Friday, April 24, 2009

Little X

Little X
35.5" x 41"
 I made this little quilt, and fell in love with it. I hung it on the wall and my mind started racing with thoughts of when does a little quilt become art? When it is loved? As in the Velveteen Rabbit? When is a quilt art for you? I would love to hear your comments...

Is it art?
Is it art if it just has X's?
X's in a grid??
Is it art if you hang it on a wall?
What if you take it off the wall and give it to a baby?
Is it a quilt then? or still art? or both?
Is it art if it goes to a quilt show?
What if you put it in a traditional category, like pieced quilt?
What if you put it in abstract it art?
Is it art if it goes to a gallery?
Is it art only if you like it?
Is it art if it is evocative?
Is it art if you give it a clever name?
Is it art if it has intent?
What if the X's represent something like kisses, or "X marks the spot" as in pirate, or "no, no, no, I really mean it this time!", then is it art?
Is it art if it is original? (is this really original?)
What if someone famous made it and it got into a prestigious venue, like Quilt National, can X's be art then?
What if you sell it? Does that make it art? Or does it depend on the price, $150, not art, but $1500, then it is art?
What if you put it in a frame, is it art then?
What if you print the image on paper and then frame it, is it art then?
And last, does it really matter?
I made this by hand-dyeing some fabrics in lots of colors. Then I batiked the X's on individual squares, then bleach discharge, and last over-dyeing. I sort of randomly tossed them in a grid, moved a few around and stitched them together. For the border, I started in one corner, and sewed strips around, and around, and around, until I built up 8 layers, like going around a log cabin block, except not changing the colors as I went around a corner. The back is sewn in 4 large color blocks, red, blue, green, and orange.
 This is the very first time I used the escape hatch finish on a quilt. This means that I sewed the front to the back all around the edges with the batting. Then I cut a slit in the backing and turned everything inside out. I little fusible on the slit and you can just press it closed. Then I quilted it. I was a bit worried because I didn't use fusible on the layers. I was concerned that I would get lots of wrinkles on the back as I quilted it, but somehow I lucked out, no wrinkles! Hurray! And, when I was finished quilting, I didn't have to put a binding on it, the edges were already finished. I put a hanging tube over the slit, and it was set to go!

Monday, April 20, 2009


 I am so excited to announce that my quilt, Doors Across Austin, won Best of Show! I am so excited! Before I got the official news this morning, I got an email last night from a friend. I just screamed, really it was beyond my control. I didn't even know they were selecting awards for this show. Mainly, I just needed to make the quilt. I am not alone in this experience, and I wanted to share a piece of my life with others. That's what was important. So why does the award make me shriek? I think it shouldn't be that important. But, I can't help myself, it does feel good. Good to have my work recognized and validated, especially when it is not bringing in much income. Well, I don't know, I thought I was pretty thrilled and validated to get it juried into the show. And now, here I am!


Durham Arts Council, Durham NC
April 17 through June 7, 2009
Page-Walker Arts and History Center, Cary, NC
June 25 through August 22, 2009
Opening Reception June 26th, 6 – 9 pm

Please visit for further details about ARTQUILTStransitions or the Professional Art Quilters Alliance - South.

Friday, April 03, 2009

From Here to There

From Here to There
 It all started with a desire to simplify and beautify. This very workable garage studio was cluttered, unsightly, and inefficient. I started by moving out the shelves that lined the walls. I found a LOT of spiders, and webs. The window sill was thick with webs, I don't even want to talk about. The window had shelves for gardening in front of it, and very little light came in through this window because the shelves were so packed with stuff. I also had a door on this wall, that I could not use because the bicycles were parked there. The tables here are made from some sliding glass doors I found- FREE!! The big support boxes held my leather chairs from Target. They are strong, just the right height, but I can't store anything under the table, and there is no leg room at all. The glass table is perfect for my wax pot though and for dyeing. So I began by moving out. I sorted everything into 4 categories: recycle, trash, donate, or keep. It took two days to get everything moved out. You are probably wondering how one person can accumulate so much stuff??? Maybe you are not wondering this. Maybe your garage looks as bad as mine, or worse?
 Then I started scrubbing the walls, sweeping the floors, cleaning the window, inside and out. The walls were absolutely gross! I couldn't imagine cleaning this workspace without a new coat of paint. And...while trying to open the door, I found out that if you have a deadbolt and you can't get it to twist open, by simply taking a pair of pliers you CAN actually twist the lock handle right off the lock!!! But the door still stays locked! Amazing but true! So that was my first $32. I had to buy another dead bolt, fortunately, I know how to install it.
Next step, priming the walls. This took another long and full day to paint, along with the shelves. But at least now it is starting to look good. Then, I did a long hard look at my keep pile of old paints. Would there be enough for this job? Certainly not of just one color, but that was okay. I did run out of paint, and had to buy another quart for the walls, the next $13, and a new paint tray, $5.
Okay, now it is starting to look good! I decide to give my big boxes to the kids and invest in an extra set of shelves for support for the glass doors. The shelves were $37. Along with another set of shelves (freed up from all the junk I got rid of) for the other door, I now have two working tables, with lots of storage space underneath, and I am ready to move the 'keep' pile back into it's new space.
One week and $87 later, I have a new, clean, beautiful, organized, efficient workspace. And I can park back inside the garage again. Only one thing now, I think the right side needs a clean up too! Still too much junk!!!