Thursday, August 11, 2011

Back To School -Already?!

Not only have
the birds been practicing flying in V formations but I made my first school lunch of the year yesterday morning as Daddy-O turned into a pumpkin because the teachers had to return to school. When Gus goes back to school (next Tuesday) I do the "It's the Most Wonderful Time of Year" dance but when Derek goes back I’m lonely for the first couple of weeks and have to recreate my daily routine and schedule making for a much more productive work schedule. Before the school year routine set in we were able to get in a fishing trip to Whittier last week. We did more fishing than catching –but that’s OK, in our house there is no such thing as a bad day of fishing! PLUS my friend Margaret D. turned me onto these WONDERFUL little treats called “Sofia Champagne” in a can!! Technically it's sparkling wine -but who cares when you can toss a lovely octagon, foil quad-pack in the cooler!

My latest art quilt was inspired by some FAB fabric I picked up at the Quilted Raven. Jana has the most beautiful collection of batik fabrics. A series of deep blues inspired me to want to make a flying crane with the contrast of the bird against this series of blues. I may turn it into another pattern to help fill out my line of art quilt patterns. Currently my designs have more Pacific Northwest

themed designs and I’d like to offer a wider variety of designs to larger markets. I’m finally feeling a bit more comfortable with my sewing machine and the back of the quilt looked much better after the free motion stitching. I’d been having a hell of a time with the correct tension setting and the thread would tangle up and frustrate the cr@p out of me. It’s been total operator learning curve errors, sprinkled with immediate high expectations and extreme impatience.

My approach to this quilt was a bit different as I created the design as I made it with no pattern before hand. Normally I start out with a drawn design in hand. I also learned that I need a deeper stash of colors in my fabric inventory. I had no whites whatsoever and not enough contrasting colors for the crane’s wing shadows and had to do a bit of shopping right in the middle of my piecing.

To make a pattern based on my finished design, I knew it would be tough to see my piecing details after I did my free motion sewing so I made a black and white copy of the crane after it was cut, pieced and ironed into place on the quilt backing. The black and white copy did a good job of highlighting the areas that I need more contrast and provided me a great base design that I can scan and drop into Adobe Illustrator to digitally create a pattern.

Happy Birthday to Gus-Gus who turned 14(!) on Sunday.


Judy Shreve said...

First of all, it's completely refreshing to see you guys with jackets and drinking warm drinks -- while we swelter here! lol
I love your quilts. When I worked for WV Dept. of Culture & History - they had an annual quilt show. The building had a huge grand hall where all the quilts hung. Everyday I changed my mind - a new favorite quilt. The show hung for about 6 weeks and was absolutely my favorite.
Back to school - I know I just had to send in more tuition. Oh well - and I agree it does take a few weeks to get going in a new rhythm.

Ann said...

I sound like a broken record, but I love your new art quilt pattern! I stared at it a long time to figure out whether the crane was wearing a Barbie dress but, alas, she is not. :) Glad you and your machine are becoming friends!

Patricia Griffin said...

Love the perspective (from below) on the crane. The design is very cool. Very cool, indeed. Good idea about making the black/white copy during your process. It's a GREAT pattern to add to your growing collection.