Thursday, March 30, 2017

I Like #11

Missed last week because I was traveling, but it was good reinvigorating traveling to Empty Spools in Asilomar California.  Asilomar is one of my very favorite places anywhere and going there with my mom is so special.  I've been overwhelmed since I got back, so I'll leave you with a very short I like!

I like: Sunrises, going east out of King City California, in the cool early morning air, headed to Pinnacles National Park.

I like hiking:  Gorgeous early morning hike at Pinnacles, all alone (my mom's foot is broken) without any other people.  The solitude and beauty of this hike were wonderful.  And it went through a bunch of caves!!!

I like: Asilomar.  In spite of being right on the packed monterey coast, it feels isolated and beautiful.  The experience of being there is like camp, but for grownups with real beds and wine.  I don't like sandy beaches but I love tide pools (anemone!), and there is the best path through the dunes along the beach there.  Love.

Thanks LeeAnna!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

I Like #10

I'm going crazy at work right now, but tomorrow afternoon I'm leaving for a quilting trip to California with my mom, so that'll be filled with wonderful things to like.

So an abbreviated list of Likes this week:

I like being productive at work.  I don't always love my job, but it is really gratifying when I feel productive.

I like Circque du Soleil.  I was down visiting my sister this weekend and we had tickets to see it (the Kurios show).  I'd never seen it before and it was awesome.  So much fabulousness!

I like listening to my niece read.  She just turned five and is a great reader already.  My sister has been working with her for about a year and a half and she's at the point now where she can read you a story book with an actual story in it (simple ones still obviously), but I'm so proud of her!

I like quilt shows!  The main reason I was down in Dallas was for the Dallas Quilt Show.  It's always fun, a big show with really great quilts.  Here are three of my favorites.  The first two are by Karen Stone who also had a special exhibit of her quilts at the show, and the last one is by Tonya Littman.

And of course flowers!  We didn't get the winter storm many of you did and my crab apple tree has started to bloom.  Happy spring is coming!

Thanks as always to LeeAnna!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Felting disaster

Another file of unshared folders I found while sorting last week was the one holding pictures of my recent foray into felting.  A couple years ago my mom won a needle felting machine in some sort of contest and she and I decided we ought to finally give it a try.

Mom made this little piece for a show challenge.  I can't remember what the challenge fabric was, but it's in there somewhere.  The central panel is a silk painting my deceased grandmother made, and my mom used felting to extend it out.  It didn't turn out to be a particularly strong piece, but it's nice.

Mine on the other hand was a spectacular disaster.  I started with some abstract lines, a large piece of brown felt, and the color scheme of gold/brown/fuschia (probably not an easy choice).  After that I pulled out my scraps and started felting away.  Lots of silk and polyester fashion fabrics as well as organzas.  Here are a couple of in progress shots.

And here it is "finished".  My original idea was to square it up, quilt it, and behold, an abstract quilt.  Alas! After finishing the felting, I hung it up and then burst out laughing.  I turned it over to see if that helped (nope).  I therefore promptly rolled it up and stuck it in a drawer.  I can't exactly pinpoint what's wrong; I think there are too many things to count- the composition, the colors, the awful pink clown smile, all of it.  Oh well, at least it was fun figuring out what kinds of things felted well and what didn't.  It took an annoyingly long time though.

I actually think it's a prime candidate for cutting up and incorporating into something else.  Some of the smaller sections are a bit more interesting to my eye, so maybe in future I'll do something with it.  In the meantime my lessons are that a bit more planning is needed, and that I don't forsee this approach taking over my fiber practice.  Oh well, live and learn!

Not sure these funny round things are salvageable, but I like the section to the left.

Linking up with the art ladies over at Nina-Marie's this week!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Mammals of Oklahoma

I spent most of the month of January working on a new art quilt for an entry that was due the end of the month.  After much scurrying I "finished" enough of it (i.e. faced and turned) to take pictures for the entry.  Just recently I finally actually finished it, with the facing, pocket, and label hand stitched on.  Those last steps sometimes just feel like they take forever!

This project was for a call for textile posters, and asked artists to consider all of the uses to which posters have been put over the years.  I had originally thought to do something medieval to fit in with my illuminated manuscripts series, something along the lines of hear ye hear ye.... but nothing really sparked my interest.  As I thought about it, what kept popping into my mind were natural history posters.  You know the ones with the beautiful botanical/scientific illustrations depicting a bunch of different types of insects, or insects, or shells, or mushrooms, or even dragon eggs.

I'm not an illustrator or painter in this style at all, but I decided to reinterpret this idea using a sort of graphic design approach kind of like what I've done in the past.  I decided to re-work the design I'd used for my quilt Ring Around the Mole.  In my brain this has always been called Mammals of Oklahoma, and I'd always wanted to do something else with the design that could incorporate more of the background information.  A poster seemed like the perfect opportunity.  It took quite a bit of refinement and editing on my original digital file, but I wound up with this.  I do my designing in Adobe Illustrator which is ideally suited to this kind of thing, but it's fairly involved.

I had spoonflower print it on microsuede so that there would be some visual interest.  It's free motion quilted with 100 weight silk thread, similar to the original and with a double batting so that the animals might puff up a little bit.  I wasn't sure how the microsuede would quilt, but it turned out fine.  Very smooth actually and much easier than much of my work that is made out of really weird fabrics held together with lots of layers of fusible.

Mammals of Oklahoma, 32" x 48" c. Shannon Conley, 2017

Mammals of Oklahoma, 32" x 48" c. Shannon Conley, 2017, detail

Mammals of Oklahoma, 32" x 48" c. Shannon Conley, 2017, detail

Mammals of Oklahoma, 32" x 48" c. Shannon Conley, 2017, detail

As I final step, I beaded all of their eyes, which adds just a bit of sparkle and dimension.  I'm pleased with the way this turned out, although in my mind it feels flat compared to the original quilt which used fabric.  The print quality was very good, but I think in future I might incorporate digital prints into things with more other types of fabric as well.

Linking up as always with Nina-Marie and Happy Friday to everyone!  Also linking up this week with Free Motion Mavericks.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

I Like #9

Tomorrow marks the start of a busy period of traveling for me, this weekend I'm headed to Dallas for the Dallas Quilt Festival and a weekend with my sister and her family, so that's likely to generate some likeable things!

Here are some of the things I like this week!

I like sushi!  I've been a big fan of sushi for a long time, and although Mike is typically not an adventurous eater  (which is a euphemism if I ever heard one) he does like sushi.  One of the places we go the most often is Sushi Hayashi- it's just a small place in a strip mall, but they have tasty sushi and it's always quiet and not as loud or chaotic as some of the trendier places.  Yum!

I like baking!  I used to bake a ton, but of course then I just eat everything, but this week I'd signed up to take cookies to church and told my friends I would take cookies to a trivia night fundraiser, so I made some gingersnaps.  Along the way I decided to "formalize" my cookie baking intensity taxonomy, because, well why not.  I decided that Level 1 cookies are all-in-one-go things, stratified into Level 1A, which is drop cookies like chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin and Level 1B which are slightly more complicated things that are still all-in-one-go like lemon bars.  Level 2 cookies are things that require more time and/or advanced planning because they need to chill.  Snickerdoodles, gingersnaps, raspberry thumbprints, etc.  And Level 3 cookies are those things that are such an investment that I usually only do them when I have people over and it's a scheduled activity, things like sugar cookies or gingerbread men that require dough-chill-roll-cut-bake-frost.  I explained this "very important" stratification to my sister, who laughed, so I guess it served its purpose!

Trivia night was fun, I'd never been to anything like that before.  It was a fundraiser for special olympics, and I shared a table with a couple friends of mine and their friends.  In most of the categories I did really terrible and was no help at all, sports, sports stars turned tv stars, ad jingles (but not the easy ones), TV theme songs, etc.  I did get all the questions right in the "Cities" category, and I was the only person at the table who knew the answer to the one Harry Potter question of the night so I guess that was good.  Sadly the catgories I'd have done well in (science, art, literature) did not come up.  Fun evening though!

I love my dogs!  Obviously you all know this already, but Mike just got a new camera and took a few pictures.  Bentley and Bullett are not in the least interested in the new camera, but they're adorable all the same.  Bullett looks a little out of it here-mostly I think he's irritated that no one was giving him a treat.

In the weekly I like flowers part of the segment, I'm sorry to report that my begonia isn't doing to well.  I think it might be cold, but I'm really not sure.  On a more positive note, my work geranium is blooming, which is fabulous!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

I like #8

Happy Thursday all,  I hope your week went well!

My first I like this week is a double whammy.  The first part is that I like getting organized.  I spent quite a bit of time last week going through my digital files and it was very satisfying.  I feel like even as we focus on (or don't) on being tidy, or minimalist, or organized in our physical lives, the digital ones kind of get lost in the shuffle.  And of course, out of sight out of mind, making it very easy for the digital side of things to get out of hand.  But part two of this is that while organizing I came across a bunch of projects I never got around to blogging about.

Thus leading to part two:  I like embroidery!  I don't get to do as much of it as I like, but I really enjoy it.  I have a few different hand embroidery projects going, but don't work on them much.  When I'm at home I tend to quilt and when I'm on the road I tend to crochet (it's a bit easier in the car).  Anyway, a couple of years ago I took just a short class from Judith Baker Montano (pictures from which were discovered in the recent spate of file organizing).  It was all about altering traditional embroidery stitches to make landscapes and was great fun.  Here's the stitch sampler I worked in the class.

On a similar note:  I like Judith Baker Montano!  Her work is so exquisite and layered, I especially love her landscapes- they have tons of depth.  I haven't done any landscape embroideries as complicated as hers are, but after taking the class I did do one embroidery/monoprint for a swap that turned out fun!

Keeping with the same thing- I like embroidery blogs! One of my favorites is Mary Corbet's Needle n Thread.  She has such fabulous embroidery resources and I recommend it for anyone interested in embroidery.

Linking up as always with LeeAnna!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

WIP Wednesday: Work on the Confession Quilt

Morning everybody,  I'm jumping in today with an update and request for input on one of my ongoing projects.  

It's in my on the Episcopal Liturgy and is almost done, but I'm stuck on the finishing.  A little background, the central carries a prayer (the confession) printed using Jacquard's sun printing stuff.  I blogged about the printing process last fall and am finally back working on the project after a few intervening things.  

The whole medallion is floating in the turquoise frame and is connected to the frame only by thread. The white you see is openwork, that's just my design wall shining through. 

The whole piece is about 36 x 36 to give you an idea size wise.  I usually do a facing, but I feel like this might benefit from the framing effect of the binding.  I've pinned up some potential binding choices, I'd love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on finishing options- either of what's up there or other suggestions.  In the second overall picture I cropped it down more what you'd see of the fabrics if I used them for binding.

What do you think?

Linking up with Nina-Marie and Free Motion Mavericks!