Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Spine Tingling Book!

As promised, here is a photo that shows the book in 3D. It may seem an odd angle but it highlights the spine of the book with twelve exquisite embossed thumbnail images. Running your fingers up and down is spine tingling!  The images on the front cover are matte, in slight relief against the smooth, high gloss background.  This combination makes just holding the book a surprisingly tactile experience for a softback cover.  Remember you can pre-order Twelve by Twelve: The International Art Quilt Challenge now to get your hands on your own copy in March.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

An Exciting Parcel - the first copy of the BOOK!

It was an exciting afternoon. After a refreshing swim in the summer surf, I returned home to find a card on the doorstep indicating that I had missed a courier delivery by a matter of minutes. Fortunately, I didn't have to wait overnight to collect it from the Post Office - the suspense would have been too much. For inside this box was the single author advance copy that we are allotted of our forthcoming book - Twelve by Twelve: The International Art Quilt Challenge.
I did try to record this historic moment to share with you all but I am woefully unfamiliar with the video function on my camera. I managed to record before and after the opening of the package but not the opening itself.   However, this is a reasonably faithful re-enactment along with some fuzzy stills. 

Opening the Twelve by Twelve Book! from Brenda Gael Smith on Vimeo.

I'll take some better photos in the morning and will experiment with the webcam too . In the meantime, two words - it's REAL!

Monday, December 27, 2010

False Starts

Like Helen, my Eggplant, Burgundy, and Emerald quilt isn't turning out quite like I imagined it in my head.

Upon hearing the theme, I immediately thought not of the colors, but of the foods. I was in Houston at Quilt Festival at the time and there were many beautiful Baltimore album quilts on view. So, it's no surprise that I made a connection between the bounty in a Baltimore album block (baskets and cornucopias especially) and the bounty in our Twelve by Twelve theme.

I've also been inspired by the ladies at Material Obsession and imagined my Baltimore album block to be contemporary looking and full of Kaffe Fasset type fabrics.

Much moving about and auditioning of fabrics later, it's just not working. Part of it is that I don't have nearly as many appropriate eggplanty colored fabrics as I had assumed I had. But, as I was sketching the composition, another idea tried to assert itself. I ignored it at first, but now I'm thinking it was the direction I should have followed all along...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy Boxing Day

It's "Boxing Day" here in Australia.  The origins of this secular holiday are unclear but these days in Australia it is mostly associated with the first day of the Boxing Day Test  at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the start to the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race and, for some, a frenzy of shopping and sales.

You too can snap up a Boxing Day bargain without venturing to the mall - certain book retailers are currently offering deep discounts on our forthcoming book Twelve by Twelve: The International Art Quilt Challenge which can be pre-ordered for a guaranteed low price of US$12.56 from Barnes & Noble  or US$13.23 from Amazon. And you don't have to be a proponent of Helen's "Girl Maths" to realise that it's worth ordering TWO (or more!) copies of the book to take advantage of the free shipping within the US for orders over $25.  Happy Boxing Day!

Twelve by Twelve: The International Art Quilt Challenge

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Have you noticed

Have you noticed how quilts can be stubborn little things? If you recall my torn napkin, I had A Idea. It involved cuts ( in felt) and green shoots of (machine embroidered and wired) recovery and was all very clever/ pretentious. But would it be born. No siree. I have a table spread with  specially bought fabrics and threads and would they play nicely together? No Ma'am.

And so I went off in a strop to attend to another task, namely finding one specific book in a pile of fifteen packing boxes. At about box five I found the project design sketchbooks I did for my first C&G course. Given I have now just ditched the second C&G course I thought I might as well just chuck those out. But one fell open at a picture of a West African Hunting Jacket a little like this one ( but different) and suddenly I had a new idea.

And then there was the song on the road in the car as I drive home that day. Can you believe Band Aid  was as long ago as1984? Or that it could inspire an Eggplant quilt?

So the special fabric is back in a drawer and some alternate fabric is on the desk and looking anxious to be made into a little quilt. Or two or three..... Weird how this inspiration thing works isn't it?

Oh. And I never did find that book.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Dark Side

As kind of a Christmas present to myself, I finished quilting an Eggplant quilt yesterday. Whether it turns out to be the official quilt remains to be seen.  A key challenge with a palette of  "deep purple, burgundy red and dark green" is the dark value of the hues that tend to blend together creating no discernible shapes or patterns.  Fortunately I have some hand-dyed emerald fabric that really sparkles and conquers the dark side.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Following Along

Occasionally Ted likes to follow along with our Twelve challenges, I think just because he hears me talking about them so much.  When I first saw this piece, I thought the eggplant was to light, not like any eggplant I had seen before.

Then I saw a picture like the one below in a magazine, and he seems to be right on.

You can follow his process here

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Morning Glory

Spotted on my walk to the beach this morning:
PS: It's less than 75 days until the release of the Twelve by Twelve BOOK - is it on your Christmas list? You can pre-order now from Amazon,the Book Depository and other retailers.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Organza in Eggplant Theme Colors

I have been thinking I would like to make my piece from silk organza. Today I found these 3 at the Mill Ends store near me. The wine color is winier than it looks in this photo. I may mix these with some dupioni. At any rate, being in the bleak midwinter, I am enjoying these colors very much.

I love the women who work in the fashion fabric section of this store, and they were very curious about what I was doing with the fabric. I think I will have to take the finished piece back for them to see.

My brother-in-law in New York has only days left and I don't know when I might need to take off to go there. Thought I better get a plan going for this.