August – The Art of Manipulating Fabric samples

I know I haven’t posted June or July’s mini quilts yet, but here is the start of August’s. (I’m away on business again, so sorry for the sparse updating).

This is my first attempt at two projects from the book. I have to preface these with a couple of notes:
First, the one side that looks like woven strips is not woven, it’s a series of manipulated tucks. It was pretty easy to sew, but very hard to get the tucks to do what they are supposed to do. It has a lot to do with the fabric you choose.

Secondly, this is not a book for beginners. I liken myself to be pretty good with fabric. I can hold fabric in my hands and know what it will do when sewn. You need to have this instinct when working witht his book. Also, it is not written with the novice in mind. You must have a good idea of the basics of sewing in order to accomplish the directions, which can feel sparse at times.

These things said, I am really enjoying the exercises. Hope you like it as much as I do.

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Unusual Animals

Can you believe it’s June already? I can hardly believe it. I’m almost halfway through another year of weekly quilts. I had a tough time deciding on a theme, so I went with an odd one.
I’ve been researching unusual animals for possible theme inclusion, and when I happened upon the narwhal, I knew this was it for June. The hard part is that I will be away 2 weekends of June, so I had to thin of something simple.
This weekend really disappeared fast… I spent most of Saturday drawing and painting ATCs for my weekend retreat in 2 weeks. Sunday was supposed to be a Mustang only car show with my dad and brother (both own Mustang Cobra cars… one day…) but it was “rained out” and I spent the time washing and hand waxing my car (a Saturn) instead. It never really rained, and I have a nasty “cloudy day sunburn” to show for it. So…. back to my narwhal.
I drew exactly 3 of these before it was right, a drawing in my bedside drawing pad at night, then the ATC, and the mockup for the fusible for this piece. I do love him, he’s just so cute.
Narwhal’s tusks were hunted by Vikings and often sold a fake unicorn horns, worth about as much as a castle in Medieval times.

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The Ends of the Earth

Sometimes I feel like I have to drag myself back into reality, and the past few weeks have been no exception. Since the funeral for DH’s grandmother and the passing of my friend Rita, I’ve been waylaid by the head cold from hell. I’m still not 100%; I have shortness of breath and a cough that has been lingering.

This past weekend was our quilt show for the Fiber Art Divas group I am a part of. Our first show, and the first debut of my “large” quilt Road to Home. I worked through sickness, and a shortened time frame from being away, to get this done in time. I’m glad it’s done, and I’m thinking ahead to other quilts to make, and the hopes that this will get photographed and entered into the Mancuso Show in Harrisburg PA.

There’s so much to do around the house, the lawn and garden are sorely disregarded right now, and need some attention. My sister got a house and got engaged on the same day, so I have spent some time over at her place helping strip wallpaper and paint, but my own place is crying out for some TLC. The laundry, the dishes, all kinds of chores need doing. It can get overwhelming.

Sometimes, just keeping up with a weekly project or on some other task can make sure you see things through to the end, and be able to come back to reality. That’s how it was with this month’s weekly quilts. They started off with the best of intentions, the idea that they would be a form of perspective and the Principles of Art, and also use a unique shape. They look a little strage, the further along the project went, and I have one more week to try to pull the idea together…

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Ephemera- Another Recycling Theme!

I love the concept of recycling in art projects, things that would be trash becoming something beautiful. Even moreso, I love “ephemera”. Ephemera is material not intended to be retained or preserved. Vintage ephemera could be advertisments, candy wrappers, empty soda or beer cans, and so forth. More recently it’s greeting cards, comic books, trading cards, and the like. Some ephemera is valuable, like comic books or other collectibles.
I’m of the “keep everything to remind me of things later” types. I keep cards and letters well past any meaning they may have held. If I have a memorable moment, I keep something from it; a ticket stub, a flier, a receipt, or shopping bag.
This month’s theme is a recycling effort to use up some of the goofy ephemera I have been keeping for a project like this. I hope you like them.
This week’s is scraps of Japanese newspaper that I got as packing material from one of my Japan purchases. Newspaper is not meant to be saved, per se. Especially newspaper that is used as packing material. But I love this stuff, and carefully fold the sheets I get from their crumpled up state in my boxes from Japan.
My painting, well, I’m happy and not happy with it. First of all, this is about as close to my true art style as you will see without me posting sketches. I’m not that great an artist, figure drawing or painting-wise. But these little eco-characters were in my sketchbook, and I thought I could use them effectively for this theme. My husband likes the “happy little dirt” in the lower left.

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Someone’s masterpiece

Of all of the items in the bag of “cutter” quilts scraps I got, none were as sad as this one.
This is one half of two hand pieced applique bows and flowers bouquets that remained. I imagine this quilt was a bed sized piece with lots of this motif repeated throughout.
What’s even more shocking is the tiny tiny crosshatch quilting around the bow.
This was someone’s masterpiece. Hand appliqued and quilted. Now it’s all cut up.
This turned out to be a good theme for this month, as the trip to NYC and a horrible horrible head cold sidelined a lot of quilting for me this month.
March also looks full, with another work trip, my guild’s quilt show, and much more. Exciting!

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