Posted in painting, quilting

Artful Santa

Ho, ho ho – I must have been a good girl. Santa left me some wonderful art supplies this Christmas. He knows that I am playing around with color these days.

True confession: Santa was working from my list. This set of 36 watercolors is made by Arteza. The first thing I did after unwrapping them was swatch each color. The Prismacolor pencils are the erasable type. I’ve been told these are very useful in sketching, specifically the line drawing used to start a water color.

Since Christmas day I have been working fairly steadily on the Arches quilt. I’m pleased that I have finished assembling the hand painted backgrounds of the16 blocks that make up the quilt design.

Block C1 (Center top) The chalk line indicates where the arch starts.
Final Block – L3 Bottom left. I’m so proud that I matched all the corners.

The images below show a few completed blocks compared to the reference photos I worked from. Here is the upper right block.

This photo shows two blocks, representing the slender upper sections of the Arch.

I’m on a roll now. My hope is to finish the quilt top before the new year.

On a shopping trip to Tulsa I found the backing fabric – a purple-black color with a graffiti style print on it. I still need to choose border fabric. But what color? I am considering something lighter, just to provide separation from the dark blue and purple of the background. But I don’t want the border to compete with the bright yellow-gold of the subject fabric. Suggestions would be welcome.

Posted in drawing, quilting

Welcome to Winter

Here in the central time zone we are mere hours away from the winter solstice – the official start of winter. With all the busyness of Christmas preparations, I didn’t make a special fiber object to celebrate the change of season. Instead today I am recycling one of my Inktober drawings made on the prompt of Snow. The reference photo I used for this charming scene was taken in front of my brother’s home in Ohio. While I did use artistic liberties with the content of the background across the pond, the scene is essentially like reality. There is an air of nostalgia about it, not unlike the way I feel at this time of year.

Work on the Arches quilt continues. I have solved some of the technical issues facing me in piecing the blocks together. The blocks on the right edge of the quilt have been pieced and pressed. Here are two.

As I finished stitching the lower right block, I started to feel a real sense of accomplishment. My idea is actually coming together, just the way I envisioned it.

Posted in colorwork, quilting

Lemons to Lemonade: Tales for fiber artists

Once upon a time, there was a sad fiber artist. Alas! She had spoiled her hand-painted fabric by her own foolish actions. But she didn’t give up hope. Soon her mistakes were transformed into a pretty little quilt block through the magic of cutting them into small pieces and sewing them log-cabin style to some batting.

Today’s lesson is to keep everything. You never know. You could use all the ugly ducklings to make a beautiful swan.

Posted in colorwork, quilting

Salty Squares – Recovery

I’m back today to finish my nine-patch square project. Boy, if it takes other people three days to make one quilt patch, there would be far fewer quilts in the world. Anyway, I’m over it now. After considering touching up the ruined pink swatch, I decided it would be far faster just to start over. Unfortunately, I was almost out of pink paint. Here is the replacement swatch in the drying phase:

Did I say that I am a novice quilt maker? It is still true. I discovered Soooo many You Tube videos on making the nine-patch square. My favorite is by OurHalfAcreHomestead. Here she is, explaining everything very clearly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMDE0I7ABzc.

So off I go! Cutting, stitching, ripping out because I sewed the wrong sides together, stitching again and pressing.

Finally I have ONE nine-patch square. To take advantage of the scale of the printed fabric, I used a 3 1/2 inch measurement for the pieces.

It is a pretty one.

Today’s lesson is to plan the size of my initial fabric pieces so that they match with the necessary lengths and widths of the square’s requirements. My You-Tube coach would probably tsk, tsk, at my wastefulness. But I expect that my mom will be proud.

Posted in drawing, quilting

In the Mood to Doodle

For no apparent reason, I woke up this morning with the urge to doodle. Well, really, I was thinking about a project to offer my young fiber artists. The older group is working hard on their mini string quilts. But the five to eight year old students aren’t ready, skill-wise for such a complex task. In the spirit of quilt-making, I decided to let them design 4-square blocks using fabric markers. Hence the desire to try it out for myself. I started by cutting a 9 by 9 inch square of muslin, then ironed in creases to divide the block into four 4-inch squares (plus seam allowance.) So here I am, staring at a blank canvas. I found the experience slightly unnerving. Ultimately, I let the sights of nature in spring-time inspire my doodles.

Here is what I came up with.

Tall Grass Prairie in Spring
Postage-stamp Flowers
Strawberry Fields
Cold Water Game Fish

I have to admit that sharing these drawings is not easy for me. I am still such a novice at it. But I’m told that to improve drawing skills one must practice daily. I struggled with the markers bleeding a bit. The fish were the most fun to draw.