Friday, December 31, 2010

Can Your Studio Be Too Clean?

Ah, my life is starting to get back to normal.

In preparation for Christmas, I vigorously worked to clean my quilting studio. I love to have multiple projects going but, yes, sometimes the mess takes over. So I cleaned and organized and put fabric away. I piled all my quilting magazines in one place (and I hoped the floor didn't cave in.)

My studio was pretty near spotless and looked fabulous if you like a big empty room. But...that is where the problem came in. It was blank and when I walked in to start working, my mind also went blank. A perfect room, no ideas...... Too clean, no direction, no project pulling me in.

Fortunately, my husband needed a storage box and I had the perfect one half full of fabric. I dumped it out and offered him the box. Perfect for him, perfect for me. As I walked back into my studio and saw a pile of fabric, ideas started to flow again. Happy Day.

Moral of story: Cleaning can be dangerous to your health. Your inspirational health, that is.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Is There Such a Thing as Ugly Fabric?

Every time I look at this quilt, it brings a smile to my face because I won a lot of the fabric in an "Ugly Christmas Fabric" contest. One year our guild decided this would be a fun competition and a way to purge our stash of unwanted fabric. I had a Santa fabric that revealed him as a drugged out version of his normal jolly self. (Maybe this is what he looks like at the end of his long ride?) Needless to say, it couldn't be topped and I won the pile of "ugly" fabrics.

After cutting the fabric and stitching it into this snail's trail pattern, I found I had, not a quilt of uglies, but a colorful scrap quilt. This brings up the question. Can there really be an ugly fabric? Or, in their proper place, do we love them all?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Time to find the Christmas Quilts


Holiday Melodies
55" x 67"
Sharon V. Rotz

With Christmas only 10 days away and the temperature outside 25 degrees below zero, it definitely time to get out the Christmas quilts. In our house, they certainly serve double duty bringing in the spirit of the season as well as keeping our guests warm.

Because I love Christmas and the red and green color combination, I have made several. I will share some with you in the coming days.

Do you have a favorite Christmas quilt or wall hanging?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

What I (Re)-learned in my Daily Quilting

No, no, never, never. This is not a good plan. Knock my over the head with a bolt of fabric the next time I decide to bind anything with 1" strips.

I was running short of fabric, nothing new there. I always think I can make a quilt out of a fat quarter. I didn't plan to use the black as the binding so, of course, there wasn't enough. That's how the 1" strips came about.

I used my Clover bias tape maker to fold lovely binding strips. Mentally, it seems mathematically correct to cut 1" strips to make a 1/4" binding. But we all know, they are just too narrow to wrap around the edge. But now I've committed myself to making it work.

After tugging and pulling and admonishing myself, I got the strips around the edge and zigzagged on. I don't normally zigzag binding, but then, these were placemats and will be washed often.

Never again, lesson re-learned.

Ha, ha, joke's on me: I just found more black fabric.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Merry Christmas cards

I'm not really good about sending out Christmas cards, but this idea is so much fun that maybe I'll be motivated -- at least to make them. Still don't know if they will get in the mail.

I was inspired by a post on the Quilting Arts blog. Every card will have its own personality as you cut and stitch. You can use up scraps and creative bits from your studio. Each one becomes a miniature work of art.

Now that I've reread the instructions, I've found that I followed them, could you say, rather "creatively". It was the idea that started me going, yes, going off in my own direction as usual. But, of course, it doesn't matter where our creativity, our art leads, we are here for the excitement of the experience.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Treasured Christmas gifts

This is the time of year that we are busy choosing the right gift for our family and friends. We are bombarded with advertisements on every side. So much to choose from, which way to turn.

As quilters and artists, it is the perfect time to share our talents with those we love. There are few things as treasured as a gift made with our own two hands. Above is a pillow that my mother made. My mother doesn't quilt but does lovely handwork. Each time I look at it, I think of her. She is always eager to try something new and she has taught me to always give my best effort to the job.

As I am working on projects for my family, I have time to think of them and the joy each of them have brought into my life. The time we share together is the true gift of the season.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

East Iowa Heirloom Quilters

Even though we enjoy those quiet moments when we are closeted in our studios which just a pile of fabric and our sewing machines, nothing is more stimulating than sharing time with other quilters.

I have such a fun time working with the East Iowa Heirloom Quilters in Cedar Rapids, IA. I had the opportunity to share my "freedom" log cabin block ideas in an afternoon class and some of the students showed off their handiwork in the evening.

I have to admit that I have never laughed so hard giving a lecture as I did that evening. We had one of those moments when everything is hilarious. (Well, maybe they were really laughing at me, not with me, but I refuse to think that way!) Such a fabulous group of quilters. This is what quilting should be about, sharing ideas, laughing and filling our lives with joy.

Thanks ladies, for the opportunity to meet you and, for a moment, share your lives.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Working with Children

OK, you're right. I haven't been blogging. But, I have been busy.

Recently, I had the most wonderful time in Appleton, WI at The Building for Kids. I was asked to be an Artist in Residence for their "Fabrics and Family" focus and had a delightful time sharing my love for fabric with the children. We made simple fabric crazy quilts (glued, not stitched) which were framed and went home with the proud children.

The Building for Kids (Children's Museum) is an amazing place, full of terrific exhibits to explore, a place for fun and learning. The staff is friendly and helpful and I did see the adults having as much fun as the children.

Thanks to The Building for Kids for inviting me and thanks to Westminster Fibers for sending us great kid-friendly Free Spirit fabrics for our project.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

When It's Time to Say Good-bye

29" x 26"
Sharon V. Rotz

What do you do with your quilts? Do they decorate your home? Are they to keep you or your loved ones warm? Do you give them for gifts? Do you offer them for sale?

When I exhibit my art quilts in a gallery, they are for sale. Often, they come back home with me for another day. But, there are sale days as well. Then it's time to say good-bye to a part of you. Each piece that you create has a story. It is full of your life at a moment in time. You have connections to the fabric, the subject matter and each stitch and bead that you've placed on it.
So there is that bittersweet moment when you part.

Today, I am saying good-bye to my peepers. There will never be another just like you, but I know you will now be a part of the lives of others and they will enjoy you as I have.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Done but Not Done In

October Skies
19"x 43"
Sharon V. Rotz

I'm sure that you thought I was "done in" by my quilt after the little problems I had along the way. As you can see, I won!! and the quilt is finished. I had a fun time machine quilting clouds and more clouds.

I'm not sure where this quilt came from because it is quite different from other projects that I have been working on. I was, of course, inspired by another of God's beautiful sunsets. How can we not admire the grandeur of the world around us?

When I showed this project to my mother, she told me that as a child she loved lying in the grass and looking for shapes in the clouds. Now this memory will always pop into my head as I look at "October Skies".

Monday, November 8, 2010

Who Took a Bite Out of my Back?

Well, I'm past the melting sheer and on to sandwiching the quilt top, batting and backing. I dug through my stash looking for an older fabric that has lived in my closet long enough and could be given a useful life on the back of my quilt.

There it was. Color-wise it was good and it looked like the piece was large enough for a backing. Or was it?
Who cut that corner off? Why? Why? Why?

Wasn't I thinking ahead when I last used this fabric? Did I really need that extra 1/2 strip? Didn't I think that 10 years later, I'd want to use the rest of the fabric for a quilt back?

We all know that quilters are not easily deterred and are creative in using every bit of their fabric. Yes, I did use the piece cut off the edge to "patch" the back and make it large enough to be used as the quilt back.

Since this project was been moving along so smoothly, I wonder what adventure awaits me as I start the quilting?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Overheating Lately?

Overheating, that is an problem that many women deal with some time in their life. Well, it happened to me yesterday.

But it wasn't me overheating (We'll save that for another discussion!!), it was my iron. Who
thought irons went through menopause? Mine certainly had a menopausal moment right in the middle of my quilt.

Needless to say the next second, I was scraping sheer fabric off the bottom of my iron. It left a lovely messy spot of goo in the middle of my quilt top, which I desperately tried to finish scraping away before it completely dried.

I wasn't fast enough and I certainly wasn't thinking about photoing the melted spot so here it is after I repaired the damage. Of course, I didn't have a bit of the pink left.

Should you be thinking ahead and save extra fabric, just in case something goes wrong. Then, there is the question of how much to save? Too much to consider, I guess I will continue living on the edge.

I did have a bit of the lavender left and carefully replaced the melted spot with the lavender. Fortunately, problem solved. What's next?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Too Good to Cut?

If you are inspired by fabric, then you will certainly connect to these fabulous fabric collections. These are Radiance silks by Robert Kaufman Fabric Co.

Aren't they irresistible? I am definitely attracted to the rich, earthy colors. So often, fabrics in these colorways are toned down and muddy, muddy, muddy. Not my taste. I love these because of their pure, rich color.

The next question is "Will I be able to cut into them, or will I be caught in a web just touching them, "petting them", and admiring the colors?"

How many fabrics do you own that you have not cut into yet because you love them too much? If you use them today, you may find a better idea tomorrow and your fabric will be gone. Tell me you haven't been caught in this trap.

Friday, October 29, 2010

It Speaks, We Listen

Three Stones
Sharon V. Rotz

I had some very thought provoking comments on my last post relating to how we plan our quilt projects. I do think because we, as quilters, are drawn to fabric as our art medium, we cannot ignore its importance to our design process.

Are we not inspired by the colors, the designs, the fabrics as we ponder a quilt? We are tempted by kits because we are pulled in by the fabrics. Who hasn't wanted to duplicate a fabulous quilt that we've seen? Kits can be a useful answer to those who love fabric but don't want to make decisions. There are days when we have been forced to make enough decisions and we just want to get lost in doing.

For my personal "release" days, I love to cut squares from my fabric scraps -- in whatever common size that I can cut. Just doing for the joy of touching fabric.

Other days and other people love the challenge of creating something that has not be done before. Of course, it doesn't matter whether we choose fabric first or design first. Often, we do a combination of both because we just can't resist our fabrics when they start to speak to us.

These are the days I would think up ways I could use the squares I have cut. And, I too, enjoy the idea of re-inventing UFO's.

Now, I have to run, I hear the murmur of fabric calling to me. I must get there before it turns into a deafening shout.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What is your Battle Plan?

How do you approach a new quilt?

What is your battle plan?

Do you run to your stash and choose the colors or the fabrics that you wish to to use?

Then, do you let these fabrics or colors inspire you, letting them give you a ride into your wildest imagination?

Or, are you the person who has a plan? Do you have an idea, draw up a sketch, and then convert that sketch into a working size plan before you are distracted by color? Then, do you finally start your search for fabric patterns and colors?

Is there a right or wrong approach? What are the advantages of each plan?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Making a Difference

There was been a lot talk about Make a Difference Day, Oct 23. We, as quilters, certainly do make a difference. I've never met people who are more open about sharing their time and talents.

As I have mentioned in the past week, I belong to a group that shares their resources and talents with others. Members of our community are warmed by the many cuddly quilts that we make and distribute.

But, it is a learning experience for us as well. We are challenged by using the fabrics which are donated. It may be easier to supplement fabrics from our stash or buy matching fabrics, but we are exploring options and having fun learning about color, pattern and design in the process.

It seems there are winners all around. May you be blessed as you Make a Difference.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Puzzle, A Key Number and God's Abundance

Whether, it's Sudoku, crossword or jigsaw puzzles, we all love the challenge of solving the problem. Planning the layout for a quilt is just another "puzzling" dilemma; a math problem to be solved.

In the plastic bag was a large pile of black 3" squares. While I used the printed 3" squares on the previous quilt, I saved all the solid colored squares in hopes of combining them with the black squares. Again, I delved into the Undercover Quilters' box and found two solid pieces approximately 1/2 yard each, two narrow longer strips and a bit of neutral brown. These fabrics seemed to loosely coordinate into a color palette.

Finding the key number is the solution to joining these assorted fabrics into a quilt top. Of course, I wanted to go large to make it a quicker finish. Four of the squares pieced together yielded a strip 10-1/2" long (a good size) and would work out nicely as a cut size for a width of fabric. But, my strip of striped fabric wasn't wide enough to cut 10-1/2" squares.

The answer was to change from a square cut into a rectangle 10-1/2" x 8" (the measurement of 3 squares pieced together.) This was a perfect key number to cut large pieces from my 1/2 yard fabrics as well as the long strips. Any fabric remaining from cutting the rectangles was cut into 3" squares to incorporate into the pieced rectangles. This worked out so well, I had almost nothing left to discard.

As I worked to assemble the pieced blocks, I realized that the black 3" squares were cut with a bit of creative license. (This could explain how these pre-cut squares landed in the donation box.) Some I trimmed with my scissors at the machine, a few I had to discard (too small), and others I maneuvered into the blocks. I tried to match corners but --- reality check--- the quilt would be just as warm if the piecing wasn't perfect.

When I started, I was hoping there would be enough to maybe a small lap quilt. What could you expect from a yard of fabric and small scraps? But, like the Lord multiplied the 5 loaves and two fish, He had bigger plans than I did. I found to my amazement there was enough, and just enough, for a twin size quilt top. Should I really be surprised?

After laying out the blocks, it was easy to piece them together as I cheered for my Wisconsin Badger football team, who started out with a bang and hung on to defeat No. 1 Ohio. Hurray!

Oh, so sorry Ohio :(

Monday, October 18, 2010

What was really inside?

When I opened it, I saw them but what to do with them? Could they be useful? Were they full of potential awaiting their opportunity to shine?

I'm talking of the plastic bag donated to our "Undercover Quilters" group. It was filled with pieces all cut to size and a few larger bits that matched. Of course, there were no instructions, there never are with donated fabric. What does one do with a pile 3" squares and numerous 6" x 3-1/2" rectangles? To me, they don't shout out "put me together" into any common block that I know of.

But they did. They went together happily without extra cutting and re-sizing. A little trimming was required to fit in the larger pieces but not a problem.

What was really hiding inside the bag? Well, as you can see, it was a quilt top ready to layer and finish into a warm and cuddly cover to keep someone in our community warm this winter.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Breathing fire!

I've swirled my last swirl and my dragonflies have fluttered off (actually, what do dragonflies do? Besides, flying around breathing fire.......)

Excuse me, as you can see my mind is obviously still in a "swirling" fog.

I have finished the quilting and its on to the binding. This is a sweet moment. I enjoy sewing on the binding and then hand stitching to finish it. Another quilt completed.

This is for a gift so its doubly sweet to complete.

Until its gone!

After making a large quilt out of these flannel fabrics, I used the remaining fabric to comfy lap quilt. The large quilt used 4" squares and half-square triangles so it was easy to come up with a star design for the lap quilt. The spare scraps that didn't measure-up (to the 4" squares) became the log cabin star centers, using up a bit more of the remaining fabric.

Since I don't often make flannel quilts, it became a challenge to use up all of the flannel so there wasn't any left in my stash. The quilt front made a good dent in the surplus flannel but there was still a little left.

I then turned my attention to the quilt back. A challenge is a challenge, so the flannel must be used until there was no more. The few remaining half-square triangles turned into a different style star block, strips became more log cabins, and any remaining flannel was piecing into border-type strips.

I had to dip into my stash for black and white prints to tie the sections of the back together but it was fun was use up every bit of my flannel. It's gone, there is no more. Mission accomplished. What a great feeling.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What's up front?

Is the pile of quilts in your world heading for the sky? Do you see images of the tale of "The Princess and the Pea"?

That's exact where I stood one day in my studio so instead of finishing two quilts, I chose to make a two sided quilt. The front side (or is it the front side?) is one of my patterns "G.P.S. Geese Phying South". For the second side I combined several homespun fabrics from my stash into four patches. The small four patches joined to make 16 patches, which combined with medium four patch blocks and solid blocks to make 9 large four patches. Did you follow all of that? Easy as pie, it just sounds complicated.

One of my purposes was to use up the red print seen in the borders of the G.P.S. side. It was a good fabric, incorporated in several of my quilts, but its time had come. Likewise with the homespun fabrics, I am ready to get on to new fabric selections.

What creative ideas have worked (or not worked) on the back of your quilts?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Oh my, What's that on your back?

On my back?

Is it a creepy, crawly?

No, of course, I am talking about the back of your quilt. Are you so happy to finish the top that you elect to put any fabric on the back? Do you run down to the local quilt shop to purchase a coordinated fabric for the back?

This week I will be showing some optional backs for your quilts.

I will start with the quilt I have been working on, my bright yellow scrap log cabin quilt. For this quilt, I am using up fabric from my stash. With limited amounts of the fabric, I played around for the best fabric useage.

I had a blue mottled fabric, similar to several fabrics I used in the top. It was a good start, but of course, not large enough to cover the back. (Actually to my delight, then I get to use my creativity.) To this, I added some strips of frog fabric (again, a fabric used on the top) and found a striped fabric with similar colors.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

What's most important?

We all love creating, whether we do by sewing, knitting, or painting. We love to spend our time in the studio busy, busy, busy.

But, some days the weather just calls to us. This week has been filled with absolutely beautiful days, days that are meant to be savored. The air is warm and the landscape is filled with fabulous color. The world is filled with the sound of crackling leaves as I walk along. I can't resist shuffling my feet through them and kicking them into the air as I pass by.

Despite the projects that draw me into my studio, my spirit is being renewed as I spend the day outdoors. Next week when the winds blow and the rains fall, I will happily return to my studio with fresh energy and enthusiasm for my work.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Whirling and Twirling, the top is done

The blocks are done and arranged and I've completed the quilt top. A random layout of log cabin blocks and solid blocks seemed the right combination for this colorful, carefree quilt.

After piecing the log cabin blocks, they were cut to size on a angle. (Further information on this technique can be found in earlier posts and in my book "Log Cabin Quilts with Attitude".) This gives great movement to the blocks. Does this remind you of gaily dressed dancers whirling around? Or maybe those autumn leaves fluttering in the wind as they fall to the ground? To me, it is definitely color in motion.

To further obscure the edges of the blocks, you can choose an outside strip of fabric that matches the solid blocks. (You can see this in the bottom of the center block.) The static look of block to block matching disappears as an outcome.

Now its time for choosing a backing and layering it up for the quilting.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"Where We Live"

Square Foot Garden Series
© Nancy Laliberte

Between moments of stitching on my blocks, I visited a new exhibit at the Center for the Visual Arts in downtown Wausau, WI. Three of my favorite artists have combined their work into an eye-catching display. "Where We Live" features the paintings of Valerie Berkely, and Nancy Laliberte and the furniture of Chis Mosse. The exhibit runs from September 24 - November 7, 2010.

We all draw inspiration from our surroundings. I was delighted by Nancy's grouping of 12" canvases depicting garden flowers and vegetables. (You may notice the LACK of garden inspiration in my work, thanks to the bunnies and chipmunks, deer and turkeys in my surroundings. Or at least, I'll blame them for my not-so-green thumb.)

Great subject matter comes from many sources. Study the patterns, the colors, or the textures of the things in your life. Enjoy the work of other artists and learn from them. Capture your world and translate it into your next project.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Wow, Pow, Look at that!

After a second look at the fabrics I have chosen for this quilt, I realize that I have indeed been inspired by the colorful leaves outside my window. God's gentle nudging has again been at work filling my mind with possibilities.

The yellow/orange print is a perfect choice for this colorful, playful child's quilt. I'm having tons of fun playing with bright and cheery fabrics. While the patterns on the fabrics aren't autumn prints, the colors reflect the joy and the uplift of each crisp and sunny fall day.

How are you inspired by the seasons?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Color inspiration

What a magnificent autumn day! When I viewed the scene before me, how could I not be affected by the grandeur of the sight?

We need look no further than God's great handiwork for inspiration.

All of the color suggestions of the past days are unfolding here. The color "stars" and softer "supporting cast", the contrast between light and dark, saturated and toned colors are all revealed.

Enjoy the day. May your cares melt away as you take in the beauty.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Value, value, value

When we are consider our fabric, we look for "star power" and we look for "background singers". In other words, we need a dominate fabric (or fabrics) which engages us. Then we need more subtle fabrics to compliment this dominant fabric.

But one thing, we've failed to mention is the value of these fabrics. Very often, our dominate fabric is a medium value and we may have chosen more medium values as our complimentary fabrics. We also need to chose fabrics, not looking at the color but at the value.

If you have trouble determining the value of a fabric, look at it through a value finder (red glass or plastic), through a camera lens or from a distance of 6 feet or more. What happens is that the color is obscured and you will be viewing the value of the fabric. Really stumped, a black and white copy of the fabric will completely eliminate the color, leaving only the value.

Why is value so important? This is what adds definition to our shapes, and added interest to our project. It is what creates a picture out of color moosh.

I fine-tuned my project colors by adding more contrasting values and started making log cabin style blocks.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Backup singers

As I gave my bright colors a second look, I realized that I had great choices but things were lacking. Imagine a football field and all the players are quarterbacks, or a stage filled only with lead singers. Yes, this is what I had.

This is how we usually make our choices. First, we pick our "star" fabric, but then we have to go further to pick our "back-up singers". These are fabrics which compliment our star without overshadowing it. Various patterns, tone on tone, graphic designs such as stripes, or small repeated dots add variety and interest to our color palette. We also have to choose a stage or a field of play, our background. Will it be warm, with underlying red or yellow tones? Will it be cool, soft blues or greens? Will it be neutral? Is there truly a neutral, even these have undertones?

So far, I have not deviated from my bright and saturated choices. Will I be overwhelmed?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Quilted and Finished (At Last)

(for now)
22" x 26"
Sharon V. Rotz

I know both you ...and I ....thought I would never finish this small landscape. But, I did it! Even if the process was a bit unconventional.

I do dominate "quilter detention". Before the quilting in the center of the quilt was finished, (We all know this is the "correct" way to work on any project.) I had the borders quilted and, yes, half of the binding stitched in place.

As you see, I did go back and finish quilting the center. You gave me thoughtful suggestions about the border and I will keep them in mind for my next landscape quilt, but I am satisfied with the border as it is. To me, it frames the landscape giving the impression of one looking out a window or perhaps through the bushes. There are multiple ways of solving any problem and the joy of being the creator of an artwork is that we can pick and choose from those options. We may make the best choice or not, and that is always a subjective decision -- hurray for art critics! The main thing is that we are unafraid to try a new or different approach.

But, again, I would love your input. What suggestions do you have for a name for this quilt?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Brightening up my day

Color can reflect your mood or your personality. I've been trying to finish my landscape quilt, but I am having trouble keeping at it. The toned browns and greens are fighting with me. Maybe its the weather, maybe its my mood, or maybe these colors will never be my favorites.

To sweeten up my day, I've been selecting bright and cheerful fabrics for my next project. Already my disposition is improving. I can't wait to get started. Tomorrow will be fun.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Back to Quilter Detention

There are rules. There are definite rules about how things are to be done. There are rules about the order of quilting a project. And, none of those rules state that you can quilt the borders before the center of the quilt.

Another rule broken ........and............ I'm off to quilter detention.
(When I think about it, I've probably spent a good deal of my life there.)

My story is this: I didn't feel like quilting the center.
I stitched along the dark strip dividing the center from the border. I then started on the center but was more excited about "smooshing" down the border to see how it would look when it was quilted. Since the quilt was stabilized with the stitching between the center and the border, would it really make a difference which got done first on this small project?

What do you think? How long do I sit in detention?

Quilting Art Interview

I was recently contacted by Quilting Arts about my latest textile art exhibit. How exciting is that! Quilting Arts magazine is a fabulous source for creativity, full of tips and techniques for all who love fabric and fibers.

You are invited to connect to the online interview.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What's Good? What's Too Much?

I've added borders on my landscape quilt. I wanted to try "string" borders. I used a muslin base for each square (or rectangle) in the border. I stitched and flipped narrow strips until I completely covered the muslin. It was lots of fun because you get to play with an assortment of fabric and use up small scraps because, of course, we never want to throw anything away.

I felt it gives an abstract look to the edge of the quilt. Perhaps, you are looking through the leaves into a sheltered forest spot. But, does the abstract border claim your attention, drawing it away from the center of the quilt? Is it too much?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


As I was going through a box of fabric, I found this landscape which I started many years ago. How it got folded up in a box of fabric I don't know. This is what happens when you clean, things get put away never -- well, almost never-- to be found again.

Many quilters would probably recognize the style of this piece. Natalie Sewell and Nancy Zieman have made it quite popular over the years. Although, it may not rank up there with some of the more detailed landscapes of Natalie and Nancy, I do like the piece and think it deserves to be finished. And, finished is always good.

I have already added a narrow strip of dark brown to outline the piece and will have fun thinking up unique borders.

Do you have a treasure waiting to be found?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

More about Color

Uninhibited Growth
40" x 34"
Sharon V. Rotz

Complementary colors are those which are opposite each other on the color wheel. The use of a complementary color brings out the best in its opposite. We all recognize the power of red and green together. We've loved it forever as our favorite Christmas color combination.

Did you know that in the correct proportion, complementary colors balance each other and we then have a neutral? In "Uninhibited Growth", I made a vibrant border of red and green strips. These colors are fully saturated, nothing shy and retiring about them. Yet, they don't seem to dominate the quilt. Using equal amounts of red and green (their color balance point), they work to neutralize themselves.

Learning more about color is exciting and never ending.
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