Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Today I continued working on my landscape for my class at Campbell. As you progress through this post you will see the technique I use to make pine boughs for trees. I think I have posted backwards again tonight sometimes I just can't get my head into the process. Just keep going and you may want to scroll up to look again.
After the boughs are cut out I place them on the tree trunk where needed. This technique can be used to make many things.
Monday, March 29, 2010
I'm going to be teaching at J. C. Campbell Folk School from April 24-30. I love to teach at Campbell for many reason but the biggie is that I have a whole week to spend in depth time with each student. I always learn so much when I am teaching.
For years I had a landscape demo that I used for all of my classes. Personally I was getting a little tired of the piece. I also needed it for my one woman show last Nov. so I finished quilting it and retired it as a demo. Well that means I need a new one for this class.
I started working on it today and I've had so much fun. I love this part of the process. This photo was taken by my daughter-in-law in the mountains in California. My son's family are major out door people and love to camp. They spent a week here. I love the look on granddaughter, Sydney's face. I'm going to try putting her in this piece, hope I can manage it.
I always build my background first, I call it my canvas. This one was built a little differently. I usually start by sewing together my sky, mid-ground and then foreground. I then start building the landscape from the furthermost most point and come forward. Because I had a group of mountains in the furthermost point in this piece I added them as I built the canvas.
I did a lot of fussy cutting on that grass fabric in the foreground. This is one of the techniques that I think adds authenticity when you use a realistic printed fabric.
That straight line at the bottom of the mountain will be broken up as I continue working on this piece.
I'm so excited to be starting a new landscape. It's been a while since I've been able to start work on a new piece and it felt so good. I always audition my fabric on my design wall before I start on a piece. I don't always stick with those choices but it gives me a good starting place.
Friday, March 26, 2010
OK, I need some help here. I am finishing up the anniversary quilt and am having a hard time deciding when enough is enough.
This quilt is out of my comfort zone as I am basically a realist. It's been fun and I know that Folk Art is suppose to be extreme but when do you stop.
I have posted three photos. My problem at the moment is deciding what if anything to put on the arch. I had initially planned on covering the arch with flowers, insects, birds, etc. Now I'm thinking it's too much.
I show the arch with only the designs that were quilted on, and then embellished with paint. I'm leaning toward this one.
It is shown with flowers at just the top.
The other photo shows flowers down both sides. Please help me select the best design for this quilt.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Fifty years ago two very young people crossed the boarder from NC to SC to be married. Because we were so young many people believed it would never last.
Not only has it lasted but it produced four wonderful, productive, talented, funny, successful adults. Along with five wonderful grandchildren.
Never would I say all the years have been roses but even the most beautiful rose has thorns. I would do it all over in a heart beat.
I made this veil for my daughter, Lorin's wedding. She brought it for me to wear since we did not have a formal wedding.
Elizabeth is our niece and a fabulous pastry chef. She made this beautiful cake for us. The topping refers to the fact that my husband is a bee keeper. The bottom layer was raspberry and the top chocolate, YUM!
Kermit is giving Elizabeth a big hug.
First photo Marilyn and Kermit with daughter, Lisa
Daughter Lorin, Trent, Hannah and Aubrey
Son, G. Lee and his daughter Ellington
Kermit and Marilyn with son Michael. Michael lives in California and his family couldn't make the trip for a weekend. We missed, daughter-in-law Allison, grandson, Connor and granddaughter, Sydney
Monday, March 22, 2010
I spent a weekend at John C. Campbell Folk School a few weekends ago teaching my Mini Nature class.
After the classes are over Campbell has a display of everyone's work in the community room of Keith Hall. These photos show the work of my class.
Every time I teach I come away amazing with the work of my students. Most if not all have never done this type of work before but they always produce wonderful art work. Below are post of each students piece finish in a weekend class.
Make sure you go to the older post to see everyone's piece.
Nancy chose a water lily for inspiration in this class. She had chosen a large array of pink fabric ranging in values that worked really well for this piece.
Nancy spent a lot of time at the painting table to enhance her lily and it shows in the details.
After Nancy finished the lily she decided that she wanted to use the same technique for the background. The effect is striking.
Lynda Doll brought a photograph of a bromeliad that she wanted to work on. There was a lot in the background and Lynda had to decide what to delete and what to keep. After she did this her piece became a little easier to manage.
Lynda needs to do some painting on her piece to separate the green petals coming to the front. She dyes her own fabrics and had a great selection for her work. Lynda and her family made a trip to Costa Rica last year and she is planning on adding this to a quilt she is planning on the rain forest.
Anita had been at Campbell the week before my weekend class. She was taking a beginning watercolor class. Anita had a beautiful photograph of an orange day lily. She chose this photograph as the inspiration for both the painting class and my Mini Nature class.
Anita had shopped successfully for the right fabrics for her lily. The piece used for the yellow in the center was not a fabric you might have chosen. It works beautifully. Most of my students used hand-dyed fabrics but Anita choose batiks. I suggest that either works well with this process. However, I think Anita choice of the batiks for the lily was exceptional.
Julie likes to work in a whimsical manner. When we auditioned different backgrounds for her piece she wanted to add one that was a little unexpected. I really like the black with dots but Julie wanted to do something a little different so she chose the bluish/green background.
When we were auditioning the fabrics we were looking at it on a table top. After Julie attached the flowers to the background she placed it on the design wall. When she stepped back she felt the stems had disappeared into the background.
Julie can correct the problem with paint or thread but had we worked on the design wall we would have caught the problem and she might have chosen a different background fabric.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Stevie chose to construct a butterfly for her project. Stevie is a traditional quilter and she was worried about being able to break out of her box. Well she exploded out of her box.
Stevie made some great choices in selecting fabrics for her piece and did a lot of experimenting with paints. Unfortunately this photo is before paint so you can't see the details she was able to accomplish.
We construct our flower or subject on an applique sheet or parchment paper. We then look for just the right background. Here we are going to look at three pieces that we liked for Carol's background. The next post shows the one we chose. Would like your comments, do you think we chose the right one?
Carol chose a small wildflower that grows in the woods for her subject. I took some hand dyed fabrics that my friend Bonnie Ouellette makes and Carol found just the right color for her rendition of this flower.
We tried several backgrounds on Carol's wildflower and this one seemed to work the best. The stems of the flower blend into the background but she is going to correct that with either paint or thread, perhaps both. This was also a new venture for Carol and she did a lovely job.
Carol wanted to extend one of the flowers out onto the mat. In order to do that she backed that flower with another piece of fabric. She will quilt up to the edge of the flower before it extends onto the mat. I love this effect.
Silvia is a traditional quilter and felt that she was out of her element working in this class. However, she did a wonderful job on this piece. This photo shows the piece before painting. We use paints in this class to show details which enhances the flower.
Lynda Doll hard at work on her piece.
The Fiber Art Studio at Campbell is such a wonderful place to be creative. It's large has plenty of natural as well as mechanical lighting. Lots of electrical outlets that come down from the ceiling, design walls for each student but most of all lots of SPACE.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
I thought that last nights post would be my last until I return from Campbell this weekend but this dreary day has prompted me to spend my time on the computer. Hope you enjoy this story.
I never know when I start a series of post whether to start at the beginning or the end. Today I chose the beginning.
In January 2009, I took a class from Mary Lou Weidman at J. C. Campbell Folk School. The class was how to build a story quilt, folk style. With our fifty year anniversary looming in 2010 I wanted to make a quilt representing those 50 years for our family.
Mary Lou's class could help me accomplish that. The following post will take you from the beginning to the near end of this project. Unfortunately, I don't have a photo of the quilt before I started adding images. Mary Lou, suggest that you make a canvas of your quilt. This means making a boarder and enclosing a blank center as your canvas.
Before I went to the class I had decided that I wanted to have photo of our family in the boarder blocks. Also since our house is a log house I wanted to use whacky log cabin blocks. I added a few of Mary Lou's blocks for interest.
The quilt is now at the quilter's, she just called and said it should be ready Sunday. That's good because our anniversary is next Sat. I have many hours of hand embellishment and the binding yet to come.
Our family and a few good friends are coming next weekend to help us celebrate. I will post the quilt when finished and tell you a little about the story.
In 1999 we purchased a lot on Lake Keowee near Seneca, SC. We decided that we wanted to build a log home. We found the logs we wanted and worked with the company to design a house for us. Met a young man who convinced us that he was an experienced builder.
He was a good builder but not a good contractor and he put us on a back burner. We eventually fired him and took over the contracting and actual finishing of the interior of the home ourselves.
We are proud of this house, it was built with our actual blood, sweat and tears. We could hardly wait for the weekend to come so we could go to the lake. When my husband retired at the year of 2004 we sold our home in Greenville, SC and moved to the lake. Never once regretted that decision.
The design for this quilt calls for my husband and I to be standing in an archway. Even though Mary Lou emphasized with our class that white stuck out like a sore thumb, I used it anyway. Frankly I had forgotten her comment.
She was teaching at Campbell again this January. I drove up one day to ask her advice on some problems I was having. Guess what her first comments were? Yep! "That archway really stands our".
I decided not to remove it but added a little watered down yellow paint. It will be heavily embellished so I'm hoping that will tone it down a lot.
Added under the archway is Kermit and Marilyn. I had a great amount of trouble with the hair. I'm not sure this photo shows what I ended up with or if this is an earlier photo. I also had lots of trouble with depicting us holding hands. All of the detail will be done after the quilt is quilted.
I struggled for weeks trying to figure out how to add each member of our family. We have four children, two in-laws and five grand children. Every year when the family visits in the summer we take a family photograph. I decided that I would draw the family in a group and dress them like paper dolls. The area they are located on the quilt is a pathway to the lake. One, son Michael, is missing from this photo.
Here I've added some things that are special around our house and to us. My husband is a bee keeper, thus the bee hive. We live on a lake and have lots of animals, thus the turtle. Our dog Holly has been a part of our lives for 18 years and our house is surrounded by Southern dog wood trees.
Not happy with the way FIFTY looks on the arch in this photo so I have changed it. The piece totally finished with embellishments will be coming soon, I hope. Fellow quilter and guild member Sue Hunston is quilting this for me and she has it as we speak. If I get it back this weekend it will give me a week to put the boarder on and embellish the whole thing. It will have lots and lots of embellishment.