Friday, January 31, 2020

New Quilt-Petals

Some of you may know that I'm doing another set of cutwork/dimensional quilts, and this is one I finished recently.  My goal was to have lots of pattern and symmetry (like a traditional quilt) but with dimensional/cut out elements.

I started by painting some white crushed velvet in this sort of tie-dye-esque pattern.  I layered it with batting and backed it with a piece of orange silk from a sari.

The piece was big enough to cut into three panels to cut on the laser cutter at OU Norman, so after quilting the sandwiches, I took them down and cut out a bunch of petals.  Below you can faintly see the cut lines.

I loved the orange that peeked through when you folded the petals forward, but having all the same orange made it feel flat, so I used Shiva Paintsticks to add some shimmer and variety to the petals.  Here you can see the backs of all three panels with the petals painted.

Like the previous piece, I decided I didn't want to have white wall behind the petals, so I backed the already quilted piece with pink sari silk, and then painted the little pink windows to give them some variety of color.

Check back on Monday to see the finished piece!

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

I like #149

It's another week of things to like, and what a week it's been.

1. Mostly what this week contained was a last minute trip home for my grandfather's funeral, but it was really wonderful to see my family and be with them.  The funeral was a wonderful graveside service in the beautiful mountain cemetery.  The weather was gorgeous; not too cold with the clearest, sunniest, brightest of blue skies that make New Mexico home.   My grandfather was a veteran of the second world war, and was rightly proud of his service to our country, and the service ended with a moving rendition of taps played by the trumpeter from my parents' church.  Amidst the grieving was a lot of remembering and visiting with family and old friends though and that was super.   In 1985 my grandmother compiled a wonderful photo album filled with historical family photos, and most importantly, she took the time to label them all.  One of my favorites from the album is this one of my grandparents together, around 1946.  I'm not sure where they are, but I love how casual and young and fun they look.

2. Both of my grandfathers were also fine craftsmen, and for many years I have had a model ship built by my mom's father.  On this trip home my grandmother gave me a handmade model airplane made by my other grandfather and I was so thrilled to get to hang it up in my house.  He made several throughout his life and I'm trying to track down what kind of plane this one is.  After taking that second picture, it made me realize how many wonderful crafty people there are in our family;  in addition to the airplane and ship, the cabinet in the picture was made by my maternal grandfather, the quilt on the wall is one of mine, and the piece of pottery hanging behind the airplane is a sculpture of one of the New Mexico Pueblo ission churches my mom made many years ago.  Hooray!!

3.  On another crafty note, we have all recently become enamored with the show Repair Shop on Netflix.  It's a great show, like Antiques Roadshow only they fix antique stuff that's in need of repair.  Really cool.  Inspired by that, Mom and I got out her two old loveys,  they are chimps named Coco (yes, both of them) that she's had since she was an infant.  They've been repaired over the years, but sometime since the last repair, the smaller guy developed a hole in his back, and some dog got hold of the larger one, tearing off one arm, ripping out extensive innards, and making a giant hole in the other arm.  We're not as skilled as the teddy bear repair ladies from the Repair Shop, but Mom and I did manage to patch up the Cocos nicely so they're not completely falling apart anymore.

4.  The pups went with me, and of course loved the opportunity to be at my parent's even though my sister came without her dogs so Blue didn't get to play with Auto.  They did, however, get to snuggle with Mom and Dad.

5.  Driving uptown before the funeral, traffic on the main street in Ruidoso stopped completely for almost five minutes because this herd of deer couldn't decide whether or not they wanted to cross the road.  It was pretty funny.

6.  Last Thursday was our annual black-tie party to thank supporters of the College of Medicine and like last year I took a bouquet of flowers at the end.  So bright and cheerful! I love flowers in winter!

7.  I blogged this week about a new Kirigami based quilt,  if you like, you can check out more about it here, and here.

 Thanks as always to Lee Anna for encouraging us to keep looking for things to like!  I hope you all have a great week!

Monday, January 27, 2020

Kirigami #1-Finished

Last week I blogged about a new experimental quilt I was working on using the laser cutter and today I'm here to follow-up with the final piece.

I decided to mount it on a piece of wood, both so that the white wall wouldn't show through and to give it some structural stability.  I mentioned in the last post that even with fabric stiffener the fabric loops were floppy, so mounting it on wood (with little finishing nails) really helped.  Of course I have no pictures of the second half of in progress stuff, and not even very many details, so blogger fail.  And of course now the quilt is at my mother's since she will have to take it to Santa Fe if it gets into the show.

It's definitely very abstract, and my mom and I brainstormed for a title for quite a while.  It makes me think of baskets, and fantasy world shields, and star wars hair, but none of those things seemed like they'd make good titles.  Finally I decided to just go with Kirigami #1 since I expect I'll make a few more in this vein as we go forward!
Kirigami #1, c. 2020 Shannon Conley, 36 x 18, photo Mike Cox

The edge is finished with a couched yarn.

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!