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Archive for the ‘Frayed Edges’ Category

Bloghop-Giveaway with Deborah Boschert

Saturday, September 21st, 2013

Today is the second giveaway of my video workshop, Art Quilt Design from Photo to Threadwork, and is hosted by my friend Deborah Boschert.  Her website is here, and her blog and the giveaway post are here.  Be sure to surf over and comment to enter the giveaway!

Haze and Hope by Deborah Boschert

Haze and Hope by Deborah Boschert

When I moved to Maine in 2004, the first thing I did was find the quilters, especially the art quilters.  Maine has a great statewide guild with many regional/local chapters and a few statewide groups, including  Art Quilts Maine.  At the very first meeting I attended, I met Deborah, whose husband was then in the Navy and assigned to Brunswick.  I didn’t realize for quite some time that Deborah was also relatively new to Maine.  We began emailing back and forth, and within a couple of months decided to start our own mini-group, The Frayed Edges, with our dear friends Kate Cutko and Kathy Daniels.   If you click on the categories, you can see the many wonderful times we have shared over the years.

Fast forward many years:  our kids are growing rapidly, we’ve both been published in journals and books, made DVDs, exhibited at national and international venues!  I think if you had told us as we chatted in the parking lot after that meeting what we would have done in less than a decade, we would never have believed it!

Deborah is a member of the amazing group known as the “Twelves.”  You can see tons of their inspiring work, here, and find the book, Twelve by 12:  The International Art Quilt Challenge, here.

Twelve by Twelve:  the International Art Quilt Challenge

Twelve by Twelve: the International Art Quilt Challenge

The first year the challenges were by theme, then by color.  As someone who lives for color, I was surprised that one of my favorites of Deborah’s is this monochromatic beauty, In Light Of

In Light Of

In Light Of

Deborah has filmed the DVD workshop Contemporary Fabric Collage, been on TV segments for Quilting Arts TV, as well as done some great web seminars for them.   You can find all the QA/Interweave offerings with Deborah here, at the Interweave Store.

Thank you Deborah for being part of the bloghop and giveaway, but most especially for the gift of being my friend.



A foray into Metalworking

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Copper tendrils hold the watch face onto my sketchbook cover.

Oh what FUN!  For a number of years now I have been inspired by New Zealander Claire Prebble’s wirework in her art-to-wear costumes (her website is here), and have wanted to mess around with wire.  Then last summer I took the first of three online classes with Jane LaFazio.  In one of them, I “met” Janice Berkebile and several other wonderful women.  After the second of the classes with Jane, we decided to set up our own sketching group online (we are globally dispersed from the San Francisco Bay area to northern California to near Seattle, Ontario Canada, Vermont and Maine and in the UK).  One day, Janice quietly said “Oh… my first book is just published.”  SAY WHAT?!!!!!!!   Here it is, and it is wonderful:

If you’d like to see Janice, click here and for the home page to their website, click here.

Well, I’m nowhere near starting on anything as awesomely intricate as Claire Prebble’s work, or even one of the simpler projects in the book, but I sure had a grand start today.  See several years ago, my Frayed Edges art quilt mini-group friends and I decided to do a journal-cover swap.   I got the lovely one made by Kate Cutko (queen of recycled and all things “green”…her blog is here) which has discharged and also rust-dyed fabric.  When she gave it to me, she told me she had wanted to find a watch face to sew to the cover.  Well, that year at Quilt Festival/Houston I found just the one!

After several years of use, the monofilament thread which I had used to attach the watch face had  broken, so I wanted to re-apply the watch face to the journal more securely.  At first I was going to sew beads to set it the way you would use seed beads to couch a cabochon (big flat stone/bead) to something.  Ugh. Hard.  Then I had a brainstorm–WIRE!   So this morning I started to play.

My work table this morning with hammers, pliers, cutters, wire (copper), more wire, and Janice’s book open to the appropriate page.

At first I was thinking of making a network of wire underneath with curlicues that extended to the front and intertwined with a circle of copper (since I bought that because it isn’t as expensive as silver!) on the top.  Then I thought…why a second circle on top?  How about “prongs” that wrap to the front and have them hold it?   SO….I made it!

Janice and Tracy’s book is great because it tells you what tools you need, which are nice-but-optional (especially when starting the cost of tools can be a bit frightening!).  I bought a larger bench block than you recommended (only slightly) in the book because I want  to eventually work on some larger pieces that may well include shapes cut from sheet metal…. They give all sorts of hints and tips, and have TONS of step-by-step pictures so you can follow along on your own.

Journal, with watch face attached with way more fun and creativity this time!

The tendrils that wrap to the front grip the watch face securely.  I sewed the copper “whatchamacallit” to the cover, then tucked the watch face into it, and pinched the tendrils down.

And then for fun I tried to make a spiral…while standing up and rushing.  Not the best, but at least it is a start!

Not quite round, but at least it is a tight spiral with a hanging loop!

So now I have their book back by my spot on the sofa and tonight will pore over it to see what I can adapt to use some beautiful beads made by ANOTHER internet friend that I got to meet in the real 4 years ago in Paducah (Caty are you out there?)!

Conversations I

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

I’m thrilled to share with you (again, but in more detail) Conversations I, which has been juried in to a World of Beauty, the competition exhibit at International Quilt Festival 2012 in Houston, Texas.  As usual, the jurors utterly mystified me with their selection:  I entered both my portrait of Joshua (which I personally think is the best piece I’ve ever made, seen here) and this quilt, and this is the one that got in!  I am thrilled to have a quilt in Houston which is–let’s be honest here–just about the biggest, most important show there is in the quilt world!

Conversations I, juried in to International Quilt Festival-Houston 2012

A couple Aprils ago, I had the great good fortune to be invited to teach by the Arizona Quilt Guild–it was a fabulous visit.  I discovered that it would cost the same to fly via Los Angeles (I’m in Maine, on the other side of the US for those reading from other countries) as to fly direct.  If I stopped en route in L.A., I could visit my beloved Sister-in-Law (sister of my heart!), so that’s what I did!  When she asked what I wanted to do, I promptly replied: go to the Getty!  I had seen photos of the Getty Museum before, including my friend Deborah Boschert’s trip there.  The lines, angles and shadows from the tables absolutely enchanted me, so I took a TON of photos.  You can see the FOUR (!!!) blogposts from that trip here-1, here-2, here-3 and here-4 if you really want an armchair visit!

I combined two of my photos of the tables and chairs to come up with this composite image…. I also really wanted that stark contrast between stone and sky, but since the chairs were in a courtyard surrounded by buildings, I took artistic license to put my table and chairs somewhere they weren’t in real life!

The shadows were one of my favorite things, but it took a few attempts to get them right.  For the quilt, I began with white fabric which I dyed to match the colors in my photos (Thank you, Carol Soderlund…. using my color swatches and formulas and learning from your class did EXACTLY what I wanted with the cloth!).  I had intended to use a sheer for the shadows, fused to the beige “stone” paving.  But it looked like I stuck something on….and one of the things I liked in the shadows was the seamless transition from beige to dark.  So I decided I would use ONLY thread, stitched very closely, to create the shadows, as seen in this photo:

I had thought I was done with this quilt when I took this photo, but decided there just wasn’t the stark contrast that I wanted in the shadows from the table and chairs–if you look at the photo at the top of this post and this photo, you can see the difference in the shadows.

So, on to Plan “C”!  Yes, I did test, but it was pretty nerve-wracking to take out the Derwent Inktense pencils and darken the shadows:

You can see what a difference there is in this photo. I darkened the shadows under the foreground chair first.  Notice that there are two pencils to the right of the chair, and just off the edge of the quilt a paintbrush.

VERY carefully, so that the pencil-ink didn’t bleed into the stripes of sunlight, I pencilled in with the Inktense pencils (see the pencils and sharpener) in the shadow stripes. Then VERY carefully I held a paintbrush wet with water in my right hand and my hair dryer (turned on) in my left. I would brush a small section of the penciled area, then zap it with the hair dryer to allow the paint to intensify by wetting, the dry before it spread into the sunlight stripes. I only had one small bleed!  This photo shows that about the top half of the shadows have been wet-then-dried, while the lower part of the table’s shadows are still just pencilled on–not yet wet-and-dried.  I sure was glad when that was done, because I could have wrecked the whole thing!

I also needed to think about how to create the shaded side of the wood slats on the chairs and table.  There is only so think one can cut strips of cloth to fuse.  And I didn’t really want to totally mash the quilt by darkening the sides of the slats with thread stitching (as I did in the shadows under the table and chairs).  So I used a brown (or was it red?)  Pigma pen and wrote words relating to the visit:

Detail, Conversations I

So that’s the story….the conversation between me and the cloth and thread and pencils and quilt, but it is just one of the conversations from that wonderful day.



Catching up

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Ooops…I didn’t realize it had been THIS long since I wrote!  That’s what happens when you’re busy!   We’ve had a wonderful summer, school begins next week, and I have about  a thousand things to share.  All I need is time to blog about them…heavens, I still have cool stuff from teaching at Vermont Quilt Festival back at the end of JUNE!   But to start with today and working backwards…..

My dear friend and Frayed Edge Kathy came to keep me company today (keep reading), and because her birthday is coming up soon (when she’ll be away) we celebrated today:

Birthday cream puff (thanks to hubby for picking these up for us!)

So why did Kath come to keep me company?  Well… I have/had arthritis in my big toes.  The had is because I had surgery this week on my right foot!  The plan for surgery was to have the arthritic bone growth removed, then the doc (a bunion / big toe specialist down in Portland) was going to break (EEEK) the metatarsal and shorten it so there would be enough room in the joint to prevent future /continued bone growth.  The great news is that when he got done scraping out the yucky stuff, there was plenty of flexibility in the joint that he didn’t need to break the bone!  That means faster healing.  On principle I took one of the pain pills just before going to bed the day I had the surgery (Weds.), and I haven’t needed any since!   I go back on Tuesday for a follow up, and the doc said I’ll be able to walk on that foot –just six days after surgery!  It was supposed to be 7-8 weeks until resuming exericise, but I’m hoping now it will be shorter.  WOOT!



After, with ice-bag

I was so wobbly on the crutches (I have a terrible sense of balance) that the nurse sent me home with a walker, as I am on strict orders:  NO weight on the right foot until next week.  So just call me hopalong this week while I catch up with reading, an online class, and (ahem) blogging!

And speaking of the class… I’m taking a class at with Sondra Holtzman.  The watercolor style is much looser than our dear Jane LaFazio’s style, which I adore (which is why I’ve taken several of her classes).  I am a bit of a control freak at times and think I need to loosen up, so this class will be good for me.  If I don’t fall off the Blogging Wagon (again) I’ll share more pics in due time.  For now,

A basic color mixing chart with primaries, secondaries and and complementaries (and complementaries mixed)

and what I need even more, loosening up..this time dropping wet into wet!

wet into wet color play

SAQA Auction and my donation quilt

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

Every year, Studio Art Quilt Associations (SAQA) has a fundraising auction of small works–all 12 by 12 inches– by some of the finest art quilters working today.  I’m thrilled to be able to donate this piece:

Conversations III

Inspired by a visit to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, I made a series of three quilts, a larger center panel flanked by two 12 x 12 inch quilts.  Conversations III was donated to the 2012 Studio Art Quilt Associates online auction fundraiser.

Detail from Conversations III

When I began this series, I thought first of the conversation my beloved Sister-in-law, her friend and I had at lunch, but then realized that there was a conversation between the architecture and the landscape, the sky and the stone in the buildings, the artists and the viewers, and in the case of these quilts:  between me and the cloth/dye/thread.  Yes, all of the fabric in these pieces began as white, and I dyed them.

Conversations I has been juried into A World of Beauty 2012, the judged show at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, and Conversations IIis now for sale. I am thrilled with how they turned out.  Quilted into the sky, and written in ink onto the table and chairs (for the shadowing on the wood) are words about the art and the conversation:  contrast, line, shape, form, sky, water, stone, shadow, sea breeze…..

Conversations I, II and III

Some of you  may recall seeing these three pieces when I blogged about them last summer (here and here) for The Frayed Edges show at the Camden Public Library.  The small quilt on the right is the one I have donated to the SAQA auction!  Learn more about the auction here, and see the quilts here.  I’ve just discovered that my quilt, Conversations 3, will be among those auctioned live (gulp, eek!) at the International Quilt Festival in Houston.  Thrillingly, Conversations 1 (the large central quilt) has just been juried in to the IQA World of Beauty contest.

The online auction is in three parts, starting September 10th.  Each week for three weeks, a group of quilts is auctioned.  On the first day, prices for the 12 by 12 inch quilts are $750.  The next day the price drops to $550, and so on down to $75 by the end of the week (tho not much is left by then!).  The risk is:  do you wait to get a lower price, or lose the quilt you really want?  Inevitably (sigh) the ones I want are gone in the first two days….  The auction in Houston will work similarly:  on Preview Night (Weds., Oct. 31) prices will be $750.  Thursday morning the price will drop, and again at 2 p.m.  And so on, through the end of Festival.  To buy one of the quilts at Houston, though, either you have to be there OR you need to have someone there to buy for you! I shall be nervous walking by the SAQA booth to see if mine has sold!  I wish SAQA all the best in fundraising!