Thursday, September 29, 2016

Another Process-A Wall Hanging

Group shot of Westside Unitarian Universalist's congregation
      The work I am going to show in this blog is one that I did for my church's water service.  We have a delightful new minister who just came to us about six weeks ago.  She is young and enthusiastic and I believe she will be a great asset to our church.  So for her second time in the pulpit, we had a Water Service...a  service whereby members of the congregation brought water from a favorite place, a special vacation, or even tap water to symbolically represent a memory. Then at a appointed times during the service the water was poured into  crystal bowls representing the direction from which it may have come..North, South, East, West as Rev. Shari read about the directions' meaning. Ultimately concluding the need for water and how all waters flow together, etc.
     In preparation for the service I volunteered to make a wall hanging to be displayed behind the pulpit.  So in my mind, what could represent the ultimate water?  The ocean and more specifically, the strength of the ocean as shown in waves. I have always admired Hokusai's  "The Wave" so I used it as an inspiration.
Hokusai's "The Wave"
   First the auditioning of the fabric...yes, that is what we fiber artists and quilters actually say when we are selecting just the right fabric to use!

Definition added
     Then I sketched out the shape of the waves on freezer paper.  Freezer paper has been adapted to the fiber world as a wonderful tool because the waxy side can be ironed on to fabric to give a nice foundation for cutting shapes. So I could place the paper on my background on my design wall.
Freezer paper shapes
After deciding the shapes, I chose the fabric for the waves themselves.  I had ironed Mistyfuse to the back of the fabric to fuse it in place to the background.  Mistyfuse is a very fine adhesive which can be adhered to fabric then ironed onto another piece.
The waves...on freezer paper...before adhering to background
The fabric is called shot cotton.  It is very light and has a shimmer to it which doesn't show up very well here.  It is made up of two different colors of thread which changes color slightly as light hits it.
Then I added some white caps
and because I really enjoy doing beading, I decided to bead the waves.  It has been  three or four years since I had done any beading, and I had forgotten how slow a process it is!  I burned the candle at both ends for several nights but did get it finished!
In cropping the picture to show the beading better, the picture got a little fuzzy.
The final wall hanging is about 60" x 36".  I would like to do some more beading along the top of the large wave on the left side and maybe a little on the lower wave.  

The final project!
I am glad I did the reminded me of how much I enjoy it and will be doing more in the near future.


Friday, September 23, 2016

Another Challenge with studioQ

     I am having some work done here at home, so I don't want to get into anything that I can't get away from if needed.  So a perfect opportunity to continue getting caught up with my series on studioQ challenges on my blog.
    This challenge I am going to show...process to finished project..was inspired by the painting "Seated Ruffian" by Matisse.  A few of us had gone to Philedelphia last spring to the Studio Art Quilters Association annual conference and while there we visited the Barnes.  Many of the pictures in the collection were by Matisse including this one.
Seated Ruffian by Matisse
   As usual the first thing I did was to select the fabric I wanted to use.  I just happened to have a one piece fabric which incorporated all the colors I needed.  I rarely buy fabric with a specific use in mind at time of purchase; I am more inclined to buy because I like it!  And then there it is when I need it!
My one piece of fabric with the chosen picture on it...what could be better!
     Now the decision to be made...what design do I want to use? Do I want to be realistic? Abstract? What parts to emphasize? So I start cutting up strips and laying them on my design wall.

First layout
Then more added
Now I'm ready to sew!
     I enjoy the design and sewing  phases I have to figure out which parts should be sewn together first...then there is a certain amount of slashing and inserting various sections. 

Almost finished!
    The final steps are to square it up and to quilt and add the binding. I'm not real particular about whether my quilts are perfectly squared; in fact, I sometimes leave them a bit off angle to add to the design element.  The quilting is my least favorite part to do.  Since the color choices and design elements are more important to me, I usually do a very simple straight line quilting stitch by machine. I kind of like to do the binding too..not much to think about there...just what color to use and then I hand stitch my bindings which is a relaxing end to a project for me.
     And here is the finished project...approximately 15" x 20". When we first started this challenge, we decided we would all do a uniform size, but having our artists' minds, we all come up with "close to the chosen size"...and close is good enough...give or take a few inches! So here is the work of some of my fellow members of studioQ for the same challenge!

All together!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

A New Beginning

     It has been several months since I have written on my blog!  All summer as a matter of fact.  I was having quite a bit of trouble trying to get pictures on but I now have a new laptop so hopefully all will go smoothly!
     In my last blog I was writing about the May meeting of studioQ and our current challenge which is to take a masterpiece chosen by one of our members and to create a small art quilt inspired by said work of art.  I decided that as well as showing what we have done, I would show my process of making an art quilt.
Inspiration Picture: The Yerres by Caillebotte
  First to select fabric to use:

Fabric choices
Second-to decide what design format to use- for this one I decided to go with a series of squares to indicate the various areas of color.

beginning of cutting up of MANY squares
Then begins the piecing together of the squares, after placing on my design board to determine the best placement.

Choosing placement
Back and forth I go...from the design wall to the sewing machine...ironing each row before sewing together.
Top part of picture-sewn; lower half-rows lined up ready to be sewed together..

The sewing portion of the quilt is completed; then pressing, backing put on, and quilting started. I chose to just straight line quilt, then facing and adding some hand stitching to create the ripples in the water.
My final work-if you click on the picture to enlarge, you may be able to see the hand stitching.
All of our art quilts are about 15' X 20". Here are some that my fellow studioQ'er have made with the same painting as inspiration.

Monday, May 16, 2016

studioQ-May Meeting

     My fav art group met at Cabbage Rose today. All but two of us where there. We had a great time sharing and, of course, ended our meeting with lunch, our other favorite thing to do! This month, hamburgers at Goat Rodeo.
      In continuing with our masterpiece challenge, this month we had a Matisse for our inspiration.
Here are a few pictures from our "show n tell", inspired by "Seated Riffian".






And here are all our challenges for May. The Inspiration picture is at the bottom of this picture.
As you can see we are all sizes and styles in our finished products!  Next month we are doing a painting by Gauguin.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Amish Country, Pittsburgh and Falling Water

    I got a little behind on my trip blogs so will try to get all caught up now!    

      Thursday morning and breakfast at DJs, still rockin' to the 60s! Then off to explore Amish Country...two towns nearby were Bird in Hand and Intercourse, both very ethnic in shops and homes.  We saw many horse and buggies...I tried to take a picture as we passed one, clicking away. Here is what I captured on camera!
....and Buggy!  
     We had a great time investigating many of the little shops in the towns of Bird in Hand and Intercourse...both Amish communities.  We ate lunch at a fabulous deli with all kinds of authentic German/Amish food.  I wish we weren't flying home or I would have loaded the car with all kinds of delicasies!
Outside a fabric/gift shop
Half of my Reuben sandwich! Yum!
Just a small section of the deli!
     Then we drove on to Pittsburgh.  I didn't realize that Pittsburgh was so mountainous.  We drove through several tunnels as we were going through the Alleghenies in the Appalachian Mountain Range.
One of several pretty long tunnels.
    We didn't see too much of Pittsburgh itself. Our main reason for even going there was to see Falling Water, the fabulous home designed for the wealthy Kaufman family out of Pittsburgh in 1936-39. We opt for the two hour tour so we would have a smaller group, better information, and could take pictures!  It was well worth it!
On the road to Mill Run, the home of Falling Water
We got up at 5:00 Friday morning to snow!  Because our tour started at 8:45 and it was an hour and a half drive there. Since we didn't know for sure where we were going and didn't want to be late, we wanted to give ourselves plenty of time.  But we got there in plenty of time and were in the first group to leave the Visitor's Center to head up to the house.
An interior pic from the living room.  It was FLW goal to bring the outside in.  He used many natural materials and built the house into the side of the mountain, over a waterfall.
They had a fire going for us which really felt good!  The red vessel to the left was a container for mulled wine which they could swing over the fire to heat up.  The Kaufmann's entertained quite a bit.
Here is it swung over the fire.  Your can see the depression in the stone wall to accommodate the vessel.
The whole place is an art museum!  Tiffany lamps everywhere and original art works by Rivera, Picasso, Hokusai, and more. Also many ancient,  priceless  artifacts and statuary.

A pic taken from the guest house which was above the main house. The main house had three bedrooms; everything built in...beds, wardrobes, desks...and each room had its own bath and an outdoor balcony.
Wonderful use of natural wood in many furnishings!
One of FLW's free standing chairs.  You could buy a replica in the gift shop....for a price! 
A pic of the house as you approach it.
Falling Water from the grounds away from the house
After our wonderful tour, we were able to roam the grounds.  It is like living in a park!
Then we drove back to Pittsburgh, took the car to the airport to turn it in and had the hotel shuttle pick us up.
         Friday morning, we packed and had the shuttle run us out to the airport...once again the temperature was at 31-32 degrees and snowing!  We did get aboard the plane but had to sit for a bit so they could deice it!!  A first for me!  Eventually we did get off and were back in Texas by mid afternoon!  It was cooler than normal the 60s...but definitely not freezing in April!