Saturday, February 23, 2008

Reaching for Torah

This is Rascal...the appropriately named puppy who keeps me company in my studio and helps me with my projects. He is almost 11 months old now and as big as our full size Collie but these pictures were taken when he was 3 months old.

Soon after that, he decided to see if our books were edible and his first choice was a gift that I had received 40 years ago in honor of my Bat Mitzvah. It was a beautiful copy of the Sarajevo Haggadah which is read at Passover. This book had a velvet cover and a beautiful metal plaque showing the twelve tribes. Rascal decided that it
tasted pretty good and he chewed through the cover before he was caught in the act.

Since the book had never really been used for our Passover Seders, I decided that it should be used in my art. I was pondering a recent call for entries asking for art by Jewish women when I thought of the Haggadah. As I flipped through the pages, I realized that the wording was extremely patriarchal and this annoyed me. I know that this particular Haggadah is hundreds of years old but it is symbolic of the many years in which Jewish women were not allowed to read from the Torah.
I decided to create an art piece expressing frustration on behalf of my female ancestors and acknowledging that I and my daughters are blessed to live in a time where we have the same privileges as men.

To create the background for this piece, I tore up the pages of the Haggadah and collaged the Hebrew and the English onto muslin. These words were then covered with layers of blue tulle to mute their brightness.

The lady was created separately and then hand sewn onto the background after the background was quilted. Her dress is silk and her lace tie came down to me from my father's Grandmother. The hair is yarn and she is reaching for the plaque that was on the cover of my original Haggadah.

You can see the collaged pages in Hebrew and English behind her hair.

The plaque was sewn on using silk ribbon. It is symbolic of the Torah as the center shows the 10 commandments underneath a crown. The 12 tribes create the border.

Another close up of her face and background. The quilt took me 30 hours to create and it measures 36 x 45. This is why I resorted to a miniature quilt last week.
I am very happy with the outcome.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A walk in the park

This is a mini quilt (5 x 7) that I created using very fibrous paper. I picked up some samples at a Hobby show and wanted to see if I could sew through problem. The feathers were added afterwords because the quilt "needed something".
I am working hard on a much larger piece that I hope to have completed by next Sunday so this one was a good break in the meantime.

Friday, February 8, 2008

candy challenge

This is the candy challenge that you have all been waiting for! We each picked a candy and that was to be our inspiration for the quilt. The rules were simple - no traditional binding and we had to use a piece of brownish fabric with bows on it somewhere in the quilt. they are....

Denise Johnson had Crunch and she played with a lot of printing techniques. The dark red fabric has the bows underneath!

Shirley Snowden had Almond Joy and I had to show you a close up as well as the whole quilt.
The bow fabric spells Joy.

Sarah Breckinridge had Reeses peanut butter cup. She put a lot of buttons and embellishment on hers.

Rona Barnes had Mounds. I thought she was nuts when she told me that she was attaching real coconut shells to her quilt but it came out gorgeous.

Nancy Ryan had Skittles and a hell of a time with the machine embroidery but it looks great.

Pat Gleitsman painted her fabric and used the bow fabric for the plate. She actually found a fabric for the back with pictures of Dots boxes on it. I love the intensity of her colors.

Lynne Goulette had Starburst and all those stars in the background are done with variegated thread free hand.

I had Neccos and after doing some research I was so impressed with the company that I had to put facts on some of my circles. They have been in America for more than 150 years and were early
in giving employees the options of profit sharing and life insurance.
I sewed all of the circles to chicken wire for support. There is an actual Necco package on the quilt in the upper left hand corner.

Jill Lee-Jones had Lifesavers and her quilt dances with color. She used bows in the background.

Elaine Turcke reproduced a photograph of her
grandchildren to highlight the M & Ms.

Denise Yates created this cute purse out of felt. She knitted and felted the strap. The coin purse has the bow fabric.

Carolyn Wolf had Kandy corn and she created a whole forest with it.

Barbara Jacquat had Jujyfruits and she has created a whole jungle. Her quilt has three panels and a lot of embroidery on the left hand side.

There are still a few more quilts to add to this collection. I need to get them into my studio in order to photograph them well but you can see them at Fabric of Vision in Ashland now until the end of March. ... and we would be happy to have them travel if you know of other venues that would like to display them.

Amoeba comes to mind

I am going out of town today so I was in a hurry to get my quilt finished this week. Since I am working on a large project right now, I decided to go into the studio and sew yarns to an upholstry fabric and see what happened. It needed quilting in the middle so I spent about an hour creating small circles. Then I pulled treads around the outside and sewed the whole thing to black felt. When I asked Marni what she thought it looked like, her first response was "an Amoeba". That's what had come to me too so I call it "Amoeba comes to mind".
It was a great reminder for me not to stress over my time limitations and just play. You never know what will appear.

This is a close up of the quilting. I really like the look of all those circles.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Nature's gift card: rejuvenation

This is "Nature's gift card: rejuvenation". I did it for a contest but only 60 quilts were picked out of 400 so I don't feel too bad. The Grandmother's flower garden pattern on the left side of the quilt is made out of plastic gift cards from the supermarket. The sunflower is beaded and has tulle in the center. I quilted it from the back side using colored threads and black thread in the bobbin so that the color wouldn't distract from the design on the front. There is black netting across the front that the Sunflower is trying to push it's way through.
I haven't figured out how to get my pictures to be added below my writing so all the close ups are shown above the quilt. Sorry about that!

Three Feathers

Three feathers was a quick and easy piece created in a few hours on Saturday night! I was beginning to panic since I have been working on a large art quilt all week and needed to finish a small piece by Sunday. After reading an article in Quilting Arts Magazine, I decided to try my hand at fiber collage. I quilted the top to some batting and pillow cased the whole thing before adding the yarns, fabric and feathers. The reddish square in the lower left hand corner is some fabric paper that I made by painting watered down glue to some muslin and then applying layers of tissue paper on top. There are about 3 layers of glue and tissue paper followed up by some watered down gel medium. It is very stiff and was fun to create but I like a softer feel to my fabric. Marni contributed the feather with the red in it and it was just what I needed.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Necco continued

This is the full Necco quilt - done for a candy challenge by my art quilt group. We each picked a candy as inspiration. I sewed circles with batting inside them to a chicken wire frame. Then I printed information about the Necco company on organza and sewed those circles on top. The company has been around for more than 150 years and has a very impressive history. I wanted to honor their excellent care of their employees by featuring facts on the quilt. They offered profit sharing and life insurance to their employees at the beginning of the 1900s. Wow!
I attached a Necco package at the top of the quilt using clear thread and glue.

Candy challenge - Necco wafers

Close up of the many circles I created.

Fire Within and Windows on Emotion

This is my latest completed piece. It was begun 3 years ago when I was doing a series called Windows on Emotion. This one is called "Serenity". Sunday had arrived and I was busy working on a large piece so I decided to add the curtin and bind the quilt to meet the deadline. I am happy with it although I can see how far I have come since I began this quilt.

The piece on the left is called "Fire Within". I used dyed fabrics from artfabrik and I fused the pieces. The outside binding is created by wrapping yarns around pipecleaners and sewing them on by hand. I like the affect and I loved using some of my yarn collection.

Here I go!

I have been thinking about creating a blog for a while now and I am ready to take the leap. I want to share my latest creations and the exciting things that are happening in my life.

My New Year's resolutions were to spend at least 2 hours in my studio or doing art every day.

The goal is to finish a small quilt every week and the deadline is Sunday by midnight. Since it is the beginning of February and I have finished 5 quilts, I think it is time to share.

Above is the first quilt completed in January. I quilted it heavily after fusing the pieces. I also tried gluing beads on which entailed baking my quilt when it was completed! Good thing that it fit in the oven. I call it Ancient Voices.