Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for March, 2017

I’m in the middle of my next quilt as part of the Master Class I am taking, focusing on lines. I’ve made a sketch of a mountain scene, and am in the process of turning it into a quilt. It’s quite challenging, but feels good to be stretching my skills and doing something that is hard to do (once the quilt is all the way finished I’ll have a proper post sharing more detail!).

MAR SLJ sketch 4

As I started pulling together fabrics to use, I realized I needed a few additional colors. So last Sunday, I had some free time to dye. Thinking of mountains, I wanted to dye a range of blacks and greys and maroons, with a few greens thrown in for the valley.

IMG_2610

I started by dyeing a value gradation of the three colors I wanted to make, using Better Black, Brushed Steel, and Sangria procion dyes.

IMG_2600

And then I got more playful. In the past, I’ve kept meticulous notes and followed careful directions to achieve specific colors. This time, I mixed and played at random, each new color a a delightful surprise.

IMG_2608

I started with a bit of the black, and added a bit of golden yellow to lighten it. I then played around with adding golden yellow and sangria and brushed steel in varying amounts to various colors. I generally know how I got to each one, but it would be hard to recreate each specifically. Maybe that is a bit of the magic and why I love dyeing fabric so much. Each piece of fabric is unique and perfect and there won’t be another like it.

IMG_2605

And then my favorite piece. Inspired by directions in Gloria Loughman’s book Radiant Landscapes, where she shares how to dye a gradient. For my last rectangle of fabric, I took the remaining black, grey and maroon, and dyed them in a gradient. I want to dye a lot more pieces like this. The possibilities for quilting and design are endless.

As for finishing my March Master Class assignment by the due date … I am very behind. Life got busy this month with fun and work commitments, and my extra energy and time for quilting hasn’t materialized. How do you catch up on projects when you get behind?

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

February’s assignment was to explore the picture plane with shape, structure, and balance. A good design is an interesting design, with the shape and structure drawing the viewer in.

IMG_2472

Poppies are one of my most favorite wildflowers, so I chose to make a quilt filled with poppies. I was also stoked at the opportunity to practice sketching. For my birthday last year, Aaron gave me Law’s Guide to Nature Drawing, and I’ve been itching to give it a try. I printed a photograph of poppies that I took, and started to sketch. I was thrilled at how following the steps in the book produced such realistic looking poppies. And I don’t even know how to draw!

FEB SLJ sketch 2

For the Master Class, each month is divided into three assignments. The first assignment was the sketch. I photocopied my poppies and played around with arranging them in different patterns and backgrounds. Above is the one I liked the most. The teacher’s comments were to try adding to the design with flowers in different directions and with stalks that bend a little. She encouraged me to show something different about poppies that I have observed myself.

IMG_2516

I went back to my inspiration photo, and drew more poppies! I looked for poppies of different shapes and sizes to include in my design, drawing some that were facing the sun and some with petals that were more open.

FEB SLJ block

For the second deadline, I turned in my blocked out quilt. I continued to play around with the background design and color choice. The teacher’s critique here was to soften the background and really keep the focus on the poppies. I really like how she phrased this, so I’ll share it here, “It’s important to capture their essence, how they hold themselves and move in the breeze…rather than botanical details..” She ended with the encouragement to put my time into a lot of poppies!

IMG_2647

So I went back to the drawing board! I looked for as many shapes and poppies to capture from the photo. This time I spotted the smaller poppies, that were still buds or just starting to bloom. Then I cut out as many poppies as I had patience and time.

IMG_2655

For the assembly of the quilt, first I pieced the background and quilted the fabric layers. Then I arranged the poppies onto the quilt, and stitched them down in raw edge applique.

IMG_2658

As I placed them, I continued to keep my inspiration photo handy, to check placement in order to really capture how they hold themselves and move in the breeze.

IMG_2669

I like how the quilting adds the needed details to bring each poppy petal to life. I thought about making each petal a separate piece of fabric, but chose not to for simplicity. That would have made the small pieces of fabric that make up each flower really overwhelming!

IMG_2668

The final quilt is small, 12″ x 16″. The teacher’s final encouragement was simply to suggest trying to make it as a larger quilt. That would be a really neat exercise, to try to enlarge the quilt. I wonder what I would change or keep the same? Probably adding more poppies would be good!

IMG_0504

A little bit more about my inspiration. In September 2015, our family property where I grew up burned in the Butte Fire, as I’ve shared before. My mom spread poppy wildflower seeds, and in the first spring after the fire, they came up with abandon along the creek. This photo was taken in May 2016 when we visited the property. It was the first time I had seen the property since right after the fire. My first emotion was intense grief, when I saw how so much had changed and now looked different. But after spending the day there, hiking around, visiting, working, laughing and hanging out, my sadness went away and I felt comforted. The property still gave me the same sense of home. On the surface it felt and looked different, but the heart of the land was still there. The curve of the hill and the breadth of the sky was still the same. That’s what I attempted to share with this quilt. My memory of the sadness of what was lost combined with hope for the future and what awaits us just around the corner. Just as the poppies lean in towards the sun, ever hopeful and brave. Let’s all lean in towards the sun, bringing much needed color and joy to the world.

 

Read Full Post »

The fabric delivery for March from A Verb for Keeping Warm’s Pressed Seam Club is the most scrumptious of them all.

img_2693

Loving this selection probably has to do with my fondness for blue and purple.

img_2692Kristine shared that she chose the March palette around one of Caroyln Friedlander’s new prints – Sage (seen in foreground of photo). It is a beautiful pattern, and my mind hums with ideas on what type of project to use it in!

img_2695 These six fabrics would look lovely together in a quilt. But really, who knows where they will end up!

  1. Robert Kaufman – Carolyn Friedlander – Friedlander Sage
  2. Free Spirit Fabrics – Anna Maria Horner – Mixed Signals
  3. Kokka Co. LTD Fabrics – Ellen Baker – Framework
  4. Robert Kaufman – Classic Threads – Grape
  5. Nano Iro – Freeway
  6. Free Spirit Fabrics – Heather Bailey – Momentum Vibe

Read Full Post »