Thursday, November 3, 2016

Light, End, Tunnel!

I based my piece on the concept of 'feeling low, down or depressed'.


Sometimes things just go round and round in their troubled minds.


There doesn't seem to be a way out,  where life seems frayed around the edges.

I chose to leave it unbound, as life it often ragged nor contained or tidy.

I loved making this mini! It seems that just as I am hitting my stride, I have decided to bow out of this group!
C'est la vie!

Suz (Patchwork n Play)

Wild Blue Wanderings

My interpretation of the sub-theme of the color challenge took me a while to decide upon. I finally decided I was having such a hard time, I chose wandering paths with a dead end on one path. So here is my finished quilt.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Six Ways to Blue
Quilt #169, November 2016
19 1/2″ high by 21″ wide
#4 in the Color Series: I’ve Got the Blues

I had fun exploring the idea of blue, and the use of blue in art when I made this quilt.  More info is on my blog, where I also manage to work in the artist who patented his own version of blue, Yves Klein.

I've Got The Blues: Efficiency

 This is my quilt for "I've Got the Blues".  I named it Efficiency: E-Fish-In-Sea.
I was directly inspired by the tiled floor at the City Museum in St. Louis, MO.
All the pieces are raw edge appliqued and fused.
A later of netting was put over it all and then quilted. 

More details can be found at my personal blog: http://rachel-thelifeofriley.blogspot.com/




I've Got the Blues: Michael's Blue Eyes

The sub-theme for this challenge offered so many possibilities and in the end I chose to focus on my husbands' beautiful blue eyes.   The blue of his eyes generally appears in the medium aqua range, but that can change and I used the variations as the basis for this quilt.



When we first met, he did not wear glasses and those eyes were the first thing you noticed, along with his shy smile.  Actually, to be honest, the first thing I noticed were his legs!  He is an electrician and was always on a ladder working on wiring in the ceiling of my office so I mostly just saw him from the waist down.  But then there were the eyes!


Like many other quilters I've gotten caught up in hexies and this seemed the perfect application and batiks are so great for showing off blue in all its variations.


The background is a low-volume gray and white piece with "love" scripted all over, appropriate, right?!



For simplicity I quilted around all the objects, chose a mottled blue background and highlighted the glasses with my favorite black and white stripe binding.



That one brown eye?  Well, my eyes are brown and I made that pieced hexie with the black center for a piece submitted in the 2016 Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival and didn't use.



When I get to the label part of construction, I am always amazed to see the number - this is our 17th and I just find that astounding!


So, there you have it!  Michael's Blue Eyes, my inspiration for this challenge.  



I've got the blues...


Here is my offering for November. You can read a little more about it in 'I've got the blues...' at Rainbow Hare.

Dead End 1: I've Got the Blues

I struggled with the quilt for this quarter and you can read some thoughts on art and creative guilt on my blog


Rising Above the Blues

This final quarter in our Colour theme for our Four in Art group this year, the sub theme was "I've got the Blues" I guess this could be interpreted in a musical way or in the direction I have chosen, which springs more naturally to mind for me, working as I do in the Mental Health field. I've called my interpretation Rising Above the Blues.



I wanted to let the blues sink down to have the lighter shades rise to the top; the nesting tessellating blues subtly meshing and becoming distinct, which alludes to the thoughts and feelings that structure our moods, blue or otherwise.

Initially I was going to quilt it using an orange peel design but decided in the end to have the quilting denser at the bottom with the darker colours, lightening with the mood and colour and thinning out to give the idea of a more settled calmer mood with wavy organic lines. The bottom rows have six rows of quilting each, gradually decreasing to just one in the top row.
You can read more about this quilt over on my blog here

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Purple Passion: Anemones

My quilt for this quarter was inspired by a love of flowers. I thought anemones, which often come in very sumptuous colours, would be a perfect flower for the theme.  I really enjoyed this challenge, and got to play with some different techniques, including two different kinds of applique, and a bit of embroidery, and to indulge another passion - for shot cotton.  You can read more about it on my blog

"Anemones" - Knotted Cotton


Monday, August 1, 2016

Purple Passion: An Improvisational Quilt

 Purple Passion:  It turns out that while I don't wear much purple, I actually had quite a large purple fabric stash.
 I wanted to try some improvisational piecing in purple with pops of a complimentary orange/red, and this is the result.
 There really is no "up".  I literally used one strip from each piece of purple fabric that I owned to put this little (well, medium) quilt together. 
The red strips are actually pieced in, but the straight line quilting really makes them stand out.
 The quilting in each section goes a different direction.
 This quilt finished up at 21" x 36".
 The back gives a real nice picture of the quilting. (and yes, still needs a label)
You can stop by my personal blog for a few more details and pictures of this quilt.  There will also be an upcoming post about how I did improv, without the improv.


Purple Passion - Once upon a time...


Here is my Purple Passion quilt for August. More details can be found in my blog post on Rainbow Hare :)

As patchwork, piecing and quilting is my passion,


so is my interpretation of this month's theme!
SUZ
Patchwork N Play

"Father & Son" Third Quarter Purple Passion by Faffling

Though initially daunted by this quarter's theme of "Purple Passion". This time I'm happy with what I finally came up with.

I love the look of a natural linen and the way it tones down and complements purple which is naturally more "shouty". These shot cotton purples are rich and subtly textured. (Albeit hard to photograph!)






I'm not sure which orientation it should have, perhaps I should add two hanging sleeves so I can switch according to whim?


  


The simple design form holds meaning which you can read more about here on my blog, if you want to see that aspect, but if that isn't significant to the viewer, I like that the form is pleasingly pared down and simple. The two forms are related but distinct.  I like the balance of the two halves.






I quilted each cross complementarily rather than identically and finished with a simple linen facing and I'm thinking that perhaps I'll block it before I add the hanging sleeve(s)?


The size measures 18 x 37.5cm or approx 7"x 15" and uses linen and cotton with cotton/bamboo batting.


Patchwork Pinwheel







For this reveal - Purple Passion - I chose to play in my stash of purples and see what felt good and fun.  Purple is not a color I go out and buy intentionally, but it clearly jumps in my basket because this exercise revealed a VERY large collection of the color in a wide range of hues.  Lately I have been practicing some new skills learned in a Victoria Findley Wolfe class and for this Four-in-Art mini, I began just working with shapes.  As I layered and sliced the fabrics, it quickly morphed into a vibrant pinwheel.  And I found in my stash a very small sample of what ended up as the bull's eye.




Pieced onto muslin are 43 fabrics in every color of the purple rainbow.  There is no hidden art, no underlying meaning, rather a simple patchwork pinwheel which I thoroughly enjoyed creating.  There were moments along the way when I thought it might be fun to cut it down and plant in in a pot or do something more clever.  But I truly enjoyed the slicing and layering and that's what it's all about, right?



As I worked on this it struck me how many other colors go so well with purple, although I know many who shy away from the color completely.  Since I keep a stash of pint chip thingys handy, I pulled them out just to see how they fared with my pinwheel.  These play well, I think, as does another "staging background" - my vintage red shutter.





There is a Kona Red quilt I have been waiting to cut out for some time now and after this photo shoot, I pulled it out and purple is already set to be a "star" on it.



The actual quilting was an easy choice - circular, of course!  And while I debated "just circular" or "concentric circles", the piece told me quickly which it wanted.



And finally, the label - our label - which always signals to me "the end" of another reveal.  This one was not stressful, rather simply a fun exercise with a color that doesn't always get good press!
Until next time.....



Jill in the Pulpit • August 2016 Challenge

For this quarter's challenge of "Purple Passion," I went with a free-form, improv (sort-of) flower, having fun slashing and slicing and sewing, then quilting.
This is Quilt #166 for me, and I write more about it on my blog at OPQuilt.com.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Building a Quilting Passion in Purple


Quilitng is my passion. I have enjoyed the journey over the years learning how to become a better quilter. I began with simple blocks, building upon the lessons learned through books, classes, other quilters, television and my own desires to push the envelope. I began by hand sewing and hand quilting the layers. On small quilts, I do my own machine quilting of layers and the more practice I have, the better I become. 

Purple Passion was the theme and sub-theme for this quarter's challenge and I couldn't think of a better representation than to show the blocks I made and built upon to get where I am today. 
I hope you enjoy viewing all of the interpretations of this theme.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Rhapsody in Blue




I loved thinking about this theme.  My quilt was inspired by Gershwin's piece, Rhapsody in Blue which always makes me think of a vast city at night.  Gershwin improvised some of the first performance of the piece so it seemed right to make an improvised quilt while aiming for the illusion of a cityscape of tall buildings lit up in the dark.  I used shot cottons, all of which have a blue warp thread, and some gold silk.  As the piece progressed it seemed to need a frame too.  I originally wanted to include a swirl of flying geese in diminishing sizes to represent the glissando on the clarinet at the start of the piece but I was too cowardly and now I wish I hadn't been, though I'm not sure how I would have fitted it in!

You can see more on my blog here.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Colour: Music

This quarter's theme was Colour: Music, an easy theme I thought... I had an idea right away but in the end I really struggled to bring it to life.

As soon as the theme was revealed, I thought of a quote I had heard years ago, about how the colour purple might be described to a blind person as the deep notes of a trumpet. I searched for the quote and couldn't find it, but the image was quite visual to me, with purple sound waves emanating from a trumpet in profile.


The light is poor today and I haven't been able to get a photo which accurately reflects the colour of the purple trumpet and sound waves. I'll try to replace it on a better day.

I have issues with this one, and if you're interested you can read more here, but suffice to say that this is such a good stretching exercise for me and sometimes it just doesn't quite come off!

Color & Music: A Violin Study

 Color & Music: A Violin Study


 A White Light is made of all the colors, and this quilt is that white light, split by a prism into the colors.  The violin is a major instrument played among 3/5 of my children.
  A perfectly fanciful musical backing to my Color and Music quilt.

More pictures and details can be found at my personal blog: http://rachel-thelifeofriley.blogspot.com/

Accordion in Blue




Accordion in Blue



When I was 7 or 8 years old, my mom decided I should learn to play the accordion, influenced no doubt by Myron Floren of The Lawrence Welk Show.  I would have preferred braces or even the piano, but clearly an accordion was more portable.  For this Four-in-Art reveal, color: music, I knew it was time to revisit this experience.  And since I "hear" music, all kinds, in blue, the was especially fun.

The only picture I have of me with the instrument is of my first recital and it's a black and white, yet I remember the scene in color and with all the sights and smells of that Spring evening.  For this reveal I copied the b/w photo onto PFD fabric and then began the tedious task of adding the colors I remember - my dress, the corsage, those flower baskets.  I used various pens, pencils and crayons, heat setting when done.  When copying, I did a black to white conversion, hoping to get just this perfect line impression.



When it came time to quilt, I added a bit of depth with line quilting the floor and a portion of the accordion.   For some movement I added flying geese made with Liberty London prints which worked well with the Allison Glass blue background.  



And as luck would have it I happen to have a resident accordion -  no, not mine from childhood, rather one shipped to me from a friend in Washington state (had belonged to her grandmother and she just needed more room in her closet for shoes! - how could I resist?!).  


My feature song for this recital was "How Much is That Doggie in the Window" so on the back I included a cameo of a doggie as well as the label with musical notes.



My life as an accordion player lasted for about 4 years and in later life I realized what a wonderful experience it really was!  I played at local festivals, was the lunch time entertainment at my elementary school one Christmas and credit that exposure with an attitude of "I can do just about anything".  When conversations drag, I have been known to pull out the " accordion card" and it picks up immediately!