Thursday, August 18, 2016

Studio and storage

I attended a meeting of art quilters (SAQA, Melbourne, Florida) recently and the topic was studios and storage.  There were several good ideas shared, as well as photos of many sewing and design studios.  It got me thinking about my own area, and what I might have to share, or need to change!  At the risk of everyone seeing my messy storage, here are some photos I shot today.
First image, I have to rearrange everything to do a photo shoot of my current art quilts.  Have to move my longarm, and much of the stuff that is hidden away under it.  I made the light stands, and take advantage of morning sun coming through my windows and skylights.  My design wall is four separate panels of insulation board (4x8') covered with flannel.  I have a long rod with clips for hanging bed sized quilts.

So, here is what the same view looks like after the photo shoot!  Much better.
Four rolling carts hold my overflow fabrics that won't fit in the cupboards on the far wall.

Next, I have an office area/ironing station that is sorely in need of cleaning and purging.  In the cupboards I keep lots of art supplies, and hubby keeps some tools and pool chemicals.  Amazing how you fill up every little space.  It does look better with the cupboard doors closed!

I recently went through my fabrics that I keep in closed cupboards, and because it was getting so cramped in there, I took out the large pieces that have been purchased for quilt backs, and moved them to some open shelves where I keep ongoing and customer projects. And of course, there are more fabrics in the bags on the bottom shelves!
This was a good move, and allowed more room for the smaller fabric pieces in the cupboards, which I try to organize by color.
And I wanted to share that I have a few pieces near my cutting area that I have collected from artists I admire:  Susan Shie, Bodil Gardner and Pamela Allen. My heroes!
At some point, I will need to STOP collecting fabric. . . .

Friday, August 5, 2016


Went to a SAQA meeting in Tampa in July where we did a pass around project using bluegreen fabrics.  We all made still life pieces, adding a part and passing it on to someone to continue.  Finally, we took one home to finish.  Here is mine after making changes at home.  Project due for our September 14 meeting!  I will hand applique (raw edge) and probably hand quilt this one.  Love to bring small projects like this one on trips.
I'm loving my fabrics - I use mostly upcycled fabrics from thrift store clothing.  You can find so many great prints that way!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Letting Go

I had to let go of my little drummer boy.  Put him in the mail to Houston.  Won't get him back for about a year.  Here he is:
He was made for an exhibit called Dinner @ Eight in the International Quilt Festival in Houston.  The theme this year is Pattern.  I was inspired by a beautiful child who was banging on a steel drum in the Camden Aquarium in New Jersey this past spring.  Even though he is entirely hand appliqued and hand quilted, it didn't take me long to make him, once I got inspired to begin.    He is mostly made with upcycled fabrics from shirts and skirts and dresses, (and jeans).  The drumsticks are zippers.  I titled the piece Fiddlesticks.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Summer camp!

Have not posted in awhile, so I thought I would show progress on my little restaurant guy.  Still tweaking, but he's getting there. 
I have been working on finishing some art quilts.  It feels great to get them quilted, and bound.  Then I have to come up with a title, which I sometimes struggle with.

Jane Dunnewold has opened a Creative Strength training summer camp on Facebook.  I joined, and the first prompt was about using sticks.  I hate picking up sticks, but I did (several wheelbarrows full) and I decided to make a quick study using some scraps that have misty fuse on the back.  Wanted to focus on negative space and layer several 'sticks' on top of each other like the ones I pick up and throw on the burn pile. 
Here's step one: 
I chose a brown for the background, then when I add the 'air' shapes, the twigs look brown. 
Step two:
Really, a continuation of step one.  These look better from a distance, or when squinting your eyes.

Step 3:  Layering and adding a new color.

And step 4:  Need to know when to stop!

I like this, but wish I could add layers without covering so much of what is beneath.  Anyway, it was a fun and quick process, and I enjoyed it.  I was rebellious and didn't follow the directions to make a sculpture of actual sticks, but having handled so many sticks yesterday, I wanted to work with FABRIC sticks today!  Thank you Jane, for the fun challenge!!

Sunday, February 21, 2016


It's been awhile since I posted any work here.  Have been super busy with classes, business, family, etc.  Thought I would post my partial progress on a figure I am making.  I sneaked some photos of a man who was reading the newspaper in a restaurant in Eureka Springs, Arkansas last fall.  Here is my project so far. 
I'm trying to get in all the large shapes first before getting into too much detail.  He is hoping for a name and a face today.  We'll see.  It's a gorgeous day in central Florida, and hubby wants us to pull weeds today.  Might have to squeeze in both jobs. 
Here is the photo:
As you can see, I've simplified, and am using a different color scheme.  The colors were appropriated from a Mary Cassatt print.  I am using much more black than she did.  I'm doing this piece as an assignment with my Art quilt class students.  (I always do the assignments that I give)  Will tweak and continue and post again when he is more complete.  It's a start!