Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Petit Bijoux 11"x14" 2011

Two days before they needed it, the Kings Art Center called me to donate something to their annual Gala auction.  The center of this little quilt is a tiny piece of fabric art I picked up last year in England and then mounted on four upholstery samples which I quilted.  Unfinished it hung out on my design wall for most of the year.  Nothing like a deadline to get the juices going!  I echoed the central circles in the same shiny fabric onto a piece of purple silk, quilted with copper metallic thread, and couched some shiny yarn onto the seams.  Now it wanted a French title.  Voila!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My Birthday Strips 46" w x 30" h 2011

A couple of years ago my artist group, Loose Threads, started celebrating birthdays with art quilts in a strip format.  The first year the individual strips were sewn together end to end... a very interesting display challenge.  This year we decided to keep them separate but united by a theme.  My theme was "Cracks"
inspired by a Leonard Cohen lyric: "Ring the bells the bells the bells that still can ring ring ring.  Forget your perfect offering.  There is a crack a crack in everything.  That's how the light gets in."

On the far left is a strip from Barbara which my photo failed to give justice.  She layered black felt over painted paper towels, melted cracks into the felt, and then embroidered the word cracks down the middle.
Next is the other Barbara who created a quilted sidewalk with fibrous green weeds growing in the cracks.
Third from left is my own interpretation.  I wrote the lyric in calligraphy on fuschia and purple silk and appliqued them to a painted black silk background.  Karen executed another little sidewalk to evoke the game of hopscotch.  Remember you weren't supposed to land on a crack?  Grace knows I love to paint fabric so her strip says, "If it cracks, just paint it!"  Finally, Anna cut a big crack into her strip quilt and finished it off with her signature bead fringe.

What is always amazing is that even though we don't discuss our creations in progress, they always belong together in the end.  I am truly blessed to have such artists to share with every month!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

My Brain at 64 4" x 6" 2011

Recently, I was a week late remembering a very good friend's birthday.  I sent him this postcard by way of explanation.  (That is a painted bubble wrap sun.)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Blessings Prayer Flag 8.5"w x 14"h 2011

Our sky today, 9/11/11, is as gray as the somber mood of the nation.  Ten years ago this day dawned so beautifully with brilliant sunshine and clear blue skies.  Now we know it was a deceptive innocence.  It's easy to reflect on those crashing jetliners and collapsing buildings as a metaphor for our nation spiraling into futile wars, paranoia, and greed spawned recession.  Like a bitter pill, the daily news is hard to take.

Sometimes one has to look away from the insanity of the wider world and consider the small blessings one can find closer to home.  Perhaps a garden, a grandchild's smile, a husband's hug, family and friends, an uninterrupted day in the studio.  I really could go on and on.  Like leaves scattering on the breeze,
I send out my prayer that all may have blessings that make life worth living.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Soles on the Fence 12" x 12" 2011

I'm sure I've posted this little quilt before, but it no longer belongs to me.  I donated it to Studio Art Quilts Associates' 2011 Benefit Auction, which begins Sept. 12.  If you wish it to become part of your collection, please go to this website  http://www.saqa.com/saqa-u.php?ID=1791
Of course, you'll find  lots of wonderful art quilts.  Should you get lucky, it all goes to helping SAQA put art quilting on the fine art map.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Prayer 15" x 23.5" 2011

My camera skills aren't up to the task for this little piece which has taken me over a year to complete.  The motifs in the center panel are the Buddhist eight spoked wheel, which represents the Path to follow in life, and the Mehndi hands, which I see as openly gesturing.  I used Shiva Painstiks to rub these symbols from old wooden printing blocks onto the red-violet silk, and I quilted all the motifs with trapunto technique.  At that point time slowed way down because I hand beaded all the motifs and all around the edge.  For me the piece has a spiritual elegance, although it's still looking for its own display location in my home.