Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Blue Vase

Well, so much for staying focused. I spent Saturday with Yvonne Porcella ! Well, not exactly. I shared her with 20 of my closest EBHQ friends. Yvonne was the guest speaker for the January 28 meeting of the East Bay Heritage Quilters. She taught a class on Saturday on her methods of making quilts using fusible web and machine applique. This is the still life I did. On Monday she taught a wearable art class. I would have loved to make the jacket that she is taught on Monday but I am staying focused on quilts.

I didn’t get a lot done in Saturday's class. I find it hard to work with all of the distractions. I had been feeling bad that I was taking a class and starting another project instead of working on my big-ish piece. But instead, I decided that the class was a kind of warm-up exercise. I had been a little stuck for whatever reason. I am now putting "take a class" in my bag of tricks for getting over bumps. Of course I totally didn't plan it that way.

I really wanted to meet Yvonne and spend time in her class. For me, she is one of the founding mothers of the studio art quilt phenomenon. Her vibrant colors are not unusual today but they were when she began in the 70s. And how about those amazing kimonos!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Early Spring

This is still journal 3 of 2008 but I added hand stitching to the trees in an attempt to draw focus to them and away from the "background." I had been looking for a way to create what I "saw" in my walks in the woods, putting the emerging green of spring into softer focus. Coming upon this piece of fabric which had been screen printed was exciting. Quilting the line of the trees was interesting but didn't seem to be enough.

I'm not so sure about my "no rules" approach to my goal of weekly journaling but I am satisfied that I am making work.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Journal Quilt Week 3 of 2008

I thought about not making something last week because I am trying to get something done for my guild show. The East Bay Heritage Quilters have a show every two years. Every member may exhibit one quilt and one piece of wearable art. It’s an amazing guild. It’s a wonderful show. I’m not even at the point of having some pictures of the work in progress.

On Friday, while cleaning up my work space, I found a piece of fabric that I made in an EBHQ workshop with Kerr Grabowski. I cut it up and started quilting my tree shapes. This fabric was screen printed with thickened dyes, using Kerr’s deconstructed screen printing techniques. I had intended to do more hand stitching on this piece but I decided to take a look at it first. I mis-positioned it on the scanner bed and got this image. I’m going to leave it for now and get back to my EBHQ project.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Trying to stay focused

I always think I should have a photo to go with a blog post, so I haven’t been blogging much. I am trying to stay focused on my weekly journal project and I am working on a large-ish piece (about 36 x 48) for the 2008 EBHQ show, Voices in Cloth. The show is a little later this year, April 12 and 13, but it is still at the Oakland Convention Center. Here’s a picture of one of the Opportunity Quilts for 2009. This one is by Judy Jensen. Read more about it here

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Resolution : Focus

The Gang of Four had our January meeting. We had selected Resolution or Resolve as our prompt. I have been much more interested in the tree thing I’ve got going than the concept of resolution. In the course of this project, I did spend some quality time thinking about the end of 2007 and what I accomplished. I have been subscribing to the EDM listserv (check out EDM Superblog) where there has been a huge discussion of goal setting for 2008. Somewhere I found a link to Christine Kane’s blog and I loved her idea in her December 28, 2007 post about choosing a word for the year, rather than resolutions.

I haven’t been drawing every day but I have been drawing and more importantly, I have been working in my sketchbook. When I am overwhelmed with a blank page in my sketchbook I will break the page down into boxes and doodle in the boxes. I took that approach in designing this piece. It was actually the only idea I had. I decided that the important thing was to make something that was 12 x 12, rather than getting caught up in the “making a masterpiece.” I enjoyed just getting it done. I knew what would go in some of the boxes. I finally settled on the irregular grid and filled in the boxes that I was sure of. I treated this quilt as a sketchbook page.

In my initial research, I had come up with ideas like fireworks, streamers, and confetti which I thought might be ideas for quilting motifs. As the piece turned out to be a kind of whole-cloth quilt, I didn’t really have space for extra quilting. But I did have that spool of metallic thread which I had never used. I was afraid of the issues that might develop but I experimented anyway. That was good. Our next meeting is in February and the prompt is crazy or love or crazy and love or crazy in love.

Saturday, January 05, 2008


This is the third journal quilt I've finished in the 12 x 12 inch format. My goal is to finish something every week for 2008. I continue to be interested in trees and line. In looking at my sketchbook, I noticed that trees have been a recurring motif. I feel as if there is much more territory to explore. Can this be a series? In this piece I experimented with monoprinting with acrylic paint on a Plexiglas plate.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Storm Update

I just went out and there are many downed branches. There is lots of flooding: clogged drains, trees downed, creeks rising. Power is still out in five neighborhoods in our village. The winds, which were the biggest problem, seem to have temporarily abated but heavy showers and thunderstorms are still predicted for the next day or two, and a “very wet pattern” will continue until perhaps Thursday of next week. The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather warning for the entire area. I emptied out the rain gauge which was up to 5 inches.

The Sierra Nevada is bracing for perhaps the biggest snowstorm total in the last 50 years.

Big Storm!

The big storm that forecasters have been warning us about, hit with full force here on the eastern side of the Berkeley Hills. We just regained power after a 2-1/2 hour outage. I suspect that we are one of the lucky ones. There are reportedly over 200 separate locations in the Bay Area that will require work. We have had very high winds and have had 4 inches of rain since yesterday. A portion of an old fence on our property blew down. We have two sump pumps going, now that we have power again, and so far so good. But there is a torrent pouring down the hillside behind us. If I get a chance, I will go out and take a picture of our “waterfall.” It is still blowing and raining and more rain is predicted. This is actually a series of three storms that are moving into California. We haven’t had such a big storm since the New Years’ storm of 2006. I hope Christine at Winnowings on her island in the Delta is okay. Now I’ll go check on the pumps!