Tuesday, May 31, 2011

ATCs: First thing in the morning

What's the first thing you do in the morning? Are you one that jumps right out of bed to greet a new day? Or, do you hit the snooze button several times? Here are interpretations of morning rituals by this month's ATC artists.
Left: "Hit the SnOOOZzzzz..."
Right: "First thing I see"
Left: "Swimming Laps"
Right: "Take a walk before it gets too hot."
Left: "Once you are able to retire you never have to look at clocks first thing."
Right: "First thing in the morning I write 3 pages of stream-of-consciousness journaling
per Julia Cameron, The Artist's Way."
Above: "Coffee and the News"

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My shibori garments in Belle Armoire magazine

Exciting news! Two of my shibori artwear pieces will be featured in an article in the Summer 2011 Belle Armoire magazine.

My shibori bog jacket in Belle Armoire, July 2011.
Shown here is my silk noil Bog Jacket, and the other garment included is my Power of Panthera Leo vest that won Best of Show in the Riberbend Fiber Arts 2010 Challenge.

The article, called "Compliments of the Dye Pot," shows full views and detail photos of both garments, talks about their inspiration, and provides information on the shibori patterns and dye process.

To pre-order this issue with a special Free Shipping offer, click here. Hurry, the offer expires May 25.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Knitting in the Round class rounding the bend

My Knitting in the Round students made amazing progress on their retro cloches after only two class sessions. Here are their works-in-progress. The last class is next week and we'll work on the rosette embellishment and the drawstring.
Retro cloches from my Knitting in the Round class.
Retro Cloche hand knit by Lois.
Lois finished her hat and sent me this photo. She used a row of single crochets for her drawstring. Great job, Lois! This project is full of interesting techniques, so students walk away from this class with many useful knitting techniques that can be used in future projects. It's been a really fun class.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Knit up some Mitts

My Fingerless Mitts—Knitting II class starts next Monday, May 23 at Chattanooga State. It's a 2-session class. (The second session will be determined by the class as the school is closed May 30 for Memorial Day.)
Registration closes at noon on Thursday, May 19.
Call 697-3100 or register on line at Chattanooga State.

The thermometer has dipped into the 50s the past couple of days. Wouldn't you like a pair of hand-knit fingerless gloves for the morning drive to work or a brisk walk with the dog?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The relativity of value: it depends on who's next to what

Value changes the look of the Ohio Star block.
The Choo Choo Quilters program that I presented on "Identifying Value in Color" was a blast! One of the members had a scrappy quilt top using the 1000 triangles design for Show and Tell. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect segue into the program.

It's easy to identify value—the lightness or darkness of a color—with paint... you just keep adding drops of black paint to pure white and you can the whole grayscale. In fabrics, with their various prints, patterns and multi-colored motifs, it can be a little more difficult.

Using the wrong side of the fabric to change value.
I took a classic, identifiable quilt block—the Ohio Star—and manipulated the placement of value to change the emphasis. Color placement remained the same: orange background, blue star points and green in the center. See how different the blocks look when the value (not the color) is changed?

Here is an example (right) of using the same fabrics, but using the back side of the orange fabrics to change the value. Remember, when you buy fabrics, you pay for both sides. So, if you need a lighter shade or tint of a color, try flipping the fabric over.

The class exercise was lively and interesting. I requested that attendees bring light, medium and dark fabric swatches to the meeting. The group was split into two teams and each team arranged the same group of fabrics by value from light to dark.
Several guild members used different techniques and devices to aid in identifying the values: wearing sunglasses, squinting, looking through peep holes, camera viewfinders and value finders. At one point, we even turned off the lights. Playing with fabrics in the dark... what fun!

The Results: Below is a comparison of the team results. Both groups identified the same fabrics in the lightest, darkest and medium categories. The "transition" fabrics (from light into medium and medium into dark) were a little less consistent.

Two of the fabrics with large motifs were more difficult to place in the sequence. One had white flowers on a navy background and the other had tan motifs on a dark brown background. It's also interesting to see that the light blue fabric (3rd from the bottom) is in the same location in both groups even though the group on the left has turned this fabric to the wrong side. Hmmm... wonder what that's all about??

Try this exercise using your own fabric or yarn stash. Are there any gaps in your stash's value range?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Identifying Value in Color—bring your sunglasses

In quilting, value—the lightness or darkness of a color—is often more critical to the success of a quilt's design than color. If you've ever seen a scrap quilt with a design that just sparkles, you know that it's all about value. I'll be presenting the program, "Identifying Value in Color," at my quilt guild next Monday, May 16.

My guild, the Choo Choo Quilters, is devoting the 2011 year to the study of design in quilting. We're using Lorraine Torrence's book, Fearless Design for Every Quilter, as our text. 

We'll be doing an exercise on value at the meeting which I think will be fun. I worked last week preparing the program, visuals and a handout. To give you a preview, here is the meeting pre-work:

:: Choose 1 light fabric, 1 medium fabric and 1 dark fabric.
:: From each fabric, cut four 4” x 5” rectangles.
:: Pin the rectangles together into 6 pairs, keeping the same fabrics together.
:: Make two stacks with a light, a medium, and a dark pair in each (two stacks with 6 fabric pieces in each). Bring these stacks to the meeting.
:: Bring a value finder, reducing glass or peep hole or your sunglasses to the meeting.
These are the leftover bits from my visuals... arranged from dark to light. You're invited to the meeting if you want to play along. Be sure to bring your sunglasses!

Friday, May 13, 2011

The cleaned up View from Here

The clean-up continues. We got all the utilities back this past week. Fallen trees move from yards and driveways to the street.
 Parts of the street are a single lane due to all the debris.
 Can you find the deck?
Thanks to friends and family, we got the yard cleared.
The smoker survived but the picnic table was sacrificed.
The red lilies are a cheerful sight.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

ATCs: The view from here

Alas, "The view from here" changed dramatically since last Wednesday when an F2 tornado whaled through Chattanooga. The road from our house was blocked in both directions for a day and a half and power was restored after nearly 5 day, around 9 pm. on Sunday. We patiently await other services--phone, cable and internet--as sthe clean-up continues.

ATC artists responded to the April ATC theme, "The view from here," with these, more uplifting cards:

Here is the view from my studio with three trees across the deck. (The deck is under there... really).
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