Thursday, May 24, 2018

Art With Fabric Blog Hop -- 5th Edition

Alida of Tweety Loves Quilting is hosting the 5th Edition of the Art With Fabric Blog Hop.  I decided to play along!

The theme for this edition of the hop is 1 + 1 = 3

I have to admit I was somewhat stumped by this theme.  The concept is from Josef Albers, who highlights how two graphic elements positioned close to each other may create additional graphical elements and active negative space.  I am always appreciative of negative space.  But it could also mean other things -- a mathematical absurdity (you did know the answer to the equation above is incorrect, right? ;)) or the fact that society may be greater than the sum of the individuals who make it up.  I thought and thought, and decided to take the theme a little differently.  I took one painting and interpreted it in a small quilt.  And then I took that quilt and abstracted it further.  And finally, I took the second quilt and abstracted it further.  So three degrees of abstraction from one inspiration piece.

Abstract enough for you?

I love the work of Josef Albers, and since Alida had mentioned him in her description of the theme, I decided to use one his paintings as my starting point.  Albers is best known as an abstract artist and color theorist.  But he was also a printmaker, poet, photographer, educator and typographer.  He came to the US in 1933 from Germany and taught at Yale. His book,  The Interaction of Color, has been in print since 1963.  I have a copy of the 1971 edition, and if you don't have it (any edition will do), it is worth seeking out.  His work and his use of color are very recognizable and his color theory is very interesting.

I chose "Variant: 4 Reds Around Blue," 1948.
Which, as I gazed at it, presented the questions "How do you abstract something that has already been simplified to it's basic elements?  How do you abstract an abstraction?"

I try very hard every month to use the inspiration piece as just that, inspiration.  I have no desire to copy a painting or sculpture in fabric.  Rather, I try to use it as a starting point.  So I made a few sketches and came up with this piece.
Albers #1, 17"w x 22"h
Very simple.  In fact I thought it was too simple.  So I sketched a little more and tried to move it a little farther away from the original.
Albers #2, 17"w x 28"h
I liked the tension/sense of imbalance of this piece, but I still didn't love it.  So I moved in a completely different direction.  And I added some green.  Adding green is never a bad idea, in my opinion.
Albers #3, 24" x 24"
I liked this piece better, but it doesn't look very much like the Albers piece, does it?  Perhaps that's the point.

Visit all of the wonderful blogs on this blog hop!  

Monday, May 21, 2018

SAQA Group Dyeing Day at Jules'

The North Texas SAQA Circle met Saturday at Jules' house for a wonderfully messy dyeing day.
Jules' garage is the perfect place for dyeing.  Her garage has two large, deep sinks and ample space for all of us to work.  And a cushy floor.  There were twelve eager dyers.

It was a hot, sunny day, perfect for batching our fabrics.  We did a little bit of everything -- ice dyeing, shibori, baggie dyeing:
I dyed nine yards.  Six of them more or less solid, and three that were random pours of color over the fabric.  These are mine "cooking" in Jules' front yard:
My poured dyes.  The first was folded and squirted with blue and brown:
Chinese Red and Golden Yellow, scrunched in a plastic shoebox:
This was my final piece of the day.  I poured whatever dye I could find over it.  A little green, a little gray, a lot of blue:
My solids turned out pretty well, considering the fact that I placed the fabric in gallon zipper bags, poured the dye in and scrunched it a bit.  This was dyed with Aquamarine:
Chartreuse.  It split a bit into green, blue and yellow:
 This was Red Violet:
 Chinese Red.  I had dripped some brown dye on the fabric.  Happy Accident?  Maybe:
It was a lovely day, and I LOVE my results!

Beastro 2018

Friday was the annual "Beastro" party at the Fort Worth Zoo.  It's always a great party!  Food, drinks and live music set in among the zoo animals.  And a few party animals. 

We started by saying "hello" to the flamingos.  We always stop and see the flamingos first.
 We watched the sun go down over the new African Savannah area.
We wandered around sampling food from local restaurants and sipping wine, and then settled down to enjoy the opening band, Memphis Soul.
From there, the evening got a little wilder and my pictures got a little blurry.  I think this is the Jordan Kahn orchestra.
It was a great party!  

Friday, May 18, 2018

The Art With Fabric Blog Hop Starts on Monday!

Alida at Tweety Loves Quilting has organized another edition of the Art with Fabric Blog Hop!  It starts on Monday.  My contribution will be published on Thursday, but you won't want to miss any of the others.

Here is the schedule:

Monday, May 21st, 2018

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018

Wednesday, May 23th, 2018

Thursday, May 24th, 2018

Monday, May 14, 2018

Fairmount Neighborhood Home Tour

Don't you love to tour other people's homes?  I do!

Rhonda and I decided to join the Fairmount Tour of Historic Homes this past weekend.  It was a blast!

The tour consisted of 5 houses and one grocery store converted to office space.  The styles were very mixed.  Check out these lighting fixtures:
There was some very interesting wallpaper:
Here are a few of my favorites sights from the tour:
We had a fabulous time.  What a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Fifty is Nifty!

Guess what!?  My Tuning Fork Series is turning 50!  I can't believe it!

This has been a productive week.  I finished piecing a very large mineral series quilt (it is 57" x 80" unquilted) on Tuesday.  So, for the first time in several months, I had an empty design wall.

Of course, I do have a very small pile of unquilted tops.  Just eight or so.  Ranging in size from my SAQA Benefit Auction quilt (12" x 12") to my newly finished Tiger Eye quilt (57" x 80").
I'm currently using them to hide the longarm.  It works very well.

I went into the studio yesterday morning with every intention of loading a few small quilts on the longarm and quilting them.  I estimated I could finish at least three of them in one day.  After all, they are small.

But the blank design wall was very distracting.  All of that glaring white.  I decided I'd just take an hour or so and cover a bit of it up.  Just so I could concentrate on quilting.

And coincidentally, I had a small pile of fabric from the NTAQ scrap bag challenge.  Evil person that I am, I had sorted my scrap bag into eight piles.  At the last meeting I gave each member a pile and told them to make something with the scraps.  Restrictions:  the piece must be at least 12" x 12" and one dark fabric and one light fabric could be added.  I added an espresso brown and a very light teal to my pile.

I started by making some Tuning Fork parts.  Forklets, if you will:
I started placing them on the board.  Hmmm.  Looking good, I think.  I like the green/teal/red violet/gold color palette.
 One I had them arranged, I started sewing vertical rows together:
The left side is pieced together.  I flipped one of the rows when sewing them together.  I decided I liked it that way:
And here is the finished quilt top.  Tuning Fork # 50.  20"w x 30"h.
At this point I made two discoveries.  First of all, it was 4:30.  No quilting would be done that day.

And secondly, I had just created Tuning Fork #50!  Fifty!  I can't believe I've made that many Tuning Fork quilts!  Here is the page from my sketchbook
Of course, Brian and I had to celebrate the 50th incarnation of the Tuning Fork.  It's not everyday someone or something turns 50!

I'm linking this post with Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Friday, Confessions of a Fiber Addict and Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday.  Go see all the wonderful work there!

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Spring Clean Your Studio Blog Hop 2018

Cheryl Sleboda of sent out an invitation a few weeks ago to participate in the Spring Clean Your Studio Blog Hop. One look around my very messy studio and I realized I not only WANTED to participate, I NEEDED to participate. So I told Cheryl that I was in.

How on earth did my studio get so messy? I am usually very tidy, believe it or not, but suddenly every surface was covered with unfinished/unquilted quilt tops, piles of fabric, spools of thread and general thread and fiber grunge. Where to start?

How about the area between my longarm and my storage shelving? Every time I try to quilt something I have to move the piles of stuff. And finding something in my finished quilt storage area (three shelves to the left of the green bookcase)? Nearly impossible.

Or maybe the longarm table itself? It seems to be serving as a dumping ground storage area.
And then, there is the cutting table. I know there is a cutting mat down there somewhere.
I decided to make these three areas my priority. The rest of the studio was only moderately messy. A few minutes spent picking up the clutter would suffice for it. But the area behind the longarm, the longarm table and the cutting table desperately needed to be sorted out!

I started behind the longarm. I had stashed all sorts of junk (wrapping paper, a stash or Christmas gifts (I like to start early), stamping supplies and fabric paint, a box of Dharma hot water fiber reactive dyes I had just received, some unfinished quilt tops (they need to be reworked or recycled), various sizes of stretched canvas and a box of fabrics I bought during my trip to Japan). That area is the perfect stash space -- you can't see it from the door of the room or while sitting at the sewing machine -- but it was a big problem if I actually wanted to quilt something.
A couple of hours of hard work and I had sorted through the junk stuff. I'd put things back on the storage shelves, found a place for the Christmas gifts and reorganized the quilt storage area. And -- best of all -- I can reach the bookcase!

The quilt storage area is once again accessible. Each large quilt is rolled on a pool noodle and stored in a muslin bag. Small quilts are stacked on the shelf below.
I turned to the longarm table top. That twelve feet was prime storage space. Fabrics, papers, clothing, tools....all of it had migrated onto that long, inviting surface. The only problem was, it did make quilting a bit difficult. I had to dump stuff on the floor if I wanted to actually quilt. But several hours of sorting and putting things away and I have a table again! Hooray!

The final area that needed attention was the cutting table. I've been piecing like a woman possessed, and scraps and pieced bits were covering the surface. To make a cut, I had to sweep all of it aside.  But, once again, it only took a couple of hours to find the surface again.

So a few hours of cleaning and I am back in business! Thank you, Cheryl, for "making" me clean up my studio! I love it so much when I have a clean and organized workspace.

So I'll leave you with a few general pictures of my space. First, my studio assistant Boomer, in his usual space:
And a shot from the entrance to the room looking towards my sewing machine/ironing table and design wall. Boomer's loveseat is on the left.
Boomer's regular view. I took this photo with my back to the loveseat, looking toward the sewing table and longarm.
My view from the sewing machine. You can see Boomer is hard at work.
The blog hop is going on for the next several weeks. Join us and see all of the amazing studio transformations!

April 23 – Lori Crawley Kennedy – 
April 24 – Jennifer Thomas –
April 25 – Robin Koehler –
April 26 – Andi Barney-
April 27 – Misty Cole –
April 28 – Carolina Moore-
April 29 – Heather Pregger –
April 30 – Linda Bratten –
May 1 – Lisa Reber –
May 2 – Teresa Coates –
May 3 – Lisa Chin –
May 4 – Jamie Fingal –
May 5 – Sam Hunter –
May 6 – Jessee Maloney –
May 7 – Randa Parrish –
May 8 – Sarah Vedeler-
May 9 – Jessica Darling –
May 10 – Melody Crust –
May 11 – Debby Brown –
May 12 – Cheryl Sleboda –
I hope you are excited as I am to see everyone’s studio!

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