Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Possible Design

These are the 5" x 5" and 3" x 3" blocks that I took apart (see previous entry.) They are not sewn together, but just overlapped and I like the effect. Do they look like trees, sticks, fences? I'm not sure, but I want to make more. I think I will piece them with darker and darker blue backgrounds and lighter and lighter rust strips. Will they all be horizontal or will some be vertical? Will I have spacers, possibly using some surface design fabric? I don't know, but I do know that I'll have fun making them and then moving them around into a pleasing design.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Do it over

I wanted to do something with these blue and rust hand dyed fabric and use the Fibernachi Sequence. This design uses 1, 3, 5, and 8. I didn't like it when I started piecing it, but thought I'd like it better when the whole block was done. I don't. It looks very static and staid to me. My original thought was to have these blocks go from light to dark across the quilt. This block is 13" square. It was good TV work to pick it all apart last night with my trusty seam ripper.

What I DO like are these units of wiggly pieced stripes and I will use them in a different way. The first block is only 3" square, so that gives you an idea of how skinny these strips are.

The last two blocks are 5" square. I love doing these wiggly seamed strips even if they are challenging. I found out that if using a batik, as some of these are, they are easier to piece in if they are cut on the bias. It makes it much easier to work with those very tightly woven fabrics.

I'll post some more when my new plan progresses.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Surface Design

I bought some Shiva Paint Sticks a few years ago and some rubbing plates to go with them and they have been languishing in my studio closet. I decided to haul them out and make some fabric to go with the blues and rusts that I blogged about on Thursday. On this first one I used a copper stick over one plate and then went over it with a gold stick and a different plate.

On this one, I used a third plate and rotated it for the second color. I think I like this one better. But they will likely be all cut up anyway. I have started piecing those blues and rusts, but I'm not sure that I'm loving it so far. I'll post something when I'm further along.

There was a lot of talk on Quiltart recently about rust-dyeing fabric, as in using real rusted meta things to dye your fabric. There were some very interesting results. Maybe I should try it and use it in this quilt. Hmmmmm, now where to find some rusty metal.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Grand Central Terminal

This is old news, but I just had these pictures sent to me. Last week 44 members of the Woman's Club of Danbury/New Fairfield took a train ride to NYC for a guided tour of Grand Central Terminal. I am chair of the arts department and we frequently take trips to interesting places, often museums or other art related places. Although we go into NYC fairly often, we never have the time to stop and admire the beauty of the terminal. The tour gave us many fascinating facts about this largest train terminal in the world (if you count all the tracks). For example,the clock over the information booth shown above has four clock faces made of opal, valued between 20 and 30 million dollars! Imagine that!

You may have known that the terminal, often called Grand Central Station, was scheduled for demolition in the 50's until many prominent people, including Jackie Kennedy, started a campaign to save it. The restoration took 12 years and is still ongoing. The ceiling in the grand concourse is a beautiful turquoise blue with the constellations painted on. There is a small black rectangle in one corner that was the color before restoration. The black color was from years of cigarette smoke and nicotine. Thank goodness, there is no smoking allowed now. The gold toned lighting fixtures, which were also blackened, were sent out to be cleaned. The cleaner called back to say that the reason that they looked gold in color was because they were real gold.

The terminal is home to shops, news stands, a gourmet and fresh food market, fast food outlets and several restaurants, including the famous Oyster Bar, open since 1913. The tour included a peek into the Campbell Apartments, which is now a stunning cocktail lounge.

This was one of the easiest trips I've ever run. Participants got to the train on their own and after the tour went wherever they wanted for lunch and recreation. Some of us went to the Oyster Bar and had a fabulous sea food lunch. I had Oyster Stew and Oyster Rockefeller. Delich!

This is the group that couldn't get their act together and pose for the picture. That's me, the tall blonde in the lime green coat.  Notice those real gold lighting fixtures above. 

If you're ever in New York City, take the time to look around this wonderful, beautiful building. even if you don't take the train.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Color, Color, Color

I've frequently been asked what inspires me to make a quilt. Many things do, but very often it is just a color or color combination that get me going. Right now these blues and rusts from my hand dyed stash are speaking to me. I've had them spread out on my work table for a couple of days and a plan is taking form. I hope to start on it this weekend.

I will most likely use some of these batiks, also from my stash, in small amounts. I'll post some photos when I've made some progress.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Meadow and the Mountain

This is the last of my little series of quilts of the Northwest. It's supposed to be Mt. Hood in the background, but I'm not sure if I captured it correctly. Thus the title, the Meadow and the Mountain. I used Jeans Stitch thread again for the flowers. It really gives a wonderful texture.

That's enough of these little pieces for now. I'm surprised at how much time I spend on each one. Now I want to get back to my abstract work. I think I have some good ideas. Stay tuned.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Crater Lake

My son, who lives in Portland, said that I should include Crater Lake in my series on the Pacific Northwest, since it is such an iconic image. This is from a popular vantage point showing Wizard Island. The water is an intense blue because it is so deep and clear. I didn't have that blue in my stash, so I painted over a lighter blue with Setacolor. I signed this one with a very fine Pigma pen. I personally like the ones with flowers better and that is what I will do next. There will be four pieces to this series.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Library Show

I meant to write about this sooner, but it's been a busy week and I just never got to it. The opening last Sunday at the Mahopac Library was a huge success. As you can see by these photos the crowds were large. It was a beautiful, warm Spring-like day, good for the St. Patrick's Day parade that went through the center of town and made parking a little difficult, and good for those who wanted to take a little ride and go and see some great art.

The quilts were hung in the hallway, mounted on white canvas squares. You can read more about it here and here.

In the adjoining community room we had tables for food and drink and plenty of room for mingling or sitting down to rest your feet. The doors opened out onto a terrace that overlooked the lake. People strolled in and out enjoying the glorious weather, which was just a tease as it got very cold again the next day.
The exhibit will be on until April 3. Try to see it if you live anywhere nearby. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

More Mountains

Here's another one of my little pieces for the Tillamook, OR show. Actually this shot is from Mt. Adams, in the state of Washington. The plants in the foreground are Hippie Grass. I don't know the botanical name, but that's what it's called and is a wildflower that is prevalent in the North West. It has long strands of fluffy stuff that blow in the wind. I'm guessing that someone thought that it looked like a hippie's long hair or beard. I did see it in person when I was out there. It was rather difficult to depict in thread. This one is named, "Hippie Grass at Mt. Adams"

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mountain Picture

My son lives in Portland, OR and sends me pictures that he takes when hiking on weekends. He knows that I like a shot with a mountain in the background and flowers in the foreground. I've made several 4" x 6" postcards, or ACs (Art Concentrated) as we call them in Fiber Revolution when we exhibit them in black shadow box frames with glass. My little scenes have been pretty good sellers, so when I heard we were having an exhibit in Tillamook, OR I thought that this would be the perfect venue for them. But, alas, they decided not to have ACs at this show due to the shipping. Most of our shows are on the east coast and someone can drive the ACs. Pout, pout, but these would be *perfect* for an exhibit in Oregon. So I decided to make 5" x 7" pieces and mount them on 9" x 12" stretched canvas, as we did for the library show seen in my last entry.
I had fun making this little piece. It's called Wildflowers at Mount Hood. I machine embroidered the flowers with Jean Stitch thread and love the effect. The purple Lupine almost look like hand embroidery. I had the thread in several colors, but after seeing these results, I went and ordered every color that I didn't have from Red Rock Threads. Their service is amazingly fast and very low shipping. No affiliation, just a satisfied customer. More mountain scenes to come, so stay tuned.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Library Show

Yesterday I was part of the hanging committee for the show at the Mahopac Library. You can read about the show here. As you can see from the pictures, all of the art was mounted on white stretched canvas. I think it gave a wonderful cohesiveness to the show and also made each piece pop. Hanging them all at the same height was a challenge, even with all of our measuring. The canvases had wire on the back and since some were a little tighter or looser each picture went up differently. Rare was the canvas that got it right the first time. I think that the show looks great and as with most fiber art, you have to see it in person to really appreciate it. I hope you will stop in and see it if you are in the area. The opening reception is next Sunday, March 8 and the show will hang March 2-April 3. All of the info is on the postcard.
Many thanks to Nancy and Carolyn, my fellow hangers, and to Carolyn for the use of her photos.

Thankfully we planned to do this hanging yesterday. Snow was forecast for the morning, but it never came. Today is another story. It started snowing late last night and into this morning. We got about 7 inches and it is very cold and windy. I'm so glad I can stay inside all day.