Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Dinner at Eight Artists Exhibit 2014

I'm so excited! Yesterday the accepted artists were announced for this year's Dinner at Eight exhibit, and I'm in. Many thanks to Leslie Tucker Jenison and Jamie Fingal for all their work in creating and curating this exhibit. It looks like another great lineup of artists and I'm thrilled to be in their company.

The theme this year is reflections. I spent lots of time considering this, first thinking about literal interpretations as I have *many* photos of reflections in water and windows. Eventually, though, I felt better about doing something a little different. I wanted this quilt to reflect my techniques and styles, not be something in a totally new direction. Here is my piece, Intertwined.
Intertwined, ©2014 Diane Rusin Doran
Seahorses often have patterning (and sometimes coloring) that reflects the environment in which they live. By using transparency, I've made these seahorses do just that. Additionally, their appearance also reflects that of their kin.

Be sure to take a closer look at these detail shots. I threadpainted all of the green elements to add some depth and interest. Note to self: that amount of threadpainting takes way more time than you think it will.

If you've seen my Quilting Arts workshop on digital surface design you'll probably recognize how I created the digital collage. I started with a faux drip dyed background and worked forward from there. It was very fun to create.

I have another new piece of work to share very soon, so stay tuned. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

DVD Winner!

And the winner of Candy's wonderful new DVD, plus a lovely fern sketch, is Andi! Congratulations Andi!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Free-Motion Machine Sketching Review and Giveaway

I'm delighted to be a part of the blog tour for my friend Candy Glendening's newest DVD, Free-Motion Machine Sketching

Candy is an enthusiastic instructor who obviously loves to teach!

In this DVD she shares her personal design inspirations. I particularly like her descriptions of how to look at something and break it down to create an artful stitched sketch so that you can develop sketches based on your inspirations too.

She also gives step-by-step instructions on how to create a variety of motifs and construct a cloth book of sketches for reference. This is a great way to test out various fabric and thread combinations! I love that these sketches can be used for art quilts as well as fun tote bags and other projects.

Her relaxed and encouraging approach will have you creating your own thread sketches in no time.

How would you like to have a chance to win a copy of the DVD and a botanical sketch from Candy? Each of the bloggers on the tour picked a botanical for Candy to sketch. The winner on my blog will receive a thread sketched fern. 

Comments are now closed, thanks for joining in the fun!
To enter just leave a comment on this post by March 26 and tell me if you've tried free-motion sketching before. Here's the whole tour schedule - be sure to visit all the blogs for more chances to win.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Bit of Sunshine

on a cloudy day. My MAQF entry returned complete with ribbon and judges' comments.
"Sunrise Serenade"

You never know what you'll get with judges' comments. These are perhaps my all time favorites - "Charming", "Permeated with light" and "Love it!"  Well that certainly brightens up the day! I couldn't attend the show myself, but was so grateful that friends Kristin LaFlamme, Michelle May, and Lisa Ellis all took photos to share with me. I've been tiptoeing through the last few weeks due to a case of the shingles so this was a nice pick-me-up.

Stay tuned - I have something fun in store later this week.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

After some extensive shoveling
I snipped this last night at about 10:00 from the Weather Channel website

I think my Valentines deserve a little treat.

Wishing all of you a very sweet Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Ice, Ice Baby

So, along with masses of other folks, we had a big ice storm. You know me and the nature pics - just can't stop. Bear in mind that there was quite a bit of ice, so I didn't dare venture far from the shelter of the house and most of the photos were taken with lots of zoom. At least one of them was taken through a window. (This was a smart decision, as we had a very large tree fall into the middle of the driveway in the afternoon. I was in the side yard and could hear it *loudly* falling.) Enjoy!

The sun finally came out for a few shining moments at the end of the day.

Monday, February 03, 2014

A Different Type of Printing

I've long been fascinated with all types of printing, on both paper and fabric. Even as a child I *loved* to closely examine the printing on things like wedding invitations and coasters. And though I don't often share my paper crafting projects here, trust me, they exist. So, when the opportunity arose to take a class on letterpress printing at Baltimore Print Studios, I seized it!

In reality, I had to wait a year to take this class. My husband gave me a gift certificate for the class for Christmas, 2012, but my schedule (read: my kids' schedules) was too full to make it happen. But, it was definitely worth the wait.

During the class we learned how the printing presses work, how to print, how to clean the presses, how to set type, some historical aspects of printing, and so much more. The print shop owners, Kyle and Kim, taught the class. They did a great job explaining everything!

We were divided up into groups, and each group selected a phrase, set the type (selecting from the large type collection at the shop), and then printed away. Here are some photos of my group's type on the press.

I could have printed all day.

Some of our prints drying on the (awesome) many layered drying rack.
And here's a print that another group made - by this point we were printing our designs in an ombre fashion - love it!
One of the aspects of letterpress printing that intrigues me is that you can print and emboss at the same time. I learned, though, that professional printers work hard to not emboss prints unless the design really calls for it. They carefully adjust the pressure applied during the printing process so that on something like a poster there is little to no embossing. This is, of course, particularly important for two sided projects.

Each student then type set a small phrase using metal type. We were randomly assigned partners and printed some coasters, which, being a thicker paper, are indeed embossed and printed simultaneously.
(For the record, though I have been known to enjoy a gin and tonic, the phrase I chose was "Yes Please!".)

It was a very interesting and fun way to spend the day - I highly recommend it. Check out the Baltimore Print Studios website if you're interested in trying it out yourself.