Quilt inspiration can come from the most unlikely sources. Tonight I’m fantasizing about all the cedar trees in the world spontaneously combusting. I am going to pour out all the vitriol I feel towards the whole genus of Juniperus on a new quilt.
Quilt inspiration can come from the most unlikely sources. Tonight I’m fantasizing about all the cedar trees in the world spontaneously combusting. Yes, I have a degree in natural sciences and I KNOW all about the environment and I KNOW how interwoven it all is. BUT! After a month, that included a week in bed, feeling like I have the flu, suffering from CEDAR FEVER, I think it might be nice if they just disappeared, like instantly. With all that KNOWING being said… officially, on my list of quilts to do someday is a burning cedar tree. It won’t be religious, or a statement on *gasp* global warming or climate change. IT will be brutal and mean and I am going to pour out all the vitriol I feel towards the whole genus of Juniperus and especially Juniperus Ashei. This quilt shall be named Ashes to Juniperus and Dust to Cedrus. An odd name that sounds very big and angsty (my new word today). A name that will give me justice at least in my own mind toward that despicable immune system bashing miscreant plant.
I actually do feel better after spouting that out. Now, where is my Nyquil?
As you all know, I’m a fan of Rose Hughes and her fast piece applique method. I have all her books and I can’t recommend them enough for anyone wanting to get into art quilting. She is now participating in a blog hop with this . I decided to follow along too.
Four questions to answer and I think it might clarify some things in my mind.
#1 What am I working on?
I’m working on four projects concurrently. The first is my giant rainbow elephant applique that is currently on my long arm. The second is a first time attempt at a drunkards path. I’m a member of the San Antonio Modern Quilt Guild and so I’m using a ‘modern’ ashy grey solid and mixing it with my beloved batik. All shades of blue in this case. I have no idea how it’s going to come out. Currently the blocks are all over my dining room table while I get inspired as I move them around. Hubby calls this “working on your puzzle”. The third thing I”m working on is a “fast piece appliqued” sea-horse art quilt. My friend Carol wanted to learn how to do it and so we each picked out a scene to do. We’ve got the piecing done but not the couching and quilting. I can never be working on just one thing at a time. I love having something arty that needs embellishing around that is portable so I can work on it in the car or on a plane. The fourth thing on my quilty agenda is outlining and making samples for my free motion quilting class that I’m teaching in November. I decided having some sample of thread tension and speed related issues would be nice to show. I think it’s like doing a foot book or a stitch out of all the stitches one’s machine can do. I’m learning a lot. The process of teaching and prepping to teach is very educational to me. It’s making me grow and be a better quilter myself.
#2 How does my work differ from others in the genre?
I supposed I don’t have a style yet. I’m still learning, trying other’s methods and muxing them together to invent easier ways of doing them. So I don’t know that it differs, other than I really mix it up a lot and you’ll find lots of different techniques on my work. Right now, you probably won’t see anything done the same way twice either. I don’t really like rules. So I suppose free form and rule free is more the way I do things. Though my drunkards path quilt now has a lot of straight lines between the blocks. hmm… guess I’m breaking my personal ‘rules’ too.
#3 Why do I create what I do?
Inspiration comes from everywhere. But most of all, I get inspired when I’m told I can’t do things “that way” or “that’s not going to work” or “no one does it that way” or “that’s not art.” Hearing statements like that just fire me up and make me want to prove that it can and is and is possible.
#4 How does my creative process work?
With my career in coding and web design work, I have always had the philosophy “work hard now, so I can be lazy later.” That translates to thinking about things a lot before starting work. I would rather get it right the first time and have a plan for dealing with the problems than get blind sided by issues later and have to apply a lot of bandaids to the code. Do it right the first time, so it wouldn’t have to be redone a second time. Take the time to do it right. That said, my philosophy, while great for programming, can get in the way of art. What ends up happening is that I tend to ponder on something for way too long before I go for it. But I am not fixed once set on a path. I also tend to switch strides in the middle of a plan and morph it into something else, something better.
What a week! Fall is here! It was 97 F yesterday and 80 F today with rain most of it. I almost got naked and did a thank you rain dance. I’m sure my neighbors were thankful because I rescued them from the ghastly vision of my interesting bits by deciding to go shop hopping instead. It was much more important grab two more shops on the Quilts Across Texas Shop Hop than it was to frighten the rain gods into dumping more water on me in an effort to make put my clothes back on. We got plenty of water today.
This past week my friend Jamie reposted a photo of a class sample that I did back in June. She showed off the quilt as you go watermelon table runner. Jamie got a big response from her Facebook peeps and they asked me to teach it again. I will in the spring. I offered to do something “Fall or Christmas” instead. We talked and decided a pumpkin would be very apropos for the next two months at least. So a pumpkin it is.
There are some vintage looking quilt as you go pumpkins made of strip piecing. At first I though we’d do that. It would be made just like the watermelon table runner but a pumpkin. Sounds easy. I decided to actually make a sample this time.
But as things go in my world I decided to change the plan just a bit to make things prettier.
There is absolutely nothing on a pumpkin that is a straight line. So, I decided that instead of strips, we’d do curves instead, easy-peasy no-pin mild gentle curves that would suggest the 3D shape of the pumpkin. Great! I drew out a pattern and it is beautiful! Oh no! I realized we can’t do the stitch a strip and flip it over technique as easily now. We got those curves to deal with. This is intended to be a beginner level class… so what am I to do?
I have said all year that I would teach a Fast Piece Applique class à la Rose Hughes style. It’s fun, it’s fast, it gets fabulous results in a short time. Her books are great and I tell my peeps to, “buy them, buy all of them. Rose’s books will inspire you and teach you stuff, she’s great!” I decided that this is my chance to spread the news about the greatness of Rose. However, Jamie and I did put the news out that this is a quilt as you go kind of beginner class. So what to do?
I decided we will do Rose’s technique and mangle it into a quilt as you go kind of thing and shorten the process just a bit. I put it together tonight, and because of the big pieces of pumpkin, it will work just fine. I think this is gonna excite my class! I’m excited to share it.
I was really surprised how the process fell together and how it sped up making the whole darn pumpkin centerpiece. And, best of all, it was fun and not that complicated.
I’m not going to show how I did it yet… I want to find any interesting foibles by making another sample tomorrow. For now… Here is a pic of what I did in just under an hour and 30 minutes.
SAMQG is doing pet post cards as a charity outreach project and the cards will be available at the Houston Quilt Show 2014. I was inspired to make these by a memory of my bad cat who tormented my fish. Actually, I always thought the fish were tormenting the cat. He never managed to catch a fish. Though he did get wet.
We made post cards that used all kinds of techniques. My Bad Cats are raw edge appliqué and have a rat tail cord art quilt edging method to finish them off.
The rat tail cord edging is actually pretty easy. First use a narrow long zig zag to seal off the edges of your quilt sandwich. Then widen your stitch just a teeny bit, lay a rat tail cord right next to and touching the edge and zig zag it on the quilt. THEN, widen your stitch just a bit more and change the length so it is not quite a satin stitch. Since you stitched around twice already, there is enough thread already laid down that a true satin stitch won’t be necessary for a neat and pretty finish.
I’ll show in some future post how to make the ends of your rat tail edge meet up nicely.
The Free Form Table Runner class being offered Feb 22, 2014 from 10 am to 2 pm. at the Texas Art League Gallery. Sign up at the Gallery. There will be a break for lunch, you can bring your lunch or some students may wish to work on their project so we arrange for lunch from the Coffee Shop, or perhaps a taco run. Iced tea and water available during the class.
Click here for PDF to save and download. For more detailed information, Please click on this image for a pdf you can save and print. This flyer will also be available in the Texas Art League Gallery; and, in the Watermelon Shop next door if the Gallery is closed.
The Gallery has limited hours but is open most afternoons Tuesday – Saturday. They would really appreciate more volunteers who would like docent at the gallery so that it may open more hours of the day.
The Texas Art League Gallery is at at 509 E Davis Street, Luling, Texas 78648.
Today, I discovered that my HP inkjet printer will print beautifully on the uncoated side of Reynold’s Freezer Paper.
That means an easy way to replicate designs for appliqué. And, an easy way to do multiple copies of a pattern I made. When I use Rose Hughe’s fast piece applique technique sometimes I want to separate out smaller particles or focal objects to layer on top. Making copies of my pattern with the printer will make this really quick!
I’ve been wanting a larger epson pigment based inkjet for a long time. Now I want one that will accommodate 18 inch wide banner paper too. 18 inches happens to be the width of a freezer paper roll. 😊