30 July 2009

New Work: Strawberry finished

Just finished. :-)
I was thinking about starting another plant-life one, this time a tree. Maybe it's because things are starting to bloom around the garden; we're seeing some tomatoes and squash coming to life, and the peas & lettuce have been going strong for weeks. I've been enjoying the outdoors lately (in between thunderstorms).

My original plan for the next quilt was for a portrait but I'm just not sure if I'm up to doing it. I have a picture of my dad that I've been saving for years. Every once in a while I consider making a quilted portrait but keep putting it off. It has to be done well, with the right colors, the right size... guess I haven't decided on the perfect composition yet.

28 July 2009

Work in Progress: Strawberry

As the summer progresses, I'm finding less time for studio work. Too many other projects & events going on. Well, here is this week's update. "Strawberry" is put together and waiting to be quilted (probably this week). It's based on a photo I took last summer in Croatia. They had these delicious wild strawberries - juicy, red and super sweet. Another working title could be "Summer Slacking" because this composition is just sweet & fun and reminds me of a relaxing day in July.

The next project is definitely going to be another portrait but I need time & space to focus before I start that one.

21 July 2009

New Work: Muscle Memory

"Muscle Memory" is based on the concept of learned movements and patterns that become "hardwired" in our brains.
Athletes, dancers and musicians have this ability due to years of practice and repetition. Even if they are away from their sport or craft for years, they can pick it right back up and play. Their bodies seem to move automatically; they know what to do without consciously thinking.
Inspired by a photo by my good friend, photographer Joe Putrock.
The hands are jazz pianist Lee Shaw's.

19 July 2009

New Work: Show Off

I have been working with pretty strict color palettes lately, a lot of neutrals... guess I just had to break out those saturated hand dyed colors! I also used several colors of thread, quilted to nearly an obsessive-compulsion just because they're so fun to look at.
(detail photo right)

The composition is based on a photo of red-petalled Brown-eyed Susans. I took the photo in my friend Becky's beautiful garden. This group of red and orange petals stood out from a field of regular (yellow) Brown-eyed Susans. I couldn't take my eyes off them; why did they develop these colors? Clearly the yellow ones were surviving just as well. So how did this change happen in their plant genes? Maybe they're just showing off.

12 July 2009

Work in Progress

Well some weeks are more productive than others I guess. I didn't get a chance to finish a quilt this week but in keeping with my weekly commitment, here's a photo of the latest work in progress. If you can't tell what it is yet... I'm not going to tell you. But this photo gives an idea of how these quilts are built. Right now I have 6 layers done.
Typically my quilts have anywhere from 6 to 10 layers by the end. After that the quilt stitching adds more texture and sometimes additional colors & shapes.

Hopefully I'll be able to finish this during the week. Stay tuned to see it come together.

05 July 2009

New Work: Prayer for Peace

It was a productive weekend; I was able to finish this one in two (long) days. Prayer for Peace was inspired by a Bahai prayer, which is sewn into the quilt by free-motion stitching. (detail photo below)

An excerpt reads:

"O Thou kind Lord! Unite all. Let the religions agree and make the nations one, so that they may see each other as one family and the whole earth as one home. May they all live together in perfect harmony.
O God! Raise aloft the banner of the oneness of mankind.
O God! Establish the Most Great Peace.
Cement Thou, O God, the hearts together." ~Abdu'l Baha'


Depending on your monitor, the stitching may be hard to see. I used white thread on a white background. The words are not meant to be "in your face", the first thing you see. They can't even be detected from a distance. Instead, the prayer can only be seen if you get up close, and still it's only a whisper.

The image of the person is based on a portrait photo by Marcello Goretti

This quilt is part of the 2009 Blogger’s Quilt Festivalsidebarlogo

02 July 2009

New Work: Tigershark

This lovely creature was captured on film by Chuck Babbitt (used with his permission). I used Chuck's photo as a guide while creating this new composition. Although I've never seen or touched a real live shark, I do have a healthy respect for them and prefer to encounter them on fabric instead of in the ocean.
Tigershark is constructed entirely of hand-dyed cotton and thread with the exception of a layer of tulle over the shark's body. Tulle is a very fine acrylic mesh or netting. It keeps the small pieces of fabric lying nice and flat and also has (what I imagine is) a kind of "shark skin" texture.

See the original inspiration for Tigershark and other examples of Chuck Babbitt's photos here:
Image Pro: Chuck Babbitt Photography