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.
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.
Earlier last year, I dyed some cotton fabric in indigo. The texture and the colour changed from pale blue to a deep indigo. I really liked the design of this piece and I wanted to keep it intact as much as possible. My inspiration to use this indigo fabric was a modern painting I saw in a decorating magazine. The artwork had three large bands of colour running horizontally with the colours blending together.
I pulled a deep indigo piece of fabric and a pure white cotton pique to use with the ombre. I took many photos while deciding on the proportions of the white pique. Some of the photos were taken in the evening as I was working to create this piece for a deadline.
My first attempts had the darker indigo on top. I tried many positions, folding, pinning and moving the white pique until I was certain of the final size.
During this process, I tried rotating the fabric so that the darkest indigo was on top, bottom and either side. Initially, I thought that having the piece run from dark at the top to light on the bottom worked the best. You can see that I finally decided to orient the fabric so that the lightest colour is on top, moving down toward the darker.
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.
The new president of the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild, Adrienne, invited members to spend a couple of days at her parent’s cottage in Georgian Bay. A few of us packed our sewing machines, projects and swimsuits to take advantage of this generous offer.
The weather, the view and the company were great!
Everyone pitched in and brought food, food and more food!
Everyone had a space to work.
Time was spent laughing and sharing.
Dia brought cake to celebrate all the July birthdays.
Sunsets were photographed.
More amazing photographs were taken.
Some projects were begun and a few were completed. We look forward to our next retreat. A huge thanks to Adrienne and her parents, the Van Halems for allowing us to share their beautiful place.
It was a hot weekend but that didn’t deter visitors from viewing the 298 quilts on display this year at Quilts at the Creek 2016. I participated in the Blue By You Fabric Challenge and was very interested in seeing the quilts others had created using the same bundle of Northcott fabrics. I photographed all the quilts I could find – they were scattered throughout Black Creek Pioneer Village.
Here are the quilts in no particular order:
It was fun walking around trying to identify the Blue By You challenge quilts. Every person used the Northcott bundle of fabrics very differently. I was impressed by the designs, the variety of techniques and the workmanship in these pieces. Which piece to you like best?
This was one of the easiest quilts for me to name. When they announced this challenge at a workshop last year they called it Blue by You, but, I heard Blue Bayou. The fabrics reminded me of the changing colours of the tropics. Aerial photographs of the ocean show the colour changing from a deep blue that is almost black to a light turquoise.
The word bayou conjured images of hot temperatures, beaches, water and buildings painted reds, pinks and corals. I searched through my stash and found a few more blues to co-ordinate with the Northcott bundle. I added 2 small prints in red, some of my hand dyed solids and the navy with circles of blue, green and red tying the fabrics together.
Many of the colourful painted houses found in tropical climates have jalousie or louvred glass windows. The design of this quilt reminds me of looking out of these jalousie windows and seeing a beautiful tropical vista.
Blue Bayou is machine quilted with a walking foot. The undulating design in the blue rectangles refers to waves and the straight lines of the navy and blue solids to the frame of the windows.