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Monday, October 31, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The First of Small Pleasures

It's time to start sewing on my pieces for an invitational show, Small Pleasures, at the Jacobs Gallery here in Eugene.  The show will run through December and no piece can be larger than 12" on any side.  I'm planning on 6 pieces, two series of three pieces each.  This is the almost finished first piece of the first series of small still lifes.  Here's my construction process:
First I made the background by piecing a selection of off-white strips.  By seaming them on a right angle and then placing it on an angle, it seems to give some depth to the scene.  I gave the edge between the  table and the wall a slight curve to suggest a table edge.
I usually make a rough sketch, to size, of where I want to go with a piece.  It helps me get proportions right and I use it as a reference as I proceed.  From this drawing I made a pattern of the bowl using tracing paper over the three basic pieces of the bowl.  I wanted to give the bowl some light, medium and dark areas to make it look more 3-dimensional.
Here are the three pieces laid out on a piece of blue fabric that had a lot of color gradations all within the same print.  I cut the rim piece from the lightest part and the bottom from the darkest part.
Here are the three pieces after having been cut out.  I have adhered paper-backed fusible web to the back of each piece so they can be slightly overlapped and "glued" together.  By pressing on a Teflon sheet, I can then peel the whole piece up and off the sheet as a single unit, but it can still be ironed to another piece of fabric and fuse it in place.

Here's the bowl out together but not trimmed to shape yet.
Okay, done.  It can now be laid on the background and ironed down once I'm ready.
First, I needed to add the fruit pieces.  They are all assembled in the same way as the bowl, so each one is it's own little unit.  Each one is also backed with the fusible web and can be ironed in place once everything is placed to my liking, which is what it looks like in the top photo.  I just need to finish quilting all the pieces in place since the fusing process is not permanent.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

La Conner Quilt & Textile Museum

There are always great shows at the La Conner Quilt & Textile Museum in La Conner, Washington.  I just saw the show that features Ann Fahl's work.  There are so many of her pieces that is was fun to see how prolific she is.  Many of the pieces have been shown in her two books but seeing them in person is a real treat.  Her thread work is amazing!  Check out this close up.

Here's another close up of how she uses multi-colored threads and some of her patterning.  Very cool!

I liked this one with the vase as well.  Having done a piece with a vase, ans now starting a new one, it was interesting to see how she handled the subject using a sheer fabric.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

New travel inspirations

I know there is plenty of artistic inspiration close to home but it seems that I have a harder time "seeing" until I leave my familiar surroundings.  My recent trip to Whidbey Island was full of wonderful eye, and camera, candy.  The Deception Pass Bridge was half enveloped in fog the day I was there.  I loved these two images that make it look like a "bridge to nowhere".

It was that time of year when the sun would be out in one place but then not only a few hundred yards away.  There was that sort of cloudy bright lighting that made everything look more dramatic.  I took a couple pictures of fields that seem like they could be good quilt inspiration some day. 

Of course, the madrone trees, which grow so well there, always add drama with their peeling bark and warm colors.