Tuesday, May 17, 2016

A *Modern* Challenge

Well, there it is.  That *modern* word...

I knew it would be showing its face in my little world eventually, and it did, at MQS. I was with my friends Jodi and Eva, and Jodi had just won first place in the Modern Category (again), Eva and I jokingly said we should both make a modern quilt for next year and make it a sort of challenge. This isn't a far stretch for Eva, she has done modern quilts before. But me, never, not that I can recall, other than stitching on a client quilt. And we all know stitching on a quilt is much different than creating a quilt. I've been told in the past that I don't have a specific style... my quilts range from traditional to innovative to art -- but nowhere in there have I conquered modern.

Let's start with what makes a quilt modern?

Damned if I know...
I started with the Modern Quilt Guild, following is their definition:

Modern quilts are primarily functional and inspired by modern design. Modern quilters work in different styles and define modern quilting in different ways, but several characteristics often appear which may help identify a modern quilt. These include, but are not limited to: the use of bold colors and prints, high contrast and graphic areas of solid color, improvisational piecing, minimalism, expansive negative space, and alternate grid work. "Modern traditionalism" or the updating of classic quilt designs is also often seen in modern quilting.

Well, there you have it!

Now armed with this knowledge I searched deep into my creativity vault and found an idea. I begin research - looking at photos, doodling my plan, etc. What's the very first thing my brain wants to do? Yep, make it as realistic as possible and turn it into an art quilt. No! Okay, let's review that definition again (as a starting point). Prints - me, NO! Okay, I'm clinging to the high contrast, graphic areas of solid color, and perhaps minimalism. I can even do the expansive negative space part. But my brain keeps going right back to art as soon as I doodle - my modern is obviously broken.So, if you have any modern advice feel free to throw it at me!

Friday, May 13, 2016

MQS 2016

Even though MQS is still going on, I, unfortunately, am home already.  I had a wonderful two days of teaching, and was thrilled to find out that True Colors (aka White Lines) won an Honorable Mention in the Over the Top Custom category - pic was taken before the awards ceremony and I left before dawn the next morning so this is all we've got!

Just the Two of Us was hanging as well:

I totally forgot to take any pictures in my first class... so unlike me!  But here's a peek at my second class:

These ladies were creative superstars, really!  Take a peek at these awesome doodles:

And, of course, not a single picture from my last class either.  We were so busy creating design layouts and brainstorming ideas there just wasn't any time!

I did manage to snap pictures of a few quilts as I ran through the show in search of a quilt to award my teacher ribbon - these really caught my attention:

But I chose this one for my teacher ribbon:

It is Brianna's Choice by Laurel Kindley -- I love the colors as well as the thread work.  I know the photo is lacking the ribbon (remember I left early), my friends were kind enough to hang the ribbon on my choice for me the next day.

And you can't attend a quilt show and not run into a few friends - I am privileged to be friends with some really talented amazing people!

...and, patiently waiting for MQS 2017!

Friday, May 6, 2016

When the universe speaks...


Seriously. A little over three years ago I started working on a kaleidoscope quilt. It was a class given by my friend Marian, based on Ricky Tims book Kool Kaleidoscope quilts. I made (what felt like) yards and yards of strata. The fabrics were a 9 level gradation of grays hand dyed by my friend Natalie. I added a plain muslin as it needed something a little lighter that the lightest grey.  I had named it Dance in the Rain (my son's favorite quote) because the fabric resembled a gloomy rainy day.

Three years this project sat untouched until recently when the universe hollered at me. In less than 30 minutes I had read that quote twice on two different Facebook statuses. No worries universe, I heard you. I spent 45 minutes later that night looking through my massive mess for the project. I found it, opened the tub, and asked myself where the heck did I leave off (as I can't find the book). After a few minutes of fondling all of the pieces it slowly started to come back to me. 

The next day I was wondering through Joann's Fabrics and what jumps out at me but another message from the universe!

Okay, I got it - the message has been heard loud and clear! So that weekend I continued where I left off.

Now, with all the pieces I continued making my pie slice shapes. Well, I pieced three together, and then the other three. Making sure to carefully line up all gazillion (21) seams in each piece. Whew! So with my two halves constructed I continued to make a whole. Hahaha... After five attempts I stopped. You all know I'm much better at machine quilting than I am piecing, right?!!  Anyway, my center is awful. But it's okay, I had planned for a bunch of appliqué anyway -- I'll fix it later and no one will be the wiser -- well, except for all of you!  This is just one of the reasons why I love appliqué. You can solve many piecing woes -- fabric manipulation, it's a good thing!

So here is where the project is now (and don't look too closely at that awful center):

Look at those waves - looks like I'll have some fabric manipulation when I go to quilt this one! And even without having the book in front of me, I know my kaleidoscope isn't constructed the same as the technique in the book. I did not add the wedge pieces -- that's because this entire unit will be appliqued to a background fabric. Well, that, as well as a lot of other applique. And I'm not even ready to discuss the border yet... it's still flying around in my brain.

Please appreciate my sharing this. I get a lot of praise for sharing all the things I do, but I also catch a lot of flak. Some people say that by the time I debut my quilts everyone has already seen enough of them. Others feel I over-share - like that's even possible! Well guess what, I truly enjoy sharing with all of you. This is why I share it all -- the good, the bad, the wins, the mistakes -- all of it.  I shared (hehe) something about over-sharing on my other blog a long while back - click here if you'd like to read it.

Stay tuned for more on Dance in the Rain -- hoping to get a few minutes (hours) to work on it this weekend before I leave for MQS!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

MQS is next week!

Wow, time flew by faster than its normal super-speedy rate!

Although I am super excited about teaching next week, I am nowhere near ready. Today I managed to finish up my handouts and send them off to the printer. Hopefully, I was typing coherently and they make sense -- if not, it'll be similar to speaking with me when I'm super ADD.  Tomorrow I need to get all my fabric/batting kits ready and somehow get them into my suitcase. If not, it'll be a quick trip to Fedex for two-day shipping.  This is the most unorganized I have been in a long while. So many things going on - both client work as well as my own work (more on that later).

Enough of my crazies, back to MQS - you remember that last post where I showed you my block for the Teachers Auction quilt. Here is a peek at my block all quilted up by my amazing friend Gina Perkes.
photo by Gina Perkes/the Copper Needle
Isn't it awesome?!! And here's a peek at the Teachers Quilt - even more awesomeness:
photo by Gina Perkes/the Copper Needle

All the teachers that created blocks did an excellent job and Gina created a super cool sashing and did some beautiful stitches to pull it all together!  I'm so proud to be part of this amazing group!

Okay, again back to that last post... remember I was going to donate one of my earlier pieces for the Audacious Auction?  Well, here it is - Sidewalk Chalk:

Do you remember Sidewalk Chalk? If not, and you want to know all about it, click here

Well, I think that's it... hope to see you next week at MQS!