Friday, January 18, 2008

Magnify the Sweet

Cleaning out my files I came across these photos.  Img023 These are of a round robin I was in somewhere around the late 80s with a group of quilters who connected through an African American quilting forum on Prodigy. Sadly, my quilt top is now in a suitcase with some other unfinished projects from that time period.  I guess I get it honestly...I had an aunt who worked on one quilt for 30+ years...thinking now, I don't know that she finished it before she passed.  It stayed on the floor frame in the back room of her house. My top is at the bottom on the left side.

Yesterday I carved the last block I had. Img021 Img022_2 I prefer the Staedlter MasterCarve material over the Speedball brand.  It really does cut like butter.  I'm going to get some more next week and start on stamping these on fabric. 

Also, I received work that the KMAC artist-in-residency grant deadline has been pushed back and that the age limit is flexible!  And the day before that, sheerly by coinkydink, I looked at another potential studio space that has 2 options...the most affordable option is better than what I have now (I'm back on the kitchen table), but the space is too open in a shared environment and isn't large enough. Its only better because I wouldn't have to take down my machine and set up so frequently but being in an open space I'd worry about safety of my sewing machine.  The 2nd option really got my juices pumping, so much so that I didn't fall asleep until 3am thinking it over.  The space would be shared but only by a few. It is more enclosed and secure.  I'm negotiating the fee for the 2nd option PLUS the organization needs 2-3 more artists to commit as the 2nd option would be an expansion for them.  I came home and made a phone call to another artist and placed a post on a yahoo group for local artist, so hopefully I'll be out of limbo soon over this. Patience is a virtue...I'm working on it.

After four attempts at trying to find the Feb. issue of Quilter's World on the stands, I finally found it at a Kroger last night.  If you don't get this magazine, go get this issue just so you can read about quilter Valerie White.  It is a great article that captured Valerie's wit well!  Her quilts are so unique and different.  She works on whole cloth and even seeing them up close its hard to not believe they are not pieced or applicqued.  Congratulations Valerie! Your time is here, now, and forever!

I'm participating in the Take It Further Challenge sponsored by by Sharon at In A Minute Ago.  There are 2 options...working in a specific colour pallette or do a work about someone who inspires me or I look up to.  My first choice was to do some embroidery stitches in the colour pallette and then I realized the colours turn me off.  If I go with this option it will be in a 4"x6" size.  The 2nd option makes me feel like I need to do something pictorial in order for it to be undersood by a viewer and meet the challenge criteria.  Once again, my self-awareness declares that I'm about texture and colour in either abstract or geometric.  If I take the 2nd option I'm going with Ida B. Wells (maybe I'll think about someone contemporary) and I wondered what her favorite colour was and then I thought maybe something in black and red since she was a very strong in reporting on lynchings of her day. 

Speaking of abstraction, the Form Not Function show leans heavily this year with abstract and geometric designs.  Its amazing to me how each year the show is different from the previous ones in spite of the same group curating this show.  Thats speaks highly to their uniqueness.  The quilt that took my breath away was by Jae McDonald entitled Red can be seen at the link above.  It is not nearly as breath-taking on the screen as it is in person.

Not one guess on what I walked out with from the yarn store...well, yes, of course yarn...but nine skeins, a book, a crochet needle and a plan...I'm making a felted bag! I haven't crocheted since I was a teen-ager except for a seasonal winter stint in the 80's when I went crazy making baskets out of strips of fabric.  Now remind you, when I entered the store it was for the sole purpose of filling time between appointments!  It was definitely an impulse buy which I'm not prone to anymore at all and have recently become a convert to the Stop Shopping Movement.  If you get the chance to see the documentary What Would Jesus Buy?, take the opportunity.  (Yeah, yeah, I've been informed that it all seems a little extreme and over the top but isn't that the way all movements start that bring about moderate changes even? And after all, IT IS performance meets activism). The docu follows around a performance-based activist group from New York to California in the weeks leading up to Christmas in 2006.  You may have seen Billy Talen, the head-liner being interviewed as his character "Rev. Billy" on tv.  I first saw him on Democracy Now with Amy Goodman and googled him thereafter.  I saw the documentary in the one week in showed here with Petra and Mo, my daughter, who is on the cusp of being a shop-o-holic and often buys impulsively.  I took her along because I'm trying to save her from the Shopocalyspe. 

In the last few days I was reminded of why I started this is bittersweet...I wanted to magnify the sweet.



  1. what a great reason to blog!

  2. I had the opposite problem with the color scheme in that I've worked with it so much I had trouble getting a spark going. Had planned an "admiration" piece for my husband but am now realizing that, since he is such an intensely private guy, I don't think he'll thank me for enumerating the specifics of the symbolism of the piece here on the internet. So I am a little bit stuck but leaning towards going back to my original idea of an homage to Howard Zinn. Can see it pretty clearly in my mind's eye but getting it to translate may be another thing entirely.

  3. I guess that is why I got in this year — FNF, that is. I love all the pieces done by the award winners. I would love to see photos of the show hanging.
    You seem to be very energized and happy. That is good.
    I am now in two Obama groups - fiber artists and a Portland group. I believe!!

  4. Such a lot going on in this post. I can understand your stay-awake-excitement for the studio space. Good wishes for that dream to come true.
    Shopocalypse! I'm still in refrain mode, but if I my good intentions fail, I want it to be in a textile related shopocalypse...

  5. You couldn't resist going into a without buying at least one thing, join the club of us who said "no, I won't be knitting/crocheting again" Felting is fun, always that unknown factor that makes the heart beat a little faster.

  6. Girl - I can't believe you still have the photos of the round robin we did YEARS ago!! I can even see the fabrics I used in other quilts. Do you recognize the top that came back to me? It became the cover photo for the book, "Black Threads".
    Love, Kyra

  7. I'm loving all your hand carved stamps - very inspirational!