I recently attended my first meeting of the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA). This large organization is divided into smaller regions and my local is SAQA Central Canada – Ontario and Quebec Artists. Because locals are large and cover so much ground geographically, smaller groups or pods are formed. The pod I attended was in Fergus, Ontario. A very enthusiastic and focused group of artists were in attendance.
One of the outcomes of our meeting was to work on a challenge. The parameters:
size – 12 inches
theme – summer
due – 2 months
I began with some hand dyed fabric and imagined a tall glass of water and ice. How would that look abstracted and constructed using small pieces? The two images are the evolution of my work in progress. I may move a few more pieces around before I begin to stitch. What does summer look like for you?
It’s been a while since I’ve sat down with the intention of creating some artwork. I was able to do so at a quilt retreat I attended recently. I went to the retreat with the intention of playing and trying something new. The result was this small minimal modern textile painting created with Oakshott Fabrics and one of my hand dyed linens.
It was so much fun to sit and create without expectations! The shot cottons have a beautiful sheen as does the linen. The fabrics add a lot of depth and the machine quilting provide texture. This piece doesn’t have a name yet. What would you call it?
Clare Luz assistant professor, Department of Family Medicine at Michigan State University
Beth Donaldson, Digital Humanities Project Asset Coordinator at Michigan State University.
These three authors have written a scholarly book that is beautifully illustrated with hundreds of quilts as well as the stories behind them. Through their research they discovered that they could not name a disease that could not be connected to a quilt. Quilts are given as to comfort and memorialize those suffering from so many diseases. The AIDS Memorial quilt is an iconic example.
I am thrilled that my quilt: Radiant Light is included in this book.
My quilt appears in chapter three: Individual Experiences of Health and Well-being Through Quiltmaking. Radiant Light is the third in a series of chakra quilts. The first was made for my sister-in-law who was diagnosed with cancer. The second quilt was made as a commission for someone who had seen my first one and had survived this disease. I have since made a fourth quilt: The Vibrant Path.
Excited to see my name and Sandy’s name in the index!
Radiant Light is an original design. The background is pieced as are the leaves. The outline of the woman and the chakras are appliqued. The quilt was beautifully long-arm quilted by Sandy Lindal of Scrappy Gal Quilt Co.
Artist Statement submitted to the Sacred Threads Exhibition:
This quilt embodies the divine life force in women. Chakra centers correspond to seven centers of energy in the human body. These spiraling wheels of vibrational energy channel power into and out of the body. When this vital energy flows easily, we remain in physical, spiritual and emotional alignment. The portrayal of the chakras superimposed on a female figure honours this divine/vital/transformative power. This quilt is a reminder to us all to be nurturing of ourselves, to be present in the moment, and to be in tune with the creative life force within us.
Radiant Light was accepted and displayed at the Sacred Threads Exhibition 2013. It was purchased by a health professional and is currently on display in their offices. I can’t think of a better location for Radiant Light.
This series of textile paintings are the first three I created and set on canvas. The canvas was originally painted medium blue. Once the pieces were attached, I found the background was too dark and the quilted artwork did not show well. So, I repainted the canvas white and I am much happier with how the quilted pieces look.
attended a quilt retreat with a very small amount of my hand dyed fabrics
used canvas to frame quilted pieces
The quilt retreat was the perfect time to play with the ideas of minimalism and experiment with the technique of inserting narrow strips. There was no pressure to create a finished piece. But, I was so happy with the works I created, that I did finish all three!
Inserting very narrow strips of colour into the pieces was very satisfying. Continuing my experiments with this technique, I created tiny pieces of quilted art: Fineline Brooches and recently made: Lipstick and Mascara. I am not finished with the Fineline Series of textile paintings, there is still so much more to explore.
These are the Vista textile paintings before the change of colour in the background. What do you think of the colour change?
I have recently completed four new textile paintings. This series called: Lipstick & Mascara are a part of the Precious Snowflakes Holiday Art Sale and Festival. The Yellow House Gallery on Kingston Road in Toronto with the Cobalt Gallery and Clay Studio are hosting this event. Small pieces of original art will be on display at these two venues and available for sale from November 17, 2017 to January 20, 2018.
On Thursday afternoon the 3 members of the Quilts on the Wall, Helen, Catherine and I arrived at the S. Walter Stewart Public Library to hang our art quilts. Helping us was Ann – hanger extraordinaire!
We laid out our pieces and chose our location in the Auditorium. This room has a large window into the children`s department and is open to everyone during regular library hours.
This is the first time ever that Catherine has had any of her quilts on display! It was exciting to see our pieces go up on the wall.
Despite our diverse designs, techniques and style, the show looks great.
In all we created 20 new pieces of art based on the theme: Connections. Glimpses of some of the pieces are shown. But, you will have to come to the S. Walter Stewart Public Library during the month of June in order to see all of the pieces.
Early in the new year I began working on a new piece for the International Textile Art Contest, held in Verona, Italy. My piece, The Fever was accepted into this juried show. When I was notified of my acceptance, I decided to attend Verona Tessile 2017.
Verona Tessile is organized by the Ad Maiora Association, in collaboration with the Verona Municipality to promote textiles as an art form. This year, the theme of the International Textile Art Contest was: Love, the red thread that unites. Thirty-four works were accepted into the show, one of which was my piece: The Fever.
The international exhibit was held at the Palazzo dei Mutilati in the historic centre of Verona, steps from the Verona Arena a Roman amphitheatre. Eight other exhibitions were held around Verona, highlighting quilts and textile arts. More photos on these will come later!
Last year I made Spiral, a small quilt for the Crossing Borders Art Group. I knew I wanted to try the same technique to make a larger work. The Verona Tessile International exhibit provided the perfect opportunity. I began with a selection of fabrics in black to grey, burgundy to pink in hand dyed and commercial cottons, linens, and silk and pieced a large log cabin block.
Once the log cabin top was completed, I drew a spiral freehand, coming out of the centre square. With my hand dyed cotton, I made a narrow bias strip which was pinned and pressed into the spiral shape I had drawn.
Next was the scariest step – cutting the spiral!
The bias strip was carefully stitched from the centre square out. I love how inserting the bias strip caused the log cabin to twist around, distorting the block. The central portion was layered with wool batting over cotton quilt batting and machine quilted in a spiral.
In submitting my piece into the Verona Tessile show, I need to write a description of the techniques, materials and motivation behind the work. This is the what I wrote:
In my piece, The Fever, the bright red thread of love emerges from the central square of a log cabin block. Traditionally this center square was made out of red cloth representing the heart and hearth of the home. In The Fever, the central square contains both reds and black because love can be pure and selfless or false and egotistical. The block was constructed with strips of fabric ranging from pale pink to deep burgundy and from gray to black. As the red bias spirals through the log cabin quit, it cuts through the dark shadows and the bright sunshine, just as love changes and evolves. This piece continues my exploration of the symbolic log cabin block to make a piece that is modern and contemporary. The Fever is machine pieced with hand dyed fabrics, commercial cottons, silk, and linen. It is machine quilted with a walking foot in a spiral pattern through three layers of batting in the central portion of the quilt.
It was exciting to be able to attend the Verona Tessile show in person. So many talented quilters created beautiful pieces with the theme: Love, the red thread that unites. The next post, I will highlight some of these spectacular quilts.
I have fallen in love with dyeing fabric! Each time I dye fabrics I am amazed at the results. Each piece of hand dyed fabric is unique. This beautiful mandala was snow dyed along with a few other pieces of cotton and I wanted to use this piece without cutting into it.
I auditioned a variety of hand dyed fabrics for the outside edges. I decided to quilt as you go, keeping the borders separate from the mandala.
The mandala was machine quilted in a spiral with a walking foot, once I got close to the edge, I stopped, added the borders and continued with the spiral.
I also quilted the corner block in a small spiral, echoing the larger mandala.
This is one of the snow dyed shibori fabrics that was dyed at the same time as the mandala, so the colours worked well together. I cut into this piece to make the corner block.