24 Apr

Just Checking in

So often it’s hard to blog because I’m just not sure what to blog about. For lack of any finished projects or deep thoughts, here’s a random sampling of what’s going on in my world right now.

There’s been a lot of work on our house projects, both by me and my mom and by hired pros, but nothing is quite finished yet.

Bathroom Vanity

Bathroom Vanity in progress: pro built, stained by me, I added hardware, waiting on a countertop and plumbing.

I took a block printing workshop with Valori Wells yesterday (through the Portland Modern Quilt Guild) which was lots of fun and jump started my thinking about fabric designs again.

Block Printing

I’m super happy with how these designs turned out — both from a printing standpoint, and a design standpoint.

I’m plugging away at several stitchy projects…

Project Chair

Hand stitching at the ready for quiet evenings.

… which have taken over and made more of a mess than anything else!

Project Table

Lots of work in progress on my studio table and sewing machine. Nothing worth showing yet though.

Work at The Pine Needle is excellent, and I’ve got some behind the scenes projects I’m working on with the team in preparation of summer shop hops and our Fall catalog.

The Pine Needle

This is where I work — surrounded by a wide variety of gorgeous fabrics. That yellow, teal, and maroon whirligig sample in the middle of the photo is one I made. I’m working on an asian-inspired version now.

I hope you all are knee deep in fulfilling projects too; every little bit counts, even if doesn’t seem very blog- or Instagram-worthy.

21 Mar

Home is Where the Army Sends Us

Along with Home Fires going to Rhode Island, I am honored to also have had my newest artwork, Home is Where The Army Sends Us accepted into the ground breaking exhibition at The George Washington University Museum/The Textile Museum, Stories of Migration.

Housed in the new George Washington University museum, The Textile Museum is hosting a juried exhibition in collaboration with SAQA, Stories of Migration: Contemporary Artists Interpret Diaspora. Works will include 3-D pieces, large installations, and video.

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photo by Mark Frey

This textile sculpture is a mobile village reflecting a military family’s canny ability, or heartfelt desire, to bring their communities with them when they relocate. The houses are created from old Army uniforms, an Army issue blanket, and bits and pieces of previous quilted projects in order to convey the lives lived in them. They also have crocheted roots, searching for purchase, but ultimately being dragged along wherever the mobile piece goes. I sent stickers along with the piece to be placed on the floor to encourage visitors to randomly move the village. Military moves are often last minute, and not always of the family’s choice, and are always on the horizon, so I wanted my artwork to reflect that instability. I can’t wait to hear from visitors if this aspect of the sculpture is realized.

Before I sent it off I tried to create a quick video of the village in various settings. I’d like there to be more locations and smoother transitions, but that will be a task when the piece comes back. For now, here’s a fun, quick, video we’ll call a rough sketch.

 

Stories of Migration

April 16th – September 4th, 2016
The Textile Museum
701 21st Street, NW
Washington, DC

20 Mar

The Army Wife at Support and Defend

I’ve had a lot of rejections lately, and when compared to the job satisfaction I have working at the quilt shop, I’ve lately been pretty un-motivated to create any art or to look for places to show what I have. But then I get an opportunity, and I realize I can’t throw in the towel.

Homefiresweb

 

The Army Wife: Home Fires (my very favorite of my apron series) has been chosen to be part of Support and Defend at The Art League of Rhode Island.

The exhibit is all about providing a way for U.S. Armed Forces veteran artists, currently serving or separated, and their immediate families, to share their military or veteran experiences through their own art, and to express its meaning to them in their own words. Every member of the U.S. Armed Forces takes an oath that includes the phrase “support and defend.”  For veterans and their family members, the experiences that follow that oath are specific to each individual and may be hard to grasp for those outside the Armed Forces community. Many of those experiences are complex and enduring–perhaps lifelong. This exhibition of 2D and 3D artworks, accompanied by the artists’ written words, will reflect the military experiences of veterans or their family members and create an opportunity and forum for artists to share a personal expression of that experience. Many veterans and their families want to tell their stories, but those conversations can be difficult to start. Often, art can be the starting place.

I submitted three aprons and Home Fires was chosen. If you are in Rhode Island in April or May, please take the time to see this important exhibit.

Support and Defend: Art Relevant to the Veteran Experience

The VETS Gallery, One Avenue of the Arts, Providence, RI 02906
Sponsored by Art League of Rhode Island
April 1 – May 29, 2016 Open Thursday and Friday afternoons
Opening reception April 14, 5:30 – 8:00 pm

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09 Mar

Knit Night

After all the girlfriend scarves, I forgot to blog about one last Christmas knit.

Erins cowl inspira

My sister came to visit last October and we hit a few fun shops, to include Close Knit. She saw a sample there and immediately said “I want this.” Hint taken.

 

Erins cowl WIP 1

However, when I returned to the shop they didn’t have any more of the colors in the sample. I chose two skeins I thought looked like my sister and started knitting. However, I wash’t getting the same effect of the colors alternating lights and darks and moving in and out from each other. Also, there was a green that seemed like it was bringing everything down.

 

Erin Cowl WIP

So, I ripped it all out and started over. This time I made sure that when I added the second yarn it wasn’t in the same spot on the value scale as the first yarn and when I got to the green I took it out.  I also learned how to do an scrod bind-off—very cool!

Erin Cowl

In the end, it wasn’t quite what I had hoped for, but I think it did turn out quite nicely, and my sister likes it. Ravelry specs are here.

 

 

Erin Cowl 2

 

25 Feb

Too Many Quilts (3)

Who needs a baby quilt?

I made a simple, happy, baby quilt for a friend and since I was teaching basic patchwork at my local Parks and Rec in Hawaii at the time, thought it might make a good class quilt so I made a few samples. Star Baby Indigo is one of those samples. It’s a mix of printed, hand dyed, and batik cottons. Machine quilted, and very gently used. The backing is cream colored muslin. The quilt is 35″ x 50.”

Star Baby Indigo

I’m offering Star Baby Indigo for $100, anywhere in the US. Paypal only. Email me at umzavi(at)hotmail.com if you are interested. DONATED to Cares Northwest

21 Feb

Too Many Quilts (2)

Yay, Hidden Garden found a new home.

Next up is Nene. I made this quilt as a test for Sherrie Lynn Wood’s Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters. You can read my process story here. Nene didn’t make the cut, and as I look through my records, it didn’t even get added to my spreadsheet of quilts (though it did live on our sofa for a while). Poor thing. I’m obviously not giving it the love it deserves and it should go to a new home.

LaFlamme-Nene

It’s a slightly wonky 41″ x 70″ — a lap quilt for the very long-legged? Machine quilted in a geometric pattern. I’m selling Nene for the bargain basement price of $175, PayPal only. Email me at umzavi(at)hotmail.com if you are interested. Sorry, US only. SOLD, thanks!

LaFlamme-Nene detail

17 Feb

Too Many Quilts (1)

I am struggling with storage and access of my stuff. Now that we’re pretty much settled, I am figuring out what we need and what actually works in this house. Last week was re-organize the china closet (serving stuff I use often stays, alternate sets of dishes go downstairs and maybe ultimately to consignment). Today was re-organize the linen closet day. Linens stay, pantry items get relocated.

The outcome? I have way too many quilts. There is no need for me to store all these quilts that I’m not using on beds or entering in shows. I’ve decided to sell off a few practical bed and lap quilts at bargain basement prices because I don’t need them but maybe someone else does. I’m starting small, but may get more brutal in months to come.

The first quilt on the block is titled Hidden Garden and is 55″ x 72. I made it in 2013 as an exercise in using up scraps. The backing is a fun orange with white polka dots. It is free-motion quilted with flowers and leaves. I’m offering this quilt for $300, oh who am I kidding, $200, mailing included, anywhere in the US. Paypal only. Email me at umzavi(at)hotmail.com if you are interested. SOLD Thank you very much!

Hidden Garden web

Hidden Garden back web Hidden Garden detail web

 

05 Feb

Fugly Friday

Fugly Wallpaper

Eighties wallpaper. When it comes to F’ing Ugly, I probably don’t need to say any more.

Nearly every room in our not-small house had eighties wallpaper in southwest and Laura Ashley motifs — sometimes even used together. Closets and doors were not immune. Team Deco/Reno did an absolutely amazing job removing the bulk of this now-dated eyesore last summer before we moved any of our furniture in. While wallpaper removal is not Instagram- or Pinterest-worthy, it has gone a HUGE way towards making our house on the whole look clean, contemporary, and much more us.