Sunday, February 27, 2011

art on the run

Of course I took more time thinking about and packing sewing stuff than I did clothing (NY in February, no coat).

Both of these little things were rolled up filled with pins and a note to the TSA to be careful not to get blood on the art in progress. From the looks of the bundle they took the warning and didn't bother to investigate. Neither was I groped at the security gate.
We'll see what the return trip is like.

I'm almost afraid to start stitching on this piece for fear of screwing it up, I like the design so well. The first one, not so much but I have a lot of successful red-headed stepchildren and superstars that have languished instead of shining.

Friday, February 25, 2011

I'm in NY for a surprise visit for my Dad's 88th birthday. This house is full of my quilts, big and small, all of them hard at work. That is my nephew Dallas continuing a nap that that started in the car.

The house is full of family, fun and food for the occasion.
I really wanted to go out onto the ice and lie down and listen to it but this is February ice, dead now with nothing left to say this year. Rotted from below by moving water, a few hours after this was taken it was soaked by heavy rain.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Scissors Found!

No, Sweetie's not the klepto-kitty, she's just attracted to the tail that I've put on these scissors since I found them hiding in plain sight, almost, on the dark blue carpet.

I'll be MIA for a few days. It's a surprise so mum's the word for now.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Winter Behind Us is finished

This piece has been such a pleasure to work on. No angst, no regrets. Each element taking it's place in the construction phase and very few false starts (and picking out) as I stitched. So contemplative I really didn't give a  thought to the title until it was finished.

I was cleaning up the scrap heaps last night and found I have a good deal more of that tablecloth with the embroidered wheat stalks, leaves and vines in a variety of dyed colors. "Sweet", as Jake says.

"Winter Behind Us"

go here for a large image and here to purchase.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

yellow perils

Scanning through the blogroll this morning when I came across an interesting post at Rough Around the Edges. Robin is taking an online class offered by my talented friend Pamela Allen.  The exercise is interpreting a favorite painting in fabric. All unknowing, I've been stumbling along the same path with no guidance and using my own oil pastel cartoon. 

   At some point in the stitching, I put the painting across the room and stopped eyeballing it so closely, mostly because the slow going of hand stitching was so aggravating when compared to the speed and spontaneity of the original.  Here are "Yellow Perils"  after the local school buses.

Friday, February 18, 2011

A different kind of Friday

With a new battery installed in the Honda I ventured out to pick up my Janome from Intown Quilters. I take pride in being able to read a map and follow directions but it's the close in places that will foul you up down here. I got lost and wandered about like the Lost Tribes of Israel until the "give me gas" light came on and I got grumpy and called Jimmy for help. He found where I needed to be  and talked me in like I was landing on an aircraft carrier.

The sewing machine doctor gave me an instructive lecture but promised to call the sewing machine abuse police if I missed my next tune-up and broken fingers if I went under the hood with a screw driver ever again.

Intown Quilters is bursting at the seams with every imaginable tasty bit of commercial cotton. There was a big dose of Kaffee Fassett who seems to be channeling my colors. I was tempted by endless fat quarters of that stripey shot cotton but resisted in favor of a pattern for these Favorite Things Happy Feet!  I can't wait to see them in my own fabric.
How's that for some exciting full moon action?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

shopkeeper day

I've spent the morning unwrapping those bundles of hand work cloth, taking pictures, labeling them and posting them for sale over at Random Acts of Dyeness  These bundles were selected for their suitability for hand stitched projects. Vintage hand dyed damasks, a few pieces of silk, some vintage cotton feed sacking, soft handed muslin - all dyed, discharged and painted in my studio except one tiny scrap of printed cotton left over from a bundle made by Miss Melly! I won't tell you where it is, but I'll confirm it if you guess.

And just where the heck are my black Ginghers??? But finding them will have to wait. I have to get dressed and go outside before I disintegrate!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

WIP 2.16.2011

Work on this as yet untitled piece continues. My stitch repertoire is limited and I have been carefully considering each one in this piece. Working in this super close focus keeps me mindful of how each technical move impacts the overall impact of the finished work no matter it's size.

Even as I work on this I am planning some very large pieces and have committed to making a piece for a specific upcoming exhibition, something I've never done before. There are no size limitations and the theme is "Taking  Flight", lots of room to move around in that one.

Monday, February 14, 2011

cloth history

The more things change the more they stay the same.

2005 - The cloth was from a set of cotton lawn scarves that didn't come out very stylish when dyed but were delightful once hacked to smaller bits. I loved the way it could be draped and shaped over a fat pad of polyester batting. This one led to a series of 3D pieces, "the Uninformed Innards."

Sunday, February 13, 2011

running amok

Fun with good friends holds fast.

This picture is five years old! We are both a bit grayer around the edges but I had on the same scarf and shirt yesterday! We walked the mall, examined every shoe in the place (to no avail) and stopped by Saks to smell what was new and laugh about the price of mere scraps of cloth. The saleswomen were exquisitely despicable.

At the perfume counter they had a tester of Clinique Wrappings which I though had been discontinued so I drenched this velvet scarf in it. For good measure I gave my wrists too many hearty blasts of Aromatics Elixir (which moonlights as an industrial solvent) and it wasn't too long before I was making my own eyes water. The scarf is wonderful this morning.

While I was out my Valentine made a batch of his prize winning chili and these Red Velvet Cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for me from scratch!!! I ate the one that had fresh raspberries on the top and  the rest are for anyone else.  I need any kind of cupcakes like I need a case of cooties but you have to love a man for trying so hard. Je t'adore, Jimmy.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

slow steps

Although I like where it is now and the things that are planned, when I look back it it before I wonder if I should have stopped then. Schizophrenia? Working over an eight hour period each step was carefully considered, many others were abandoned. Who's running this ship?

Then there is always  my good friend, the stitch picker.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Even as I rail about not being able to work larger I've been working on this little thing under the lamplight at night.

My office chair is surrounded by heaps of scraps that I've been rummaging through. The place is a mess!

I wanted to see it in natural light so I took it outside and draped it over my backdrop turkey platter ...that's a band of ice to the left ...brrrrr.
Close up here

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pirate Circus

"Pirate Circus"  is one of my Battle Banners series (two in the cloth, the rest still on paper).

A whopping 78"x58", it's constructed quite traditionally - machine pieced, hand dyed cotton muslin and damasks over a lightweight cotton batting and backing and then machine quilted. It was painted with both Setacolor and Jacquard textile paints.

I did a good job documenting the progress on this piece mostly due to the fact that most of the work had to take place outside on the dye deck. Natural lights always makes for good pictures.  There are lots.

Here are all the links I could find regarding it's history, in order of appearance:


Tuesday, February 08, 2011

the paint goes on

After spending two hours painting tiny lines with a tiny brush I'm ready to run and holler!

A post by artist Ann Brauer has given me the kick in the pants in the direction of (returning to) making pieces measured in feet instead of inches.  I called the sewing machine doctor and made an appointment for my Janome.

The one piece I can see sneaking out from a high shelf in the studio is insisting on some exposure and some company. Look close - there are hearts in the " Pirate Circus!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

island making

This island building has it's appeal. Little chunks of hand stitched satisfaction to use later, or not, once I get to laying out the ocean.  I may wind up with an archipelago and no place to float it but, oh well, they were a good time making.

midwinter blues

Dear recent visitor to my site from Saint John's, Saint John, Antigua And Barbuda.
Care for a house guest? Will trade art for room and board.

Do I need a passport?

Saturday, February 05, 2011

tender winter islands

Even though the sun came out today for the  first time in days I couldn't find an excuse to put on shoes and go outside.

We watched "Unstoppable" which had me pulling hair off the cat with tension, but it was a good flick.  Later I took advantage of the winter sun and started building some islands from my huge store of "tender"cloth (thanks for that definition Jude) for the next project.

Friday, February 04, 2011

in the works

It reminds me of a logo I used to see in the NY Times magazine advertising some Caribbean islands but I can't find it anywhere.

I've drawn versions of this piece before and hope to get it started with real fabric this weekend. Oil crayon on paper looks a lot like my hand dyed damasks, ragged edges and all.

I'll use that cream Kona cotton as the base and pick the color bits out of the stash which will be hand appliqued. Because my Janome is out of commission, I'll take a run at hand quilting those lines. Maybe, maybe not. That reminds me to track down the sewing machine doctor...

 ps...I found it.It's the Bahamas.

What does this configuration mean?

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Art of Day

I am excited to have my work featured at Art of Day, a sprawling, interactive networking and art promotional portal for artists, gallery owners, art buyers & collectors, and those coordinating art events.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

cold work

I thought I try (once again) my hand making something with the heart symbol.
I cut four before this one, all just as wrong and misshapen. As usual, my freehand heart comes out looking more vegetable than meat and the whole thing looks like an international flag warning of contagion, fitting as I am battling a cold.  When I'm finished I'll hang it in the garden to scare off pests.
File under "what was she thinking?".

More satisfying has been stitching a tiny hand-rolled hem all round a large square of the softest cotton I have ever worked with. It feels just like sueded silk. This was from the batch that was dyed with cream of wheat + bugs.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

real inspiration

feeling uninspired?

Read this and this for the back story if you don't know about Kate and her journey.