Friday, January 24, 2020

New Quilt-Kirigami

This April our small group of mixed media and fiber artists is having another show at the New Mexico State Capitol, so I've been working on new dimensional and sculptural pieces for it.  This piece is one of the ones for that show.

I was inspired by the Japanese art of Kirigami, the art of paper folding and cutting.  There is some really fascinating geometry as well as interesting shapes you can make and I wanted to see if I could do anything with a quilt!

I started by painting this pink silky fabric for the front and green fabric for the back (of course I didn't have any pictures of it painted), and then free motion quilted the whole thing.  I took the unfinished quilt to the laser cutter down in Norman at the maker space, and cut out a kirigami pattern.  Of course (my trial and tribulation), fabric is pretty floppy so it didn't hold its shape like I wanted!

the laser cutter at work.


Even with fabric stiffener (which helped), it needed a pin on each loop to hold the shape.  I've also realized over time, that while I like things with cutouts, I don't always want the back wall shining through.  Sometimes that's ok, but not always.  For example here the white wall (even if it wasn't stained) wouldn't really go with the piece.  Check back on Monday to see the final piece and how I resolved the flopping issue!

Thursday, January 23, 2020

I Like #148

This has been a very chaotic and emotional week.  My grandfather passed away late last week, and while he was very elderly and we were lucky that his children got to be there with him, it was still very sad, and I'm worried about my grandma.  I'm going home to New Mexico tomorrow for the funeral.  We also have a bunch of big deadlines coming up at work and various other things happening so it's been crazy all around. 

There are still things to like though!

1.  I finally got around to posting my 2019 project roundup this week, so if you're interested, click on over here.  It feels like 2019 stretched back a long way, I'd actually forgotten some quilts, like this one below, were 2019 finishes.

2. I quilted a little last weekend on some quilt sandwiches that are destined to be more 3D pieces.  This was supposed to be the back, but I love the colors, so maybe it'll turn out to be the front.  The second one was a piece of fabric Georgia painted that I found in a box.  I love being able to use things I find unexpectedly in my stash.


 3.  The winter sun shining through my euphorbia made me smile.

4.  In another box from Georgia I found a very large (~7-8 feet long by 2.5 feet wide) piece of her handwoven material.  It's so soft and snuggly, I decided to just put a satin binding on it and use is as a fancy wrap.  It's actually a little too long I think, I may cut off part of it and re-edge that section to use for something else. I'm so glad this will be out and used, her weaving is just lovely.

5. I canceled a bunch of social stuff this week, just too much going on, but I did make a point to go to a free workshop offered by Oklahoma artist Nick Lillard.  He does really cool large sculpture, painting, and experimental installation pieces, but this workshop was on plastic sculpting using milk bottles.  I'm always looking for ways to provide lightweight infrastructure to 3D pieces, so I jumped on the opportunity.  We had a lot of fun, and he and the other artists at the Colaboratory were really generous with their time and help.  We did a lot of playing around with how you can work with these materials.

An example of how you can assemble the milk jugs.

one of Nick's paintings I fell in love with

I played around with assembling bits and making little frills.

6.  My amaryllis is blooming. I had no idea what color it would be and never would have predicted pink and white.  I love it!

Click on over to LeeAnna's for more good things to like!

Friday, January 17, 2020

2019 Blog Year in Review

I know I'm behind, but here goes.  2019 on the blog was mostly filled with "I like posts" for which I'm very grateful.  Lee Anna has created an amazing supportive online community and it's so wonderful to catch up with everyone each week.  I also made a few quilts and other projects and though every year I get to the end and think it's been a year when I didn't complete much, I always feel better about gathering things up all in one place.  So here we go.  There are a couple of things I finished toward the end of 2019 that I haven't blogged about yet, so those will go on next year's list!

Art Quilts


Hat for Barb

Socks for Mom

Other Quilts

I didn't do very well on this front this year,  I didn't make any charity quilts (hopefully I can correct that in 2020) but I did make one baby quilt and one lap quilt for my friend's wedding.

Baby Quilt for Agnes

Wedding Quilt for Rahel (I can't figure out whether I blogged about this or not)

I guess a reasonably productive 2019.  Here's hoping that in 2020 I'll be more productive AND better about blogging!

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

I like #147

1.  I like making crafty Christmas presents for people!  I know we're well into January, but I blogged about my Christmas crafts this week.  I broke them up into two posts, so click here for the fibery ones like these socks for my mom, and click here for the wooden ones!

2. I hosted a party at my house for the people in my church choir this weekend.  I haven't hosted a party in years and it was really fun!  There were about twenty of us and I had to scramble to find enough dishes and flatware and table space for everyone but it worked out really well. I put all four leaves in my grandparent's dining room table for the first time ever and it got way bigger than my "dining room"!   Overall it was just fun good fellowship and I was glad to have volunteered to host.  I didn't take any pictures except two terrible ones,  a picture of the iced tea on the floor because I forgot to close the spigot on my beverage crock before pouring the tea in, and this one of the tortillas I put into the oven to warm up and promptly forgot about for well over an hour.  To be honest though, I don't think anyone noticed the lack of tortillas!  A fun thing about the beverage crock; it's one my mother made way back in her early days of pottery, it dates from 1985 and I'm very pleased to have it!

3.  I love my pups!  This pic of Blue from this week makes me think of someone listening intently to your life story.  Yes mama, please tell me more!

4.  I really like possums, I think they're cute, and I was super excited to see this one perched in a tree above the entrance to our work parking garage this week!  I'm glad there was no one behind me because I stopped in the middle of the gate to get out and take a picture!  Wildlife on campus!

Then today I was at a workshop and during the lunch several bigwigs from on campus had joined us.  During the small group discussion after the lunch, the Dean of the College of Dentistry was making some remarks and suddenly the Dean of the College of Allied Health got this really weird look on his face while staring at the other Dean.  Everyone noticed and after about 30 seconds he started, and then quickly apologized saying he hadn't been making faces at the Dentistry dean, he'd just seen a possum outside the window and had gotten very distracted!  It was pretty funny!

5. I like quick sewing projects!  An acquaintance at work is having a baby and they're having a shower for her next week.  I can't be at the shower, but I made up this quick minky blanket as a present for her anyway.  I have no idea where that fun school print came from, but I was glad to use up a big chunk of it, and the minky is so soft!

I hope you've all had things to like this week!  Click on over to LeeAnna's for more positivity!

Monday, January 13, 2020

Crafty Christmas Gifts-the wooden ones

Every year for the past several years I've made ornaments for my family and close friends.  This year I decided to use the laser cutter down on the OU main campus.  I've been using it this year to cut quilts, but I'd never tried cutting wood.  Then when I was home over Thanksgiving, my mom mentioned that our little wooden nativity scene from childhood was missing a bunch of pieces (thanks to some dog of years past), so I decided to make some new wooden pieces for that.

First up was the ornaments.  I made all the designs using adobe illustrator, and of course the designing is the fun part.  All of them are original designs except the golf ball which was modified from an existing vector file.  I didn't have a really good feeling for how fine my lines could be an after a test cut I realized that they'd need to be much larger than I thought.  Some of them are still very fragile!

These snowflakes were the sturdiest along with the golf ball.

Since I was making one for my niece Anna, I thought I'd make one for my friend Anna, but all her "Merrys" broke off so instead of saying Merry Christmas Anna it just says Christmas Anna!

The Joy and Peace ones cut well.

For my niece Anna, it was so fragile that I backed it with another piece of wood. 

My nephew Alex's was also very fragile.  Of course it's always a good idea to give little kids very fragile things, but if they break then that's life!  They were at least in a sturdy box!

This one was for me.  It may be hard to tell, but it has the names of all my beloved pets; Pumpkin, Sam, Shooter, Missy, Bullett, Blue, Bentley, and Angel.  All have passed away now except for Blue and Bentley (who live with me), and Shooter, who was kidnapped by my parents (DAD!!) a few years ago.  It's ok-  she loves it with my parents and I still get to snuggle her when I visit.

And here they are all together!

And now the nativity scene!  My sister and I loved playing with this one as a kid,  it was always on a low table because it had sturdy, kid friendly pieces, and I was so sad when the dog ate so many bits of it!  There were no shepherds or Joseph, and only one king!  

These are the new pieces I made, a cow, an angel, a village lady, Joseph, a shepherd, and two new kings.   I cut them on the laser cutter and then painted them.

Here they are all together, I think they blend in well with the rest of the set!

They didn't have a box everything fit into either, so I found a template online for a laser cutter file to make a box with this cool hinged lid and made that too.  The pieces all just glue together and then everything fit inside very nicely!

Merry Christmas everybody!

Friday, January 10, 2020

Crafty Christmas Gifts-the textile ones!

I didn't make quite as many gifts as I have some years, but I did make a few.

To start I knit this pair of bright yellow socks for my mom.  They used up leftover yarn from two other projects, this crocheted shawl and it's matching pair of socks.  I think now almost all the yarn from that project is gone!  It was my first time doing a regular heel, and I think they came out cute.  I hope my mom enjoys them!

I also crocheted a bunch of dishcloths and a potholder for my mom, sister, and santa ministry presents.  It was fun to go back to crocheting after mostly doing knitting for the last year.  It is a bit hard on my elbow, though it seems to depend on my posture.

I used some scrap leather to make a couple of keychains, one for Mike and one for our family silly santa game.  My mom wound up with that one and she was weirdly excited about the keychain.

And then I stitched up a quick gift bag for some socks out of some remnants of handwoven fabric the famous Georgia mad (hi Georgia!!).  It was almost the right size for a glasses case and my mom got new clip on glasses for Christmas, so I went ahead and took apart the gift back and made it into a nice lined two-pocket (she has two pairs of clip on glasses) glasses case!  I love using up these remnants,  I have a bunch and the weaving is so soft and beautiful.

I also made wooden ornaments and a wooden nativity as presents this year, check back on Monday to see those!