Saturday, February 18, 2017

the work continues

last year I did a commission piece of columbines

it was a small piece and I did it in a pretty cramped time span, so I felt like I hadn't really "finished" with the subject matter

so I'm working on another one

in this case, the big flower (which is now complete) is almost  as big as the entire first piece was --- it's sort of columbines on a Georgia O'Keefe scale

and I'm about 2/3 finished with the second columbine too

moving right along!
I've been working on the design for the next piece in the Parched Earth series -- and while I like the overall design, I'm not sure how I'll execute some of what I want to do

so I'm working on a smaller section to work out those details, which I had gotten this far, and have now decided that it needs some changes because it is going to be big enough to stand on it's own when it's finished
on February 3 I was able to attend the opening of the Evolution 2017 show at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum

very cool to see my piece hanging in the exhibit

Benson likes hanging out in my office or my studio while I'm working

on Valentine's day he had fun chewing up a piece of cardboard, and one of the pieces is in the shape of a heart -- cute!  a Valentine for mommy -- and like any proud mommy, it's hanging on the wall

time to get back to it!

Thursday, February 02, 2017

reasons for a better plan

the plan was to use at least two of these pieces to enter in a show that had a January 31 deadline

uh, not so much

it helps if you read the Call for Entry closely (and really, I had no excuse -- after all I WROTE the call for entry for this show!)

each of these pieces was ineligible because it was too narrow for a call that had a minimum requirement of 24 inches in width AND height

big oops!

fortunately, I have been working on a series of pieces, and these two pieces were big enough, so I was able to enter them

now we wait to hear from the juror

meantime, I'm working on another piece in the Parched Earth series -- this one will have 5 beat up, rusty mailboxes in it

and two of them are ready -- moving along nicely

there is another call for entry coming for a show this summer that is just dog pieces

I took some photos of this lovely dog in a bead store in Ft Collins last fall, and then ran it through some steps in PhotoShop and I plan to do this piece in the same technique I used for the dog I did last year.

looking forward to seeing how this comes out

and then there was this unplanned for addition

after last summer's trial of having a very young puppy, we weren't really looking for a new dog right now

but Benson found us

he is a lab/heeler mix and he's about 8 months old, rescued by Big Bones Canine Rescue out of Roswell, NM, where he was picked up as a stray --  and as we've had him this week, it's clear that he was someone's pet

he walks on a leash like a real gentleman, and while it wasn't my original thought to be acquiring a personal trainer, it's pretty clear he has that job!

he's going to be a great companion

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Word for 2017

if the date of this post, which would have ordinarily been done on January 1, is any indication, the word I have in mind for this year is a really needed!  (in my defense, however, I came down with a nasty cold right after Christmas that then became a worse sinus infection, at least now I'm on the mend)

last year the word was FOCUS

and it seemed to work --- lots of work completed, lots of work accepted into shows -- awesome!

this year's word is PLAN

and here's why:  doing the work is important, but if I really want to be a juried artist and at some point actually sell some of my work, it doesn't just happen by magic

there needs to be a PLAN -- a plan for creating that CV that is required, a plan to create a new website that will show my work, a plan for entering more shows without having the last minute panic

yes indeed, there needs to be a PLAN

Friday, December 30, 2016

The Great Christmas Reveal

I make things for folks -- no surprise there!

But that means that through out the year I take pictures and file them away so that I can show them to you after the gifting is over

So here is the haul for 2016:

for several years I have done knit toys for the Christmas socks -- this year Mr Cute got BB8 and the son in law got Yoda

for my daughter's sock I did a cup cozy that was not wool -- so she can carry her cup without having to wear gloves to keep her hands from itching!

the sweater knitting for this year was the lovely "eggplant" cardigan for my daughter and a hoodie with Ninja colored stripes for Mr Cute


not that there was any lack of sewing machine work going on for all that knitting!

the Christmas Eve pjs for instance

 the custom aprons for my mother and my sister

 and a little something warm for the two "grand dogs"

now that Christmas is over I can reveal this piece too

this commission piece was done from agreement to delivery in less than 2 months 

it is not a real big piece (measures about 11" by 15"), but along the way I had problems with my sewing machine and at one point I was not sure I would get it done in time

even with all that work and the two Christmas gatherings hosted at my house two weeks in a row, I have continued to work on this piece too --- the silos are just pinned down so I can be sure to fill in all of the grasses that are the base of this --- which means this piece will soon be heading to the sewing machine for quilting

which means I'm thinking about what the next pieces on the design wall will be

we'll see who gets to go first

Sunday, December 11, 2016

counting down to Christmas

the stockings are hung by the chimney with care

these, of course, are just "decorator" stockings -- the ones we have used for years for the "real thing" won't come out of the bag until Christmas Eve
many of the pieces that are out there on the newly built mantel haven't seen the light of day for quite a few years -- for at least 5 years we had not been at home for Christmas, so we had done much less decorating, and even last year (when we went all out) they didn't come out because we didn't have a mantel to put them on

I think this may be one of my favorite bits in the whole house this year

work on other things continues

the fusing work on the commission piece is complete, and I have started doing the quilting -- I hope to have this done in the next few days

the third silo is complete and ready for the next step

and I have started working on the rail road tracks

and of course at this time of the year there are a good number of sewing projects in process that I can't show you right now!

from time to time someone asks me where do I get the ideas for my art quilts

these three photos (and quite a few more) were taken from my front porch this morning

there is something about that thin line of blue below the gray clouds above the housetops that caught my eye, and has me wondering if I could create this look in fiber

time to get to work!

Sunday, December 04, 2016


when I last posted, I had just started quilting on this piece and I had about a week before the deadline to get it entered for a call for entries

I was feeling good -- figured I had plenty of time because I had a clear plan

uh, well, the machine had other plans

mid way through the quilting, the top tension on my machine simply would not hold -- it was like it was always in "baste" mode --- ARRRGH!!!

a day later, and after several text conversations with my cousin and another quilter nearby, I very carefully took apart the whole bobbin compartment of my machine and cleaned in as many areas as I could and tried again (there is very little that a Viking machine is designed to have done by the owner -- it is mostly designed for the [expensive!] authorized shop to work on)


I was able to finish the quilting, get the facing done and get it entered -- but much too close to comfort for me.  I hope to not go there again.

and now the waiting begins for notification

some work is still being done on the silos -- this is the third and final one in process

I'm working on a lot of other things just now, but I can't show you any pictures because Christmas is coming!

this time of year there is a lot of on line chatting about the Elf on the Shelf

these two little cuties are my version of that -- handmade by me back in the 90s -- one of them still has her hang tag from when she made a trip to a craft fair or two

wish I could get them to do some of the more mundane work around the house -- but no, they are going to just sit here on the couch and look cute

time to get back to the studio and get that commission finished!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

much to be grateful for

I was reminded last night that it has been over two weeks since I have posted out here when my sister called at my mother's request to check up on me

yes, I'm okay --

in fact, it could be said that I am afflicted by an embarrassment of riches!

that said, here's a bit of what has been going on since November 7 when I last posted
Shortly after the opening reception for the Contemporary Fiber show, I was notified that this piece (which is actually two separate pieces designed to hang together) was accepted in a show titled Evolutions which will be held in the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum beginning in January.

This show will include pieces from all over the world, and I feel privileged to have been chosen to be one of them.

One of the nice things about living so close to my daughter's family is that we can help each other.

While my son in law was away on a business trip, she asked me if I could pick up Mr Cute because she was in a late meeting at work.

I was happy to do it, and as I was driving him to our house, he and I were having a conversation about how pretty the sunset was.

As I turned off of the highway, he said "Gramma, you should pull over and take some pictures"

So we did -- the child already has an artist's eye -- and I think this photo has potential to become part of an art quilt in the future!

When I posted the last time, I thought this piece was just hours away from being complete

But something has happened this year in my work -- when I'm not happy with how something looks, I don't just press onward -- I go back and change whatever it is that is bothering me

These corners for example

My original plan for this piece was to face it, not bind it, but the corners were so thick (some areas about 8 or 9 layers of fabric/batting/stitching) that no amount of aggressive pressing or spritzing and pounding produced an acceptable result.

So I re-trimmed it and put on a very narrow black binding

NOW it's done

And after more than a year of working on this piece, it is finished too, and in this case I was able to face it which gives it that clean edge I wanted

The quilting on this piece has begun

This one is as big as the truck piece, just runs vertical instead of horizontal, so it will be as labor intensive to quilt

And I want to have it quilted, faced and photographed in the next week so I can enter it in a specific call for a show

So the race is on -- can I do it without an all nighter?  We'll see

Progress continues on the next piece in the Parched Earth series

The sky is all finished, and I'm working on the silo that will be on the far left of the piece

Work continues on the commission piece -- it is really coming right along even though the photos at this point don't look like much!

Tomorrow we will celebrate Thanksgiving -- we are looking forward to a fun day where we can enjoy each other and some good food

After that -- it's back to work!!