Monday, August 13, 2012

Capital of Texas QuiltFest

SAQA Studio Art Quilt Association
Annual Fund Raising Auction
Starting September 10, 2012, you can place a bid on individual quilts.  There are so many quilts, they have been divided into 3 groups, with an additional set going to the International Quilt Festival.  Each week a different group is offered.  See the details and dates of the reverse auction here

Meanwhile, the organizers invited the participants to pick their favorites and make a small virtual collection out of them.  I found it to be so fun, I made 10 collections (so far!).  And while making the little dream collections I found out a little about choices that affect curators and jurors.  Sometimes it is not about the quality of the piece that is rejected, but more about how it looks with others.

In making my collections I found myself drawn to pieces that I didn't notice at first.  However, when put into a collection the individual quilts, they weave a story together that they can't tell alone.  It fascinated me!  Especially because the works were made by individuals working alone.  And serendipitously come together with works by others.  It's the individual vs. the collective whole.  Magical!  I highly encourage you to look through all the offerings and find your favorite or favorites.  Many, many outstanding works of art this year!

Forest Stories
What the Blue Eye Saw
Super Lovely
A Bit of Black
Blue Calm
Aqua Abstractions
In the Field
Abstract Journeys
Stories not Forgotten
Footnote:  There is a certain amount of regret in posting these, because in doing so, there are many others that weren't posted.  It gives me a whole new frame of reference when my quilts are rejected from a show.  And believe me, I do get a lot of rejections.  I think I have learned from this experience, that it is not always a bad thing if my work doesn't "play well with others".  It just means that it is an original voice and meant to stand alone. 

And no matter how much success I have, the rejections always sting a bit.  It is the one saving grace of blogging.  If I make some art, and it does not get juried into a show, I know it will at least have some audience with my readers and not be completely unseen.  So, thanks to you, my readers, for stopping by!

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Quilting Makes the Quilt

Quilting Makes the Quilt

This is the title of one of the most influential books I used early in my quilting history.  It's by Lee Cleland, and if you haven't seen it, you should.  It will transform you.  One quilt pattern was replicated and quilted differently by 4 or 5 different people.  It is surprising and wonderful!

So when I design a quilt, the design of the quilting lines plays a prominent role. It's another layer of design that can truly enhance your quilt or merely hold it together.  I am often stumped at this point and will take a number of ideas to try out, and draw on a photo, or put tracing paper on the quilt and try out some different designs.

For example, see the blocks below.   Each of the blocks is a different color but essentially it is one design theme.  How to quilt them?
How would you quilt it?  What color of thread would you use? Would you quilt it in curves?  around the circles?  Straight lines?  stipple?  The fabric is so bright that you might ask if the quilting pattern will even show enough to make a difference....

That's when I decided to experiment using a different quilting pattern with each block, and a different set of threads.  (Don't forget to click on the pictures if you want a closer view.)  I don't mind changing thread colors, and I have lots of lots of wonderful colors from Superior Threads.  I also don't mind quilting patterns that have a lot of stops and starts, which is probably a good thing because it allows me to be freer in my design decisions.  If you were drawing a picture with a box of crayons, would you limit yourself to only one color, and picking up and putting down your crayon only once?? Not a perfect analogy because crayons are much easier to change than thread, but you get the idea.

I had a great time with this project because it never became repetitive and boring.  It was a fun challenge to do the over 70 blocks each with a different design.  And because I used black fabric on the back, you can really see the quilting designs and color choices.  And on the front, regardless of the quilting design, or thread color, it still makes a much more subtle look to the work than you might have anticipated, especially from a distance.  But step up close...and WOW!  It adds a new dimension that is fabulous and engaging!

I hope that if you are still stippling or stitching in the ditch with matching thread, you will be inspired to try something new!