Friday, June 27, 2014

Tuning Fork #21 and a teeny tiny piece

I finished two small pieces yesterday.  Tuning Fork #21, which was pieced using the studioQ color palette for May, and a small piece to exchange at the July meeting of the Fort Worth Modern Quilt Guild.

Tuning Fork #21 started out much bigger.  It was going to be 30" x 40" or larger.  I pieced 100 blocks or so and then started laying them out on the design wall.  And then I started to take things down.  Too much red.  Down came most of it.  Don't like the blue.  Took some down and rearranged the rest.  Waaaaayyyyy too much yellow.  Took down most of the yellow.  The resulting quilt is much smaller than I intended, but, I think, a better piece for the editing.
Tuning Fork #21, 22" x 26"
This tiny piece was a challenge.  At the MQG meeting we were each given a charm square and told to make a small piece to exchange at the July meeting.  My challenge fabric is in the upper right hand corner, the multi colored piece.
For the FWMQG, 7" x 7"
I spent most of my week piecing Tuning Fork #22, which I think it going to be something very special.  Perhaps I'll give you a sneak peak next week.

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

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Why the Tuning Fork?

I have been in a bit of a funk since I returned from Ohio.  It's ridiculous -- I've been home 4 weeks,  and I have very little in the way of work to show for it.  At least, no work that I like.  It's not that I haven't put in the studio hours, though I will admit that I have found some very creative ways to avoid going into my studio.  When I've been in the studio, well, my heart just isn't in it.  Why is that?

When I left for Ohio, I was flying high.  I've been getting into art quilt shows, I've been winning awards, I have ideas for new pieces and everything has been going very smoothly.  And then, in Ohio, I started to question the validity of my work.  And I made the decision to move on from the tuning fork series.  I started "playing" -- and playing is in quotes because although the word implies fun the process was painful -- with other shapes and other formats.  And I became a little depressed in the process.

A friend told me that I should think about what drew me to the tuning fork shape in the first place.  What is it about that particular shape that sparked my creativity?  I'm often asked if the shape appeals to me because of the musical connotations, but although I love music, I don't think that is the answer.  I have been thinking about this a lot, and I've come to the conclusion that the shape is only a tool.  What appeals to me is the way I can use the shape to flow colors and values across the surface of the quilt.  What I think of as amorphous piecing.

I studied geology in college.  My favorite classes were mineralogy and the study of rocks in thin section.  Geology is in many ways a visual science.  I was drawn to it because I had always collected rock samples.  They appeal to me aesthetically -- they sometimes have pretty crystals, they often have beautiful coloration.  Looking at thin sections through the microscope introduced me to a world of interesting shapes and colors, and the different minerals tended to "flow" across the surface of the slide.  If you would like to see what I'm talking about, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has a wonderful website of photos of minerals in thin section.   The world under my microscope was full of brilliantly colored shapes swirling across the field of view.  Magical.

I think that informs my work today.   I like things to flow.

This week I've started to work again on the tuning fork series.  I have a small piece that I hope to quilt today.  I'll post a picture later.  And I have started a large one that I hope to enter in an art quilt show.  I won't be able to post pictures of that, but I'm getting very excited about it.

It's good to feel excited again.

For now, a few pictures of my garden.  It's where I've spent most of my time this last month.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

More Dyeing, More Gardening and a Little Bit of Quilting

I just finished quilting two small pieces.  A little different than my usual work.  Not a tuning fork in sight....
Brown, pink and brown.  23" x 19"
Spikey quilt.  18" x 20"
I spent another two days dyeing this week,  Monday with Rhonda and Tuesday on my own.   Rhonda and I dyed a gradation from "intense blue" to "chartreuse."  A bit pastel, but there are some lovely colors...
 We also dyed turquoise and red-orange in 3 values:

On Tuesday I dyed a really nice gray value gradation:
We've had a nice amount of rain this week and the garden is very lush.  But the big show has been indoors.  Several of our orchids are in bloom!

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

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Dyeing and gardening...

...that's all I've done so far this week.  I spent yesterday up to my elbows in the dye buckets, and produced 24 yards of fabric.  Two yard pieces of pimatex, dyed in three step gradations of blue, raspberry, yellow green and bright yellow.  Unfortunately, the yellow gradation is very subtle.  So I have 6 yards of pretty much evenly dyed bright yellow fabric.   

Guess I'd better start another quilt that features yellow...

Mostly this week I've been working in the garden.  It's just starting to get hot here and the garden is still lush and green.  The early season day lilies are blooming right now.

 And the turtles are having a great time wandering around the garden.  This is Lizzy, the female:

The garden is looking tidy and the fabric is ready to add to my stash.  Time to get back into the studio!

I'm linking this post to Nina-Marie's Off the Wall FridayFriday Fabric Frenzy and Confessions of a Fiber Addict.  Go see all the wonderful work there!

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