Monday, December 22, 2008

Falling Through the Cracks
39" x 32"
 There is no perfect place for my son at school. He has Asperger's, which is a high-functioning form of autism. A regular classroom uses all his coping skills, just to be there, and attend to the overwhelming sensory input and social expectations. And the special education classes don't fit him either. So, it is no wonder that at times I feel like he is falling through the cracks of public school. Special education was created because we saw a need, we saw that kids were falling through the cracks and this was our solution. But is it working? Enter his new case worker. She is a blessing, a godsend. Hooray for the very unique and special individuals that take special care to try to catch these wonderful kids! This quilt is dedicated to her, a healing force in our family's life.

About the piece and how I made it: The top third of the quilt is a hand dye that I used for a rubbing of cracks in the street with Shiva paintsticks. The cracks are heavily machine quilted. The bottom portion was another hand dyed piece that was dyed on top of a piece of construction fencing that I found littering the driveway of my son's school. I was really amazed at how the dye migrated to the fencing and captured an image of it. The building is made from some of my batiked fabrics. The net is made from a produce bag. Copper wire is made into useful legs for our robin, and the handle for the net. Making a special appearance are some hand blown glass beads, beautiful little works of art by artist, Vickie Hallmark, who graciously donated them to my project. The buttons are the neurotypical kids, unique and special in their own right. They are sewn in rows to allude to abacuses. Ultimately, public schooling comes down to the numbers, counting kids and counting dollars decide what resources are available.
Here are some close-ups of Vickie's wonderful beads. Pardon my snapshots, they barely do them justice. If you want to see more of Vickie's work, click the link Fiber.Art.Glass.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Satin Stitch

Ever wonder how to satin stitch a tight circle? My king sized quilt, Little Cities, has about 1000 of these little half inch beauties. It was a bit obsessive, I will admit, but the more I made, the more I loved the way they looked with the other blocks. There were times I couldn't work on it. Not surprising, it can be a bit tedious. Perhaps that's an understatement.
Anyway, I have a new camera, and it has video. So I have made a little video to show how to make one of those little satin stitched circles. Check it out if you are curious.
You can also see the link at youtube:

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Copper Swirls
I had this crazy idea, that I could put things under my fabric and add some dye, and I was hoping, really hoping, that the dye would somehow migrate to the object and capture an image of the object on the fabric. This is basically the same as sun printing with fabric paint. I have a large coil of household wire that I periodically strip to use the copper wire for art. That is where the copper swirls came from. My work bench is a glass table, and I didn't think the photo would show the copper very well on the glass, so for the purposes of the photo, I arranged them on top of the white fabric. For the purposes of dyeing, I put them under the cloth. I used soda ash soaked fabric.
Then, I got the fabric wet and tried my best to smooth out the air bubbles. I was not entirely successful because the copper swirls were not bent perfectly flat, and they are rather thick. Then I squirted dye all over the place. I think this piece had turquoise, blue, and fuscia. I really liked the result, and since this was my first experiment, I am envisioning many more experiments!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Yeah! It's finally my month!
I've been waiting all year for it to be my turn in the IQA Award-Winning Quilts 2008 Calendar. I couldn't understand why they picked my quilt for December, but upon opening to the page it is obvious now, so much red and green, and this quilt is cheerful. Congrats Little Cities, another day in the sun!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Pretty colors!
I was going to say, "yummy" but I think that one has already been taken. I love playing with color. On days that I get to dye fabric, I am jumping out of bed and running to the garage. This is my kids' zip line. I have sort of taken it over for my work, sadly they haven't really noticed.
Watch out, I did what I said I would NOT do. Is there anything cuter than a sleeping kitten?