Homefront & Downrange Gets Press

My show, The Army Wife will be growing bigger and better in North Carolina next June. My work will be paired with photos by Hunter Rudd, and hopefully selected pieces by The Combat Paper Project. The Arts Council of Moore County, our venue, will also be hosting a military appreciation day in conjunction with the show opening, and hopefully will be able to coordinate a community workshop project with the Combat Paper Team. At this point, we are all looking for help in funding this event, and to that end, the Moore County newspaper, The Pilot, has been kind enough to write an informative front page article about us! Already it has garnered ACMC at least one generous donation. I am so excited to see this show come together, and to see it reach out to an entire community. I’m especially thankful to Chris of ACMC and my friend Nanette who conceptualized the event and are doing the lion’s share of coordination work to make it happen.

 

Suck it Up, Connections, and Be Strong Always

Welcome Home, Suck it Up, Connections, and Be Strong Always

 

Somewhat related, I have been invited to show a few pieces (Suck it Up and three aprons) at the annual Arts and Healing exhibit at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. I’ve also been asked to speak about my work on October 16th. The event is at 3:00 for anyone who would want to come. Last year(ish), two aprons were on display across the street at the National Institutes of Health. Through that opportunity, I met the director of the Healing Arts show (and much much more) at Walter Reed. You really never know where connections will come from and what they will lead to. I’m still working on what I want to say. I have no problem talking about the evolution of my work, but I’m less confident when it comes to how my work relates to healing. The Army Wife series came out of frustration and anonymity, and though it wasn’t exactly cathartic, I think it came from a similar place as work that is typically considered cathartic. Good thing I have a few weeks still to figure it out.

Quilting Arts!

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The October/November issue is in stores now, and I have not one, but two pieces in it! QA gave Dinner@8 Artists a nice write up and features seven of the 33 pieces in the show. My Selfie was one of the seven. I’m pleased that they included a detail photo as well as the overall piece since my quilt is so much about the myriad fabrics that make it up. I went to the framing store to pick up some artwork today, and one of the ladies there is also a fiber artist. She had already read this issue of QA and recognized my work. We talked about the piece a bit, and she hadn’t realized that it included a square from every fabric in my stash. I was VERY brief with my statement, so maybe I should have written more. Or maybe all those fabrics will be a secret to uncover while enjoying the patchwork.

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The exhibit will debut at the Houston quilt show in October/November. I plan on going with my friend Deborah and am looking forward to not only talking to people about the show, but meeting other quilt artists whose work I admire. I love putting names to faces, so if you’re going to Houston too, let me know.

As an extra added bonus, one of the “Breast Pockets” I made for Melanie Testa’s project is featured in the magazine too (as are pockets by friends Natalya and Vivien)

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And if that’s not enough, yet another friend, Lorie, is a featured artist in the same issue! Obviously, this issue is a must-buy, collectors item.

Art and Friends

Weekend before last I drove to New York on a bit of a whim. As part of the online group 8 That Create, I had work in a small show at Etui Fiber Arts gallery in Larchmont. The reception was on a Sunday afternoon, and normally I wouldn’t drive 6+ hours just for a reception, but my good friend Natalya suggested I stay with her and we get some visiting time in. Time with friends is definitely worth a drive.

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It goes without saying that Natalya and I had a lovely time taking about art, looking at each other’s creations, laughing a lot, and commiserating.  The show at Etui was equally as wonderful. As a group we weren’t quite sure how all our work fit together, but by focusing on the fine details in all of our works, it came together perfectly. It doesn’t hurt that Etui has a bright, open, elegant space for it’s gallery. It is also a yarn shop and that section is pretty classy as well.

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There were plenty of people coming to admire the work. The atmosphere was very convivial. On the wall are my works and Natalya’s, which work super together as they are all architectural.

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I had met fellow artist Benedicte Caniell last Spring at Art Quilt Elements so it was a treat to spend more time with her at and after the reception. She drove me around Larchmont and to a gorgeous park on Long Island Sound. It was a perfect day and many people were out enjoying the great weather and scenery.

Long Island Sound

 

We also went to Benedicte’s house and enjoyed a toast in her and her husband’s charming garden. I look forward to more visits in the future with my ever expanding circle of artist friends.

Me and B

 

While in the area, I also stopped at the Katonah Museum of Art to see the exhibit of Icelandic Artists. It was a small but well conceived exhibit and definitely worth the trip to see. My friend Vivien is one of the docents and I only wish that she had been there that weekend so I could join one of her tours, but she was out of town. Next time.

And because one weekend with friends isn’t enough, I drove to Frederickburg yesterday to have lunch with my gal pal Lorie. She showed me the new co-op gallery she’s part of and I got a sneak peek at her Quilt National entries (I got to see Natalya’s too while in NY, and Lotta’s two weeks ago). From what I’ve seen from my friends, the jurors will have plenty of great and varied work to choose from. It’s too bad we can’t share our creative process while working on these pieces because they are full of heart and soul.

Today is lunch with Nanette. I love being in the middle of things — without an ocean between my friends and our happenings.

 

Small Wonders at Etui Fiber Arts

Small Wonders at Etui

 

Diminutive bugs and birds, petite scale, delicate details of line and stitch – all in tiny treasures on view at Etui Gallery during the month of September, 2014. Eight artists brought together by a love of fabric and stitch show off their varied approaches to mixed media textiles in this exhibit of small works. Layers of machine and hand stitching intimately render buildings and homes both in Natalya Aikens’ works, which incorporate recycled ephemera, and in Kristin La Flamme’s fabric collages. Benedicte Caneill’s work incorporates impeccably sewn pieces of her monoprinted fabrics to create dancing compositions of color and line. Jane Davila and Gloria Hansen turn their focus on small-scale flora and fauna with an eye to graphic simplicity and macro photography respectively. Carol Sloan, Liz Kettle, and Beryl Taylor round out the collection with tantalizing layers of intriguing fabrics, delicate paper, painted textures, wee stitches, and tiny details that draw the viewer in for a closer look.

Many thanks to Jane for making this exhibit happen, and to Natalya and Benedicte for hanging the show. Please check out Natalya’s photos on the 8 That Create blog! I’m toying with the idea of going up to NY for the opening. Anyone else who can be in Larchmont Sunday mid-day should come by! The show is up until October 15th, so there’s time to go see it after the reception as well.

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.

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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.