Friday, July 23, 2010

MS Arts Commission

A little late getting this posted, but I'm still excited about being approved for a grant through the MS Arts Commission a couple of weeks ago. The grant is for an apprentice to learn quilting. My apprentice is Marie Yonko (thanks for the recommendation Marilyn!) and she's doing a great job. At our first meeting we designed a medallion quilt and only used about a ream of graph paper doing it. Then we went shopping! Boy, did we go shopping! A trip to Stitch-n-Frame in Vicksburg, with a side jaunt to Diane Jordan's. $200 later we were ready to go. We intentionally designed the quilt to use a variety of techniques, some of which Marie has used before, some not. And because it's me, the first traditional block we used in the center is a 'variation' of the Bear's paw. Then we move onto some log cabin-ish trees and some HST mountains and some machine applique, and some other stuff as we build out with the borders. Each border will use a different technique and what we've already done looks great! We met this past Monday in the lobby of the Craft Center to work on it and Portico magazine was doing a photo shoot. She got a bunch of photos of us working and called back the next day to check the spelling on our names, so I'm hoping that means the pictures might actually show up in the magazine.

The ultimate goal is to have a finished quilt, from design to binding, in time for the Quilting Heritage Day on Sept. 18. Marie wil be doing all the work herself, including the machine quilting on her full-size quilt! We are usually in the lobby of the Craft Center on Wednesdays from about 10-noon if anyone wants to drop by and see her progress or watch us work. The periodic stops to talk to visitors gives us a little break now and then.

Other than that, I need to get myself in gear and get my submissions together by the end of the month to re-up as a member of the Craftsmen's Guild. There are at least 3 locals who I know are applying too. Good luck to all of you. Knowing your work, I have no doubt you'll all be juried in!

For anyone interested in the Quilting Heritage Day, we'll have a quilting frame set up at the center and you are all invited to come by and take a few stitches on a quilt. We'll also have exhibits and displays and demonstrations and vendors. It's like a county fair and we always have fun doing it.

For those of you who have asked about a surface design class, I'll be teaching a 3-hour introductory session over the Labor Day weekend, on Monday, Sep 6 from 9:00-noon. You can see the details at or call Sheri Cox at 601.856.7546 for more info and to sign up. If there is enough interest I can add a second class with different techniques.

And my oldest daughter made it to S. Korea safely and is well on her way to world domination! She seems to be settling in nicely and is incredibly excited about getting into the classroom, although she will be teaching elementary students rather than high school. If only everyone could have the same passion and excitement for their chosen profession.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Houston bound!

Houston, here I come! Well, here comes my quilt at any rate. Still not sure I'll be able to visit it since that's the weekend before the Congo Square festival in New Orleans. Speaking of Congo Square, we (Anne and I) got the official notification last week that we've been juried into all 3 New Orleans festivals that we applied for. Blues and BBQ in Oct, Congo Square in Nov and Treme' in Dec. We did well at the 2 we were juried into last year and we always have a ton of fun! The music at the festivals just makes it 100 times better than the money!

OK, back to the Houston quilt. A call for submissions went out a while back for NOLA: Still We Rise Again and I put it off and put it off submitting anything until a friend mentioned it in passing and I went back and read the guidelines. A full-blown design immediately popped into my head and off I went with it! Two days later I was overnighting the CD so it would get there on time. Nothing like last-minute scrambling. After all that, the notifications were 5 days late, but I was juried in so at this point I don't care! Marilyn Rose was also juried in with the Katrina quilt she made right after the storm with the NOAA hurricane maps on it.

A little about the inspiration of the design. The traditional jazz funerals in New Orleans have what are called second-lines, which follow the casket, the family and a brass band. The funeral procession to the burial is somber, with dirges being played. After the burial, the music is upbeat and faster in celebration of the life of the deceased. The second-line consists of friends and acquaintances and mere observers, who join in the parade. Umbrellas and handkerchiefs are often used by the second-liners. The call for submissions specified the theme as: A juried exhibit featuring quilts that celebrate the unwavering spirit of New Orleans, the Gulf Coast, rebirth, renewal and the recovery of a city devastated five years ago by Hurricane Katrina. I can't think of anything that personifies the spirit of New Orleans more than the second-line. What most people consider one of the saddest times in their lives is instead celebrated as a new beginning. After the devastation of Katrina and now the bleak future of the coast and wetlands due to the oil guyser, many people across the country expected her residents to give up. I never expected any less from them than to throw a party.

I used commercial batiks for both the coastline and the Gulf, and black Kona for the silhouettes. Hand-beaded umbrellas, mixed Angelina fibers for the "oil slick" and free motion quilting on the whole thing. Finished size is 36"x40" and there is a beaded spiral (hurricane) just below MS on the coastline.

So without further ado, New Second Line.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

What I'm working on...

Periodically, the topic of what we're currently working on comes up on the QuiltArt list so I'm jumping in. We have some shows coming up so I'm trying to get ahead, instead of behind, on producing some work. I have a few pieces in exhibits and galleries right now that can be used for the shows, but not nearly enough. The upcoming event I'm most excited about is the Blues and Barbecue festival in New Orleans later this year so I'm sort of stressing the Blues aspect. The funny thing is, as I'm thinking of the Blues stuff designs, I'm getting flooded with ideas for other projects too. I have little design lists jotted down and scattered around my studio so I can come back to them when the time is right to put fabric to batting for them.

All three of these pieces use Lesley Riley's TAP for the faces. The transfers work beautifully on the burlap. I love working on burlap and I'm a recent convert to TAP, which I now love also. I've never been able to successfully transfer to burlap in any way that satisfied me before now, but this stuff is perfect for it. I did a quick and dirty demo of it at the June gathering of MQA after getting a ton of questions about it when I showed one of the pieces that I used it on. Thank goodness I bought the huge pack when she put it on sale.

Honeyboy Edwards, batik, burlap, cotton and upholstery fabric. TAP transfer and stamping. "The Blues is not going to never die."

Muddy Waters, batik, burlap and cotton, with TAP transfer and stencil. "That Mississippi sound, that Delta sound, is in them old records."

Robert Johnson, batik, burlap, cotton and upholstery fabric. TAP transfer and stamping. "Don't ever knock a bottle out of my hand."

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

New from old

This is a patio table and chairs I got at an estate sale a couple of weeks ago. Stripped and scrubbed the metal and glass, and then re-painted the whole thing in bright colors. I also painted the underside of the glass table top and now I have a bright cheery set to use on my deck! The paint is dimensional fabric paint and craft acrylics so it'll be easy to scrape off and re-paint whenever the mood strikes.

Monday, February 15, 2010

High Cotton

This is a piece I did yesterday. I wish all my quilts were this fast from original design idea to finished piece. Raw silk, painted, dyed, stamped, stencilled. I first painted the sky with thinned latex, then moved on to the cotton field. Procion and Dylon dye powders sifted onto the wet fabric, a torn strip of paper for a resist to make the furrows, then stamping green dye on with a nylon bath scrubbie. The cotton is white Scribbles fabric paint stamped with a piece of bubble wrap. Crayons, markers and some dye for the tree line then a little thread painting to define the trees. Mounted on an old window frame. The bottom two center panes are gone, but the rest of the panes of glass are intact, including a BB hole in one of them. Total size 36"x32". If this doesn't sell by then it will be going to the Juke Joint Festival with me in Clarksdale in April.

Monday, January 18, 2010

We're not dead!

Thank you to everyone who has called, emailed, posted and texted asking about Mark and checking in on us. And the food! Oh my goodness, the FOOD!!! He's doing great and headed back to work tomorrow. My work has suffered a little, mostly from time constraints, but I'm getting back to it now, slowly but surely. Anne and I are doing the Juke Joint Fest in Clarksdale in April and I'm looking forward to having to produce some Blues-themed pieces for that. Lots of ideas, just have to drag out the fabrics and stuff and get started. I've done one very traditional quilt over the holidays as a commission and I was extremely pleased with the way it turned out. It's been a while since I quilted a full sized bed quilt on my machine but it went pretty smoothly once I got a top-stitch needle that wouldn't shred the thread. It was good practice for me too since I started piecing a bed quilt for us last night. All these years of quilting and I've never made one for our own bed! I have 2 completed batik tops but neither of them are quilted yet.

No photos this time, but I'm determined to post more regularly on the blog (and remember to take pictures when I finish something!) so maybe I'll have more interesting posts in the near future.