Friday, March 27, 2009


The theme for the Stretching Art special exhibit at Quilter's Heritage is "Neverending". We could interpret it however we wanted to. How would you define neverending? Neverending piles of laundry? Neverending errands? The neverending universe? The only idea that kept coming into my head was how the slugs seem to have a neverending appetite for my zinnias. So I created a quilt based on that, complete with holes in the leaves. (That was a learning experience, let me tell you!) Here's are sneak peek; to see the whole quilt, please visit Quilter's Heritage in Pennsylvania, April 2-5. If you get a chance to go, please take pictures; I'd love to see the exhibit!

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Review

It's almost the end of the first quarter of 2009 and I think I need to take stock of how my year is stacking up against my goals. Am I on target? Am I way off? Should I readjust and/or re-evaluate anything? Considering it's my 100th (!) post, this seems an appropriate thing to do.

GOAL 1: Create weekly journals, practicing various techniques
I've dropped the ball on this one. I've only created five weekly journals, all in the beginning of the year. I haven't made one in over a month. Not surprisingly, I think I need to fine-tune this goal. Why haven't I been successful? Well, I've been creating work in response to exhibit opportunities and, given my time constraints, that's pushed journals to the side. I also think I'm too scattered in my approach. I wanted to work on technique, but that was too broad a goal. I think I need to take a cue from Jeanne Williamson and select one technique to work on. I'm not sure what that will be, but I'm going to give it some thought and get back to you.

GOAL 2: Create at least 10 new pieces
I'm happy with my progress on this goal. Thus far I've created six pieces I've put "out there", for exhibits and challenges / contests. For me, that's a real improvement. These are all pieces that were exhibit-worthy, though I do have my favorites. Now, I think that part of the reason I've made these pieces is that so many deadlines were scheduled for the start of the year. I hope I can keep the pace when the deadlines are past.

GOAL 3: Learn PhotoShop
My first step towards this goal was to purchase Gloria Hansen's book, Digital Essentials. I have it next to my computer as a reference when I have a spot of trouble. Ideally, I'd like to start at the beginning and go through it page by page. Perhaps this summer....

GOAL 4: Exhibit with groups such as SDA and SAQA
I missed my chance to participate in the SDA member exhibit; I couldn't pull something together in time. However, I am pleased that I'm part of the SAQA NY trunk show and in Collection A of the SAQA@20 "Meet the Artists" show. I'm hoping I can create something to be considered for "Fibrations" as well. I think I'm on target here.

GOAL 5: Try to find other exhibit opportunities
To help me meet this goal, I've created a calendar with calls for entry that interest me. I keep a copy by my computer and another in my studio. I'm keeping track of juried and non-juried opportunities. Having this right beside me is helping me stay on task. I've already entered more challenges, contests, and shows that I did all of last year. I'm getting better at pulling out calls for entry and deciding what's for me and what's not. Now I just have to create more work!

GOAL 6: Have fun
Sometimes I feel a bit harried to meet a self-imposed deadline (I do still seem to be very deadline driven), but I am having such a good time! So much so that I'm considering stepping back from some of my volunteer activities to devote more time to my art. I'm making a conscious effort to go out and see more art exhibits, to appreciate and learn from what others have created. I've joined Facebook and Twitter and I'm having fun reading about what other fiber artists are up to. It's sort of like having mini-chats over coffee and that suits my social nature. And, I'm happy with what I've made. I'm gaining a bit more confidence, though I'm ALWAYS up for a critique of my work, and that helps things flow a bit more. Are you having fun? I hope so!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

An Surprise Sunrise

I'm working hard to finish up my piece for the Stretching Art exhibit, Neverending, that will be showing at the Quilter's Heritage show in Lancaster. Alas, my handwriting was sloppy and I misread when it's due: the 20th, NOT the 26th. ARGH! (Of course, if I had really thought about it, I would have realized my mistake much sooner since the show starts April 2nd.) At any rate, I've been focused on getting it done. I can't remember if I can reveal it before the show, but I thought you might like to see some of the fabric I embellished for it earlier this week. On the brown fabric, I rubbed over some wavy card stock with two colors of painstiks. I painted the edge of the yellow fabric with different dilutions of color and then wet the edge so the paint would run a bit. Though it's not what I intended, I think the yellow fabric looks like a sunrise. Hmmm, maybe that will be next....

Thursday, March 12, 2009

What Fun!

The opening for the Fiber + Thread = Art exhibit was so much fun! I wish you all could have been there. Despite a St. Patrick's Day parade that bottlenecked the traffic in front of the library, we had lots people attend.

The artwork looked amazing in the space. I must say that Jane's idea to mount all the artwork on 18 x 18 inch canvases was a masterstroke; the show looked very uniform, professional, and fabulous. I'm hoping we can continue to exhibit as a group.

I'm still all aglow from the fun.

I've gotten behind a bit on my journal quilts, but I do have something on my design wall for the week. On Monday, Natalya gave me a quick tutorial on using Lesley Riley's TAP paper. Oh, I think I'm going to be experimenting with this a lot; it's so cool! Here's what I'm working on. (I used TAP for the transfer of a picture of train wheels.) What do you think? Nothing's sewn down yet; I rather threw things together. Does it need something else? Should it have a white surround? Should I just sew it together since it's a journal quilt? What do you think? I must confess -- I think I like it (but don't let that stop you from telling me you hate it!).

Friday, March 6, 2009

You're Invited

Please join us this Sunday, March 8th, at the opening reception for Fiber + Thread = Art, taking place at the Mahopac Library in Mahopac, NY. The reception will be from 2pm - 4pm. Artwork from local NY and CT SAQA members is on display, all mounted on 18" x 18" canvas. The myriad of techniques and styles shown make this a wonderful exhibit. If you're in the area, please stop by for art, food and wine.

The artists included in the show are
Natalya Aikens
Deborah J. Bein
Barbara Browner Schiller
Martha Buhl
Carolyn C Cooney
Nike Cutsumpas
Jane Davila
Barbara Drillick
Gail Ellspermann
Judy Gignesi
Cindy Green
Carole Hoffman
Jamie Horikawa
Melanie Hulse
Kathi Jahnke
Kathryn Lange
Cecelia Leiseroff
Lynda Long
Nancy Mirman
Maxine Oliver
Margaret A. Phillips
Elizabeth Poole
Norma Schlager
Barbara Sferra
Carolyn Spiegel
Kendell Storm
Joyce Sullivan
Micki Tedeschi
Barbara Thornton
Mayann Weinberg
Vivien Zepf

Blue Glue Part Deux

This morning, I finally returned to my glue gel resist sample. (I've been working this week on a piece for the Quilting Arts 2010 Calendar contest that was due today. I can't post a picture yet; we'll see what happens.) Here is what I've learned so far from my blue glue experiment:

1. The glue in the center of the flower and where the petals meet did not come out on its own, despite the fact I soaked it in water for 20 minutes and put it through two cycles in the washing machine. I had to take a brush and scrub it all away. I guess I was too heavy handed.

2. The flat textile paint wasn't damaged by the scrubbing, but the metallic paint in the center of the flower didn't fare so well. A lot of the circles peeled off. I suppose I've now learned that metallic paint sits much more on the surface of the fabric. I guess the metallic element of the paint doesn't get absorbed by the fibers of the fabric.

The flower looked a little boring since so much of the center had been scrubbed away, so I decided to use my paintsticks to spruce it up a bit. I rubbed over sequins waste in the center, a wavy textured paper on the red petals, and a textured stamp on the yellow petals. I think this looks much more fun.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Blue Glue Resist - Part I

After my post last night, I decided to try out the glue gel resist technique described by Cynthia St. Charles in her article in the February / March 2009 issue of Quilting Arts magazine. It seemed quick and easy, so I grabbed a piece of muslin and started a simple doodle of a flower. This morning, I started to fill it in with paint. Here's what I've learned so far:

1) I think it's tough to create complex or close designs all at once with this technique. Last night, the center of my flower was filled with a honeycomb of circles. This morning, many of the circles had run together. Next time I think I'll start with bigger circles, let them dry, and keep making things smaller, allowing time between doodles for the glue to dry.

2) The glue in the flower center wasn't dry this morning, more than 12 hours after I'd done the original doodle. I suppose it's because the circles ran together. Cynthia notes she leaves her pieces to dry overnight, so I was surprised mine was still wet to the touch.

3) My hand was tired out after I doodle. Logically, I should have started with something smaller. I don't think you need to squeeze hard either for the glue to come out. I eased up as I went along and was still able to create a nice line.

4) When you're finished with your design, be sure to go back and check for "broken" lines. I moved too quickly in some spots and didn't have a line. You may want your sections to bleed together, so double-checking isn't necessary. However, I didn't want any bleeding, so I went back in and filled in the gaps.

5) Beware fuzz, pet hair, stray threads when you do this. I thought my surface was clean, but the canvas told a different story this morning! I had a few pieces of thread from the edge of the muslin stuck in the glue, along with some of my own hair. Oops.

6) Lettering was easier than I thought. I may change my mind, however, when I see the end result!

I'm letting the piece dry now; I'd like to heat set it tonight and remove the resist in the next day or two. I'll keep you posted.