Friday, April 10, 2015

What I am Working On

I have taken a liking to hand work.  Hand piecing to be exact.  While I have no desire to create a large quilt by hand, I enjoy creating the small projects that are manageable for me to finish.

I took a class with Cindy Blackberg last year.  She has rubber stamps for her hand piecing patterns.  The have the cut line and the sew line on them and make the process easier (in my opinion).  Loved her technique.  This quilt uses her spool stamps combined with hand embroidery.  Almost finished (Steve is enjoying the project as well.)  

Thursday, April 9, 2015


I believe one quality that many artists posess is the ability to SEE - see objects and surroundings in a way that translates into art in their mind.  It becomes an automatic sense and fills and fuels their creativity and ability to move their visions into their chosen medium.

I have had the privilege of spending time with some artists that I admire and had the opportunity to follow them and see how they see.  I was fascinated to listen to their reactions to their surrounding and even mundane things.   They find inspiration in so many things and are able to save what they saw and recall it - bring it back and use it.

Last summer I spend a week with Kaari Meng, artist, designer, author and entrepreneur,at her annual retreat.  We were joined in the glorious South of France by a few other artists - her sister and friends. As expected we learned a lot in classes, creating bracelets. weavings and books.  I learned equally as much watching Kaari peruse the old linens in the market place - saw how and where she found her inspiration for her fabric collections.  The tattered bits of antiquity found their way into contemporary fabric because of her vision.

October brought Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably to our shop for a lecture and workshop.  He is a multi disciplinary artist with an earned reputation for the ability to create and combine bold pattern and color.  I immensely enjoyed following him around for an extra day and marveled at his reaction to the photographs in the hotel lobby and the sky before a storm over the Atlantic.  We visited museums and it was a treat to listen to their reactions and interpretations.  

While I enjoy taking classes and learning tips and techniques from creative people whom I admire, I believe the time spent with them simply listening and trying to see what they see is amazing.  I look forward to seeing what other artists see in the near future.

Friday, April 3, 2015

My creativity is mine.
All mine.

No one can take it away from me.  I don't depend on anyone for it.  It brings me security and peace.  It doesn't cost money.  I can share it but I can't give it away.  Sometimes it gets lost but it always comes back.

I think everyone has it.  Maybe at different levels.  Perhaps they don't recognize it or they suppress it.  That would be sad.  I can nurture and feed it.  Expand upon it.  

I watched a show this morning and it profiled a young artist.  He lost his eyesight  but never lost his creativity.  He nurtured his talents to raise over $1 million for charity with his art.  

Life is uncertain, unbalanced, unexplainable.  I can always find some stability and comfort with pens and paper and needles and thread.  The older I get the wiser I am to know that my creativity will be with me through my last breath.  It will be a constant part of travels and adventures during my forever.  Even as I write about it, I finish with a smile and a heart full of satisfaction. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Toy du Jour - Thermofax Screens

Do we every really grow up?  I still want new toys to play with.  

The shoemaker's children have no shoes.  My staff says this when I complain that I don't have tons of fabric and every cool quilt gadget at home.  Don't pity me however, because I never leave a quilt show (or craft store or book store) empty handed.  The Broward Quilt Expo was no exception. So, what did I get?

Thermofax screens and fabric paint!  I have seen them often mentioned in art quilting magazines and blogs and have wanted to try them.  The wonderful gals at the fiber arts booth gave me a quick how-to and home I went.  Using Theremofax screens are simple and reasonably priced method of screenprinting.  In the photo above I used a screen with an old written letter design and some silver and brown paints on solid and hand dyed fabrics.  They will make nice additions to art quilts.  Have you used Thermofax in quilts?