Thursday, August 31, 2006

"Goodbye yellow...."

"Jump, Jive and Wail" has found a new home in Minnesota. I actually got to speak to the new owner last night on the phone and that was so cool! Other than being nice to hear how much she loved it, the best part was what else she said. "That one piece is what drew me in to look at the rest of the exhibit." That really meant a lot to me to know that she was moved to look at the rest of the works by artists on the coast who were truly decimated by Katrina. The pictures I've seen of the exhibit were very powerful, and I can only imagine the impact they made in person. Still, nothing even comes close to seeing the actual damage. No amount of pictures, videos and written descriptions can even approach the reality of the coast. Mary Gray of Minnesota Helpers has done an incredible, back breaking job of getting our work out there, and my gratitude to her for giving me this opportunity is boundless. I can't thank you enough, Mary.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Quilters by Heart's Desire

I did a presentation on embellishing for this guild last night and all I can say is wow! What a great group! Maybe if I had found them first, I wouldn't have such an aversion to organized quilting guilds. Not to say that the original guild I joined is a bad one or anything, just not my cup o' tea, as the saying goes. At show and tell for the members there were mostly (practically all) traditional quilts shown. But the cool thing is, they seem very open to non-traditional work. So many groups seem to only be interested in what they are already doing. That sort of defeats the purpose of a group as far as I'm concerned. And historically, quilting is a group activity with all skill levels and strengths. (A huge nod to WAY could I slog through that, but by watching you, if I ever have to I can.) They had a good assortment of questions, and weren't scared to touch the stuff I passed around. I always like that, since I don't consider anything I do to be off-limits to handling. Why in the world would I intentionally choose to work in a tactile medium and then balk at people responding appropriately to it? I WANT them to touch it. Turn it over. Pick at it to see how it's done. Put their noses up close to get every last detail. Maybe take some idea away with them to use in their own work. The absolute worst response I can think of to my work would be disinterest. My skills in quilting, or binding width or fabric choices may not be to everyone's liking, but that's acceptable as long as I feel like it's interesting. That it draws people in closer for the detail.

I love what I do, and as I said last night I'd be doing it whether anyone ever saw it or not. Maybe that's why it's so easy for me to let go of the negative comments I do receive. I do it for myself, and so far have been fortunate that others receive it fairly well too. As always, my hope is to pass that excitement and curiosity for trying new things and simple passion for what I do along to others.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Beautiful Noise's a beautiful noise, and a sound that I love....

The checkerboard strips are actually woven into the background fabric, hand painted lines and musical notes. Gold screening for the shadows on the notes. The hunt is now on for a metallic/shiny thread the color of the background to finish up the quilting with.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

an "important-looking package from a lawyer"

I can't believe how excited I am about this! It's practically the entire front page of the paper, with MY quilt front and center. My fingers are crossed that at least one of the three will sell too. Wish me luck.

Mary says she had inquiries about 4 of the pieces the first day, and Miles Davis was one of them. She's getting the name of the man who is interested in it so I can contact him.

Now if I could just get some of my stuff on exhibit here locally I'd really feel like I was in the big time.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


These are pictures of what used to be a hotel in Gulfport, MS. The 'streamers' are jersey knit tubes that would have ultimately become Hanes t-shirts had their lives not been cut short by the storm. They're actually pretty cool looking in real life as they are pretty much EVERYWHERE for about a 2-mile stretch. The port is just down and across the street and it's the main staging area for the shipping containers that come in. There were thousands of them stacked waiting for transport, and when they were tossed around they dumped their contents over several miles. At least this is the fabric and not the tons of raw chicken and fresh bananas that were piled 20 feet deep in yards. A bunch of the shipping containers themselves wound up out in the Gulf and it looked like some sort of surreal Loch Ness monster with just corners of the containers randomly sticking out of the water. I did retrieve several pieces of the jersey to (maybe) use in a storm quilt one day, if I can ever get to that point in my mind. These are the first pictures I've even been able to post. It's just very hard to comprehend the whole situation.

Anyway, about the fabric (YEAH! The important stuff) it was originally navy blue, and still shows some of the original color where the fabric was tightly twisted and didn't get sun or weather damage, with really strange looking striations on the rest of it. The streaks go from a weird grey to almost white, with some pink and very red splotches on it. The yard or so I have was actually cut from the piece hanging on the wall in the picture. About 20 more yards cut from the trees were sent to the MN exhibit for their debris display section. Even after washing and bleaching and sun exposure there were mildew stains that didn't come out so they have a sort of cool looking speckled pattern to them. I also sent great huge chunks of FEMA tarps, and an assortment of other tarps in greens and blues and greys for them to use. I kept small pieces for myself although I have no idea how or when or if they'll ever wind up in anything I do. I didn't mind sending off all my debris stash either. It's not like I can't just gather up more.

It saddens me to think that the coast has dropped off the media's radar when there is so much left to do. These pictures were taken 3 weeks ago, and this is directly across Beach Blvd from the water.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

More Minnesota news

I forgot to add the third quilt that went to the show in MN. This is the one that was originally designed for the Ricky Tims competition but wasn't accepted. As I told my friend when I got the skinny letter, I'd rather have it out of my house and for sale than hanging in a gallery for people to look at and then coming back home anyway.

The official title of this one is "Orphans of the Motherland"

Pictures of the quilts also made it into 2 different Minneapolis papers on the same day.

The Star Tribune also had an article with a picture but it's not on-line.