Tuesday, September 18, 2012

New art quilt and hand dyed fabric

I got the letter yesterday from the Schweinfurth Art Center.  They declined both my entries for this year's "Quilts = Art = Quilts" exhibit.  The letter said they had 331 entries from 191 artists--they chose 77 for the show.  I guess that means I've got lots of company.  It's always disappointing to get a rejection letter, but you just have to chalk it up to experience and move on.  Speaking of...

On a more positive note, I finished the piece I've been working on that is made from my hand-dyed fabric.  I call it "Sanctuary".  It was primarily made from one piece of my ice-dyed fabric.  I used a hand dyed piece that I had in my stash for the sky.  All the details (grass,trees) are thread painting.

I also have to share some of the other pieces that I dyed.  These are 3 examples.  They were all done using the same 3 dyes (1 red, 1 blue, 1 yellow).  I told you it was cool! 

Each of the pieces is just over a half yard.  I started with about 20 inches x the width of the fabric.  I wanted to be sure I had a full half-yard of fabric in each piece.  I hate it when I buy a yard of fabric and, after it's washed and dried, it ends up being 33 or 34" long.

As promised a while back, I'm also posting a photo of the final "Black Hills September" after some tweaking.  It's currently at the GA National Fair, waiting to be judged in the Fine Arts competition, along with "Top Gun" and "Where the Pavement Ends".  The fair opens October 4th, so we'll see how it goes.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Waiting Game

It's the time of year when all the quilt/art shows seem to be taking place.  I've entered my work in 4 venues.  So far, I've shipped out or delivered 6 of my babies--two to the Asheville Quilt Show, which is the last weekend in September, and four to the GA National Fair.

 I decided, after some arm twisting by the ladies at Sunday Best Quiltworks to enter my newest and largest bed quilt, "Perseverance", aka,  "The Quilt From Hell" in the quilt competition, along with 3 of my art quilts in the Fine Arts Textile Division.  The fair takes place Oct 4 - 14th.  I'll be attending both events.

Next week I'll send "Cowgirls Just Wanna Have Fun" to the Georgia Quilt Show, show dates Oct 18 - 20th.  I've already planned my day at that show on Friday, Oct 19th.  My daughter will meet me for lunch and the show, then there's a reception for the GA/SC members of SAQA (Studio Art Quilts Associates).  I'm looking forward to meeting some fellow art quilters there.  After that reception, there's a Meet the Makers event for those with quilts in the show, so it will be a long day.

I'm watching the mailbox with fingers crossed, as I've submitted two entries for consideration to the Schweinfurth Art Center in Auburn, NY, for their "Quilts = Art = Quilts" exhibit.  That one is a long shot, but I figured, nothing ventured, nothing gained.  They were to mail out notices of acceptance last Friday.  I should get something from them tomorrow.

I have a new piece almost finished.  It's a real experiment.  I have been toying with the idea of hand dyeing fabric for a long time, but since I'm the world's messiest painter, I just didn't want to deal with all the hoopla of trying to dye my own fabric.  Then I saw an article on ice dyeing in Quilting Arts Magazine.  It sounded pretty uncomplicated, so I tried it.  I'm afraid a new addiction has been added to my list of things I can't resist.  The results are wonderful--I don't think you can mess it up--and the most fun part is that you don't know what you've got until you're done.  You can begin to see beautiful results when you rinse the excess dye out of the fabric, but the real "Christmas morning" moment comes when you take it out of the dryer and stand amazed at what you've created.

I must confess that I've bought numerous pieces of hand dyed fabric over the years.  I have a neat, beautiful stack of it.  The only problem is that every time I decide to use it in a project, I end up putting it back on the shelf.  Why?  Because I always feel like I might be "wasting" it on the current project and I should "save" it for just the right thing.  Trouble is--how do I know when the right thing comes along?  So, I get it out and look through it and stroke it and admire it and then put it back on the shelf.

Well, I decided that since I had created this beautiful fabric myself, it was okay to use it--even if I messed it up, I could make more!  That was a very liberating discovery.  Sooo, I took a piece of my new creation and looked at it, until I began to see something in it.  Then, horrors, I actually cut it and rearranged pieces of it and made an art quilt.  Imagine.  And I even took a piece of the stack I've been saving and used it, too.  I'm really living dangerously. 

I don't have photos yet, as I'm about to hand stitch the binding on it tonight, but I'll post some soon, along with shots of some of the other pieces I dyed. 

Talk to you soon.