Sunday, June 26, 2016

Plein Air Quilts

To incorporate the many demonstrations I want to share with others I have started a project to teach my concepts for designing quilts and for machine quilting with a home sewing machine.

As an artist the seasons all represent opportunities for exploring various quilt concepts. Summer though is my favorite for working outdoors. Generally the term "plein air" is associated with painting and drawing subjects outdoors. The term plein air or plein air painting is a phrase borrowed from the French equivalent meaning "open (in full). I think the phrase is applicable to designing quilts.
This post will begin to demonstrate my design process. I will cover some of the basics and for those wanting more in depth information I will expand on the basics in my Art Quilt Lab blog.

Getting started,
I like both nature type designs as well as graphical and geometric designs and thought of a project to combine all.
I took the train into downtown Salt Lake on a hot 100 degree day and went into the City Creek mall for a cool drink to take and enjoy at the fountain. While enjoying a cool off moment I thought of a quilt design that would combine nature and also represent many of the bright colors in the storefront windows.
The nature part, This particular mall has a portion of a stream (City Creek) running right through the mall. I have followed this stream from its origins in the mountains to the North East of the city. In the stream running through City Creek Canyon there are wild trout. The stream in the mall also has some Trout, I nicknamed them Mall Trout, (photos below)
The project in mind would be an art quilt with the trout graphically illustrated along with supporting designs

For this post I have included photos of the inspiration for my design and in subsequent posts will keep adding project work and design. The point I want to express in this post is to look for opportunities that inspire design. Generally one may not think of a large city mall as a possible place for inspiration to design a nature themed quilt but take a look around you and you may be surprised on what is awaiting for your design touch.

The photos shown below are what I began to draw my inspiration from. In the next post I will show my sketches and the design Ideas in progress.

City Creek Food Court

City Creek Fountain

City Creek Running through Mall

Mall Trout

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

New Quilt Frames 2016

Since the theme of this blog is machine quilting solutions this post will begin to catch up all of the projects that I have been working on over the last year.

With so many types of sewing machines and so much of a variety of quilts to be quilted I have been busy designing additional frames and options for machine quilting many types of quilts. Be it art quilts.

My favorite quilt frame is still my track and carriage design. Throughout the last several months I have been testing new designs for end connector roll tightening. The new connectors are a great improvement in providing a really strong anti roll feature to the rolls.

My new artist quilt frame is a variation of a design I sold several years ago. It is absolutely the most maneuverable quilt frame available anywhere at any cost. It moves freely in any direction in all directions. With the four bearing balls it just glides wherever you want it to. With this frame the sewing machine remains stationary and the frame moves. The drawback to this type of ream is that you need adequate table width to use. Some of the quilters who use this frame use three tables, two for the ends and one in the center for the machine. The center table for the machine rolls side to side whiles the end tables allow for the frame movement. While this may sound a bit complicated it is not. See illustration below and video


FINALLY a quilt frame option for long arm sewing machines!
What are the options for long arm machines? Either manipulate the quilt by hand or poses a huge track and carriage type machine, right?
Why I love this frame, It provides the most affordable and useable options for any type of quilt you will ever make.
It is perfect lap quilts, baby quilts and especially for art quilts. When designing and working with this frame I have realized this frame is the perfect option for long arm sewing machines where you may have room and space for a long arm machine but not room for the permanent setup of the large heavy carriage type frame required to support and operate a long arm sewing machine.

Best of all, with international shipping costs ever increasing this kit breaks down into a medium size USPS flat rate box and has reduced shipping costs to my quilter friends in the UK, Australia, Canada the Scandinavian countries Asia and South America the Middle east and anywhere the USPS ships. Within the US including Alaska and Hawaii the shipping cost is about $15.00 How cool is that?

So what else is new?
Besides designing and building quilt frames I am a professional artist. Some of my art is represented by the Southam gallery in Salt Lake City

Throughout the last year I have been working on new ideas for teaching art quilting. I have taken my design ideas and printed full size the design outlines on fabric so you can apply your fabrics and infuse the basic design with your own creative talents. They are more than a pattern they are a good basis and starting point for your art or lap quilt.I have printed only small limited editions and hope you will try the new ideas. The cost for the designs printed on fabric are as minimal as I am able to provide.
The first design I am presenting is for a quilt celebrating Trout and fishing gear. Shown below is the beginning quilt demonstrating how I applied fabric and design elements to my quilt.
The new art quilt blog is almost ready to go so here is the link and please check it out in the next few weeks as I post the new art and design projects.

Ultimately the long span in my updating this blog is apologized for but I think you will find the new work and Ideas for machine quilting worthwhile. Thank you so much for taking a look and sharing my efforts with others.
Kind Regards!