Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sometimes I Dream of Flying - Time to vote on Project Quilting

"Sometimes I Dream of Flying" 38" x 41" Project Quilting, Season 2, Challenge 2: What's in a Name, Jan. 2011

Quick recap of the challenge "What's in a Name":
1. Choose the name of a place, any place with a name that tickles your imagination.
2. Make a quilt using that name as your inspiration.
3. No restrictions on colors, sizes, materials or shapes.

What a great idea for a challenge! I immediately did a search for unusual town names and quickly amassed a long list of possibilities (listed below). I slept on it and woke up Monday morning with a clear favorite, using “Birdseye, Indiana” as my inspiration.

I’ve always loved maps and have been wanted to make a quilt looking down at the earth. I wasn’t sure if I was up to the challenge, so I “drew” out my idea on the computer to make sure I could get the perspective that I wanted.

Close up of the "Birds in the Air" block, also known as: Birds of the Air, Flock of Geese, Flying Birds and Flying Geese

I’ve also wanted to make a quilt that had some traditional quilt blocks but also had elements of an art quilt. I strip pieced the background, piecing the blocks at slight angles to give the perspective of distance. Using some of the same yellow and tan fabrics from the background, I pieced the “Birds in the Air” blocks a light blue background to represent the sky.

I wasn’t completely happy with the way the blocks faded into the background so I decided to add a small dark brown border between the background and the pieced blocks. Then still not satisfied I decided to add the dark brown border to the sides of the background only, to frame it like a picture.

I quilted the fields in the background 1/4" inside of each rectangle and also inside the small, yellow triangles in the "Birds in the Air" blocks. In the larger green parts of the blocks I quilted the echo of the "Birds in the Air" blocks.

Close up of the bird and feathers

I created the bird on a separate piece of fabric, fusing many small dark brown feather-shaped pieces of fabric. I did thread painting on top with both a dark brown and a tan-colored thread to help hold all the pieces down and to also give more definition to the feathers.

Once I decided on the right placement of the bird, I machine appliqued the bird to the background. I pieced together a dark brown fabric with a dark green fabric, cut out a smaller bird-shape and fused it to the background just behind the bird for the bird’s shadow.

The back of the bird before it was attached to the quilt

Aside from the literal having one eye on the hawk, I also made a quilt that was from the perspective of a bird. The working title was “Birdseye” but once I finished, I decided to call it “Sometimes I Dream of Flying.” For some unknown reason, the song “Surrey with the Fringe on Top” from the musical Oklahoma kept running through my head while I was making this quilt, even though I don’t know all the words to that song!

Some of the other town names I considered:

Toad Hop, IN; Frog Pond, NC; Mystic, CT; Harmony, CA; Hourglass, DE; Tie Plant, MS; Walls, MS; Tippecanoe, IN; Big Sky, MT; Checkerboard, MT; Cheesequake, NJ; Zig Zag, OR; Moon, PA or Moonlight, VA; Red Shirt, SD; Echo, TX; Imalone and Ubet, WI; Eight Square, OH; Snowflake, AZ; The Bottle, AL; Sisters, OR; Constellation, AZ; Bat Cave, NC; Triangle, ID; Lightning, ID; Shy Corner, ME; Tree of Knowlege Corner, MA; Two Dot, MT; Gypsy, OK; Black Jack, TX; Zebra, NC; Peacock Crossing, NC; and Frostproof, FL. And in related note of “What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet" there is a Romeo, CO and a Juliette, GA.

More about Sometimes I Dream of Flying

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Click on any of the photos to see them larger.

To see the other entries, go to the What's in a Name page.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Black and White Quiltette

"Black and White" approx. 7.5" square

The little "quiltette" that I made for the Miami Valley Art Quilt Network holiday exchange. The title isn't exactly true since the fabric image on the front, the binding and the back (below) are all a very dark indigo and white batik fabric, although the bead in the center actually is black and white.
This piece hangs from a black cord wrapped around the black buttons at the top of the quiltette.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Carnival of Colors - Time to vote on Project Quilting

"Carnival of Colors" Made for Project Quilting, Season 2, Challenge 1: Primary Colors, Jan. 2011

Quick recap of the challenge "Primary Colors": 
1. You must use one 6" square of each primary color, red, yellow and blue
2. You may cut each square into no more than 4 pieces
3. You must use the entire 6" square of each primary color project.
4. You may add any other fabrics or materials

Here are the 3 batik fabrics that I used as my primary colors cut into 4 squares, and the 3 other batik fabrics I used for squares.

I played around with the arrangement of the squares, making sure that I didn’t have a row or column with a duplicate color. With the four-by-four arrangement, there was one spot left over. I thought about piecing a square with four different colored triangles but I liked that spot didn’t have as much color so I cut two quarter-square triangle pieces from the green and the brownish-gray fabric as they were less contrast than the color fabric, and I placed them on the fabric leaving two triangle shapes of deep blue background fabric.

I cut three 2” squares, three 2” circles and three 3”x.75” rectangles and arranged them off-center on top of several of the 3” primary color squares. Once I was happy with the arrangements, I fused these shapes and sewed along the raw edges using the same color thread.

I decided that to fuse the 3” squares to the backing fabric but I also wanted to piece some smaller 1” squares into the binding so I pieced the 2” borders and attached them to the backing fabric before I fused the squares 1” apart on the background (otherwise part of the 3” squares along the border would have become smaller because of the seam allowance).

I wanted to do some embellishing so I got a piece of thin gold cording and tried some different arrangements with it and decided I liked how it made the edges look really crisp so I layered the quilt sandwich then quilted the cord on top of the raw edges, which also created smaller squares where the cornerstones would be it the quilt had pieced with sashing.

I also quilted the cord where the backing meets the borders, then I stitch-in-the-ditch quilted inside the squares using the same color fabric as the square that I was in.

More about Carnival of Colors

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Click on any of the photos to see them larger.

To see the other entries, go to the Primary Colors page.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Art Exhibits and Receptions

I have several quilts that are out in exhibitions, and two of these exhibits are having opening receptions this weekend. Flower Power: Spring Forward and Kiwi Flowers are both in the “Flower Power” show at the Emporium, 233 Xenia Ave. in Yellow Springs. This show features a wide range of art with floral themes and is being presented by the Jafagirls and the Monday Morning Artists, many of whom painted the sunflowers on St. Rt. 68 just north of the village.

The show ends Jan. 31 and the Emporium is open Mon.-Thurs from 7 am to 7 pm; Fri. from 7 am to 10 pm; Sat. from 7 am to 7 pm; and Sun. from 7 am to 6 pm. The opening reception is this Sat., Jan 8 from 5 to 7 pm.

GHA Members Exhibition: Covered Bridge and Watercolor Sunset are in the Glen Helen Association Members' 5th Annual Art Exhibition will be in the Glen Building Atrium Gallery, 405 Corry St. in Yellow Springs. This show goes through Jan. 30 and the building is open Mon.-Fri. from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm and Sat.-Sun. from 10 am to 4 pm.

The opening reception is this Sun., Jan. 9 from 2-4 pm.


Baby It's Cold Outside: Crossings, Tropical Sunset and A Winter Snowscape are on display in Studio 14’s “Baby It’s Cold Outside” fiber exhibit. The gallery is located on the second floor of the Benkin building, 14 E. Main St. in Tipp City. The show runs through Feb. 27 and is open Tues.-Sat. from 11 am to 5 pm and Sun. from 1 pm to 5 pm.