Thursday, 5 July 2018

Spiral bit

I had an idea of what I wanted to stitch for this challenge.  I have difficulty in transferring what I envision to reality.  I'll finish this start with the thought that this group is a learning process for me.  Being engaged is part of the process.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

I have spiralled enough!

How are your spiral quilts going?

Since this theme was announced, I feel as if I see spirals everywhere! Plants, animals, cave painting, mathematical formulas...I shouldn't be surprised if spirals were the most common shape (if you can call a spiral a shape?) in both the natural world and the evolution of human artistry. I could very easily have spent three months taking inspiration and pondering what to make and never got started at all.

So, mindful of our post about procrastination and knowing that I might well be short of time this quarter, I decided to go with my first idea, which I thought would be quite quick and simple and will also be a memory of my birthday present from my daughters (which I didn't get around to blogging about). Without giving too much away it involves an old table cloth and a baravelle spiral. I did procrastinate about this for about a month because I learned the technique from a book -  Simply Amazing Spiral Quilts - and I have used it to make mini quilts twice before.

April 2012

July 2012 for a swap.

This made me worry that it wouldn't be original and it wouldn't be an art quilt as I didn't invent the spiral or the technique...But I reminded myself the group requirement is a finished quilt posted by the deadline - not an incredible masterpiece - and, as it turned out, it was not so quick and simple as I thought. With the mini quilts, I used regular polygons and paper pieced onto baking parchment. With this one, I used an irregular polygon and I found out just before I started sewing that a certain thing (I can't say what without giving away the subject of my quilt) had to spiral the opposite way to the way I had anticipated so I had to have one spiral going one way and six the other. This would have been a good design choice if it had been a design choice but it caused me a surprising amount of confusion and I ended up having to redraft the whole thing in mirror image on the back of the cloth and write the numbers in each triangle before I could bring myself to risk sewing on it.

Then I started sewing and found that, despite much spray starch, I was actually using my pieceing to stabilise the tablecloth I had chosen as foundation, which wasn't really ideal. Also, using my iron in my sewing room blows all the fuses in the house so I had to sew one line go to the laundry room (where we seem to have better wiring) press one piece, go back to the sewing room. Thankfully, after the first couple of rounds I started to be able to see which colours to put where.

And now I have spiralled enough and I just have to quilt and embellish.

Hopefully, I'll get that done next week and I won't have my usual last minute panic to finish this time.

Happy sewing and Good Luck with getting your quilts finished in time to relax before the deadline.

I can't wait to see everyone's reveals on August 1st :)

Friday, 25 May 2018

Got My Spiral On

Hello ladies, just thought I say hi and that I have picked out my plans/thoughts on this quarters theme.
While I'm not as artistic like some of you, it will be different.  I really like seeing the different thoughts this blog group produces.  Enjoy your holiday weekend and be safe.

                                                    Blessing to you and yours

Wrapping up

It struck me recently that this blog could be a good place to share information on techniques that we come across in the course of creating our quilts.  I know that there are several techniques that my fellow Endeavourers have used that I would love to know more about!

Today on my blog I have shared my first attempt at creating a machine wrapped cord and it seemed like that might be something that could easily be incorporated into a spiral themed quilt, so I thought that I would share the technique here too.

My original introduction to the technique was at an embroidery workshop I attended in February when we were trying our hands at quilting with paper. This example of a tree bark inspired piece showcased the use of the machine wrapped cords very effectively.

To create my own machine wrapped cord I started off with this length of cord that was either a bag handle in a former life or was the leftovers from some piping!

I used a turquoise thread in the bobbin throughout this experiment but alternated between the three threads above to create a variegated effect for my cord.

With the machine set to a standard zigzag stitch I dropped the feed dogs and pulled the cord through the machine whilst stitching. At times when the cord was more difficult to pull through each thread colour would bunch up but for me that only added to the overall effect.

As you can see after a few passes through the sewing machine I ended up with a tightly wrapped and variously coloured cord. Although this actual cord is intended for another beach themed embroidery I am sure that you can see how it might work very well on a spiral-themed piece :)

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Thinking Time

Time to get the thinking caps on now that our next theme has been revealed.

Shall we look to nature for our inspiration again?

Mother Nature produces some stunning spirals doesn't she?

Or how about some man-made inspiration, like this Tudor style Knot Garden

or the engineering brilliance of an Archimedes' Screw, this one is at Cragside in Northumberland.

Decisions, decisions !!!

Looking forward to seeing where my fellow Endeavourers find their inspiration!

Friday, 4 May 2018

New Theme Announcement

Thanks to everyone who posted a 'Transformation/Change' quilt - it was fascinating reading about the ideas behind the imagery.

Now for the next theme.  Still in the hat, we have:
  1. the sea
  2. a walk in the park
  3. texture
  4. memories
  5. improv
  6. a quilt inspired by a newspaper headline
  7. emotions feelings
  8. opposites attract
  9. colour theory
  10. dreams
  11. wishes
  12. a scene from a book
  13. spiral
  14. raindrops keep falling on my head
and Mr Random has chosen

So our new theme is Spiral, and the reveal is at 0700 GM on 1 August.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Unfinished Changes - Barbara

I am afraid I missed the 1st May "Reveal" date for The Endeavourers. 

I had a plan, but my back has been playing up and I've not slept properly for a couple of weeks. Unfortunately this meant I have been so tired I haven't felt like sewing (or standing painting) and this was the week I’d anticipated finishing my quilt! 

Even though I haven't a "finish" to share I thought I'd explain what the title suggested to me:

When I made my first quilt for The Endeavourers I struggled to mix the colours I wanted, and I realised then that a colour chart would have helped so much! My first thought when I read "Change" was that of how paints change when they are mixed, so I decided to paint a quilt colour chart.

I am using calico, and have washed and ironed the fabric a few times before starting to paint, so that hopefully my "mini quilt to be" won't shrink in future washes. I pencilled a grid, and using a fabric pen wrote the paint colours across the top, and again down the left hand side.

Each colour in the left column is then mixed with each of those across the top of the chart in turn.
The outer border is just my practising.

DH put me off my stroke a little when he asked how I was measuring the paint mix! Oops, I hadn't thought too much about that ..... I thought it would be just a dab here and there!

My quilt will end at the pencil line around the colour names. The colours round the outside are where I was using up some of the paint I’d mixed.

Once I finish painting I am intending to machine quilt grid lines and add binding. 

My mini quilt will finish at 16" square.

To summarise, maybe this wasn’t the best time to learn how to use a colour pen, or how to mix paints, but I did have fun experimenting, although it was far more time consuming than I originally thought ..... therefore it could be some time before its finished!

Barbara xx

Transformation/Change Quilt

Change Quilt

Transformation Quilt

Transformation Quilt

Sorry about the late post... I had lots of technical difficulties.
I love the theme of this quilt: Transformation/Change. Change is always wonderful specially when it that change leads to wonderful things.
Thus for this quilt the concept that I tried to work was that moment when we go from darkness to clarity. When we are on a difficult place things seem dark and obscure, but as we find resolutions and bring change about things start to look a lot clearer and lighter until we find ourselves in happy place. Then things looks rosy and wonderful again.


Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Change/Transformation and Artist's Alchemy

This theme provided such a wide expanse of ideas!

Early on I decided I would look at the idea of the changes and transformations that artists perform, as they turn fleeting images into more permanent form, and as they use humble materials to spark ideas.
From this...

... to this.  "Artist's Alchemy," a textile sketchbook page of art quilt ideas.

I wanted to capture the possibilities and decisions that a quilt artist might work through to capture any simple image -- what fibers and fabrics to use?  What threads?  What techniques?  How much embellishment?  How realistic or abstract?  What scale?  Which composition?  What kind of borders?

A quilt artist's palette of threads and fabrics.

The photograph printed on cotton, and couched with boucle threads.

The web done in beads.

As an artist, when do you stick with the tried and true?  When do you step further from your comfort zone onto a new path?  How does your art transform the way you see yourself?

I was trying to portray an artist's sketchbook or bulletin board for a project, with 3-D items and mini-quilts, melded into one giant page.  I could happily continue work on my piece for weeks.  You can read more about how I put it together here.

I am really enjoying looking at how everyone else interpreted this theme, and the choices they made in portraying Change/Transformation.