In the Fiber Arts Studio
This past month, I’ve been playing with color—I made a color wheel quilt and then made a scrappy modern quilt with small slices of leftover fabric.
I still have lots of bigger pieces of these colors because the color wheel took only a wedge of a 5” square out of a fat quarter. I did the quilting on my longarm even though they are just small quilts.
I’ve been making some practice pieces from Jean Wells’ book, Intuitive Color & Design, and made the small blocks into these “off the wall” quilts. Miles made some plain wooden frames out of 1 x 4 inch lumber and I covered them first with batting and then with my little quilts. It took a bit of problem solving to work out the engineering, but I’m happy with how they turned out. I also did some hand embellishment and hand-stitched the backing. I quilted these on my Bernina, then sewed the sides and back with my serger, which made the corners easy to turn and I like the finished edges, even though they’re on the inside where no one will see them.
My large summer project is a king-size bed quilt that will go on my bed. I’ve made two other bed quilts this year, so decided I was ready to tackle this challenge. What’s different about this one is that it is made entirely of 2 ½ and 4 ½ inch half-square triangles. I’m making it from a kit, since it requires 9 different black print and 9 different tan print fabrics, and they all need to coordinate. If someone had asked me my favorite colors, black and tan would not have been my answer, but I have discovered that for my living space I like the neutrality of the tans and the sharpness of the blacks.
I also worked on some hand-dyed projects that I started almost a year ago, when I was dyeing some onesies for grandson Lincoln. I was experimenting with resists, including glue and crayons, and made a couple of turtle prints.
I decided the larger piece had too much white remaining so I applied more Elmer’s gel glue to the main design, then tie-dyed it again, with turquoise and navy, with a little yellow. Haven’t finished it yet; I’m thinking it might need some metallic thread for the quilting.
For the studio, I got some great looking shelves hung over my desk; the brackets are pipes, and the shelves are weathered wood, so they have sort of a “steam punk” look. The room has an eclectic, whimsical personality, with my steam punk shelves, different colored walls, and tree mural (painted by my daughter in law, Kate). It’s a different space from the rest of the house, unconventional – a room for creativity.
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After a 30-year career in academic education and scientific research, it's time to explore my more artistic side.