Start Your Art Bloghop

November 16th, 2018

Hot off the press, Lyric Kinard’s Start Your Art deck of cards / prompts is available as an actual deck or a digital download. You can get it here

Art and quilt teacher and friend Lyric Kinard (website and Facebook and Instagram) delighted me recently when she asked if I’d like to be part of a bloghop to launch her new prompts deck of cards “Start Your Art: 48 Warm Up Exercises to Jumpstart Your Art”…of course!  I shared a sneak preview two weeks ago, here; In that post I shared an exercise done waiting for an appointment on my iPhone. This time it is the official bloghop and giveaway.  Read on to find out how to win a copy of the deck for your favorite art teacher and a digital copy for you!

One of the great and cool things is that Lyric asks you to “Make Bad Art.”  Yup, it is OK to make bad art.  In fact, it is really useful!   There is a story that has been around for eons (and likely true many times over):  A college art teacher divided the class in half.  One half of the students only had to make ONE big project, but it had to be really, really good.  They could spend ALL their time making it their best.  The other half of the class had to make many, Many, MANY things.  Guess who made the best pieces?  The ones that had to make a lot of art.  As one woman I remember from an online chat group said years ago, “make crap (pardon the language). Then make more crap.”  Throw it away.  Keep making.  Then eventually you realize you’re doing better!

Since I have the digital version of the deck of cards, I just randomly clicked on several cards, selecting ones I could do from the comfort of my living room chair–after Houston I’m ready for some random creativity and fun that doesn’t require a lot of scrambling around.  What better than zero-calorie ice cream?  The prompt on p. 60 asks you to tell how to make a sandwich or other food, with no words.  This would be improved with color, but that would require going downstairs to my studio for pencils or watercolor so pen and ink it is!

One prompt is to draw how to make a sandwich or other food with no words. Why have a sandwich when you can have an ice cream sundae?  Notice the happy me?

Another exercise is a variation on the theme of doing a value scale..how many types of marks and ways to create boxes of different value (light to dark) can you create?   Think of doing this with thread on the top of a quilt…..ways to change the color of the cloth underneath!

How to make a value scale….p. 39

And one of my favorite exercises–start with a snippet of something and make it different.  Lyric asks you to start with a copy of a favorite piece of art, but I used the version I teach in my design class:  take a magazine page and select a portion of it.

The original advertisement page from British Country Living.

And here’s a portion of it and my Bad Art.  I was doing OK until I put in one of those checkerboard things on the left side.  Ugh.  Too heavy.  So I had to add some more to balance it out…..

A fun ramble and play in front of the TV last night!  Most of it I don’t like, but I do like the way I did the leaves and love that “dropped spaghetti” railing from the photo that I extended on both sides.  Fun motif–either as a thermofax screen to put paint on cloth or as a quilting or hand stitching motif, or just improv piecing!   See….you make bad art, the brain starts pinging, and you get more and more ideas!

 

Lyric is offering a real-life deck of Start Your Art Cards to be given to your favorite Art teacher.  To enter to win this deck on behalf of your favorite teacher and a digital copy of the deck for you, leave a comment below sharing memories of your favorite art teacher.  On November 21 Lyric will randomly select a winner and work with you to ship the real-life deck to your favorite art teacher. Please be sure to leave a CORRECT email address so we can reach you if you win!

And if you’d like to play and support an artist (namely Lyric) go HERE to order them directly from her!

Perhaps most fun of all, SHARE your art from Start Your Art here on the Start Your Art Facebook page right here.  

Preview of Lilies of the Valley at Festival!

November 4th, 2018

Thanks to my friend Jenny K. Lyon, I’ve got two pictures of my Lilies of the Valley quilt on display in Houston since she is attending International Quilt Market for the (Drum Roll Please!!!) debut of her first book, here, Free Motion Quilting, From Ordinary to Extraordinary.  It has literally just been released…can’t wait to see it at Festival!   Anyway,

Here’s a view of the Power of Women exhibit, which has three parts: the 36″ quilts, some 2×8 foot sheer art cloth banners, and in the background the 2×6 foot quilts of women to admire. I can’t wait to see the exhibits! My Lilies of the Valley is the center one…I had thought they were going to be way high up, so delighted folks will be able to see the quilting and details.  Photo by Jenny K. Lyon–Thank you Jenny!!!!

 

And a close up–Houston always does such a good job at hanging and “choosing neighbors”! And yes, my quilt IS for sale!  Photo by Jenny K. Lyon–Thank you Jenny!!!!

I get on the road to the airport at 7 am tomorrow, but won’t get to see any quilts until preview night on Wednesday.  So psyched for teaching and friends and quilts and art and friends!

A sneak preview…Start your Art – Lyric Kinard

November 1st, 2018

Art and quilt teacher and friend Lyric Kinard (website and Facebook and Instagram) delighted me recently when she asked if I’d like to be part of a bloghop to launch her new prompts deck of cards “Start Your Art”…of course!  The official bloghop is in about two weeks after International Quilt Festival, but I’ve had a chance to download the pdf and play a bit.

Hot off the press, Lyric Kinard’s Start Your Art deck of cards / prompts is available as an actual deck or a digital download. You can get the deck here at Lyric’s shop.

Then, not long ago, Laurie Russman, of neonkittyquilts on instagram and website, told me about the MegaPhoto app she uses to make “tweaked” photos.

Sitting waiting for my annual physical check-up, I decided to play–a prompt from Lyric’s deck plus MegaPhoto!  Lyric has some suggestions–like set a timer and keep it short–to get you started along with 48 exercises.  I hopped around the set randomly and selected one (and of course I forgot to write which prompt) that I could do on my phone while waiting.

I began with a frequently photographed location on my afternoon dog walks and used one of the MegaPhoto filters to get this image…all sorts of new ideas for quilts are funning (what a hoot, that was meant to be running, but I like the typo!) through my head.

To those of us who have been teaching ourselves art for a while, some of the prompts may be familiar, some are new, but I have to say I totally love having these on my phone where I can take advantage of those moments where you are somewhere without a book–a productive alternative to Facebook!  Even familiar prompts become new and are worth doing again. Then I tried another filter on the same photo–what a difference in mood!

Another filter in MegaPhoto –just look it up in your App Store. I believe there is a free version, but you can get rid of the ads and add a few extras for about $2.99.  

I tend to be pretty literal in my artwork, so many of Lyric’s prompts that require one to work in abstracts will be a good push for me.  This may be my favorite of my Mega Photo filters I used on this photo:

Love the prismatic, fish-eye look to this photo. I can see playing around with this type of composition and fracturing in an art quilt….maybe over winter? Or even…hmmm…printed onto cloth, then paint on the cloth, then quilt….hmmm….

See, that’s what happens with prompts:  they get the creative juices going.  They let you get out of your own way and try something that isn’t in your “usual wheel-house aka creative safe spot.”  I’ll do a proper review of the deck in mid-November when it’s my turn, but just wanted to let you know what I’m doing now that the boxes of stuff are shipped to Houston, it’s not yet time to pack clothes, and I’m noodling around with play time!

So I can heartily recommend Lyric’s Start Your Art.  I’ll play around with it more and check back with another review for the bloghop in mid-November.  Here’s the link again to this deck of cards:

The last bits of fleece make an easy peasy hat!

November 1st, 2018

So I decided to use up the very last bits of my buffalo check fleece.  I began with 4 3/4 yards of the 58-60″ wide cloth.  The second photo shows the last bits!   These hats are SO FAST to make…including figuring out the best sewing sequence it took less than an hour for the first one.  If you wanted to make a half dozen, you could do that in an afternoon–quick and easy winter gifts!

How many selfies do you need to take to eliminate many chins or no chin? LOL! I love my soft hat!

This is all that is left of 4.75 YARDS of fabric….that is 10,260 square inches. Under 200 left! I even made some tassles/trim out of the selvages!

This hat will be a free pattern soon–not sure yet if it will be here or at Shannon’s site, but you can make one of these in well under an hour from scraps.  Truly, I used maybe 10×25 for the white part, 5 x 25 for the bottom, and a bit more for the tassles/dangly bits.   I just sewed two tubes to fit my head, one of the white print, one of the buffalo plaid.  The white print is here at Fabric.com.

Because the fleece is thick, and because I wanted the soft part next to my forehead, I didn’t use a typical garment seam. Instead, I overlapped the two fabrics, wrong sides together, and sewed them with a serpentine stitch. I did this twice, on either side, so I would catch both edges of the overlap. My finger is pulling the two pieces apart so you can see the overlap.

I then turned the plaid to the outside and brought it up above the seam that joins the top of the hat to the “cuff.”  I pinned the fabric at both edges so that I kept the amount of black that shows at the bottom even all the way around.  As I mentioned in my earlier posts about the throw and the jacket, the inside of Cuddle is slippery, so pin well. Because the fabric does not ravel, I didn’t need to turn under the upper edge of the plaid cuff.  I used the serpentine stitch to it down.

Finally, I made some dangly bits using the trimmed off selvages (they were about 1″ wide plus lengthwise grain of course):  fold in half wrong sides together and use serpentine stitch.  Cut to length, insert two, each folded in half, at either end of the seam at the top of the hat, and sew the final seam.  Because of the bulk from the dangly bits, I found it far easier to sew from the center to the ends, lock off the stitch and repeat for the other side.

Two hats…I mean I used up EVERY LAST BIT of scraps! One hat for me, one to send to Shannon for them to use as they wish!  Talk about a quick and easy Christmas gift!

 

THANK YOU Shannon Fabrics for this wonderful fabric and an October full of fun, fast and easy fleece projects.   I look forward to making more…I’ve got some Christmas gifts already made which I can’t share due to friends looking at my blog, and another big length of fleece to use on a snuggle quilt for winter!

Fleece Buffalo Jacket/coat!

October 30th, 2018

Hi everyone…preparations for teaching at International Quilt Festival Houston are nearly done, so I can return to somewhat regularly sporadic blogging!   In addition to that snuggly lap robe/blanket in Cuddle fabric, I also recently made a hooded jacket using two layers of fleece and a Simplicity pattern.

Cuddle-y two-layer fleece jacket–I may not want to take this off this winter!

As I’ve; mentioned in earlier posts, I totally fell in love with Shannon Cuddle fabric at the Janome Education Summit this past May. Here’s a link to the buffalo check (temporarily out of stock as of October 30) Shannon scarlet and black Cuddle.

Here’s the pattern I used, Simplicity D0761. I purchased 2 3/4 yards of both the ivory cuddle and the buffalo check. I would recommend an extra quarter yard of the check if you plan to match the plaid as I did at sides and sleeves.  The pattern is cool because the hood is cut with the fronts as one big piece.  The only fiddly part in the entire thing was the shoulder-back neck-shoulder seam, and even that worked a charm with careful pinning.   A confident beginner could probably tackle this.  

The pattern is designed for a two-sided fleece such as the sherpa/suede.  Instead, I made two jackets.  I cut the outer jacket perhaps 1/8″ larger than the pattern and sewed it with a 1/2″ seam allowance, not the standard 5/8″.  I sewed the ivory inner jacket at accurate size and with a generous 5/8″ seam allowance.  This allowed the fluffy Cuddle to fit inside.   HOWEVER, the back side of the Cuddle is slippery.  If I were to make this again, I think I would cut my fabric pieces slightly oversized, sew them together as if quilting (wrong sides together) along the black stripe, THEN trim to final size and sew it as if it were ONE fabric.  Currently, even though I tacked the coat at the neckline, it has a propensity to wiggle and sometimes bubble at the hem.

Hood down and open. 

The pattern doesn’t have a closure, but I have some black toggles on faux-leather and may use one.

And a side view showing the hood.

Thanks as always to Janome America…sewing this on my Janome 9400 was a DREAM.  I used the acufeed foot for pretty much everything and the serpentine or lightning stitches.  I used the lightning (a type of zigzag) for seams at 10 width and 3.0 length, which accommodates any stretching.  I used the serpentine on all the turned-over white bits.  Since the Cuddle does NOT RAVEL at ALL, you don’t need to turn under the edges so the serpentine was perfect and it hides in the pile of the fabric.

I’ll repeat the tip I gave before on the blanket:  minky type fabrics are known for shedding fluff.  To minimize the mess, cut from the back side (with a scalpel type cutter if you have one–I don’t so I just used scissors; I also cut from the front to stay on the lines!).  Carefully put everything including the scraps into a plastic bag, carry it to your dryer, and set it on air dry for maybe 5 minutes.  The fluff ends up in the lint filter, so remember to empty it out and perhaps use a damp cloth to wipe out any stray bits.  This reduces the shedding by about 90 percent!