Monday, October 26, 2009

SAQA Portfolio 16

Portfolio 16 is hot off the press and made its debut at The International Quilt Festival in Houston this month. It is an absolutely phenomenal book featuring the works of many artists who are professional members of Studio Art Quilts Association. The organization is international and sponsors fiber exhibits throughout the world. This year, I have a piece titled "Life's A Beach" in Portfolio 16. The book is published once a year with new works from its members. It is used as a marketing tool for approaching galleries and museums with samples of our work. The board has decided that next year we will be going digital and using a CD rather than a book format consequently this year marks the last of the Portfolio books. They are such a treasure. I will miss seeing them. I suppose for me, there's something about the look and feel of a book as opposed to spending more time in front of screens viewing art. Some things are just not the same on screen as they are in "hands" under more leisurely conditions. What do you think? Do you prefer looking at a book or looking at images on screens?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Houston IQF 2009

This year's IQF for me will always be one to remember! I took part in a few Make It University classes, one by Jane Davila making mini collages. She was a wonderful teacher! Another taught by Leslie Riley featuring TAP, a way to transfer vibrant images to fiber. That was so cool!!! Yet another class taught by Lois Jarvis showed how to rust fabric. Am looking forward to seeing the results. And finally, a workshop taught by my dear friends, Leslie Tucker Jenison and Jamie Fingal involving making your own stamps. Here the possibilities are endless and so much fun. I also had the privilege of participating in the Quilting Arts Surviving the Runway. When Pokey showed us the prizes, I just knew I had to win that portable design wall! I've been wanting one for years and it all breaks down into a cute little duffle bag. The fashion designers on the floor included Leslie Tucker Jenison, Jamie Fingal, Judy Coates Perez and Melanie Testa all of whom helped me to accessorize with earrings, a headband and even more things that we will not go into here!!! After having made my bra, we took to the floor to show off our creations and be judged. I was floored when I took first place! How cool is that?!!! All in all, I had a great time and they were wonderful!!! In addition to my design wall, I won a wonderful set of threads from Aurifil, a beautiful set of fabrics from Moda, fantastic textile paints and a gift certificate from ProChem, lovely lutradur, timtex, fast 2 fuse, paints, inks and an apron from Liquitex and so much more. Good thing, Kharon was there to help me carry it back to the hotel!!! Thanks Pokey!!! I am absolutely loving it all! For sure this year will always be one to remember! To see more pictures from the runway floor, please visit

Friday, October 9, 2009

Naturescape Gray Scale Series: Part 1 and 2

Naturescape Gray Scale Series is an ongoing study in learning to see value and work in gray tones. The idea of working this way was first put forth to me by Pamela Allen. I remember her wanting us to do a black and white still life. Dark Shadow is more of what I envisioned. Dark Shadow completed in January 2009 is Part 1 of Naturescape Gray Scale Series and measures 25 X 29. It is made of both natural and synthethic fabrics and fibers, machine appliqued and quilted. My goal was to capture light and shadows in a forest scene. The trees that are situated in the background appear lighter whereas the two in the midground are midtones. The tree closest to us in the foreground is very dark and it is where this piece gets it's name, Dark Shadow. I can still remember feeling that it would be the first and last black and white quilt I would ever do!!! I absolutely love color and this was a difficult piece for me to make. Still, nine months later, it is calling me back again.

White Lightning is Part 2 of Naturescape Gray Scale Series and measures 20 1/2 X 25 1/2. It was completed on October 5, 2009 and mounted to 24 X 30 black canvas. This piece was inspired from a photo that I converted to black and white. Once the pattern was made, it was transferred onto muslin. I began sorting out fabrics into seven piles ranging from white to black, a method I learned from Katie Pasquini Mausopust. Working from the actual photo, I matched colors of fabric to complete the picture. Once the design was complete, I fused everything down and layered it up for quilting. Initially I had intended to stay true to gray scale tones, but I soon realized that just the slightest hint of color really made a big difference. The whitest snow was quilted with the palest tint of pink to impart a glow to the snow, hence the name, White Lightning. Had I quilted it in white, it would have disappeared into the background. Indeed the snow that shows depth as it meets the river was quilted in white though at first glance it does not appear so. The snow underneathe the bushes to the left was quilted with a dull medium purple to convey shadows. The river is quilted in white, black and gray. This has been a very interesting study on value and a very valuable learning experience. And I love the play on words for both of these pieces, Dark Shadow and White Lightning. I have already chosen the next piece in this series and can't wait till I get back from Houston so I can begin working on it!!! Perhaps by then, I will have come up with a name for it. LOL