Monday, August 08, 2016

Our Baby Beloved

(Above:  Our Baby Beloved, a Grave Rubbing Art Quilt. 34" x 33".  Photo by Jeff Amberg.  Crayon grave rubbing on a vintage child's garment; vintage tablecloth and buttons.  Hand stitching with self-guided, free-motion machine outlining of the letters.  Click on image to enlarge.)

Every other year there are art quilters all over the world working frantically on their Quilt National 2017 submissions.  This biennial exhibit is widely regarded as the most exclusive, international art quilt show ... ever!  The deadline is September 1st.  Odds for an acceptance are long.  Generally only 11 - 15 % of those submitting are accepted.  Each person can enter up to three works.  My piece Circular Churchyard was part of Quilt National 2013, but I haven't always been able to enter this important show.  Why?  Well, in the past, the rules were such that entries couldn't have any public exposure at all.  This year, however, the rules have been changed! 

 (Above:  Our Baby Beloved, detail.  Photo by Jeff Amburg.)

Of course, I didn't hear about the rule changes until very recently.  Thus, I was only making one piece to enter, thinking that it would be the only one NOT on my blog and on Facebook.  Our Baby Beloved was stitched while enjoying my Springboard for the Arts residency in Fergus Falls, MN.  Every night I streamed episodes of Man Men on Netflix and stitched on this piece ... never blogging it.  I thought I had to keep it under wraps.  With the rule change, I can now blog it, share it, and put it on my website.  Yet, I had another problem.  I couldn't get a decent photo of it. 

  (Above:  Our Baby Beloved, detail.  Photo by me.)

After thirteen-and-a-half years, I moved out of my studio at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios.  The move has actually made me more productive and has been a very good thing ... except for the fact that I lost access to nice, white gallery walls with a slate gray painted floor under four skylights.  The diffused light made this location ideal for capturing images.

(Above:  Our Baby Beloved, detail. Photo by me.)

Try as I did, no image I took at home was satisfactory.  Finally, I made arrangements to use a small space at Forrest & Grant Photo Imaging.  Unfortunately, their lighting system does not plug into my point-and-shoot camera.  Thus, my pictures taken there weren't much better.

(Above:  Our Baby Beloved, detail. Photo by me.)

Finally, I contacted Jeff Amberg.  I brought three grave rubbing art quilts to his professional photography studio, including Our Baby Beloved.  He took only one day and his images are incredible.  Today I uploaded all three quilts to Quilt National 2017.  I won't be holding my breathe about this opportunity. Rejection is the norm. Rejection, however, will not change the fact that this piece really pleases me.  The only machine stitching outlines the grave-rubbed words.  The background is densely hand stitched ... rows and rows of running stitch ... often call "kantha" stitching.  All the buttons are hand stitched too ... hundreds of them fill the vintage tablecloth.  The edges show the original crochet in a variegated thread. 

 (Above:  Our Baby Beloved, reverse.)

Blanket stitches under the crochet trim bind the front to the back.  The reverse is entirely made from vintage household linens

 (Above:  Our Baby Beloved, reverse detail.)

Yet, my trip to Forrest & Grant was actually quite successful!

(Keta and Neese ... co-owners and miracle workers at Forrest & Grant Photo Imaging.)

I've known Keta and Neese for years and am always happy to recommend their services to everyone.  They've assisted many Mouse House clients who know absolutely NOTHING about jpegs, uploads, dpi formating, and any other aspect in the digital photo world.  Keta and Neese are hands-on when it comes to helping people. Their prints are always great, affordable, and fast.
(Above:  Anonymous Ancestors Sculptural Garment I, full view.)

With their help, I was able to get really good photos of my three Anonymous Ancestors Sculptural Garments ... even with my pathetic camera!  I couldn't be more pleased as I need these pictures for the exhibition proposals that I hope to send out before the end of the year!

(Above:  Anonymous Ancestors Sculptural Garment II, detail.)

(Above:  Anonymous Ancestors Sculptural Garment III, detail.)

No comments: