Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Sketching and New ATC's

Can you believe this. I actually did some sketching a few evenings ago (me, the one who said she can't draw). In fact, I did twenty little sketches. I couldn’t believe how easy it was once I got going. I just kept getting one little design idea after another. Right now I am making these into ATC’s, but several of these have the potential for being used in a larger format. Working in such a small format makes it fairly quick to see if something is worth pursuing further, and it has been giving me a lot of practice with my free-motion embroidery.

Here are 3 of them:

WILD Flowers 1

WILD Flowers 2

WILD Flowers 3

Monday, September 26, 2005

Quilt Show Goodies and More

I went to a small quilt show over the weekend about twenty five miles from where I live. There were close to two hundred quilts. Most of these were in the traditional style but there were about a dozen or so art quilts. Sorry, no pictures, I didn’t take my camera. I did buy nine fat quarters to add to the ever growing stash.

Later that day, I had a message on my answering machine letting me know that I had won a door prize. It was more fat quarters. However, I didn’t receive it because I was not able to return to the show to pick it up (darn, just my luck; they could have called my name while I was there)!

When I left the show, I stopped off at Michael’s Crafts and picked up a few more goodies. A couple of stamps, two pair of stretcher bars, a ball of crochet thread and a ball of yummy yarn (no I do not knit).

I didn't notice this until I took these pictures:

I was in a hurry and just grabbed this one. Looks like they must have sliced this with a box cutter. I guess I get to make another trip to Michael’s.

And then it was on to Wal-Marts.

These are cotton. I will use them in the bobbin with my embroidery threads.

I look at all of this as belated birthday gifts from my husband to me. He never knows what to get me so I just go buy what I want (within reason of course). LOL

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Better late than.....

I’m a little late with this. These are the magazines I currently subscribe to:

  1. Quilting Arts…..fell in love with it the first time I saw it and have every issue. Since I am a little creatively challenged I need things like this to give me ideas for creating my art.
  2. Cloth, Paper Scissors…..sister publication to QA. More ideas to get the creative juices flowing.
  3. Expression Magazine…..information and techniques with polymer clay among other things. (I will be letting my subscription lapse on this).
  4. Workshop on the Web…..not a magazine, but I was really caught up with this and have every course issued with subscription renewed for another year.
  5. TV Guide…..self explanatory

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Birthday, art fairs, and I can't believe I screwed this up!

First off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! It's my birthday today. If you read my profile you can see how old I now am. To celebrate, my hubby took me to an art fair and then out to dinner yesterday. The fair was a small arts and crafts event. A lot of pottery, paintings, jewelry and some knitted items and one booth with quilts (mostly traditional). This was the first time that we attended this one even though it has been an annual affair for many years.

Now for the screw up. Last week I decided to make a book cover for the binder that I have my ATC’s in. My first thought was that I wanted to do something really different with a lot of embellishments on it, but I changed my mind thinking that with all the handling it would be getting something simpler would be better. So I set out to make the usual, not too fancy quilted cover. I measured once, twice, thrice and jumped right in going all out working on this without checking at any given time as to whether it was going to fit. Somewhere during the process it shrank and now it is too small. It doesn’t fit any other binder that I have either. And this is not the first cover that I have ever made. I just don’t know how I could have gotten so far off on it.

The cover is stretched out flat here. I had intended to stencil or stamp the words Artist Trading Cards in the yellow strip.

It's hard to tell in the photo that the diamond shapes have batting to make them more 3D like;

close up of quiltinq

quilting on inside flap

Well, I guess I can look at it this way; I got to practice my free motion quilting and used up some of my fabric stash making it.

I have started on another one and I am still working on it. It is more like I had originally thought about making. I will post pics when it is done.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Why I work with fiber

Gabrielle asked… why are you working in fiber? What drives you to create....to make art...to show your inner self or just play?

I work with fiber because:

1. I’m not that good at drawing
2. I can’t paint (not in the artistical sense)
3. Working with fabric goes way back to when I was a young girl and made doll clothes from whatever I could get my hands on and later in high school I made some of my own clothes.
4. I was drawn to the colors and designs of traditional style quilts many years ago, but later discovered art quilts and loved their anything goes attitude.

The need to create is just so strong at times that I feel like if I don’t touch fabric or sew something I will just explode. Working with a variety of different media, whether it is cloth or fibers or paints or whatever, can be both stimulating and relaxing. Seeing the colors and feeling the textures and getting involved in the process of creating something appealing visually enables me to express myself in a way that I may not otherwise be able to.

Being able to go into “my room” to play around and create with fabric, or whatever, is my way of escaping from stress and at times boredom. But creating can also be frustrating. Sometimes I go into my room and walk right back out. I will draw a blank or I will have so many things swimming around in my head that I can’t separate them and make sense of what exactly it is I want to do. And, of course, there is nagging guilt always rearing its ugly head telling me that I should really be doing something else, you know like cleaning, cooking, doing laundry or more importantly, working at a real job and making some money.

But when everything comes together it is wonderful. And the feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction that comes from finishing a piece is a real high.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Blogging Etiquette

I have a question for everyone. Since I am still fairly new to blogging I am wondering what the proper etiquette is for answering comments left at my blog. Do I acknowledge each one, and if so, is it at my blog or the person’s blog who left the comment? Also, some comments are emailed to me. Usually I will answer these, but then the person who emails me may feel they need to email back and then this could turn into an emailing merry-go-round. I do not wish to offend anyone and believe you me, I am happy to get the comments, that means someone is taking the time to visit and read my blog.

I will be the first to admit that I don’t have the most exciting or entertaining blog here. I lead a very dull and uneventful life since my “forced” retirement four years ago. I don’t have any quilter friends and I can’t find any groups or guilds. That is why I am happy that I found the Artful Quilters webring. I enjoy seeing so many great pieces of art and reading what others are up to. This group has some of the nicest bunch of people too.

Your input will be greatfully appreciated.

Now I think I will see if I can come up with a statement for Gabrielle’s “challenge”.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Quilt mailed and ATC's

My Katrina quilt is on its way!

I thought I would post the ATC’s I was working on last week before I started on the Katrina quilt. Recently I have been using ATC’s as a way of experimenting with different techniques and supplies. I find the small venue a little difficult to work with sometimes, but it is a quick way to find out if something works or not.

I was experimenting with oil pastels and crayons. This was my first time using the pastels. I made my rubbings from rubber stamps. The directions for the oils said to let sit for 48 hours to dry thoroughly. I said the heck with that and pressed with a hot iron between brown paper after about 30 minutes. It seems fine.

This is the oil pastel:

Leaves #1

The other two were made using crayons.

Leaves #2

Leaves #3

The leaf colors should have been darker to show up better on the light background. I guess the next time I need to press a little harder.

Now I need to get back to some UFO’s (yeah right) and give some thought as to what to start next.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Katrina Quilt

Here is my Katrina quilt, all 480 squares, quilted and washed. I have had these fabrics for way too many years. I am sad that the circumstances for this quilt being made are what they are, but I am glad to have a chance to finally put them to good use.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Quilts for Katrina Victims

Tuesday night I was sitting and watching a movie and while I was watching, I was playing around and sewing on some more ATC’s. When the movie was over I flipped the channel to Fox news and was taken aback by the footage of the devastation of Katrina. I hate to say this, but before that time I had not really paid a lot of attention to what was going on in the aftermath of this storm. The longer I sat there and the more I saw I was so deeply saddened. My heart was just aching for all of those people. I looked down at what I had been doing and thought this is so silly. I immediately thought I have all that fabric just sitting in the other room, and I should be making a quilt for one of these people. And so I turned off the TV and even though it was already midnight I got to work on starting a quilt.

And when I checked my email the next day I had this information from AQS on making donations for victims of Katrina:

AQS members rally to aid Hurricane Katrina’s victims

All of us have watched in horror, as Hurricane Katrina pounded the Gulf Coast this week. Quilters are always ready to lend a helping hand when needed. We are depending on that generosity as we launch AQS Quilters to the Rescue.

The American Quilter’s Society will act as a repository for quilts to be donated to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. This will be a long-term commitment. We will receive quilts into our warehouse and pack them to be shipped on to the disaster areas, when and where requested by the aid groups. Our Paducah, Kentucky location is the perfect launch point for the aid. We are asking for completed bed quilts and baby quilts only. Do not send quilting supplies, wallhangings, or unfinished quilts.

With colder weather just two months away, quilts made with loving care, will offer comfort to those facing winter and rebuilding their lives. As many as a million people may be left homeless due to this catastrophic disaster. It is likely that many people will be in shelters and other relocation facilities through much of the winter. Quilts will be needed! So spread the word!

Send donated quilts to:
AQS Quilters to the Rescue
c/o American Quilter’s Society
5801 Kentucky Dam Road
Paducah , KY 42003

For those of you wishing to donate money instead, we suggest a donation to NOVA (National Organization for Victim Assistance). They will be providing long-term assistance on many levels. You may go to their Web site at
www.trynova.org or send checks to NOVA, 510 King Street, Suite 424, Alexandria, VA 22314, or call them at 703-525-NOVA.

For an optional AQS Quilters to the Rescue quilt label, go to www.AmericanQuilter.com and download the PDF. The label will be available on line on Thursday, September 1 st.