Saturday, January 31, 2009


I've been reworking several works I posted about a couple of days ago. A friend suggested that I crop the "Ladders" piece. I think she was right --the off-center ladder is a much stronger composition. What do you think? I also replaced the rungs with orange, the complement of the blue ladder.

I also cropped one of the blocks in "Fracture #1" to make it flow a little better:

I rephotographed this piece, "Block Study #7." Much better..

Now it's time to get back to my longarming...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I've been on a quilt retreat!

I just got back from the Trinity Valley Quilt Retreat. Four days of complete focus on sewing. No cooking, no cleaning, don't even have to make the bed....Heaven!

I took three old projects that were fermenting in my unfinished projects bag. All of them needed borders, and I hate adding borders, so they had been sitting for a long time. And I also packed a lot of my hand dyed cottons and hand dyed silks, as well as a few of my batiks.

For every quilt that I put borders on, I allowed myself to work on one art piece. This strategy worked really well -- I got all three old projects done, and pieced three new pieces. And finished piecing one fiber art piece I had started before the retreat.

For my art quilts, I decided to focus on spike-like shapes. This first piece is Fracture #3. It is 18" x 24". I really think this turned out well -- I had it pinned up on the wall and the more I looked at it the more I liked it! In fact, another guest at the hotel (not one of us quilters) wanted to buy it:

This next quilt is Fracture #4. 30" x 24" I'm not sure of the orientation of this piece. It looks very different when turned 90 or 180 degrees. I used some pieces of fabric I had rusted and batiked at Susie Monday's Burning Woman workshop in this piece, as well as some of my domestically produced hand dyes and batiks. The black spikes are cut from a piece that I had discharged at Bethany's house last September:

This next piece is Fracture #2. 20" x 22". Rather than using a block format this quilt was pieced from the center out. The large pinkish field near the center is a lovely piece of hand dyed silk. And of course it has pieces of my circle stamped batik -- I love the texture of the large "bubbles."

I had started making blocks for this next quilt several weeks ago. The color in this picture is awful -- it is much more red-violet and rust than it appears here. I'll have to photograph it again when I have better light:
And finally, the three quilts I put borders on. Finished and ready to quilt!

I had a great time and felt like I had a great creative burst. It was funny -- I was the only art quilter at the retreat and everyone was gathering around to watch me cut and piece. Maybe I'll start a new trend at the TVQG! No rulers allowed!

Monday, January 19, 2009

3 small works

Three small works I've recently completed. Well, not entirely completed. The first is quilted and the edges have been finished with a facing: the last two are small tops.

The last two are musings on the word "ladder." The first a more literal treatment, the second very abstract.

The first quilt was the result of a challenge in one of my bees. We each pulled three crayons out of a bag. I pulled red-orange, fuchsia and red-violet. Here they are:

I don't know how I managed to pull three colors out that I like so much. I swear I didn't look! I was afraid I was going to pull out something like flesh, always my least favorite color in the Crayola box. The quilt would not have been nearly as fun to make!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Workshop with Joe Cunningham

I just got home from a wonderful day spent in a workshop with Joe Cunningham. Joe is a marvelously talented man who specializes in both improvisational piecing and improvisational quilting. The workshop today focused on piecing.

Joe showed us several quilts he had pieced in this free form manner. The quilt shown above is called "My Own Fault." I believe he is holding it sideways in the picture. The earth seems to be running vertically across the left side of the quilt. It was sliced and pieced like the quilts we did in the workshop.

Gay, Joe, Mona and I during the workshop:

We had a lot of fun!

My quilt was pieced using three fabrics: some hand-dyed red violet (the last couple of dyeing days I have dyed a lot of red violet. One of my favorite colors) and a spiral batik and an orange/pink batik (both commercially dyed). The blocks were fun to make, but it was even more fun to play with the arrangement:

I really like my finished quilt! I grouped the larger pieces of purple together and then arranged the purple tendrils and spikes so that they more or less radiated from the purple mass. Kind of like a purple sun:

Ok, maybe you have to squint to see the purple sun. But I think that's going to be it's name. 'Cause I see it.

First customer quilt of 2009

Just finished (and delivered) my first longarm job of 2009. A beautiful aqua and brown diamond quilt by Sydney. Gorgeous, isn't it?!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

First Visitors of the New Year

Our first visitors of 2009 were Janet, Elena and Carolyn, our friends from Colorado. It was wonderful to see them! The girls are growing up so fast.

On Saturday, the temperature was in the high 70s. It was a beautiful day for a trip to the Fort Worth Zoo. The girls loved it, and Elena bought her green spotty tail there. It apparently didn't get in her way when she climbed the oak tree in our back yard:

Carolyn is going to be 10 this month. She's a sweetheart:

Brian and Janet especially enjoyed the snacks after our trip to the zoo:

On Sunday, the weather was chilly. We spent the rest of our visit indoors, talking, playing games and watching football.
The girls brought Boomer a new sailor outfit and a catnip anchor toy. Doesn't he look jaunty?

Amazingly enough, he doesn't seem to mind wearing it. And he was very patient with the girls, who wanted to play with him and hug and kiss him continuously. He's a good little guy!

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