Crossing Borders art quilts

Each one of the members of the Crossing Borders Art Quilters suggested themes. Once the theme was chosen, we had two months to complete our quilts. I gave myself additional parameters, along with the guidelines that the group agreed upon. I chose to work improvisationally,  with hand dyed fabrics, and to interpret the theme using a log cabin construction technique.

The 2016 Challenges:

  1. Crossing Borders
  2. Reflections
  3. Roots
  4. Beautiful Chaos
  5. Life cycle
  6. Crumbling Support

For those that are not able to attend our show April 7-8, 2017 at The Hungerford, I am displaying my art pieces below. Each photograph is followed by an explanation of my thoughts on interpreting the theme. Each member of the group has their artwork available for sale.

Crossing Borders: X-Cross

X-Cross

X-Cross
©2016 Doris Lovadina-Lee
12 x 12 inches
cotton, linen, silk, thread
$125.00

Crossing borders brought to mind traditional quilts that often had an outer border to complete the quilt. I wanted to use borders in a less traditional way, so improvisationally pieced strips using cotton, linen and hand dyed fabrics in shades of black with the occasional gray and deep purple. I then crossed through the borders in a fuchsia hand dyed fabric creating a large cross. The quilt is hand quilted.

Reflections: Venetian Lagoon

Venetian Lagoon

Venetian Lagoon
©2016 Doris Lovadina-Lee
12 x 12 inches
hand dyed cotton, thread
$125.00

With this piece, I wanted to continue using the log cabin construction. My inspiration was the idea of something reflected in water. The fabrics are all hand dyed. It is machine pieced and quilted. I am also editing the design to its most minimal in order to get the idea across – al la Gwen Marston! I used two photographs I took in Venice for the inspiration. I’ve used the colours of the water, the awnings, and the gondolas. The red represents the mooring poles that are often red and white, like our barbershop poles.

Roots: Foundation

Foundation

Foundation
©2016 Doris Lovadina-Lee
12 x 12 inches
hand dyed cotton, thread
$125.00

I usually begin by looking up our theme in the dictionary and thesaurus. Lineage, heritage, base, footing, foundation, source, and infrastructure are some of the words that popped out at me. I wanted to continue working with a log cabin block, so I chose two of my hand dyed fabrics and constructed logs. Each log has a thin strip on either side of it in the opposite colour, referencing live edge wood. I constructed the piece improvisationally without rulers. It is a bit bigger than twelve inches and I have kept the organic edges, so it is not square. I machine quilted in the narrow strips, leaving the logs to puff up.

Beautiful Chaos: Chaotic

Chaotic
Chaotic
©2016 Doris Lovadina-Lee
12 x 12 inches
hand dyed cotton, thread
$125.00

Discovered that Beautiful Chaos is the third book in the Castor Chronicle series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. That information didn’t help! I looked further at Chaos theory: the behavior of dynamic systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions so that long-term outcomes are impossible to predict. With this in mind I chose this hand dyed fabric that changed in colour and texture from red with a little yellow to the opposite. Instead of starting off with a square in the centre, I started with 2 central points in a hexagon shape. Building the logs around these two central hexagons resulted in a random shaped block. The logs ranged in size, length and intensity of colour. I am happy with the outcome although I was hoping to integrate the two sides a bit more, introducing the fabric with more yellow into the side with more of the red fabric. This is something that I will continue to explore in other pieces.

Life Cycle: Spiral

Spiral
Spiral
©2016 Doris Lovadina-Lee
12 x 12 inches
hand dyed cotton, thread
$125.00

I thought this might be an easy theme to interpret, but I was wrong. I am happy with the overall look of the quilt.. I first created a traditional log cabin block using hand dyed fabrics. I then drew a spiral and cut into the log cabin to insert a very thin black bias strip. This totally distorted the block and I left the outside edges as they were instead of squaring up the top. I would like to try creating this idea in a larger piece, I think it might be easier to insert the strip.

Crumbling Support: Portal

Portals

Portals
©2016 Doris Lovadina-Lee
12 x 12 inches
hand dyed cotton, thread
$125.00
Portals is the second piece I’ve made using the courthouse steps block. I was influenced by the uncertainty during the American election process, the various court proceedings that have been in the news, and the instability of the economy. It seems that many of the foundations of our country are being challenged, cracks are showing in the very foundations that should be solid and strong.
I’ve used mostly hand dyed fabrics, linen and some commercial cottons to construct a courthouse step block. I’ve inserted thin strips on two sides and the central square to show the cracks in the fabric of our institutions.

April Art at the Hungerford

Crossing Borders Show at The Hungerford, Rochester New York Crossing Borders Show at The Hungerford, Rochester New York

The city of Rochester, NY hosts: First Friday, a monthly event, where area artists and small art galleries showcase their works. It’s a citywide event that promotes a “healthy art scene and a healthy city through regular exchange between venues, artists and patrons”.  Jeanne Simpson has arranged for the Crossing Borders Art Quilters to be a part of First Fridays and Second Saturdays on April 7 and 8, 2017. The Hungerford is a historic building on Main Street in Rochester New York, the home of over 100 studios. The Open Studio Event invites the public to visit about 35 of these studio each month.

Hope to see some of you!

Slow stitching – book and sample

I’ve been spending a little time doing some hand work. I was inspired to go back to a project I started 2 years ago after reading: Slow Stitch: Mindful and Contemplative Textile Art by Claire Wellesley-Smith.

Wellesley-Smith, Claire. Slow Stitch: mindful and contemplative textile art. London: Batsford, c2015.

Wellesley-Smith, Claire. Slow Stitch: mindful and contemplative textile art. London: Batsford, c2015.

This book is beautifully illustrated with projects by Claire Wellesley-Smith, a textile artist working in Yorkshire, England. She blogs about her work at: http://www.clairewellesleysmith.co.uk/blog/

Running stitch with perle cotton on wool

Running stitch with perle cotton on wool

Slow Stitch discusses how the Slow Movement, originally the Slow Food Movement started by Carlo Petrini in Italy, relates to textiles. Examples of Claire’s work and those of :

are included in this beautifully photographed book. There is a lot of inspiration and also a few ideas for starting your own slow stitching projects.

Slow stitch art quilt

Slow stitch art quilt

The piece I am working on shown above started with an embroidery I began when I was a member of the Canadian  Embroiderers’ Guild Guelph. I made a few small pieces incorporating all the fun techniques we were taught. But, the samples languished in a cupboard until my mother suggested that I incorporate them into my quilting.

This embroidered and beaded quilt really is a slow project! I see that I blogged about this project first in December 2014 and then in 2015!

Island Sands

Island Sands

The piece I am currently working is a companion piece to Island Sands which was completed a few years ago.

Island Sands detail

Island Sands detail

I especially like the texture created on the silk noile – ripples left behind in the sand when the tide goes out.

Slow stitch supplies

Slow stitch supplies

I’ve collected up the threads, fabrics, and beads I may use and placed them all together in a plastic box. Hopefully this will keep me organized and on track to finally finish this very slow but satisfying stitching.

Crossing Borders Art Quilters Show

The invitation

I was invited to participate in an online art quilter’s group. Crossing Borders began with eight artists from Canada, the US and The Netherlands. Our goal was to share and learn from each other in a creative and non-threatening manner.

The eight artists:

The guidelines:

  1. Create a 12″x12″ finished piece of artwork
  2. Interpret a theme to create artwork
  3. Artwork to be revealed every 2 months on the last day of the month
  4. Post photograph and any explanation on private Facebook page
  5. Comment on each others work

The Themes:

  1. Crossing Borders
  2. Reflections
  3. Roots
  4. Beautiful Chaos
  5. Life Cycle
  6. Crumbling Support

The Show

Now, after one year, we are ready to show our completed artwork. Jeanne Simpson has organized a show in her studio space at The Hungerford, Rochester New York on April 7-8 2017. I hope those of you close by will attend the opening reception on Friday April 7th from 6-9. Seven of us will be in attendance. We would love to speak to you and show you our artwork.

Fineline Brooches – quilt jewlery

I have been obsessing with creating tiny minimal modern designs with my hand dyed fabrics. The smaller the tiny strips I insert, the happier I am!

Fineline Brooch_red-indigo

Each brooch is machine quilted, a layer of Peltex adds firmness, satin stitching frames the piece and a pin back is added.

Fineline Brooch_red-indigo-green

I love these pins, they are like wearing your own mini works of art.

Fineline Brooch_grey-pink

Fineline Brooch_Black_purple

Fineline Brooch _purple-green

They are so versatile,

Fineline Brooch_black_fuchsia_green

Fineline Brooch_turquoise-purple

It has been so much fun creating these pieces.

Fineline Brooch_Fuchsia-green-cord

With this piece, I added a loop to make this into a pendant.

Fineline Brooch_fuchsia-green

Which one is your favourite?

Light up postcards!

I have been experimenting with adding LED lights to make fabric postcards. Each postcard is constructed like a mini quilt, but, with the addition of some fun sparkle!

Light bulb postcard

Light bulb postcard

Conductive thread connects the LIlyPad coin cell battery holder that has an on/off switch to the LED light. It is the most simple circuit to create.

Light bulb postcard with LED light on

Light bulb postcard with LED light on

NiteLite Glow in the Dark Thread is used for all of the other stitching.

Flashlight postcard

Flashlight postcard

 

Flashlight postcard with LED light on

Flashlight postcard with LED light on

The flashlight postcard is a slightly more complex circuit. The sewable battery holder does not have an on/off switch, so I added a separate LilyPad Slide Switch to the circuit. This way you don’t need to continually remove the coin cell battery when you don’t want power to your LEDs.

Fireflies postcard

Fireflies postcard

The firefly postcards was so much fun! One of the tiny fireflies is captured in the mason jar, but one has managed to escape!

Fireflies postcard with LED lights on

Fireflies postcard with LED lights on

The two LED lights are connected in a series and I’ve hidden the LilyPad coin cell battery holder in the corner.

Which one is your favourite postcard?

Hand Dyed Shibori Scarves – Part 2

The best part of dyeing your own fabrics are the beautiful colours you can mix.

Rayon linen Itajime shibori turquoise scarf

Rayon linen Itajime shibori turquoise scarf

Rayon linen Itajime shibori turquoise scarf

Rayon linen Itajime shibori turquoise scarf

Turquoise and blue are beautiful together. I think this would pair nicely with a pair of jeans and navy blazer for the spring.

Rayon linen Itajime shibori blue/gray scarf

Rayon linen Itajime shibori blue/gray scarf

With the scarf above, I wanted to try to create a plaid design. This scarf was folded, wrapped and dipped three times. Each time, the resist I used was larger, covering up more of the scarf and the dye bath was intensified.

Rayon linen Itajime shibori blue/gray scarf

Rayon linen Itajime shibori blue/gray scarf

I will try this technique again, and try for a little more variation between the first two dye baths.

Rayon linen Itajime shibori green/gray scarf

Rayon linen Itajime shibori green/gray scarf

Rayon linen Itajime shibori green/gray scarf

Rayon linen Itajime shibori green/gray scarf

A circular resist was used for this yellowish green and blue/gray scarf.

Rayon linen Itajime shibori orange scarf

Rayon linen Itajime shibori orange scarf

Rayon linen Itajime shibori orange scarf

Rayon linen Itajime shibori orange scarf

Coral and brown are always a great colour combination. This scarf was tightly twisted before being dyed.

Rayon linen shibori blue scarf

Rayon linen shibori blue scarf

Cerulean blue and black used to dye the scarf above. The same twisting technique was used as in the coral and brown scarf, but, this was not twisted as tightly. You can see that the dye penetrated the entire scarf with no light spots.

Rayon linen Itajime shibori parfait scarf

Rayon linen Itajime shibori parfait scarf

Rayon linen shibori parfait scarf

Rayon linen shibori parfait scarf

 

Rayon linen shibori teal/gold scarf

Rayon linen shibori teal/gold scarf

The scarf above was dyed using the Parfait method described by Ann Johnston in her book: Color by Accident. The scarf was first submerged in yellow, then turquoise and finally in the gray. I love the colours together – it looks like two completely different scarves, when it’s folded in half.

All of these scarves are available for purchase: $40.00 each. They are 17″ wide and 70″ long. They are easy to care for: machine wash and air dry. They are a great way to add some colour to your wardrobe this spring!

 

Hand Dyed Shibori Scarves – Part 1

I love dyeing, the colours, designs and textures you can create by folding, scrunching and tying up fabric is limited only by your patience!

Rayon linen itajime shibori fuchsia scarf

Rayon linen itajime shibori fuchsia scarf

 

Rayon linen itajime shibori fuchsia scarf

Rayon linen itajime shibori fuchsia scarf

I found some beautiful rayon/linen fabric that I sewed up into scarves. The fabric has a lovely drape and dyes beautifully.

Rayon linen Arashi shibori pink scarf

Rayon linen Arashi shibori pink scarf

 

Rayon linen itajime Arashi pink scarf

Rayon linen Arashi shibori pink scarf

Each scarf is an original one-of-a-kind piece. Wrap them around your neck, twist them into a belt around your waist, tie them to your hand bag. They will add a dash of colour to any outfit.

Rayon linen Arashi shibori wine scarf

Rayon linen Arashi shibori wine scarf

 

Rayon linen Arashi shibori wine scarf

Rayon linen Arashi shibori wine scarf

These rayon linen scarves were dyed using my favourite colours: fuchsia, pink and purple.

Rayon linen shibori purple scarf

Rayon linen shibori purple scarf

 

Rayon linen shibori purple scarf

Rayon linen shibori purple scarf

The scarves are 17″ wide and 70″ long and available for purchase at $40.00 each. They are machine washable and air dry.

Rayon linen Itajime shibori pink/grey scarf

Rayon linen Itajime shibori pink/grey scarf

 

Rayon linen Itajime shibori pink/grey scarf

Rayon linen Itajime shibori pink/grey scarf

Rayon linen Arashi shibori purple scarf

Rayon linen Arashi shibori purple scarf

 

Rayon linen Arashi shibori purple scarf

Rayon linen Arashi shibori purple scarf

Next week I have more scarves in other colours to show you. Even though I love pink, I do like all colours and know how to mix them! 🙂

 

Aga Khan Museum

A friend and I visited the Aga Khan Museum this weekend. A very knowledgeable and enthusiastic docent began our visit with an introduction on the design of the building by architect: Fumihiko Maki. He was given the theme of light as his inspiration. An interior courtyard brings light into the center of the building and provides a lovely outdoor space in warm weather.

Leaf from a Qur'an Manuscript North Africa, 9th-10th centuries ink and gold on blue-dyed vellum

Leaf from a Qur’an Manuscript
North Africa, 9th-10th centuries
ink and gold on blue-dyed vellum

Artifacts that are centuries old have colours, textures and designs that seem modern and timeless.

Oculus Syria, Late 12th-early 13th century Fritware, molded and glazed

Oculus
Syria, Late 12th-early 13th century
Fritware, molded and glazed

The museum’s collection of pottery, glass, metalwork, and calligraphy is a source of inspiration.

Bottle Probably Iran, 9th-10th centuries Glass, wheel-cut

Bottle
Probably Iran, 9th-10th centuries
Glass, wheel-cut

The mosaic tiles in the fountain can be translated directly into quilt blocks.

Fountain Syria, 16th century and later Marble and sandstone mosaic

Fountain
Syria, 16th century and later
Marble and sandstone mosaic

Turquoise, blue, and gold colours found in the pottery, are some of my favourites and I imagine them in a project.

Muqarnas (Squinch) Elements probably Samarquand, Uzbekistan, late 14th-early 15th centuries Fritware, carved and glazed

Muqarnas (Squinch) Elements
probably Samarquand, Uzbekistan, late 14th-early 15th centuries
Fritware, carved and glazed

Muqarnas (Squinch) Elements probably Samarquand, Uzbekistan, late 14th-early 15th centuries Fritware, carved and glazed

Muqarnas (Squinch) Elements – detail

More designs that can be directly translated into quilt blocks. Also Ideas for arranging the blocks in various configurations.

Box Spain 16th century Wood inlaid with bone, wood and mother-of-pearl

Chest
Spain 16th century
Wood inlaid with bone, wood and mother-of-pearl

Candlestick Anatolia, Turkey, 14th century' Copper, tin, and zinc alloy, inlaid with silver and gold

Candlestick
Anatolia, Turkey, 14th century’
Copper, tin, and zinc alloy, inlaid with silver and gold

The circular design in the candlestick above reminds me of the New York Beauty block. I can imagine this block on a solid background and heavily quilted with angular lines like in the background above.

Bowl Nishapur, Iran, 10th century Earthenware, slip-painted and glazed

Bowl
Nishapur, Iran, 10th century
Earthenware, slip-painted and glazed

Two dishes in the collection look very modern. I loved the simplicity and elegance of the designs. More information for both of these pieces and many others are available on the museum website in the Collection Highlights tab.

Bowl Nishapur, Iran, early 11th century Earthenware, slip-painted and glazed

Bowl
Nishapur, Iran, early 11th century
Earthenware, slip-painted and glazed

Flying Carpet, 2007 by Farhad Moshiri b. 1963, lives and works in Tehran and Paris 32 stacked macine-made carpets

Flying Carpet, 2007 by
Farhad Moshiri
b. 1963, lives and works in Tehran and Paris
32 stacked macine-made carpets

Although the Aga Khan Museum features historical cultural artifacts from Islamic civilizations, it also features contemporary artwork. The piece above: Flying Carpet by Farhad Moshiri is a stack of 32 machine-made carpets that has a fighter plane cut out of the centre. The artist, Moshiri, was inspired by a documentary on Afghan carpet weavers. They had been incorporating modern technologies into the design of the carpets – planes, drones and other military armaments.

Flying Carpet, 2007 by Farhad Moshiri b. 1963, lives and works inTehran and Paris 32 stacked macine-made carpets

Flying Carpet – overhead view by Farhad Moshiri

Another special exhibit on display until March 26, 2017 is Syria: A Living History. This exhibit contains historical artifacts and contemporary artwork illustrating the diverse culture and history of Syria. Unfortunately, photography was not allowed in this exhibit, so you will have to visit the museum to see the collections in person. The grounds around the museum are also worth visiting – I will need to return in the spring when the weather is a bit warmer!

Fineline Series – Sight

Sight is part of my Fineline Series of textile paintings. In this series, I have been exploring abstract minimal design.

Each piece is refined to capture the essence of my idea.

Thin strips of fabric are inserted in various configurations to create linear designs.

Machine quilting adds a layer of texture.

The simplicity of the art piece belies the amount of work that goes into the design itself. As in a good recipe, the fewer the ingredients, the more important each one becomes to the successful outcome of the dish.

Sight
©2017 Doris Lovadina-Lee
16 x 20 inches
cotton, linen, silk, thread, on painted canvas
$125.00

Snow dyed fabric

I love fuchsias, pinks and reds. These colours make me happy and energized. It’s the colour palette I gravitate towards when choosing colours for a project.

 

All of the two metre pieces of cotton were dyed with snow in December.

I love that each piece of fabric has a change of pattern and colour intensity from edge to edge.

Berene from Happy Sew Lucky commented on instagram that the piece is like a complex ombre. I think that’s a great description of these pieces.

Observing the pieces folded in half, they look like two completely different pieces of fabric.

 

There are so many design possibilities in each piece of yardage.

What colours make you happy?