Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Real Artists make ATCs

Here are some colorful ATCs that I made trying to get through a long, dreary spring. I used hand painted fabric and glitter glue. The fun little flowers I named "I'm Free!" The others are in reference to stormy skies. If anyone would like a free ATC just email me your mailing address. I have made quite the stash and I would love to share.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

What Started it All

This was the first project that I began and the latest to finish. Before Christmas I found my first copy of Quilting Arts magazine. Previously, I thought all quilts were like the ones my mom and husband's grandma made. I had made quilts for my babies -- squares sewn together to make a nice blanket. Upon reading Quilting Arts, a light turned on and a whole new world opened. I tried a project from an article by Beryl Taylor. It included using felt, strips of fabric, embroidery stiches and beads. One wasn't enough, so I made six. For four months they sat pinned to my living room wall waiting for a more appropriate home. Finally they found their way onto this quilt. I used the same fabric from the strips for the blocks and beaded all the seams to tie it together. Now I just need to find a place to hang it in my soft, beachy colored home.

Life to the Full

Here's my first real attempt at Art with a message. Typically I have just tried to make something pleasing to the eyes, or that creates a happy mood. After making my little Bandaged Dreams ATC, I thought I could apply the idea to a quilt. One quilt expanded to three. My first thought was to contrast the state of living a bandaged life verses a truly healed life. So often one just puts a band-aid on one's dreams instead of truly living the life one was created to be. The third quilt is images of living in a state of destruction. I originally thought to display them moving from left to right, but after mounting them on canvas, determined that stacking them vertically was more appropriate. The three symbolize Sin and Death, Salvation, and Redemption. The concepts don't translate quite linearly, but instead speak to the process of moving from Death to Life to the Full. "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Drownding in Beads

I went a little overboard making fabric beads after reading about the technique in Quilting Arts magazine. They made me think of Dreams -- more the hopes and dreams type, not the asleep type. It may be because I am starting on this new adventure and daring to dream about the future. The beads are these little bundles rolled up like a scroll. They seem to be holding some little secret inside. It you take off that ribbon, they might escape and come to life. These are some ATCs that I made with the beads. When I wrapped the beads in strips of fabric they reminded me of bandages. My mini quilt I named Bandaged Dreams. I showed it to my husband and told him it even had a name. His response was "Wow, very profound. You are a real artist." I don't know about that. I just love working with the colors and textures. The others I don't have such profound names, but they each solicit different ideas and feelings. Secret Dreams Golden Dreams Growing Dreams Stormy Dreams Wild Dreams

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Wild and Crazy for Kids

I had fun experimenting making two doll quilts for our guild to give to kids in need. My girls love bright colors, wild pattern and anything that sparkles. My family gave me a Viking Needle Felting machine for Mother's Day. I used it make the flowers from Fun Fur yarn and add a little something to the border. I am new at free motion machine quilting so the back isn't the prettiest. I know that my kids don't care, so I am hoping that others don't either. I added beads to the center of each flower to add a little sparkle. For the other quilt I used the fabric that I bought at JoAnn's day after Thanksgiving. This is what you get when you wake up at 4am to shop. It was the first time I have used angled strips in piecing. It is a quilt that is full of life, much like my house.

You've Got Mail

In my spare moments throughout the day I have been having fun making fabric postcards. I began by painting fabric with hand me down acrylic paints, adding touches of Lumiere paint. I then cut them up and sewed them back together. They are my first attempt at free motion machine quilting. My husband bought me a fancy sewing machine last year and I am only now exploring its possibilities. These two are part of the first series that I made. Most I mailed out to friends without taking pictures. I don't have a name for the diagonal rainbow, but the other is Garden Dreams. I was able to play with these while my kids were next door playing with their faux grandparents. Thank you Chuck and Barb for my occasional oasis of peace. These I made as a celebration of Easter. Instead of mailing them I have them framed and hanging on my living room wall.

Monday, May 21, 2007

A Love for Books

Our family has a passion for books. I can't even count how many we have. I know just the kids have hundreds. With so many books around I thought I would take a stab at bookbinding. Here's a look at several of the blank journals that I have made. My Trinity Journal is made from paper painted, distressed with Walnut ink and rubbed with gold wax. The hearts are fabric sewn with gold thread and beaded. The Cross was a find from my birthday shopping trip. I added the blue tassel bookmark in honor of a bible study and Numbers 15:38. The blue and orange journals were made from hand painted fabric overlayed with painted dryer sheets. The orange journal was a lesson in color theory when I started with red fabric and added a gold dryer sheet. Even my kids could have told me that red and yellow make orange. I added a fabric postcard that I made and beaded the edges. My daughter is now asking when she will get a journal with beads like mommy's.

Keeping Myself Out of Trouble

I'll try my hand at showing off some a few things I have been working on. I don't know if they are keeping me out of trouble or getting me into it-- What are those kids doing now? Honey, I think I need more supplies? Oh, look the UPS man, again. I currently have most of my work hanging from the curtain wire above my living room windows. I have found that I can hang most things with the small clips that are suppose to be for the curtain panels. I can see them well and they are out of the reach of dirty little hands. Visitors aren't too sure about my decorating sense, but I have always had a casual style. You can't be too fussy with four kids. Here are a couple art quilts I made with paper, beads, yarn and paint. The first to are 12x12. The third I mounted on a 16x20 painted canvas. I really like how it turned out. The colors of the flowers really pop. Working with the cheery colors and flower theme has been helpful this long, wet spring. Thankfully the sun is beginning to emerge on occasion. Here are a couple of purses that I made after receiving D'Arcy-Jean Milne's book Fabric Leftovers for Christmas. I tried a string of buttons for a strap. I really liked the look, but the buttons kept getting caught in my hair. I instead went with a long braid of embroidery floss and cord. They are handy little purses and I even have a matching card case for the purple one.

Welcome to the 21st Century

Somehow I seem to have missed the last eight years-- something to do with 4 kids, 3 moves, 2 goats and more chickens than I can count. I'm now ready to reclaim my artistic side that I left in college and embrace technology before I'm left in the dust. Be gentle with me. I don't always now what I'm doing, and I have never been good at doing things I'm not good at. A little about me. I'm a stay at home mom with four wonderful, energetic kids, ages 7, 6, 3, 2. We have a small farm in Washington State with goats, chickens, large garden and a tractor, fulfilling a dream of mine and my husband. Our property also included an art studio. Although my kids and husband would like to take it over and I usually end up working at the kitchen table, I am trying once again the art thing. I love working with fabric, yarn, paper and paint. -- pretty much anything that I can touch and feel. I always long to touch the works at museums and galleries. I know that is frowned upon so I will just have to create my own works of art. My latest creations have included several purses, journals, wall hangings, and fabric postcards.