Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Borders - Decisions, Decisions!

For the 4th project in my color and design class, I made a Ricky Tims' Convergence Quilt with Kaffe Fassett fabrics in the analogous complementary colors of  red, red-orange, orange and blue-green. Now comes the borders and I am stymied. Ricky's book offers several ideas, but I am having trouble visualizing how the borders will either complement or detract from the quilt.

I tried pinning fabric swatches to my design wall, but I just couln't seem to get a good visual. I just got EQ7 and I should be able to mock up my quilts using this software, but I'm just learning how to use it and I'm not there yet. So, I decided to try something I am very comfortable with - PowerPoint!

I really didn't want to spend time scanning in fabrics, so I just filled blocks with colors that approximate my fabrics.   Ricky's book shows blocks of fabrics used for the convergence center used again in the borders - so I tired it with 2 different rotations:
opposites                                  and                         like on like

Then I used tried and true black with some stripes of my fabrics and I loved it. So, this is what my Complex Complementary Convergence Quilt will look like!

Next I'll play with binding.

Curious about color!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Color and Design Class Project #3 - Complementary Colors

I love the 3rd Saturday of the month, because that's when I get to go to Stitching Traditions in Topeka and take the Color and Design class from Kathy Pflaum. What a treat! My mind is all a-whirl when I leave there with all sorts of colors, designs, various media options. Kathy and my classmates are amazing!

This month our assignment was to use complementary colors from the color wheel.  Since I had so many red-violet fabrics from last month, I decided to to stay with that color and add its complement yellow-green.

One of the techniques on my bucket list is to add some prairie points a-la Susan Cleveland. It was really easy using Susan's prairie pointer tool.  The hardest part was getting the points all lined up in the seams.

Since we discussed implied texture and actual texture in our last class, I decided to add shell beads to the tips of the points, giving the prairie points even more texture. The quilting seemed obvious to me - just follow the lines of the prairie points.

Son Jim takes a look and pronounces that my wall hanging looks like a dragon's back or tail - so now I have a cool name for the quilt - "Dragon's Tail".

This wall hanging will go into the mini quilt auction to benefit local Lawrence charities at our annual quilt show on April 6-7.

Always curious in class!

Friday, January 18, 2013

A Studio That Works - Plastic or Personality?

When I think about my studio, the first word that comes to mind is organization. That's always been a favorite word as well as concept - I like things organized. I tend to evaluate things based on how well organized they are - events, people, rooms, patterns, etc.  
Yesterday and Monday I was lucky to have presented (with Jerry V. and Becky M - Thanks!) the program for the Kaw Valley Quilters' Guild - a program on Studio Organization - or more precisely - Studios: Where Women Create.  Based on some comments from guild members, I think it went over well.  I was so inspired by the women and their spaces we visited to prepare for the program. 

I went into this process leaning mostly toward organization - tidiness, a place for everything, functionality. I still think that stuff is important. In the presentation I acknowledged the importance of inspiration, creativity, the soul-full aspect of a creative space. I mean I understand these elements, but I'm not sure MY studio has these elements.  Have I sacrificed inspiration for organization? Has plastic triumphed over passion? Or do I need simplicity, empty walls, containerized and covered storage so that I don't get overwhelmed? 

I've really tried in the last few years to get rid of extraneous "stuff" so that the space I have can be home to the things I really love.  In my studio I need tools and  room to design, plan, cut, sew, and press my work in progress. And I need space to store my fabric, notions, and patterns.
I feel I have done that - OK, but not spectacularly.  Part of me thinks I would like to have jars of threads arranged by color - oh so beautiful. Instead I have plastic stack-ables keeping thread together by thread weight and purpose. Not so pretty but it works better for me. 

So I guess I am having some Studio Angst. Do I want a studio out of the pages of a magazine, or do I want a studio that works for ME? 
Both? OK, if I have to choose, I will choose one that works for me. At this point, it mostly works for me.

 There is a desk to sit and think/work at; an adequate cutting table with drawers for storage.

My over-sized pressing table allows ample room for pressing as well as fabric lay-out.  The book shelf and large filing cabinet in the closet hold patterns, instructions, inspiration and ideas.

Thankfully, I have an extra closet where my fabric lives in plastic stack-ables and tubs to protect them from light and dust.  

I have a portable and adequate design wall that works, but is not exactly what I want. The traffic flow (and possibly even feng shui) is not great. I would like new paint and carpet. The lighting could be better too.  I have a lot of beading supplies that I am not ready to part with, but that is taking up prime real estate in my studio - I should probably find a better home for them.  I also have a beautiful chest that my Dad (who passed away 5 years ago today) made to hold my cross stitch supplies and patterns.

    So, my studio is functional with room for improvement. Goals for this year: (1) make the improvements needed for functionality, (2) add a few personal, inspirational touches that proclaim my personality, (3) and remember it's not so much the space that's as important as what happens there!
Curious in my studio,

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Electric Quilt 7 Program - So Excited!

    Today my Christmas present - EQ7 arrived. I have installed it, viewed all the tutorial videos and am now going to get down to business learning how to use it. I already have a list of quilts that I want to make; a task made easier with the features in this program.
    I am so excited! I think I will start designing a quilt with blocks named for Kansas. I've done a quick copy and paste with photos I found on the net, but now I can really design it in a way that it can actually be sewn together and fit!
  Gotta go play with my new toy!
Curious about EQ7,