Saturday, 28 April 2018

Is it Blue?

     On occasion I take the ferry to Halifax, walk along the board walk and waterfront, up the hill towards the citadel and along the streets of old and new architecture. Although it could be a warm or cold day, it is invariably sunny. Why pay for a ferry ride to walk in the rain?
     And so, on one of those cold sunny days, I snapped pictures of a city in transition. Two of the art quilt pieces I completed were juried into a show and are currently hanging in a gallery. Another piece I had started (but not finished in time to be considered for the SAQA Atlantic Transitions show), is of a building on George Street.
     My father asked recently what was I working on ... and I told him "the beautiful tall TD steel-blue building in Halifax along with the old bank" (possibly originally a Bank of Montreal, I must look that up). My father had no idea what building I was talking about.
     It has a tricky perspective ... I am standing on a slope downhill of the building, and there is no easy way to encompass both the new and old building. 
     Another difficulty is trying to show the different details of the building with fabric colours that have the same intensity. It will eventually be up to some thread painting to highlight the ornate work on the old bank.
     Midway through this, I realized that my photo did not show the detail of the buildings very clearly ... on a grey day, just before a coming rain, I took the ferry to Halifax and walked up the hill. ..... my blue building was NOT THERE!!!  Instead a large ominous grey building stood in its place.
     It turns out the glass and steel building is not blue (nor dark grey) but rather, it reflects the sky colour, to the point where the edges of the building often blend right in with the sky.
No wonder my Dad had no idea what I was talking about!! 

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Spring Cleaning

     Without all the SAQA art quilts now hanging at the gallery and no longer filling up my studio space, it was time to tidy up ... what started as a small 'tidy' ended up being a massive spring cleaning of the studio space and all the bits and pieces of colour-coordinated fabric that have been collecting in  plastic bins over 9 years.
     Twelve plastic bins are now at the goodwill shop (along with 6 bags of other miscellaneous stuff); scraps, strips, and blocks of fabric are bundled to either go to the quilting bee on Wednesday or the Mayflower quilting meeting in two weeks (We have a table for leftover fabric from which many people make charity quilts).  Fabric that I want to use for art quilts, including backings, has been re-organized and shelved. I could probably use with another CD shelving unit for fat quarters but empty shoe boxes turned on their sides work well for now.

And then I figured, why stop now. If I really have no desire to make bed quilts, then get rid of the magazines and books that promote bed quilts ... and so I did (about 30+ books and 40+ magazines are on their way out the door!)

     And I ended up with some empty shelving space! Not only empty spots, but one whole shelving unit is empty and waiting at the bottom of the stairs ready to be donated to Habitat for Humanity.

     Next I attacked the cutting table area and the various bags of quilting items stuffed around the room that I had used for samples in quilt classes that I taught a few years ago. Each class requires a small sample, as well as blocks in various stages to show the progression of sewing.  The IWK Hospital Natal unit takes Premie quilts that can be 24 - 30 inches square ... I decided to put the class samples to good use and created 8 premie quilt tops.  These won't take long to quilt and will likely be done in between art quilt ideas that have been percolating in my mind over the last 6 months.

The first two are based on a 9 patch with diagonal cuts ... love the shell pattern fabric; the white fabric also has shells on it

The next two are also part of the disappearing 9 patch theme, this time with sashing & using up random bright coloured fabrics for kids.

And then the disappearing 9 patch & sashing with a little more sedate look:

And the 9 patch again, without sashing, using up leftovers for the border to make it a 30 inch square

And finally using up some long strip pieces, which might have originally been intended for a kaleidoscope quilt, but I wasn't going that route any more, so they were cut into 6 inch blocks. This quilt will work as a crib quilt or a lap quilt ... and will probably go to the women's shelter.

And then, I found some leftover squares from an earlier quilt that I sold a few years ago ... not enough squares to make anything worthwhile, but after digging through the scrap bins, I found similar fabric to make this. It will need a border to finish it off.

     A clean space, no clutter ... a studio waiting for some creative work to begin!!

Two special projects

     I have been busy making a double sized bed quilt for a friend's son ... and I have decided that I really don't want to make any more bed quilts for a very long time.  I'd much rather do art quilts, postcard quilts, and writing.  There are threads and finishing touches left to do, but the plan is to have it ready by the end of the week ... and then it can either be mailed or wait until my friend visits Dartmouth / Halifax again.

     The opening at the Craig Gallery went well ... we have 29 art quilt pieces from 19 quilt artists showing for a month. Now that the first gallery is in motion, I need to get the information out to the 2nd gallery in Yarmouth for the August & Sept exhibition. One of our members, Kate M created the poster for the show (& I am pleased to see that my piece made the picture ... 3rd picture slice).

     And then, just for fun, another friend posted a picture that her daughter in elementary school created ... and it looked so "quilt-like" in a folksy way, I had to make a postcard of it ... and mailed it off to the young artist.  If the mail service is on-time, she should receive her card tomorrow.

The original:

The postcard: