Friday, May 30, 2014

Artful Weekend

     I had a fantastic weekend of art and friends. My quilt Beach Walk is in the juried show Florida in Fabric at the Ruth Funk Gallery in Melbourne, Florida. It was juried by Martha Sielman, the Executive Director of SAQA. So my friends and I, (they were also in the show) booked a hotel near the gallery and we attended the opening reception Friday evening. What a lovely evening it was. So well attended, too. The very impressive docents circulated asking us lots of questions about our intents and our processes. We connected and reconnected with the many Florida artists who came to the event. Afterwards, we went out to dinner and discovered a marvelous part of Melbourne we didn't know existed before. In the morning, we had a great discussion about how to take get to the next level with our art as we had coffee in the garden at our hotel and then we visited a gallery and a museum.
     In the afternoon, we went back to Ruth Funk for the Gallery Walk with Martha Sielman and she walked from piece to piece and spoke about each one. Unless the artist was present (and most were). The artists each spoke about her own piece. That meant I had to speak in front of about 50 people about mine. It actually felt good to do that. It was the first time I've ever done something like that. I explained about how I chose to add lines to the sun to mimic the lines in the grasses and the shell and how I chose  to paint the patterns in the fabric to mimic patterns I would see in water as I walk on the beach. Here's a photo of Beach Walk, although you seen it before if you follow regularly.
Beach Walk

     After the Walk and Talk, we had a SAQA meeting where we had a show and tell and I took my piece that I made about a hole in a screen door. I made it for a call for entry and it didn't get accepted. Of course, I was disappointed for a few hours after the rejection notice, but then I realized that I still was very happy with the quilt. I'm going to keep trying to get it displayed somewhere. I've shown it around at several meetings and I know I'm not going to submit it to one of those shows where you can't have shown it before so you get to see it here and I've put it on my website, too.
     I was sitting in a restaurant in Panama in a tiny one-street town. The street was a dirt road with horses, pick-up trucks, pedestrians, and the occasional car. They only served one type of meal; fried chicken, beans, and rice. I was sitting at my table looking at the screen door that had a hole in it watching the flies going in and out and suddenly I realized what a beautiful hole it was. So I got up and took a photo of the hole. I knew that one day I would use it in my art somehow.
Screen Door With A View
Please visit my website to see my artist statement and detail photos that go with it. It's in the gallery of newer works. I'm linking this to Off The Wall Friday where you can visit other art quilt blogs. Please make comments on their posts to let them know you stopped by.

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Eyes Have It

     In my art group, ArtsEtc., we start our meetings with a 10 - 20 minute sketching warm-up exercise to get the creative juices flowing even though we are really a fiber art group. Last month the exercise was to look at a photo of an eye and draw it lightly with pencil four times on separate card stocks. Then, at home, on one of them, with pencil, sketch it very accurately. On the second one, develop it with ink. On the third one, develop it with colored pencil. On the fourth one, develop it with vine charcoal (I skipped this one because I don't plan on working in this medium.) The purpose of the exercise is to compare the different types of media. It was a valuable exercise for me, although I really don't enjoy doing something more than once. Here are my sketches.
Photo and sketches in various media
     And then, I got the idea, since I had eyes in my head, to add eyes to my hand sewing project from the class I'm taking on-line from the Spirit Cloth website. Since the rocks fell into the river, I embroidered eyes in the river to symbolize having the spirits of the rocks in the river.
Still in-progress
It's not laying flat because the river is quilted and I haven't yet quilted the area around the river. I think I'll add some more eyes in the river, too. Then I have to quilt the rest and more fabric at the bottom and quilt that, too. I'll decide the edges later. I'm linking this to Off The Wall Friday where you can visit other art quilt blogs. Please make comments on their posts to let the artists know you stopped by.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Old Quilts/New Cover

     I saved enough points on my charge card purchases to get an iPad Air. I've never had a tablet before so this is quite a new toy for me. As a matter of fact, when I saw the microphone symbol on the keyboard, I thought "No way".  I pressed the microphone symbol and began to talk and my words appeared on the screen! For many of you, this is old hat, but for me, the Neanderthal, it freaked me out.
     Anyway, it required a quilted case, of course. I visited Lyric Kinard's blogpost Here and got the idea to make my case using her method as a base for my fabric. So I dug into the shoebox where I keep scraps of strips that I've cut off of quilts that I've squared off and small quilts that just didn't work out. Then I browsed the Internet for a tutorial on iPad covers and found This marvelous tutorial.
     I chose quilted pieces I had that went together well. Some already had rocks sewn onto them. Yay! To make the appropriate sized pieces for my iPad cover as called for in the tutorial, I sewed quilted pieces together with a utility stitch on my machine by butting up the edges of the fabrics and just sewing them together. (My pieces already were quilted with a top fabric and batting but no backing fabric.) It was a stitch that looks like it was serged.
Piece of old quilts sliced and sewn together

     Once I had all the pieces called for in the tutorial, I embellished them with machine embroidery and added some more rocks by machine appliquéing them on. Then I just followed the tutorial. At first read, it seemed to me like it was going to be complicated, but it was actually very straight forward.
Front of cover with fold-over flap

 I put my fold-over flap more over to the side rather than in the center so that it wouldn't hide the rocks. (So vain of me.) That turned out to not be such a good idea because the iPad isn't protected enough that way. So the next evening, I made another fold-over flap and sewed it on to the first on extending it so that the iPad is protected properly.
Back of cover

There is enough space inside the cover to put a little pouch that holds the iPad power cord and a cloth to clean the iPad, too.
I'm linking this to Off The Wall Friday where you can visit other art quilt blogs. Please make comments to let the artists know you stopped by.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Spring Time Influences

     The birds are singing their hearts out and baby birds are making their appearances. Most of the migrants have made their way up North. Every now and then I see a few stragglers still. But all the activity has influenced my theme for the last two wheel chair covers. These are the covers for April and May. I decided it's easier to make two at a time and to make them with similar themes. Here they are posing on the back of my wooden office chair. Its back is curved, which makes it a very comfortable chair. That's why they aren't sitting flat.
April's contribution

May's contribution
Onwards to the many other ideas swimming in my head. Thank goodness they never stop arriving.
I'm linking this to Off The Wall Friday where you can find other art quilt blogs. Please make comments on their posts to let them know you stopped by.