Archive for the ‘art quilting’ Category

Insalata in Australia!

Friday, April 29th, 2016

Thanks to Bill Reker, the Traveling Exhibit Coordinator, for forwarding these images of the SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) exhibit Food for Thought on display in Australia, and thanks to the person who sent him the pictures.  The exhibit was on display in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.  The AQC, Australian Quilt Convention (Conference?) is held in a building of breathtaking beauty.  I’ve decided that whenever I finally in this life ever get to Australia, I have to go during AQC just so I can see this building!

My "tomatoes" quilt, Insalata, on display at the AQC.  LOVE that it is facing the center in a prime spot, and love the black walls on which the works are displayed.

My “tomatoes” quilt, Insalata, on display at the AQC. LOVE that it is facing the center in a prime spot, and love the black walls on which the works are displayed.

Here’s another shot of the overall exhibit:

Don't you just want to BE in this space?  Insalata and other works in the Food for Thought exhibit are visible at the far end.

Don’t you just want to BE in this space? Insalata and other works in the Food for Thought exhibit are visible at the far end.

And one more…some day I really must get to Australia and New Zealand!

The best shots, for me, of my quilts when traveling are "neighborhood" shots--not just *my* quilt, since I already know what it looks like, but ones that show the context.  Even better, when someone likes my work enough to get up and look at it closely--like the lady taking a detail photo!  Woot!

The best shots, for me, of my quilts when traveling are “neighborhood” shots–not just *my* quilt, since I already know what it looks like, but ones that show the context. Even better, when someone likes my work enough to get up and look at it closely–like the lady taking a detail photo! Woot!

Whoosh! and WHEE!

Saturday, February 27th, 2016

That great Whooshing sound is, once again, time evaporating…which is most appropriate because the WHEE is about an exhibit called “A Matter of Time.”  Curated by Brenda Gael Smith of Copacabana, Australia, it is going to be as wonderful as her previous exhibit (that I was also most fortunate to be in) called Living Colour Textiles.

A detail of my quilt, Milkweed No. 2.  To see the blog for the exhibit, visit http://www.amatteroftimetextiles.com

A detail of my quilt, Milkweed No. 2. To see the blog for the exhibit, visit http://www.amatteroftimetextiles.com

Brenda has given a sneak peek in her blogpost, here.  I’ve been fortunate to see a draft of the catalog for this exhibit, and I am fascinated and inspired by the many interpretations on the theme.  I wish I could post myself off to Australia to see it in person.  The exhibit will debut at the Stitches & Craft Show in Sydney: 3-6 March 2016.  Sigh……

In the meantime, I have been insanely busy with good and sad.  For the past 18 months or so I’ve been working on a granny quilt for Joshua’s sweetie’s mom.  Ashley’s gramma died rather young (all things considered), so Ashley’s mom asked if I would make a lap quilt of her clothes.  Of course I said yes!  Then I discovered it was all turtlenecks, sweatshirts and fleece.  Oh.  My.  I’ll blog about that in a couple days.

This past week, my dear tiger tabby cat, Tyger Dumpster Smith, finally succumbed to what had been ailing him for the past year or two.

Tyger, a shadow of his former sleek and handsome self, in his lat minutes

Tyger, a shadow of his former sleek and handsome self, in his last minutes on earth

You might wonder about his name.  When I was very little, about 3-4, I stayed for several months with my gramma and mom.  Down the street lived an orange tabby named Tiger, which I pronounced Tigah.  I always wanted a tiger cat.  In October 2000, I got my chance.  We were living on San Juan Island.  At the time we wanted to be adopted by another cat, the on-island shelter couldn’t adopt out cats due to a kitty-flu amongst their animals, so I went to the Skagit Valley animal shelter on the mainland.   Someone had rescued him two days previously; he was found tied up inside a plastic bag, under a tarp, in a dumpster (there is a special place in hell for the person who put him there).  Well, obviously he selected me.   The spelling of Tyger comes from the William Blake poem

TYGER, tyger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies          5
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

(etc.)

And his middle name reminds us how lucky we all were that someone heard his tiny kitten squeaks and rescued him. He purred until his very last, calm breath.  Sniff.  Now I need another tissue.

Last scritches

Last scritchesSo it was a sad week last week.  

Tyger's collar

Tyger’s collar

And in the meantime, I’ve been doing our taxes early so we could get all of Eli’s financial aid applications in (which followed getting in all of his college applications).  The system is better than when I applied–you do it online and most schools used a standardized form so you don’t have to write 70,000 different things, but it is still a beast and a burden to do.

Those lovely chores were completed this morning!  UGH!

So….drum roll….I got to mess with my weekly photo challenge and work on some designs for thermofax screens for a couple new art quilts.  At long LAST!   So I’ll share more as I can.  For now, please do visit A Matter of Time Textiles blog and enjoy!

 

 

Milkweed No. 2, Part 2

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

A few days ago, I shared with you the happy news that Milkweed No. 2 is heading to Australia and New Zealand to be a part of “A Matter of Time,” and exhibit curated by Brenda Gael Smith.  Brenda is blogging sneak peeks on the blog.

Milkweed pod, seeds and silks detail

Milkweed pod, seeds and silks detail

SASmith.MilkweedNo2.Detail2_DSC3256 I thought I’d share a few more bits of my process, especially because I will be demoing and teaching a class at Houston that incorporate these techniques.

In an effort to reduce the labor-intensive process of quilting the surface of my works at 1/8" apart over nearly the entire surface, I've started adding some surface design.

In an effort to reduce the labor-intensive process of quilting the surface of my works at 1/8″ apart over nearly the entire surface, I’ve started adding some surface design.

A couple years ago, I designed some Thermofax screens and had them made by Jan and Kristen at Fiber on a Whim.  They asked if I would be interested in selling the designs, and I quickly said Yes!   Here are three of my favorites:

On the photo above, I have used textile paint and my "celery" screen to help blend the collaged batiks and hand-dyes

On the photo above, I have used textile paint and my “celery” screen to help blend the collaged batiks and hand-dyes.

My alphabet screen was used on some rather plain brown hand-dyed (by me) fabric then cut into bits to use in the quilt in addition to using batiks.

My alphabet screen was used on some rather plain brown hand-dyed (by me) fabric then cut into bits to use in the quilt in addition to using batiks.

I mixed up some transparent textile paints--I use both Jacquard and ProFab--to screen print over the already collaged/fused background pieces.

I mixed up some transparent textile paints–I use Versatex, Jacquard and ProFab–to screen print over the already collaged/fused background pieces.

Next came the second round of screen printing, using my Squiggles screen, putting a darker green over the yellow-green I used for the celery.

I simply adore this screen. Add this to the top of any fabric--a plain tone on tone, hand-dye or batik and you've got great texture that can be blend or contrasty as you need.

I simply adore this screen. Add this to the top of any fabric–a plain tone on tone, hand-dye or batik and you’ve got great texture that can be blend or contrasty as you need.

I’ll be teaching some of this process in the Saturday Sampler where I will demonstrate working on your own personalized cloth as well as in my “Nest” class (you can see a bit about that here).

I also did a bit of stenciling using freezer paper and two colors of white.

I also did a bit of stenciling using freezer paper and two colors of white.

If you’d like to order those screens, visit Fiber on a Whim! Better yet, if you can come play with me in my classes at Quilt Festival in Houston this coming autumn!

JAM-SASmith

 

Milkweed No. 2 is headed to Australia

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

I’m delighted to share that my most recent art quilt, Milkweed No. 2, has been selected to be in Brenda Gael Smith’s current exhibit, A Matter of Time, and is en route to Australia!  Brenda is giving us all sneak peeks at the artworks in her blogpost series called “Just a Moment”  here.

Milkweed No. 2 has been juried into A Matter of Time and will be touring in Australia, New Zealand, and possibly points beyond in the coming two years. I'm thrilled---just wish I could fit inside the envelope and travel with it!

Milkweed No. 2 has been juried into A Matter of Time and will be touring in Australia, New Zealand, and possibly points beyond in the coming two years. I’m thrilled—just wish I could fit inside the envelope and travel with it!  Click to view a little larger.

Apparently I mostly forgot to take in progress photos (!!!) while I was making Milkweed No. 2, so I will share one or two in progress shots from the making off Milkweed No. 1 (which I have not yet shared in public…stay tuned for that in a few weeks) in this and in a second post about my process.

As usual, I began with an idea (more like an obsession with milkweed pods) and dyeing fabric.  I had plenty of batiks and some of my own hand-dyes but needed more for the sky.  I decided to dye some cotton duck for the backing, as well.

Backing and sky fabrics I dyed specifically for my two Milkweed quilts.

Backing and sky fabrics I dyed specifically for my two Milkweed quilts.

I use the cotton duck as a stabilizer.  It helps reduce shrinkage and the artwork hangs beautifully, although it isn’t as easy to handle under the needle as a lightweight fabric.  It is worth the trade-off!  I wrote an article about my process for Machine Quilting Unlimited and blogged about that here.

The top side of the cotton, is on the left. The right side shows where the dye pooled on the bottom (cloth was dyed flat on a surface).

The top side of the cotton, is on the left. The right side shows where the dye pooled on the bottom (cloth was dyed flat on a surface).

Next, using Mistyfuse (by far the softest hand, easiest to use, never “ages out”) adhesive / fusible web, I prepare my fabrics for collaging.  My video workshop (here on my site and available as a download here from Interweave) shows this part of the process, plus a lot more.  Anyway, I use my “stash” of fused pieces, but always end up adding more bits for a given piece.

Sorry about the shadow on the left---here I've got fabrics out for fusing and am sorting them into colors using carry-out dish lids (that I've been using for at least the past 7 years! that restaurant has been out of business for eons)

Sorry about the shadow on the left—here I’ve got fabrics out for fusing and am sorting them into colors using carry-out dish lids (that I’ve been using for at least the past 7 years! that restaurant has been out of business for eons)

Next, I start the fusing process.  In this shot, I’m working on the sky for Milkweed No. 1 (larger, landscape orientation), but I used exactly the same process on this piece.

Working on the sun-glow in the sky. This is totally a collage process. I tend to cut chunks to go into the various trays, then use as is or submit while collaging.

Working on the sun-glow in the sky. This is totally a collage process. I tend to cut chunks to go into the various trays, then use as is or submit while collaging.  The drawing you see is a piece of paper underneath my non-stick ginormous press sheet with my sketch.  I ordered this one from Valerie Hearder in Canada, but Mistyfuse now sells the Holy Cow Goddess sheet which is 36×48 inches.   Really helps with my process–I just cover the entire “big board” and get to work.

I then did a bit of surface design including stenciling and screen-printing using thermofax screens (details in my next post).  Finally, I quilted my piece.  Aren’t the colors just glorious?  And yes, bright purple works in a seed pod!

Quilting on one of the milkweed pods, using variegated thread from Superior Threads.

Quilting on one of the milkweed pods, using variegated thread from Superior Threads.

A second detail shot that shows some of the sky--I just love those days where there is a bright glowing spot in the sky where the sun is behind the clouds.

A second detail shot that shows some of the sky–I just love those days where there is a bright glowing spot in the sky where the sun is behind the clouds.

I’ll be back in a few days with more on the processes using paint!   Remember, visit A Matter of Time here and the “Just a Moment” previews blogposts about the various artists and artworks here.

 

 

Teaching at IQF Houston 2016!

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

As you might guess by the deafening silence here on the blog, I’ve been rather busy but I have various bits of good news to share, and I’ll start with the most recent:  I will once again be on the Faculty for International Quilt Festival in Houston in October/November 2016!   And, drum roll, I’ll be teaching a few new things….yippeee!   Here’s my schedule, which stretches from the Monday of Quilt Market (a closed trade show for industry professionals) through Saturday of Quilt Festival.   On Sunday I get to PLAY—provided I can put one foot in front of the other and still see!   For details about each of the classes, please visit my Classes page which has descriptions of all the classes, class supply lists and, when available, hotlines to blogposts from previous versions of these classes so you can get a feel for what to bring.

Learn to make the painted fabrics in this project in my mini-Whimsy class at IQF-International Quilt Festival Fall 2014.

Learn to make the painted fabrics in this project in my new class The Nest–Surface Design Exploration for Beginners at IQF-International Quilt Festival Fall 2016.

 

  • Monday, October 31:  Decorative Stitch Appliqué, in the Janome classroom, All-Day class
  • Tuesday:  a day off–I’ll probably be IN a class!
  • Wednesday, November 2:  Fine Finishes–An Album of Techniques (bindings and more), in the Janome Classroom, All-Day class
  • Thursday, November 3, morning:  Machine Quilting Forum–Fun and Fancy Thread, 9-Noon
  • Thursday, November 3, afternoon:  The Nest–Surface Design Exploration for Beginners, 2-5, kit fee
  • Friday, November 4:  Tame Fussy, Fiddly Threads for Machine Quilting, in the Janome Classroom, All-day, kit fee for a range of threads etc
  • Saturday, November 5, morning:  Saturday Sampler–Screen-Paint the Perfect Fabric, 10-Noon
  • Saturday, November 5, afternoon:  Easy-Peasy Inside-Out Bag, 2-5, in the Janome Classroom
  • Sunday:  PLAYTIME–to see the exhibits and shop and collapse, in that order!

I’m totally good with having stayed home this past year as it was our younger son’s senior year in high school, but I so missed seeing folks.  I’m thrilled to be back in Houston and on the faculty. Thank you IQF and students!