Monday, January 26, 2015

Crosshairs Quilt

When I found this ribbon at Tai Pan I was thrilled!
It sat on my craft table for a day before I thought,
"Hey, that ribbon is fabric and I could use it in a quilt."
I got started cutting off the wire edges and attempted
a slice & insert technique on a few blocks and pieced 
them together and I came up with the quilt top 
that is below. (I started on this project in March 2014)

As I was piecing the 
5 blocks together with the
mustard colored fabric I decided
that I needed another fabric to use for 
sashing.I really wanted to stay in the same color
scheme so I used the back side of the mustard 
fabric for the lighter colored sashing.
I decided to treat the burlap sashing the same
way and use the back side of it in the sashing too.

Here is the completed quilt. I decided to call it Crosshairs first of all 
because burlap is full of fibers that cross each other. Secondly I 
gave it that name because of the quilting motifs criss-cross all over
the surface of the quilt.

Since I was already using the back side
of the fabric and burlap I wanted to do something else unique for the 
binding. I decided to use a faced binding, that is invisible from the 
front, but I shredded some of the burlap and put it on the left side.
There aren't any tutorials on line for how to shred burlap ribbon and
attach them to a faced binding. I was on my own for that one. 
(Quilting was completed in September 2014, just in time to enter
it into the Road to California show, only to get the reject reply from
them a few months later.)

Here are some close ups of the quilt.
This quilt is probably the 3rd quilt I actually
quilted myself. After taking a Free Motion 
Quilting class and attending Road to California
this year I am working on my quilting skills and
I also have a better idea of what quilting looks
like on a quilt accepted into the show.

Now my question is, "Do you quilt what you 
like and know? Or do you quilt what the 
judges want and expect?" I think all artists 
struggle with being true to what they know
how to do, and wanting to meet the expectations 
of what a client expects, (in this case...a judge).
I think that both can work together, but it's 
through time and experience that we gain 
the knowledge that we need. 

I noticed at Road to California there were lots
of quilts with every square inch of fabric filled 
with quilting motifs. Is this what the judges 
look for in a good quilt? Or is this what separates
show quilts from the others? 

One thing I have learned as a graphic designer
is that all good design needs to support and
communicate the message of the artist.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

MUZEO Quilt Exhibit in Anaheim, California

Muzeo in Anaheim

I recently went to a quilt exhibit in Anaheim at the Muzeo Museum. They had all sorts of traditional quilts. Honestly, when I walked into the modern quilt room I thought I'd walked into a room full of paintings. 

This is a wonderful Yo-Yo quilt by an unknown quilter. 
It's been estimated to be made between 1930-1940. 
There are approximately 14,000 individual yo-yo's in this quilt. 
There are a few things I can surmise about this unknown quilter. 
She was obsessive, probably needed a break from the realities of life - 
so she quilted as an escape. Don't we all have our escapes?
Some run away to their man-cave, other's have a Girls Night Out,
some eat, other's exercise, I quilt.   

   Close up of crazy yo-yo quilt.

This sampler was made between 1900-1920, possibly in Pennsylvania.
I liked all the graphic qualities of the individual blocks. 

Yellow Brick Road by Shelia Frampton-Cooper was a favorite. 
I loved her extemporaneous placement of the yellow brick road
amongst the vibrant red, oranges and blues. I had a chance to
meet with the artist at Road to California this week. Shelia was 
incredibly engaging and happy to discuss her artwork and 
the process for each piece. Her quilts are covered in thousands
of dense rows of stitches that are about 1/8 of an inch 
from each other.

At first I thought the quilt was a painting,
but upon closer inspection I realized it was quite
 simple in nature and incredibly stunning to view.
Another favorite of mine was 
Circular Logic by Joe Cunningham.
I loved the simplicity of this quilt. 
It's basically 4 large pieces
 of fabric and a lot of 
1/4 inch bias tape.

Alone/Together by Sherry Kleinman was 
a shot at reality! She took photos from life, 
turned them into drawings on her ipad, 
then quilted them on her machine. All the 
scenarios in her uniquely shaped quilt are of
people that are together, but ignoring each
other because they are paying more 
attention to their electronic devises than to
the people in the room. How many times 
have you been in a restaurant and observed the
scene that is in the detail to the right? 
Our current generation tends to spend 
more time alone, even when we're together.
The shape of the quilt also reflect the title of being
Alone/Together. The 3 panels are hanging from a top
panel, to be together, but individually each 
panel and block is alone.

Detail of Alone/Together

Our Family Tree also by Sherry Kleinman was fun to see
juxtaposition to her other quilt. She custom printed 
fabric with her ancestors names for the quilt.
She appliqued a portrait of her present family
with the names of family all the way back to 1600's and
from her immediate family. She calls this "visual DNA of 
who we are today." We are made from DNA of our past
ancestors. It totally makes sense. I thought it was interesting 
that she has 2 quilts side by side that are completely 
different in nature about people. One is about closeness 
of families, the other is about the distance between people. 

There are lots of other fabulous quilts at Muzeo.
I'll post some photos soon of my trip to the
Road to California quilt show soon. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Sew Together Bag

Sew Together Bag

Just had to share the sew together bag I mad for my sister Madeleine. 
She bought some of this fabric a while ago when we were together.. so I knew she'd love it. 

These are the interior pieces to form the outer zipper pouches.

Attaching one of the 4 zippers on this thing. 
It's actually a really good project to help improve zipper installation skills. 

I attached a pin cushion before sewing on the outer cover.

the fabrics that are inside the zipper compartments. 
They are from the Indelible line designed by Katarina Roccella for Art Gallery.
I actually bought the Art Gallery Fabrics to make a dress for myself 
and just thought it would make for a happy surprise to 
see them inside of the zipper pockets. 

Here's a view of the four outer pockets.

And finally... the outter zipper. It really wasn't super challenging to make, 
but that's only because I had a sample from a friend (lucky me)! 
It always helps to have the real thing infront of you for the first go at it.

 I quilted the outter shell of the Sew-Together-Bag with a windy motif 
before I attached it to the inside pockets. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

New Year, New Sewing Adventures

Even though we're half way through January...Happy New Year!

Not only is January my favorite month because I get to celebrate my birthday, but it provides a time for a new start. I LOVE fresh beginnings because it allows for a clean slate, and who doesn't like a clean slate? Have you ever had a day you just want to do-over? Well...that's what January provides, time to up the ante and make new plans to re-evaluate what's been done and move forward.

Recently on NPR I heard that researchers have determined when we speak negatively to ourselves we think negatively about ourselves (duh...makes sense to me.) Examples of this are, "I feel fat," so now you view yourself as fat. The researchers interviewed on the show recommended that speaking positively to yourself in the third person produces fantastic results. I tried this recently and I'd like to share with you what happened. Honestly I felt a little silly talking to myself, but this is how it went.

" are strong when you do 
your push-ups in the morning. 
Each time you do these you get better." 
(PS I have a push up challenge I've been doing for 6 years now.
Complete 6240 push ups this year. How you do it:
10 push ups every morning & evening, 6 days a week, 
with Sundays as your rest day. 
Push ups are still painful, and sometimes down right 
NOT FUN AT ALL, but....I'm slowly improving. 
The first time I did a push up 6 years ago I couldn't even do one!)

" are eating a healthy lunch 
with fruit that your body needs, 
this is way better than having a piece of pie for lunch!"

"Simone...even though you are annoyed 
right now you won't feel this way later on today. 
Don't let it get in your way, you are a productive person."

By the end of the day I had cheered myself on so many times that I wasn't as tired. I was happier and willing to keep moving forward. I felt accomplished, especially since I now had my own little fan club (in my head) cheering me on.



Onto my sewing adventures for the next few months:

Short term quilting goals:

Post more frequently on my blog. 

Design a 12"x12" quilt for the Foreign Art Quilt Group. 
I chose a quote from CS Lewis' Screwtape Letters 
 for my inspiration. This is one of my all-time favorite books. 
I think I relate to it too well, but here's my quote for my quilting inspiration.
"The game is to have them all running about with 
fire extinguishers when there is a flood..."

Attend Road to California Quilting class by Teri Lucas next week: 
be inspired, hone quilting skills & have fun on a demo sewing machine. 

Attend Road to California quilt show next week: soak up new ideas &
try not to giggle at quilts depicting Dungeons & Dragons themes or 
mermaids wearing size double "D" shells. 

Come up with quilting motifs for my Science Fair quilt by Julie Herman. 

Make baby quilt for my first ever grandchild, arriving at a hospital in June. 
For this quilt I am making a modified version of Latifah Saafir's, Rocket 88 quilt. 

My youngest daughter, Camille, asked me to make a quilt for her bed.
We recently just rearranged her room, she bought a dresser with some help from Mom and Dad, and I reupholstered a little love seat for her bedroom. 

She likes her new grown up room.
Together we chose A Bushel and a Peck, by Emily Bailey. 
I'll be shopping for these fabrics at Road next week.

Lastly, use an awesome gift card to Hawthorne Threads 
that my husband gave me for Christmas. I'd like to make a quilt for our bed. It definitely needs to be geometric & modern.