Friday, June 20, 2014

Finally Finished


Totally hand quilted and bound by hand. Really love the colors. (54" x 64") I am planning on making a matching pillow. Stay tuned. Finished in the park.

A card...

Friday, April 18, 2014

Minimal Quiltmaking

Just in the nick of time Gwen Marston's new book Minimal Quiltmaking arrived. I ordered it back in October and kept receiving postcards from AQS that it was on its way, but surprise, surprise, surprise an email came that it shipped late last week. After my recent rejections--yes two--I've been drawing and painting and not so interested in quilting, but all of that has changed and I am back on the quilt-making bandwagon banging a drum!

First, Ms. Marston is my absolute favorite quilt-maker. I have a lot of her books and purchased this one even though I did not think it would appeal to me. Wrong! Like most, if not all, of Marston's books this is not a pattern book--which I love because I have no intention of using another designer's pattern. She does show how to make some of the "parts" so one can incorporate them into their own designs.

The book has 8 chapters, each containing enough eye candy to give you a sugar rush, which is exactly what happened to me. I really got excited thinking about a minimal/modern quilt design. (Marston has that effect on me.) She also goes back to her book 37 Sketches by showing fabric sketches of ideas that became larger quilts. Here is an example of the working sketch next to the quilt. In the 37 Sketches book you only see the sketches, not the quilts that may have been derived from them.

Marston, Gwen, "Minimal Grid, Small Study, #56, " 2013
from Gail Garber Designs (blog)
Another thing that Marston does is get the reader excited about Modern Artists, Josef Albers, Wassiily Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich, Ellsworth Kelly, and Frank Stella. Not mentioned in the book, but an artist that I have recently become familiar with and has inspired ideas for my quilt-making, is Markus Linnenbrink.

Linnenbrink, Markus, "Myself Outside," 2003
Photo from Hammer Museum website
Even the Hard-Edge Quilts, quilt-making that requires some accuracy and straight lines got me excited. In the chapter "Minimal Quilts Inspired by Art" there was a pair of quilts by two woman that really stood out for me: "Interaction with Color," by Deb Albright, and "It's Transparent to Me," by Kathy Sandling. They both used the narrow black and white (in the case of Sandling, gray and white) striping that I love and it really worked out well.

The only thing that I thought was not so great about this book was the book itself. It is a 95 page, 8.5" x 11" paperback that feels more like an expensive magazine than a paperback book. I hope that this is because Marston received more of the $24.95 cost in her paycheck than the publisher received by reducing the quality of the physical book.

Another great read from Gwen Marston.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Gwen Maleson

I came across Gwen Maleson's work through a John Thornton video. I really love the subtle colors she uses and the use of birds in most of her work. She notes that she has been inspired by Charlie Harper and it is his work that I first thought of when I saw hers. I am also reminded of the work of Edna Andrade, another PAFA alumna (Maleson completed her MFA at PAFA) in its graphic, precise execution. Maleson is a bird watcher and like a lot of us, has decided to incorporate that passion in her work.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Information about Conserving Quilts

Someone was kind enough to forward the following link to me about conserving quilts. I thought it might be of interest. Click here.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

A Great Little Tool

When I was at my husband's aunt's house one day, in her sewing room, I saw a tool on her table that I recognized immediately. (Zia Gloria was Rena Rowan's Assistant Designer at Jones New York since the beginning until Zia Gloria's retirement.) It was a tool I was asked to purchase while in college to use with a pick glass, linen tester, or thread loupe to count the number of threads in a woven fabric or the number of stitches and rows in knitted fabric. It looks like a stiletto, but it is tapered and is called a scriber.

Shown here with the point safely inside


Shown here with the point ready for use.

See how it is tapered?

My aunt has one that is a little bigger (size 81) but immediately I grabbed it and asked why she had one. She uses it as a seam ripper. I, almost 30 years after graduation, still had it and dug it out. Mine is a little smaller (size 83). I only recently started using it and love it. It is probably the best seam ripper you will ever use.

Slide the point under a stitch in the row you want to rip.

Lift the tool to break the stitch.

Repeat in a few places.

Place the point under a stitch in the run and pull out the thread.

Viola! You have one long thread on the back that just comes away! (Don't you love pulling out that thread in one motion?)

Sometimes the simplest tools are the best.

You can buy one here.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

What is on My Kindle

Steal Like An Artist --Saw the new Austin Kleon book on Lisa Congdon's blog and thought it looked interesting. So I purchased that and this one, his first in this series. So far, a good read...

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

My Hero--Caroline Earle White

From Wikipedia: Caroline Earle White (1833–1916) was an American philanthropist and anti-vivisection activist. She co-founded the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PSPCA) in 1867, founded its women's branch (WPSPCA) in 1869, and founded the American Anti-Vivisection Society 

I heard a story about Caroline Earle White this morning on NPR. You can see some photos and the interview here.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Sunday, February 23, 2014

New Item in My Etsy Shop

I have always wanted to incorporate this little rhyme into my work somehow. My husband taught it to me so I could figure out if the moon is waxing or waning. He learned it as a little boy. I thought about doing something with it when I was drawing and painting as well as quilting. Finally, now that I am embroidering I have seen my idea come to fruition.

Gobba a ponente
Luna nascente
Gobba a levante
Luna calante

Translated it means:

Hump to the sunset, waning moon.
Hump to the sunrise, waxing moon.

Isn't it sweet? Wouldn't look great in a little boy's room? Or if one's heritage is Italian?

I love how it came out! Yeah!

Baci e abbracci...

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Eye Candy

As I am working on a project that I am not allowed to post about, I thought I would post some recently completed work.

Have a great Sunday.

Baci e abbracci...

Sunday, February 2, 2014

New Cat Brooch

The cat below has been immortalized in a brooch.

Sorry for the bad photo...

Baci e abbracci...

Sunday, January 26, 2014

What I Made Today

I am working on a new idea and completed 14 of these sachets. The first look is for the client so here is a little peek...

I also made a gift for someone--a pencil zipper pouch (inspired by the work of Ann Brauer)...



I hope this person likes this gift (the sketchbook and the pouch).

Baci e abbracci...

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Being Grateful

My birthday is on Monday. I will be 52. I am more than half way through my life and although I have not accomplished all of my goals, I am very grateful for what I do have: a wonderful, loving, (and attractive) husband, a loving mother that is still vital, two loving, sweet , mostly well-behaved cats, a steady income in a creative environment, my own comfortable home, and enough food on the table. I am also so thankful that I have lots and lots of fabric, yarn, paper, paint, markers, pencils, books, videos, and  many other tools that fuel my creativity.

I am about to start a new project that I have been asked to keep secret. It would be fabulous if my finished quilt was chosen to be part of the final project. This will be my first quilt totally made of solids (maybe a little scrap of pattern may appear in the end result). I've been collecting solids  for a few years now. Mostly, fat quarters so I can have many colors, especially since I usually use strips. I am so lucky to have such a beautiful collection!

I will be documenting the whole project to be published after the secret is out.

Also, this week I made a new pin for my Etsy shop:

Baci e abbracci