Tuesday, August 15, 2017

NTAQ in August

The August meeting of NTAQ was held in my dining room.  
The program for the month was to create the illusion of transparency using opaque materials.  We made paper collages in grayscale.  It was a fun exercise, and we made some fabulous small studies.
Instead of an artist's challenge for September, the group decided to make a small quilt based on one of our collages.  Either in color or grayscale, creating the illusion of transparency.

Our challenge piece for August was based on a painting by Fernand Leger.
Fernand Leger, Woman with Cat, 1921
As always, our pieces showed a large range of interpretations.  Wendy's gray and yellow piece with circles (far right in the picture) was a standout.  Wonderful!
Wendy also showed a new quilt.  A single log cabin block of mammoth proportions.  Wow!

I'm linking this post to Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Friday and Confessions of a Fiber Addict, Go see all the wonderful work there!

Art About Town

Viewing art is good for the soul.

The Kimbell Art Museum hosted a wonderful exhibit of paintings from the Phillips Collection this summer.  I love the Phillips Collection!  B and I spent a day there during our last trip to Washington, DC.  Any museum with a whole room full of Rothkos is ok in my book.  It was wonderful to see some very famous pieces of their collection on display here in Fort Worth.

Several days later, Rhonda and I went to the Plano Quilt Show.  Art?  Some were art, some were not.  But all were very visually stimulating.  A few that caught my eye:
I'm Counting on You by Shannon Page
Detail of Confetti by Peggy Abernathy
Never Again by Valerie Salter
Detail of The Color of Music by Jo Ann Cross
Detail of Water Wonders by Tami Marler

Thursday, August 10, 2017

A Small Tweak

In my last post, I showed the piece I made for the current NTAQ design challenge.  And I mentioned that the thin line in the left border really bothered me.  In fact the more I looked at the piece, the more it bothered me. 
BEFORE:  Do you see the thin line?  I apparently was trying to hide it......
So I changed it.  I think it's an improvement.
AFTER:  More balanced.  And certainly looks more intentional.
What do you think?

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

New Work!

This month, NTAQ was given a painting by Fernand Leger, "Woman with a Cat," 1921.   An interesting piece in the collection of the Met.  The copy I worked from doesn't do it justice.  You can see the original painting here. 
First, I made a paper collage abstracting the piece into something I might possibly be able to piece:
I decided that I liked the collage better if I cropped it a bit.  Here is the page from my sketchbook, with a slight crop of the collage on the bottom right.

(To be completely honest, I just didn't want to piece the whole thing.  Call me lazy.  And cropping made it a bit more dramatic.  At least that is what I told myself.....)
The final pieced top is below.  It is 23" x 29", unquilted.
I think I like it better in this orientation:
What do you think?

I also pieced in a very small yellow and black line near the bottom of the piece.  I'm not sure why I did that, and I think, looking at it now, that I need to either remove it or make it thicker.  Not sure which.

So, once again, I was faced with an empty design wall.  And some pressing projects to work on.  Things I really need to get done.  So did I get right to work on the things I need to do?  No, of course not.  I decided to create a piece from another of my paper collages.
Paper collage
And of course, I thoroughly enjoyed making this piece.  I finished piecing it yesterday.  
Rhythm and Blues, currently 49" x 65", unquilted
I feel like I've been playing hooky, making paper collages and then piecing quilts based on them.  I like this way of working.

I now have an largish pile of tops to be quilted.  Guess what I'm doing today?

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Tackling the Green Giant!

For years I have been making quilts with no more than a quick sketch for reference.  I have always had a more complete picture in my mind, but would only rough out the basics to use as a reference when I pieced the quilt.  But since David Hornung's Design and Composition class, I've been working rather differently.

I'm trying now to start my studio day with a quick collage.  Sometimes in black and white, sometimes using painted paper.  If you've taken one of David's classes, you know that he advocates the use of painted paper rather than construction paper.  With thin painted paper you can create a range of tints and tones from a few primary colors (red, yellow, blue), black, white and burnt umber.  It gives you many more choices. And I do like choices, whether I'm working with fabric or paper.

I found that initially I was cutting curves, circles, spirals and other hard to piece shapes.  They made dynamic compositions, but they were not anything I would reproduce in fabric.  I like to piece, but am not terribly fond of doing appliqué.  But the more collages I make, the more I seem to be using shapes that are angular and "pieceable."  I've made several that I think would make good quilts, including the one below.
I decided to keep the two color palette, though of course I can't seem to use just two fabrics.  So I pulled a range of yellow-greens and blacks and dark grays and got to work.  I started with the lower left hand section:
I pieced it more or less in columns.  Here I've worked my way to the top and then to the right:
This is a view of my design wall from the my sewing machine.  And you can see that the right hand column is in progress.
And then it was finished.  At least the top was finished.  And much squarer than it looks in this photo:
I loaded it onto my old Gammill Classic and quilted it in dark gray thread.
And here is the finished piece.
Galligantus, 48"w x 58"h
I've been referring to this quilt as the "green giant," but that is not what I ended up naming it. While I was piecing it I was reading The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley.  If you like mysteries, I strongly recommend the Flavia de Luce series by Bradley.  I love them.  The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag is about a puppeteer who visits the village to perform "Jack and the Beanstalk."  He calls his huge green giant puppet Galligantus.  It seems an appropriate name for this quilt.

So I finished quilting Galligantus on Sunday and once again faced an empty design wall.  I have three calls for entry that I intend (need?) to make pieces for.  But did I start working on any of them?  

No, of course not.  I decided to make a smaller version of Galligantus in teals.  
And I'm having a blast.  Though I feel slightly guilty about the other quilts I have to make.  Oh well.

I love the idea of using collages as the basis for quilts.  I've already picked the collage I want to use next.  We'll see if I have the discipline to wait until I've made those pesky "call for entry" quilts......

I'm linking this post to Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Friday, Confessions of a Fiber Addict and Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday.  Go see all the wonderful work there!

Friday, July 21, 2017

JOY! is at Sacred Threads!

I am very excited that my quilt, JOY!, is being displayed as part of the "Live Your Brightest Life" exhibit honoring Yvonne Porcella at Sacred Threads.

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