Archive for the ‘Art Quilts’ Category

I am part of Cloth in Common, a group of international artists who respond to bi-monthly prompts. The current prompt is “Spring.”

Here the crocuses have sprung, only to emerge into a cold and still brown yard.

crocusesAnd, again today, it is snowing. It’s hard for me to think “Spring!” However, I just returned from a trip to Eastern Europe (actually a little bit warmer!) where I was inspired by “rebuilding” and “renewal.” Do they count for “spring?”

Many of the drab so-called “communist condos” have been painted, and they still house a large population. (Some, it was explained, are even better built than today. But not all.)

painted communist condo

Dresden was firebombed by the Allies in Feb 1945, killing as many as 135,000 people in the single most deadly bombing of the war, including Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It was reduced to rubble but has been painstakingly rebuilt.

We visited Zwinger Palace, and have the before and after photos to show the rebuild. It is now a museum housing priceless art.

zwinger Palace bombedZwinger Palace rebuilt

 

I made small art quilts while I was traveling. I was especially intrigued by Berlin. First it was one city, then two cities, now one city again –and still stitching itself back together. These are pieces inspired by the art on the wall, torn down in 1989.

We visited just as the US President wants to build a wall on the US border with Mexico. For future generations to tear down!

How I am going to respond to “Spring” is still the Great Unknown in my studio. Rebirth? Rebuild? Traveling to Eastern Europe in the Spring? Stay tuned.

Besides Spring will surely emerge. Any day now.

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momma's little helper

This is my fourth piece done for the international art quilt group Cloth in Common. Our inspirationthis round was “Kitchen.” Come to think of it, kitchen is home base for me, second only to my studio.

My aged and infirm mother in law lives with us, and I must cook every meal at home for her and us. (Hubby cooks breakfast, so I get a break there.)

My earliest memories, aside from my crib, were in the kitchen, where my Mom set up a play station. I could open a bottom cupboard, take out an empty milk bottle, and drop clothes pins in. I got pretty good at it!martha as baby with the bottle078

The reference picture I chose for my quilt, however, is a different one. It was taken before I was 2 years old. I know that because we only lived in that house until I was two.

It is likely that my artistic photographer of a mother added some extra chocolate to my face, for effect. Of course it is equally likely that I did it myself, in sampling my cake.martha cooking lo res

I used a photo of my mom in the background, grafted onto a commercial fabric 1950’s woman.

The escaping cat represents Butterscotch, our only, and failed, attempt to keep a cat in the house when I was a child. We were told he “ran away” after he got fleas and went to sleep in the clean laundry basket.

Aside from poor Butterscotch, all my childhood memories are good ones!

You can follow Cloth in Common on Facebook or at Cloth in Common.

It’s also OK to play along with us!

Martha Ressler

Momma’s Little Helper

16 x 20”

Fabrics, beads, buttons

Raw Edge Applique

30 for 30 2018

Here’s a collage of my 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge, complete. (I left out a few cats!)

It’s easier to see the stronger compositions when in this format. I think my favorite might be the Red Roof, Purple Sky.  or maybe Red Shed, Orange Door, Yellow Sky.  or Purple Thought.  Or maybe Barn Shadows. What about you?

Martha Ressler

Tweetie and Old Lace

Finally, we’ve arrived at Day 30.  Tweetie and Old Lace is another piece that started out as a screen print, then got embellished. Tweetie went with me on vacation, and received a lot of stitching and attention during the long hours in the car. This is one of the small “gems” that I’ll frame and sell for under $100.

Martha Ressler

Tweetie and Old Lace

Art Quilt

7 x 5″

The Little Red Maple lo res

The smallest of our red maple trees, with the final leaves clinging to its branches caught my eye in late autumn. The background is pieced sections of a hand painted cloth panel from Malaysia, bought at Ladyfingers Sewing Studio in Oley, PA (a treasure trove of fine fabrics.)

I had actually made most of this piece a couple of years ago, but added the extensive hand embroidery during my recent vacation during long hours riding in the car. I  think it changes it completely, echoing the white of the tree section. Now, it’s done!

Martha Ressler

The Little Red Maple

Art Quilt

17.5 x 16.5″

Winter Meadow lo res

This is another product of the screen printing class I took. I made three passes with the screen: the translucent blue shadows and tracks, a tan color of the weeds, and a darker colors of some of the weeds, as an accent.  Then I heavily hand embroidered the piece. I am excited about this one.  The view of our meadow in the snow is special to me.

Martha Ressler

Winter Meadow

Art Quilt

9 x 12″

 

red barn and spring house lo res

Red Barn and Spring House is a spot I know well, as it’s right next door on my sister and brother in law’s property. They don’t use the old spring house anymore, but I like to think about how it used to keep milk and cheese cool in the warm summer months. It’s pretty muddy there, but the cows don’t seem to mind.  They can always find water in the boggy parts.

My hubby likes to tell the tale of painting this barn when he was a teenager, especially the hex signs.  I do believe it must have been a harrowing experience.

I like the way the roof of the barn turned out.  Even though it was snow covered, you could still see some textures and even some color from the underlying roof and I wanted to capture that.

Martha Ressler

Red Barn and Spring House

Art Quilt

16 x 20″