Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Benefit Auction

This week I ahve been busily creating some pieces for an Art Auction to benefit a wonderful local artist who is in the middle of a massive battle against a very aggressive brain cancer. Tracey is in her mid forties and took herself to the Emergency Room this past early summer with what was thought to be a bad migraine. Instead it was determined that she had three tumors growing in her brain. She was taken to surgery and the tumors were removed- thank goodness they were able to get to them and disks saturated with chemotherapeutic drugs were placed at the tumor sites. Then the real battle began, 6 weeks of daily radiation treatments and daily doses of Chemo.
Tracey is incredibly fit and active and a very gifted artist and a wonderful person. She is married to a Marine and lives in Fredericksburg. Women Tracey's age are not supposed to be afflicted by this sort of Brain Cancer. Now Tracey is continuing her fight down at Duke University Medical School where she has been enrolled in the Brain Cancer Program for this specific type of Cancer. Tracey is very connected to the arts Community if Fredericksburg and several of her closest friends are arranging an Arts Auction to help the Clarks deal with the mounting costs associated with traveling back and forth to Duke for further tests and treatments. As Mr Clarke works for the US Marines, they are blessed with good health coverage.
I have met Tracey three times, but she made a large impact on my life as an artist and as a very open and caring woman. She was a featured artist at FCCA in the Members Gallery last June. As I am the Coordinator of events in the Members Gallery, it was my pleasure to meet with her during the hanging of her exhibit and to introduce her to my daughter as her work depicting animals is something that Becca is fascinated by. Tracey is completely self taught. She spent several moments talking with Becca and explaining how very important it is to stick with something and to constantly practive to achieve ones goals. to learn more about Tracey and to see her incredible art you can go to here blog, here.

This is a small example of the amazing work that Tracey does. this is one of the birds that was on for sale at Tracey's June Show at FCCA. She also had a Black Capped Chickadee that I was in love with but someone else beat me to it!

Now we are preparing for the Art Auction the will take place on Saturday November 5th from 4-6pm at Tracey's church New City Fellowship. I hope that I will see many of my local friends at the auction, artists or not!!
The hand felted and beaded Christmas Ornaments at the top of this post will also be included in the Auction but my major effort has been concentrated in creating this special piece. To create this collaged necklace, I have used a vintage name plate fitted with some of my fabric paper domed with resin, as a focal .
I have combined fresh water pearls, hand made Tyvek beads, tiny brass bird figures, a Brazilian opal, some lavender crystals, some hand dyed silk ribbons and a tiny charm printed with the word Hope. The chains that I use were gathered from vintage jewelry and a very old watch chain.

After finishing this piece I realized that it speaks strongly piece of the quote by Emily Dickinson about hope,.

  1. Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without words, and never stops at all"

I have just discovered that Tracey also maintains a blog about animals titled "Not One Sparrow". I have made this piece in honor of Tracey and all that she is going through and her immense compassion for all of God's creatures. I hope that someone will love it as much and be generous with their contributions to Tracey's fight for her life.

Tracey and her husband Craig ,and least importantly I, would ask that you all include Tracey in your thoughts and prayers for a strong and decisive victory against this insidious cancer.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Power Suit Challenge Quilts Part 2

The Power Suit Challenge Quilt Show is an amazing compilation of 18 x18 inch Art Quilts done in a wonderful array of styles using both traditional and more Artsy methods of expression.
This amazing Owl was done by Kate from Fairfax City , VA. I really love this quilt! See I told you it was difficult to pick just one favorite!!!!
For this owl Kate used lots of the very textured suiting samples that she got in her challenge pack and she added many upholstery fabrics from her own stash! It was real pleasure to meet Kate at the show!!
When you look at these quilts remember that you can click on the picture and see an even larger version!!

This quilt was is an example of the lighter side of the Power Suit- a bathing beauty with her Blackberry.!!
The color and design in this Robot quilt made lots of people stop and take a long look!! Wonderful!

This is an example of a more traditional pattern with a great use of so many of the samples of both the shirt and suiting fabrics.

This wonderful piece is right up my alley in terms of thinking where the real power of the world should be centered. This quilt is by quilt artist Betsy Stone.

This quilt is a masterpiece of piecing techniques! The detail and use of the fabrics is amazing!!
This quilt also made me laugh at all the little cloned suits all tied together and walking in lock step- sad really!
I love the sentiment and colors in this quilt. this artist chose not to use the sample fabrics and that was totally ok!
I loved the detail and the use of tiny pieces in this tradionally designed quilt with lots of more modern flair. The artist sprinkled all sorts of clothing labels all over the wonderful red borders!
This story quilt was created by my good friend Barb Boatman. She used lots of the sample fabrics and added pictures of herself in various suits from through out her various careers. She is most comfortable, these days on her red Harley Motorcycle!!
This is another Wonder Woman depiction full of lots of great color!!
This quilt collaged almost all of the components of the Challenge pack in a very creative way.
This quilt was the subject of a very long conversation between two men who were spending lots of time discussing all the quilts and trying to figure out the point of view of each before reading the artist's statement. It was lots of fun to watch the men get so involved in studying each quilt- something that is not often seen at other quilt shows!!

This is just a small sampling of the 108 Quilts that are on Display at Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria thru the end of November. A special Show CD has been created and is available for Purchase thru Artistic Artifacts for just $10. The money from the cd will help defray the costs incurred when this show goes on the road!! For details about that little bit of news you will ahve to get in touch with Cyndi Souder and Judy Gula!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Opening Night- The Power of The Flower

Opening Night of the Power Suit Art Quilt Show was a smashing success!! Cyndi Souder of Moonlighting Quilts and Judy Gula ,proprietress of Artistic Artifacts did a fabulous job with this first challenge from start to finish!! It was such fun to be there to see all of the wonderful quilts and to see all of the artist's various takes on the concept of Power Suit. Each artist had the choice of using the sample books of shirt fabrics and suit fabrics that were a part of each challenge pack. Other fabrics could be added and it was not required that the sample fabrics be used at all.
The only thing that would have made the evening better was to have had all of the Art Quilt Artists in attendance! As it was we had about 50 of us artists there. The place was packed with visitors and artists. It was such fun!!

This is a picture of Judy, on the right and Cyndi, on the left, making announcements and introducing the next Challenge. Many of us almost did not recognize Judy the Glamorous!! We all know Judy the Artist. Last night she had a new , beautiful hair cut, had on make up and was wearing serious pumps!!!
There were 108 art quilts from 105 artists from all across America and Canada. 160 art packets were handed out and 108 were returned!!!!! Judy and Cyndi said that they would have been thrilled to get back 50- needless to say they are overwhelmed with the response and the beautiful quilts! Each quilt measures 18 inches by 18 inches.
So the quilts: I took lots of pictures and I am going to just post them for you now!!

Hear is Cyndi Souder standing by the portrait of her Dad. this is her very first Portrait quilt and it is a stunner!! the shading and the detail and use of fabrics is amazing! Such talent!!

Judy ended up creating two quilts. Her quilts were all about the Suffragettes that marched on Washington back in the 20's. Many of the women pictured here were imprisoned in Lorton Penitentiary. This prison has now been converted into a marvelous art center, called the Workhouse.
It was so fascinating to look at each of these art quilts and see where or if each artists had used the fabric samples that had been part of the Challenge Packs.

This is my quilt -Power of the Flower. In my piece I took all of the light colored shirting fabrics and sun printed them with a plastic doily used as a mask. I also used the doily to sun print the darker shirting fabrics with green paint to make the leaves. The leaves are double sided so I could attach them so as to allow them to have dimension. I used suiting samples to create the vases and the background is a sun printed piece of damask linen splashed with rock salt to achieve the mottling effect. I used all of the buttons in the challenge packet along with many of my own vintage buttons as the flower centers. Each of the flowers is represented by a Yo Yo - a very old quilting technique that was used for making wonderful scrap coverlets.

If you click on the above picture it will enlarge so you can read my artists statement. Basically I did not want to go with the literal representation of the Power Suit. As it is hard to have much respect for most of the men and women who wear suits and hold power in the world these days, I went with flower power because of all of the impact that gardening , growing and flowers have had in my own life. Agriculture has such power in our world, the power to feed and to purify water and hold back mountainsides. It has the potential for changing our world for the better in the future if we will only embrace the concept of climate change and act now to protect our environment. So Yah , I guess that if you really look in the weeds, I did get political! Who me?????

That would be me with my quilt.

This was one of my favorites. We were tasked with picking the quilt that made us Think, the quilt that made us Laugh and the quilt that was our Favorite. This was an impossible task- I really liked them all! I just loved the whole Birthday Suit Idea and the way it was accomplished!

I met the gal who made this quilt titled Cognition. She has a degree in Physics and works for NASA in Greenbelt Maryland. Amy was delightful and I really enjoyed her piece. She had drawn all sorts of numerical equations around the cogs that she made out of the wool suitings that she had felted. Clever Girl!! The bottom border piece is a piece of waistband from a pair of jeans. She said that her power suit- daily attire- was a pair of jeans so she had to include it!

This quilt titled Victorian Power Suit was made by my good friend Linda Morgan. Linda is a doll and a very talented collage artist who works primarily with paper. You would never know that she was not a textile artist after looking at this piece! I believe that this is her very first quilt!!!! This piece is amazing! She did all of the bead work and the back ground is layered with the suitings and all sorts of laces and then beads and buttons. The skirts of this gal are made from men's ties!! I just adore this piece!
Her is a picture of the artist herself standing below her wonderful quilt!! She had so much fun that she ahs signed on for the Arts and Old Lace Challenge!! Way to go Linda!!

this wonderful piece is titled Flower Power by renowned Art Quilt Artist Jamie Fingal!! It was so exciting to see Jamie's work in person. Her work has a very specific color and style and i knew instantly that this was her piece!!! Jamie is a wonderful gal and an awesome artist, click on her name and stop by her blog for a visit! Jamie described her power suit as being made of color and fun and flowers- Perfection!!

This quilt really caught my eye because of the unique construction of the arm with the hand doing the hand shaking. So cool!

This quilt made me chuckle!! i love the way the artist depicted the Evolution of the Power Suit! So clever!!!

this quilt really caught my eye because of the intricate work done to construct the 3-D figures of the Train Engineer and Conductor. I don't remember what the artists statement said but I am thinking that there must have been some railroad men in the artists family history!! Beautifully done!

This quilt was very eye catching and beautifully made!! The men's shirt fabrics were the back ground for this fabulous rendition of the Wonder Woman suit of Power!!

this was an unusual quilt for this topic. You can see that the pennants were made from the suiting fabrics. I loved the color in this quilt but again unfortunately, I don't remember the artist's statement.

I really love the graphic quality of this quilt. I have a very hard time doing monochromatic work and I always am drawn to it when I see it so beautifully crafted. The right hand side of this piece is actually made from an old tux complete with studs!

This quilt is full of family history and great collage techniques.

This is a beautiful quilt titled Pearls. the artist speaks of the power women in her life when she was growing up and their power suits were always finished off with a classic strand of pearls!! I love how she did the tiny patchwork background and then did the wonderful bead embroidery with the pearls .

The color and the concept of this piece really caught my eye. It is called Skin Deep. Being a scientist by training, I immediately got what the artists was saying here with her quilt. She said that" We are all born with our own Power Suit- our skin." this is her anatomical representation of the layers of our skin, our largest and super powerful and important organ!!! Love it!!

These portraits of four dogs are beautifully done to depict the artists version of a Power Suit!!

There were several quilts about the environment in and around Washington DC. One cannot live in this area and get far away from it for long. The frustration on all sides is palpable. This quilt made me chuckle because of the depiction of the Suits with their pants on Fire!! Clever!!! It really reflects the frustration that we all have with Congress!!

This beautiful piece was the only quilt in the show done in a Crazy Quilt style. This was made by Art Quilt artist Brian Haggard. Brain was the only man that entered a piece in the challenge. Maybe with the next challenge we will get submissions by a few more men. Art Quilts are not just for girls you know! this piece is beautifully done and I was really pleased to hear that Judy had just received Brian's new book ! the book is called Crazy Quilted Memories and it is a beautifully done, new take on crazy quilting!! I am pleased to have it to add to my textile book collection. Brian really comes at Crazy Quilts in a whole new way and the directions, samples and embroidery and embellishment ideas are very inspiring!!

Cat Woman in The Capital was a popular favorite!
As was this anime style character that was made by an artist who works in the comic book industry!! It was all so fascinating!!
I have several more quilts to share with you but it is getting very late and I am afraid that I am going to make a mistake and loose all of the work that I have done on the post thus far.
SOooo, I am going to say good Night and come back tomorrow and share the remaining quilts that I have pictures of. I hope that you have enjoyed the show so far, there is so much more to see than what I have shown you here!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Power Suit Art Quilt Challenge- A FREE Party!!!

This weekend, Saturday evening to be exact, is the big Opening of the Power Suit Art Quilt Challenge at Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria VA.!! this is going to be quite the big event and has been about 8 months in the making!! This all began last winter when friend and wonderful teacher and quilter, Cyndi Souder of Moonlighting Quilts was asked if she had any use for some sample books of fabrics from a men's tailor in DC. Cyndi ,of course, said yes! A full truck load of sample books later, the Power Suit Challenge was cooked up with the help of quilt artist Judy Gula.
If you happened to be at the Cincinnati Quilt Show this Spring you might have heard all about this challenge. Many quilters from all over the US and Canada have sent in over 100, 18 in X 18 in quilts that reflect what they were inspired to create by the term Power Suit.
More details about the specifics of the challenge can be found here!

Basically Cyndi and Judy made up free packets containing a fabric sample book of shirt fabrics and a fabric sample book of suit fabrics, an old silk tie and several old buttons. We could use some all or none of the fabrics, but our quilt had to be 18 x 18 and had to be based on the phrase Power Suit in some way.

The Party to Reveal all of the Quilts is Saturday the 22nd of October at Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria from 4pm to 8 pm and it is open to the Public and Free!!!! A free Party with fabulous artwork, delightful artists and Nibbles!!! The show will be hanging throughout the month of November so if you MUST miss the party, you can come by and see the quilts later.

You may remember the picture at the top of this post as I posted a similar photo when I was hatching my plans for my quilt. As most plans do , my immediate thoughts on the quilt morphed into something very different but with some vague similarities. Judy and Cyndi have asked that we not reveal the designs of our quilts till after our Opening Gala, so this shot will have to do! I will be back with more pictures of the Opening and specifics on my quilt and lots of pictures of other quilts, next week!

Come on out and join us on Saturday in Alexandria for the Opening Gala of the Power Suits Art Quilt Challenge, if you can!! We would love to have each and every one of you there!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sun Prints Follow Up

After yesterdays post, and showing the prints as they were drying in the sun after all of the work of setting them up, I thought I should share the results!! Seems only fair, right???

This was the 'in the sun drying shot' that you saw in the last post. The following shots show the prints after the botanical elements have been removed.

This print is the results of the print with the yellow daisy like flowers. You can see that the pollen from the center of each flower leaves a stain on the fabric. I have tried to wash the pollen stain out but it refuses to budge. Another wonderful element added form sun printing with botanicals , as far as I am concerned!!! This print was done on a piece of vintage linen hand towel and you can see the open work stitching along the bottom edge.
The tiny little star like spots are actually floral prints from this flower.
This is the perennial form of verbena and I grow it as it is a favorite with the bees and the butterflies. It does seed itself quite vigorously so I do pull out many seedlings in the spring. To use these florets in the sun prints, I pull out each little stemmed flower and place it face down on the wet cloth. The stems stick straight up in the air and seal very nicely to the fabric leaving a nice crisp edge. It does take quite a bit of time to prep each blossom and carefully place it, but the results are worth it!!
The flowers also happen to be a very intense violet and sway and wave in the breeze so wonderfully with many butterflies and bees drinking away- such fun to have in the garden!!!

You also saw this shot in my last post. Here are the hydrangea blossoms all laid out for printing.

This is one of the prints from the above picture. I used a piece of white eyelet cotton to print on.
Here you can see a mix of blossoms and leaves with the verbena florets mixed in. It is always so interesting to see how the paint moves to blur the edges or leave sharp crisp edges. You never know what has happened till you remove the mask elements.

I have just posted several sets of Leafy greens sun prints to my Etsy Shop. You can see them here. They are all 5 X 7 panels of fine cotton that have been sun printed with leaves and foliage to accompany the blossom and lace sun prints that have been previously listed.

And now, here it is, a picture of 'Zelda' Woodford. Now anyone who knows Becca or if you are friends with her on Face Book, had better not breath a word of this posting!!!!!!! Don't You DARE!!!!! She will kill me!!!!
I did want to show you the results of our costuming efforts. She was so thrilled with it all and went off to High School excited and happy to see what kind of response was in store for her.

REMEMBER No Comments to Becca about this picture!!!!!


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