Monday, March 02, 2015

Falling
a work in progress...
This quilt started as an experiment with surface design.  I had an idea.  Paint some thin batik lines on white fabric, making sure they are widely spaced, and dye different colors on each stripe.  Then capture those colors by stamping a big circle and fill in the circle with wax.  Done!   Then bleach discharge the fabric, and overdye a different color.  Repeat with various combinations of colors.  I then cut the fabric into squares and arranged the blocks...
And I do kind of like the abstract quality of the circles and squares and random arrangement.  But apparently, not enough to actually sew them together, because they sat around my studio for a long time.  Meanwhile, many other projects were started and completed, and this one just sat, waiting for it's turn. 
Eventually, I pulled the blocks down, and put them on a shelf.  This winter, I got a new idea for the blocks.  Cut the squares into circles!! Yes!! Let's try it. 
And use some curves, and surround them with tons of white empty space.  They became strings of beads, on a BIG scale.  I think the quilt is about 60" square, maybe larger?  Each "bead" is about 4 inches across (aka, diameter!).  I like it, I like it a lot!
Now, all that's left is the quilting.  I wasn't sure about the first idea I had, so I made a small sample:
Oh yes!  I like this too!  Good idea.  Now, I only have to DO it.  It is hard to free motion a big quilt, and hard to do close echo quilting from multiple starting points (each line of beads), and not run into pleats on the backs.  This will be challenging to do it right.  I can tell you that by the time I get to the hand quilting with black thread, I will be choosing Aurofil's new floss, and having a good time.  However, I am not there yet.  Hey and if you are wondering how those circles are attached, think no further than the magic of Mistyfuse



Tuesday, February 24, 2015

QuiltCon2015 - Quilts and Vendors
QuiltCon2015 - from the Press Room
First a note about some of my favorite quilts.  These are just a FEW of the very many that I loved at the show.  I don't know why I selected these to take photos of, but I did.  If you would like to see more, you can find them on the Modern Quilt Guild website, here, or perhaps on Luana Rubin's Flickr page, here.  And many of them have been on both FB and Instagram, so please explore!  It will be worth your while if you didn't get to the show!
This one is subtle, but it draws me in.  I love it, I love the fabrics, and the quilting.  All good!
I love Amanda's work, every time I see it.  The joy of piecing curves (which I have not found yet)!  Look at all the quilting lines!  Wonderful!!
I absolutely love the pattern and colors.  This quilt sings in person.  And it is really large.  LOVE IT!
A detail of the wonderful quilting!  Love!!
Love this one.  Love the colors, but also all the wonderful modern fabrics, and the play with shapes.  Well done!
I was surprised to see the hand quilting with this.  It works wonderfully!  Good addition to an already wonderful quilt!
Love the colors and shapes!  I could stare at this one a long time!
Love the play of brights with neutrals.  Very pleasurable! See Terry's website here.
Ah, one from the wonderful tuning fork series.  Heather, you knock my socks off! Thanks for the inspiration!
Next, some of my favorite vendors.  We couldn't do all this without you!!!


To Mistyfuse, I love you!  You make my dreams come true.  I iron a bit of Mistyfuse to fabric and cut out the shape I want, and presto, it becomes real as I iron to another piece of fabric.  Magic!  This is the best stuff, ever!
To Malka Dubrawsky, my teacher and owner of Stitch N Dye, I am profoundly happy that I have found artistic expression through batik and dyeing.  Your class changed my life.  Thank you!!
To Juki and Superior Threads, you make it all come together!  You maximize many fond hours of sewing joy!
 To Havel's scissors, proud sponsors of Dinner@Eight exhibits, you make some seriously great scissors!! The newist to my collection, a pair of snippets!  Thank you!  I look forward to using them.  

Ah another favorite, friendly and welcoming, Michele Muska at ez Quilting, just like the tools she carries.  Fun booth, many great tools and inspiration for quilters!

To Soak, a new addition to my list of favorites.  I look forward to giving this one a try!  It will fill a much needed niche in the cycle of creation and caring for my creations!

After the show was over, I volunteered, along with a few new and old friends, to take down the quilts.  Here we are, hamming it up a bit! 




Saturday, February 21, 2015

i Quilt - Best in Show!!!
The judges selected my quilt for Best in Show!  I still can hardly believe it.  With tears in my eyes, and a knot the size of Mt. Olympus in my stomach, I approached the stage on wobbly legs to shake Jacquie Gering's hand, get a big hug and accept the award!  What a tremendous honor!!
It's like going from zero to 80 in a nanosecond....or as the little pig says, "Pure Adrenaline"! Ha!
It is a bit overwhelming, but in a very good way.

I met the sponsors of the prize, Gammill Quilting Machines, to whom I owe a great thanks!  And, truthfully, I am still floating on air.

My quilt was also featured in an interview about QuiltCon on Houzz.com, which showed many of the quilts, a fantastic story!  It is an honor to be included in such an esteemed group of quilt makers!
One of my favorite photos of the experience:
photo by Rebecca Maples
Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Big Blue
83" x 83"
Should I make it bigger?  It already feels rather largish!! Here's a drawing for scale.
...and especially when I consider having to quilt it?  Imagine pushing this little gem under your home sewing machine...Happy, happy!

Meanwhile, though I LOVE how this looks, I am disappointed that it used so little of my stash.  This is the after picture.
This box is crammed packed on the right side.  (Scroll down to see the before picture or click here). The left over cut strips are on the left side.  I used less than half the box to make this quilt.  On the bright side, at least there will be enough fabric to make a back for it!  I really look forward to that part of it.  I love making design decisions and just letting the creativity flow!!

Now if I multiply this project by the number of boxes of fabric I have, and then consider the time it took to make this top, I see at least a year of work, without the quilting part thrown in.  True confessions of a quilter....

Friday, February 06, 2015

Blue
45" and growing...

I have decided to do some stash busting!  I have been collecting fabric for over 20 years, and it is time to do some cleaning out again.  I have given fabric away before, but this time I decided to use it up in the form of making quick quilts to either sell or donate....not sure about that part yet.  All I know is that I am currently interested in learning more about modern quilts and design, so hopefully this could be quite the interesting little project and also useful to me to clean out the studio, and potentially useful to the person or persons who acquire these quilts! 
I have about 14 containers like this from the Container store.  They are packed to the gills.  It partly explains why I typically buy fat quarters, because they fit in my boxes more easily!  And though it looks like an overwhelming amount of fabric, I would just like to say that for the most part, each piece was purchased with a specific project in mind.  I rarely shop for fabric just to own it and cherish it.  Not that there is anything wrong with that!
Meanwhile, this fabric could be having a useful life, instead of being locked away in these boxes waiting for an audition that may never come....
Strip piecing seemed like it would level the playing field and let all the fabrics come together.  Here was my work session at the beginning of the week.
It begins with the cutting.  I selected 5 arbitrary widths and then just started cutting one piece at a time.  Whatever didn't fit into a strip got tossed away. I am planning largish sized quilts, so this one isn't quite done yet.  It is currently at 65" x 65" after just 4 days of sewing.  I am amazed at how quickly it comes together.  Obviously it may be a different story when it comes to finishing it up.  And, I don't have a stash of large fabric for the back, so I may end up just putting two tops together.  Wish me luck!


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Earth Stories

The Studio Art Quilt Associates show, Earth Stories, opens today at the University of Central Missouri Gallery of Art and Design, Warrensburg, Missouri, January 19 - February 28, 2015. There are many stories of hope across the globe. Both individuals and small groups are working on projects that, when added together, make a positive impact on increasing the quality of life on this planet. Earth Stories celebrates the stories of people or projects that enhance the planet, make a significant difference in restoring and/or protecting the environment, increase sustainability and otherwise improve the earth we all occupy.
Crowded House
 Inspired by Annie Lennox at The Story of Stuff, I created my pieces for the exhibit to start a dialogue about over-consumerism. On a personal level, I have too much stuff.  I am in conflict because I value a simple lifestyle, so I decided to count all the objects in my house. It took me 6 months. The larger piece is called Crowded House, and is a testimony to too much stuff, as it spills out of the confines of the edges of my house. And it has the Number...the ginormous number of objects in my house.
Crowded House - detail

The second piece is called Manufactured Demand.  The smaller piece is a tribute to a few of the many brands of bottled water and the trash resulting from it.   And as the title implies, advertising has convinced us that we need bottled water...in order to make a profit, at the expense of wasting huge amounts of petroleum, both in making the bottles for the water and transporting it to all the grocery stores, often for a resource that comes to us mostly free right out of our taps.
Manufactured Demand
To see more of my project, use the link "Earth Stories" in the sidebar under "Labels", or go here.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Cat Hats

My daughter and I have been playing a "game" involving her toys and specifically these 4 beanie baby cats.  It involves secretly placing the cats rather life-like positions and waiting until the other person finds them....and then laughs hysterically.  My favorite was this one of the cats left in the refrigerator sniffing my salmon!  Too funny!
Or maybe this one?  of the cat sleeping upside down on one of our cat shelves?
These two poses were her gifts to me.  This is one of mine to her....climbing the tulips kitty....

For Christmas, my daughter let me know that she was expecting something interesting for the cats.  Drats!  I hadn't even thought that far ahead! I finally came up with this at the last minute.  I knitted scarfs for each cat and made them little hats.  I had intended to make red and white Santa hats, but I didn't have any red felt, so I improvised.  I actually like the individualized colors better.  It looks so cute!  And it was fun to have a little secret project to surprise the young teenager!


What I learned:  if you knit tiny scarfs for cat toys with tiny knitting needles, it still takes an unreasonably long time to do it!!  Must use larger knitting needles!


First day back to school, the kitties sit by the window....waiting....
Kitties "play" the guitar, or play on the guitar?
If you are following me on Instagram, you may have seen how the beanie baby game has changed slightly to the sharky game.  Stay tuned, I will post those photos here too!  Or you can follow me on Instagram at kakiyork.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Charity Quilt by Austin Modern Quilt Guild


The Austin Modern Quilt Guild is participating in the QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge.  Participating guilds use a predetermined color palette and collaboratively make a quilt.  The quilts will be on display at QuiltCon Feb 19-21, and then donated to a charity for children.  

This project was perfect for me and I was so glad that our guild decided to participate. It was a fun and easy project!  This one came as a small kit with the fabric and instructions in little ziploc baggies that our guild members cut and assembled.  I picked up 2 sets to make a few blocks for our charity quilt organized by Amanda Hohnstreiter.   Meanwhile, it was fun to learn something new!!  I mailed the blocks and some of our guild members magically transformed the collection into this WONDERFUL quilt!!
I love it!!  And, I look forward to seeing all the charity quilts hanging together at QuiltCon. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Pi Project
aka, playing with numbers!
This next year Pi Day will fall on 3.14.15!  A very cool combination!  In celebration The Pi Project plans to make a very long ribbon of fabric numbers, all sewn together, with the correct sequence of pi.  The public is being encouraged to participate by donating 9.5" x 9.5" numbers.  Details can be found here.  I decided this might be a fun project, so I spent the day making numbers!  And if you are curious, I didn't make them in order, nor did I intend to make this many!  I planned to make just a few, maybe three?  But then I started having too much fun!!
Fusible applique on commercial cottons
Made from individually cut batiked squares and fused to the background.
some of my batiked flowers, individually cut, and fused together, then cut in the shape of a 2 and fused to the background.
some fabric from my Urban Landscapes fused to the checkered background.
Fusible applique on some fun commercial cottons.
Individually cut batik circles fused to the background and top-stitched
both 8's use some of my hand made batiks, the first has hand-stitching, the second machine stitching.  I liked them both, so decided to send both!
Playing with them now!  Don't they look cute in this hopscotch layout!  Might be fun to make a quilt like this!