Monday, October 13, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

I've been busy checking out the various blogs that I follow and came across several that were included in the Around the World Blog Hop.  Gina over at Clay and Fiber one of the blogs I follow "tagged" me.  Gina doesn't post every day, but when she does, her blog holds a cornucopia of her artistic endeavors along with various insights to the flora and fauna that inhabit her neck of the woods.  Each of her clay pieces incorporate her two passions "clay and fiber", hence the name of her blog.  Hop on over there and have a look there too.

Thanks for stopping by here.  Have a look around.  I hope you enjoy your visit.

Right now I'm work on several things and having difficulty settling down to one.  As a member of Tangled Textiles, I'm working on my next piece.  Vicki selected the topic of "process" and I have been deciding which Celtic knot I'm going to use as the wreath in my piece. 

I decided that this is the one I'll use as my base.

You can read about the inspiration for the piece here and here.

I'm also working on doing some soft edge piecing.  This technique, developed by Jinny Beyer, was taught at a recent workshop in my area.  We created one block to the basted point.  It still requires hand work.
I enjoyed it so much that when I got home, I created three more.

These all still need hand work; something that can be done while watching TV in the evenings, or at an up and coming quilt retreat.

Quilters Without Borders is another group that I enjoy.  This group studies the textiles, textures and colours of various countries.  We studied the quilts of Japan, and are now working on those of Australia.  I'm working on creating the block "Seven Sisters" with various Australian textiles.  Using mirrors and 60 degree diamonds, I'm hoping to come up with something that has a sense of "down under".  Here is a sampling.

Is my work different than others?  I don't think so.  I cut apart fabric and sew it back together into a pleasing pattern; I enjoy the rhythm of handwork; and am excited when I discover new ways of manipulating textiles and fiber. I enjoy working to challenges.

It's hard to explain, but I continue to create to see what combination I can come up with next.   My process for accomplishing that?  Let's just call it a "fly by the seat of your pants" kind of process. It entails one or all of brainstorming, sketching in a journal, perusing old magazines, surfing the internet; whatever gets the creative muse going.  On that note, I'm off again to explore my stash and see what I can come up with next.

Next stop on the blog hop will be across the country to Jackie of Manitoulin Island in Ontario.  She's a 3D embellisher extraordinaire!  After that you can cross the Atlantic and visit with Nicolette in the Netherlands who has a flair for the modern esthetic.  If you haven't already, you can also visit with Lisa in upstate New York or Vicki down under in AUS.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Sharing the process

I had been thinking about how I'm going to portray my inspiration for the current challenge from my Tangled Textiles group.  This is my inspiration:

Some twigs of cedar, birch and willow,
I like these for my spirit's pillow,
Then intertwine them, make a wreath,
adorn it with a maple leaf.
Then place the same upon a hill
and know, my spirit is here still.
-- © A.H.E.

After designing Celtic knots, it occurred to me that I could design one to use as the "wreath".  I could use different fabrics for the bias strips, or I could free motion the knot.  Here are some of the knots I'm considering.

Sorry the pictures aren't clearer, but it was difficult photographing tracing paper.  These are not quite what I'm looking for, so I'm off to design more.

Till the next time,

I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination -- Jimmy Dean

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Digression - A Salute to Salmon

I took a little side trip today to the Adams River.  I'd been reading and hearing about the dominant salmon run that was happening this year, and I just had to go and see what all the fuss was about.

Here is what I saw.
It was incredible to see the salmon such a bright red colour.  The ability to see them so close to the river bank was especially exciting.

I tried some video.

I waited a few minutes and pretty soon there were more.

My apologies for the poor quality; first attempts are not always successful.  It was an amazing site to see.

Monday, October 6, 2014

I've been knotty

No, no I did not spell "knotty" incorrectly;  I'm talking about Celtic knots.  A recent retreat gave me the opportunity to learn how to design those knots. I was prepared to cut and work with bias strips, but discovered that you can create knots with just some free motion quilting.

After some preliminary instruction I got good and "knotty" and designed several knots.  I chose to work two of them in fabric.  They are still at the basted stage, but here is the result.

They'll make wonderful cushion covers, don't you think?

Because I knew the theme of the retreat beforehand, I also brought along a quilt top that I thought would benefit from some Celtic knot work.  What better place to get assistance than at this retreat?  It presented a challenge because I was trying to add the knot to corners rather than in a circular pattern.

After several attempts, I came up with a design that I liked.  This too is basted and will need to be appliqued in place.

Once the knot work is stitched in place I'll have to decide if I'm going to hand or machine quilt this. Any thoughts?

Till the next time,

"When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on." - Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Collaring some mugs

It's been a busy few weeks with several things on the go in the studio.  In addition to the small pouches that I posted about here, I've finished off some mug collars, at least that's what I'm calling them.

Here is a different picture that might be better.

Unlike the cardboard ones that you find in your local coffee shop, these are washable, and reversible.  These will be going to the boutique at the quilt show hosted by Blue Mountain Quilters' Guild.

I've also been brainstorming to come up with various methods that will portray my inspiration for the next Tangled Textiles challenge, "Process".  You can read about that inspiration here.

I've just received the next installment of Superior University projects.  This time it will be working with Kimono silk, but that is for another post.