Sunday, April 29, 2018

Spring Clean Your Studio Blog Hop 2018

Cheryl Sleboda of Muppin.com 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 – http://theinboxjaunt.com/ 
April 24 – Jennifer Thomas – http://curlicuecreations.blogspot.com
April 25 – Robin Koehler – http://nestlingsbyrobin.blogspot.com
April 26 – Andi Barney- https://www.andibarney.com/
April 27 – Misty Cole – http://www.mistycole.com/blog
April 28 – Carolina Moore- http://alwaysexpectmoore.com/
April 29 – Heather Pregger – https://heatherquilts.blogspot.com/
April 30 – Linda Bratten – https://lindabcreative.blogspot.com/
May 1 – Lisa Reber – www.dippydye.blogspot.com/
May 2 – Teresa Coates – http://www.crinkledreams.com
May 3 – Lisa Chin – http://www.lisachinartist.com/
May 4 – Jamie Fingal – http://www.jamiefingaldesigns.com/
May 5 – Sam Hunter – http://www.huntersdesignstudio.com
May 6 – Jessee Maloney – http://www.artschooldropout.net/blog
May 7 – Randa Parrish – http://www.sewartsyfartsy.com/
May 8 – Sarah Vedeler- https://meaningoflifedesigns.com/
May 9 – Jessica Darling – https://jessicakdarling.com/
May 10 – Melody Crust – http://www.melodycrust.com/
May 11 – Debby Brown – http://higheredhands.blogspot.com
May 12 – Cheryl Sleboda – http://blog.muppin.com
I hope you are excited as I am to see everyone’s studio!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Forked Out!

It's that time of year when I make several small quilts to donate to good causes. I always make a 12" x 12" piece to donate to the SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) Benefit Auction in September and I always donate a small piece to the International Quilt Association (IQA) for their silent auction during the International Quilt Festival in Houston.  So this past week, I have been knee deep in tuning forks.

I ended up with 3 small quilt tops.  The first is for the SAQA Benefit Auction.  I'm calling it Singing the Blues (Tuning Fork #47).  This piece will be 12" x 12", but is currently 14" x 14" unquilted:
The second piece, Bahama Blues (Tuning Fork #48), will be auctioned off in Houston by IQA in November.  The colors remind me of the blue hole we swam in on Andros Island in the Bahamas last spring.  It is currently 18" x 20", unquilted:
I had made some limey green tuning fork units that I thought might work in Bahama Blues, but they ended up in a pile on my cutting table.  So of course, I made another piece with those (and a few more I made to order).  The colors remind me of the tremendously turquoise Bonefish Bay on Andros Island, so I'm calling it Bonefish Bay Blues (Tuning Fork #49).  It will be for sale on my website once quilted.  It is currently 17" x 22" unquilted:
Here are all three pinned to a piece of batting on my design wall.  I had to use batting to obscure the quilt I should be working on.  The quilt I hope to enter into the quilt contest at International Quilt Festival.  Can you say "Procrastination?"
Apparently I can.  But at least two of these pieces will go to a very good cause!

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!
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Sunday, April 22, 2018

The Spring Clean Your Studio Blog Hop 2018 Starts Tomorrow!

Cheryl Sleboda of Muppin.com is hosting a blog hop we all need and can identify with!  It is time to spring clean our studios!  And it starts tomorrow!

April 23 – Lori Crawley Kennedy – http://theinboxjaunt.com/ 
April 24 – Jennifer Thomas – http://curlicuecreations.blogspot.com
April 25 – Robin Koehler – http://nestlingsbyrobin.blogspot.com
April 26 – Andi Barney- https://www.andibarney.com/
April 27 – Misty Cole – http://www.mistycole.com/blog
April 28 – Carolina Moore- http://alwaysexpectmoore.com/
April 29 – Heather Pregger – https://heatherquilts.blogspot.com/
April 30 – Linda Bratten – https://lindabcreative.blogspot.com/
May 1 – Lisa Reber – https://www.dippydye.blogspot.com/
May 2 – Teresa Coates – http://www.crinkledreams.com
May 3 – Lisa Chin – http://www.lisachinartist.com/
May 4 – Jamie Fingal – http://www.jamiefingaldesigns.com/
May 5 – Sam Hunter – http://www.huntersdesignstudio.com
May 6 – Jessee Maloney – http://www.artschooldropout.net/blog
May 7 – Randa Parrish – http://www.sewartsyfartsy.com/
May 8 – Sarah Vedeler- https://meaningoflifedesigns.com/
May 9 – Jessica Darling – https://jessicakdarling.com/
May 10 – Melody Crust – http://www.melodycrust.com/
May 11 – Debby Brown – http://higheredhands.blogspot.com
May 12 – Cheryl Sleboda – http://blog.muppin.com
I hope you are excited as I am to see everyone’s studio!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Blue in Paducah!

My friend Julia Heatwole Graber took this picture of The Salt Marsh Near First Encounter Beach hanging at the American Quilters' Society Spring Paducah show.  Thank you Julia!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Two NTAQ Challenges

Life has been a bit busy.  I missed posting the result of the March Art Challenge.  And I waited so long, I now have pictures of the April Art Challenge as well!

In March, it was my turn to chose an inspiration piece.  A friend had posted a picture of this painting by Giuseppe Capogrossi.  She had seen it in the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea in Rome. 
Giuseppe Capogrossi, Superficie 290, 1958
I was not familiar with Capogrossi, but his bold abstraction caught my eye.  

Our pieces were wonderful.  Here they are on Kay's living room floor:
I love the way we all played off the comb-like shapes.  Wendy's piece, the blue one in the center, is marvelous, isn't it?  

My piece is the one on the left.  Here it is on my design wall.  It is approximately 22" x 30":
Last month, Jaye presented us with a painting by Kandinsky:
Wassily Kandinsky, Poppy Field
Our takes on the piece were, as always, very different.  Kay (top left), paper pieced a poppy, Wendy (top right) used some clamped shibori fabric, Jaye's piece (bottom right) featured squares of color united by a white line:
My piece, below, was done using my usual squinting technique.  I pinned the picture on my design wall, squinted at it and started pulling fabrics to match the palette of the painting.  I cut rectangular pieces and placed them to more or less follow the flow of color in the picture.  And I added little white rectangles -- I really like that effect:
It isn't quilted yet.  At the moment it is approximately 18" x 20".

I think I like this orientation.  I had originally intended the sky (the blue) to be at the top, but I like the look of the green stems rising from the bottom.  What do you think?

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!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

TEXtiles!

I spent last week in San Antonio at the annual conference of Studio Art Quilt Associates.  And I had a marvelous time!

The weekend was bookended by Jane Dunnewold.  Rhonda and I arrived Wednesday just in time to tour Jane's studio.  And we ran into some friends there:
I have serious studio envy.  Her wet studio was HUGE!

We stayed at the Drury Plaza Hotel on the Riverwalk.  It was originally the home of Alamo National Bank.  The lobby was very ornate, with a beautiful stained glass window depicting the Alamo:
 You could still see the vaults and some very elaborate locks on the Riverwalk level:
A Texas Regional Exhibit, TEXtiles, opened during the conference:
 My quilt, "Mudcracks in the Canyon", was part of the show:
 A quilt by Jaye Dodds, my fellow NTAQ member, was also exhibited:
Thursday evening we took a cruise down the San Antonio River.  Maggie Vanderweit Meredith was at the helm:
 The Riverwalk is a beautiful place:
 And we had a fabulous time:
 It can also showcase some very unusual characters (although I must admit I like the kilt):
 This bridge across the river is covered with locks, symbolizing undying love:
The cruise ended at dusk.  What a lovely evening!
Friday was a big day for me.  I gave two presentations.  The first was my "lightning talk," a 6 minute 20 second lecture that I called "Inspiration vs. Emulation:  Finding Inspiration in Existing Works of Art."  It went very well.  Then two hours later, I led a panel discussion about the SAQA Exhibition Committee and our new push for 3-D fiber art.  Here I am in action:
That evening after dinner with friends, I relaxed on the rooftop terrace of the hotel.  It was a gorgeous night:
On Saturday, the members of the Exhibition Committee met for breakfast.  Seven of our fourteen members were in attendance:
After the morning session, I did a little shopping and then went to see Jane Dunnewold's gallery opening:
Saturday night was the Banquet and Spotlight Quilt Auction.  The competition was fierce and my donation quilt, which is 6"w x 8"h, sold for a good price:
The auction made over $22,000.  I'd say it was a pretty successful evening!  I of course did my part and bought two beautiful pieces:
The conference ended Sunday with two very interesting speakers.  First Meg Cox talked about improving your presentation skills.  Here she is showing a memory quilt she made after her husband's death:
And remember how I said Jane Dunnewold bookended my conference?  She was the final speaker.  She talked about artistic flow:
 I love her bare feet....

The conference ended with the coronation of our new Queen, ahem, President, Lisa Walton.  Here Lisa Ellis, now past president, passes on the crown:
It was a wonderful conference, full of inspiration, beauty, good friends, lots of Tex-Mex and many margaritas.  Next year, the conference will be in San Jose.  I'll be there!

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!
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