Friday, May 23, 2014

In the flow

(Above:  Bouquet, 12" x 12" art quilt.  Artificial flowers collected from cemetery dumpsters, recycled bridal tulle, and beads on hand-dyed fabric by Paula Huffman Brown.  Self-guided, free-motion machine embroidery and hand stitching.  Click on any image in this blog post for an enlargement.)

This weeks has been wonderfully productive!  Not only did I start this 12" x 12" art quilt but I finished it too!  The ground fabric (of which I should have snapped a photo) was hand-dyed by Paula Huffman Brown, Victoria Rondeau, and Meg Filiatrault, my SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associate) regional co-representatives.  Try as I might, I can't find the paperwork that came with the fabric.  Thus, I don't actually know where or for what this piece is intended to be shown.  I just know that the deadline is this coming August 1st.  I've carried the fabric around with me for months.  Why?  Well, it is bright yellow and red ... not exactly my natural inclination for art quilting!  Most of my art quilts are in my Grave Rubbing Art Quilt Series ... in monochromatic browns, blacks, and off whites.  I wasn't sure what to do.  Then, the idea of using my artificial flowers collected from cemetery dumpsters presented itself.  At first I didn't think I could hold them in place ... too many pins.  I finally came across a piece of a bridal veil that I didn't use when making In Do / I Don't.  Perfect!  I lay out the flowers, covered them with the netting, inserted very few pins, and had the entire surface stitched in under an hour!  Okay, I spent more time adding a few tiny flowers and beads on the top and blanket stitching the edges ... but ... the piece was completed within twenty-four hours ... after several months of "thinking about it!" LOL!

(Above:  Bouquet, reverse.) 

For the reverse, I used another piece of Paula Huffman Brown's uniquely hand dyed fabric.  She presented this piece to me after I gave a trunk show at a regional meeting.  What I really loved about the fabric was the excuse to use both the tatted doily and the Austrian fabric.  At some point, I tried to sun print an old photographic negative onto the doily with the tatting.  It didn't work.  I thought the doily was ruined but couldn't bring myself to throw it away.  Though I grew up spending summers in Salzburg, Austria, the cute fabric was not from those many trips.  It came in a box lot purchased at Bill Mishoe's auction.  Together, the two pieces of fabric provided a perfect place for me to machine stitch my name and date (enlarge the image to see!).  Better yet, the colors made sense of the red-and-yellow variegated threads of the blanket stitched edges.  As soon as I know where this piece is headed, I'll update my blog.

(Above:  Window CIV.  Inventory # 3157. Framed:  17 3/4" x 15 3/4". $265.)

In the meantime, I've finished three more pieces in my "Stained Glass Series" ... which are also on my "sales blog"

(Above:  Window CV.  Inventory # 3158.  Framed:  17 3/4" x 15 3/4". $265.)

(Above:  Wall at Mouse House ... hung with several recently finished pieces including "Windows", small "In Box" pieces, and medium "In Box" pieces ... plus other artwork.)

It is difficult to get a semi-decent photo of the finished pieces here at Mouse House because of the glare from the glass ... but the photo above does seem to show the size, proportions, and how the framed work looks when hanging.

(Above:  Lancet Window XLI.  Inventory # 3159.  Framed:  31 1/4" x 11 14"/ $375.)

I also made another Lancet Window based on the design of St. Martin's Cross on the isle of Iona.  I love this Celtic pattern!

(Above:  The cover of the new USC Press edition of Archibald Rutledge's story Claws ... illustrated by my artistic mentor Stephen Chesley.)

Although I blogged earlier in the week, I didn't write about last weekend ... which was a wonderful experience.  Every year Columbia's Convention Center is the location for the South Carolina Book Festival.  I love being around so many volumes of text, so many educated and scholarly people, and browsing through the booths of antiquarian works.  This year, however, was even more special because the University of South Carolina Press just released a new edition of Archibald Rutledge's Claws.  My artistic mentor, Stephen Chesley, provided the illustrations.  

(Above:  Panel discussion for Claws.  From left to right:  Ben McC. Moise, Stephen Chesley, moderator Jacob Rivers III, Skip Webb, and Jim Casada.)

The panel discussion was excellent ... and very well attended except the front row of seats! LOL!

(Above:  Stephen Chesley during the panel discussion for Claws.)

After the panel discussion, Chesley, Casada, and Moise signed books.

(Above:  Jim Casada, who as an expert on Archibald Rutledge wrote the introduction for Claws; a nice lady wearing a fantastic kantha stitched Indian quilt re-fashioned into a reversible jacket ... having her volume of Claws signed; and Ben McC. Moise, who as a former conservation and wildlife author wrote the afterword for Claws.)

Jim Casada and Ben McC. Moise were at one table ...

(Above:  Stephen Chesley's booth for Claws ... with framed original illustrations.)

... and Stephen was in his own booth ... but there was one more signature to find.  Pat Conroy wrote a glowing statement for the back of the dust cover!  I stood in line on Sunday I got that signature too!  Pat Conroy is a really nice man in addition to being an international celebrity author.  It was an honor to meet and talk to him for a few seconds.  Unfortunately ... no photo!

(Above:  Born to Die, Ancestor Wall Series.)

While at the SC Book Festival, I found 35 old photos in a booth operated by Rutledge Books.  The price was right and now I'm busy making more pieces for my Ancestor Wall Series.  I don't have a future exhibition scheduled for this work ... but I love making more pieces.

(Above:  I Had Imaginary Friends, Ancestor Wall Series.)

(Above:  I Would Take on the World, Ancestor Wall Series.)

(Above:  Life Was Tough, Ancestor Wall Series.)

(Above:  Prayed For All, Ancestor Wall Series.)

(Above:  Ready, Willing, and Able, Ancestor Wall Series.)

(Above:  Square Peg in a Round Hole World, Ancestor Wall Series.)

(Above:  These Were the Days My Friends, Ancestor Wall Series.)

(Above: When Main Street Was the Main Street, Ancestor Wall Series.)

I am linking this blog post to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Fridays", a site for sharing fiber art work. 


Els said...

Nice bright colours Susan !

I like the photos (and texts) on your ancestral wall pieces, always fun to see what you came up with ...

Mosaic Magpie said...

Square peg round hole, love it!