Category Archives: Art

Day 29: Art Journal Page On Gratitude

Yesterday I blogged my thoughts on resolutions for 2016. I’ve got a general sense that I want to focus on being social, creative, and healthy. But why wait? There’s no rule that I have to have it all figured out or begin on January 1st.

So today I started a page in my art journal. It’s going to take a while to fill in all of the things I’m thankful for because it’s list-style. That leaves room for a LOT of things. It’s great to have focused on something positive and visually interesting.

I also started working out. My sister and I have a goal to work out at least five days every week through January. I watched the last half hour of the Lego Movie (which is hilarious) while strolling on the treadmill. Day 1, check!

Day 27: Magic Dishes

There’s a special dish that’s part of every holiday meal. You can see it in the food photo from our Christmas meal on the left and Thanksgiving on the right.

 

christmasdinnerjoethanks15

Here’s what it looks like empty. What is it? It’s a large platter that I decorated and had guests sign on our wedding day. I have the guest book from my parents’ wedding. It’s pretty and interesting and…. sits inside a box. Our dish gets used 3-4 times every year and is on display the rest of the time.

weddingguestbook

Why is it magic? Because of all the love that went into making it. I started at one of those stores where you can paint ceramics. They’ll fire them in the kiln and you come back to a finished glazed piece. This time I wanted it sign-able so I did most of the decorating in-store. Then I borrowed a black glaze pen and had wedding guests sign with it at our reception. Returned the platter to the store and picked up our finished piece post-honeymoon. Cool, huh?

 

Day 6: I Made a New Friend

A #31dayblogchallenge post.

I made a new friend last night. We’ve known each other for years. She’s my neighbor. It all started when I showed her my studio. The conversations are private but here’s what my studio looked like after an hour. We bonded over art and stories. Can you see how many quilts are laid out? So much fun.

newfriendhonestcraftroom

Everything’s 30% off Sale and News

Hello everyone. We’re putting moving soon and looking forward to our next adventure. Wish us luck and buy my stuff! LOL seriously though, this is good news for you. In an effort to have less things to pack up in boxes and move I’m discounting all of my items for sale in the etsy shop. They’re now 30% off. No coupon code is needed as I’ve adjusted the price of each individually on the listings. I’ll be adding items to the shop over the next few days so check back for more cool stuff, all 30% off their original prices.

treeskirtssalecollage

I had a great time recently having a booth at the Purrs and Paws Holiday Boutique. My friend Adva surprised me with a visit (yay!) and took this photo. I learned a lot and did a bit of networking too. I’ll tell you all about it in another blog post.

mybooth

Blog  post, you say? They’ve been few and far between for a few months now but that’s about to change. Cheryl Sleboda of muppin.com will be blogging every day in December. She’s invited other writers to join her and I’ve decided to participate. So buckle up everybody and find your reading glasses ’cause there’s going to be much more action on this site soon.

Teal Mini Quilt Blog Hop: Ovarian Cancer Awareness

12107159_10207273810744087_3802108283043761333_nWelcome! I’m the last stop on this year’s teal mini quilt blog hop. Yay caboose! This swap, hosted by Beth of EvaPaige Quilt Designs, raised $2,000 and awareness for ovarian cancer. The quilts in this post were exchanged between me and my new friend Sarah. Here’s the quilt she made me. It’s double sided!

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Sarah lost her mother to Ovarian Cancer. She has a Pinterest Board dedicated to awareness for this specific disease. I encourage you to check it out. The biggest predictor of successful treatment is early detection and there’s no medical tool that catches it in the earliest stages. Pay attention to your body women of the world! If you feel like there’s something amiss get it checked out. My survivor friend Trisha’s here today in part because she was paying attention and became her own advocate.

Ready to see what I made? I had a back injury while I was making this quilt so it’s 100% hand sewn. I started with some teal yo-yo’s and a contrasting orange batik background fabric. It needed s’more circles but I wanted the teal to be the star so I chose brown. After playing with the placement for a bit I appliqued those yo-yo’s upside down onto the fabric. They’re dimensional and a bit poufy which is fun.

auditioning threads teal quilt

I wanted the thread to stand out a little so you could see the quilting but not too much. So I auditioned them like so. It’s helpful to unwind a bit of thread to see what the strand looks like against the piece. The red’s too bright on the spool but just perfect this way and it’s what I ended up choosing to quilt with.

glue basting teal quiltDouble-fold binding is my jam but it was going to be a pain to sew on entirely by hand so I decided to fold the back over onto the front instead. Usually I’d use a gazillion pins to hold it in place but I saw a cool new thing on Sam Hunter’s Back to School Blog Hop. It’s glue basting and it’s pretty amazing. I learned on the tutorial from purpledaisyquilting in minutes. All you need is Elmer’s glue and a hot iron. I found these cute fine-tipped ones at the dollar store. Score!

final press teal quiltfinished teal quiltHere’s a nice close-up I took while doing the final pressing and the finished quilt. There’s no right side up; It can be hung vertically or horizontally. Can you see the concentric circles quilting? No? How ’bout in this pic Sarah took upon receiving it? It got a little smushed in the mail but this is a much better angle to show off my handiwork. Pretty cool.

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Check out these links for the other artists in this blog hop and mark your calendars for August 2016 to participate in next year’s swap. Sign-up via Facebook.

October 12th Tweety Loves Quilting and One Quilting Circle

October 13th Susan Brehm and Books, Hooks, Sticks, etc

October 14th Teachpany and Bobbin’s Lullaby

October 15th Splitting Stitches and Purple Leaf Quilts

October 16th Blue Ribbon Sewing and quiltartbymegan <— you are here!

Studio Tour 2 of 2

I’m excited to be back with you on this blog, Facebook, and Instagram. As always, the etsy shop continues to be up and running with new quilt art by Megan in there all the time. (See what I did there?)

Anyway, here’s part 2 of the art studio tour. My for-sale items are all in the closet in labeled Xerox boxes. I chose the Xerox boxes for these guys because they fit nicely and the boxes themselves are kind of ugly. Practical without beauty, they’re great behind closed doors. I enjoy the organization too because I no longer have to search through multiple boxes to find something. Bags have their own box, as do Christmas tree skirts, scarves and bibs, tableware and more.

11377169_900855396641584_5267504011435058330_n11401522_907349879325469_6198389971319529987_nHere’s my desk workspace. I have the computer, sewing machine, and projects I’m currently working on here. I also have a wooden desk and long folding table to use now. The table was in the garage while we were cutting wood but we’ve finally finished installing all of the wood flooring. It’s so exciting to have room to spread out! I’ll be basting a quilt in a few days and it’ll be super handy to do that on the table rather than on the floor.

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Between the wall of shelves and the closet is my tower of UFO’s. It holds some of my unfinished projects, all labeled and sorted. I love the fact that this is a tower of drawers so I don’t have to unstack anything to open a bin. One of ’em is stuffed full of crumb blocks. Aren’t they pretty?!

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Getting Organized is Messy

getting organized is messy Getting organized can be so messy! I’m looking forward to getting into my new studio soon. Really, like soon soon. We need to give the wood a few days to acclimate to our house then glue it down and install the trim. Then I can move in.

In the meantime I’m getting some sorting done. The more organized I get now, the easier it will be to load up the shelves and get to sewing. I’m starting with my fabric stash. Here are the new categories:

  • Donate
  • Solids
  • Tone-on-tone
  • Batiks
  • Hand-dyed
  • Holidays
  • Floral
  • Prints with animals
  • Prints with fruit
  • Dots and stripes
  • Flannel
  • Everything else

It’s so nice to be able to find everything quickly! Some of these are further sorted by color or type. I started with yardage (anything 1/8 of a yard and up) and am going through my scraps now. I also have boxes for types of items for sale in my shop. The baby quilts are all snuggled together and when one sells I won’t have to search twelve boxes to find it.

march stash bee block Of course, I need to take sewing breaks. So I made this month’s Stash Bee block. Then I traced some baby bibs which’ll be sold in sets. tracing baby bibs
What about you? How do you organize your stuff?

Fine Art Doesn’t Belong in the Nursery

My for-sale quilts (mostly) are for two kinds of customers: lovers of heirlooms and fine art; and those shopping for baby. I also have arm warmers and table runners but I’m mostly in those two categories. I’m working hard on learning marketing and merchandising and came across this great article.

craft-fair-display

 

This article includes photographs of booths whose displays enhance their products. Landscape paintings are on easels made of tree limbs and natural soap is in an antique washing machine.

big megan with photo

 

This got me thinking my photographs in this blog and the etsy shop. A future craft booth would look different depending on the audience I’m looking to reach. How much better would it be if the products were displayed more relevantly? Art quilts like the portrait quilt above should be in a minimalist, gallery-like setting. Maybe they’re hung on a black curtain with spot-lighting. Balloons and brightly colored backdrops would not be appropriate. They could be photographed above a beautiful fireplace or fancy bed.

pink d9p finished

Baby quilts, on the other hand wouldn’t make sense in that setting. Maybe they’re draped over a crib or spilling out the drawers of a changing table. A kids’ picnic table and stuffed animals would be awesome. As for photographs, why not have a baby playing on the quilts?

duckie bibs double sided

I don’t have these props yet but some of them can be found cheaply at thrift stores and yard sales. We have no other use for a crib but I’ll be on the lookout for a rocking chair… and a local friend with a baby. 🙂

 

Linking up to Show Off Saturday.

Artist. Not just a quilt artist.

I remember my purple bedroom with the hollowed-out-closet turned art studio. It was AWESOME! At five, this was waaaay better than a trip to Disney. I sat in there for hours at my little desk coloring, drawing, stamping, creating. I had to get permission for messy stuff like glue, paint, and clay but my parents made sure that I got to use them sometimes too.

My husband and I are getting an art studio ready for me in this house. It’s a bedroom that was a storage room. The things that were in there have sorted, organized, and put in their proper places so now it’s empty and ready for sprucing up. Yes, the row of shelving stays. I get to fill it up with fabric!

studio before 1We got rid of the smelly carpet, threadbare curtains, and popcorn ceiling treatment. The weird shape on the window is from the brown packaging tape holding it together. It’ll need to be replaced. We got rid of the 7The first things accomplished getting rid of the carpet, tossing the curtains, and scraping the popcorn treatment off the ceiling.

my studio minus carpet curtains and popcorn ceilingI had a circus party in the closet studio house. The invitations were tickets I made. I painted our windows (half dish soap, and half paint) with balloons, clowns, and animals. We made a train down to the basement playroom. Hands on the shoulders of the kid in front of you. No pushing! There was a face-painting station and a cake with a train on it. Such fun!

At 31, I can still taste being five years old. So I’ve decided to play! I’m joining a meet-up for art journalling in my area. My first meeting is this Friday morning. I’m hoping to make friends and to play. Not to make anything specific or become a world-famous collage maker or painter, but to play with other artists.

cupcakes and lollipops journal pageHere’s the first page of my art journal. I stamped the background with bubble wrap, painted with cherry syrup, glued ribbon, brushed glitter nail polish on, and added the lettering. Who says you can’t create without art supplies? I knew what I wanted to say and made do with what I had. 🙂 I will be picking up a tray of kids’ watercolors from the dollar store before my meeting though. 🙂

 

Linking up to Val’s sewing room link party. Check it out if you want some ideas for your studio.

 

Chopping Up the Table-Runner

I cut up an incomplete table runner this week. I gave myself permission to wreck a project that wasn’t working and turn it into something new! Here’s what it used to look like.

ufo challenge beginning runner

What inspired such a bold move? It was last week’s Project Quilting Challenge on unfinished works. Several people took meh pieces and turned them into something amazing like this and this. Click on those links. You’ll be glad you did.

So here’s my work in progress. I started by cutting the four-patches out of the table-runner. I only seam-rip when it’s absolutely necessary. The blocks were framed in green fabric I was going to trim off anyway.

cut out four-patches

They’re all beautiful Asian prints. Why are fabrics like these called that? Asia’s a continent with a wide variety of cultures, styles, and looks. It’s a little weird that this category is so broad. There are Japanese prints out there, which is a little better, but these aren’t them.

ufo challenge four patches

Anyway, I cut each four-patch block in diagonal twice and sewed ’em back together.

ufo challenge disappearing four patch

Now they’re much cuter pinwheels.

ufo challenge block

 

I joined the pinwheel blocks for the center and added some borders.

asian fabrics quilt thus far

I like the skinny grey border near the edge and think there needs to be something similar between the pinwheels and first border. I’m not willing to rip three borders off to make it look right. Instead I’ll applique a skinny blue there. I’ll be sure to show you guys how it turns out in the end.

Project Quilting’s Voting is open through February 13th. My tiny heart is #44. Check out all of the awesome entries and choose your favorite six! The next challenge begins on Sunday the 15th.