Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

My good friend, fellow educator and blended e-learning guru, Monika, invited me to join the Around the World Blog Hop. See Monika's blog post here.

This is my first blog hop and I believe I have to answer some questions...

What am I working on?What I should be working on is my quilt for the Festival of Quilts, my Keith quilt, I haven't touched it in weeks and I don't want to rush it. So, sorry, no pictures of that yet.What I have started is another doll - and learning to play the ukulele! The doll is another Abby Glassenberg design, like the girl doll I made at Christmas.


My last finish was this challenge quilt. I never posted a photo with the shells attached so here it is, completely finished.


Our guild had a retreat recently. I made these heart squares in class with Carol from Carols quilts. It was meant to be a scrappy quilt, as in four colours for the hearts. I went a bit overboard and created my own fabric from scraps. I save any squares left over from other projects, bits of binding and anything with a straight edge, and then put them together at random. It works quite well and you feel very righteous for being so frugal!


2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I like to work with two main colours, usually opposite on the colour wheel, but lots of shades and prints. I may set myself a rule that I'm going to make, say, a yellow and blue quilt but then see how far off yellow and blue I can go. A lot of pondering goes on at the fabric choice stage. This quilt ended being called Teal Dragonfly, which is strange since the dragonfly is shades of beige and orange. I love those teal to turquoise fabrics.

This quilt was inspired by Katie Pasquina Masopust's book, Ghost Layer. Working in a series really helped me come up with this final design. My other ghost layer quilts are here.Layer Upon Layer: ghost layer quilts

The other thing I like to do on quilts is paint them. I'm really drawn to painted quilts, like Annabel Rainbow's Life series. My painting doesn't have quite the sophistication of Annabel's quilts. Annabel doesn't just paint the quilt but also appliqu├ęs and even makes the quilts in the painting using English paper piecing. You should check her out of you haven't seen her quilts before. Here is my painted quilt.

3. Why do I write/create what I do?

Short answer is because I would go crazy if I didn't! I have a need to make stuff, even if it's only a nice dinner. I also have a love of fabric and a passion for colour. I have a memory from when I was four years old when my Dad bought a new car. I was playing in the car, as you do at four, and stuck my head under the dashboard, as you do at four. What I saw blew my mind. There were all these beautiful coloured wires. I've been hooked on colour since then and hooked on sewing since I made my first dress at nine.

I made my first quilt, a log cabin, in 1980, when I lived in Washington DC. It was the first time I had seen anything other than a hexagon quilt. I loved the geometry of traditional quilt designs, still do. But I've also tried other hobbies that I then wanted to incorporate into my quilting. I've dabbled in watercolours, silk painting and batik, all things that have made it into my quilts. A lot of my quilts could be classified as art quilts and I find that satisfies the creative need for me.

4. How does my writing/creating process work?

I usually start with a technique I want to try. Sometimes the design takes time to come to me and sometimes something will catch my eye and I know that will work with the technique. I use a sketchbook to try out an idea but the final piece can be different. Sometimes the sketches will be detailed as I try out different shapes, designs or drawings. Other times it's just a scribble to get the proportions right.

I do a lot of design in my head. Only about 10% of my head design makes it on to paper and then only about half of them get made. I love looking back through old sketchbooks or even better, scraps of paper I've put inside books. Sometimes I have no recollection of my thought processes. The design can be totally new to me. It's like a whole new discovery. Maybe I should make some quilts for fundraiser for dementia research. I think I'm going to need it.

Catherine Parkinson is following on from me next Monday. Yes, I know it isn't Monday but we had a total internet failure at the weekend so I couldn't get this out. Ours was a physical problem, unlike the goings on at Spark.

Catherine started the group that I belong to. We tend to just call ourselves the arty farty group. Catherine is an amazing artist, published in Quilting Arts no less! She is involved in a sketchbook challenge, which is always inspiring. Her sketches have a distinct style to them but not necessarily all the same, sometimes representational, sometimes stylised. I look forward to what she has to say about her process. You will find Catherine physically in rural New Zealand (the reason she no long runs our group) and on her blog here.

And I will leave you with a thingy that I'm making in the arty farty group. It may be a tea light cover.

Collage of paper on net viewed against glass
It's a rectangular vessel, sort of.




Wednesday, September 3, 2014

I love sequins!

I have a guilty little secret. I love sequins. I used to do ballroom dancing, just social not competition level. But I would have loved to have worn a Latin style backless dress covered in sequins! Sadly those days have gone but I still get satisfaction from sewing sequins on things.

My sister brings these kits over from Miami when she comes to visit. Look, I haven't even finished the first one and I've already started on the next. Story of my life!