Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Mission Accomplished!

Transparency exercise

Transparency exercise

This was fiddly to do, but the illusion is fun!

First a corner was cut out where two fabrics overlapped. The bit that was cut away became a template for cutting the replacement fabric.

Corner cut away from green fabric where green and white "overlap"

Replace the cutaway with a third fabric, and voila...transparency!

Corner replaced with third fabric.

Repeat the process several times over, and . . . did I mention it was tedious?

The problem may have been my attitude. (gasp!) 
My patience was wearing thin.
This was the fourth-last exercise on the list, and I just wanted to hurry up and be done!

Only three more exercises to go!!!

Colours From Nature Exercise, x 2

Eyeball the proportion of colour as found in a subject (ignore the background), and then represent it in fabric on a 3" x 5" card. 

I've done similar colour studies on my own, using magazine pages. They are saved in a sketchbook, and make a great reference tool when seeking colour schemes that work. I was glad to have it when I needed help with an Ugly Fabric Challenge. Boy, was I glad!

Back to the task at hand.

First subject requirement: a flower. 
Not a problem finding fabric in my stash for sunflowers!

Sunflower swatch
Second subject requirement: an animal. 

This exercise has brought to my attention a few deficiencies in my stash. There is a dearth of grays, and a limited palette of browns. Lots of critters have one or the other. The trick was to find a photo that could be represented by my stash. The swatch is not as nuanced as it could be (e.g. I don't have a greenish gray to represent the shadow under Fido's chin, nor is his soft gray mouth represented), but it will do.

Puppy swatch
Other than for the purposes of this exercise, the lack of "animal" colours in my stash doesn't disturb me. If I were to use an animal as a subject for a quilt I'd use fanciful fabrics, anyway!

Oh, who am I kidding? You and I both know that shopping to fill in the gaps is gonna happen!!! There is still a bit of room in my fat quarter drawers . . . 

Can you believe it??? Finally . . . THE LAST EXERCISE!!!

"Get Your Focal Point In Shape" 
The idea was to impose a geometric shape on a focal point to render it more eye-catching. I chose to use a rectangle of the same proportion as the page, but set in the opposite orientation.

Focal point exercise.

Focal point exercise.


In case you are just tuning in, I'm working toward becoming a CQA Certified Quilt Judge. The exercises I've been sharing since the end of January are part of the advance work necessary before attending the first class in June.

Part of?

Yes. You read that right.

There is also required reading, journaling, self-directed research, and preparation of professional documents such as a resume/CV, short bio, full biography, portfolio of my work, and a head shot.

I'm almost ready. Good thing, because the deadline is May 18th!

I'm happily linking up with A Lovely Year of Finishes to say, "Mission accomplished!"
(Here is my goal setting post from the beginning of April).

Try, Learn, Grow!
P.S. I love hearing from you, so don't be shy. Tell me what you think!
P.P.S. Remember to check out my sidebar to see where the parties are today - there's something fun for every day of the week!

Thursday, 23 April 2015

A NEW PROJECT!!! An Exercise. And DISNEY!!!

A New Project!!!

Wayyy back in October I'd purchased a Quick Curve Ruler, and I tell ya...it's been difficult to resist breaking it open. A recent retreat with some quilting friends was just the excuse I needed! 

As it happens (*ahem*), I'd also purchased a companion pattern (or four!) and a sweet jelly roll. All I needed to add was background fabric. A last-minute scrounge in my stash produced a chunk of white-on-white print that would work quite nicely.

Block segments prepped for chain piecing.

After making a test block using "sacrificial fabric", I went into production-mode. Chain piecing is a wonderful thing!

Pile o' piecing.

I don't have pictures of my progress, but another day of piecing should yield a finished top! Yay!!!

An Exercise.

Before the retreat, I was determined to finish one more Judge Certification Programme exercise. 

This time we were to consider how colour placement can create a sense of depth. We were to use the pure hues of a twelve-step colour wheel, and an architectural theme. 

Hmm. More buildings.

Simplifying a design.

A few years ago in Japan I'd taken a photo of some tall, skinny apartment buildings. Perhaps it would make a good jumping off point?

After printing the photo in b&w, I outlined the main elements. When I flipped the page over, I could clearly see the marked lines, and thought it was absolutely charming!

Rainbow colours, architectural design.

It's challenging to create cohesion when using a rainbow of colours! I think this arrangement does the trick. At any rate, I'm reasonably pleased with it.


Immediately after retreat, I was off to Disneyland with my daughter and grandchildren for a week of California sun and fun! 

Character experiences were a blast! Here, April and the kids ham it up with Sulley.
We had to be up at 2 a.m. to make our flights, both leaving and returning - blargh - but it was worth it. We had the most fabulous time together!
Riding the train to save our poor feet.
Little tiger looks fierce here, but it was only for show. He's really just a pussycat!


We were so busy that I didn't even think about quilts . . . can you imagine??? Oh. my. gosh.


Now I'm home again and it's time to pick up where I left off . . . if I can remember where that is, exactly! Things were a bit fuzzy in the real world today, but will come into focus tomorrow, I'm sure.

Try, Learn, Grow!

P.S. I love hearing from you, so don't be shy. Tell me what you think! 
Remember to check out my sidebar to see where the parties are today - there's something fun for every day of the week!

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

OH, the possibilities!

When faced with infinite design possibilities, it's hard to know where to begin. Once a starting point is found, it then becomes difficult to know when to stop!

For example, here is a shot of my work table near the beginning of an exercise called, "Complementary Colour Scheme: Linear Design with Strips".

At this point, I was thinking about windows.

The instructions said, "Using a ruler only as a straightedge...cut varying widths freehand. Anything goes, as long as only straight strips are used; they may be cut in any way you like. Fill the entire sheet.

Off to a decent start, I then added more and more bits until the whole thing was out of control.
Fortunately, I can always recognize a royal mess when I see one! That's when I know it's time to keep the best parts and strip back the rest.

Of a hundred variations, this version wins the award for most cluttered!!!

My original intent was to create a vertical composition reminiscent of windows, so I removed everything that didn't serve that idea. I think this is a much stronger composition, don't you?

Pared back to the basics

The orange "flap" I liked yesterday might have to go. Today I think it's a distraction. 
Or, maybe not! It might just need to be slimmer. Hmm. Still refining.

This seems to be my modus operandi when designing on the fly:
  • Start with a simple idea. (e.g. vertical composition, windows)
  • Completely crap it up. I mean completely. Until the original concept is unrecognizable!
  • Strip it back again, or maybe even dump it and start over.
  • Refine and tweak until I'm satisfied.
I've noticed this pattern happening each time I'm challenged to "use these random bits and make something".

Here is the second part of the same exercise.  
Same assignment, but add in tints and shades of blue and orange.

Complementary Colour Scheme: Linear Design With Strips, part 2

My brain must have been revved up and ready to go by the time I got this far. There was no hesitation, and everything came together very quickly. Not my usual dance at all! 
Bonus: I actually like it. A lot!

Next up: Split Complementary Architectural Design

"You will need to emphasize a particular composition as you complete the next steps. Free-cut the fabric in relation to the shapes and images in the picture, simplifying as you go - no templates, no measurements."

I used a straight edge for cutting, or things would have been too wobbly for my liking, but just "eyeballed" the necessary sizes and shapes.

Red, Blue-Green, & Yellow-Green

Using the same inspiration photo of a building, the next exercise was all about abstraction.

Sketching possibilities using only geometric shapes was step one.

Inspiration photo and abstracted sketches

Choosing a dual complementary colour scheme was step two. The violets look very blue in this photo, but they are very purple in real life!

Violet, Red-Violet, Yellow, & Yellow-Green

Again, the colours don't show well in this photo, but you get the idea! Can you believe this was inspired by a building and some shrubs? Ha!

Abstract of building and shrubs - diagonal composition

On to the next!

Red, Blue, & Yellow (the "green" is actually very dark yellow!) Triadic Colour Scheme

 . . . and the next . . .ONLY FIVE MORE EXERCISES TO GO!!!

Preparing for the next exercise

Quilting has been put on hold for a few days so I can get these exercises done before the May deadline, so no frame shot today.

A May deadline sounds easy enough, BUT between now and then I will be away for a weekend retreat with my guild (yay!), and then my daughter and I are leaving our menfolk to hold down the fort while we take the (grand)children to Disneyland! 

There is also another trip to the city in the mix - for a class with Karlee Porter, the Graffiti quilter! Plus, clients would eventually like their quilts finished, I'm sure!!!

EEEEEE!!!! Exciting, busy times ahead! 

My A Lovely Year of Finishes goal for April is to finish at least TWO of the five remaining exercises.

Check out my sidebar to see where the other parties are today - there's something fun for every day of the week!
Try, Learn, Grow!
P.S. I love hearing from you, so don't be shy. Tell me what you think!