Thursday, July 26, 2012

Excitement in the Air!!

Excitement in the Air!!
Tomorrow the International Quilt Festival opens in Long Beach, CA for 3 days.  I have a new piece making it's debut there and it is a bit of a sentimental piece for me, Morning Commute with Sweet Jane (here, and here).  It is in the exhibit called Rituals curated by Dinner @ 8 artists, Jamie Fingal and Leslie Jenison.  It is sponsored this year by Moore's Sewing Centers. And even though I will not be able to attend the new opening of the show, it will travel to Houston this fall, and I can not wait to see it!!

Additionally the book, which has all the quilts in it, is available for purchase now.  You can click on the photo on the sidebar.  A preview is also available. I just LOVE the cover showing slices of a number of quilts.

Also in Long Beach, I will have a quilt in Tactile Architecture, Central Park, and a group piece called Artists' Village, an amazing collection of 3D fiber houses made by an incredibly talented group of artists!! It is fun!
Flower Garden close up of French knots
Artist Village
Next on the list, I have had some recent publicity, which is always good for the ego!  In the International Quilt Festival Houston Class Catalgue, there is a picture of my quilt, A Few of My Favorite Things, used to promote the exhibit of Lone Stars III book.  Awesome!  It's on page 48!

And, last, our new collaboration to sell small works of art in groupings of 8 or 4 is almost sold out!! I am so happy that this has been so successful so quickly!  New works are in the making to restock our offerings!
Check it out!  Art Box csa (community supported artists)!  or you can click on the link in the sidebar too!!
Art Box csa

Friday, July 13, 2012

Purple Passion Patchwork

Purple Passion Patchwork
60" x 73"

I made this lap quilt for a friend of mine who loves purple.  She has been a long time friend and great supporter. This is a surprise for her and I can't wait to give it to her.  Fortunately, I can post about it here because she doesn't use a computer.  And, it is SO FUN to return to patchwork, if only for a while.  It is so peaceful. The top is completed, but it still needs quilting.  Luckily, she won't need it for a while since it is so hot here!

Monday, July 09, 2012

Great News: Art Box csa!

Great News: Art Box csa!
community supported artists
Update: this site has been closed.

Today is the official launch of our new creative endeavor, Art Box csa!  Eight artists have joined together to create small works of art at affordable prices.  The art is grouped into boxes and available as a full set of 8 pieces or a half box of 4 pieces.  I am so proud to be included in this distinguished group of artists!
We are:

The idea sprang from community supported agriculture; paying a fee and having a basket of vegetables and fruits delivered to your doorstep.  However, instead of produce, you will be getting small works of art from us!  Each artist made 8"x 8" pieces that are framed or wrapped on a canvas the same size (and 1 1/2" deep).  See mine here.

I was inspired by watching grackles in my yard.  Ready to play with a new technique of putting dye directly in the soy wax, I got busy and made a number of fat quarters.  It was so fun!  I just love doing this!  When you draw shapes with the wax, you are painting the color on at the same time!

Then the background was hand painted with thickened dye, and the piece was steamed to set the dyes.  After that I boiled the piece to get the remaining wax out, and completed the process with a wash and dry!

Next I cut the fat quarters into 4 pieces, pieced an aqua border around the central motif, sandwiched with batting and backing, and then machine quilted.  Last I added a lot of embroidery to the bird, which I just LOVED the texture it created, and did some hand quilting to finish off the piece.  Last, I stitched the corners and snugged it into a canvas, stapling on the back.  Click on the photos to see them larger.
side view

front view
Sorry, there are a limited number available.  You can purchase these directly from our CSA website.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Coming soon!!....sneak peek

Coming soon!!....sneak peek

I was invited to participate in a very special project a few months ago.  I am so excited to tell you about it, but our launch date isn't until tomorrow.  Until then, just a few photos for you! Please come back and visit tomorrow!!

Thursday, July 05, 2012

A tisket, a tasket, a kitten in a basket.

A tisket, a tasket, a kitten in a basket.

All grown up.  This is my kitten before he was my kitten.  Weeks after discovery and when we were still looking for homes, for ALL of them.  He looks so cute in the basket!
 Same basket, 4 years later.  He's the biggest cat in the bunch, weighing in at 18 pounds.  And both of my human kids, at ages 15 and 11, are now taller than me too.  How did this happen so fast?

Sunday, July 01, 2012


15" x 36"

I have finished my commission and wanted to share it with you.  I was contacted by a third party for this commission.  They had a client, a hospital, who wanted a piece for their new children's reception area.  I was very excited to work on this project!  After agreeing upon terms, I set out to design something to fit the size they wanted.  I immediately knew what I wanted to do, they had a theme of "Home" in mind, and I made a quick sketch.  This sketch was later drawn full scale, which was a real help when it came time to construct it.

After the client approved the design, they wanted to see it with colors.  The contract said that they wanted it done in pink and blue, I think because that was the paint colors of their walls.  This became a real difficulty for me because I don't work in pastels, or even just two colors.  However, I pulled out a fabric palette of lovely pinks and blues.  I then scanned them in and set them as a "design" in Photoshop.  Then I selected the shape and filled with the fabric choices.  In this way I was able to get a pretty good idea of what the fabrics would look like cut to their specific shapes and collaged to make the quilt surface.  I was not excited about the piece anymore.  Color is just so important to me, that I really struggled with this.  Many of the fabrics I initially chose were replaced with others as I continued to audition the fabrics.  Very time consuming and ultimately not my mind.

However, I sent the photos with several choices and waited to hear back so that I could continue.  Weeks passed.  ACK!! What is happening? Did they change their minds?  No, they didn't.  They rejected my color scheme of pink and blue, and said they really wanted something in my more typical color palette.  Add some more colors.  And use brights!  REALLY? Okay!!!  I dashed to the studio, and pulled out an entirely new set of fabrics.  Within an hour, I had the whole thing colored in with colors I craved!    Sent the new photo and it was accepted really quickly.

What I learned from this commission is that people are drawn to my work for many reasons.  If I am going to make something for someone else, it has to stay true to my sense of design and color, at least to a certain extent, otherwise, it won't look or feel like my work.  Interesting!

Here is the complete quilt:

And there are always a few minor changes when moving from the drawing to the fabric stage.  For example, the birds' shapes have changed slightly, and I used multiple fabrics for the background which doesn't show in the drawing.  Here's a few closeups of the birds and the decks.  That baby bird is just so darn cute!  I love the little tufts of embroidery floss on top of his head!

And because kids LOVE rainbows, I knew I wanted some element of the quilt to have rainbows, so I used some of my hand dyes to make the greys in the pole, and for the multi-colored ribbon going up the pole:
And for the weathercock, I had to add a fish, because I just love the ocean and fish, I needed a small representative of myself in the quilt.

And last, you may remember this little quilt, The Blue Birds and their Orange House.  This was a quilt that I donated to the Alliance for American Quilts.  It is very similar to this quilt.  I made it first and it really helped me as a prototype to learn to construct this house for the commission.  Seems like I am drawn to birds again, which I have worked on before (see the Art Quilt:  Bird Series on my sidebar, in the Labels section.)

I really have had so much fun making both these little quilts that it would not surprise me in the least to dream up another bird quilt!