I was gifted an herb planter set for Mother’s Day (from my Mister), and even though they were in a sunny window, it wasn’t going well until I placed them outside in the (filtered) sun. At first I thought – In jars without drain holes, bad idea but… Now they are very happy and I don’t feel like a plant killer! Hopefully the cilantro (the one I most wanted) won’t bolt.
I’m not a watercolor on paper artist but because I made the mistake of leash training Kona, I seem to be spending more time out on the kitchen deck, so I decided to try my hand.
I admire anyone who can paint Plein Air… I’m intimidated by it!
Back in the studio where I feel more confident… Here is a little detail of my most recent Photograph on Fiber series piece. It will be on display at the San Diego Quilt Show August 30 (evening Preview Party) through September 3, 2016. After the piece professionally photographed I’ll share it on the blog.
As I was writing this about twenty green parrots flew over… such a perfect ending!
The weather is warm here, some would say hot but as I have probably said before I’m cold if it gets much cooler than 75 degrees. The garden looks like spring with flowers, bees, birds, butterflies, and lizards!My first irises have come up. I didn’t plant these here, they were displaced when the back garden was professionally reconstructed but they ended up in a perfect location. I thought I would share a few of my iris quilts from the past…
I only make and use original designs now but years ago I bought and use a part of a pattern from Grannie “G” Applique for this last piece (the iris head). I think she has some of the most beautiful applique designs and patterns! Geri was kind enough to feature this on her website way back then.
While we are talking flowers, here is my most recent video lesson for a fun and simple flower project:
We have a rainy day and because it is winter solstice (the shortest day of the year here), I decide to share a few photos… I have been slightly obsessed with shadows lately. It was a fun surprise to happen upon the rock out in the garden. The design was made by the sun and a metal chair – I love it. I feel an art quilt coming on!
We walked on Coronado Island this morning. There were beautiful and colorful gardens and flowers everywhere. I love flowers even though Kona (aka the cat) will inevitably chew on any that arrive in our home, they still brighten my day.
When I lecture I often talk about how there really is something for everyone in quilting and fiber art and I use these three fused flower pieces to demonstrate that in a small way…
So whether you are a solid fabric kind of person or one who likes colorful prints and embellishments, I hope you enjoy every minute of your creative life and share it with someone else… I’ll bet you’ll brighten their day too.
The other day I spotted a large bright green spider on the trumpet flowers in our back garden.
At the time I wasn’t sure what type of spider it was so I got my phone to take a photo and just as I did a Skipper butterfly landed near the spider. I was so excited to have captured two little creatures in my shot! Then when I was sharing the photo with my guys we noticed a grasshopper in the picture too… How cool was that!
I was surprised to realize that the spider was a Green Lynx because the artwork below hangs right next to my desk. There on the flowers is a Lynx spider. But in my defense the one in my garden was a lot bigger!
I like to think of it as experiencing Wabi Sabi instead of weed pulling work. The ground littered with wonderful decaying plants. The textures, colors, the shadows and light, it is ever changing. I’m happy to recreate it in art…
My garden has often been a source of inspiration for me – from the old fence boards to the insect nibbled leaves and the rusty found objects.
When I think about decaying leaves I think of the spectacular fiber art by Barbara Schneider and her Leave Series. Barbara’s work seems to always be evolving. It is so inspiring to me. Thanks to Barbara for allowing me to share her artwork. I hope you will stop by her website and enjoy her wabi sabi fiber art and so much more.
Many years ago someone asked me “What do you do?” I answered “I make miniature landscapes.” In those days that was where my focus was. His response surprised me… He said “You do Bonsai?!” I said “Oh, no, I work in fabric.” and he replied with a disappointed “Oh” and that was the end of it for him.
Had he been interested I would have told him… (In a breathless run on sentence) “Why would I design beautiful tiny plant scapes and study the history that goes back to the 6th century when I can create a little landscape today and recreate the exact landscape tomorrow, making it look totally different, using different fabrics, that only need to be trimmed once and they don’t require water and almost anyone can be taught to make one and it doesn’t take a life time to learn and, and, and… Uh-oh, my passion is showing!
For the record – I love Bonsai and admire anyone who devotes their time and skill to designing and growing them. Thanks to Brian DeCarlo for allowing me to share his lovely Bonsai Islands video – Bonsai Art. What are you passionate about and do you show it?
This is our ten year old kitty, Kona in her box (which measures 8” x 11”). The box is smack dab in the center of our so called “great” room, on a small area rug. Despite the fact that she has cat beds on just about every piece of furniture in the house she has decided this is her box, her bed, her raft! So it remains there to be kicked and tripped over, every time one of us walk through the room.
Today when I revisited this photo I noticed all the texture: the cardboard, the fur, the weave of the rug and the pattern, even the tiny corner of wood… all so tactile and inspiring to a fiber artist.
Many of us have made quilts inspired by our cats. When I think of cats and quilts I can’t help but think of quilt artist Ann Fahl ‘s quilts featuring her cat Oreo.
Ann Fahl writes “Summer Sanctuary is a quilt when first completed didn’t include Oreo. She was added later!”
Another of Ann’s quilts – Under the Giant Coneflowers, is one of my favorites. Ann’s book, A Black and White Tale, includes all of her cat pieces. I hope you will visit Ann Fahl’s website and her blog to read more about her books and to see her incredible body of work.
I own two of Ann Fahl’s free-motion thread play books and have admired her work for a long time. I thank Ann for giving me permission to share her art.
If you haven’t free-motion quilted or thread painted but wanted to, I encourage you to just jump in! I have had to get over a lot of hang ups because I came from the “hand quilting, perfect stitches, and needle turn applique” mindset. Working Playing with my Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen machine and thread has been some of the most fun I have had in my fiber art career. But this can be done on a home sewing machine too!
I’m so fortunate that I get to do this and call it “work!” I’m about to quilt the sky on this commissioned piece, after yards and yards of thread and many hours of free-motion quilting the flowers and foliage. Here are a couple detail photos… The sky and most of the flower fabric were painted by me and the butterfly (and birds which don’t show in these photos) will be a lesson I hope to be giving on Curious.com/fiberdesignsbyann in the future.
I’m working on a commissioned art quilt that is a little larger than anything I have made recently and it has many pastel colors which is a palette I don’t often use. I’m enjoying the process and the challenge! It was requested that the piece have monarch type butterflies and birds, specifically bluebirds. I am painting and then stitching them which I have never done on such a small scale and never using the technique I’m trying… I have stabilized the fabric with Terial Magic spray and I’m not using a hoop when I free motion stitch/embroider. I’ll have more about the in a future post.
One thing I like about this method is that if the painting isn’t quite right (sparrow’s beak e.g.) I can correct it during the stitching.
On the butterflies only the black is stitched and the colors were just left painted. I’m okay with the white fabric being wrinkled because these elements will be cut out and appliqued on to the sky and flowers. But I’m trying a few changes to see if the fabric will always wrinkle when not placed in a hoop. I’ll keep you posted and I’ll post the finished quilt when I get there.