01 Aug

Good Press

There’s still one more month left to go see Stories of Migration at the George Washington University Textile Museum in DC.

_MG_9738AL10S-sRGB

My mobile village “Home is Where the Army Sends Us” is part of this exhibit and I couldn’t be happier about the good press the entire show is getting. As a participating artist it is wonderful to see viewers react to the work, but it is also important to have some kind of context in which to put the show. That many others in the world at large are paying attention to the show is a huge validation. So, in order to have all the references at hand (mostly for future me), here’s a list of mentions in the press that I know about:

American Craft  (USA) Aug/Sept ’16  (p.108) Featuring “Mother Tongue and Foreign Language” by Shin-hee Chin

Embroidery Magazine  (UK) Jul/Aug ’16  (p.11) Featuring “Navigating a Broken World” by Shea Wilkinson

Magic Patch  (France) #123  (p.9)

Textile Fibre Forum Magazine  (Australia) Sept ’16  Six pages, featuring works by Alice Beasley, Kristin LaFlamme, Gloria Daly, Penny Mateer, Susan Else, Daniela Tiger, Joy Nebo Lavrencik, and Carol Larson.

Quilting Arts Magazine  (USA) Jun/Jul ’16  Nine pages, featuring works by many artists.

The Washington Diplomat

CCTV Africa Featuring the work of William Adjete Wilson and more

The Washington Post

10 Jul

Sisters 2016

Stitching Post

W00t! I did something totally fun and blog-worthy. At the last minute, I took the Fabric Depot bus to the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. It was a serendipitous combo of having the day off work and making a new friend who had an extra ticket.

Sisters is about three hours from Portland, so it was quite nice to turn over the driving (and parking) to the coach. Once at the show, I buddied up with an Instagram friend and we ended up spending the whole day together wandering from eye catching quilt to eye catching quilt. We found out that we had very similar tastes (probably why we follow each other on IG). It was a pleasure, as always when seeing exhibits of any sort with a friend, to talk about what we were seeing and why we liked (or didn’t like it). Overall SOQS is pretty traditional. This year though, Quilt Con had a special exhibit of some of it’s most favored quilts so there was definitely a big Modern influence. The Portland Modern Quilt Guild had a small exhibit too, in which my “Partisan” was hung. Interestingly, I was not that wowed by the art quilts. I think it was because most were literal and for some reason that doesn’t do much for me. SAQA’s Central Oregon pod had an exhibit of their Doors exhibit which was easily the best of the art quilts on display.

Here’s some of my favorites of the day:

Marks DisplayInside The Stitching Post, Valori Wells’ new fabric line Marks was front and center. I have a big ol’ crush on this fabric and I love this display which is chic and naive at the same time. My only purchase besides lunch was a fat quarter set of the blue color way.

Colors 2 The show organizers do a fantastic job of organizing the quilts so that they flow well together, and very often they are enhanced by the colors of the buildings on which they hang or the plantings in front of them. “Daybreak” by Marsha Savage looked particularly nice with the golden sedge grass in front of it.

ColorsA detail of “Freddy Dot Com” by Susan Brennan. This quilt looked so good with the poppies and other flowers in front of it.

 

Buscemi The green and the purple! It was a fun surprise to discover that this one in one of my favorite color combos was made by my friend robin Buscemi, who had given me the bus ticket!

Me and Petal

A big reason for going to the show (besides it being relatively close to me, and the world’s largest outdoor quilt show) was that my quilt, “Partisan,” was part of a special exhibit of The Quilt Block Abstracted by the Portland Modern Quilt Guild. Hanging next to me is “Fallen Petal” by Karen Lee.

DavidsonI’m a sucker for flying geese, so of course I like Heather Davidson’s “Two by Two Dancing Geese” which was also in the PMQG exhibit.

HobbsI also liked this variation on a Lone Star, “Carkai Quilt” by Meredith Hobbs.

 

BondSpeaking of flying geese, I’ve been drooling over this one by Sarah Bond online for what seems like ever. It absolutely holds up in person. It’s beautifully executed and even looks great hung sideways (which I didn’t even notice until a fellow traveller pointed it out to me. This quilt was one of many which represented the best of Quilt Con 2016.

Burnett Two color quilts can be so dramatic, and so classic. The gradation in this one makes it particularly attractive too. “Horseshoes and Hand Grenades” by Rebecca Burnett.  I’m pretty sure it was part of the Quilt Con exhibit too.

ParkesQuilt Con quilt “Night Flight #1” by Heidi Parkes. Big stitch hand quilting and lots of little free pieced bits made this one a lovely mix of rustic and refined.

PeakI failed to get the name or maker of this one but I was struck by the way it echoed the building on which it hung.

Tuazon I also liked “Flounce” by Melanie Tuazon

Royle We rarely get a chance to see the backs of quilts at shows, but outside, and on a breezy (becoming windy) day we caught many glimpses. The richly glowing “Embers” by Stephanie Royle uses all solids on the front but has a fun patterned fabric on the back.

 

Price “Embers” by Mary Kay Price just glowed too.

RabyAnd, in the teacher’s tent, this richly colored quilt by Pam Raby glowed due to the sun behind it. I had the chance to see this one at work and it has such delicious color without the sun, but this outdoor addition added an extra dimension.

ShawAnother teacher quilt was this cheeky “Curious Duck” by Ann Shaw. I see the influence of Ruth B McDowell, who’s work I love, especially in the bold choice of background fabric.

 

Beebe “Eichler Homes” by Mickey Beebe. I think this was part of a special exhibit of quilts using Moda fabrics. The whole quilt is made from the Grunge line, which is one of my favorite blenders. I think this design might have been too stark with simple solids, but the subtle colors in Grunge add just enough variation. I also loved all the little trees between the houses.

ModaAnother Moda quilt was this one titled “Just a Speck/Lolies.” I love that this is a Pineapple Log Cabin but the charcoal line and the fantastic circular quilting move the focus away from the center of the pineapple and out to the corners creating an unexpected secondary focus that becomes the primary.

 

Cobb This one was so simple, but so intriguing. At first I thought the floral was more concentrated in the center diagonal of the quilt, and scattered toward the edges, but it was just a trick of the effect of the turquoise blocks. The way the squares advance and recede is really fun. Plus, the quilting was simple, but perfect.

SchmidtI’ve seen versions of this X and + quilt in more Modern or novelty prints where it’s bubbly and fun. I enjoyed seeing it in mostly batiks for a slightly more grown-up look.

Cobb 2 This one, “Patches in Light” by Susan Cobb caught my eye because of it’s clever use of a Marcia Derse fabric. Usually Derse’s hand painted-looking fabrics are used more like one would use batiks. But pairing them here with a solid looking background and the navy accents (not to mention the little citron surprises) gives a much lighter, modulated look.

BlaylockFun “Dots” by Myra Blaylock. All hand appliquéd.

Fellows I love the quilting on “Love and Gillies B-17” by Colin Fellows. It so perfectly accentuates the quilt and is beautifully executed. By the way, out in the sun, quilting really shone.

Potter I liked the simplicity but intricacy of this one, “A Wink of Red” by Terry Potter.

Goose FootThere were quite a few vintage quilts, like Goose Foot from the collection of Sally Rogers. With different fabrics it could be very Modern.

Moran B There were lots of quilts by Grande Dame Freddy Moran. Most were raw edge appliqué, loosely free-motion quilted, and had barely finished edges. But they were exuberant and so obviously about the color and composition and the fabric itself (oh, the fabric! Where does she find these wild things? I want to shop with Freddy!). I could’t help but get the feeling that her quilts were saying, “Hey, I’ve been quilting forever and I’ve earned the right to do whatever the hell I want!” And I love that.

DyerAnother quilt that bucked tradition was this one coordinated by Wynde Dyer. It is made of tarp and was created by at risk youth at Caldera Art Center under Dyer’s tutelage. It was rejected by the quilt show for technical reasons (weight, materials?) but a local bookshop was kind enough to give it space.

And finally, The One That Shouldn’t Work, “Not So Lone Star” by Patrick Wilson.WilsonI just love this more is more Lone Star. I found Australian aboriginal print fabric, Erin Michaels paint by number designs, stripes, Kaffe Fasset, novelty sunflowers and more. Only the very brave would pull that variety out of their stash or a quilt shop’s shelves and know they’d work together.

Wilson det

I talked to others about whether the corner stars were necessary, or if the floral background really worked. I noted that without one or both of those elements, it would just be a classic Lone Star. There’s something about the way everything is competing and yet blending that, in my eyes, make this so striking.

 

26 Jun

Meet Me on IG?

In May, I was lamenting my lack of blog posts. Since then, I’ve blogged a couple times, but not really picked up the pace. I’ve been paying attention to my social media use though, and invited readers to follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

I’m now thinking the answer is a shift in focus. For over ten years, my blog has been my main story and then Facebook, and more recently Instagram, have played supporting roles. But I’m finding that I like the immediacy and accessibility of Instagram. I can take photos of whatever I’m doing and post it right away, all from my phone. I find that things are much more current on my Instagram feed, and I’m happy with the balance of personal and professional inspiration. I won’t be ditching my blog altogether, but I think that Instagram will now be my main story, and the blog will play a supporting role when I need something that can be more verbose, or contain links, or do whatever it is that blogs do best. My professional Facebook page has it’s merits, as does my personal page, so those will live, but I’m trying not to spend too much time there. (By the way, if you’ve friend requested me and I haven’t responded it’s probably because we’ve never met in person, which is pretty much my criteria for my personal Facebook page. However, please like my professional Facebook page — that’s where all the arty stuff is anyway.)

So, please follow me on Instagram, because I think that’s where it’s at for me right now.

IG Feed

22 Jun

Fun Stairs

We’ve owned our house for just over a year now, and have actually lived in it just under a year. It is looking cleaner, fresher, and a lot more modern these days. In the two and a half months before we moved in, my mom and step dad removed what seemed like a metric-tonne of wallpaper, and painted the bedrooms and a few other high use rooms. That made a huge difference in the house right away. Adding our furniture and stuff made it “ours.” Since then, we’ve been moving from project to project, hopefully improving the house, and definitely updating it. The deck (two posts previous) has proven to be well worth the money spent. We’ve been enjoying the warm weather and entertaining friends and family on it. The interim kitchen/dining room is comfortable (though not optimal for large groups — I think we’ll need a big table option). I love the upstairs bathroom (scroll past the “before” to see it’s bright “after”), and the colorful doors have continued downstairs. Of course, the girl’s room is still awesome. The downstairs bathroom, which we identified as a “right away” project is nearly done, but stalled out until I get around to tiling the baseboard. Guests report that it functions very nicely though! The other urgent project was to waterproof the basement storage area from the outside so it doesn’t leak. That’s now done, but things pretty much look the same. And we won’t really know if it’s fixed until torrential winter rains.

So, my most recent finish to share is the stairwell from upstairs to downstairs. It started out with wallpaper and worn grey carpet which we all agreed was just sad. A few months ago, my mom and step dad came over and we got rid of all the wallpaper. Then I did nothing (well, nothing on the stairwell. I was tiling the shower and freshening up the man cave instead).

Stairs wallpaper

Finally, a couple weeks ago, I realized that we were going to have a slew of houseguests and I probably needed to at least get the handrail back up. That meant I needed to paint the walls. with white walls and a fun orange handrail (to match the bathroom door and accent wall), I was compelled to rip up the carpet. The stairs underneath were a big mess and I spent a day with my heat gun, scraper, and sander getting rid of residual glue from rubber tread mats and smoothing out splintery edges.

Stairs WIP

I uncovered a bit of confetti patterned linoleum original to the house on the upper landing. It’s pretty dingy and crackled, but I think it will inspire the next flooring when we update the kitchen in a few years.

A few coats of primer and blue floor paint left over from the man cave update and the stairwell is looking almost inviting!

Stairs down

I’d like to add a runner, but for now, this will do.

Stairs up

04 Jun

Chipmunks!

I work in a quilt shop, and while I think I exercise great restraint, sometimes there are fabrics that I absolutely MUST have. Chipper by Tula Pink was one such fabric. It’s basically a collection of florals and coordinates, but in and amongst the blooms are foxes and chipmunks in psychedelic colors. Fun, but not something that the average not too Modern but not too Traditional quilter can easily imagine in a quilt.Chipmunk WIP 1

I could envision the chipmunks though in a kind of groovy, Modern take on Broderie Perse, the traditional appliqué method of taking motifs from a (usually) chintz fabric and re-arranging them to create a new and unique scene. I thought that a sample of this might get customers’ creative juices flowing too. So, I took it upon myself to buy some chipmunks and get to work.Chipmunk WIP 2

I combined several of the Chipper fabrics with other florals I had in my stash — Kaffe Fasset, some Amy Butler, and a few non-designer prints. I wanted the chipmunks to be circling something, so I made a floral poesie. It’s not as wildly weird as I had hoped, but I think it has a nice balance of Modern because of the colors, and Traditional because of the bouquet and needle turn appliqué.Chipmunk WIP 4

After finishing the Broderie Perse part, I added two scrappy borders in the same prints plus more from my stash. I had to include the ochre nuts which were part of a popular collection quite a few years ago. I plan on adding more borders Medallion style, and I think I may need another round of chipmunks, but that will have to wait. I have some other projects which need to take precedence, and this can probably go hang out at work while we still have bolts of the fabric to sell.

02 Jun

Our Deck!

Woo hoo, another finished home improvement project!

Actually, this one’s been done for a little while. We can report that this new deck is a success as we’ve been enjoying the evenings relaxing with the great view and an adult beverage.

Deck 1

 

The view was a big selling point for this house. The house is on a busy street, and is a bit odd inside, but the rooms are large and we can see Mt. St. Helen’s most days and the tip of Mt. Hood when the trees cooperate. When we bought the house, it had a large deck, but it was about 30 years old, rotting in many places, and didn’t have stairs to the yard.Deck 2

 

So, we had it torn down and started over with an upper deck to enjoy the view, and stairs down to the back yard. Because of the horizontal siding on the house, I really, really wanted horizontal cable railing. The compromise to be able to afford it was to use mahogany uprights instead of steel, and to forego a lower deck for the immediate future. I’m so happy we made that choice — I love the look of the deck, and all the neighbors who can see it from their yards have complimented it as well (no hiding the construction as the neighbors were subjected to the roar of power tools for several months!).Deck 3

 

The lower transition from the stairs to the concrete patio is larger than I expected, so it’s kind of a lower deck. Eventually, it will be the transition to a deck over the grass large enough for a big picnic table. Eventually, I’ll also paint the under structure to match the eventual color of the house, and do some tidy gravel area under the deck.Deck 4

We’ve now owned our house for one year and it’s feeling more like “our” home than something in transition. The deck is done, the garden is filling in, most of the rooms are freshly painted and decorated, we’re pretty sure the basement leak is fixed, and a bathroom renovation is nearly complete! It’s pretty nice.

20 May

2016 SAQA Benefit Auction

It’s that time of year again, when SAQA members start donating 12×12 work for the annual benefit auction. It is great fun to see the variety of work from fellow members. Some years i donate artwork, some years I just donate money. This year I’m donating artwork as part of my quest to get my work out from under my bed and into the open where it can be enjoyed. My donation this year is Americana V, part of my series created from an older quilt that wasn’t working and is now transformed into smaller, more attractive, and easier to incorporate into one’s decor, pieces.

The auction will be in September, but SAQA is starting to share the artwork online here and here.

Americana V web

19 May

Follow Me

Thinking about yesterday’s post and what to write about, it dawned on me that now might be a good time to remind readers that I do post shorter, but more regular, images and thoughts on my professional Facebook page, and even more so, on my Instagram feed. So, between sporadic blog posts, I encourage you to follow me:

Home is Where night Follow me on Facebook! This is my professional page where I post information about what I’m working on and where to see my work. No cat or food photos here — just art.

Shroud WIPFollow me on Instagram! Here are my creative endeavors and what inspires me. It’s mostly art, but there’s a good amount of knitting and home renovation as well. Plus the occasional pretty flower, cat, or food pic.