Friday, October 9, 2009

I'm going to Africa!

This quilt is titled "Masako Goes to Africa". In 2008 it was accepted into "Up in Stitches" at the Yeiser Art Center in Paducah, Kentucky.

When my family lived in Japan in the 1950's my parents adopted Masako, a beautiful five year old, from an orphanage in Fukuoka, Japan. Our family relocated to Texas when we returned to the States and Masako continues to live, fifty-some years later, within fifty miles. She rarely travels. Oddly, I travel broadly, gathering fabrics from all over like most quilt makers.

I decided to give Masako wonderful, imaginary journeys via my art quilting. This piece is the first. The shape, a kimono, is an obvious reference to her beginnings. The fabrics are all African. While I have never been to Africa, I thought Masako might like to go....I never imagined that I would actually travel there!

On Oct. 13, I am traveling to Ghana, joining a group from Friendship Force International ( to participate in a three week cultural exchange in three cities. Our first home-stay will be in Akosombo!

Perhaps I should consider making Masako another piece to celebrate another place I haven't planned to visit...hmmmm....maybe India!

I'm also linking this to and participating in her Fall 09 Quilt Festival.
What a fun way to kick off my adventure!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tour My Studio!

I was away on family business in Texas and totally missed the virtual quilt studio tour:^(

So I've decided to have my own blog-o-sphere tour.

My work space is in the basement of my house. Pic one shows, descending the stairs, my artwork that I hang, occasionally rotating pieces.

At the bottom of the stairs is one of my favorite paintings. It's "Women's Business" by Australian Aboriginal artist Lillian Nabadnari .

Picture 2: My cluttered design wall illustrating that I really am not working on anything at the moment. Further along is a work surface that in theory I can use to design and get organized. As if.

Photo 3: Light, light, light! Even though my studio is in the basement I have lots of natural light by way of the sliding doors and double hung window that look out over a tranquil side yard: birds, leaves, rock walls and chipmunks. I've set up my machine so that I can have natural light on the work surface. It is buttressed by two tables that offer storage space for thread cases below and ironing, organizing, assembling on their surfaces.

Photo 4: Just out of the light is the end of the room where most of my stash is stored. I have two tables elevated to facilitate cutting and basting (and storing more fabric). The chest on the right is home to beads and various small bits.

Photo 5: Pivoting a bit more to the left is more stash, a half bath (unless I get hungry there is really no reason for me to leave my studio), more bookcases and stacks of quilts stretched on foam core for display.

Photo 6: More of those quilts on foam core and my medium storage closet housing the inks, paints, stencils, stamps et al.

Photo 7: Back to the stairs with more bookcases, my computer and my desk's usual clutter, and rolls of quilts on the floor. Above my desk is another Aboriginal artist's work. "Palm Island" by Errol Possum Roberts.

I feel very lucky to have such a "room of my own"! Like I've said before, with the possible exception of Victoria, Australia, the place I most like to be.