Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tuesday's Tile Caught Stepping Out

Quilter's Tile - Mowing Around the Violet Patch
8" x 8"
©2011 - Sharon V. Rotz

This past week-end I had the opportunity to view this heartfelt show.

Original Valentines
Artful Expressions of Affections
February 25 - March 17, 2012

Nicolet College
Art Gallery
Rhinelander, WI 54501

I felt privileged to be part of this show and one of my Tuesday's Tiles, Mowing Around the Violet Patch,with its tiny silk ribbon flowers, caught the attention of many. By mounting this small work on a fabric covered canvas elevated it from a simple square (or as Mom would say - potholder) to a dainty artwork. Because this piece reminds me of my dad, it holds special meaning for me. 

Each of the pieces in the show had a special meaning to the artist and it was thought provoking for the viewers. The varied artworks were hung between delightful valentines, the kind I remember as a child. 

One of my favorites was Apple of My Eye - Applemania. 
(used with permission of the artist)

The apples looked so juicy and delicious that I thought certainly this was a photograph. I was totally mistaken because this lovely artwork was a pastel done by central Wisconsin artist, Andrea Fenner.

Poetry as well as art was displayed. One of my favorites was a poem by Jane Banning (used with permission of the author).

Yearling Deer

Back legs stork-thin
front feet
tiny hooves of a Victorian lady
neck long as a brown question 
she eats mushrooms,
twitches her tail,

With the planting 
of each
hoof-gloved foot,
I, blunt and fleshy-handed,
am unsure
which one of us
is the more

What would your artful expression of affection say? Do you have a favorite quilt or other artwork that shares a bit of your life, brings to mind a beloved person or evokes images of a special moment?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Do You Have a Puzzling Personality?

Do you love the challenge of a puzzle? There are many types of puzzles, word puzzles, number puzzles and visual puzzles, but the puzzles that interest me the most are quilt puzzles.

Each time I look at a group of blocks, my mind starts swirling around as I get more and more ideas for ways to arrange them.

Digging in some boxes, I came up with these churn dash blocks all ready to use but not enough to make a quilt. How could I use them?

Going traditional, I thought of separating them with sashing between the blocks. As I searched for coordinating fabrics,

I found four more blocks, but still not enough to fill a bed-size quilt top.

Then there was one orphan block. The colors blended with my other blocks. Wouldn't he just love to worm his way into my churn dash quilt?

Searching further, these stitched, but never even pressed, half-square triangle blocks popped up. After a moment's thought of using them as they were, I realized that they could become additional churn dash blocks. 

There were 8 half-square triangles, just right for two blocks, and fabric that blended with them.

Now that I have the puzzle pieces, it's time to start arranging them into a quilt top.

Just like working on a jigsaw puzzle, small pieces go together to form larger sections.

And finally, the sections come together to form a whole. 

The puzzle is complete. A quilt top is born and I have just the piece large enough for a backing. Roll out the batting and I'm set to go.  (Can you find the orphan 9-patch? You can see, he did manage to wiggle his way in.)

The Inspection Detectives and the Perfection Police would be sure to point out all of the flaws. But, need it be perfect? Indeed, I'm not. But, it is stitched with love and made to offer warmth and comfort.

If your home is secure and your beds are covered, consider donating that extra quilt to warm someone else. I've found it works both ways, because your heart will be warmed as well.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tuesday's Tile - Man in the Moon

Quilter's Tile - Man in the Moon
8" x 8"
©2012 - Sharon V. Rotz

As I mentioned in my last post, I experimented with stamping on fabric, creating my own patterned fabrics. Of the three fabrics I made, I chose my most orderly fabric, stamped in nice neat rows, for today's Quilter's Tile.

As with most projects, I had that "where should I go with this" moment. Should I treat this as another patterned fabric or should it be the focus of my design? Perhaps I should use this to make a traditional quilt block. Or..............

Before I thought too long, I took my rotary cutter and slashed it into four parts. Problem solved. 

I added in narrow bands of a lovely blue hand-dyed fabric, it's water, isn't it?

Wandering on, I added color with a narrow strip of gold and blue large scale print fabric that I purchased on a quilting trip.  Still I didn't really have a focus but it was definitely getting more interesting. At this point I was thinking that the strips would end up vertical, perhaps like reeds with water in the background.

I found more of the gold and blue print. Perhaps some circles. As I tried different circle sizes, I turned the square and suddenly the perfect spot for a moon appeared. A little maneuvering of the circle, adding in more of the blue, and up popped the man in the moon. Do you see him?

Lesson of the day: Run and jump right in, swim around a bit and don't be afraid to look from a different angle.

Check back next Tuesday to see where my next stamped fabric leads me.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Do You Like Your Ducks in a Row?

This week I thought I would take a step away from the sewing machine and my rotary cutter and have some fun stamping on fabric to create my own unique designs.

 The fabric paints I used were Jacquard Textile color and Dye-Na-Flow. I carved two stamps from white polymer erasers readily available in the office supply section of the local store.

Put a little stamp in my hand and I found out how regimented I can be. I found myself lining up all my stamps in nice even rows. The Dye-Na-Flow was perhaps a little thin for this process but gave a more watery, transparent look that I found interesting.

In this sample, I stretched out a bit and got a little further away from that straight and even look. The Textile Color paint has more body and worked well for stamping.

Finally, I managed to break out and get away from straight lines.

I can't wait to use my samples and see where they will take me. How would you use them?

Come back again, I can see these becoming my next Quilter's Tiles. See you on Tuesday.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tuesday's Tile - It's Not Always Hearts and Roses

Quilter's Tile - alias Tooth Fairy Pillow
8" x 8"
©2012 - Sharon V. Rotz

A Valentine filled with hearts and roses wasn't on the tile this Valentine's Day. Not when you get a phone call with important news. "Grandpa, I've got something exciting to tell you. I lost my first tooth."

Of course, this deserves an important gift. A tooth fairy pillow in which to place that treasured tooth and others to follow.

A lily pad shape was perfect for the pocket.

Nicholas' name was added with machine stitched letters. Because this is not something I do often, this step took a little time as I  had to try several times and get out my sewing machine manual. Now that I am more familiar with the technique, I'm brainstorming on other ways I can use this feature. (Do you have any ideas for me?)

When frogs are in the picture, perhaps the tooth fairy looks like a dragonfly? I made this one from two layers of sheer placed on a stabilizer. After I stitched the shape, I trimmed close to the stitching.

Here is my Quilter's Tile for the week, turned tooth fairy pillow ready and waiting to be stuffed and finished.

I hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day, whether there are hearts (or frogs) coming your way.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Happy Quilted Chocolate Valentines Day

Thinking of those red hearts and sentimental verses?

Try a quilted valentine this year. Here we have a lovely (low calorie) treat. Chocolate hearts decorated with vanilla icing. 

Easy to make. Use a fusible to attach your heart to the backing and stitch around it with your favorite machine stitch (blanket stitch or zigzag works well). Couch down yarn (by zigzagging over it) to decorate.

For those of you who prefer just a touch of chocolate, try it in reverse. Vanilla hearts with chocolate icing.

To double the fun, try free motion quilting (hearts, of course) to finish your piece.

Happy Day to all of you.  

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tuesday's Tiles - Chocolate and Chartreuse

Quilter's Tile - Chocolate and Chartreuse
8" x 8"
©2012 - Sharon V. Rotz
I am amused by the fact that we, as fiber artists, often strive to make quilts that resemble flat paintings and other artists strive to add brush strokes and shading to mimic the look of texture.

We have that world of texture right at our finger tips.  We can employ the use of a vast number of three-dimensional techniques to create our art work. We have an unlimited supply of fibers which we can add to our flat surface. We have threads and stitching that can bring our work (or should we really say, play) to new heights.

In this week's Tuesday's Tile I've played (It was certainly more play than work.) with different yarns and a bit of gift wrap.

As I was looking at a roll of chartreuse wrapping paper, I noted on the label that it was metallic poly.


I know Poly.
Although, I usually address her by her given name, Poly Ester. (even when I'm not mad at her)

Poly and my sewing machine have been friends for a long time.

If this wrapping paper is poly, I can sew it! And, I did!

Before, I stitched I did have a little fun with a heat gun, warping Poly's personality at bit.

What's new with you? Have you been busy this week?
Have you created a tile that you would like to share? If you have, please add a comment.

Friday, February 3, 2012

What a Simple Plan

Did you ever have a simple plan that turned into a multiple week adventure?

I thought it was an easy plan. I wanted to take a photo of my art quilt in the Winter's Garden exhibit. But there are days and then there are more days.

Day 1:  Got to the exhibit. Not opened.
Day 2:  Got to the exhibit. Forgot the camera.
Day 3:  Got to the exhibit. Camera battery was dead.
Day 4:  Got to the exhibit. Got in the middle of a tour group.

Yes, we followed a flock of mallards right up to the door.

But, I finally got in with camera working and once again enjoyed the beauty of the orchids and the artwork.

I even got a photo of my quilt in the exhibit.

A lesson learned. 

When I paid a visit to the Art of the Quilter II exhibit, I arrived with my camera in hand and working and snapped these photos.

The entries were varied and each fascinated us with the mastering of different technique.

The quilts were artfully arranged to show off at their best.

 Our lives are enriched when we have the opportunity to view beautiful art. It captures our imagination and inspires us.

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