Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Every Trip Needs a New Purse!

Last weekend I enjoyed a wonderful time with my best friend from high school, Christina, and her husband, Nate.  Christina kindly flew me down for a weekend away from crazy family life and a chance to spend some time together without my kids, something we hadn't done in four years.   We went out to dinner, tried a yoga class,  and had a three hour lunch at a local winery, followed by wine tasting.  I don't remember the last time I enjoyed such relaxed luxury, although I'm still feeling the yoga from Saturday morning. 

As I was getting ready for the trip last Thursday, I was feeling like my purse was a little tired (I think I had made it before my last trip down there) and too small now that I actually have a cell phone.  I pulled out a large, left over piece of quilted fabric from "Hope in the Storm" and made a simple fold over purse.  I added a fabric paper pocket under the flap to hold my phone and lipstick.  The straps are another piece of the same quilted fabric.  I didn't take the time to measure the strap before sewing in on--whoops.  No problem, I just tied a simple knot to shorten it up.  I added the fabric paper circles on the front for fun and color.  I love how it turned out.  I think I might make a few more from some half finished quilts that I'm not in love with.  Purses seem the perfect way to create something both beautiful and functional.

Now that I had the purse, I needed somewhere to stash all my cards and ID.  Another piece of fabric paper with more circles and I was ready to go.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Spiralling Circles

Here's my latest creation aging in my art room.  I have had this piece of quilted, painted fabric hanging around since October.  I had all kinds of ideas percolating before the Christmas art show, commission, book excitement began.  Finally, my urgent to do list is taken care of and I have a little time to work on all those ideas. 

I quilted the fabric in one big spiral.  It created a bit of a puff in the center, but it seemed to flatten a little with painting. Then, I sewed down all the circles and it reappeared.  Luckily, I think I can flatten it by fusing on an additional backing fabric when I am done, but that will come later. 

I'm currently at the embellishment experimentation stage.  I find it useful to lay things out and leave them for a while to make sure I still like the idea.  Since I don't have a lot of room and I can't hang them on the wall with the embellishments just sitting there, I lay them on large canvases and stack them up.  I find the method works pretty good as long as the pieces are smaller than 24"x24".  The stretcher bars of the canvas create an air space so the layers aren't actually touching.  Usually the stack ends up on the ironing board, but I can easily move it if another project need the iron, or the rare occasion when the wrinkles in his shirt are too much for my husband (Don't worry, he knows how to move things too).  For this piece, I'm playing with flat, circular shell beads in various sizes and colors.  The spiral reminds me of a snail, so I thought the shell was appropriate.  The pastel colors remind me a bit of Easter eggs.  Maybe he will be my Easter Snail.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Coming of the Chosen One...

A bit of free time this weekend -- what an unexpected luxury.  My husband was a big "eco" meeting for his latest project and the kids were actually cooperating.  Saturday afternoon was quiet in the Wheeler household.  I was able to finish my latest Pizza Planet quilt, The Coming of the Chosen One.  This is the first time I have included a whole phrase in a quilt, but I couldn't resist.  This is now my kids favorite piece of art because of its reference to the Little Green Men.  It think it is a lot of fun, too!  The pictures really don't do it justice. 

One of my favorite details is the beaded edge along the bottom.  I've never done a fringe before and I love how it turned out.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Pizza Planet Revisited

I have had this quilt roughly laid out since the last Twelve by Twelve challenge reveal in January.  I wanted to create more Pizza Planet quilts since I love the colors so much.  But then obligations came along and I just didn't have time.  This one sat, sandwiched between two canvases, under a pile of other work for a month and a half.  Finally this week, with most of my other projects off the to do list, I was able to come back to it.  I readjusted the layout and stitched down the circles with gold thread.  Now I am in the process of adding embellishments.  I can't get the phrase, "the coming of the chosen one demands celebration" out of my mind, so I think this one will include some text.  Plus I think some beading is in order.  Right now it looks flat to me.  I'm sure that is because everything I have made in the last month has had three dimensional elements.
Now to go see what I can find to spruce this baby up!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Big Brown Blue and Sage Reveal

Winter Tree Line
Yesterday was our latest reveal day over at Twelve by Twelve .  Surprisingly, I actually created two quilts for this challenge.  I was a bit stumped by the colors in the beginning and didn't have a lot of time to think about ideas.  The past month and a half has had my head reeling.  Luckily, when I sat down to work the ideas came.  I used the inspiration outside my window.  Winter Tree Line is the evergreens lining the hill behind our neighbors house.  I opted to ignore all the gray clouds and instead capture a sunny, blustery sky.  Spring Thaw is inspired by the old barn and long gone fields of crops of our little neighborhood. 

Make sure to head over to our group blog and check out all the other wonderful quilts.  Plus, we have a book release celebration and giveaway currently going on for the next twelve days.  Make sure to enter to win a free copy of our new book Twelve by Twelve, The International Art Quilt Challenge!

Spring Thaw