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09/13/15
Moo Cards
Filed under: General, Photography, Mixed Media, Creativity, Design, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 5:42 pm

I ordered some square moo cards today! I am getting 2.5″ square cards made with 5 different designs of my artwork on the back. They are an alternative to the traditional business card and I thought I could use them to tell people about my blog and website.They are more like a calling card than a business card for me. I don’t have a business and am just doing this for fun as a way to chronicle my artistic growth and share my work with others.

     

     

     


Mary MacIlvain

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08/28/15
Photo Collages
Filed under: General, Collage, Photography, Creativity, Inspiration, Art Journal, Design, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 4:26 pm

Today I enjoyed a vacation day, the start of a 3 day weekend, and went to White Flower Farm in Litchfield. I wanted to see flowers,take pictures of flowers, and be surrounded by beauty. And it was so awesome to be there. Hard to imagine there could be so many flowers blooming at the end of August. When I got home I played with my new and all time favorite phone app, PhotoGrid. It is an android app to make photo collages and there must be something similar for the iPhone. But PhotoGrid is truly great! Here are my photo collages from several gardens (my friend Kate’s gardens, Ballek’s Garden Center, my brother Larry’s gardens, and White Flower Farm) and of course this blog post wouldn’t be me without some shameless selfies :-)


Mary MacIlvain

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05/25/15
Transition
Filed under: General, Collage, Quilt Art, Painting, Creativity, Inspiration, Art Journal, Challenges, Design, Creative Every Day, Book of Days, Quotes
Posted by: Mary @ 3:58 pm

For a while now I have been thinking about where I want to go with my art and my life so I have been feeling my way through transition. I was feeling uncomfortable about where I was at and was unable to focus on any one thing long enough to work on my art. Instead I spent a lot of time just being and flowing from one moment to the next and taking an introspective look at what I was doing and why. I asked myself a lot of questions about my life and my artistic direction.

As suddenly as I had stopped, I got started on doing art again but this time in a more relaxed and contemplative way. I no longer felt driven to complete the weekly challenges in all the classes that I had signed up for in January as I was not enjoying the frantic pace very much. And I felt that I needed to be more self directed.

I started quilting again after a long haitus from needle and thread and found myself torn between art quilts and mixed media. Could I do both? Did I want to do both? The answer was a tentative yes. There is only so much time available and I work full time and want to spend time with family and friends. But I need my creative time and it is very much a part of my well-being. A lot of my work needs to be done at home. Still, there are portable projects like hand sewing aspects of a quilting piece or small mixed media pieces like ATCs or twinchies that can be done with markers. So off I go to work or visiting friends with a tote bag containing portable art and quilt items.

This is the opening spread for Book of Days 2015 Volume 2 Mixed Tape. It’s just a simple spread with a vintage photo of me and scans of CD covers of music that I listen to now. No, I don’t listen to oldies and like new music. I added some rubber stamping to unify the spread.

This is a spread for Book of Days 2015 volume 1, week 7. The theme was choices and I was inspired to write a spontaneous poem about choices. I used a simple collage approach to the spread.

Choices
We all make choices in life.
Some choices are small,
like what to wear today,
or what to have for lunch.
Some choices are not so small,
like who to spend time with,
where to work or where to live.
Some choices are not so clear,
like what is the right thing to do
in a complex or difficult situation.
You will choose many paths in life,
and it is ok to change direction
when you see new possibilities,
or when the truth becomes known.

This was from a trip to JoAnn Fabrics to look for a magazine. I have a lot of Art Journaling magazines at home and I have a previous issue of Bella Grace which is wonderful, but I wanted a magazine about art quilting and Quilting Arts was recommended to me by a friend.

This is my earth day challenge for the JAM Art Quilters’ April challenge. The only restriction was that the quilt had to be round and it was great fun exploring this format I made this 14″ round quilt at the Greater Hartford Quilt Guild retreat at the beginning of May and am very happy with how it came out. This Earth Day quilt, along with the Postcards from Iran quilt, will be in the JAM Art Quilters group display at the Newington Library in Connecticut for the month of June.

This quilt is a mariner’s compass wall hanging for Father John, St Mary’s retired pastor. He had seen a table runner in this pattern that I made for my son a few years ago and he liked it very much. So I made him a wall hanging this month.

This is a work in progress for the JAM Art Quilters’ May challenge, which was to use a poem or quotation. I chose the Rumi quote, “Open your hands if you want to be held.” It seemed only natural to trace my open hands for this piece. I am adding a few more things to the piece and then it will be ready for quilting. I am using hand applique techniques in this piece which makes it a portable project and it is also very relaxing to do hand work.


Mary MacIlvain

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04/12/15
Art Journaling
Filed under: General, Quilt Art, Creativity, Art Journal, Design, Quilting, Creative Every Day, Book of Days, Documented Life, Life Book, Journal52
Posted by: Mary @ 6:52 pm

There have been too many things going on in my life the past few months so I have not made a blog post for a long while. I wanted to share some of my work now before more time slips away.

This art quilt celebrates my return to quilting after a long hiatus (I had a wart on the underside of my thumb for over a year and that made it difficult to sew or even write). Last month I joined an inspirational art quilt group and they are doing monthly challenges. The March challenge was architecture and I chose to design Postcards from Iran to show the rich history of this country that dates back to the cradle/birthplace of civilization. The architecture is beautiful and so are the people.

This is a spread from Book of Days 2015 V1. The prompt was feathers. I painted a background and did pen and ink drawings and then colored it in with markers. Besides the feathers, I also drew some simple dream catchers and stamped with two of my hand carved stamps. I left two of the feathers uncolored because I liked the way that it looked.

This is from the Documented Life Project and the challenge was to use layers that you love and to see how many layers you could use. I had fun with this!

This one is also from DLP and the challenge was to use under papers. I chose to use papers that I had printed with my Gelli plate. I had a marathon art journaling session on Valentine’s Day and although I was alone, art journaling was a very nice way to spend the day in a snowstorm. It made the day special for me.

This page is from Journal52 and I am doing quick and easy postcard size art and taping it into a calendar planner. This must have been done on Valentine’s Day too and yes I am an incurable romantic and no I don’t want to be with just anybody which is why I have been alone a long while.

Another DLP piece and the challenge for this one was to use a repeated shape. I photographed previous work and glued it down for this page, then added the small dream catcher like circles as ornament and the words that I was feeling at the moment. The work came from a circle book I made with round pages that I had painted with watercolors, written an inspirational word on each page and then stamped them with my hand carved leaves stamp. It is fun re-using your work in another art piece.

I did this today for DLP and wanted to show my work table - the dining room table covered with a vinyl tablecloth. The challenge was to use 5 layers and I did something simple - paint, paint, and more paint and then I used punchinella (sequin waste with little holes) followed by an interesting circles stencil. I didn’t use any water, which is something I really like to do, because the Dylusions journal does not like getting wet and the pages really buckle when you work the paint wet.

This piece was from Life Book and it doesn’t look anything like the lesson seeds of love but I enjoyed doing the layering and used my awesome tree stencil over the layers to give it a floaty look. I added some sideways writing along the trees.


Mary MacIlvain

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11/22/14
Fall Quilt Retreat
Filed under: General, Quilt Art, Creativity, Inspiration, Family and Friends, Design, Quilting, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 7:21 pm

I went to a three day quilt retreat with the Greater Middletown - Heart of the Valley Quilt Guild at YMCA Camp Hazen in Chester, Connecticut a couple of weeks ago and wanted to share about my experiences there. I have not been able to participate in any quilt activities the past 6 months because of my cataracts. After the cataracts healed from the surgery in October and I got my new glasses, I was able to thread a needle again, so I was a last minute signup for the retreat and filled the last empty spot. I have been attending quilt retreats for well over 10 years (see Quilt Retreat and Friendship) and these respites from daily life with good friends are very important to me.

Usually I go to a retreat with too many projects to complete and I stay up late and don’t take enough time to relax and visit with friends. This time I was the first one in bed on Friday night instead of doing marathon sewing and being one of the last ones going to bed. I signed up for a chair massage by the fireplace on Saturday and that was wonderful as all the tension in my shoulders melted away. I worked on some small journal page size experimental art quilt pieces without having any plan in mind. I signed up for the art doll class with the talented and creative Pat Gardiner. Her dolls have been exhibited widely including Houston Quilt Festival, the biggest quilt show on earth. While this was not a doll I would have chosen to make on my own, it was a fun experience and everyone in the class enjoyed themselves in the process of making the dolls and sharing our own stories.

Friends are important - the good, healthy kinds of friends who don’t have a hidden agenda and have your best interests at heart. These are the friends who accept you as you are and don’t expect you to compromise your values or do something that makes you feel uncomfortable. They don’t cross or push your boundaries - they respect your autonomy as a person and your right to be who you are. That is what friends are all about.

Here are some photos from the quilt retreat. Enjoy!


Mary MacIlvain

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07/04/14
The Art Opening
Filed under: General, Mixed Media, Painting, Creativity, Inspiration, Art Journal, Design, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 6:00 pm

Last Friday I went to an art opening at the Spectrum Gallery in Centerbrook. It was one of those spur of the moment things - I saw an email notice about it while I was having my morning cup of coffee and it sounded interesting so I went after work. It was awesome and I was blown away. The work just spoke to me and inspired me on my art journey. This is the art journal page I created and poetry I wrote to express my feelings that night.

The Art Opening
Capturing the feelings from Friday night
just being inside the art gallery
the lithographs of trees on rice paper
stretched gossamer-like from ceiling to floor
swaying gently as i went walking through
looking up with wonder and amazement
i felt myself come alive with feeling
in the presence of art that spoke to me
whispering my name softly in a dream
i heard you calling me to come closer
and felt peace as you gently touched my soul
knowing that you bring much joy to my heart.


Mary MacIlvain

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06/29/14
Inspiration Deck Swap
Filed under: General, Mixed Media, Painting, Creativity, Inspiration, Design, Creative Every Day, ATCs, Quotes
Posted by: Mary @ 1:22 pm

I am currently participating in a card deck swap with the Facebook group Inspiration Deck Divas & Dudes too! Everyone chooses a different quote for their card deck and the decks are shipped to one location for sorting and shipping back out. I can’t wait to see everyone’s cards! Here are the cards I created for this swap.

Here is a close up of one of my cards. A playing card is 2.5” x 3.5”, the same size as an ATC (Artist Trading Card).

Here is more info on how to create your own card deck:
Inspiration Deck
Inspiration Deck – A Tutorial


Mary MacIlvain

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06/15/14
Art Journaling: Self Care
Filed under: General, Mixed Media, Painting, Creativity, Inspiration, Art Journal, Design, Book of Days
Posted by: Mary @ 4:46 pm

I have been art journaling for 4 years and have taken classes with Effy Wild for 2 years now. This spread is from week 5 Book of Days 2014 V2 which is going on now. This doesn’t look anything like the class sample as I like to watch the videos, absorb the ideas and then do my own thing.

My work was rejected from the juried art show last week and that was not really a surprise as it was a traditional, representational art show with very little abstract or groundbreaking work. But it made me question again what I am doing and why I create art. The answer came quickly: I paint and create art for myself. My motivation is to explore what is going on inside of me, to express myself, and to push past my boundaries and explore new ideas. Painting/mixed media/art journaling makes me feel very good inside. It’s a transformational experience for me.

The what am I doing question addresses the fact that for many years I have been immersing myself in a number of groups and running from one to the next, looking for something that is not there. I am not going to find my true creative voice in a group. It is only in introspective time alone that my self can emerge. So I have begun to disentangle myself from the distraction of too many things and am trying to focus on a few things that resonate with me instead of a lot of things that are just not me. My interests have changed and I can’t be everything for everybody. And yes, I am spending more time at home and not running around after work every other night and I am loving it!

Flora Bowley, the wonderful creative I took the painting (and way of life) class with this winter, recently announced on her blog that she is taking a sabbatical. What a great idea! I am not taking a sabbatical but I have been examining the what am I doing question for a long while now and so I am changing it up, letting things go, allowing space in my life to breathe, and being open to new things/people/ideas/fun. And I want to go on record here and say that I love my career job! I work hard, not because I have to, but because I want to. I truly enjoy what I am doing and take great pride in my work. At the end of the day it feels so good to look at what I’ve accomplished. Making art  when I have time at home balances that all out and makes me feel whole.


Mary MacIlvain

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05/24/14
Two Totem Quilts
Filed under: General, Quilt Art, Mixed Media, Creativity, Inspiration, Design
Posted by: Mary @ 4:30 pm

Today I attended the regional SAQA-CT meeting which was held at the Windham Textile Museum in Willimantic. The Connecticut Region of SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) supports and promotes professional fiber artists and teachers as well as quilters working to develop their fine art skills. I was so thrilled when I viewed the Local Color exhibit and discovered that there was a local chapter for the national organization. It is so exciting and inspirational to be a part of a group that is exploring art quilts and pushing the envelope on quilting, taking this art form to a new level. I have both an art background and a quilting background and have been thinking about trying to combine the two, all the while working in somewhat of a vacuum locally with online groups being my main inspiration and support. I have one hand in paint/mixed media and the other hand in fiber/quilts.

These two totem quilts were placed side by side and scaled using Gimp, a free photo editing program, for ease of display. Totem-1 (7″x22″), the wavy piece on the left, was made from decorator samples that I obtained from a friend. I never say no to found fabric! The heavy fabric was free-form cut with scissors, stitched down flat, and then stapled. Totem-2 (8″x24″), the piece on the right, was free-form rotary cut and pieced intuitively, then decorative yarn was arranged and stitched down in place of quilting. I develop a piece as I go along in an intuitive way. I used to plan everything out but I have let go of that to a great extent and prefer to let my muse have her way.


Mary MacIlvain

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03/22/14
Small Art Quilt Published in Book
Filed under: General, Quilt Art, Creativity, Inspiration, Design
Posted by: Mary @ 5:27 pm

One of my goals last year was to get my art work published. So I have been submitting work for publication to several calls for entry and I am happy to say that I have had a small art quilt published in the Geography of Loss by Patti Digh. The book came out in January on Amazon and it is a beautifully designed book filled with art to accompany different people’s stories about loss and how they navigated through that loss. The legend on the front of the book says: embrace what is, honor what was, love what will be. The book is very special and it is an honor to be in the book on page 92. Here is my quilt that I call Far Away and it is about someone leaving and then not being in your life anymore. The piece is meant to be a positive statement about how people pass through our lives, some briefly and some for a long time, each one touching us in some way.

It has been a long while since I have made a blog post. I don’t have a reason why this has happened and it probably doesn’t matter. I have been creating a lot of meaningful art work and sharing my art in smaller circles, as that feels more comfortable to me. A lot of my recent work feels too personal to share in a larger arena. I would like to say that wherever you are in your journey, the important thing is that you are learning, opening up, and growing more into being yourself.


Mary MacIlvain

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08/23/13
Handprints
Filed under: General, Mixed Media, Painting, Creativity, Inspiration, Art Journal, Design, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 6:55 am

I spray painted a background on this art journal spread and let it sit a while out on the table. After a few days I decided to dip my hands in paint on my paint palette and make handprints on the page, just as children do in kindergarten or first grade when they are beginning their learning experience. Afterwards I wrote a short story in free verse about my hand, printed that out on see-through vellum, and affixed the vellum sheet to the top of the page. This spread speaks to me in an unexpected way and it very much pleases me.


Mary MacIlvain

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03/05/13
Jeanie’s Quilt
Filed under: General, Photography, Creativity, Inspiration, Family and Friends, Design, Quilting, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 10:11 pm

Last weekend I went to a quilt retreat at YMCA Camp Hazen in Chester, CT. I had a wonderful time in the lodge with my quilting friends and over the long weekend I made this photo graduation quilt for my son’s girlfriend. When I came to the retreat I had a gridded plan on graph paper, 16 photos printed on Printed Treasures pretreated printable fabric, and a sweater box filled with a varied selection of purple fabric. The quilt went together like a puzzle and then was free motion machine quilted on my Bernina. Last night I gave the quilt to Jeanie and she was thrilled to have this warm cuddly memory of her college graduation.


Mary MacIlvain

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08/19/12
Giving Flight Blog Hop
Filed under: General, Quilt Art, Creativity, Inspiration, Design, Quilting, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 8:28 pm

in our Giving Flight Blog Hop we are celebrating the 1st anniversary of our coming together via Kelly Rae Roberts’ Flying Lessons: Take Flight. To celebrate, we each chose a way to give back to the world in some way. It makes sense to do this because we have spent a year in this special space, giving to one another. The Flying Lessons Alumni group means a lot to me and is always a source of creative inspiration and friendship.

My choice for giving back to the world is to answer the Call to Artists for Prayer Flags at the Oceanside Museum of Art in Oceanside California. Artists from all over the world are invited to express their prayers and concerns in the OMA Prayer Flag installation at the museum. Each flag is created in the artist’s own style, then hung outside for a while, its words and sentiment dissolving into the wind and being spread to all whom the wind touches.

Here is the Prayer Flag that I am donating to the museum for their installation:

And here is the companion prayer flag that I am keeping at home to remind me and inspire me:

Here is a list of my friends the Flyers who are participating in this blog hop, with links to individual blogs. There are about 400 of us but not everyone has a blog or is able to participate in the blog hop. They are all here in spirit.
Janet Forrest
Cat Athena Louise
Stacey Bockness Curry
Kris Lanae Binsfeld
Renee Burke
Mary Sterk
Michelle Reynolds
Constance Rawlins
Kelly Hoernig
Cindy Jones Lantier
Kathleen Conard
Claudia Dow
Susan M. Walls-Beverly
Linda Barutha
Linda Kinnaman
Cheryl Dossey
Sofia Dabalsa
Jill Lambert
Sally Rose
Ursula Smith
Deborah Eaton
Lori Leissner
Creative Clearinghouse
Lenore Angela
Katharina Star
Rachél Payne
Sherry Richert Belul
Deborah Velasquez
Shannon Etnyre
Live Laugh Love Retreats
Kelley Miller Artworks
Wini Dougall
Carol Bray
Tracy Yarbrough
Diane Enright
Jamie Burch
Mary Cottingham
Susan Dietz
Lori Moon Studio
Kim Hyer
Tina Carlborg
Catherine Pistone
Mary MacIlvain
Carolyn Chenault


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07/29/12
Inspiration Deck
Filed under: General, Mixed Media, Painting, Creativity, Inspiration, Design, Creative Every Day, ATCs
Posted by: Mary @ 12:32 pm

Some of my friends in the Flying Lessons online art/creative group are swapping inspiration decks which are altered decks of playing cards. Here is a little teaser about the swap on one of my friend’s blogs. The only guideline in creating the deck is that each card should have an inspirational saying. Yesterday I decided to make my own inspiration deck as I was doing some centering work and this seemed like a good channel to elicit positive feelings.

It was an awesome project to work on and I am so pleased with the results. I prepped the cards with gesso first and after that dried I chose acrylic paint in 4 color pairs for each set of 13 cards. Enya was playing on the stereo and I fully absorbed myself into the music while painting, allowing the music to flow through my hand and into the paintbrush. The inspiration quotes are from previous blog posts here, here, and here, as well as other quotes that I had found and saved in a folder (yes I am organized). Holding these cards in my hands and going through them one by one feels so incredible. Now I want to make another deck with fortunes from fortune cookies that I have saved in a small metal tin.


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07/21/12
Design Wall Progress
Filed under: General, Quilt Art, Creativity, Inspiration, Design, Quilting, Creative Every Day, Quotes
Posted by: Mary @ 9:51 pm

The quilt on my design wall is growing and changing, like me. I started with the same palette of fabrics that I had chosen for my abstract landscape quilt. Some of my favorite ethereals are in that plastic sweater box. The design foundation is based on a 1.5″ square grid set on the diagonal and the pieces I am superimposing over the grid are cut 2″ square, 2″x3.5″, and 3.5″ square. For those of you who don’t sew, a .25″ seam allowance is used in quilting and foot #37 on my Bernina is exactly a quarter inch from the needle to the edge of the foot, so I don’t have to pin or mark the fabric to sew pieces together.

This quilt is abstract and the concept behind the piece is the crossroads or the labrynth. I have been through the labrynth and have been at the crossroads many times. One of my favorite Robert Frost poems is The Road Not Taken, an excerpt quoted here:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

I always take the road less traveled so these words ring true for me and are dear to my heart. It is not always easy taking a different path than everyone else, but it is a lot harder being someone you weren’t meant to be. Above all, you have to be yourself. Which is why I am not going to show you the beginnings of a quilt I made in a workshop in April and have put away. Why? Because the quilt is not me. It looks like someone else’s work.

Here is the progression of work on the design wall quilt so far. The triangles sticking out at the edges will get squared off after the piece is assembled but there is more work to do yet. It has been extremely enjoyable to work on this quilt and it parallels some inner work that I am doing. When the mood strikes I add pieces or rearrange to my heart’s content. It is so self affirming for me to work on something in this manner. Make your own path and find your own way.


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05/26/12
Breakthrough
Filed under: General, Painting, Creativity, Inspiration, Design, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 9:52 am

Last weekend I had an unexpected breakthrough and wanted to share that with you. For a few months now I have been experiencing artist’s block. It is something that we all as creatives go through and out of it comes renewal and growth, often a change in direction. Yet it can be quite frustrating while we are in that place and our muse has taken a long holiday.

A conversation with my friend about his abstract painting with underlying structure of an architectural nature ignited something in me. When I got home I found my book The Designer and the Grid which elaborates on concepts that I unconsciously use in my graphic design work. There was a synthesis and synergy for me when I connected my friend’s verbal expression of ideas with the images in the book.

The next day I got out my watercolor paints and taped the Fabriano paper down to my masonite board. Everything was different. I began with ruler, compass, pencil lines, and structure instead of plunging right in with loose ephemeral landscape evoking washes. I worked with a fairly dry brush and well defined shapes instead of the wet mess with colors running together that I am so fond of. My Footprints painting is a good example of this. I went from start to finish without a break, something else that I never do. The finished painting was both pleasing and surprising to me, revealing both my capacity for change and my art spirit.


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04/22/12
New Print Gallery Online
Filed under: General, Collage, Creativity, Inspiration, Digital Art, Design, Drawing, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 2:23 pm

I now have a print gallery online and will have prints available of select pieces of my artwork through print on demand technology. This is something new for me and I hope to add more pieces to the gallery over time. The gallery is hosted by imagekind and my personal gallery on the site is at marymacilvain.imagekind.com/inspiration. I am excited about this new venture which allows me to share a physical representation of my artwork with a global audience.

The two images currently in the gallery are Newport Doors, a digital photo collage of doors taken from the old section of Newport, Rhode Island, and Shopaholics Anonymous, a digitally drawn assortment of shopping bags from a typical mall. The black border is used here to separate the images from the background and is not part of the print.

Inspiration springs from inside of me to become expressions in art.


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08/13/11
Rainbow Leaves Quilt in Show
Filed under: General, Quilt Art, Design, Quilting, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 6:34 pm

My rainbow leaves quilt was in the GHQG quilt show last weekend. Fall is my favorite time of year and this was a perfect theme to design a quilt for my antique four-poster bed. I chose a rainbow of colors in my favorite fabrics from stash. This is an original paper pieced design that was laid out in Adobe Illustrator. It was machine pieced and machine quilted by yours truly. It is a bit like wrestling an alligator to machine quilt a bed size quilt on a Bernina 1090 with a standard size opening but I rolled and tugged and pushed and pulled and did it in stages. The background area is quilted in loose puzzle piece shapes so that the leaves pop out and the strip pieced border has freeform leaves quilted into it.


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04/26/11
Newport Doors
Filed under: General, Photography, Creativity, Inspiration, Digital Art, Design, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 11:28 am

Recently I visited Newport, Rhode Island and walked about the charming neighborhood just south of the Newport bridge near the edge of Rhode Island sound. What enchanted me the most was the colorful entry doors to many of the homes, each with a personality all its own. When I got home and studied my photos from the journey, the concept for this poster came to me fully formed as an image. Don’t you just love it when that kind of serendipity happens?


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02/26/11
Mariner’s Compass
Filed under: General, Creativity, Design, Quilting, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 9:33 am

Mariner’s compass designs have always intrigued me. The compass rose or wind rose, found on a nautical chart, radiates out from the center and is used in sea navigation. If you google images for “compass rose” you will find some beautiful images. Mariner’s Compass Quilts by Judy Mathieson is one of my favorite quilting books with inspiration about this design, mariner’s compass patterns, and information on how to draft your own pattern.

Recently I created a paper foundation pieced (see Carol Doak for info on this method) pattern for a mariner’s compass block that goes together in 8 sections. For coloration I used light, medium, and dark blues. It is very important to have value changes (light to dark contrast) so that the design pops out and you can also vary the colors in this design. Here is the 12 inch block that I made to see how my pattern would go together. Three more of these blocks and I will have a striking table runner.


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