Testing, Testing

Last year I was testing different ways to make human-sized sun prints on fabric. It was for a Security Blanket quilt I thought I might submit to Quilt National so when I discovered that their restrictions on publicly showing work were tighter than I had thought, I deleted the photos from my Flickr and Instagram accounts. But I digress. I’ve since submitted two other quilts to QN and decided that this one should be part of the upcoming Privacy in America show at my local art center. I’m not going to bother retreiving the old photos, but I’ll share new ones.

Sun Print Tests

Here are the results of my testing. From left to right:

Turquoise colored fabric treated for cyanotype by Blueprints on Fabric. This print (me laying on the fabric approximately 12 minutes) was made on a sunny day this May and turned out great. I was the pinnacle of my tests and will be what I use in my final project.

White fabric treated for cyanotype by Blueprints on Fabric. This print (hubby laying on the fabric approximately 12 minutes) was made on a sunny day last November and even though it was done at noon, the angle of the sun was too much and I wasn’t happy with the results.

White fabric painted with blue Inkodye and hubby laying on the wet fabric for about 15 minutes while it developed. I was happy with the color and the print, but it was difficult to get the Inkodye evenly distributed over such a large area before it started to change color. I like this technique for smaller prints, but it’s too uneven and streaky for something 3′ x 6.’

The top print on the right is the result of laying my husband on white fabric treated with soda ash and using him like a stencil around which I sprayed Procion dye concentrate. There was more bleeding than I liked and the color was not nearly as intense as I had hoped. It took longer to clean my husband off than the rest of the process. Definitely not a technique I’d bother with again.

The lower print on the right is my first attempt. I painted white fabric with both Seta Color Transparent paint and thinned acrylics, then laid on the fabric while it dried (45 minutes last summer). It resulted in an interesting print, but it where I sweated (especially around the face) the colors bled into odd ghostly shapes, and I ended up with a sunburn for my efforts. I also wasn’t happy with the scuffed look of the final product once it had been set and washed.

Now I that I’ve settled on the cyanotype prints I have the basics for my quilt and the construction can begin. When I started pinning fabrics to my design wall I wasn’t quite satisfied with how it was looking. luckily, my friend Natalya came to visit and I showed her what I had. Her comments corrected my course and I’m excited to continue working on this — even though it totally needs more work than I had originally thought.

A Random Mix of Projects

Remember Pretty, or Pretty Ugly? It’s now Blorange.

Blorange quilt top

I like it much better, and I thought the top was done until I laid it out to photograph and realized that it was almost large enough for our queen sized bed. What it really needs though, is one more column of blocks on the side. I’ve used all the wider blue and brown strips, and I’m afraid I don’t have enough thinner brown to add enough width, so I may add a purply strip down one side. Scrappy, right?!

The name Blorange came from blue + orange since I have been calling my smaller foray Grellow (grey + yellow).

Grellow

Grellow may become a gift. I rather like it in it’s oddness.

I spent today making bags for the kids out of the ninja and bacon fabrics I bought while in Oregon.

Ninja and bacon fabrics!

Seriously, how could I pass up coordinating ninja AND bacon fabrics?!

Zip pouches

These little zip pouches are loosely based on the Purl Bee Zip Pouch Tutorial. I interfaced the small one but forgot to do the same on the larger bacon one. It suffers a bit from that. The ditty bag is from a tutorial by Sew4Home. I love the way the ninjas dance along the top! The lined bag is of my own design (because they’re just that simple to make). The boy wants the bag and the girl gets the rest — much to her satisfaction.

Finally, I also made a half dozen little House Icons to add to an upcoming show with the 8 That Create ladies at Etui Gallery in NY. More details on that to come soon. These are so satisfying to make and I enjoy searching through my beads and floss to find just the right combinations.

Tiny house icons

Drawing

I’m still at it. I felt like mixing things up today, so I used oil pastels, which I haven’t tried in a while.

Untitled

I think I’ll keep going along this road.

Hello Oregon

Hello Mt Hood.

I’ve been to Oregon and back. One of my Army Wife aprons was part of a fantastic show at Hap Gallery in Portland and I wanted to go to the opening reception. I was also curious about the new Quilt!Knit!Stitch! show organized by IQF as a replacement for their Long Beach, CA quilt show. The two events were a week apart and I wasn’t sure I could justify going to one let alone both. But… our family will be moving next summer — to the location of our choice — and the Willamette Valley in Oregon tops our list. So off I went to satisfy my artistic curiosity and to do some location scouting for our next home.

 

Terry's Studio
This was my temporary home for the first half of the trip. I stayed with my “Quilt Aunt,” Terry Grant and this is her fantastic little studio/guest bedroom. We had a wonderful visit talking about our art and goals. She was kind enough to drive me around Beaverton so I could get a feel for the area, and in my investigation of potential schools for my kids, Terry got to know more about area high schools than she ever wanted to know!

 

Unraveling, by Kristin La Flamme
Together, we enjoyed Portland’s happening First Thursday and went to a reception for Columbia Fiber Arts Guild in which my friends Terry and Gerrie both had artwork, and to “my” reception at Hap Gallery. Fail/Safe is a fabulous show, thoughtfully curated by Marci Rae McDade and reviewed positively in Willamette Week and The Oregonian. I am honored to have been a part of the show, and especially chuffed since this was the first time someone had come to me to ask for specific art to put in a show. I wish I had taken photos of this gem of a show to share, but I just soaked it up instead. Afterwards, Terry, her husband Ray, and I went out to dinner. Lovely evening.

 

I've Been Framed
On another day Terry took me to I’ve Been Framed, and electing framing and art supply store on the opposite side of Portland. It’s a warren of papers and paints and who knows what else. We both found treasures we did and didn’t know we needed.

 

Three days were with my mom, exploring the corridor between Portland and Eugene. I discovered that I’m not at all interested in living in a town smaller than Corvallis (about 55,000 pop) and that I appreciate the influence a large college or university can have on a place like Charlottesville where we live now, and on Corvallis and Eugene, but not necessarily Salem. However, Salem has a fantastic quilt shop!

Guard Frog
Greenbaum’s Quilted Forest is a wonderful place, owned by the same family for three generations. It’s up for sale and I wish I was the right person to buy it. It’s a local fixture though and the right person will come along. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly and the stock is fresh and interesting. They have a huge range of patterns and books and activities to engage all levels and interests. I broke my nearly year-long vow not to buy any new off-the-bolt fabric and came home with yardage for several projects. Being a forest, Greenbaum’s has a “frog pond” and when you stack up your fabric for consideration a frog guards it so no one else accidentally returns your bolts to the shelves. Adorable.

 

Woven hangings and stalactites
Back in Eugene, my mom and I stopped at the Eugene Textile Center which I was happy to see is going strong. It is focused mainly on weaving, but stocks other yarn goodness as well. They’ve also got a small gallery which is currently hung with weavings and these subtle stalactites which I quite liked. I’m sorry that I didn’t take note of the artists names.

 

Colorful!
The latter half of my trip was spent near downtown Portland at “The Congdo” with my quilt mom Gerrie Congdon. One afternoon I walked myself down to the Alphabet and Pearl neighborhoods. I decided that I wouldn’t want to live there, but I would very much like to be close enough to visit often! In my walk, I came across Cargo which I immediately recognized as a must-stop in any Portland visit. It was a trove of color and texture.

 

Small Medium Large

Dice

Nesting Tables

 

 

At Quilt!Knit!Stitch! in Portland, OR 2014
The end of my trip had Gerrie and I at the Quilt!Knit!Stitch! show volunteering at the SAQA exhibit area. I quite enjoyed the show. It was similar to the Festival in Houston, but not nearly as large and overwhelming. There’s lots of room for improvement, especially in attendance and inclusion of local talent, but I think that comes with time and the show will definitely be back next year. I’m excited to see how it evolves.

 

At Quilt!Knit!Stitch! in Portland, OR 2014
Click on any of the photos to go to my Flickr stream where I have more pictures of individual quilts and exhibits that I enjoyed.

Thank you Oregon, it was a great trip! Perhaps next year I will be attending QKS as a local.

Homefront & Downrange

Suck it Up

Suck it Up

 

If you missed my Army Wife exhibit last September in Charlottesville, VA, there’s a second chance to see it next summer at the Arts Council of Moore County near Ft Bragg, NC! To make the exhibit even more special, I’ll be teamed up with photographer Hunter Rudd and selected pieces from the Combat Paper Project. It’s going to be a wonderful community event. I’m very excited to be able to share my work again with a larger audience and I’m especially happy that the exhibit will bring together the military and civilian communities in the area.

At this point, the Arts Council need to do some fundraising — mostly to get the Combat Paper pieces (and hopefully a workshop!) on loan, but also to help facilitate getting me and my work to NC. They have come up with a wonderful sponsorship program. I am happy to send specifics to anyone who is interested — please comment or email me if you or someone you know would like to participate and I will email you the PDF that is also attached below plus the other information it references.

HOMEFRONT & DOWNRANGE:Witness the Art in Military Life

June 5-July 10, 2015 | Campbell House Galleries Art Exhibit Description:

Using art as a catalyst for conversation, HOMEFRONT & DOWNRANGE: Witness the Art in Military Life will be an art exhibit that will take a deep and personal look at several aspects of military life: An Army wife’s story through narrative textiles by Kristin La Flamme, a soldier’s story through photographs by Hunter Rudd, and the story of returning home from war through artwork selected from the Combat Papers Collection.

As our first art exhibit specifically focused on military life, the Arts Council of Moore County wishes to share the exhibit with the entire Sandhills community. We also hope the exhibit will honor our military’s sacrifices and service for the freedom we all enjoy.

In order for this exhibit to occur, we need financial support from sponsors. Homefront & Downrange Sponsor (short)

Pretty, or Pretty Ugly!

I love a good scrap quilt, and I love the surprises that come along with not knowing exactly how things will look in the end. However, working with lots of pieces and not a lot of planning can create problems of it’s own. When I made my Selfie quilt, I cut strips from every fabric in my stash, thinking that it would be cool to also make a Scrappy Trip Around the World quilt that reflected my diverse fabric collection. I should be working on a completely different quilt, but it has problems too, so while I wait for paint to dry and ponder my options, I decided to start on the scrap quilt.

Trip Around the World 2

 

 

 

It soon became clear to me both that I had far too many strips for just one quilt and that all the colors together was looking more barfy than beautiful. Quickly, I switched to using mostly blues, with an accent of orange, and a bit of analogous colors for good measure. This is where it stands now and I’m not sure if it’s working or not. There’s still a lot of colors that don’t necessarily play well together, but that’s the charm of a scrap quilt, right?

Trip Around the World 1

 

I’m going to forge ahead, with a little more planning. In addition to blues, I have a lot of browns, so I’m thinking that I need to surround the brighter bluer blocks with predominantly brown blocks (with as many chocolately browns as I can dig up). I also have the same collection of fabrics in thinner strips which could make for a great change of scale in the center, especially if I control the colors even more — maybe the lighter blues, or maybe the oranges. Hmmm, this color combination is sounding vaguely familiar

Fail-Safe

As promised, here’s more info on the Fail-Safe show in Portland in which I have one Army Wife Apron. I am particularly excited about being in this show because it’s the first time that a curator has approached me for an artwork. It is very validating as an artist to know that something I have made has caught the attention of someone whose job it is to seek out the best and most interesting works to tell the story they wish to share with a larger public. I have decided to make the trip to Portland, OR to attend the opening reception on August 7th, and Marci’s lecture at Quilt!Knit!Stitch! on the 16th as well as the reception following. So, Portland peeps, I hope to see you at one or the other event!

 

 

Fail-Safe Email Announcement.docx

 

From the invitation:

Hap Gallery is pleased to present Fail-Safe: Discomforts Close to Home, a group exhibition of contemporary textile and fiber-based art curated by Marci Rae McDade. The opening reception is held in conjunction with Portland’s First Thursday in the Pearl District, August 7, 2014 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Exhibiting hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The exhibit will run through August 30, 2014.

Fail-Safe: Discomforts Close to Home features a range of art forms made with seemingly safe and comforting materials from everyday life that are loaded with incendiary content. Each object reflects an aspect of anxiety, discontent, and longing in the 21st century, from poverty and racism to mortality and digital disconnect. These potent works compel viewers to take stock of the world today as we collectively contemplate our futures.

The selection of objects focuses on work made from December 2007, when the U.S. housing bubble first burst, to the present. The sense of uncertainty and loss associated with this period of economic crisis and recovery is a pivotal starting point for the conversations many of these pieces seek to ignite.

Fail-Safe includes work by Andi Arnovitz, Kathryn Clark, Jon Coffelt, Vic De La Rosa, Marc Dombrosky, Robert Fontenot, Carol Jackson, Kristin La Flamme, Jiseon Lee Isbara, Wayne “Skid” Lo, Amanda McCavour, Rachel Meginnes, Mark Newport, Loren Schwerd, Mary Smull, Anna Von Mertens, Jane Waggoner Deschner, and Stacia Yeapanis.

Curator Marci Rae McDade is the editor of Surface Design Journal, a leading textile-arts magazine published quarterly by the Surface Design Association. McDade is also a mentor and instructor with the MFA in Applied Craft + Design Program in Portland, Oregon, a joint program offered through the Oregon

College of Art and Craft and the Pacific Northwest College of Art acd.pnca.edu. She received an MFA in Fiber & Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a BA in Film and Video Production from Columbia College Chicago.

This traveling exhibition was organized by Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design in St. Louis, Missouri, and first presented at Grand Center Gallery (February 7 – April 20, 2014) as part of their 50th Anniversary celebration programming.

Associated Events

“Fierce Fiber: Curating Textile Art Exhibits with Impact” Gallery talk with Fail-Safe curator Marci Rae McDade Sponsored by the MFA in Applied Craft + Design Program Hap Gallery
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 from 6:30-8:30pm

“Fierce Fiber: Curating Textile Art Exhibits with Impact” Lecture by Fail-Safe curator Marci Rae McDade Quilt!Knit!Stitch!TM
Oregon Convention Center, Portland, OR Saturday, August 16, 2014 at 11am

“Fierce Fiber” Reception
Cosponsored by the Surface Design Association and Quilt!Knit!Stitch!TM Hap Gallery
Saturday, August 16, 2014 from 6:30-8:30pm

Temporary Safety

As I wind down my Army Wife series, I have been thinking about Security Blankets. I love the play on words, especially since I always strive to make the medium of my work an integral part of the message. I have ideas for at least four textiles that fit under the general umbrella of security. Two are recently finished. The first, I’ve been working on for nearly a year, and posted some peeks along the way, but then removed them as I considered submitting the piece to Quilt National. They have very strict rules about the quilts or any parts being published prior to their unveiling. Anyway, I changed my mind when one of the other artists at McGuffey Art Center proposed a show about Privacy in America which I thought would be a perfect venue for the first of my “blankets.”

"Temporary Safety" 2014, Kristin La Flamme

“Temporary Safety” 2014, Kristin La Flamme

“Temporary Safety” is a pixelated image of a security camera in which the pixels contain circles and rectangles (0s and 1s) which spell out in binary Benjamin Franklin’s quote, They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

 

"Temporary Safety," detail.

“Temporary Safety,” detail.

It’s true human size in that it’s over 90″ long. When a friend suggested I call it Linus, I came up with a six degrees type description: This is a Security Blanket. It has an image of a security camera and a quote by Benjamin Franklin. The Peanuts character Linus has a Security Blanket. Benjamin Linus is a character on LOST, played by actor Michael Emerson. Emerson also plays a character named Harold Finch on Person of Interest. Person of Interest is about utilizing the spying capabilities of security cameras and other methods of data collection.The show is also about protecting people — like a Security Blanket. Cool, it goes full circle! ;-)