Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fast Friday Fabric Challenge: Oct.

This month's FFFC is to create a Notan.

Notan is a Japanese concept that utilizes black and white to demonstrate the contrast of positive and negative space. Often done as pen-and-ink drawings, Notan can easily be adapted to fabric with stunning results. This technique can help us evaluate our own skills with balancing the positive/negative space in our quilts

I have always enjoyed working with positive and negative space. Often when I am looking at designs I see the negative space first. Won't ever forget when the first Batman logo came out. I couldn't see the bat and wondered what the logo had to do with Batman. I still have to look at it and concentrate on the image before I can see the bat.

I'm not sure what that has to do with any thing except that I think I must see negative space first. That said I loved this challenge. Unfortunately my time won't allow me to do an actual piece but I will get back to it ASAP.

This project is one that you can work on any where. All you need is a piece of paper and scissors. I did this design sitting on my sofa watching the World Series.

Since the Palmetto tree and crescent moon are SC logos, I decided that I would work with those images. It took a while to realize that I had to make the moons one at a time. I was able to cut the tree out of folded paper by cutting out one tree.

This is pretty easily done with free form cutting.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fabricating Faces at QSC Retreat

Amanda B.

This past weekend I taught a class at the South Carolina Quilt Guild's Fall Retreat. I had twelve students in the class all of whom caught on to the technique right away. Being able to teach this class in a weekend instead of a one day class was so nice. I was able to cover more of Photo Shop Elements than I can do in a 6-hr class.

Ann S.

I had a set of sisters as well as a Mother/Daughter in the class. This was a great way to visit and yet learn and have fun.

Jeanne P. did this portrait taken by a friend who visited Africa. Ann and Jeanne were the sisters in my class. Jeanne is going to use this in a larger wall hanging. She is going to bead the earrings and the neck piece. Can't wait to see this finished.

Carol A.

Is he not a cutie? When Carol sent this photo I fell in love. She did a really good job. Carol was one of the two computer geeks who were invaluable in my class and I thank her again for her help.


This is the portrait I posted last night when I blogged about lips and eyes. Darlene also did a great job. She was my second computer helper and really owe them a lot.

Haley K.
Haley is a member of our local guild and it was really nice getting to know her better. She did a portrait of her son when he was a few years younger and one of her first grandchild. Both beautiful.

This cutie is actually a baby photo of Amanda who's portrait leads this post. Nancy and Amanda are Mother/Daughter. When Nancy was almost done with her portrait I walked by and asked her if she would mind cutting the last layer over again and changing the fabric to a lighter value. She agreed and I think she was very happy that she took the time to change to a lighter fabric. You have to enlarge this photo. and look at the drop of slobber on her bottom lip.

Four of my student left before I could get a photo of their finished portrait. I hope they will send me a photo so that I can post them as well. Hopefully more later.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fabricating Faces

I commented on my last post that often students want a defined mouth and eyes in their portrait. Sandi made a comment asking if I would post a comparison to the example I showed of my Dad. In my class this weekend Darlene's granddaughter's mouth was a perfect opposite of my Dad's.

My Dad's lips are just shapes of dark and light where Darlene's granddaughter's is what we think of as shaped lips.

The same goes for the eyes. My Dad's eyes here are shapes of black not round as we think of the iris as being round and some people have a problem with just adding shapes as I did in my Dad's portrait. Again this is Darlene's granddaughter and her eyes look "normal" to us.

What I want students to understand that Darlene's photo was perfectly lit. Her granddaughter's eyes do not disappear when she smiles as many of ours do. Therefore the photo made a great pattern with witch to work.

My Dad's portrait was made many years ago and I had to scan it into my computer. So a pattern from which to work was not as clear, and like me, his eyes tend to disappear when he smiles.

However, both photos made a pattern translated into a likeness.

Check in again soon, I'm going to post on the great class I had at QSC this past weekend. Didn't Darlene do a great job?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Off to QSC Retreat

I'm off this week-end to teach at Quilter's of SC Fall Retreat. I'm going to be teaching Fabricating Faces and as always I like to make a new portrait just to refresh my memory of how the steps go.

I was going through some family photos recently and found this photo of my Dad. I scanned it and downloaded it to my computer to do the work in Photo Shop to get a good posterization.

Often my students will want to have a defined mouth, nose and eyes and that does make sense. Those are features that define us. However, I have made several portraits where all those features aren't defined and they turned out looking just like the person I was portraying. I wanted to make another one so that I could point that out to my students.

What do you think?

Monday, October 17, 2011

October HiFiber Meeting

Last month HiFiber members presented portraits to the person who's name they had previously drawn about eight months ago. Those who were not going to be there asked that we not display their portraits until this meeting. Judy R. on the left presented Penny L with her portrait.

Penny is a world traveler thus the world with the bite taken out of the side.

We all filled out a form with lots of information about ourselves to help the member come up with ideas.

Judy R. also gave a demo about how to make fabric beads. It looked like Judy had brought all the embellishments she has in her studio. She showed us paints, tyvek, yarn, you name it and you can make beads from it. I was so engrossed in the process that I forgot to take photos of all the members in action. The beads above are some that I made.

Penny L. was the only one to bring show and tell. We meet in a gallery and don't always have wall space so we laid this one in the floor. Doesn't show it off well but it is quite lovely.

Penny asked for helpful suggestion on how she might quilt this piece. As usual we had plenty of ideas. I think Penny decided that she was going to machine quilt horizontal wavy lines across the piece. We hope to see it finished soon.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

More October Focus Meeting

My blog continues with more of the Focus Meeting. I wish to make this statement. The photos do not give credit to the quilts. They were pinned to a hanging quilt rack with black fabric behind them. It's impossible to get them to hang straight. So on with the show.

One of Dixie's beautiful Pineapple quilts took third place at the Asheville Show. Sorry I don't know what category.
A new Pineapple quilt that Dixie is working on.

This won best machine quilting for Sabrina in the Spartanburg Guild challenge.

Donna brought three pieces in progress. The last one had been attached to a canvas and Donna wasn't happy with the way it was finished. Several choices were discussed. We'll hopefully we will see all three of these later.

Diana won a Silver Award for Machine Quilting on this piece at the Floyd, Va. quilt show last month.

Diana and her husband, recently retired, are doing some much anticipated RV traveling. She decided to have a project ready to hand piece during these trips. This beautiful piece is one of them.

OOPS! I gave the Silver ribbon to the wrong quilt. This one won a Silver ribbon at Floyd, Va.

Diana's been in Veronica's scrap bag again. This piece looks lake a Scrabble game to me.

Marge's "Heartwood" won second place in the Art Quilt division at the Asheville, NC show. Marge also took us up to her studio to show the progress of her HUGE quilt that we have been following for more than a year. It's almost ready to quilt.

I know I've missed taking some photos and I've already posted what I took for show & tell so won't do that again. I apologize again for the poor photos and for missing so much information. I was quilt handicapped hearing all the back and forth information that should go with some of these quilts.

Be on the lookout for my next post on my HiFiber Fiber Arts meeting.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Oct. Focus Meeting

This has been one busy week with meetings, appointments and one fun day with an old friend. It's been so busy that I have ignored my blog.

So, here goes. Focus met this week at Marge Edie's beautiful home. A few members were missing but we were happy to have an old or should I say ex member join us again. Judy Hayward has moved back to our area and is again joining us.

This is "Summer Soiree" which won Best of Show at the Asheville, NC quilt show this month. Judy's quilting in this piece is outstanding. In fact all her work is outstanding. I was able to get some close-ups of a few of the motifs used in this quilt.

This is the center design.
One of Judy's beautiful designs.

Judy also joined the Fast Friday Fabric Challenge this year.

Not bad for a little over a weeks work. Wish I could do my own work faster. Actually that's why I joined FFFC last year hoping to be able to move my process on a littler faster. This month I didn't even try, to much other STUFF going on.

This is a new piece that Judy is working on. She has a series of flower quilts that are titled with "lady" as part of the title. Can't remember what she said the name would be on this one. Sorry Judy, a senior moment.

This color palette is very different for Judy. Can't wait to see it finished.

I can see that I'm not going to get this finished today, too much to say. More later.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Mother Nature "Best of Show"

Last weekend the annual Keowee River Scarecrow Festival was held in Seneca, SC. Various organizations were invited to make a scarecrow for the festival.

My friend and fellow fiber artist Judy Rapelje along with Donna Juras are members of The Artist' Loft located at 121B Townville St. in Seneca. Judy and Donna took on the job to make a scarecrow for their group.

Mother Nature was made to sit by their tent at the festival. As we all know Mother Nature, especially in the Fall, is know for her beauty. Judy and Donna's represented her well as she won 'Best of Show'.

Mother Natures's Bra

Donna Juras and Judy Rapelje creators of Mother Nature

She now resides at the Loft and should be around until well into November should anyone care to visit her. The hours of The Artist' Loft are 12 - 5 Tues. through Saturday behind the purple door.

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Happy Dance--Art Quilts XVI: Something to Say

I received an email today from Vision Gallery in Chandler AZ that "Connor" was juried into Art Quilts XVI. The show will hang from November 28, 2011 through January 28, 2012. This is the second year that I have been juried into this show but this year is just as exciting.

This quilt is personal for me since it is of my grandson, Connor. I've told the story behind this quilt before but if you will bear with me I will tell it again. Last year my husband and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. We took our family to Costa Rica as a celebration.

One of the tours we took was of a pineapple plantation. The guide was very personable and made the information interesting to young and old alike. He stopped our trolly and taking his machete cut a pineapple out of the field. He proceeded to cut the pineapple up into small pieces to pass around for everyone to have a taste. Our grandson, Connor was at the back of the trolly and when the guide got to Connor all the pieces were gone.

Connor had a turned down smile when the guide got to him. He was presented with the core of the pineapple. The look on his face as he reveled in munching the core was caught by my son in this photograph.

As soon as I saw the photo I knew I had to see if I could capture his look in fabric. I think I did and I'm excited that it was juried into this show.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


This is a photograph of my Father just a year or so before he passed away. I've been having a bit of sadness today as I prepare his photo as a demo for an upcoming class. I always try to do a demo portrait as I explain the different steps to my class.

Today I decided to search through my photos to find two photos of my Dad that I remember so well. They had not been digitized and I really had to do a closet search to find these two old photographs. I knew they were in a box but not where the box was located. Finally I found them.

I scanned them into my computer and am working on the steps to make them into a pattern for my "Fabricating Faces" class.

I love this photo. In the original my Mom is beside him. Daddy wore a light blue sweater and Mama a pink dress. I always thought my Dad was the most handsome man I had ever met.

Today as I work with the photo of Daddy as an older man I am struck by the kindness in his eyes. I see his gentleness in my son Gary, his love for all people in my daughter, Lisa, his love of God in my daughter, Lorin and his love for nature in my son, Michael.

My children remember how Daddy was able to make his ears wiggle and were amazed at him being able to take his tongue and move his teeth out and back into his mouth in one fail swoop. They remember how devastated he was when we came back to NC for a visit and the children found out their special Mimosa tree had been cute down. He hadn't realized how special that tree was for them and he was so sad that he had cut it down.

He had the most beautiful hands. I don't think hands are something that are noticed on a man. He was a laborer, a wonderful Father, a husband, a brother, a man of music. He was a wonderful man,.