Made on Monday 26 – Hale a Ke La

This week marks the half way point of my personal Made on Monday challenge! I am really pleased and a little surprised that I have actually managed to produce a piece a week for six months! Ta-da!

If you have ever been to the top of Haleakela on Maui, you have seen what really looks more like a moonscape than the House of the Sun. Another Hawaiian volcano…seems to be a theme here! This is one of the photos I took the first time I saw it. Haleakala Crater 2

This week’s piece started with this image printed on a sheet of Lutradur, which is a fairly sheer, pressed web of fibers. When images are printed on it they become quite translucent, and washed out…which completely alters the look of the photo. I will have to experiment with ways to get more intense color transfer, because the resulting piece is not at all like the photo I started with. However, I decided to go with it.

I collaged the printed image with some other pieces of background from a previous piece, and then embellished it with machine stitching and metallic and watercolor pencils. I had some fun doing rapid zig-zag stitching, steering with my left hand and fiddling with the stitch width slider with my right…I will do some more of that, I think!

#26 Hale a Ke La

Thanks for coming by, and have a great Monday!

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Not Improv – But, a Finish!

Linking up with AHIQ?

Although I have not done any improv in the past month, I have had a busy and productive few weeks. Still, I do want to acknowledge the AHIQ linkup happening this week on Kaja’s and Ann’s blogs, and recommend that you visit one or the other and see all the cool things others are doing. AHIQ has developed into a very interesting group over the last few months, and there is always good participation. I’ll be back sooner or later!

Meanwhile, I’ve been doing some other things…

An Art Quilt Finish!

When I visited Hawaii island for the first time, in 2014, with my cousin and husband, we splurged on a guided tour to the top of Mauna Kea to see the sunset. It was really one of the most memorable experiences of my life!

The top of Mauna Kea is around 14,000 feet high, and it seems as if you travel from the tropics to the arctic, in terms of temperature. Even with heavy parkas and gloves, it was bitterly cold, but so exciting to see the sun setting over the vast ocean to the west, and the peak of Haleakela on Maui to the Northwest, rising above the clouds. On my first trip to Maui, my Cuz had taken me to the top of Haleakela and it was clear enough that we could see Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa 60 miles away on the Big Island. Now we were looking back the other direction.

But the sight that made the strongest impression on me, was the one we saw when we first got out of the van at the top.  Here is the photo I took there. This is a view looking East from the top of the mountain, with the shadow of Mauna Kea looming over the clouds and horizon.

DSC07276 - Version 2

In general, I tend not to try to replicate images in a literal way. Still, sometimes the look of the ‘real thing’ is just so graphic and perfect that it must be respected in the piece. I saw a quilt there, and needed to make it. I used only seven different fabrics, including the background, and an overlay of tulle. For the quilting, however, I used around 16 different colors of thread! I decided on a fused, raw-edge applique for the main shapes in the piece (mountain, shadow, shadow areas on mountain and sky, and clouds). I edge stitched the shapes in the foreground, for emphasis. Everything else is held down by the close quilting. About half-way through this I started hearing a lot about Lara’s  new book Crafted Applique…New Possibilities and wished I had a copy, so I could use the “fray-proof” applique method she has apparently discovered…ah well, maybe next time!

For a little quilt, which finishes about 11″ x  16″, I think I have spent more time thinking, sketching, drawing, planning, measuring, selecting and rejecting fabrics, and wondering how to translate what I saw into a tangible object, than with any other thing I’ve ever made. I decided in the end, after trying several different methods, that two layers of black tulle made the best shadow, and that using thread to suggest the sunset colors in the sky was the best way to go.  The quilting took the longest…the lines are about 3/16″ apart, and the thread changes were frequent. Also, many thread colors changed at intersecting shapes and all those ends had to be buried.

I feel really happy with myself for patiently sticking to my vision and working through all the minute details, because I often want to take short cuts for a quick finish. I actually learned that I enjoyed this more meticulous way of working, and I am very satisfied with the results.

In our story of creation, Wakea is the broad expanse, the sky father, partner to Papahanaumoku, earth mother, who gave birth to the islands. Hawai’i island is their hiapo, or eldest child. And Mauna Kea is that child’s piko, or navel. Because of its place in our genealogies, Mauna Kea is a kupuna, an ancestor.

excerpt from Mauna Kea – Temple Under Siege


Sky Father

11″ x 16″

May 23, 2016

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A Nice Surprise, and Made on Monday 25 – a Funny Flower

Earlier in the year, some of us who are participating in the MoM challenge were contacted by Kate Bridger and asked to share some of our observations about the project, and about ourselves. Kate, in turn, was preparing an article for her local West Kootenay Regional Arts Council magazine ARTiculate. How fun to receive a copy of the article and see some of our own early pieces in it, along with our own words in print! It is a first for me, and as my friends across the pond would say, I’m quite chuffed! This has been a fun project generally, and Kate is very gracious and encouraging.

This week’s piece continues the “lace” theme. Machine made, sculpted ‘lace’ flower (I know, it looks like a pot scrubber, but it isn’t!), photo image of lace on Transfer Artist Paper for leaves and stem, and some machine stitch and beads, on a hand-dyed cotton background.

#25 Funny FlowerThanks for coming by, and have a great Monday!

 Made on Monday is the brainchild of Canadian textile artist Kate Bridger.

Homage to Oscar de la Renta – Eye Candy

I spent a lovely day with two of my favorite ladies last Thursday. We traveled to San Francisco to see the Oscar de la Renta retrospective exhibition at the de Young Museum. The museum itself was a treat to see, as it was completely razed and re-built since I’d last visited. Not sure why, but our trips to the City have become fewer over the years, though it’s only about 50 miles from home.

The show was really grand. There wasn’t a single piece of clothing in it that I ever would have had occasion to wear, but it was all so opulent and elegant and well staged and stunning. Oscar used a lot of very bold color, but usually no more than two colors in any piece. I thought about my grandmother though…there were a couple of outfits I could picture her in.

But what really caught my seamstress’ eye was the embellishment, and the way he manipulated textiles for shape and effect. It was hard to imagine the level of fine hand- work that went into each of these pieces. I viewed the show on two levels, and really I think the details fascinated me the moste. By the way, that photo in the lower right is a bit of a red herring. It is not from a garment, but you will see it in one of the mannequin shots further on.

Cutting to the chase, here are some of my favorite pieces from the show.

And as if that were not enough, we went up to the top of the observation tower at the museum and were treated to these beautiful views over the City!

IMG_2399 IMG_2396

Made on Monday 24 – Dash of Red

Well, I got waylaid on the actual Monday, by a list of very prosaic business tasks I’d been accumulating while having fun last week. The funnest fun was a day spent at the Museum, which I will post about separately. So, my Made on Monday post is a little late.

Since I made quite a departure from my ongoing color palette with last week’s Transit of Mercury, I decided it would be okay to use a little more red this week. I have always said it was my favorite color. So here is

Dash of Red

Layered photo injet print on Lutradur, nylon lace, foil, more machined, sculpted ‘lace, and metallic cross-stitch thread.

#24 Dash of Red

Thanks for coming by, and have a great Monday,  ahem, Wednesday!

 Made on Monday is the brainchild of Canadian textile artist Kate Bridger.

Made on Monday 23 – Transit of Mercury

My father and I almost shared a birthday, one day apart, in mid-June. In astrology, the ruling planet of our sun sign, Gemini, is Mercury. He wasn’t into astrology too much, but as a nautical type of guy, he knew something of astronomy. Today, on the seventh anniversary of his passing, our ruling planet made a quick trip across the face of the sun, and I thought he certainly would have had something to say about it. This one is for Dad.

Transit of Mercury, May 9, 2016

Painted, foiled and heat distressed tyvek and cotton raw-edge applique on felt, machine stitching and a glass-head pin!

#23 Transit of Mercury

Thanks for coming by, and have a great Monday!

 Made on Monday is the brainchild of Canadian textile artist Kate Bridger.

Made on Monday 22 – May Flowers

A couple of Sundays ago we walked out at Bodega Head. This rainy winter after several drought years has brought back displays of wildflowers to California such as we have not seen for a long time.

Now, the rains of late April have blown East across the state to make some late season snow in the Sierras, and the weather here is warming. It’s expected to reach the low 80s this weekend! Everything is in bloom, everywhere we look. April showers did indeed bring May Flowers. Another background of layered cottons, painted bonding web, paper tulle and organza, with a machine stitched “lace” field of flowers.

#22 May Flowers

Thanks for coming by, and have a great Monday!

 Made on Monday is the brainchild of Canadian textile artist Kate Bridger.