Monday, January 25, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
My computer is getting slower as it ages(I refuse to get slower), or I would be thanking everyone by email.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
com·mu·ni·ca·tion (kə myo̵̅o̅′ni kā′s̸hən)
- the act of transmitting
- a giving or exchanging of information, signals, or messages as by talk, gestures, or writing
- the information, signals, or message
- close, sympathetic relationship
- a means of communicating; specif.,
- a system for sending and receiving messages, as by telephone, telegraph, radio, etc.
- a system as of routes for moving troops and materiel
- a passage or way for getting from one place to another
- the art of expressing ideas, esp. in speech and writing
- the science of transmitting information, esp. in symbols
Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2009 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio.
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Friday, January 15, 2010
This will be my first full year of quilting only for myself in a long, long time. I am looking forward to the journey and exploring my own ideas. This piece is a painted wholecloth. All the details can be found on my blog.
I thoroughly enjoyed this challenge and I am excited to see things progress over the next two years.
The use of that title has been a long time coming. I have always been frustrated ... even angry ...that I never got the art education I have so wanted all my life. As an adult, there were many efforts to go back to school. Each ended soon after they started ... life kept getting in the way! This quilt represents all the discontent I've felt and chaotic attempts to live my dream. Right up there in the upper left corner is the light at a very long tunnel. This challenge has given me the courage to take the first steps in my new journey.
I used a black commercial fabric background and discharged with a Clorox pen to write out my frustrations. I ripped rusted, dyed. silkscreened and batik fabrics to represent the chaos. Couched silk sari ribbons are my somewhat frazzled attempts to attain my goals. The beading is the joy I feel in my new determination to get rid of those old demons.
I've learned to love hand quilting, so, no machine at all. I used perle cotton threads throughout. I'm proud to say that I now have 'quilter's fingers!' And I can't wait to get the new word and start all over again!
The idea for ‘Living a Creative Life’ started one morning when I was lying in bed and thought of a piece of hand dyed fabric that I purchased a couple of years ago. It was colors that I usually don’t use but I still had to have it. I have looked at it several times and even though I had a couple of ideas, nothing ever excited me enough to cut into it.
I wanted a piece bursting with energy trying to show how initiative can lead to creativity. With my fabric in mind, I did some research on how color can affect us mentally and physically and here is what I found:
* Mentally stimulating
* Stimulates the nervous system
* Activates memory
* Encourages communication
* Stimulates activity
* Encourages socialization
* Calming to mind and nerves
* Offers a sense of spirituality
* Encourages creativity
* Mysterious evoking a sense of potential and possibility.
This made me feel I was heading in the right direction with the fabric. I also did some research on symbols and found that an open door can represent a new beginning or breakthrough. In this piece my creative self is bursting through the door and creativity is exploding in all directions. Each motif represents new ideas and directions. Most of the small pieces of fabric used for each ‘idea’ are scrapes from other quilts I have made. I spent hours adding different embellishments such as beading, couching of different yarns, fabric paints and markers, hand stitching and even some couched wire. Click on the full image to see all of the details.
Initiative? That to me means a start, a beginning, creating something out of nothing. Hence, my mind went immediately to the ultimate beginning and the creation story in the book of Genesis. I used a piece of Laura Wasilowski's hand dyed fabric for the frame and quilted swirls, geometric shapes and lines in neon, sliver and rayon threads. After binding the 16x20 whole cloth piece, I carefully cut out the middle and satin stitched the opening. The center of the quilt (8 1/2" x 11") represents the order of creation as the pure colors in the middle come together and form waves of heaven, earth and ocean. This piece is suspended by hemp twine and tied in place from the back of the quilt. The entire quilt is mounted on top of archival mat board which suspends the center rectangle. The black color which outlines the center is actually the wall on which the piece was photographed. Confused? Pictures of the process are posted on my blog.
I have more details -- construction, fabrics, etc. -- on my blog, along with an image of an 8x10" study quilt I did a few weeks before creating the challenge piece.
"Initiative" was a difficult concept for me! I spent the first month mulling ideas until one day I realized that, for me, it simply meant to "show some initiative". Suddenly I knew what I needed to do. I had taken a kaleidoscope class with Paula Nadelstern in November. It was one of those classes that completely changed my focus. I knew that I needed to pursue symmetry in my quilting. My "initiative" is that my entire Fiberactions series will be an exploration of symmetry. I know it's going to make the future challenges more difficult but this is where my head is now so I'm going with it!
The quilt has 208 pieces and uses 18 fabrics. The quilting is simple to highlight some of the design lines. I have construction details on my blog.
When Judy announced our first theme, my jaw dropped all the way to the floor. It stayed there for a few weeks too. I N I T I A T I V E !!! How do you portray “initiative” in a visual format? For me, “initiative” is not a tangible, image-producing word. I usually work in a representational style and I was at a loss as to what I was going to do with this theme.
I kept going back and rereading the definitions that both Judy and Connie shared here on the blog. I also did some online research to see if there were more meanings and descriptions that would spark something. I kept going back to the very first definition that Judy and Connie shared… “the action of taking the first step or move”. My mind kept focusing on the word “step”. After ruminating on this for a few days I started to form a plan.
A few months ago I had taken a white piece of fabric and experimented with a new-to-me way of adding color and visual design to it. It has been sitting around in my studio all this while, getting moved and looked at, and moved again. I was not sure what I wanted to do with this piece of fabric, I was not sure what my next “step” with it would/should be. I measured the fabric and found it was just the right size for using in this project that should finish at 16x20”. I felt I had to use this fabric in my “initiative” quilt. I didn’t want to cut up the fabric so I decided it would be my background. I layered my fabric with batting and a backing fabric and basted it to make my quilt sandwich. I then quilted the entire background. I used a wool batting, and since my painted fabric was ample in size, I decided to toss the entire piece into the washer and dryer to bring up the textures formed after the quilting. My background was then cut to size and ready for a focal point.
Thinking about “step” and “quilts” I came up with the quilt block Courthouse Steps. I know that this quilt block is a variation of the log cabin quilt block. I wanted to incorporate some “steps” into my quilt. I cut squares of very thin fleece batting to use as a stabilizer base and with fabric strips in coordinating colors, I created some log-cabin style blocks in a liberated method. I stitched those to the quilt background and added binding. The name came to me as I was stitching the log cabin blocks to the background.
When I found out that Initiative was going to be our word for the first challenge my first thought was “good grief what have I gotten myself into!” But after the initial uh oh feeling wore off and I started to think on the word I realized that “initiative” has always been a huge part of who I am and how I have always approached life. I’ve never been one to sit by and let life pass me by or being content to just follow the crowd. I’ve always taken the initiative to try new things, explore new techniques, organize new programs and groups as well as develop and take on new ventures. Initiative is really the framework or foundation that supports every endeavor I pursue. It’s also been the catalyst that has led me from one project to another and opened many doors of opportunities as well.
So my quilted representation of initiative is meant to represent not only the framework that every effort I undertake begins with but also the connections that it has allowed me to make and the many doors it has opened for me.
Initiative is to success what a lighted match is to a candle. ~ Orlando Battista
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
"Spunk" is based on a free-association of synonyms for Initiative: dynamism, energy, originality, vigor, spunk, longing, love, passion, action.
The working title for this piece was "Primordial" going for the origin in "originality"...the first assertive foot forward in taking the initiative.
The idea germinated from several leftover parts of a long completed New York Beauty. Rearranged they reminded me of preying plants from the Jurassic Age. They were each completed as small quilt-lets, hand stitched, beaded and bound with rick rack. The background is heavily machine and hand quilted, stitched with seed stitches. The piece is bordered on three sides and bound on the fourth. Several larger beads were added last.