August 25, 2011

Back in To-Day

Title:  "Back in To-Day"
Size:  20" wide x 14 1/2" tall
Fabrics:  Cotton
Techniques:  Photo printing, applique, free piecing, fabric painting, thread painting, and machine quilting

Quilter's Statement (this will be included with the displayed quilt):   I have shortened the statement for the show and included a fuller description here on the blog.

When I first thought about what modern quilting meant to me, I immediately researched the word “modern”.  I harkened back to my art history days in college, and remembered that Modern Art began with the Impressionists, Romanticists, and those genres that used bold colors and graphic patterns.  As I researched the term modern quilters, looked at the conversations that were being had on quilt blogs and discussion boards, what modern is to me was born. 

Modern is anything created To-Day/To-Date.  It is any thing that is created recently, contemporaneously, that expresses our world today.  In a world that is so fleeting and fad oriented, modern is anything current and may no longer be viewed as modern, in as little as a year from now.  And thus the idea for my quilt was formed. 

I learned to quilt about 11 years ago, from a Quilting for Dummies book and a group of women that decided to start a quilting bee.  The bee has long since dissolved, but the desire to quilt was formed from that experience.  As a creative spirit, with years of knitting, sewing, crocheting, painting, and all things creative under my belt, it was only a matter of time that quilting would take its place in my heart.  Fiber art is an amazing medium for expression and as knitting became more expensive for gift giving…quilting took its place.  I had never taken any classes or joined any guilds until a year ago, and much of what I had done was self taught.  I realized I wanted to learn more about the “traditional” art form that is quilting, and set out buying books and taking classes to help me understand it from its early days.

I became fascinated by the fabric that was used and the functionality of quilting in contrast to the way it is used today, as an expression and often times its own art form.  That is when I searched the library of congress for photos from the U.S. Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information.  I specifically looked for images of people quilting in this country in the 1920s through the 1940s.  I found a number of images; however this one struck me the most: “Woman who has not yet found a place to move out of the Hinesville Army camp area working on a quilt in her smokehouse. Near Hinesville, Georgia.  Call Number: LC-USF34- 043775-D [P&P].  This woman did not have a home at the time and quilted in her smokehouse.  I realized how fortunate I was to have a room that I can dedicate to quilting…my own personal smokehouse. It too has a dual purpose, as a guest room. 

It is from here that the idea began.  I wanted to show that she was modern in 1941 just as I am modern in 2011.  I am depicted creating a modern quilt, just as she was making her modern quilt.  I focused on using colors in the back ground that was more representative of the 1940s because they are still in use today, and can be considered modern because I am creating them in 2011.  I created a mini quilt using bold and bright colors as symbolic of the fabric in use today and the evolution of the textile industry.

While working on this piece, I was most amazed at the way in which it evolved.  I very rarely begin with a sketch, image or idea before hand, and I did for this piece.  I originally thought that this piece would have more color and use more fabric that is indicative of the patterns, prints and colors used today.  However, as it evolved, the piece spoke in its own way, and decided to remain a bit more neutral in scope.  It developed into a framed art piece.  As I began putting the images together, it started to look like the old photos that were framed in both of my grandmother’s homes.  I remembered the photo of my grandmother that appears to be black and white with a hint of color, sitting next to the framed picture of me that had more color in the photo.  This is what this piece began to remind me of.  As I continued to work on it, I decided to keep some of the retro fabric and use more of the Japanese vintage printed fabric.  The Japanese printed fabric reminded me of the feed sacks from the 1920s through the 1950s.  I also like that this fabric depicts advertisements of sewing items from that time as well.

I found this piece to be challenging because I was filled with so many thoughts and ideas for it.  However, I was limited by time and size, and knew that I needed to complete it.  I was unsure of where I would end up in the creative process and had to remind myself that I must be satisfied with it no matter what it finally looked like.  So I would work on it, step away a week, come back and work feverishly on it, then be forced to take another step back.  As I reached the final stages, the real challenges began.  I began to ask, “Is it completed?  Does it need something more?  Do I write on it?  Do I add more color?  How do I bind it?  What do I use to bind it?”  Finally, I just jumped in to finish it.  I hope to continue working on this idea, perhaps on a slightly larger scale and play with some other ideas, embellishments and “modern” techniques. 

I hope you enjoy what modern means to me…As I take a look “Back in To-Day”.

This is are a few pics of the process leading up to the big finish.

August 22, 2011

Ohhh the agony of the quilt....

Okay....I am writing this to ensure that I don't use the next week and a half to make another quilt for the Sew and Quilt Expo.  I must say....When I was asked to create a 15" x 20" piece that demonstrated what modern quilting meant to many glorious ideas came to mind.  So many, that I had to sketch some, write others, and just realized that there were not that many hours in a day to complete the gazillion ideas that came to mind.

So i settled on this. (Oh and the lighting does not show how nice the gold looks on the black and white pic..or how the off white and blue pics up...)

And during this process, I must say, it metamorphised into something slightly different than what I initially sketched out.  I also, got lost in the quilting.  I was not sure what to do...I managed to stipple around the edge to allow the filigree (sp) white to pop.  Not sure if it comes across in this picture...Overall, I guess I am happy with it.  I plan to redo it slightly larger and more ornate..I attempted some new techniques, i.e., thread painting, fabric painting, and other methods of enhancing.  I even used Misty Fuse for the first time.  So, why do I say the agony of the quilt.... Its because I do not believe I did the piece justice with the quilting.  This was the second go round.  The first, I ended up pulling it out...then I realized that the fabric sheets used to print photos are not that forgiving with the I had to sort of redo what I took out...otherwise it would not have worked...

On a fun note, I actually loved searching through the library of congress and finding this pic of this woman from Hinesville, GA army camp, that was awaiting reassignment to a place to live.  She was quilting in this smoke house in 1941.  (The pic is copyright free...I even have the print out giving me the okay...smiles just in case.)  So from that I came up with a concept.  For me, what makes something modern, is when it was created.  So she was modern in 1941...and I am modern today...So ten years from now, I may not be viewed as modern...But I would say that it was modern "Back in To-Day".  (The name of the quilt)

Anyway...I clearly need to let it go...and know that it is a work of art...atleast my art...and it is...what modern means to me.

Oh and yes, I still owe a feed sack discussion.

August 19, 2011

Stash O Hexy

 I have to admit...I am loving the EPP.  Thank you to the Red Headed Mermaid...she got me into my stash.  (Remember from the Patchwork in Starbucks, she cut a piece from every fabric in her stash.)  It has been a liberating experience.  I have found that it feels better than touching my sewing machine at times.  Its mindless, no concerns, and I can drift away into my clouds.  I actually feel like I am reliving the fabric purchasing experiences.

So amidst the turmoils of this week...lets just take a moment and say god is great...all the time..and now I shall Breathe...Family emergencies do take there toll on you.  But I am happy to report...all is as well as it could could have been oh so much worse.  Family member hit while on a bike...cracking windshields...and guess head injury about gods grace and mercy...the lower thats all torn up..but he's mobile to some extent...perhaps lots of surgeries in the future...but moving about for now...whew...

So about the stash of Hexy.  I strongly recommend this project to everyone who had the "Fabric is to Good  to Use Blues."  I am sure I posted somewhere about that...if i find it, i will link it.  Anyway, for those of you that understand..or suffered from this dilemma...its when you buy fabric...and its wonderful and great...and set aside for that special project...and the special project doesn't happen and then it becomes just that really nice fabric that might be used someday.  Well thats the its too good to use blues...and the red headed's idea is the perfect medicine for that.  It begins with just cutting a 5 inch square off.  You do this from each piece of fabric in your stash and create your EPP hexy from it, or whatever you choose.

Its liberating..cuz guess what...after you cut into is not as crisp and untouchable anymore...and now its fair this is where i am...and ohhhh soo many more pieces to go....what fun...

Stay tuned to my posts about the Antique Feed Sacks.....

August 10, 2011

The ULTIMATE BLOCK PARTY...when the Quilters "TOOK" Manhattan

Victoria (American Alliance of Quilters [AAQ] Board Member, NYC Metro Mod Quilters Guild Pres..and so much more...)  I call her Queen B.

First Season Winner of Project Runway, Jay McCarroll on the right..

Hanging with the Fon's...Daughter Mary ( and Mother Marianne (of the famed Fons and Porter)

AAQ Board Member and Quilter Luke Haynes

Paula Nadelstern with a captive audience.

Timeless Treasures very own Chelsea Peluso

Yes she was really here...and I was so name tag..

Amy Milne, AAQ's Executive Director extraordinare...

NYC MMQ's very own Jackie Kunkel (canton village works) with Mary Bostwick (fiction writer..)

Showing off their auction wins...

Admiring Jay's Bag

Luke Haynes..AAQ Board Member and Piece that was Auctioned off

AAQ Board Member Victoria Findlay Wolfe's piece that was auctioned off.

AAQ Board Member Frances Holliday Alford's piece for auction...I met her...she is amazing....

Another AAQ board member's piece

AAQ Board Member Allison Aller...Auctioned and sold...smiles

Yes, it was an amazing Saturday night.  I am not sure what was more decadent...the fact that I was surrounded by so many incredibly talented people, or that I was able to sip wine and eat food while around allllll of that fabric.  Ha...It was indeed a treat...

The weekends goodie bags was an added bonus...well you all know by now that I won the Go Baby fabric cutter the Friday night at modern stories...but the bags were filled with quilt kits by bernatex, aurafil thread...magazines...thimbles, fusible stuff, and all sorts of goodies...Fabuuuuuuulllous...

And then...there was Sunday Sew Day with my NYC Metro Mod folks..stay tuned for those lovely pics...and day of sewing fun...

August 6, 2011

Come and "Go Baby" Home with me....

WOOOOO HOOOOOOOO.  I must say, I let out a squeal of delight, when the numbers 175137 were called out for the very last door prize/raffle give away at the Modern Stories: Documenting the Modern Quilt Movement event last night.  (Quilter's did indeed TAKE Manhattan)  The event was fantastic.  Queen Bumble Beans was absolutely wonderful...Hearing her story, her sharing, her vision, her energy...Everyone was (from my vantage point) absolutely riveted to their seats.  No chatting and sounds from a room of what looked like 100 or so folks.

The Panelists were so unique, distinct, and incredible.  Nancy Soriano (co-founder of The Creative Connection Event), Melanie Testa (textile designer and fiber artist), Kim Hryniewicz ("sewist", quilter and Adjunct FIT Instructor), Jennifer Paganelli (Si Boom, owner, textile designer), and John Adams (quiltmaker and writer of Quilt Dad blog) each had a wonderful perspective as to what modern meant to them.  Also how the fiber world and todays world influences each of them and their respective creative talents.

I will be writing about the events of this weekend and more about the American Alliance of Quilters in the September Empire Quilters Guild Newsletter....Yes, I am now the editor of the newsletter.  New look, new energy...Yippee...

Now back to the reason for my squeal. So okay, as you see in the previous post, i started with the Hexy Stash quilt...thanks again to the That Red Headed Gal...smiles. and I thought, ugh it would be nice to have a way to cut cool shapes and just keep it moving.  I then remembered the accuquilt thing, also saw it in a quilters magazine that I often read.  So this week I started my research and realized they were costly I pumped the brakes on the impulse and decided to take a wait and see attitude.

So the drawings began, and i did not pay much attention to what was being offered, because typically, I VERY RARELY win raffles, lotteries, I was thinking, oh those books are, didn't win.  Well atleast I have my goodie bag...(and yes there were some goodies in the bag...smiles...go AAQ and all your sponsors.)  So as we were rounding off to the last item, I looked over...and what did I see...a Go Baby Fabric Cutter.  I thought to myself, "Self, I want that....its coming home with me."  then Amy, AAQ's Executive Director, number drawer extraordinare...said 175...137...and I let out my woooo hooooo....and thats how it became a Let's Go Baby...home with me....lovely....i must say...absolutely lovely.... Needless to say I was beaming...

Now, it was a wonderful event with the who's who's who of fiber, art, quilting etc.  Marianne and Mary Fons  (hope they don't mind..i snapped this cool pic of them...just wish I had a better camera.)  Paula Nadelstern, which I am happy to say, I met last week while at my favorite City Quilt shop, Mark Lapinski, Jay McCarroll and oh so many was an amazing Friday night in Midtown...when the Quilters took Manhattan...

August 5, 2011

Hexy from a Stash...

Thanks to patchwork in the park , er um Starbucks...I began a Hexy quilt with my stations...Thanks to "The Red Headed Mermaid", I started slicing into fabric that had not seen the light of day...Dare I say trip down memory lane...  It was a bit scary at first.

I was afraid that I would need every stitch of that fabric I bought seven years ago to finish the project that I thought I was going to do...but now forgot why I bought the fabric.  Then, I thought, my what lovely goodies, I will use all of this for some new idea.  Then I remembered what she said she told herself, "Its just five won't make much of a difference."  So, I began to hack away...

This is where I am now....and I am loving the idea...and still have another section to, find, and cut up the fabric thats in the stash.

August 2, 2011


Whew...I finished something...Smiles.  Seriously...I really finished something.  granted its 8 5/8 inches by 11 1/2 inches...ha ha ha....but it is completed...and technically it was for me..sort of.  Rather it is for the Alzheimers Art Quilt Initiative, but it is for sale to help raise money.  A first for me.  So here it is..

August 1, 2011

Dresses for the girls...

After a return to my favorite Quilt store Friday acquire solids on sale...Yikes...yes I went back after the earlier foray that afternoon at lunch...and yes I have loads more fabric...mostly solids...yum.

Ended up at Las Chicas Locas with some lovely quilters...for an evening of drinks and tapas and great convo...smiles..

So, i got in on Friday evening and what did i do...I finished my Alzheimer Quilt...Pics to follow.

And Saturday, decided to stray from my plan to work on the NYCMMQ (since I left my trusty flash drive at work), and whipped out these two lovelies...for my little NYC area ladies...