Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
The show did not disappoint. Many of the works were cutting edge and exciting. Two trends were the use of sheers and hand stitching. Hand stitching may appear to be an oxymoron used in the same sentence as art quilts, but the integration was seamless. They did not look like your grandmother's traditional quilts.
There were some pieces that did not seem to merit being in such a prestigious show. But there are always questions about the judging process and how quilts are chosen. One in particular was sooooo very questionable. You must come to the show to see for yourself.
No photography was allowed in either of the galleries. But if you head to The Textile Blog, by John Hopper, you will get to see some photos that he had permission to show and an overview of the show. Art Quilt Elements will be there until May19th.
AND, if you love to walk, there is a rail trail, The Radnor Trail that you can hop on from the parking lot of the Art Center to take a beautiful 4 mile spring walk and digest the future of the art quilt.
Friday, April 23, 2010
We started at The Magic Garden. This building was a project started by Isaiah Zagar, a mosaic mural artist. The walls and the floors both inside and out are adorned. Almost every nook and cranny, creating little passages, is covered with mosaics made from tiles, broken mirrors, toys, bottles, bicycle tire rims and many found objects. It is really sensory overload. You don't know where to look first. It is still a work in progress, with Isaish, now in his 70's, still being the creative director. The tiles with designs on them, like the faces and words, are made on the premises in their basement kiln.
Here are a few photos to give you an idea of the enormity of the project. It is truly mind boggling.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Although you may be attracted to this book by the colorful quilts, all of Mary Lou's tips and techniques can be added to your quilt design toolbox, no matter what your color palette.
The second book is Pat Durbin's Fabric+Paint + Thread = Fabulous. This book involves the use of paint and threadwork to create nature type art quilts. It is a peek into the methods that Pat uses to maker her amazing landscape quilts. Since these techniques were new to me, I decided to give them a try. I went to my local chain craft shop looking for the paint that Pat recommends in her book - SoSoft Acrylic by DecoArt. I didn't find that brand, so I chose what I thought was a suitable substitute. For the threadwork, I already had the water soluble stabilizer and the spring loaded embroidery hoop and lots of different thread.artquilt with a painted background. I started by painting an 8x10ish piece of fabric. I learned that less is more. Since you start with damp fabric, it is best to let the paint move a bit on its own.
While it was drying I worked on the trees. I thread painted a large one and 2 smaller ones. They were fun to make. To keep it simple, I cut the background to make 2 little pieces. I really didn't want to add any other elements.
I layered with batting, did a little free motion quilting, fused and stitched down the moon and then added the trees. I finished one as a postcard
and the other I bound as a little piece.
This was a lot of fun. I am happy to say that I have added some techniques to my toolbox. And I would like to share the fun with you. I want to give this book away! Leave a comment here before Thursday, April 22rd. On Friday, April 23rd at noon, EST I will pick a name from everyone who left a comment, with a random number generator. If your name is chosen, I will send you this wonderful book via US Mail. BUT, YOU MUST LIVE IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES. (Sorry to my overseas friends.) So check back here on Fridayto see who the lucky winner will be.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
There are also many private estates and mansions. Since we had little Bailey with us, we chose to do the gawking and driving tour. Walking would be the best option. We will do that next time. One of my favorite places was the Art Museum. Check out the slate roof:
There are also tons of restaurants and many little shopping districts. As we were driving in the cobblestoned area, I spotted Claire Murray's storefront. Stop! Find a parking space! I almost broke my ankle on the cobblestones as I rushed to the store. Claire Murray is famous for these gorgeous hooked rugs, many depicting seashore life. The shop was closed, but I was still able to snap a photo, while I was drooling over all these rugs.
And of course, when you are checking out the mansions, you have to check out some of the For Sale signs. Anyone have an extra $10-15 million?
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Including a washer and dryer, along with many sinks.
Every day, Carol would lecture at least part of the morning and usually again in the afternoon, and then demo what we were to do. Her explanations covered making up dye solutions, preparation of the fiber, dye setting, mottled, solid, low immersion dyeing, depth of shade, dyeing by calculations as well as dyeing using her charts and the most fascinating of all was the 3D Color Theory. We learned about dyeing to get the exact color we wanted as well as dyeing to achieve various effects and to explore.
The ultimate goal for most was to assemble the bible of fabric swatches.This notebook contains over 1000 1inch color swatches. This can be used to precisely dye fabric to the desired color.
We would begin our day between 8:30 and 9AM. Before you knew it, it was lunch time. Lunch was included in the workshop fee. It turned out to be a wonderful cross-section of the ethnicity of the area, which has a very big Portuguese population. Lunch ranged from pizzas, subs, wraps,lasagna and pockets along with salads and chips and cookies. It was well needed energy and a respite. We often continued our explorations at least until 6PM when we were all told to GO HOME!. One night we did stay for dinner and another night we worked in the conference room at the hotel working on our books.Oh the books. It would have been an insurmountable task to dye all of that fabric, cut it and create the book by your self. We were put into 3 teams to do the dyeing and cutting. Carol’s instructions for keeping the swatches in an ordered manner with labels and envelopes and pre-printed sheets was instrumental in compiling this compendium.
Carol is demonstrating how to prepare the dye solutions for gradation dyeing,
Anne, another non-quilter, produced a beautiful piece of cloth using low immersion dyeing. You may know Anne from her company that produces hand-dyed threads, only available through retail needlepoint stores. If you go to her website you can see the various threads and where you can buy them.Gloriana Threads Susan wanted to share with us what happens when you dye a shirt without soaking the dye in fixative! Oops!
Thank you to ProChem for their hospitality. Thank you to Carol for sharing her knowledge and techniques in a format that all could learn. My recommendation is if you have an interest in dyeing cloth or threads, this is the place to learn and Carol is the teacher to learn from. Go to Pro Chem’s website and get on their mailing list. Once the class is open for registration, it does not take long before it fills up. I am planning on attending Part 2 next Spring.
And here are some snippets of other gorgeous fabrics:
A pile of dyed T-shirts.
And here is a piece of Brilliance dyed by Liz on the right. It’s a blend of cotton and silk. One side is shiney and the other side is dull. Look at the difference in color between the 2 sides. So rich! Jackquie has the other beautious purple cotton fabric.
And here’s a piece by Sally – a prof at Rhode Island School of Design.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
1. Pro Chem & Dye is the mecca for fabric dyeing. (It is housed in an old typical New England textile factory.)Carol Soderlund presents the most organized workshop based on her 14 years of teaching dyeing and is extremely generous and knowledgeable.
3. Her handouts are amazingly detailed and informative.
4. The class is full with many students who have been dyeing with happy accidents and now ant an organized and systematic method. (Including me!)
5. Pro Chem offers about 140 different color MX dyes.
6. Of all those dyes, there are 16 pure dyes.
7. From 9 of these pure dyes, we will end up with 1042 color swatches. Along with the swatches, we will all go home with a notebook with the formulas, that everyone is lusting after.
8. It's deja vu all over again, back to college chemistry lab with the graduated cylinders.
10. Stirring the dye bucket for 15 minutes seems like forever.
Monday, April 5, 2010
Pro Chemical & Dye with Carol Soderlund.
The class is full. It always is, so I registered on the first available day. The description says you go home with a binder of 1000 dyed fabric swatches and how to formulate them.
Sounds like fun to me.
I'm also bringing 5 yards of cotton, cotton threads and some dupioni silk to dye.
Yes, it is a family adventure - including Bailey.
A 6 hour drive for 5 days of fabric dyeing heaven.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
She was a quick study as she sewed away. I included this photo as proof to her
family that O can sew.