Wednesday, April 29, 2009

East Bay Heritage Quilters

This past Saturday I taught beginning design to a great group of women from East Bay Heritage Quilters, a group from the Berkeley area in the San Francisco Bay Area. What a great group of people, ready to work hard...I had them moaning for relief!...well, not really but they were wonderful about doing all the exercises I gave them in a very limited period of time. We spent the last hour of the day with me doing critiques on the last three exercises that they had done. What a great time and so many told me that the class had been so helpful to them...

I went back on Monday and taught a day on color. Some people were a little reluctant to donate their fabric strips to the pile. Everyone layed their strips out in the color ways and when everyone was finished getting them on to the table, I walked over and mixed them all up. I had four groups at tables so would have them work together for some of the exercises, and then alone for some. Their first task was to come up with the primaries and secondaries in pure hues...a little difficult but they got it done. A great lesson in relativity!

Had dinner that evening with the program co-chairs and then off to the meeting where I did my presentation. I had been able to get a slide presentation done in short order on my new Mac using Keynote which was so much easier than doing it previously on Power Point. Oh,how happy I am to be back to Mac!

The entire group was very generous with their compliments! I felt like I was on the top of the world...very tired but very happy.

Back down to earth yesterday taking my dad out for pre-op appointments for his cataract surgery next week. Hopefully, tomorrow I will be able to get down to the studio for a while! I want to do some more painting as I figure out where I want to do next with my work...all this is a way to procrastinate about pulling together the things I want to ship to Galesburg for my show which is in only three weeks! Yikes! Can't procrastinate too long!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

New Work

I got out my tubes of acrylic paints and started playing on a couple of canvases. It was fun to work with paint again, not painting fabric but working toward a finished piece.
I did this because I have been working really hard getting other pieces finished...quilts...for the county commission and for my show in May.

this is another painting...still thinking about these

So I have been quilting and finishing off three larger "In the Woods" series.
And another one
and another one
Before I left for Florida I did this silk piece:
Tuesday I had an appointment with the Alameda Arts Commission to show them the first finished piece on the commission. They really liked it. I also took the next piece in that I had just started and had only gotten the applique stitched down.
I have finished the quilting, squared it up, and am ready to put a facing on it.

I have also been really busy with my on line class and will be teaching this Saturday and the next Monday with the East Bay Heritage Quilters in Albany, CA. I will be doing a lecture at their guild meeting on Monday is open to anyone and is in the evening.

Quilting with Aliens

While I was in Florida, I met a delightful young woman who was fairly new to quilting and wanted to get in to doing art quilting. She came to New Smyrna Beach that Saturday to take my one day Better Art by Design class. She was there for the weekend and several of us went out together a couple of times. Lisa-Marie Sanders was an absolute delight.

But, more interestingly, she has written a little book about "Quilting with Aliens", those who are quilters who speak a different language. Her entry into the quilting world was through her mother-in-law who has become her best friend. This is a delightful book and, since its price is very reasonable, I suggest you order one for yourself and enjoy some good laughs at our quilting world. And then order a couple more so that you have them on hand to give away to another quilter for their birthday or use as a hostess gift.

You can order this book through her website You can also read an excerpt from the book at the website.

Enjoy this treat!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Collage Mania is Coming

It's getting closer! Collage mania will soon be here! When the preview opens, I peruse the wonderful art work and pick out all the pieces I would like. Usually it ends up being about 10 pieces or so...this year may be harder as there are so many great ones in the group!

Then, I create a draft email and list all the pieces I want. Last year immediately upon the time to submit bids, I sent mine in and was able to get three of the ones I had asked for and was offered the opportunity to take another artist's work that I had wanted but not the piece I had first wanted so I really made out with four new pieces of art! Oops....I just told you my secret. I had been away from home teaching and I did not want to miss out on this opportunity.

So you don't get left out you can get all the information.

Collage Mania 2009
Collage Mania opens Tuesday May 5, 2009 with 383 collages donated by 161
artists. Preview of all the collages begins April 29.

100% of the proceeds go directly to the American Cancer Society through
Fiberart For A Cause. For all the details on how Collage Mania works and
how you can purchase an original, one-of-a-kind collage:

http://www.virginia CollageMania2009 .html

I have ten pieces donated which I have shown previously but will dig up again to show them to you so you can keep your eyes out for them!

Support the American Cancer Society through Collage Mania.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Florida some more and current news

Before I return to Florida and then discuss some new work, I wanted to show you a picture of our feeders in our back yard. In the late fall flocks of gold finches come swarming in on their migration. They come down from the Sierra and have already started going green from their breeding bright yellow. We have a lot who hang out with us as I put out a lot of Niger thistle see for them which is their all time favorite food. Usually, as their plumage starts to turn bright yellow, they migrate on so we seldom see them in their resplendent colors. Here you see them just before I left for Florida just turning yellow.

When I returned home, I found that almost all the finches had flown off. We have two pair that seem to be hanging around. And we finally get to see the male in all his glory along with his mate.

I spent an entire day at the wildlife refuge at Merritt Island while I was in Florida. Following are a few of the pictures I took while there...I am not sure what kind of bird this is, I haven't had time to look it up yet...just one of many
and of course, a snowy egret
and an egret
an alligator I almost didn't see in the dark pond where I was about ten feet two pictures and then backed up quickly!

and palmetto bark which will probably end up in some art about in the woods Florida!
trees which help make up the woods
This is my dye studio at the Atlantic Center for the Arts. I am on a side porch of the painting studio. Behind the building to the left are two more tables which everyone used for mixing dyes, discharging, etc. By being on the side I could stay out of everyone's way. You see the table will layers of plastic...I would put a piece of plastic down, lay down a soda ash soaked piece of cotton or silk, add the concentrated dyes, cover with another piece of plastic and repeat the process until I have about 10-12 yards of fabric being dyed.
I was working on dyeing some fabric to use in my commission pieces for the Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center, one of which needs to be finished shortly after I return home. You can see the sketch that was given the ok to do for a piece that is 36" x50" along with a pile of some of the fabrics. I dyed cotton, silk habotai, charmuse, and silk chiffon. Beautiful colors! Deep, rich, intense.

And here is the final pile of fabrics ready to be packed up into my suitcase for the trip home. My suitcase only weighed 16 pounds over the limit, both coming and going. I had figured that using up the dye and auxiliary chemicals would have reduced the weight...but I guess I found more things to put in there. In hindsight, it would have been better to ship all my stuff the ACA and just carry on a bag of my clothing since Delta now charges for just checking one bag...I would have saved me a ton on I know better!

This is the image in the sketchbook, the proceeding page has images of two other pieces that are part of the commission.

Once I got home it was time to get to work. This piece uses dyed fabrics I did in Florida plus some painted fabrics. This is before quilting. It is now quilted, trimmed, has a facing which I am half way done hand sewing.
I also did a couple of drapes for my church so the two weeks before Easter have been really busy. My Better Art by Design class started up a week ago so I spent today doing critiques of work from the first lesson. Several of this class's students are from other countries, three from Switzerland...I don't think there will be anyone for me to teach when I finally get there next year!

I am also finishing up three larger pieces from In the Woods for my show in May in Galesburg. They have a show right now, a juried art show called Galex and one of my pieces was accepted and is the only fiber piece in the show.