Thursday, September 29, 2011

Even the Entrace to the Chihuly Exhibit Was Spectacular

I realize my posts on Chihuly have nothing to do with fiber art, but... I have been so inspired by his work that I may have to incorporate some of the colors, shapes, shadows into my work. How about you?

Everything about Chihuly's "Through the Looking Glass" exhibit at the Boston Museum of Fine Art was top notch--even the entrance. Outside, tall spikes of orange/yellow glass among the grass indicated great things to come.
The first glimpse of the actual exhibit was this wall.
The people in the picture give you an idea of how large the pieces actually are. Here are a few closer pictures of the pieces mounted on the wall. The shadows cast beautiful images.

There were also pieces on the floor.

I love these "hot" colors. If you ever get a chance to check out a Chihuly exhibit, by all means do so!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

New Quilt Shop in Indy--Crimson Tate

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to visit a new quilt shop on Massachusetts Avenue in Indianapolis called Crimson Tate. The owner, Heather Givans, is a young, enthusiastic "modern" quilter. I have asked her to answer a few questions about "modern quilting." I'll include the questions and answers at the bottom of this post. Heather sent me a bit of information about the shop via her blog. Here are some of the pictures I took while I visited. (Oh, I should tell you, too, that the shop is located between a chocolate shop and a cupcake shop! What could be better...fabric, chocolate, and cupcakes!)

This is Heather (the proprietor). The fabrics in front of her are beautiful wax blocked printed textiles from "the shores of Africa's West Coast." (Of course, I had to buy some of them!) She says, "Beyond being inspirational in color and aesthetic, these textiles are being put to good use. 10% of the sales of these fabrics will benefit a local Indianapolis not-for-profit, JabuAfrica." Read more about that here--
Little vignettes are scattered around the shop displaying fabrics, books, patterns, and collectibles...
The shop carries several contemporary fabric choices and (according to Heather) has more fabric coming in all the time. Notions, patterns, and classes are also available.
The shop is holding a grand opening on Friday, October 7, beginning at 2:00 p.m. You can find out more about the shop at You will also find links to Heather's Etsy shop, blog, and the Crimson Tate Facebook page on the site.

On my trip to visit my son in Arkansas, I stopped by two quilt shops (one in Missouri and one in Arkansas); both had closed. I am saddened by the loss of these quilt shops (and many others); but for them to stay in business, we must support them. In this time when many local quilt shops are closing, it is refreshing to have a new shop open. Good luck Crimson Tate!

I asked Heather, "As a "modern quilt" shop owner, what is your definition of a "modern quilter," and what sets your "modern quilt" shop apart from other (maybe more traditional) quilt shops?" 

Heather answered with the following... 
"I'd love to address this issue. 

In the 1960s, the art world shifted from modern to post modern. And now, a constant debate of whether are we still living in the post modern era or whether we have moved into a new movement that we can't yet identify exists.

My opinion is that in quilting, in particular, pattern and fabric design, has taken a turn toward the highly designed. We have transitioned. In more modern fabric, the textile itself is like a work of art. There is an intricacy (or albeit simplicity) to the piece of cloth that in its elements of art work beautifully together. It is a complex mix of design, color, scale, and repeat. This isn't to say that you don't find intricacy in a beautiful piece of French toile from the 16th century or a civil war reproduction fabric rendered in two tones. But what you do find across the board in modern fabric is a bold, sophisticated pattern that is influenced by contemporary design. That boldness can also be found in the 100s of shades of solids that urge unconventional quilt piecing and top stitching. Quilt patterns tend to lend themselves to showcase vignettes of these textiles rather than complex pieces that tell a story. I completely appreciate the double wedding ring or grandmother's garden as a work of art. No doubt, there is an amazing artistry in those works. So whether you consider the time in which we are living a new, more modern era in quilting, or you consider it a natural progression and rehashing of what has already been done, it doesn't matter. The truth is that the amount of sophisticated fabric available to us is rich and abundant and I want to see it all and be overwhelmed in its opulence."

What is your "take" on "modern quilting?" What do you think? Comments are much appreciated. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

One Top Finished--Lots More to Go!

I have been frantically working to "finish" some pieces to take to the upcoming meeting of a critique group with Jane Dunnewold. One of the pieces I have been working to "complete" is this black and white "Zentangle" one.

This is the fabric version using French knots, fusible applique, yo yos, embroidery, paper piecing, and beading. Take a closer look by clicking on the picture. I think you can click it again to get an even closer look.
This is the paper pattern I drew up to start this project (drawn with black markers). I think it is a pretty good match.
Check out the Zentangles site here-- I think Zentangles are beautiful, and I find them SO relaxing to do.