Thursday, September 29, 2016

Kimball St Update

Lewiston's Friday Art Walk is tomorrow, September 30! Art Quilts Maine has a great exhibit featuring the "Power of 3" challenge tour and several other items at Kimball St Studios, 191 Lisbon St in Lewiston. Plan to stop in Friday between 5:00 and 8:00 for the reception. If you can't make it Friday, the show continues through October. Call Kimball St Studios for details:333-3342. Don't miss it!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Kimball St Studios

I dropped off a number of art quilts and other items at Kimball St Studios in Lewiston today in preparation for the Art Quilts Maine exhibit. The exhibit opens with September's Last Friday Art Walk in Lewiston, Friday, September 30 from 5:00 to 8:00. If you can't get to the opening, the show remains on display at Kimball St Studios through the month of October.

Featuring this year's Art Quilts Maine challenge tour, "The Power of 3", the show also includes a number of embellished masks members made last winter, and several other member items. Bonnie met me at the gallery with an armload of beautiful quilts, masks, even a bag! Most of the pieces on exhibit are available for purchase. 

"The Power of 3" refers to the many ways the number "3" appears in culture and mythology. Challenge participants responded with quilts that delight and inspire. This group of 10 quilts debuted at Maine Quilts in July and will continue for a two-month stay at the Portland Public Library following Kimball St. Note that the gallery is located at 191 Lisbon St in Lewiston.

While in Friendship this summer I refilled my box of pins featuring a botanical theme inspired by morning walks to see the fairy houses in Martin Point Wildlife Preserve. The box is at Kimball St through October.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Lady of Oro Bay

I'm liking Oro Bay as the location. Oro means gold in Spanish and finding this batik was like finding treasure. (See my earlier post here) Many sketches later, I finally committed to quilting the moon this weekend.

Clouds scuttle across the sky in white rayon thread, while the moon is filled in with bubbles and straight lines done in a pale green silk. This has been a fun piece to work on! Soon as I figure out how to quilt the sky, the quiltingt will be done and I can move on to embellishments--and I do plan to embellish! I realized that I have no plan for how to finish the piece--some sections of the print go right up to the edge of the fabric and may pose a problem. I'll tackle that later. For now, I'm really happy with the weekend's work. Here's a shot:


Saturday, August 13, 2016

Working the Thread of Life

Watercolor sketch
Art Quilts Maine issues an annual challenge to the members. The challenge is chosen from a list of themes, prompts and ideas members contribute. This year's challenge was titled, "The Power of Three." Discussion centered on the many references to the number 3, culturally, mathematically, mystically.

I knew I wanted to work with the human form. My mind wandered to the three fates and I started researching that thought. The three fates, from Greek mythology, are Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos, three sisters who spin, measure and cut the thread of life.

An image from my research stuck with me: "The Three Fates," one of 54 drawings completed in 1884 by the American artist, Elihu Vedder as an accompaniment to the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, the Persian poet. It seemed like Kismet.

Detail, Clotho
Using Vedder's figures, I painted a watercolor sketch of each woman, scanned the watercolor then printed it on muslin. I enhanced the printed images with thread paint and colored pencil. Once satisfied, I cut each figure out and fused it to my starry background fabric. A scrap of brown and gold marbled fabric proved just large enough, with some judicious cutting and arranging, to give the Fates a promontory on which to stand. Swirls of sparkly purple organza provided a sense of the Fates gathering the very fabric of the universe. In a nod to Omar Khayyam, I printed out the verse, "The moving finger writes, and having writ, moves on; nor all thy piety nor wit shall lure it back to cancel half a line, nor all they tears wash out a word of it." 

We revealed our work at the Art Quilts Maine meeting in June, and exhibited the art quilts publicly at Maine Quilts in July. Mine is one of 10 pieces that will go on tour in Maine for the year. Among the venues are Kimball St. Studios in Lewiston from the September 30 Art Walk through the end of October, and the Children's Room at Portland Public Library during December and January. There are some great pieces in the show--hope you get a to see it!

Working the Thread of Life, 21" x 33" 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Summer Projects

My students have been busy this summer, completing projects begun in class. I love hearing about your progress and seeing your work!

Lisa came to 'Picture This!' in April. Although it is a two-day class, we are always working up to the last minute and I don't get to see the finished product. Lisa has been working at it diligently though, and sent me the great shot below. Her favorite part of this piece is the tree and leaves. Mine too!

Pat was in 'Baker's Dozen' improvisational piecing in May. That class was fun and free-form, slicing and sewing with abandon. She kept going after class, making more and more blocks until she had enough for a huge quilt, over 100" in each direction! I told you these improv blocks were addicting! Isn't it a sunny, happy, summer quilt?

Keep the pictures coming! I am looking at schedules and hope to have a few fall classes to announce soon. Meanwhile, enjoy the rest of the summer and hope you all find time to sew!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Free Motion Success Story

Barbara attended the Free Motion Quilting class in June. Having learned a trick or two, she went home and finished her first free motion quilted quilt, with stippling throughout and hearts on each of the Squares. It's a Disney Princess Quilt! Click on the photo for a better view. I love seeing what my students are doing with their newfound skills. Thank you Barbara for sharing your work and allowing me to post it. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

What I'm Stitching

While I wish I had a picture of this piece before I started thread painting, I thought I'd share the work in progress now, and post another picture when it is completed. I'm still thinking about a name--Anderson Island Mermaid? Dawn over Oro Bay? Nisqually Reach?

I acquired this beautiful batik while visiting friends on Anderson Island in Washington state. They had a large box of fabrics from a man whose quilting wife had passed away and generously suggested I take what I liked. Who can refuse an offer like that! In the collection was this batik piece, about 30"x 35", of a mermaid silhouetted against the sunrise (or moon? or sunset?) Regardless, it was too lovely to leave in a box of unclaimed fabric!

I admired her for some time, thinking about how to enhance the batik. I started thread-painting her hair, ultimately adding eight colors of thread over the dark batik base. My threads ranged from a variegated golden brown to dark purple. It was so much fun to thread paint such a large area! I then added scales to her tail, using turquoise, green, purple and yellow thread. The shelf she sits on was a solid dark blue, the same color as her hair and tail. I used my bag of 'tree bits' to add a wash of colors, with variegated thread holding the tiny bits of fabric trapped beneath a layer of tulle. I layered the main elements over a scrap of polyester batting for loft, then sandwiched the whole with batting and backing. Next step is to quilt the background--the sun (or moon) sky and water, and decide how to finish the piece for hanging. I am still debating further embellishments in the form of glitter, sequins or beads.

Got a suggestion for a name or further embellishment? Let me know!  Here is a glimpse:
Mermaid in progress--Rana O'Connor 2016