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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Early Spring Flowers

We are well into spring now in Oregon.  Today is one of those days where the sun peaks in and out of wispy cloud drifts, but it's never completely gone.  It's warmth is gentle and we are all anticipating even better days ahead.

The early blooms are almost over.  Just a few tulips are left.  Before we arrived at this middle spring weather, I brought home a bouquet of flowering quince branches.  Their petals ranged from palest pink to a deep salmon pink.  The shape of the petals reminded me of the shape of sea shells.  It had that similar feel of delicacy and strength at the same time.  I loved looking at the way the clumps of flowers were grouped along the branches.  The open spaces in between made the whole arrangement feel very graphic.  The bare parts of the branches were as much a part of the design as the flower buds.  I hope I captured that look in the piece called, what else, Flowering Quince.

I used the raw edge applique method that works so well for me.  The background is an ombre dyed, commercial cotton.  All the branches and flowers are made with silk fabrics.  Even the little stamen in the center of the flowers are pieces of the dark pink silk that had frayed, showing the orange warp threads.   I have to admit I used A LOT of Fray Block product around the raw edges of the pink silks.  Although the branches did not fray at all, the flowers gave me some trouble in that regard.  Since this piece was going to a show at the Japanese Garden in Portland, I quilted the lines of a simple shoji screen behind the branches.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Travels in Cloth

For me, one of the best things about travel are searching out gardens and museums.  This time my friend and I traveled to San Jose to the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles.  They are in a neat, "artsy" area of town.  We saw a wonderful retrospective of the work of Joan Schulze.  Her multi-media work is fascinating and I highly recommend seeing the show if you are nearby.  It's up until May 9, 2010.

We did get this wonderful surprise of public textile art just outside the museum.  I have Googled everything I can think of to find the name of this piece and the artist.  No luck.  I have been told that the title may be Bloodlines.  I'll keep researching.  

It is a piece of art that had contributions from community members.  People were invited to embroider their names into the streamers.  It was interesting to see that some did not get all the embroidery done so their names remain unfinished, a poignant reminder of  life circumstances.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Life in the Fast Lane

Holy Cow!  A lot has happened.  No time for blogging!  In the last month, I sold my house and bought a new one.  In the middle I took a 12 day trip to San Francisco for the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) conference, workshops and, of course, sight seeing and, what else .... fabric shopping.  It was a break from all the paper signing and home repairing, etc, etc that goes along with real estate transactions.

I am a co-representative for SAQA in the state of Oregon, along with Georgia French.  This is a shot from our reps meeting that took place the first day.  From the left is Daren Redman (IN), Lynne Seaman (Europe/Israel), Terry Springer (E-Canada), in mirror, Georgia French (OR), Laura Wasilowski (IL-WI) and Nysha Nelson (TN-KY).  We filled the day with fast-paced discussions fueled by a great lunch and warm cookies.  Dinner that evening was at the delightful home and garden of Judith & Reed Content.

I will post more soon but most especially, about the 3-day workshop I took in making Nuno felt.