Sunday, January 26, 2014

ART QUILT GROUP: Circle Exchange

There's nothing more fun than sitting in a circle 
playing with people who are really into it.
Kathy Mattea

Last week I talked about my Art Quilt Group; you can read more about our annual challenge here.

Last Fall, I saw this inspiring art piece on Pinterest from a elementary class that layered circles on paper, decorated them, cut them in quarters  and traded with other students.  We decided that we would do something similar with quilt blocks. Note: since then, I found that Jane LaFazio has made many wonderful circles of her own.  Here is her blog:

These were the guidelines for the exchange:
  1. Begin with a 11" square (it will end up a finished 10" square).
  2. Have four concentric circles (3", 5", 7", 9"). Totally up to you how you do it...applique, paint, free form, whatever.
  3. Add your 'fun' to the circles....paint, stitching, etc. There are no rules for colors or how perfect your circles are. The fewer rules hopefully make more interesting final pieces.
  4. Make as many squares as you would like. The more we have to trade, the more fun.
  5. Bring your squares cut into quarters and ready to trade. For every square you make, you trade 3 quarters and keep one of the original quarters. 
  6. We will place our quarters into a basket to randomly choose your new quarters.
I made 6 different blocks. The first four all have the same techniques, each block is varied by the colors and materials used.  The backgrounds are my first attempt at silk-screening and I was surprised how easy it was. The small circles that are the first ring from the center are painted and have a hand-stitched edges. I used a variety of machine decorative stitches on the edge of each ring with a fiber/yarn/ric rac couched on the outer edge of the circle.

It is tough to see in this photo, but the center circle is made of a collage of small fabric scraps.  I am pleased with the look of the hand-stitched 'XXX'. All the fabrics are hand-dyed.
The biggest difference in this block is that the center is made using an antique quilt.  Also,  the trim used is one of my favorites from my stash...I finally got up the guts to use it!

In addition to 13 members of our Art Quilt Group, two artists from by 12" x 12"Up for a Challenge group sent their quarters from Canada.  (Here is our blog for our 12" x 12" group).

The photo below is from from the night we exchanged blocks; everyone had placed their blocks on the floor for show-n-tell before the exchange began.

I was unable to go to the following meeting, but here is where everyone was sharing what they made (my exchange blocks are still a UFO).
Here is a sampling of what members made.  This one is Jackie's; I love the movement through the piece.
Below is June's table runner (sorry I could not do one panoramic photo). She mentioned she would love to use this on her kitchen table but is fearful of it getting stained.

This is a purse that Karrie from Canada made.  I am so impressed.

This is Jane's wall-hanging.  I love the black sashing and may nab her idea for my own project.
As you can see after my last two postings, how lucky I am that I am part of this highly creative and inspiring group!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

ART QUILT GROUP: Life is Like a Box of Crayons....

We could learn a lot from crayons; some are sharp, some are pretty, 
some are dull, while others bright, some have weird names, 
but they all have learned to live together in the same box.  
~Robert Fulghum

I belong to an Art Quilt Group that meets monthly.  The group has 23 members with 10 - 15 attending regularly.  Each meeting is such a boost of creative energy; so many create and inspiring women. Each year we set a goal regarding how we will set our monthly challenges; this year, Jackie, came up with drawing three random crayons out of a box of 64 Crayola crayons and  create a 12" x  12" art quilt with these three colors. Jackie chose our colors for January, and here they are:
The majority of the group was not drawn to the 'macaroni and cheese', so many of their works use this color as a focal point.

I decided that I am not going to fully follow the rules.  I already have lots of 12 x 12 quilts already; this coupled with my goal of experimenting with new techniques, I decided that I would make 6" x 6" quilts that I could bind into a reference book.  This month, I focused on collage for the background using silk, tulle, scrim, paint, and sari ribbon.

Below are the quilts from the rest of the group:

First is Jackie's (the originator of our challenge). Jackie is a retired art teacher and I always look forward to seeing her work.  
 This is Evey's work in progress; I look forward to seeing the finished piece.
Mary's Quilt.  Some of the fabric used was left from an American Doll dress that someone made for her daughter years ago.  Mary used the salvage as part of the quilt because she thought it was interesting that there is a misspelled word on it from the manufacturer.
 Carolyn was having so much fun, she made two challenge quilts.  This is the first:
Here is the second; I regret that I did not get a closer shot of this because the embroidery and beading is fabulous!
This is June's challenge quilt.  June was an art quilter before anyone knew anything about art quilting.  Her work is always fabulous!
Here is Jenny's addition; she began doing this fold, then stitch technique.  After working through the technique, she realized she like the back better than the front.  Everything inside the orange square is the underside of the piece; it is quite wonderful!
Diane has been a member of the group but has been unable to attend due to another obligation the same night as our Art Quilt Group meeting.  This is her first art quilt and I think she did a smashing job.  The title of this piece is 'Crime Scene'; the orange feathers on it tell the rest of the story....
Here is Jane's piece; when she heard about the challenge colors, she thought of her childhood goldfish named 'Cheddar'.  This piece is in honor of Cheddar.
 Group shots of all the challenge pieces together.

Our colors for February are dandelion, sienna, and tumbleweed.  Somehow, I never remember crayons having these elaborate names when I was young...hmmmmm...

Sunday, January 5, 2014

HOW COOL! iPad Skin

Innovation is creativity with a job to do.

~John Emmerling

I love innovation I love innovation and I love how I can now create my own my new iPad skin from a photo of one of my quilts.

Here is the quilt I used:
This was soo easy to do. I went to Gelaskin,  uploaded my photo and they immediately let you know what your iPad will look like with the customized skin.
Is is my iPad with its new skin on it.

Now I am thinking that I need a new iPad sleeve.  Maybe I need to revisit Spoonflower to create fabric that matches my new skin.  You can read about my current iPad sleeve here and using Spoonflower here.

Until next Sunday be warm and safe!