About Me

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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Life and the creative process are about the journey, not the destination. I love working with colour and texture and can get totally 'lost' in the creative process. Variety keeps my creative juices flowing. We are currently traveling full time in a 40' motorhome and bouncing between visits with a son in Albuquerque NM and a son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter in Calgary AB. In between we are busy exploring this great continent on which we live. It's a challenge working from my mobile studio but I am using our travel time to learn new skills and refine existing ones.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

An Almost Challenge

Well the jokes on me! Over the past couple of weeks I've been working on my 'challenge ' entry for the Fast Friday challenge, only to discover that it is blog postings I subscribed to, and not the group itself! And it's a closed group to boot!Oh well, I've completed my first fiberart journal piece I guess. With my dominant hand in a cast for the past month, I've spent a lot more time than usual surfing and found this group that gives itself really great monthly challenges. I've been following this group for a while and when I saw the specs for the last challenge 'Fabulous Fungi', I couldn't resist. I've wanted to try a tessellation piece for ages and I could see mushrooms as a possible shape to use foe a simple shape.

Well it took me most of a day to discover that I couldn't make the mushroom shape work effectively with a rectangular shape so switched to working with an equilateral triangle. That was better - I could now see how to make it work. First attempts to measure and draw the required shapes were on track but in tessellations, close doesn't cut it! I switched to Illustrator in my CS4 Suite but came to the conclusion that I need some tutorials or classes so gave up on that. However the process made me realize that the missing factor was that I hadn't established the 'centre' of the triangle. So back to manual construction!

This time with more accurate measurements and the use of a pencil 'compass' left over from a geometry set I got some symmetry into my pieces. By mirroring the marked triangle and taping two triangles together, I finally had my pattern piece.

The next step was to choose my complementary color fabric. Because it would take three pieces to complete one repeat of the tessellation, I decided to work with a split complementary and even got out my colour wheel to make sure it was a true complementary set.

Then the decision of how to construct this piece. I considered using a raw edge approach but didn't totally trust the accuracy of my cutting ability so decided to leave a 1/4 inch seam allowance around each piece. I used freezer paper templates ironed to the fabric to cut the pieces and then ironed the seam allowance along the cut edge of the freezer paper, clipping curves where necessary.

I left the paper in place while I stitched the straight and gradual curves but left the curves under the cap unstitched. This proved that the piece would lie flat and basically fit together. My lack of finesse with my left hand dictated that I would have to resort to topstitching with invisible thread to join the curves that were unstitched. I decided to combine this step with a straight stitch to outline each mushroom to quilt the piece.

After couching three rows of yarn to the edge, trimming and finishing the cut edge with a double pass of overcasting I was reasonably pleased with the result.


  1. I follow the Fast Friday Challenge as well and have always enjoyed the creative results. I like to think about what I would do if I was entering a project. I love your mushroom tessalation. Great colours, idea and execution.

  2. Pretty cool! I wouldn't have thought of that...Hopefully I can soon turn to my fungi. :)

  3. Diane,
    I love your tesselation! Cool idea and wonderful execution. And you even followed all the rules, which is more than many of us did:)
    Annual openings to the FFFCG are coming up soon - September? I hope you consider joining us.

  4. I'm a FFFC person and try to comment on the blog. I think you met the challenge wonderfully. Great use of the complementary color scheme and your tesselation is a perfect stylization of fungi.

  5. Diane this is fabulous!! And a mushroom tessellation to boot! Great job... as the others have said, with your composition, color etc...Hope to see you soon on the group.
    I am a member too.. 4 years and love it!