Posts Tagged ‘Contemporary Art Quilts’


I had an interesting experience yesterday.  My “main” art organization, Pittsburgh Society of Artists, had a weekend event called ARTday.  The idea was to go back to our “hippie” origins in the the 1960’s and the very first show the organization had. It was in the parking lot of a bank on a Saturday, and everyone brought their art, stayed around all day taking to customers, and they sold it all and went home! Luckily we weren’t in a parking lot Sunday as it poured rain.

We organized a sort of “pop-up” event. People brought two pieces of art on Saturday and hung it themselves. We had an opening that night, with balloons out front. Then Sunday afternoon we returned and had organized art demonstrations. There was an enamel artist, a pencil portraitist, a wheel thrower and a “ink tape and magic” artist. One of our musical members played his guitar and sang, and many brought food to share. We all got to get to know each other much better, and members of the public who dropped in felt part of the event. We ended up selling 3-4 pieces (unfortunately we didn’t sell out!).

I didn’t sell my pieces, but felt gratified and inspired by some of the comments I got. This piece in particular, called Pittsburgh: Go With the Flow, attracted comment. I think I’ll make it again, a little different this time. I want to stay with the same idea: Pittsburgh as layers. Below the ground the iron ore and coal that first spurred industry here, the rivers, the houses on the hillside, the hills themselves, and the sky. I’ll go without the border this time.


I haven’t written in my blog for a couple of weeks. The reason is that I decided to challenge myself and make a large Contemporary Art Quilt more quickly than I ever have. One I made in 2010 called “Western Pennsylvania — Oh What a Relief” got into a show here in Pittsburgh and has received favorable comments. It is inspired by a “colored geographical relief” map that shows elevations overlaid by geologic formations. I presented it at a critique and they suggested I make a companion for it. There is a national show I want to enter, and it is a good idea to enter two pieces that relate to each other. I’m coming along well on my new one, and might even get it done in time.  I’m not sure about that! But meanwhile, this is the original piece. Since this picture I’ve removed the white squiggly line on the right (the Susquehanna River, with apologies to its many fans). It got in the way of my composition! This picture shows the piece without its original, distracting border. I rebound it without a border.


Hi am sending off my donation Art quilt to the Studio Art Quilt Asssociation annual quilt auction. The donated quilts are a major fundraiser for this organization, and they in turn help to publicize the pieces. All are to be 12 x 12 inches, and mine is called My Block. Doesn’t sound too original, but the name also refers to the block I live on, and the ones nearby where I pound the shoe leather every day while compiling my daily 10,000 steps. The visual references are to the shapes, colors, and actual found objects of my working class neighborhood in Lawrenceville (Pittsburgh). Check out all the quilts at


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A second new piece I took to the shop at PCA today has a precedent. I made a piece in 2010 called “Singin’ the Blues.” It utilized a quirky polyester scarf (gift of a friend who challenged me to use it in a piece of art). The scarf featured pictures of old sheet music — cowboys and lovers and dreamers mostly. The piece I came up with stayed on my mind. Here are both of them. The one at the top is the new piece, and below, with the orange sky is the 2010 piece.

I dropped off some new pieces for the Shop at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. In case you are not familiar with this beautiful shop showcasing local artists, it is housed in the PCA’s Marshall building at 6300 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, 15232.

“Pink Awning”  is a small stitched photo on cloth. It is floated in the frame, and measures 8.5 x 10.” It was inspired by my walks around the neighborhood. The pattern of the morning shadow on the houses is what caught my eye.

After much thought, I decided to enter “Not So Empty Lot” into Art All Night this year. This deserves to be known world wide, but just in case you haven’t heard of the event, dedicated volunteers find an abandoned factory site (so far pretty easy) in Lawrenceville, clean it up, and hang thousands of pieces of art in it for one night (yes — ALL night).

The rule is one piece of art per person, ready to hang. There is no jury and no censorship, although un-family friendly pieces are segregated. There is no fee to the artist. Sales take place by the interested buyer filling out a slip of paper (a bid) which the artist receives upon pick-up. Funding take place through grants, donations, and sales of tee shirts and other items.

Anyway, with such a HUGE space, I decided on one of my largest pieces, heavily discounted.  I also spiffed it up for the occasion, improving the hanging system, and quilting the borders. It is more the fashion now for Contemporary Art Quilts to have no border.  But I liked the one on this so much that I decided to keep it and improve upon it. This piece is 55 x 47.5 inches.