Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Let's Face It!

I spent the better part of this a.m. and early afternoon quilting my piece for the "Lines" topic in my EB Master Class.

I knew I wanted to use my walking foot, so first I tuned in to my Craftsy class on the use of said foot, featuring Jacquie Gering.  It was helpful, but I was undecided...so...

Next I auditioned 3 possible threads using 2 different stitches...

Then I added a 4th thread and another stitch idea:

Sample, sample, sample...
The spools are both variegated "King Tut" cotton thread from Superior Threads, while the 'spindle' is a variegated cotton from Oliver Twist threads that I got years ago...when I bought OT embellishment packs etc.  Can't even remember where!

Stitch ideas: straight with walking foot; slightly wavery with walking foot; narrow (very narrow) satin stitch with walking foot...

Look closely to see where they stitching lines take you.

Now it's ready for facing.  Once it's faced, I'll send final photos to EB for her critique (deadline; March 31).

Prairie Spring I -  (WIP) 2015 - 23.5" square
The neat thing is, you can hang it any way you want.  I'll make sure of that when I attach the sleeve.  :-)

Like this:

Prairie Spring I - rotated 90 degrees (WIP)
Or like this;

Prairie Spring I - rotated another 90 degrees (WIP)

Problem?  Despite it's small size and deliberate design elements, someone here in Bed Quilt Central is sure to want it for a crib quilt.

Sigh.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Happy Spring, Happy Quilting!

In my back yard earlier this week...

Tulips peeking through the leaf mulch - south side of the house

My daughter's Edmonton street this morning...


And outside my front window right now, Mother Nature's undecided: "Rain? Or snow? Or maybe a wee bit o' both?"

Ah...but Eastern Canada's had it MUCH worse this week... I feel for my cousins in SW Quebec and New Brunswick...

Meanwhile, though most of today was "SAQA Day" (correspondence etc. on the computer), I managed to take 90 minutes or so to play with "Green Fields" (working title) for EBMC and the "Line Project".  I now have nine blocks mocked up in fabric on my design wall, including hints of purple to honour the humble prairie crocus:



I replaced the too-blue strips with a combination of more yellow-green/spring-green strips and some with hints of lilac/mauve a la crocus...And I'm letting it "percolate" a bit before I commit to sewing 'em together.

While they 'perc', I'm linking up to Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday...and doing some hand work.

Have a great weekend, eh?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

EBMC - March II

This week I worked on two projects.  The first was to finish "Prairie Autumn III", which will go in the mail to its new home later today:


If you're interested, I blogged about the process and inspiration HERE.  :-)

The second was to get my 'blocking' assignment finished for this month's EB Master Class assignment on "line".  In the initial sketches, I "de-constructed" this quilt that had been inspired by this photo and gave EB three possible design options to critique.  Her response?

"Looking at this first image, I wonder if you could connect the lines in some way...it seems to me in a landscape that the lines usually do connect....the vertical one would then stand out even more as being the focal point.....the implied triangle is very strong,,,on the very edge of the piece, drawing the viewer's eye to the edge and out of the picture...see if there's a way you can pull that triangle shape back into the central area...the center of interest..."


Hmmm.  I agree about the vertical line and perhaps moving the 'implied triangle' on the left more into the piece, but I rather like the disjointed lines.

What else?

For the remaining two options, EB commented mainly on this one:

She found it "...difficult to see what's actually happening" and was a bit distracted by "the surface texture of the fabric" but thought it might be interesting for me "to think about a very high key (i.e., very light values), low value contrast, abstract quilt with repeating blocks...repeat 6 or even 9 times. I do think that would give you the feel of the high prairies..." and she referred me back to Agnes Martin, whose work I don't understand but really like (Agnes spent most of her artistic life in Taos, NM, but she hailed from Saskatchewan.)

So this week I produced this paper mock-up of 9 repeating blocks:

9 repeated blocks on design wall

Then I created 6 blocks for my potential design -- pinned only, thus:

"Green Fields" mock-up - WIP

When I submitted these to EB I told her that I thought 9 would be best, but made up only 6 to see what she thought first.  :-)

Her response was, I thought, quite positive:

I love the idea of the spring look...I'd just make one or two more of the greens a little more vibrant...  even though you're high key you should have some variation in values...and I'm not sure about that blue grey fabric...it doesn't have the same feel as the others...which look very good very springy with the light showing through...d'you have any that have even more white in them?  or one or two sprinkles of a pale pink blossom??

I agree a bit about the blue-grey fabric (it's actually more blue-green, but "dusty", a hand-dye) and will see if I can scrounge for an alternative from my stash, or dye more.

However, I couldn't help but chuckle about the "pale pink blossom".  EB is a Brit living, I believe, in the southern U.S., so I forgive her for thinking romantically about flowers dotting the prairie grasslands...but blossoms don't much appear out here on the rolling lands of Central Alberta in the early-mid spring. It's far too chilly!  The closest I might get is the pale purple of a prairie crocus...and I might just see if I can hint at that in the fabric strips.

Off to Calgary today for a variety of errands...but this weekend I'll be lining up those strips under the needle of my machine...so stay tuned.

Linking this up to WIP Wednesday over at The Needle and Thread Network.  Let's see what my Canadian colleagues are up to, eh?


Sunday, March 15, 2015

On Its Way Tomorrow


Let the Fabric Speak (LTFS)

LTFS: Roses I (C) 2015
8" W x 6" L - will be matted to 6.5" x 4.5"
Donated to Spotlight Silent Auction
Fiberlandia - SAQA Conference, Portland, OR,

LTFS: Roses I - Detail (C) 2015
Materials: Snow-dyed bleached muslin,
cotton batting, commercial cotton backing,
DMC (R) cotton floss

LTFS: Roses I - Detail (C) 2015
Techniques: hand embroidery, seed stitch quilting

LTFS Roses I - Detail (C) 2015

Friday, March 13, 2015

Reprise

Even as I ponder "line" for my EBMC, I continue to work with it.

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine saw a piece she liked when I posted my 3-pieces-a-day in the Facebook Artists' Challenge.  Entitled "Prairie Autumn", and inspired by a photograph taken by my late husband on an autumn drive well over a decade ago, I'd made 2 of these and both of them had been sold.  Would I make her one?

Of course!

Now...because I don't buy fabric in bulk (!), I really had to dig around to find comparable bits and bobs...but managed this morning to lay down the foundation.

Photo and foundation
Yep: sky, trees, prairie, fencing.  The lines are pretty clear...

Then I added machine quilting:

Every stitch is a line

After I quilted the sky, I added the building and the fencing:


Just a wee bit of hand-stitch on the roof and grass, and it will be ready for the mat.

What are you up to this weekend?  As you stitch, you might check out what's happening over at Nina Marie Sayre's Off the Wall Friday, to which I'm linking this post.  :-)

Have a great one!  Till next week...

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Thinking Along the Line(s)

I've been seeing 'line(s)' everywhere this week.

  • In my e-mail I got something from or about Deidre Adams (can't find it now, of course!) and her "Facade" series;
  • On the way in to work at The Shop I see the lines of snow melting against the hills...fence lines...the inevitable power poles and lines...;
  • On my periodic jogs around this wee hamlet, the roads are corrugated strips of melt-slicked gravel, mud and slush...
And so on.  :-)

Meanwhile, I'm working away at hand-stitching the lines I see in the small piece of snow-dyed fabric that is becoming my contribution to the "Spotlight Silent Auction" fundraiser at the SAQA conference in Portland.  It's nearly finished now...

LTFS: Roses I - WIP (c) 2015
Oh...

And yes, EB got back to me.  Blocking out my design is next, so stay tuned! 

Meanwhile, let's hop over to The Needle and Thread Network for WIP Wednesday -- and see what other Canadian stitchers are up to, eh?  :-)

Monday, March 09, 2015

Walking the Line

I've been a bit slow off the mark with the EB Master Class this month.  You guessed it: the topic is "Line".  When EB announced it, I knew exactly which of my finished pieces I wanted to use as a starting point...but then stalled at how to work on it without copying myself!

The work was based on this photo:

By a road near Northbow Lodge
December 2008

Here's the piece I made:

Sentinels (C) 2013

And here's how I began to manipulate it for each of three possible design ideas:

First, I turned the photo of the piece into a 'contour drawing' with my photo editing program:


I traced this onto a piece of 8 1/2 x 11 tracing paper -- just the main lines I could see -- using a Sharpie (R) marker.  I copied this tracing paper image onto plain paper, and enlarged it slightly.  From the enlarged drawing I isolated a section and enlarged that:

"Idea 1"

Second, I found a detail photo of the original piece:



I converted it to 8-bit grey-scale.  I know...not much difference!  ;-)   It was the snow, after all!


From there I converted it into a "contour drawing", isolated a section of that and enlarged it:

"Idea 2"

And then another:

"Idea 3"

I think all three have potential for recreation in fabric and thread, to differing degrees.  I've sent the three 'Ideas' off to EB and await her feedback.

On other fronts, I've been hand-stitching a piece intended for the Spotlight Silent Auction fund-raiser at the SAQA conference in Portland (I have to have it sent off within 10 days), and finished the March block for the "Zen" Block-of-the Month.  The latter was once again an experience that was not particularly relaxing...the flimsy background fabric (provided with the pattern) argued with the less flimsy dark and medium prints, and only a good spritz with "Best Press" made the block lie nicely when it was finished.

Silent auction piece - WIP
Auditioning stitch placement


March "Zen" BOM: "Coxey's Camp"

On the knitting front, my entry for the March challenge in the "Socks From Stash" Ravelry group is going well...I am nearing the toe on the first sock...and the wedding prayer shawl is proceeding apace: by the end of today I'll have finished 7.5 of 25 pattern repeats (each is 24 rows), keeping me on track for the end of May...

Now I think I'll link this up with Nina Marie's Friday post (because I still can!) and take a nap...!