Monday, June 20, 2011

Doing the Work
Working in my studio can mean long hours, bent over the floor, the sewing machine, or the cutting table.  As I am engrossed in my work, I forget to eat sometimes, or take breaks.  It doesn't take too long before my body reminds me that I need to move or stretch or get out for a walk.  Here is a view of my favorite walk.  It is a 2 mile round trip from my house.  It is a hilly walk, and should take me about 30 minutes, but it always takes longer.  I get to this spot, to turn around and I linger.  The view is just so incredible, I have to stop and take it in.
And now, a contrast, the view in my studio. It all starts here, you can't get anywhere if you don't do the work. And for me this picture sums it up. It all starts with a stack of fabric and gets transformed into an amazing work that I can feel proud of. And while these photos may seem unrelated they are integral to each other. I have to get out and enjoy nature and drink in life, and in so doing life gets wrapped back into my work, an expression of some inspiration, or experience.  Walking clears my head and nourishes my body, the art feeds my soul.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

On our way!
Both of my entries were accepted to Tactile Architecture debuting in Houston, TX at the International Quilt Festival! and they are, drum roll please.......Central Park and our group project Artists' Village!!

I am so happy for several reasons.  One is that I had made another 3D quilt called Little Fish in a Big City.  It is in Quilt National '09 which is still touring.  One of the venues for the collection that my quilt was traveling in was for Houston this year.  Something happened.  I don't know what, but it is no longer slated to come to Houston.  I am so disappointed, I really wanted this quilt to be seen in Houston.  So, it is especially wonderful, that the sequel, Central Park, is going to Houston!  And, even better, the theme of this quilt...the dense population of downtown areas and the need for green space is replicated at the George Brown Convention Center, located in downtown Houston around a lovely, lovely park!  Perfect!

The second reason is that since inviting 16 artists to make our artists' village I have been on pins and needles worried about finding a venue for it.  Tactile Architecture seemed the perfect venue and was my first choice.  But our village was an unusual entry, because it is large, 3D and is a collaborative project.  But I like LARGE, and I love 3D (it is art that looks different as you move around and view it from different angles), and I crave and am hugely rewarded by collaborative projects.  This is just PERFECT!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Twinkle quilt cont.
It was supposed to be a twin size, but it has grown.  This is it so far, just the layout of the blocks, and not quite all of them because they drape down onto the floor!  How big is it?  Just a few inches in both dimensions LARGER than the twin sized batting I bought.  Hmmm.....Options?  I thought of removing a row off the top and one along the side....easy enough to do, and it would give me extra blocks to make a pillow sham.  This is tempting, because it would fit her bed, and the batting.  I also thought of buying a bigger batting and leaving it as is.  After all, she is going to be a TALL girl (and I'm not kidding here!), and it would be nice to be able to wrap her whole grown up self up in this delicious quilt made by her momma!   What are the odds that what she likes at 10 years old, she will like at 20 years old??

And while this photo is not particularly bad, once again it fails hugely to convey the feeling you get standing in front of this beauty.  Is it like that with all fiber, or all art?  Do you get a different feeling standing in front of the Mona Lisa, so close as to see the brush strokes, than you do looking at an image of it in a book or on the web?

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Very Interesting!

Our tale begins when all these blocks were first clamped and soaked in bleach discharge solution.  This left the centers of the blocks very pale.  Then after thorough rinsing and drying, I used the same plastic templates clamped to these blocks and dyed them ALL in the same dyebath, which I thought was fairly dilute.  Although it may not be entirely obvious in the first photo, hopefully you can see in the second one that I got a lot of variations of value in the dye.  I think these commercial fabrics all accept dye differently.  Some will soak up the dye in a rich and intense flavor.  Others are rather off-put by being soaked in dye and avoid it at all costs....thus turning a lovely pale and relaxing shade.  Regardless, I LOVE it all!  I am especially fond of scrappy looking quilts.  The more shades the better!  And the fact that I got it all without trying!!  Serendipity!