Monday, November 27, 2023

In Box CDXLII for an upcoming Quilt Show national tour!

(Above:  In Box CDXLII.  30" x 30".  Layers of polyester stretch velvet fused together on a substrata for recycled, black industrial felt with self-guided/free-motion machine stitching and unique melting techniques.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

Ordinarily, I don't make my In Box Series pieces quite this square or this wide ... but a couple months ago when asked for a piece for the 2024 Quilt Show tour to various, national venues but with a minimum 30" x 30" size ... well ... I said, "Yes! Of course!"

(Above:  Detail of In Box CDXLII.)

Ordinarily, I frame these works but that's not what The Quilt Show needs.  Thus, this work has four, small rings stitched to the back of four upper edge squares.  When this piece returns ... sometime next year! ... I'll go ahead and frame it.

(Above:  Detail of In Box CDXLII.)

It was fun to work in this large size.  Who knows?  I might develop a large square approach in the coming year!

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Thanksgiving and a visit to our church ... our future home and studio!


(Above:  Selfie taken at the back of the sanctuary.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

To celebrate Thanksgiving, Steve and I went to our church to see progress on the renovations that will transform the space into our future home and my large, fiber art studio.  Every time we visit, we have moved things ... things that can withstand the dust from the on-going work.  Today, two of our bookcases were moved in.  On other occasions, sealed tubs of yarn and vintage fabric were brought.  Boxes of books are there ... but not all the books we have! LOL!  We've moved my Cabinet of Curiosities and the four, old doors on which tagged keys once hung (and will hang in the future!)

We are elated that the ugly old carpeting has been removed from the sanctuary floor and from rooms in the living area.  The flea-bitten sectional sofa is now in the construction dumpster.  Soon, the carpeting will be gone from the stage.

The exposed duct work is gone from our future bedroom.  There are new windows throughout.


Custom cabinets are ordered and installation is scheduled for the first week in January.  Soon, this will be our kitchen!

All the ceilings have been sheet-rocked.  Most of the walls are finished too.  The building has passed inspection for the wiring, plumbing, and duct work.  HVAC units are in place!  The photo above will be the living room on the second floor.  The openings overlook the sanctuary and are supposed to get windows that will open and shut.

There are five openings.  The larger ones on the short walls will have the two stained glass windows that we already own.  We had comes to terms with leaving them in Columbia ... until this plan was devised.  Of course we are both very happy about this!

This is the view from the living area ... down into the sanctuary ... which will become my STUDIO!  Yes ... we are indeed thankful and excited for the coming year!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Mandala CLXXII

(Above: Found Object Mandala CLXXII. Custom framed: 30 3/4" x 30 3/4". Found objects hand-stitched to a section of a vintage blue-and-red bow tie quilt. Objects include: A bell shaped cookie cutter on two different plastic lids; retail glove hangers; corn-on-the-cob holders; assorted bottle caps; vintage brass belt buckles; cocktail forks; casino chips; wooden clothespins; brass rings; brass escutcheons; clear, plastic sewing machine bobbins; glass prisms; chess pieces; expired medical devices in clear/blue plastic containers; long needle-like parts of prostate radioactive seed implant devices; and assorted buttons.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

This piece started shortly after a friend donated the cool retail glove hangers to my stash.  Immediately, I had them laid out on the vintage blue-and-red bow tie quilt.  Then, I hesitated.  Why?  Well, I'm really not fond of quilt patterns that run on a diagonal ... at least not for this series.  Finally, I realized that I could cut the quilt on an angle.  There's no good reason for always cutting with lines parallel to the edges!  Sure, this might result in more triangular scraps, but these irregular shaped pieces could always be used for future unit in my Patchwork Installation

(Above:  Detail of Mandala CLXXII.)

I had fun arranging things around the glove hangers.  It wasn't as easy as I thought it would be due to the "thumb" leaving more space on one side ... but it all worked out nicely.  I'm really pleased with the results!

(Above:  Detail of Mandala CLXXII.)

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Patchwork 123, the result of a community crazy quilt activity

(Above:  Detail of Patchwork # 123.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

This piece started as a community crazy quilt activity for ARToberfest at the Bethany Arts Community in Ossining, NY where I enjoyed a two-week art residency.  Though the weather was cool, people came and stitched with me.  Mostly, people added the double layer of buttons.  It was fun.  With me, I had a vintage, pieced quilt top and an antique crazy quilt.  So ... I got to explain my contemporary approach to crazy quilting ... using scraps of old quilts randomly put together on a recycled, black felt substrata.  (CLICK HERE for a blog post about ARToberfest and some of my time at Bethany Arts.)

(Above:  Patchwork # 123.  60 1/2" x 20 1/2".  Scraps of vintage quilts hand stitched together with fabric yo-yos, layers of buttons, and a large piece of Battenburg lace on recycled, black industrial felt ... then upholstery tacked to a black frame over which acid-free mat board was previously glued.)

The piece was designed with two goals in mind.  First, it is part of my Patchwork Installation!  This series (minus this piece, of course) is on view in my solo show at the Imperial Centre in Rocky Mount, NC.  (CLICK HERE for a video!)  I hope to have future opportunities to mount this work.  If (or when!) I do, this new piece will be a focal point from which other work radiates.

(Above:  Patchwork # 123 hanging at Mouse House ... a photo to represent scale!)

This piece is significantly larger than any of the others.  It can hang either vertically or horizontally.  In my mind, I see more than just two smaller pieces coming in contact with it!

(Above:  Detail of Patchwork # 123.)

The other aim was to use the beautiful piece of Battenburg lace that was donated to my stash.  Art quilters including Nancy Roberts came to the artist talk at the College of Central Florida when three of my installations were part of a group show.  They gave me this Battenburg lace, a bunch of tape meant for more Battenburg lace, and more of what was supposed to be part of this lace but still basted to its original patter..  All the fabric tape went into my Cascade Installation which was started at Bethany Arts.  The lace still basted to its pattern was shared during ARToberfest.  I'm very pleased that this never-finished lace has finally a place of honor!


Wednesday, November 01, 2023

Found Object Tornado

(Above:  Found Object Tornado. Custom framed: 40" x 40". Found objects and custom cording hand-stitched to a section of a vintage quilt. Click on any image to enlarge.)

I started this piece weeks and weeks ago.  It seems like this one took FOREVER to stitch and I did spend much more time on it than most of my other found object art quilts.  Yet, the truth of the matter is that I started it before leaving for three weeks.  Thus, it only seems like forever! LOL!  I am quite pleased with the results.  It was well worth the effort.

(Above:  Detail of The Found Object Tornado.)

The inspiration for this piece came from several sources ... not the least of which was a donation of Barbie shoes and boots from the PixeladiesDeb Cashatt and Kris Sazaki.  These dynamic artists have been collaborating since 2003.  This year, however, Kris retired from fiber art to focus on her writing.  Deb is continuing to make art quilts and has her own website.  Apparently, these Barbie shoes and boots were found while shutting down their joint studio.  They thought of my artwork and sent them to me!  Thanks!  Somehow or the other, these little items reminded me of the Wizard of Oz and Dorothy's ruby slippers. The idea for a tornado started to form.

(Above:  The vintage quilt donated by Ginny Merett before it was cut.)

Another source for inspiration came from the gorgeous, vintage quilt donated to my stash by Ginny Merett.  It was very, very well loved.  (Please read "threadbare"!)  Star-centered quilts are actually difficult to use for a Found Object Mandala.  I'm used to cutting at least four sections, each centered around a block.  But a quilt like this is centered on a single focal point in the very middle.  Yet, the undulating purple, pink, and blue ring was quite inviting.  I could already imagine using part of this ring as the background of a tornado against a white middle ground ... with an upper left corner in the sky.  So ... I went ahead and cut the quilt and stapled it to a stretcher bar.

(Above:  The section of the quilt stapled to a stretcher bar.)

Pieces of blue and purple bridal netting were hand cut in shapes to help define where the tornado would appear ... in the area where the pink, purple, and blue of the quilt seemed to be rising up and along the entire top.  These pieces of netting were layered onto the quilt before I put a large piece of white netting over the entire space.  This white netting is really important.  It covers all the surface, protecting the threadbare areas.

(Above:  Detail of The Found Object Tornado.)

Next came the cording.  It was made last year during an art residency at Catoctin National Park in Maryland.  This cording just never got stitched into a fiber vessel.  It was pinned on top of the white netting in lines representing the ground and the tornado.  After I stitched it down, I started with the shoes and boots ... and then amassing lots of other objects on the "ground" and in the sky.

(Above:  Detail of The Found Object Tornado.)

Thank you to everyone who has donated to my stash ... because lots of the items that went into this whirlwind came from too many people to list!  It was great fun to stitch all the game pieces, dice, Scrabble tiles, keys, pull tabs, clothespins, dominoes, and everything else to this piece.  As I stitched, I thought about the abundance of my life and what it might look like if hit by a tornado.  Over the years, I've seen too many news reports from disaster areas.  I've seen too many people picking through the remains of the homes, people who have to start all over again.  Thankfully, many can start over.  Thankfully, there are services in this country to help.  Thankfully, I don't live in a war zone ... like some of the stories being covered in the news about people who aren't able to recover like I would if I were hit by a tornado.  I also thought about climate change ... because at the rate civilization is going, there's bound to be more and more occasions when a tsunami, a hurricane, a landslide, a forest fire, or a tornado causes another disaster.  For me, this piece really is about the abundance of my own life and how fragile the world is due to climate change.

(Above:  Detail of The Found Object Tornado.)

While I was stitching all the found objects in place and thinking about climate change, I also turned my attention to the area that didn't include the tornado.  I knew I had to "do something" there.  Climate change weighed on my mind.  I thought about tornadoes and storms until the idea of rain hit me!  This is why this piece took the length of time it did.  Perle cotton running stitches in four different shades took a long, long time but the results are perfect!


(Above:  Detail of The Found Object Tornado.)

Finally, I was satisfied with the piece.  Today, I mounted, framed, and photographed it!  Yes ... this one was definitely worth the effort!