Tuesday, October 13, 2015

To Art Quilting and Beyond - Week 2/Part 2

After finding a layout I wanted and the general direction of the piece, I set out to refine the smaller details.

First the background, of course. Here's the first half - the left side. I used the subtle pattern in the neutral to  keep the circle concept going in this piece. And on the far left I just did a slight stitch around the leaves to create the texture.

Then I laid out the right half of the piece. I continued the circle concept in the same neutral and tried (and woefully failed) at doing straight lines again. I WILL conquer these silly straight lines! Now the really sad confession!! I even laid out straight lines with a ruler and chalk marker. One would think I could follow that right? Well....I obviously have straight line issues. LOL! I'm hoping by the time I get it all done they won't
be TOO visible.

So the background is finished and I'm so looking forward to building the next layer.

(by the way...there is no blue on the far right fabric...must be a lighting thing with my iPhone)

I posted on a comment from a previous day that I find that I am responding to this challenge far differently
than I thought I would. I thought it would be fun but never realized just how enjoyable it would be to do the stitching without my sewing machine. Do you find yourself kind of getting "in the zone" or something? Sufficient words aren't coming to me just now. Needs more processing to make sense of it all. Your wisdom and insights are greatly appreciated! Please jump in and comment.

See you tomorrow!

Monday, October 12, 2015

To Art Quilting and Beyond - Week 2/Part 1

Wow what a great weekend! Fall has seriously begun here in the upper mid-west and a long drive on Saturday was absolutely gorgeous. Very inspiring!

After doing a bit of editing of the "bling" chosen for me by my granddaughters (bless their little hearts) I got down to laying out and auditioning layout and bits. Here is the photo of where I ended up after much moving around and adjusting and taking bits off of jewelry so I could use them.

As stated earlier, the title of the first piece is "Summer Garden". With these colors I was obviously drawn to autumn and after this weekend I am even more inspired than ever by the beauty of the changing landscape!

The kind of orange on the far left background is the back side of a leafy fabric. I LOVED the front side but it was way too saturated and overpowered everything else. The connecting neutral fabric with the writing on it
I placed on the far right. I put another neutral in the center background because I don't have a lot of the original one and I also wanted a piece with some subtle pattern in it.

I had the two metal "frame" thingies and they looked very plain and boring all alone so I put some of the animal prints behind each one.

So, here we go! Now to start stitching!

OH and this one already has a title:  "Autumn Migration"  Are you sensing a theme here? I'll get into more of the details this week.

And don't forget! Later this week I'll be adding to this week's information and heading off on a whole other pathway to taking art quilting beyond the box....or....over the box you might say.  Got your interest?  I'll explain all later this week!

Friday, October 9, 2015

To Art Quilting and Beyond - Week 1/Part 5

I can hardly believe it is here...the end of week 1.

So, as promised, here again is the photo of my stuff before starting and a photo of the finished piece.

Here is a larger photo just so you can see it better. This is the 14" X 14" part. I cropped off the extra around the edges just for a better idea of the finished piece.

So that's it! Week 1 of this experiment in Making Do. Thankfully so far there has been no zombie apocalypse!

For the next week, I had my two granddaughters, 7 and 8, pick out the "stuff" for the following weeks.
Let's just say they DO love their bling!!  Here is what they chose for this next week along with the neutral continuity fabric with the writing on it.

Can you SEE all those jewelry bits!!! I'm afraid if I use them all this piece will weigh around 40 pounds! So we'll have to wait and see just how much of this I can actually use and where it will take me!

I would so love to see YOUR stuff and finished pieces. If you can, post them directly to FIRE. If you can't post directly, e-mail them to me and I will post them for you!  My e-mail is    kellyart@charter.net
Remember...be brave! We are all learning and experimenting together, right?

Have a great weekend picking out more stuff and taking this exploration with us!

OH and next week I have a SURPRISE bonus project.....again...by hand and no electricity. Just another possibility to explore. See you then!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

To Art Quilting and Beyond - Week 1/Part 4

With the background finished, not I get to play with the fun bits!

So I put the background down on the table and piled all my fun bits next to it to see what fit where. I think this is so much fun...seeing it start to take shape and when you can see the actual final piece in your head.

Before I started quilting I auditioned things and found pretty much what I wanted.

Then when I finished quilting and laying out the actual size of the finished piece, I made some adjustments.
Here is the next audition session.

Now I can reveal the title of this piece. OK...here's where I'm headed.  I plan to make 4 of these little challenge pieces and then put them together in one art quilt. After seeing how this one was coming together, I decided on the four seasons.  This one is "Summer Garden"

Of course, a summer garden needs some summer sun. No yellow paint but who says the sun can't be light green? I used the metal mesh piece as a stencil.

Then some of the darker green as a brush stroke for some subtle movement in the corner.

When looking at it, it became obvious that the "flower" with the puzzle pieces was way too much like a snow flake so that had to change. Stitched the puzzle pieces down with an X of embroidery floss. And added one of the larger buttons in the box.

The painted piece of Tyvek seemed too dark so I flipped it over (fortunately I had painted both side of this one) and liked that much better. I stitched it down with random Xs 

Then I braided a piece of the fabric in the box and stitched it as the outside of the flower. A pearl-esque button in the middle added to lighten up the space.

Now for the flowers on the ground and seeds under the ground.....

This one has both. One flower just popping its head above the ground and a flower-to-be under the ground.

I actually had buttons that went with three of the colors of the stripes in the "top soil" I love the pop of color they add.

So...now it is complete. I'll show you the final piece all together tomorrow!

OK...while I can't see doing a whole quilt by hand, not yet at least, I have to say I have more of an understanding of the process and appreciation for the calmness of it all. I can actually imagine making pieces even without electricity and all my equipment. I enjoy the challenge as well. I hope you are as well!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

To Art Quilting and Beyond - Week 1/Part 3

Today I was thinking about when I first took classical guitar lessons. The pain is what is familiar. I use a thimble but my finger tips and my grip feel similar to what I went through those first few weeks of holding down guitar strings.

But we soldier on. And truth be told, I'm actually enjoying the journey in spite of a few aches and pains.

Today I added the 2 bottom fabrics and the second piece at the edge of the top right corner.

Below you can see where I am bringing in the circle concept again. I traced with chalk around a round plastic piece that was in the bag. The layout is random with no pattern intended. I chose this method because I was pretty sure that one thing worse than my "straight" lines would be circles!

 I also chose embroidery thread the same color as the stripes in the second fabric so these colors would stand out more.

So the background is completed!! Now to add the fun bits.

Oh today is when this piece got its title but I'll save it for later. 

Carry on then. Kind of like the post office...neither stiffness, pricked fingers...etc.
See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

To Art Quilting and Beyond - Week 1/Part 2

Several hand soakings and several aspirin later.....

I added on the top corner fabric today. It is a purple (what else) swirly fabric which does fit in well with my circle concept. I used a embroidery floss that went well with it and started out following the curves of the pattern but not overly exact about it. I do think it made an interesting pattern though and absolutely created some texture.

Part of this experiment for me is becoming very interesting. After doing this piece on the corner, I actually reached some kind of Zen state with the whole thing. That and I'm really catching up on a bunch of movies and TV shows I have wanted to watch. The weird thing is I almost felt decadent just sitting and quilting and watching TV. Was I working? Yes. But it quickly didn't feel like it. I'll have to give that one some thought. Please chime in if you have any insight!

What has working without electricity been like for you? Different than you thought? 

Monday, October 5, 2015

To Art Quilting and Beyond - Week 1/Part 1

I was interested to hear from someone who knows me and reads FIRE that she didn't realize it was me writing!  LOL!!  So.....HI everyone! My name is Kelly L Hendrickson. I have been privileged to be a resident artist here at FIRE for a few years now. Definitely one of the most fun groups around. I hope you enjoy this month electricity free (by choice!)

OK you all have your bag or box of goodies ready?

Next step is to set the ground rules....or not.

Not being much of a "rules" person myself, I am loathe to impose them on others. So I have suggestions instead.

1) No electricity

2) No rotary cutters - Make do with scissors or just ripping fabric when applicable

3) Think outside your usual box. Go fearlessly down a different path than you are used to.

Ok...that's it!

The first thing I did was to decide what size I wanted to do this week so I would at least have a general area to work within.  I decided on 14" X 14"

I made a few other decisions. If I end up with 4 separate pieces, I want to put them together into one piece at some point. So I felt I wanted SOMETHING to pull them together when (or if) that time comes. I chose two things.  The first is a neutral fabric which I will use in the background of all the pieces. The second is to have circles a major part of each piece. You will see how that unfolds in the upcoming days.

Ready to start?

Here we go...

I chose a backing fabric. One which I had enough of to be the same for all four pieces. Then I cut the batting. This is not the batting I usually use but I had some and so decided to try it out. I've used fusable batting before but not this loft or this brand. We'll see how it works.

Then I started laying out the fabrics and bits and paints to find a combination that was interesting to me. It may or may not end up like this but it provided a jumping off point.

First I put down the neutral common fabric. Now...I'm not a hand-quilter. I have hand pieced but never hand quilted anything. Boy was THIS a learning experience. What I learned first? I cannot quilt a straight line! I started on the edges of the neutral fabric with regular thread. But I wanted more texture and a bit of contrast so I switched to embroidery floss! This was really fun.

OK..you can quit laughing now. Suffice it to say that by this time I was really missing my sewing machine! But I will continue. Hopefully it won't show that much when the project is completed??? Here's hoping!

For now, I'm going to go soak my poor hands in some warm fragrant water and hope they quit aching.

Well, it is begun and the commitment is made. See you tomorrow!