Sunday, August 2, 2015

"Five in Fiber" exhibit in Troy, Oh: 2-1/2 years in the making


I’ll have several of my art quilts an exhibit with four other members of the Miami Valley Art Quilt Network (hence the title “Five in Fiber”) at the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center in Troy.

If you've ever exhibited in a popular location, you might know that it can take awhile to get an exhibition scheduled and to create pieces for it. The story for this exhibit starts more than 2-1/2 years ago.

Back in 2013, fellow MVAQN member and quilt blogger Lisa Quintana sent out an e-mail to all the group's members saying she was going to put together a proposal to exhibit at the center and asked anyone who was interested to send her photos of three quilts, an artist statement, and a resume or CV. She wanted it to be an exhibit of newer works.

Four of us responded. With Lisa being the fifth, she titled the exhibit "Five in Fiber." A few weeks later she e-mailed the rest of us that the chemo treatments for her recurrence of breast cancer weren't working, and that she might not be alive when the show finally happened. In June we found out the proposal was accepted and that the show would be in Oct. 2015.

In Oct. 2013, Lisa's fight with cancer was finally over.

Here we are, two years later and it's "Five in Fiber" although one of us will only be there in spirit as we are including her quilts posthumously. As per Lisa's wish, we've all created new works for this exhibit. Most of the quilts I'm exhibiting were made in the last two years.

The exhibit runs from Aug. 7-Oct. 4 with a reception Fri., Aug. 7, from 5-6:45 pm. The Troy-Hayner Cultural Center is located at 301 W. Main St. in Troy, Ohio.

If you’ve never been to the Troy-Hayner center, it’s worth a visit just to see the inside of this beautiful building, which used to be Mrs. Hayner’s home. While you’re there you can check out the giant Abraham Lincoln one block southeast.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Our Favorite Things Blog Hop: Tour My Studio

Today is my turn for the Blog Hop, so welcome to my studio!

Since there are just two of us living in our house, I actually have a whole wing for my studio: my Studio, the Annex, the Hallway, and a Bathroom!

And the whole first floor is my gallery display space, since I have quilts hanging in just about every room.

The first stop on our tour is my Studio:


My Studio is an unused bedroom, so it's not very large. This is the view of my Studio from the door. I have a Koala sewing table and a Juki TL-98-QE. The back half of the table folds down to save space but I usually leave it up because I like having all that surface area to work with.


There's a spot in the table for the sewing machine to sit in, which makes the bed level with the table. I took a large piece of foam core and cut it to the size of the hole then cut out the silhouette of my machine to keep everything covered. The machine was actually not quite tall enough so it sits on some magazines to keep it level. The foam core is also a good place to put pins temporarily while sewing.


To the right of the machine is a small bookcase where I keep binders of the quilts I've made and other business info that I use regularly. There are also four plastic "projects in process" bins that hold the parts of the current projects.


This is the view of my Studio from the window, showing the back of my machine and the door to the hallway where the washing machine is.

There is a piece of moulding (painted a darker yellow color) that is the right shape for the Walker Display Rods from which I hang my quilts. I also have these in a few other rooms in the house which makes it easy to move the quilts around.



To the left of the door is the dresser that my husband used as a child. One drawer has all my thread, another drawer has the beads, and and the bottom drawer has yarn and ribbons.


To the right is the closet where I store my fabric, organized by type (commercial, batik, and hand-dyed) and then by color, with separate bins for scraps, floral, and Christmas fabric. Finished quilts that don't hang, such as Baby Quilts, are also stored here.

The next stop is the Annex:

On wall, left to right: "Virginia Reel" and "Sunflowers at Whitehall Farm"; on table: "Boxer Shorts and Bandanas."

Like my Studio, the Annex is an unused bedroom. Usually there's just a hide-a-bed couch in there, but if I need to work on a larger project, I can set up three 6-foot tables in there, giving me a raised work area of 6 feet by 7.5 feet. I use this when piecing and basting bed-sized quilts, large art quilts, and t-shirt quilts. It's a tight squeeze, but better than basting on the floor!

The final stop is the Cutting Area in the Hallway:


In case you've been wondering what my favorite part is, it's my Cutting Area. When we first bought the house I wasn't thrilled that the laundry area was a part of the hallway instead of it it's own room but it's very handy having the washer and dryer so close to my sewing room. When we remodeled this space I insisted we get a front-loading washer not so much because it's more economical and better for the clothes, but mainly because I could use the top of it to work on.

In progress: something with Island Batik fabric from the Collection "Jewels and Gems, Lapis Lazuli"

My husband built a table top that spans the washer and dryer and has room for my large 2 foot by 3 foot cutting mat, which makes it just the right height to cut at. No more leaning over to cut fabric on my sewing table!

We added the cabinets above the washer and dryer by attaching two shelves to the wall then boxing them in and making the doors so they'd go all the way to the ceiling, which is higher in this area than the rest of the house. We can store really large items up there, and I have Ikea clip lights clipped under the cabinets that I can move around to get the light exactly where I need it. 

I also have a small ironing board there that stays out all the time, and there is a utility sink at the far end. I don't do a lot of fabric dying myself, but when I do that area is handy.

As always, you can click on any of the photos to see them larger.

Here's the full Blog Hop schedule:

July 13     OneQuiltingCircle.com
July 14     BejeweledQuilts.blogspot.com
July 15     TeachPany.blogspot.com
July 16     MadeInScraps.blogspot.com
July 17     MariaMichaelsDesigns.com/blog
July 18     Tamarinis.typepad.com
July 19     MooseStashQuilting.blogspot.com
July 20     KissedQuilts.blogspot.com
July 21     PurrfectSpots.blogspot.com
July 22     AdeleMogavero.com
July 23     ForQuiltsSake.blogspot.com
July 24     BeaQuilter.com
July 25     ConnieKresin.com
July 26     PamelaQuilts.blogspot.com
July 27     KauffmanDesigns.blogspot.com
July 28     LemonTreeSnippets.wordpress.com
July 29     FunThreads.blogspot.com

http://www.islandbatik.com/


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

"Picnic at Ellis Pond" in "A Secret Garden" art quilt exhibit at Aullwood Audubon Center

"Picnic at Ellis Pond," 17.5" x 28"

My art quilt "Picnic at Ellis Pond" is included in the "A Secret Garden," the 23rd annual art quilt exhibit at Aullwood Audubon Center, located at 1000 Aullwood Rd. in Dayton, Ohio. The show runs from through Sept 13 and there will be an artist reception on Su, July 19 from 2-4p. The center is open M-Sa from 9a-5p and Su from 1-5p. There is a $5 admission fee that allows access to the center and also to the farm.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Cabin Sweet Cabin - Project Quilting

"Cabin Sweet Cabin," 20" x 20", made for Project Quilting, Focus Through the Prism, Challenge 3: Log Cabin, July 2015 in Yellow Springs, Ohio
This is my third entry in the Project Quilting "Focus Through the Prism" challenge. To play along you need to purchase a ROYGBIV hand-dyed bundle of fabric from Cherrywood Fabrics and then at the beginning of the month a traditional quilting block is selected. Participants get to chose which of the seven focus fabrics they want to emphasize for the month, but other fabrics can be added.

All quilts will be made 20" x 20" with the intention of displaying them together in the future.

July's block is "Log Cabin."
When creating a traditional Log Cabin block, you start with a square in the center (traditionally red to represent the hearth being the center of the home but it can be any color), then sew it to another square the same size. Rotating a quarter turn and add a rectangle that is 2x as wide as the original square, rotate a quarter turn and add another rectangle that is also 2x as wide. Rotate a quarter turn and this time add a rectangle that is 3x the original and so on all the way around until the block is the size that you want it.

Traditionally the left and top sides would be shades of one color family and the right and bottom would be shades of another color family and the way you pieced the blocks would create different patterns, so there is a lot of variety in Log Cabin quilts.

This block also works well for paper piecing, especially if it is a small block. I once made a quilt that had 35 Log Cabin blocks and each log was only 1/4" thick.

I wanted my design to be similar to "Monkey Tail" and "A Second Self" the other two quilts I've made for the Focus Through the Prism challenges and my first thought was to make the first five pieces black so it would have a black center like the other two quilts, then just go around with my colored fabric and I'm done. Only I played around with some other ideas and came up with one that I liked better, even thought it would require four times the amount of pieces.

I tried to talk myself out of doing the more complicated design but I just kept coming back to the fact that I liked it more.


Unlike the first two projects this time I fused the color pieces that were just a shade darker and/or lighter to the Cherrywood fabric before I pieced it since each of my logs are only 1" thick. The color I chose for this one is purple so I used that for the outermost logs (which are bigger than the others) and I also added purple logs behind the red ones.

I used the same border fabric and couched a piece of black yarn, this time in an arrangement that represented the smoke coming up out of a chimney. Then I quilted black quilting lines that echoed the yarn at 1/4" apart.

I used a knife-edge facing to bind the quilt.

=   =   =

Click on any of the photos to see larger images.

To read more about Project Quilting's Focus Through the Prism, go here.

To see other entries for this challenge, visit the Log Cabin Link-up page. 

Blog Hop: Island Batik Ambassador's "Our Favorite Things" Kick Off


The Island Batik Ambassador's are hosting a blog hop. Each day a different blogger will invite you into her studio and share one of her favorite things in her studio. Here's the line-up with links to the blogs:

July 13     OneQuiltingCircle.com
July 14     BejeweledQuilts.blogspot.com
July 15     TeachPany.blogspot.com
July 16     MadeInScraps.blogspot.com
July 17     MariaMichaelsDesigns.com/blog
July 18     Tamarinis.typepad.com
July 19     MooseStashQuilting.blogspot.com
July 20     KissedQuilts.blogspot.com
July 21     PurrfectSpots.blogspot.com
July 22     AdeleMogavero.com
July 23     ForQuiltsSake.blogspot.com
July 24     BeaQuilter.com
July 25     ConnieKresin.com
July 26     PamelaQuilts.blogspot.com
July 27     KauffmanDesigns.blogspot.com
July 28     LemonTreeSnippets.wordpress.com
July 29     FunThreads.blogspot.com

Next month we'll show you what we've made with out Island Batik fabrics, although you might catch a glimpse of some of the projects in progress during the "Our Favorite Things" hop this month.


http://www.islandbatik.com/


Monday, June 22, 2015

A Second Self - Project Quilting

"A Second Self," 20" x 20", made for Project Quilting, Focus Through the Prism, Challenge 2: Friendship Star, June 2015 in Yellow Springs, Ohio

This is my second entry in the Project Quilting "Focus Through the Prism" challenge. To play along you need to purchase a ROYGBIV hand-dyed bundle of fabric from Cherrywood Fabrics and then at the beginning of the month a traditional quilting block is selected. Participants get to chose which of the seven focus fabrics they want to emphasize for the month, but other fabrics can be added.

All quilts will be made 20" x 20" with the intention of displaying them together in the future.

June's block is "Friendship Star."

I like to work in series. This hasn't really been possible with Project Quilting thus far because it helps to know what's coming up when you start the first project. But since the "Focus Through the Prism" quilts were already all going to be the same size and use the same fabrics, I thought this would be a good opportunity to create a Project Quilting series and have all of my quilts (hopefully seven when I'm finished) look like they belong together.

So I based my design for "A Second Self" off the layout of my first "Focus Through The Prism" challenge quilt, "Monkey Tail."


First (left) I used one large block with black in the center, like I did for "Monkey Tail." But the Monkey Wrench block was a little more complex than the Friendship Star block and I didn't like how the center of the Friendship Star was changed to black.

Second (center) I shrunk down the square so there were four of them and made the corner blocks that met in the center all black. I liked that, but not the asymmetry of the stars.

Third (right) and final, I flipped the upper right and lower left stars so they mirrored the other stars. I liked the symmetry and also the way the blue/purple and blue/green triangles met (next to the black squares).


Construction was just like in "Monkey Tail." I used the Cherrywood Fabric to piece the background then I used fused smaller fabric pieces that were just a shade darker or lighter in color. I used the same border fabric and couched a piece of black yarn, this time in a shape similar to the Celtic symbol for friendship. Then I quilted black quilting lines that echoed the yarn at 1/4" apart.

I used a knife-edge facing to bind the quilt.

For the title, I was inspired by the Isabel Norton quote "In my friend, I find a second self."

=   =   =

Click on any of the photos to see larger images.

To read more about Project Quilting's Focus Through the Prism, go here.

To see other entries for this challenge, visit the Friendship Star Link-up Page.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Northern Ohio Fiber Exhibits

Me and my art quilt "Sunrise Celebration" 

A few weeks ago we went to the Fiber577 exhibit at the 577 Foundation in Perrysburg, Ohio because my art quilt "Sunrise Celebration" was one of the pieces in the show. The 577 Foundation is a riverfront estate that was gifted to the community of Perrysburg, which is just southwest of Toledo.


Along with the main house, which was where the exhibition took place, there are community gardens and a number of little hidden spaces, including the little pergola area that was "yarn bombed" for the exhibit.

You can visit the 577 Foundation anytime, but unfortunately the exhibit was only up for one weekend, so you missed it there, but you can catch most of the pieces at the Angelwood Gallery, in Grand Rapids, Ohio, which is half an hour southwest of Perrysburg. This exhibit will be up at the Angelwood Gallery through July 19.

(If you don't get a chance to see it there, you can see photos of the fiber art on the Fiber577 Facebook page, and you don't have to have a Facebook account to see the photos.)

Check out the giant turtle on the right! 

Grand Rapids is a quaint little town located on the Maumee River. Along with the Angelwood Gallery there are several little shops including the Natural Fiber & Yarn Company.


There are also many interesting looking restaurants. We couldn't try them all, so we chose La Roe's Restaurant, where we were able to sit on the back patio overlooking the canal and the Maumee River and also enjoy the murals painted on the brick walls of the restaurant.


The canal walk was also enjoyable. Along with seeing the canal and the river, there were some little gardens and also garden art. Grand Rapids is definitely a place we'd like to go back to.