The purpose of this blog is share with others the processes involved in my favorite form of creativity- silk art quilts. The creative process itself is a fascinating thing. I am constantly amazed by it- both its simplicity and its complexity.

I feel strongly that I am a better person since I truly started following my dream. Because of collectors--those who actually buy original art-- I am able to live my dream. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You can see more of my work at my website http://www.rebelquilter.com/.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I've been tagged!

This is a blogger version of a chain letter but with no downside.. and no threats. I'm supposed to list 7 things that are odd about myself and pass that along to 7 others. I am picking Mary, Suzi, Pat, Dee, Emmie, and 2 others still to be named ( I don't know that many who have blogs!)

Ok. So 7 odd things about myself.
1) If you have ever heard me speak you'll know I sound much more like Texas than anywhere else. Alas, though I claim to be Texan, I was born in Ontario... as in Canada. My family moved to Texas when I was 3 so I learned to speak from other Texans. That works, eh?
2) My grandmother started doing water color drypoint botanical illustrations when she was over 60 yrs. old. As I understand it, she taught herself while ministering to my grandfather who was sick for a long period. ( I have no idea what was ailing him) As an avid amateur botanist and birder she had a lifelong affection for nature. On our birding outings I got great joy by creating strange bird sounds with the bird whistle. She'd get so excited thinking that she'd heard a new bird for her "life list". Then I'd get the "scowl".
3) at 53 I have been married for more than 2/3 of my life. Jon and I married when I was 17 and he was 18. The first 5 years we stayed together mostly to prove everyone else wrong. After that we learned to communicate.
4) I have delusions of grandeur- I keep thinking that someday my art will be my ticket to the world and I'll be able to glide through.
5) I am a fabulous cook and love to entertain. Someday one of my parties will be featured in Southern Living or some such magazine. If I could just afford the groceries. But I do love the salvege grocery for finding odd ingredients. I'm still trying to figure out how to use coconut vinegar.
6) Until I was an adult, the only "art class" I ever took was after school in 6th grade. I took pastel and oil painting from Mrs. Lipscomb in her garage studio. She usually finished the "hard parts" of my artwork.
7) Though I am left handed and proud of it, my physical strength is in my right hand. I use the left for anything requiring detail and finesse. I use right handed scissiors- the usual way, iron right handed, bat right handed ( or at least I did in school).
There! Now I just have to figure out the blog addresses for those I have tagged myself!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Visions of plenty: slipstream adventure

Here three out of four of the panels have the rows pieced. I wish I knew how to move these photos around. The left side of the second photo is the right side of the first photo.

Overall I am very pleased with the color movement. I should have the fourth panel's rows pieced by tomorrow. Then I'll start the backs- dyeing of same.

For the quilting--I am picturing not only tons of bubbles but for them to be arranged to appear to be flowing out of a slipstream. That means they'll have movement to them and not appear static.

As you can see, the panels shrink as they get pieced. So they are aleady 6 inches shorter and 4.5 inches narrower. They'll get another 6 inches shorter as I piece the rows together.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Magic time! Visions of Plenty

I finally got "Visions of Plenty" on the design wall. It'll be 12 blocks tall and 22 blocks wide. That translates to more or less 7 ft tall and 12+ ft wide. (somehow I wound up with fewer blocks than I estimated I had) It'll be divided into 4 sections of width- which will allow me to maintain good control while quilting this huge sucker. I got the 1st 6 rows of the left most section pieced today. It took about 5 hours just to lay out the blocks on the wall. (That black thing is my rolled up black paper photo backdrop)

I'm excited about this piece. The immense size - done on spec- is insane. I haven't yet decided on how I'll quilt it. But one thing I do know-- I'll be concentrating on lots of variety in the quilting itself. I'm considering doing something somewhat similar to how I handled the quilting on Yikes Stripes-- lots of varying sized, overlapping circles. Like bubbles gone mad! Each bubble would have a unique thread color and quilting pattern. I want the quilting to visually flow from one section to the next.

It is a statement about my frame of mind that I am doing a piece this large with this name. I've had an extraordinary level of losses this year. My father died, our 200 year old post oak died, my dearest friend is moving to Prague next week, and earlier this week I ran over my 17 yr old cat. ugh! So I am conjuring up lots to replace these losses. I'm creating bigger, bolder and happier.

As I get more of it pieced I'll shoot more photos. While still piecing I'll begin dyeing and printing the backs as well. Yes there will be pictures. Please keep your eyes out for an opportunity for me to sell this piece. It would be great going up a big stairwell--because of it being in several sections-- or perhaps a large wall in a conference room or bank lobby, perhaps that airport concourse I've been hoping for. Maybe even a hospital lobby or great room. The final price will be in the $19,000 range.

I love working this large. It gives me a feeling of expanse and grandeur. Since I am not doing the art festivals anymore--yep, decision reached-- I will be focusing on creating work that is either for commission, purely to delight me or for specific exhibitions.

I spent so much time trying to second guess the public while doing art shows that I kinda lost the joy of just creating a piece because it moved me. Hopefully these newer works will reflect that new found joy. I'd love your feedback!