Archives for 2014

A Sneak Peek!

FFAC2015logo200

I am pleased to be an invited artist for “The 100” fiber fundraiser for the American Cancer Society that Virginia Spiegel has created. On February 4, 2015, you will have the opportunity to vie for being one of the 100 patrons who will receive an artwork from the contributing artists.

Here is a partial peek at the art quilt that I am contributing:

 

Extend Ki

Extend Ki

The piece is entitled Extend Ki. It measures 13.5″ x 14″. The phrase Extend Ki comes from my background in the martial art of aikido and my many years of work with author, Thomas CrumKi is a Japanese word that best translates as energy. The many brightly colored shapes emanating from a solid block express the concept of reaching out into the world from our centered base of self.

To learn more about how you might be the lucky person to receive this art quilt, or one of the other 99 pieces being offered in this fundraiser, please go to ‘The 100″ website for details.

 

Linking to Off the Wall Friday.

Gratitude

In thinking about a post for this holiday week in both Christian and Jewish faiths, I kept returning to an aura of gratitude for the life I have been blessed with. Thanks for all that are part of my life for the role you have played in getting me to this point.

 

Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.
John Milton

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.
John F. Kennedy

Often people ask how I manage to be happy despite having no arms and no legs. The quick answer is that I have a choice. I can be angry about not having limbs, or I can be thankful that I have a purpose. I chose gratitude.
Nick Vujicic

I think I learned
to appreciate and treasure each day,
because you don’t know
how many you’re going to be given.
US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor

People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle.
― Thích Nhất Hạnh

Happy Holidays to All!

Holly

Beginnings and Endings

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!

Chorus.-For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

Robert Burns, 1788

Tis that time of year. We look forward to the new year; we look backwards at the year that is passing. Often lost in the tension that inevitably surrounds that transition is the ability to stay present.

Last week I noticed a sense of unease creeping up into my days. With no obvious reason for the feeling, I was at a loss for dealing with it. Ignoring feelings never works. The only choice is to embrace them. I happened to be reading All Good Things by Sarah Turnbull where she writes about time spent living in Tahiti. She describes the feeling of ‘fiu’ that is accepted in Tahiti as a natural part of existence – a person simply withdraws for a bit and accepts their unhappy state of being. By accepting, rather than resisting, my ‘fiu’, I was able to examine what might be prompting my unease. I felt scattered, unable to focus, at a loss on what next for my projects.

Then, I looked around my studio/office. What a mess! How could anyone focus amidst so many piles of old projects, mail, fabric lying about. And so, I took a day to clean up. You would not believe how old some of the stuff was. Good grief was my thought  as I sifted through one pile of notes and souvenir books on my studio floor – “we didn’t go to Arctic last June, it was June 2013.”

Amazingly, as I sifted and organized, I started smiling again.

I uncovered some forgotten projects – a scarf I had started knitting and lost interest in. But, wait, it was just the right length for scarf for my granddaughter’s favorite stuffed animal, if I just finished it off at it’s present length. A pillow top that I didn’t really want to make into a pillow. With a second look, I realized it could be made into a much needed storage pouch for my growing collection of lace and hand-stitching fabrics. Then there was the art quilt that I intended to frame…but never quite got to. I even had the matting! It is now sitting in a prominent place to be finished in January.

studio/office

Studio/office ready for 2015!

Cleaning my office had me both looking backwards over all I had done and forwards to where I wanted to focus my energy in the new one – I bought those books on the Arctic because I was interested in learning more and creating more art pieces with an arctic theme.

By day’s end, I was feeling more balanced with more of a sense of purpose. By honoring ‘fiu’ in the present moment, I had successfully moved on.

Bring on 2015! Well, maybe let’s wait a few more days, those holiday cookies look pretty good!

raven

Raven adorned in his new winter scarf.

Linking to Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Friday.

‘Tis the Gift

‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free

‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,

And when we find ourselves in the place just right,

‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

When true simplicity is gained,

To bow and to bend we shan’t be ashamed,

To turn, turn will be our delight,

Till by turning, turning we come ’round right.

Joseph Brackett, 1848

‘Tis the Gift happens to be one of my granddaughter’s favorite songs – I have no complaints on that! It also is a favorite of mine and such a great reminder for this season. Simplicity is my mantra this time of year. No major art projects; no major plans. I try to take care of all holiday shopping before December so I can enjoy the season. I love Christmas Carols and getting together with friends.  I especially want the time to savor that I am alive, healthy, and blessed with a wonderful family and friends.

In keeping with the theme of simple, my focus these December days is on hand stitching. I have learned that it does not take much to turn a piece of cloth into a celebration of stitchery: a few French Knots, maybe a bouillon knot or two, and some buttonhole lace.

Here are some of the pieces I have been working on:

lavendar

yellowflowers

May you have a joyful and peaceful December!

Linking to NinaMarie’s Off the Wall Blog.

Mark February 5 on Your Calendars Now!

FFAC2015logo

I am honored to be an invited artist for “The 100” to be held on Wednesday, February 4, 2015. The goal for this fiber fundraiser for the American Cancer Society is to raise $10,000 in one day.

How? You guessed it: Virginia Spiegel is at it again! Fiberart For A Cause has already raised $240,000 through the generosity of fiber artists and patrons. In 2015, her goal is to bump that amount up to a nice, round quarter of a million dollars.

I’m sure you will want to be one of the very exclusive 100 patrons who will be randomly assigned artwork from an extraordinary line-up of international fiber artists.

How? All the details are here: http://www.virginiaspiegel.com/FFACThe100Fundraiser.html

Remember! Mark your calendars now!

What a difference a few days make!

Farewell crisp autumn tones
Welcome snow scenes kindling my

quiet reflection

Most days I try to get out for either a walk or a run. One of my favorite spots close to my home is an old railroad bed that has been converted to a trail for the community. Here was the view on Monday – you can see winter in the air!

trail1

Today this was the view from the same trail:

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I guess winter has come! As long as I don’t have to drive in it, I have to confess that I embrace the season. There is something calming about a snow covered landscape. Running in a snow covered lane, it is so quiet. It kindles a sort of  magical  feeling in me combined with reverence and awe. No wonder I loved my trip to Antarctica and still follow blogs on the area!

While our neighborhood was morphing from fall to winter, I was dealing with that stack of green fabric you saw last week on my blog.  As our plane flew into Shannon Airport in September, the view from my window was similar to this photo:

IM_fields_1000p

It reminded me of a quilt with fringe between the blocks and I knew I had to create one. I remembered that our local quilt shop, Ivy Thimble, always has a fantastic inventory of flannels and that is where I headed last week. I was ready to improvise on a pattern but Ivy Thimble had a sample quilt with exactly the effect I was envisioning. Not only did they have a pattern written out, but I could purchase pre-cut blocks of batting! They also had kits but, of course, I wanted to pick out my fabrics.

It took relatively no time to cut out my assortment of fabrics and sew together each block as a sandwich of front/batting/backing. Each sandwich was stitched with a big X from corner to corner to hold it together .

I was then able to get to the fun part – laying them out in an order pleasing to me. This photo isn’t the greatest but it served as a useful guide as I was stitching the blocks together into rows. That turned out to be one of the trickiest parts as the seam allowances had to be to the front to create the fringe. With the least distraction, I was tearing out seams as years of sewing allowances to the rear kicked in.

IMG_4719

Once the pieces were sewn together, I clipped those seams and took the whole thing to the local laundromat for washing and drying. The instructions advocated not using your home machines as the lint created in the process is a bit excessive.

Here is what the quilt looked like before the washing/drying:

IMG_4741

And, here is the final version:

IMG_4742

I really like how the fringe curled up.

IMG_4743

So now I have a cozy quilt to curl up under during those cold winter nights! And, I had enough fabric left over to make a small quilt for a certain Corduroy Bear who will be a Christmas present for a little three-year-old I know.  🙂

Corduroy Bear quilt

 

PS. Linking as always to Off the Wall Friday.

Where did it go?

Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.
John Lennon

This week went by before I realized it was happening. It’s Friday and usually I have a post all set to go with a chronicle of week’s activity. ….not this time. John Lennon’s quote particularly resonated with me. Hours were spent this week on house plans for Spokane. We are well into the detail of making sure my future studio and our kitchen will work well  – I feel so lucky to be able to make these plans.

But, life does go on….I am a cat person. I love our Siberian Huskies but cats have been a part of my life as long as I can remember. There were a few childhood cats and when I moved out west for graduate school and finally into an apartment that allowed pets, I acquired Dusty Cat who lived with me for 19 years. After Dusty, our family settled into life with four cats: Pebbles, Bob, Sarah Bean, and Mia. There were others but those four had staying power and each lived to a ripe old age. The final one, Mia, left us last Friday. She was our quietest cat who lived most of her life as the least senior member of our feline family. She rarely uttered a meow as the other three were quite vocal in demanding food, etc. She was never sick so vet trips were limited to check-ups. About four years ago, she decided she was done with the outdoors and content to live her life in our family room, with an occasional dash to the closet in my office when dogs or strange people entered our home. She became a natural part of that most used space. So, her passing has created a void in my daily pattern when I am home. No Mia to feed when I rise, no Mia to say good-bye to when I leave the house, no Mia to greet me when I return, when I enter the family room/kitchen to get a cup of tea, to sit at my feet while I relax at night on our couch. Life will go on but it is just a little emptier this week. Good-bye dear friend. Thank you for choosing to live your life with us.

Mia Cat

And, yes, life does go on, so  I have been busily stitching when I can:

This stack of luscious fabric is being transformed into a quick lap quilt.

stack of green fabric

Some Star Wars fabric has morphed into a pillow case for a certain grandchild.

pillowcase

Linking as always to Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Friday.

A Pin Pillow

Another finished project in my studies with Karen Ruane! I have been in Karen’s class, Simply Stitch 5, for five weeks. If you have been following me for a bit, you know that in Karen’s classes you are a ‘fly on the wall’, watching her work while stitching your own projects. Karen has been working quite a bit with ‘bling’ in this class. She chose a pin pillow as a project and I decided one could never have too many pin pillows so I followed along. It gave me a chance to use some tiny mirrors I had picked up at a sale in our quilt club and to play with ‘gimp’ – a shiny cord that I had seen many times but never used in a stitching project.

The result of all this play was a quite delicate pin cushion. Here are a few views of it.

IMG_4626

 

IMG_4628

The base fabric is a silk charmeuse with an overlay of lace pieces and, of course, hand embellishment. In addition to the gimp and the mirrors, there a few buttons I had collected and some beads. It is really quite luxurious. Karen made a point to urge us all to use our pillows so we could enjoy them on a daily basis. There is the definite urge to put things away as they are ‘too nice’ to use. I am quite sure that as I quilt and stitch each day and have it in view, I will have one more reason to smile!

Linking to Nine Marie’s Off the Wall Friday.

 

Seeing the Forest for the Trees

The past few weeks I have been sharing my progression on a small pictorial quilt  from my travels in Ireland in September. It is now complete and I am free to sit back and just enjoy it.  However, the process of creating it was not always that enjoyable.

I mentioned my frustrations last week (and thanks to all who wrote and offered me some perspective and suggestions). As I continued working, I recognized the roller coaster of emotions that I experienced as all too familiar. My internal critic is only too happy to point out the weaknesses in my work. To an extent that is an asset as it allows me to make adjustments along the way. But, there comes a point where that internal critic is non-productive. Listening to it can create blockages to continuing work on the piece if one gives up from disappointment. It also can drown out another voice – for me it is the magical moment when the art piece ‘speaks’ and begins to direct me in its completion.  So, how to know when to stop listening?

Recently I finished a book by Dan Harris, 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in my Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help that Actually Works.  While I have mixed feelings about the book, one of the points he makes in his writing relates to just that question – when to stop listening and shut off that voice? The answer: Ask yourself the question, Is this Useful?

Fortunately, I reached the point in creating my Irish piece where I asked myself just that question. It didn’t actually stop that critical voice but I simply observed it and actually smiled a bit at its points. In self-help jargon, you might say that as I embraced the critic, it lost its power over me.   I simply kept stitching. And, as I continued to build the pictorial as I had planned, I liked it more and more. It actually became fun to embellish it. I like to think that a positive mind overwhelmed the negative and made the whole experience joyful. It certainly added to the value of the project!

Loui

Ready for framing!

 

As always, I will link to Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Friday.

Glacial Flow

Boundary Range, Alaska

2014

24″ x 28.5″

Exhibited at LaConner Quilt Museum 2014 International Juried Quilt Festival

Fused applique art quilt with machine quilting

Photographer Marc Adamus graciously allowed me to adapt one of his images of the Boundary Range in Alaska for this work. The flow through the center of the piece is from a glacier during spring run-off.

Detail Image – Click image to view larger:

Detail of Glacial Flow art quilt

Enjoying the Twiddly

How precious are these moments — breathe, cherish, be.

 

This week was a true gift! My calendar was clear of appointments. My time was my own to spend as I chose. This doesn’t happen very often in my life.  😉

Perhaps you can guess what I did? A good deal of time was in my studio/office; another big segment was outdoors enjoying the fall colors while they last. This week was a time to reflect and plan future projects as well as work on current ones. Last week I began a small memento of my trip to Louisburgh, Ireland – an art quilt of buildings on one of the two main streets in the village. This week I moved right along. Windows and gutters started appearing.

Louisburgh, County Mayo

 

As the week progressed, I began to fill in the scene more.

Louisburgh #3The more I worked, the more dissatisfied I became – isn’t that always the way! The angles on the green building were just not right……and the scene still was very ‘flat’. As I added more pieces to the scene, I also began to play with my Inktense pencils and adjust some of the elements in the scene.

By week’s end, the  piece was showing improvement though I am still tweaking and adding elements including some lettering which awaits the arrival of a  red Inktense pencil. However, I think you can see progress here:

Louisburgh, County Mayo

While I cut the pieces of fabric for the windows and doors, I reflected on a comment often made by my stitching instructor, Karen Ruanne. She is always remarking that she enjoys the twiddly.  Wikipedia defines twiddly as “anything that is relatively small and trifling or elaborately decorative.” Karen revels in embellishing her pieces with intricate detail. She says it relaxes her. As I cut and fused those tiny window panes I realized that I too enjoy the twiddly. While I often use simple shapes to define objects, I will then add tiny details to complete a scene.

What about you? How do you feel about the twiddly? Are you impatient to be done with it or do you enjoy the process?

——-

As usual, linking to Off the Wall Friday so you can check in with other artists.

As the World Turns

Nothing is worth more than this day.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Life has been spinning a bit more than usual the past few weeks. After a half month out west, I am now back in upstate New York. While out west, we purchased some land and began moving forward on a second home near our daughter and her family. Here is a quick peak at our new acquisition:

forest

My husband, Jerry, is standing by the start of the pine forest.

Since I have been back home, I have started up some new work. My current project is a small art quilt that will serve as a memory of my trip to Louisburgh, Ireland. I thought it might be fun to show the progress.

Pink house - 1

Not very exciting but you have to start somewhere! This will eventually be a pink house along one of the two main streets in Louisburgh. During the week, it did grow a bit.  🙂

Pink House #2

Perhaps this begins to make some more sense? You can see that I am building the quilt on a piece of muslin. I have made it quite large as I have dreams of creating an unusual border – we will see how that materializes as the quilt grows.

Pink House #3

In this photo I have started to add in some forms for trees. I am building from the back forward. It doesn’t look very straight as I am adding allowances to each of the sides and not being very exact on that process.  My next step will be to add roofs, gutters, windows, doors and trim. Hope to be able to share those next week.

The rest of my creative time this past week has been devoted to my work for Simply Stitch 5 with Karen Ruanne.  I have decided to take all those handkerchiefs that I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago and create a quilt. That will be a long term project for me with lots of hand-stitching! I just added a few doilies I collected over the years in travel to another handkerchief.

doilies

Life in the coming year promises to be full. I suspect I will be constantly reminding myself to take one day at a time and most definitely to stay present and appreciate the day I am in!

Linking to Off the Wall Friday, so please check out what other artists are writing about this week as well.

Outstanding Louisburgh Ireland Artists

A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.
Marcus Garvey

Last month I had the opportunity to spend a week in the town near where my grandmother, Alice, was born. Louisburgh, Ireland remains today a town with one crossroad. This belies the fact that new homes abound in the surrounding area and the town bustles with tourists during the summer months. Not only is it close to Croagh Patrick, it’s beaches offer some excellent surfing and there is always the opportunity to fish.

Crossroads in Lousiburgh, Ireland

Town centre, Lousiburgh, Ireland

I met two wonderful artists while I was there and I would love to share their work with you.

Kerstin Hellmann is a photographer whose photos of Ireland take your breath away. She is also a gracious friend, ever willing to offer advice and info on the town she resides in. I met her in the Louisburgh HQ where she had a display of her photos. She quickly suggested that I place a few of my notecards of my art quilt, Rootsin the local gift shop. (I did and if you ever stop by, please buy one!). You can learn more about Kerstin on her website. Here is a sample of just one of her beautiful photos of a beach near Lousiburgh that was on a notecard that I purchased from her:

Carramore Strand

I actually met Desmond Downes in my favorite Lousiburgh pub, Ah Bhun Abhainn. He graciously returned to his gallery for some postcard gifts for my cousin and me. Desmond is a truly gifted artist. From his home in Louisburgh he works on Film/Annimation with companies across the globe as well as graphic and web design. However, it was his oil paintings that caught my attention. You can learn more about all his many talents on his website.  Here is a glimpse at one of his paintings:

Sam Hire Sligo

Sam Hire Sligo

I hope you enjoy browsing their works as much as I did!

Hopping Around the World

This week I am delighted to be participating in the Around the World Blog Hop.  I was invited by Deborah Lynn Stanley and you can read her blog hop post here. The theme of the hop is to answer some questions about our creative process. I found it  a great opportunity to stop and consider my own artistic journey so here goes!

What am I working on?

I have been working on art quilts for about seven years. Late last year I began to study hand stitching with Karen Ruane. I am currently taking a class entitled Simply Stitch 5 with Karen. It is a free form class via the internet where the student is a ‘fly on the wall’ in Karen’s studio while she works. You have a choice of working on what Karen is working on or doing your own thing with feedback from Karen and other students. We use Flickr for posting photos of our process and receiving comments. I have found that this approach to learning works wonderfully for me. I travel back and forth between upstate New York and Spokane Washington regularly so I need a flexible learning arrangement.

Men's handkerchief

 

 

 

As part of Karen’s class, I have just started to create a cloth that will be comprised of men’s handkerchiefs embellished with feminine touches. I have just finished my first ‘block’ which added lace trim and french knots to a blue handkerchief. I love the color combination and the feel of working with these fibers and am going to be really curious to see how this develops as I embellish more handkerchiefs!

 

Ghost Tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I always have an art quilt in process and have been working on a piece on deforestation for an upcoming Call for Entry. I don’t usually work on pieces for specific Calls but this was a topic that interested me and so I used the Call as an opportunity to make a statement through my art. Here is a peak at one of the ‘ghost trees’ that I have designed to wander through a devastated landscape. I have hand stitched mulberry paper backed with roving onto a hand dyed organza background.

 

How does my work differ from others in my genre?

Hmmm. My art quilts are reaching out more and more beyond the use of cloth fibers to get the effect I need. For example, in my art quilt, Roots, I use wire for the fencing near the cottage.

Fencing

Why Do I Create What I Do?

That is simple: – to make a statement. It may be about something I observe in the world. Often, I am capturing a moment in time either from my travels or my life that had significance to me. I hope that my art will touch others and invoke emotion in them. My art is my means of reaching out and communicating with others.

A trip to Antarctica a few years ago is a great example of how my travels have inspired my work. I was deeply touched by the beauty of ice in that intriguing world. To date, I have created a number of art quilts out of my Antarctic experience and I am sure more will surface. Journey is a good example and you can find others here on my website.

Journey

How Does My Wriitng/Creating Process Work?

Ideas for my art often come during meditation. I also take a lot of photographs as I travel. Something in a photo will capture my attention – it may be the light, certain shapes, or the overall essence of a particular place. Over time, I get a clearer image in my mind of what a particular piece might look like. From there I will either begin sketching with an idea of creating an art quilt from unique fibers, or I may decide to play with a photographic image in Photoshop with a goal of printing the image on cloth for stitching.

At some point along the way, the art work itself ‘takes over’ the creative process. I listen to it as I work and follow the direction it dictates. Sounds crazy but if I don’t listen, I grow intensely dissatisfied with the piece.

Linking to Talented Friends

As part of the hop, I get to invite some friends to join in next week. The three who will be posting next week are:

Jeanne Marklin – Jeanne and I both have a passion for travel.  We attended SAQA’s annual conference in 2013 together and I quickly appreciated the depth of her knowledge of the fiber art world. Her art quilts are stunning and she is masterful dyer. Be sure to check out her blog and her website today and again next week.

Diane Miller – Diane and I are members of RAFA, Rochester Area Fiber Artists. She is constantly exploring and creating amazing art quilts and jewelry. You can see examples on her blog.

Regina Dunn – Regina and I met over the internet as we participated in SAQA’s Vision Project. I love Regina’s enthusiasm to explore new methods and her talent to in writing about her process on her blog. She will be writing a post for the hop next week. In the meantime, you can see some of her work on her website.

More Blogs to Discover

There have been many exciting participants in the hop in the past weeks. Here are links to a few so you can enjoy learning about them:

I hope that you all enjoy this opportunity to explore what all these amazing artists are accomplishing.

New Directions ’14

New directions '14 Exhibit

I am pleased to have one of my art works included in the New Directions ’14 exhibit opening tomorrow at the Bartlett Art Center in Poughkeepsie NY.

Imagine

Imagine

I hope that you will have the opportunity to visit the exhibit.

New Direction '14 exhibit infoLinking to Off the Wall Friday.

Some Hand Stitching Fun

The past week or so I have been in Ireland with two of my cousins having a glorious time – amazingly, there was no rain and sunshine every day. The trip meant an emphasis on hand stitching as that could travel along with me.

As you know, I have been studying with Karen Ruane for almost a year now.  September marked the completion of one six month course and the start of a 12 week follow-up. I decided to mark the transition by working on a grouping of three small cloches. I find these small projects are a fun way of practicing different techniques with an actual end product as a result!

Small Red ClocheIn the first of the three cloches, I used some kimono fabric to create a luscious red ‘bumpy bit’ on the back of the cloche. I encircled it was some simple chain stitch and put a few French knots in the center.

Red Cloche

I played on the front of the cloche with a modified web stitch. I rather like the effect.

My next cloche gave me a chance to work with hexagons. Karen used some hexagons in the early part of Simple Stitch Four. Given my hectic life, it took me to the final weeks to experiment with them. I found a metal template I ordered from England really helpful.

hexagon template

In no time, I had some neat strips of hexagons for cloche #2!

row of hexagon shapes

I embellished these with a spray of French knots that you can see here as the future cloche dries from damp stretching.

hexagondamp

I finished this cloche on my trip and started some work for my new course with Karen.  As I settle back in from my journeys, I will share these as well as some of the antique lace/cloth I found in the small town I was staying in.

Be sure to check out Off the Wall Friday for more of what fiber artists have been doing this past week.

SAQA Benefit Auction is coming!

SAQA-Auction2014The SAQA Benefit Auction will start on Monday, September 15 at 2 pm EST. I hope that you will choose to participate! This exciting reverse auction of small art works donated by members raises money to support SAQA’s exhibition, education, and outreach programs.

Details on the bidding process and advance viewing of pieces up for bid can be found on the SAQA website.

I am pleased to have a piece in the first group of works going up for bid. The art quilt is entitled Memories. In creating Memories, I used a selection of broderie anglaise cotton fabrics which I embellished with hand stitching and then machine quilted.

Warner Auction quilt

Memories by Judy Warner

 

detail

Detail of stitching

 

Have fun viewing and bidding! It is a wonderful selection.

Opening Today! Up Against the Wall

Brockport Show

An art exhibit by Rochester Area Fiber Artists, RAFA, begins today at A Different Path Gallery in Brockport, NY. The exhibit will run September 5-26 with an Artists’ Reception on September 12 at 4 pm.

Gallery hours are Thursday and Friday from 11  am – 5 pm and Saturday from 12 pm – 4 pm.

I am delighted to have Spring Reverie and Emergence 2 in the show.

SpringReverie

Spring Reverie

Emergence 2

Emergence 2

 

Hope that you will have a chance to view the show if you are in the area!

 

Missing Geet

Go softly into the night
Angels will embrace you
and welcome you into the light.

My cousin’s wife Geet left us last month, only a very short time after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. We are a small family. She was younger than me. Her husband is about as I would imagine a brother would be, if my parents had ever had any other children. In other words, it hurt a lot. I had volunteered in a hospice for many years, so it made it even tougher in what I knew was her last week of life to be across the country rather than caring for her.

I guess I did what any artist would do. I spent the time as she was breathing her last breaths creating an art work, Missing Geet, that is now hanging in my cousin’s home.

Here is the explanation that I sent my cousin:

This started out as many of my works do with an idea or image in my mind. As I began to put it together, it took on a life of its own. – that is what usually happens.

I chose pink as when I think of Geet, I see rosy happiness. The quilt directed me to include some dark reds to reflect that her heart was in everything she did.

The title, ‘Missing Geet’, was there from the start. I wondered how to represent our loss. The black area is behind a piece of the art quilt literally cut roughly away to reflect that she was taken so fast and abruptly.

The hearts in the void are simply a statement of love for her.

art quilt

detail

Detail of hand stitching

Geet and Greg

Geet with her husband, Greg

Bon Voyage, Geet. May we meet again in a more peaceful world.

Turning Points

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

Kitchen window viewGazing out at the view from my kitchen window this morning, I am reminded of how lush and beautiful this time of year can be. We have had more than our share of rain this summer and our yard is a deep, deep green. It has been good for  Mudcreek Farm, our local CSA,  and we have been sharing in the bounty of their crops. At the same time, some of our days are cooler now – a reminder that summer is in its waning days and fall approaches.

Such a morning reverie easily reminds of transitions and the words of one of my favorite folk songs, “To every season,” immediately come to mind. Based on verses from the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible, Pete Seeger put music to the words in 1959 and it has since been sung and recorded by many. Pete left us this January after a long, giving life. Thought it might be a nice way to start a day by listening to his rendition of the song.  I will be busy working on my next art quilt while I listen. I hope you will be engaged in an activity that brings you joy while you listen.

 

Hand stitching work

Work in Progress – inserts into lace cloth created on my Bernina

Linking to Off the Wall Friday

Ice Dyeing Time!

In its pristine simplicity, ice opens a door for majestic imaginings.

ice cubes

I seem to have a fascination with ice ever since our trip to Antarctica. Is it any surprise that I have latched on to ice dyeing?

A few weeks ago, I started to plan a piece for the Taiwan Art Quilt Society’s Call for Entries. I knew exactly what I wanted for the background for my prospective piece – some ice-dyed organza. Unfortunately, I did not have enough left from my previous summer’s ice-dying play. I needed to try and recreate a similar effect.

I do not do a lot of dyeing but I have found ice-dyeing to be simple, quick, and fun. It is easy for me to set up on a work space in our garage:

work space for ice dyeing

After preparing your fabric of choice, the process can be as simple as layering fabric in a glass container with ice cubes sprinkled with powdered dye and leaving the mixture for 24 hours. For details on the process, Carol Ludington has a great article entitled ‘Dye Your Own Ice Parfait’ in the June/July 2012 issue of Quilting Arts Magazine

I neglected to photograph my containers this time but here is photo from last year. Since I am dyeing relatively small pieces, glass jars and bowls are sufficient for my purpose.

glass ice dyeing containers

I was looking for some ‘forest feeling’ organza so this year I focused upon some dark to medium green dyes that I had used previously. After I rinsed my organza the following day and surveyed the results I was pleased.

fabric-3 fabric2 fabric-1

The art work that some of these pieces will be used in is still a WIP. Hope to be able to have it in a stage where I can share it in the coming weeks. In the meantime, I hope this inspires you to get out some ice and fabric and play a little!

PS Linking to Off the Wall Friday so you can check in on some other artists.