Saturday, February 19, 2011

July 2010 BJP, AVQA Meeting, Terry Waldron, More Fabric

I missed last week's post, so I may not go through the whole two weeks! We'll see. I've been doing a lot of work; I'm really excited! Okay, so what did I miss? Oh, yeah.....

July's paisley is done!

I've now started August, which is red.

I need to start getting the beads for the last four pieces. I need blue-green for September, red-orange for October, blue-violet for November and violet for December. I think I may have some of these colors, but I'm sure I don't have enough, except, perhaps, for December's violet. I love purple, so I should have plenty of purple beads, but I need to double-check. I guess I'll have to make a run to the bead stores in downtown L.A. in the next month or so. Cool!

I finished the appliqué block for AVQA's 2012 Opportunity Quilt. Unfortunately, I didn't get a photo before I turned it in. I'll be sure to post a photo of the finished quilt once I get it. I love appliqué! I'm not sure what the entire quilt is going to look like, but I loved this block. It'll be fun to see it all together. I use Geri Richardson's basted needle-turn technique. It's the easiest technique I've found for needle-turn appliqué. She has some wonderful patterns as well. One of my first entries into a quilt show was her Peony pattern.

I started this small quilt at a workshop she gave at our guild a couple years ago. It's 16 3/4" x 18 3/4" and hand quilted. I showed it to my Mom while I was working on it, and she exclaimed that it was her favorite colors! So, it became a Mother's Day gift, and now hangs in her living room. If you see Geri at a quilt show, stop and say hello. Her patterns are wonderful, the fabrics she carries are fabulous, and her husband is so fun to talk to! Geri is friendly, and usually has a piece there to demonstrate her technique.

I also finished the block from the scraps Kay Hague had given us at last month's AVQA meeting. Again, I didn't get a photo before I gave it to Kay. Fortunately, the large majority of the scraps in the baggie I got were rectangles and strips. It came together really easily. I really like this. I may have to do more; I've got plenty of scraps! This would make some really fun tote bags. A lot of people actually finished their blocks and brought them in to the meeting last night. Someone had brought in a small design wall, and it was great to see all the blocks together. Kay's going to take them all and put them together in one large quilt. I'll get a photo once she finishes it.

Our speaker for last week's guild meeting was Terry Waldron. Her lecture was titled "The Art of Doing It All." She's has a somewhat quiet delivery, but her stories are fun. Her attitude about quilting is basically "It's my quilt, I'll do it the way I want." I love that! She uses fabrics from furniture stores, and string from hardware stores as embellishments. Her quilts are fun pieces of art. I'm so excited. I almost feel validated in the kind of quilts I want to make. I don't want to follow any rules but my own. There, I've said it. And, you know what, that's just what I'm going to do! This is my art, and I will do it my way!

Terry's workshop was last Saturday. It was so fun. We did her "Birds of a Feather." It's actually pretty close to an idea I had for one of my Visioning Project pieces. Anyway, here's what I accomplished in class:

Actually, the blue feathers are just cut out, they haven't been sewn down yet. She didn't have a pattern. We all just drew our own birds and went for it. She came around as we were working and made suggestions. She suggested I put longer legs on mine; it really looks much better than what I had! I can't wait to finish this. Of course, I'll be turning it into a tote. I know exactly what fabric to use for the back and sides, and am looking for fabric for the lining, probably something with some cute birds on it, or bird tracks. I don't have any of that fabric yet, so I can't show you anything of it right now, but I'll post a photo as soon as it's done. I plan on having it completed by the next guild meeting, which is March 10.

Terry's best advice was to relax. Who's to know if you make a mistake. Just add some fabric on top, and go on your way! How fun is that?! She is really sweet and we had a great time.

A couple friends and I went back to Sew Modern last week. One of the girls didn't make it on our road trip the previous week, so we went last Thursday. Lauren has every color of Kona Cotton Solids, and they make such a beautiful display! I've had a quilt in mind for a couple of years, but wasn't sure if I was going to be able to do it properly. It's basically a color wheel in a quilt, and I wanted at least ten gradations of each color. I now can get them easily! I'm just so excited! I'll collect each color set a bit at a time.

While there, I purchased more fabric for the Visioning Project appliqué quilt. It turned out larger than I expected, and one yard was not enough for both the front and back of the quilt. I decided to use the pink on pink print as the backing. I was initially going to use the pink background for both front and back, but I think I like the print better. It gives it a different feel. Also, the pink dotted background is a heavier fabric, and I didn't want the quilt itself to be too heavy.

I've been working on this piece (titled VS1 - Filigree) for the past couple of weeks. I drew out the full pattern, and transferred it to the back of the background fabric. I then basted the accent pieces on, as you can see here:

It's about 27" square so it's not too large. There are these small accent pieces, then the main appliqué is one large piece, which I'm in the process now of basting down. There are four more accent pieces that will go on top of the main piece.

I'm really excited about this entire Series. The four ideas I have so far for the first photo are really different from each other. Each one stretches my creative boundaries just a little more. I can work on the Filigree piece on the commuter bus home from work each night, so hopefully, it'll go pretty quickly. I'm going to hand quilt this one. The Palm Tree, which will be the second quilt from this photo, will be the one that uses Terry Waldron's technique. That one will be machine pieced/appliquéd and, probably, machine quilted. I'm not trying to think too far ahead, so the other two quilts are just ideas right now. Once I get the Filigree piece done, I'll start planning out the painted window. Once the Palm Tree is done, and I'm working on the window, I'll start planning the landscape quilt of the entire photo. I've pulled out one of the many empty sketchbooks I have, and I'll be using that for my journal.

Okay, I'm going to stop here. There's a bit more happening, but I'll leave it for next week. I can't believe there was so much to write about these past two weeks! How very cool!

Until next time, take care.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Mini Retreat, the Visioning Project, and a New Quilt Shop

Last Saturday, January 29, AVQA had a mini-retreat for the members. It cost us $5, and we had the use of a wonderfully large and bright space upstairs at the Sierra Toyota in Lancaster. The room was longer than it was wide, and had windows down one long side and two long counters down the other side. We could bring anything we wanted to work on, and there were tables for sewing machines, two ironing boards were set up, and the cutting mats sat on one of the counters along the wall. I took a couple of projects with me. I had the Series 1 photo for the SAQA Visioning Project, as well as the Exhibition piece I'm doing.

SAQA stands for Studio Art Quilt Associates. I have been a member for a couple years now. Some of the most amazing quilters are members. Many of them are authors and teachers. The Home page of SAQA's website includes a slideshow of some of the members' work. They are inspiring. The Visioning Project is open to members, and is sort of a mentoring program. At the beginning of the year (which, for the Visioning Project, starts in October), you state your goal for that year. My goal this year is to "find my voice" as an artist, and in the process, complete a small body of work. Others have goals such as to write a book, find gallery/agent representation, or create a portfolio. As you work, you post what you've been doing, let everyone else know you've updated your page, and then you get comments and feedback. It's very inspiring, and extremely helpful. Since many of the artists within the Project are working professionals, you're able to get some wonderful information and help along the way because many of them have been where you are now. You're also able to connect with people who are at the same place, and share stories, ideas, and discoveries. They also have a monthly conference call, which, unfortunately, due to my schedule, I haven't had a chance to be part of yet, but the comments and information from those are also wonderful.

So, back to the mini-retreat........ As I mentioned, my goal for the Visioning Project is to find my voice. I've chosen three photographs from which I'll make at least three quilts from each. The first photo is one my husband took of a beautiful window at the Santa Barbara Courthouse, with a palm tree against the building.

I love the window in this photo, as well as the angles and textures in the building and the tree. I had traced out my master pattern and drawn a few thumbnails of ideas about a month ago. At the retreat, I further refined those ideas. I created an appliqué pattern for one of the quilts; started drafting pattern pieces for another; and drew full-size ideas for two more quilts.

On Wednesday, I went with the I&M Quilters to a new quilt shop that's just opened up not far from our offices. It's called Sew Modern and is located on Pico Blvd., just west of Westwood Blvd. I went to check out the new store and meet the owner, but also with the intention of finding just the right fabrics for the appliqué piece I've drafted. Because this appliqué only uses three or four fabrics, I wanted to find something with really great prints. Found them I did! Here are the fabrics with a piece of the pattern itself.

The pink fabric on the bottom will be the background. The bright pink and gold print will be the appliqué. The pink tone-on-tone will be accent pieces, and the butterscotch will be the binding. The appliqué continues on the other side (under the fabrics), but I think I may also flip it to mirror underneath. In other words, what you're seeing may actually be one-quarter of the pattern, rather than half. I'm still trying to decide. This next week, I'll draw it out both ways, and see which I like better.

I also worked on the Exhibition piece I want to enter. I can't show you anything, but I'm really happy with it. I had basted my fabrics together over a month ago, but was afraid to cut into it. I've found that I have some great ideas for exhibitions, but I never get anything entered because when it came down to actually creating the piece, I would start doubting myself and would simply not do anything. I was so afraid of failing, that I wouldn't start. That's now changing. This piece may not make it into the Exhibition, but it absolutely never will if I don't enter. So, I'm working on it. And I'll enter it in the Exhibition. If it gets selected, that would be great, if not, maybe the next one! Anyway, I cut into the fabrics, basted, and am doing a reverse appliqué. It's turning out really cool! I do love it. If it doesn't get accepted into the Exhibition, I'll post a photo of it. Of course, I won't know until June, so don't expect it soon!

By the way, the new quilt store, Sew Modern, was wonderful. Lauren is the owner, and just the sweetest. She is open to suggestions for stocking fabrics or things she doesn't currently carry. The store itself is open, bright, and airy. She doesn't have a lot of fabrics, but what she has is the best I've seen. The prints and colors are fabulous! I wanted a little of each! She has a long-arm quilt machine in the back of the store, and after a couple of classes, or showing that you have experience, you can rent time to use it. So, if you're on the Westside of Los Angeles, stop in. It's worth the visit.

That's it for this week. Until next time, take care.