Tuesday, March 27, 2012

An Update--Shows and Current Work

First I want to inform you that the LAFTA show at the Water Tower has been extended through Friday, April 13, 2012. The show was originally scheduled to end on April 6. So…if you haven’t yet made it over to the show, you have a little extra time to fit it in. (If you need any information about this fiber arts show, check out my "UPCOMING QUILTING/FIBER ARTS EVENTS" in the column to the right of this blog post.)

I haven’t blogged much lately, because I have been furiously working on some new pieces. I have a lot of yoyos made, but I need LOTS more!
I’ve always been fascinated with yoyos and want to use them in a more contemporary way. I have issued myself a challenge to do just that. Both of the pieces currently under construction use yoyos. I’ll be traveling a lot in the next few weeks, and the yoyos will be easy to take along. Hopefully, I’ll get lots of them done.

I've also been working on embroidery for the new pieces.
This is the embroidery I'm currently working on. I'm using a Size 5 thread. It isn't finished.
This is an embroidered checkerboard made using a Number 3 sized thread. I sewed straight stitches and couched each of them down to make the black more solid. I love the texture of this piece.
This piece isn't finished either. I won't be able to finish it until it is added to my quilt. Black beads in three different sizes will be sewn into the feathers. All of these embroidery pieces (and more) will be inserted into bias "pods" I'll make from various sizes of bias strips.

Are you heading to Cincinnati for the International Quilt Festival (April 13-15, 2012)? I’m heading over with a friend, and I’m really looking forward to it. I’m hoping to pick up some dye, thread, books, and miscellaneous supplies. I’ll also be heading to the American Quilter’s Society Show & Contest in Paducah, KY, April 25-28, 2012. I’ll be working at the Quilting Books Unlimited booth on Thursday and Friday. Stop by and say hello!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Doing a Bit of Dyeing

I recently finished some dyeing, because this month's technique over on And Then We Set It On Fire is deconstructed screen printing. I had never done that before, so I was anxious to give it a shot. I think, for a first try, some of the pieces turned out really nice. Check out the tutorial and the results from the other resident artists on that site.

This is my favorite.
Screen 3
 This is a close up.
These are the other screens I printed. 
Screen 2
This is a close up of the print.
 Screen 1
 This is a close up.
I love the texture that is created from the deconstructed screens. I haven't decided what I'm going to do with this fabric yet. I think I'll just "pet" it for awhile.

While I was at it, I decided to work on a clean-up cloth I had used when I first tried dyeing quite awhile back. I hadn't soda ash soaked the cloth before I used it for cleaning up the drips from the dyes, so I knew the color wouldn't be permanent. However, I liked the colors that the cloth was taking on, so I decided to make some other marks on it. When I did the deconstructed screen printing, I used clear print paste with soda ash added to break down the screens. I thought I'd try scraping that paste over the clean-up cloth (with a credit card) to see if it would bond the dye to the fabric. It did. This is what the cloth looks like after washing, drying, and ironing.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Great Fiber Art Viewing Opportunities

If you live close to southern Indiana, you have a rare opportunity for the next few weeks. There are three good fiber arts exhibits within driving distance. I have viewed all three and all are worth a good drive. These shows contain wall quilts, soft sculpture, altered books, felted beaded work, knitting, crocheting, hand stitching, and more.

The first exhibit is at the Water Tower in Louisville, KY. I know this show intimately because I have two pieces in the show. (I'm very excited to report that one of my pieces has sold!) This is the annual juried LAFTA (Louisville Area Fiber and Textile Artists) show. See a post about the show here--LAFTA Show. The show is located at the Water Tower, 3005 River Road, Louisville, KY. It opened March 1, 2012, and will be on display through April 6, 2012. There are pieces from more than twenty fiber artists in this show. For more information about the Water Tower, go to http://www.louisvillevisualart.org/. Hours: Monday-Friday 9:00 am-5:00 pm; Saturday CLOSED, Sunday 12:00-4:00 pm. Please check it out if you get the chance and let me know what you think.

Here is a picture from the opening reception. You can see a couple of the pieces in the background.

The second is a show called "Tools of the Trade: Fiber Art by Bette Levy." It will be held from March 16-April 28, 2012, at the Carnegie Center for Art & History, 201 East Spring St., New Albany, IN. Hours for the Carnegie are Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. If you get a chance to see this exhibit in person definitely go. At first I wasn't interested in going, because I thought the show only contained crocheted items. I'm not really into crochet, so this didn't interest me. I was SO pleasantly surprised by what I saw; I LOVED the crochet items--this is not your Grandmother's crochet! I'm hoping to entice those of you who can go see the exhibit by these photos. If you can't go in person, here is a little bit of what you're missing. (I apologize for the quality of the pics. I forgot to take my camera; these were taken with the camera on my phone.)
The piece above is made from a vintage pulley and uses synthetic cord and is crocheted. Wow, I never really considered crochet to be "art." I've changed my mind.
This piece (A Life and Times, 2009) is made from envelopes which have been machine stitched and waxed. (Be sure to click on the picture to view this a bit closer. You can see much more of the detail.) The envelopes are from letters the artist wrote to her parents over a 10-year period. I was touched by the fact that her parents saved all these letters. It reminded me of the things I have saved from my children's lives and made me smile.
This piece is called "Letters Home, 2009." It is made from cut-up letters and is machine stitched and waxed. Again, this piece really touched me. I wrote letters for years and years to my Grandmother. I think, in this day of electronic communication, hand-written letters are precious. The person that writes them has taken the time to sit down and think only of the recipient while they are writing that letter. How many of you have saved a letter/note written by a loved one? Hand-written correspondence is truly a gift. What a beautiful way to honor that tradition.
This is a piece called "Tools of the Trade II, 2011." It is made from rust cloth, cotton thread and kantha stitching. I loved the simplicity of this piece. I'm also partial to hand stitching; I love the texture it adds to the piece.
This crocheted piece reminded me of a spider web. The pieces attached to old, rusty tools took me back in time to my Grandpa's garage where he stored all kinds of wondrous tools.

To promote the show, members of LAFTA and others "crochet bombed" the Carnegie. I got a couple of pics of it--how fun!

All in all, I REALLY enjoyed this exhibit. I'm SO glad I didn't pass it up because I thought it was "just crochet."

The last exhibit I'd like to mention is "Word in Season" by artist Linda Henke. It is available till April 15, 2012, at the Archabbey Library Gallery at the Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in Saint Meinrad, IN. You can see more about the exhibit here. It is a mixed-media art exhibition expressive of the Christian Liturgical Seasons. According to the brochure, "Inspired by the geography of her faith journey, Henke creates mixed-media art expressive of spiritual themes, sacred texts, and theological reflections." You can see the exhibit during these hours. I'd encourage you to visit.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Friday Night Sew In

Join me for a "Friday Night Sew In." You can read more about it at the Handmade by Heidi blog. I'm hoping to get some handwork done on my SAQA piece for the "I'm Not Crazy" exhibit during the sew in. It sounds like fun. Leave a comment and let me know if you can join me.

Also, check out the other blog I'm involved with..."And Then We Set It On Fire." We are busy learning how to do deconstructed screen printing. I'll be posting my finished pieces soon. If you've ever thought about trying this technique, Beth Berman (an artist on the blog) has written a very comprehensive tutorial explaining how she does it. Check that out--here.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

LAFTA 2012 Show

The LAFTA (Louisville Area Fiber and Textile Artists) annual show is currently being held at the Water Tower in Louisville. I was thrilled to have two pieces (Prayer at Sunset and Flying Bikinis) juried into the show this year. The opening reception was held this past Sunday. The juror, Jennifer Reis, did a gallery walk and talk during the reception. It was interesting to hear what she had to say about the exhibit. I took a few pictures during the reception. They are just a small sampling of what you'll see if you come to the exhibit. (See my sidebar for details on where the show is and the hours the gallery is open.)

One of my favorite pieces in the show is Melanie Snyder's "Mark Making 6, layers." It is 35" X 43" and made of hand-dyed cotton, silk, and hand-printed cotton. The red silk really added a beautiful sheen to the piece.
Pat Sturtzel's "Rain Ripple" is 58" X 36". It is made with painted dye on cotton sateen with soy wax resist. The different blues in this piece are beautiful. You truly get a feeling of rain dropping into pools when looking at it.
Marti Plager's "Ice Fall" is a triptych. The piece measures 37" X 49". It is made of cotton materials. Marti has used flour paste resist and has dye painted the fabric. The piece is machine quilted. It truly is icy blue.
Joanne Weis's work is very organic. I am really drawn to the hand stitching on this "23" X 32" piece called "Food for the World."
Kathy Loomis also has a triptych in this show. It is called "Crazed 13, 14, 15: Black Hole" and measures 62" X 42". It is made of cotton fabric and is machine pieced and machine quilted. The sheer number of tiny lines of fabric sewn into the piece is mind boggling.
There are lots of other fiber pieces in this show. You can see felted and beaded items, knitted/crocheted items, hand-made books, paper quilts and more. The Water Tower is right on the river, so the view is beautiful; and you can have lunch/dinner before or after your visit...the King Fish is right next door.