Monday, September 29, 2008

End of a series?

I was so excited about my recent news that I forgot to post my journal quilt for the week. I returned to the same pool of fabric I used in my most recent journals. The print on this piece is a fallen feather-like branch I found on my driveway. In one of my earlier journals I had cut out a section, so I decided to try that again here. I like how the open shape -- which I tried to make echo the rectangle shape below -- is bisected by the branch.

Yesterday, I made this week's journal. This one is constructed using left-over quilted sections from previous pieces. I zigzag stitched them together. I wasn't particularly inspired by the whole pieces of fabric this time, so perhaps this is the end of this mini-series. We'll find out.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Recent Acquisition

Yesterday the mailman delivered a very nice package: Urban Landscapes #2 by Karen Stiehl Osborn. Isn't it just amazing? I'm so excited to own a piece of Karen's art and I can't wait to find the perfect spot for it in my home. I must admit that my picture of it doesn't do the piece justice; it's so much richer and more complex in person. I'm so lucky to have this!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Art Quilt XIII Acceptance

I'm thrilled and honored to report that my quilt, Revelation, has been juried into Art Quilt XIII: Lucky Break at the Chandler Center for the Arts. The show will be taking place from November 7 - December 31 in Chandler, AZ. I'm besides myself with excitement; this is such a prestigious venue and I'm humbled by the list of artists included in the exhibit. Wow! This sure is a lucky break for me.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

More Journals

With every spare moment I've had, I've been trying to squeeze in some more journal quilts to get up to date. I think I was invigorated by the "play" journal I made a few days ago, in lieu of a "real" one. Four of the new pieces work especially well together; they seem rather thematic. All the journals were made from the same pool of fabric. The second piece I made doesn't fit so well with the others because I pieced it and that didn't turn out too great. What do you think? Do I have a mini-series going?

Here's the fabric I used, all painted using various techniques:

Here are the journals:

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Making a Painting Mess

Today, Natalya and I had a playdate. We had about an hour to have some fun using the gelatin plate printing technique described in Rayna Gillman's new book, Create Your Own Hand-printed Cloth. We combined our supplies and made a wonderful mess in my sewing space.

Natalya made beautiful texture on some linen napkins. Aren't they amazing? They have such bold lines and great color.

I ended up printing longish pieces of fabric. I especially like this one that I made using torn scraps of paper as a resist.

I love doing this. Now I just have to figure out how to use the fabrics to their greatest advantage.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I'm Glad

I went upstairs this afternoon to catch up on my journal quilts. I decided to do a little painting since I didn't have a game plan or any inspiration. I pulled out a cardboard sheet that used to hold game pieces to use as a stencil. I couldn't find my plastic brayer, so I took out a fluffy one typically used for house painting. Purple, green and yellow went into the pan and off I went. Alas, unless you use a lot of paint, a fluffy brayer will soak it up, not spread it around. (That's not surprising if you think about it...but I hadn't.)

The fabric did end up with an interesting "sponged" look, but it wasn't really what I hoped for. I colored over some wavy card stock with light purple paintsticks to spruce up some of the painted squares. That was better, so I cut out a section.

Ah, but I really didn't pay attention again. I ended up cutting out a 5 1/2" square. Too small for the intended journal quilt and rather lame looking as it was. So I layered it onto a larger square of dark purple, but it seemed lost. Now what? How about little circles in purple, green and yellow? Done. After that I added some quilting and a binding (haven't done that in a while).

I had hoped to make a journal, but that's not where I ended up. I'm glad I didn't force myself to make this into a smaller piece. I'm glad I continued to play in an effort to get to something I liked better. I'm glad I relaxed and just had fun. Good lesson in there for me.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

They're Back!

I received a package yesterday from the Special Exhibit folks in Houston: two of my 8 1/2" x 11" journal quilt pages. I was honored that they had been traveling with the special exhibit, "Journal Quilts from the Book,Creative Quilting ". It was an especially long time away -- two years -- for my bird journal page. It was part of the 2006 journal exhibit in Houston, then was selected to take a side trip to Lowell, and finally was part of the book exhibit. Despite all the miles, both pieces came back looking like new. They had been individually wrapped in tissue like presents; Karey's staff sure knows how to take care of quilts. It's a treat to have the pieces home again and I thought I'd share them with you here.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Hello to everyone who's been patient while I haven't been blogging. As expected, August was a wash-out for me. What I didn't anticipate was how hard it would be to get back into the swing of things. I definately suffered from a creative block and the longer I didn't do anything, the more I procrastinated about creating. Has that ever happened to you?

Well, it happened to me. This morning, I finally put my foot down and went upstairs to my sewing space. I was hoping to make something meaningful for today -- September 11th -- but everything was inadequate. The best I could do was reflect on the events seven years ago and be thankful for all the blessings I have.

But what I was able to create were three "missing" journal quilts in an effort to catch up. Since I was a bit uncertain about jumping back on the creative wagon again, I kept it simple and personal. The first journal, called "Burn", is an abstract relating to my daughter's burn this summer. The sickle shapes are tracings of the burn that remains on my daughter's leg. The red, pink and white are representative of the stages of the injury we've been through: nasty, icky red with blisters; shiny, pink new skin emerging, and finally, white, the scar we hope will fade. A bit of an ugly first effort; ah well.

The second piece is called "Tear". I wrote my eldest daughter's foot diagnosis all over red fabric and then cut out the center to represent the tear in her tendon. I like the hole in the middle. I may do that elsewhere....

For the third piece I used a bit of the fabric I painted in Rayna Gillman's class this summer. I added a bit of blue metallic paint using bubble wrap, then put a few chicken scratch stitches here and there -- plus some cross stitch -- for texture. It was done without any real plan so I call it "Spontaneous". This was fun.

Thanks again to everyone for being so patient while I was absent from blogging. Sheesh, I sure delayed my return by being such a scaredy-cat / having such a mental block about creating again! I'd welcome any thoughts and creative exercises you can suggest to help me get jump started next time I'm out of the game a bit. It was so much fun today to "do" again, but it was personally intimidating before hand; I haven't a clue why.