Saturday, December 27, 2014

Extemporaneous (revisited) 60"x60"

What does a fiber artist blogger on a four month sewing hiatus blog about?

First of all, the reason for the break is that I packed up my studio way back in September in order to sell our house.  Three months later it finally sold, and after another month of escrow we made our move to the central coast of California.  However my studio still languishes in boxes in the garage as we finish a remodel.

Last week someone way up in Canada posted a lovely comment about this quilt and requested I explain how I composed it for "noob" quilters.  Can I safely assume that means "newbies?"  As I explained when I first posted it, the inspiration for this quilt was a Joe Cunningham tutorial on Craftsy.  His class is titled Pattern Free Quilting, in which he teaches several improvisational methods for piecing.  I've been a Joe C. fan for years--his unconventional quilts and wry humor.

My quilt took off from the piecing method he calls Fantasy Four Patch.  I won't go into exact details because I think you should purchase his class on Craftsy for those instructions.  But in general terms he says to start with a yard each of two fabrics--a dark and a light--which you cut into strips of varying widths.  Next you sew different widths of the two together to create a series of pieced lengths, which are subsequently sub-cut into various widths.  Those cuts are sewn into various permutations of four patch blocks.  Then the blocks are assembled to your liking.

Where did I take off?  I started with two blue and white fabrics and one mustard.  Pretty quickly, though, I wanted that red in there.  And when all was assembled on the wall, I wanted the navy blue border with patches from the interior breaking into its solidity.  One of the things I love about Joe's four patch is that you can't re-engineer it just by looking.  The oddball blocks blend so that you can't tell they were all the same size.  So you get an original composition every time.  That's talking my language!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Mermaid Tears and My New Rack

My sister Marybeth is perhaps my biggest fan because she regularly reads my blog and comments--always glowingly--on my work.  So of course I used her birthday as an excuse to crochet another Mermaid Tears purse.  I know she loved it because she called me "uber talented" on BookFace.
I hereby will her all my quilts.

Can you believe my new quilt rack?  Many moons ago a friend said she wanted one of my art quilts.  When I suggested we do a swap, she commissioned her uber talented woodworker husband to make me a new quilt rack.  Wow!  It's laminated ash with black walnut details, and I think the sinuous S curve is perfect for me.  I'm not sinuous, but I'm SSSSara.

It's going to look wonderful in our new coastal hideaway to which we are finally moving in just four days.  After three long months of living minimally without my studio, we have buyers.  Whether I will have another whole room to myself for a studio is uncertain.  For the moment I am eyeing a corner of the master bedroom because it is gloriously bathed in natural light from two skylights.  

However, art must wait awhile longer till we unpack, tuck away, and finish installing the new living room floor.  There are at least four quilt guilds near my new home, so I have no excuse for not at least testing the local quilting waters.  Talley ho!