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1 In Art Techniques/ Classes

Drawing Classes: Wow! I can draw!

Pencil Drawing of Yorick

Drawing classes, what a wonderful surprise. I found out I can draw!!! What an amazing discovery. You need a pencil or two, an eraser and a lot of patience. I have a long way to go, but it is a beginning. Now I will tell you a little about what I learned.

I had an epiphany towards the end of the year and I didn’t want to wait till 2014 to start. I thought that if I could improve my drawing skills, my artwork would benefit all around. I sought out a local teacher and thankfully found a talented, creative, energetic art teacher, named Naomi Ocean.

My first real project was of Poor Yorick (Hamlet). I worked on him for 3-4 weeks together with Naomi’s guidance and help. Who knew what one could do with a pencil and an eraser and a lot of precision? The pencil strokes and shading form the face and the background. You can’t just have an image floating on the page though. It has to have a background, right? Shading the background is how you make the focus of your drawing pop. You shade with a pencil but you draw with a pencil and an eraser. Lighter areas are brought out by erasing lightly. It’s all so basic, but not at all simple. I am sure that with these new skills I will find painting with thread even more fun than before. Here are a few shots of Yorick. Let me know what you think of him…

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0 In Quilting Techniques

Tips for piecing squares precisely and saving time

I am working on a fantastic project — a Memory Quilt. Photos to come… It’s more traditional than I usually do, and I worked out some techniques that have made the work faster and more precise. The border is hundreds of black and white squares. I cut 2 sets of black and white strips with right sides together at once. Then I cut up the squares. The result is 4 squares arranged in sets just as they will be sewn. No need to sort them and arrange them. Just sew them together and don’t forget chain piecing. It’s so efficient and you save on thread. That is the first step.
Then I sew the pairs to each other. At first I was sewing two long rows and then attempting to butt all the seams. But if I sew pairs to each other, there is only one seam to butt each time. The sewing is quick and they always align.
I thought I would share this with all my quilting and fabric artist friends. Hope it saves all of you some time!

Here are some photos.

Strip piecing Chain piecing Checkered border
0 In Contests & Exhibits

Barnard College Magazine Call for Entry

The Summer 2013 Barnard magazine has a call for entry section and this issue features a photo of my “In the Forest” quilt. It’s a full page photo with a byline… Cindy Kaye Richard ’82… cindyrquilts.com
I got a charge from seeing it in print and I thought I would share. Thanks! Cindy

Forest landscape quilt featured in Barnard Magazine.

Forest landscape quilt featured in Barnard Magazine.

0 In Israel / Holyland/ Landscapes

Decorative art wall hangings: Is that the right direction?

I have been thinking about what I do lately. Every now and then you are supposed to rethink your vision and mission statement to see if they are still on the mark. I always come back to the same thing. I want to make unique quilt art that adds to the beauty around us and I want the subject of my work to be the amazing landscape of Israel. Continue Reading →

0 In Quilting Techniques

Practice can be a spiritual inspiration: A lesson in quilting feathers

There is a saying, “From your students you will be taught…” Here is a story about a good friend of mine, Riki, to whom I teach quilting. Riki has a special quality. She believes in the value of practice. She told me that she once learned with a music teacher as a girl who used to say:

“…Every song you sing should show some evolution from one to the next. Everyday practice is an occasion to evolve. When we practice, though it doesn’t seem like much, it is actually a spiritual event and should be treated as such…”
Riki keeps these words in mind as she works on any project. Continue Reading →

0 In Quilting Techniques

What do you do with all those leftover fabric snippets, my quilting friends???

Today a student of mine gently commented that when she works at my sewing station, “things fall on the floor”. I looked at the workspace and was embarrassed to agree that it was cluttered beyond reason with tiny pieces of fabric snippets and small scraps from my most recent projects. They tell us to keep them so we can use them in tomorrows projects… But what do we do with them once they become cluttered piles? What do you do with batting scraps? Space is not infinite and too many piles are overwhelming.

I started the tedious job of sorting them by color. Small snippets went into small plastic containers from my husband’s cold cuts… Large pieces went into the old cookies containers we bought and saved. I sorted till I thought I would scream. I actually took a water break long enough to describe this story here, during which time, one of our many cats came in and dumped two of the containers. OH DEAR!!!

So, no choice. I will finish sorting these and cover all the containers. I have shelves for storage and they will serve me well. It has been fun to see what I have. Actually, it’s been inspiring. I started thinking about how some of the green scraps would make lovely tree foliage. So, it is not all for naught.

When I am through, I will have a tidy workspace, happier students and a nicer space in which I can create.

What is my advice? Do this process after every project. If you wait till you have heaps of scraps the task will be so daunting you will not want to do it…

Here are a few photos of before and after… just to inspire you too.

Happy creating.

Piles of fabric scraps Organizing fabrics Gathering fabric snippets

0 In Housewares

Insulated Round Table Trivet for Hot Pots, Star Pattern

Insulated Quilted Trivet

Insulated Quilted Trivet

Great for travel gifts this summer: Brand new handmade, insulated, quilted trivets. They are lightweight and lovely and totally useful! What a thoughtful gift.

Beautiful star pattern trivet, made with special insulated batting to protect your table and counter top surface from heat and cold. This trivet is a functional and charming addition to your kitchen because it reflects the heat or cold away from your table.

Round star design. Made from three beautiful batik cotton fabrics. Matching binding. Fully washable. Lay trivet flat while air drying.

Each trivet is sold individually. Makes a lovely wedding gift when bought in matching sets (as shown in 3rd image).

Dimensions: 9 1/2″ / 24cm diameter

This is a sample of a set of trivets I made as a wedding gift. I will customize each piece according to your color specifications. Just let me know your color needs! You can write to me here if you are local or purchase your new trivets via my Etsy shop.

0 In Art Techniques/ Contests & Exhibits/ Portraits/ Quilting Techniques

Color can evoke emotion in art


Color can evoke emotion in art. That is the theme of my latest work, “Tango Dancers”. Can you feel the extreme heat from the warm colors as well as the movement of the dancers?

To evoke passion and excitement, I used many values from the warm range of the color wheel. I think the varying values helped add contrast and made the background pop.

The focus of the piece is a pair of tango dancers in silhouette. I thread painted their musculature using warm colored thread. I layered another layer of batting behind the figures so they would also pop.

If the quilt is accepted, it will travel around the US for the next year as part of a SAQA exhibit, so wish me luck!

Dimensions: 38.25″ x 29″
Materials: Cotton fabric, cotton / polyester batting, interfacing, cotton thread

0 In Housewares/ Judaica

A new matzoh cover just in time for Passover

Dividing the Red Sea

Dividing the Red Sea

This Passover matzoh cover was inspired by a returning customer looking for a special addition to her Passover table. She asked me to make a cover presenting the dividing of the Red Sea.

I played with blue fabrics to evoke water. I used cheesecloth and loads of thread paint to make the water frothy. I threw in some Angelina fibers for fun and sparkle. I hand sewed small figures of fabric who crossed the revealed water bed. I think it came out well. My Red Sea parted.

The cover has 3 pockets for the 3 matzot. It is quilted and made of fine cotton fabrics and cotton flannel batting to give it a nice drape.

Dimensions:
14″ x 15″ / 36 cm x 38 cm

Hand washable only. Delicate.

Pockets for the matzoh

Pockets for the matzoh

Israelites are fleeing

Israelites are fleeing

Available for purchase via my Etsy shop.