Portfolio of older work

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The rest of the story

I forgot to finish my Friday Favorites with the postings about using scraps.  Here is the rest of the story.

Kate North and I were having the same scrapppy problem.  Here is the solution block she designed and a couple of quilts she has put together.  I have just directed you to her blog since there is more than one posting about the scrap quilts.

And didn't Amanda Jean do a marvelous job on her Apple Cake quilt?  It is all hand applique but I see no reason why it could not be machine pieced.  Although, come to think of it, I am looking for a project to do while I sit beside my husband on the couch.  This could be it.

Kathy Loomis has her own approach to leftovers.  One of her statements got me to thinking.  She talked about her "real" quilt.  I think by that she means that she makes a small quilt using her idea before she tackles the larger more important quilt, like Nancy had us do at the Barn.  Nice to know that time consuming but ultimately time saving trick.

Okay, that was the rest of the story.  I am now going back to finish coloring my latest fabric doodle.  Pictures later.

Friday, May 27, 2011

My voice and Friday Favorites

I have been having an on-going hunt for my voice.  You know, that distinctive something that when people look at a quilt they will be able to say, "OH!  That is a Jdemilo quilt."  or "That is similar to what Jdemilo does."  I am told in various blogs that my voice should be unique (have they seen ALL the different types of stuff is out there???), not a derivative (as in completely unlike anyone else--have they seen ALL the quilters out there????), and is something coming from inside (think of a baby during labor). Well, I have found for my voice.  My voice says that the task is too great for me.  Instead, my voice says,  I am going to concentrate on what I like.  Can you hear my voice?  LOL  For more opinions on voice, check out Jane Dunnewold or David duChemin.

Friday Favorites
There were lots of lov-er-ly things out there this week like Terry Jarrard-Dimond sharing her hand dying process and Penny Berens's great hand-stitched circles.  But I am focused on scrap piecing.  Not granny's crazy quilt but something with some composition to it that uses scrap fabrics. 

Here is what I found this week that will allow me to use up tons of fabric I need to get rid of AND still create some art.

Monday, May 23, 2011


I had a marvelous time marbling with FIVE on Saturday. Check out my results on the "And Then We Set It On Fire" blog.

Friday, May 20, 2011

A move and Friday Favorites

When I came home from Nancy's Barn I told my husband I needed a bigger studio.  My current studio is in a corner of the living room/family room/tv room/entry way/only public space in our tiny house.  I gave him the option of moving to a bigger house where I could have a separate room or giving up more (perhaps all) of the living room.  My dear husband said all he needs is a chair and a TV in my studio so he can be with me. Lets all say "AHHH" together because he meant it.  I am a lucky woman on many levels and  I have now taken over the living room.  The consequences of the in-process move is that I can't find ANYTHING.  Hopefully I will achieve a higher degree of organization by next week and have something to show off.

Friday Favorites  After a couple of weeks being too busy to read blogs, I was excited to see what my friends have been doing.  I was not disappointed!

Debra has several new-to-me things.  First she has learned how to piece on her longarm machine.   She has also added some really quirky quilting to Laura's Rose Quilt.  What do you think of it?

My friend, Beth, has also posted several entries that I somehow missed and I think are exciting.  One shows the results of her attempts at thread sketching.  I really like what she did. Sometimes I think the thread painting is just too much--the material won't even lay down any more--but this is really clever.  The second entry is her results from attending a workshop by Jane Dunnewold.   Fabulous stuff.  I get to see it in person on Saturday!  Yeah!

I have quoted Elizabeth Barton many times before and here I go again.  One of her recommendation is to let a 'finished' piece hang for a while before declaring it officially done.  Overtime you will see any problem areas that still need some resolution.   So it was with this piece by Judy.  It was good before but now it is really pleasing to look at.  I really like what Judy did to it with the foil and the edging.  I find finishing to be the most nerve whacking part of the creative process--what if I do something the ruins hours and hours of work?  Perhaps following the suggestion of time to study the quilt before execution will make the finishing touches be closer to life-giving than murderous.

Elizabeth also gives us some good advice about how to not fritter away your time in your studio.  My favorite is #5. 

"Leave a start the previous session.  Take a leaf from a writer’s book and leave something obvious from the day before so when you walk in it’s right there ready for you to get moving on.  I like to leave something in the sewing machine"

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Recent Ponderings about Quilt Construction

After getting our first assignment from Nancy Crow, I had a moment of insanity when I asked Nancy how we were supposed to construct our 2 ft by 3 ft quilt.  The answer was "Piece.  We piece in all my classes."  Obviously I should have known that.  So I pieced all week and cut without a straight-edge and recut things that didn't fit because I didn't measure or use a pattern but I did wonder, is this the one and only true way of art quilt construction?

All that week and still now, I compare Nancy's piecing with Elizabeth Barton's raw edge applique technique.  Elizabeth cuts without patterns and states that f*** is a 4-letter word, like Nancy. But Elizabeth uses a small zig-zag machine stitch using matching thread to raw edge applique her pieces.  That is so not Nancy. 
Add to the mix the technique of Laura Wasilowski  of Artfabrik who advocates tons of fusing and using your sketches as patterns for cutting, even to the extent of projecting your sketch so you can trace it for a perfect pattern piece. Boy, what I would give to have those three ladies in the same room!

I started out wondering which is right and which is wrong.  What is art and what is craft.  What is old-fashioned and possibly out-dated and what is new and fresh and extends possibilities.  What is proper and what is just lazy. 

I think I have ended those musings with a different concept of the difference--which is my voice?  Maybe it is not a question of which is better or best or right or wrong or whatever.  Maybe it is just a question of what is MY voice.  I am still not sure of that answer but I think I am making progress to have at least finally recognized the correct question.

How about you?  Which technique do you use and why?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Don't look, Kathy!

I am doing a couple of surface design round robins.  One is with FIVE, my play group, and the other is on "And Then We Set It On Fire".  This fabric is Kathy's from FIVE.  When I got it, it had just some green on it.  You can see it best in the top left corner.  Since I had some roses I was ready to dye with--some of them were even Kathy's roses that her husband gave her for Valentine's Day--I decided to to rose dye the fabric.  I was hoping for leaf and petal prints but was not that successful.  I did get some from the petals but none from the leaves. The coloring of pinks and greens is really pleasant in person but did not show up well in the photo.   At any rate, the fabric now has it's second layer of surface design and is ready to go to the next artist.

Beth, also of FIVE, directed me to this wonderful tutorial by Jane Dunnewold about surface design round robins.  Very Informational!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Nancy Crow's Barn

I loved my workshop with Nancy Crow! 

Sunday, set-up day, I was totally overwhelmed.  The class was an advanced class and many of the women knew each other from previous workshops.  They all seemed to have more fabric, better irons, bigger machines, EVERYTHING.  I was totally un-nerved.  I had to go out to the porch and cry for a while.

Monday I had pulled myself together and I bravely marched back to the barn.  Our first assignment was to create a 2 ft by 3 ft quilt using a black figure on a white ground.  It was due in 24 hours.  I stayed till 10 pm and arrived at 7 am Tuesday morning to get it finished for the 9 am reveal. Here it is.

Tuesday we were assigned to create 3 tops that were 3 ft by 4 ft tops. The goal was to create a middle ground in the three quilts.  The first quilt was to reinterpret the quilt from Monday using multiple blacks and whites and a grey.  The second quilt was to reinterpret the first day's quilt using blacks, whites, greys, and brown.  The third quilt was to reverse the colors in the 2nd quilt.  We had till 10 am on Wednesday.  I stayed till 10 pm and got there Wednesday at 7 am.  At 9 am Nancy gave us till 11 am since no one had all three finished.  I got the first two finished.  Here they are.

The last assignment was to create a 4 ft by 5 ft quilt in full color using the same elements as in the quilt from the first day and the best of the quilts from the second day. The colors and values were supposed create various fore grounds, middle grounds, and back grounds.  We had till Friday at 3 pm to get it finished.  Guess how long I stayed and how early I arrived each day?  Yeah,  you got it.  But I got it finished! Here is my quilt.

Nancy Crow's Workshop

I made the strongest quilt I have ever made!  The workshop was certainly worth all the stress and money and time and worry.  In fact, I have now signed up for a second workshop with Nancy at Quilt by the Lake in November.  I don't have time right now to show you pictures but I'll be posting them in the next couple of days.  Just wanted you to know I was still alive!