Sunshine Doodle

SAQA put out a call for art for the next traveling trunk show, with no jury or acceptance process.  The only requirement was the piece must measure 10″h x 7″w, no more, no less.  I thought it would be fun and quick to work on a small piece, one that would travel with the show for up to three years (what a great opportunity to get my work out there!).  While I was correct about the fun part, I was incorrect about the quick part.  Turns out, when one is working small, more detail (i.e. quilting) is needed to really make the piece pop, or at least that’s how it worked out for me.

When I was pondering design ideas, through both brainstorming and doodling, I kept coming back to a doodle I’ve been doodling since I was in about 2nd grade.  I’ve always called it my sunshine doodle.  The only thing different between the very first sunshine doodle and a more current version is the current version doesn’t include eyes and a smile on the sunshine.  Seriously, people, I’ve been drawing this thing for over 40 years.  You’d think I would have come up with a new idea in that time, but apparently not.

Sunshine Doodle - The Doodle
The doodle

So there really was no contest when deciding on my trunk show art piece.  After all these years, it was time for the doodle to become art.

Sunshine Doodle (link to poem)

Sunshine Doodle - Full
The art

Next up: Back to my cross series with Crisscross (Hot Cross Five).

Lead with Love

In February, Yvonne Porcella, a pioneer in the art quilt world, passed away after a long battle against cancer.  Throughout that fight, she maintained a zest and energy and positive attitude that was inspiring to all who knew her.  I’m sure she had bad days and down days and days when she just wanted to give up, but from all accounts, she got up each morning, put a smile on her face, and conquered the day.

Yvonne had lots of friends in the art world and beyond.  One of those friends, Pokey Bolton, is hosting an art quilt tribute show in September and put out a call for entry this past Spring.  The call for entry to “Living Your Brightest Life: A Tribute to Yvonne Porcella” encouraged those who wanted to participate to share what it means to live a bright life, conveyed in fabric and thread.

This art quilt represents what living a bright life means to me.  The piece may not be accepted to the tribute show, but I certainly enjoyed making it.

As always, constructive critiques are welcome.

Lead with Love (link to poem)

Lead with Love - Detail
Simple quilting as rays of sunlight and around the hearts
Lead with Love - Full
If one leads with love, it bursts from the heart with the brightness of the sun and spills out into the universe
Lead with Love - Poetry Label
Every quilt needs a poem

Next up: An experiment in layering

Mariner’s Compass, Part 4 (Finished!)

Whew!  This art piece is finished!

It was a near thing, getting it completed before the end of the year.  I had several thoughts urging me on before the calendar rolled to 2015:

  1. I had established a SAQA Visioning Project goal of 4 new art pieces in 2014 (this is the 4th).  No way was I going to miss achieving the goal by mere days.  Not that there’s a gold star or a smiley face or a trophy for the goal meeting.  Instead, there is satisfaction in accomplishing something I set out to do in the time I set to do it.
  2. I refuse to let the busyness of a new job stop me from creating my art, and….
  3. I needed the dining room table cleared of sewing machine, cutting mats, fabric, thread, scissors, Ott lites, and art to make room for Christmas cookies, Christmas cake, and Christmas Eve dinner.  Food, drink, and fabric don’t mix.

Somewhere through the process of creating this piece, I realized its name had changed to Sunburst.  The bright, bright points of color in the compass explode across the  pale, pale yellow of a dawn sky.

What do you think?


Sunburst (link to poem)

Compass - Finished 01
Both the art and the duvet it is laying on have some warp. I’d love to know what I am doing that prevents the finished piece from laying flat
Compass - Finished 02
Straight(er) shot. See the sun exploding in the sky?
Compass - Poem Label
The poem label


Next up: “Any color’s all right as long as it’s red” –  My Grandpa Clark used to say that.  I always thought the statement would make an excellent art quilt name.  Check back in January for a progress report.


Mariner’s Compass, Part 3

I’m impressed with myself.  Even with out-of-town travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, I actually got some quilting done!

I added more quilting within the compass and have begun the process of stitching the rays shooting off the sunburst.  The plan is to have this finished and bound, a poem written and stitched to the back, by the Christmas holidays.

I hope you’re finding time, even if just a few moments, to get something creative done during this busy season. 🙂

Compass - Quilting 04
Additional work inside the compass, just to give the points more emphasis
Compass - Quilting 05
The “rays”

Compass - Quilting 06

Please stop back in a couple of weeks to see if this gets finished.

Do you make time during the holidays to work on your art, or do you take a small break?

Mariner’s Compass, Part 2

It’s been slow going over the last two weeks.  I forgot to mention, in my last post, that I started a new job on November 10th.  With the new job comes disruption to my regular routine.  Things aren’t so completely thrown off kilter that I fail to accomplish anything in my home life, my art quilt life; they are just new and shiny and exciting mixed with busy and longer hours at the office to learn different but similar tasks.

Coupled with a new job and increased responsibility, last weekend was spent visiting Hockey Boy at university and Lacrosse Boy, who came home for a short visit.  The opportunity to spend time with my boys is one of most favorite things to do.  Even my art takes a back seat to the pleasure of being with my family.

By the time this posts, I’ll be on my way back home from a business trip.

Honestly, it’s a wonder I made any progress at all!

Compass - Quilting 01
So far, it’s just stitch in the ditch around all the compass points
Compass - Quilting 02
A closer look but still hard to see any quilting
Compass - Quilting 03
Since the quilting isn’t visible on the front, here’s the back

Please stop back in a couple of weeks to see if I’ve made further progress.

Do you always find a way to keep working on your art, even if only in baby steps, when life gets busy?

Mariner’s Compass, Part 1

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved the design of a Mariner’s Compass.  Maybe it reminds me of the stars or the sun, celestial orbs with radiant light.  I’m a child of the moon who loves the warmth of the sun, fascinated by the interstellar glory of a supernova deep within the cosmos.  But the Mariner’s Compass isn’t considered an easy design to stitch together so I shelved the idea in the back of my quilt artist brain and told myself, one day, when I’m a “master”, I’ll give it a try.

I’m nowhere near a master in the quilt art world, but it turns out there are tricks and treats available if one only looks.  I came across a Little Bits pattern by Cindi Edgerton at the local fabric shop.  The pattern employs the paper piecing technique.  Always up for learning new techniques and, with the added bonus of finally making my own Compass, I snatched up the pattern and took it home (after paying, of course).

Using fabric from my stash, bright, sunshiny colors each, I dove in this week and created the vibrant block below.  Turns out paper piecing is pretty simple once one gets the hang of it.  Learning this method should come in handy for future projects, using my own patterns.

I intend to ignore the rest of the purchased pattern, discarding the idea to ring this sun with a border of flying geese.  Not a big fan of geese, fabric or real.  I have to dodge real geese on my way into my office building, which is true test of one’s dedication to the day job.  Instead, I plan to offset the compass block on a 45 degree shift from one point in the lower right side of the quilt top.  The remainder of the top will be a soft yellow to pick up the tiny hint in one of the compass points, representing the first hint of light at the dawn.

In the meantime, please let me know what you think of this blast of color.

Compass - Pattern
Little Bits ~ Mariner’s Compass pattern by Cindi Edgerton
Compass - Fabric
Just because it’s a mariner’s compass doesn’t mean it needs to be made in ocean colors
Compass - A and B Blocks
Putting the blocks together
Compass - Compass
The sun shines.  See that tiny hint of yellow on the tip of the 3 o’clock compass point?  There’s the light of dawn

Please stop back in a couple of weeks to see the finished top and the quilting progress.

How open are you to trying out new things?