Saturday, July 18, 2009

More Kids' Art!

I Just wanted to share the last three projects we did this week. We did a Claude Monet study on cotton using drawing chalk and milk to set. We've studied Monet before but I find that impressionism draws everyone into art. Kandisky was our focus for the next day. We studies simple shapes and color schemes. The kids were very upset with me that I made them work only in their chosen colors! Still they were all surprised when simple shapes such as circle and squares ended up looking like art. We finished with the fanciful world of Joan Miro which everyone loved. We used watercolors again since they lent themselves nicely to the project with their bright colors. The kids just loved to draw stick figures and not worry about too much detail. All in all it was just a great week!

I'm off for the next two weeks to Quilting by the Lake. I'm sure I'll blog about it when I get back!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Kid's Art - WOW!

For the last 7 years I take one week a summer and teach art to kids. Its always an amazing and inspiring time. I always pick lessons that introduce a famous artist or design element. I can't tell you how much I learned while preparing these lessons. Along with this, I always try to let the kids create while keeping a bit of structure. I thought I would post the pic's from this year's session. I teach two one hour classes (one to 4-6th graders - one to 2-3rd graders). As you might have guess - the 2nd and 3rd graders always seem to be more creative. By 4th grade everyone starts to worry if their work is good enough or looks like something. Here are the first two lessons, one being on Frank Lloyd Wright's stain glass windows (sharpie pens and overhead sheets) and the other is watercolor silhouettes. I've found that kids like both medium since they are so user friendly and can produce some really bright colors.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

In Search of . . . Inspiration

Now that Quilting by the Lake is about a week away, I really need to start packing and getting ready. I'm taking two design classes taught by Cynthia Corbin and Elizabeth Barton. I've had both before so I know sort of what to expect, but still packing seems daunting. Don't get me wrong. Their supply lists are easy enough to understand. In fact they both pretty much overlap. Still, both say to bring inspiration.

Well, I searched high and low through my quilting supplies to find the package marked inspiration. Couldn't find it it there. Looked on JoAnn's Fabrics notion wall (which was 50% off last week btw) but they didn't carry it. Even checked at some of my favorite online quilt shops (where I would have to pay shipping) but no luck. So I'm left with the question . . . Where does one find inspiration?

If you're like me, I find inspiration everywhere and no where at all. What I mean is, I see something that inspires me, and then something else and then something else etc. etc. Nothing right now is popping out at me. One of the classes is taking your work into a new direction while the other is creating a series. Sooooooooooo I need to find a subject matter that is new and that I will want to study for a while. Easier said then done, I'm finding.

Does anybody have any good ideas on where to find inspirational pictures? I've been searching for images - here are some that caught my attention - you can let me know what you think . . . . As always any comments are welcome.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Quilts and Flowers - Flowers and Quilts

Quilts in the Yards 09 went amazing. The weather, the quilts, the people. . . .well it was wonderful. I'm sure the pictures will say more about the day then I ever could. I uploaded all the pictures to webshots for anybody to enjoy! Just click on the link and there is the entire slideshow - the click is on the right hand side of that page!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Birdhouse Quilt Done!!!

Ephesians 4:3,4 "Make every effort to keep in the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one Body and one Spirit - just as you were called to one Hope."

I don't know what it is with me and deadlines. I'm not one to procrastinate - well not exactly. I start on time and keep with a project throughout, but it seems like I'm still just finishing pieces just in the nick of time. So I use exhibits or competitions more for the deadline than validation.

The Birdhouses ended up just like that. I started designing this quilt in April. It "cooked" on my design wall most of May and by June, I said enough is enough - just get the dang thing done! I had chosen to carry on with the simple shape of the birdhouses and limit myself to two colors, gray blue and burnt orange. My process is explained in early blogs.

This week, I managed to get all the thread work done. I decided finally just to play with lines on it - adding different type of "shingles", straight lines, and a touch of stippling. The thread work was done with a batting sandwich. I then added the backing to put in the final quilt lines which basically outline the shape of the houses. This way the back stays nice and neat.

The quilt is only 26" by 32" and took 45 hours (including the design process). Its finished with a facing binding. As a self critique, I would say the composition is strong due to the repetition of shape and color. I think a better job could have done in value. Also, I could have come up with a better idea of how to use thread work on the face of the birdhouses. That really stumped me. I like the freezer paper template process of making the pieces but I would have appliqued them to the foundation using a straight stitch instead of the blind hem stitch.

It will be shown tomorrow at Quilts in the Yard 09 in Edinboro, PA.