Sunday, September 30, 2012

My Quip - Our Lucys

Good Day,

Andy and I thought that you may like to see our two latest Lucys, Who Did Desi Adore? and I Really Love Lucy side-by-side... or at least together.

And a few more...

But of course, ours' pale as compared to the real...

We certainly enjoyed creating and working these two quilt and wall hanging creations.

Stay-tuned for for what's coming next.


Jim and Andy.
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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Q106 – I Really Love Lucy – Quilt

Good Day,

What can Andy and I say? I, we, Really Love Lucy.

The inspiration for our original design is/was Harry Warnecke’s 1944 portrait. Early last spring I stumbled upon, online, a magnificent portrait of Lucille Ball. It was Harry Warnecke’s 1944 portrait; belonging in a collection in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. Lucille Ball, along with a collection of Warnecke’s portraits will be on exhibit at the Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland, Florida this coming October through January.

Apart from the subject, Lucille Ball, I was enticed by the colors of the complete composition. My first thought was that Andy and I should create a quilt that would highlight the colors from the portrait. I was able to breakdown and extract a number of the colors. The following is my first attempt at pixelating the colors of the composition of the Warnecke portrait.

The dimensions of our quilt, I Really Love Lucy are: Width – 96” (244 cm) and Length – 64” (163 cm), approximately the size of a twin quilt. The starting point of I Really Love Lucy was the creation of a geometric quilt block, sewn would be 8” square. 96 blocks 8” blocks, each block is composed of nine Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton solid colors.

The block construction is paper-pieced in three parts. Then the three parts were pieced together to create each individual block. Each block, including the drafting of the paper-piecing copy, took approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete. And yes that is 120 hours, just to sew and create the blocks.

Our next challenge was to commit to freeform quilting the constructed top, the batting, and the back on our Longarm. A picture of Lucille Ball wearing a strand of pearls became fixed in my mind. Check out the quilted pearl strands. Andy created an amazing configuration. Also we wanted to keep the lacy-like appearance of the mesh of Lucy’s veiled hat. I believe we succeeded in the wave quilt lines in the blocks.

Here are additional images and close ups of our I Really Love Lucy.

Our I Really Love Lucy has been accepted as a finalist entry at MQX West 2012 in Portland, Oregon the coming October.

Make sure you check out our Who Did Desi Adore? (See Q105.)


Jim and Andy
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Friday, September 28, 2012

Q105 – Who Did Desi Adore? – Quilted Wall Hanging

Good day,

And here she is…

Who Did Desi Adore?

About last March I stumbled upon, online, a magnificent portrait of Lucille Ball. It was Harry Warnecke’s 1944 portrait; belonging in a collection in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.

I was entranced with the colors of her skirt, her black blouse, the thing she is wearing on top of her glorious orange red hair, the red, red of her lipstick, and the near perfection of her alabaster skin. My first thoughts were, could Andy and I capture the colors of Warnecke’s portrait in some fabric and quilt composition.

My first creation was a geometric rendition of an abstract and fractured quilt block. This was done, but you will have to read more of this adventure in my next posting Q106 – I Really Love Lucy.

We then discussed about the possibility of creating a stylized mosaic portrait quilted wall hanging of the Lucille Ball photograph. I figured that I could superimpose a grid on top of the portrait and create a mosaic design of simple squares of fabric. The issue became as to what to do with those parts of the portrait where a single square of the portrait may consist of more than just one color. In keeping with the abstract and geometric idea of the quilt block construction for the fractured quilt block of the I Really Love Lucy, I decided that the design could be generated with the use of triangles and squares. I then discovered the surveying technique of triangulation. Our Who Did Desi Adore? is a variation of a gridded mosaic and equilateral triangulation.

The final dimensions of the wall hanging Who Did Desi Adore? is Length – 35 ½” (90.2 cm), Width – 24 ½” (62.2 cm). The triangulated mosaic is composed of 1” squares sewn and created by cut 1 ¼” squares, including the seam allowance. Also the squares composed of triangles are created and sewn by two triangles of the same size. The fabric composition is all solid colors of the Kona Cotton line from Robert Kaufman Fabrics.

As we decided to give some additional body to our Who Did Desi Adore? wall hanging, we composed the quilt sandwich of four layers; the top, two layers of cotton batting, and the back. The actual freeform quilting, done on a domestic machine, is quite dense.

Here are some more images and close ups of our Who Did Desi Adore?

And as happenstance, or maybe the quilt fairies would have it, Harry Warnecke’s original 1944 portrait of Lucille Ball, the same one we used for our inspiration, will be on exhibit from October 27 through January 12 at the Dorothy Jenkins Gallery of the Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland, Florida… Believe it or not, this is only 45 miles (72 km) from our house in Tampa.

And, and… our Who Did Desi Adore? has been accepted as a finalist entry at MQX West 2012 in Portland, Oregon the coming October.


Jim and Andy
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Thursday, September 20, 2012

My Quip – I Really Love Lucy and Who Did Desi Adore?

Good Day,

Just a quick blurb, or should I write quick blog, Andy’s and my two quilts “I Really Love Lucy” and “Who Did Desi Adore?” have both been accepted as Finalists at the Machine Quilters Exposition – MQX West 2012 juried quilt competition in Portland, Oregon this coming October.

Here are two images of the two in stages of progress.

Stay-tuned for a complete update shortly.

Our special exhibit, Evolution, 26 of our quilts and wall hangings will be also a featured display at the MQX West Show.


Jim and Andy
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Friday, September 14, 2012

My Quip – And Sometimes You Never Know – McCall's America Quilts Together

Good Day,

Sometime in January McCall's Quilting invited quilters, throughout the United States, who quilted together in partnership or groups to submit a story of their partnership. McCall's was planning a special issue for 2012 with a quilting together theme.

Andy and I answered the call. I asked my brother, Ray to take a photograph of us. I wrote up a quick synopsis, submitted the information, and then filed it away in the constant growing stash of folders on my hard drive.

Earlier this week Andy received a message from a friend, Judy in Delaware. She had just opened her copy of McCall's Quilting magazine, the Autumn 2012 edition, and lo and behold, on page 23 there was Ray's picture of Andy and me, titled Quilts SB – Tampa, FL. Needless to say we were all pleasantly surprised.

In the photograph we are at one of our domestic sewing machines, Janome 6300. Included are two of our works in progress, since completed, our Tampa Lightning and Mondrian I. Both Tampa Lightning and Mondrian I will be on display, this October 5 and 6, at the A Splash of Color Quilt Show sponsored by the Cabarrus Quilters Guild, in Concorde, North Carolina.

Other of our works soon to be on display are our special exhibit Evolution and two new quilts, Who Did Desi Adore? And I Really Love Lucy. Our 28 quilts and wall hangings will be presented at the Machine Quilters Exhibition – MQX West 2012, October 16 through 20 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon.

Two of our quilts, Blue Chambray and AKA Kumquat's Lorax will be on display at the University of South Florida Botanical Gardens as presented by the Cypress Creek Quilters Guild, November 10 Show, A Garden of Quilting Delights, in Tampa, Florida.

Stay tuned to our progress and updates.


Andy and Jim.
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Monday, September 10, 2012

A Tribute – MEM911 – Wall Hanging – Quilt

Good Day,

Our Wall Hanging – Quilt MEM911, is Andy's and my small token of remembrance.

We completed MEM911 last year in commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of the September 11, 2001 Tragedy. Our Quilt and Wall Hanging is not intended to be a reproduction of the tragedy and horrific devastation, but a quiet memory. A quiet and ethereal portrayal of an event that has been etched in the minds of millions; an incident that should never be forgotten.

The abstract and graphic representation of the Cathedral Window is a focus of our reflection. This is a generation of rising shades of fabrics in the clouds underlining the glass and metal of the Twin Towers. The beige fabric is the structure and strength that hold together all these thoughts and memories. The patterned squares in the horizontal cuts of the colored fabrics represent the windows and the many lives lost and those affected.

If you look closely at the quilting you will see an impression in thread of the Twin Towers. We wanted the memory to be engraved in both the clouds and the patterns of the fabrics.

The dimensions of MEM911 are: Width – 39” (99 cms); Length – 48” (122 cms). The 100% cotton check fabrics were designed by Michael Miller. The separating grey cloud fabric is a product of Timeless Treasures Fabrics. Our quilting includes three stylings; horizontal lines in each of the rectangles and squares; an accented quilting of highlighting the clouds; and vertical and horizontal lines representing the Twin Towers.

Here are some more images and close-ups of MEM911.

MEM911 wil be on display with our special exhibit "Evolution" at MQX West 2011 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon, October 18-20.


Jim and Andy
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