Laughing Dog Arts

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Within the Stream

The Seasons--The Rain  2002
Look at me!  Blogging twice in one month!  I thought I'd show you something I have been working on over the past year.  A friend had requested a wall quilt from me.  Years ago she had commissioned the one above (sorry for the lousy photo, it is the only one I have, taken before I went digital)  She wanted another one, the same size, but depicting more of a wintery feel.
 She indicated the colors she wanted with little colorful folded papers and knitted swatches shown above, and described the feeling she hoped I could portray.  She wrote: "The idea of light /darkness continues to be important to me.  With this theme, 'Within the Stream of Providence'.  A feeling of a spiral, with a simplicity of form and color with a sense of movement.  Deeper tonalities for winter."


Armed with her thoughts on theme, and her colored papers for reference, I began pulling fabrics.  I used only my own hand dyed stash, they seemed perfect for my needs.


Charlie supervised the process and generously held down my cut fabric wedges.  I freely cut similarly shaped, varying sized fabric pieces and laid them down, over lapping their raw edges, on top of a layer of batting topped with a layer of fusible interfacing.  It almost fit on top of my tall library table, but I needed my ironing board space also.  This was supposed to end up as a 36"X68" size wall quilt, so of course it had to be made larger, leaving room to cut off and even up the edges.

I spent many hours choosing fabrics and arranging them in a flowing colorway.  The top was the darker area and I tried to meld the colors towards lighter, sun splashed area as I reached the lower zones.

I was imagining an ocean flow, caught during the change from stormy to the return of sun splashed calm, with one rolling wave that was my interpretation of her theme of spiraling.

With the fusible interfacing underneath, I was able to fuse my raw edged fabrics down when I was happy with the flow, and move the piece to my design wall so I could get a different view.   There are bits of other works that can be seen around the edges, try to ignore those.  You can see the ribbon I pinned down to show me the area where I wanted to enhance the spiraling wave flow.

Within the Stream  2012

I worked on this off and on for a year, although there was a lot of off time.  This past week I finally made time to make a label for it, and mailed it off to my friend.

close up showing the dense free motion stitching using variegated thread I used to hold all the raw edge fabrics down.

I used a pillowcase style  backing application using an old sheet that I dyed to match with the front colors.  My friend called me soon after she received it and said, "It is fine!"  She loved it.  I had not shared any photos of work in progress with her so she didn't know what to expect.  She pointed out how different my style was in this one compared to the earlier one.  She thought it had a more collaged look to it, almost like it was made of paper.  Which is funny, seeing as I now work mainly with mixed media, collage and paper.

I'm glad to have that piece out of the studio but now am wondering what I shall do next.  This is normally my most productive studio time, in the winter.  I shall ponder the next big thing.  In the meantime, I am working in my journals and making little books.    I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into my work process.  Till next time, 

Be well.
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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Frosty January

Hello  Friends!

It has been awhile since I have posted so if you are all gone, I will understand.  When I awoke this morning and looked out the window, I saw a beautiful winter wonderland.  There had been freezing fog overnight and everything was covered in hoar frost.

I went out with my camera as soon as I could to snap a few frosty photos before the sun melted the points off.

There was barely a cloud in the sky, I love this deep blue background.

One thing I noticed is that all the points of the frost seemed to be pointing in one direction, towards the faint breeze.

The dogs enjoyed the frosty walk. Sadie loves rolling on her back in any weather while Windy enjoys the sun on her face.

By the way, I should introduce my new dog, Windy.  She is part Corgi and part anybodies guess but 100% loveable.  I'm now back up to 3 dogs.  It is a joy to have a young dog again to go for long walks with.  My cousin recently came with her Doberman and the two dogs played well together.  You can see them in the video below if you care to.
I will try to post more often than once every 6 months, but I know it won't be as often as I used to.  So until next time,
Be well.

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