Saturday, December 30, 2017

Which Came First

The destination cannot be described;
You will know very little until you get there;
You will journey blind.   T.S. Eliot

Creating art is a process. Working in a series seems to open up creativity streaming in from multiple directions. While there are parts considered foreground, and others that are background, it has become very apparent during the making of my “Little Metals” series that one can never tell which comes first.

When you start creating,
which come to you first?

The answer is "it depends," sometimes I find a beautiful embellishment that needs a wonderful background to set it off. Other times it is fun to sit down with a bunch of fabric and let it spontaneously create wonder-filled background quilt pieces that get my mind spinning up various shapes that may ‘be perfect’. Sometimes its a combination.
When working on the ‘Little Metals’ pieces I find myself working in both directions at once. I note shapes that come to mind in my sketchbook, but right alongside might be ideas and sketches for backgrounds that might be Fast-Piece Appliqued, painted, or improvisational pieced. All begging for some special copper enamel piece.

I am loving how this process of working in a series seems to work from either direction.

Are you thinking of working on a new series --- have you found some recent inspiration from a special color, mark making, stitching in a fun new way, or some other idea just spinning in your head?
When nothing seems to spin do you have things you do to kick start everything?

Friday, December 8, 2017

Pulling The Little Metals Together

Well, I promised Thursday, but I was chilled awake at 4am. I headed out to the thermostat and knew I was in for a long day. As it turns out the furnace is out -- and will never come back for the part that needs replacing is no longer available. Never easy. Even getting a whole new one will take a week... a week of temps in the 20-30s.

That was yesterday, and I typing this in the warmth of my bedroom where there is a space heater. The cats are laying across the bed and we're only headed out for food or coffee for now.

This 1st batch of Little Metals Pieces were so much fun to create they needed a fun way to show them off. In the past I have stretched small quilts over frames to hand them, and like how the hang. For these I chose to make the stretcher frames just a bit larger than the quilts and use coordinated silk and batting as stretching bases. Once the bases was made I mounted the Little Metals Piece and finished off the back.

14 pieces were part of this 1st batch and all are now for sale.
Take a look at these small pieces... maybe you'll want to call one of them yours.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

What Next?

...or how to incorporate all these 'little metals' into my textile work.

This has been a fun year full of mark-making, slow-stitching and now turning a wide corner with playing with metals... but, the love of silk and thread has a strong pull on my soul.

So with each group of 'little metals' I have turned to playing with fabric in ways to incorporate them or feature them in textiles. I some cases I have created specially designed canvases using Fast-Piece Applique.

 this combination became one of my favorites so far.
when using Fast-Piece Applique for these I use invisible thread and no couching... which was one of the many ways I showed in my last book.

These poppy pieces are now done and ready to prepare for hanging. Yes, this pieces are shown off in a different way and made ready for hanging in a special way as well -- (more on this tomorrow).

Besides using Fast-Piece Applique I have had a blast stitching up some great canvases using improvisational piecing which I show how to do in my first book-Dream Landscapes.
More on how these pieces are finished tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Disappearing Act

Hi All!
It is hard to believe that it is December already, and even harder to believe that I have not been sharing all that I have been up to since September. It has been hard at times over this period because I had injured my back and am only know getting relief.

It has also been a pretty creative time for me, too. Since last May I have been taking a few workshops relating to metal and resin work, and taking a college sculpture class at Paducah Art & Design.

The biggest change brought about by all this infusion of 'metal stuff' has been the building of a metals studio in my basement. There is plenty of room down there so back in July I had my trusted handyman Bob begin the transformation process by installing new lighting and separate circuits to handle my kiln.... yes, folks my kiln. The first thing discovered on putting up the lighting was just how much the floors needed to be swept.

With lighting up, clean up done the space was fitted out with an exhaust system and a new sink installed. Purchases made of enamels and equipment -- (a new close bond with the UPS guy) and the play began.

This is what the space looks like -- one side for enameling -- the other for metal working.

and, the pictures below are some of first pieces that I have made.

When I began this newest journey I had wanted to mix these in with my textiles. Tomorrow I will share a bit of what steps I have taking to mix it up with these 'little metal' pieces.

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Bomb hit the streets in Paducah

As the busy month of September rolled around for everyone in Paducah, Valerie Pollard and I along with a great group of official bombers hit the streets. The last Monday in August dawned lovely - felt like a beautiful fall morning - the perfect day to get all the trees surrounding Market House Square downtown get dressed up for all the events in September.

16 trees are now dressed in finery for the month.

Valerie and I have been planning and preparing since last December and we had sooooo many people that helped us pull this off!

Hats off to you all!!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Kitten vs Yarn - Paducah Fiber Bombing

Summer is here and we're stitching, knitting, crocheting and pompom making like crazy. The only thing we need now is YOU!

We're planning to cover the trees in Market Square, downtown Paducah for the month of September and we could sure use your help.

Details here:
for more details on what to make and send check out our page on Facebook --
Paducah Fiber Bombing

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

do . good

I am excited to be part of my friend Natalie Barnes rollout of her new fabric. Appearing this week for all to see at Quilt Market.

This is her second line of fabric though
Windam Fabrics and is called
"Makers Home".
Leave it to Natalie to come up with a way to make my sample and the samples of the other 8 quilt artists designing for her/ using her new line be part of something BIGGER that will help 'LOTS'.

After the quilt unveiling at Quilt Market, all will be up for auction on-line with ALL proceeds going to charity.

I chose our local (no kill)
Project Hope Humane Society

After all, a house without a pet
is just not a home to me.
Here are all the details!!!
 these are all the quilters.
This is my quilt...
the others can be seen over on the ebay-auction site.

click . over
join . in
do  .  good

Thursday, May 11, 2017

All Day Everyday-Everyday All Day

Healing comes to each of us in many ways.

Mine began as I began making a quilt to honor the memory of 'my' Edgar. You all have heard or seen my many posts on him, now I wanted to share his quilt and some of the photos I took along the way as I was stitching.

It started with photos --
Photos that I printed in black & white, then I took a china white pencil to begin identifying various parts.
Being a black cat there was always a hard time capturing his highlights, but I think I was able to pull these out of the photos.
Next came the piecing -- using Fast-Piece Applique of course, but I felt just because he was a black cat did not mean that it all had to be black fabric.
I created Edgar on his own then selected a background fabric where I could write all his stories-journal style. Below I show a couple of detail shots showing how this was done.
Here he is -- all Edgar -- all 4.5feet of him.

It is called--
All Day Everyday - Everyday All Day

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Healing and Stitching

When great loss strikes I have found that the most important thing I can do to come out from under the covers is to use my art to take the first step towards beginning to heal. Under those covers I feel immobilized… unable to breathe at times, but once I start to create something… anything… to capture those feelings in a creative, loving way that letting go starts. It may start with notes I start writing, or little sketches of seemingly overwhelming memories, then for me comes the fabric and the stitching.

As the process continues, a piece of art begins to emerge. The art is the outward sign of the healing, but the breathing in and out becomes easier with each stitch.

Back in 2000 when I lost my fur-buddy Vincent, I found myself in this space and it took a long time but what emerged was a memorial quilt to my blue-eyed boy. I am posting these here, possibly the idea may help someone else take a first step after loss to finding a way back. Then again, these pictures are acting as a placeholder for another memorial quilt that is underway for Edgar… making me feel better stitch-by-stitch.