Tuesday, May 22, 2012

SAQA Auction Quilt-The Story Behind the Quilt

"In Memoiram"
My Dad planted and grew thousands of daffodils.  They grew along the edge of the woods on the estate where he worked.  They grew along the fence in our yard and along the foundation of the house and garage and they even grew wild in the woods near our house probably courtesy of the resident squirrels who were always digging someplace in the yard.
In the spring Dad would bring home five gallon pails filled with daffodils and Mom would put them in vases and in everything that could even remotely be considered a vase, and we'd have them all over the house.
Unfortunately, for some reason daffodils don't do well in my yard, probably courtesy of the resident squirrels who are many here in the North Country.

 People frequently ask me, "How did you do that?"
 I took a photo behind my Dad's house and, using that as a reference, painted a watercolor picture of the daffodils.
The background of this 12" x 12" quilt is white canvas, the "uprights" are commercial cotton and cotton I'd painted that was in my stash.
I covered the first three layers with silk organza.
The angel is from a photo I took in a South American cemetery where there were the most gorgeous statues most of which were made in the 1800's. The angel photo was printed on soil separator cloth which is a polyester filter cloth used in a leach field (yes, part of a septic system). I learned of this gloriously sheer "fabric" from a workshop with Laura Cater Woods. The angel photo is adhered to the quilt with gel medium. The "fence" uprights are adhered with gel medium as well.
I scanned the watercolor painting and printed it on cotton, and touched up the color with watercolors, and stitched it down with clear nylon thread.
There's some basic quilting stitching in there, too, done with white rayon thread.

When my Dad lived with us before he passed away, he was excited when the quilt I made picturing his cellar stairs went to Houston for the Quilt Festival and then traveled around the country. I know he'd have liked having a picture of one of his daffodils on a website and would like the idea that someone might buy it.
I'm hoping that someone out there sees the daffodil in this quilt as a symbol of spring and a symbol of hope.
For me they're also a reminder of my Dad.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


"Seasons" is visiting the Saratoga Arts Council gallery until December 31.  The opening for the members' show is Saturday, December 3 from 6 to 8 p.m.  This picture was taken before the piece was framed so now it is dressed up in fancy clothes and strutting its stuff on the gallery wall.  There were some interesting pieces lining the walls when I dropped this off, so I hope you get a chance to stop by the galley and check out the artwork.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

To Muse or Not to Muse

Friend and fellow fiber artist Diane Evans recently asked ME, of all people, what to do about creating because her muse had deserted her.  I advised making something small just to create.  Of course Diane did what she always does, "museless" or not, which is make something gorgeous. You can see her wonderful card by clicking on her name.

My muse and Diane's muse were obviously basking in the sun on the Riveria sipping wine from crystal stemware because I had to take my own advice. I took a collage class with  Fran Skiles  at Quilting By the Lake this summer.  It was very intense and inspiring resulting in these two collages.   After returning home, however, the muse ran away again.  Finally, after 20 greeting cards and 12 small pieces The Muse has returned demanding attention.

The Muse has to wait for something serious to happen until I dig my studio out from under the photography equipment, the carpet of snippets on the floor from 32 small artworks, and piles of rummage sale fabrics waiting to be ironed. Hopefully it will be worth the wait!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Frost Kissed the Yellow Wood

"Frost Kissed the Yellow Wood" is my latest piece for the 2011 SAQA Auction. As soon as it's photographed you'll be able to see it and all the other quilts that have been donated to the auction at http://www.saqa.com/ . Bidding will begin Monday, September 12 at 2:00 p.m. EST.

It's a great opportunity to pick up some great, small works of art. Check it out!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Baby Buzz Flies Solo

Baby Buzz is taking his first solo flight. He's not too sure about this landing business. After the first few flights, he'll get the hang of it.
Baby Buzz will be part of the "Bugs" exhibit that ARTAA http://artaa2009.blogspot.com/
will be showing at the Adirondack Museum Fiber Festival in September.
So far, he's making everyone smile and that's a good thing.
Happy flying, Buzz!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Placemat and Potholder Observations

If it's 8" x 8" and could be mistaken for a potholder, mount it on painted gallery wrapped canvas. Everyone knows it's supposed to be hung on the wall. If it has a binding and is displayed flat on a table, confusion begins and the conversation will go something like this:

"Oh, isn't this pretty." "Thank you."

Can I wash it?" "You could wash it, but it's painted with acrylics, so you could run a lint roller over it to remove dust."

Is it a potholder? "No. It's a small Art Quilt"

Can I put a casserole on it?" "You could if you'd like to, but most people frame Art Quilts this size."

"Oh. It's an Art Quilt."

If it's 5" x 7" piece, give it more presence. Quilt a 9" x 12" background, attach the piece to the background, and add some hanging tabs to the back. Explain that it can be hung easily by putting flat head thumbtacks through the tabs or that it can be framed. Quilters will understand that it's a small quilt, and for others it's still in the placemat size range, but big enough to get it off the dinner table. The conversation then ends with:

"Wow. That's easy."

"Yes. You can take it home and pop it on the wall."

When having visitors in the studio, it's been fun and interesting to observe the reactions to various sizes of artwork. It's a learning experience for both parties. When I make the really little guys, 3" x 5", I put them on a greeting card. Packaged with an envelope in a clear bag, everyone knows they're a greeting card. "Whew."

Monday, July 26, 2010

From Photo to Journal Quilt

Sandra Archbold gets all the credit for growing this beautiful lily. Her gardens are magnificent.

Keeping a visual journal is recommended for quilt artists. I've been drawing and painting forever so keeping a visual journal shouldn't be a problem, right? I have all the papers, pencils, chalks, crayons, markers, paints, etc. I took apart my grandkids' chewed up board books and "Tweetie", aka DH, drilled holes in the pages so I could bind them together. The pages are sanded and painted with gesso. Do I paint those prepared pages? No. Do I sketch in a journal? No. Do I doodle? Only when I'm on the phone on hold half listening to sales propaganda or "elevator" music. Those doodles are the same old flowers I've been doodling for years. No new inspiration there. But...

The light finally went on! I may not be picking up the pencils or the brush, but I am picking up the camera, toting it in my backpack on all those hikes, carrying it on all those walks, taking it on trips, taking it in the car just in case...so I started printing my photos on PFD cotton soaked in Bubble Jet Set ( I had two bottles to use up before trying the prepared fabrics on a roll). Low and behold! I have my own version of the journal quilt. It's instant gratification and no strain on the hands. I can draw with my sewing machine to my heart's content. Now I can stop feeling guilty that I'm not doing something the experts recommend. As usual, I'm doing it my way instead of the recommended way. They're pretty. It's fun. Good enough for me!