Friday, May 17, 2013

Tuning Forks #11 -- Bloggers Quilt Festival

For the last three years, I have been exploring the tuning fork motif.  I love to interlock them, elongate them, scrunch them up, flip them around, explode them...Ok, I admit it, I'm obsessed.

The latest finished product of my obsession is Tuning Fork #11.  I was really driven to finish this quilt -- we had visitors coming and I was so wrapped up in sewing that I was afraid it would haunt me if I didn't finish before they arrived.  It would be dreadful if I started to resent family members for taking up my valuable sewing time.  The best way for me to prevent that is to have an empty design wall during the visit.  So I planned the layout and sewed it in two weeks, and then quilted it and faced it after they left town.

Tuning Fork #11, 53" x 79"
I usually start a quilt with a basic format in mind.  My first thought was that I would make a red and gray quilt.  I love red.  And I wanted to grade the background from light at the top to dark at the bottom.  I also wanted to more or less grade the motif sizes from small to large, although a few small forks snuck into the bottom sections and several pesky large forks wound up closer to the top.  And I decided that the top left should be very low contrast, very mushy.  I wanted to run the red "texture" section, that is the section with smallest blocks,  from the top  right to the bottom center.  And I would place a few rogue red tuning forks in the gray sections.

I quilted TF #11 with medium gray thread in vertical lines.  In places the lines are less than 1/8" apart.  The largest spaces between the lines are probably 3/8".  I like the texture that closely quilted lines give a quilt, and I love to create a rhythm by varying the width of the spaces between lines.

I've linked this post to the Blogger's Quilt Festival.

See the Blogger's Quilt Festival Art Quilts here and vote for your favorite!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Finished! And in the Mail!

Ruins #3, 12" x 12"
It's been a really busy week.  In a good way.  I've gotten so much done!  I've finished the facing on two quilts (Tuning Fork #11 and String Theory), finished my SAQA auction quilt, and put both the auction quilt and my entries in the judged show at International Quilt Festival in the mail.  It's a big relief to have all of that done.   On top of all of that, I've been busy working in the garden (weeding, deadheading, fertilizing) and packing for my upcoming trip to Ohio.  

The first flush of roses is over, but other flowers are taking their place.  Pincushion flower, gerber daisies, salvia, coreopsis and my favorite, the poppies.  I planted some poppy seeds when we first moved here, and poppies continue to pop up all over the garden.

The vegetable garden has been a big success this year, I think because Brian built raised planting boxes.  We've had abundant sugar snap peas.  The tomatoes are just starting to ripen (I picked the first two on Monday), we still have leaf lettuce, kale, sorrel and arugula.  The peppers have little peppers, the beans are blooming and the potato plants are very tall.  The carrots and onions are coming along.

We have some flowers inside as well.  Two of my orchids are blooming.  

I'm linking this post to Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Friday, Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday, and Richard and Tanya Quilts Link a Finish Friday.  Go see all the wonderful work there!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Ruins #4

Ruins #4,  44" x 65"
This top went really quickly!  I started it last Monday (4/29) and finished it today.   I wanted to get it done before I left for Ohio -- I'll be there for two weeks and hate to have a nearly-completed project on the design wall when I leave.  As always with my work, there are parts of it I like and parts I would work differently. What do you think?

I'm linking this post to Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Friday, Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday, and Richard and Tanya Quilts Link a Finish Friday.  Go see all the wonderful work there!

Monday, May 6, 2013

SAQA Texas Retreat at the Great Expectations Creativity Center

16 members of SAQA Texas met at the Great Expectations Creativity Center in LaGrange, Texas, last weekend to work on entries for our upcoming show, A Texas Experience.  And it's a cliche, but a great time was had by all.  Really and truly, it was a fun and productive weekend.

The Center itself is wonderful -- it's beautifully equipped, well lit, and set on a hill in the gorgeous countryside between Round Top and LaGrange.
Great Expectations Creativity Center
We had planned the weekend to jumpstart the upcoming traveling SAQA Texas show.  Members can submit a 12" x 12" quilt with a Texas theme.  If the member wishes to list his or her quilt for sale during the show, he or she must submit four quilts (so we can replace his or her quilt in the exhibit).  It was so much fun to see everyone's ideas take shape. 

There were several projects that were at least completed tops by noon on Sunday.  Kim's Brazos River landscape, Sara's cow, chickadee and Texas flag (improv style), Janice's denim and diamond piece,  Suzanne's checkerboard background.  My pieces are the four on the upper right.
A few of the projects in progress
On Friday night, we at Mexican food at Las Fuentes in LaGrange, and then returned to the Center in time to see a fabulous sunset.
My pieces don't really shout "Texas," do they?  I decided to go abstract for several reasons.  First and foremost, I am an abstract art quilter.  It's where my heart is.  And although I was a quilter before I moved to Texas (30 years ago!), I discovered art quilting here.  I found my passion.  Each small piece has three of what I call "belly button blocks" (rimmed squares) to represent the three cities I have lived in in Texas.
My 4 little quilts for the exhibit - still need some work...
If you are a SAQA member and live in Texas, check out our "Call for Entry."  Entries are due September 1.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Ruins #4 in Progress

I had company last week (and part of the week before that), so I haven't spent much time in my studio.  Monday afternoon, after running errands and doing multiple loads of laundry,  I dragged myself upstairs.  I was feeling totally out of gas and very uninspired, but it felt good to be in the studio again. So I sat on my sofa, put a Jane Austen movie in the DVD player (Emma, starring Gwynneth Paltrow) and divided my gaze between the movie and my bins of fabric.  Eventually, I realized that my eye was being drawn repeatedly to a piece of coral fabric.  I felt a flicker of interest.  So I got off the couch and started pulling fabrics.

I decided to make another ruins quilt.  3 columns, large scale figures dissolving into small scale figures, medium values grading into dark values.  Unlike my last large ruins quilt, which had no distinction between the sections, I decided to make discrete blocks.  As of Wednesday evening, I had this: 
Right in my color comfort zone.  I love the warm side of the spectrum.

I am linking this post to Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Friday

I'm off to Round Rock tomorrow for a visit with Kyra, then to LaGrange for the weekend.  SAQA Texas is meeting at the Great Expectations Creativity Center.

Spring in North Texas has been fabulous.  Very cool for Texas.  Our roses love it. Indeed, the whole garden looks lovely.

The rose garden on the South side of the house.

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