Saturday, October 31, 2015

Party Games (with sewing!)

One (1) foam insulation-board design wall
+ one (1) Mr. Chillingsworth panel (Echo Park Paper Co. for Andover)
+ one (1) Hexed Heart ornament (design from Urban Threads, natch!)
= one ready-to-play "Pin the Heart in the Skeleton" party game for the spookiest little tricksters!
Pin the Heart in the Skeleton
Hexed Heart ornament, fun for parties!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

SAQA Trunk Show

The Connecticut regional chapter of SAQA has organized a trunk show that will travel through the northeast, and any other regions that request it. We were to create a 6 x 10" piece responding to the question: You're Doing WHAT?

Here's mine, along with the text that will be attached to the back.

We're doing WHAT? (2015, 6 x 10")
We’re doing WHAT? I started quilting just before the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007, at which time I organized a massive worldwide effort to make quilts for the survivors and victims’ families. Only five years later, half an hour from where I’m raising my own family, somebody gunned down a classroom full of first graders. Since then – even by the most conservative estimates – there has been an average of another shooting every five weeks. I’m kind of tired of reading the same headline. I’m kind of tired of comfort projects – no quilt replaces a human life.

We’re doing a lot of crying, hugging, hand-wringing, blaming, blogging, memorializing, promising, hiding, waiting, bleeding, and dying, but overall? We’re doing NOTHING to prevent the next incident.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

My First Juried Show

This was an exciting week for me, as three of my original pieces were juried into a Celebration of Fiber Arts show at the Arts Center East in Vernon, CT. None of my pieces won any of the prizes, but it was exciting to see them displayed and lit so professionally and beautifully. The pieces selected were:

The River Hexx (MCXI) (2013), which I created with 1,116 paper-pieced 3/8" hexagons and hand quilted. I loved how the lighting cast the shadow of the hex-shaped edge in the gallery.
The River Hexx (MCXI) (2013)

Nut and Geb Create the Earth (2015) is based on an ancient Egyptian story of the night sky and her earth lover being held apart (spoiler: they tricked Ra and ultimately had five children). It's a really beautiful story, and I love how this quilt illustrates it. I freehand-drew the shapes of Nut and Geb (no tracing!) using fabrics that must have been designed especially for this purpose. I made fabric beads and strung them together to evoke the carnelian tube pectoral collars that we have seen in a number of art museums. Arcs of lotus/palm leaves frame the central scene.
Nut and Geb Create the Earth (2015)
Perfect Square Dissection: 21 Black-and-White Squares (2012) is a solution to a mathematical puzzle. It's pieced from 21 squares, all of different sizes, and finishes as a square as well.
Perfect Square Dissection: 21 Black-and-White Squares (2012)

Yours Truly, with Nut and Geb Create the Earth
The show will hang until November 7 at Arts Center East, which is open Thursday through Sunday from 1-5 pm. Let me know if you go to see it!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Modern Quilt Guild meeting

Yesterday I drove to Northampton to attend a meeting with the local group of the Modern Quilt Guild. So glad I did! Their meeting space is the common house for the Rocky Hill Cohousing community just outside of Northampton, and it's spectacularly beautiful. Timna Tarr spoke about choosing quilting motifs that best finish a particular project, a topic that I've been particularly interested in recently. I shared a few of my Sol LeWitt projects that were inspired by my trip to MassMoCA several years ago, including my bed-sized replica of Wall Drawing #1112.

Wall Drawing 1112 (Sol LeWitt, MassMoCA 2003 installation)
"Log Cabin a la LeWitt" in situ (90 x 90")
This was a really fun project to work on. I cut the six basic colors of Kona into 3.5" strips, then rolled them onto empty paper tubes threaded onto an old broomstick. Starting from the middle (four squares), I determined which patch to use next by rolling dice: A six-sided die determined the color, a 12-sided die for the strip length in inches, and an 8-sided die for an extra eighth-inch measurement. The only limitation I put on the process was that a color was not allowed to touch itself in a previous row (from LeWitt's original rules for this piece). Once I had the 90" log cabin sewn, I quilted it using the lines in another of his wall drawings, concentric circles from the center and arcs from all four corner points. Again, I rolled a 6-sided die to determine which color of thread to use in each ring. LeWitt's work is perfectly "quiltable" -- about half of his wall murals are suitable as patchwork, and another set of his works are simply rules for groups of lines, perfect as quilting motifs. A complete quilt project like this one, then, superimposes the lines over the color patchwork.

I had initially made a smaller version of this same wall drawing as a sort of "test run" for the process. For the smaller one (1" strips, 27" finished), the quilting lines were from another of LeWitt's line pieces: 10" straight lines, overlapping in all directions.

Wall Drawing 86:  Ten thousand lines about 10 inches (25 cm) long, covering the wall evenly. (Sol Lewitt, MassMoCA 2003 installation)

I painted the tiny pig for the New Britain Youth Theater's fundraiser that year.

(I confess that I went through a really serious Sol LeWitt phase right after that first museum trip.)

I won't be able to make the NMQG November meeting way up in Shelburne, but once I see how the full-time spring schedule is going to treat me, I might try to go again...visiting Northampton once a month doesn't seem like a huge hardship. Thanks to the NMQG for their kind welcome!!