At the top of the stairs as you enter the loft, an antique quilt made by my husband’s grandmother and another one made by his aunt, both in the 1930s, are displayed on an antique quilt rack that was given to me by a member of my Art Quilt Bee here in North Carolina. Above is the Welcome Pineapple quilt which I designed and created in the apartment studio. I was experimenting with the Chicago School of Fusing methods which are taught by Laura Wasilowski. The Three Pears were created while I lived in MN and use the bobbin method. I stitched them from the back side with embroidery thread in the bobbin which is what shows on the top side. The top quilt is one made from The American Doll Quilts book when I was learning to piece while living in MN.
As you enter the loft, the shelving along the wall holds the majority of my reference books, tools and supplies. It is so great to put my hands on whatever I need in just a moment or two while I work.
The shorter shelf unit between the two taller ones creates a nice display center. “The Old Red Barn Still Stands” is a quilted birthday card I created for my dad’s 90th birthday. A rosemaled scissor holder lies on its side in front of the quilt – a gift from my mother. This will be a good place for little mementos and photos to gather!
In the center of the room is my design center. From this desk I can work on this blog, design my next project, or order supplies. A pleated shade now covers the window, so the light can also be controlled on especially bright days.
The design wall is behind the sewing table, but viewable from the design desk. The “Sweet Tropical Sunshine” quilt was created in the Bedroom Studio in MN. I currently have a design for Sweet Tropical Sunset underway. The center designs of both quilts follow the Hawaiian quilting method. The outer quilting is an echo design as in Hawaii, or might be a variation. Always, some beading will join the party.
Along the short wall where I can peer down on the living room and kitchen, there is a storage rack for my purses. Sometime soon, I will need to have a sale, as I need to make room for some new designs that are buzzing around in my head.
In the corner above the stairway, relaxation is the key. Another project that needs to be completed soon is the cushion for the queen chair. This chair has been traveling around with us ever since we were stationed in Hawaii. It even has spent some time outdoors on a patio, but it seems to be holding up quite well. The foot stool was needlepointed by my mother, who at 93 years, is still creating and loving it. The little quilt on the basket was pieced, painted and quilted in Utah.
Welcome to the Loft Studio! Making art will now be the order of the day … no more boxes…. no more unpacking. Time to play!
© 2010 All images and text are copyright of Mary A. Ritter (aka ‘M Unique) and may not be reproduced without express permission.
The completed concept of a pineapple that started with a sketch and developed into a water color piece is now a completed mixed media art work. Before beginning the mixed media piece, I read an article about the fusing and handwork methods used by Laura Wasilowski of the “Chicago School of Fusing” in Quilting Arts Magazine (2010 December/2011January). Having always wanted to try fusing, I decided to give it a try. I especially liked how she fused the fabric first and then cut out the pieces. She also has developed a way to transfer a pattern to fabric by using the release paper from the fusing. It works wonderfully! After being inspired by the article, I enthusiastically visited her web site and found a plethora of advice that ensures success. She has videos and still photos that teach how to embroider and how to bind the quilt using fusing in a variety of ways. She is truly an inspiration!
I used batik and other cotton fabrics; a variety of threads- variegated, quilting and embroidery; some small beads added to bring light to the pineapple surface; seta color paints to stencil the countertop; hand and machine embroidery; and hand and machine quilting. I enjoy it all, so it is fun to put it all together into one piece.
And so now, it is on to a new project.
© 2010 All images and text are copyright of Mary A. Ritter (aka ‘M Unique) and may not be reproduced without express permission
I am about to add the detail and definition to my wall hanging using machine and hand stitches. I feel it still needs something more, and may add a plate around the base of the pineapple. I think the fuchia/purple color in the background gives it a 3 dimensional quality, but am eager to get constructive direction from all you artists out there. I have made a pattern for this pineapple and plan to try making with on fabric with paint stiks also. However, I’d like to get back to a more folk art style, so I may draw a new more stylized pineapple and see where I can go with that. I used many suggestions from Laura Waslowski’s web site on fusing. I think I will also use her tutorial on facing for the edges once I have added a border or two.
I’m always grateful for helpful comments…. that’s what I love about this Sketchbook Challenge approach.