Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum

Hello everyone.   A few weeks ago, Joe and I were headed west on I-70 to go to the hot springs in Glenwood Springs.   I knew that the museum has recently moved, and I was anxious to go check out the new space.   

There were two exhibits running at the time, “SAQA: Under the Western Sun” and “Buffalo Bill: Quilting the Wild West”.

Both exhibits were fantastic, and I thought I’d share a few photos of some of the works that caught my eye…   I hope you enjoy, and if you can, the exhibit runs through July 22, 2017.   

“Bye, Bye Buckaroos: Vanishing West Series” by Theresa L Fleming – Parker, Colorado
“Longhorn Bull” by Heather Cotterman – Elizabeth, CO
“Boot Quilt” by Rebecca Schwartz – Niwot, CO
“Fertile Hills” by Jean Herman – Denver, CO
“On Dahlias” by Shannon M. Conley – Moore, OK
“Larger Than Life” by Carol Kolf – Sheridan, WY
“Canyon Wrapped in Starlight” by Melody Money – Boulder, CO
“Golden Canyon” by Vicki Conley – Ruidoso Downs, NM
“Remembering John Denver/Fire in the Sky” by Char D. Punke – Albuquerque, NM
I hope this small glimpse of the show, will entice you to go see the full exhibit.   More information can be found at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum website.  

Thanks for stopping by, and happy quilting to you!

Fellow Quilter,

Brian

Leslie Gabrielse Class

A few months ago, I was shopping a a really cool quilt shop in Fort Collins, called Jukebox Quilts.  My friend Kelly is the owner, and over the years, I’ve seen these really cool portraits that she has her friend, Leslie, make of her children.

Leslie Gabrielse is from Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, so Kelly was really excited to tell me about the upcoming class in October….  Yikes!!  I knew I was going to be gone on vacation to Ireland for a couple weeks in early October.  Lucky for me, the dates were October 25-26th.  I thought to myself… I’d really love to take this class, but I just know I’m going to have a stack of paperwork at the office, and probably a pile of customer quilting to do.  My husband Joe, however, had a different perspective.  He said to me, “Brian, you’re going to take this class.  You know you can get everything done.  A chance to learn this technique from Leslie just might not come around again.”  So, of course I signed up!

While on vacation in Ireland, I received the emailed class supplies shopping list.   Oh my goodness…  Acrylic Paints and brushes, specialty art gauze, perle cotton threads, and of course fabric and batting.   Well, I could probably cull the last two items from my stash, but what about all that other stuff.   Fortunately, I knew a weekend in Boulder, Colorado was between me and the class dates, so I figured I’d go art supply shopping then.

I set to work, when I got home, and chose about 8 photos that might be good candidates for my class project.  I did go on the shopping trip to Boulder, and found all of the supplies.  I must give a big shout out to the guy at Meininger’s Art Supply in Boulder.  He was so helpful, and when I showed him some of Leslie’s works from the internet, he was blown away.  I must remember to email him my finished project.

I headed to Fort Collins the evening before class, so as to be rested and ready for what I knew was going to be an intensive two days of learning and fun.

woven-paintingsThe first day began with some artsy playtime.   No, don’t get out your fabric yet… we’re going to paint on paper.  Make two different paintings, and then we’re going to cut them up and weave the two back together into one.

And so we did.  Mine is the second row up in the middle.  I think everyone did a great job.  This exercise helped us to get out of the quilter’s mind space, and into the artist mentality.

Of course there is some similarity, as we were all told to bring white, black, red, blue and yellow acrylic paints.

Next, we were instructed to create a stencil using a drawing of our own.  “Be very careful in cutting it out, because you’re going to use the positive and the negative shapes you created.”

I first drew a butterfly, all scrolls and graceful details, but very detailed.  Leslie came by, and told me I should consider simplifying it a bit, because we weren’t just going to stencil the obvious image.  So I created a sort of star.  It was pretty cool.  In this session, we learned about using stencils and stencil brushes, of course.  But what was really neat, was the discussion about positive and negative shapes, and how they can both combine to create lines in your work.  Wow!  Now we get to grab a piece of fabric that we brought…  YESSSS, Now we’re getting somewhere.  The paints act much different on the fabric than they did in the prior session painting on paper.  After a few strokes, we were starting to get a feel for how much paint to load into the brush, and the pressure to use for a nice pleasing amount of paint on the fabric.

class-stencilsOur stenciling efforts are pictured here:  (Mine is the top right)

The last couple hours of the day, we were treated to a step by step slide show of Leslie creating one of his beautiful works.  Aha!  This is why I’m here.  Things are going to be great.

After the slideshow, we were dismissed for the evening.  I had decided on which photo I was going to tackle in fiber.  The local FedEx/Kinko’s made me a nice enlargement of the small photo to the size I had decided — 22″ x 28″.  I grabbed a quick bite to eat, and went back to my hostel to relax and dream about the fun journey I was sure to begin the next day.  Yeah, that’s right, a hostel.  I’ve never tried one before, but Kelly raved about the Fernweh Hostel, so I decided to give it a try.   It was incredible.  I will definitely stay here again someday.

The next morning, I was ready to begin.  We started out by transferring our plan to a piece of that specialty gauze.  Here’s where mine started…jfoltmer-fiber-portrait-by-brian-clements-step-1-drawing

We then started adding bits of fabric under our drawing.   At this point, you’re trying to achieve the color and shading effects.  The fabrics are raw-edge, and held down with hand stitching using the perle cotton threads.  I’m glad that I had brought a range of neutrals from white to black, with beige and grey pieces filling in the range.  I also knew the sweatshirt had to be orange, since it was a favorite one of Joe’s.  (I think I sewed new cuffs on that thing a couple three times over the years, before it was eventually retired).

What I hadn’t planned on, was the background variety.  Good thing the class was upstairs from the quilt shop.   Five or six fat quarters ought to fill it out nicely.

At the end of the day, I was to this point.jfoltmer-fiber-portrait-by-brian-clements-step-2-placing-fabrics

Now, mind you… the plan is to eventually remove the cartoon road-map overlay.  When we all put our work on the wall… Leslie gave us some critiques, and praises.  He was really pleased with everyone’s progress, but on mine, he told me I should be DONE!  What, stop here?  He said yes, and keep the drawing in place and frame it.  He said it had a Matisse quality, and he really liked it.  Well, I liked it too, but I wanted to see this project to the end.

So of course, I did.   The picture will be at the end…  I think you’d like to see the group from the class first.  Right?

students-with-leslie

I’m in the middle, and Leslie is on the far right.  It was an amazing group, and everyone did such amazing things that day.  I’m hoping to hear from each of them, as they finish their project.

I do have some pictures of their creations at the end of the class…

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As you can see, everybody did their own thing.  We took the great information and concept, and had fun.   Art should be fun.

I’ve been engrossed in my creation, so as promised… here is my finished result.  I stretched it over the stretcher bars today, and added a hanging wire.   I gave it to Joe.  He loves it!  A friend came by and saw it, and it brought tears to her eyes.  I guess I did alright…  You be the judge.

jfoltmer-fiber-portrait-by-brian-clements

I hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into my last couple of weeks, and that you’ll also be inspired to try something new and out of the box.  Classes are a great way to learn a new technique, get out of your studio and your routine, meet new people, and just have fun.  Who knows what will come of it.

Hope you have a great week.

Thanks for stopping by!

Fellow Quilter,

Brian

 

 

 

 

Crown Royal Quilt

Hi everyone.  Wow, has the time gotten away from me and my blogging habit.  You should know that I’ve been really busy quilting and creating in my studio.  I thought that a good place to begin to catch up would be with my Crown Royal Quilt.

brian-clements-crown-royal-quilt

I finished this quilt last year in October, but kept it under wraps for the most part.  It has been shown at the Yuma County Colorado Fair (of course) where it was awarded “Best Use of Color” and at the neighboring Phillips County Fair in Colorado as well.

On a larger stage… it was exhibited at the Machine Quilters Showcase in Cedar Rapids, Iowa earlier this spring, and I won a faculty ribbon.

Today, my quilt returned from display in Chicago at MQX.  I didn’t win a ribbon, but it’s a great honor to be a finalist, and have your work included in their show.

The quilt features an original design of 84 Crown Royal bag embroideries, carefully cut and sewn into the blocks and borders.

brian-clements-crown-royal-quilt-detail

This was truly a solo work, as I designed, pieced, quilted, and bound this beautiful quilt.  I hope you enjoy seeing it too!

I’ll keep it short and sweet today, as I’m busy with a customer quilt on the longarm, and I should be working.  Thanks for stopping by and checking me out.

Happy Quilting!

Fellow Quilter,

Brian

Beautiful Embroidery Quilt

image2Hello everyone.  Yesterday, I had the honor of quilting the next quilt by Moda fabric designers, Sweetwater.  I cannot show you any photos, but I can say that they have once again created a beautiful work of art.  You can see a few photos of their new fabric line at their blog.  Sweetwater Blog

What I can show you… is the beautiful embroidered quilt above.  I’m working on it today.

I’ve been working up to this one.  Intricate designs are a natural for custom quilting.  The stitches and the stabilizer add quite a bit of bulk in those areas, so I knew I would have to do a lot of stitch-in-the-ditch (SID) quilting.  I know what you’re thinking… That’s pretty easy, right?  Well, not exactly.  Straight lines are some of the most difficult quilting, since you can tell if it’s not quite straight.  Also, I am pretty particular which quilts will be a candidate for this type of stitching.  If the piecing is not really precise, SID will just accentuate the flaws in the piecing.

This quilt, however, is pieced very well.  I am writing this post, as I’m taking a break.  I just completed the SID, and started the free-motion work on the top border.  The great part about stabilizing the quilt with SID, is that now, I can jump around to any area, and work on it, without the fear of running into a problem with pushing extra bulk into the wrong area.

I think I’ll mostly free-hand this quilt, except for the yellow background areas around the central star.  I think the robot can do a little work too!

IMG_2703image1

I hope you have a great day!

Fellow Quilter,

Brian

Sunshine

Hello everyone.    After a great trip to Chicago, and meeting some great new people, I must admit, it was nice to take an afternoon nap in my own bed.   

Today’s photo of the day challenge was “sunshine”.   Boy did I enjoy it today.   I didn’t retouch this photo in anyway, and it was just shot with my iPhone.   

I hope you enjoy it!

  
Enjoy the warmth,

Fellow Quilter,

Brian

Chicago Shopping

Yesterday, we had some time to stroll about window shopping after taking a great tour, which included at stop at the National Mexican Art Myseum in Pilsen.   

http://www.nationalmuseumofmexicanart.org

Following the planned tour, I had hoped we’d find time to visit a quilt shop that I had found online prior to our trip from Colorado to Chicago, called the Needle Shop.    

  The Needle Shop

http://www.theneedleshop.net  

     

It’s not your basic quilt store, but a super artistic sewing and quilting space.   The fabrics were carefully selected, and included some independent fabric designers, mixed in with the likes of Alexander Henry and Robert Kauffman.    It’s really unique the way they transfer the fabric from standard flat bolts to a very cool wall of rolled bolts.  The fabrics are so easy to shop, and if you see something you like, they just unclip it and cut what you need.  

They also had heavier weight fabrics, buttons, zippers, and had specialty hardware tucked away smartly in cute little filing drawers.  

An impressive selection of books covered many sewing techniques.   

Rachel was very helpful with my selections, and I had a great time meeting her.  She also told us to go around the corner just a short distance to the Second City Quilt Company.  

   
Second City Quilt Company.   http://www.secondcityquiltco.com. 

   
After a bit of a walk, we found this cute little slice of a store.   They carry some of the more mainstream fabrics by modern designers.   The woman, or shall I call her a dynamo, Gabi was a total hoot.  We had a great time hearing her stories, and telling her ours.   She told us she’s turning 70 shortly.   I hope she doesn’t mind I said that.   This lady is so energetic.   I can see why this shop, less than a year old, is so popular.   

All in all, it was a great afternoon spent pawing over fabric, and being inspired.   I tried to limit myself from purchasing too much, as I’m still whittling away at my existing stash.    I did reward myself just a little bit.   

This is the first time I’ve been to Chicago for any length of time, and I can tell you, it won’t be the last. 

I hope you’ve had an equally thrilling week, and have been inspired by this little glimpse into my world.  

Happy quilting!

FellowQuilter,

Brian

Quilts of the Plains 2015 Photos are posted!

QOTP_2015__0317b copyHello everyone.  I’ve had a great, albeit very busy, week in Wray, Colorado.  With the help of many people, and many area businesses, we pulled off the 16th Annual Quilts of the Plains outdoor quilt show, this past Saturday, June 27, 2015.

We had a great array of wonderful quilts entered into the show, including many from far, far away.  Our Viewer’s selected a lovely quilt by Valerie from Dove Creek, Colorado.  They also awarded a total of 8 ribbons for the best in category voting.  I’ve uploaded a photo gallery of all of the quilts.  I think they all are winning quilts.  Mixed in, you will also see some street and sidewalk shots.  Perhaps, I caught you looking at the beautiful quilts, or driving down the street.  You’ll see the kind of businesses that line our streets, and help to make Wray such a wonderful place to live, work, shop, or even visit.

Of course, photos never do full justice of an event like this.  I do hope it’s a useful resource though, for quilters who entered or viewed the show, as well as a shameless promotion of our town, our people, and our humble little quilt show on the plains in Colorado.  I hope it makes you want to be a part of it in the future.

Have fun looking through the gallery.  I’ve made smaller versions of the photos, so it will load quickly on your computer, phone or tablet with ease.  If you have a need for a more detailed image, I can provide that on a request basis for you.

Thanks for supporting quilting in Wray, and for your continued interest in my life, art and blog.  I’d really appreciate if you could share this with others, and leave a comment when you stop by the blog.  It really adds a richness to the place.

I hope you have been inspired, and this will manifest in your creative life, whatever that may be.

Happy Quilting & Quilt Viewing,

Fellow Quilter,

Brian Clements

Keep on Truckin’

Hello everyone.  It’s been a pretty busy couple of weeks.  Thanksgiving is but a memory, and Christmas is heading our way.  I’ve been truckin’, so to speak in my studio.

I’ve been sewing more of my scrap blocks, and now I’m up to 350.  That means only 50 more to go…

I’m also finishing my last customer quilt job for this year.   It is a beautiful quilt, for one of my great quilt piecer friends.  She definitely keeps her sewing pedal to the metal!

I instagrammed a photo yesterday.  I hope you follow me there, so you can see the first couple borders quilting design.  I think it really ties into the fabric motif so nicely.

Well… today was going to be a full day of quilting on that quilt, but I had to change my plans to go to Denver for some supplies for our barbershop.  The new barber is set to move in on Monday, so we couldn’t wait for shipping, I HAD to go to the city!

I did manage to hit three quilt shops while I was there… and I found a great eagle quilt pattern, a couple yards of fabric, and an extra cone of quilting thread, just in case I run out mid-quilt on this current job.

It really was a beautiful day to be out!  I just love these nice December days in Colorado!

old truck in akronI took my camera along for the ride, and in Akron, I spotted this old truck.  I had to turn around and go back…   The door was open to the building behind, and I did poke my head in to ask permission, but nobody was around.  I hope they like how I photoshopped the image.  I just love playing with my photos!

This truck was empty today, and pretty soon, my quilting workload for Christmas will be unloaded as well.  I hope your projects are also coming along right on time!

Happy Quilting,

Fellow Quilter,

Brian

The Edge of Paradise

Hello everyone.  For today’s photo challenge, I’m taking it back to quilting.  The assignment, “to capture an edge”.  Of course to me… I think of the edge of a quilt, the binding.

This quilt has 4 different treatments to the binding, but today, I’m going to give you a detail shot of the flowers, accented by the edge treatment between the center and the border.  I really love color, and the combinations in this quilt are perfect.

bird of paradise quilt wp_1024I paper-pieced this beautiful quilt nearly 10 years ago.  Bird-of-Paradise blooms are one of my favorite flowers, and I just love this design.

Have you tried paper piecing before?  It is time consuming, but the results are such perfect, sharp points.  I’ve learned a few different methods over the years.  If you are curious, a link to a paper piecing tutorial can be found here.  This is the way, I do it nowadays.

Happy Quilting,

Fellow Quilter,

Brian

 

Glass Fringe

Hello everyone.  I’ve had a busy beginning to this Thanksgiving week.  I am a few days behind on the Photo 101 challenges.  I’m going to catch up now.

For Tuesday’s assignment, we were to photograph glass.  Our house is filled with glass.  To be specific, we both collect glassware, and our home has 47 windows.

I just finished sewing 80 more strip sets for my scrappy quilts, and turned off the main studio lights, thinking I’d head to bed.

However, I noticed the awesome fringe on this lamp, just outside my studio in the hallway.  It’s late in the evening, so not much light in the upstairs hallway, except for one of the bulbs in this lamp.  I love the effect that a lone light can play on the mood in the area.

I had to play with my camera.  My favorite things about this photo…

lamp fringe wp_1024

1-the mood the light gives.

2-playing with the juxtaposition of in-focus strands against the out-of-focus ones in the background.

3-the way the layers just lure you into the center of the lamp.

I hope you enjoy this photo too.  Have a great night on this Thanksgiving Eve!

Create something special!

Fellow Quilter,

Brian