Thursday, December 16, 2010

When I grow up.....

I went to see "Quilts = Art = Quilts" yesterday, for the second time. It's an art quilt show. When I grow up, I hope to have something juried into this show. Every time I go, I realize they will send me back a very short note, saying simply, "You're kidding, right?"
I consider myself a non-traditional traditional quilter. I like to use unusual fabrics for traditional quilts. I like to change things here and there to make mine a little different. And I do enjoy seeing a picture in my head become a reality in fabric. But to consider one of my pieces a work of art? Not so much, in spite of what my best friend said after we left the gallery.
This is my very first "art quilt". (sorry for the washed out colors) We used to have a wonderful quilting event called the Big Tree Quilters Conference. I was a new baby quilter when I started attending this show. Every year my favorite part was part of the traveling exhibit from the Hoffman Challenge. I would buy the fabric for the next year, let it inspire me a while, never get the piece finished and then be amazed at how close my idea was to some of the ones in the show! The second to last year of the conference, ( I still miss this event- it could have been one of the premiere shows in the nation by now!) MaryLee and I challenged each other to make something for the next year's show with the newest fabric. Neither of us finished in time to enter, but I did eventually finish this piece. I spent weeks studying a "bromeliad" plant to get the leaves right. I was lucky to find one of those "ombre" fabrics so I could do some shading on them.

I hunted and hunted for fabric to be my rotted log. I hadn't even thought of machine quilting yet, so I did very close "moss" stitching by hand.

I appliqued each leaf of the blossom, but the hummingbird (who is incorrect for a rainforest scene) is only six pieces.

When it was done, as I trimmed the border, the ruler slipped. To fix it. I'd have been cutting into my hand quilting, so I left it "wonky". As a result, it has never been in any displays, except in my home.
I hope I have come a long way since this piece, but this one will always be my favorite because it was the first time I had ever actually made one of my ideas a reality! That feeling is indescribable!
So I have kept trying new things- learning from some wonderfully talented artists and being inspired by others. A few of my favorites from the current year's exhibit are:
Liz Kuny- look for a piece called "A Steady Beat"
Jo-Ann Golenia- Look for "Gifts from the Sea"
Randall Cook- make sure you check out the detail shots in his gallery to see the magnificent thread work!
I've discovered I really like the way they do sort of random piecing then cut it up and piece it again I love the very close lines of stitching in many of the artists use to add color or texture. I also discovered that a book I just bought was written by Pat Durbin, whose piece titled "Beside the Still Waters" took my breath away!
So, someday I may make something good enough to hang beside these in a gallery. Until then, I will be thankful I can be inspired by their talents!

I am grateful for:
Guy will be home in 5 more days!
Less snow at my house.
A day to play with MaryLee ( and giving her a break from grading papers!)
Christmas cookies (moo!)
Finding out I do not have carpal tunnel syndrome!

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