Thursday, June 27, 2013

Taking a chance and putting myself out there.

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about working on a magazine challenge.  I decided that I am ready to share my process.  The Challenge was for Quilting Daily 's reader challenge.  It had to be 10"x 10" and the theme was Passages.  The first thing that came to my mind was "The Final Passage".  

I rarely work from a drawing, but this time I did.  I drew a 10" square and then tried to add some lines for the perspective.  I scribbled some notes as well.  The drawing floated around my cutting table for weeks.  I would get enthused about the idea and then I would be afraid that I couldn't pull it off.  I finally decided 2 days before the email entry deadline that I was going to JUST DO IT!

The palette 
I always pull way more fabric than I need.  I ended up only using about 9 or 10 pieces of fabric.

The Path
 I had originally envisioned a tunnel, but couldn't figure out how to make that work.  So I decided a path would be the way to go.  When I do a collage like this, I put down the backing and some batting and build on those layers.  I had drawn the 10" square on the batting so that I was sure to cover the area.
Background in place
 I needed the "darkness" to show off the "light".  In the bottom right hand corner is the "green, green grass of home".
The light
Trimmed Light
 I cut a rectangle of this fabric for the "light".  I used 2 layers so that the dark below would not show through.  I stitched some rays of light and then trimmed away the excess fabric.

Tree (photo is sideways)
The dead "tree of life" is quilted into the background.  I quilted some wavy lines in the dark to represent the air.  I also quilted stars into the dark.

Too much like Casper
I was trying to show "spirits" breaking free from the chains.  These guys looked stupid.

I then took the sheer and just chopped it up with the rotary cutter.  On my cutting table was another sparkly sheer fabric and the edges were all frayed into threads.  I cut those off and then covered it with some netting.

Covered with netting
After I had quilted down the netting over the chains and the "spirits" and the "light, I did some big,wide quilting to hold it down over the "dark".  Hated it.  I wasted quite a bit of time taking that quilting out and cutting the netting away from the background areas.  I am glad that I did, it works much better.

The Grand Finale

At Peace


Memorial stones
The Meaning of the piece. They say that there is a light at the end, but is there?  Does anyone really know? This piece represents my vision of my Mother and Brother breaking free from the chains of ALS as the disease took its' final toll.  My SIL had some stones etched with my brother's name.  They place the stones at the locations where they scatter ashes.  I hope that Mom and Tom are at peace.  They are not forgotten.

It is a very emotional piece for me.  I am glad that I was able to let it out and to send in an entry.  I didn't make the list.  That is ok.  The second time I looked at the list I saw that there were over 125 entries and only 12 finalists. Less than 10% made the cut.  For a first entry I am ok with that.  Maybe next time I will make the cut!  

This is my Off the Wall post for the week.  And also a Link a Finish Friday. And TGIFF.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer days are here again!

I love salad dinners in the Summer!

I never made it home this week, still waiting for my new granddaughter.  She is now 8 days late. I am lucky to have some wonderful friends that don't mind me lurking about their house for over a week and a half.  My husband came up over the weekend, we had two family weddings to attend.  One Saturday and one on Sunday.  Both lovely.  Then he returned home.  I just knew that if I tried to head home I would get a call and have to turn around again.  So I just stayed put.

I have been knitting, that is all I brought to work on.  I did go to a luncheon with a friend.  Wonderful group of ladies, some quilters, art quilters, and cross-stitchers.  I really enjoyed that day, lovely garden, wonderful conversations, really a lovely day.  And an open invitation to join them anytime I am up when they meet monthly.  I also went to my former weekly quilt group.  I miss that.  They have a monthly evening program and then meet weekly just to work on their own projects and visit.  Best group ever!

I went out to my friend's veggie garden yesterday and did some weeding. Her cherry tomatoes are going to be ready soon.  She also has a zucchini just about large enough to harvest. I am starting to miss my own garden.  My husband reports that all the seeds I planted before I left home have started to sprout.

So yet again, my Off the Wall post is purely inspirational photographs.  Check out what everyone else is up to at Nina-Marie's blog.

Craftsy has all their fabric on sale today only!  Click here to check it out!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Inspiration in Salt Lake City

I am in Salt Lake City this week waiting to meet my new granddaughter.  The only thing I can work on is some inspirational photography.  Luckily for me all my friends have wonderful gardens!  I have been working on improving my close up photography.  I think that the fuzzy cactus would be fun to interpret into an art piece. Maybe using some dimensional thread work.  I will see what I come up with when I get back to my studio next week.  Click on the photographs to enlarge.

On another note, the magazine challenge that I entered posted the finalists and I am not on the list.  The victory for me was in actually entering.  I really need to put myself out there more.  I am glad that I made the effort to finish the piece and submit an entry form.  It was a learning experience.  My piece was very emotional for me, I am not quite ready to share it here.

This is my Off the Wall post for the week, check out what everyone else is up to at Nina-Marie's blog.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Design Wall Monday


Completed blocks

All caught up!
My quilt group in Wales is doing a block of the month.  The leader this year is Brenda of Pie Plate Patterns. She and her daughter, Bonnie, have a lot of cute patterns for table runners, baby quilts and a couple books on using layer cakes.  They also put on a fun retreat in the Spring.  Brenda has designed this block of the month.  It has been fun so far, different sizes of blocks, and making more than one of each, sometimes 2 and sometimes three.  I am all caught up, ready for this month's pattern!

Leftover triangles
I love the bonus triangles from making square in a squares and flying geese.  I use them as leaders when chain sewing.  It is amazing how many get sewn together without even trying!  I then will use the HST units to make mini quilts.

I love the method of making half square triangles by adding an inch to the finished size, drawing a line down the center, sewing 1/4 inch on either side, cutting along the line and squaring up the 2 HST units.  I always get a perfect unit.  Some time in the last few months someone on one of my online quilting lists went off on a rant about quilters who use this method.  She said something like "just do it right in the first place and you don't have to waste fabric and time to square up the units".  Ouch.  In quilting math there is the magic 7/8th of an inch.  Add it to your finished size and cut your triangles to sew HST.  Well, guess what?  That measurement is rounded to the nearest eighth of an inch.  So if you cut and sew exactly right, your HST is not quite right.  There are so many different ways to achieve the end result.  Using the method that works best for you is the right way to do it.  If I take a class where a specific technique is being taught, I will try it out in class.  But if it doesn't work for me, I will use the method that does.  I would be interested to hearing what some of your favorite methods are and why.

This is my Design Wall Monday post.

Friday, June 7, 2013

On the Schedule

Road to California
Next on my teaching schedule is the Utah Quilt Guild Quilt Fest in Midway Utah at the Zermatt resort.  It was held at this venue a couple of years ago and was wonderful!  Right up next to the mountains and with the colors changing in October it is quite scenic.  I will be teaching Road to California on Friday, October 11th in the morning.  I will be team teaching with Florence Evans  our class,Walking Foot Wonders, on Saturday, October 12th.  WFW is a fun class about getting your quilts finished using various designs all with your trusty walking foot.  You would be surprised at the variety of designs that can be done.  Florence is precision and I am the freeform.

I had gone to Karen's house yesterday  for knitting and coffee.  She has a lovely garden.  I love to take inspirational photographs while I am visiting her.

We had a wonderful sunset last night!  I just happened to glance out the window at the right moment.  

The last 2 days I have been working on a piece for a magazine challenge.  I submitted the entry this afternoon.  My first try at entering something other than a local- to-me show.  I don't want to jinx it, so will hold back showing any photographs of the piece or the process until I find out if it is a go or not. Just entering is a big step.

This is my off the wall post for this week.  Check out Nina-Marie's blog to see what everyone else is up to.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Design Wall Monday


3 bonus squares

one more set of swap blocks
This week I am working on a Block of the Month that my local guild is doing. I was a bit behind, now I have all the back blocks finished and just need to cut and sew the pattern that is due next week.  Last month at the meeting I cut 2 month's worth of blocks.  I have been sewing on them off and on since.  So where did these 3 extra squares come from?  For the blocks I needed 8 of them.  Weird.  Oh well, they will go into the 3-1/2" squares box.

I also just finished up another set of swap blocks.  I just need one more set.  I really need to get them in the mail before next Monday.

This is my Design Wall Monday post.