Tag Archives: art quilts

Looking Up

I’m from a family of sky watchers. My parents lived just up the hill from where we live and my mom would often phone in the evenings, all she’d say was “sky alert!.” I would know that meant go upstairs and look out. My folks are gone but rarely do we miss a morning or evening of looking out and up. Here are a few of those skies…

That may be why I love painting sky fabric so much, that and wanting special skies for my landscapes quilts. I can’t make much art yet but I was able to paint a mini sky fabric and make the how-to video (see below).

RunnerScape
The Power of Sun, Wind, and Water
Sunlit Canyon

Fabric Painting a Fluorescent Sky was so much fun and easy, requiring minimal supplies and materials.

Have you painted sky fabric to use in your art?

Feathered Friends

There are House finches beginning to build a nest outside my studio, under our upstairs bedroom deck. We had a successful brood several years ago but the nest after it was raided by crows. Now we actually have a family of crow that visit us daily. Hoping for the best.

I am enjoying the bird songs closer to our windows and that has prompted me to post bird things, partly because my wing has been clipped, so to speak, so there’s not much stitching being done right now. Some of these may have been posted here in the past. This may be more for a laugh than inspirational but I figure we can always use a laugh.

An early art quilt, hand pieced, appliqued, and quilted. I had no idea what I was doing but it gave me the quilting bug, bad! The hummingbird is hand embroidered.
“Mirage” I have yet to get a good photo of this piece.

I plan to try and re-paint some of the sky in Mirage because there is shadow through around some seam allowances, which I didn’t notice for the longest time. It’s on the list.

Tentatively titled ‘The Watcher” I think I finally know how I want to quilt it…hopefully in my lifetime! The fence is painted fusible web and everything else is hand painted.
The goose photo was taken by my son, this is one of my favorite Photograph on Fiber series pieces, “Goose at Cuyamaca.”

I think drawing birds is a challenge but I really like them in most any medium. Do you use birds in your art?

Next post will be announcing another giveaway!

Now That Was Surprising!

Last post I was writing about lizards copulating in the garden. Today as Kona and I were hanging out on the deck she became very alert at some noise coming from the side yard ivy. I heard it but couldn’t figure it out until I spotted it running past the shed… An iguana, at least two feet long! It was thirsty (it is pretty warm here today) and found the waterfall very quickly, ate some of the Evening Primrose (hope it’s not poisonous!) and some romaine I gave it, posed on the top of the waterfall and then moved down and perched on top of my garden bench under the tree (sorry, bad photo). Then he moved up into the tree, they are really fast! No one here was brave enough to catch it and what the heck would be have done with it if we had! There are dogs in the two yards that abut ours near that tree so we are hoping it doesn’t head that way. A couple hours later it was no longer in the tree. I just hope it doesn’t surprise me next time I’m out there!

Last post I also showed a bit of a quilt I have been working on. I had a pinched nerve so was slowed down for a couple days but I finally got it quilted (wool batting, lots of quilting) and blocked. Here is a photo of the back. Next I’ll paint the front and then post a photo (with an explanation), unless it is terrible in which case you may never see it!

A Good Kind of Exhaustion

If you have ever helped put on a major event you’ll understand how one feels joy and exhaustion at the same time. Joy that so many visitors and participants come together to experience quilt making and fiber art, and exhaustion for being part of, in this case, an all volunteer organization in an almost 55,000 square foot room! Thanks to the quilt makers who entered their quilts for display, without whom there wouldn’t be a show.

The 35th Annual San Diego Quilt Show was the event and I was fortunate to be asked once again to display my Photograph of Fiber series. I’ll share photos of my exhibit and more quilts in future posts. I was also the chairperson for the Quilt Sales booth where we offered quilts: old and new, tops and blocks, along with other quilt or fiber related creations.

2016 sdqs quilt sales booth west
2016 sdqs quilt sales booth east

Being a bit of a control freak, I set the booth up by myself (with some help from my Mister). Plenty of people offered to help but nooooo! So I’m still feeling tired but very pleased with the booth. Many visitors purchased quilts for themselves or gifts for someone they love.

I’m amazed that some of our members are fifteen plus years older than I and they worked their butts off, had fun and stayed positive… I think there may have been a lot of coffee involved! I also discovered that being on the receiving end of hundreds of kind comments can be exhausting too!

It was a beautiful show and the volunteers who helped to make it happen are awesome and should be proud. I’m looking forward to next year when San Diego and postcards will be the theme. So if you are reading this and participated in the 2016 show (especially in the Quilt Sales booth)… Thank you and I hope to see you next year!

Fiber and Wood

I know technically wood is fiber but in this case it is second to the fabric fiber. Here is one of my mini art quilts, from the flora series, mounted on acrylic and displayed on a pieces of (old pallet) hardwood. The top is hand appliqued because at that time I didn’t realize just how short life is! It is pillowcase turned and free-motion machine quilted (see back quilted here).

tulip quilt plexi reclaimed wood
free style flower5

They are heavy so I have added 1/2″ stick-on (drawer) bumper “feet” to protect the surface they are set on and to keep them from sliding around.

flora wood base image

Do you have a less than traditional way you display small art quilts? I’m going to do more mounting on canvas too.

Fire season and Water is Life

We were hit with a heat wave this week but there seems to be a break today, unfortunately several fires have broken out around the state and county. Knowing how these fire can spread and the damage they cause, especially with the winds we have been experiencing, is always frightening. I live in an area that has remained unscathed by fire but I have friends and family who have lost homes (and pets) in past fires. I’m thankful to the firefighters for what they do every day and admire the strength of those who rebuild and move forward.

On a happier note – Recently I received a Machine Quilting Unlimited magazine in the mail and noticed a banner at the top of the cover that read “Water is Life – Exhibit at the United Nations. A few of the quilts from the Quilt for Change – Water is Life exhibit are featured, including my a triptych Clear Necessity.

So, I’m trying to be careful and not waste too much water while I paint more fabric…forest rays painted fabric1 june 2016 acrylic on fabric june 2016

The left piece was started by painting textile paint wet on wet, then slightly folding and left in the sun to achieve a sun print (the “rays”). After it dried I did a rubbing on a homemade foam leaf stamp using wax pastels and then sprayed the entire piece with water to soften the design. Center piece was tilt painted (Online lesson at Curious.com) and the piece on the right was made by laying a piece of fabric onto a plexiglass sheet that had acrylic paint pooled and dripped on it. Though the acrylic paint ended up thin enough to stitch on (video coming soon, I hope) Next time I will use textile paint so that the hand will remain softer.

If you paint fabric I would love to see your designs. I’m always surprised and usually please when paint meets fabric!

Triptych to Switzerland

This is “A Clear Necessity”, my entry to Quilt for Change – “Water is Life: Clean Water and Its Impact on the Lives of Women and Girls around the World.”  I’m excited to tell you that it has been selected to be part of the Quilt Challenge Exhibit which is scheduled to open at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland in March 2016. Once again my art is traveling more than I ever will… but I’m okay with that!

a clear necessity
All but the cheesecloth are my hand painted fabrics.
a clear necessity detail

The earth fabric was made with a flour resist and then wax pastel over that. The bean is made from the drop cloth cotton fabric that I always place under my (painted) pole wrapped (arashi) pieces to catch the drips (often creating wonderful and surprising fabric!)

Flower Power

We walked on Coronado Island this morning. There were beautiful and colorful gardens and flowers everywhere. I love flowers even though Kona (aka the cat) will inevitably chew on any that arrive in our home, they still brighten my day.

flowers
From my sister

When I lecture I often talk about how there really is something for everyone in quilting and fiber art and I use these three fused flower pieces to demonstrate that in a small way…

basic flower solid fabrics
Solid fabrics
flower solid fabric pastel
Solid fabrics with wax pastel detailing
flower embroidered
Printed fabric hand embroidered detail

So whether you are a solid fabric kind of person or one who likes colorful prints and embellishments, I hope you enjoy every minute of your creative life and share it with someone else… I’ll bet you’ll brighten their day too.

Quilts, Respect, and the Art Quilt part 2

I received wonderful responses from the art quilters I contacted with the three questions I posed in my last blog post. There is a great variety of styles between them and their answers are informative and thought provoking. I want to thank each artist for taking the time to reply and for allowing me to share their art quilts. If you aren’t familiar with their art I hope you will hop over to their websites.

Here are the three questions and their answers.

  1. Have you ever submitted an art quilt (for the wall) to a venue that was featuring a variety of art work mediums?
  2. If you answered “yes,” did you (or they) categorize your piece as an Art Quilt or something else, such as Fiber Art, Mixed Media, Textile, etc.?
  3. If you answered “no” to question 1, would you consider submitting an art quilt in to a venue featuring art in a variety of mediums?

Joanna Mack (aka The Snarky Quilter) (Ohio)

  1. My work has never been submitted to or shown in any exhibit other than one for quilts. I think this is a function of one’s networks. I’m a lady of a certain age with no contacts in the local art scene.

  2. Even if I called my quilts fiber art I don’t think they’d be considered art by the art world as my observation is that around here works in fiber are considered craft.”

ripples_in_still_water_joanna_mack
Ripples in Still Water by Joanna Mack

Joe Cunningham (California)

  1. Yes

  2. I don’t think I have had it categorized like that. They just ask for the medium or media, and I say, “Cotton fabric, wool batting.” Or something similar. In other words I have only had my work treated as art in a mixed media show.

circular logic joe cunningham
Circular Logic by Joe Cunningham

Nelda McComb (California)

  1.  I have only once submitted work  at a venue that featured a variety of art.  I was the only art quilt artist and it was very successful for me as I sold 9 pieces.  There were all mediums: photo, ceramics glass, jewelry and a variety of fine art mediums.

  2.  They categorized my work as “art quilt”..Altho, I don’t think they really knew what it was all about until I set up and they saw my work in person.

  3.  I would consider entering into a conventional show that exhibited multi medias.

Balboa Park, circa 1930 by Nelda McComb
Balboa Park, circa 1930 by Nelda McComb

Betty Busby (New Mexico)

  1. I show in all media fine art shows all the time.

  2. Mostly categorized as mixed media.

Tributary by Betty Busby
Tributary by Betty Busby

Kelly Hendrickson (Minnesota)

  1. Yes I have. In fact, I found that my particular art work was MORE readily accepted in a venue with various mediums than they were in actual “quilt shows” or exhibitions.

  2. It all depended on the venue really. But I believe most often they were accepted as either Mixed Media or Textile Art.

  3. OK…I didn’t answer no but I just wanted to add my 2 cents worth on this topic. I would highly recommend entering art quilts in shows/exhibitions designed for all types of mediums…not just quilt shows. We are making strides in being accepted as a valid “art” form in the non-quilting world. Each time one of us gets accepted there, it validates our genre. And I’m happy to see that we are also beginning to be accepted as a valid part of the quilt world. That took some time as well!

The Sapling by Kelly Hendrickson
The Sapling by Kelly Hendrickson

Kathy Nida (California)

  1. I do this all the time! I honestly think my work plays better in the art world than in the quilt world. I am also a member of a women’s art group where one other woman works in fabric, but most of them are painters with a few sculptors.

  2. They don’t categorize it as anything but art. Most of the art shows just put the name of the piece, the name of the artist, and occasionally a statement or a price. There’s no listing of materials and technique.

Love (not) by Kathy Nida
Love (not) by Kathy Nida

Carol Ann Waugh (Colorado)

  1. I stopped entering “quilt” shows when I started mounting my fiber onto wooden panels.  That was about 6 years ago so all the shows and exhibits I do are in art galleries.  When I submit to a juried show, it is always an open show of all media and usually, I am one of 2-3 artists working in fiber.  The rest would be painters, sculptors, photographers, etc.

  2. Usually, an artist categorizes their own work so you submit a work as 2-D or 3-D and if they have a space for a “medium”, I submit as “fiber”.

Wildfire by Carol Ann Waugh
Wildfire by Carol Ann Waugh

Wil Opio Oguta (The Netherlands)

  1. Yes I have submitted art quilts for mixed venues – both in real life as well as online.

  2. Most of the time I call my work Fiber Art, but when I submit to a mixed show I always call it Fiber Art.

Cotton by Wil Opio Oguta
Cotton by Wil Opio Oguta

Shyamala Rao (Kuwait)

  1. Yes I have. I have displayed my work in International Quilt Festival in Houston and in The Festival Of Quilts Birmingham and several other venues.

  2. Yes. I (they) did categorize it as an Art Quilt. Sometimes if there was a subcategory of art quilt like art pictorial, I have chosen it, if my quilt was based on a photograph or a replica of an existing architecture.

Mahabat Maqbara by Shyamala Rao
Mahabat Maqbara by Shyamala Rao

I hope you have enjoyed the artists’ contributions as much as I have. We can learn from each other and pass on what we learn, and I think that by continuing to make, show, teach, and sell art quilts, eventually they will gain the respect (and representation) in the art world that we know they deserve.

Respect and the Art Quilt

After viewing pieces included in the Akron Art Prize venues, The Snarky Quilter posed this question on her blog:  “Do quilts still get no respect in the art world?”

Here are my thoughts… First, I would say quilts get less respect rather than no respect. I think that it actually is the word “quilt” that makes it hard for quilts, specifically art quilts, to be accepted in the art world. “Quilt” still causes most people to think “bed” rather than “wall” and “utility” rather than “art.”

Maybe it is that I consider all quilts to be art, but only some of the makers call themselves artists. Is it that there is an art quilt world and an art world and they are too far apart? Does respect come when collectors/buyers display art quilts on their home and office walls, “legitimizing” them as art?

Nowadays vintage quilts that were made for the bed are being recognized as art, collectors are displaying quilts on their walls, and there are museums dedicated to quilts; in my home city we have one specifically representing contemporary art quilts (Visions Art Museum). However, this doesn’t mean quilts are entirely respected in the art world.

I have had “Art Quilt” submissions re-categorized as “Mixed Media” or “Fiber Art” and I believe it is because the word quilt, for some people draws a line between craft and art — especially fine art — with “quilt” falling on the craft side. I won’t even get into the craft versus art versus fine art topic!

I asked a few successful art quilters three questions regarding their experiences with their quilts in the art world. They were so generous with their replies that I decided to share their insights in the next blog post, so I hope you will stay tuned. I’ll be sharing some images of their art quilts too!

What is your experience with art quilts and their reception in the art world? Please leave a comment and/or answer the questions I have posed –

1 – Have you ever submitted an art quilt (for the wall) to a venue that was featuring a variety of art work mediums?

2 – If you answered “yes,” did you (or they) categorize your piece as an Art Quilt or something else, such as Fiber Art, Mixed Media, Textile, etc.?

3 – If you answered “no” to question 1, would you consider submitting an art quilt in to a venue featuring art in a variety of mediums?