Archive for the ‘stitching’ Category

The sky’s the limit

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

–an inspiring theme for quilts, which so often face up to the sky!   We saw a lot of sky on our recent drive to Kansas City.  How we look to the sky has changed a lot since Google Earth appeared. Here is a portion of a recent quilt using satellite imaging for the layout.

Old map-makes always filled in the unknown areas with drawings and ornaments.   For this quilt, the fabric patterns and choices of quilting stitches did the infilling.

I’m on to the next project about the sky.  It should be finished in January, just when the light becomes a lavender hue…

Ready for Studio Tour!

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

I have over 30 quilts ready for the Studio Tour September 14th and 15th, ranging in price from $8 to $1200.    It’s a great way to see how our work has taken over the house!  All four of my sewing machines will be on display, but I promise to hide the ironing board.

Visitors will also find woodturnings that I have decorated with quilt designs, and a variety of wooden or sewn notions–the little things that make handwork pleasurable.  There are beaded pens, seam rippers, pincushions, necklaces with thread cutters, drop spindles, and needle cases.  I also made a variety of quilted potholders in traditional and Christmas fabrics.

I will have practice quilts set up for free motion quilting  [try it!] and pieces of fabric to texture.  For the first time, I will be selling some DIY kits.  Dennis and I will also share a bargain table with some leftovers from previous years.

Saturday 10-6 and Sunday Noon-6,  19930 W. Top O’ the Moor in Monument.  Call if your GPS fails you:  719-481-8754

Art Attack – just for fun

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

‘Cherry Bomb’ brightened up my corner of the TLCA’s Art Attack show.  I photographed and then painted our ’54 Chevy on silk to remember the amazing burst of color from the poppies blooming in the front yard sometime in the early 90’s.

It took a while to decide how to quilt such large fields of just one color.  I chose flames for the red truck, gears in the background, and–my favorite–miller moths on the windows.  The quilt is small enough to hang on a door, but big enough to bring spring into the house.

Art Attack is a multi-media show without a defined theme.   I was happy to find Cherry Bomb hanging next to a mosaic of a Corvette!

Inside the white lines

Friday, January 25th, 2013

Fish Cube quilt

Silk painting uses a resist line to prevent the spread of the paint.  When the resist is removed, a white line remains around each area of color.  The white lines are a record of the way the painting was done.   Block printing can also produce a white line.  American printmaker Blanche Lazell used white lines for both abstract and pictorial prints (From Paris to Provincetown–Blanche Lazell and the Color Woodcut by Barbara Stern Shapiro, 2002, MFA Publications.)
The white line is something reserved by the process.  It is related to the preservation of white areas in watercolor.  In the Lazell seascape and landscape woodcuts, it adds a light and airy element to the work.  For quilting on silk, it creates a similar watercolor feeling.  Silk is a very luminous fabric, so the white lines organize perceived light in the work.  This method is visible in photo of the Fish Cube quilt.
For a free-motion quilter, the lines become a drawing that invites a clear or white thread to give texture to the work.  As in woodcuts, the quilt is a harmony of shapes. The lines are more fluid than seams, providing the quilter with the ability to create shapes that would be difficult with patchwork.
I have recently discovered a way to convert the lines and textures of pyrography into a white line on wood.  After the design is burned and color is applied, I rub a white liming wax into the texture.  The opaque wax fills the incised lines and eliminates the heavy burn marks of the pyrography.  The photo shows a detail of a platter made of ash.

detail from turtle platter

The Power Line

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Flying above the earth, I see a rumpled quilt of colors, shape, and lines.  Throwing a stone in a pond, I create concentric lines around a center point.  I take out my hiking map, and find contour lines create a 2D record of shapes.   These experiences become useful again when it is time to add lines of quilt stitching.

Traditional Hawaiian quilting uses outline stitching around flower and animal motifs.  It adds a kind of vibration to the surface.




Looking at Google Earth is something like viewing a huge quilt covering the earth.  From about 25,000 feet, the Midwest shows that it was divided before it was settled.  Sometimes the contour lines cross over the survey lines that divide one field from another.  This small quilt is a study of crop circles in Western Kansas.

Some of this quilting is on cotton T-shirt fabric, which has a very sculptural quality.  The closely-set quilt lines have become a texture, instead of a drawing.


Monday, October 5th, 2009

Liggett-Vascularities-detail This detail from a quilt I made in 2008 began as a sketch of five tall cylinders turned by Richard Raffan.  The cylinders were turned from green wood, so they moved and twisted as they dried.  I have enjoyed arranging them as an ensemble, and then drawing the results.  One of my favorite drawings became the silk painting at the core of this quilt.

Silk paints can be contained within a wax line which outlines the vesssels in this painting.  They also flow and mix freely, which I have used in the background of this painting to represent the color and light of the forest.  When it was time to quilt the background area, I chose outlines of tree trunks with cut-off limbs.

The red interior of the vessels is the color that Richard Raffan used inside the cylinders.  It seems to be a necessary color, both in the cylinders themselves, and in the painting.  Without the red accents, the purples, greens, and blues would be less emphatic.