Monday, December 17, 2007

some new stuff, in no particular order

All of these but the first one with the outline of the guitar player are ready to be quilted. He should be ready, but the fabric I had for the border (which is now the background for the horn players) was NOT the same color it looked like in the store. I got it home, pulled it out to do the borders and BLECCCHHHHH. Not even close to what I wanted. I'm sure some black will show up somewhere on either that one or the horns before all is said and done, either as a border or as binding. A little glitch in my plans for this week and it doesn't look like I'll be getting much done at all, so I'm glad to have these this far along. Takes a little of the pressure off for getting enough work done.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Panic sets in

I'm almost scared to publish it, but it looks like I'm lined up for a show for the entire month of February at ARTichoke. ( Of course, I don't have nearly enough finished work for the space they have so graciously allowed me to use, but that will be remedied in the next few weeks. Things just popped over a 24-hour period and I don't even know where to start. HUGE thanks to Gerard for taking me by the hand and making me follow though on pitching to them. Huge thanks to Anne and Carmen for not making me "pitch" a damn thing, since they pretty much started nodding shortly after I walked in the door. If things work as planned, they'll be borrowing the "Bird" Parker piece that Isaac Byrd bought at the Tougaloo auction too. That dovetails nicely since he also owns the 930 Blues Club and it will make a nice tie-in with the musical theme.

I've had more support and encouragement this year than I can even give credit for, starting with Dorinda and the local quilt guilds, the new shop and the owners of it, Gwen Magee, Sonji Hunt, my sweet hub who never complains about living in a 4 br/2 bath storage closet, and everyone else who has looked at (and bought) my work.

I'm also very excited to have met and gotten a chance to spend some time visiting with Dr. Marvin Haire, Assoc. Dir of the Delta Research and Cultural Institute and Chairman of the Mississippi Blues Commission. I was SO intimidated to find out who he was and that he's an absolute expert on Robert Johnson, and there I stood with 2 of my RJ quilts hanging. Maybe I'm doing something right though, since he liked them. He liked my other stuff too, but it really meant something to me to know I had "captured" RJ well enough to pass muster with Dr. Haire. It was also a treat to be able to discuss music, pretty much uninterrupted, with Gerard Howard, the other artist who was there. The seminar participants sort of came and went, so we had a lot of down time to just visit. He has a vast knowledge of music and it was great to be able to pick his brain. He's also an incredible photographer, and I want to buy one copy of everything he had on display!

Christmas is looking very good this year!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

This one has everything!

Piecing! Applique! Drafted pattern! Matching points! Borders! Sashing! Cornerstones! The Grinch! Everything but Little Cindy Lou Who, that is.

I could get used to this insomnia stuff if it means I'm cranking out a quilt top a day. I love the Grinch and I've had this fabric hanging around for several years and never did anything with it. At 3:30 this morning I decided I needed to clear my brain by working on something traditional and mindless. Lots of straight stitching and nothing that stains clothes. I drafted out a quick pattern for the size of the Grinch motifs (they aren't exactly square so I had to do a pattern first) and started cutting. I also had to figure out how wide to make the borders and sashing since I had a limited amount of the green print. Thank heaven for the graph paper generator at or I'd have woken the hub up rooting around for my pad of pre-printed stuff. Some good murder mysteries on tv and zombie-like piecing and pressing, and voila! 6.5 hours later I had a finished quilt top. Now my brain and creativity has had a chance to rest and sort itself out so I can get back to doing the stuff I love to do. It seems like if I don't throw in some simple stuff once in a while my brain just gets heavier and heavier with ideas and they get all jumbled up together. I think the mindless sewing sort of lets the bad ones go and the good ones float to the top. I get my sewing fix in and I come out of it with clearer ideas of what I want to do for myself. Commercial cotton prints, 46"x54".

I'm thinking some more silk screening or gel printing is next in line this week.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Two down

This is the second one finished! The same black cotton fabric with the the gelatin prints, but this one has stamps, stencils, and hand painting. The same paints used for the other one plus some oil pastels and fabric paints. Commercial print piping and border. The bamboo on the sides really doesn't look that light in real life. It's stenciled in layers of 4 different colors and then hand detailed with an olive Lumiere metallic which is catching the light. The contrast in the picture is definitely starker than the contrast when it's hanging on the wall. The Chinese characters mean "Love" and "Energy" according to the stencil.

"Hey Miss Dragonfly"

One down, one to go. This one is finished and I'm happy with it. Black cotton fabric with acrylics. Gelatin plate monoprinted, stamped, hand painted with craft acrylics, Lumiere metallics and pearls, Jacquard StarBrite and Setacolor. Pieced and flanged with commercial print cottons, thread painted shading and details. 11"x17".

Friday, December 07, 2007


This is what happens when I can't sleep and need something quiet to do at 3 am. This is a little 8" strip of fabric that I bought sort of by accident and decided it wasn't big enough to do anything else with so I might as well play. Out comes the last gelatin plate from the refrigerator (maybe now we'll have room for actual food!) and the only chunky stamp I could lay my hands on in the dark (the hub was still sleeping like a normal person) and off I went! A few pulls on the gel plate with gold metallic and then some experimenting from then on. I used the bottom of the gel plate and accidentally got some really cool grooves from where the plastic wrap was wrinkled when I poured it and a very subtle concentric rectangle pattern from the shape of the disposable tin pan I poured it into. I cut about 1/3 of the thing off at the bottom to play with 2 different pieces that had the original gold prints. A couple of additional stamps and stencils on the long piece including over-stamping the dragonfly, stenciling the bamboo around the edges and the 2 Chinese characters. Those will be highlighted eventually. I'm thinking either a bamboo print fabric for the border or something metallic as a flange and then something else. It'll tell me what it needs.

The smaller piece has a bunch of direct printing with wadded up foil, a piece of drawer liner and some other stuff. I also used one of those campaign signs from the front yard as a monoprint surface for the vegetation at the bottom. Lots of hand-painting for the cattails and some other "experimentation" on the whole thing. It still needs some work, but I'm extremely happy with the progress so far. I have part of a bamboo placemat that I take apart to use the bamboo pieces and I think these might both be just the right width to use those for a hanging mechanism.