08 Jun

Half Light

While I was setting up and celebrating Homefront & Downrange in North Carolina, my friends and co-conspirators Natalya Aikens and Vivien Zepf were setting up a group show of our work, plus that of two more in the circle, Robin Ferrier and Deborah Boschert.

The Gloaming is a presentation of contemporary art, inspired by the magical time betwixt day and night, eliciting myriad transitions. The art is manifested in fiber-based media, from cloth to paper and plastic, in sizes large and small.

The five artists in this group show hail from across the United States. We initially came to know one another through artist groups on the internet; later, more personal conversations ensued and friendships were born. This is the group’s first collaborative exhibition though individually, each artist has shown work in juried art exhibitions and been published.

We each included one larger piece and one 12″ x 12″ piece, all inspired by the colors of the gloaming — that period just as the sun sets when glowing gold mixes with twilight blue. My piece was inspired by the prominent transition in my life right now, my husband’s retirement from the Army. When I started the piece it was loosely based on a flag, with the structure of the stripes going dark in deep blues, purples and greens. The straight stripes was contrasted with an exuberant field of oranges and golds representing the possibilities awaiting in the next day. I was nearly finished when I decided that it was boring me and what I really wanted to do was to work on an improvisational scrap piece that was waiting for me to take a break from artworks with deadlines and purposes.

Half Light Medallion web

 

Half Light Medallion, by Kristin La Flamme 2015

So I changed course, and started fresh. I dumped out all my scraps in Gloaming colors and proceeded to make a new piece, starting from the center out in a Medallion Quilt style. While this one is conceptually further from my original intent, it still retains a bit of structure in the center, which dissolves into scrappy chaos, and then a casual twilight of spiky challenges next to peaceful star-filled spaces.It’s a little bit landscape, and a little bit reflection on transitions. Mostly it was a whole lot of fun to make as I figured it out as I went along.

If you are within visiting distance of Larchmont, NY, please come and see all our pieces on view from now until June 30th. Vivien and Natalya will be giving an artist’s talk on the 14th from 2-4pm. Please come.

June 2nd – 30th, 2015
Etui Fiber Arts
2106 Boston Post Road
Larchmont, NY

 

16 Feb

Blorange Done

My Scrappy Trips Around the World quilt is done. You may remember it from this post, where I was trying to use up leftovers from my pixelated Selfie portrait, but needed to restrain the colors a bit to keep it from getting too ugly.

Blorange Quilt

That said, it’s still pretty much a scrap vomit quilt. I do like the insert of the smaller squares here and there!

Blorange Quilt

 

It was supposed to be just blues and oranges (brown counts as dark orange) but I needed one more column, so I allowed purples. As far as I’m concerned it’s a utilitarian bed quilt and I’ll never worry about anything that happens to it. I also used it as my first big long arm quilting practice. I used the pantograph method where I’m moving the machine head to follow a pattern indicated on a screen. I’m actually wobblier trying to follow a line on a screen than I am “drawing” directly on the quilt, but it was good practice and I definitely wasn’t ready to quilt this big a quilt completely freehand. Oh, and yes, I did have the rug above the bed in mind while I was making this quilt — I thought the diamond in the rug pattern and the diamond in Trip Around the World would speak to each other nicely.

 

 

Blorange back

The back is most of the body print tests I did for “Exposed,” my TSA inspired quilt that is currently in the Privacy in America show. The back is much more sedate, but all those ghostly bodies on the bed kinda freaks me out.

29 Jul

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

21 Jan

A Little Sewing Detour

It’s been non-stop sight-seeing and beach-bumming here since mid-December. I’ve actually got a bit of a tan now! But, alas, there’s not much actual quilting or art making going on. I took today to work on one of my in-progress pieces though.

I was on a roll with sewing tiny bits together and my bin of red scraps didn’t look too daunting after using what I needed for the “real” project, so I took a bit of a detour and sewed ALL my red scraps together.

I cut brick shapes that will eventually be a sibling to this quilt top which I made from neutral scraps about nine moths ago. The photo above shows today’s work in the center red pile, plus the few neutral bricks left over from the Achromatic quilt top, and purple and blue bricks previously sewn at a Saturday Bee. The crazy thing is that both the blue bin and the black and white bin have refilled with scraps enough to make as many bricks as the red pile! I think they must multiply in the dark. My green and my yellow bins are almost overflowing. I may need to take a big detour soon and whip them into tidy piles of bricks. For now though, the red scrap bin is empty of scraps. Ahhhhhh.

15 Sep

Zigeuner Quilt

Last we saw this quilt was in February of 2009 when it was just blocks on my floor. I pieced the blocks and decided that it looked like a gypsy’s tablecloth and thus needed a lace edging. I put the top away until I could find something appropriate. Two and a half years later, not having found lace I liked, but in a fit of wanting to finish things, I pulled out the top and sewed it to a backing. I planned on hand crocheting a lace edge later.

Zigeuner Quilt

But then I went to New York, and I found a crocheted lace I liked. So, I spent some time un-sewing and then re-sewed the top and back with the lace in the seam. But the corners (and there are many) looked like crap. I contemplated just letting it be, but then I knew I’d never use the quilt. I considered cutting all the points off and making the thing a plain rectangle. I considered filling in the spaces between the points and making a larger rectangle.

Zigeuner Quilt detail

I bit the bullet and un-sewed the seams with the lace, bought new backing and sewed it on, and then stitched the lace on top. They say the third time is the charm, and in this case it was. It was absolutely worth all the tedium of un-sewing and re-doing. Now it looks right. I am happy with my gypsy’s tablecloth, and even happier that I can finally call it finished!

Zigeuner Quilt

In Germany we loved steak or schnitzel “Zigeuner Art,” or Gypsy Style, made with red peppers and a bit of a bite.

02 Oct

A Little More Progress

Today I made great progress on a fairy costume for my daughter. Skirt and wings are done; bodice and gauntlets need to be fitted, but she’s off at a party with a friend, so it will have to wait. Chain mail for my son is blocking.

Yellow Strings

But instead of costume progress, I’ll share last week’s quilt progress. The green and the blue scraps have been joined by yellow scraps. And all the scraps are joined with sprout green and Hawaiian red dirt solids.

WIP

I had started sewing the scraps together just to use them up, knowing that sooner or later I’d think of some place to use them. When the idea came to me, it required a more judicious use of scraps, so while I used up a lot of greens, I was left at least half the blue scraps, and I hardly made a dent in the yellow/brown bin.

I’m very pleased with how this quilt is turning out, even if it’s not the scrap-stash buster I has original thought it would be.

19 Jul

Part of the Process

Since I sorted all my scraps (and have been pretty good about putting new ones in the appropriate bins) I have also been slowly sewing the scraps to paper foundations. “String” quilts made from these sort of aggregate bits are pretty popular these days, and I have always been a fan of the scrappy look.

Green Strings

I started with green because I have a plan that uses greens, blues, and yellows. I am happy to report that my green bin is nearly empty! Now I will chip away at the blue bin.