Archive for May, 2015

Catching Up

Sunday, May 31st, 2015

Yesterday I took the day off and went to an Art Fair in the KC area with friends.The weather was good, the art was especially nice and it was a fun day out and a yummy lunch. Then we visited a couple of galleries for more great art.

Before that, I spent all of Friday working on the Heron while it rained outside. I did some tweaking like adding more of the yellow/orange to the right side to bring in some light and adding to the legs. Sewed a bunch of seams and I needed to cut the cat tail leaves that will go between the sections so I can complete that portion on the left.


Not sure that I like that dark fabric; maybe it needs to be lighter. A nice medium tone would be more realistic but it would get lost against the background.


Nope. It needs to be dark to balance the other side, but that bit of dark between the leaves needs to go. Adding to the water and sewing more seams helps.

heron12-1OK, better. It’s starting to come together now.



Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

Continuing on with the background, I am auditioning some new fabrics. I think that new sky fabric has definite possibilities. Sewing some of the seams tightens things up and makes it easier to see and fix mistakes.



I am liking this new grassy fabric and I have purposely cut it at several angles which I think gives it a sort of nice windblown effect, and will give judges something to complain about I suppose.

heron9Within the lower left portion there is a clump of smaller cat tails which I pieced in using a darker fabric which didn’t even show from a distance and needed to be taken apart and replaced with this lighter bit. It is not unusual for me to audition and cut several fabrics before settling on the right one.  It is always best if that happens before the sewing is done! But fabric choices are so important it is worth it to do the work.

There is also a new dark brush fabric as I like to get larger scale more detailed fabrics near the front. Laying in some water fabrics helps, too.


Sunday, May 24th, 2015

heron6Quite a few more seams are sewn and I found this neat batik for the legs that looks sort of scaley. The bird is starting to moosh into the background so I need to get some more contrast going on.


This dark batik helps a lot. Nature wants to camouflage everything but in art— not so much! It also helped to tone down the black on the bird. So much to think about!

It is STILL raining!


Saturday, May 23rd, 2015

I don’t get a lot of rejections but this year has brought a few. I enter a lot of shows so they are to be expected as more and more artists are entering. It bothers me when I don’t feel like the reasons are appropriate though.

My rejection (they call it decline) from IQF”s “In Full Bloom” for “Bignonia” came this morning. Their reason?

“Focus on an area that features a well-constructed and quilted detail. One detail photo showed poorly matched seams. ”

Wow, poorly matched seams? My seam lines intentionally do not match up which adds to the abstract realism of the piece, and eliminates bulk in the construction. This is an art quilt, folks, not traditional blocks. Believe me, I can match seams if I WANT to match seams! I expect better from IQF. Sometimes I address the seams in the artist’s statement but in checking I see that this time I did not. I guess I must have thought a show like Houston would employ jurors who could recognize an art quilt.


There is nothing I would change about this quilt; in fact I am quite proud of the piecing and fabric choices, especially!

Meanwhile, I carry on here in the studio to continue to create another “poorly matched” work of (?) art!!

heron4-1Here you can see the beak changed to yellow and starting to address the feathers.  That old piece of blue batik with frosty looking wheat that I so needed for “Snow Buddies”  and couldn’t find, has proven to be just right for this piece and the scraps that I had left are working. heron5

Starting The Heron

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

It is always so exciting to start something new! After pulling out all of the fabric possibilities it became apparent that the actual work cannot be the picture in my mind’s eye. Which is a let-down, I just don’t have those fabrics! But, never mind. I will make it work. (That picture is soft and dreamy, lots of soft peachy dawn colors, even paler shades for the bird.)

This first picture is at the end of the first working day, using the color palette that I have to work with. My artist friends don’t know how lucky they are to be able to mix up the colors they need!. I will change the head from cream to white for better contrast.  I decided that curved seam piecing would compliment this design.  It’s harder to sew but worth it I think.


The eye is an actual lucky find already printed for me in yellow, black and white. I will ink in some of the white center, leaving just a little white sparkle. And YES it is pieced in, not appliqued! For nice contrast, I chose dark brown for the beak, but checking the books, they all say the beak should be yellow, so I will have to change that. This is approximately 40 x 50″


New Work

Monday, May 18th, 2015

After finishing the Woodpecker, I really didn’t have any inspiration to start something new. Sometimes I get blocked and nothing is there wanting to get out. Other times there are more ideas than I can possibly do.

We live near a Heron nesting colony and they often fly over. Sometimes they even visit our farm pond and even our water garden/fish pond (NOT a good thing!). They are pretty things, though and I have had a plan for a long time to do a Heron quilt. One rainy afternoon, recently, I felt inspired to sketch and came up with this:


Te next day I enlarged it and transferred it to freezer paper. I decided on curved seam piecing for this one. More difficult but worth it, I think.


At this point, it is hard to not cut a few pieces!


Finished the Woodpecker

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

I finished the little 12 x 12″ quilt for the SAQA auction last week and got it sent off to them. It was adapted from a photo I took of the woodpecker on the sunflower seed feeder. I gave him a nicer place to sit. Well, prettier, anyway.


I used a variety of black and white fabrics, mostly zebra prints. Here’s what I pulled off the shelves in the beginning,


and here is what I actually used.


These little pieces don’t use a lot of fabric but still you need a lot of choices!

It’s been a cool and rainy week so everything is lush and beautiful. I try to get outside every day and weed or trim to keep it in check. Soon it will get hot and dry and it will be a different story, so we enjoy it while we can!

The first perfect rose

perfectroseKansas Blizzard Iris