Thursday, April 22, 2021

I Like #210

Welcome to another list of things to like!

The big thing this week is that the annual SAQA conference for art quilters is going on.  It's virtual this year, and started last weekend.  It's run this week in the evenings and then wraps up this weekend.  The theme as been art quilters from Oceania and it's been truly outstanding.  So so much fabulous and fascinating art.  Next week I'll try to share some art from new-to-me artists I discovered at the conference.  One really unexpected fun thing has been the online conference forum community.  It's been super active with conference attendees doing lots of posting so there are threads on tons of different great topics.  I really love the work SAQA does and I'm excited to be a part of it.

Here's a non-fiber new to me artist from this week, Elyse Dodge, (via).  I absolutely adore all her crystalline mountain landscapes.  Mountains are my kind of landscape and the colors are my kind of colors.  really stunning work.

My lab is also moving this week so things are super chaotic at work, but here are a few more things to like!

Knitting while zooming!  I'm making progress on my hoodie shawl cardigan.

Harry Potter mask making!

Knit socks!  We had a cold snap here (no snow thankfully for my plants) and it was fun to get back out my wool socks.

And Spooky with his ball!

I hope everyone is having some things to like this week!  Click over to LeeAnna's for more goodness!

Thursday, April 15, 2021

I Like #209

 Welcome to another week of things to like!

This was a good week- my parents came to visit me on Friday and stayed until Tuesday morning.  It was so so wonderful to just have them here, to see them and hang out.  I didn't take very many pictures, we were so busy just being together.

They had their dogs with them so we had six dogs in my small house, but everyone got along just great.  Of course spooky chewed up one of my dad's socks, but I think that was the only thing irredeemably destroyed.  We took them on some nice hikes around Lake Stanley Draper, and the weather was lovely.  Dad fixed my gate, and the internet in my studio.  Mom and I planned our upcoming two-person exhibition at the Tubac Arts Center in Arizona and worked on some designs in Adobe Illustrator.

Here is Spooky sitting on my parents' big Jordy dog, as well as their brown dog Swatch.

And here are Swatch and Bentley-  the sofa got very full and there was a sort of constant musical chairs of which dogs were on it.

These cute purple flowers are blooming in my lawn right now.  They're super cute- I think they're called blue-eyed grass.  Unfortunately they get mown down when I mow the yard, so I dug some up and planted them in some pots to try to preserve them.  I'm not sure they'll survive, but I thought it was worth a try.

My mom and I went to the OKC Museum of Art over the weekend too.  Neither of us had ever been there, even though they have a very large installation of glass work by Dale Chihuly, an artist both of us love.  It was really fantastic, there were hardly any people in the museum and they had a great movie before the exhibit all about his studio and how the works are made and conceived.  Really amazing.  It was pretty inspiring to see all the beautiful and luminous shapes and forms.

On Tuesday morning my parents went down to spend a couple of days with my sister and now they're headed home but it was so great to see them!

I hope everyone is having some things to like this week!  Click over to LeeAnna's for more goodness!

Thursday, April 8, 2021

I like #208

Welcome to another week of things to like!

The weather was great here last weekend which was fantastic because it was the weekend some friends came over to help me build a fence to keep Spooky out of my flower beds and garden.  It took us all day Saturday but we knocked it out.  For some parts it really did take three of us and I was so grateful for their help.

I think it turned out lovely!

Spooky still tries to get in the beds and dig (observe is soil covered nose) when I go in to water, but I shoo him out and at least he can't get in there unattended.

I was very excited to find and take a trip to the City of Norman Compost facility.  I'd never been there before, but they release compost every couple of months and you can go have as much as you want for free.  This was just the small pile for people who were shoveling it themselves, but I got as much as I could put in the back of my car, filling up small buckets and small house waste baskets and old dog food sacks.

Everything is planted now and I just hope it grows!

I blogged this week about a new embroidered quilt I recently finished for one of our Art Quilt Group's calls for entry entitled Heat.  You can see more pictures of it here and here.

I learned about this new-to-me artist this Josie Morway week who makes exquisite hyperrealistic paintings of birds.  Super cool.

I hope everyone has had some things to like this week!  Click over to LeeAnna's for more goodness! 

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Eclipse- Finished

Last week I shared the initial steps of my new, largely hand stitched, quilt.  Here's the finished piece,  I think the color variation in the underlying fabric combined with the stitching and the paintsticks really combines to make something cool looking.  I was initially worried that it would look flat, but I don't think it does!

One of the big challenges is that the back of the piece had lots of threads and knots, more like the back of an embroidery (mine are never tidy) than the back of a quilt.  I didn't want a layer of opaque fabric covering the back, but I needed something, just to hold in all the loose threads.  I decided to fuse down a layer of tulle on the back. Then I added a little bit of machine quilting before blocking and finishing the edges.  The edges are finished by zig-zag couching several layers of Ricky Tims razzle dazzle thread.

My goal from the beginning was to achieve a formal sort of Art-Deco inspired look.  My original idea was New Mexico weather- the rain and sun out at once.  But the longer I worked on it with the dark background and especially after I added the painstick shadowing around the top sun structures, the more it reminded me of an eclipse,  where there's the glowing ring around the sun, and darkness throughout, so I've decided to name it Eclipse.

Eclipse, c. Shannon Conley, 2021, 43 x 31, Photo: Mike Cox

Eclipse, c. Shannon Conley, 2021, 43 x 31, Photo: Mike Cox

Eclipse, c. Shannon Conley, 2021, 43 x 31, Photo: Mike Cox

In addition to the actual bottensöm embroidery, I stitched on lots of beads in the open spaces.    In person the quilt is very sparkly.  Mike has some magical method of capturing the sparkliness in pictures.  Comparing this one and the one below it, it's amazing the difference that the camera settings make.

Eclipse, c. Shannon Conley, 2021, 43 x 31, Photo: Mike Cox

 I really love the way this turned out.  It was completely experimental and tons of fun.  

Monday, April 5, 2021

New Embroidered Quilt: Eclipse

A couple of weeks back, I shared my enthusiasm for a new-to-me form of Scandinavian embroidery called Bottensöm.  I enjoyed making my little hoop so much I decided I wanted to use it in a larger quilt.  I've had this semi-sheer black swiss dot fabric in my stash for a long time and decided to use it for the top layer of the piece.  And since I wanted to preserve some of the sheerness, I decided to forgo a batting layer.  Bottensöm embroidery works off of a grid, so I first marked my grid before layering the fabric and starting to stitch.  I decided to use a paralellogram grid rather than a rectangular or square grid for my bottom section and also try some bottensöm on a sitched star pattern (the top two medallions). I'm very new to this so I wasn't sure how it would work, but I marked my fabric and got started.

This form of embroidery pulls on the fabric a fair amount, so normally it would be worked in a hoop.  Since I obviously don't have a quilt sized hoom (this is about 31" x 42") so I decided to layer my fabrics and staple them onto a wooden frame I made out of 1x2 boards.  The top layer is a piece of solid black fabrics, and underneath I have stapled on strips of various other sparkly fabrics.  There's a bright pink metallic, a sheer blue metallic, a dense sparkly gold mesh, and several different layers of tulle. They give a nice color range under the black- subtle color to add some depth. 

Here you can see a the fabrics all layered down and stapled to the frame.

For doing the stitching, I braced the frame between my sewing table and my rolling work table.  I could reach it reasonably well from either side, the trickiest part was the very middle; my arms didn't like reaching to stitch quite that far.  You can see here below the layers of grid stitching that form the base for bottensöm.  For all the stitching I used pearl cotton, thin yarn, Ricky Tims Razzle Dazzle thread, and any other heavyish thread/embroidery stuff.

In bottensöm, each place the grid lines crossed is stitched over with a cross stitch, you can see I've started that here.  On the inner rings where I won't do any additional stitching I added small beads to my cross stitches.

Here you can see what it looks like after starting the pull-across stitches that make the distinctive bottensöm look.

After I finished all the stitching I added a bunch of Shiva Paintstik to enhance the stitching design.  

After finishing all the stitching, I carefully pried up all the staples and removed the piece from the frame.  I added a little traditional machine quilting around the borders and then just finished up the edges.  Come back later in the week to see the finished piece!

Thursday, April 1, 2021

I Like #207

Welcome to another week of things to like!

I love artist Jennifer Mohr's paintings of the prairie.  She really captures the beauty in what a lot of folks would think was empty and boring.

I also discovered these beautiful bonsai treehouses by animator Dave Creek this week.  So  really cool and intricate.  It makes me think about my Grandpa Kit and the detailed model ships he built.

Dave Creek Bonsai Treehouse

Last week my crabapple tree buds were just starting to open and this week its in full bloom.  So beautiful, I love seeing it when I pull into my driveway.  And not only does it look gorgeous it smells fantastic too.  Yum.

I spent most of the weekend in the backyard.  I dug out and expanded my one existing flowerbed to account for a new fence I'm building, and then I dug out and built a new raised bed.  My hope is that with the new fence I can keep spooky out of the beds but we'll see.  It was  a lot of digging and I still need some more soil and compost, but I hope I can grow lots of nice flowers!

The pups were not much help with the gardening and digging (an understatement for sure) but they occasionally took a break from being right underneath my shovel to play on the back porch.

Sadly, Spooky got hold of one of my favorite sewing tools- the Alex Anderson tool and ate it up.  I'm aggravated about that, but of course love him all the same.

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