Monday, April 09, 2012
Getting back to work!
(Above: More wrapped and embroidered wooden spools. Click on this or any other photo in this post for an enlargement.)
Returning from an art residency ... which was most certainly a "month in Paradise" (aka Key West) required all my attention for an entire week. The mountain of custom picture framing that awaited me seemed endless but I tackled it.
(Above: Eight "Lancet Windows" ... framed and stacked on my Decision Portrait Series. Storage is beginning to be quite a problem here at Mouse House!)
Some of the framing, however, was for my own work. I finished twenty-eight pieces during my residency! (That's not counting my 2-piece Runaway Runway recycled garment or the red faux-alligator tote or any of the wrapped spools or the quilt in this post!)
(Above: Newly framed Stained Glass XXIX.)
During the last few days, I packed up my polyester velvet and WonderUnder. I finished the free-motion machine embroidery on the largest Grave Rubbing Art Quilt I've ever made. I brought an old painter's drop cloth for its backing. It came from Bill Mishoe's auction and I lovely washed and ironed it. The discoloration and spots are really rather beautiful. The weight of it is perfect.
(Above: Grave Rubbing Art Quilt, in progress ... free-motion embroidery done ... being pinned to a recycled painter's drop cloth as it's backing ... on the floor in my Key West residency studio.)
I started stitching buttons from the former South Carolina State Mental Hospital through the drop cloth and the quilted top ... attaching all three layers together with each button. The last day of stitching in Key West was spent on the porch, in the sunshine, stitching these buttons ... but I didn't finish until just last week.
(Above: Circular Churchyard, detail. Click on image to enlarge.)
I'm not posting a full photo of this quilt ... and, for the first time ever, I'm asking that this quilt's images NOT BE COPIED! Why? I think I'm going to enter it into a show that requires images of entries NOT to be on websites, blogs, or exhibitions other than the maker's. I'm perfectly happy with my work on Pinterest and on other blogs ... but, please, not this one! (There are lots more details at the bottom of this post too.)
I also didn't pin the whole quilt up on the wall in order to snap a photo of the reverse. Instead, I put it back on the floor at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios (where my studio is located). This is the same place where I basted it to the recycled felt. A post of this is HERE.
(Above: reverse, detail.)
Taking photos was important last week. I was able to get images for my blog while in Florida but not high enough quality for other uses. Most everything had to be shot again!
(Above: My Bluegrass Roots II. 33" x 25". Acrylic photo transfer on a section of a vintage quilt with buttons. Click on image to enlarge.)
This included pictures of My Bluegrass Roots II and III. The woman is my great, great grandmother in ca. 1925. Her name is Carolina Amelia Phillips Oswald.
(Above: My Bluegrass Roots III. 34" x 25". Acrylic photo transfer on a section of a vintage quilt with buttons. Click on image to enlarge.)
This is my great grandfather, Max Emil Oswald. The photo was taken around 1896 when he was a very young man. I have a single memory of him even though he died when I was almost four years old. His wife, my great grandmother, lived until I was in high school.
(Above: Spool Cradle II. Click on image to enlarge.)
After finishing all the buttons on the Runaway Runway 2-piece garment, I spent my evenings stitching on wrapped wooden spools. Each spool was wrapped with wool tapestry yarn ... a donation from a local woman who used to do needlepoint and design kits. I have LOTS of it and this is a good use. Fortunately, my studio assistant did most of the wrapping ... and had another large pile of spools to work on while I was in Florida.
I love stitching into the wool with colorful threads. Most of my embroidery floss comes from auctions and yard sales.
The rocking doll cradle also came from Bill Mishoe's auction, and I have yet another one for the next batch of spools!
(Above: Maribeth and a full car load of "stash".)
Because I have a studio in a well known location and attend auctions, I'm often in "the right place at the right time" to acquire someone's former fiber "stash". This past week I bought two large boxes of good, clean fabric for $12.50 each. The boxes were too large for me to lift by myself ... and quite heavy. I also was contacted about a "stash" from an older woman who is now in a home. Her daughter couldn't bare to sell her mother's "life" at auction or an estate sale. She wanted it to go to someone "who cared". I care but I couldn't keep it all. Besides, this stitcher was primarily into heirloom sewing and smocking ... things I don't do and never will. I called Creative Sewing and asked for the woman who teaches these techniques. She wasn't working but her twenty year old daughter Maribeth was. For Maribeth and her Mom, yesterday wasn't Easter; it was Christmas. I felt wonderful to donate the things I couldn't keep to the people who can love and use it. Maribeth said she'd share "this wealth" with a new employee at Creative Sewing, another young girl with limited income!
The rest of this post contains more images of my latest Grave Rubbing Art Quilt. Please don't copy these images but thanks for looking at them! Blogging is still the easiest and best have for me to share my work with my parents in Slippery Rock, my sister in Germany ... and for this piece ... with Carolyn Thiedke who gave me permission to make these grave rubbings in a place that is otherwise posted with "NO RUBBINGS" signs!
Posted by Susan Lenz at 2:31 PM