Saturday, September 27, 2008

What I'm up to this week

Well, I've made a little progress on the Cathedral Windows piece, but the tutorial is going to have to wait awhile. I got new batteries for my camera, but it's still dead. So, in a couple of weeks (after the rent is paid), I'll finally get a digital camera. Nothing high-end, because that's just not in the budget at all. But Radio Shack has quite a few decent ones for about $100 or so.

Meanwhile, One of the quilting email groups I belong to is doing a mystery: all in the color family. I spent a couple of hours today rummaging through my stash, and wound up pulling fabric for four different colorways of this quilt. Now I'm prewashing everything before I cut. I always prewash my fabrics (one at a time, in the sink), because I want them to do any bleeding or shrinking they might do before I've used them in a quilt. Know what I mean?

And those lovely two-inch stars I did for the mini swap? Were supposed to be three inches square. Oh well, I don't have time before the deadline to redo them, so either people will be okay with sashing them up to three inches, or I'll get my own blocks back.

The paper-piecing group that did the four-inch teacup block swap has started a six-inch stocking block swap for the holidays. The deadline for that is December 1, so I have plenty of time.

I've sketched out the next part of the "Opening Your Creative Eye" series, so I'll try to get that posted tomorrow. I still need to carry out that step on my example picture, so you can see what I'm talking about.

Well, the timer just went off to tell me that it's time to swap fabrics in the sink. Later!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Opening Your Creative Eye

The preceding three pictures have several things in common:
  • They are all from nature
  • They all play with shapes, colors, and textures
  • They're about seasons: two spring, one fall
What about your pictures? What do you see when you look at the world?

Opening Your Creative Eye

I love trees that get flowers on them, before they even have leaves. There's just something reaaly special about, that really says "Spring" to me. Up close, I see clusters of flowers, elegant in their simplicity. When you look from a distance at the tree covered in these clusters, it kind of looks like popcorn.

Opening Your Creative Eye

There are several things I like about the third picture:
  • The contrast of soft new growth to the rough texture of the existing bark
  • The colors: several shades of green and brown that complement each other
  • The shapes: the fans of new growth perpendicular to the furrowed trunk.

Opening Your Creative Eye

I took this picture because I'd never seen ivy that turned red in the fall, and it's such a rich red, like Japanese maple. I also like the lushness of it against the square flat tiles of the wall.

Opening Your Creative Eye

Many people believe that they are not creative. I believe that many of those people could be creative, if they could learn one thing: how to see like an artist.

I believe that this can, in fact, be taught, and I've been thinking for quite some time about how I might do just that. So here is lesson one.

The first step is to get some pictures of things that appeal to you. These can be pictures that you've taken of things around you or places you've been, or they can be pictures that you've found in magazines. The important thing is that there's something about these pictures that "speaks" to you.

Pick three of those pictures, and ask yourself the following questions about them:

  • What is it that I like about these pictures?
  • What (if anything) do these pictures have in common?
I'll follow with a few of my own "inspiration" pictures, so you can see what I mean.

Cathedral Windows Update

This is what I've gotten done so far on my Cathedral Windows. My friend saw it and wants me to make it king-size, for her. That could take a while, since the colored squares are only 1.5" on a side!

I was going to take pictures today so I could show you a tutorial of how I do my Cathedral Windows, but the battery in my camera is dead. So it's going to be a few weeks until I can put that up, by the time I get a new battery, take pictures on the weekend (because by the time I get home from work there's really not enough light to take good pictures), and then get them developed to CD. Yeah, I'm still using film. The only digital camera I have is on my phone, which is so not up to such a task.

In the meantime, I'll give you the first lesson of a class that I'm developing, called "Opening Your Creative Eye". Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Cathedral Windows Update

I cut my black background squares last night, and started sewing today, following the tutorial that I linked to earlier. What I discovered was that, sewing by hand (I don't presently have a functioning machine) resulted in some really ugly squares.

So I decided to take a different tack - literally. I had already marked 1/4" from the edge on my squares, for a sewing line. I decided to use that as a line on which to fold and press the edges. Then I folded the square in half, first one way and then the other, finger-pressing to mark the center of the square. Next, I folded each corner toward the center, hiding the folded raw edges. I tacked all the corners down in the center, and pressed all the folds. Then I folded the corners to the center again, again pressing and tacking them down.

Now I have some much-better-looking squares. I've started whip-stitching the squares together, and I've cut the batik squares for the "windows". I'll scan some to show you when I get some more put together.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Mini Stars

As promised, here's a pic of the mini stars I made for the swap. I made four of each star, and they'll finish at 2" across.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I've Been Away Too Long

I'm sorry for being such poor correspondent. I've been busy having life.

Anyway, I've recently been able to spend more time playing with fabric, doing some paper-pieced blocks for a couple of online swaps. I'll show you some of them later this weekend.

Meanwhile, I've been inspired by this Cathedral Windows tutorial. I'm going to do a miniature one in black with bright batiks in the "windows".

What are you working on?