Sunday, January 27, 2013


is what my hands were thinking for the last couple of days.  I got the piecing done on the next Walk in the Woods, and decided I wanted to keep the uneven edges.  So I spent several hours turning under and basting all those raw edges.

You can get a peek of my latest Tangled Textiles challenge piece in the upper left corner- but you will have to visit the Tangled Textiles blog tomorrow to see it, and all the other creations from the group.

 I'm already thinking about what background matte color will work best with this piece.  Thank goodness for PSE!  I figured it would be easier to audition background colors on the computer.  I'd originally thought a deep, dark red would work--

but I'm not sure about it.  So I tried a dull green--

and a dull olive green--

and a brighter gold--

 I even tried a grayed blue--

 In the end, I think I've tentatively decided that this dark brown works the best- it makes all the colors pop, rather than sapping some of them.  Two and a half yards of cotton are stewing in a dye bucket right now, to be washed out shortly. We'll see if I still feel that way when I can see it all in person, rather than on a computer screen.

Which color background do you think works best?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Whoo Hoo- I'm Celebrating!

Because I just got word today that 'A Walk in the Woods', which I entered in a Salt Lake show sponsored by the Mary Meigs Atwater Weaver's Guild, won the Surface Design Association Award of Excellence!!  I am ecstatic!

We'd planned to go to the opening reception where they gave the awards, but a snow storm rolled in that night, cancelling any travel plans.  However, I will get to have an image of the piece on the Award Gallery of the Surface Design Association website- talk about exposure!!

What a wonderful way to end a cold, dreary January day!!

Monday, January 21, 2013

It's Coming Along. . . .

I got some more work done on the second Walk in the Woods, and I am happy with what is going on.

I am also liking the irregular edges, and while I am piecing I'm thinking about ways to keep them in the finished quilt. I still don't have an answer, and probably won't until I start trying ideas out.

In the meantime, t'm trying to catch up on two seasons of Downton Abbey with Hulu. How did I miss out on this when it started- it is my idea of perfect TV!

Friday, January 18, 2013

A Walk in the Woods series, Part 2

The background strip sets are completed, and now the magic begins.  I started insetting the trees today, and love what is happening.

On the left is the darker strip set, which I've just pinned next to the lighter one that I am working with now.  I'm planning to use the darker strip set on either end of the lighter, like you are looking into the trees with a shaft of light coming through the canopy.  I have a long weekend, so it would be nice if I got all the trees inset before I head back to work on Tuesday.  We shall see!

I did some snow dyeing a few years ago, and have never used the fabric.  Several of them seemed perfect for this piece, so I included them.  And with all the snow we have, I decided to use up the dyes I've had in the studio frig with some snow.  I even scored a basket to hold the fabric at Saver's- it's supposed to be a grill basket, but it will never see food now!

I have three pieces of fabric in this batch, using cool colors.  Tomorrow I'll do three or four more pieces, using the yellows and red dyes I have.  I may look at my dye powders; if I have any mixed dyes, I may make up a little bit to use for this since the mixed dyes split in such interesting ways.

I will probably be posting more 'foodie' items- with Sean here now, it has been so much fun exploring out of the ordinary eateries.  Maybe next time I'll show you what we ate for Shannon's birthday lunch!

I hope you are staying out of the cold, and finding to to be creative!  I'm linking this to Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Friday blog- make sure to look at all the other creative artists that are there.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Strip Set Series

I started another piece in what I hope will be a series, inspired by my visit to Michigan with my son Ian last fall.  I want to make this one larger than the last, and perhaps  be more thoughtful or intentional in my value or color choices.  Here's what I have so far.

I am trying to capture the sense of the woods in the glorious colors of autumn, answering yet another question- what if I change the palette I use?  This is my first step in that direction.  I wanted one with lighter values, as the colors might appear in broad daylight.  I also wanted a set in a slightly darker set of values, as they might appear in shadowed light.  I'm hoping the two pieces will play well together, although I expect I won't have that answer until I start cutting again to insert the tree trunks.

So many other artists have used strip piecing in their work, I often think I am crazy to believe that I can come up with something unique.   I continue because I love the way of working- it is therapeutic for me, relaxing, and works well with my preference for an intuitive process rather than one in which the whole piece is planned  before the needle or scissors ever hit the cloth.  I'll continue to ask the "what if" questions, continue to play with those touches that have my unique imprint on them.  Along the way, I hope to create work that speaks to me, speaks to my vision of the world I live in, and speaks to others.  

And maybe along the way, I'll find it becoming easier to write about the creative process and what it means to me!

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Resurfacing. . . .

It has been an eventful three weeks- a lot going on in our home, and I just couldn't summon up the energy or time to blog about it . Now our home is starting to feel more organized, I'm trying to wrap my head around the idea of a new year and keeping my focus artistically in the midst of all the change.

My oldest son was laid off his job in Florida a couple of months ago, and was unable to find another. So he packed up everything, and he and brother Lance spent three days driving all their possessions to Utah. Marly and Michelle are visiting her family in Colombia til the beginning of March, then they will fly to Utah. I suspect it will be very different here once the three year old arrives! We are working hard to get the house cleaned and organized before their arrival.

In the midst of all this, we did have a lovely Christmas. I am the ecstatic owner of an iPad, and I also received a cool set of snow shoes to help work off all those holiday calories.

I've already tried them out on the Bridal Veil trail where I used to take Sadie to walk. I haven't been out since- our air quality the past week has been terrible with an inversion setting in.

Shannon gave me a cool little piece from Ikea- I think it will be perfect to use when sewing therapy strips. I love the retro color!

Once the dust had mostly settled from Sean's arrival and getting the truck unloaded, I have spent a bit of time in the studio. My local art quilt group met the day after New Year's, and I came home with a neat little piece that started with a couple of therapy squares. It is now on my design wall while I try to decide how to finish it off.

 And, my Blue piece for Tangled Textiles is now done- but no looking at that one til the end of the month.

Tomorrow I am back at work, trying to get settled into a routine in the midst of all the changes. I'm hoping (and planning!) for a lot of excitement and creativity. I wish you a New Year that brings the desires of your heart, good health and happiness!