Friday, January 29, 2010

Back In The Saddle Again

When an artist travels and teaches an awful lot of studio time disappears. At some point it gets to you and you have to figure out how to make it work. I'm living and learning as I go an have decided that I need - no - NEED to get a whole new body of coherent work made this year. Enough that I can start making proposals for solo shows.

In the meantime - I've entered my first juried show in years. No expectations about getting in - it just feels good to have done it! I think 2003 was the last year that I really had my work out in circulation at various quilt and art venues. Then I took a "baby sabbatical," wrote a book, wrote a bunch of articles, and started teaching live and on-line and well. There you go. Poof. No more time for making art - aside from samples.

I took a few days off of my current writing project and finished up a piece that had been in process for - well, years.

Years and years ago I filmed a segment for Home and Garden TV's "Crafters Coast to Coast." Fun? Definitely. But later I decided I really didn't want to finish twelve of these books so I took the step-outs (you have to have multiples of each stage of the process) and sewed them all together.

I started the quilting then did a few other things (see list above.) Onto the shelf it went. I finished the quilting on my new HQ16 some time last year. Finally I got brave and just took out the Shiva Oil Sticks and went to town. So there ya go. Finished is a good feeling.

40" x 48"

Well - finished enough for photography.
I still need to sew the facing down on the back.
Oh - and maybe add some beadwork too.
shhh. don't tell.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Guest Post - Beth Berman

After seeing the work she did using techniques learned from my Surface Design Sampler Platter DVD workshop, I couldn't wait to introduce you to Beth Berman. She has very kindly written up some wonderful information on new products and the process she used to make this beautiful piece.


You may already know about this product but it is new to me. I received a sample of the AVERY NOTE TABS and realized the sturdy stiff repositionable plastic note tabs would make perfect stencil material. I cut this spiral stencil and applied it to this quilt with silver paint. You can wash it and reuse it and it doesn't lose its tacky back. I store them by sticking them to the side of my bookshelf. This one has been used many times and just washed.

The quilt page (9x11) is a solvent transfer of the crow , a la Lyric's Surface Design DVD, then darkened with fabric paint, covered with a dryer sheet printed with a scan of three feathers. I hand carved stamps, thanks you Lyric- from Speedy Carve and used pearl paint. The dryer sheet idea came from Natalya Aiken's DVD, Texture Transformation: Stitch, Alter, Recycle. I LOVE the look of these printed dryer sheets. A tip from me: Buy the precut FLAT freezer sheets she recommends and avoid the printer jam headache.

These are 5 new crow stamps I made after watching Lyric Kinards DVD. One of the topics on "Surface Design Sampler Platter" was carving rubber stamps. She suggested Speedy Carve which is a soft, easy to carve material. I bought large sheets, carved, then cut each stamp out, yes, with scissors, and glued it to a wooden block which I polyed after stamping an image of the stamp onto the top of the wooden block. I now have a shoe box full of custom made stamps. I also tried linoleum blocks. Although much cheaper, they are harder to carve and slipping with the bladed carving tool was a problem for me. As a matter of fact, I've got a huge puncture right now. I'll spend the extra and use speedy carve exclusively.

(A note from Lyric - if you'd like a little extra fun, information, and interaction - my Playing With Paint class begins on February 19th through It includes stamp carving as well as a number of other fun things to do with paint, includes four lessons and you have access to me for about 6 weeks. $36 isn't bad for all that!)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tote Tuesday is coming up!

It's going to be a so much fun to watch Virginia Spiegel work her magic as she raises mucho moolah for the American Cancer Society. She has already raised over $190,000.00 over the past few years. She is a skilled and creative organizer - gathering artists and people from all walks of life together through Fiberarts for a Cause.

February 2nd is the day it begins!

But then - that's what quilters do. Think quilt bee - women sharing their labor to comfort and warm each other and those in need. Artists who work with fabric and thread are cut from the same cloth, generous and giving by nature.

Connie Akers is joining me for the "Art + Quilt" tote - contributing some absolutely delectable hand dyed and printed yardage. It's probably a good thing that each artist will ship their work to the winning bidder separately. I don't get to actually touch this yummy fabric with my own little hands. I'm afraid I'd be sorely tempted to send a few bits of this stuff .... ah ... missing. At the very minimum - it would come with drool spots all over it. Happy bidding!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Fiber Art for a Cause

I'm very pleased to be involved with an American Cancer Society fundraiser that will be happening soon.

I'll be offering for auctions, a "Tote" with a copy of my book "Art + Quilt",

this sketchbook with a handmade and beaded cover,

and some lovely yardage dyed by Connie Akers.

Here are the nuts and bolts from it's organizer, Virginia Spiegel:

ToteTuesday, a Fiberart For A Cause fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, will open Tuesday, February 2 and continue through March.

ToteTuesday will feature themed totes filled with unique, beautiful, and inspiring items from the worlds of fiber arts, knitting, art quilting, mixed media and surface design.

You can expect totes offering original artwork, autographed books, hand-dyed fabrics, gorgeous yarns, handmade journals, fun and useful materials/tools for mixed-media and surface design, and much, much more.

A list of the twenty-four themed totes now in progress is here:

ToteTuesday will take place Tuesdays in February and March here:

100% of the proceeds will be donated directly to the American Cancer Society through Fiberart For A Cause. Fiberart For A Cause has already donated over $190,000 to the ACS:

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year

My lovely sister started this with many of our family members. Rather than looking over the past year feeling bad about missed goals, try making REVERSE RESOLUTIONS!

This means listing the things that you accomplished last year. So here goes for me. I'll stick to my business rather than my personal goals.

1 - See the fruit of your labors, hold a copy of your BOOK in your hot little hands!!! Write a couple of articles for my wonderful publisher on the side.

This was a color theory article in the first issue of Quilt Scene: International Quilt Festival

2- Teach at more conferences, the idea being to whittle down the travel/days teaching ratio. I taught at International Quilt Festival, Minnesota Quilters, Fabrications Retreat to name a few. Not so sure the longer times away from the family was a good idea. Live and learn.

Cheryl Jackson found me on the show floor in Houston and pulled out a quiltlet to show me. I can't remember if she said that she saw me on QATV, had my DVD, or had taken a class - either way these moments make teaching all worth while!

3- Teach closer to home.

Air travel is truly difficult when you are the kind of teacher who likes to bring almost EVERYTHING a student will need. It's much easier to just toss it all in the car and go.

4- Remember to save out money for taxes, as opposed to last year. Live and learn.

5- Pay off all business debt and operate solely in the black.

6- Make ART, at least a little bit of it. Honestly - I only completed class samples and work for articles. I did sketch a lot more. I've got four larger pieces sooooo close to being completed. Of course - they've been at that stage for a very long time. I can't say that I can even be happy about this as a reverse resolution. My only real goal last year was to make art. Life just happens. A serious lack of discipline doesn't help. I'm tired of just writing about and reading about making art - time to get down and dirty. Got a good start for the next year so far though.

Here is a little sneak peak of a piece that will be in an upcoming Quilting Arts Magazine article.

7- Sew something JUST FOR FUN!!! I've got a late 1600's (mostly) historically accurate middle-class woman's costume almost complete. Need to hand bind the lacing holes on the corset.

Don't these ladies look like they are having a great time? (NC Ren. Faire) I've also started work on a truly fantastic woods-witch costume inspired by Tia Dalma from the Pirates movies. That's certainly going to be a long-term project.

8- Perhaps the most important - express gratitude to the lovely people who make it possible for me to do what I love. My husband and children, my publisher, my students and friends. I love you all and I couldn't do it without you. I am truly blessed!

Isn't he handsome? How'd I ever get so lucky?
Maybe this week I'll work on some actual goals for 2010