Foto Friday: the Story

July 31st, 2015

This past week’s challenge in my 52-Week Photo Challenge workshop with Ricky Tims was “The Story.”  My story was that I was really, REALLY busy getting ready to teach at Maine Quilts and helping with set-up (as a Pine Tree Quilt Guild member and volunteer).  So I wasn’t really “in” to the assignment.  Turns out my best photo was one I took during set-up on my iPhone, then edited and converted to B&W at home in Photoshop.

Too busy this week, so feeling not creative.  Decided this shot on my iPhone was my best story!  Smart sharpen, removed the back of a person on the left with cloning, desaturated to render B&W.  Learned that you can use the burn tool on highlights, midtones and darks, so darkened the too-bright/distracting overhead lights as well as adding a gradient to the top.  Slight crop to remove more slats/boards on the very bottom.  Guess what I was doing on Wednesday?  I know some of the class members will guess correctly!

Too busy this week, so feeling not creative. Decided this shot on my iPhone was my best story! Smart sharpen, removed the back of a person on the left with cloning, desaturated to render B&W. Learned that you can use the burn tool on highlights, midtones and darks, so darkened the too-bright/distracting overhead lights as well as adding a gradient to the top. Slight crop to remove more slats/boards on the very bottom. Guess what I was doing on Wednesday? I know some of the class members will guess correctly!

My other two alternates were just meh.  But they certainly tell my story!

It’s messy.  Chaotic.  Not a great photo, more of a snap, but it certainly is my story.  Adjusted levels, smart sharpen, A bit of burn on the corners to give a subtle (I hope) vignette. Wish I had more time this week, but …..  Ooops.  Almost told the story….

It’s messy. Chaotic. Not a great photo, more of a snap, but it certainly is my story. Adjusted levels, smart sharpen, A bit of burn on the corners to give a subtle (I hope) vignette. Wish I had more time this week, but ….. Ooops. Almost told the story….

My story.  Sigh.   Messy.  Chaotic.  Piles.  Heavy equipment.  Smart sharpen, slight vignetting with the burn tool, minor adjustments to contrast, yada yada.   Too busy this week, feeling singularly not-creative.

And the cropped version. My story. Sigh. Messy. Chaotic. Piles. Heavy equipment. Smart sharpen, slight vignetting with the burn tool, minor adjustments to contrast, yada yada. Too busy this week, feeling singularly not-creative.

Quilting Arts TV–my free downloads

July 28th, 2015

Well, I’m only a little (ahem) behind the curve!  Finally discovered where the links are to my downloads, and folks LOVE my easy-peasy inside-out bag!  I am thinking of expanding the pattern and adding LOTS of options to make iPad cases, card cases, journal covers and more, so the popularity of the download thrills me!    Here are links:

If you watch Quilting Arts TV, these may look familiar, as they are on one of my episodes in season 1400 AND were in the 2014 Quilting Arts gifts magazine.

If you watch Quilting Arts TV, these may look familiar, as they are on one of my episodes in season 1400 AND were in the 2014 Quilting Arts gifts magazine.

Easy-Peasy Inside-Out Bag

Free-Motion Basics

Thread and Needle FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

I believe you need to have an Interweave/Quilting Arts account, which is free, to download theses freebies.  Enjoy!

 

 

Foto Friday, July 24th, 2015

July 24th, 2015

The week’s challenge was footwear.  I’m not big on still lifes, but most of my ideas had already been done by other students in the class, so I set up a still life of Eli’s wrestling shoes.  The other part of the lesson was on dominance.   The shoes are clearly more dominant in the second photo, but I felt the first one was a better photo, so I submitted that for my week’s challenge.

Here's the photo I submitted for the Footwear/dominance challenge.

Here’s the photo I submitted for the Footwear/dominance challenge.

The usual smart sharpen, slight adjustments to levels, dodged a bit on the red knee-pad on the left as it was too distracting.  I like the tight focus on the well-worn wrestling shoes.  The kid came in second at the State Wrestling Tournament (Class B), and fourth overall in the State in his weightclass, including competing against the big schools in southern Maine.  Proud mama!

The usual smart sharpen, slight adjustments to levels, dodged a bit on the red knee-pad on the left as it was too distracting. I like the tight focus on the well-worn wrestling shoes. The kid came in second at the State Wrestling Tournament (Class B), and fourth overall in the State in his weightclass, including competing against the big schools in southern Maine. Proud mama!

Descended from the Stars, Part 3

July 22nd, 2015

Good news:  it looks like there will be an article on this quilt!  Bad news:  that means I won’t be sharing quite as much here out of respect for the magazine.   But here is a lot, and I’ll tell you when the article is out!

 

The sun in the center of Descended From the Stars

The sun in the center of Descended From the Stars

When I left on in my last post about this quilt, I had shared the dyeing process and the stones and lettering.   Next, I fused trees in the four seasons into the corners.  I distorted the shape so the tree canopy served as a frame.  I had thought initially I might need an inner border, perhaps couched yarn or stitching of some sort, but the shape of the tree worked so well I didn’t need anything extra.

Detail, upper left corner, Spring Tree of Life.

Detail, upper left corner, Spring Tree of Life.  Each of the leaves is free-motion stitched with several rounds of thread on each leaf.  The nice part about doing this at the top stage is that I could use the scissors on my Janome 15000.  I didn’t have to bury thread tails!

Detail, top right, Summer Tree of Life.

Detail, top right, Summer Tree of Life.

Detail of the lower right corner, showing the autumn tree of life.

Detail of the lower right corner, showing the autumn tree of life.

Detail of the lower left corner, with the winter tree kissed by snow.

Detail of the lower left corner, with the winter tree kissed by snow.

You can see my work (on a glorious Janome 15000) as I am quilting around on the stones and leaves.

Here

Here I have begun quilting.  You can see the custom-dyed cotton duck on the back.

Next,

asdfa

Superior Threads (Thank you Bob and Heather Purcell!) has come out with some tone-on-tone variegated threads.   I have been pestering Bob for YEARS to make threads like these as I prefer blendy to contrasty.  I ordered up all of the new earth-tone blendy variegateds in the Fantastico line and used them.

At last, it was nearly DONE!  Time for facings, sleeve and label.

The back side of the quilt.  By dyeing the back to correspond with the front, the quilting design shows up on the back as it does on the front.

The back side of the quilt. By dyeing the back to correspond with the front, the quilting design shows up on the back as it does on the front.

And I couldn’t resist the temptation to place a moon behind the sun as my label.  One more time with the dip pen!

The End--the label is on, the sleeve is done, the facings are stitched!

The End–the label is on, the sleeve is done, the facings are stitched!

(c)Sarah Ann Smith 2015; quote (c) Mirza Khan, used with permission

(c)Sarah Ann Smith 2015; quote (c) Mirza Khan, used with permission

This quilt will be for sale–another reason I opted to not include a lot of personal details in the quilt.   As I said before, I am happy!

 

 

Foto Friday on Monday, because I forgot LOL!

July 20th, 2015

So I forgot to post a photo on my Foto Friday (and just my second week of doing this…erk!).  Except I just checked and I skipped an extra week.  SHRIEK!  OK…so today you get TWO fotos!

This past week's challenge was Macro/Flowers.  I don't have a Macro lens, so I just did flowers.  I deliberately focused on the one flower, blurring out the rest to create a focal point. Adjustment to levels, highlight.  That’s all folks!

This past week’s challenge was Macro/Flowers. I don’t have a Macro lens, so I just did flowers. I deliberately focused on the one flower, blurring out the rest to create a focal point. Adjustment to levels, highlight. That’s all folks!

And from the previous week, the theme was Celebration.   We had a lovely quiet Fourth of July, and I was touched that Joshua and Ashley wanted to come spend time with us.  And I gotta get Joshua to teach me how he got a burger that is both well done and juicy!

As soon as the theme was announced, I knew I would celebrate family when the few of us (just five!) gathered on the Fourth.  I like the triangular composition and the fact that three of my four family members (well, of the humans) are in this shot, even if hubby’s slipper is barely in the lower right corner!  Used dodge to darken corners, lasso and content aware fill to eliminate the white tag on the chair behind the firepit, a distracting glint of light on the chair leg, and a streak from a rising ember that just looked off.   Given how dark it was and that this was hand-held, I’m glad it turned out so well.

As soon as the theme was announced, I knew I would celebrate family when the few of us (just five!) gathered on the Fourth. I like the triangular composition and the fact that three of my four family members (well, of the humans) are in this shot, even if hubby’s slipper is barely in the lower right corner!
Used dodge to darken corners, lasso and content aware fill to eliminate the white tag on the chair behind the firepit, a distracting glint of light on the chair leg, and a streak from a rising ember that just looked off. Given how dark it was and that this was hand-held, I’m glad it turned out so well.

I am just too dang busy, but I’m sure having fun and learning!  My yard and house are a mess, but so what.  As the saying goes, I’ll be buried under 6 feet of dust, I’ll deal with it then!