Forgive me if I treat my quilts as my children. I like to send them out into the world, to be viewed (and enjoyed I hope) by others. Last week “In The Clouds” came back to me after three years on tour with SAQA’s “Concrete & Grassland” exhibit.
It traveled to China, Ireland, and England with the exhibit. It’s too bad I couldn’t go with it.
Another work that came home this week was “Sur La Table” which was in a regional art show. It was one of two fiber works in the show. The rest were paintings, prints, photographs and 3D works.
“Rococo” is the latest work I sent out. It will be exhibited at the Mid-Atlantic Festival of Quilts in Hampton, Virginia, from February 28 to March 3. I’ll have it back by mid-March, a mere month after I mailed it.
Why do I exhibit my work? If I spend lots of time designing, making and finishing a piece that I think turns out well I enjoy the ego boost (I’m being honest here) of having it chosen for public display. Many of my pieces I wouldn’t consider submitting. They’re too idiosyncratic, derivative, or off in some way. Of course, pieces I love others don’t; and pieces I shrug at others think are great. I’m still trying to get “Mean Streets” shown somewhere.
I’ve gotten two pieces across the finish line in June and one is almost there. You’ve seen the two in various stages, but here’s the reveals.
“Sur La Table” features many bits of cloth I’ve messed around with over the years. It’s named for the two tablecloths that are the base for many of the squares. The greens are from a gradation dyeing I did, while the border is dyed linen. In fact, the only all commercial fabric in it is the Grunge I used for the flange and binding. The backing is a sheet someone gave me, with the hanging sleeve made from the hem of the sheet.
“Sunset on Main” is now mounted to a pre-stretched canvas, for better or worse. It’s ineligible for most quilt shows, but sometimes you just need to do things differently.
The third piece that sidled into being is “Primary Directive,” an improv work based on already sewn together bits. It needs a facing, which will probably wait until July. The stripey print is one of my fave fabrics – “Everglades” by Alexander Henry. A few years back you’d see this fabric used in at least one quilt at every show.
Aside from taking apart a quilt I’m not satisfied with, I now have no excuse not to work on my canal map quilt. I think I have a path forward, but I’ll see how the embroidery goes before I call it all over but the sewing.
Over the years I’ve accumulated a pile of fabrics I’ve created with paints, stencils, dyes, and other surface design techniques. Since I didn’t feel up to deep thought projects but wanted to make something after my surgery, I sorted that pile and cut up much of it into 5 inch squares. Then, I arranged the squares that seemed to go together into more or less traditional designs.
The resulting tops are totally about texture and color. I meant no discernible message. Each is about 41 inches square and has a border (gasp.)
“All Decked Out” is a trip around the world design made with fabric I designed or dyed, with one exception. The center is a paintstik rubbing of a glass salad plate, accented with embroidery. The surrounding squares are either Marcia Derse fabric (the darker fabric) or sun printed with a crocheted doily. The blue and white squares are from a silk screening class, while the multicolored squares suffered through four processes – dyeing, fabric collage, cheesecloth overlay, and stenciling. The dark and light rose squares are hand dyed, while the blue and white border fabric is from a photo of my deck I manipulated and printed through Spoonflower.
“Sur La Table” is made mostly from tablecloths I painted and dyed. (Finally a use for high school French.) The yellow is damask that’s been printed with leaves, while the orange is a drop cloth I enhanced. The green strips are from a gradation and the outer border is linen I dyed. The diagonal strips are bias tape I made and some cording. The squares on the end of the green units are made from fabric I painted and stenciled. The thin green strip inside the border is Grunge fabric, the only fabric I didn’t mess around with.
I thought I’d do quick and dirty quilting on these, but already that isn’t going to plan. A group I belong to had lots of complicated ideas for quilting “All Decked Out.” Of course the ideas are much better than what I had envisioned, but also more work.