Portfolio of older work

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Two quilts

This morning I posted my quilt of the month on Interpret This!  I think my piece is successful but not outstanding However some of the other interpretations are magnificent.  Check them out here.

Today I have sent in my two submissions for the SAQA show, No Holds Barred, held at the New England Quilt Museum.  Send me good thoughts, please!  This is my first attempt to get in a juried show.  I started to show you a peek at a detail from The Center of the Universe but I am afraid it will be disqualified if I do.  Sorry, no peek.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Goodwill Find

 Isn't she a beauty?  I found her for $7.99 in the Goodwill Halloween rack. 

And what do you think about the bow in the front about crotch level and just above the high slit opening?  
Is there a secret message there?

And a close up of all her glory.  I should be able to salvage beads and sequins and pearls off of her forever! 

Monday, October 25, 2010

How much rice is in your bowl?

Here is my entry for the Art for Hunger exhibition in Augusta, November 1-19.  All pieces are for sale for $50.   Size limit was 5 inch squares so the hand dyed black cotton is 5x5.  It has organza circles machine appliqued and hand embroidered "rice."  It is sewn to a mat of high rag content paper and is hung on two chop sticks.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Playing with Flowers

Yesterday I took a day off from work and joined Beth and Rosalita in their Thursday play date. They had invited two more eager experimenters to join them, Kathy and Charlene, so there were 5 of us around Rosalita's table.  One of the projects we tried was dyeing with flowers.  Beth had tried it the night before, carefully following the directions Yvonne gave in her post on Fibre Heart. Faint yellow cotton.  That is all that Beth got.

 I was undetered and wanted to try again, maybe playing with the directions a bit (Who?  ME?   Not follow directions?? LOL)  So, using more alum and wrapping the cloth tighter, here are the results of my two attempts. 

The roses gave me very faint leaves and color (thank you Beth and Rosalita for sacrificing your flowers).  Not unpleasant but a lot of work for little color and pattern.  If you look close you can see the leaves.

But the mums! (thank you for the sacrifice, Rosalita!) The dark red mums turned a surprising blue/purple.  I would love to try the mums again!

If one morning your mums are in full bloom but by evening, the bush is bare....I don't know what could have happened to them. Tee Hee

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Friday Favorites

This is the last Friday to work on my Center of the Universe quilt if I am going to submit it to the SAQA show.  I need to write an artist statement to go with my submission.  I don't wanna... *** please hear that in your child's worse whiny voice***  I have been looking up instructions on how to write an artist statement.   I mean if I have to write one then I would prefer to have it make some type of sense.  I reviewed several sites for help and this one seemed to give the KISS instructions that I need.

As I have been looking for fiber artists that use hand stitching to create their art pieces I came across this one at Embroidery as Art.   Isn't this picture gorgeous!  Now this is the type of embroidery that I particularly like.  It is handwork but not just in-your-face (pun intended) embroidery but handwork with a larger message.  First you see the message and then you see the technique used.

And remember me telling you about The Art Quilt Blog?  Well Margeeth from the Netherlands introduced herself this week.  I have fallen deeply in love with the first quilt that she shows!  I too love scrap quilts and when there is an intersection between quilts that are large enough to be function-able, scraps, and art, then I am in hog heaven!

Please stop by Wen Redmond's blog (otherwise known as the Fiber Art Goddess) and congratulate her on have a piece accepted into the Quilt National and having the piece purchased by Marvin Fletcher, husband of the former Quilt National Director.

Gisela at Art ADD Works for Me is trying a new technique and I really want to see the results.  She is coating a fish with latex.  If it works out, I will be buying myself a fish for printing.

Laura at Periwinkle Art Quilts is taking a class on Darned quilts.  Check out the one she is working on. Isn't it exciting!  I love the movement in the piece!  Laura has agreed to join me and some other fabric artists in a new challenge blog for 2011 that features lots of different surface design techniques.  I will tell you more later when we've picked out a name for the blog.

Metallic Class

There is so much I am making right now that I can't show you that but I can show off this one little (9 1/2 by 12") wall hanging.  I think it needs one more little organza square up towards the top right corner. Right now it feels a bit bottom heavy to me.  If it does not sell this weekend then I will add that missing square.

I have been reading one of the free e-books from Interweave on framing small art quilts.  One of the authors told a story about her husband.  He exclaimed how much like art her little quilt looked when framed. She, of course, was incensed thinking, "So what have they looked like to you before now?"  I was thinking of that while making this little one.  Would someone think it was a placemat?  I put beaded fringe on the bottom just to dispel that thought.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Just Add Water

Aren't they lovely? They are 5 of my 11 new ATCs to trade with Veronica.  The background is hand dyed fabric covered with a lace cutout and tiny little shiny black beads. The theme was Just Add Water.  I decided to make a statement on the oil spill in the gulf so the back reads as follows:

Your very own concentrated oil spill.
Simply take to your local pond, lake or ocean,
insert, and watch it grow.
In no time you will have endangered the wildlife
and ruined the livelihood of 
everyone in the vicinity.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Favorites

I have a couple of little projects I want to share but I can't find my camera.  Cross your fingers that I can find it soon.  I am still working hard on my entry for the SAQA show at the NEQM (enough initials for ya?) but I did relax with some blog surfing this week.  I found some things that made my heart feel good.

This one is a 2fer containing some comments about thermofax and then going on to Lynn Krawczyk's Fabric Making Freedom Song.  The Freedom Song contains the top ten reasons why Lynn prefers handprinted fabric to commercially printed fabric.  All I can say is OH YES!

Once I identified that my fiber art voice contained hand worked threads, I have been having dreams of flying.  That to me represents great joy and freedom that I feel in my discovery.  A confirmation!  So now I have been looking for fiber blogs that have handwork associated with them.  I was really surprised to find how many of the blogs I already follow are in that category. (That was kind of a DUH moment)  Here is a new one that I have found and have started following posted by Sarah Whittle.  Not that I am new to embroidery but I can always learn something new!

JaneVille sent me over to Lyric Kinard for a tutorial on beaded fringe.  While I was there, I saw a button for tutorials.  Lyric has more tutorials.  I love tutorials!  Everyone does a technique a bit differently and when I read or see different tutorials on the same technique,  it helps me understand the technique better.  You know, what it will do under this circumstance and that.  THAT helps me determine how I want to use the technique in MY work. Anyway, according to Beth from Sew Sew Art, Lyric makes the best thermofax screens, if you are interested in ordering any.

One more happy blog before I go back to sewing. LuAnn at May Your Bobbin Always Be Full gives some great details on her flour paste resist experiments.  I won't remind you of my disaster the one time I tried it.  I do want to try it again.  I am sure the failure was simply my stress and technique. Anyway, take a look at LuAnn's technique if you are interested.

Friday, October 8, 2010

My voice

Artist tend to have a style that is distinctively theirs.  As I have been experimenting this year I have wanted to find something that was distinctively mine.  It does not have to be a brand new technique that no one else has ever done--but wouldn't that be fabulous and make me famous--but it does have to be something that when people see it they will say, "I bet that is jdemilo's" 

So, as I was sitting on the couch adding more handwork to the Center of the Universe I started to realize that I really like doing handwork.  I like that better than heavily encrusting my work with machine quilting or embroidery so that the piece can't even bend.  I like it better than fussily drawing patterns or fusing 12 zillion pieces of fabric to tell a story.  Not that there is anything wrong with those techniques; they just don't sing of me.

I like doing handwork.  I like that it takes me back to my young days as a Merrihand and Gay Note in the Primary where I first learned hand skills.  I like that it is portable.  I like that I can sit beside my husband while I do it.  I like that I can let my mind wonder while my fingers are busy.  I like the feel of my love going into each stitch as I work.

I don't want to be an embroiderer like my grandmother and follow other people's patterns or even like the quilters of old with their crazy quilt where embroidery was added just for the sake of more stuff.  I want the handwork to tell a story of its own in harmony with the fabric.  Fabric that I have designed with all my new surface design skills.

I am so excited to be adding my new surface design skills to my old skills and singing a song that is all me--my past, my present, and now I think my future too.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

No Friday Favorites this week

No Friday Favorites this week.  I have been too busy doing handwork on my Center of the Universe quilt for the NEQM show.  No peeking.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A way to quilt and serve at the same time

I have been feeling troubled lately.  I used to cook monthly at the community kitchen and lead local Linus Project sewing days or crochet 100s of mittens for Head Start. Lately all I do is work on my art quilting skills.  Is that selfish?  I am excited that my skills are improving and I am becoming more comfortable at considering myself an artist but no one is being clothed or fed by my efforts.  Since many of the things I am making these days are for the wall, no one is especially warmed by my efforts either. So, am I being selfish?  I have been pondering that and wondering if I need to change direction.

But, AHA, a new opportunity has come forward.  Some artists in the community are putting together an Art Against Hunger show. All work needs to be related to hunger and the proceeds will go to the local community pantry.  I am excited.  I can use my new skills to entice people to buy my art and thereby donate to the community pantry that will feed people.  I can create art and still serve others!  My heart is happy.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Natural Spring in Saratoga Springs NY

October was my month to submit a picture for the 'Interpret This!' challenge.  I had to submit three choices so I did but I really REALLY wanted the picture of the fountain in Saratoga Spring NY to be chosen.  IT WAS!  YEAH!

We went there 3 or 4 years ago for a work conference, spent a week, and did lots of sightseeing.  My favorite sight was the Hawthorne Fountain.  The fountain itself is made of stone and is smooth and has a wonderful shape to it.  The bowl of the fountain is filled with amazing colors from the years of mineral deposits from the water. The water comes out of the fountain spigots in sporadic curly short bursts.  It all just added up to magic.

Here are some more pictures of the fountain.

Friday Favorites

I know that I have told you before how much I enjoy both Elizabeth Barton’s work and her blog.  Have you read her blog on First Paper and Then Fabric?  Once again she tells us some of her process in designing.

After years of frustratingly trying to make everything perfect as a quilter, I am learning to allow personality into a quilt by allowing it some imperfection. That said, it is hard to know the line between wonky and sloppy and it is hard to accept the criticism of others who think you crossed that line.  Lynn Krawczyk writes a bit about accepting imperfection in her work.  Not a long read and it certainly connected to my creative spirit.

Micky at It’s a Fiber Life started a new series she calls Revisits.  Talk about using odds and ends to turn into wonderful art.  I think it is an outstanding example of not letting perfection stifle your creativity.
LuAnn Kessi at May your Bobbin always be full (isn’t that a wonderful blessing!) gives a very nice tutorial on how to machine appliqué.  If you check out her blog, you will notice 57 tips that mostly turn out to be wonderful tutorials.  She does a great job on tutorials!
Gloria Hansen has a post from a couple of weeks ago that I am just now seeing.  It is called digital flowers.  The blog shows a picture she took of a flower and then how she played with it in Photoshop.  The blog caught my attention to two reasons.  One, I need to play more with my Photoshop Elements so that I can command it better.  Second, I thought as I looked at each of her manipulated photos that I would use different techniques with each picture to try and convert that photo to a textile art work.  In my art I am starting to understand better what techniques will give me what kind of results.  Knowing that is an important step in the design process.  It also saves tons of frustration during the construction when the technique won’t create the vision you have in your head.
Last is the new show at the New England Quilt Museum called No Holds Barred.  It is for art quilters in New England who are members of SAQA.  I am and I am.  It will be a juried show at the NEQM from January to April.  Entries have to be submitted by Nov 1.  I am going to enter. This will be my first juried show.  I have already talked to a professional photographer about taking the digital pictures I need to enter.  I will finish the Center of the Universe quilt to enter. So, no more picture of it.  Wish me luck!