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Getting Back on Track

Yes, I am still here!  What happened to me since my last post?  Well, things like chocolate chip cookies, writing poetry, planting seeds, fresh baked bread, spring flowers, bird watching and so on.  Of course, I have been stitching too, though my color and design project is definitely going to be a two year endeavor.  Other than the neutral palette pieces that I have previously introduced, I have pieces started for the second workshop (monochrome) and the third workshop (complementary color).  Additionally, I have selected fabric for no less than six collages dealing with the fourth workshop, complex complements.  I’m getting back on track with posting once a week here, so please check back for profiles of my continuing color adventures.  I will discuss the monochrome workshop next week.  Meanwhile, here is a picture of one of my neutral palette collages with some stitching:

The first workshop also incorporates an investigation of balance as it relates to art design.  This is the example for radial balance, where the design emerges from a main focal point.  This particular collage also uses informal or asymmetrical balance, even though I have another collage for that type of balance.  I am finding that some pieces of art straddle more than one category of certain design elements.  In these cases, a piece of art will usually be a better representative of one category more than another.  When I finish my intended sample of informal balance, I will post it alongside this radial balance piece, and I’ll compare and contrast the two.

Until next week, I will keep stitching, and searching for the ultimate chocolate chip cookie.

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Finding Balance with the Colors of an Ohio Winter

Already, I have made my yearlong color and design project more complicated than I intended, but I am having fun with it.  I have taken to heart my own advice to play with the elements of composition.  My monthly goals have been revised a bit, I am going to aim for having the fabric pieces placed by the end of each month.  The stitching on these will take much longer, especially since I started out by trying to make five wall hangings for January’s workshop on balance using a neutral palette.  This has been an unusually snowy winter in my part of Ohio, the neutral palette required of this workshop is exactly what I see outside.   Here is what I have so far:

Formal or Symmetrical Balance

Informal or Asymmetrical Balance

Radial Balance

Crystallographic Balance

I have several questions that I keep asking myself about the pieces as I work on them.  Am I using the full range of values (light to dark)?  Is the viewer’s attention going to move all around the piece?  Will I want to keep looking at each piece?  Is it something I want to live with?

There are more things to think about when evaluating artwork.  Right now, I need to think about workshop #2, February is half over already.

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Looking Forward with a Past Project

Again, I have changed course from my intended plans.  I’m being flexible!  The pumpkin and autumn leaves that I promised in my last post will come some other time.  Meanwhile, I have my 4 x 4” squares from November:

In the eleventh month of this project, I am finally pushing myself to get more creative with my stitching by filling the shapes created by the fabric pieces and jumping outside the edges.

Looking ahead to 2021 (and hoping that we get to go to art festivals, quilt shows and sewing industry expos again), I have decided on my yearlong project.  I am going to revisit the book A Fiber Artist’s Guide to Color and Design by Heather Thomas (Landauer Publishing, 2011), and complete all twelve workshops in the book.  Back in 2011 when I bought my copy of the book, I completed the first workshop, and then never went on to the second.  I am going to start over, since my skill level has improved since 2011, not to mention my creative vision changing over the years.

I will also investigate some new fabric collage techniques in this project, with the intent of making multiple small quilts for each workshop to test out all of the new things I want to try.  Ambitious?  Oh yes!  I have already started cutting fabric.  The first workshop focuses on value, texture and balance using a restricted neutral palette.  I’ll start off with pieces of commercial print fabric cut to the intended finished size.

These first four collage quilts for Workshop 1 will be collaged with bits and pieces in much the same way that I have stitched my 4 x 4” squares.  The bits and pieces will include assorted fabrics, trims and funky yarns.

Another set of collaged quilts will emerge from pieced backgrounds that will have more fabric pieces, lace, doilies, trims and stitching added to them.

How far will I get with this?  I could work on the neutrals for an entire year!  Keep checking back to see what happens in my latest creative adventure.

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Catching Up

I just realized that I never posted my 4 X 4″ squares from July, and of course, August.  So, here they are:

The squares are about the only stitching that I have been doing the past two months.  My creativity has been channeled into canning the harvest from my vegetable garden and trying new and delicious recipes with fresh veggies.  Take a look at these tomatoes:

The green ones are fully ripe, there are some varieties that stay green when ripe.  Next week, I’ll share a story that happened at my local produce auction; yes it does have to do with creativity.  Right now, I want to sample my new salsa.

 

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Wrapping up ICAD 2020

At last, here are the rest of the index card creations from my successful completion of the 2020 Index Card a Day challenge.

Week 6: Ocean, Hydrangea, Rust, Mirage, Gradient, Cinnamon or Spice, Knot.

Week 7: Bloom, Unravel, Simplify, Diagram, Pencil, Confetti or Glitter, Orchard.

Week 8: Pinwheel, Blue or Blueberry, Orbit, Garden Gate, Outline, Paisely, Unfold.

Week 9: Billiards, Tea Set, Arboretum, Bossa Nova, Adventure.

For the first time in four years of my attempting this challenge, I finished all 61 cards by July 31.  Now, I will admit, there were some days that I made more than one card because I skipped a day or three and had to play catch up.  Overall, it was a great creative challenge – I learned some things about the art materials I have on hand, got some new ideas and further reinforced a daily creative habit in my routine.  Now that I finished an edition of the challenge on time, I don’t know if I will participate in it next year.  For the two months that it runs, it does take away from my stitching, but I might try a variation on it next year that will keep me creating fiber art.  Meanwhile, I am going to make fabric boxes to hold my index card creations, and pick up some unfinished fabric collage.  A little bit of work each day on a project is another step towards finishing.