Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Simple Log Cabin

A while back, I made a little log cabin banner or runner in neutral colours. I gave it to Kitty who plays acoustic bass. She was the bass player in the band that played at a big birthday party we had for my mom. My husband played trumpet, Kathy played guitar, clarinet and sang harmonies, Helen sang her heart out, Gary played guitar and sang some too, and they played the swing music of the thirties and forties. It was a lovely event. This little quilt was a thank you gift for Kitty, who had just renovated her kitchen. It fit perfectly.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

I Sew In A Box

This post should have come before the last post. 

There it is, reflected in the fuzzy iron. One quarter of the quilt I am working on. 


My sewing/art studio is a converted shipping container. Its a small one, measuring 8' x8' x20'. There is a wall with a sliding glass door built in about 18" from the end with the big steel doors. This means I have a little porch! And it means I can shut the big steel doors if the weather is really bad, or if we are going away for a bit. Also, those doors open to the garden, which is great for when I need to clear my head from art experiences that are too intense... i just get out there and pull some weeds. There is a regular door down near the other end. My talented and capable husband, who is the master mind and sole creator of said shipping-container-conversion-to-art-studio took the regular door and installed a big window into it. So there is the natural light, a windowed door at one end and a sliding glass door at the other end.
The container is insulated and has white walls and lots of lighting and there is a small propane heat stove which easily heats the whole area.
The end wall, not the one with the sliding doors but the other one, is all design wall. Its made from a fibrous board that will take a pin, and is covered in flannel so cotton fabric sticks to it. It measures about 90" x 90". There is another 72" x 90" design wall to the right of that.
I am currently working on some biiiiig quilts. The aim is to finish at 90" x 90", making my design wall too small! With the seam allowances and edges-that-will-need-to-be-trimmed, the wall needs to be at least 100" x 100". I decided to solve the issue by piecing one quarter of each quilt at a time. I have now made three pieces that are a quarter of the finished size, and I cannot make them go together! Aargh! Now what! Stay tuned.

Sewing!



I just made a discovery. Maybe I rediscovered, but gave myself permission to see today.

Here it is -

I want to sew all the time!

I have been trying to make good art. I make art by cutting fabric and piecing it into a composition, then I quilt it. Its really hard sometimes, and sometimes its really easy. When its hard, I avoid the work, and I have a million, billion ways to avoid the work. Sometimes I don't go into my studio because its too hard and sometimes I go in there and make other things. When I make other things I feel good, because I'm making something (I love to sew- did I mention that already?), but I also feel bad because I am not working on the art thats hard.
If I don't work on the art, it will not get better. This I know because I read things on the facebook  and  other places where artists write things like this. These artists and photographers and writers and musicians... they tell me to do the work , make the crap, make mistakes, make a lot of art- good and bad, keep working, work work work. This is why I feel bad when I have fun making other stuff! Because I am not doing the artwork. I should not feel bad making stuff, I should not feel bad period.

I am going to set aside time to make things, and time to work on the art that can be hard. I will set some goals for making things to wear or to sell and I am going to feel good about it! It seems so simple, but I wasn't ready to hear it until just now.

Gotta go - back to my work room to finish the linen pants that I have been enjoying making! Tonight I will work on the art.

Feel free to comment - I love to hear how people feel about procrastination and how to deal with it.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Study

I spent two weeks in March at an intensive composition workshop with Nancy Crow. I love these workshops.... the days are long, I usually started at 7:30 am and worked until 10:30 pm when I'd start to make bad decisions or no decisions.
We spent two days making tiny compositions, mine turned out to be 15" x 15", and they were larger than many from other students.
Unruly Umbrellas. 15" x 15"

Then I spent 5 days on this...
10% to 90%  60" x 72"
Nancy said I should keep making quilts because I am tall!

Then I spent two days making this:
The Joke's On You   40" x 36"

It was one of my favourites. The next project took me the rest of the second week, two and a half days, and I didn't get it finished which is just as well because it went in a direction I didn't like. I won't be finishing it, but I will save some elements from it and move on.

Harlequin. Unfinished
Two weeks of intense patch-working, creating and learning with 22 serious artistic people (who are a lot of fun) is my idea of a good time!




Thursday, April 3, 2014

Just Looking

I went looking through my iPhoto to see if I had something inspiring to post here. I found a photo of eggs that I shot at my friend's house. Aren't they beautiful?

That be some happy chickens that make these eggs. Yup.

And then I saw this in-progress shot of Kerri's quilt. I'm making it for Kerri as a trade for the most beautiful red sweater that she is knitting for me. Kerri is really good at knitting!
I have now finished the quilt top, pieced the backing and chosen the binding. Its all folded up waiting for me to go get the batting and put it all together. I'll show you later how it turns out!


Friday, January 17, 2014

Tweedle Do Workshops

See tweedledo.ca events page for posters of the two workshops I am organizing this spring. Anna Heywood-Jones and Maria Shell are teaching in our week long art retreat. Go deep and join in. Elevate your art life!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

First and Last


Improvisational Amalgamation

I'm working on the first quilt of 2014, which I actually made a point of having up on my design wall as the final quilt design of 2013. I don't know if thats cheating somehow, … calling it the last quilt of one year and the first quilt of the next…. in any case, one day rolls into another, quilts get started and finished, life goes on. The parts were made at different times, the funny little log cabiny bits were made in 2010, when my sewing room was set up on the porch in the first year we moved to the island. The triangle parts were made this year, one day at a sew-in with the guild, and the top left corner and other stripey bits were made with scraps from a workshop I did with Nancy Crow in 2012. So its a multi year endeavour, one that shows how my pack rat habits can pay off.
Improvisational piecing is so much fun. Sherri Lynn Wood at Daintytime has put out a call to participate in her new book on the subject, which I think is just great! If you like doing improvisational work, go look at her post, you can apply to play! I love collaborating and plan to do much more of it. Do you have collaborative projects you have worked on?