Sunday, February 22, 2015

Find Your People

The work of art can be a solitary endeavor. So, it is not unusual for an artists to look for like minded people to share with, to try on ideas with, to broaden one's point of view. My roots were in the local quilt guild. I soon tired of the inefficiency of the meeting. Too much time spent on business, charity endeavors, meeting minutes, finance, the upcoming quilt show and insufficient time spent with a good speaker or a good show and tell.

I've participated in small quilt/art groups. Fun but often one in the group...

It is important to find your people.  My people are wrapped up in a group called MIX. Eight women who come together to share art, discuss art and their work, and let me present  my work. They offer ideas if asked. They provide useful commentary.

We challenge ourselves each year to produce work to a theme. These works of art are exhibited in a show of our own. Our challenge this year is to produce two works each, size 24w x 30h, of a hardscape and a softscape based on a visit to the Allison Inn and Spa in Newberg, OR. The show opens in April and so for now, we only show teasers. This is the script for one of mine.

Others can be seen on the MIX blog here.

Look for more in April.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Millar's Maxims

I am an NCIS fan and always laugh when the cast of characters refer to Gibb's Rules. So I am working on a piece that has 100 smallish circles to be sewn down. I prefer sewn to fused. The work is slow and tedious but rather zen like. So, or should it be sew, as the needle went up and down, up and down I had some time to formulate Millar's maxims.

Here is a snapshot of the piece in question:

Not in any particular order:

  1. Never quilt in straight lines. It's hard to do, is less interesting and when you miss, it is noticible.
  2. Don't contrast difficulty. Sewing around a tight circle with a contrasting thread highlights the mistakes.
  3. Think in layers; sew in layers; quilt in layers. It's just more interesting.
  4. Never make all the decisions up front. that's the part that keeps you interested and engaged.
  5. When the work gets tedious, go slowly.
  6. When the work gets tedious or boring, break it into small segments
  7. Reward completion. Wine is good!
  8. When the work is done, walk away.
That's all for now. 

Linking to Nina-Marie

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

My Eye on Dubai

Another from the A4 (in my case, A4 and a  half...

The theme was Architecture.
I love the architecture of Dubai and Shanghai. So modern. I wanted to come up with something modern as well. I started with the concept of the architecture of line. I wanted minimalist. I wanted unusual colors. I actually combined several of my random doodles, then filled in the blanks as needed. Made from the dye job mentioned in the last post.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Dyed and Gone to Heaven

There are a lot of fabric dyeing formulas out there and many books published on the subject, Lots of teachers offer instruction. My favorite method is a serendipitous method arrived at when I needed to used up leftover dye.

Starting with a piece of white fabric is my fav but I have been also know to do this over "bad dye jobs."

  1. Soak the fabric in a soda ash mix for about 15 minutes. Use the same soda ash you have been using to dye fabric. (9T to a gallon of water). 
  2. Whether you use this soaked fabric wet or dry alters the outcome but either is OK. On the wet fabric the dye blends more, on the dry fabric, the dye stays put. I usually use the wet version as it also saves time.
  3. I load these pieces in freezer baggies. How you stuff them in makes a difference to the outcome. A tight wad lets less dye into the center...
  4. I make dye in squeeze bottles and find it very useful to then just squirt some onto the fabric in the baggies.
  5. I mush it around some, peak at it in about 15 minutes and rearrange it if there is too much white and then squirt some more. You could also squirt a different color at this time. 
  6. Let it sit for an hour or a day or just when you can get back to it and be surprised at the mostly lovely outcomes.
I find this so much more appealing than dying flat colors. I could buy Kona if flat was the result I had in mind. This is an example: a combo of orange ( red and golden yellow) and brown. It makes my heart sing. Try it, you'll like it.

Linking to Nina-Marie