Quilting Arts–my article on using your camera as a design tool

July 7th, 2018

Delighted to share that I have a new article, “Use you camera as a Design Tool” in the August/September 2018 (just came out) issue of Quilting Arts magazine.  The article is inspired by my “Inspiration in the Ordinary” lecture which encourages quilters–traditional, art, modern, any and every kind–to look for inspiration in the world around them.  All the photos in this quilt and in my lecture were taken in my daily dog walkies and a couple forays (to the farmer’s market).

Delighted to be published in Quilting Arts magazine again…gosh, I just realized the first time I was published in QA (and in a national magazine ever) was twelve years ago!

The cover of the issue with my article and some great ones by friends that I can’t wait to read!

There are examples of my world (including my slippers), some challenges for you to try to think, or re-think, how you approach design.   After all, good design, a good composition, is just that.  It doesn’t matter if it is a photograph, a quilt, a painting, a garden.  The same principles apply.  In the next couple of weeks I’ll share a few more tidbits that didn’t fit into the article so by coming to my blog, you get even more!   Here’s today’s tidbit:  pause briefly and take three shots changing only the horizon line.

Look at what a difference changing the horizon line makes in your composition. Three quick snaps with your phone on a dog walk to practice design.

 

I’ll be back soon with more tidbits!

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Tamara Kate of Kayajoy Designs, Janome Education Summit 2018, Post #4

July 6th, 2018

An enticing bit of Tamara Kate’s beautiful quilts and style.  These are made with her fabrics, and the “h” and “L” are her embroidery and printed fabric designs.   I absolutely love her color palette!

Hi everyone…thought I’d rap up my posts on the Janome Education Summit in late May before they are ancient history.   One the first day, I noticed what this woman was doing across the aisle from me with Kimberly Einmo’s flying geese units and fabric, and was smitten instantly.  Turns out it is Tamara Kate Serrao of Kayajoy Designs.  Her quilts, embroidery and fabrics are so inspiring…if she had had yardage there I would have gone home with a whole bunch!  You can find her on FB as well as her website.

Here is Tamara Kate showing one of her embroidery designs (that was on a tote we got in our swag!)

Tamara Kate has a fascinating background, being from both Nova Scotia and Trinidad.  She is the Janome Canada spokesperson, and designed a phenomenal Maple Leaf Quilt as well as a special (gosh I wish I’d known about it) Janome machine for Canada’s 150th anniversary a couple years ago.

Tamara Kate showing an advert with the machine she designed, complete with maple leaf.

And here is that QUILT….her work is very much in the Modern Quilt aesthetic, but it also is infused with this like watercolor-y feel, palette and fresh vibe that still pays homage to our quilting history.

Tamara Kate Serrao’s phenomenal and inspiring Maple leaf quilt.  Pattern available here.

You can see this quilt on her website and find the first of several blogposts at JanomeLife.com with instructions on making this quilt here: https://janomelife.wordpress.com/2016/09/07/tamara-kate-quilt-along-part-1/  Have I mentioned recently how much I love her colors?

More wonderfulness from Tamara Kate; check her Quilt Tutorials page for info on the quilt above and the one below:  https://www.kayajoydesigns.com/tutorials/quilts/

I WISH I had seen the fabric and whatnot when it was available… i love the joyfulness of this quilt.

One more chance to enjoy her quilts…..Makes me want to not do the things I am supposed to be doing and just cut fabric and sew something joyful!

A fresh approach to half square triangles

Be still my beating heart…THIS is flying geese quilt!

And Tamara Kate showing a few more of her quilts

And the last pic…Janome had brought in their top of the line 15000 machines and iPads and stylus for us all to try sketching our own designs.  Due to slow wifi, we did a test-quilt (in a hoop using the embroidery module) using a pre-loaded design.  But of course I had to do a quick (and wobbly) sketch of the Flying Pug!

It was really quite easy to create a design…this was done in a rush. I’m thinking with even a little practice one could get quite fun results easily. I had a loaner 15000 machine. I’m not an embroidery person, but the machine was easy to use without special instruction and the table runner I made using it is one of my favorites.

Yep, I think I have to confess to being a total fan-girl!   More fun stuff from the Education Summit in the coming days.

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She persisted/Ocean quilt published in Quiltmania

July 3rd, 2018

My ocean quilt, She persisted in her quest to reach the shore and sing the anthem of the sea, was one of 16 quilts featured in an article on the 2018 Road to California shows (where it won a First Place art quilt ribbon no less). The other quilts in the article are all stupendous, so I am quite blown away and honored to be included.

Thank you so much Martha Sielman, Executive Director of SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) and Quiltmania! Martha emailed a couple days ago asking if I had seen my quilt, She persisted in her quest to reach the shore and sing the anthem of the sea, in Quiltmania. I had no clue and the nearest place that might (?) still have a copy of this issue is over an hour away. So Martha sent me her copy which I’ll now add to my groaning (lucky me!) shelf of published works. Sixteen quilts, all wonderful, widely ranging in style, were published from the Road to California 2018 show. I SO need to go see this show. Maybe I need to apply to teach! Thank you again, Martha!!!

Quiltmania, a French magazine that is also published in English and available in the US

Getting ready for the next quilt….the herald of summer in Maine

July 1st, 2018

Before I can start in on the fusing and collaging process, I find that I now need to dye fabric specifically for a project.   While working on my Lilies of the Valley Quilt, I used up most of my good “summer” greens.   My next piece is for Explorations at the New England Quilt Museum (in Lowell, Mass.), a regional SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) show.  I’ve had several ideas I wanted to try for this piece, and really wanted to push myself to do something different and unexpected.  Unfortunately, those ideas are just not wanting to fit into the required vertical orientation and size required!   So I’m going to do a large piece on something I’ve been wanting to do for a while:  Maine’s lupines that bloom in late May and early June and herald the summer.

SAQA members from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont were invited to submit a body of work.  If selected, artists would then make a 30×50″ art quilt featuring a specific technique.  We were advised to submit several techniques, so I suggested dyeing, fused collage and machine quilting/threadwork.   I am delighted that I am one of 24 artists selected!  There will be two exhibits of 12 artists each.  We won’t know whether we will be in the Oct-Dec 2018 exhibit or the Jan-April 2019 exhibit until the works are completed and submitted August 1.  That means I need to work FAST!

I was chosen to showcase fused collage.  The exhibit is about techniques, with in depth information and supplementary materials.  From the acceptance letter:

In the exhibit, your piece will be accompanied by a number of items, including your artist statement, a brief bio, a photo of you in your studio, and materials which explain your technique. Each artist has a 20″ x 50″ area that they can use to explain their process. You can use process photos, sample pieces, written materials, even video presentations if you can figure out how to make it work.

But before I can fuse, I need the right COLORS to fuse.   Some years ago I made some cloth that I gave to my friend Kathy, who used it is a fabulous portrait of her granddaughter.   I thankfully kept notes of which dyes I used, and I call this combination “Kathy’s fabric.”  This time, I decided to make it not as dark—summer meadow greens instead of piney woods greens.

I start by dotting dye on, both navy and basic blue. I literally stick my latex-gloved fingers into the dye and daub it on. MANY classes with Carol Soderlund and many MANY yards of fabric and miles later, I can begin to predict what I will get because I tend to refer to my notes and books from the workshops, then go improv.

Then I add two or three yellows, because not just one will quite do what I want. Sometimes, I do a second cloth, as here, where I have actually mixed some greens instead of just doing yellow on blue.

For dye geeks, most of the time I prefer to paint dye onto cloth, then paint soda-ash/fixer solution on top, but this time I soda-soaked first, then daubed on the color.  When I want significant patterning, it’s soda-soak first.

The photo at the top of this post is the one which began with blue dots, then yellow, then greens.

Once I’ve gotten the color on, the fabric needs to batch so it moves under the table for several hours before washout, sometimes (as this time) overnight. Had to make some of my bright spring greens, too.

Then I decided to try to make a field with lupines in it, but blurry, to use as background at the top of the quilt.  I may have messed this one up…..

Sky at the top–good until I put some plastic over the top to batch it overnight. Apparently SOB there were stray dots of dye that didn’t get washed off properly last dyeing session. SOB.

This is what it looked like about six hours later. I like the way the dye is seeping up into the sky. This is when I covered it. SOB.  And most of those dots got covered up. 

This morning when uncovered. SOB. Random specks of pink in the sky. SOB. Will have to see after washout what remains.  Cover it up with tall lupines perhaps.  SOB.

I also decided to try ice dyeing for the first time, inspired by my friend Jim Vander Noot. I used a magazine holder because it was available to keep the fabric up out of the pooling, dripping dye (instead of a screen). Put another piece of cloth in the bottom of the tub to soak up the drips. I use pure dyes, not mixes which is more typical for ice dyeing, so I kinda winged it on this one. I sprinkled the dyes in the picture below on, then dribbled some yellow dye solution I had already mixed up as well.

Dyes sprinkled on.

Today I washed out….stuff in the washer now.  OH MY I am SOOOOOOO gonna do more ice dyeing…totally hooked!   Hope they look as spectacular washed and dried as they did rinsed out!

Stay tuned for an update.

And…gratuitous cat pic of the new kitten, Zabu (named after the Leapin’ lemur on Zoboomafu which the boys watched when they were little)

Sweetness, to be followed when awake by zooming and cavorting and wreaking kitty havoc.

#saqa, #fabriccollage, #artquilt,#artistsoninstagram, #fusedfabric

#saqaexplorations, #neqmexplorations, #saqa, #neqm, #saqamari

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Pink Oyster Mushrooms for Dinner@8, Celebrating 10 Years

June 26th, 2018

 

Here’s what I wrote on my entry: Beneath the Surface of the Edges of the pink oyster mushrooms, the Space Between the gills forms rhythmic Patterns of shadow and light. My Affinity for fungi and lichen extends to the inspiration I find in the world around me in Maine, even at at the Belfast Farmer’s Market. Dyeing and painting white cloth is part of my artistic voice, my Personal Iconography.

I am over the moon excited that Pink Oyster Mushrooms has been juried in to the 10th and final (SOB) Dinner at Eight exhibit and that I can now share it with you–I made this back in the January to April time frame, and keeping it under wraps has been difficult!  From that website, “Dinner at Eight Artists is pleased to present The Best of Dinner at Eight Artists: Celebrating 10 Years of Exhibitions. Each artist selected a theme from the last 9 years for what will be our last exhibition. Quilt size is 30” wide by 50” high. The exhibit is sponsored by Havel’s Sewing.

“Artists considered the following:

We’ve explored the Edges and the Spaces Between

We examined things Beneath the Surface

We all admit that we have Rituals

We shared our Exquisite Moments

We Reflected upon ourselves and the world around us

We expressed our Affinity for certain things

We’ve noted the many Patterns in our lives

and expressed ourselves through Personal Iconography”

First and foremost:  Yes, oyster mushrooms really can be PINK!   Here’s the photo I took at the Belfast (Maine) Farmer’s Market last September:

Yes, the mushrooms really grew that color of pink!!!!! The tops are the usual brown, and apparently they lose the vibrant color when cooked, but still….Gorgeous!

Here are two detail images.  For this piece, I dyed the background fabric a very pale, warm pink. Then I used Tsukinenko inks mixed with aloe vera gel (the white kind from the organic food shop that is about 98 percent gel, not the green yuck that is barely 60 percent aloe gel from Rite Aid) and painted the browns and pink shadows on the gills.  I used stabilizer underneath and did all the stitching on the curled tops before layering up with batting and backing.  I then quilted the wholecloth top, outlined the brown tops/edges, and added a little more quilting where necessary to prevent buckling on the brown areas.

Detail 1

Detail 2

It has been such an honor to be a part of so many of the Dinner at Eight exhibits.   I am a better artist and a happier person for having met and worked with and become friends with the strong women involved, starting with Jamie Fingal (http://www.jamiefingaldesigns.com) and Leslie Tucker Jenison (http://www.leslietuckerjenison.com).  I am proud beyond belief of the work I have done for these exhibits, which I consider to be the best of everything I have done, and deliriously happy to be included in this final exhibit.  THANK YOU, Jamie, Leslie and all the Dinner@8 artists.

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