Monday, August 8, 2011

August begins

It's already the 8th and I feel like it just started. This is such a hot summer it kind of makes me feel like winter when it's too severe to enjoy the weather but we manage to get out in spite of the high heat. I have been going out mornings to draw. Keith is doing his flower arrangements and I my sketches and other routines. I had an exciting experience this past week. Since I post my photos of my work on the folks from around the world can look and comment or just mark a photo as a favorite with a red star. One person who's profile moniker is "Life Under Quilts" starred on of my photos of a quilt block so I went to see what she does and was delighted by her work. She had a block I really liked and thought I remembered my friend Steven Stichter making while he was at Penland School of Crafts on a quilting intensive for two months years ago. It was one that caught my attention then and again on life under quilts many quilt photos. I took her name for it "ribbon block" and searched on Google to see if I could find out more about it or a pattern. Nothing like that block showed up. So I was telling Keith about it and he suggested I write and ask her how she did it directly which led to a very exciting response the next day.
She had done those blocks as a tutorial and had photos stored away that she had not used but since I asked she would post the whole thing on her blog the following day. See the post here: Life Under Quilts Blog Sure enough, she did and I was in business.
Cut, pin, sew, press, rotate...

cut, pin, sew, press, rotate...

cut, pin, sew, press, rotate... and in a couple hours I had one of my own. I finished it up and I felt so good. I have it on my big embroidery hoop right now doing simple hand stitch quilting on the first pieced pater block I ever made. It's kind of larger than I expected but I used wide ribbons since she didn't say what size to use.  I think I doubled the width of what she used. Next time I will try it thinner and maybe at angles instead of squared up. I like the sort of spiral thing that happens and the depth that can be seen in the space it creates. This is the block before it is quilted.

In the mean time one of the artists I met on the last International Sketch Crawl at Union Station asked me to make her a vellum and print paper sketch book in my Coptic stitch style. I went up to Pyramid Atlantic to cut the paper and some boards on Friday. Gretchen was not there but I saw that Jose the director was back from his summer vacation and Jake Muirhead the intaglio print studio director was getting prints cut before he takes off on his annual summer family vacation. He looked at my July garden sketch book and suggested that they would be nice intaglio prints and I told him I was thinking about that but the color was driving me this summer. Maybe you could hand color them he says, even though he doesn't like hand colored prints personally. Then right after he left there was an intern sitting with a stack of intaglio color prints done with line etching and aquatints. They were yellow and red ink and beautiful dahlias. She explained how they were done ant that they were part of the "print exchange" that one of the other leaders at Pyramid Atlantic was running. I have missed out on that but I have been busy in the garden and with my sketch crawl buddies and my own quilting extravaganza at home.
The book for artist Angela Newman is going to be very difficult to sew. These vellums are hard to handle because they slip and slide when you stack them. I got the covers ready and the paper/vellum. Now I just need a cool day's weather on the back porch to take up the challenge of wrestling them into the binding. I love her drawing style and she has a nice blog she posts on regularly her work while she is in DC before she takes off to Italy later this year to serve in the US Air Force! This is a link to her post from Union Station where she used Vellum as an overlay to make a drawing with extra depth. Very impressive take a look?
I will not make boring art

Angela's book covers ready to assemble and one section of the vellum folded

the finished covers ready to go in the press to dry
Soon Keith and I will be spending some time at the beautiful Chesapeake Bay in a little cottage. We are both trying to figure out how to take our work on the road, keep up our diet--exercise routines and manage doctor appointments while watering our garden from  out of town. Anyone want to babysit some bonsai and potted plants?

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