Friday, August 30, 2013

The Storycatcher, 500 Handmade Books, and My Bluegrass Roots goes to Cary!

(Above:  Lark Publication's new 500 Series:  500 Handmade Books, Volume 2 and Ann Hite's new novel The Storycatcher. Click on any image in this blog post to enlarge.)

Yesterday my mail was GREAT!  I received TWO books in the mail!  First is my copy of the newest 500 Series publication from Lark:  500 Handmade Books, Volume 2.  On page 257 are three image of my piece, The Good Girl.  I'm quite honored to be in this book.  (By the way, Some Things I'll Never Know was part of Volume 1.)

(Above:  The Good Girl.  To read more about this unique artist altered book, CLICK HERE.)

The other book that came in the mail is the second novel by my friend Ann Hite.  Ann's first book, Ghost on Black Mountain, earned her a Townsend Prize nomination and was the winner of "Best First Novel" from a Georgia Author of the Year Awards.  Ann and I were introduced to one another on-line by another writer.  Why?  Well, Ann was struggling with a character in her second novel, The Storycatcher.  This girl, named Faith, needed to be in a cemetery for the sake of the plot but had no good reason for being there.  That's where I come in!  From what I understand, Faith is now an artist who makes grave rubbings for her artwork!  Sound familiar?  I cannot wait to read the book!  Thank you, Ann ... especially for mentioning me in the acknowledgment and having a gallery copy sent to me! 

Another exciting thing happened this week, part two of my interview with, a British on-line site for contemporary fibers, is now available.  It is called My True Calling.  (The first part, A Partnership with My Materials, is HERE.)  I am truly honored to be included on this impressive site.

(Above:  My Bluegrass Roots.)

Yet another exciting thing happened this week! It dealt with My Bluegrass Roots.  This unique art quilt was accepted into the PAQA-South juried exhibit, ARTQUILTSfreezeframe at the Page-Walker Arts & History Center in Cary, NC. The show is on view from Sept. 26 - Oct. 20 with an artist's reception on Fri., Sept. 20 from 6 - 8 PM.  To read more about this image, including the acrylic photo transfer process, CLICK HERE

My mother had to help me.  She had to print out the photo release, take it to my ninety-four-year-old grandmother, have her sign it, and then mail it to me!  Why?  Well, every piece in this exhibit will show how art quilters use photos.  Each piece will be accompanied by a copy of the photo used ... and a photo release for that image.  (This might sound silly since my piece includes an image transfer but most art quilters don't necessarily use an exact copy of the image.  Most translate a photo using various fabrics and/or paints.)  Since my image originally came from Grandma's photo album, I had to have Grandma's signature on the photo release!

(Above:  My Bluegrass Roots having a stretcher bar glued to the reverse.)

There was another slight problem with having this piece accepted into this show.  The Page-Walker Art and History Center has a hanging rail gallery display system.  This means there is a track installed near the ceiling from which rails are suspended.  Artwork is attached to hooks on the rail.  Thus, the walls stay free from holes.  Originally, My Bluegrass Roots had a large slat (1" x 4") stitched to the upper top of the quilt's reverse.  I pre-drilled rather large holes in the slat ... exactly 33" apart.  Basically, by hammering two large nails into a wall 33" apart ... using a level ... my piece hung on the nails ... perfectly.  This wouldn't work with the hanging system at the Page-Walker so I removed my slat.

(Above:  My Bluegrass Roots having a stretcher bar glued to the reverse.)

My husband Steve built a stretcher bar exactly two inches smaller than the art quilt.  When centered, this left one inch between the outside edge of the art quilt and the stretcher bars.  Using a tube of Amazing Goop's marine adhesive, I glued the stretcher bar to the back of the art quilt ... and even attached a label printed on photo paper using the same glue.  After adding a standard wire, the piece can hang on any hook ... even the rail system at the Page-Walker.

It is not every day when marine glue can be used on the back of an art quilt ... but My Bluegrass Roots is THICK!  That's a piece of upholstery material onto which I glued a section of an antique blue-and-white quilt ... to which I applied at least eight layers of acrylic medium before transferring the image.  Stitching through it required pliers!  The finished work is rather heavy and cannot be rolled.  

(Above:  My Bluegrass Roots ready for shipping.)

Since the piece will not roll, I shipped it flat ... in a very, very narrow "crate".  I screwed the stretcher bars to a double-walled piece of corrugated that fit exactly into this shallow "box".  This will prevent the work from moving inside the crate.  The crate was made using two, still folded, over-sized boxes from Uline screwed to a 2" x 2" plywood frame.  I checked my FedEx Ground tracking number ... it is in Cary!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Grid of Photos ... hanging and now in search of a title

(Above:  The Grid of Photos, a "working title".  6' x 15 1/2'.  Assorted, anonymous snapshots fused to fabric and stitched into a giant grid using tear-away material ... suspended on dowels from five wooden brackets.  Click on any image in this blog post for an enlargement.)

The idea for this large piece has been rolling around in my head for over a year.  Experimentation began in early May and I wrote about it HERE.  That experiment went well.  So, I started working on the piece shortly thereafter.  My June10th blog post follows the work while in progress.  Actually, by this date the work was finished.  Only the "hanging" remained.  I had several plans for suspending it in front of the wall, but a trip to the local hardware store cemented my decision to use wooden brackets and dowels.    

 (Above:  The grid of photos and tools in front of the wall ... ready to hang!)

I had to wait until there were no other exhibitions scheduled for the atrium at Gallery 80808, the public/rented art space outside my studio door.  Summers are hot and slow in Columbia, South Carolina ... and thus "the dog days of August" became a perfect time to install the piece ... after returning from Birmingham, UK's Festival of Quilts.  I would have done this the weekend before last ... but our beloved cat Shadow's trip to the emergency clinic and ensuing death delayed my plans.

 (Above:  Perle cotton dyed with watery black silk paints.)

I did, however, manage to dye some strong perle cotton thread with black silk paints to roughly match the slate gray cotton thread used to stitch the grid.  I dyed the thread in my typical, sloppy fashion.  The result is perfect, almost variegated ... a little distressed, time worn, and able to blend into both the wall and the grid of photos.  I actually used very little of it for the installation.  The rest is now being "over-stitched" into one of my antique crazy quilt sections.  It is perfect.

First, I mounted the center bracket.  My dowels were cut to 46".  I inserted a dowel halfway into the hole drilled into the bracket.  Then I mounted the next bracket ... just so that the other end of the dowel fit halfway into it.  Basically, the ends of the dowel "share" half the interior space of the holes drilled into the brackets.  I hope that makes sense.  The dowels are flexible enough to be gently bent out of the brackets. Once they were all up, I took the dowels out and went down on the floor ... placing the dowels in a row at the top of the grid of photos.  Using my dyed perle cotton, I stitched long loops at the corner of a few photos (only about ten photos total).  I inserted one of the dowels through the coordinating section of loops.  Unbelievably, I didn't require any help in getting the first dowel back up and into the brackets.  This grid is really, really strong.  While the grid was sort of semi-hanging from one section, I inserted the next dowel through some of the loops and put the dowel into place ... continuing until the whole thing was up.  Of course, it looked lousy but it was UP! 

(Above:  Grid of photos suspended in front of the wall.  View from a side angle.)

Standing on a six-foot ladder and using my dyed perle cotton, I created a stitched loop to the corners of approximately every other photo.  I adjusted the threads on the photos initially used to hang the work.  It took much less time than I anticipated ... and fewer "loops".  Originally, I thought I'd need every corner of every photo to be attached ... but this wasn't the case.    

(Above:  Grid of photos casting a shadow onto the wall.)

I know that I could have easily stapled the grid to a wall or used decorative nails, but I wanted the piece to be suspended.  There's a physical difference between "on the wall" and "in front of the wall". Conceptually, this is an important part of the work.  For me, the grid of photos is like a semi-transparent curtain, something between the present and the past ... and it casts a shadow which is indicative of the fading memories that these images represent.  I don't know who any of the people are.  The memory of these once special occasions is all but gone ... like our ever fading memories ... like time slipping into oblivion.

(Above:  The grid of photos, detail.)

All during this time I tried to settle on an appropriate title.  I've called this piece "The Grid of Photos" from the beginning but never as an official title, just a working definition.  Now I'm stuck.  I've considered:

Fading Memories
Snapshots from the Past
In the Blink of the Eye
Once Special Moments
Slipping into Oblivion
As We Once Were

I'm more than happy to hear other ideas, other suggestions, other possible titles.  I think I'm too close to my own concepts and thoughts right now.  I don't really want to put a negative spin on the piece or even a title too suggestive of the bittersweet nature of memory slipping away ... but that's where my mind goes.  Suggestion?  PLEASE!

 (Above: Two people in the atrium ... taken from my studio door.)

I should have stuck my head out my studio door earlier ... while this couple was pointing out fashions and car styles in many of the images.  They were enjoying the work without dwelling on the passage of time.  Unfortunately, they didn't have a title suggestion!

Now ... below is a brief recap of how this grid of photos came into being!

I started by fusing hundred of collected, anonymous old photos to fabric.  I used Fusion 4000 in my 36" x 48" Seal press.  The fabric came from a local auction house ... just ordinary poly/cotton from some unknown woman's stash.  The Fusion 4000 and heat press are part of my custom-picture framing business.

Then, with the help of a former studio assistant, we cut all the photos out.  This took days.

Next, I dabbed a drop of acrylic medium on the back of each photo and glued them to pieces of Stitch-and-Tear.  Then, I stitched around each photo ... while stitching little "connecting bridges" between them ... making a grid.


 With my my husband Steve's help, we spent several evenings removing all the Stitch-and-Tear.  (It really isn't a difficult job! LOL!)

In order to create a giant grid, I arranged all the smaller grids on more Stitch-and-Tear ... back in the atrium outside my studio wall ... in front of the wall on which they now hang!

This photo is a detail shot.  By enlarging it, you can see that the spaces between the smaller grids are not stitched.  Occasionally, small photos were inserted into these voids in order to make the spaces more uniform.

The most difficult part of this project was stitching those spaces between the smaller sections.  I was on the floor with the gird partly rolled.  It was quite an experience trying to "get to the middle"!

Finally, I spent a couple evenings removing the Stitch-and-Tear that was used to attach all the smaller grids into one, giant grid ... back at home.  After this ... I only had to hang it ... and now THAT'S DONE!

In the past, I've often only had a single blog post to link weekly on Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Fridays", a site for sharing fiber art works.  This week I had three from which to select!  This one, however, with its request for potential titles, is the winner!

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Last Bouquet, Installation in Pickens, SC

(Above:  The Last Bouquet, installation. Click on any image in this blog post to enlarge.)

I'm totally elated that my work has been invited for inclusion in an upcoming fiber art exhibit called  Connecting Concept & Medium: Fiber Art in South Carolina at the Pickens County Museum of Art & History in Pickens, South Carolina.  The show opens on September 7th and runs through Nov. 14.  There's an opening reception on Sept. 7 from 5 - 8.  Perhaps I'll get to finally meet Terry Jarrard-Dimond and Jim Arendt! 

(Above:  The Last Bouquet, detail.)

I know some of the other artists too ... and am especially thrilled to have work in the same show with Jocelyn, Mary Edna, Fran, and Lee ... people whose work I've admired FOREVER due to their high national and international profiles.  I'm also excited to show work with other SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associate) members like Beth, Bonnie, Dottie and Marilyn!  This is going to be GREAT! 

Included fiber artists:
Paige Alexander, Beth Andrews, Jim Arendt, Lois Bro, Jocelyn Châteauvert, Robin Ann Cooper, Kathy Costner, Mary Edna Fraser, Fran Gardner, Terry Jarrard-Dimond, Patricia Kerko, Christina Laurel, Susan Lenz, Connie Lippert, Lee Malerich, Jeanette Moody, Dottie Moore, Marlene O’Bryant-Seabrook, Bonnie B. Ouellette, Beth Robertson, Alice Schlein, Gayle Sexton, Susan Sorrell, Chris Tedesco, Marilyn Wall, and Michael Wiernicki

(The Last Bouquet, detail.)

One of the most important reasons for my excitement is the fact that Executive Director Allen Coleman asked if I'd like to create an installation.  OF COURSE I WOULD ... and I did last Thursday!

I know the space well.  My solo show Blues Chapel was once on the second floor ... in this historic part of the building ... in the room that includes the circular niche in one corner.  I adore that niche and instantly knew how I wanted to transform it.

(Above:  The Last Bouquet, installation.)

I brought all my epitaph banners (something like 45 of them), all of my artificial flowers collected from cemetery dumpsters (three large garbage bags), two large fabric panels of black crayon grave rubbings, one of my "Book of Angels", a kneeler I recently purchased at auction, two church offering plates (don't ask ... but ...yes ... I have a strange stash of found objects), a few hundred wrapped-and-stitched wooden spools, and A Bud on Earth, one of my framed xylene photo transferred cemetery angel images stitched with the tiniest artificial blossoms.  Then I transformed the niche.

(Above:  The Last Bouquet as seen in a window installation at the Tapps Art Center during January and February of 2011. Click on image to enlarge.)

I knew I could do it ... because I've done it before.  I first created this installation for a storefront window at the Tapps Art Center in 2011.  CLICK HERE to read about this project.  At the time, I wrote the installation's statement:

Every leaf, every petal, and every artificial flower came from cemetery dumpsters.  Each had been brought to a grave-site as a token of love, a symbol of memory, and later tossed away.  Installation artist Susan Lenz retrieved washed and recycled the blossoms.  She combined the blossoms with curtains of grave rubbings on fabric, embroidered chiffon banners, and a mixed media “angel” to create this installation, “THE LAST BOUQUET”.  The work is meant to reflect both personal and universal mortality while investigating the concept of remembrance and human frailty.

(Above:  My other work in the Picken's invitational.  Click on image to enlarge.)

 I am also happy to have other work in this important exhibition ... including (from left to right above) The Leaf Dress, Only Child, In God's Care, Circular Churchyard Angel II, At Rest in Arkansas, and The Spool Cradle.  

Friday, August 23, 2013

Work Completed Since returning from England

(Above:  Stained Glass LXIX, detail.  Click on any image in this blog post for an enlargement.)

Sometimes I don't blog for an entire week.  During the last week I posted four times.  These irregularities are generally due to travel.  When away, I can't always blog.  After returning, I'm behind and attempt to "catch up" with multiple posts.  Yet, I'm ALWAYS working.  Despite going to The Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, UK, losing both a 100+ year-old tree and a beloved 13 year old cat, and sharing inspirational photos, I have also been working on my fiber art, especially in anticipation of my two November shows:  The Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show and the Washington Craft show.  These are BIG DEAL and need plenty of new work from my "Stained Glass" and "In Box" series.  So ... here's the newest work!

(Above:  Stained Glass LXIX. 57" x 17" unframed; 64" x 24" framed.)

This piece was inspired by another from the series.  Lynn Robertson, former executive director of the McKissick Museum and co-curator for the upcoming 701 CCA Biennial, came to look at my work since this series was accepted into the Biennial.  She made an interesting comment on Stained Glass LXVI, "I like the use of negative space."  This got me thinking about my mental process when designing work.  I tend to concentrate on the shapes themselves, not the space between them which can be very much a part of the design.  I decided to explore the idea and Stained Glass LXIX is the result.  I really like the result.  Thank you Lynn!

(Above:  Stained Glass LXVIII, detail.)

This is the other piece that, like the one above, was mostly finished before I went to England.  I completed them after my return.

(Above:  Stained Glass LXVIII, detail of the bottom.)

(Above:  Stained Glass LXVIII.  57" x 17" unframed; 64" x 24" framed.  Polyester stretch velvets, previously painted heat-activated adhesive, chiffon scarves on recycled black, acrylic felt with self-guided free-motion machine embroidery and melting.)

(Above:  Detail, including signature block of In Box CXI.)

I also had In Box CXI almost finished before going to England.  These three pieces were all constructed, stitched and waiting to be melted and mounted before I could snap photos.  

(Above:  In Box CXI.  Unframed 27" x 17".  Framed: 32" x 22".)

Since finishing the melting and mounting/framing, I've created five new Lancet Windows.  These are long and skinny.  Of course, I forgot to check my mat board stock earlier in the week.  Now, despite the fact that these five pieces are technically "finished", I'll have to wait until early next week!  I generally stitch directly through the mat board in order to mount them.  Then, before installing the glass or Plexiglas, I take the photos.  Finally, they are closed up in their frames.  For reference, the photo below is how the pieces in the blog post (plus one other) look now.  Soon, I'll share the new Lancet Windows!

(Above:  Three pieces from my "Stained Glass" series and one "In Box" piece ... framed and ready for the shows in November ... and/or the 701 CCA Biennial ... depending on what Lynn Robertson selects!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Inspiration from the UK!

(Above:  My elder son Mathias Lenz Dingman and his lovely girlfriend Laura-Jane Gibson, both dancers with Birmingham Royal Ballet)

My week in England was wonderfully spent with half the time at The Festival of Quilts and the other half visiting my son and his girlfriend.  This was the first time in seven years that a trip DIDN'T coordinate with a ballet performance ... which meant that we could simply talk, visit, and go to dinner at a "normal" time.  It was great.  The days went quickly because there were so many inspirational experiences in addition to all the fiber art.  This blog post features some of the beautiful things I saw while abroad ...

... like this gorgeous owl!  On my first evening in Birmingham I walked down New Street, a pedestrian-only city-center location.  Right there in the middle of the former road was a temporary set-up for a local bird-of-prey protection center.  The birds were SO CLOSE.  Photographs for non-professional use were permitted with any monetary donation.  It was so worth the 2 ₤ I threw into the bucket.  

I created a Flickr! Set with the 23 photos that turned out rather well!  I love birds of prey!  They are majestic (even the cute little ones!)  CLICK HERE to see them!

(Above:  The Birmingham Museum of Art.)

I always go to The Birmingham Museum of Art.  I adore their extensive collection of Pre-Raphealite paintings.  Yet, with every visit I see something new and wonderful ... or ...

(Above:  View through several glass cases of decorative arts.)

... from another point of view!

(Above:  Entrance to a current exhibition on loan to Birmingham from the Smithsonian's American Art Museum.)

Speaking of "point of view", I had to laugh to myself at the current traveling exhibition, George Catlin's American Indian Portraits.  There were all sorts of "no photography" signs posted in this area and a guard who enforced the rule.  Of course, when I'm in Washington, DC's Smithsonian American Art Museum, I can snap all the photos of these many Indian portraits I like.  When one of the Pre-Raphealite masterpieces, however, is on loan to a museum in the United States, photography is forbidden.

While in Birmingham, however, people are allowed to capture the way the light reflects off the brushstrokes of these incredible works.  It is simply a matter of viewpoint, copyright law, and national ownership! 

 (Above:  Florence Camm's stained glass window depicting Dante and Beatrice.)

One of my favorite places in the Birmingham Museum of Art is undoubtedly the nice display of real stained glass windows.  For the most part, they are shown in large cases with light from the windows shining through them.  I've looked at them plenty of times ... but until this last trip, I failed to realize that a woman artist created some of the best examples! 

(Above:  Stained glass window by Edward Burne-Jones.)

Yet, the museum isn't the only place to see incredible stained glass.  St. Philip's Cathedral features incredible pieces by Edward Burne-Jones.  Seeing these works in a proper place of worship is perfect.

I created a Flickr! Set for my photos from the museum and the cathedral ... HERE!

Enjoy ... and now BACK TO ...

(Above:  Photo from a public art fountain near Birmingham's Bullring shopping area!)

Susan Lenz Interview on,, a British fiber arts site.

Susan Lenz Interview: A partnership with my materials

I'm absolutely proud to have been interviewed by this top-notched, contemporary fiber organization!  

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, UK

(Above:  Two women posing in front of my piece Lift and Tuck at the SAQA exhibition Metaphors on Aging, one of the many outstanding displays of art at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, England.  Click on any image in this blog post to enlarge.)

So ... I'm behind in blogging.  Sure, I just posted about taking down a 100+ year old pecan tree and saying a final goodbye to a beloved pet, our car Shadow ... but the real reason I'm behind in blogging is due to a week in England where I took nearly 500 photos.  I've pared down the number, color & contrast corrected the saved images, created Flickr! sets and am now finally ready to share the experience of four days at the NEC (National Exposition Center) for the annual Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, UK!

(Above:  Metaphors on Aging, a SAQA juried traveling exhibition including my piece, Lift and Tuck, which is on the far wall on the right.)

One of the reasons for going to England was to visit my elder son Mathias, a first soloist with Birmingham Royal Ballet, and his girlfriend Laura-Jane (LJ), a first artist with the same company.  This was the first visit in eight years that didn't involve going for a performance.  We were able to really talk, visit, and go to dinner at a "normal" time.  It was lovely.

The other reason for going to England was to experience the annual Festival of Quilts.  This is the largest quilt show in Europe.  It was AWESOME!  I had a piece, Lift and Tuck, on view in the SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) juried traveling exhibit, Metaphors on Aging.  This also gave me a chance to help steward the show.  I sat in the booth for an hour-and-a-half on three different days.

(Above:  Metaphors on Aging, catalog.)

While in the booth, I got a chance to tell people about SAQA, its benefits, the show, and also to sell both Portfolio 19 and the Metaphors on Aging catalog.  (To see all the works in the Metaphors on Aging show, CLICK HERE.  I am very proud to have a piece in both books.  The portfolio series features a piece from all the juried professional SAQA members.)  It was fun to watch people at The Festival of Quilts reacting to my piece.  The stitched 50s bra and girdle caused a lot of laughter.  People took photos in front of it!  What a hoot! 

(Above:  Maggie Vanderweit and her three pieces in the Metaphors on Aging exhibition.)

Being in the SAQA booth also meant getting to meet people ... like Maggie Vanderweit who also had work in the show.

(Above:  Ramshackle House, an art quilt by Sandy Snowden.)

Sandy Snowden tirelessly worked to coordinate the SAQA volunteers.  She is as welcoming as she is talented ... and generous too!

(Above:  Mary Fisher and one of her quilts.)

Sandy gave me a complimentary ticket to the charity dinner featuring Mary Fisher.  This is one amazing woman!  She is best known for her public address to the Republican Convention in 1992 as an HIV positive mother.  Her advocacy for AIDS prevention and education is heartfelt and strong.  Her art quilts speak volumes.  I bought a copy of her recent book.  Thank you, Sandy, for this amazing experience!

(Above:  The Festival of Quilts Fashion Show.)

I was also lucky enough to sit beside Sandy during the Fashion Show.  Sandy's two-piece fantasy garment was wonderful.  I snapped plenty of photos but most, of course, were blurry due to the motion of the models.  Thankfully, a few turned out well ... including this one of a dress I would most definitely wear!  WOW!

(Above:  The SAQA Meet and Greet)

Sandy Snowden also helped Alicia Merrett coordinated the SAQA Meet and Greet.  Business cards were exchanged between people from three different continents!  Why?  Well, I'm from North America and the "local" SAQA Chapter includes all of Europe and the Middle East!  Listening to the concerns and the connections was amazing.  Their regional newsletter is sent in four different languages!

(Silvia Dell'Aere and her award winning miniature art quilt depicting two orcas.)

Silvia Dell'Aere is a SAQA member who posted on the on-line forum her design choices for a miniature piece featuring two swimming orcas.  I was happy to meet her ... and see that the resulting options ended with a third place award for a miniature art quilt! 

(Above:  Christine Davoile trying a long arm sewing machine.)

My son Mathias is amazed at just how many people I know in England ... like Christine Davoile, a talented costume designer who met me at the Festival of Quilts for some time together.  Christine tried a long arm machine, bought some heat-activated disperse fabric dyes, and looked around at several of the exhibits with me.  During the year, she keeps me informed of just how well Mathias looks on stage!  Christine is also regularly attends performances!

(Above:  Julie Mackinder and her art quilt.)

I also met up with Julie Mackinder.  We've been blogging friends for several years.  Julie introduced me to my all-time favorite cemetery ... Rock Cemetery in Nottingham.  I'll be in her debt forever!  During the four days at the Festival of Quilts I also ran into several other blog friends ... like Jacqueline de Jong from the Netherlands.  It's funny that I knew more people in England's big quilt show than I did in Houston, Texas last November at the International Quilt Festival! 

(Above:  Red Stones 2 by Dianne Firth.)

Meeting friends is always nice ... but looking at the incredible artworks on display was what really blew me away.  I enjoyed seeing work by some of the artist's who also have work in Quilt National 2013 ... like Dianne Firth from Australia.

(Above: Traversing the Land by Dijanne Cevaal.)

There were several pieces in various exhibits by both Dianne Firth and Dijanne Cevaal ... both from Australia.  I've been familiar with Dijanne's work for years and truly enjoyed seeing her Travelers Blanket in person.  I love the fact that she's an expert at both hand and free motion embroidery.  

(Above: Elizabeth Brimelow's Round Meadow.)

I also loved being introduced to work from other artists like Elizabeth Brimelow.  Her Round Meadow is truly awesome ... from every angle.  There were a couple exhibits that also had fantastic work ... but prohibited any photography. 

(Above: Eszter Bornemisza with her City in the Aire.)

Fortunately, the exhibit including Eszter Bornemisza's City in the Aire allowed photography ... even images with the talented artist standing beside her work!  This piece was remarkable and I was thrilled to know another person making work on a stitched grid like this.  Eszter used a water soluble stabilizer.  My "Grid of Photos" (working title) used Stitch-and-Tear.  We sort of communicated these things despite the fact that neither of us really understood one another's language.  I've heard Hungarian; it is impossible! LOL!  

(Above: Detail of Annabel Rainbow's Hello Dear, What Did You Do Today?)

One of the highlights of the Festival of Quilts was meeting Annabel Rainbow and seeing her work.  Since I'm creating nudes of my own, it was very nice to talk to someone about the "pros and cons" of such subject matter!  Annabel's work is WONDERFUL.  She is also SO NICE!  This series, especially the words stitched all over her body in the piece, are worth visiting on her website.  CLICK HERE!  If you share a feminist point of view ... this is for you!

(Above: Imboic Betula Trio.  A grouping of 3D work ... in a show full of 3D quilting!)

There were several other nudes in the show ... something that just doesn't seem to happen in the United States.  Another interesting difference is the number of three dimensional artworks.  Sandy Snowden wisely suggested that the English and Europeans simply don't have the strong attachment to a traditional bed quilt and are thus more likely to embrace unique approaches and designs.  I think she's right!

(Above: Mandy Pattullo's recycled fibers.)

One of the exhibitions in which I spent quite a lot of time featured the recycled works of Mandy Pattullo.  Great work!

(Above: Recycled material blanket from Karnataka in India.)

The texture of recycled and distressed materials available for viewing at The Festival of Quilts were both modern and meant as wall hangings and old fashioned and meant for function.  I loved both Mandy's artwork and the Indian recycled blanket.

(Above: Stephanie Redfern in her booth.)

I also loved the use of paper ... as in all the pieces in competitive quilting categories by Stephanie Redfern ... who was selling like crazy in her own booth!  Great work!

As a result, I have a Flickr! Set with all 140 photos I kept from the Festival of Quilts.  CLICK HERE!  I also left a brief impression of each piece in the description box!  Enjoy!  I hope the coming years find me returning to England for this great show!

Although I've posted twice since writing this blog entry, I'm linking it to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Fridays", a site for sharing fiber art works ... because, well, this might be something that her readers might enjoy more than just looking at "my work"! LOL!