Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Interactive Art

I have a wood tray on my breakfast room table. I use this for various different displays and interactive art.
Last week my friend June brought me this beautiful plant and it was perfect to place on the tray. Then I thought since it is fall it needed some gourds which I added.
I finished it off with this pieced table runner I placed diagonally on the table.
Often I just fill the tray with different colors, sizes and shapes of river rocks and everyone likes to take a turn making their own arrangments with them. When my grandchildren come they ask what interactive art I have for them to do.

I finished a quilt tonight. Stay tuned for photos tomorrow.

I think you could call this puzzle interactive art too!
Click to Mix and Solve

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Changing Places

In addition to making quilts I also use my color and design skills in some other mediums.
This is a pillow I made with my Embellisher machine.
When I start a project with the Embellisher I have no idea where I am heading. I just pick up something for a base. Then I start adding bits and pieces of fabrics. Nothing is off limits when I use my Embellisher. It needle felts the layers together.
It looks like a sewing machine but you do NOT use thread.

This is a closeup of the design panel on the pillow. I used a lot of what I call cheapy sleazy slippery fabrics. I also used wisps of wool roving to blend things together an also to accent the design.

I finished this with a polymer clay bead I had made and some vintage beads. The beads were sewn on by hand. The only time I sew something on my hand is if there is no way it can be done on the sewing machine!
I rally enjoy this carefree way of creating art.
I have given you a realatively easy puzzle cut tonight.
Click to Mix and Solve

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Graduate School for Quilters - Design - continued

I'm showing you some more photos from the class I featured yesterday. The same rules, guidelines also apply to these creations. I am always amazed to see how students each have their own creative signature.

The shapes here are somewhat similar to the first quilt which gives us the clue they were made by the same person, even without looking at the colors and fabrics.

This ambitious student even got the binding on her quilts.

Although she bound both of these, other students choose to finish edges other ways.

The student who made this quilt didn't have time to make the second one as she had taken an extended trip to Hawaii. I definitely see a Hawaiian influence in her work.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Graduate School for Quilters - Design

I would like to share some student work with you tonight.
When I teach design I always give design problems with strict parameters so the students can learn a specific design lesson.
This lesson used the Golden Rectangle as the overall size and shape.
For the base there also were guidelines about the fabric choice and the division of the space into the pieced rectangles.

Each student made 2 pieces and one was to read portrait and the other was to read landscape. I am not sure I have these oriented correctly.
The next step was to select a second group of fabrics, back them with a fusible and cut shapes to fill the empty spaces.
The final step was to edge the shapes, either with stitching, paint or anything else they could come up with.

Even though each student started with the same guidelines their own personal signature is evident in their work. A good lesson should not stifle creativity while still teaching a specific lesson.

I am always amazed at how every one can interpret the lesson differently and come up with such different shapes. None of them are the shapes I would create and that is what makes each of us unique.
These two quilts can be hung together for a greater impact that hanging just an individual quilt. This also gives people a chance to look closer at them and observe the similarities and differences.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

More Miniature Log Cabin Quilts

Technically this is a half log cabin as it only has logs on two sides of the center square. I chose to divide the center into two triangles, each a different red. Red in the center color most popular in a traditional log cabin quilt.
I chose not to quilt this quilt as the softness of the quilting stitches would interfere with the strong graphic image I have created. I will have it framed. I LOVE this quilt.

This is an off center log cabin - the same log cabin variation you saw in my black and white log cabin quilt. By varying the rust and turquoise fabrics it creates a more interesting piece of art.I made 8 blocks with wide rust logs and 8 blocks with wide turquoise logs. I then played with them and came up with this arrangement. The centers are silver lame. This combination gives the quilt a real southwest look.
It too will be framed rather than quilted.

I hope you enjoy this puzzle. Let me know how challenging you find it to be.
Click to Mix and Solve

Monday, September 21, 2009

Miniature Log Cabins

I realize I have shown this before but since I am showing Log Cabins and different colorations and shadings it seems appropriate to show it again.
Each block has 4 different colored sides and they are all the same color as the side adjacent to them in the neighboring block. I had to really think as I made these blocks.

This Log Cabin miniature quilt uses 1/4 inch wide logs.
The colors are shaded very carefully and I had to make each block in a specific coloration so it would continue the color and shading I desired.
You can see some of the basting threads are still in the piece even though the hand quilting is done. I haven't bound it yet and I think that is because I am dreading matching the binding seams perfectly to the border on the quilt.

I hope you enjoy one of my very favorite miniature quilts as tonight's puzzle.
Click to Mix and Solve

Sunday, September 20, 2009

More log cabin variations by my students

I have taught the log cabin block many times.
Often I am too busy to take photos. I did take photos of a group of them from one of my classes.

This a very traditional arrangement of blocks for the log cabin design.
I did not give the students any direction as to arranging their blocks, I just told them to play with them.

This also is a very traditional arrangement of Log Cabin blocks. These blocks were pieced the traditional way, not paper pieced. All the strips are the same width, unlike the quilt I showed you yesterday. I know this particular quilt was finished and it is hanging in a vacation home in Northern Wisconsin.

This student was adventurous in both her color choices and her arrangement. These are all generous size quilts.
I personally love the Log Cabin design. I have 2 sets of log cabin blocks made and am waiting for an opportunity to sew them together.
Enjoy tonight's quilt puzzle.
Click to Mix and Solve

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Endless Possibilities with the Log Cabin block

These off center Log Cabin blocks were one of my first experiments with paper piecing.
I used a gridded paper with 1/2 inch squares. The narrow strips are 1/2 inch and the wide strips are 1 inch. By varying the width of the strips you get the curve illusion.

I was amazed when I saw how many variations I could get with just 16 blocks.

I thought some of them were quite interesting and others left a lot to be desired.

As you look at these I would guess some of you are drawn to the more symmetrical layouts and others prefer the asymmetrical layouts.

These are just a small percentage of the designs I could have created with these block.
The last one you see is the layout I chose.

This is the finished quilt.
Click on the photo to see a larger version of it. My hand quilting emphasizes the curves created by the arrangement of the blocks.

Tonight you get a puzzle and a geography less.
Click to Mix and Solve

Friday, September 18, 2009

Thread, Glorious Thread

Years ago traditional quilts were generally quilted with white or off white thread.
Today's quilters use a variety of thread types and colors.

This photo shows over 270 colors of rayon thread I purchased from Lunn's when they discontinued selling thread. They fill an entire 5 drawer plastic cabinet with large drawers.

This thread is finer than some of the other threads I use. I have actually used up to 6 colors at the same time on my sewing machine. This softens the colors, blends better with the fabrics and design and gives you a similar effect to what you get with variegated thread.

Like fabric, I am mesmerized looking at the gorgeous colors in this collection of thread.

This is less than half of my threads I use to quilt. There is so much on each spool I know I will never use them up in 7 lifetimes.

I have also twisted it to make cords and crocheted small art with it.

I have now found another use for this thread - a puzzle for all of you - me, too!
Click to Mix and Solve

Thursday, September 17, 2009

More miniatures - a variation of the technique

For this quilt I strip pieced a complete square, rather than just one half the square. I played with the squares until I came up with the design I was pleased with.
This is called Pretty Bird as the colors were similar to a photo I saw of a colorful bird.
I used six 1/4 inch inner borders in colors used in the pieced section.
It may not be obvious but the final border on this quilt is a very dark navy, rather than the black I have used on previous work.

This quilt also uses the strip pieced squares. It was important I have 4 identical squares for each section. To enhance this design I added several strip pieced borders, black triangles, a red border and the final black border.

If you click on either of these quilts you should be able to see the hand quilting in the enlarged photos.

I haven't used the stars puzzle cut for a while so I am using it tonight.
Click to Mix and Solve

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

This is another miniature done with the same triangle piecing you saw yesterday. There are so many ways you can arrange these blocks. I have chosen a palette for each quilt that makes them unified, but yet has a lot of variation. If you look closely you will see there are darks, kmediums, lights, clean colors and muted colors.

This pinwheel quilt is also done with the same blocks. The colors have changed but the block is still the same size and design.

When I was showing someone a group of my miniatures someone asked why I used black on most of them. One reason is I was using Amish quilts for inspiration.
Another reason is black will unify most any group of colors.

If you look closely you may also see I have used more than one black on this quilt. That is also something I learned from observing Amish quilts. It makes them more interesting, although I would guess the Amish may have done it because they were using fabrics they had.

Both of these quilts are hand quilted. If you enlarge them by clicking on them you should be able to see the quilting. I always try to quilt with a design that will enhance my work.

I've used the crazy cut for this puzzle. Hope you enjoy it.
Click to Mix and Solve

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Magnificent Miniature Patchwork Quilts

I have shared several of my miniature quilts with you in the past.
I'm going to share more of them.

They all have been made with the technique I developed for making miniature quilts sewn on a foundation of regular old fashioned graph paper. Nothing special to buy.
I taught a workshop on how to do this to guilds and conferences through out the country. I also taught a more extensive class in my studio, along with an advanced class.
I know some of you who read my blog took this class.

If you look at the quilt I posted at the top of the blog you may think it is one more of my larger Amish Shadow quilts. This quilt is only 16 x 20 inches. The strips are 1/4" wide - the width of a square on the graph paper.

Using exactly the same size blocks and orienting them diagonally I was able to achieve a totally different quilt.

One advantage of this technique is it uses very little fabric.
One disadvantage of this technique is it uses up very little of your fabric.

I remember a phone conversation with Carter Houck, the editor of Ladies Circle Patchwork Quilts years ago. She said "Kay, if you want to use up some of your fabric you are going to have to start making larger quillts!" Several of my miniature quilts were featured in their magazine when they featured Wisconsin.

Using solid color fabric and chooosing your colors carefully gives you striking graphic quilts.

I hope you enjoy tonight's puzzle.
Click to Mix and Solve

I had a lot of fun coming up with variations on this idea and block. Of course I also was able to vary the size as you have previously seen on my blog.

Monday, September 14, 2009

FIrst Blogaversary!

One year ago today I started this blog and made my first post.

I wanted to share my work and various other things with my friends.
In reality I really didn't know where I was heading and how I could post almost every day. Occasionally I miss a day or several but I have posted 276 times.

Generally I post in the evening as I am a night person.

Thanks to the advice and help from various on line friends I learned the ropes and have been enjoying doing this much more than I expected to. It has aso been good brain exercise to figure out how to accomplish various types of posts.

This is the first quilt I posted on the blog. It is one of the 8 king size charm quilts I made for each of my grandchildren. Each quilt has 2000 different fabrics and a Millennium fabric border. This project was truly a labor of love.

I have also enjoyed making puzzles from my quilts and sharing them with you. I know there are some of you who are "addicted" to them. Count me in that group.
Click to Mix and Solve
This is one of my favorite puzzles and it is my favorite puzzle cut.

I have enjoyed sharing my travels and activities during the year. Florida and Texas were my only travel destinations.

I also have shared many family activities, always one of my favorite things to do.

On January 25, 2009 my solo show opened at Anderson Arts Center in Kenosha. Four other artists were also invited to have solo shows in conjunction with mine and collectively the title was "Quilts: Another Dimension". I enjoyed seeing so many of you at the show and also sold several pieces.

This has been a good year. I focus on the good things that happen on this blog.

I found I am documenting both my work and my activities as I share information on my blog. It has also made me update my photos and records of my work from the past 50 years.

I also find blogging (and doing a puzzle) is a good way to wind down after my days activities.

I have many more quilts to share, both those currently in progress, those I have finished and those yet to be started.

I'll be here - will you?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Color famiies revisited in grayscale

This is the sky color family you saw two posts ago. I converted it to grayscale so you can see the comparisons of lights, mediums and darks.

It didn't come up exactly as I had expected in the light, medium and dark comparison.

There are many more saturated medium and dark colors. I now realize that happened because as each page of samples progressed the colors have a greater percent of dye in them.

These are the color families from last night's blog. There seems to be less variation in value in them. I would think I can attribute that to the fact that the primary colors used in this family are darker.

I am working on pasting up the last color family and hope to be able to share more with you very soon.