Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sunday, November 18, 2012

An Accidental Project

Several years ago, a friend was cleaning out an elderly relative's attic and came across a pile of quilt blocks.  No one else wanted them so she gave them to me.

Since then, they've been sitting on my fabric shelves because I wasn't quite sure what to do with them.  They're made from a great hodgepodge of fabrics, from the 1930s I believe.  Though many are stained or have cloth too delicate to repair, but I didn't have the heart to toss them.

Happily, today I had a thought about how I might use a few of the blocks, but I'm not quite ready yet to jump right in.   I picked four blocks that looked related, managed to iron them fairly flat, squared them up, and sewed them together.  Then I cut a freezer paper chair stencil -- but only after accidentally cutting a waxed paper stencil first.  Oops.  Having painted a chair and some parts on the surface, I'm now done for the evening.

My intent was just to see if I could get a reasonably flat surface out of the blocks and to see how well the fabric took paint, but the wonky piecing and eclectic fabrics have already started to grow on me.  Though not part of my original plan, I'm now going to add quilting and stitching.

Has this ever happened to you -- an accidental project?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Sold in Houston

I've crossed off enough critical items on my lengthy "to do" list that I can take a moment on my blog to announce -- with tremendous pride-- that my Whimsy piece sold at the SAQA Benefit Auction in Houston.  Woo hoo!  I'm so pleased!

This little piece is very special to me.  It was a joy to make and came at a time in my life when creating something fun and spirited was exactly what I needed.   It was the impetus for a new series of works based on the shape of the chair and the concept of welcome.  It marked the start of a more serious studio practice.  A detail of it became my blog header.  It's just one of those special pieces that I'm sure every artist has that marks a turning point in their artistic journey.  I love it and I hope it brings joy to its new owner.

As a bit of an aside, I'd like to go on record to say I'm happy SAQA chose to extend the Benefit Auction to the International Quilt Festival in Houston.  I'm honored that my piece was selected by Warren and Nancy Brakensiek, prominent contemporary fiber art collectors, to be part of the Houston sale collection.  I'm guessing they felt the pieces they selected were a fair representation of fiber art today that also would appeal to a broad audience.  I'm taking the implicit compliment in that.   I also believe that hosting a portion of the auction in Houston enables SAQA, as an organization, to expand its buyer pool and help educate visitors about art quilts.  There's no doubt that the quilts in the special SAQA exhibitions are tremendous works of art, but I suspect they might be intimidating to a new, potential member.  The 12" x 12" squares seem a much more attainable goal for a "newbie" and showcase the breadth of work SAQA members create.

Bottom line: I'm glad to have made a piece of art that touched someone enough that they were willing to lay down hard earned cash for it, supporting SAQA in the exchange.  I'd say that's a good deal all around.

Monday, November 12, 2012

I'm Back!

After many nights of doing dishes like this,

rearranging the kitchen furniture so we could sit in front of a toasty fire for warmth,

we finally have our power back and can return to business as usual.  Hooray!!

I have to say, there's really no place like home and I'm so thankful I have a home to return to.  Many of those affected by Super Storm Sandy weren't as lucky.  I believe I'll be thinking of those less fortunate than I for a long time -- how can I not?  My home is a constant reminder of how lucky we are.

I'm itching to get back into the studio as soon as I take care of all the other items that were postponed these last two weeks.  I did cross one thing off my "to do" list: I mailed off my pockets to Melanie Testa for her breast pocket project.  On the second day after the storm I finished the embroidery on a second pocket (I took out my first effort), but didn't get a chance to sew the two sides together until I could borrow time on Natalya's sewing machine as soon as she had power.  I suppose I could have hand stitched the two parts together, but my cold fingers didn't take too well to the idea so I waited.

That's all for now.  'Til soon, I hope!  It's good to be back!