Friday, January 30, 2015

Blast from the Past Challenge Entries

Monday's SCVQA meeting was the big reveal and opportunity for members to both view and vote for their favorites among all the entries turned in for the Blast from the Past quilt challenge.  Challenge participants chose such iconic world events such as the 1989 Earthquake, Y2K, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Space Shuttle Program, Salt Lake City Olympics, 9/11 along with several personal events such as 50th anniversaries, our quilt guild's formation, grandchildren and travel opportunities.  Equally impressive was the wide range of design, construction techniques and embellishments that were used.  

All in all, it was a really exciting collection and will be a great addition to our March Quilt show!!
14 Fantastic Entries for the SCVQA "Blast from the Past" Quilt Challenge

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Color and Composition Workshop with Katie Pasquini Masopust

Our guild was fortunate to have the amazingly talented Katie Pasquini Masopust as our January featured artist!!  Monday morning, she presented a slide show depicting her journey as an art quilter and her extensive body of work featuring several series that were just amazing!  She brought several quilts as well that had so many layers of interest, texture and detail!  All in all, her presentation was a real feast for the eyes and soul and I wanted it to go on and on!

Luckily for myself, I was signed up for her next day's workshop on Composition where Katie PM led us through a series of exercises to practice incorporating different compositions and color schemes.  For each round, students were invited to select an magazine/calendar clipped image to inspire our composition (vertical, horizontal, symmetrical, radiating, etc) and a ziploc baggie, each containing a bundle of fused solid fabrics from a different color scheme (complementary, analogous, cool, warm, etc).

Morning Composition Exercise
For our morning exercise, I selected a magazine advertisement for make up with a radiating composition from the lower right corner.  My fabric was a split complement including 7 values of purple along with a yellow-orange and a yellow-green fabric for purple's split complement.  Some students sketched out shapes to make templates, but my shapes were all fairly simple and could be cut freehand. 

Everyone hung their finished compositions according to color scheme for a really fun gallery display.  

Gallery of Compositions
Before breaking for lunch, Katie PM gave us an overview of our afternoon exercise which had a few layers for interest and abstraction.

We each selected a new image:  mine was a serene pair of palm trees.  A new color scheme was also chosen and mine had 7 values of yellow and 7 values of purple for a complementary colorway.  Katie PM had us translate our inspirational image into 4 abstract images:  1st using only circles/ellipses, 2nd using only squares and rectangles, 3rd using all triangles and the 4th could be a combination of all 3 shapes.  We then chose our favorite quadrant to further develop into a larger composition.  The palm trees translated nicely into triangles so I experimented more with the layout and developing layers of interest for my fabric composition.    

Afternoon Composition Exercise with Abstraction
Optional Exercise with Cropping
 For students who finished early, Katie PM had a 3rd optional exercise.  She provided us with L shaped paper to audition newly cropped compositions within either of our earlier exercises and then recreate that new composition.  I really enjoyed this one area of my morning composition and saw its potential.  I was able to get a pencil sketch of the new composition but ran out of time (and perhaps energy) to recreate the fused fabric version.

In the final hour, we examined our classroom composition gallery and did some reflection on the exercises.  It was so interesting to see everyone's abstract art without even knowing the inspirational image.
Growing Gallery of Composition Exercises
In the last few minutes, were were treated to a close up of her art quilts!!

I will admit that I left the workshop feeling totally wiped out.  But that is a good thing as it meant I was using lots of creative energy to push myself outside of my comfort zone.  Moreover, the lessons learned from these exercises will help me to design and create more interesting compositions in my future quilts.  I was thrilled to learn she currently teaches two online classes, which greatly appear to me for my continued exploration of  incorporating these design concepts into my future work.

Thank you Katie PM!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Block Party: Disappearing 9-Patches

Each month, my guild hosts a block party in which members are invited to make one or more blocks
using that month's block pattern.  Its been well over a year since I last participated, but this month was the Disappearing Nine Patch featuring black and white prints with a pop of color.

I pulled from my collection of 5" scrap charms and cut them down into the 4" blocks per the pattern.

The 4" squares were sewn into basic 9-patches with the pop of color in the center block.

Each 9-patch was then sliced into half vertically and horizontally--forming 4 quadrants which were then shuffled and reassembled into the Disappearing Nine Patch blocks.  It was fun playing around with my four finished blocks into different layouts.

Finished Disappearing 9 Patches
Here are my blocks among some of the other blocks made by fellow members.  For each block we make, our name is entered to win the entire collection of blocks turned in.  

Alas, my name was not drawn.  I can't wait to see them all assembled into a quilt top by the they will surely make for a fabulous quilt!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Ringing in the New Year & Quilting in the New Year

Fusing the Grid Series Completed New Year's Day
New Year's Eve was spent quilting the night away with a fellow quilting friend.  While I was hoping to complete one or two last UFOs before the year was not meant to be.  However, we continued the quilting fun on New Year's Day and both made some significant quilting progress!

Both days were spent working to complete the four quilt tops started in Sue Benner's Fuse the Grid workshop.  Each of the four tops was layered and awaiting quilting, quilt labels and binding, yielding four finished quilts each 16" square.
Fuse the Grid:  Explosion

Two of the quilt tops were done with free motion designs. "Explosion" was done using Leah Day's Pipe Maze motif.  I still struggle to FMQ straight lines and sharp angles, but this was a great project to practice upon.

The second quilt, Fireworks featured free motion quilting motifs that radiate out from each of the metallic center squares.

Fuse the Grid:  Fireworks
The next two quilts were quilted entirely with my walking foot using some of the techniques learned in Jacquie Gering's Creative Quilting With Your Walking Foot Craftsy class.
Fusing the Grid:  9-Patch
Detail of Matchstick Quilted lines every 1/8" on 9-Patch

9-Patch features matchstick quilting was accomplished starting with straight lines every 1/2", which were then subdivided lines at 1/4" intervals and once again yielding lines every 1/8".  This type of quilting was very meditative but I can't imagine doing a large quilt in this technique as it takes quite a bit of time and thread.  But the texture is absolutely fantastic!!

Tic-Tac-Toe features a square spiral that radiates out from the center.  Again, I stitched spiral squares at 1/2" intervals and then subdivided into 1/4" lines.
Fuse the Grid:  Tic-Tac-Toe
Finished Fuse the Grid Series

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 New Years Resolutions

It's that time again...time to decide upon my quilting New Year's Resolutions for the upcoming year!  Drum roll please...

  • Experiment with fabric dyeing and manipulation

    • Dyeing supplies--check!
    • Books--check!
    • Crafty classes--check!
    • Now all I need is to watch the classes and muster up the motivation and confidence to done on some old clothes and get outside to experiment with all the beautiful dyes and pfd fabric just awaiting a boost of color!

  • Continue my battle against UFOs

    • There are at least 13 Works In Progress hanging out in my studio!!
    • There a similar quantity of projects that are kitted with pattern/fabric awaiting for their turn and space in the spotlight.
    • My Battle Strategies:
      • UFO Exchange 2015 kicks off later this month!  
      • February Quilting Retreat with a growing list of projects to tackle during some serious quilting marathons!
      • Apply my FMQ skills to some of the quilt tops that have been on the back burner awaiting my FMQ skills to catch up to the piecing/design.
      • Resist temptation to start too many new projects, and those that do get started, keep up the motivation/determination to complete the project before they add to the UFO pile!

  • Learn new quilting designs/techniques to add more beautiful texture to my quilts

    • After completing Patsy Thompson's Ultimate Free-Motion Quilting Craftsy class, I am eager to apply her beautiful hyper quilting and trapunto techniques to some of my quilt tops.
    • I am also enjoying Jacquie Gering's Creative Quilting with your Walking Foot and hope to apply the graphic quilted lines to some of my more modern quilts.
    • And after watching Cindy Needham's classes, I am anxious to design my own linen whole cloth quilt.  My mother found some beautiful linens and I've picked up some Cherrywood Fabrics and stencils at PIQF.
    • I am also curious about trying some ruler work with my domestic machine.
    • And who knows what other skills/techniques await me.

  • Put myself out there more as a Quilter

    2015 Hoffman Challenge Fabric
    • After much encouragement from family & friends, I am ready to explore possibilities to make a living out of quilting.  I'd love to explore the opportunities to teach, design/publish patterns and perhaps even quilt others tops.  
    • There are some fabulous resources available including webinars, yahoo groups and books that I've started to research.  I am also thinking about joining SAQA to access all the networking and resources available to their members.  
    • In the meantime, I hope to enter more of my quilts into several national/international quilt shows and quilt challenges in this upcoming year including the 2015 Hoffman challenge.
    • And I am excited to be a Quilting 101 demonstrator for my guild to share some of the tools and techniques used to create my Wicked Windy & Winding Ways quilt that was a finalist for Cherrywood's Wicked Challenge. 

  • Incorporate technology into my quilting process, designs, and documentation

    • Love it or leave it, technology is here to stay!  So I might as well embrace all that technology has to offer me as a quilter.  There are 3 technology tools that I am particularly anxious to explore and incorporate into my quilting:

      • EQ7--so many amazing tools for designing and creating quilts that I am determined to become proficient with this software.  I enrolled in EQ University Quick Start class that starts today and continues through March 31st.  So after 3 months of working through this curriculum--I'd better be comfortable with the various tools!  And if not, there are a several more advanced classes that await me!!
      • Explore Adobe Photoshop Elements 13 for its potential with both documenting my process and completed quilts, as well as incorporating into my quilt designs.  I am especially excited to be taking two back to back Photoshop Elements Essentials classes with the Pixeladies to learn how to use PSE in my quilting!  The first class starts January 12th and the last class ends March 1st!  
      • Explore Inkscape, a free professional graphics editing program for original graphic/quilt designs.  I learned about it from a recent MQG webinar and need to spend some time watching tutorials to learn about the powerful design tools it affords to us quilters! 
      • And I am sure several other new and exciting technologies may be awaiting me in 2015!!