Nala pop brings a bag to top

by admin November 13 Art Quilt

One of the things you learn when studying colour theory is "more important than hue is its value"Tha

One of the things you learn when studying colour theory is "more important than hue is its value"
That translated into simple terms means it does not really matter if you are using red blue or yellow, what matters more is if it's light, medium or dark.

This concept allows to make realistic portraits, I mean that "it looks like her ...", using completely false color.

Wanting to make a bag with Nala, and wanting to do it colourful, I used this theory.

And the result is not bad I'd say 

To give you an idea of ​​the work, here are the basic steps:

1) Find the right image, crop it, process it at pc to make it easier to draw the pattern from it, print it (1h)

2) Make the paper pattern. Some people do it with pc. I, despite being good with the PC, and even if I have a graphic-tablet and I'm not afraid of using it, I still prefer to do it the old way... paper, pen and light-table. So I take the photo and a sheet of paper and I define the main shape and all the important lines. Those of colour and light change. Each area so defined will be translated in a different piece, or more pieces, of fabric. (Not a fast job, I can need 2 full hours to obtain the final pattern)

3) Fabric hue and value selection. This is followed by a painstaking job of cutting the fabrics and composition. Cut, compose, think, replace. This is a long job, for this dog head, the size of 16x20cm, it took me 8 hours without fiddling.

At this point I have my application, which is only the embryo of what it will be T the end. Still missing all the details but the image is there and one already can tell "It looks like her"

4) Wanting to make a bag, at this point I put aside the application to choose the bag fabrics. Here I've chosen jeans for the outside and quilting cotton for the inside. Cut all the parts. (1h between choose, iron and cut)

5) Then comes the second longest part: to sew the application on the front of the (still un-sewn) bag. I fix the application (in this case with a little glue, but I could have used the fusible web) and start a free hand stitching work that is intended to permanently attach all the fabrics and to add details, defining the fur, nose, eyes. Obviously I have not used random thread but I carefully chose the colours. Luckily I have great choice thanks to my beloved Aurifil bog box.
All this takes away another 5/8 hours, depending on the level of detail and considering that I fixed all the threads on the back, even if they will be hidden. This takes away some time.

6) At the end I can finally put the whole bag together. First the outside, with a squared bottom, then the lining, with her squared bottom, then the handles and finally I sew everything and close the gaps. There are tons of details, those things that normally people don't notice, but they are there and contribute to the solid and well-made bag (i.e. the X seams to reinforce the handles). All these take away time. This step requires 2 hours.

And so at the end I have a wonderful custom bag, with my dog, that "really looks like her"
The total work took at least 20h. Three days of good work.

But it really worth it.

 (Do you want a custom bag or quilted picture? Mail me at )

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100 days project

by admin August 21

To fuel my sleeping creativity I've decided to enroll in the 100 days project. There are many s


To fuel my sleeping creativity I've decided to enroll in the 100 days project.

There are many similar projects/sites, this one starts once a year and at the end there's a show, for those who wants to participate.
Concept is simple, you chose a simple act, you repeat it every day for 100 days and record the results.
It can be anything, a gym exercise, a creative act... I've seen a lady draw a circle every day. 

I've chosen to experiment with taxtile manipulations, with organza. 

I set some rules:
- I always start with a 10cm square piece of organza
- maximum time: 20 minutes
- no planning ahead
- I can use everything to hold the fabric: stitches, glue, etc 
- I can add things... objects, embellishments etc

The goal is to make 100 3D forms and to learn, I hope, how to use organza, a fabric I want to use in a future project.
The difficulties are: keep going and stick to the project till the end, face with my hate for improvisation and get rid of self criticism and perfectionism. 

It's a challenge, let's see what happens.
Meanwhile I?ve bought great organza: blue, lilac and an iridescent one in lilac/green 

First day on 24th... reaty?


quilts and syncro swimming

by Orkaloca August 16 art * Judging

Watching at Olymics syncro swimming, listening the comments made by a former swimmer and now judge, I noticed how every art forms relies on the same basis. Thos art principles that, when well applied, whatever the medium is, make the difference between good art and a mess.
Here are some of her comments... I could easily use them when judging quilts and they shaw a little of what we look at when we judge.

"Judges should be able to understand the routine without reading the description"
"plenty of variety"
"fantastic transitions"
"use lot of water (space)"
"Could have benefitted by slightly more contrast"
"Good proportions through the water"
"lovely interpretation of the theme"
"show contrast in movement, variety in the program"
"just pohetic"
"marvellous internal attitude, take every skill to maximum"
"tonal attitude"

(Above: swimmers in bee suite, Below: New Beginning by Elfriede Grooten -detail- )


The imaginary penis

by Orkaloca August 16 art * Art Quilt * show


News of the week: at a show dell'AQS (American Quilt Society) an exhibited a quilt, which is part of the collection "Portrait and people" of SAQA, was censored and removed by the organizers.

The reason? A visitor complained, saying she felt offended by the sight of a penis (I guess it threatened her by the quilt).

The funny thing? There is no penis in that quilt!

I refer you to two interesting posts:

THIS by Kathy Nida, the artist, she tells us about the quilt

THIS by Tanya Brown, she speaks of the quilt and in general about the censorship in quilt shows.


When a Judge wins a prize

by Orkaloca March 9 Judging

This morning, in my mail, I've found a message that sounded something like "At a recent quilt show one of the judges was also a competitor and was awarded a prize. Please can you tell me if this is regarded as acceptable practice"

The writer was worried about the fairness of the judging process and this is understandable if one doesn't know how a serious judging day is held. 
So here's the answer: 

It depends on the quilt show an how the jury is organized. I don’t know about the specific show but I can tell you about the FoQ in Birmingham, where this event can happens and has happened.

If the show is big, like FoQ, with lot of quilts in several categories, there are several judging teams walking the floor, every team judges a category. We know that judges are also quilters and that they usually wants to enter a quilt so we ask to the judges in which category they are entering a quilt. A judge is never assigned to the category where is its quilt.

Moreover, nobody between judges and people in the judge office, knows the authors of the quilts, we only receive numbers from the organizers.
A judge knows how important is the judge role and no serious judge will ever tell to other judges which is her quilt until the judging process is completed and the prizes given.

So, as you can see, it’s possible and fair that a judge enters a quilt in a show where she judges, because she doesn’t judge her quilt and nobody knows she has a quilt in the competition.

Things can become a little more complicated if the show is really small with just one judging team. In these cases usually the judges are not allowed to enter a quilt but sometimes, for some reason, it can happens. In this case the judge judges the other quilts but her own. To the team it will be told something like  “the judge has recognized the work from a friend and is not comfortable judging it” and she will be replaced by another person for that quilt. 

As you see it’s possible for a judge to enter a quilt. Judges take really seriously their job and they usually do everything they can to guarantee a fair process. 

Finally we have to consider that judges are almost always experienced quilters with a sound knowledge about how to design and build a quilt, so it’s not so strange they can win. 

If you want to know more about judges and their work, this year at the FoQ we will give lectures about “what do judges look for” to explain the judging process, If you’re curious about it you can participate :)


Quella strana radice

by orkaloca March 2

Mattina. Passeggiata nel campo.

Dopo un bel giro, pipì qui, sniffa là, dico "Andiamo a casa?"

Lei da bravo cane punta il naso verso la via del ritorno e inizia a trotterellare a qualche metro da me. Poi qualcosa attira la sua attenzione, la raccoglie e tutta contenta viene a farmi vedere il tesoro che tiene in bocca. "Ohhh che bello... che è? Una radice? E l'hai trovata tutta da sola? Che braaavaaaa!!!" (si monologo col cane, e allora?)
Lei tutta felice dopo essersi presa i complimenti di rito pnta veloce verso casa.
Un po' troppo veloce forse.
E un po' troppo lontana da me per i suoi standard.
Va spedita, ogni 10 passi si gira "Allora mamy ti muovi?" poi riprende risoluta.

La cosa è strana ma in fondo nemmeno tanto, a volte capita. Trova un bel ciocco e se lo vuole portare a casa, e va veloce tutta baldanzosa fiera e contenta del suo legno.
Così lì per lì non mi son preoccupata.

Mi ci è voluto tutto il campo e un bel pezzo di strada prima di realizzare che forse forse quello che aveva in bocca non era una radice. Tipo perchè dalle radici di solito non pendono tendini.
Alla fine della strada Nala si è fermata, seduta e ha mollato il tesoro. Altro che radice, una bella zampa di maiale mummificata!
E lei aveva fretta di portarla nella sua Tana-Cuccia per mangiarla.

Epilogo: sono una mamma-di-cane cattivissima. Le ho detto che no, non poteva portarsi a casa la zampa del maiale, gliela ho presa e l'ho buttata. Senza aver nemmeno un biscotto per darle il contentino.
Lei prima era tutta "oh mamma che fai?" poi "ODDIO non l'avrai buttato davvero?!?" e poi "mamy guarda, è qui dentro, dai riprendilo, dai" e infine "vabbè, sei il capo, andiamo a casa, ma sappi che non concordo aFFolutamente!"

Sono un mostro XD

(PS: e poi noi ci preoccupiamo della salmonella sul pollo di macelleria?)


troppo bello per esser vero

by orkaloca February 17

Al giorno d'oggi ci sono servizi di stampa che ti personalizzano pressochè qualsiasi cosa. Ebbene l'altro giorno mi è venuta l'idea di farmi fare una cosa personalizzata con foto (non posso ancora dire cosa) così ho inziato a cercare qualche servizio che lo facesse. 

Google non si risparmia i suggerimenti ma guardando i servizi italiani vedo che o non hanno l'articolo, o non personalizzano come serve a me, o lo hanno, lo fanno ma devi ordinarne almeno 20000. E se ne puoi ordinare uno costa un rene.

Quasi sto per rinunciare quando incappo in un forum dove in un post, ben nascosto, un utente consigliava e linkava uno stampatore.

In Ammmerica. 

Vado a vedere il sito e non solo fa quello che voglio, come lo voglio, quanti ne voglio, ma costa meno della metà di quanto avessi preventivato di spendere.
Uno normale dice "oh che bello"
Io dico "seee ci sarà la fregatura. Tipo che costa così poco ma poi ogni foto che carichi costa un rene"

E il fatto che io non trovi scritto da nessuna parte riguardo i costi nascosti invece che tranquillizzarmi mi fa sospettare ancora di più.

Ma dato che finchè non ti chiedono la carta di credito non c'è grosso rischio mi dico ok, provo a iscrivermi. Mi iscrivo e... mi danno pure il buono sconto nuovo iscritto. 

No vabbè, c'è SICURAMENTE la fregatura!

Ma oramai son troppo curiosa, così vado avanti e inizio a creare il mio progetto col loro editor, pensando che di certo quando avrò finito e avrò messo il progetto nel carrello mi troverò un costo assurdo per aver caricato X foto.
Finisco, metto nel carrello, guardo il prezzo. Riguardo il prezzo. 

No vabbè questi non han capito niente di economia (o forse han capito tutto)... 

Inserisco il codice sconto "nuovo utente"... riguardo il prezzo... son sempre più perplessa.

Va bene, proviamoci, mi dico.... "COMPRA"

Sulla carta di credito han scalato proprio quello che dicevano.
Ancora mi sto chiedendo dove stia la fregatura :p

Vedremo quando (se) la cosa arriverà  



by orkaloca February 14




by Orkaloca February 13 bed quilt * creazioni * custom made


They bring you to think outside the box, to try new things, find an original solution.
And often they are hidden where you would not expect.

In a baby quilt, for example.

So one day a friend contacts you and asks you for a baby quilt. But he wants something special, original.

As always I try to figure the situation: "Do you want it classic, with square blocks, or an all-over design?". He responds "an all-over".
Well well things get interesting.

Second question "Have you already thought to a subject?"
And here he drops the bomb "Yes, I would like it with -drumroll- BATS"

Grin on my face.

Bats are adorable little animals, too often mistreated and viewed as disgusting beings, if not dangerous.
The reality is that they are fascinating creatures, wonderful, cuddly and perfectly adapted to their role of flying mammals.
They suffer the fame of the vampire, but the reality is that most bats eat insects, others eat fruit and there are also bats who seeks for the pollen of flowers.

Sure sleeping upside down is not the smartest thing in the world, in our opinion, but even that makes sense for them. Think at how little effort must be done to start flying :)

(Click on images to enlarge)

For this quilt I have chosen to depict bats in search of pollen. Did you know that bats can lick the pollen as they fly hovering? A bit like a big furry hummingbird.

Considering the deep blue background, and the realistic brown bat, I inserted the white and pink bell-shaped flowers to brighten the scene. The action is enclosed, but not limited, by a yellow frame that provides light.

These are all things that I define at the design stage, when I make the first design and test colours. 

Technically speaking the background is pieced while bats, leaves, flowers and branches are machine applique.

The quilting motif follows the marbling in the center panel. On the edges the quilt is in leaves motif. It isn't very dense because this is a quilt that must to be used, not an artistic panel, and should remain as soft as possible. It will wrap the baby in a cuddly hug, now that it's in the bed as well as later when he will grow up and will look the cartoons cuddling on the couch .

This is one of my favourite baby quilts and I say thanks to who challenged me to make it :) 


Decisioni di pancia

by orkaloca February 7

A volte ti trovi a dover prender una decisione... il cervello dice la sua, il cuore dice la sua e poi, a volte, ci si mette di mezzo anche la pancia.

La pancia non ragiona, la pancia "sente".
Io una cosa ho imparato... se ci si mette di mezzo la pancia, io seguo sempre la pancia.

Così oggi. Aggiornamento, io già guida al corso per aspiranti guide. In programma escursione su sentiero lungo un torrente con tappe in alcune "grotte". Il tutto con pioggia intensa.
Son andata al ritrovo, son rimasta durante la parte teorica, ma quando è stato momento di partire ho preso la mia (non facile) decisione.
Io anche no.

E una delle studentesse del corso mormora maligna "ahah la GAE che non fa l'escursione sotto la pioggia"
Ebbene si, la GAE che valuta il suo stato di salute e decide che non vale la pena ammalarsi ancora dato che è appena uscita da più di un mese di tosse e febbre.
La GAE che valuta la sua esperienza e non ritiene opportuno andare a fare questa escursione con queste condizioni meteo.
La GAE che dopo 12 anni di lavoro conducendo guide con sole, vento e pioggia ritiene che la sua gavetta se la sia anche fatta e non ha bisogno di questa uscita per vedere quali "rischi, opportunità, atmosfere crea la pioggia".

La GAE non mette a rischio la sua salute se non è così necessario.