw her ATC and it made me want to pull out the others I have traded with her. She works in a similar style, so I think there would be some continuity.
I like the details on Julie’s piece (bottom, right) as well. The button and the little xes are wonderful and I like the texture.
I acted as workshop assistant for a few tasks, but mostly sat and knitted. I didn’t do any dyeing. Been there, done that and am happy to buy from people who enjoy it. I listened to Zoe’s introduction and watched as others folded and banded and dyed. I am also excited to see what comes out of the workshop.
I made a second CQFA meeting in a row. It was exciting to have two weekends in row to devote to doing what I wanted.
As per usual, I made ATCs for the meeting. I never quite know what design I am going to use until I do it. Often, I look in my scrap drawer to see what is available. On this day, I had straightened up the scraps from some tunics I had made. There were some large pieces of Philip Jacobs fabric available without much rummaging and I used that to make the flowers.
In this case, I also wanted to use some of my new Sue Spargo Perl-type cottons and came up with this design to do so. I had some trouble getting the stitch to be smooth, but as I worked through the cards, I got the optimal length worked out.
As in October, few people made ATCs. Bron and I were the only ones who had any to share, so we exchanged one each with each other. I made an extra one when I got home and will use these for the April meeting, assuming I can attend.
I finally made some ATCs! After missing several meetings, then not having time to make any before the October meeting I feel like I have reached the summit of a high mountain. Additionally, I used the charms that have been sitting on my cutting table (or falling off repeatedly) for months!
I wanted a fall theme to go with the leaves and it is still Fall, though it feels like winter some days.
Today is the CQFA meeting, so we will see how they are received.
We had the CQFA meeting on Saturday. Of course there was an ATC swap. Not participated in the swap this time, but I received two lovely cards and got to keep one of my own.
As usual I intended to make them well in advance. Friday morning (day before the meeting!!) became unusually busy and I still hadn’t made any. Eventually I tore myself away from all the other things demanding my attention. I went for a walk determined to decide on a design. As I walked it occurred to me that I wanted to do something very simple and I came up with a design comprising an orange circle on a blue background. I was imagining the colors I used in the Wonky 9 Patch quilt. That particular blue and orange glow when put together.
I also remembered Ms. Lottie’s directions for finishing the edges and decided I would try the technique. I would have done a better job if I had actually read the directions again, but I did what I thought I remembered the directions saying. I had some trouble with the corners. They don’t look very tidy and I realized why after I read the directions when I finished. Such a great plan (<–irony). I’ll give it another try next time.
I like to put stiffener in my ATCs so they are more like cards. This meant that the fusible on the inside of the backing was adhering to loose Pellon interfacing. It didn’t secure the three layers together at all. I liked the technique and the little frame it makes. I’ll just have to make the technique my own for next time.Reading the directions might help. 😉
By the time I arrived home I had an idea. It didn’t quite work out the way I imagined, but turned out satisfactorily. I didn’t have the exact colors I saw in my minds eye, but I did have colors that worked well together.
When I put the initial pieces together, they looked unfinished. I always like to do handwork and haven’t had many bindings to hand sew recently, so I sat on Friday night and stitched some Perl cotton on to these ATC pieces to add interest and finish them. I seem to often do embroidery or beading on these pieces. I wonder if it is a signature?
Bron and Virginia also participated. We each got one of our own and gave Rhonda the extras to bring to Angela.
The meeting on Saturday was long and fabulous. I can’t write one post on all that happened. It is too much to include.
We had a short business meeting, then everyone put their challenge and workshop pieces up and we all walked around and looked at them.
While this was happening, some of us exchanged ATCs. Virginia, Angela, Nancy and I were the only ones who made ATCs. This was a GREAT batch, though, and I love the ones I received, including one of my own.
I almost never get one of my own, mostly because I don’t make an extra to keep. My own fault, but it is nice to get one once in a while.
I spent part of the day, and most of the evening, Friday making my ATCs. The big piece of ATC backing that I made at the beginning of the year to help make the ATC process progress more quickly has disappeared (sigh), so I had to start at the beginning. Part of this process was clearing off my cutting/worktable. I had things in progress there, which took up space, so I cleared them off, made the backs of the ATCs and then started in on the fronts.
I used scraps, mostly. I also decided to try using some of the sheer ribbon I save from gifts for gift bags as a starting point. I enjoyed using it as it gave the piece a bit of a sparkle, but I think I should have used a darker fabric if I wanted the ribbon to show up more.
I usually make the 4 ATCs as one big piece and then cut them up. It makes for less fiddliness. This time I was smart and left a little bit between each ATC so I had room to cut them apart. You can see the stitching lines around each 2.5″x3.5″ rectangle. This rectangle is my canvas and helps me remember that whatever is between those two lines will not be seen.
That blue thread is very thin and almost looks like a length of single crochets. I carefully placed it next to the stitching where I stitched down the ribbon and sewed it on with a straight stitch. I bought it and a few other colors on a card that had 5 different types of embellishing thread in about 2-3 yard lengths. I use them periodically for ATCs.
In the evening, I added french knots using several blues, greens and purples from the Anna Maria Horner set of Perl Cotton I bought some time ago. I also put beads on each card, using a Bead Soup selection. I love doing the handwork, especially as it gives me something to do when I watch TV that makes me feel like I am making progress. The handwork was a little hard on my hand. I need to think about that next time.
Angela told me that she took a class from Valerie Goodwin and used the techniques of blending and adding sheers for her ATCs. The sheers are a similarity between Angela’s and my ATCs.
Virginia’s ATCs felt like they were painted on paper, though mine has part of a leaf under, what looks like, a piece of decoupaged tissue paper. There is some stitching as well. Virginia is immensely talented and I am continually in awe of what she makes.
Nancy used a printing press at work for a project and was inspired to come home and do some printing with glass sheets. I really like her designs and kind of wish she would upload them to Spoonflower and make the designs available as fabric.
One of the things I like about ATC swaps is the opportunity to play a little bit. Of course, I could do that all the time, but I don’t. This is a deadline I can use to make a little piece of art.
I did finally do the prep I had been intending to do to make ATCs. I cut two pieces of fabrics about 14″ x 12.5″. I marked the bottom layer of the ATC fabric into ATC sizes. I also cut some layers of Pellon for the middle. Then I sewed along the grid. I cut off 4 ATCs and began to decorate them.
I did the sewing in the strip format. Later I hand sewed some stitches using Aurifil embroidery thread before I cut them apart.
I ran into some problems which I can fix when I cut the next strips off. I have a label that I put onto each ATC. I sewed around the whole ATC before I put the label on and that meant that the stitching around the label showed up through to the front. I think that it limits my design ability. I limited that problem by using matching thread and I don’t think the extra stitching shows up on the front.
I won’t design them all at once. I’ll do a few at a time, but I have the basics done.
I am glad I finally got to work prepping ATCs for the next several swaps. I am also glad that I learned something about preparing ATCs in this manner.
HA! I actually made ATCs early, e.g. I wasn’t working on them the night before or the morning before the meeting.
I didn’t use the backing I prepared, but I had a different idea, as you can see, using the leftover tablecloth plastic I used to make one version of the Eco Market Tote. They came out a little bit curly, but I like that I am able to see through them. I did put a label in between the layers before I sewed the pieces together.
This is the first time I have used the roller foot with the new machine. It worked ok. Not great. Not terrible.
The exchange went pretty well. We had 6 people exchanging which meant I didn’t get one of each. I missed one of Nancy’s and one of my own. Usually I don’t choose one of my own, because I can make one for myself if I want one. I would have really liked one of Nancy’s. Oh well. There is always next time.
Julie’s (left hand photo, lower) uses some of the supplies we bought at Dharma last Friday. She rushed right out and used the silk thread/yarn I talked about. It looks cool and I really have to try it.
I am happy with the ATCs I picked. Rhonda’s (lower left) really looks different than the others, though isn’t too far off the one in the upper right hand corner by Bron.
The gold one is by Diane and I didn’t hear how she made it, but I think she must have melted something to give it texture.
It has taken me awhile to get these posted, but here they are.
I made them the morning before the meeting after procrastinating for weeks, then realizing I no longer had Friday to scrape something together.
I had the gears from a pack I bought at Beverly’s and scraps and that is what I used. I think I need to get some more of those gears and try another iteration, perhaps with Perl Cotton instead of schnibbles? Braided Perl Cotton?
I have two of the gears left, because I didn’t have time to stitch them down by hand.
As I said in the CQFA Meeting report, I want to do them earlier for January (won’t be at the October meeting) and need to start on the backs. Yes, I said that a week ago and haven’t done anything. First step: make the backs. If I have a lot of backs using a neutral fabric, I can concentrate on making the front awesome. Right?
I thought ahead for once and made these last weekend, except for the finishing. I didn’t really have an idea, so I grabbed some scraps from the City Sampler blocks and started sewing them together. I sewed until it was long enough to cover a piece I had cut for the backs.
I stopped partway through to actually make the backs. I added stabilizer for stiffener. Once the pieced scrap piece was big enough, I sewed it to the backing and stabilizer, cut the piece in 2.5″x3.5″ rectangles and zigzagged around the outside.
I like them. They are mostly soothing colors, but they aren’t very arty or edgy. I planned to embellish them with beads, but really wasn’t excited about it, because I often do beading and just wasn’t in the mood. I also didn’t really have the time. It seemed like too much work in an already full week.
As I was tidying the workroom, I saw my alphabet stamps. PERFECT!!! I decided to stamp words on them. YAY! That I was excited about. I ended up not using the alphabet stamps this time, but using some Chinese character stamps I picked up somewhere.
Mine didn’t end up being that popular this time around, but the others were fantastic. Mine are calm (which I seem to be seeking lately), but the stamp wasn’t large enough to stand out and show the detail. I need to step up my game. I am not done with the stamps yet, now that I have found them again.
I am not depressed, because I know not everything can be fantastic and these small pieces are for play.
My ATC work this month didn’t go as smoothly as I would have liked, but I am disavowing responsibility, because my Janome 9K is acting up again. I was able to finish them on the backup machine, but there are some differences so they don’t look as professional as I would like. I might do a special whine post later abut the &^%$* machine, but now I just don’t want to get into it.
I decided to do some more leaves, similar to last meeting’s ATCs, so I could donate one to the ATC collection for the guild show. I had enough time and enough interfacing cut, so I went for broke. There are some similarities to last month’s leaves, but some differences as well.
I used my last of a piece of thickish thread for the stems. Someone told me it was from saris, but I don’t remember where I got it and don’t know. I had to couch it on the cards.
I am really pleased that I had enough time. I didn’t start until Friday at midday. Friday is kind of last minute and I don’t know why I wait that long, but I felt like I wasn’t racing the clock. I just worked along and the cards came together well. I didn’t do any embellishment, but I also didn’t feel like the pieces needed it this time.
There were a lot of participants in the ATC challenge this month and I got a nice group of cards to keep.
The most unusual award goes to Sue who is experimenting with cookie decorating (lower right). The cookie decorating description doesn’t even begin to do justice those these mini-works of art. I didn’t take any because I would have just been tempted to eat them.
Angela is doing some interesting things with mixed media. Her work (cards directly to the left of my leaves) is on fabric, but she is painting or dyeing and stamping.
Bron did some renditions of the Golden Gate Bridge.
I love Maureen’s spirals as well (far right).
Everybody did a great job.
All in all it was a really great exchange and I look forward to the next one.
ATCs are 2.5″ x 3.5″. You don’t have to make them out of fabric. Some of the cards the CQFA people trade are partially paper. I like mine stiff, thus all of the interfacing.
It has taken me awhile to post these, because I thought I lost one and was trying to figure out what to do. It has also been kind of a crazy month and organization hasn’t been my strong suit. It turns out that it was very flat and stuck to the back of one of the others. What a relief.
I am thrilled with these. I love the creativity and the combinations of materials. The upper right hand corner ATC with the flowers (by Maureen) has paper flowers.
The lower left hand corner piece (by Nancy) has text, which adds an interesting element.
These are fun to make and I am thinking about my next group for the May meeting. You can see mine in a previous post.
I made some ATCs for the CQFA meeting, leaving it, again, until the last minute. I worked on them on Friday in between starting the process of renewing the Young Man’s passport and some other chores. I really didn’t have an idea, but then I hit on the idea of a leaf and the design went from there. I ended up with something with which I was very happy.
The step is a piece of thick thread or yarn. I only had about a yard of it and now I have, perhaps half a yard. Maureen thought the thread was sari thread. I hadn’t heard of that before and she explained that threads from saris are wound together to make the thread. It is colorful.
I couldn’t find my couching foot, so I used a zig zag to keep the thread on the ATC. It worked pretty well, but I need to practice more.
The background is from the Infinity quilt. It is leftover from the quilter cutting off the sides of the backing. I am sure you will see a journal cover or two along the way as well. 😉
Inside the ATC, I use 2 layers of tearaway stabilizer on both sides. This allows for no wrinkling when I zig zag.
First I make the backs and put the labels on. I do this first, because it doesn’t really matter what the back looks like. It gets me in the mood and gets everything cut. In this case, I used the same fabric – or group of fabric – for the back, front and leaves. You might be thinking that you see different fabrics ont he finished ATCs and you would be right. When I say ‘fabric’ I mean that which has been cut off the sides of the backing of my quilt. Even though there are different fabric designs, technically, it is one piece of fabric to me. I used what was on the end of the leftover backing fabric.
I tried, really hard, this time to make the corners of the stitching around the labels look really nice. I had to slow down.
They are a little easier to work with when I make them in a group and then cut them apart. I had to take care when lining up the motifs for the front and the back.
ATCs are 2.5″ x 3.5″. You don’t have to make them out of fabric. Some of the ones the CQFA people trade are partially paper. I like mine stiff, thus all of the interfacing.
ATCs are 2.5″x3.5″ – the size of baseball or other trading cards. They are made using discarded bits and are not limited to being made from fabric. Paper artists make them from paper and other materials are suitable as well.
As you read this, CQFA is meeting (or will be if you are reading this at 6am ._. ) and part of the meeting is trading ATCs. It is fun to see what other people have made and I love it when a lot of people participate. I am always sad when I can’t one of each example of the other members’ cards.
I had a mosaic pieced fabric in turquoise already made and decided that I would use it since it was a start. I stitched out some of the stitches on the loaner machine over the seams and called it good. The flower on the right hand card is my favorite of the few decorative stitches on this machine.
The CQFA Meeting was last Saturday and it was great. As you know, I haven’t been in awhile and I was so glad to see my art quilt pals.
Julie, Dolores and Maureen did a presentation on color. The presentation was called “Why Your Stash Needs to Be Bigger.” 😉 I am not going to rant today about the low cost of fabric compared to other stress reducing activities.
They covered the science of color, color in culture and some color exercises. I am trying to get Dolores to do a guest blog post, but I will post some of my notes for your edification. I was too fascinated by what she was saying to take really good notes.
Science of Color
Color is the reflection of ambient light on to an object. Dolores referred to the Archimedes Lab’s information on color. I just Googled and found some pages that I would like to explore later.
gamut is a term used for the range of color that can be reproduced.
Your monitor is set to use RGB colors and your printer is set to use CMYK colors, which why we sometimes have problems printing what is on our screen
No device can reproduce as many colors as our eyes can see.
simultaneous contrast – our eye evaluates the color in relation to what is next what we are looking at. This affects the sense of what color we see. It isn’t a function of the color, but of the perception of the color. Dolores told us that Van Gogh used this technique (?) a lot in his work. Our other senses experience this also. If you are in the hot tub, then jump into a pool, the pool seems colder than it really is. If you drink orange juice with your pancakes and maple syrup, the acidity of the juice in enhanced as is the sweetness of the syrup. Fabrics next to each other talk to each other.
Culture of Color
Maureen present culture to us and it was an eye opener how much color is involved in our culture in ways not related to actually using color such as writing with a purple pen or playing with fabric.
Language uses color in metaphors and for metaphors. This is called cognitive metaphor. Part of it is associating colors with emotions (not a comprehensive list; just some examples):
red- passion, anger, danger
green – nature, recycling
blue – calm
We have been trained to have associations with certain colors. Colors telegraph a certain message. I think this might have to do with my comments about cheerful quilts. I see certain quilts as cheerful when they have warm colors, usually. [I haven’t thought of this before, so it isn’t a fully formed thought. The idea just came together as I was writing this.]
Having emotional associations with certain colors means that we might want to look at the colors we are using in our work and ask ourselves if we are trying to telegraph a certain message through our work via color?
There is also an iPad app you might want to try out called Josef Albers.
Exercise your Color Muscle
Julie reminded us that we all have our own color palette that is defined by our lives, experiences, art to which we have been exposed, etc. Julie showed us some exercises that started in a book called Playing with Color by Richard Mehl.
She used some of what Dolores and Maureen said for the exercises, such as picking a color from two that was in the center of another color.
One exercise (green on red) was an effort to find a color that looked the same when laid on two different fabrics in the same color family.
You’d think that this was easy, but it isn’t. There were a couple of issues to work with. 1) we are working with fabric. With paint, you can mix a bit of white in or a bit of grey. In fabric, it doesn’t work that way. 2) we were working with pattern. Julie set up the exercise and she doesn’t have many solids (remember the title of the presentation?), so she has to work with patterned fabric. Because of the contrast that often exists in a patterned fabric, it made the exercise harder. Yes, she found as many tone-on-tones as she could, but it was still a challenge. a good challenge, but a challenge. 3) we have a very limited amount of fabric handy, but even with your own stash, this would be a challenging exercise, because of the nature of fabric – it already has color. Yes, you can dye it or discharge it, but you still may not get what you expected out of the dye/discharge bath.
This was a great example for me of “fabrics talking to each other.” It was really, really interesting and amazing to see the same fabric paired with two different fabrics and how different they can look. The green on green examples show this really well. One makes my eyes vibrate a little. The top combination has the center square looking much darker than the bottom center square even though they are the same fabric.
It was very interesting and fun to work with the whole group. I enjoyed hearing others’ thoughts and how they saw the fabric.
The group is working on a second show at SF Public Library. The organizing group is new, though I have offered to still act as the liaison with the library. The piece I am thinking of making is too big and will take too long. I also don’t think I have thought through the making of the whole piece yet. Not sure. I think I will consider entering Beach Town. More info about the first show can be found in earlier posts.
The Retreat was discussed. It will be at the end of January as per usual.
I was glad I didn’t do the color challenge. My idea was LAME compared to the gorgeousness that others brought. I am so lucky to be in this group. The CQFA people do fantastic work. I need to up my art quilt game. I might be a little discouraged, but the pieces were inspiring and made me think of my color strip in a different way. I am not out of the game. Late, yes, out: NO! The collage above was created using Ribbet.com.
We are having another challenge with shapes. Everyone cut shapes, our personal symbols or what we have been doodling, out of black paper and trade them. Now we have to take the symbols and do something with them.
Show and Tell
Show and Tell always make me want to work harder and more to get better.
We swapped ATCs (photos sprinkled throughout this post) and there were a lot of swappers this time, which was nice. My bridge ATCs (Artists Trading Cards) were very popular, which was nice. I took some photos as I crossed the new bridge last Sunday and may use those as the basis for my November set. It is hard to take good photos from a moving car, so we will see.
I picked a nice range of ATCs. I didn’t get one of each, because of all the swappers, but that is the nature of the beast. A couple people asked me for Bridge ATCs, so I might make some more of the historic bridge. We will see. I didn’t really enjoy the stitching I did on the photo. I felt like I had to do something in addition to just print a photo on fabric and edging it to the back to keep it together, but I wasn’t happy with the way the stitching came out. Not sure what to do.
Regardless, I need to get started on my ATCs for the next meeting. Not waiting until the last minute was fantastic.
Some of us stayed after and chatted and sewed. I started cutting out the next Petrillo Bag. Yes, I am making it with the changes I described in my previous post.
Thanks to Angela for the use of her photos of the ATCs.