Thursday, May 29, 2008

Take It Further Challenge

I realized it is almost June, and I haven't mentioned much of anything about this in awhile. I opted out of the April challenge- just too much going on that month. And while I haven't started on the May challenge, I do have my design in my head- simple, direct, and to the point. If all goes as hoped, it will be done this weekend. Now, I'm off to play with Photoshop Elements to play with my design.

If you haven't used Elements as a design tool, grab yourself a copy of the latest Quilting Arts magazine. Gloria Hansen has the first of two articles on design with Photoshop and Elements that even a beginner can put to good use. Gloria is generous with her expertise on the Quiltart list, I almost always flag her posts for future reference.

More this weekend. . .

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I haven't disappeared. . .

I've just been on a business trip for the past week down in southern Utah. Tried to post before I left, but our internet connection decided to go on the fritz Sunday, so I couldn't.

I have been dinking around with my fabric storage again. My space is limited, but with the right setup, I think is adequate for my stash. I've used different sizes and makes of plastic bins- which I have now outgrown. And, I'm tired of having to remove lids to see what's inside.

I recently found these cheap, no-lid bins at Walmart, and decided to give them a try. I bought just enough to try out the idea, and decided that it would work fine. I love being able to see the fabrics!

I needed to find a way to manage all the large bins I have sitting on the floor. There is enough space there to put more shelves, if I could find something low enough. At Ikea yesterday, while shopping for a desk for Shannon, we found a set of wooden shelves that was perfect. They show it tall, but I'll just cut it down, to make two sets of low shelves. So that should take care of that. I'll post the final result when I get it done.

I did take a quilt-related trip while down south. I had some free time Thursday, so I visited Superior Threads, which is headquartered in St. George. I was happy to find out they welcome visitors, and even sell from their inventory! I have access to Superior at a couple of local shops, but nobody carries the entire line. I had fun wandering the aisles of the warehouse, picking a few spools and even some hand-dyed silk ribbon. I love their threads, and tried to pick a variety. So I ended up with a spool of King Tut, several of Hollis Chatelain's Nature Colors, some Rainbows, and one spools of Caryl Bryer's Brytes. Bryte's are a 30 weight thread (the rest are 40 weight), which means it is heavier and will show up more. I wanted to try it out before buying any more. So here are the additions to my thread stash--

I'm actually working on something, but I can't post it. And, I need to begin working on my Journal Quilt- another project I can't post. Guess the blog will be limited to my work on the tree quilt, which is still going on.

Off to enjoy my long weekend. Hope yours is as enjoyable!!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!!

I hope your special day is filled with family, love, and laughter. And, if you don't get flowers, here's some from Shannon and me, 'picked' yesterday on a photo excursion around town.

I had fun with Elements on the last one, intensifying the contrast and trying for a more 'artistic' photo. One day I will make a tulip quilt!!

We will be 'celebrating' later today, when Lance gets home from the Jazz game in Salt Lake. I haven't been watching, so haven't a clue if they are beating the Lakers or not.

I had a lovely half day Friday at the only quilt show close to home, the Home Machine Quilting Show in Salt Lake. I got there an hour before my 'shift', and ran into a friend just when I got there. So we walked the vendor mall- decent, but not huge, about 150 I think. I figured I'd scope out what I wanted, then go back after my shift. When I went to get my volunteer assignment- I was to wander the vendor area and provide any assistance they needed! So I ended up walking it for another hour and a half, by that time I knew REALLY well where I would return. And, my feet and legs were killing me.

I got two more irridescent Shiva paintstiks, three colors of Tsukineko inks that I don't have, some print paste, and Libby Lehman's Threadplay book. I'd been wanting it for ages, and there aren't many books any more that I'm dying to add to my collection.

The quilt exhibits were ok- very little jumped out at me. I didn't even enter anything, since the theme was Traditions, and nothing I have even remotely comes near that. The Best of Show was wonderful, a wholecloth quilted in a non-traditional set of motifs. But nothing that took my breath away.

Then, this morning I decided I HAD to get back into the studio, inspiration accompanying or not. I put some stuff away, ironed my batting tree after my last go-round with the paints on the edges, and pinned it back up on the design wall.
I rumaged through my stash of hand dyes, and found a piece I thought would work well for a background. Found some other hand dyes that played well with it, and started cutting with my little rotary cutter.

I came up with several different designs, taking picures along the way so I could compare. Here's one, although not the one I eventually decided on. I have had success with this method in the past, so figured I'd go there again- and, quilting and other elements will add quite a bit.

My goal for several nights this week is to get the quilting done, so I can take it with me on my business trip next week and have hand-work to do- probably beading, but who knows. That design decision will be made when the machine quilting is done. But at least I've got something I'm working on!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I must have spring fever. . .

of one sort or another. No blogging, because not much to post. I was gone or too busy in April to do the TIF challenge. Had a couple of ideas, but nothing that grabbed me enough to head down to the studio.

I have, however, managed to finish the puzzle that was designed by sadists, and needs a masochist to complete it.

Multiple times I swore I had the right piece in place , to find out when I tried to find the next piece that I really didn't. Look at this detail, I had to learn to quit focusing on color and sort the pieces by shape.

But, last weekend, Shannon and I got it done. It's still on the table, til I can get a piece of foam core and gel medium. Ain't no way I'm taking this apart and putting it back in the box!!

Hopefully some planned outings in the next two weeks will help drag me out of this hole I seem to be in. I'm volunteering at the Home Machine Quilting Show in Salt Lake on Friday,and will have plenty of time to wander the vendors and exhibits. Not taking any classes, nothing jumped out at me. Any my small art quilt group meets the next Friday.

I will also be serving as the next president of the Surface Design group in Utah. I love the group, and after some thinking decided it was just my turn to serve on the board. Since I don't have a lot of time to do stuff after work, presiding over the meetings and conducting board meetings seems doable. Unfortunately, I will miss my first meeting since I am out of town the entire week on another business trip!

I did spend time in the studio last weekend, painting the edges of my batting tree. Lesson learned- paint it AFTER you cut out the shape,not after- then you can get the edges at the same time, with the same paint!! Mostly I'm happy with it, just hoping I didn't botch one limb. I keep telling myself that it won't be noticeable once I get the leaves I'm planning.

That's it, I'm going to watch the rest of the election returns, and hope that Obama comes close in Indiana after winning North Carolina. Yes, he has taken his hits the past month. But nothing in my research on the issues and non-issues raised by the media has changed my mind. Also hoping for an inspirational boost from the show- but in any case, I should have pictures to post.