I finally have my sewing room set up and my MS Penelope ready to quilt! YAY!!
It has been an ordeal and I am so happy to be finished. Now to start a new project in my new home
Or maybe it should be “Starting Anew”?
I had put the blogs on hold for over a year while as Life grew more hectic. There have been many changes since I last updated. I hope I can find my spirit of creativity once again.
A bit of very happy news, I did attend the AQS Quilt Week with my BFF Allison. We had a wonderful week of resting, quilts, good food, more quilts, laughs, new quilt dreaming, and feeling blessed to be together again.
We did something we had set as a goal over 6 years ago. We each tried out many of the sit-down table model mid arm/long arm machines. It was awesome! I picked out a Pennywinkle Sunshine 16 and Allison chose a Sweet Sixteen. It was time…we felt we made the correct choices and now we start a new era of creativity.
Wish us luck!
Meet Ms Penelope- She fits perfectly in front of the east window of my new quilting room.
Recently I had the fun of creating a SmashBook/creative journal for a MaryJane’s Farmgirl swap. I think I added too much but once I got started, I didn’t want to stop That is always what happens to me. I get carried away with the theme or with my sense of inspiration based on the person for which I am making the book .
The pages are of different variations. I printed some things on glossy photo paper, some are printed on copy paper, and some pages I used Misty-Fuse and ironed on fabric to the back of copy paper. I also added a section of graph lined vellum sheets.
A mis-mash of pages … I hope Darlene will like it!
The quilted cover
Inside the cover
Some of the pages…
A quick project which can lead to wonderful results is lurking in your stack of UFO’s!
Go ahead, pull them out again. You may be pleasantly surprised to find completed blocks, wall quilts you no longer display, and an array of experiments you started which are begging to “Become Something”!
Let’s make some pretty and colorful pillows!
For a simple pillow, cut a piece of fabric the size of the block or small quilt you want to use as the pillow top. Place the two fabric pieces right sides together, and sew three connecting sides. Now turn the pillow cover right sides out and lightly press the side seams smooth or flat. Insert a pillow form into the pillow cover and then whip stitch or machine stitch the open end closed. Let your creative inspiration begin…time to embellish the pillow top with ribbons, beads, braid or bows.
I had the perfect opportunity to test the services of fabric printing by Spoonflower, a custom fabric printing service. www.spoonflower.com
My nephew announced his engagement to his beautiful girlfriend a few months ago and I wanted to make a special gift for them. They are an awesome couple who are the definition of a modern day cowboy & cowgirl. They love their horses and enjoy the cold snowy days of living in the west.
I decided to use the pictures which were taken for their wedding announcement and make a king size bed runner. I used my imaging software program to make a few changes to the pictures and uploaded them to the Spoonflower site. Voila! The fabric which I ordered and received was printed beautifully!
It was hard to take pictures of the finished bed runner, but a few images are below. I made the runner larger than a standard size so the happy couple could use it to cuddle on the couch with their dogs on cold winter evenings.
Congratulations Gavin and Vanessa!
And the sweet bride danced in the rain….
Since it seems my own creative inspirations have been blocked recently..(as in the past few months)...I decided I could make another Bargello quilt and then embellish it as the muse directs my thoughts. I love the look of well designed Bargello Quilts!
I enjoy digital books, especially since I am living with my mom, (as her caregiver), and I have limited room for books. The format for Beautiful Bargello is in PDF which makes it easy to view on most all ereaders and printing the instructions from my laptop is super easy. Having the document on my phone is a plus when shopping for fabrics.
So, if you are considering downloading an instruction book for a digital device or computer, go for it! You may be surprised at how helpful this book format can be.
A Feast for the Artistic Eye-A Joy For The Soul
A recent new release by Martha Sielman is more than beautiful photography of fabulous art quilts. The themes are timeless examples of our world in which we share space with plants, animals, insects, and the elements of nature.
Art Quilt Portfolio - The Natural World, proves the talent Martha has for bringing forth the best of art quilting and creativity in her books. Not only are the quilts impressive, but the narratives of the artists add a depth of understanding which enhances the artwork. Each quilt holds a hidden emotion which was captured or dreamed by an artist and then transferred into a tangible work of art with fiber and various textiles.
The art styles have a wide range. Many times it is possible to recognize a particular artist when you see several of the pieces due to a certain style of artistic expression. Maybe it is the ‘branding’ of an artist which sets their work apart. Some of the textile artists enjoy working in a realistic style while others are more abstract. As you peruse this edition of Martha’s art quilt series, you will find underneath all the beautiful works from the hands of the artist, a subtle influence of traditional quilting. Factors such as size, scale, proportion, and color values are prominent in these quilts. This should make even the most traditional of quilters feel some pride.
No matter where you reside on this planet, you can relate to the beauty and soul of this book. For me, springtime in the south, (USA) is a perfect time to be immersed in this very inspiring new book by Martha Sielman.
It has been a beautiful spring-like week here in SE Arkansas. The warmer weather and fragrant spring flowers lift the spirits and bring new feelings of inspiration.
I am adding my latest small art quilt, “Spring Wind and Rain”.
In a frenzy…making Scarves, Small totes…Book Covers…Tote Bags, and Book Markers…oh What Fun!!
I must add pictures of my Granddaughter, Anasy, and her First Sewing Project with her Granny!!!
Granny is very Happy!!
Sometimes it is confusing to know when to let go of an art project which has lost it’s momentum. I am not referring to projects we start on a whim and then lose interest…Let those Go! I am not referring to commissioned projects we really do not feel within our own soul, but are paid to bring forth from an intangible wisp to a 46” X 60” wall art piece-- Get it Finished and move on!
My time for productive work depends on the schedule and health of my mother. My priority is being her caregiver. Family is next…then studio time.
When an inspiration springs forth from my heart or dreams, I feel a burning need to sketch, gather materials, and make a start. But as in life for all artists, I have a lot of interruptions to my day. When the creative fever has cooled, I often have to ask, “Is it complete, does it need a bit more, or have I lost the vision I once had for this project?” Was the inspiration for a project given to me…just for my own “self” and all that is required is to date the sketches and write my journal notes…to Me?
We all need to recognize when it is time to let go…let go of things or feelings, or habits, or plans, or memories…. which no longer fit who we have become or who we want to become.
I suppose I am saying….It is ok to change direction when the inspiration for a certain creative project has lost the spark which brings us joy. A very close friend once told me, “Life is too short to continue to read a boring book. Toss it aside and get a different book”! (Thank you Allison) I love that she helped me give myself permission to
Enjoy your Inspiration!! Diane
I subscribe to a free newsletter from Christine Kane, a songwriter/singer who has become a very successful speaker and coach for women. I have been encouraged and challenged to “UPLEVEL” expectations for my own life. I have watched her videos and have read her newsletters since 2008.
I want to include a bit from her latest newsletter. She gives permission to include this on a website or blog, see below. It resonated with me and how, “Down-in-the-Dumps” I can feel about myself and my art some days.
An excerpt from Christine Kane :
“ When it comes to success, you may be surprised to discover that there's a huge connection between your success and your surroundings. That's because everything in our lives has energy. Everything has our thoughts and emotions embedded into it. That includes your car, the mess of papers in your file cabinet and yes, even the old furniture you don't like. When it comes to upleveling your life or your business, sometimes the first place to start is to release what no longer resonates with who you are becoming. Today's article shares how I learned this lesson BIG TIME - and the huge results that came from taking simple actions. “
**Christine Kane is the Mentor to Women Who are Changing the World. She helps women uplevel their lives, their businesses and their success. Her weekly LiveCreative eZine goes out to over 20,000 subscribers. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can sign up for a F.R.E.E. subscription at http://christinekane.com.
When one or more of my art quilts are selected to be on exhibit it feels as if my “child” has graduated with honors! YAY...happy laughter!!
Two of my art quilts are on exhibit at Southeastern Community College, NC, Art Department, September 26 – October 29.
The college is located off Highway 74/76, one hour from Wilmington and two hours from Raleigh.
The quilts are: Facing Winds of Change and Autumn Evening.
I am so blessed!
( …” SCC Exhibit Features “Indian Summer”
An exhibit featuring a collection of stunning quilts inspired by autumn colors and textures, as well as personal memories of the season has opened in SCC's Upstairs Gallery. The exhibit can be viewed now through Oct. 28, Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.
The show contains the work of 15 members of the Professional Art Quilters Alliance (PAQA-South), a group of textile artists from the Southeastern U.S. Some of the techniques used by artists in the show include hand dyed and hand painted fabrics, image transfer, free motion embroidery, applique and bead weaving.
For more information about SCC's Upstairs Gallery and art programs, call September Krueger at (910) 642-7141, ext. 379 or email email@example.com. Additional information about PAQA-South can be found on its website, www.artquiltersouth.org. …”
The Masters Art Quilts, Vol. 2 – blog hop and giveaway! Winner is:
Lisa Flowers Ross!! Congratulations to Lisa!
Thank you to all who participated in the blog hop and for leaving your comment on my blog.
Please visit again!
~Embracing the Moon, Art Quilting Studio, Summer 2011 Edition
~Altered With Applique’, Belle Armoire Summer Edition 2011
~Autumn Evening~ Sacred Threads Show 2011
~Little Black Dress Challenge, Belle Armoire', Nov 2010
Project Rewind....”Finding A Balance”
One of my favorite “impulsive” quilts was made over several months. So, you may ask, “How is that impulsive?” Good question, and I can explain.
I found some blue lame’ fabric in my stash and said to myself, ”WOW, that looks like water!” The fabric would be too overpowering and flat to use it without changing it a bit. I found some gray quilters cotton and hand painted several different shades of Lumiere* paints over the fabric. Later, I ironed the back of the fabric to set the paint. Then I cut the cotton and the lame’ fabrics in fluid shapes then sewed them together. I was very pleased with that 36” x 45” pieced and painted fabric. I pressed it and put it on the design wall where I enjoyed to glance at it for several weeks while I worked on other projects. It was an impulsive joy! A one day project.
Approximately two months later the fabric called to me and asked for “life”.... ocean life? But I did not want to portray undersea life. Possibly because I do not swim very well and am a bit afraid of being underwater. Ok, I will give this some thought. I remembered vacations to the west coast and being at the ocean with it’s wild water on one side of hwy 101 and the cliffs and huge trees on the inland side. One time when we were at an overlook, I remembered watching people during a yoga session there on the edge of the park area. Life and Balance.... that is what this fabric wants.
So, over the next weeks on my design wall I would add a tree...cut away a part of the tree. Add a reflective moon, take away a bit of undergrowth to the landscape. One morning I walked into the studio and saw a shadow on the fabric. I thought the shape of the shadow was a bit like a dolphin in mid-leap.
Ok, so now an impulsive creation of a sea mammal “sort-of” like a dolphin. The more I experimented with the sea mammal...not going to research on the internet...but from my impulse only . ..and scattered memories of articles/books I had read about sea mammals, I made my own interpretation. Since this is impulsive art, I added a sea mammal family mid-leap...they are symbols of finding a balance of life and creative joy! I loved looking at this on my design wall for several more weeks.
Now, when an artist knows the time has come to finish the project, the impulse for design begins to slow. It is a bit sad for me during the end process of creating a project. I feel as if I am closing the covers to a wonderful book, and have to leave the characters I have loved. But the water called to me... the sea mammals called to me... the moon called to me... and the gentle repeating call was, “Where are you in this picture?”
I sat down that day and impulsively made flat dolls to add to this picture. As I worked, my thoughts took on a more in-depth accounting of my life. I remembered the constant motion of my past, my planned goals, and my hoped for dreams.
I added the dolls...a younger Diane who was agile and impulsive and filled with all hope....
and then a current Diane who is more subdued, calmer, and balanced in hope with faith.
My lesson in making this “impulsive” project is that I learned,
“ Life happens when my plans go slightly awry. It is accepting the balance and finding my peace.” dcl/2011