Thursday, November 14, 2019

I Like #139

Hi Everyone!  Welcome to another week of things to like!

1.  I like my Sam bush!  It's at it's most glorious right now, a bright intense red with almost pink undertones.  The Bullett bush is behind it but is only about 3 inches high and has two leaves.  I really think it might die, it didn't wind up growing at all this year, but I'll plant a new one in the spring if I need to.  In any case, the Sam bush is fantastic.  Loving memories of them both!

2.  I like getting outside!  I got to take Blue on a nice hike around lake Arcadia this Saturday.  After a week of cold (and followed by another week of cold), the temperature hit 70 on Saturday so the hiking was fantastic.

3. I like this begonia!  This is my fourth begonia (I think)- it's my plant nemesis; I always manage to kill them.  But surprise surprise, at the moment this one is doing really well!  It even bloomed while I wasn't looking.  It's the only thing blooming right now, so was a cheery spot of color.  Keep your fingers crossed it continues to do well!

4. I blogged about a second fall quilt I just finished,  I love the way it turned out.  You can check it out here.

5.  I really enjoyed this article on the blog of my friend Teresa Duryea Wong.  It's about an army veteran who took up quilting with his wife after returning from several tours of duty overseas.  There's a lot of great stuff in there; the story was very moving, but I especially like how at the end she talks about how he's now a long haul truck driver (and a National Guardsman) and has set up a mini-quilting studio in his rig!  Definitely worth a read, and very timely this week as we all remember and honor those who serve(d) our nation in the armed forces!

I hope you all had a wonderful week, and hope you will click over to LeeAnna's for more things to like!

Friday, November 8, 2019

Second Fall Quilt

A week or so ago I shared a Halloween quilt I made using some of the fabrics I dyed and printed in Betty Busby's class.  It incorporated some bits of leftover improv pieced strip sets, and today I'm sharing what they were leftover from!

Last fall I took this picture outside the building where I work.  I thought it would make up into a nice fall quilt, so earlier this year when I was having some other things printed from spoonflower, I had this picture printed too.  I had a weirdly narrow strip of fabric left in my spoonflower width, so I cropped this down to fit that space.  I hate wasting fabric when printing from them.  It's printed on a shiny polyester, so in person it has nice reflectivity, which I think goes with the way the rain was reflecting in the picture.

I decided to do a fairly simple composition, just framing the picture with a border, and decided on some combination of stripes in the border.  I wanted to use my combination of weird fabrics, but those are dreadful to piece with so it came out very improv-like, by which I mean uneven :)

I used a fairly wide variety of fabrics, including sari silk, plain silk, commercial polyester, and hand dyed/painted silk and polyester.  That teal/green/yellow piece is actually a chopped up silk scarf I painted a long time ago.  I also included strips from a cotton dupatta from a salwar kameez I have but don't wear anymore.  The base is black cotton, but there's tons of gold embroidery in it, so strips of that are what I used in the strip sets, as a skinny inner border and as an outer border.

This is what it looked like after  I assembled the top.  It was challenging because since the piecing was so wonky it had a sort of sucked-in-waist look which was decidedly unsquare.  

When I have abstract things that do this, I usually just hack them off square at the end, but of course with the clear embroidered border, I couldn't do that.  I blocked very aggressively, and got it more or less in shape.  There are still a few parts where the binding is uneven with regards to the embroidery pattern in the outer border, but that's life.  It didn't help that I decided to use a dark purple silk for the binding,  that of course was very shifty too.  And then to top it off, the dark purple silk bled everywhere when I got it wet to block.  Luckily it didn't back stain and I think I got it pretty well taken care of.  

So there we have it!  Another fall quilt!  I enjoyed working on it and now I really have to get back to the things I'm *supposed* to be working on!  I hope you're having pretty fall weather wherever you are!

 Linking up to Nina-Marie's this week, click over for more fabulous artistic fiber creations.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

I Like #138

Welcome to another week of I Likes!

On Saturday I spent the whole day outside and it was gorgeous crisp sunny fall weather.  Started out cold, and then warmed up, so it proved a lovely chance to wear my fabulous knit hat from Kristin and my fabulous knit headband from Jamie.  I know it looks dorky to put a knit headband over a visor, but it was really very sunny, and I just didn't care!  I was so grateful to be out!!

I made a fair bit of progress on my current abstract quilt,  this is the front of the orange quilt I showed a few weeks back.  The little crescent shaped lines are actually cutouts that will be dimensional petals.

And here's a snap of Bentley (and a little bit of Blue in the background) snoozing away by the yarn tree.  It's raining right now and they were so sad this morning not to get to play ball.

I hope everyone had a good week!  Click over to LeeAnna's for more things to like!

Thursday, October 31, 2019

I like #137

Happy Halloween!! And welcome to another list of things to like this week!

The first thing I like is visiting my sister.  I had a great laid back weekend with her and her family.  We did crafts and legos and games with the kids, and worked with them on rollerskating.  Becky and I took a nice hike and went shoe shopping.  All in all the best kind of weekend time with family without an overpacked schedule.  One of the things Becky planned for us was to paint coordinating Thanksgiving t-shirts for us and my mom.  We made one for Becky's husband Andrew, but not my dad, who I'm sure is not willing to wear one.  It was a lot of fun, we put big adult handprints, then the kids did handprints, and then we filled in the body details.  I'm looking forward to seeing everybody again at Thanksgiving.

The kids and I took an evening walk down to the lake, and while it was really lovely and wonderfully cool out, we returned home quickly because of the swarms of mosquitoes.

The pups also loved going to my sister's; Auto and Blue rumpused all weekend and Bentley took great advantage of being in a house with more hands to pet him.   We were all sad to go home.  Recently my sister recovered her dining room chairs and she saved me all the old foam.  I put it together into a quick dog bed, and both dogs approve!  It turned out really large and very cushy, so will be a great addition to our complement of beds (provided they don't tear it up too much).

It's been cool but not freezing lately and the small dahlias are still going gangbusters (though the big ones seem about done).  It was supposed to be 31 last night, so yesterday I cut all the yellow ones left.  I'd say I think this is the end of them for this year, but I've thought that before and they've kept on, so who knows.  Hooray for fall color!

I finished my fall quilt earlier this week, and managed to promptly get both pictures taken (not really good ones, but this won't be a show quilt so it's less important) and the blog post written!  It was fun to do a traditional pieced quilt and I got it hung up just in time for Halloween!  Click on over to see more pictures of it!

I hope everyone has a great week!  Click on over to Lee Anna's for more things to like!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Halloween quilt

Over the past couple of weekends I have pieced two fall quilts, and today I wanted to share the results of the first one.  My goal was to use some of the fun fall fabrics I'd painted and sun printed in the workshop with Betty Busby.

 I made a bunch of stripsets using fabrics both from the workshop, from previous dyeing experiments, and from my stash.  Most of the stripsets were for a different project but I incorporated the leftover bits into this quilt.

This was actually two pieces of narrow border fabric cut off of the edge of an orange silk sari (they're stuck together in the middle here from the painting), so it made sense to use them as the border for the quilt.

This Nautilus guy I sunprinted and then painted wasn't particularly Halloweeny, but his fall colors made him feel thematically appropriate.

The spider web (seen here midprinting) was the central motif for the quilt.

This was taken while I was piecing,

All the fabrics are either silks or polyester satins, so the whole thing has a very nice shine and luster in person.  It's banner shaped (long and narrow), limited by the fact that I wanted to use those narrow pieces of sari border.  It was a fun, relatively quick and traditional quilt, and now I just have to find somewhere to hang it!

I love these middle randomly pieced sections,  they were assembled from all the stubby little scraps of stripsets I was determined not to waste.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

I like #136

1. I finally got around to blogging about my most recent quilt finish, High Plains of New Mexico.  This was one of those projects that just seemed to go really smoothly and the end result was what I hoped for.  That's pretty rare in my experience!  Click here to read the post about the whole quilt!

2.  Loving snuggling with the pups (of course this is every week).  Bentley got some good scritches this week and I had some fun ball playing with Blue.

3.  I got to do some fun fall piecing this week, I worked on a small fall banner using some of the fabrics I painted and printed in the Betty Busby class.  I'll hopefully get it quilted soon!

4.  A couple weeks back we had a touch of frost and I thought for sure the dahlias were done!  But since then it's warmed back up, and even though it's been delightfully cool in the mornings and evenings, thus far the dahlias, particularly the small yellow ones have been going gangbusters.  The yellow ones did well in the early summer and then took a break during the hottest part and are now thriving.  I hope they'll keep going for a while, I keep looking at the forecast for a freeze!

5.  A good friend of mine hosted a cookout this week so it was an excuse to make a batch of my mom's delicious potato salad.  I love it but never get to make it.  And I put it in one of my favorite bowls (it's actually a casserole dish with a nice lid not in the picture).  It's one of the earliest pots my mom made, from several years before I was even born, and I'm so grateful to have it.  And of course I'm still enjoying the delicious leftover potato salad.

6.  And it's thrilling that knit sock weather is back,  this is a pair made for me by my friend Kristin and I was excited to pull them out this week.

I hope everyone is having a great week!  Click over to LeeAnna's for more things to be grateful for!

Monday, October 21, 2019

High Plains of New Mexico

A few weeks back, I finished a new quilt inspired by this photo I took on the eastern New Mexico plains between Portales and Roswell.  I'm usually traveling through that part of my trip around sunset (depending on the time of year) and for years I've been taking quick pics of the sky from the side of the road.  So often the colors and clouds are just amazing.

I put the picture into photoshop, did some digital adjustments and abstractions, and sent it to spoonflower for printing on a shiny white satin type fabric.  Of course I forgot to save any of those files- I'm sure they're somewhere but I can't find them.  After starting I pieced a background out of these three other shiny fabrics-  that dark blue is one of my favorite fabrics (ever), it's shiny but not too much, it has a great hand, and a beautiful subtle color shift from navy to dark turquoise depending on the angle.  There's a piece of gold in the middle and then on the right is a shiny textured brownish gold that I love-  it was the background for my yucca quilt many years ago, and the scrap I had left was perfect for this project.  I cut the printed abstracted photo into about six pieces and mosaiced them onto the background.  It was pretty tricky to get them straight and the grout lines even.

I mostly quilted along the tile lines in the photo, with some other quilting continuing off to the side.

High Plains of New Mexico, Shannon Conley, c. 2019, 26" x 38", photo by Mike Cox

High Plains of New Mexico, Shannon Conley, c. 2019, 26" x 38", photo by Mike Cox

High Plains of New Mexico, Shannon Conley, c. 2019, 26" x 38", photo by Mike Cox

High Plains of New Mexico, Shannon Conley, c. 2019, 26" x 38", photo by Mike Cox

I really love the way it turned out.  The shiny fabric coupled with the colors in the sky make it feel luminous in person.  And even though it's very abstract, I feel like it captures a little of the feel of those wide open plains.  It's currently hanging at the 1894 Gallery in Texarkana Arkansas as part of the Our Heritage thru the Arts show.  It'll be up until November 30, 2019, so anyone who's in that part of the world should stop by and see it!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

I like #135

1.  I got around to posting about our Fiberworks 2019 show this week.  There were tons of great pieces,  these pics are closeups of a quilt by my friend Charlotte Hickman;  there is so much depth and detail in her work, it's just amazing.  Click on over to see the rest of the pieces I shared.

2.  I did a bunch of plant maintenance this week.  It was time to bring in all the houseplants that had been outside for the summer, but that required a lot of reorganizing and finding spaces for things.  I think most of them had a good summer outside, but one of the new plants I got from my plant guy this summer has just completely died.  I'll have to see if I can figure out why because I really liked it.  I really enjoy checking on my plants and taking care of them all.  I love the variety, and seeing who's flourishing and who might need a bit of a different environment or some help.  I'm pretty full inside now and I have a couple things rooting that will need homes, but there's always space somewhere.

3.  I got out my fall decorations at work this week; my favorite is this embroidered wreath I made a few years ago.  It was a fun project and I'm always happy to see it!

4.  My cacti are still growing!  I haven't shared them in a while, but they're doing great.  Still pretty small, but definitely alive and continuing to mature morphologically.

5. I enjoyed getting to do a little bit of knitting this week.  Project on this project is slow, but I feel like I'm slowly getting the hang of it!

6.  The pups are good.  They miss me-  it's been a lot of long days at work with after work obligations, but they're always up for a snuggle or walk.

7.  Fall is finally well and truly here.  We're starting to get a bit of color on campus, and I'm enjoying seeing it out my windows while I can (they're moving us to the basement sometime next spring).

8.  I liked getting to work on some quilts this week.  This is the back of what's going to be one of my abstract sculptural pieces.  I did a bunch of painting on the little petals with my Shiva Painstiks over the weekend.  It's fun experimenting!

I hope you all had a good week!  For more positivity, click on over to LeeAnna's!