Portfolio of older work

Friday, January 29, 2010

Time for a critique

Time for a critique, please.  The posting at Interpret This! is my gallery opening where you can tell me I am a genius but here is where we can speak the truth (gently please!)  My goal is to continually improve so input (both about what worked and what did not) from other artists is always appreciated.

Here are some observations I have about the piece.  Feel free to comment on them or go off in your own direction for comments.

1.  I thought the black border would be like a frame but I find it too dark--almost funeral.  You know, the way they used to drape black crepe on pictures of people who died.  I do think I will remove it and try a lighter color.  Other than that, I like the softness of the organdy ribbon. 

2.  Hmmm...the satin heart.  Don't like it as much as I like the idea of it. Way too prominant. It would be easy to unsew and make modifications or replace with something else. Any suggestions?

3.  I added the 2 faint oil stenciled hearts in the background hoping that they would make the satin heart feel more at home in the piece.  Instead it feels like grade school amateur to me.  I dislike them intensely but am stuck with them unless you have suggestions.

Things I do think worked well but feel free to disagree.

1.  The writing in the background fading in and out and outside the border.  I think that gives the viewer something of interest when they get closer to the piece.  I like having the back story in the back and weaving in and out.

2. Okay, this is really minor but the draping of my sweater around the neck seemed particularly effective.in technique.  I am pleased with the skill I showed with the oil paint sticks there.

Once the picture is adjusted some, it is going to my mother as her belated Christmas present.

Okay, let her rip.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Our Love Story

I spent the first 30 years of my quilting life cutting large fabric pieces into small fabric pieces and then sewing them back together.  I spent the next few years sewing the scraps back together into fabric pieces large enough to quilt.  Now I am interested in surface design techniques that will allow me to minimize the cutting and sewing back together stages of the process.  This year in the Interpret This! I want to focus on making small whole cloth quilts using a variety of surface techniques. 

My first piece--Our Love Story--will be revealed this afternoon on Interpret This! (see above for the link).  Here is a small piece of it to encourage you to see the rest.  The primary technique I used for this project was painting with oil paintsticks.  I learned a lot.  Here  are a few of the things I want to remember for next time I use oil paintsticks.
  1. They do have a wonderful opaque quality that allows you to use light over dark.
  2. The best tool to use to apply them with is a very stiff brush. 
  3. The painting technique is much closer to scrubbing then painting.
  4. Getting the oil on the brush works best for me by brushing the tip of the oil paintstick directly.  I tried various other palette options but wasn't happy with them.
  5. Mixing colors worked best as 1 swipe on the black and 2 swipes on the red paintstick (see my comment above).
  6. If you don't like the results, let it dry and paint over. (can be repeated as needed!  LOL)
  7. They work very well with stencils.
  8. They work poorly as fabric monographics--just not wet enough.

Monday, January 25, 2010


Madeline...Oh, Madeline...Wherefore art thou, Madeline?  I have my self-portrait for Interpret This! under control (check back on Thursday for the reveal) and have some time today to get you started.  Even better, I can add a row to you and turn you into a Project Linus quilt for a child in Haiti.  Now, where did I put that pattern?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Project Linus Haiti Relief Effort CHALLENGE

An urgent call has come in to volunteers across the country. Project Linus has been asked to coordinate an effort to collect 10,000 blankets for the children of Haiti, the small island country recently devastated by earthquake.

Blanketeers out there, here is what you can do; make any blanket you can, of any size, these can be afghans, fleece or quilts, we only ask that they be turned in as soon as completed, as the children of Haiti are in urgent need. The goal is to have collected 10,000 blankets by March 1st.

Blankets can be turned in to any Marden's store location in Maine, or directed to Project Linus chapters located throughout the United States.  Here is the link to find your local chapter:
Here is my challenge:  HOW MANY CAN WE MAKE by March 1st?

 Here is how to enter.
  1. You can enter once by posting here that you will contribute a quilt of any size.
  2. You can enter a second time by blogging about the Project Linus Challenge and posting the link here.
  3. You can enter a third time by sending a picture of the quilt you have finished for donation and telling us where you donated it.
I will work on prizes and let you know when I have something lined up.

Good Luck!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

November's Schnibble finds a home

My Winter Picnic has finally gone home to my co-worker's office wall.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day One of my Erosion Bundle

It is late but finally hung.  Here is my erosion bundle.  I am interested in how it will turn out.  It is about 2 yards of mystery green fabric wrapped around a PVC pipe and tied with yarn.  I then poured a soda ash solution on it and some blue dye.  It is hanging in my privacy fence scultpure.

Here are the questions:
  1. How far did the soda ash solution soak into the fabric?
  2. How far did the navy blue dye soak into it?
  3. I didn't rinse out the extra dye before I hung it so the rain and snow will do that.  What will that look like?
  4. Navy blue dye tends to fade in the sun.  What will that look like with this piece?
  5. This is mystery fabric so, how will the dye work with the fabric is also a mystery, let alone how the fabric will respond to the elements.
I am excited by the prospects!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sculpture with ice

While I continue to work on my Interpret This!  self-portrait (which I can't show you yet), enjoy this picture of one of my metal sculptures with ice and snow.

Monday, January 11, 2010

How was your weekend?

Mine was pretty good.  How was yours?

I made a run to an art supply store an hour away to get more supplies for my Interpret This! self-portrait.  While there I got more supplies for fabric dyeing.  I see I will be spending more time doing that coming up soon.  I am so excited!

I spent quite a bit of time on Friday and Saturday on my self-portrait and then I rewarded myself by making more blocks for my Black, White and Red All Over quilt.  I have now started to assemble the blocks into strips.  Not quite as much fun now that size and shape matter.

If you compare the fabric in the Snowball quilt and the Black, White, and Red All Over (I gotta come up with a shorthand for that name!) you'll see a lot of overlap.  Makes good sense since the second quilt is a scrap quilt and believe me, I made lots of scraps in the process of making the Snowball quilt!  Wasn't that good planning on my part?  Tee Hee

No pictures today.  The self-portrait is a secret but I'll post more in-process pictures of the BWRAO (does that work for shorthand?) quilt soon.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Interpret This!

If you want to hear about the picture I chose to turn into an art quilt for the first challenge, follow this link.  Just as the original picture was a present for my mother, this one when finished will be a present for her too. The reveal of the art quilt will be on the Interpret This! blog on January 28.

Finished! (Well, just about)

 Here is my Red and White Snowball Challenge quilt!
It is just the top. Finishing will have to wait until I finish my self-portrait for the "Interpret This!" challenge.  Here are some  modification I made from the Evelyn Sloppy pattern and the plain red challenge. 

  1. I modified the red blocks to go from white-with-some-red to red to black-with-some-red.  I wanted the color to add some movement to the quilt. The transitions are not as smooth as I would like. That is the result of not having a design wall large enough to put the whole quilt up before starting to sew it.

  2. I added a row of snowballs to the length. Again, I want to be able to sleep under this quilt so that addition was purely for size.

  3. I altered the border.  In the pattern the snowballs go all the way to the edge.  Here there is a row of only the off-white snowballs to complete the little half/square bow tie detail.  Next there is a row of off-white squares to make the whole design float a bit.

  4. I do think I will add some piano keys that will be the width of the squares and twice the length (2 x 4 finished size). That should bring the quilt up to the size I want. The piano keys will all be red (white/red, red, black/red) and will replicate the value transition in the quilt.

  5. I think when I quilt it I will use black thread on the bottom, red thread in the middle, and white thread on the top to accentuate the value shift.  The quilting will be simple since it is not the star of the quilt.

  6. I have tons of different red fabrics so I will piece the back out of the leftovers rather than to purchase a whole cloth backing.

Do you like it?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Check back tomorrow

My snowball challenge is about to be delivered!
 Well, the top is almost done.  I have the border put on 2 of the 4 sides.  If I have to stay up overnight I want the other 2 borders on before I go to bed tonight!

I didn't want to spoil the unveil so I have not been blogging about the quilt.  I have been working and working on the snowball for the last week.  The three days of the snowed-in new year weekend were spent on the quilt.    Of course, I have made a couple of changes in the pattern, primarily to get it to the size I wanted it.  The overall design is not turning out quite as I have envisioned.  Not to say it is bad, just that it could have been better. 

At any rate, come and see the pictures tomorrow and make your own judgement.