Sunday, March 31, 2013

Butterflies, Chihuly Glass, and Cactus Quilts...

Another of the many pleasures of the Desert Botanical Garden was the butterfly aviary.

My friend, Amanda, enjoys photographing the butterflies, too!

Dale Chihuly's glass installation is prominently featured near the entrance.
He will have another show of his glass sculptures at the garden in fall, 2013.

 Below is "Saguaro Sentinels", by Patsy Kittredge, who won an award for Best Use of Color at the Arizona Quilters Guild show.

Here is Pasty, posing next to her quilt.

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Desert Botanical Center in Phoenix AZ (Part 1)

I was recently invited to teach workshops and give lectures to the Arizona Quilters Guild at their annual show in Mesa AZ.  I enjoyed my time in the area very much, and on my day off between workshops and lectures I was invited by one of my students to a "back stage tour" of the Desert Botanical Center, where she volunteers as a master gardener.  I was thrilled to see this beautiful place, and we had a wonderful lunch at their brand-new restaurant.
This center covers 145 acres, 65 of which are currently under cultivation.  It has been in the community for over 70 years and is a vibrant, active place that serves the community in a wide variety of ways, from cooking classes to children's education.
I had lunch at Gertrude's, the newest restaurant on the property.  This is a farm-to-table restaurant, my favorite type of place to dine, especially when I travel.  Since my companion is good friends with one of the chefs we were treated very well!
Our little dessert surprise:  smoked-chocolate parfait with a basil-infused milk ice-cube!

A sculptural installation at the Center was especially captivating:  the work of Philip Haas depicting The Four Seasons, inspired by the work of Italian painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo, who painted portraits of heads using a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.
Here are a few shots of the pieces in the garden.  
Haas' "Winter" (in foreground)

Arcimboldo's "Winter" painting, c 1573

close-up of face

this image offers a sense of the scale of these pieces

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Mixed & Stitched

The article is in this (current!) issue of Quilting Arts magazine!

I love layering, be it with dye or paint on cloth and/or paper, or collaged elements.  One day in the studio I was fooling around with a collage of paper and cloth, and wondered what it would be like to add some stitched organza over the surface.  My hope was that the organza would "disappear" into the collage below, allowing the stitches to have the appearance of "floating" over the surface.  It worked!

This little experiment is showcased in my newest article for Quilting Arts, as is a step-by-step procedure for mounting work onto a pre-stretched canvas.  I hope you will check it out!  This issue is just-now hitting newsstands, and subscribers should be receiving it now.  
Here is page one of the 5-page article.

I would love to hear back from you after you have read the article!  Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, March 22, 2013

What I'm Up To...

I taught classes and gave lecturesat the quilt show!

Day One:  Geltastic & Printalicious workshop!
Notice the quilts pulled back from the work table? 
I'm paranoid of paint!

Two gelatin plate monoprints: the second was the combination of
a cut bok choy and a dog brush!
Bok choy was cut with my non-stick serrated Havel's scissors:  great when you don't have a knife!

It takes a lot of "stuff" do do this....

Student monoprint using a cross-cut artichoke

Student-made stamp

and the results of it!

Another stamp...

and a print!
Here is a monoprint using a commercial stencil, with gorgeous results!

Workshop 2 was "Wax On/Wax Off", a soywax workshop:

students apply wax at the stations

One of Amanda's beautiful pieces

Amanda, right, working on her various pieces of paper and cloth

Lynnita shows two of her pieces

Roberta and her work

Maureen created one to match her shirt!  (not really)

Sandy holds up one of her beauties

Tove liked this one best:  she used it to wipe her hands of paint!!
(I told her sometimes my best work was the drop cloth under my print work)

Doris holds up one of her colorful pieces

Nelly shows one of her pieces while she waits for paint to dry on the others

Jeannie had a LOT of fun with the potato masher.
Valerie had many small, lovely pieces

My students made some stunning pieces on both cloth and a wide variety of papers.  We learned that Yupo (synthetic water media paper) works beautifully with soy wax.  We saw such a wide array of gorgeous things that were all made with the same tools and the same selection of paints.  It never ceases to amaze me.  I was honored to be part of their experience.  

Day # 3 was equally fun, so much so that I apparently forgot to take any photos!  The workshop name was "Doodle, Print, Fuse, Repeat", and the students learned a variety of ways to print imagery on paper and cloth.  Using multi-purpose cloth that students painted and set aside, students created stamps, printed onto both cloth and paper, wrote with extruders, used stencils, and more to create a wide variety of collage items.  A demonstration of how to use Mistyfuse gave students inspiration for how to layer their work.  Each took home some Mistyfuse samples to work with.

I presented two lectures:  "Working Small:  The Journal Quilt Project", and "The Journey IS the Destination".

I truly enjoyed my time in the area and was so fortunate to have such fun students!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Get A Clue: I'm Just Wild About Nancy Drew!

When I found out that Moda was launching a line of Nancy Drew-themed fabrics, my young-reader-self crawled out of hibernation and starting jumping up and down!  Nancy Drew.  I credit these books with sparking my love of reading.  Birthdays, holidays, sick days:  all I wanted was another Nancy Drew Mystery.  Naturally, I jumped on this blog hop bandwagon as soon as I learned about it!
I decided to make a throw-sized quilt, something that you could curl under on the sofa while watching "Murder, She Wrote" (which is a ritual around here on occasions when my daughter is here visiting).

First, I asked my architect friend to enlarge this figure, as derived from one of the cloth designs.

Placing the image over a lightbox,
I traced the shape onto a piece of the ND fabric that
had been pre-fused with Mistyfuse.

I worked on the reverse (fused) side of the cloth, tracing with a 
Pentel Gel Roller Fabric pen (which I adore BTW!)

Here is the complete tracing on wrong side of fused fabric.

Now, I cut the shape out.  It was easy because I was using my fabulous 7" Havel's Scissors
with the micro-serrated blade.  You should try these scissors because they are amazing for this type of work!!
Here's Nancy!  
She is ready to be fused onto the book panel.

So far, so good!
I like how this looks!
Here, I am "free-cutting" block strips with my wonderful Havel's 7" scissors.
I've had these babies for years and they are as sharp and amazing as the day they 
came out of the package.  Seriously great scissors!

I made a bunch of pieced blocks that I later changed my mind about.
These are now on the back of the quilt...
I changed my mind and switched to the blue-yellow colorway for the quilt top.


Here is a corner block, under-construction
I wrote the quilt label on a piece of plain yellow pre-fused cotton, 

After fusing, I stitched around each edge.....

The label is the yellow block with blue border in the center of the quilt back.
I decided to place the label prior to the quilting.
I used all the extra pieces of ND fabric to create a scrappy-pieced quiltback.
I like how it looks!
Here is the finished quilt,
long-arm quilted by my friend, Danielle Wilkes.
I machine-stitched the binding.

Here is the quilt "in action":  tucked around my daughter,
who was visiting from out of town.
We have a  ritual of watching old "Murder, She Wrote" episodes on Netflix.
I think it was even more fun all cozied-up under "Nancy"!

I had so much fun making this quilt!  For even more great ideas about how to use this fun fabric line, please stop by today's other blog hop participants' sites:  
Feathered Nest Studio

Here is a link to the entire blog hop on a day-by-day basis:
Just Let Me Quilt

Please leave a comment and be eligible for a gift!  I'll draw a winner from the people who comment!

Oh, and PS:  The winner will receive a pair of Havel's scissors as well as a Pentel Fabric Gel Roller pen!  Woo Hoo!