Thursday, July 25, 2013

And then there was a tree.....

THINK that I shall never see 
A poem lovely as a tree. 
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest 
Against the sweet earth's flowing breast; 
A tree that looks at God all day,         5
And lifts her leafy arms to pray; 
A tree that may in summer wear 
A nest of robins in her hair; 
Upon whose bosom snow has lain; 
Who intimately lives with rain.  10
Poems are made by fools like me, 
But only God can make a tree.
Joyce Kilmer

This poem kept running through my mind while I added a tree to the right side of my piece. It was, like much of this piece, a pain staking process.

  • Draft the tree on my tissue paper full-size sketch that I am using as a rough base for the scene.

  • Fuse the trunk and limbs to the background.

  • Create clusters leaves with my ice-dyed organza and add to the barren tree.

  • And, there you have it - a tree awaiting quilting!

to be continued.............

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Riding the waves of creativity

The proposed title of my new work is "serenity" but I would hardly term the process of creating it such. I am constantly accosted by my 'internal judge' discussing the state of my piece with me. :)

For the past week or so, I have been working periodically on the bridge that is a focal point in the piece. Creating it has been a bit tedious to say the least and so there has been plenty of time for self-critiquing with a resulting range of emotions from satisfaction to frustration.

Tom Crum used to talk about roller coasters of emotions and feeling buffeted by the heights and depths of these emotions as they flow through our consciousness. Rather than embodying whatever is our current emotion, he always suggested viewing emotions as weather patterns passing through our being and recognizing that we are not our emotions. This metaphor helps me tremendously in simply witnessing my emotions rather than letting them dominate my life.

Useful information when creating bridges!

Last night I got to a point of finally adding the infamous bridge to the background. I stepped back, actually across the room, and discovered that there was hope. I snapped a quick photo - not exactly in focus - but enough to give me a bit more perspective. Here is a quick crop of that villainous bridge so you can imagine more vividly what was involved in its construction.

The bridge is simply fused at this point, not quilted or shaded with stitching, and much more needs to be added to the scene but progress is obvious. I am particularly pleased with how well the background trees are blending into the scene. I trust that as the pond in the foreground is added, the bridge will naturally blend in as well.

Conecting this to Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday. Please check out everyone's projects for the week.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Creating "Serenity"

I mentioned towards the end of May about a photo I had taken of a Japanese garden and was trying to decide upon the best crop to use. That decision is now past and I am working on the piece. In the end, I expect the title will be "Serenity" as that is what comes to mind as I construct it.

The view that I eventually selected

Here is a glimpse of my WIP - part of the upper right area prior to the bridge, red tree, and other foliage being added. There is actually a fence that runs across 2/3 of the scene and is barely visible.

You can see how I have used some of that organza that I ice-dyed at the end of June.

Now I am focusing on all that is in front of the fenced area. Gradually, it is coming together!

I am linking this to Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Friday blog, so please check out what others have been doing this week.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Sacred Threads Exhibit Starts This Week

Two of my art  quilts, "Spirit" and "Emergence," will be in the Sacred Threads 2013 Exhibit that opens on July 10. The exhibit will run through July 28. 

The exhibit will be held at the Floris United Methodist Church, 13600 Frying Pan Road, Herndon, VA 20171. Hours will be from 10 am - 5 pm, Sundays  10 am - 4 pm. 

There will be a Meet the Artists Reception on July 13, 2013, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm.

Scared Threads features quilts exploring joy, inspiration, spirituality, healing, grief and peace/brotherhood. I hope that you will be able to visit the exhibit. 

"Spirit" by Judy Warner

Monday, July 1, 2013

Ice Dyeing!

I am in love with ice dyeing. Much thanks to Quilting Arts Magazine for publishing an article by Carol Ludington entitled 'Dye Your Own Ice Parfait' in the June/July 2012 issue. I suspect the issue was handed out at SAQA's Expanding Horizons Conference in April as it was in my stack of reading materials for a flight out to Spokane in May. As I read the article, I knew that Carol was describing a manageable process for me. I ordered the dyes and a few other things so they would be here when I returned from the Arctic.

It seems fitting that I should try ice dyeing right after a trip to the Arctic, doesn't it! :)

When we had the flooring replaced in our garage a year or so ago, we put in some new cabinetry and, looking ahead, I had a stainless steel countertop installed next to a sink. It was there that I collected my materials for my project.  One great feature of this approach is that it does not require a large working area. In addition to what you see in the photo, I used a 3'x6' portable table top covered in plastic that I had constructed for a dyeing class I took several years ago. I was able to lay that on a railing near to my counter top work area.

The actual dyeing process was simple - great for a beginner.

Carol suggested using fat quarters. I was a bit more flexible. What I was looking for were some greens and reds to use in my current art quilt. I knew I wouldn't require large pieces so I cut some PFD cotton and silk organza in convenient size pieces for use with some smaller glass containers I had found on sale.

After preparing the fabric, it was simple matter of stacking fabric, ice cubes, and dye in layers and letting them sit  for a day. I wound up short on glass containers so I threw a piece in a ziploc bag as well. This entire phase of the process probably took me about an hour or so. Clean up was easy.

glass containers filler with ice cubes, fabric and dye
This morning was time to rinse, wash, and iron my experiments. I am extremely happy with the results. Considering this is the first time I have dyed anything at home, I would say it is a great success.
Dyed Organza
The organza looks fairly light in the photo as it didn't photograph that well.  I will be using it in layers to build up areas of color so it is pretty much what I was hoping for.
Dyed Cottons
The cottons are more vibrant in color, as I might expect. I plan to use some of them as back drops on which I will layer the organza. The ziploc bag piece is in the upper right corner of the cottons photo. I am really pleased with how it turned out.

I expect that Carol has finally gotten me through the door and into the world of dyeing my own fabrics. I am sure I will still visit my fabric shops with an eye out for the perfect colors. It just in nice to know that I also have the option to create what I need.

P.S. I am linking this up to Nina Marie's "Off the Wall Friday" posts. Check out what others have been doing!