Wednesday, July 9, 2014

"Emotions" Challenge

Our group's latest venture is the Emotions Challenge, where we'll each design and create a quilt that evokes or expresses an emotion.

Personally, I've had so many highs and lows this year that choosing one emotion to express was difficult, but in the end I decided to focus on the positive.  My quilt (working title: Alive in the World) is about the feeling or emotion I get when spring has sprung, and everything is green and vibrant and alive.  I'm just not sure I can name the emotion associated with this feeling!

The inspiration for this project:  I was looking out the window from across the room and had a view of green, green, green, with some dark lines through it and small spots of color.  I need new glasses, but what I was actually seeing was green grass, cherry and apple trees (green leaves, flower blossoms and very dark trunks and branches), and wildflowers across the street.

Here's the progress I've made:
First audition putting the units together.  I'm not sure about the darkest green piece
in the lower left.  Also, the cruciform shape is too static, too centered, too bold; too much! 








So I tried a less-structured t-shape.  Better.
Elongated the lower part of the t-shape.  Still better.
Detail of the center, which will be pieced, making each bit even smaller, like little gems.
This project is on the back burner while I work on other projects:  prayer flags for a friend's public art project, and a couple other abstract pieces. As soon as I get to see other members' challenge pieces in process, I'll include photos of those.  
Next . . . a session of deconstructed screenprinting.
Three days till Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Exhilaration!

It's Friday night and I'm thinking about the weekend.  On Sun. afternoon I'm teaching Vibrant Quilt Collage  (from the book Vibrant Quilt Collage: A Spontaneous Approach to Fused Art Quilts, written by Bethan Ash).  Since I forgot to post a photo of my shop sample back in Feb., here it is:



"Exhilaration" wall-hanging, 18x24"







I really wanted it to be VIBRANT, so I pieced the background with black-and-white fabrics, then used fusible web to adhere the multicolored shapes to its surface. It was machine-quilted in softly-curved arcs, some of which overlapped.  It really was a fun and SPONTANEOUS way of working, and a nice change from how I normally design and construct a quilt.

In fact, I enjoyed it so much that other design ideas popped into my mind as I was working on this one.  Here's a second piece I've started, this time using one piece of black fabric as the background:


2nd "Vibrant" fabric collage, 12x17"


This second one's been on the back burner for awhile, percolating. When I return to it, I hope I'll know what it needs next. The only thing I'm sure of is that there will be a bit of black showing on all four edges. As of right now, though, I'm not even sure of the orientation!  It may be on its side when I'm finished . . .

A change in orientation?

Anything's possible, right?





Tuesday, April 1, 2014

New work

Over the past week, I experimented with the 12" x 12" format and found that I liked it.  Here's the piece I did:

"Tribute to the Elder"

"Tribute to the Elder" detail
The "Elder" being referenced is my dad.  The basis of this design was a small sketch of overlapping circles topped with a t-shape.  It was in my design sketchbook, on a page dated 10/15/13, which would've been my dad's 97th birthday (though he only lived to the age of 62).  The title is rather tongue-in-cheek and I think it would've amused him.

It was very satisfying to work in this small format, as it forced me to simplify the design, and that inspired me to want to work in a series.  I've been doing the exercises in  the book Visual Guide to Working in a Series by Elizabeth Barton (which is excellent, by the way!) as I try to narrow down my theme.  Stay tuned to see where this path takes me!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

"Photo Safari" Challenge Results

Throughout last fall, each of us worked on our pieces for the "Photo Safari" challenge.  This was the challenge where we all went to Salem's Bush Park and took photos, then chose our best 12 shots and drew names to swap them with another member.  From the photo set each member received, we each had to design and create a quilt inspired by those photos.  The total of all four sides of the finished quilt had to equal between 84" and 144", allowing for a variety of sizes and configurations.

We held our March meeting at Deb's to take advantage of her large studio space and lighting set-up that's perfect for photographing textiles.  My daughter brought her friend, Cody Drago, a very talented photographer who's just starting a side business photographing textiles.

Here are the challenge quilts he photographed that night, beginning with Patty's.  I'm completely amazed at the way Cody's captured the luminosity and three-dimensionality of this piece!

"Autumn Leaves" by Patty Korn
Detail of  "Autumn Leaves" -- Wow! What a glow!
Then there's the lush greenery of Bush Park that Nancy recreated using tucks and folds.  (And I'm guessing that because she lives on a forested ridgetop, her surroundings also played a part in inspiring this naturalistic piece!):
"Woodland Nocturne" by Nancy Swanson
"Woodland Nocturne" detail
Lisa, ever the perfectionist, spent hours upon hours on the detailed stitching of her piece, both by machine and by hand:
Lisa's abstract depiction of roses (not yet titled)
Click on this next shot for an enlarged view of the intricate hand stitching in the centers of the two roses on the left:
detail of Lisa's roses
And beckoning us from a tropical isle is Maureen's beautiful poster-sized postcard from one of our previous challenges ("Letters"):
"Just Mail It" by Maureen Erhardt
"Just Mail It" detail
More photos from this challenge will be posted soon, so please visit again!   Comments are greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

3rd Annual FABRICATIONS: The Art of Quilting Show

Along with two other Fiberexplorations members (Deb and Erika), I was thrilled to learn that one of my quilts was accepted into the juried Fabrications: The Art of Quilting show in Bend, Ore.  This Friday evening, March 7, is the artists' reception  from 5-7 pm, coinciding with Bend's First Friday activities. This show is sponsored by the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show (SOQS).

Here are the quilts that are in the show:

Erika's "Industrial Nature"

"Industrial Nature," detail.
"Passion Flower" by Deb.

Deb's "The Voice"




"Blue Note" by Joanna
"Blue Note" detail
There will be complimentary wine and refreshments at the reception, so please stop by if you're able.  Otherwise, you can catch the show through the end of March.  The venue is Franklin Crossing, on the corner of Bond & Franklin in downtown Bend.



Monday, December 16, 2013

5th Annual Holiday Potluck

We had the Fiberexplorations' 5th annual holiday potluck & fabric postcard exchange this past weekend. This year, Nancy hosted us at Passages, her ridgetop home in the Cascades.  I can't tell you how beautiful everything was!  It was a bright, cold, and sparkling Saturday afternoon, but we were warm and cozy inside, as Nancy's husband, Gary, told us the history of Passages and how it came to be named.

More than one of us proclaimed that if we lived there, we'd probably never leave.  It felt like we were nestled inside someone's dream vision of the ultimate tree house.  Here's a view from their music room, high in the Douglas firs:

Nancy's view
Gary took photos of us as a group, but it's my fault that they aren't included here.  My camera is persnickety, and all the shots were blurred.  We'll try again next year!

On the other hand, our fabric postcard exchange was a big hit again. There was no theme this year, as you can see, and they were all unique:






There were several long tables set out in Nancy's spacious studio-in-the-treetops, and that's where we ate our linner (combo lunch-dinner).   Every potluck dish was incredible, and all the major food groups were included, which can be rare at a potluck.  One offering deserves special mention, as it seemed to generate the most taste-approving sounds, and that was the rum cake that Lisa brought.  (But credit goes to her husband, Laine, for making the cake!)

As the sun dropped lower in the western sky, we realized that we did, indeed, need to return to the valley. We said our goodbyes, while Nancy and Gary insisted that we each take one of their special wineglasses as a keepsake.  The glasses were printed with the word Passages, which will always be a reminder of this holiday afternoon in the mountains,  celebrating with great food & drink, laughter, stories, and creative friends.

Thanks, Nancy & Gary!



Saturday, November 9, 2013

Progress on the Photo Safari Challenge

I've been working on my piece for our Photo Safari Challenge and I'm 85% serious about trying to finish by my personal deadline of Nov. 11.   Hmmm . . . as usual, I change my mind every hour about the direction I'm heading.  In the past couple months, I made lots of initial sketches as I abstracted shapes from the park photos.  I'd play with an idea for awhile, then discard it, until I chose a loose design idea as my starting point.

I also set myself a goal of working with colors I've never worked with before -- neutrals. 
Soft grays, ivory, light blues, lavenders, and greens.

I was envisioning soft colors that imparted a calm and soothing mood, but it was too calm for me, even with the tiny inserts of the mosaic print that I've been waiting to use.   It was time to add a few strips of  darker values to the strata I'd already stitched.
Two sections stitched, contrast added, and still "blah."

That added some much-needed contrast, but it still wasn't talking to me yet.  So I went with the Portlandia cliche and put a bird (or two) on it.  And with that addition, a personal theme emerged . . .

and I knew it was time to turn away from my sketched idea and work from intuition.  Next step:  cut up the large sections I'd stitched together and reuse smaller bits of them in more interesting ways.
Sneak peek at revised design idea.

Note for tomorrow:  Have fun, lighten up, breathe, and think about why the birds are included in this quilt and why I'm humming snatches of Neil Young's Expecting to Fly.