Friday, September 5, 2014

Purple Haze for SAQA SC/GA Trunk Show

I am a member of SAQA and until the past few years I never had contact with our local reps. Once Paula Brown became the SC rep and her partner from GA took over, things began to change in our district. They have organized exhibits, challenges, keep us posted with a newsletter. They have setup a Face Book page so that we can keep in touch and share photos and news within our group.

One day I received a little package in the mail. It was a lovely piece of hand dyed fabric. Paula, Victoria Rondeau and Meg Filiatrault had gotten together and hand dyed fabric to send to all the SC/GA SAQA. They asked us to create a 12x12 for our regional trunk show. The only stipulation was that the hand dyed fabric be recognizable. We were give plenty of time to complete the project and yet many of us didn't get it done by that date. Fortunately they extended the date until sometime in Oct.

I decided that I would use the hand dyed fabric as my background, and chose fabrics that would be compatible. I am fairly well know for my flowers, so I chose to create this beautiful daisy like flower.

After placing It on the hand dyed fabric, I chose a deep blue center for the flower. Machine quilted the petals and background.

I decided that I wanted to fill the center with French Knots. I had some beautiful variegated hand dyed pearl cotton, and some bright gold. This thread is quite thick needing a large eyed needle. I had a very hard time getting the needle through all the layers. Three evenings of watching TV and two sore hands later, I had a finished product.

I happy with it, but the biggest point of this post is to thank our SAQA reps for caring enough to be doing such a great job.

This post is linked

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, September 1, 2014


We had a great turnout for our reception Friday evening. Here are a few photos.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, August 29, 2014

"Monochromatic Illuminations" reception

The reception for "Monochromatic Illuminations" by HiFiber is being held this evening at the Clemson City Hall from 5-7. All are welcome. It's been a crazy filled week so time doesn't allow for a larger post. Stay tuned for photographs. This post is linked

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, August 22, 2014

A Week Experimenting with Drunkard's Path

A Perfect World

The week of September 8-12, I am teaching a class at J. C. Campbell, titled Drunkard's Path and More. It's been quite a while since I've taught this class, so I've spent this week trying out all the design possibilities.

I had forgotten how exciting this technique can be. It seems that every where I turn I see new designs. I usually begin by placing the squares on the design wall, in no particular order. Always something strikes me, and my mind starts playing the "what if" game.

This week has been no exception. I haven't been able to concentrate on one particular design but have been hopping back and forth, just to see how many design I can create.

A Perfect World, is one of my older quilts, and may well be the first one I created using this technique. My class will begin by creating your own design using this method, and then we will go off on a, "what if" tangent.

Corner Pockets

Somewhere along the line I came across the pattern Fair Play and decided that it was a wonderful companion to Drunkard's Path. I began mixing the two together, and even more design possibilities appeared.

One think I haven't mentioned is that you begin with a host block. One that is pieced to a specific design, and use it to cut your Drunkard's Path or Fair Play template. This is where all the designs possibilities begin.

This technique is not something that I can explain in a blog post, it's not complicated, but it does take a while to get the momentum going. I've decided to post some of the 12 1/2" squares that I have designed. Some of these are created with just the Drunkard's Path some are using only the Fair Play while some are combined.

I began placing these black and white Drunkard's Path blocks on the design wall. A block in the lower left caught my attention and the "What if" began.

A Pinwheel pattern within a circle.

Squares on point in a circle

Large square within a circle.

A circle with cross bars.

A small square within a circle.

Pie shape within a circle.

A few of the design I discovered when working with Fair Play,

circles with pinwheel on top.

Purple and green triangles dominate here.

This is all I had time to play with there are so many more designs waiting to happen.

As always, I am linked to

Friday, August 15, 2014

Back in the Studio

This past month has been one devoted to family. We have four families scattered from SC, NC, VA and CA. We usually have them all here at the same time, this time of the year.. The year for the first time we only had three. As family grow they have so many obligations and places to be. We are grateful for time we do have and love every minute. This explains my absence for the past three weeks.

The week before we went to NC to stay with our daughter after she underwent surgery, BTW, that went well, I started a new project. It had me in it's grips immediately. I worked many hours everyday until I had the figure finished.
Our niece posted this photo of her daughter on Facebook and I knew immediately that I wanted to create it in fabric.

I began with the pants and knee pads. The fabric that I chose had great splotches of medium and dark blue.

I then added darker blue to show the folds and wrinkles in the pant legs.

Next I added the skateboard, a base for the hair, and the helmet.  The sun was coming from the left causing a shine or light on that side.

She has very curly hair with lots of darks and lights. I decided to
represent it with many different shades of yellow, gold and light brown fabrics. I've also added the shoes in this process.

Next came the audition for the shirt fabric. Now, this little girl is quite the girl jock but she is also very comfortable in pink and girlie clothes.

By no means were these two fabrics the only ones I auditioned, but it really came down to the two shown here.  I really felt that this one was more t-shirt looking and the colors really worked with the pink,

I'm liking the shirt especially after I painted over some of the extra fabric to create the folds in the shirt. This really helps show the movement as she is walking down the sidewalk. I am also auditing sideway fabric.

I decided on this Stonehenge fabric for the sidewalk and added some dark gray to construct the cracks. I added another piece of Stonehenge green fabric for the grass. Since I had to close up my studio for a while, I wanted to quickly prepare the shadow. Evidently quick doesn't work for me.

Sooooo, I went to plan B.  In this photo the green and gray shadows are not in the position they should be,  but even if they were this still isn't working.

I've posted these images on The QuiltArt digest Facebook page and asked for some suggestions, as well as the SAQA Visioning Project blog. I've gotten some good suggestions, some that I'm planning to try.

I also took this with me today to my HiFiber art group meeting and got some even better suggestions. I have to say that from the first cut I made in the fabric I was hooked. I have had so much fun working on this piece.

 Unfortunately, I am going to have to  put it away while I prepare my upcoming class at J. C. Campbell. More on that later.

This post is linked to

Friday, July 25, 2014

For Someone Special

Some of you may remember that about a year and a half ago, I asked my friends to send a get well card to our granddaughter, who had been in the hospital for an extended period. Friends from my guild and Quiltart Digest along with FB friends responded as only quilters do.

She not only received many cards but small pieces of quilt art as well. After five weeks in the hospital she was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. With medication she responded well and was symptom free for a little over a year. In March she had another attack and it was determined that she would need to go on a medication that is done at the hospital by infusion. This has to be administered every eight weeks.

She is a tiny little thing and gets cold easily, so I decided to make her a flannel snuggle quilt to take with her. I am going to make her a bag in which to carry it easily. We are excited that she and her family will be visiting us from CA. in a few weeks, so I will get to see her open the package. She loves hand made items so it will be fun watching her reaction.

Finished the bag today.

This is the first quilt I've made in years, and plan to make all the grands one. It will take awhile but I will eventually get it done.

This post is linked to

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, July 18, 2014

On Entering Shows

I just spent about an hour in a thoughtful post about entering shows. Being accepted or not and lost the whole post. My piece "The Waterboy" was accepted in IQA Houston this year. I'm a very happy camper.

I don't have time to regurgitate my lost post so I will just add this, if you didn't make it this year don't take it personal. Enter that piece in another show. Don't give up. I've seen a piece  win in one show, and be rejected from another. It's happened to me. Maybe I'm naive but I always have hope. Sometimes that's enough.

This post is linked to

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Working this weekend

Hi all from Blacksburg, VA. Yesterday I taught, "Fabricating Faces" at the Blue Ridge Quilt Festival. What a class. We had 21 students, and six hours to create a portrait. Technical difficulty with my printer, overcome with help from my new assistant, AKA dear hubby. It was a busy but fruitful day. I am going to share a few photos with you of nearly finished projects. Enjoy!

I'm teaching again today, the class if Mini Nature. There is still time to come see the exhibit of quilts, beautiful.

I am linking with

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, June 27, 2014

Performing Surgery on "Following the Sun"

If you follow my blog, you know by now that I am not a planner. I know what I want to accomplish with a piece of art work but, I don't always know how to get there before I start. I am learning. After completing, two very large thread paintings, I now know that I must thread paint the image before I attach it to the background.

I worked on both pieces simultaneously so I didn't learn from one before working on the other. The Water Boy, had only one small area that bulged. However, I found early on that I needed to work on the boy's image separately from the background. I added him to the background after both were finished.

   Area before repair
Area after repair                                                                                                                                                                                       
I found this to be a very successful repair and was quite happy with the results. It does not, however, take place of doing it right in the first place. I can attest to the fact that it is heart stopping to cut into a piece you have spent months working on.
The Water Boy
Following the Sun
32" X 38"
Following the Sun is a project for my fiber art group. HiFiber, issued a challenge to it's members to do a piece using monochromatic colors. Since one of my passions is flowers, I decided to follow my muse and make yet, one more sunflower. Because I wanted to step out of my box a little, I decided that after I finished the applique I would heavily thread paint/quilt the piece.
I didn't intend to quilt quite so heavily, but I got carried away. Once you do that, you have to carry the density of quilting through the whole piece.
After I finished quilting the flower, the background was very warped, as was the flower, itself. I knew that quilting the background would help but I knew it won't take care of the majority of warping. At this point I placed it on my design wall and left it for months. 
 We now have a venue, The Art's Center in Clemson, SC, for an exhibit in August. I needed to get this fixed. I finished the background quilting and the center of the flower. I then decided that the only possible way to salvage this was to cut into the petals and cut away some of the bulk.
I chose areas that I felt would make a good place for a repair. In this section the edge of one petal looked like a good place to start. I cut the area with a very sharp E-Acto knife. I then overlay the edges to see how much needs to be cut out. I mark it with chalk and begin to cut away. I did this in steps as I do not want to cut away too much.  I then butt the edges together. On the back of the piece I fuse a piece of fabric that will cover the cut edge. I then come back to the top and thread paint to cover the mended piece.
finished repair.
I have learned a lot from working on these two pieces. I could have made two large floral wall hangings in the time it has taken me to create this one. However, I do find that I learn better by making mistakes and repairing them, than I do by planning ahead. Don't flame me for not planning ahead, I have learned such a good lesson from this project. I do know what to do next time I want to heavily thread painted/quilted a piece.
I hope this information might help the beginner thread painter. Stopping the heart to often can be bad for your health. 
This post is linked to:

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Story Behind, "It's a Beautiful Day"

It began with this photograph of one hydrangea bloom in my garden. Hydrangeas are one of my favorite shrubs. We have over forty varieties in our garden. Yes, I have a husband who also loves to garden.

I've always enjoyed isolating a blossom and photographing it until I get an image that makes me happy.

I decided to crop the left side of  the photo for my final composition.

I enlarged the photo to the size I wanted my finished image to be and then traced the outline onto a piece of light weight interfacing. I auditioned my fabric and attached Misty Fuse to the back. I then traced the pattern, beginning at the back of the flower and began cutting out the pieces. I work one piece at a time. Some people like to create all their pattern pieces and cut out all their fabric before they begin putting the design together. I like the instant gratification of seeing the design develop. It also gives me an idea that I'm headed in the right direction with color, etc.       
The bloom is beginning develop well. I seem to remember that there were a few places, that I wanted to watch, and decide later if I wanted to change a piece of fabric here or there. 
I've finished the bloom and added a few leaves. I see in this photo the problem I mentioned the paragraph above.  Note the bright turquoise in the above photo just to the left of the bright blue petal. It's missing in this version. It was just a bit to bright. The next stage is to fuse this down but, only after I give it a once over to make sure everything is in the right place. With that done I begin to add paint in areas to give depth of the design.
I use many different types of pigments to create the depth in my flowers. I like watercolor pencils, inks, acrylic paints, anything that works for the effect I want.
I knew when I began this piece that I wanted to use a confetti background. I had used that technique in the two pieces I had just finished and I really liked the effect. I had discovered that I didn't like to add the confetti pieces to the batting. Many quilters who use the confetti technique crate directly on the batting. I wanted to have some fabric showing between the little pieces of fabric. I decided that I would find a piece of fabric similar in color to my background. I then added Misty Fuse to the front of the fabric. he Misty Fuse also helps keep the pieces in place. I placed the fabric on top of the batting and backing. I then began to add the little pieces of fabric. I made a blend of greens, etc. until I had the design I was looking for. I had traced out the design of the bloom so that I didn't place the pieces in that area. Once I am happy with the design I lay a piece of tulle over the confetti and pin the layers together.
"A Beautiful Day"
My friend and fellow art quilter, Gail Sexton and I collaborated on this piece. she crated the beautiful quilting.
This post is linked to