Friday, May 29, 2009

Notan & Young at Art

I've never heard about Notan until I started quilting. Notan, the Dark-Light Principle of Design was on my wish list. After Nancy Crow recommended it for its figure-ground exercises, it's now in my library. I haven't gotten around to the exercises yet, but here are two terrific examples of a modified Expanding the Square exercise:
These were part of a recent display of student art Young at Art at the deYoung Museum in San Francisco. Check out this website for last year's artwork. Terrific stuff all done by students.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Three in eleven

I believe in setting goals. Then I know where I'm going and how far I've come. May is nearly gone and I finished one ufo this month. So for the next 11 months, these are three areas to focus on:

1. UFOs. I have many tops and only two small finished quilts. Goal: make the quilt sandwiches and stitch the quilt lines. One per month may be too ambitious - but many tops are already made and I want to lay down miles of machine quilting lines.

2. Working with prints. I'm fine with solids and textures but not with mixing prints. Though I love prints in others' work, I may be too timid with them in my own work. Goal: just mix it up to increase my comfort level. These will be new projects or further explorations. One already comes to mind. Maybe another three. At least the quilt tops if not the finished quilts.

3. Explorations. In 2008 I must have taken at least as many day-long workshops as there are months. Plus one week with Nancy Crow. Then this year another two weeks with Nancy. Though I am limiting myself, I couldn't resist signing up for a 2-day workshop with Valerie Goodwin in August.

Because I've barely touched upon all that I've learned, my goal: dig out notes and workshop pieces to explore and develop them further. One every other month.

There they are quantified: 12 finished quilts, 4 quilt tops with prints, and 6 explorations and developments from workshops. Could be 22 total, though they're not necessarily separate from one another. Nevertheless, I must get cracking!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Nos. 1 and 2

The Improvistations workshop doubled the number of quilt tops. With only one finished quilt, I am setting my sights on making and finishing quilts. Like with the strip-pieced ribbons, a steady diet of studio time would help make that so.

I've finished quilt number two. Actually quiltlet - O' Pear! is 10.5"w x 8.625"h. Started B.N.C. (before Nancy Crow), the pear and its shadow are from a pattern in the Art Quilt Workbook. They are fused on a background with one pieced seam.

Here it is before quilting, most of which was done on a road trip last year. My first hand quilted project and may be only. Won't discount it for future projects, but expediency is more important for now.

My local guild is putting up a show at the Lakeview branch of the Oakland Library in June. That was the impetus for finishing this since the show will be curated but not juried.

Here's quilt no. 1. Inspired by Jeanne Williamson's The Uncommon Quilter, this was the journal quilt for January 2008. Then I got stuck on February's and the series never went further.

Two down. Many more to go.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Circling the studio

Truth be told, I haven't quilted since I came back from the Improvisations workshop at the Crow Timber Barn four weeks ago. Instead activities revolved around the studio.

Cleaned up. What a mess when I left for the workshop! By golly, the mess grew when I was away: my other half thought other stuff should be there too. Then I unpacked workshop supplies and projects. You can imagine. At least I can see the cutting mat now.

Reorganized. About time I made life easier for myself. Dragged one of my old (remember days when they were 3 for $99 - this was pre IKEA) bookcases into the studio. Stacked solids and shelved all crafting, quilting, sewing books. They're all together and not scattered in boxes and baskets anymore. Repurposed a vinylized poster to protect the fabrics from light. The shade is attached at the top with packaging tape. That won't last. Here it is with shade down. A bit of light leaks through the sides and bottom. I'll figure it out with a more permanent mounting system.

Inventoried. My fan deck is tagged! Blue tape marks colors less than 30" long.

I am ready to replenish for the next workshop.

Now back to quilting . . .