Why is it easier and faster to paint a 2000 square foot fence
than a 480 square inch portrait? Maybe it’s because the painter of the fence doesn’t
have to get overinvolved with details. If you are a fence painter, you might want
to apply that broad brush in a formulaic fashion. Just make certain that you
cover the imperfections. Feel like spraying
a wide swath? That will work, too. You
can achieve a uniform tone in an efficient period of time. Feel like throwing one solid paint color against
the wall, instead? Go for it! It certainly makes a bigger splash! Sure, it might take a bit more effort to tidy
up, but it is easy enough to cover mistakes.
Just sweep everything with as wide a swath as possible, and you can consider
your mission accomplished. Make all
walls look the same, and no one will detect any cracks, bumps, or fissures –
that’s the objective of the fence painter.
The portrait artist, by contrast, is forced to examine all the
details -even the less attractive ones that others might not pause to
contemplate. If you are a portrait artist, you become acutely aware of the
warts, the flaws in the complexion, the wrinkles that result from experiences
too complex to comprehend. Please
understand - portrait artists don’t want everything to look the same. They dedicate weeks, months, or even years on
even the tiniest details. If one
approach doesn’t create the result they are looking for, they try another. They
force themselves to ponder, “What forms and forces create the essence of a
unique individual?” Hundreds of factors
are considered in their approach to success.
How do the immediate surroundings affect the atmosphere of the painting? What small details can be discovered to help
this work of art convey meaning to another human being? What would be the most valuable input that
could help this portrait truly come alive?
The best portrait artist learns to take the time to evaluate the
individual and appreciate the imperfections and the nuances for the unique gifts
that they are. They study how the light of the moment might reflect on the subject
at hand and interplay with the overall character.
Great teachers and great coaches are like portrait artists. They strive to cultivate a myriad of techniques
and maximize subtleties in order to bring the very best out in every human
being that presents before them. They utilize
every tool in their box - every color in their palette - to achieve the very
best result possible. They see a potential masterpiece with each attempt, and aren’t
satisfied until they know that they have done all that they possibly can to
create a unique work of art, worthy of sharing with the world.
Thank you to all the fabulous teachers, coaches, and educators out
there. Just like the inspired Masters of
the past, you will be immortalized through your great works.
QUILT AS DESIRED
Many quilters like to piece tops, but hate to finish them. These talented quilters devote hours and hours to choosing the perfect fabrics, measuring exactly, cutting precisely, sewing carefully, and pressing fussily. They follow patterns religiously. Then, as they admire the beautiful quilt top that they have just created, they look at the next step in their quilt pattern for guidance, and see,
"Quilt as desired."
After all of their loving work, they find that making a quilt top is just one step - although it is a very important one - in the process of making a quilt. To avoid having it turn into a "UFO" (unfinished object), they must consider how the piece should be quilted in order to finish the project and do justice to their fine stitchery.
They find that they are still faced with a barrage of questions and decisions:
- What kind of batting would work best? Cotton? Wool? Polyester? What weight or thickness?
- What kind of backing would compliment the quilted top?
- What color or type of thread would show off the piecework without overpowering it? Solid colors, variegated, customized to the backing?
- How dense should the quilting stitches be? Will they be in an overall pattern, or custom stitches?
- What color of binding would finish off the quilt in the best way?
- Will the finished quilt be hung as a fine art piece, or lovingly cuddled on a frequent basis?
Yes, even though it may have taken days or weeks to get to those last three little words,
"Quilt as desired,"
there is still much to consider and much work to be done. That is where we can help!
Let us help you complete your quilt with a combination of fine artwork and quality stitching to make a treasured customized heirloom and take it from almost done to "Just Sew."
I hope you will allow me to work with you to help you finished your items that were made with love so that they will be complete, usable, and presentable for treasured gifting or heirlooms.
I am sometimes asked if I have pets in the studio, and the answer is yes - two dogs. One occasionally, and the other constantly. I know it limits my services to those without allergies, at the moment, (sorry!) but the work just wouldn't be as much fun for me if they weren't there.
Details about the giraffe baby quilt.
So, a couple of people have asked on one of my other blogs about how I made the giraffe quilt and what pattern I used. The materials for the giraffe baby quilt were all purchased from JoAnn Fabrics and were part of the Jungle Babies line of fabrics...a wonderful line with lots of variety and many nursery ideas!
The design credit goes to Patty Reed Designs - her website is here for this fabric and other nursery ideas:
Here is how I envisioned the quilt design before construction. I used Electric Quilt 5 to draw up the border and get an idea of color, size, etc. Then, I free-hand drew up the giraffe from Patty's design, because Mary's niece just wanted the giraffe, not the rest (although I did purchase the pre-printed panel to use the design from that, and still have it in my "stash."
This is how the concept paper looked:
The quilt top was assembled, fussy-cutting some of the Patty Reed pre-printed fabrics for the corners, borders, and sashing. I also saved some of the design to add a coordinated binding, later.
At this point, I purchased fabrics that would work for the nose, ears, and body. The customer wanted it to be soft, and non-raveling, so we went with some wonderful washable, flexible felt-like stuffed animal material for the inside of the ears and nose.
I drew up a larger version on tissue paper, and used it to cut the separate pieces after applying some very light-weight two-sided iron-on adhesive webbing to the fabrics. Then, I ironed each piece in place, but made the ears 3D, with a fold, first, before attaching them under the top of the head, and put a few pieces of non-raveling material at the top knot. The nose was lightly stuffed with a little extra batting before attaching.
The eyes were embroidered by hand.
Everything was then zig-zag stitched into place
The backing was pieced together using a coordinating Patty Reed Design fabric. Then, I selected a washable and fluffy polyester batting, and I set out to....Quilt As Desired
HOPE THIS HELPS!
Website Building and Facebook Pages
This has been an exciting weekend, working on my first quilting website and posting my business website on Facebook. The site recommends 30 "Likes" in order to view any statistics. The last time I looked, there were 29 :-). I have such great friends and family!!! Developing a website is fun and overwhelming, at the same time. I already have found the limitations of having a small website - fewer options. For instance, I cannot change the background color in the template that I have chosen. It would have been nice to know that ahead of time. Also, in the link list on the left, I would like to be able to show sub-categories under the main category, but when I do that, the pages disappear, unless you hover the mouse over top of the main category. I'm not sure that some people would know how to do that, or would bother looking, so I moved them back out to the main list.
If anyone has any suggestions, I am still creating more pages, adding links, and pushing the limits of this pre-determined template. I know that my son will cringe when he sees the Comic Sans font on the menu list, but I don't have the option to change that, unfortunately. Oh, well!
Having fun learning something new, anyway, and feeling a sense of accomplishment for that reason, if no other.
Blessings to all military members who have served or are currently serving our country. I salute you on this Memorial Day.
Baby Quilt made for Mary to her niece's specifications.
My friend Mary wanted to give her niece a crib quilt for her new baby girl that did not have pink in the design. She loves giraffes, so we went to the fabric store and found a ready-made design that fit the bill! Although there were some center panel pre-printed designs available, we decided to have some fun and see what we could do with something a bit more 3 D. So, we came up with this little guy, from the original artists's designs, but very much enlarged to suit our needs! The nose, ears, horns, and hair were made from super-cushy washable felt-like material, and the edges were zig-zag stitched. The batting was a light-weight polyester for softness and warmth, and the backing and binding utilized matching materials in the set.
I always stitch the recipients initials somewhere within the stitching design, rather than adding a label. That is my "signature" showing that it was custom-made.