I am more or less at the half-way point on my Uncommon Quilting Challenge for 2019. I am rating this a success, even if stop right now. Might happen.
To start this design I folded the red fabric in half and made 5 cuts that each became 2 sides of a triangular opening when I laid the fabric out flat. I made 2 more rows of cuts going the opposite direction. Then I folded back the flaps to create the triangular openings. I laid this over the yellow and print fabrics, letting the circles peek out. All of the was stitched in place. At this stage I realized that I had used a 6" x 9" piece of batting by mistake. So, I added the strips of yellow on the 9" edges to bring it out to the 7" width, strengthening the design in the process.
The pink shape that is the centerpiece of this design was intended to become the top of a baby's bootie. My grandmother cut this from her original pattern and it survived at least 65 years waiting for this moment. I added the red background, the lace and worked out a stitching pattern that repeats the negative shape. It looks like a valentine!
The red and white striped fabric is some I bought many years ago to make Raggedy Ann arms and legs. I played with a sheer black ribbon that happened to be the same width as the stripe. If I had been thinking ahead and used blue ribbon, this could have been my Fourth of July offering.
The square on the left is made from a pair of antique lace cuffs set on a black background. The print in the center successfully joins the cuffs into a single design. The quilting just follows the lace design and holds it in place.
Finally, the square on the right is my favorite one of this group. This is based on a handful of scraps from a piece I made several years ago. I just can't throw stuff like this away! I laid the pieces out in a new design and added some fun, quick quilting.
On a recent afternoon with my Mom, my sister and I decided to have an art making challenge. Our supplies were limited to what we could find as we walked around the block and whatever art and craft supplies my mom could find in her small apartment.
I started with 2 pieces of light weight cardboard, each 6" x 9". My paints were the craft quality acrylics that come in 2 oz. bottles. I painted one piece of cardboard with a white/green combination. The second one with white and aqua paint. Paints were mopped around with a very sad little brush and a paper towel I then decided to splice the 2 pieces together into one painting. I accomplished this using a piece of brown paper bag glued on the back. By peeling the previously used 2-ply toweling apart I had something to use to cover the splice on the front side. This also added a little texture that can be seen in the lower center. Near the end of the process I added the gray paint to tone things down a bit and took a picture with my cell phone, The photo made the piece appear to be kind of purple in places. I decided that was a good idea, so then added some real purple. Finally, I got going with the black paint, squirting it out of the little bottle in one fluid motion. Black dots made with the end of a small paint brush were the final touch. I gave this a quick coat of sealer when I got home.
I am always happy when I get involved in a creative project like this and I was pleased to notice that my painterly thinking has taken a mini step forward.
More cute! "Silly" doesn't seem as appealing to me as the Whistling Cowgirl. Her face is a little more severe. But, her braids and hat are great and she has a fine little cowgirl outfit! She is about the same as "Whistling" at 18" tall, and the materials are the same. I had a little cowgirl skirt similar to this one when I was a kid - dusty rose corduroy with burgundy leather trim. I loved it! The Silly Little Cowgirl is hanging out this summer at The La Veta Gallery.
I have resisted making a cute doll for most of this year, but I gave in to this idea recently. Oh, so cute! Her little face is modeled from polymer clay. Her lips are puckered up to whistle, or maybe for a little smooch. She has a body made of wood with sticks for arms and legs. Her cow patterned shirt is trimmed with ultra suede fringe and she wears blue jeans and boots. I made the cowboy hat right on her cute little head and trimmed it with ultra suede, too.
She was briefly hanging out at The La Veta Gallery, but is now enjoying a new home! She had a companion there that I will write about next week.
It is the end of May and I have 4 more Uncommon Quilting squares behind me. I thought I was running out of steam on this - and way too soon. I keep a little basket of things I find that might inspire this challenge, but it was empty!
For # 17, I decided to try the "stitch and then paint" idea that Williamson used on some of her samples. I stitched a jigsaw puzzle pattern on plan white fabric and then painted in color using regular acrylics.
Square #18 was inspired when I was trimmed the seam allowance on a polar fleece project. The bright, fuzzy chunks were stretchy and fun. I ended up struggling with this because my machine stitching didn't show up at all. Finally, I switched to black thread, which helped a little. Days later I added the black rickrack. What I really need is a lighter background. But, I'm not going to take this apart, and I am going to count it in the total!
I started to have a little more fun creating the remaining squares. Square #19 was sewn up in a flash! I had saved the pull tabs from some cardboard packaging. I combined these with a scrap of a crocheted plastic produce bag and a few pieces of thick orange yarn. Then, I stitched around with black thread to hold things down, throwing in a few zigzag patterns.
Square #20 is one of my favorites so far. About 10 years ago I bought a big box of zipper at a sale. Some had been used, some were still in the original packaging. There were quite a few metal zippers and many in colors I hope to never need in a garment. I've used quite a few of these on various projects. One of the remaining gems was the green metal zipper that is the center piece of this design. There was an interesting glob of sewing installed by the original user to hold the zipper together at the bottom. The stitching there is as I found it. I added a design of other zipper pieces and continued stitching with black thread.
I have long promised new Range Walkers for The La Veta Gallery for this summer. I had to make good on that, even as I was dragging my feet to get started. The bones weren't the best, the sticks didn't have the kind of surface interest I prefer, the figures didn't stand gracefully, and on and on. In spite of all of that, the resulting figures were among the best I have made.
This is "Aguilar". His garments are made from hand painted heavy cotton. The wrap is collage with strips of fabric, tulle, and hand stitching. The very perfect beads are from the craft store
"Costilla" is wearing a wrap made from an old felting experiment. Because my felting technique was not the best, I ended up using machine stitching and some hand stitching to hold everything together. it waited in my treasure box for at least 10 years to become a perfect wrap for this guy.
And finally, "Baca". His wrap is hand painted on a heavy cotton. Strips of fabric with machine quilting were used to make the stripes. The bottom edge is fringed to add texture to the figure.
These Range Walkers are in the gallery now to enjoy a summer in La Veta, Colorado. I am encouraged by this group to continue with the Range Walker idea.
A couple of weeks ago I got interested in creating some grid and plaid designs, first as a quilt square and then in a 16" x 20" painting. After I studied Rethinking Acrylic, by Patti Brady, I realized that I couldn't rely on Elmer's Glue and joint compound, but needed to improve my use of mediums and gels. I discovered a couple of unused 6" x 6" canvases in my supplies to use for some experimentation. I wish I could blow through a lot of art supplies with abandon, but, no. I could enjoy painting these without using very much of my new goop!
I continued to work into this using a palette knife, some gels and finally some scratching marks.
The following piece is my second attempt. I wish this was 30" square instead of 6" x 6", but that is for another time!
Uncommon Quilt squares for April: The challenge continues and I am on the look out for anything interesting that I can sew into a square! I am trying not to buy more stuff for this project although I will soon need more batting.
Sweet chili peppers cut from a scrap of printed fabric combine with part of a potato bag for this square. The quilting is in bright green thread which seems to work, but doesn't show up much here. Now it looks to me like another element is needed on the edges. I might come back to this, or not. The Happy Easter egg posted last week brings me up to date to the end of April
What fun to make something quick and bright and silly! The paper sizzle was trickier to sew down than I had expected, so the project wasn't as "quick" as it might have been. The zig zag stitch made it possible and fit right in with the grass. The other Uncommon Quilting square for April will be on next week's blog as well as a couple of new dolls.
Rethinking Acrylic: Radical Solutions for Exploiting the World's Most Versatile Medium
I happened to find this book by Patti Brady, at the library this week. It is interesting to notice how often the information or idea I am seeking falls into my hands at the right moment. This book is another happy example. Did I just write last week that maybe I could find something archival to build my canvas? Brady demystifies many of the dozens of acrylic mediums, additives, gessos, grounds, varnishes and, of course, paints. Guess what. Elmer's glue and dry wall compound are NOT among them! As an educator for GOLDEN Artist Colors, Inc., you would expect the author to lean on the side of buying an expensive jar of something. And she does. If I decide it is important to step up my game, I will have a better idea of how to do it.
Deja Vu - All Over Again
Look what I found! These are a couple of small paintings I did sometime before 1990. I had kind of forgotten about them, and was surprised to discover them kicking around during a recent garage cleaning. So, this grid idea is ground I've been over before! On these pieces strips of canvas and string were woven around the stretcher bars and stapled on the back. This seems like an interesting process to explore further sometime soon.