Tuesday, June 30, 2009

"Sister Sister"/Machine Quilting Unlimited article

"Sister Sister"
41" x 50"

Months ago, I offered this quilt and it's story (as far as it went at that moment) to Eileen Doughty who was writing an article about group quilts.

Her article is in the most recent addition of "Machine Quilting Unlimited"!

Thank you, Eileen, for including us!

This quilt is a progressive quilt created by five members of my quilt group Gone to Pieces. On an irregular basis we have 2-3 progressive quilts in rotation at any one time.

I offered the central panel by Java batik artist Suryanto that I didn't want cut. Otherwise, whatever the person who wanted to tackle it next thought it needed was fine with me.

During the time it took to complete "Sisters", our group had come to the realization that we (as Vivika Denegre said) hadn't "gone to pieces"...that we were a very together group and we needed a new name.

Indeed we had morphed into a primarily art quilt group. We voted on several suggestions for our new name. Sisters in Cloth won. Even though it wasn't unanimous, the new name was accepted. The "Sister Sister" quilt worked as a symbol of the group and, for many of our early group exhibits, was displayed along with our other work.

When we started sending postcards and making posters announcing our work, the symbol became refined down to just the strip of "sisters" holding hands. We thought of it as our logo.

Until we started a blog! (

Now we are anxious about it. The strip of paper-pieced women was adapted from the work of others...some anonymous...quilters. We didn't want work that looked derivative.

We are at this moment creating a new, original to us, logo. I have to say, however, I will be sad to see that line of sisters disappear from our identity.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Sisters in Cloth dye workshop

Today we met at the Guilford Art Center for half a day of dyeing (Rit and a microwave) and a little resist (candle). It was my chance to share some of the information that I had learned in the workshop I took with Beryl Maddalena (see June 7 post).

I'm thinking that not being the winner of that workshop's collaborative rubbing must have weighed not very deeply in my psyche. Because this is the piece I created today: I had previously rubbed a piece of neutral batik with fabric crayon over the bark of a giant beech in our backyard. I "happened" to have it with me for today's meeting. I took this opportunity to do more rubbings on the cracks in the classroom floor...and as the class was cleaning up I painted it with some of the leftover dyes. I like it;-)

The class was a huge success and the firemen seemed to be okay with the cookies we plied on them to thank them (and assuage our guilt?) for coming so promptly when we set off the fire alarm(that only they can shut off). Apparently one of us mistakenly pushed too many minutes on her fat quarter being "shiboried" in the microwave. We have a pic of the residue that one of the members plans to post. Never a dull moment.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Today's New Work

"Salt Marsh"
11" x 37"

This does not happen very often. I had an idea of what I wanted and, from selecting the fabric to sewing down the binding, it was done in a day. The interesting bit's just as I imagined it. Usually there are fits and starts, "design opportunities", changes along the way...but not today.

While I had the camera out I photographed two other pieces that I have recently finished.

"Fault Lines II"
13" x 14"

"Fault Lines" was my donation to SAQA's Twentieth Anniversary Auction. I posted its image a couple of entries ago (June 3). I so enjoyed working with the hand dyed silk noir that I made this second one. In fact, I think there might be a small series in the works.

"Green! Recycled & Repurposed"
15 1/2" x 17"

Also posted previously (May 21)...but now I've tarted it up a bit with more dyes, inks and markers.... and I much prefer it.

This will be my contribution to Evelyn Judson, our former member, who challenged us to a "green" challenge...whatever green means to you within 30" on a side. We are shipping our work to her group in the Durham, NC area for exhibit with their contributions to the challenge.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sold from my blog OR Teddy finds home

Teddy finds home

The official title of this piece is "Still Life: Night-night, Teddy". It all started with the bit of shibori...the light green fabric. It looked like a wonderful light source to me. The framing is composed of two pieces of hand-dyed cotton. The whole, while what I had planned, looked like a background for something.

Don't ask why "a chair, of course" came to mind. I inherited three small children's chairs when my own three children were under five...and I still have them. I chose one of those to sketch and applique from a piece of batik.

I guess it's because it was a child's chair that the piece looked empty, expectant. I dyed various textiles: a flannel sheet, a piece of cotton sateen and a damask tablecloth and constructed the bear. The eyes are vintage covered buttons from my collection. The piece still looked "expectant" to me. Teddy was waiting for .... someone ...perhaps a girl.

At my crit group there were many suggestions in answer to what does it need? I had toyed with another stuffed animal, a ball, a giant jack. The consensus was that it needed something. The top seemed to work. Now Teddy was still waiting...for either a girl or a boy.

A couple of weeks ago a woman contacted me after discovering my blog and inquired about buying an art quilt for her daughter's room. She liked Teddy's story of creation and today Teddy took a trip to his new home. There's a little girl waiting for him.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Fiber Collage Weekend Workshop

Beryl Maddalena was our leader for the Fiber Collage Weekend at the Guilford Art Center.  And, what fun it was!  Many of the things we did I had done before...and many I had not. However, even for those that I had done before, Beryl had tips and approaches that were creative and spawned ideas for new uses.  
For instance:  I had never done a "faux batik" using a candle for the wax...rubbing it like Shiva sticks onto fabric for a resist to the dyes applied later.  And as for the dyes...I think I prefer the low tech Rit/microwave method.  We even made some small shibori-like pieces clamped in wood and heated in the microwave.

The butterflies on this piece that is now pinned to my design wall were crayolas heat transferred from a drawing I made on a white piece of paper.  I was actually able to get three pretty good transfers from one drawing.  Interesting.  Also included in this piece are bits of fabric dispersed with thiox and pieces torn from painted fusible interfacing.  

Oh, and you should see the collaboration we students (and there were only three of us) made after we finished rubbing a piece of linen with crayolas over the cracks in the cement floors and the trunk of a black walnut tree.  Then we dyed the bright white with various dyes and today Chinese calligraphy was painted and stamped on it.  We three drew straws to see who would take it home.  I think I have visitation rights.

All in all a very good weekend!  I'm tired.... and happy with the new techniques that I learned.  A successful workshop in my book.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

My 12" SAQA Square

SAQA Benefit Auction 2009

The Benefit Auction quilts are donated by members and auctioned to raise funds for the support of SAQA's exhibitions, catalogs and out-reach programs.

The 2009 SAQA Benefit Auction will begin Thursday, September 10th, 2009. It's a reverse auction with bids starting at $750. Last year's Benefit Auction raised $41,775.

Studio Art Quilt Associates is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the art quilt through education, exhibitions, professional development and documentation. Check out their website for details:

This, titled "Fault Lines", is my contribution to this year's effort. It is constructed of hand-dyed silks and commercial cotton that I appliqued, stamped, colored, machine stitched, foiled and beaded.

I hope someone likes it!