My innermost secrets - yeah right.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Season's Greetings

Time to catch up. Let's start with Houston International. This was the first time I was able to attend for more than one day. We started our adventure on Preview Night. The 'we' is my good friend Linda and her Mom who came down from Minnesota for the show. With the precision and focus of treasure hunters, we marked our map of vendors and took off with list in hand. I really should clarify this - I was the only one with a list, they were 'browsers', I was serious. In the end, of course I spent too much money but I had a blast. I attended a 'Make It, Take It' mini-workshop with Sue Bleiweiss and created a mini padfolio. Sue is the inspiration behind Fiber and Stitch . Fiber and Stitch has lots of good articles on mixed media techniques from artists around the world, worth taking a look at.

I met up with members of the African American Quilters yahoo group. We visited, took a group photo and did a show and tell.

Of course there were the quilts - the beautiful quilts. I will post just a few of the many photos I captured.
Here is the Grand Prize winner - a work by Hollis Chatelain.

Here are a couple of pieces created by two award winning artist friends of mine.
This piece is by Tonya Littman

This piece is by Barbara Barbara Oliver Hartman.

I participated in the final year of the Journal Quilt Project so of course I was happy to see my work hanging amongst the other inspired works. Here is a link to blogs from other participants:

To my surprise, there was an exhibit of the quilts published in Creative Quilting Journal Quilt Project and I was able to see another one of my little works.

Gotta run.

Monday, October 1, 2007

It's Been a While

Has it really been 3 months since my last entry? I guess I will just have to catch up. Let's see...
After the workshop at the end of July with Mary Ruth Smith, I decided to join the Dallas Area Fiber Artists and the Surface Design Association.
I committed to participating in the final year of the Journal Quilt Project and as usual, I was working up until the last minute completing my work. On this piece (17x22), I used techniques learned in the workshop with Mary Ruth Smith. There is stamping with hand made stamps, fabric painting, hand embellishing with metallic gold thread. I found this really beautiful thread that has a black wrap on it but also irridescent film that shows green and brown. I used it to sew a grid and I left lots of tails hanging. I even made my own sequin looking things out of metallic gold cardstock. The binding has seed beads all around and the skeleton leaves are metallic. This was fun. I even managed to get the sleeve and labels completed!

I took 2 more classes at Quilt University - People in Places taught by Linda Schmidt and Upside Down Applique, taught by Susan Brittingham. I completed much more of the work for the Upside Down Applique class than I did for People in Places. Another underwater scene but this time with sea horses. One day, I will complete the work for both classes and put them in the Finishing School Gallery.

I even managed to make a batch of hand dyed fabrics. I did the 24 color batch and there is still so much for me to learn. This time the colors were more even but it seemed to wash away during the last step. I will get it some day.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Lavender Fields Forever

I started work on another small piece. The inspiration came from a fellow student in my Quilt University Machine Embellishments class and my Quilting Arts calendar. It is a scene of lavender fields in France and I am able to use the needle lace technique to make the trees. I used Pellon Peltex as the interfacing so the piece is rather thick and firm. I found some really tiny seed beads and some leaf beads to embellish. It is still a work in progress.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Scrap Project

I decided to make a series of small works to represent the seasons. The inspiration came from an article in Quilting Arts magazine. The pieces are the size of a postcard and were made with the leftover scraps of fabric from the Habitat for Humanity quilt.




Maybe I will take them to work so I will have something colorful to look at. It has been grey and rainy this month.

I helped Rhea finish the Habitat quilt on Tuesday. In spite of her protests, I took a couple of pictures. She found an empty conference room and we sewed on the binding. I think the red really makes everything pop. All that is needed now is a label and Rhea will take care of it. The people that commissioned the quilt are thrilled with the results.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Machine Embellished Surfaces

I am taking another class at Quilt University , Machine Embellished Surfaces. The teacher is Susan Brittingham. The Discussion Forum is supportive and there is at least one person from the Filament Fantasy class taking this one also - Lilian. The class covers needle lace, adding texture using several techniques of scrunching fabric, manipulating sheer ribbon for different effects and a few other things. There is no real project in the class, just technique. Here are a few of the techniques I practiced and a couple of compositions:

needle lace dragonfly

tree canopy

sea kelp

mossSpanish mossnecklace using 'window' technique

auditioning layout for scrunched fabric

final layout

I received some very nice feedback on this piece. It looks very dimensional in the photo and this is what I was aiming for. I still have a couple of weeks to stitch everything down and quilt before the gallery closes. I have also signed up for a fabric dyeing class taught by Marjorie McWilliams and will probably take the People and Places class taught by Linda Schmidt.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Habitat for Humanity

My department at work is planning the logistics for a Habitat for Humanity home in Wylie, Texas. Part of the dedication is to present the new homeowner with several gifts, most with symbolic meaning. The program manager asked Rhea, a co-worker and fellow quilter, to make a quilt for the homeowner encorporating pictures taken during the build. Rhea, asked me me to help and of course I said yes. We discussed, more like sweated over what to do - a photo album? sashed photos in a row? and what size? This was exhausting. The turnaround was quick, less than a month and and we literally had hundreds of photos to choose from. We finally decided on something - because we had to, but neither of us was feeling good about the decision. We started looking through Rhea's stash of fabrics and both of us spotted a quilt Rhea completed a few years ago. Instantly we both had the same thought - what about this one!? The decision was made - circle or square within a square. The background in greys and the circle or square in a suede-like fabric. The photos were printed and cut to wallet size. It took one more get together and the top was 90% complete. We even found some fabric for the backing that looks like a computer motherboard. This is very appropriate because we work in the IT department. We got the final word on the dedication and the completed quilt will be ready. Here is a peek of the work in progress.
Rhea is great with color and loves to hand applique. Behind her is just one of her many creations.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Photo Finish

For the past few months, I have been taking a Photoshop class at the Sachse Assembly of God Church. The class was offered by a graphic artist friend of mine, Bill Wegener, who is a member of the church. He is so generous, sharing his knowledge for free. We met Sunday evenings for an hour and Bill showed us so much it was difficult to absorb it all. At least now I am not afraid of Photoshop anymore. Last night was the last class and Bill had a final exam/competition for us. The rules were to create an advertisement using at least 3 photos from a CD of photos he provided; include text of some kind and adhere to the dimensions he provided. We had roughly 50 minutes to complete our project. While we were desparately trying to come up with ideas, Bill found 2 staff members to judge the projects. Bill answered questions and helped us see our ideas to fruition and then it was time to judge. "Step away from the computers", tick-tock, tick-tock; judges evaluating required elements, creativity and does it sell the product...and the winner is #2! Hey wait, that's me! I thought for sure the peppers would win! When I shared my surprise at winning with my friend Merriel, she paid me a great compliment by saying she knew it would be me because of my creative side and unusual way of looking at things - my friends have more confidence in me than I do. Here is a look at the winning ad.

My prize was a framed, signed copy of "Someday". The story is the orphan boy in the picture used to stand outside of the classroom every day and listen to the teachers. It was always 'someday' he will be able to attend classes like the rest of the children who lived at the orphanage.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Filament Fantasy

I am back. Okay, so I am not a regular blogger but I plan to do better in the future. I completed a class called Filament Fantasy offered at Quilt University. The teacher is Linda Schmidt and she has a very good lesson plan - plenty of follow-up in the Discussion Forum and posts in the Gallery. This is my third Quilt U class and my second with Linda. This class encourages you to use the collection of pretty threads, foils, beads in your stash.

I have posted all of the individual blocks in my Picasa album . Here is a look at the finished quilt.

The picture doesn't show the beads attached to the binding that were hand sewn. I gained confidence using the host of threads I have collected over the years.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Year of the Pig

Okay, my other favorite thing is food. Today I went to lunch with a few coworkers and we celebrated Chinese New Year. It is the Year of the Pig - a good year for having children. Isn't this a cute picture?

We dined on a feast of ten dishes - whole fish, Bejing Duck, BBQ pork, chicken and duck, Chinese brocolli, shrimp and scallops, BBQ beef with pineapple, baby bok choy with mushrooms and dried tofu, fried whole shrimp (heads and feet), pickled something, and a few other dished I don't remember - what can I say except it was wonderful. I am an adventurous diner so this was like heaven to me. My Chinese friends were so happy and proud to share this with the rest of us. Great time.

Hold on a sec, Mer is coming back to life. Oh no, it's her mom that's dead and Mer is not ordinary. Sniff, sniff. Sorry - Grey's Anatomy. If you watch it, you understand.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

In the Beginning...

It's 2:00 on a Sunday morning and I am writing my first entry in my first blog. I read my friends and friends of my friends blogs' and I decided to write my musings and share my creations with the world too. We shall see. I am sleepy now so I will see you later. I have a repair man coming in a few hours to give me an estimate on replacing my mailbox (need those bills) and some other projects around the house.