Posts Tagged ‘art quilts’
Our first solo show was wonderful. We were guest artist the month of August in the Essex Junction Library, a wonderful space in the community room. The fiber pieces hanging on the brick walls softened the room a great deal. Great reception for folks, hosted by our dear friends the Williamsons. Lots of good discussions, and I tried something new – a “completed” piece that I still am not happy with, and I asked for suggestions for re-doing/changing the piece- great ideas, and I will certainly do an interactive piece again for future shows.
April through June, Jericho Town Hall, “Double Exposure” – artwork and a piece of literature/quote that goes with it.
June through September, Unsworth Law Offices, a selection of fiber and digital work.
Phoenix Books with the Essex Art League, 2016, small works.
Old Red Mill Gallery with the Essex Art League, digital work, as well as ongoing fabric sales
October through April 2017, Maltex Building with Burlington City Arts – large works. These are large pieces, and many of them have not shown anywhere before, so it was exciting to visit them in their 6-month home. Third floor, so go visit!
Lots of finishes going on of projects that have been around for a VERY long time! I had a productive weekend of finishing three, and next blog post should be about two more, as well as a new project undertaken.
First up – a Halloween quilt I pieced probably 15 years ago, when I was using McCalls Quilting and piecing lots of quilt tops. It didn’t really need much – cats’ eyes (variegated thread) and eyes for the ghost (small pieces of lava). I examined the machine quilting, back from when all I did was stippling – I was very happy with how it looked. I added free-motion words in the sky and then added binding. Really happy –
This small 8 x 8 was done YEARS ago in response to a challenge on the QuiltArt list. The theme was “brown,” and this was way back when I was still pretty literal and linear in putting work together. This is “Candy Box,” and I used a zigzag in variegated thread like you would see in the wrappers in a fancy candy box. Added the binding and much pleased with the finished table-topper.
This last piece was a remnant from about 10 years ago. I quilted the bubbles, but it still needed a focal point – so I quilted in some sea urchins…hence the name “Sea Urchins.” Another 8 x 8 stitched to canvas after quilting was finished.
For Sale: $125.00
A great weekend, more happening in the studio…..lots of upcoming opportunities!
Since we’ve been back in Vermont I’ve been telling everyone I run into about our work, and we’ve had great response to everything. So much so we realized about 10 days ago nearly all our work either was committed to a show or would be by September, and we needed to get busy making new pieces – which has been an issue for hubby, as he is still recovering from major surgery and can’t stand for very long periods (guess who will be doing all the set-up and clean-up?).
Here’s our schedule – and people laugh when I say I’m always at the ready….
April – June small art show Double Vision at the Jericho Town Hall, Jericho, Vermont. Words and inspiration in art – we’re submitting “Pond.”
March-April Essex Art League at Phoenix Books independent bookstore in Essex, Vermont. “Bloomin’.”
April – June about 15 works of fiber and digital marbling on display at Unsworth Law in Essex Junction, Vermont.
May 27-28 Vermont Open Studios, sharing the home of artist Mary Jo Hill in Underhill, Vermont.
August solo show at Brownell Library in Essex Junction, Vermont of fiber and digital marbling.
Tomorrow we talk to an old friend about a show in the gallery she runs in Jericho, Vermont. We’re ordering cards to mark titles and prices, completing the inventory, researching insurance, getting hanging systems on every piece, getting new quotes on framing, and other loose ends. There are still two places I am waiting to hear back from – the Old Red Mill in Jericho for their gift shop, and Stitched, a quilt store in Shelburne for teaching classes – and more on my list to touch base about show.
Slow and steady definitely pays off – that, and having an area receptive to new and original art work.
I belong to the online group Art Quilts Around the World, and we have just posted our last challenge, Out of Asia. My piece came out really well, and we pick it up from the framer tomorrow. It just had to be stretched and matted, and if it comes out like we think, it will be spectacular. Here’s the story behind “Ode to Hokusai: DragonFlight.”
This was an interesting challenge. I knew the fabric I wanted to use almost immediately the topic was announced. This was a piece of cotton lame’ that we marbled about 10 years ago. It read Asian to me as soon as I rinsed it out, and it went into the “save” pile for some time in the future for when I could figure out what to do with it. I have done a couple of pieces of cotton lame’, one of which is on the website – green cotton lame’ called Rainforest. I wanted to do more, because of the properties of lame’, but is seems in the last ten years that formulas have changed, and there seem to be a lot more additives to the fabric. My last attempt at lame’ didn’t work well at all……
So this is the piece that sat on the design wall for six weeks.
I knew I couldn’t cut it, even though it is slightly smaller on one side and larger on the other from our group sizes. I just couldn’t cut it………so I figured I would just quilt the lines to accent the wave, reminiscent of “The Great Wave” by Hokusai – one of those pieces of artwork I easily recognize every time I see it. It’s almost like I planned that wave, when the whole piece really was an experimentation with a different comb (literally, a small hair comb for teasing the hair).
So I started on the center section, figuring I wold just accent the lines of that wave. Normally I would have pulled out black silk thread, since I really just wanted texture, but the dark green (Silk Kimono by Superior) kept calling my name. It is so subtle, but what it did was soften the black in the design – which I liked. Who knew? And with the light on it – it’s perfect.
I loved it when it was done – so much of a great wave, you could almost match it up with the master! So I kept looking at it and pondering where I would go from there……how much more would get quilted?
Serendipity struck, in the form of hubby the other marbling artist…who took one look and said, “I thought you were doing a wave? This is an amazing dragon. ” From then on the dragon was the overall image I saw every time I looked at the piece, so I just had to listen and figure out the next steps.
There is some very light blue within the colors, so I chose a blue silk Kimono thread to accent the blue, sort of like glistening dragon wings (too much Anne McCaffrey and Pern….). Then I wanted to do more quilting in the background to accent the idea of flight, so I went with a pale orange silk Kimono, just for wind and/or wave ripples. I ripped out a few lines because it just seemed like too much. Finally I just said “done,” because it seemed to have everything it needed. It is at Michaels right now getting stretched on foam core and a 2-inch black mat, as it said “I want to be framed.”
Above all, I listen…..
You can see other fabulous pieces here.
I’ve been retired now for two years. Last year on the one-year anniversary I took a look at what I accomplished for the year. I was afraid of looking back on retirement and not seeing anything to show for it. So I tracked everything this year. The last four months have been pretty fallow, as I struggled with some personal issues, but I feel like I am finally reclaiming myself. All in all, I had a pretty productive year.
SAQA quilt submitted to major show
SAQA auction quilt submission
Tried out Tophatter, gave it up after some really obnoxious feedback from an a-hole, who actually burned my quilt
Newsletters for 10 out of 12 months
Wrote a dozen blogs for Handmadeology
Remade hubby’s blue quilt
Participated in the free motion quilting challenge through the end of the year
Yoga instruction throughout the year, including pretty regular daily practice
Completed Stepping Stones table runner
Completed “Clammin’,” a small art quilt up on Etsy
Completed pattern and two samples for the table runner pattern
Machine-quilted the Forest quilt
Machine-quilted two bed-stand table-toppers and one dresser scarf
Worked at stocking and marketing the Etsy store
Took a Quilt University class with Elizabeth Barton
Finished Spring Wall Hanging
Guest post on Craft Gossip
Finished makeover of small Christmas quilt
Quilted Ali’s green picture
Participated in three challenges for Art Quilts Around the World
Took two Craftsy classes
Joined Galleribba online gallery
Potentialgallery representation starting fall 2013 in Tubac
Participated in StashFest again this year for the La Conner Quilt Museum
Submissions for three books, one accepted, the other as an ebook
Green and purple whole cloth quilts completed
Started commission of 7 quilted chakras, finished Root chakra
Completed two bed-stand table toppers and one long dresses scarf
Accepted into the juried Faculty/Staff art show for The Art Institute of Tucson
There are probably a couple more, but the mind has been kind of blank. It’s nice to have this list, so I know I accomplished a lot! Now I have to start the new one for year three.
I figured I would DO my Monday marketing and THEN write about it, rather than the other way around. So I’ve had a productive hour on line taking care of some loose ends. New goodies up ion the Etsy shop, including our first pattern in a VERY long while.
If you have a small table that needs protection – or just some colorful decoration, then these table runners could be just what you need to add some excitement to a room! You have a variety of choices in design, as well as unlimited fabric choices: use that special hand-dye or marbled fabric, or sort through your stash. You have lots of design possibilities in fabric, batting, and thread choices, so don’t feel limited with these samples. I had some great pattern testers help with the finishing of this; their contributions are also featured.
This pattern is available in our Etsy shop, as well as on PatternSpot.com. The pattern is $9.00 and comes as a PDF file, complete with color photos on construction and layout. Eventually I will figure out the coding and get it on the website.
I must confess I am enjoying Pinterest. I thought it would be a waste of time, and actually it is, but it gives me a place to pin pictures that I really like. I am seeing a lot of marbled fabric getting repinned, so I guess people are really looking.
I’ve got another pattern in the works – Spring, part of the Marbled Seasons series. This is really starting to look good, as I was originally wondering if my fabric choices were going to work. I was hoping to have it finished for testing before the next newsletter, but it isn’t going to happen. But as I did my planning for the holiday season, next month will be custom baskets, as it will give us time to marble the fabric and put baskets together….got a new small art quilt up in Etsy, some new fabrics, a major order to Taiwan, so now we wil be ordering more fabric and paints….and threads – I am so out of threads!
Little by little I am getting things accomplished. Not the fifth gear I was in in May, June, and some of July, but at least it feels like getting into second gear.
Happy Pi Day! It’s the math nerd in me celebrating……no more having to plan special activities. Now back to regular blogging….(I started this on the iPad….)
Hmmmmm…..not sure if this is going to get any better….took me forever to log in, but I think I figured out what I was doing wrong…..now to get the pictures I want…..
That said, it has been pretty productive when it comes to fabric, even amidst the move. I finished my iPad cover with the feathers from the February free motion quilting challenge, and I’m really happy with it. In fact, at a birthday party last night, three of my friends want one and suggested I put them in my Etsy store. Something to consider idea when we return, as the Etsy store is disabled right now, as we are taking some of the product, with us to Seattle.
The front is a great big feather. I love the ideas people are posting, so I went with some Superior Rainbow and added some extra spines.
I added a small facing, and then added velcro to the inside in three different places to hold the cover closed.
Now for an update on Visions……I didn’t get in. Plain and simple. But….I’m okay with it, despite the fact that the very first show I ever got into was a fairly prestigious one. I know that the work is excellent; it’s some of the best I’ve done. And I have more ideas just ready to go. It just seems like the only way you get validation for your work is to get it in to major shows. I will keep making work, because that’s what I want to do.
If it weren’t too old (2003), this is what I would have entered: my absolute, favorite piece ever. I won’t sell this, because I’ll never be able to make another one. It is now on the wall in our new home, as we actually have wall space for it. This is part of the Gaia series, where I do weavings with strips of marbled fabric. This is Gaia 2: Beginnings, affectionately know around here as my Pele quilt.
My machine quilting skills have come along tremendously since that piece. The fabric of “The Shallows” was created about the same time, but it has just been in a drawer, waiting for the right time, which I figured was now.
Here’s the fabric at the beginning – it looks pretty bland.
It’s a pretty large piece of marbled fabric.
Making some early decisions on thread and backing. Everything was done with Superior Thread – Bottom Line in the bobbin, a mixture of King Tut and Rainbows and Art Studio for all the rocks and shading. (I never did take a pic of the back…..)
Already I could see improvement in texture, so I figured I would be okay. But I was worried about the green spots, which were originally designed to be some kind of leaf….now I was thinking lichen. I also wasn’t happy with the amount of white showing…needed to do something with that.
At this point I am becoming quite enthused with how things are shaping up…..but that’s a LOT of pebbles, and it took most of December to get the pebbles where I wanted them, without affecting the “veining” left from the marbling.
I was also starting to think about shading, which I guess is more thread painting than free motion. I consulted with my art mom to get advice on scientific shading, in which the light source always comes from the northwest. So I needed to start thinking about shading all those rocks…..at this point I became very aware that there are a LOT of rocks. YOu can see some of the beginning shading here.
So January hits and I’m aware of my deadline, knowing I need to leave time for photography. I’m shading, and doing pebbles, and thinking about trimming. About one-fourth of the right side is cut off, as the proportions seemed much better without it – and a lot fewer pebbles that had to be completed…. I needed to think through the lichen, and if you look closely at the detail, it’s shredded money – perfect texture!
And finally: The Shallows
It’s a far cry from the original fabric, and it is now proudly hanging in our new home.
Not a whole lot of pictures today, but a whole lotta work going on. We are in the process of marbling 400 fat quarters for StashFest the end of March. This is a fund raiser for the La Conner Quilt Museum, and we have been invited to participate and sell our marbled fabric. Yay! So needless to day, there are a LOT of marbling sessions ahead of us. With hubby’s health, we are being very careful about scheduling the sessions. And…we are planning ahead. Counted the number of weeks we have, allowed for vacations, and started ordering LOTS of pima cotton. Hubby is really in the groove, and the fats are looking fabulous. We pulled out one of the marbling books and are going to try some new patterns as we work. Pretreat, alum one day, then marble the next….all our mornings are set aside for this. Plus, I can’t wait to get to the Northwest. It’s been on our bucket list for a number of years. and now it’s actually going to happen. So send me suggestions for things to see and do – and eat – in the Seattle and Portland areas. We’re going to save the ocean spots for another trip. We’ll be happy, us desert rats, with rain and fog and humidity!
Those of you in the Seattle area, mark your calendars for March 31 and April 1. There should be publicity hitting any time now in your area. You can check the Stashfest website for more information. Also, we are taking small quilts with us for display purposes at StashFest, so if any of you in guilds would like us to give a talk (and perhaps a demo), please let us know.
Now, along with that are several shows I have decided to enter. Some I have recent work for, but most of them will require the creation of new work. And I am so up to the challenge. The piece I am working on now, for a show deadline in February, is teaching me – and speaking to me – a great deal. I am thrilled with how it is turning out, and even if it doesn’t get accepted to this show, I know I have created something different, meaningful, and beautiful
Here’s what I’m looking at:
Visions – 2/13 (If I’m going back out there, go big….last acceptance for a major show – Expressions in Fiber – was in 2004. And if accepted, I’ll let you in on what prompted me to go for this.).
Art Pin-Up – 3/2 (12 x 12, very do-able, and no jurying….)
Fish Follies – 4/20 (?) (great acceptance rate over the last 6 years for fiber. This year I have a really wacky fiber idea…..it is Follies, after all….)
Tactile Architecture, Hands All Around – 4/27 (one piece is already completed….)
I’m Not Crazy – 5/5 (idea is sketched)
Pushing the Limits – 5/16
Pattern Base – book inclusion, June 12
And this is just the first 6 months. So I guess a goal for this year is to get out there and enter my work! Along with trying to set up two individual shows.
It is going to be an awesome year of taking chances!
If you remember last week, I was about finished with my little autumn quilt/table runner. You can see the process here. I finished it this weekend, and today we marbled a piece for the winter piece. “Marbled Seasons” will shortly be available as a kit – all the seasons, or just one of them. I am writing the pattern now, and by the end of December should have all the quilts completed. They would also work as table runners. So here it is….
There are plenty of variations in this pattern. “Autumn Marbles” will have hand-marbled silk leaves in the kit, as well as directions for the “windy” free motion quilting. There is enough marbled fabric to add another set of log cabin blocks to make the quilt a little longer. The strips in this block all start out at one inch. the two different browns in this, as well as the backing, were from my stash, so you can “shop” at home for extra fabric.
I have started my next major art piece, from a piece of fabric we marbled over ten years ago. It’s time to do something with it. Here you see the marbled unpolished satin with its backing. I was auditioning threads.
The piece itself looks very flat and pretty uninteresting. It will be a challenge of my new skills to make this do what my mind wants.
This piece is a little over 18 inches by 54 inches. We did it when we still worked in the big tray. The additional years make it very difficult for us to work longer hours and do larger pieces of fabric. So I am hoarding those pieces I still have.
I have started the basic “first level” quilting. All the stones are getting outlines. Already a lot more interest. Those two upper right beige ovals have been taken out, requilted, and lay a whole lot flatter. And, you won’t see more pictures until finished and entered……..
Sometime this past autumn, I posted a picture of a quilt completed at least 10 years ago, asking for suggestions on quilting it. I had used invisible thread (waaaayyyy before the improvements in threads) and did basic in-the-ditch quilting. Pretty darn blah. So I took ALL the quilting out, including taking the binding off, and washed it to hopefully remove the shadow lines.
Silly me, I was thinking of having it available for sale at the art show we did in November. Well, that didn’t happen, so it moved to my “to do” list for when I retired, and then to the top of the list as I saw the studio coming together. I thought of attempting some feathers, because most of what I have done for quilting has been stippling or stitch-in-the-ditch.
Before I could start, I discovered this video on stippling, and I was hooked. Sharon Schambler had an hour-long video (actually longer) with 9 free motion patterns she has used in one of her quilts. Easy to watch and very easy to do!
I chose the second pattern, used some variegated thread from Superior (of course – I am totally hooked!), and started. I wasn’t sure I could really do this. So voila –
I was thrilled at this point, because I realized 1) I could do this, and 2) the quilt was going to look SO much better!!
This is the completed center. I’m not going to quilt the marbled stars (unless someone has a really good idea for me?? Hint hint…). I ABSOLUTELY love it! I’m doing a variation of the pattern on some of the side strips, and it’s coming along well. Hopefully pictures this weekend…..
Yesterday I wrote about what’s happening with the bamboo piece. Here’s a sneak piece of it in VERY rough form:
Now to today’s story – my piece for “My World in Black and White,” a show curated by Anne Copeland, like around 2003. This was a challenge issued on the QuiltArt list, and I decided to try something. Here’s the piece:
This was the first show where I realized I had to pay more attention to the theme. Mine was a more abstract look at black and white. We marbled a three-quarter-yard piece of unpolished white satin in blacks and whites. There was still a little orange left in the tray from a previous piece, so the name became “Black and White with a Hint.” I cut five strips and quilted them, following the marbled patterns. You can see the hints of orange.
At this point, I really didn’t know what form this was going to take. I decided to stagger each of the strips, but it was pretty boring with just the strips. That’s when the “hidden” architect in me took over. I marbled some ribbon, serged the edges of the ribbon to carry the serging motif through, and attached it to some strips of gray cotton. I did eight strips all together, some of them plain with just a meandering quilting line, and some with the ribbon, and then I wove them through the other strips.
I liked how it was shaping up, and now I had to deal with a hanging system, as well as finishing the bottom. I figured I wanted some beads to hang at the bottom. I went to the local bead store and found these teardrops – have NEVER seen anything like them since then.
If you look closely, you can see how each strip gets hand-stitched to the ones around and underneath it. I figured I would use a plexiglass rod for the hanging system. I marbled some thinner ribbon, and with careful measurements attached the various lengths at the top, with a bead embellishment.
I learned a lot, as I seem to do on every piece, and this is still one of my favorites – my first piece to travel (to Ontario, CA as well as the online exhibit), my first piece that was professionally appraised, my first piece that “hung” in a very different style, and my first ribbon (for entering, but none-the-less still special!).
I am really enjoying revisiting these pieces and their stories. I hope you enjoy as well.