Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Southern Accents Exhibit Part 2 of 2

Welcome back!  Here is part two of the Southern Accents Exhibit at the Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts in Melbourne, Florida, which ends this Saturday, August 22nd, 2015.  Once again, the following quilts are just some of what I thought was of interest and inspiring.
Sunshine State of Mind by Susan Rienzo of Vero Beach, FL
cotton fabric, batting, fabric dye crayon
Sunshine State of Mind (detail)

Jazz Rhythms by Cindy Grisdela of Reston, VA
cotton & batting

Jazz Rhythms (detail)
Anemone 2 by Maya Schonenberger of Miami, FL
fabrics, printed material, papers, paints, layered fabrics & papers

Anemone 2 (detail)

Butterfly Memories by Nancy Kay Smith of Belleview, FL
batik panels, cotton fabric, wool batting

Butterfly Memories (detail)
This next piece is a tribute to Ernest Hemingway.  It was so unusual and so well done, the pictures don't do it justice.  I was juggling two different cameras to capture the detail but the lighting wasn't the best for photography, so the camera didn't capture the three dimensional quality of the piece. 
A Note from Papa H by Jayne Bentley Gaskins of Fernandina Beach, FL
cotton broadcloth, thread, cotton batting, polyester stuffing
The hand and postcards were stuffed and came out of the background as if they were coming towards you.  Everything except the background image of the typewriter was free-motion embroidered or thread-painted down to the detail in the stamps, it was truly amazing. 

A Note from Papa H (detail)

A Note from Papa H (detail)
Dead Ladies Doilies by Sandra T. Donabed of Jupiter, FL
vintage and found lace tablecloths, dresser scarves, doilies, handkerchiefs, linens, repurposed crochet doilies and other lace items
Dead Ladies Doilies (detail)
This last piece was probably my favorite.  To actually see a work by Jane Burch Cochran up close and in person made my week!  She has been one of my favorite art quilters for over 20+ years but I had only seen her work in books up until now.  Her quilts remind me of old crazy quilts but are personal stories about her life.  I love her collection of found objects and they way she combines things, it appeals to the magpie in me!  Her work is such an inspiration for all of that "stuff" we hoard!  Sorry for so many photos, but I wanted you to appreciate all that is in this quilt.
And Then I Was the Only One Left by Jane Burch Cochran of Rabbit Hash, KY
fabric, upholstery samples, gloves, buttons, beads, cloth flowers, sequins, trims, words stamped with acrylic paint and ink, yo-yos

I hope that may have inspired you to travel to a gallery or museum in your area or even to expand your own quilt making in some new creative ways!  Happy Quilting! 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Southern Accents Exhibit Part 1 of 2

Crotons by Ellen Lindner of Melbourne, FL
cotton fabrics
This past week a friend of mine and I were lucky enough to catch the quilt exhibit, Southern Accents, at the Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts in Melbourne, Florida.  This exhibit has been open for the last several months and ends on August 22nd.  I highly recommend it to anyone in the central Florida area if you have an interest in art quilts or quilts in general.  The textile museum is a real treasure for Florida and we are so lucky to have something that supports artists and exhibits quilts, textiles and fiber art in our state! 
The show was juried by Sandra Sider for Studio Art Quilt Associates.  There were a total of 43 art quilts in this show, all by southern United States quilters.  The show's theme was based on the question, "What makes the southern United States special?"  Various aspects of fashion, food, family, crafts, d├ęcor, music, literature, architecture, nature, and social issues comprised the subject matter of these quilts. 
The only requirement of the art quilt is that it consists of three layers, a top, batting of some sort and a backing.  The artist is free to express their idea in any way they choose using any number and variety of materials. 
I am dividing this up between two blog posts of just some of the quilts that I found of interest.
Swampwise II by Jane Broaddus of Dahlonega, GA
clothesline, silk, cotton batik, lace, beads, threads

Swampwise II (detail)

Everglades Sunset by Candice Phelan of Wellington, FL
batiks, hand-dyed fabrics & variegated, metallic and iridescent threads
Everglades Sunset (detail)
Beach Path by Candice Phelan of Wellington, FL
batiks, hand-dyed fabrics & variegated, metallic and holographic threads
Beach Path (detail)

Southern Hospitality by Marianne R. Williamson of Miami, FL
cotton, silk, textile paint, variegated threads
Southern Hospitality (detail) 
Floridian Splendor by Michele Sanandajian of Stuart, FL
canvas, organza, silk, cotton, metals, fabric paint, pan pastels
Floridian Splendor (detail)

Flower Patch by Michele Sanandajian of Stuart, FL
silk, satin, commercial fabrics, hand-dyed cotton and cheesecloth, variety of threads and yarns

Flower Patch (detail)

Miami's Cross Currents by Nancy Billings of Miami, FL
hand-dyed and commercial fabric, acrylic paint, rayon threads, upholstery fabric
Miami's Cross Currents (detail)

Tranquility by Linda S. Hoffmeister of New Smyrna Beach, FL
hand-dyed silk & cotton, shibori silk, commercial fabrics, variegated threads
Tranquility (detail)

Sunshine State of Mind II by Susan Rienzo of Vero Beach, FL
cotton fabric and batting, permanent ink pen

Sunshine State of Mind II (detail)
In the next few days I will post the rest of the photos I took of this exhibit.  Until then, Happy Quilting!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Instant Gratification

Well, I'm off porch cushions and back onto quilting for a bit!  I'm sure most of you are relieved!  Here are several pictures of a simple 25-patch quilt I finished up this week.  I am gearing up to machine quilt a top that will require a substantial amount of time, so I needed something to do quickly to get back in the groove. 
I had pieced the top back in April when I was on a mission to use up a bunch of leftover scraps laying around from another quilt.  I am considering this to be a "fall" quilt for me since I really don't care for the color orange in our house (but yet I LOVE Halloween, go figure!) and this is probably as close as I will get to a fall-looking quilt.
Here is the top prior to quilting.  The small squares finish out at an odd size at 1 1/8".  Since I was using up leftovers, it didn't matter to me since this is an easy pattern to adjust accordingly.  Sorry if the lighting varies from photo to photo, they were all taken at different times and in different rooms.
This is after I have marked the entire top and am pin-basting the layers together.  And yes, I do mark every single line.  I want my quilting to be even and uniform and following the lines exactly is the only way I can get that look.
And here I've completed all of the quilting.  I approached this very simply, quilting vertical lines through the entire quilt at about 7/8" apart from one end to the next, all with my walking foot.  The quilt is small, at approximately 50" by 60", so the quilting process went very quickly. 
Next I quilted a grid in the opposite direction, but only in the 25-patch blocks.  I did this by free-motion quilting the lines.  I started at the far left side of each block, traveling down the first line, then over to the next line by quilting in the ditch, then back up the second line, then over to the third line by quilting in the ditch, down the third line, etc.  I could actually travel from block to block within each row with this method without having to stop and start.  (In the photo above, the free-motion lines I am referring to are horizontal in the picture.) 
I used Wonderfil Invisafil for the top thread and Mettler Metrosene in the bobbin, both of which are polyester and very, very fine at 100 weight. 

So now that I feel like I finished a project and got a sense of instant gratification, I am ready to tackle my next machine quilting project.  I have been laboring over what to do on the quilt you see below for three years now.  I am finally ready to get on with it!  I have a couple of deadlines rapidly approaching so this is as good a time as any to tackle a couple of tops that have been in "waiting" mode.  Here is a peek of what I will be working on, below.  The half-inch grid stencil is from The Stencil Company and I am using fine-tipped blue water soluble marking pens to mark the quilt.
I may disappear for a bit so I can focus on getting this quilt finished, but don't worry, once this quilt is completed, I will share plenty of pictures!  Until then. . . .enjoy the rest of your summer and Happy Quilting!