Saturday, March 11, 2006

September – 2005 -Swimming in a Sea of Safety
8.5" x 11"

Swimming in a Sea of Safety is for me. We were rewarded with a transfer to a new school, one that honors individual differences. It was so hard to make a change because despite the painful thorns, there were roses in the mix. I used commercial batiks, fusible webbing, and beads.
August – 2005 - Builder Boy Builds a Bot
8.5" x 11"

Builder Boy Builds a Bot is a little quilt honoring my son’s special strengths, his creativity and special intuitiveness in all things mechanical. He is spending the summer learning how to build Lego robots and computer programming. I used fabric paint, fusible web applique, and beads. The fish is a quilt pillow completely covered with beads. I used sockets to stamp the painted circles.
 July – 2005 -Rocket Girl’s Letter Quest
8.5" x 11"

Rocket Girl’s Letter Quest is a little quilt to honor my daughter. After our tumultuous spring, we are spending the summer immersed in our passions and joy. She wants to be an astronaut and has started reading this month, at the tender age of 4. She learned to swim and truly reminds me of a fish. I used alphabet stamps, fabric paint, copper adhesive tape, fusible web, and beads.
June – 2005 - Aboriginal Fish
8.5" x 11"

My friend is traveling in Western Australia. As I live vicariously through her travelogs, I dedicate this quilt to her. In keeping with the fish theme and my love of dots, I painted this fish in several days. It must have thousands of dots! It is not my normal color palette, but it is certainly one of my favorites of this group! I used copper adhesive tape to bind it.
May – 2005 - Mr. Ray Saves the Day
8.5" x 11"

Serendipity steps in as I begin to talk about my son’s experience and we are led to "Mr. Ray", an autism consultant who happened to be our neighbor. He had the knowledge to help my son and the personnel contacts to level the playing field. He helped us immensely and this quilt is dedicated to him. It is a whole cloth painted quilt and machine quilted.
April - 2005 - Starfish
8.5" x 11"

Starfish is part four of the series of five. It is about feeling lost in space and being in the wrong place. It is time to cut our losses and move forward. We are looking for a planet (or in this case, a school) to call our home. I experimented with tyvek, fabric paints, beads, and cotton craft thread. The fish are 3D quilt pillows, satin stitched around the edges, and stamped with metallic paint and half an apple to make the star shape.
March – 2005 - Sharks, Thieves, and Bottom Dwellers
8.5" x 11"

This is part three of the series. It is about various key people at my son’s school who appeared to be much more interested in protecting their egos than doing their jobs in a competent and responsible manner. Their carnage is represented by the fish skeletons at the bottom of the quilt. This was the first quilt I have ever made using a spontaneous process I learned from Frances Holliday Alford and not drawing out the design first!
February – 2005- Like a Fish Needs a Bicycle
8.5" x 11"

Like a Fish Needs a Bicycle is part two of a series of five. The series describes the story of my son’s struggle to get his needs met at a public school. In this quilt the expression is about the miss-match of his diagnosis and the inappropriateness of his educational programming. I used screen printing (for the first time!), Tsukineko inks, fabric paint, and lots of hardware from Home Depot.
January – 2005 - Like a Fish Out of Water
8.5" x 11"

This is part one of a series of five. It describes the feeling of not being in the right place. The fish here are suspended in air (not a viable option for fish). They are held in place by beaded wires representing arbitrary rules of society.
The quilt is made by creating the open frame with timtex, batting and fabric. The spirals on the border were hand stamped and dotted with copper paint. The fish pillows are satin stitched, painted and embellished with copper wire.

September 2004
8.5" x 11"

On Sundays the kids spend the day with their dad and I get to ride my bike. This one is made with fusible applique, fussy cut fabric, rubber stamps and fabric paint. I blanket stitch the edge instead of putting on a binding.

August 2004
8.5" x 11"

Nine Months is a testimony to body memories. It is amazing to me how often I still reach to my hand to feel where my ring used to be. I used fusible applique, rubber stamps, ink and the background is fabric paint with salt crystals.

July 2004
8.5" x 11"

Sleeping Single is about moving towards the middle and claiming all the bed as my space now. I used a tile and fabric paint to stamp the spirals. I am experimenting with embellishments after getting Larkin Jean Van Horn’s beadwork book. The hair, arms and legs are made from pipe cleaners. The pillows and figure are 3D quilt pillows with seed bead embellishments.

June 2004
8.5" x 11"

I couldn't post march, april, or may...just too personal. This one was really the hardest...watching him go, the kids watching him many questions. The quote at the bottom came from the movie, "you've got mail". It refers to Kathleen Kelly when she closed her children's bookstore. Her trusted advisor and friend said she was brave because she had the courage to imagine a better life. That's what I told him when he left, that he had the courage to imagine a better life. I knew it was hard for him to leave too.

Friday, March 10, 2006

February 2004
8.5" x 11"

I decided to experiment to my heart's content on this series without regard to the outcome. Art to work out my grief and anger.
How Do You Mend is the beginning of a path to healing from my recent separation. This month’s holiday is valentine’s day, celebrated here with a big broken heart for me. It is made with fabric paint, inks, rubber stamps, fabric markers, embroidery, and quilting.
January 2004
8.5" x 11"

For this year's journals, I decided to used my new rubber stamps to put words on each quilt. Veil of Tears is the first of the series of my husband leaving. He's been gone for a little over 2 months. I am able to postpone my crying to times when I am alone. The holidays were miserable. It was so hard to get excited about halloween, thanksgiving or christmas. This is my first self-portrait. I didn't draw it first, a first for me. The box with the tears I painted and threw salt on it while it dried. Salt for my wounds. I feel detached from my heart.
Leaflet, September 2003
8.5" x 11"

I felt so much pressure to make this one the best that I couldn’t get started. Once the September page became the ‘next one’ instead of the ‘last one’, the pressure was gone. I really wanted to try using negative space for the design of this quilt and I decided to extend the idea of negative space a little further. Inspired by Joan Lintault, I decided to cut out the leaves after the quilt was sandwiched and quilted, and then sew the leaves back on the center portion as embellishments. I love this one the best.
Olivia's Flower, August 2003
8.5" x 11"

I was overwhelmed as I packed for our cross country driving vacation when I heard my baby’s deep throated bubbly infectious laughter spilling up from the tip of her toes and out her mouth. You can’t hear her and not be affected by her. I get a sense that everything is going to be okay when I hear this wonderful sound that she makes. I used my son’s spin art machine to draw the spiral for the quilting pattern. I love the variegated thread.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Dreamy Tulips, July, 2003
8.5" x 11"

This is the second in the series of Elmer’s gel glue as a resist for fabric paint. I love the idea of the glue resist to show the spirals. For some reason, I had a lot more trouble washing the glue out of this one and it pulled off more paint in the process. This is my first attempt to do stippling. I had to laugh at myself because I drew the entire stippling design on the background before I stitched it. One interesting thing I learned is that prismacolor pencils erase very easily off of a painted fabric surface, lucky for me! One of these days, I will learn to stipple in wild abandon without knowing exactly how it is going to turn out! I like this quilt a lot, but I expected the thread in the stippling to show up more. Another learning experience!
Summer Glee, June 2003
8.5" x 11"

Once again I am inspired by the surface design techniques offered by Jane Dunnewold. I use Elmer’s gel as a resist and just spontaneously draw on a piece of fabric. After it dries I paint it with Seta color paints. The design emerges in the sink as I remove the glue and looks awesome! I top it off with dots (thanks Laurel Birch!) and some minimal quilting. I love the energy of this piece and how quickly it goes together. It speaks to me of the joy of summer and the many adventures I share with my children now that school is out. It is time for play!

Oh Deer! May 2003
8.5" x 11"

May is a hard month as I am overwhelmed with planning two kids’ birthday parties and an extensive bathroom remodel. That’s when the deer ate all my purple coneflowers, except one. I give up and use a few days to play with making stamps and bleach discharge, instructions from Jane Dunnewold’s book. I try using some neutral greens to bounce my bright colors off of and am pleased with the vision of the one flower that escapes being eaten. This one is my mother’s favorite.

Fishy Leaves, April 2003
8.5" x 11"

I tried a number of new techniques on this journal page, some of them worked, and some of them didn’t. I tried to make the symmetrical fish look more camouflaged, like leaves that you had to look at twice. But, it wasn't as successful as I hoped. I tried to French braid the flower stems to the quilt surface, but that didn’t work. I bought fabric markers to make the fishies and I used Seta Color Opaque paints too. This was another quilt that got ruined and had to be started over resulting in lots of learning! Hint: Paint background first, before appliquing flowers on!! I also learned that it is better to quilt first and then couch the stems with beads. It was scary trying to draw the grass on the bottom with markers after the quilt was finished, but I did it and I liked it.

Michael's Flower, March, 2003
8.5" x 11"

I am so inspired by Lisa Harvey’s, March journal page in Quilting Arts Magazine. I want to try something like that, but simpler. I used Chroma Coal D’UVA pastels to draw the flower and background, but ruined it before it was heat set and I had to start over. Then I had a lot of problems quilting it with the big needle and big cotton Pearle thread. It was hard to pull the needle through and it blistered my fingers. It took the entire month to quilt it. I enjoyed blending the thread colors and varying the stitch lengths to achieve slightly different effects. Also, as I quilted the background, the leaves disappeared because there wasn’t enough contrast. Boo. The black outlining saved the day. I loved sewing the beads on.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Ferntasm, February, 2003
8.5" x 11"

I drew a cartoon for this one first. Then I forgot to reverse the images for the fusible. It changed the whole layout, so I decided to just go with the mistake and do something different. My goal in this journal was to fuse, and NOT satin stitch every edge.. Alas, I could not do it and began feverishly satin stitching. So I devised a new experiment, try satin stitch with a different color thread from the fabric! A novel idea! I liked this one the least of all my journals that year, yet it was selected to be published to advertise the journal quilt project in houston that year. I was floored!!
Materials: Fusible webbing (again), cotton commercial fabrics, fabric markers, cotton batting.

Columbia, January, 2003
8.5" x 11"

My first journal quilt. I didn't get started until February though. This quilt was made to commemorate the astronauts aboard the Columbia space shuttle. The videos of the pieces streaking across the sky were all I could think of that Saturday morning. But, I had to go to the grocery store. I decided to buy myself some daisies, my favorite flower for grieving. They were $5 for 5 stems, not bad, so I grabbed a bunch. It was on my way home that I wished I had gotten 7 daisies, one for each astronaut who died. Then when I started putting them in the vase, one by one, I realized that the batch I picked up did have 7 flowers! Goosebumps.
Materials: Fusible webbing, cotton fabric, cotton batting. The label is a photo transfer of the astronauts.