18 August 2011

Day 6.2

This one using a black oil pastel. oh well, the good, the bad and the ugly.

Day 6.1

Focusing on shadows. This one using a 4B and 6B pencil I bought today for fun.

15 August 2011

Day 5 A Fukushima peach?

I think I've mixed up Day 5 and Day 12 (coloring in). Oh, well.

This sketch has a couple of meanings... Yes, it is a peach. It is set on a background of the symbol for the prefecture of Fukushima Japan.

Fukushima has always been famous for its peaches. The peaches have traditionally been given as presents, well-known for their high quality. Even peaches that fell on the ground were collected and made into juice, jams, etc.

This year, farmers in the prefecture have been cutting the grass under the peach trees so the peaches won't touch the grass. They can't cut the grass down to the ground because the wind would throw dust from the ground up into the air.

Wonderfully delicious peaches, a proud history.

Few buyers this year.

Day 4.4

Sian had a plum, I have a pit. in 2B pencil and fine point marker.

13 August 2011

Day 4.3

I don't like working with a pen. It seems so permanent. So, this is good practice even if I'm not comfortable and don't like the results. I can still see the effects that the lines have.

12 August 2011

Day 4.2 Cherries and shadows

Day 4.1 playing with shadows

Day 3


Summer Sketchbook Day 2

Promising to get back to Module 2 ASAP, will ease into it by following Sian' Summer Sketchbook Project. I'll be traveling for the next month or so, and so far, this is a great project for hotel rooms, lunch breaks, spare moments. #1:

03 April 2011

Chapter 9 - Fibonacci Sequence and Golden Section

Read the instructions carefully a couple of times.

Looked at the suggested web site that has information on Fibonacci Sequence in nature [updated URL: http://www.maths.surrey.ac.uk/hosted-sites/R.Knott/Fibonacci/fibnat.html] --- FASCINATING!!!  As a farmer, I will watch for this pattern as the summer crops come out. ☼ We have four or five tiny asparagus already, but didn't see the pattern there... the winter broccoli is about in its final stages. Looks like it needs a haircut - no pattern detected there ;-)

+  *  +  *  +  *  +  *  +  *  +  * +  *  +  *  +  *  +

Following the instructions, chose several previously printed papers, assorted them by tones, glued down (9.1).

9.1 Tonal column

Then cut them in the Fibonacci series of proportions, measured as .5 cm, 1 cm, 1.5, 2.5, 4, 6.5 (9.2)

9.2 Tonal column cut in Fibonacci proportions

Then, using these strips, rearranged them in alternating directions (9.3).
9.3 Alternated strips

Took a patterned paper and a sheet of black. Cut both into the proportions, realigned them, like shuffling two halves of a deck of cards ;-)  (9.4).

9.4 Patterned and black papers

Rotated the new block and cut it again in the Fibonacci proportions (9.5).

9.5 New pattern evolves

Reversed directions of every other strip (9.6).

9.6 Above pattern with 
strips reversed

Made a new block in tonal order, made copies, placed one copy up-side down next to the original, then cut this into equal strips and moved every other strip slightly to produce a fractured design (9.7).

9.7 Fractured design
from new block

Took copies of block in 9.7, cut them into equal widths and placed them in order to create a log cabin patchwork design (9.8).

9.8 Log Cabin patchwork

Used copies of the same block, cut into Fibonacci proportions, glued down on black paper. Turned the new block 90 degrees and again cut it in the same proportions, glued down on white paper. Continued this process two more times. I was curious as to 1) how many times this could be done (infinitely, I suppose, depending on your knife), and 2) what the end results would look like (9.9).

9.9 Fibonacci sequences 
carried out four times

Finally, took new pieces of printed papers cut into Fibonacci proportions and arranged them in the Golden Section pattern (9.10).

9.10 Golden Section
sample 1

And another, using Fibonacci sequence proportions as radius of each circle in 9.11.
9.11 Golden Sequence 
sample 2

Learning observations:

This chapter was easy to do and the results were striking (my favorites: 9.6, 9.7, 9.8). As with the other chapters in this module, I again wondered what the results would be if these samples were done in color.

Learning about the Fibonacci Sequence was interesting. The Golden Section arrangement would be a lovely way to display artwork on a wall, to create a poster or other advertising, etc. I will keep an eye out to see where and how this is being used.

Safety observation:

I used a rotary cutter. When cutting very narrow strips, it's important to be extra careful so that 1) you don't cut yourself, and 2) you don't make unwanted slits which make it difficult to glue down the strips.

Production observation:

It's important to make sure you have enough glue over the entire surface of the paper your are gluing down. If there isn't enough, especially in something like 9.9 above, tiny pieces will fall off as you cut through the strips or otherwise manipulate them.

- * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * -

Total hours Chapter 9:  9.5 hours

27 March 2011

Chapter 8 - Not What It Seams....

Well, it's been a.... shaky couple of weeks here in Japan, and it ain't over yet. Having our own "seam stress" here in a larger version called moving fault lines. 


This chapter was a lot of fun because the seams don't have to be straight :-)

8.1 Decorative seam 
samples A, B, C

Sample A used some of the black dyed fabric from Chapter 6 along with bought fabric along in the seam, then frayed, and sewn in place.

Sample B also used a bit of dyed fabric and three different pieces of bought fabric, layered, sewn in the seam, then frayed.

Sample C, black dyed fabric and two pieces of plain white fabric sewn in the seam, then frayed and gathered, then tied with another piece of white thread.

8.2 Decorative seam 
samples D and G
and ribbon samples E and F

Sample D used black dyed fabric with yarn tied in knots, folded and sewn into the seam (vertical row), then cut the piece in half, using the remaining knotted yarn sewn in and then ends frayed.

Sample E is a ribbon sample using three layers of fabric, bought tiger pattern, plain black, top a dyed sliver of fabric.

Sample F is also a ribbon sample using a combination of dyed and bought fabric pieces, layered and then frayed.

Sample G is my favorite. It is a pice of white fabric that had been stitched, with 3 or 4 layers of a bought knit fabric sewn in the seam. Then, I frayed the seam pieces and it turned out like the mane on a horse/zebra?

8.3 Sample G closeup (1)

8.4 Sample G closeup (2)

8.5 Decorative seam 
samples H, I, J, K, L, M

Samples H, I, L, were attempts at cords: H and I are two layers of fabric, twisted and sewn and L was tied in knots; J is a ribbon with decorative stitching (my machine doesn't have many choices); K is a toggle, rolled, glued and sewn around the "waist"; and M is a piece of fabric twisted, sewn, and then tied into a loop. 

It was quite interesting to see the variety that is possible in creating decorative seams. I would like to experiment further with this at some point, in colors other than black and white. 

- * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * -

Total hours Chapter 8:  6

28 February 2011

Chapter 7 - Traditional Piecing Methods

Made several designs in paper (the "a" images on the left below).

Then tried them in fabric (the "b" images on the right below.)

7.1 Log cabin paper design with black and printed papers
(with a little help from my cat - the colors of this Module harmonize rather well with her coat ;-)

7.2a Log cabin paper designs (left); 
7.2b designs in fabric (right)

7.3a Log cabin paper designs (left); 
7.3b in fabric (right)

7.4 Black, white paper strips and smaller strips, cut and rearranged

7.5 Printed and black, white paper strips

7.6 Strips from 7.5 above rearranged

7.7a Second attempt at printed and black paper strips (left); 
7.7b and in fabric (right)

7.8 Strips from 7.7 above rearranged...

7.9 and rearranged again...

7.10 and again...

7.11a cut, and rearranged a final time 
in paper (left);
 7.11b in fabric (right)

7.12 Two strips, cut and sewn together...

7.13 Added white and striped strips to the top strip in 7.12, 
cut, arranged and sewn together...

7.14 Final piece with black and white border 

7.15 Just playing

In 7.15 above, after making another section like the top sample in 7.12 above, I cut the pieces at an angle, and then turned alternate pieces over, revealing the seams, before sewing into this construction.

I then took four new pieces of printed, bought patterned and white fabrics. Using the ideas we tried in Chapter 3 (Machine Stitchery), I sewed a giraffe-like pattern onto one of the darker materials, and a starburst zigzag pattern onto a lighter. It's kind of hard to see in the photo below (7.16), but I think it adds a little something to the pieces to make them more interesting.

7.16 Cut, rearranged and sewn once...

7.17 ... and cut once again, 
this time at angles, 
repositioned and sewn together

Ooh, this is fun! Let's do some more...

7.18a Another Log Cabin pattern 
in paper (left);
7.18b and in fabric (right)

In 7.18b above, I used smaller inserts of seminole patterns within the Log Cabin method.

7.19a Another pattern of the 
seminole method in paper (left);
7.19b the same pattern in fabric (right)

In 7.19a above, I used photocopied samples of my dyed fabrics (THANK YOU, Sian, for the great suggestion!). Then, when I went to do it in fabric, it helped me a great deal to figure out which sides needed to be sewn together. I read Chapter 8 and decided to play. I happened to have some scraps from earlier pieces above, and put one - a kind of knit fabric -  in between when sewing the seam. When I frayed it, it ended up looking like the mane on a zebra when viewed against the wide stripes of the fabric pieces (7.19b). Serendipity! (Also used the back side of a tiger pattern bought fabric which made it more subtle.)

7.20 Close-up of seams of 7.19b above

7.21a Final practice piece in paper (left);
7.21b and in fabric (right)

In 7.21a above, again, I used photocopies of painted and dyed fabrics, making first the long strips in seminole method, cutting, rearranging, re-gluing. Then, in 7.21b, I used the same fabrics and inserted bits of other fabrics, yarn, and even some of the threads I had pulled out of the "zebra" piece above to sew in at the seams.

7.22 The two pieces together

Lessons learned:

  • I am not a seamstress. For me, it's rather SEAM  STRESS. I really had trouble with the top and bottom samples in 7.2b and 7.3b. Just couldn't get them to end up with straight rows that ended together. I am in awe of the person who produced the samples in the course book. 


Oh, well, forge ahead.

And forging ahead, I found that these processes were a lot of fun! (As long as you don't need to sew too straight.)

  • Save little pieces of fabric. You never know when they might come in handy. Happily, this follows the rule of conserving resources and recycling.
  • Don't cut the fabric too small. If you do, you either have to sew very teeny tiny seams which then fall apart, or the piece gets lost between larger pieces.
  • The mantra is "It's okay to play. It's okay to play..."

- * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * -

Total hours Chapter 7:  17.5 (but had a lot of fun!)