Monday, May 30, 2011

The quilting gods have been good to me....

This has been a wild and crazy week. First, this weekend marked a very big (numbered) birthday for me. I can tell you I've been dreading it even though my DH has consistently assured me that it's just another day. It's still a pretty damn big number to deal with.

So this is where the quilting gods influence for good comes in. Just when I was feeling old and dried up I get accepted into two exhibits! Just two days apart.

Diaspora and Dusk were both accepted by The Whistler House Museum of Art's "Art Quilts at the WHMA" in August in Lowell MA.

Two days earlier Urban Canyon was accepted to "Deep Spaces" which will be touring several western US states this year.

And the news got even better. Around midnight Friday night I was awakened by Number One Son. He had flown in as a Birthday Surprise! This big numbered, once dreaded birthday has been a blast!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Visitor from Down Under

This past March when we were visiting Australia, at the suggestion of Boston buddy Sandy Gregg, I had the pleasure to meet Geri Barr, art quilter and teacher, from Port Melbourne . She mentioned that she would be teaching this month in the Boston area and I invited her to stop over for a couple of days on her way through.
Monday she met several of the Sisters
in Cloth and some other art quilt buddies for a Show and Tell. It was quite a morning. Very inspiring for us all.

Today was her last day and we crammed in as much as we could before meeting her train bound for Boston. She happened to mention Patrick Doughtery last night....who knew that she would know about him? More of his installations is in nearby Old Lyme (of Lyme disease fame...the soccer team is called the Ticks...little dry New England humor there).

After she left I was still feeling inspired....good, except the work that demanded to be finished is this baby quilt I'm making for the Guilford Art Center's annual fundraiser. I'm happy to be supporting the Center...but itching to get on to new work.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Another Extravaganza

Yes, the Sisters in Cloth did it again. Another successful gathering with fellow art quilters in a day of what we call an "Extravaganza".

This year we HAD ;^) to drive all the way to Simsbury (one has to remember that CT is a really small state about 90x125 miles in area) where we had been invited by Sew Inspired shop owner Vivian Lazich. She hosted the entire event in her studio-classroom, even offering us coffee and donuts on arrival. The space is large enough to easily seat our members and guests, with design walls for the charity blocks we all brought, her demonstration space, tables for our lunch, and still plenty of area around her two long and mid arm quilting machines for members to take a test drive.

Actually, the real reason we jumped at the opportunity to meet there was really, really basic. There is a tragically declining number of quilt shops (or fabric stores in general for that matter) in our state. The wonderfully serendipitous bit for us is that Vivian is an art quilter at heart and always is on top of the newest fabrics, books and techniques without forfeiting favorites. Net-net: we all came home with goodies.

Vivian had just returned from Spring Quilt Market and was full of information about new the mystery of Decolourant...go figure how that stuff works.

I forgot to take a picture of the 9 patch blocks everyone brought for our annual charity quilt (s). This year we chose to make them from Asian fabrics. Our goal is to send the finished quilts to Japan Earthquake Relief. I'll photo and post when they are completed.

Of course, the best part of any of our meetings is Show and Tell (followed closely by the yummy food always present). This year was no exception. I have posted two of the photos on the Sisters blog if you want to see a couple different ones. Here are posted the work of three of our guests whose work we always look forward to seeing.

The top photo is a quick take on Judy Ross's Sunflowers...well one of her pieces. She had several to offer....she is famous and envied for her prolific, and quite beautifully crafted work.

The second photo is Rosalind Spann describing her recent "playing" with dyeing interfacing.

The third is Toni Torres' with the second in a series of work she is creating based on "hands"...the first was Healing Hands (as I recall) it is in a current show she had to pass around a photograph of it.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Two Opening Weekend ;^)

Friday night the Guilford Art Center hosted an Artists' Reception for their juried show "Poser".

May 13 – June 26

A group exhibit open to art works in all media that explore various notions of posing for an image, as it relates to artist, subject, and/or viewer.

I'm caught here with my mouth open (surprise) chatting with my friend Alice Chittenden, a quilt maker and a master potter.

Saturday we drove to Lowell MA for the afternoon Artists' Reception of The Brush Gallery's "For the Birds". Again, a very well attended event.

May 7 - June 18, 2011
(Part of the Art of Nature Exhibition Series)

Juror: David Allen Sibley; well-known author, illustrator and ornithologist

Organized by Eileen Byrne

Artists' Reception: May 14, 2011, 2 - 4 pm

A collaboration with the Massachusetts Audubon Society to focus attention on birds and their habitats and to raise funds for the volunteers who care for injured birds until they are able to be returned to the wild.

Instead of posting another photo of me with my mouth open, I thought it might be more interesting to see my work from outside the gallery's front window. Pictured here is LeDanseur by BJ Comerford (L), a wonderfully playful oil on canvas and on the back wall (R) is my piece "Red Wing Chorus: Ode to Charley Harper".

One of the things I appreciate most about both of these exhibits is that both are mixed media. While there were just a few fiber pieces in the Guilford exhibit, the Brush was loaded. It is understandable. Lowell is home of the New England Quilt Museum, a big biennial quilt show, a host of fiber artists AND the former base of 10 fabric mills! You can almost taste fabric in the air.'s also May 15 and reveal day for Fiberactions newest challenge "Embellish".

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Second in Proposed Series

Okay, it's not a series YET. A buddy of mine reminded me not long ago that two is a pair, three is a series. This is my second, still un-titled "moon" work.

So far "Moonglow" and "Harvest Moon" are in contention for titles but nothing seems to stick.

This project has given me the excuse I wanted to play in my collection of hand dyed cottons and cotton sateens. I have never been very successful in dyeing fabric myself, but I SO admire those artists who are and consider it my DUTY to support them in meaningful purchasing their beautiful, creative products. In this instance, I'm not sure where I acquired the dark background, Houston, perhaps, but the light aqua shibori is, I'm pretty sure, from Sunny Bunny in Tampa.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Busy Mother's Day Weekend

I made this little baby quilt for the newbie across the road from our home. Little Sinead is about two months old and, up until yesterday, had been using her big sister's quilt that I had made her three years ago. Big sister's generosity was beginning to run thin so the "Happy Mother's Day" quilt came just in time for peace to reign all day.

This weekend was also the third meeting of a SAQA sub-group that I have joined. It's a dynamite collection of local art quilters who have a common agenda: get shown more. Already one of the members, Diane Cadrain of West Hartford, has secured an exhibition space! The first show of the newly minted CT Fiber Art Collective (sounds a little teeny bit subversive, doesn't it?) will be May 22-June 14 at the Unitarian Society in Hartford. Saturday's meeting was very productive: voting on a name for the group and vetting the first show. It was great!

Mother's Day is always a busy place in our home: breakfast in bed for some, lunch out and a Disney movie for all.

This weekend I also was able to squeeze in work on my newest series (as yet un-titled). Thanks to Rose, Deb, Diane and Frauke for their comments and support! (Only on the internet would I "know" someone in Wedlingen Germany, Humbolt CA, upstate NY and southwest FL who would be interested in what I'm doing!)

Friday, May 6, 2011

First in a series...I think

I have been working on pieces lately that seemed to demand a lot of thinking. I know, it's bad for you....heavens knows what it can lead to...better government? Oh, but that's a whole different can of worms.

Lately I've been working on my "cave art" series and maybe I've just over 'thunk' it but after a while I began to read narrative and subtext into all the imagery...phew...I was spent.

I started thinking about what REALLY satisfies me..... viscerally ...about art quilting. The answer was color, texture and line. With that I selected two pieces of hand-dyed fabric that I've had for months (too timid to use) and started cutting. That felt (the operative word here) really good. I liked the resulting 9 'moons'. Then, without a plan, I began stitching with two color-related cotton, variegated threads using a double needle....sketching with my Bernina.

It was such should be first of a peanuts. Too good to stop at one.