Posts Tagged ‘piecing’

I bought this hand painted fabric, from Indonesia, at Ladyfingers Sewing Studio in Oley, PA.  I was enamored with the colors and design. So far I’ve made one piece from it, plus a couple of fancy Hot Spots (pot holders that I make to sell.)

malasian-batik-1 malasian-batik-entire

Indonesian hand painted art cloth

Indonesian hand painted art cloth

I was attending a lecture by Quilter Lisa H. Calle at Ladyfingers, which mostly dealt with using rulers for machine quilting. I did buy a couple of them, and ordered a machine foot that is used with rulers, but I’m not sure this method will work for me very well.  Something in me prefers a quirky, asymmetrical look for machine quilting.  But still – I have to give it a try.

While there I met Laura A Cunningham, a fellow art quilter from Mifflintown. She told me to check out Cynthia England, who won best in show in Houston (International Quilt Festival) this year for her quilt “Capetown Reflections.”. I’ve never been attracted to constructing an art quilt using piecing. I find raw edge applique much more immediate.

But I checked out Cynthia England’s method — watched her video on her website, and decided to give it a try.

And – guess what –I liked it! Granted I didn’t make the best use of her complicated piecing method, as I was using entirely the art cloth, except for the white area with the tree drawing. But it did give me some practice with the method, and a bit more texture in the piece.

little-red-maple-detail-smaller the-little-red-maple-17-5-x-16-5-smaller

Plus, her use of freezer paper for the shape elements of a design could work better for construction raw edge applique.  I currently use tracing paper to trace the shape of each element in my cartoon (full scale drawing of my design). But the freezer paper sticks, slightly, to the surface of the fabric, allowing a more accurate cut out of the desired shape.

Is this going to be a change in direction for me? It’s too early to tell. Having tried only one art quilt using it, I’m not sure yet.

In my relatively isolated rural setting, I am grateful to artists’ websites and You Tube postings, and other ways of learning what other are doing. It helps to keep me in touch.

Hot Spot (hot pad) quilted on whole cloth.

Hot Spot (hot pad) quilted on whole cloth.

art-cloth-hot-spot-2 art-cloth-hot-spot-1


I bought myself a present recently, Dianne Hire’s 2004 book Quilters Playtime. I had read an article in the Reading Eagle about an event called “Quilters Odyssey” in Hershey, PA.  But, darn, I missed the event. I read the article after the event had already happened!

What caught my eye in the article was a class called “Danglers, Curvies, Wedgies — a fabric free for all.” That really appealed to me! When I looked it up the teacher was Dianne Hire. So I bought her book and decided to teach myself instead.

I don’t usually piece. Most of my work has been raw edge applique. I was surprised at how much time her methods took. But, yes, they are fun “games.”

So far I’ve played “Hopscotch” “Tic Tac Toe” and “Checkerboard.” Here is my first completed piece using the games. The blue part is using “Hopscotch” and the yellow background is using “Checkerboard.” The rest — found objects, yarn, and embroidery are my own addition. I can’t help myself! The title is Pirate’s Lair.

A second piece is half way finished, and there are more to come.  Thank you Dianne!

Quilters Playtime, Dianne  S. Hire, 2004, American Quilter's Society

Quilters Playtime, Dianne S. Hire, 2004, American Quilter’s Society

Pirates Lair

Martha Ressler, Pirates’ Lair, 19 x12″, fabric and found objects, 2015.

I made my first visit to Quilt National, the “Academy Awards” for Studio Quilt Artists.

Quilt National was started by Nancy Crow and others because art quilts were not being accepted into traditional quilting shows. It premiered in 1979.

First Art Quilts rocked the world of traditional quilts, then artists continues to innovate and expand the definition of “a quilt.”

Quilt National’s definition is more conservative that SAQA’s (Studio Art Quilt Associates).

Here are both of them:

Quilt National: It must be predominantly fabric or fabric-like material and must be composed of at least two full and distinct layers — a face layer and a backing layer — that are held together by hand- or machine-made functional quilting stitches or other elements that pierce all layers and are distributed throughout the surface of the work.

SAQA defines an art quilt as “a creative visual work that is layered and stitched or that references this form of stitched layered structure.”

While staying within the narrower QN definition, some of the innovation was toward more 3 dimensional work. For example Diane Nύñez cleverly used fabric strips, altered and quilted, strung on aluminum tubing like abacus beads. It isn’t on her website yet, but there is a similar one.

Ever innovative, Betty Busby formed her quilt into the shape of a Chinese ginger jar for a full sculpture.

Betty’s isn’t on her website yet either,  but here are some other of her vessels  While you’re there, check out her whole website.  It, and she, are bursting with life, color and energy.

Both piecing and applique continue to be popular. I don’t know if there is MORE hand stitching this year, but what there was really popped out for me. Helen Geglio’s “Femoral Fracture: A Fall” was a piece she stitched by hand as she sat with her mom for hours after a fall and hip fracture.

Here is a detail I took (sorry Helen if this isn’t legal, but I couldn’t help myself . . .)

Helen Geglio detail crop

Another piece that blew me away was Diedre Adams’ “disruption.” Here is her list of materials: Commercial cottons, acrylic paint, paper from various sources: dictionaries, text books, maps, sheet music,novels, and other found materials.  Machine stitched, hand painted, layered papers peeled and torn.

I have been using papers too, and was so happy to meet and speak to Diedre. This piece is somewhat similar, and on her website.

And this was a detail I took of “disruption,” again with my apologies, Diedre. Diedre Adams detail

As a political statement, I thought Kristin La Flamme’s “‘Murica” was very powerful. She says, “Part of my Security Blanket series, this flag expresses America’s obsession with guns as a (false) sense of safety and comfort.”

And, thank you Kristin — the picture IS on her website.

Judy Kirpich’s “Conflict No. 6/ Mugging” was inspired by a personal tragedy. Darn, I can’t find a website for her. The quilt is big (77 x 60”), and black, white and grey with red bars about two thirds of the way down, referencing how her daughter was cut in a mugging. She pieces everything — which I have never learned to do well!

Finally I want to mention Patricia Kennedy-Zafred’s “Tagged.” It has personal meaning for me as my best childhood friend is Japanese-American, and her family experienced this black mark on American history first hand.

Here is the image, on her website.

A number of pieces are a little smaller this year.  I guess collectors’ wall spaces are filling up with this wonderful art.  I was glad to see a more manageable scale represented, as I find it hard to work really big.

Here is Quilt National’s website:  The show is a biennial, so the next one will be in 2017. This time I am going to submit!