Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Preliminary Piecing Finished

All my little 3 1/2 inch squares are finished.  I thought I was finished yesterday but one long diagonal line bothered me, so I made some new ones.  Now to sew them together, hopefully tomorrow. I learned a lot by doing this piece about gradations and I made some mistakes.  But now I think I know how to get a very smooth transition and am planning another piece in a different palette.  More about that later. I always say I learn something from every piece I do.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

A Whole New Palette

I know that I haven't shown much going on in my studio lately, but I am working on a new Skinny Wiggly piece, this one in warm colors, much like this summer.

 Most of these are my hand dyes, but I did have to fill in with commercial (gasp!) solids. I did a fair amount of dyeing for this,  but couldn't always get the colors I wanted.

My FiberWorks annual challenge this year is Transformation.  I toyed with a lot of ideas, but kept coming back to a color transformation.  I'm going with Yellow to Red.

All works this year are to be mounted on stretched artist canvases that are 24" x 30" in portrait orientation.  My little squares are 3 1/2" that will sew down to 3" and my finished piece will be 21" x 27", leaving a 1 1/2" border all around.

Here it is a little farther along. It will end up as very dark red in the lower right corner.

Since this one is not a secret I can show it to you as I progress.  I hope to finish the piecing soon.

I'm linking up with Off the Wall Friday.  Go see what everyone else is up to.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Enchanting Echinacea

I think I'm safe in saying that the Echinacea is a staple in most perennial gardens in the northeast, where I live.  Commonly known as the purple cone flower, it is easy to grow and plays well with friends.  I have quite a few in my back garden, planted with day lilies in various colors and rudbeckia.  They have intermingled very happily and are so thick that nary a weed can penetrate the bed.  I also have some in a light cream.   I never knew that they came in other colors until I went to the nursery today and was totally smitten by these new varieties, new to me anyway.

I didn't know where I was going to put them because my garden is pretty full, but I remembered that I had planted a yellow knockout rose last summer.  It was a huge disappointment.  While the buds were a pretty yellow, the open flowers were a wishy-washy white and for some reason it was very straggly looking this year.  So out it went making room for my three new plants. I also had to transplant some blue salvia, more about that later.

Isn't this amazing?  This one is named Evening Glow Coneflower and it does seem to glow.  I like the fact that the flowers on the plant are all a slightly different color from each other.

This beauty is Orange Passion Coneflower and while I'm not a huge fan of orange, this one spoke to me.

Double Scoop Raspberry Cone Flower.  How's that for a name?  It is a luscious deep raspberry rose red with a big fluffy center and a double row of short petals.

Here they are in their new home surrounded my blue salvia, which is just coming into bloom.  It will soon look like the ones around my mailbox in the front of the house where they get more sun. See the next photo. The new coneflowers will be twice as tall next year and twice as wide and should really make a statement.

Here are the blue salvia around the mailbox.  Aren't they lovely?

I just had to show you this, the first Stargazer lily of the season to open.  There are many more in full fat bud. I just love them for their stately presence and their heavenly aroma.

I spent all morning in the garden, planting (I did a lot more than the cornflowers), fertilizing and spraying for deer and bunnies (I'm at war).  Now to get back to my studio.  My new quilt is calling.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

No Pictures Allowed!

It seems strange to write a post about photography without pictures, but today I finally photographed SW5 Big Green Diptych (my  online dictionary does not recognize this word, but it means two pieces of art joined by a hinge).  I have always photographed my own quilts and have been accepted into some top shows that way, but today I was having problems and I almost called in a pro.  But I kept at it.  I have a photography "studio" in my garage.  That means that I have a big foam core board covered with black velvet with gray felt on top of that, depending on how dark or light the quilt is.  Today I went with the gray.  I have professional lights and a tripod for my camera.

One trick is getting the lights in the right spot so that you don't get hot spots.  Then you have to make sure that your camera is at the same height as the center of your quilt.  And your camera has to be perfectly level. I have a small level on the tripod, which is good for knowing the camera is level from left to right, but none for whether the camera in level up and down.  So I took many, many shots, eight or ten at a time, then ran up to my studio to download them and see if I got it right.  I know that my quilt is perfectly squared off, but if the angle of the camera is wrong, you get a parallelogram, not a rectangle.  Arghhhh!!  Frustration, but I finally got it right.  I actually used my iPone for the details and they came out great.

But I am reminded of the bad old days when you had to send in slides.  You had to buy the expensive film (remember film?), take 36 shots, send them off to be developed (also expensive) and hope you got two or three that were decent. Sometimes you wouldn't and you'd have to do it all over again.  Digital is soooo much better.

So I filled out the digital entry online, uploaded the two photos, one of the over-all quilt including the edges and one detail to show the stitching, filled in the part so they could get my $45 from my Visa for the entry fee and hit SEND. BTW that's $45 per quilt. You can enter up to three. The entry deadline is Sept. 12 and I will find out a couple of weeks after that.  I think I deserve a glass of wine!
Or chocolate!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

I'm in Quilting Arts!

My Quilting Arts magazine came yesterday and I was thrilled to see my "Of Cabbages and Kings" given a full page with a detail.  This was part of the SAQA CT exhibit that traveled to three venues last year.  Eight of the thirty-seven who had quilts in the exhibit were invited to send their quilts to the magazine for possible inclusion in an article about the exhibit.  I mailed my quilt awhile ago and quite frankly had forgotten about it. So I was quite happy to see it there. 

I have had my quilts published in magazines before and many books, but this is my first time in Quilting Arts, my all time favorite quilting magazine. It is full of wonderful things, an abundance of art quits to drool over and new and interesting techniques to try, so go pick up a copy if you don't already subscribe. 
I've linked this up to Off the Wall Fridays.  Go see what everyone is up to and be sure to leave some comments.  We all love comments.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Artful Outing

Yesterday my FiberWorks group took a field trip to New Haven, CT instead of our regular Friday meeting.  Our purpose was twofold.  First we went to see an exhibit at the Yale Center for British Art, Of Green Leaf, Bird, and Flower: Artist's Books and the Natural World.  It was a wonderful exhibit, but no photography was allowed.  You can read all about it here.

After the museum we went right next door to the Atticus Bookstore Cafe  for a delicious lunch.  This is an independently owned book store, a rarity these days, right near the Yale campus. I wish we had more time to spend there because in addition to the books they had a huge selection of wonderful cards.  I usually buy cards when I travel and add them to my stash at home, so that I am not limited to the Hallmark cards we can buy locally. Nothing against Hallmark, but I do like something more unusual.

And then we were on to our next destination, to visit the quilt that I sold last winter to the Yale-New Haven Hospital's Fetal Medicine Center.  The ribbon cutting ceremony was last March when I was in Florida, so this was the first chance I got to see it hung.

Mine was hung in a hallway and I couldn't stand back far enough to get a good squared-off view.

This gives you an idea of how it was mounted in this shadowbox-like frame, wired for security.

The very nice metal plaque hanging beside it.

Vivika DeNegre, the current editor of Quilting Arts, who was instrumental in having the powers that be look at my website and choose my quilt, also had a very large commissioned piece hanging in the same room. My piece was abut 50" square and hers looked twice as wide as mine. I think they must have painted the wall to match her quilt.  Anyway it looked great!

I loved the way she quilted it.