Thursday, August 10, 2017

I Like #29

I'm very late today getting this up, but at least I'm not missing it!!  Several things to like this week in my arena, and I hope in yours as well!

1.  I like crafty friends!  A friend of mine named Trish Maxwell is a quilter here in OKC who makes memory quilts for people.  Her business is called Journey Quilt Co.  and her stuff is fabulous.  She's a super fun lady and it's always really cool to see someone who has made quilting a profitable business.  It's especially cool because though I know many professional longarmers who have profitable businesses, her business model is a bit different and I love that variety.  Anyway,  she made me a super super adorable wallet as a thank you present, and I was so excited!  Apart from being lovely, it's made from that cool new cork fabric (the outer pink) that I keep hearing about but hadn't yet seen or bought.  She said it was great to work with, and I think it would be really cool for bags (that seems to be what most people are doing with it).  Thanks Trish!!

2.  I like getting to see quilt/art shows!  This weekend was the opening of our annual juried fiber arts show for the Fiber Artists of Oklahoma.  It was wonderful to hear the jurors lecture, and to get to see the show.  My favorite part about this show is that since it's all fiber media, not just quilts, there's so much variety I don't often get to see.  There were lots of great quilts, but many of the things that caught my eye were other types of things.

Coral Dreams of the Life of the Jellies by Lynn Lucas

Daisy Domergue by Darcy Lenker

Sunset, by Janet Shipley Hawks

Red, White, and Blue, by Shan Goshom

3.  I like discovering new artists!  I'd never heard of Blake Conroy before, but he had an exhibit in a separate gallery space at the same place as our show was hung, and his work is fabulous!! He's experimenting with layers in a way very similar to what I want to do and have been doing, but at a much more detailed way.  I think from looking at them, that the layers in each of these pieces are cut (laser cut I think) from a light weight matboard.  So cool.

 4.  I like fixing things!  The electronic condenser on one of my microscopes broke this week, and I was so proud of myself for being able to take it apart, figure out what was wrong and fix it.  Sometimes it's the small things!

5.  I still like sailing!  We didn't get to fly the spinnaker last night because we were short crew, but as a result it was calm enough on the downwind legs of the race that I was able to get a couple pictures of the other spinnakers.  So pretty.

Have a great week and thanks to LeeAnna!

Friday, August 4, 2017

New Sculptural Pieces

Back in May I blogged about this small sculptural piece I made out of an old quilt sandwich I painted, cut into a mariner's compass block, and then sculpted.

Recently I decided it might show better as part of a set and I wanted to see what other shapes I could make from standard-ish star blocks, so I made two more.  I drafted my stars slightly differently, and for one I wanted to see what would happen if I stretched the star out.  Once again I started with leftover fabric/quilt sandwiches so some of the pieces already had stuff on them before I started to paint over them.  Here are the front/back views of the two after I painted them and started the quilting.

And here are the stars after I started cutting them out.

And here are the two new sculptures.  The top one is the one that was elongated.

And finally a couple shots of all three together.  Photographing them was quite challenging!

These were fun to make, but something about them isn't as exciting to me as some of my other work.  It's hard to put my finger on, but maybe it's just that they feel a little too cutesy?  Part of it may be the color scheme- I picked it because I like these colors, but they don't feel terribly vibrant or compelling.  And part of it may be the curly frilly nature of them.  I'll have to do more 3D exploring in future!

I'm linking up with Nina-Marie!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

I like #28

Lots to like this week, and I hope you guys have all found pleasant things around you as well.

1.  I like fiber festivals!  I've been to lots of quilt shows, but never to a fiber festival before, but I had to drop a quilt off in Tulsa and my friend Melody wanted to go to the fiber festival, so we made a day of it.  It was mainly targeted at spinners and yarn aficionados.  There were so many beautiful beautiful batts and yarns and roving and even some unprocessed wool.  I didn't taken any pictures which I can't believe, the rainbows of colors were fantastic.  I don't need any yarn, so I promised myself I wouldn't buy any, but I did get a few miscellaneous things.  I also learned a ton, the vendors were so helpful at explaining things and demonstrating carding and spinning.  Fabulous!  The one we went to was Fiber Christmas.

2.  I love my pyrex!  Lots of people collect vintage pyrex and its very pretty.  I'm not much of a collector (apart from art supplies and my mom's pottery) but I have two pyrex pieces that were both hand-me-downs from my mom.  I use the white casserole dish fairly often, but I have several other pottery casserole dishes so it's not the most commonly used thing.  But that little brown pot is the single most used pot in my kitchen.  Since it's microwave safe, I use it for virtually everything I cook in the microwave, from re-heating leftovers to canned soup, to frozen vegetables.  It's also one of the few pots that in size/purpose I don't have a duplicate of.  I'd be very sad if it ever broke.

3. I love my Bullett dog!  I love my other dogs too, but Bullett is the only one who will sit still long enough to take a good picture.  I'm so pleased they leave my toads alone!  And on that note, we recently acquired (if acquired is the right term for something that has taken up residence in the backyard) another toad.  One is stripey and the other slightly plainer.  Bentley will still nose at them when he goes outside but after a quick nose-bump he wanders off and leaves them alone.

4.  I love using scraps and making bags!  Since I finished my latest quilt, (come back tomorrow to check out my post on it), I'm taking a breather and making a new handbag.  I have some fun upholstery remnants I'm going to make the body out of (the warm brown on the left, tapestry in the middle, and dark turquoise corduroy on the right).  As an accent fabric I'm going to use one ore more of the scraps of handwoven fabric that are pinned up around the edges.  My friend Georgia (who kindly gave me so much yarn and fabric) was a weaver and gave me the scraps of her handweaving.  They're mostly long strips with lovely colors.  Tell me what combination of main fabric/accent fabric (s) you like best!  I'm looking for opinions! You can see the colors a bit better in the detail shots.

 5.  I love this little walkway at work.  I go down it each day walking to and from the parking garage and it has such lovely large trees that arc over and create a very cool feeling shady lane.  In the fall it's gorgeous, I'll share some more pictures then.

Thanks as always to LeeAnna!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

I Like #27

Welcome to another week of I like!  

1.  I like fixing things!  I was talking to LeeAnna (I think!) last week after her mention of lawn ornaments about how I have a nifty black bear my grandpa made and a red bird whirligig on top of it.  Unfortunately the red bird had gotten really old and the center dowel his wings were mounted on had rotted and his wings had fallen off etc. etc. etc.  But this weekend I finally fixed him!  I took him all apart, replaced the middle dowel, and gave all his parts a fresh paint job.  Now he's back spinning in the breeze!  Unfortunately I see now that I need to repaint my bear too, but that'll have to wait because I think he needs a bit of sanding first.

2. I like kitty-cats!  I can't have them any more because my allergies are too bad, but even though I'm a hardcore dog person, I love cats too.  It was a sad time on that front here this week, my sister's cat Motor was killed by a car, but seeing my friend's two adorable cats lined up outside his house reminded me that they can be pretty cute in their own snooty way.  

3.  I like seeing pictures of exhibitions I can't make it to.  My mom and I both had pieces in the SAQA regional show Under the Western Sun, and my mom was the one who secured a second venue for it in Socorro New Mexico.  In a very old school caravan kind of way, the ladies who hung the show at its first venue in Colorado took the quilts to Santa Fe, passed them off to SAQA members there who then drove south to Socorro.  My mom drove up from her house, a couple of hours the other direction, to help hang the show.  It's at the Macey Center at New Mexico Tech, so if anyone is in the Albuequerque/Socorro/central New Mexico area you should go see it.  I won't see it, but I'm so glad she sent me these pictures!

4.  I love my Grandpa!  He passed away last fall, but his birthday was this week, so we've all been thinking about him.  He was such a smart interesting man, and I love hearing my mom tell stories about when she was a kid.  He made really beautiful scale models of ships and trains and houses, and when we were little, he always let my sister and I play with his tiny tools.  I remember spending many hours pretending to take apart his porch swing with little bitty screwdrivers and pliers.

5.  I love my grandma!  She's the one who always sends letters with lots of stamps, and this week she emailed me a picture of this cool wooden train that my [other] grandpa just finished putting together.  It's pretty cool- it's powered by rubber bands and actually goes.  Pretty nifty.  Maybe at some point I'll get a video of it in action.  I love when she sends me pictures and other things!

6.  I like flowers!  (Duh).  The bloom in this picture is pretty small, but now it's expanded to normal geranium bloom size.  I really liked the way it looked like it was kissing its reflection in the window though!

Thanks to LeeAnna as always!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

I Like #26

Another week of I Like has cropped up before I know it!  I should plan my posts on Wednesdays instead of waiting until Thursday morning!

Without further ado, here are some things I liked this week:

1. I like my plants!  Obviously you guys are all aware of this, but it makes me so happy to see them growing.  Nothing is flowering yet, but this is another one of the new small sprouts I got from the farmers market a couple weeks ago.  I'm not sure what it is, but it seems to be growing fairly well.   The little mini plants growing off of each leaf make me super happy, although the plant man said to watch out, they'll fall off in your other plants and then start growing again!  I actually started a couple in another pot already and they're sprouting!  Unfortunately I'm not sure why, but the new growth in the last two weeks (which is substantial) is fairly yellow.  You can see it on the two smaller leaves that are vertical in this picture.  It's right now living on my porch which is protected from any direct sun.  It has been really hot lately (over 100), and though I've been keeping him watered, I wonder if I should move him inside.  Does anyone know anything about yellow leaves?  He really has been growing fast-  that's about 2 inches of new leaf in two weeks, just weirdly yellow.

3. I like sewing clothes!  I don't sew that many, and I don't particularly like sewing complicated or finely tailored things, but skirts and some tops are fairly easy and fun.  I wear skirts a lot, but found that I wasn't wearing some of my more recent makes very often because they didn't have pockets.  So over the weekend I sewed up this drop-waist circle skirt out of some fabric I picked up on clearance when Hancocks closed last year.   I like doing a drop waist on circle skirts so they're still twirly but you don't have all that fabric around the hips.  The green band you see in the pictures at the bottom of my purple shirt isn't the skirt, it's a dark green camisole I'm wearing under the purple shirt.  The drop waist part of the skirt is the same material as the rest of the skirt, you just can't see it in the pics.  I still have a bunch of this green fabric left, it's a bit heavy and itchy for tops, so I'll have to think of something to do with it.

3.  On the clothes subject,  I love the blog Male Pattern Boldness.  The blogger, Peter, is a fantastic clothes sewer, an excellent tailor/draper who makes beautiful clothes for men and women.  Plus his blog is fun and approachable.  If you're at all interested in clothes sewing, it's worth following his blog or instagram.

4. I love starting new things!  I started a new quilt last week for our upcoming regional SAQA NM (also including TX/UT/WY and CO) show, Life Along the Rio Grande, and I'm hoping to be caught up enough to blog about it in something close to real time.  I'm going to be doing the print materials again, and got organized enough to do an official logo for the show!  If any of you are in SAQA, and live in any of those regions, you should consider entering.  The details can be found here on the SAQA NM webpage (scroll down through the meeting notes).

I hope everyone is hanging in there this week through (for us) the hot (and hot and hot and still hot and holy cow we still have to get through August) part of the summer.  Thanks as always to Lee Anna!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Listen Louder than You Sing: Finished

I talked earlier in the week about the first steps for my quilt Listen Louder Than You Sing.  Today I'm back to share the finished piece.

I'm pleased to say that it was accepted into Threads of Resistance, which opened this Tuesday (July 11th) at the New England Quilt Museum.  If you're in Massachusetts, you might go to see the show, it should have some fabulous quilts.  It's also going to be touring around, so you can check out the Threads of Resistance homepage to find out if it's coming near you.

Listen Louder Than You Sing, Shannon Conley, c. 2017

I quilted it using stick quilting in many many different colors of thread.  One of my goals was to incorporate a fair amount of color change across the surface of the quilt. The background letters are openwork (i.e. you could stick your fingers through them). Each set of letters has 5-6 different colors of thread quilted over and over.

Unfortunately I squared it up a little too small, namely, I cut the top edge so there was only 3.5 inches from the top to the first row of open letters.  Anyone who's ever hung at a quilt show knows about the dratted 4" pocket, so I had to make an adjustable pocket which would open up to 4" in diameter for hanging on a fat pole at a quilt show (where hopefully the pole would be large enough to prevent the pocket from showing at the top) or would shrink down to a 3.5" pocket for hanging on flat gallery slats.  I can't believe I screwed it up that way, it was really a pain in the neck to make the pocket.  The other problem that arose was that with only 3.5 inches at the top, I really didn't want to loose another 1/4 inch in a facing, nor did I want a traditional binding.  In the end I just finished the edge with a zig-zag and couched nubbly yarn that complemented the colors of the quilt.  That turned out to be lucky because I love the edge finish.  Photographing it so you could see that the letters were openwork (not white) was difficult, but many thanks to my dad who took the pictures for me while Mike was out of town.

Thanks to the Artists Circle Alliance who organized this important show!  I'm linking up with Nina-Marie as usual!