Friday, December 28, 2012

One-In Revealed

Zoo Inspirations:  Fencework made its debut appearance in the judged show at Houston's International Quilt Festival in October, 2012.  It is the second in a series of three quilts to be completed by FiberVoices members, Susan Fletcher King, Linda Teddlie Minton, Nancy B. Dickey, Mary Ann Littlejohn and myself.  It was inspired by the fencing I observed at the Houston Zoo.  Each exotic animal seemed to have its own unique fencing designed specifically for its own environment.  I found it fascinating.  Besides the safety issue, each added to the mystery that is the Zoo.  I used Thread Trash to create a camouflage net (inspired by camo-netting used to disguise tanks on the open fields during WWII) thereby adding to the mystery of my own exotic plant.

          Zoo Inspirations: Fencework      18" x 44" 
                     Zoo Inspirations: Fencework - Detail    

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Veggie Prints

One day FiberVoices decided to play with vegetable printing.  This was so much fun.  I created several postcards and three small wallhangings.  My friend, Mary Ann, contributed this fabric from Provence for the outer border.  The background is dot-printed with a pencil eraser, rather time-consuming but fun.

Beets on Parade  17" x 24"
   Heart Healthy was created grouping scraps in a fun way.       
                              Heart Healthy         14" x 16"
My Aunt and Uncle were married 62 years. My Aunt died first and Uncle Lou followed her soon after. I created a memorial quilt to honor their life together which I summed up in two sentences. The two sentences were based on childhood experience and occured at every single meal I ever sat down to eat at their house. My mother, who was Uncle Lou's twin sister, did not share my memory. I had to verify it with my cousin who said my uncle not only did not eat salad, he ate no vegetables at all. It was all Rabbit Food to him. Once again, I was able to group square-cut, mis-matched scraps.
                                         Rabbit Food    20" x 27"

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sow's Ears or Silk Purses?

I took a short morning class with Lyric Kinard at IQA in Houston this year.  Each person at a table of 7 or 8 dumped their bag of scraps onto the table.  We were given a postcard-size piece of peltex and told to add two pieces of fabric.  Then move to a different table to add more "stuff" to someone elses postcard.  And so on two more times, finally keeping the last one.  We did get to begin one of our own, start to finish, the last one below, though I did rob ric-rac off of "Dreams & Wishes" to finish it at home.  We all created 5 postcards in three hours (I usually can spend all day on just one)!   I came home thinking they were all Sow's Ears.  With a few tweaks, however, I was able to get them to an acceptable "I-can-live-with-it" stage.  Silk Purses?  Probably not but they were such fun, I would do it all again in a heartbeat.

               "Too Much Fun"   4x6
                    "Untitled"         4x6
                         "Dreams & Wishes"        4x6
                        "On Parade"                           4x6
                           "Sticks & Stones"          4x6

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Stitch and Paint

I began doing a paint wash over already quilted (warm-up) samples of free-motion doodles.  I sometimes added further embellishments, and cut them down to 4"x6" postcards for friends.  They were fast and easily convertible to other designs.  At some point, I began using my own drawings beginning with simple-shapes, designed as an example to those who had never drawn anything before (fig. 1), to free-motion doodles (fig. 1, 2), to more elaborate drawings (fig. 3, 4).

(fig.1)          Abby's Block Garden            16"x20"
(fig.2)            Elizabeth's Garden               9"x12"
(fig.3)     Abby Picking Wildflowers     11"x11"
(fig.4)   Flowers for "E"  4"x6"

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Adding Creative Input to Abandoned Work

One of the design exercises in art quilt group, Out of Bounds, was to listen to music and create a piece of work based on what you were hearing.  I didn't produce much out of my own creation but I was able to play with the abandoned work of fellow Out of Bounds member, Susan King.  She had created her work to the music Miseralu from the film Pulp Fiction, hated the result and was going to trash it.  I took it from fat-quarter size to postcard to trading-card size, ultimately adding my own creative input to her original effort.  I never did go back and revisit my own music-to-fabric exercise but I did create another one a year or so later out of black gesso and silk strips on cotton as part of an artist's challenge for The Copper Shade Tree Gallery in Round Top, Tx., shown below.

      "Miseralu", 18x22 cropped
 Susan Fletcher King
                                     "Miseralu Redux", 18x22
"Miseralu III", Each 4x6
                          "Miseralu IV", Each 2 1/2 x 3
                                             "Intermezzo", 11x14

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Reading-In a Design in Fabric

For years I have been "reading-in" a design in fabric.  I never really thought much about it...until I received a birthday postcard from my friend and fellow quilt artist, Liz Broussard.  I love it!  She took a piece of marbelized fabric she created on a play day at my beach cabin, read-in a design, bound it with her signature painted coffee filters and sent it to me.

"Flower Pops" 4" x 6"
Elizabeth Ann Broussard

I did much the same thing when I created what I thought to be an unsuccessful monoprint with weak stamp impressions.  When I finished it, it became this year's donation to Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative, representing the slow erosion and fading away of the mind that is the face of this terrible disease.

                                          "Shades of Gray" 8 1/2" x 9"


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Staying Connected

"Staying Connected" began in 2008,  when I created an abstract painting on linen.  It was also the year my dad was battling stage 4 lung cancer (he never smoked a day in his life so go figure...).  I felt very depressed when I looked at the painted linen.  Dad would soon move on.  With this painting, it was also clear I was leaving piecing behind.  Actually, I had been consistently leaving piecing behind in my work for some time but it suddenly weighed heavy on my mind.  I missed it and my piecing friends.  On went the rectangular bits, a reference to piecing.  Thread trash went on to reflect the fluidity of our lives.  The addition of painted misty fuse and leaves composed of both painted dryer sheets and commercial painted fabric completed the composition.  In the end, it represented the life cycle and the fact that "we all leave behind, we all get left behind and in between we just try to stay connected".  It was indeed an honor when it was selected to appear in Lone Stars III:  A Legacy of Texas Quilts 1986-2011, by Karoline Patterson Bresenhan and Nancy O'Bryant Puentes.

                                                                   "Staying Connected"  18"x41"

The book was published and made its debut at International Quilt Festival, Houston, Tx., in October, 2011. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Mad Happenings as Inspiration for Creation

Incoming 12x10

Natural disasters often seem to drive me into the studio.  I created my oil-slick-in-the-gulf piece, "Incoming", during the immediate after shock of the event before I saw newspaper images.  It is dyed cheesecloth, thread trash, beads and decorative threads on monoprinted cotton.

On the Move, 4x6

A fire moving uphill in thread trash and silk on dyed peltex. 

Fire and Smoke, 4x6

Abstract rendition of On the Move in thread trash...

Thursday, August 2, 2012

One In, One Out

I am so excited that Zoo Inspirations: Fencework is named a finalist in A World of Beauty at the Houston International Quilt Festival October 31 - November 4, 2012. Since we are not supposed to post a photo of accepted entries, I am posting a photo of the one that didn't make it in.

Zoo Inspirations:  First Impressions
I love this little quilt, 12x26, but it was too big for the miniature category and most likely too small to compete anywhere else.  It reflected a sunny day, frantic effort on my part to capture 275 photos in two hours, the floral displays, the fantasy, the care and nurturing, and was based largely on a sign I saw at the Zoo which read:  "Be Kind to Animals and Bamboo, Too!"   Designs were taken from my own photos.  I used negative-image stamps and procion dyes on pfd cotton with pigment ink applied directly to the dyed fabric.  I love the contrast between the somewhat chaotic background, pieced using two different patterned fabrics, and the calmer, pastoral feeling of the inked images.