1000 Quilt Inspirations

I am honored to have my work published in Sandra Sider’s 1000 Quilt Inspirations, Colorful and Creative Designs for Traditional, Modern, and Art Quilts.  From the cover and the turn of each page, this book delivers on its title. Click on image for a larger view.

I even like the size of the book, a table-top friendly 9 1/8″ square.

I submitted samples of my work for this book in 2014 and wrote about it here and here. The book was published by Quarry Books in 2015, the year that I moved from California to Oregon. I  didn’t learn which of my works had been selected for the book until I purchased it. Five of my works were selected for the Pictorial Art Quilt Designs section. Here are three of my Broken Ginkgo series.

And the last two, more play with one of my favorite subjects.

Works here represent every imaginable technique created by artists from around the world. There is truly something here for anyone who is interested in creating or simply appreciating the art of quilting. I find myself browsing this book, finding something new each time I do.

How do you stay inspired?

Tulips

Last month I had a vase filled with gorgeous tulips.

04-04-16 Tulips

I took many photographs of the flowers as they opened. This photo inspired the piece I am working on now. I chose to use a method that I learned from Denise Oyama Miller several years ago — she calls it broken color. I like the method and the results I’ve gotten using it before.

First, create a pattern. Transfer the pattern (reversed) onto fusible web, then cut the pieces out. Select fabrics and fuse the pattern pieces to the wrong side of the fabric. Cut out the pieces slightly inside the pattern line. Place the pieces under the pattern on a piece of background fabric. Here is the pattern with my fabric selections already underneath. Click on an image for a larger view.

05-11-16 Tulips, pattern with fabric under

When all the pieces are in their proper place, fuse the pieces to the background fabric.

05-11-16 Tulips, fabric fused

Notice the lines of background fabric which peek between the pattern pieces — hence the technique name broken color. Now for the stitching.

05-17-16 progress

My progress is slow but steady. This is the first work of this kind I’ve done since moving to Portland last summer, so I’m a bit rusty with my execution. I’m doing more warm up exercises to get back into my rhythm with free-motion work. I also like to tie off my threads as I go — say, every 2 – 3 pattern pieces. I find that I get into less trouble this way. The back stays uncluttered so I don’t have to spend time getting those loose threads untangled in the stitches I’ve done for another section of the work.

05-17-16 progress back

Of course, one has to have the right tools at hand but when I stopped to do the finishing work on the first few pieces, I realized that mine were not in their usual spot on my work surface. Now then, where did I pack those things last year? Happily, it didn’t take too long to find them. And here they are:

05-17-16 tools I use

I found this needle threader on line years ago — don’t ask me where, I can’t remember. But this is the only needle threader that I have on my work table while I do thread work. I’ll be back with progress on this work soon.

Meanwhile, I’ve completed the final notebook cover, the one I’ve made for myself. 05-17-16 notebook done

 

05-17-16 open

 

I enjoyed doing the hand stitching on this piece. This one sits in my desk, waiting for the day when I need it.

Inspiration and Hand Work

I’m still getting things just so in our new condo in Portland. Just this week I brought out my collection of foot-square art quilts purchased through SAQA’s annual on-line benefit auction. (This year’s auction begins September 16th but you can view some of the art that will be available and read about how the auction works here.) I think they make a nice statement hung in the dining and living rooms. (Click on images for larger view.)

05-08-16 Foot square collection

 

This is not my entire collection; more will find homes elsewhere.

Spring has arrived in our neighborhood and I’m enjoying all that goes with that! Morning walks along the Willamette River are lively and filled with many surprises. For instance, here’s a foxglove in bloom on the edge of the river, probably planted by a bird.

05-10-16 foxglove

Dogwood trees of many varieties are everywhere in Portland and most of them are white, my favorite color for this tree. There are 10 of this variety planted just outside our condo buildings — all are in a riot of bloom right now.

05-10-16 dogwood

 

Honey bees and bumble bees are getting their fill of nectar on a variety of plants on the edge of the river.

05-10-16 bees

This Great Blue Heron seemed to be truly posing for this photo! He held this posture for quite a while, groomed a bit and then returned to it. Those are blackberry vines in full bloom — promising berries for June. Yum.

05-10-16 heron and berry vines

 

I’m doing a bit of slow stitching on the last small notebook cover I have readied. This one will be for me since I am just about finished with the commercial notebook I purchased last year. This one uses stabilizer fabric that I’ve painted with acrylic paints and added a bit of machine stitching.

05-10-16 slow stitching notebook cover

The fast2fuse is a bit curled here but it will be in the right shape once I’ve completed the cover.

I’ve begun a new foot-square piece inspired by a photograph of some gorgeous tulips I had. I’ll share my progress on that next time.

Change of Seasons

Evidence for the change of seasons is everywhere. One cannot escape it — and why would I want to? All those luscious yellows, browns and oranges with lingering tinges of green, oh my! Those colors are just one reason why Fall is my favorite season.

There happens to be a nice row of ginkgo trees in front of my building. Today I took the time to capture a few shots of the leaves. Here, just a few (click on image to enlarge)

12-03-15 ginkgo 1

and then some clusters on a grid of moss

12-03-15 ginkgo 2

and finally big piles of them

 

12-03-15 ginkgo 3

and close up.

12-03-15 ginkgo 4

My favorite leaf during my favorite season. What are your favorites?

More Smiles

Appreciating the view from our balcony has become a favorite way to relax. A couple days ago a sky writer suddenly appeared and began creating his magic. Who doesn’t need more? Click on image for larger view.

08-21-15 More

More blue sky. . . fresh air. . sky writers. . .train stations. . .you fill in the blank. How about more Big Pink? That’s the nickname Portlanders have given to the US Bankcorp Tower, the city’s second tallest building at 536 feet and 42 floors with a pink granite exterior — quite a vision! Since 1972 the tallest building in Oregon is in Portland. The Wells Fargo Center is 546 feet and 41 floors.

And who couldn’t use more smiles?

08-21-15 Smiley-face

I hope you noticed the moon in the lower right of the picture.

What do you need more of?

December Reflections: Sunset

After the rain, sunset.

12-12-After-the-rain,-sunset

December Reflections 2

T is for tower.

Coit Tower, San Francisco

Coit Tower, San Francisco

Final restoration of the stairway and upstairs murals was completed last month. What a treat to see this San Francisco icon in its 1930’s glory once again.

To learn more about Coit Tower click here. For information on free walking tours see “Coit Tower Murals” here.

December Reflections

Pause, look around you and shoot what you see. Live inside each moment. Pay attention to what’s there.

This is the challenge from Susannah Conway and she has listed 31 photo prompts, one for each day of December. I won’t have a photo for each day but I will strive for daily mindfulness and share some of my images here.

11-30-14 LightAs always, click on the image for a larger view.

 

1000 Quilt Inspirations Update

In early March I learned that my work will be a part of 1000 Quilt Inspirations, edited by Sandra Sider and published by Quatro Publishing Group USA.

1000 Quilt Inspirations, Book Cover The book is scheduled for release February 2015. Part of the publisher’s teaser reads:

As one of the core, traditional crafts, quilting is enjoyed by countless enthusiasts around the world – and its popularity is only growing. This collection of one thousand quilt details builds upon this interest, showcasing some of today’s most innovative and beautiful work.

I have no idea which work or works I submitted will appear in the book so I’ll be interested to receive a copy next year.

SAQA Auction 2014

Each year Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) holds an on-line auction as a fund-raiser. Members of SAQA donate a 12″ x 12″ art quilt for the auction and purchases help to increase the recognition of art quilts and the artists who make them while supporting SAQA’s exhibitions, publications, and education outreach. Thanks to donors and bidders in 2013, the Benefit Auction raised over $65,000!

This year I was the very lucky bidder on two quilts. I’m so excited to share them here.

Here is Sing Praise by Suzanne Kistler. Click on image for a larger view.

Sing Praise by Suzanne Kistler, 12" x 12"Be sure to click on the image for that larger view where you’ll be able to see the details! Frankly, the image on the auction page didn’t reveal the wonderful scattering of beads on this art quilt. What a nice surprise it was to see this piece up close!

Sing Praise, detail 2This art quilt has a machine-pieced background, hand appliqued/hand embroidered bird. The beak, feet, outline and contour of the wing are all hand embroidered. A very nice touch. It is machine quilted and hand beaded.

Sing Praise,detail 1The back was clearly thought out and coordinates nicely with the design on the front. Notice how the quilting of the bird pops out.

Sing Praise, backAnd the label makes it easy to get in touch with the artist — very appreciated.

Sing Praise, LabelAnd here is Simply, Simply by Heidi Zielinski.

Simplify, Simplify by Heidi ZielinskiHeidi used hand-dyed cotton fabrics, free-motion stitching and beading around the edges to create this mini masterpiece. The back coordinates nicely with the design of the art quilt.

Simplify, Simplify, backAnd, again, a clear label makes it easy to contact the artist.

Simplify,Simplify, labelI couldn’t be more pleased with these two art quilts. They are truly stunning and I feel so fortunate to have been able to purchase them.

 

More Junk-Mail Postcards

Okay, so I got a bit carried away. But there I was, between steps in a project that meant I had to wait. Not wanting to waste the time without creating something, I pulled out some leftover junk mail. Pretty soon the rotary cutter and the paints were flying. I was simply having too darn much fun to stop myself. And I’m not unhappy about it. Click on an image for a larger view.

I was thrilled to have found a quote from Edgar Degas which I used on postcard #17:

Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.

What a great find!

I intentionally left a large clear space on postcard #20 so I could sketch something on it. Quite a few of the others have enough space for a little sketch. I’ll see what happens when I’m ready to mail them out. I plan to grab some of these the next time I’m on a trip or just out sketching.

My first two experiences of creating new art from junk mail can be seen here and here.

Notebook Cover and Postcards Embellished

I headed for Blue Door Beads — I just love the name and, yes, they have a blue door — this morning to find something special for the closure on the notebook cover just completed. I think I found just the right thing (click on image for larger view):

Notebook front

Notebook front

I had fun choosing the fabric for inside flaps

Notebook open

Notebook open

and the photo image on the inside cover of the notebook is from an old issue of Martha Stewart Living Magazine.

Notebook back

Full notebook cover

Here are 3 of the postcards that are embellished and ready to address and finish edges.

While I was completing the above project I decided to make use of a Mola that my sister gave me recently. (If you aren’t familiar with the origins of the Mola, be sure to visit the link above!) This one is particularly lovely and deserves to be useful.

Mola Notebook cover

Mola Notebook cover

Mola Notebook cover 2

Full Mola Notebook cover

I think Christy will be pleased that this lovely Mola is not going to languish in my stash.

To see the Genesis of all this, click here.

This post has been shared with Off the Wall Fridays.

Cyanotype Experiment

Blue Prints on Fabric, my source for fabrics treated for creating prints, has a new product. Hand-dyed cotton fabrics — available in medium pink, turquoise blue, bright orange, chartreuse green and medium yellow — are then treated with cyanotype solution. These fabrics provide a new twist on the classic blue and white of the historical cyanotype printing process.

I recently received a yard of medium yellow fabric, tore off a piece about the size of a fat quarter and printed using California Poppies.

Franki Kohler, Experiment with cyanotypeThe area protected from u.v. light remains the color of the dyed cotton while the area not protected obtains a unique color as the cyanotype chemistry turns blue but also reacts with the base dye color. From this photograph it may be difficult to discern the subtle change in the background color from strictly blue to the blue-green I see in my studio. Evidence of that is revealed on portions of the stems where the stems were not making complete contact with the fabric.

In the past I have used primarily flat plant segments such as leaves or dried flowers to create prints. Using these flat sources has meant that complete contact with the fabric was much easier to achieve. I’m not entirely unhappy with the varied level of contact from these fresh-cut California poppies though. In fact, I rather like the variety of color that this print created.

A word of caution about using fresh specimens: Pinning the fleshy specimen to the fabric means you pierce the skin and release some of the fluid from the plant. Notice the far left flower stem and little ‘blob’ 3 inches below the bloom. That is where the pin released liquid from the stem and the chemical began to run. I was lucky to have only one such blob. If there had been many such leaks I probably wouldn’t consider using this print. However, with one small one like this I am comfortable considering it for a future project.

Love is in the Air

Love . . . we each express it in our own unique way. Manuel loves Dolores and shows her publicly on Lover’s Bridge.

Franki Kohler, LocksHow do you show your love?

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Distracted by a Notebook

Taking classes is a good thing. The object of the class is of interest and one always learns something new, no matter how packed your tool kit is when you enter.

I took a class earlier this week whose focus was using an embroidery machine. The project for the class was a notebook cover. I quickly realized I had a personalized notebook cover made by Sue Andrus that I brought to class — it was a gift from a friend and I had not used it because it was just ‘too beautiful.’ (Small aside here: Sue is a member of Postmark’d Art so I know her fine work — I have some of her beautiful fabric postcards.) I wasn’t entirely sold on the construction techniques used for the class project so I decided to use Sue’s notebook cover as a guide for constructing my own.

I pulled out upholstery scraps, buttons, beads, leather, several Oliver Twist collections, pellon and Wonder Under and got to work. And here it is

Franki Kohler, Notebook The inside of the front and back covers were just too boring. I pulled out a needlepoint catalog I had saved in my paper supplies and found just the right images.

Franki Kohler, Notebook insideThough I didn’t use embroidery or construct the project as instructed, I’m very happy with this notebook cover. I think I’ll have to stitch out a few of my embroidery designs and incorporate them in another cover or two.

This posting has been share with Off the Wall Fridays. Check out what other creative people are doing there!