I am pleased and honored that “War Sucks” will be part of the 2012 Art Quilt Elements show. So, if you missed it at Art=Quilts=Art in Albany, NY last January, now’s the chance to see it, plus a gallery full of other fantastic art quilts, in Wayne, PA. The show opens on March 30th, 2012 and runs until May 13th. They will also have a catalog if, like me, you will not be able to attend. Art quilts always look better in person though.
Archive for the ‘Art Textile’ Category
In keeping with my “Unravelling” apron, I follow with another piece that could easily belong to the series.
“Absence” by Kristin La Flamme, 2012
I created this piece for possible inclusion in the invitational show curated by Dinner@Eight artists Jamie Fingal and Leslie Jameson. 2012 is the fourth year of the show and the first year I’ve been invited to submit a piece. There is always a theme and size limitation, and this year’s theme is Rituals.
Ah, the military life is filled with rituals. Interestingly, while I was working on this piece, I was also working on my Metamorphosis piece for Twelve by Twelve and they sort of dovetailed. Certainly the process a soldier goes through in Basic Training is a ritual made to initiate him or her into the Army society.
(click to enlarge)
For “Absence,” I decided to focus on the rituals missed while a soldier is deployed. So many center around the dining room tabel. Meals together, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Our family has certainly had it’s share of important moments without daddy present.
I’ve tried to convey a table with wood grain fabrics and vintage table linens. In addition, the traditional Dresden Plate quilt blocks represent the place settings, with stitched silhouettes of hands for each family member present. There’s a yellow ribbon for remembrance and stars and stripes for patriotism. Most obvious though is the hole showing the soldier’s absence. This is in honor of all the family rituals every soldier, sailor, airman and marine miss while they serve our country.
Sometimes it feels like that. No matter how hard you try, things just unravel.
While things are holding together for me just fine right now, that’s not always the case. I think most Army wives will agree with me. There are times when it’s hard to keep it all together. This is another (the 10th!) apron in my series ”The Army Wife.” It’s knit from my husband’s discarded uniform tees, plus some other uniform bits and fasteners, and a heart of stone as a sort of talisman.
Something I’m really enjoying while creating this series of work is letting each piece dictate how it is made, as opposed to trying to make my ideas conform to a specific model such as “art quilt.” It means that I can’t enter pieces I really like, such as Be Strong, Always, and The Other Woman, into quilt exhibits, but that’s not the point. Wool, knit, quilted, sheer, a sheet, or a bed quilt, the form each piece takes is integral to it’s meaning, and that gives me great satisfaction.
Stitch some. Add another color. Add a third color. Take it all out. Buy something completely different. Stitch some. Try the opposite somewhere else. Prefer that and take out previous stitching. Stitch some. Stitch some more. Prefer previous stitching and take out current stitching. Stitch some with previous color. Add a new color. OK, now I’ve got it.
My knitting seems to follow a similar process of knit, rip, knit, rip, knit more, rip some, knit again.
I am so easily distracted!
Thursday night is knit night and this week I wanted to go but didn’t have an easily portable project (I’m working on an afghan, but it needs a new color each row and I don’t like to schlep my box of yarn around). It struck me though, that I could cut up some newly discarded army undershirts of my husband’s and swatch some lace patterns. Perfect!
First, a little back story. When I started the Army Wife series of aprons (now to include other textile forms) I wanted to express the feeling of unravelling with a knitted piece. This is me trying to work out the increases to shape the piece.
But it was just a trapezoid and lacked the graceful curve of subsequent aprons. Looking at the growing series together, the trapezoid stuck out like a sore thumb. So I ripped the stitches out and started over. I was still stuck on leaving the bottom edge unfinished to show the unravelling and so the second try was knit sideways, lengthening and shortening the rows.
Blech! I set this one aside because I ran out of shirts, and wanted to use hubby’s post Iraq throw-aways. I am hoping that because of the different water and detergents there, the tan color will be a different shade. Those shirts are still in a footlocker on a ship.
Still, this is ugly. The apron needs some femininity. I decided that what it needs is a lace edge. Luckily, hubby purged his brown shirts that went with the old BDUs (as opposed to the tan shirts that are worn with the current ACUs and new Multi Cam), so fast forward to Thursday night when I decided to swatch in brown while I wait for the other tan Tees.
First try was a the simple Feather and Fan pattern. I’ve had great success with it in scarves, but the T shirt yarn knits up dense and the laciness was lost, even when I went up several needle sizes.
What I needed was something with more holes. How about crochet? That’s pretty holey.
I kinda like that, but I’d rather make the lace border and then fill in the rest of the knit apron shape than make the apron shape first (which I’ve proven is difficult for me) and then add on a crochet border later. I know it doesn’t make a lot of sense, but it’s how my brain works. I’m much more visual than mathematical.
I searched Ravelry for bottom up, curved shawls with simple lace borders. Knitting lace from charts scares me, but I found one that had symbols I knew and just jumped right in. Hey, it’s not so hard! This looks good, but I wonder if there’s an even holey-er I could try?
Knowing I could tackle the pattern, I dropped the money to pay for a downloadable pattern and tried something a little fancier. It ended up not being any holey-er, but since it’s wider I think it fills the apron nicely and will make for a prettier piece overall. My plan now is to knit the lace part in brown and fill in the rest of the apron body with tan. If I need more tan, hopefully the footlocker will arrive by then.
I’m torn though, finish up my Twelve by Twelve metamorphosis piece, or my invitational piece, or keep running with this lace momentum? Squirrel!
This time it’s not me teaching, but my very talented friends. Deborah Boschert is one of my fellow Twelve by Twelve members and one of the incredible women who I am proud to include in my Circle of Friends. She is one of 20 artists who are offering a WIDE variety of fabric and stitch workshops coordinated by mixed media artist Alma Stoller.
STITCHED is a collection of 20 online video workshops by 20 talentend fabric artists. Students have access to all 20 workshops and can choose to view and work on the projects any time of the day, any day of the week. Registration opens on Dec 1 and the workshops kick off on Jan 1 and run through June 1. Registration is only $89. Deborah is teaching a workshop titled, “Branches, Buds and Blossoms: A Botanical Fabric Collage.” She includes videos on selecting fabrics, adding surface design, composing and improvisational hand embroidery.
Also part of the STITCHED team is another fellow Twelve, Nikki Wheeler. Nikki’s class will explore her quirky method of backwards quilting, make fabric paper, secretly share dreams and wishes on some fabric beads, and share the big secret of sewing these boxes 100% on the machine. Plus, she couldn’t resist throwing in some extras, like Treasure Tea Boxes and Nesting Boxes. These are jewels of projects and look like they could become quite addicting!
I have not been in the mood to blog lately. No particular reason. I just think the blog’s biorhythms must be on a low curve. It’s certainly not been for lack of things going on. To summarize:
- I’m still fundraising for JDRF.
- I’ve made a bunch of Smurf hats, a kilt, and a Smurfette dress for the annual Halloween party at the taekwondo school we attend.
- Vampire capes are next on the list.
- Things are going swimmingly in my patchwork class.
- We’re trying to show as much of Oahu to our exchange student as possible — hiking Diamond Head, going to the Haunted Lagoon, eating sushi, etc.
- My art quilt, “War Sucks” will be shown at Art=Quilts=Art in Auburn, NY next week, and at Art Quilt Elements in Wayne, PA next year, and I’m still plugging away on it’s comrades in the Army Wife series.
- And, I’m gearing up to go to the International Quilt Festival in Houston in just over a week! That in itself has had enough things on the “to do” list to fill my time.
Part of preparation for Houston involved me getting out my paints and stamps and fabrics and doing some making. About the same time, I also noticed that the cut base of a baby bok choy makes a pretty flower shape. This was worth some exploring….
I added the bok choy to the stamps, grabbed my girls, and we sat out on the lanai to print fabric for a few hours.
Fabric paints worked quite well.
I even ran out to get more veggies to print with. Celery made the white flower in the photo above.
I’m not sure what we’ll do with these, but I’m sure I’ll find something sooner or later.
DeColorant had mixed results.
I received my catalog for Beyond Comfort last week. What a huge surprise to see my art quilt/apron “The Military Wife: Hanging on by a Thread” on the cover!
The exhibit premiered at Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, England, and though that show has ended for the year, Beyond Comfort will continue on to the US at the Gerald Ford Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan from June to August, 2012; and then on to the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio from January to March, 2013. That’s a long way off, and I’m going to miss my aprons sorely, but hopefully they will be excellent ambassadors for the rest of the collection, which I continue to slowly work on.
I couldn’t put her down until she was finished. The idea for this one (in The Army Wife series) came to me during that fantastic week with creative friends in New York. Once home, I gathered supplies and jumped right in. This is not a quilt. Perhaps it could be classified as an embroidery. Sewn from vintage sheets, it is a work of textile art.
“The Other Woman” 71″ x 50″ 2001 (click to see a little bigger)
I don’t know if the saying, “If the army wanted you to have a wife, they would have issued you one“ is common outside the military, but inside it sure is.
Granted, the military has made great strides in caring for it’s family members. In the 16 years that I’ve been an army wife, I’ve seen vast improvements in services to help families cope with high operations tempo, deployments, and distance from natural support systems. However, the military is still a vocation that demands much from it’s members, and even the spouses with access to the most will still acknowledge that they often play second fiddle to That Woman: the job.
I am pleased to share the news that my quilt “War Sucks” has been accepted into the show Art=Quilts=Art 2012 at the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center in Auburn, NY!
This is a very well regarded show in a gallery setting so I couldn’t be happier. Well, I’d be happier if I could return to NY and see all the quilts in person. That would be cool.
On view November 30th, 20111 until January 8th, 2012.