No Country for Fools

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Big Snow, February 2019

Last week we had a huge snowstorm that went on for several days and in the end we had nearly 3 feet of snow on the ground. It was a record amount for this area and led to all sorts of cancellations. It’s also been so cold since then that not much as melted. Now, a new storm just blew in and we’ll get several more inches. I can safely say that just about everyone is kind of sick of snow. We live so close to the mountains that we’d be just as happy to have it stay there and not come down to town! Anyway, it does give one lots of indoor time to catch up on projects when you aren’t clearing snow.

Western Meadowlark

Western Meadowlark

No Country for Fools, 21” x 24”

No Country for Fools, 21” x 24”

One project I managed to finish is called No Country for Fools. it’s inspired by Temperance Creek by Pamela Royes. This book was chosen by QuiltWorks as an alternative to the Novel Idea book this year. In this case, the author lives in Oregon and she will come to town for the quilt reception and will do an author talk the next day. Here’s a link to the book trailer which is pretty fascinating. Maybe you’ll want to read it too!

The title of this quilt comes directly from the book and is a description of the area of eastern Oregon where it takes place. I took one line that the author had about a dream that she is reminded of just as she drives toward her new life in the wilds of eastern Oregon. Her dream was about a crow flying beside her car window as she drove.

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I used some old shirts that my dad was done with. I cut them into various odd shapes and saved a couple of labels that I incorporated. I combined the shirt fabrics with some Japanese taupes that were in the perfect colors. The background was pieced improvisationally. Then, I appliqued the bird down and added some hand embroidery with embroidery thread (some of which was hand dyed).

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This piece measures 21” by 24”. I machine quilted it around the embroidery. I would have liked to hand quilt it too, but that would have taken too much time and I am having arthritis issues again so I have to be careful.

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I really love the fabric that the bird is made from (you can see it up close below). I have this stuff in several patterns and colors and it’s really different from any other fabric I’ve used. I call it bubble fabric, but I don’t know the official name. The pattern is created with texture rather than printing. These fabrics were made by Diamond Textiles and I haven’t seen them in a long time, but they are really great for turned under applique because they are thin, but very sturdy and the turned under edge just holds a crease really well. I added the embroidery embellishment by just following the pattern on the fabric.

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I washed the old shirts from my dad, of course. But I also didn’t obsess about stains or holes as you can see below. They tell the story of the cloth and the quilt, so I actually highlighted them.

I have seen a few of the other quilts in this exhibit, but I am really looking forward to seeing them all up. It should be an excellent exhibit. If you can be there, the reception is Friday, April 5, 5-7 pm and the author talk is the following day. Contact QuiltWorks directly if you are interested.

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See My Voice

Only One Earth

Only One Earth

Finally, these three quilts will be exhibited out in the world!  I entered the Quilt Surface Design Symposium "See My Voice" museum exhibit on a whim.  My notification email was lost in the shuffle, but today I found it buried in my spam folder and was delighted to see that all three pieces were accepted.  

Ross Art Museum, 60 Sandusky St., Delaware, OH 43015
Exhibition Dates:  May 18th – June 29th 2018      
Museum hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Sunday 1-5pm and Thursday 1-7pm

If you are in the area, or attending the symposium I hope you'll get a chance to check out the exhibit. I wish I could see it in person!  You can read more about these pieces in this blog post.

She Persisted

She Persisted

#hashtagsofourtime

#hashtagsofourtime

2018 QuiltCon :: 1 :: Handwork

One More Block by the Kansas City MQG (Charity Quilts) 

One More Block by the Kansas City MQG (Charity Quilts) 

Today I'll start a series of posts about QuiltCon.  This year it will be a little bit different. I didn't take nearly as many photos as usual.  Partly because I was only at the show for 2 days rather than 4.  Also, I've decided to categorize them differently.  Some of these quilts were actually in the category I have put them in.  Others I have reassigned a category that makes more sense for the posts I'm going to do.  I'll include the QuiltCon category as well, so you can see how it was originally assigned.

The first quilt I've posted here was my favorite at the show although it wasn't actually in the show.  One More Block is a charity quilt.  It was in the lobby where anyone could come in to see it.  What struck me about this quilt was the lovely handwork.  It was also completely different than any of the other charity quilts.  The guilds were given a palette of colors to use any way they liked.  All the other guilds used fabric in those colors.  The Kansas City MQG only included the colors in the thread used for the big stitch quilting.  The other thing I love is that it's not just any handwork.  This free form/improv style stitching is so exciting.  Every block is different.  This quilt should make its new owner very happy!

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Unplugged by Rachel Singh (Handwork)

Unplugged by Rachel Singh (Handwork)

Unplugged is a lovely example of a handwork quilt.  So many stitches!  It is made completely by hand, including the binding.

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Some Kind of Special Something by Kim Eichler-Messmer (Handwork)

Some Kind of Special Something by Kim Eichler-Messmer (Handwork)

Some Kind of Special Something is a marvelous wholecloth, hand dyed quilt.  I was able to attend one of Kim's lectures during the show and it was so interesting.  This is made with machine sewn shibori and indigo dye.  

Gestures by Eva Schwarz (Youth)

Gestures by Eva Schwarz (Youth)

The Youth category this year was particularly wonderful.  In fact, I think it was more exciting than many other parts of the show.  More to come on that in a future post.  This quilt is just so lovely and it's her first quilt!  She did the hand embroidered hands based on her own sketches and pieced the curves to echo the gestures.  What a marvelous concept and execution!

Geese Study #1 by Heather Kinion (Handwork)

Geese Study #1 by Heather Kinion (Handwork)

I like Geese Study #1 for its beautiful stitching with color and pattern created mainly with thread.  I also like that if you look closely you'll see that there are irregular interruptions in the stitching, they are not just straight lines.  

Botanics by Carolyn Friedlander (Carolyn Friedlander Special Exhibit)

Botanics by Carolyn Friedlander (Carolyn Friedlander Special Exhibit)

Botanics is one of my favorite quilts of Carolyn's.  I have made this design, though it's still just a top and I took these photos for quilting inspiration.  I love her use of color as well.

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Novel Idea Quilts 2011 to 2018

2011 Imagine ( Kapitoil  by Teddy Wayne)

2011 Imagine (Kapitoil by Teddy Wayne)

Every now and then I get a really good idea when I'm in the hot tub late at night.  Sometimes the ideas are really quite harebrained, but I do a lot of thinking in there.  Last night I got the idea to do a Novel Idea quilt post so I hope you think this is a good idea too!  Each quilt is labeled with the title of the quilt and the title and author of the book.

I've included all the Novel Idea quilts I've made over the past 8 years and a couple of extras.  Imagine (above) was the first.  It is completely hand stitched using cloth weaving and embroidery techniques learned from Jude Hill. 

The Novel Idea program with the Deschutes Public Library is a community read program.  The book is usually announced in December and we have about 4 months to read the book (less if you are going to be creating art, of course) and then there is a month of group activities offered by the library which culminates in the author visiting town to do a lecture.  As a life-long reader and lover of books, this has always been one of my favorite things about our library.  I was thrilled when Marilyn Forestell (also a book lover and owner of QuiltWorks) suggested starting the Novel Idea Quilt club which gets together just for the purpose of creating quilts and textile art for this program.  Often the author has been able to visit the quilt gallery to see the exhibit and they've always been so thrilled to see it.  That first year Teddy Wayne was able to see the quilts and I was there.  It was so great to be able to meet the author and discuss how I was inspired to create this quilt.

2011 Tea is No Minor Beverage ( The Elegance of the Hedgehog  by Muriel Barbery)

2011 Tea is No Minor Beverage (The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery)

Tea is No Minor Beverage is not actually a Novel Idea quilt, but it's here for a reason.  During that first year everyone was so fired up about making book quilts we decided to do a second project that year and we chose The Elegance of the Hedgehog.  I didn't realize until doing this blog post that I've done a tea cup before!  After this one extra book we went to just doing the Novel Idea quilt each year.  It was never a cohesive group to begin with and many of us are now in other small groups which make book quilts.  Mine is The Undercover Quilters which I've mentioned many times before.  

2012 Autumn in New York ( Rules of Civility  by Amor Towles)

2012 Autumn in New York (Rules of Civility by Amor Towles)

The third year we read Rules of Civility which was a favorite with many.  One of the things I love about book clubs of any sort is that I am introduced to books and authors I don't know about.  I became a fan of Towles with this book.  His more recent novel, A Gentleman in Moscow, is one of my favorite books ever.  

You may have noticed that this piece is made with silks.  Also, many of these are hand stitched.  One thing about the Novel Idea quilts is that there are no size restrictions.  When creating for most quilt shows, your work must meet a minimum size.  When I'm doing hand stitched art pieces I prefer to work small, so I love that I can work with any size that works for me.  There also also many hand dyed fabrics in these pieces.  I tend to use my most favorite pieces of fabric for these small gems.

2013 The Spirit of the Wood ( The Snow Child  by Eowyn Ivey)

2013 The Spirit of the Wood (The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey)

Of all the books we've done for the Novel Idea Quilts, I think The Snow Child was the most loved by the quilters.  It's such a visual book with themes that appealed to many.  I had so much fun with this piece.  I used hand dyes and vintage linens and it's all hand stitched.  I did get to meet the author, but it was at the book signing rather than the gallery.  She did see the quilts and was very touched by the whole exhibit.

2014 Longing for Connection ( The Dog Stars  by Peter Heller)

2014 Longing for Connection (The Dog Stars by Peter Heller)

If you haven't read The Dog Stars, it's a novel about a post-apocalyptic future.  Many people I know in town as well as many quilters were put off by the theme, but I actually really loved this book.  There were some lovely moments including a passage which included a poem by Kim Stafford, one of Oregon's past Poet Laureates.  This quilt, which is quite small, was inspired by that poem within the book.  I was able to meet the author at the book signing and to tell him about my quilt.  He saw the exhibit and was so inspired he asked if any of the pieces were for sale.  In the end he bought several of them including mine.  What an honor!

2015 The Wayward Jungle Crow ( A Tale for the Time Being  by Ruth Ozeki)

2015 The Wayward Jungle Crow (A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki)

A Tale for the Time Being was such an interesting book.  The author talk was also fascinating.  Like I said in the previous post I am always on the lookout for nature themes, wildlife and especially birds when I read a book for a quilt.  This one did not disappoint with a Jungle Crow that keeps returning to visit one of the main characters.  This one is machine pieced, hand appliqued, and hand embroidered using many hand dyed fabrics and some vintage linens.

2016 Spirit Tree ( Euphoria  by Lily King)

2016 Spirit Tree (Euphoria by Lily King)

In 2015 my sister, glass artist Cheryl Chapman, moved to town.  She also loves books and is a quilter so I thought I'd better get her involved in the Novel Idea quilts.  We both made quilts for the exhibit, mine is above.  I was inspired by the cover of the book and also a passage about the rainbow gum trees.  In addition to that Marilyn had an idea for folks to make masks as part of the exhibit.  It was a theme that related to the book and many people did so.  Cheryl came up with the idea of making glass masks.  We had so much fun getting together to do this.  We created the glass forms in her workshop and she fired them.  Then we had a day in my studio creating the fabric additions for the top of the masks.  

2016 Fused Glass Masks ( Euphoria  by Lily King) Cheryl Chapman on the left, me on the right.

2016 Fused Glass Masks (Euphoria by Lily King) Cheryl Chapman on the left, me on the right.

2017 The H Quilt ( Homegoing  by Yaa Gyasi)

2017 The H Quilt (Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi)

Last year the book was Homegoing which had a multitude of characters, time frames and locations.  In end I decided to put this quilt in the exhibit even though it wasn't made just for the book.  I had actually finished it a couple of months before with no other inspiration than seeing an old H quilt and thinking it would be cool to try it in an improv manner.  Plus, my maiden name starts with H.  As it happens, one of the main characters in the book was called, simply, H.  How coincidental is that?

You can read yesterday's post to find out about Ranjana's Chai (below).  If you haven't made a book quilt yet I highly suggest it as a jumping off point.  My rule with them has always been that my quilts are inspired by the book.  They are not necessarily illustrations of the book.  You can take a feeling, phrase, sentence, word, color scheme, character, animal or object for your inspiration.  It is really fun though and maybe you'll even meet the author some day!  I have done 19 book quilts so far (wow!) and am making plans for my 20th for the Undercover Quilters.  This year our book choice is Martin Marten by Brian Doyle.  I can't wait!

2018 Ranjana's Chai ( No One Can Pronounce My Name  by Rakesh Satyal)

2018 Ranjana's Chai (No One Can Pronounce My Name by Rakesh Satyal)

Reflecting on 2017

Instagram 2017 Best Nine

Instagram 2017 Best Nine

The past month has been so busy, that it's only now in the last hours of 2017 that I am able to reflect upon the past year.  I didn't make quite as many quilts as usual, because I've done a lot of other types of art- watercolor, acrylics, stitching, etc.  However, when I went through the quilt photos of the year I discovered more than I thought would be there.  There are likely a few others I've missed.

Many of these were made for various challenges that I did.  The last few were directly related to American politics this year.  These first two are quilts that I finished recently and haven't even done a proper introduction of.  I plan to do posts about them soon, so look for that.  For the others, I've added links to previous blog posts about them where applicable.  

Usually by now I've got a general idea of where I plan to go creatively in the new year.  This time I feel unsure about where I want to focus in 2018.  Every year I look forward to the down time that comes with winter and I hope I'll have time this January and February to consider my options.  I think that once again there will be fewer quilts.  I still struggle with finding places to store them.  I have whittled my stash down a bit this year and will keep doing that, but some of it will probably go to donation quilts or quilts for sale.  I have a few challenges that I plan to do, but fewer than this year.  We'll see how it all turns out in about 365 days!  For comparison here's last year's compilation.  

Thank you for supporting me, reading the blog, and purchasing from my shop.  I am grateful for each and every one of you.  Happy New Year!

Rhythm of the Rails

Rhythm of the Rails

Arches and Tunnels

Arches and Tunnels

Rhythm of the Rails and Every Last Piece have not been really talked about on the blog yet, but there are some in progress shots here and here.  Every Last Piece will likely be offered for sale at some point, please contact me if you are interested.  Arches and Tunnels got an in progress post here, but the full discussion will come in the new year.

Every Last Piece

Every Last Piece

Nested Star-Crossed Strings

Nested Star-Crossed Strings

Shards of Glass

Shards of Glass

Black and white quilts aren't something I'm known for, but I had a Facebook customer ask for a quilt similar to an older one that she had bought for a friend.  She wished she had kept it for herself.  I made the second version of Nested Star-Crossed Strings and then made Shards of Glass from the leftovers.  You can read more here and here.

Cadmium, Titanium and Cobalt Forever

Cadmium, Titanium and Cobalt Forever

Community Quilt

Community Quilt

I love making red, white, and blue quilts.  Cadmium, Titanium, and Cobalt Forever was inspired by my quilt guild's challenge called "Periodic Table".  You can read about that one here.  I made a couple of community quilts this year, but I liked this one best.  You can read a bit about it here.

All Things Being Equal

All Things Being Equal

Modern Halloween

Modern Halloween

All Things Being Equal was donated to the SAQA Benefit Auction.  Read all about it here.  Modern Halloween was made with leftovers from a Halloween quilt I made for myself.  I still haven't finished the binding on that one, but this one is in the shop and can be found here.

Dancing in the Streets

Dancing in the Streets

I Like Pie

I Like Pie

Dancing in the Streets was made for another quilt guild challenge.  This one was simply called "Log Cabins". I did my favorite variation.  You can read all about it here.  I Like Pie is my quilt for the Undercover Quilters exhibit inspired by Kitchens of the Great Midwest by Ryan Stradal.  You can read about that one here.

Oglethorpe Square

Oglethorpe Square

Once Upon a Quilt

Once Upon a Quilt

Oglethorpe Square crosses a boundary between the Modern Quilt Guild and SAQA.  It was inspired by this year's trip to QuiltCon in Savannah, Georgia, but was made for the SAQA Central Oregon challenge called "Pathways".  You can read about it here.  Once Upon a Quilt was made as a fundraiser for the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show.  You can read about it herehere, and here.

Only One Earth

Only One Earth

Civic Duty

Civic Duty

2017 was the year of the political quilt for me.  I spent the first few months of the year making these quilts as responses to the 2016 election.  It was a tough time.  They are all hand stitched while I listened and watched in horror as a new administration was brought in, one that promised to destroy all the good things in our country.  Many of my fears came to pass.  Some are still to be decided.  I never thought I'd be much of a political artist, but the strong feelings brought out the activist in me.  

You can read about Only One Earth, #hashtagsofourtime, and She Persisted here.  Civic Duty was made as a donation to the Quilter's Alliance Voices Contest.  Only One Earth and #hashtagsofourtime have not been shown in public yet.  She Persisted was shown in the QuiltWorks gallery this fall and got some good comments.  You can read about these quilts herehere, and here.

#hashtagsofourtime

#hashtagsofourtime

She Persisted

She Persisted