Posted in Art, creativity, embellishment, journaling, productivity, quilting, stash, surface design

Making art every day

I subscribed to Lesley Riley’s 52 pick-up, which is a year of weekly creativity prompts to encourage more regular art and creativity.  Feeling accountable to a supportive group of other people is helping me to form better habits.

And every day I succeed in spending time creating, I get a star!

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In real life the stars look better than they do in the photo, which often happens with glitter and metallics.  They’re foiled, a technique I’ve had a lot of fun with for years.  You can get the foils and special glue from Jones Tones.

But, breaking news!  and not good, although definitely a first world problem, Dharma Trading, the go-to source for all things fibre arty, posted that the foil is being discontinued and they (Dharma) are looking for a replacement.  In the month since they posted, the more conventional colours have been snapped up but they still have purple, green and blue.

I fused the square fabric onto the Disco Dots to have a little more body to stand up to the writing and foiling and free motion quilted along the lines.

Posted in baraka, creativity, modern quilting, quilting

Banner Block for Victoria Modern Quilt Guild, work in progress!

Some people would have sat down and done their banner block for the Victoria Modern Quilt Guild in under an hour, using the beautiful Kona Cottons Robert Kaufman so generously provided for our fledgling guild.  Hmm, yeah, not me …

But at least I’m working on it and keeping all the other balls in the air in my life …

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Cardinal, cactus and celestial

Here’s one of the fish blocks for Pirate Girl’s quilt

IMG_0058which I’ll post more about as time goes by.

While making fish blocks, I didn’t actually sew one this way (although I well could have, LOL!)

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but it did get me thinking …

IMG_0055except why stop with a plain “background” in the large area?

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and for that matter, wouldn’t a little more cardinal be a Good Thing?

What do YOU think?  Does this say “modern”?

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Posted in baraka, creativity, modern quilting, quilting

Process on Banner Block for Modern Quilt Guild

To mark the inauguration of the Victoria Modern Quilt Guild, Robert Kaufman fabrics has generously donated Kona Cottons to Guild members. We’re getting a total of 3/4 of yard in the colours of our Guild logo designed by Berene Campbell of Happy Sew Lucky.

We are working on our banner and the challenge is for each member to create a six-inch block using the fabrics we’ve been given.

Drool!

IMG_0044These are arranged from light to dark.  I thought had them organized correctly but decided to take a black and white photocopy to double-check.  I was close but had the cactus as the third lightest but in fact it’s really the second lightest.  At first I had the cardinal as darker than the glacier and then changed my mind.

As all we have to produce is one block each, there will be lots of left over fabric.  Hmmm, we may have to have another challenge to do something with those.

So the colours going left to right are:

aqua, cactus, blueberry, cedar, cardinal, glacier, celestial, nightfall

The block I’m thinking about making is a riff on the fish block I’m using for Pirate Girl’s quilt, which is itself a riff on an Ohio Star block.  But this block is twisted and will be made in three colours rather than just two.

Of course as I sit here writing this several other twists and possibilities spring to mind.  I have worked out to make the edges first and audition the centre once the edges are done.  Production would have started this morning but rotary cutters and small kids are not a good combination …

Posted in Art, quilting, Rant, stash

Improvised design wall for lastest baby slab quilt

Okay, okay, it’s my bad, I should have hung up my design wall as soon as I moved in to my new home BUT instead I procrastinated although I was convinced I had all the necessary hardware.

This morning since my design study group is meeting tomorrow I decided I really must do something about the design wall.  Out comes the industrial gray felt with the hanging tabs, out comes my box of hardware, out comes the rubbing alcohol to clean the wall.

The wall is cleaned, the felt is smoothed out all ready to hang.

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OBSTACLE!  what I thought was removable strips for the plastic hooks turns out to be a pack of Velcro removable strips to go directly on the back of a picture frame.  I need the kind with adhesive on both sides to stick to the back of the hooks.

Pause to kick myself (because I did a mega-shop yesterday and could certainly have bought the right product had I realized) and to wonder also why they package three of these Velcro doohickeys when the illustration on the back shows putting two on the back of the picture frame?  Why do I wonder, it’s so they can make everyone buy two packs in order to hang two pictures, and then have two left over.

Don’t let me rant about this way of packaging that forces you to buy more than you need or can use.  Our dustbin lid went missing recently.  New dustbin but will anyone sell you a lid?

Anyway back to the drawing board, er, I mean design wall, and back to a supply I can’t do without, i.e. masking tape!  It’s not pretty but for now it will do.

The two columns on the left are sewn together and the other three columns are still under design.  I’ll let it percolate for a bit and probably move things around.

The colour palette is analagous, which was the design exercise we had set for ourselves at our first meeting.  It was interesting to see what others made of this, because I was the only person to use a neutral in my design.

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It’s good to have feedback from supportive friends who ‘get it’ because originally the bottom corner looked like this (more or less, excuse the masking tape!)  I had focused on the fact that the structure of that block makes it a good corner block, but five fresh sets of eyes noted that the weight/volume is much too light.

After some reverse sewing I was ready to replace the offending block.  Set-in seam strikes fear into my heart, but I found a terrific YouTube tutorial by Kaye Wood which I watched several times and followed, and I’m quite pleased with the result:

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Here’s a close up of the set in corner.  Kaye’s method is very simple.

My only regret is that I got confused and the part which I planned to have on the outside corner isn’t.  However I think with a new to me technique and all the seams it’s better to quit while I’m ahead.  Am I being a wuss, what do you think?  You can tell me, I can take it!

All the tutorials online show how to do y-seams as part of a block like Bright Hopes, Tumbling Blocks or Grandmother’s Flower Garden.  No one has posted a tutorial on “sewing round corners when you need to fix a design flub.”  Hmm, an unmet need.

Posted in productivity, quilting

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,500 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 25 trips to carry that many people.

Of course this is what some sites pick up every single day, but I’m not trying to document every single thing that happens in my life, just keep notes on my creative endeavours without letting the blogging take over at the expense of said creative endeavours.

Think my word for this year will be BALANCE

since it’s something I always pray for – balance between work/creative activities/service to family & community

And my resolution is NOT TO MAKE ANY RESOLUTIONS!  Because we know where they go ….

Click here to see the complete report.

Posted in Art, creativity, Environment, quilting, surface design

Bloggers Quilt Festival Fall 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival - AmysCreativeSide.com

It’s that exciting time of the year again!

For those who can’t go to Houston we have the Bloggers Fall Quilt Festival, and here is my entry to the art quilt category …

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This piece evokes the Grand Canyon where you can gaze down at millions of years of rock layers carved by the Colorado River, then up at the big Western sky.

I  made this in late spring using a variety of techniques, creating strata which I pieced like bargello for the rocks at the bottom, which I then ice-dyed (soaked the piece in soda ash solution, then placed it flat on a rack in a large pan, covered it with ice cubes and sprinkled various procion dye powders over the top).

I used a similar ice-dyeing technique for the sky at the top, making several attempts before I was satisfied.

The river is a synthetic fibre.  I made several trial blocks to get the curving effect.

It’s 17 inches wide and 22 inches high, and was my entry into our Guild retreat’s challenge.  Our theme was the Wild, Wild West and really nothing is wilder than the Grand Canyon.

First featured here

with process posts here, and here, here, and here

.. and now I’m off to check out everyone else’s entries!  Yay!

P.S.  For the first time, I’ve entered a second quilt in the festival, in Baby Quilts

Posted in quilting, stash

Goodbye to the Seam Ripper!

how often has this happened to you?

photo(85)Well, thanks to modern quilting, this no longer means reverse sewing.  This is a modern disappearing 9-patch!

Just slice it into quarters and voila!

You’ll get this ….

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then comes the fun part, where you get to play around and come up with all kinds of designs!

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And yes, I do realize that eight blocks do not a quilt top make but these are for a Modern Quilt Guild block of the month drawing next month.

All from the simple recipe of five white squares plus two different colour prints in each of two colours, for a total of nine five-inch squares.

Really the one time where you might choose to take a seam ripper to it would be if you places four white squares like a four-patch, because then you’d end up with a seven-inch square of white fabric with seams across it, and why would you want to do that?

This is a fast way to make Andrea Balosky‘s Odd Couple blocks.  I know I have her book Transitions: Unlocking the Creative Quilter Within, and I have read and re-read it many times, but right now it’s nowhere to be found, alas!

You can see my first disappearing 9-patch here, which also has a link to a handy YouTube tutorial on how to make it turn out the way you want it to!

I have to wonder whether someone sat down and cudgeled their brains to think up a new block, or whether it was a frustrated quilter who just. didn’t. have. the. energy. to. rip. one. more. seam.

What do you think?