Sunday, August 26, 2012

Desert Tortoises in Route 66 Mojave National Preserve

Today's post addresses the very important matter of  how to incorporate tortoises in an art quilt!

tortoise models

photo shoot
There is more than one way to include tortoises in your work, but I will tell you how I do it. The first thing you need to do is hire a couple of tortoise models. I did extensive interviewing and finally decided to hire these two. I chose them because I found their poses to be very naturalistic, they had extensive experience as tortoises, and their wages were cheap - broccoli and romaine lettuce.

tortoise depiction

photo shoot

tortoise depiction
Then comes the photo shoot. They did not respond well to a giant fan blowing at them, so I turned that off and just let them do their own thing. Before long they forgot I was there and I was able to capture some natural looking poses.

Above you can see the photo and to the left you can see the fabric depiction of this pose. I traced the turtle in the photo, enlarged it to my desired size, then traced and cut out freezer paper "patterns" of the various tortoise parts. These were then placed on the selected fabric and cut out. 

Here is the second pose. Notice the raised left foreleg, capturing actual movement of a tortoise!

And here is the depiction of pose number 2 in the art quilt.

Note - No tortoises were injured in the making of this art quilt.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Route 66 - Mojave National Preserve

Mojave National Preserve, along Historic Route 66
Kelly Gallegher-Abbott and Patt Blair are co-curating a traveling exhibit featuring quilts based on Historic Route 66 locations. Each quilt in the exhibit  depicts a location along Route 66, which goes from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California. I understand it is a wonderful exhibit.

The feature I chose on Route 66 is the Mojave National Preserve, and my quilt depicting this location is shown to the left. I included the Kelso Depot Visitor Center, local mountain ranges, some creosote and Joshua Trees, a hare and of course desert tortoises.

I am happy to say this piece was accepted into the traveling exhibit. It was just at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Festival. I am not sure of its next stop, but I will put that information in this blog once I know it. I will also be including some information on my construction techniques and detail from the quilt in upcoming posts.

Monday, August 13, 2012

IKEA carries fabric - who knew?

Well, maybe you knew, but I didn't. I was just perusing my new IKEA catalog and came across fabric on page 180. It is a combination of fabrics for pillows and making throws as far as I can tell. A lot of it is 100% cotton. They have 59" widths and charge between $5.99 per yard and $9.99 per yard. This may be perfect for use in art quilts??? Or, on a back???? They even have a sewing machine for sale!

I'll have to make a trip there to see what this is all about!

Monday, August 6, 2012

ebb and flow full view 
 I belong to an art quilt exchange group called Serendipity. Once a quarter we send a small piece to someone else in the group and receive one in the mail from another member of the group.
ebb and flow detail
This quarter's Serendipity group theme was "Ebb and Flow". I have included shorebirds in one of my previous art quilts and decided to use them again in this 12" x 12" piece.

I dyed the background fabric using Setacolor paints, and painted the birds using Tsukeniko Inks. Then some machine quilting, beading and rickrack trim.

The view to the left is a  close up showing the beading. I put beads at the base of each bird. The rickrack is a lavender color and it is very subtle. I put it on the lower left and upper right corners. It is just one of those details that you see when you are close to it.

This was sent to Linda Friedman. You can check out her work at Linda's Art Quilts.