Geri Ann

My journey of re-creating myself

Quilted Photograph

After spending way too much time writing To-Do Lists…it seemed like I wasn’t doing anything but making a list of more things to do…I finally came up with a DID LIST.  And while my to do list is still growing, my Did List it quite comforting!

One of my fav’s on my Did List, is this quilt I made of my daughter.  From a distance, it looks like a photo…but close-up, all the eye sees is tiny little pieces of fabric.  Using a computer program that turns a photo into basically a paint-by-number print out, 12 different colored batiks, and some heavy duty embroidered quilting…I’ve come up with the quilt below.

Yes, those are tiny little pieces of fabric.  I’ve included a “close-up” and a smaller image to help you see this “optical illusion.”  You could also just squint at the larger picture to get the idea.  The photos really don’t do this justice!

Quilt of RE (detail)

Quilt of RE (distance)

The hardest part is choosing the fabric and arranging them from light to dark.  This is made a little easier by photocopying your fabrics (in black & white)…you want to judge the values of the fabric on a grey-scale, going light to dark.  When the fabrics are all pieced together, your eye will only register the VALUE, not the color.  (It’s recommended to stay away from red or pink fabrics, however – because your eye will see the red).

I’ve already got another one in the works…this time, a picture of Billie Holiday! Wow, that woman could sing!

Peace

Photo of RE

Advertisements

May 21, 2010 Posted by | Art, Art Quilts, Completed Projects | , , , | 1 Comment

Bernina BSR Class

Free-Motion Quilting Class

So many people have the BSR (Bernina Stitch Regulator) – and for good reason…this free-motion “foot” is incredible.  But…so many our so nervous about even trying it, that it remains tucked away in it’s cute little tin box.  Time to open that box and start stitching!!  These classes were designed to help you become COMFORTABLE with free-motion stitching. You’ll be amazed at the incredible results you’ll get!  In the first class, you’ll be stitching cables and feathers…and I’ll bet you’ll even be able to write your name in stitches!

For anyone in the Palos Heights, IL area…I will be teaching my popular BSR classes in July @ Susan Marie’s quilt shop.

Quilt Designs With Your BSR (1st in Series)

Become more comfortable with your BSR – it’s fun!  We’ll start with the basics of machine quilting, including discussion of supplies, notions, threads, batting, design marking, etc. You’ll have plenty of time to practice and get comfortable before jumping into feathers, cables, motif designs, as well as stipple quilting and free motion.  There will be a lot of in class practice before you start on a whole cloth wall hanging project.  You” be amazed at the results you can obtain with the BSR!  This is a PREREQUISITE to Skill Building (2nd in Series).

Saturday, July 17, 9:30 – 1:30 pm, Class Fee $35

Skill Building 1 With Your BSR (2nd in Series)

You have played a little with your BSR foot – everyone tells you to PRACTICE, PRACTICE, and PRACTICE.  But where do you start?  What do you work on?  This fun class will get you going on a small, whole cloth quilt with all types of designs to work on.  The designs are already pre-printed on the fabric and include stippling, feathers, cables, cross hatch and more!  We’ll show you where to start on the quilt, which designs to do first, review the structure of various designs so you’ll learn to “see” the flow and structure of the design.  Threads, basting and batting will also be reviewed.  Come practice with others, it’s more fun this way! (Fabric Panel and booklet is in your kit.) This is a secondary class to “Quilt Designs with Your BSR”

Two Saturday Sessions: July 24 and 31, 9:30 – 1:30 pm, Class Fee $55 plus kit fee

(The BSR and a Bernina machine are NOT necessary – ALL machines with free-motion capabilities are welcome.  (You must be able to drop the feed dogs and a darning foot is required.) )

Hope to see you there!

Peace

May 21, 2010 Posted by | Art, Bernina, Classes I'm Teaching, Quilting, Susan Marie's, Teaching | , , , | Leave a comment

Hand Dyed Charm Packs and Jelly Rolls

After weeks of dyeing fabric, and more planned.  I’ve finally started cutting!

Hand Dyed Jelly Rolls (2.5″ x WOF) and Charm Packs (5″ squares) will be up in my new Etsy Shop soon!  These are all die cut, with my wonderful Accuquilt Studio, so you can be assured accuracy on every cut.  Great product and wonderful customer service.  I stopped by their booth at Quilt Festival in Rosemont last month and looked at what all the fuss was about.  Took some literature home with me…surfed their website…and went back the next day to by my new Studio and as many dies as I could possibly afford.

This is just the very beginning of my little foray into the wide-world of Etsy and selling my little beauties! The name of my shop is “Blue Frog Fabrics.”  So keep an eye out for this little guy:

Hand Dyed Fabrics for Quilters & Crafters

Stay tuned…pics and more info will be coming soon.  I’ll have a lot of rainbows of color…warm and cool, light and dark, as well as a few very interesting gradations.  All of the fabric is high quality cotton, with a wonderful hand (not too heavy for those that like to applique). I’ve used Procion MX dyes, and each piece has been washed at least 2x with Synthropol, to help ensure the colors won’t bleed.

This fabric will be great for quilters, fabric artists, crafters…anyone who wants to work with beautiful, richly colored fabric!!

Peace

May 21, 2010 Posted by | Accuquilt, Art, Art Quilts, Charm Packs, dyeing, Fabric Dyeing, Jelly Rolls, Quilting | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New fabric + New dyes + New Recipes = HAPPY!!

New fabric + New dyes + New Recipes = HAPPY!!

Frieda Anderson’s newest book, “Fabric To Dye For,” is out – and it’s a winner!

I’ve created just about all of the colorways in her book and am LOVIN’ IT!  There are no fancy recipes, just simple instructions…and great results.  Here’s a sneak peak:

More photos and info to come!

Peace

PS – I’ve got 100 yards of new fabric coming in.  Keep a look out for charm packs and jelly rolls in my hand-dyed colorways!

May 13, 2010 Posted by | Art, Art Quilts, Color Theory, dyeing, Fabric, Quilt Fabric | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gorgeous Hand-Dyed Silk Scarves

I had to get my creative side from someone…and my mom has always been there to encourage me.  She’s the type of mom who doesn”t mind making a mess.  She was the first with the finger-paints, glue, Play-Doh, fabric, scissors, papers, etc.,  She knew that to create art, children (and adults) needed to be free to create a mess, especially if it meant creating something “artistic and creative!”  Well, we are both still making messes and beautiful art.  And while my little blog has mostly been about my attempts at art, I thought it was high-time I share some of this space.  Most artists I’ve met have always been some of the most generous people you could possibly know.  Artists, musicians, etc., know that great pleasure can be gainedmom scarf in sharing and teaching what they’ve learned.  They realize that to inspire others is inspirational in itself, and one of life’s sweetest rewards.  It’s a well-learned lesson for all of us.

So – time for a shameless plug for my Mom’s New Etsy shop!  Yeah, Mom!

Her silk scarves are all hand-dyed and/or hand-painted, and quite simply:  BEAUTIFUL! Scarves have been all the rage in Europe forever and we’re finally catching on here in the States.   I’ve talked her into a couple for myself, but she has plenty more and loves making them.   So keep checking her site for new ones.

Click here to go to her Etsy shop:  Sparx

Here’s just one of the many she has for sale.

Thank you & Peace.

July 20, 2009 Posted by | Art, Completed Projects, dyeing, Fabric Dyeing, Quilt University, Serger, Sewing, Silk, Thanks, Zentangle | , , | 1 Comment

Diving into the (water) Colors!

I’m getting a little more into painting than I had originally planned.  My intent was to get a few watercolor classes under my belt.  Mostly so I could keep a watercolor journal.  But I find myself diving deeper and deeper into the beautiful waters!  I find it so relaxing playing with colors, whether fabrics, dyes or paints.  I’m also seeing how the bits I learn in one area, carry over into the others.  For example, starting off with a basic color theory class with the incredibly inspirational, Judy Perez, has been the catalyst for me to feel more comfortable when mixing dyes, paints and even fabrics. (Thanks, Judy!  Your classes have been fun, inspiring and so rewarding!)

Here are photos of some of my first pieces:

first painting in Carmen's Classcat painting cropped

The flower was my first piece done in a watercolor class at the La Grange Art League.  I painted the cat while following a tutorial on Wet Canvas – TONS of info on that sight for ALL types of artists…a wonderful community of very generous artists…a DEFINITE must see!!

Who knows where tomorrow will take me!  I’ve no clue…all this started with a little Color Theory Class! :

Peace,

Geri Ann

July 10, 2009 Posted by | Art, Judy Perez, Water Color, watercolor | , | 6 Comments

Many Thanks to Jack Hamm

Well, I have a new friend…Jack Hamm.  I’ve picked up a copy of his book Drawing the Head & Figure, and after just sitting down for a little while with him…I am actually drawing!

I have never really drawn anything in my life, other than some doodles and cartoon like creatures.  But I’m actually quite inspired by my little friend.  Below are some pics of some quick sketches that I have done.

So, thank you, my little friend, Jack!

photo3photo6

I’ve always been fascinated with the fact that a person could scribble some simple lines and create recognizable images. (I apologize for some of the darker images, could quite get the lighting right on the photos.)

Peace.

photo9photo4photo20photo2

May 29, 2009 Posted by | Art | , , | 5 Comments

Doodle (Zentangle) With Color

colored-doodle

Doodle with watercolor pencils

I was playing with my Prismacolor Water Color Pencils last night.  These things are beautiful. After making various swatches of the various colors, I wanted to draw something.  It was late, and I couldn’t come up with any ideas…so I doodled!  Then I colored in the doodle with the pencils, overlaying yellow and red to make orange…and blue and red to get the purples.  Basically, just mixing the colors on the paper.  Then, using my small waterbrush (another great invention), I started wetting the colored areas of the drawing.

Here is what I came up with.  It definitely showed me some of the possibilities I could have with actual sketches.  Pretty exciting! And much easier and faster to use than my tubes of watercolors.  I tried to just use mostly primary colors to test the mixing capabilities on the paper.

Let me know what you think…I’d love to see any work you’ve done with these types of pencils!

Peace

May 7, 2009 Posted by | Art, Doodles, Water Color, Zentangle | , , , | 3 Comments

First Sketch

It’s a week of many first’s!

Below is my first sketch.  It is taken from an old Japanese woodcarving by Choki (c 1795) and is entitled “The Courtesan Somensosuke with an Apprentice.”  However, it’s my version, and I ran out of paper to include her apprentice.  So…she’s just goin’ solo!  But isn’t that usually the case!

I found the design in the Dover book “120 Japanese Prints.”  I love these old Japanese designs!

The Courtesan Somensosuke, with apologies to Choki

The Courtesan Somensosuke, with apologies to Choki

I’ve decided to be brave, to take the plunge.  To draw, to paint, to sew, to color….and put it all out there in the world.  Time to listen to my positive, more quieter inner voice…and embrace and enjoy my creativity as much as I do others’!!!

Peace

April 30, 2009 Posted by | Art, Sketches | , | 8 Comments

My First Painting

painting-with-neutralsHaving enrolled in the WaterColor Journaling class at Artists of the Round Table (A.R.T.).  I finally have completed my first painting, practicing with neutral colors.  This is a wonderful program that the ladies at A.R.T. have put together.  They provide free classes in varicolor-wheel1ous art forms, such as watercolor journaling, ATC’s, and much more.  They really put a lot into these classes and really seem to enjoy what they do.  Definitely a very generous and warm group!  Be sure to check them out!

So, after months of only creating color wheels and color charts, I finally have a picture to show from it.  Not too bad for my first painting…but definitely room for improvement.

My latest color chart is to the left.  I highly recommend making color charts – you’ll learn so much by taking the time to mix the different colors…can’t make too many of these!

Peace

April 27, 2009 Posted by | Art, Color Theory, Completed Projects, Water Color | , , | 7 Comments

Doodles – the Ultimate Rorschach??

My doodles have been taking on a life of their own.  I start out with just a scribble of lines and start filling them in…and then…they change and take on an identity of their own.  Could this be the ultimate Rorschach test – create your design and then describe what you see…a true look into your subconscious.  The first one starts off as a simple doodle, but you’ll see as the pictures progress:

doodle22

Simple doodle, nothing really to analyze here…but keep looking!

Here’s where the fun begins….try this on your own…see what kind of pics you get.

doodle32

Art on The Brain

This one was made while I was attending some art classes at the International Quilt Festival in Chicago.  I had art on the brain!

doodle13

Zen Dragon

A co-worker was going to Hong Kong – I was waiting for him to get back with some China silk for me.  Sure enough, he returned with some beautiful silk and surprised me with some silk pillow cases with dragons and phoenix’s on them!  A premonition of things to come??? 🙂

And finally…one of my favorite things!  COFFEE…RICH, DARK, COFFEE!

doodle43

Coffee Zen

Doodling can be so relaxing and surprising at the same time.  I never started off to draw any of these pictures…I just began with some random lines and curves and started filling them in.

Try it for yourself, I’d love to see what you came up with!

Peace

April 27, 2009 Posted by | Art, Doodles, Zentangle | , | 2 Comments

Share Your Passion

Hello, My Name is Geri Ann, and I’m an addict.

Fabric, paints, dyes, brushes, paper, books, and of course, more CLASSES.  I cannot learn enough!  I’ve signed up for another…this time a sewing class at Pattern Review, Sewing 103 for garments.

My classes at Rosemont start tomorrow – Fabric Painting with Judy Perez and then Saturday I have the 1/2 day Sashiko class.  YEAH!  But I’m also in the middle of the Shibori Class and the Gutta Resist class will be starting soon at Quilt University.  Did I mention the WaterColor Journaling class thanks to Artists of the Round Table?  Oh, Yeah, I’m definitely an ADDICT!!  I need a 12-step program something fierce!  Someone stop me before I get to the Market at this festival!  (No, please don’t…really, I’ll be fine! I can control myself!)

I just do it a little at a time – no rush, no worries!  Work on my color wheel one night, sew the hem on my curtains another…and try to feed the family (something healthy, I’m also on a diet), mix up a little dye, paint on a little silk, read my new book, go to work, come home and do it all over again…

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining…I LOVE THIS STUFF – IT MAKES ME HAPPY!

It’s important to know yourself and accept yourself – and so, in that effort:  I AM WHAT I AM!  I realize I’m not the only one out there with this problem.  You know who you are, you’re out there, I’ve met some of you before.  Many of you also have more fabric, more thread, more books, more paints than you could ever get through in a lifetime.

But it’s not just about hoarding all of this stuff.  It’s about sharing it with your friends, and I have some great friends to share these things with.  I used to guard my fabric stash like a mother bear, not anymore!  If my daughter wants me to make something for her (like the new makeup bag I made for her this Easter) – I tell her to go in the room and pick out ANY fabric she wants.  No fabric is too good to be used for anything.    When I talk my girlfriend, Lisa, into trying to dye some fabrics with me — come on over!  You don’t need a thing!  I have plenty of fabric and dyes for all of us and 1/2 of the city of Chicago!

rachart

Rachael's Art

When I learn a really interesting technique, I want to rush out and share it…teach it…and most of all…contribute to the addiction of others. I truly recommend sharing your art and your knowledge.  If you are going to be an addict, such as myself, then be one! Be Proud! But be sure to participate in the Joy of Sharing!  You know you’ll never use up all of your stuff!  Share it with any one else who shares the same passion for beauty and art.  Children soak this stuff up – they can be the most fun to share your talents and stash with.

My daughter is an artist in her own right.  She’s only 15, and is quite the budding artist.  I love it!  Here’s a piece she had in the Art Show at the local community college.  I didn’t even know she was working on this.  It was a wonderful surprise to her dad and I!  I wish I was as good as this kid!

While visiting my Grandmother in the hospital, I bought some watercolors and paper to keep my little nephew, Max, entertained.  This kid had a blast mixing all the colors, painting beautiful pics for Grandma’s wall.  Art brings joy to people of all ages.  It exercises their right-side of their brain and leads to joy in all areas of their lives!  Look at the fun on this kid’s face!

max

And speaking of my dear Grandmother Clara…she passed away Tuesday morning.  She was loved very dearly by her 10 children, and tons of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  She will be greatly missed, but always in our hearts.  She was an incredible woman, and a blessing to know.  I was able to spend about a week with her about a month ago after her stroke.  It was wonderful to get her laughing everyday.  I bought a set of watercolors for her as well, and even got her to paint for a little while (something she used to love to do).  It was time well spent and will remain an incredible memory forever!  The photo below is her and her 5 girls.  I’ll have to dig up another photo of them with the 5 boys!  She was beautiful and a wonderful grandmother!

girls

So share your passion…it’s contagious and a very precious gift!

Peace

April 16, 2009 Posted by | Art | , , | Leave a comment