Friday, December 31, 2010

The Color Wheel - Kept Close at Hand

This simple color wheel is my most used tool for selecting colors. I often work with shades and tints of tertiary (mixture of secondary and primary colors, like yellow orange) colors so finding the complementary color can be a bit of a challenge.

Please note, I have no interest in the sales of any of the books or tools that I am reviewing. They are simply my personal experiences.

This structure of this color wheel makes all the difference. It is easy to find the color wanted with the structure here. There are three rings on the wheel that can be moved separately. The top blue ring can be moved to the Key Color. In this first example it is on the tertiary color -- Red Orange. In the second example it is on red as the Key Color. This top ring also indicates the colors that will blend with the Key Color are the two colors to each side. The complementary or contrast color is directly opposite the Key Color.

I often work in complementary colors, so that relationship is very important to me. Other artists like to work in a more sophisticated palette of triadic colors and they are indicated here as well.

The second ring is white and has twelve smaller rings of the primary, secondary and tertiary colors (hues) with tints and shades for each of these hues on the smaller rings. Each small ring has a hole in the center. Tints are a hue with some white mixed in. Shades are a hue with some black mixed in.

The bottom ring has one hole in it that can be lined up with one of the smaller rings on the second circle. Instructions for using the color wheel are on the back of the bottom ring.

Notice in the bottom color wheel that the Key Color is now red and there is a piece of fabric exposed in the opening. The open hole can be moved so that the fabric lines up with the closest color.

In this case, none of the colors is perfect, but we can see that it is a cool (bluish) tone of red. That is it has both black and white mixed with the red and perhaps a wee touch of blue. We can also observe that the complementary color is green.

I find that I am often surprised by shades and tones, they will fool me as to the hue they spring from. This little tool really helps.

You can find this specific tool at many quilt shops and shows; similar color wheels can be found at your local art supply store.

Dear Reader, Hope this has been helpful. Please let me know if it has or if you have any questions.

Next time I will review Color Aids, an artist tool that I find really valuable when the color wheel does not quite do the job.
Thanks for reading.


PS Turns out that this color wheel is no longer available. A similar one is available that has larger peak holes and a rectangular display of each of the colors and their tints and shades. I will post a link for this one in my next blog posting. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Mixing Colors Like a Pro

This is the third in the series of books on color. Betty Edward's color book, published in 2004, was a real break through for me in understanding how to mix colors to get what I want. Using language as simply as in her earlier books on drawing, she explains the concepts and importance of value and how colors relate to one another.

Her color wheel includes tertiary colors as well as the primary and secondary colors. Just learning that in order to mix colors you must first name them in terms of their hue, value and intensity was a real lesson that helped clarify a lot for me.

With a few key supplies, you can move through a number of exercises that build skills and your eye as you work through them. This is definitely a book whose exercises are worthwhile actually doing instead of simply reading them.

Edwards has some sophisticated exercises that are very useful using patterned fabric as a basis for mixing colors. In the first exercise in this chapter you start with a snippet of the patterned fabric, and you mix colors to match the fabric. The remaining exercises demonstrate how you can create many different color harmonies while making creative color and value changes.

Beginning quilters are often taught to find a patterned fabric with colors they love and then use the colors in the same proportions to create a quilt. This simple instruction has led to some great quilts with glorious color. This chapter lets you begin with that special fabric and then create many different combinations, all of which will be harmonious. Could be an interesting way to create a series based on different color harmonies.

The final chapter, like Quiller's book reviewed last time, is on master artists and their use of color. Here the emphasis is on the meaning and symbolism of color.

This is a book that could be useful to new quilters and experienced ones alike. If you have not made an in-depth study of color, the exercises in this book may well help develop your color comfort.

Dear Reader, thanks for your attention and the great feedback I have had to this series. My next postings will be on a couple of tools that I frequently use in color selections. Please let me know if these postings have been helpful and interesting.

Susan asked that I give the ISBN numbers for the books. Great suggestion, so here are the numbers:

The Magical Effects of Color, ISBN 0-914881-53-1
Color Choices, ISBN 0-8230-0696-4
Color, ISBN1-58542-199-5

Thanks for reading,


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Color Choices - Book Review

This book by Stephen Quiller was published in 1989 so is likely to be found only as a second hand book.

This is another key book I used to study color, and the second in my series of three books. Quiller is a painter and uses color very successfully as seen in the many examples of his points throughout the book. For the painter, Quiller has a color wheel that is terrific, with 68 specific colors that are keyed to their pigmented names. For the painter, he gives specific examples of paints by brand names for watercolor, acrylic and oil. Dyers may find this useful as well.

His book was where I learned about mixing colors and the degree of warmth or coolness in reds, yellows and blues. That you can't just mix any blue with any yellow and get the green you want.

For a fiber artist like myself, the examples of why some neutrals appear deadly dull and some are vibrant goes beyond specific paints. Now that I work with inks, his advice on how to obtain subtle but lively neutrals comes in very handy. One of the most useful aspects of the book are the many studies illustrating different effects from small color changes.

He gives 5 basic color schemes with lots of studies, diagrams and completed paintings to illustrate each of them. The book also has a number of exercises for the reader to use to develop one's own sense of color, which for Quiller is a matter of seeing.

Quiller also provides guidelines for developing one's own color style and discusses dozens of color masters over the ages to examine how they used colors. The book concludes with a chapter on color usage by Master Colorists across the ages including Rembrandt, Vermeer, Turner, Blake, Van Gogh, and up to O'Keeffe, Wyeth, and concluding with Wolf Kahn.

This was the book that taught me to consider the emotional impact that I wanted a piece of work to achieve, and to structure my color palette for the piece around that. For example, I had long wanted to do a piece on the salt water marsh and tried for several years to create one. None worked. I kept trying to do it with marshy, muddy, realistic colors. Quiller's book helped me see that the color of mud did not convey the sense of mystery and wonder that I felt for the marshland. So the piece I created is a Blue-Orange complementary color scheme.

Next time I will add to this review of books. The third book on color will be by Betty Edwards who wrote Drawing from the Right Side of the Brain.

Dear reader, thanks so much for reading and please let me know if these book reviews are interesting or valuable to you. If they are I will keep posting about the books I find helpful in my early development and today.


Color Studies and Resources

When I began creating art quilts, I really had a lot to learn. While much of what I needed to know was the crafting of a quality piece, the most difficult element to learn was how to design a piece of art that I could feel good about.

One of the first aspects I studied in some depth was the use of color. Three different books made a tremendous difference in my comfort level with this aspect of the art quilt.
This posting is on one of them. I will cover the other books in later postings.

The first book was one by Joen Wolfrom, The Magical Effects of Color, published in 1992. I have read it cover to cover several times, and when I want to obtain specific effects, I have often referred back to her discussions on how to use color expressively, or to create luminosity or other special effects.

This was my first color book and was a great place to start as she illustrated her points with quilts from many different quilters, both traditional and art quilts. She covered each of the primary and secondary colors and what they could do in different combinations. She also had excellent information on value and how to use it. This was the resource that taught me the difference in tints, tones, shades and hues.

A real eye opener for me was her discussion of the impact of tints that were somewhat grayed or yellowed, as if using a non bleached muslin for background.

Chapter 10 has exercises to help develop your eye for color and are well worth doing.

Dear Reader, please let me know if you find this review helpful and if you would like to see comments on other books that have been important in my development as an artist.

Thanks for reading.


Holiday Wishes

Happy Holidays to All

Hoping that the peace and joy of the season is with you and yours.

And may your coming year be as bright and fruitful of all you desire as these berries.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Winter Fruit takes Honorable Mention at MHA

Winter Fruit won an Honorable Mention at the Winter Judged art show at Mint Hill Arts in Mint Hill, NC. Judges were Christie Taylor and Dot Hodges, owners of Hodges Taylor Gallery and Art Consultancy. The award was from Amanda Carroll at Bead Boutique, 1820 Windsor Square, Charlotte NC. I will definitely enjoy this gift certificate.

The new location for MHA is really wonderful. It was totally designed to display art at its best. The art show was excellent, refreshments were great as usual and the turnout for the opening was terrific.

My DH also won an Honorable Mention for a new piece of work in a substantial change of style for him.

Another Fiber Art Options member, Deborah Langsam had two pieces of her wonderful photo-based work in the show as well. They attracted lots of attention and wonderment as they are quite unusual and are a real surprise when one gets up close.

Once Debbie selects her subject matter, she researches the subject and finds loads of copyright free photos of the subject. She manipulates these photos to create a tiling of the images that convey her subject. One of the pieces in the show was a close up of an orchid flower, and she had composed the piece out of dozens of individual small orchid photos. From a distance it reads as one large close up, but on close inspection one sees the multiple images. This was a piece created for the Fiber Art Options invitational exhibition Orchids: Sensuality Stitched at Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens last February during their orchid extravaganza.

The winter show will be up through December 30. The MHA center is open Tuesdays - Saturdays from 10 - 3 and has some great gift options from local artists in the gift shop. Course much of the art work in the exhibition is for sale as well. Admission is free and it would be a great break during the holidays if you are in the area.

Happy holidays to all


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

From Art to Landscape - Love this book!

Published by Timber Press, 2010

W. Gary Smith has written a terrific book that transcends landscaping and has much to offer any artist willing to look beyond their own genre.

Notes from the back cover include the following:

" Among the inspiring techniques explored by renowned landscape designer and artist Gary Smith:

* Cultivating the art of careful intuition

* Building a visual vocabulary of shapes, forms and patterns

* Sketching, painting and drawing to connect to place

* Taking inspiration from painting, dance, and other art forms

* Infusing your designs with wonder by learning from nature

* Inviting serendipity

Encouraging, personal, and delighting in the creative process, Smith shows you how to develop 'a richness of expression beyond your ability to imagine.' "

I have been reading a couple of books from artists with different perspectives. This book, written for people interested in landscape design, has a lack of jargon that is both refreshing and an easy read.

Of course, I love gardens and the book's chapter (The Garden as Fine Art: H. F. du Pont's Winterthur) is on one of my favorites.

Happy reading,


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

From Floral to Fabric

Saturday, I taught my first workshop on the techniques that I use for my Seed Play series. The workshop at Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens was one of the educational offerings accompanying my solo exhibition. The participants did a great job with a complex process and a limited amount of time.

Here are some of the results at the end of the day.
Love the way this image captures the inside of the seed pod on the right. This piece was based on the trumpet vine seed pods.

This interesting piece is based on the fruit and leaves of the Stauntonia which is a vine growing up a post on the veranda. It is a lovely pinkish color with maroon splotches. Susan Dunn-Lederhaas did a great job capturing the complex colors on this fruit form.
This is another piece based on the trumpet vine, with a nice capturing of the ridges along each side and the speckling of the pods.

This delicate piece captures the iris seed pods and those are the cute little seeds over to the right. Nice rhythm captured in the leaves.

This artist captured the fall leaves of the bur oak. I really like the way she layered the leaves and the negative spaces created by the spaces between the leaves.

Cindy went for an impressionist rendition of the bur oak leaves. I love the rhythm and the flow of the colors.

Our only trained artist chose a really challenging inspiration. She is well on her way to create a great piece inspired by the Beauty Berry. Don't you love the colors and the lines of the leaves? Great movement and rhythm.
This piece was inspired by a banana leaf. Love the rib and the spots and browning areas. A perfect leaf would be so boring in comparison.
Annette captured the grace and liveliness of these colorful beans.

It was a great workshop location. Nice bright room, windows onto the garden, super hospitality and congenial participants. Hard to ask for anything better. The ladies did a remarkably good job on challenging tasks. I was blown away by how well they all did.

Don't you think they did well?


Collecting Specimens- What Fun!!

Collecting specimens is loads of fun with good company in a beautiful place.

Bur Oak Acorn

Last Friday, Cindy Klemmer, Director of Education at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, took me for a ride around the grounds to collect seed specimens for my workshop there on Saturday. It was a rare privilege and delight.

That charmer above is an acorn that I have long wanted to work with. It looks like a small child in an overly large winter hat. There were lots of these acorns under a tree along the road going to the Visitors Center.

Beauty Berry

These colorful berries are a native plant that grows in my garden, but never as lush as these beauties. Easy to see where it got its name.

Bald Cypress Seed Clusters

This interesting cluster of seeds simply falls apart when ripe. I was delighted to find this seed cluster. I had never seen one before. These are the same trees we see along the coast with knees growing up in the swamp.

Rose Hips

These interesting berries have a star at their tip. The banks of roses were full of hips. Will all hips make tea?

Paw paw

This rather small pod was full of seeds and some were still available under the fallen leaves from a cluster of trees near the Education Center.

Hyacinthe Bean

This bean is on a vine, like string beans. Very colorful.

Cindy was knowledgeable and a congenial hostess for the garden. We had a great time on a lovely fall day. These collected seeds will be great specimens for the workshop on Saturday. Thanks, Cindy.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Workshop at Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens Saturday 11/6

Inspiration: Crepe Myrtle Seed Pods

Wish me luck. I am teaching my first workshop on my techniques and processes at DSBG in Belmont NC. I love teaching, especially adults who are interested in the subject matter. Did lots of it in my former employment as an HR consultant for Duke Energy. Have done some in the quilting realm, so it is not totally unfamiliar. This time, I am teaching processes I use and am very familiar with, but do not have a good feel for how quickly others will grasp the materials. The challenge is always how to keep it simple enough for beginners to grasp and sophisticated enough to keep the old hands interested.
It is both a process and a product class. So everyone should be able to go away with a small piece of nature inspired art of their own creation based on the techniques taught.
I have begun developing the actual course curriculum and materials. I will have a pretty complete kit of materials and extra materials for participants to experiment with. The workshop is limited to 15 people maximum to provide good space and time for each person to ask questions.

Please, if you are interested in the workshop, contact DSBG or register on line.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Be Still My Heart

This is the first piece.

Just got my newest batch of Heidi Stoll Weber fabrics. As usual they are luscious and she sent lots for me to chose from.

I use her hand dyed cotton sateen fabrics exclusively for my current series: Seed Play. Her fabrics are both luscious with rich colors but soft enough that I can ink my designs onto them with semi transparent inks.

My next group will be on native plants and I wanted enough that I can do a group of 3 coordinated pieces. So Heidi sent me lots of luscious fabric to choose from. Her fabrics always put me in a dilemma of wanting more than I can justify buying.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

SeedPlay Exhibition Hung!

Kousa: Another Dogwood's in Town

Wednesday my DH and I, with many of the staff at Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens, hung my solo show. I am delighted with how it looks at the venue. The galleries are to the right and left of the entry on the hall where the restrooms are. So many people will walk by them on the way to the necessaries.
I have several new pieces in the show that have not been exhibited previously. I will show details of some of them here. Hope you enjoy. (Yes, they were my Quilt National entries.)

The top photo is of the Asian dogwood that is finding its way into our landscapes as a recommended replacement for our beautiful native dogwoods, as the natives are dying from a fungal disease. It blooms later and the berry is very different.

Mockingbird's Larder

The detail above is from a piece that celebrates the joyous color that the deciduous hollies provide throughout our gray winters. The berries ripen late so the birds find them welcome food for the late winter when other food is gone.

Echoes of Tulip's Summer

The tulip poplar is one of my favorite trees. It sheds its seeds for more than a year thereby better ensuring that some of them will find suitable soil and weather conditions to germinate and grow.

For me, the multiple ways that tree seeds use for reproduction provide a metaphor for the importance of diversity for a species' survival as conditions change. The lesson it teaches us about the importance of diversity for humans is one that we need to learn in the depths of our hearts, minds and souls.

Please wish me luck for my show that runs until November 14 and come see it if you are any where nearby Belmont NC.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

SeedPlay - Solo Show at Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens

My Seed Play series will be featured in a solo show at Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens from October 1 through November 14.

Saturday, November 6, I will be giving a workshop on creating fiber art using botanical illustration and stenciling. To register for the workshop, contact DSBG.

If you are interested in going, check out the information below:

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

6500 South New Hope
Belmont, NC 28012


Here is what DSBG's newsletter has to say about the work:

"In her work, Nancy highlights the seeds and fruits of trees, bringing them to life with multi-media techniques including botanical illustration, stenciling, quilting and embroidery. The result is a unique effect that inspires closer observation of the beautiful shapes and forms of nature. Working from collected seed specimens, these unusual designs are based on research and sketching to clarify what is architecturally unique for each species and focuses attention on a part of trees that is often overlooked.”

Daniel Stowe is also offering the following classes in conjunction with SeedPlay for an artful and horticultural focus on seeds, pods, and winter gardening:

Seed Saving Saturday, Sept. 18, 10 a.m. - noon Instructor: Dr. Barbara Albritton-Grant

Seedplay: Plants Portrayed in Fabric Saturday, Nov. 6, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Instructor: Nancy G. Cook

Gardening for Winter Interest Saturday, Nov. 13, 10:30 a.m. - Noon
Instructor: Dr. Barbara Albritton-Grant

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Art Meets Science

Art Meets Science Catalog

Just received the catalog from the SAQA juried exhibition Art Meets Science. One of my pieces, Southern Hospitality, is a part of this traveling exhibition. Reading the catalog filled me with tremendous pride.

The curator, Jill Jensen, has hit this exhibition effort and catalog out of the ball park. Her training in science and her own work as a fiber artist give her the background for making this a truly special work. Jill first floated this idea on the SAQA Yahoo group, and received much support for the concept. The concept is great, the execution of the concept is equal to the task, and the results are sterling.

Her selected Juror, David W. Fraser, MD, has a unique and extensive background in both science and art and his juror's statement is pure poetry. His selections provide a well-rounded, strong exhibition of consistent quality. His observations on traditional and art quilt similarities and differences are worth pondering.

Deidre Adams has done her usually superb job of catalog design. Each quilt is given a full page photo with title and sizes. On the facing page is the artist's name, city and state or country and the artist statement. Quilts are presented in alphabetical order by the artist's name which makes this little volume easy to reference.
The selected artists are from across the US, Australia, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, and The Netherlands.

Most of the pieces in the exhibition are for sale on the SAQA on line store. All in all, everyone involved is to be congratulated on this exhibition and the fine catalog. Congratulations, SAQA.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Help!! Need a Name for New Quilt

I am entering three quilts into the Quilt National Competition and am brain dead in thinking up a name for the third one. They are all in my Seed Play series.

The first is of deciduous holly berries and is named
Mockingbird's Larder.

The second is of the Asian Kousa Dogwood that is being used to replace our native dogwoods that are succumbing to a viral infection. It is called
Kousa: A New Dogwood's in Town.

The last one is of a shattering seed cluster of the tulip poplar and several insect eaten leaves. I am showing a small version above. Obviously, it is not the actual design and piece for required security reasons but gives some information to help with naming it.

Please, put on your thinking cap and help me name it. Names I am considering are: Summer Shattering; A Different Tulip.

All suggestions will be appreciated.
Thanks a batch,

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Best of Show - Woo Hoo!!

Pelton's Rose-Gentian

Just found out today that I won Best of Show for the Aullwood Audubon Show in Dayton Ohio this summer with Pelton's Rose-Gentian. You can read about all the work in the show on Lisa Broberg Quintana's blog. She has covered all the work and has photos of them that are luscious.

This gives me a chance to talk about this piece, as it is dear to my heart. I found the inspirational photograph for this piece in a Nature Conservancy magazine. I tracked down the photographer, John Pelton, and interviewed him on how he found it and how he knew it was a new species. Then I purchased permission to use the photography for inspiration for a quilt.

Turns out that this little flower was found early this 21st century by John Pelton,who is an amateur botanist, a professional photographer and a retired engineer from Alcoa. He specializes in photography of Arkansas wildflowers. Out one day, John saw a flower that he knew had to be a rose-gentian, but it was growing in a spot that no known rose-gentian grew. It was growing right next to and in a fast flowing stream in a broken shale valley.

John came back later and examined the plant more carefully and keyed it out. He was convinced that the flower was a totally new species, so he called in other experts on the plant species to help determine its origins. After sending a specimen to a Canadian botanist, the world's authority on rose-gentians, it was confirmed to be a brand new species. Subsequently, as is traditional, it was named for its discoverer.

Now, I was enthralled to learn that John is in his seventies. I love where people of great years are still making substantial contributions to the world. And, it is wonderful that the world still has room for scientific discoveries made by amateurs.

I selected fabrics for this piece to covey some of the environment and mystery of the plant. John discovered the plant growing in broken shale right on the edge of a stream. The shibori dyed fabrics by Lunn Fabrics on the bottom of the piece recall the broken shale.
The shibori fabrics at the top, recall the running water of the creek.

Pelton's Rose-Gentian (detail)

I started with the background fabric, dyed by Judy Robertson. Most of the fabrics are hand dyed, the pinks were hand dyed by Janet Lasher, specifically to create these flowers. I used the piecing techniques of Ruth McDowell to construct it.

It was my last pieced quilt. It is large, 50" x 45".

Okay, I know you folks who have done bed quilts are laughing and think that it is small. Everything is relative.


Monday, August 2, 2010

Quilt Motif for Architecture of Harvey B Gantt African American Art Center

DH and I went to the Harvey B Gantt African-American Art Center yesterday and were mesmerized.

The architect used the patchwork quilt to develop the architectural motif for both inside and outside of the building. This is a small cultural and art center by US standards, but very user friendly for seeing the work in an afternoon.
There are three galleries in the building. One is devoted to the John and Vivian Hewitt Collection of African-American Art collected by a couple over decades and purchased by the Bank of America and donated to the AA Center.

While all the art in collection was well worth seeing, we found several pieces in this collection that were stunning. I especially loved a piece called
The Sisters by Ernest Crichlow (1914 - 2005). The gray, black and white graphic design consisted of angularity throughout except for profiles and hands. The piece consisted of 4 women in a building and garden in white head dresses, and gray and white uniforms. Three of the women were holding their hands behind their backs and the expressiveness in the bodies, the arch of neck, tilt of head, angle of shoulders gave very distinct personalities to each of the women. It is amazing how much was conveyed with such economy of color and and detail.

In addition to the permanent collection, there were two other exhibitions that were very strong. One exhibit,
Romancing the Eye, had a series of delicate, strong wooden bowls, boxes and vases that were exquisite. The artist, Charles Farrar, is from Concord NC. I look forward to seeing more of his work.

The other gallery contained a solo show: Spirits & Spaces by Michael B. Platt, this exhibition is a delight especially for those interested in fiber.

Platt is a print maker, many pieces were printed in editions of 3 and gallery wrapped. Using photograhy in layers, his work was evocative and story telling. In the center of the gallery, he built a "shot gun" house, and a woman's shape was printed on thin gauze and hung in the door. Behind the house were 5 panels again printed on gauze. The combination provided a narrative for the viewer that the viewer and artist were jointly involved in telling and remembering. I will look for more of his work.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Quilters' Attic Sale at Guild

Several husbands lent a hand

On the hottest night in 3 years, a number of guild members and a few happy-to-help-us-get-rid-of-stuff husbands put on a quilters' attic sale at the July meeting of the Charlotte Quilters Guild.

I rented 3 tables at $5 each to help move some of my stash into other hands. Rent money went to support our guild library.

Jeri setting up

After bringing our supplies in, we tried to set up our sales in appealing ways. Folks used different approaches and had quite a variety quilt related items to sell. Always fun to see what others are getting rid of.

Wish I had seen the Elna Press

I wish I had spotted this press in my quick circle around the tables. That might be a very nice addition to my studio equipment.

Yummy hand dyes

And I am always a sucker for beautiful hand-dyed fabrics.

Color coordinated bundles in zip lock bags

This was my set up, easy to put together and remove again.

Organized on bolts

Thank goodness my stash is in smaller amounts, lots of different fabrics, but little that would go onto bolts.

Colorful bins and neatly folded fabrics well labeled

Some of the folks knew how to make a very inviting display.

Magazines and books

Conversation over quilts for sale

Lots of conversation and fun around the room. More talking than buying was the reality.

Conversations and fun amidst the hunt

Probably the most accurate comment of the night was made by one wag: "A quilters' attic sale is like holding open bar at Alcoholics Anonymous."

Most of us at least paid for our tables. I made enough to pay for an artist assistant for a couple more afternoons. I will now donate all the fabric, patterns and tools to continue moving stuff out. That will give me 9 drawers that are empty.

And that moves much out of our garage, which is my reserve space for my studio overflow. Would love to be able to put at least one car in the 2 1/2 car garage this winter.

Anyone with experience in donating lots of fabric, please share what you learned in the process.

Also, what do you think about a press?

Happy Quilting


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Edges and Finishes by Campbell-Harding

Edges & Finishes by Valerie Campbell-Harding, Quilters' Resource publications

Campbell-Harding's book is full of design and embellishment ideas that will be enough inspiration for years.
This book is full of eye candy for the art quilter and embroiderer.

Chapters include multiple examples and high level how-to information on a variety of ways to use different finishes. Chapters include: fabric edges, stitched edges, fringes, cords and braids, tassels and suppliers, including on line suppliers.

Examples of the use of the techniques include 3 dimensional pieces, book covers, purses, and journal pages. Most of the work is done on a standard sewing machine, but one with fancy stitches can be used to create wonderfully imaginative work, including doing one's own decorative tapes to be used as finishes, and embellishment. I could use all those 100 + stitches on my Pfaff with these ideas.
Several of the ideas include patterns.

Beaded Book

This book caught my eye. Loved the colors, the decorative beading and the beaded cord ends. Directions for the beading are included. This book is art itself, even if nothing is inside. But wouldn't it be lovely for an artist's portfolio? Be still my beating heart!!


Here is a purse showing a number of the techniques, edges, cording, raw edge fabric, embroidery, tabs, etc. While there are a number of finished works, including bowls and sculpture, there are many more small examples and sketches of ideas in progress and with great variety.

If you are looking for detailed projects and instructions, you may be inspired and frustrated at the same time. If you are looking for something new to do, want to increase your finishing techniques, or want to explore personally creative uses for those pretty embroidery stitches in your machine, I would recommend this book heartily.


Friday, June 18, 2010

New Museums All Around

Bechtler Museum of Modern Art; Mario Botta architect

This is a very exciting time, there are lots of new and renovated museums opening this year.

Carol Miller, Quilt University, has great pictures of the reopening of one of my all time favorite museums, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond VA. I grew up in walking distance and took my first art classes there during elementary school. Several of Monet's waterlilies were in the downstairs hallway next to student classrooms, to give you some idea of how long ago this was.
Currently they have an exhibition on Tiffany windows and glass. This fall they will have an exhibition on quilts from the Winterthur Museum collection.

In Charlotte NC we are blessed with 2 new or upgraded museums, one is The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. It is a marvel of architecture housing an incredible multimillion dollar collection of early 20th century art donated by Andreas Bechtler. He and his parents collected the art over the last 75 years from artists they knew personally. I was delighted to see a variety of fiber pieces by very well known artists. They were not fiber artists, but painters who had translated their art into fiber.

Another time I will write about the new Harvey B Gantt Museum of African-American Art + Culture. It is another wonderfully, expanded and upgraded museum in Charlotte. The architect used design motifs from the quilting tradition for the outside walls.

Have you visited any new museums or expanded museums? Any fiber art represented in them? Please share.

Thanks for reading, and I look forward to hearing from you.