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Thursday, May 24, 2018

The Encounter, an abstract in fabric

Participating once again in the Art with Fabric Blog Hop hosted by Alida at For these hops, she organizes fiber artists, mainly quilters, to interpret art with fabric. 
Measures 60" x 50"
When I first committed to this project, I had already picked my inspiration, The Encounter by Afro Basaldella, an abstract oil on canvas from 1954.

The first stage of creation was free flow, ignoring the rules of quilting by sewing the fabric on top of each other in a raw edge applique. The fabric skewed and my sewing left a lot to be desired. 
Hot Mess
I let the project sit for a month and when I returned to it, it wasn't as bad as I thought. I am sure I am not the only one that wonders during the creative process "will this work?" or "what the h**l was I thinking?"

Don't laugh but when I did the first draft, I didn't see the image only the shapes and colors. What do you see in Afro's painting?
The participants, who have done amazing things with fabric, are listed below:

Monday, May 21st, 2018

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018 

Wednesday, May 23th, 2018 

Thursday, May 24th, 2018

If I didn't bristle against rigid rules, regulations and procedures, I would have patiently paper-pieced the thing. But, no, not me, I slapped it together in an ADD sort of way. 
Pre-trimmed, marking quilting lines for matchstick method
The white panel board you see in the image above is the same one I wind the front and backs onto for pin basting. I had wanted to try the matchstick quilting method and this seemed the perfect project since I left so much raw edge fabric to be tacked down. 
Backing, glad I used the same fabric for the pole sleeve.
I also watched this Fons and Porter tutorial to create the sleeve.

Detail of the faces in fabric.

I've entered her in the California State Fair, not in the quilting competition, but in the fiber art category. I think fairgoers will fall in love with her! 

6/11 Update to Post - She has earned an Honorable Mention and will be on exhibit during the fair's run Friday, July 13th through Sunday, July 29th. Hope you Northern Californians can go and see her in person. 

In my first image of this post, I had to make deadline so half of the piece is bound, the other not, the sleeve wasn't tacked down and it hadn't been washed. The fraying and texture can be seen in this image.
Final entry

Now is the time to visit the other participants in the hop and their amazing interpretations~

Linking up with Amanda Jean at for Finish It Up Friday. 

Saturday, May 19, 2018

I am an ADD Quilter

After suffering through a dearth of nothing in the thrifting realm, mystery quilter came through - here are my $5 fabric finds this week, some yardage, a precut batik kit originally marked $40 (lovely fabrics) and other blocks shown below. 

Finding patchwork pieces is my absolute favorite thing because one of the best parts of quilting is when the flimsy is finished. Of course, there is the final finish of binding but that almost seems anticlimactic after a top is completed. 

I have discovered that a person's personality is reflected in any creation they make, including quilts. I know my creative process is filled with fits and starts, distractions of my own making. I am an ADD quilter. I queue up projects and then the newest, next best thing comes my way *squirrel* and those other ideas, waiting patiently in the wings, are pushed again to the back. I chafe against detailed piecework and minutiae quilting. While I can appreciate the work involved, it is not my style. 

So what has bumped my Watercolor Quilt project? What I like to call Wallflower Quilts, those that are mainly light grey or light yellow. Mystery quilter made these light yellow blocks, some containing what I am sure are vintage fabrics. Some of these will be sent back to the Great Thrift Shop Beyond because I don't think pale yellow is a good companion to black or red fabric. After squaring them up, I will have a Wallflower quilt flimsy in no time.
I am furiously quilting away to finish my State Fair entry which also doubles as my creation in the Art with Fabric Blog Hop post on May 24th. 

Monday, May 7, 2018

In Like Flynn

For years I have wanted to exhibit one of my creations at the California State Fair. In the early 2000s, I honed my craft as a painter of oil or acrylic landscapes or abstracts on canvas. Came to find out the painterly world likes its participants to hold MFA (Master of Fine Art) degrees and the like. Not gonna happen for me. 

As artists sometimes do with the medium they are working in, I moved from painting to quilting. As with painting, quilting is a deceptively complex craft. 

Recently, I have been participating in the Art with Fabric blog hop hosted by and while making this hop's entry, I thought, "Why not enter this in the fair?" I made the entry deadline by one day. 

This is so exciting for me, it was that easy to exhibit in the fair? I have struggled for years entering in the fine art category and being rejected. I haven't entered the fair competitions in over 5 years. 

This category is Fiber Crafts, Division 165 - Any Other Fiber Art (includes wall hangings). I didn't enter in the quilting category because then the "quilting" of the creation would be what is judged. We will see how my abstract in fabric will do in competition.

On to AtoZ Blog Challenge news - reflections. After taking a year hiatus from this challenge after participating for four years, it may be time for me to pull the plug.  

From the Challenge's peak of 2,000+ participants in 2016, it went to around 300 in 2017. In years past, there was a master linky list where you could see all of the participants in one place. This year the group opted for a daily Google sheet linkup. Sometimes the linkup was there, sometimes it wasn't. Then you had to link up within 48 hours (not always possible). 

While I don't do the challenge for page views, mine actually went down. I think my now quilting audience had no interest in AtoZ posts. 

AtoZ has jumped the shark. 
A term to describe a moment when something that was once great has reached a point where it will now decline in quality and popularity. Origin of this phrase comes from a Happy Days episode where the Fonz jumped the shark on waterskis. This was labeled the lowest point of the show. 
via Urban Dictionary