Monday, December 5, 2011

What a Show!

I had a wonderful experience at the One of a Kind Show in Chicago! It was Thursday - Sunday last week-a group of 600 artists. The show is advertised as a way to buy unique gifts, and talk to the artists themselves. I had never done a show before, and really enjoyed the time I spent at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago. There were so many people there, and I got a lot of positive comments from people who stopped to see my booth. It was also fun to talk to other artists whose booths were near mine and hear about their experiences selling their art. I had postcards made to hand out, and most of them are gone! Now I am going to let it all sink in; the comments, thinking about what sold and what didn't, comments from other artists-and decide what the next step will be. It was fun to sell some of my ColorForm quilts!

Friday, November 4, 2011

How to Work?

Last week was frustrating; any time I had at the design wall seemed to be a matter of putting up fabric and taking it down. I must have handled most of my fabric, changed my mind, and went from small to big to small again. Finally last night I decided I needed to stop and think-what am I trying to do, and how do I usually do it? When I make a small quilt I am working from scraps of fabric, and often the shapes appeals to me, as well as the color. When I am working big, I start with the color, then need to make it a certain shape. After I find I like a certain design, I refine the shapes and lines. But can I do that bigger? I will have to try again! It is so hard to see what I am doing because I can't stand back from the design wall very far. This quilt is about 30 x 37, and I want to try bigger now.

Friday, October 28, 2011

New Work

Where have I been in the last month? I have been working on 2 larger quilts, but haven't finished them yet. I am enjoying the fall weather, especially since the trees in our yard haven't dropped many leaves yet. I had a fantastic trip last week up to the north shore of Lake Superior, where the peak fall color is mostly over, but is beautiful none the less. I forgot I hadn't posted a picture of my latest ColorForm quilt, which is #15 and is 17 x 25. I am planning on putting it in the Illinois Artisan booth at the One of a Kind Show in Chicago. I am looking forward to having a booth at this show-booth #3121, so if you are in the area Dec. 1-4, stop by!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

ColorForm 14

This new ColorForm quilt is 21 x 29. I am going to have to make several more of these smaller quilts before the show I will be in at the end of the year. Several have sold already. Unfortunately, I found one had some orange fabric that had bled onto the white fabric; it was so disappointing! It looked like it was an older piece of fabric, that was not put through enough wash cycles.

I have also bought long cardboard tubes to store each quilt, and can be used when they are sold. I have written the name of the quilt at the end of the tube, and made a long bag out of fabric to put each quilt in. The tubes were not expensive, but shipping was almost as much as the tubes cost! But I think it will be a good way to store quilts individually, rather than layering several on one tube, which makes it hard to find what you are looking for.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

new ideas

These are some of the things I have been working on at the same time as the quilts: the pillows are 14" x 14" and 12"x 16". The quilt squares are 5" and are mounted on a stretched canvas. These will be in the One of a Kind Show in December. I am trying to come with a few things that are affordable!

ColorForm 13

I have to remind myself not to make 3 quilts, and then try to do all the quilting, binding, and sleeves all at once! Sometimes I think it makes sense to continue designing, and not lose the momentum. But I do get tired of all the hand stitching. This quilt measures 18 x 23.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Let me start out saying this is a bad photo, I know. I didn't pay attention to the fact that there was some sunlight when I took it. So I will have to try again when there is no sun, and it is not raining. This quilt is 101" x 64". It was interesting working this big where you are not making blocks, and putting them together. You have to change the way you think. Sometimes I would put something on the wall and the size was all wrong. So I am happy to say I accomplished something-I can make a quilt that is big!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

ColorForm 12

A little less symmetrical, this quilt is about 18".

Sunday, August 21, 2011

ColorForm 11

This quilt is about 20 x 23. After being gone so much lately, I made this quilt as a way to get back into working! I love the colors, and plan on making a few more of these, but would like to come up with some different ideas. I bought some gray felt, and I think these quilts look better with the gray background.I wanted to try something new this year besides just entering quilt shows, so I entered and got into the One of a Kind Show, at the Merchandise Mart, in Chicago. It is a show of unique hand made art, that has wonderful things in it. I am excited about being in it December 1-4, but need to make sure I have enough work to try to sell there! It is supposed to be a place where you can buy unique holiday gifts, and it is fun to go and see all the wonderful art.

My big quilt is 101 x 64! It is finished, but I don't know where to put it to take a picture. I might have to resort to hanging it on the clothesline!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

New Quilts

ColorForm 9 and 10 were made this summer. I decided to try something new with the machine quilting. The white background has stitching that is farther apart, the stitching on the colors is close together, and sometimes horizontal or vertical. I was happy this was easy to do, and I like the way it looks!

As a challenge this summer, I am finishing a quilt that is 5feet x 9 feet! Hard to machine quilt, hard to judge sizes for the shapes, and just plain hard to see! It went off my design wall. Now how am I going to take a picture of it?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I have been home so little this summer, I have neglected a few things! At the end of May I went to Quilt National, where my quilt, Lost & Found: Blue was shown. It is such a long process: you are notified in October if you get in or not, then send your quilt to be photographed, then you get it back. Then in May you send it back for the show which begins Memorial Day weekend. I had been to QN in 2009, so I knew it was exciting just to go and see all the quilts, but to go and be a part of it, was unreal. It is so interesting to see the quilts up close, and see all the work and techniques that are used. Photos never do them justice. Some quilts were huge, and I began to see what a great idea it would be to make some quilts that make a big impact. Friday evening there is a banquet where the awards are handed out, and there is a slide show.

I think you always need a little time to settle in again, and get back to work. That is the hard part; which direction to go? I think it is good too, to take a little time away, although that is hard! But you do get new experiences which make for more ideas in the future. I am enjoying doing some fabric dyeing, when I have a chance.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

ColorForm 7 & 8

The top quilt is ColorForm 8, which is 21" x 24" W. I finished the next quilt last week; it is 16"H x 20"W. I am enjoying these small quilts, working to make something simple that makes a statement using few colors and shapes. It has been a process that is helping me heal, after the loss of my mother in April.

Monday, May 2, 2011

ColorForm 6

My goal with this quilt was to use yellow-as you can see, I didn't! Well, the next one I had better success with yellow. Obviously it is not one of my favorite colors. This is a smaller quilt - 17" H x 21" W.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

ColorForm 4 & 5

I like being able to use more of my small fabric pieces, but have not really noticed a dent in my piles! But making smaller quilts has helped me figure out color combinations better. I have added some stripes, and who knows what will come next?

ColorForm 3

I finished up 3 more of these smaller quilts; this one is 15"H x 22-3/4"W.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Small Quilts

I have started working on a group of small quilts. I have tried smaller quilts off and on, but never felt I had translated what I do into a small work. But with these, I am finding it a good way to work with color combinations, and I can quickly move on to a new idea. At the same time, I have a larger quilt on my design wall that has been more difficult, and I can keep an eye on that and move shapes around, and think about it. At the same time I take pictures, and I have been trying to keep up with putting photos each day of what I am doing in my sketchbook, so I can see the progression of my work.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Structure 11

25" H x 41" W

I finished this top a couple of weeks ago, but finally had time to machine quilt it over the weekend. One of my sons took 3 of my smaller quilts to hang in his apartment, including Structure 10. I was thrilled he liked them; it is nice to have them hanging up and having others enjoy them.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Structure 10

This is a smaller quilt: 20" x 36". Sometimes when I am working on a quilt, trying to make it all work,I have a moment when I try something in a moment of desperation. And it works! That is what happened here, with the striped fabric. That is what I find difficult when working in a series: I might only have that ah-ha! moment with the first quilt, then it becomes harder to find that feeling of discovery.

I have one more quilt to do the machine quilting on, but now I am going to start the quilting on a bed quilt I am making as a gift. It is hard working on something so big!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

More Structures

I almost forgot I had finished this quilt, but need to put a label on it; this is #8 in the series, and is 36"H x 32" W. The top quilt is #9, and is about the same size. As I was sewing the facing on this morning I was thinking about machine quilting: why do people do it the way they do? When I first went to a workshop I was told I did not do enough quilting. I was shown another quilter's 1/4 inch apart perfect machine quilting as an example of what to do. Since then I have tried many things, but I think it all boils down to what you like to do, and what looks good to you when you are done. For now,I like sewing close together; it flattens the quilt, and does not make your eye focus on each shape. It is not a distraction. But I have not read many thoughts on quilting, and why a person does it a certain way.

Recently I have subscribed to a blog called textures shapes and colors, by Leslie Avon Miller, who does contemporary collage paintings. She has some wonderful abstract paintings on her blog, and recently showed a video about a Philadelphia artist, Mary Nomecos, who described her painting process. She was asked how she selects certain colors in her paintings, and said it was intuitive, and she has several paintings she is working on at the same time. She spends a lot of time looking at them, really seeing them, to decide what will be next. I find too, that it takes a lot of looking: I take pictures as I go along, as another way of seeing what I am doing. I also see a lot more after the quilts are done! It is really hard to "see" what is going on in your work as you are doing it, and often you need to let it sit for awhile, and come back to it.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

small works

I recently decided to make some small quilts, and try some different things: here are two of them. One is 24 x 18, the other 24 x 26, so they are a good size for trying different designs and quilting. I would like to do more with machine quilting and doing more minimal lines. I had trouble with the curved lines and the fabric getting more puffy than I would like. But with a small quilt, you can go on to something else, and try again!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Structure 5

I have a few quilts in a pile in different stages of being done. One I have to wait for more thread to be sent so I can finish the quilting, another has the quilting done, but not the facing, another, just the top is done! I have experimented a little with the quilting on some. I really do like sewing close together, which really flattens out the fabric like a canvas. This quilt is 28" x 33" W. I have decided to try a suggestion from another blogger, and write about each quilt after it is done. It helped me see the T-shapes in this quilt-the challenge was in sewing it together after I had it up on my design wall. I like a good sewing challenge!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Structure 4

This quilt is smaller than the last few: 36"H x 40"W, so finishing it went a lot faster. I also decided to shorten the name of this series, even though Structure is commonly used! I keep trying to add too many shapes and colors, and then I am not happy with it. when I subtract what I don't need, and find something interesting to focus on, it works for me.

Monday, February 7, 2011

New Work

I worked for 2 weeks, I made several quilts, some small, some larger, but I didn't like any of them. I folded them and put them away. I kept thinking about what I was trying to do with this series, which is to go back to a basic shape, to make the focus straightforward, and show the beauty of a few colors. In this quilt I used a gray and white as a background. Something unusual catches your eye, but there is sense of harmony.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Anatomy of a Structure:II

I sometimes wonder how I get to the end result? Art is really a process: trying different fabric shapes and colors, and making decisions: what helps me in what I am trying to say in this quilt? I know the process, but never know what the end result will be. I don't have a picture in my mind of the final quilt, but work on each step, one at a time. I like the 'solidness' of this quilt, its sparseness, I think it makes a big statement-it is 45"H x 75" wide! And it took a whole week to quilt. Now I am ready for #3, three shapes have been on my design wall for a week.

Monday, January 10, 2011

New Work

This quilt is big: 38" H x 57" W, and yet to be named. I found myself loving the way the long, thin quilting lines look on a quilt, yet on a quilt this size it takes a long time to do! It became the perfect thing to do during the busyness of Christmas and New Years. To me they look like pencil lines: not perfect, done by hand. This quilt came from wanting to use big shapes, and since there are fewer colors each shape becomes important. It feels like the ships at Lake Superior! massive, structural. I just finished another one, so I had better think of a name soon!
All images and works are property of Gail Baar, and cannot be used without her permission. ©