Inspiration

Art Quilt Tahoe – Days 1 and 2

I have been looking forward to this week of immersion in art quilting since I signed up last March. It has not disappointed.

I drove to Lake Tahoe on Sunday and was pleased to see snow on the ground at the higher elevations. This is a blessing for drought-ravaged California and Nevada, although there isn’t enough to put a dent in our drought. It is supposed to warm up this week, so this won’t be here long (although it was 17 degrees this morning).

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This conference is held at the Zephyr Cove Presbyterian Conference Center. It is a combination of small mountain cabins which are very quaint, and a new, modern conference center. We are housed in the conference center with rooms, cafeteria and classrooms centrally located. These are the main classrooms:

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There are approximately 200 attendees, we all eat meals together and enjoy lectures given by the faculty after each lunch and dinner. Some of their work is on display each day.

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Today was the first day of class. Here is Jane Sassaman, the instructor, giving some personal attention regarding the drawing we were doing today. The classes are relatively small (10-15 people), so there is lots of opportunity for personal attention. We worked on abstracting flower shapes today which is not as easy as it sounds!

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I am sitting at the first table at the front of the room and this is the view six feet away. I am having some trouble not being distracted by the beautiful view!

Here are some of the quilts on display today:

BirdsThis quilt was made by David Taylor. It is difficult to see the quality of the quilting on the birds and the amazing background quilting, which is hundreds of tiny leaves, but it is amazing!

Clams

This quilt was made by Cat Larrea. It reminds me of a painting that has been done with a palette knife. Carefully applied dabs of color. This photo doesn’t do it justice.

Pies

These pies were made by Velda Newman, who has a particular obsession with food right now. These are amazing. There are three dimensional blackberries spilling out of the pie. The meringue on the pie on the left is made of folded white cotton fabric that has obviously been burned by flame.

Red Mummy

This last quilt is quite large. It has been pieced and then over-dyed with a number of graphic designs. Again, this photo doesn’t do justice to the colors and work in this piece.

I have a couple of hours of drawing homework to do tonight, and I am wondering how I am going to stay awake to get it done! Stay tuned for more updates from Art Quilt Tahoe.

Until next time,

Joan

Art Quilt Tahoe and Other News

It has been very quiet here on the CaliQuilter blog. For the last several months I have been concentrating on learning the Adobe Creative Suite (Illustrator, In Design and Photoshop in particular) to improve my pattern writing, layout and design skills. It has been a steep learning curve because these programs are filled with unbelievable tools. As a result of this effort, I can report that I have started designing my own fabrics! I will share more about this soon.

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Meanwhile, I am very excited to be traveling to Incline Village at Lake Tahoe tomorrow to participate in Art Quilt Tahoe. I am going to be studying with Jane Sassaman about abstracting from nature, particularly flora. The class syllabus says we will be abstracting and exaggerating floral forms, and the footnote says “This class is especially beneficial for the drawing impaired and the tragically literal.” Perfect!

Here is some of Jane work:

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Can’t wait to get started! Stay tuned as I will be posting daily updates on this exciting workshop and how these amazing abstracts are done!

AMB Blog Tour – Winners!

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One more week to go on the American Made Brand blog tour.

I hope you have been following along and enjoying your virtual visit to the 50 States. The period for my give-away is closed and I would like to announce the winners! I used the Random Number Generator tool at random.org to help me randomly select the numbers associated with your comments.

The winners are:

#32 – Sarah Martin – Winner of the fat quarter stack and “Modern Jane”

#87 – Lou (louster 388)- Winner of 50 squares of AMB solids and “Playful Petals”

#101 Kelly Wilson – Winner of 50 squares of AMB solids and “Playful Petals”

I will be sending each of you an email shortly to get your mailing addresses so I can mail your gifts on Monday.

I want to thank those of you who are following my blog. It is a real honor to have you here, and I truly appreciate your time. For my new followers, welcome, and I hope you will find information that interests you in my posts. If there is a subject you would like to learn more about, or you would like to suggest a post, please ask!  If you are a blogger and would like to write a guest post, that would be great, too. Just contact me.

Be sure to visit the states still remaining on the tour for more chances to win!

Until next time,

Joan

AMB Blog Tour – Welcome to California!

Today the AMB Blog Tour is visiting California and Minnesota. Welcome to California! My name is Joan Lucchese and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, one of the most picturesque regions in the United States.

Cali2 California is a State filled with diversity. Home to more than 40,000,000 people, California is a “minority majority” state, with 58% of its population being Asian, Hispanic, Native American or other groups. 26% of its people were born outside the U.S. This provides us with a very rich cultural environment. California is also diverse in its topography.

From the majestic mountains of Yosemite Valley, to the beautiful sandy beaches of Southern California….

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….to the quiet desolation of Death Valley, and the cool, lush redwood forests…

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California has many features that attract visitors from around the world.

FUN FACTS ABOUT CALIFORNIA:

California contains the lowest and the highest points in the continental U.S. You can travel from 282 feet below sea level in Death Valley to 14,494-foot Mt. Whitney in less than a day.

Invented in California:  Apple computers, fortune cookies, blue jeans, the Barbie doll, and theme parks (Disneyland).

 The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco has enough steel wires in its cables to circle the earth at the equator 3.5 times.

My license plate was inspired by this post card from the 1950’s:

Cali1

Palm trees are an icon for California, so I decided to use them. I also wanted to celebrate the variety of beautiful colors available in AMB’s line of solids, so I added a quilt made from them. If you would like to make this block for yourself, you can find a pdf of the pattern here. Make one copy of the pdf as a placement guideline for the applique pieces. Make a second copy of the pdf and either print or trace it onto the dull side of a sheet of freezer paper. Cut out the individual pieces and iron them onto fabric and cut out the shapes. Affix them to the background with iron-on fusible. I lightly traced the shapes of the letters onto the background and then hand-embroidered on the outlines for the State name.

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Thank you for visiting CaliQuilter on the Blog Tour today. I have some gifts to give away.

amb-giveawayAMB is giving away a fat quarter stack of eight of their lovely solids. The person that wins the fat quarter stack will also be receiving this brand new book just released by C&T Publishing. “At Home with Modern Jane,” is filled with creative projects. There will be lots of inspiration here for all that fabric coming your way!

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Two more people will also be chosen to receive 6″ x 7″ charms of all 50 colors of AMB fabric. I cut up the samples they sent me into two piles. (A few have small pieces cut from them for the license plate, so forgive the imperfection.) It is what quilters love best – free fabric!

Fabrics

Those two people will also receive a copy of “Playful Petals” written by my friend, Cory Yoder (Little Miss Shabby). This book offers a number of applique projects using petal shapes, and the fabrics I am sending you would be perfect in these quilting projects! playfulpetals

For a chance to win one of these gifts, leave me a comment about the Blog Tour. (My followers will get an extra entry.) Don’t forget to stop by the other blogs on the tour and enter their give-aways, too! I will pick the winners on Friday, June 13th, using the Random Number Generator tool. If you are a no-reply blogger, be sure to leave your email address in your comment.

Day 16 9-Jun California Sept. 9, 1850 Cali Quilter
9-Jun Minnesota May 11, 1858 The Curious Quilter
Day 17 10-Jun Oregon Feb. 14, 1859 Sew Mama Sew
10-Jun Kansas Jan. 29, 1861 Lilac Lane
Day 18 11-Jun West Virginia June 20, 1863 Coop Crafts
11-Jun Nevada Oct. 31, 1864 Inventive Denim
Day 19 12-Jun Nebraska Mar. 1, 1867 Renaissance Sandi
12-Jun Colorado Aug. 1, 1876 Sew Incredibly Crazy
Day 20 13-Jun North Dakota Nov. 2, 1889 Terri Stegmiller Art Quilts
13-Jun South Dakota Nov. 2, 1889 Moneik Quilts
Day 21 16-Jun Montana Nov. 8, 1889 Why Knot Kwilt
16-Jun Washington Nov. 11, 1889 Bloomin’ Workshop
Day 22 17-Jun New Jersey Dec. 18, 1787 Studio 78 Notes
17-Jun Wyoming July 10, 1890 Excessive Compulsive Sewing
Day 23 18-Jun Utah Jan. 4, 1896 Fireball Quilts
18-Jun Oklahoma Nov. 16, 1907 Hollyhock Quilts
Day 24 19-Jun New Mexico Jan. 6, 1912 Dora Quilts
19-Jun Arizona Feb. 14, 1912 So Many Quilts, So Little Time
Day 25 20-Jun Alaska Jan. 3, 1959 Quilt As You Go
20-Jun Hawaii Aug. 21, 1959 Barbara Bieraugel Designs

Happy traveling! Until next time,

Joan

AMB Blog Tour on Monday and a Great Give-away!

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Monday, June 9th is the American Made Brand blog tour stop in California! Here at CaliQuilter we have been very busy putting the finishing touches on the California license plate and assembling a give-away. Be sure to come back on Monday for the opportunity to win one of these gifts from me:

amb-giveaway

AMB is giving away a fat quarter stack of eight of their lovely solids. The person that wins the fat quarter stack will also be receiving this brand new book just released by C&T Publishing. “At Home with Modern Jane,” is filled with creative projects. There will be lots of inspiration here for all that fabric coming your way!

modernjune

Two more people will also be chosen to receive 6″ x 7″ charms of all 50 colors of AMB fabric. I cut up the samples they sent me into two piles. (A few have small pieces cut from them for the license plate, so forgive the imperfection.) It is what quilters love best – free fabric!

Fabrics

Those two people will also receive a copy of “Playful Petals” written by my friend, Cory Yoder (Little Miss Shabby). This book offers a number of applique projects using petal shapes, and the fabrics I am sending you would be perfect in these quilting projects.

playfulpetals

So don’t forget to drop by on Monday and leave a comment for the chance to win a fun gift from CaliQuilter! (My followers will be given one extra entry.) Be sure to visit the other blogs on the tour for the chance to win fabric and other great prizes.

Until next time,

Joan

 

American Made Blog Tour

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Wow! This is a BIG photo!

I was honored to have received an email from Candice Hoffman, the Creative Director at American Made, a few weeks ago asking if I would represent the State of California on American Made’s 50 state blog tour. American Made is a new company based in Seattle, Washington that sells cotton fabrics sourced and manufactured in the U.S. Hooray for that! They have a selection of 50 beautiful solids. The blog tour involves one person from each state who will make a license plate representing their state, using only these solids. Here is what American Made sent me:

Samples

Each license plate is to be 6 inches by 8 inches finished, so they sent me one piece of all 50 colors to work with, along with a color card for future reference! I am cooking up a great give-away for my date on the tour: June 9th.

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Each blog on the tour is also giving away an 8-piece fat quarter bundle, along with an assortment of other items. There are some great giveaways on this tour, so make sure to tour along with us on this fun journey. I have listed the blog roll below. At the end of June, we will mail our license plates to American Made, who will then sew them into a quilt which will be on display at Quilt Festival in Houston at the end of October. (I am feeling a trip to Houston in my future.)

Tour America with American Made Brand!  No gas required!

DAY DATE STATE STATEHOOD  BLOG
Day 1 19-May Delaware Dec. 7, 1787 Blue Striped Room
19-May Pennsylvania Dec. 12, 1787 Cherry Lynch Quilts
Day 2 20-May Georgia Jan. 2, 1788 Butterfly Threads Quilting
20-May Idaho July 3, 1890 Taffy Talk
Day 3 21-May Alabama Dec. 14, 1819 Green Quilts
21-May Massachusetts Feb. 6, 1788 A Quilting Jewel
Day 4 22-May Maryland Apr. 28, 1788 Spring Water Designs
22-May South Carolina May 23, 1788 The Crafty Quilter’s Closet
Day 5 23-May New Hampshire June 21, 1788 Park Hill Farm
23-May Virginia June 25, 1788 Pat Sloan’s Blog
Day 6 26-May New York July 26, 1788 Quilts from my Crayon Box
26-May North Carolina Nov. 21, 1789 A Stitch in Time
Day 7 27-May Rhode Island May 29, 1790 Seaside Stitches
27-May Vermont Mar. 4, 1791 Quilter in Motion
Day 8 28-May Kentucky June 1, 1792 Simply Sandy
28-May Tennessee June 1, 1796 Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Day 9 29-May Ohio Mar. 1, 1803 Olive and Ollie
29-May Louisiana Apr. 30, 1812 Fleur de Lis Quilts
Day 10 30-May Indiana Dec. 11, 1816 No Hats in the House
30-May Mississippi Dec. 10, 1817 Life as a Quilter
Day 11 2-Jun Illinois Dec. 3, 1818 A Sentimental Quilter
2-Jun Connecticut Jan. 9, 1788 Jump Cut Arts
Day 12 3-Jun Maine Mar. 15, 1820 Quilts of Love
3-Jun Missouri Aug. 10, 1821 42 Quilts
Day 13 4-Jun Arkansas June 15, 1836 Sew at Home on Pine Ridge
4-Jun Michigan Jan. 26, 1837 Crafty Blossom
Day 14 5-Jun Florida Mar. 3, 1845 Flourishing Palms
5-Jun Texas Dec. 29, 1845 The Caffeinated Quilter
Day 15 6-Jun Iowa Dec. 28, 1846 Kindred Quilts
6-Jun Wisconsin May 29, 1848 Freshly Pieced
Day 16 9-Jun California Sept. 9, 1850 Cali Quilter
9-Jun Minnesota May 11, 1858 The Curious Quilter
Day 17 10-Jun Oregon Feb. 14, 1859 Sew Mama Sew
10-Jun Kansas Jan. 29, 1861 Lilac Lane
Day 18 11-Jun West Virginia June 20, 1863 Coop Crafts
11-Jun Nevada Oct. 31, 1864 Inventive Denim
Day 19 12-Jun Nebraska Mar. 1, 1867 Renaissance Sandi
12-Jun Colorado Aug. 1, 1876 Sew Incredibly Crazy
Day 20 13-Jun North Dakota Nov. 2, 1889 Terri Stegmiller Art Quilts
13-Jun South Dakota Nov. 2, 1889 Moneik Quilts
Day 21 16-Jun Montana Nov. 8, 1889 Why Knot Kwilt
16-Jun Washington Nov. 11, 1889 Bloomin’ Workshop
Day 22 17-Jun New Jersey Dec. 18, 1787 Studio 78 Notes
17-Jun Wyoming July 10, 1890 Excessive Compulsive Sewing
Day 23 18-Jun Utah Jan. 4, 1896 Fireball Quilts
18-Jun Oklahoma Nov. 16, 1907 Hollyhock Quilts
Day 24 19-Jun New Mexico Jan. 6, 1912 Dora Quilts
19-Jun Arizona Feb. 14, 1912 So Many Quilts, So Little Time
Day 25 20-Jun Alaska Jan. 3, 1959 Quilt As You Go
20-Jun Hawaii Aug. 21, 1959 Barbara Bieraugel Designs

 

Learning New Tools In Illustrator

I am still working hard in the design class I am taking. It lasts one more week and then there will be several weeks break before the next segment. This week is focused on hand drawing motifs, converting them into vector art, then arranging the image in layers of color and pattern. I drew a poppy using a black fine line marking pen, colored it in using oil pastels, and smudged them with my finger. When I finished, this is the design that came from the work:

Poppy Pattern

 

I also had to make sure this would tile and repeat correctly. I could now send this off to Spoonflower, or other digital printing service and have fabric printed from this art file. My only hesitation about this design is it is a little old-fashioned looking. I might try recoloring this with a more modern color palette and see what happens.

Until next time,

Joan

Exploring Color Themes

Things have been quiet here at the CaliQuilter blog as I have been working full-time (temporarily), which has definitely put a crimp in my creative time. I have also been busy taking a class in print and surface pattern design, given by British designers Beth Kempton and Rachael Taylor. I’m in the third week of working on lots of creative exercises, which I have really enjoyed. This week has been all about color. We have been practicing constructing color themes by pulling colors from photos. Yesterday, I made these two color themes using Illustrator software, and pulling the colors from the photos using the  eye dropper tool.

Lavendar-Mood-BoardI went to Pinterest and found these lovely photos with shades of lavender and purple, which I love. I then chose the colors I liked and used the paintbrush tool to make the color spots.

Barnyard-Mood-Board 

While I was on Pinterest, I noticed this photo of a colorful rooster and thought he would make a great subject for a color study. I pulled out a dozen colors I particularly liked and made them egg-shaped, for fun. Nature is a terrific source of color inspiration.

Until next time,

Joan

 

 

 

The Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap

As I described in a previous post, this is the week that Stitched Postcards will be traveling through the postal systems of over 20 countries in the Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap. I received my swap partner: Chrissy, in Aylestone, Leicester, England. It will be great fun to anticipate what will be arriving in my mailbox from her.

Should you want to participate in one of these swaps in the future, I will show you how I made my card for this swap. The standard size for one of these postcards is 4 inches by 6 inches. Once you have your idea for the card, choose a background fabric. A solid or very small print is the safest choice. I decided to make an “Art Girl” card, which will be a raw edge applique. I began with the drawing:

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 I chose a tiny white dot on a pink background as my background fabric. The skin areas were cut from a text fabric and placed on the background fabric.

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 These are really tiny pieces of fabric!

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One of the challenges of this swap was to incorporate paper into the design. I used a piece of scrapbooking paper to make the girl’s dress. I then used tiny pieces of fusible interfacing to fuse the pieces to the background fabric. Did you know that paper can be fused this way, too? Neither did I, until now.

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Then I put her into the sewing machine and did some free-motion outlining with black thread to give the design some detail.

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Then it was time to work on the back of the card. I used white cotton fabric and drew the dividing line with a black Sharpie. I appliqued a flower in the lower left corner of the card, and used a post-mark motif to make a faux stamp for the card for a little whimsy. I am going to enclose this in an envelope to mail it to Chrissy, so I don’t need to leave space for a real postage stamp.

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The next step is to provide some stability for the card. I ironed each piece on to a heavy weight fusible interfacing. This will give the card some stiffness, but won’t make it rigid.

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I then cut out the front and back pieces, placed them with their interfaced sides together, and used a zig-zag overlap stitch around the perimeter of the card to hold the two pieces together.

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The back of the card is now ready for my note to Chrissy, and to be popped into the mail and sent on its way to England.

Until next time,

Joan

 

Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap

The always creative group over at DoWhatYouLoveForLife.com are hosting another Stitched Postcard Swap. Hundreds of people from all over the world join to swap a postcard-sized piece of art using any materials they like. The only rules are that it needs to include some kind of stitching, and it needs to fit with that quarter’s swap theme.

The theme this time is “CREATE.” You can use any materials you like (paper, ink, fabric, ephemera, ribbon etc), and put it together to make a postcard. You can include “stitches” with a machine or by hand, and you can either send your postcard as it is, or pop it in an envelope to protect it. In celebration of their brand new online course “Paper Love,” they are also challenging you to do something innovative with paper within your postcard design. This is your chance to be creative, and share that love of creativity with someone somewhere else in the world. It is free to participate. Sign up to be matched with a swap partner here, before February 25th. There is a very nice prize worth $500 for the winning design, sponsored by Anchor (embroidery thread).

I first participated in one of these swaps about four years ago when a virtual quilting bee group I was in decided that we would do a postcard swap. It turned out to be a creative, fast, fun project. This is the postcard I received from my swap partner, Deanna Gipson. DeannaPostcard Do What You Love’s last swap had the theme “Celebrate.” This was the winning postcard, created by Ashley Lotecki of Canada.

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“Celebrate” postcard by Ashley Lotecki, Canada

These cards are from Swap number five, with the theme “Discover.”

Brenda Anderson (USA)

Brenda Anderson (USA)

 

Kirsty Rankin (UK)

Kirsty Rankin (UK)

As you can see, there is a lot of creativity that goes in to making these fun postcard-size works of art. So join the fun and sign up to make a 4 inch by 6 inch artful postcard to send to a new friend somewhere else in the world. The best part is waiting to see what appears in your mailbox in return!

Until next time,

Joan