Archive for the ‘art quilting’ Category

Dinner@8 Artist interviews–my turn!

Friday, August 21st, 2015

Today is my day on the Dinner@8 blog.  Each year, Jamie and Leslie interview the accepted artists and feature the answers on their blog.  I love reading these interviews, even when they are people I know in real life (as in, in person).   I invite you to visit here for my interview and here for the general blog address.  Tune in every week day now through October 7th!

And just as a reminder and so we have a nice picture, here’s my entry for this year’s Affinity exhibit:

(c)Sarah Ann Smith 2015; quote (c) Mirza Khan, used with permission

(c)Sarah Ann Smith 2015; quote (c) Mirza Khan, used with permission

MQU: The Fourth Quilt Layer

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015
The opening spread of my article on stabilizing the quilt sandwich in the July/August issue of Machine Quilting Unlimited

The opening spread of my article on stabilizing the quilt sandwich in the July/August issue of Machine Quilting Unlimited

Over the past six years, I have been fortunate to have been invited to submit a quilt and to have works accepted in the Dinner@8 Artists exhibits and in Living Colour Textiles.   For those shows, work had to be a specific size.  The problem is that when you quilt, especially when you quilt a LOT, as I do, the quilt shrinks.  And you need to have a good composition and framing once it is done–not chopped off, not too much leftover because the piece shrank less or more than you expected.

It is hard to predict how MUCH it will shrink.  So I decided I needed to tackle the problem and acquire some knowledge.   It was a lot of work to test nearly a dozen stabilizers, so I was thrilled when I proposed an article on my explorations to Machine Quilting Unlimited and they agreed it would be a useful article.

This is the cover of the current issue with my article:

The cover of the issue with my article.

The cover of the issue with my article.

and a bit more:

This page shows some of my testing in  progress--yes, there are ELEVEN samples.  All quilted the same.  Can you say TEDIOUS?

This page shows some of my testing in progress–yes, there are ELEVEN samples. All quilted the same. Can you say TEDIOUS?

The issue is still on stands, and is available for order on the MQU website here.  The article also has a link to an on-line Web Extra with all the extensive details of the testing on various stabilizers, interfacings, and canvas/cotton duck which you can print out for your own reference.

Even happier, at the end of the article I mentioned that I would be trying cotton duck, dyed by me, as the backing instead of a fourth layer.  That quilt is made and has been juried into this year’s Dinner@8 exhibit, Affinity.  And in the January 2016 issue MQU will publish my article in their “Challenge Quilts” series about Descended From the Stars.  WOOT!

Koi at the Whistler Museum of Art–Viewer’s Choice!

Sunday, August 16th, 2015

OMG! Koi won Viewer’s Choice! Earlier this year, I was elated when I learned that two of my art quilts, Clothed in Color and Koi, had been juried in to the Out of the Blue art quilt exhibit at the Whistler House Museum of Art in Lowell, Massachusetts.  I was even more tickled when I learned that Koi would be the publicity image for the show (blogpost Koi on the publicity card, Whistler).  The Artists’ Reception was yesterday, August 15, and I was so happy to see the beautiful quilts and meet many of the artists and  I was even more thrilled with the award.  I’m honored to be in such elite company.

After winning Viewer's Choice for Koi at the Out of the Blue exhibit, Whistler House Museum of Art

After winning Viewer’s Choice for Koi at the Out of the Blue exhibit, Whistler House Museum of Art

When I first moved to Maine, I visited a show at the Whistler and thought “if I can ever get in to this exhibit, I will know my skill level has reached where I want it to be.”  So I feel grateful and rewarded that a decade of learning, working hard and creating art has raised the quality of my work to be worthy of being included here.

View of the exhibit

View of the exhibit

I took many photos of the Out of the Blue exhibit, but realize I totally forgot to get one of Clothed in Color and its neighbors.  The photographer for the event got one, though, so I may be able to share that.  Apparently there is a cash award that comes with the prize–my second cash award (other one, Fields of Gold,  was in Houston a few years back), and my second Viewer’s Choice (the other was for Bijagos Warrior, many years ago at the San Juan County Fair).  Needless to say, I’m thrilled and honored.

Betty Busby won two awards, The Whistler House Award and Juror's Award.  One was for this stunning southwest landscape (sorry I don't have a non-blocked-by-person image!)

Betty Busby won two awards, The Whistler House Award and Juror’s Award. One was for this stunning southwest landscape (sorry I don’t have a non-blocked-by-person image!)

Then, there is Betty’s dramatic Willow Revisited:

This large quilt by Betty Busby won the other award.  It is quite large and very stunning.

Willow Revisited, 66 x51 inches.  This large quilt by Betty Busby won the other award. It is quite large and very stunning.

Jill Kerttula also had two breathtaking pieces in the show.  I kept going back to look at VA Beach.

I was absolutely enchanted by Jill Kerttula's two quilts.  She described how she loves photography, and makes works where the photo is enriched by the stitching, and the stitching is supported by the photography.   This piece is

I was absolutely enchanted by Jill Kerttula’s two quilts. She described how she loves photography, and makes works where the photo is enriched by the stitching, and the stitching is supported by the photography. This piece is VA Beach.

Blue Brush by Jill Kerttula also won a Whistler House award and was impeccably designed and created.

Blue Brush by Jill Kerttula also won a Whistler House award and was impeccably designed and created.

The level of excellence of the selected works was tops.

Viewers looking at Koi.

Viewers looking at Koi.

Here are a few other of the many good pieces, art quilts that struck me:

 is made by  and has wonderful quilting.

Volta #4:  Confrontation, by Sandra Palmer Ciolino,  has wonderful quilting.

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Ovum Blocks #2 by Valerie Maser-Flanagan; lots of great surface design.

Two small works.

Two small works. Top:  Circle the Block by Deborah Babin.   Bottom:  The Threaded Cat Blues By Rita Daley Hannifin

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Zakim on the Charles and Blue Abstract by Lori Kay

Wen Redmond's

Wen Redmond’s Trees Singing

Your view as you walked into the gallery.

Your view as you walked into the gallery, which was set with tables for the reception.

 

 

Quilting Arts TV–my free downloads

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

Well, I’m only a little (ahem) behind the curve!  Finally discovered where the links are to my downloads, and folks LOVE my easy-peasy inside-out bag!  I am thinking of expanding the pattern and adding LOTS of options to make iPad cases, card cases, journal covers and more, so the popularity of the download thrills me!    Here are links:

If you watch Quilting Arts TV, these may look familiar, as they are on one of my episodes in season 1400 AND were in the 2014 Quilting Arts gifts magazine.

If you watch Quilting Arts TV, these may look familiar, as they are on one of my episodes in season 1400 AND were in the 2014 Quilting Arts gifts magazine.

Easy-Peasy Inside-Out Bag

Free-Motion Basics

Thread and Needle FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

I believe you need to have an Interweave/Quilting Arts account, which is free, to download theses freebies.  Enjoy!

 

 

Descended from the Stars, Part 3

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

Good news:  it looks like there will be an article on this quilt!  Bad news:  that means I won’t be sharing quite as much here out of respect for the magazine.   But here is a lot, and I’ll tell you when the article is out!

 

The sun in the center of Descended From the Stars

The sun in the center of Descended From the Stars

When I left on in my last post about this quilt, I had shared the dyeing process and the stones and lettering.   Next, I fused trees in the four seasons into the corners.  I distorted the shape so the tree canopy served as a frame.  I had thought initially I might need an inner border, perhaps couched yarn or stitching of some sort, but the shape of the tree worked so well I didn’t need anything extra.

Detail, upper left corner, Spring Tree of Life.

Detail, upper left corner, Spring Tree of Life.  Each of the leaves is free-motion stitched with several rounds of thread on each leaf.  The nice part about doing this at the top stage is that I could use the scissors on my Janome 15000.  I didn’t have to bury thread tails!

Detail, top right, Summer Tree of Life.

Detail, top right, Summer Tree of Life.

Detail of the lower right corner, showing the autumn tree of life.

Detail of the lower right corner, showing the autumn tree of life.

Detail of the lower left corner, with the winter tree kissed by snow.

Detail of the lower left corner, with the winter tree kissed by snow.

You can see my work (on a glorious Janome 15000) as I am quilting around on the stones and leaves.

Here

Here I have begun quilting.  You can see the custom-dyed cotton duck on the back.

Next,

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Superior Threads (Thank you Bob and Heather Purcell!) has come out with some tone-on-tone variegated threads.   I have been pestering Bob for YEARS to make threads like these as I prefer blendy to contrasty.  I ordered up all of the new earth-tone blendy variegateds in the Fantastico line and used them.

At last, it was nearly DONE!  Time for facings, sleeve and label.

The back side of the quilt.  By dyeing the back to correspond with the front, the quilting design shows up on the back as it does on the front.

The back side of the quilt. By dyeing the back to correspond with the front, the quilting design shows up on the back as it does on the front.

And I couldn’t resist the temptation to place a moon behind the sun as my label.  One more time with the dip pen!

The End--the label is on, the sleeve is done, the facings are stitched!

The End–the label is on, the sleeve is done, the facings are stitched!

(c)Sarah Ann Smith 2015; quote (c) Mirza Khan, used with permission

(c)Sarah Ann Smith 2015; quote (c) Mirza Khan, used with permission

This quilt will be for sale–another reason I opted to not include a lot of personal details in the quilt.   As I said before, I am happy!