Saturday, September 29, 2012

Quirky: How does it fit into one's body of work?

I have a question for you who might know.  Where does the one off, quirky piece fit in your body of work?

I like to collect vintage textiles.  I sometimes incorporate them in my work, although, with the exception of rick-rack, anyone else would not know that they are there.

This is different.  I 'found' the vintage shift (cut out from a pattern but then abandoned...just as you see it here) and, at some other time, I 'found' the decorator's yard of plaid seen as the background.  These two lived on my design wall together for months.  Slowly it occurred to me that The Shift that I remembered and wore in a much smaller size than I do now...but not as small as this...was popular during the late 1950's and the early 1960's.  Just around the time that nylon stockings were going out and pantyhose were coming in...about the same time women began to sew their own clothing less often...and, interestingly, the cusp of vinyl zippers replacing metal zippers.

The piece really took off after I discovered these garter snaps that I had stashed away in some distant past.  (My granddaughter can't figure them out.  ;^)  But then who'd want to?)

So, just where does this fit into my body of work?  I'm thinking about reserving a category for Quirky.  Whatcha think?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sisters in Cloth

Can't keep hands off

I was so excited to have been approached by Lynn Krawczyk to contribute to one of her articles on art quilt groups.  Her last article was full of inspiration:  Replenishing Your Creative Well Fiber Art Groups in the Aug/Sept issue of Quilting Arts featured 'the thursday art group' and was full of interesting points.

The art quilt group that I belong to Sisters in Cloth morphed out of an interest group that I started when I first relocated to Connecticut from Florida.  Bereft of friends, I joined the local Newcomers Club and offered to teach anyone to quilt who would join my group.  Pathetic, I know, but it worked.  Members, who already knew how to quilt, joined, along with newbies.  That core is still together.  After we 'graduated' from Newcomers we invited other quilters to join us...and long the way...changed our emphasis from strictly quiltmaking to a broader interest group.  Most of us would consider ourselves art quilters...but not everyone.  Definitions are not important to us.  A cohesive, supportive bunch of friends with common interests is ....We have been through thick and thin with each other.  And, along the way, we have created some fine work that we get to exhibit together.

Lynn's most recent article includes her interviews with four art quilt groups around the country.  It is most interesting with a list of tips for starting your own art quilt group.  I could not imagine my life if I had not been a part of Sisters in Cloth.  Read the Sisters' blog to find out more.
Poised and well-behaved

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Town Green

Town Green
Hot off the press, so to speak.  I have just blocked this piece.  It is about 30x36", making it just about perfect size for entering into the upcoming SAQA/CT Call for Entry for "Local Color", inspired by Connecticut.  If you are a SAQA member, living in CT (or one of those nearby members with dual membership) you can enter!

Go to the SAQA/CT blog and click on the 'CT Exhibit' page.  It's all there.  The exhibit will premiere in Danbury in May at the Western CT State University Library, and, later travel to other venues throughout the state.

I'm really glad that the membership was so enthusiastic with this theme.  I hope it means we will have MANY entries.  We are a small state, with a corresponding small membership.  Just about everyone will need to submit for the jurors to come up with 50-60 pieces!

Since I moved to Connecticut in the late 1960's (yep, that long ago...some of you were not even thought of then) I have felt at home.  It's not the only place.  Victoria, Australia and parts of Northern California also feel like home.  I'm struck by the light, the color, the (mostly) dry air, the undulating land, the rocks and trees, the shoreline....hmm...come to think of it, all those places have these in common.  As I am inspired by nature in much of my work, I have several pieces to choose from to offer for this Call to Entry...fingers crossed that something gets in.  I wouldn't mind NOT getting in...especially if that meant that there were SO many really great pieces that the judges had a full complement without me.  I could handle that.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

New "Fiberactions" Challenge

Let the Sun Shine In/September

Today's online reveal of "Fiberactions" focuses on the use of a triad of color.

I decided some time ago that I would use the Fiberactions color challenges to work in a series, leaving the design of the piece more or less the same.  My over-all theme is secrets and I'm drawing from my stash of vintage zippers to use as a metaphor.  Not too subtle I guess...sealed lips, zipped lips, etc.
Pesky Little Secrets/July

Friday, September 14, 2012

Out of the Studio...but busy still

Last Sunday DH and I drove 9+ hours to Raleigh NC to help #2 child relocate into new digs.  One of my jobs was to take down and re-install all of his artwork.  Here you see Many Moons (l) and Boats at Slack-tide (r) with a small journal size By the Silvery Moon in the middle.  I hadn't seen Many Moons since my visit last year.  I remember how much fun it was to make.  Most of the mountains are Japanese kimono fabrics.  Then, there are 'the boats' that I always enjoy visiting.  Every time I think "I should make a series"...maybe I will this time.  The general imagery harkens back to my acrylic painting days. There are a slew, a veritable flotilla, of small 'Mackenzie' boats in various collections.  The title itself dates the endeavor:  I haven't been 'Mackenzie' for over twenty years.

Wednesday we drove over 10 hours to return to our home.  It takes longer on a weekday because of the increased NYC traffic.  I arrived home to more produce from our Farm Share which really needed to be used...soon.  So yesterday I made and processed 3 quarts of Farm Share Fresh Tomato Pasta Sauce, using the remaining bell peppers, onions, garlic, basil and tomatoes.  I do have a wonderful feeling of accomplishment when I look at the jars, but it's not as wonderful a feeling as it will be when I finally get into my studio and start on that series.

Friday, September 7, 2012


I have been so busy this past month.  The kind of busy that doesn't necessarily yield results.  I have finished one piece and I have been working on a T-shirt quilt for a local school fundraiser...but I haven't "done" anything.  If you know what I mean.

 I have been in the garden with my camera.  The butterfly bush has been a constant source of interest, both to me and, to a myriad of butterflies:  American Painted Ladies, two types of Swallowtails and, just lately, some Monarchs.  I had almost lost hope on seeing Monarchs in our yard this year.

The fish pond is always interesting.  We have four huge fish, Goldie, Taxi, Salt and Pepper and our smaller two year old, French Fry.
Then there is the view from my studio.  I am so lucky.  First, to have my own space and second, to have a view.  We laid the stone for the patio last year.  This year I planted barrels with herbs and stuff I thought deer would not like to eat.

 I've been thinking about making a piece about shadows.  Almost every morning my buddy Yvette and I walk from the Town Green to the harbor...about 2.5 miles.  This last time I toted my little camera so I could investigate more shadows.  Okay, I am not the skinny one.  It does make me smile that the shadows reveal more about us than just our forms.  Interesting.
Now that school has begun and the little people we live with are back to a routine, perhaps I can get back to one too.  Let's hope!  And while we are hoping, let's hope it's a very productive routine.