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Mixed news, mostly good

Well, where to start? The big news – the Kickstarter campaign was a success, and my first coaching call happens next Tuesday! I’ve been shaking things up around here in preparation – it’s time to get

One thing I realized in writing this post is that I share different information on different sites. One thing that never made it to the blog is that I entered two works for jurying into “Material Matters” at the Union Street Gallery in Chicago. Neither was accepted, but that means I have them here when I speak to the Denton, Maryland Heartland Quilters tonight. Here’s the new work:


One thing that’s not too visible is the needle felted distressing on the fabric. This was an upsetting (or distressing – grin) work for a lot of boring reasons, but it was also fun to make. Nothing like focusing on process to get through the tough stuff.

detail, Impaired

And I’m working on stenciled painted polka dots on a polyester organza for a wedding gown. Sounds nutty, but the piece I’ve finished so far is fun! Using paint is a little outside my usual comfort zone, and using black paint on white fabric requires real diligence in the cleanliness department! So far, so good.

And we’re getting ready here for the show in Oaks, PA. If you haven’t signed up for my mailing list, click here, or follow the link at the upper right, and you’ll receive a coupon to use at Oaks in the next newsletter. Preregistration ends tomorrow, 9/5, and is available online. I’m teaching the pipe wrapping class again, on Friday afternoon – it would be great if you could join us! And I will be teaching next March at the Mancuso shows, so I have been working on samples for those classes.
Show and tell at pipe-wrapping class

We’re also returning to Chautauqua, New York at the end of the month. The day we head home is our 35th wedding anniversary – where did the time go?! There will be another newsletter and coupon for that, so click the sign-up link if you’re not already on the list.

One thing that has resulted from the Kickstarter campaign – I have folks coming here to dye. Candy will be here for a week to play, and Gail will be here the following Monday. Margaret and I have yet to set a date. I’m so looking forward to all of those visits! 

Now I need to stick price tags on some items before they go with me to Maryland. Thanks very much for reading!

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From spoiled to productive

OK, my sister spoils me at Christmas every year, and I’m so thankful. Last year she gave me a check to use towards the dye painting class I took at Pro Chem. This year I am going to skip going to a class and start saving for 2015, and my sister got me a load of surface design books – Dyes & Paints by Elin Noble, Screen Printing by Benn & Morgan, Finding Your Own Visual Language by Dunnewold, Benn & Morgan and Color by Design by Ann Johnston. And my niece gave me a gift certificate to Dharma Trading , so I can add to that list of books, or buy garments to dye/discharge/do design work on. Decisions, decisions.


So I have been working on some of the exercises from ‘Visual Language’ and have created a hand-painted stencil  to use with a silk screen. Here’s a picture of the first three prints I pulled through it.


And this is a detail of the first print I pulled, showing the moiré effect created by printing through two layers of sheer cloth. That alone is an exciting discovery, I think.

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Thinking about Intent

This is probably my first completed art quilt.

Memorium quilt

It was made for a guild challenge in 2002, and won a prize for best original design, I think. The challenge, as you may guess, was to work with the Shoo-Fly pattern. I had also learned a little by that point about transparency and wanted to try using that in a quilt. I’m still proud of it – I accomplished what I set out to do: finish a quilt for the challenge – and I think it exceeded my expectations once I saw it all together.

Some months later I realized that the resulting quilt was also a piece of mourning for the events of September, 2001. The colors are somber and the quilting made me think of ashes falling. Not part of the intent, and the quilt stands alone fine. Is it art? Is it better for having a title? I don’t know, but I still like and am proud of the quilt. Thanks for looking – Lisa

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How do you work? Do you spend time planning and thinking about your art, or do you just dive in? Do you make samples or studies for larger pieces, or plot it out ahead?
Since I have two months before the next quilt is due, I’d like to invest some time in the process. By nature I’m not introspective, don’t journal, don’t read for inspiration; this post is as introspective as I’m ever likely to get. My work is created for me to enjoy the process and for the finished piece to make me, and hopefully others, happy. There’s no meaning or message to be found. I’ve decided that I’m not going to worry if that makes me shallow – some of us are owls, and others are goldfinches. (That link is a great image of a goldfinch that’s copyrighted. You should go take a look.)
OK, I’ve run out of introspection for now – maybe this has helped me focus on the next quilt.

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Deadlines are past

Well, I did my usual last-minute work last week, and got work submitted before the deadline – barely. One was a submission of photos of my quilts for inclusion in Mary Kerr’s upcoming book about art quilts. Of course, I didn’t pay for professional photography, and when I realized I hadn’t taken sufficiently high resolution pictures, my photoflood bulb burned out. And my dog ate my homework.

The second project was a little more understandable, but still somewhat Mickey-Mouse’d. (Oooo, I hope the denizens of Orlando and Anaheim aren’t offended.) Anyway, I have been working on a piece of fabric for about 8 months, contemplating how to add a layer of black over the snow-dyed cloth. My sample piece includes:

  • black paint
  • black and clear deColourant
  • black and clear Shiva Paintstiks
  • black and various other very dark colors of Tsukineko ink
  • deep navy vat dye
  • metallic paint and ink
  • black stitching

About 10 days ago I finally hit on using a potato dextrin resist and thickened dye.  Then  I washed it out and used thickened bleach over a new application of dextrin. Here’s a picture:Sample with dye paint and bleach

I really, really like the look and want to do both layers again to a large piece of cloth. Problem is I didn’t have time to do that to the piece of fabric for the quilt submission. So that can wait for a future piece. All that said, I do like the look of the final cloth for the quilt. Without more ado, here’s a picture of the quilt, and a detail:

Space BubblesSpaceBubblesDetail2






I’m happy with the result, and now I have to wait to see if it is accepted in the Deep Spaces exhibit. Fingers and toes are crossed!

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Fun fabric flower bowls

Had fun making these – they seem to be addictive, like I need another one. I will have dyed Peltex and the pattern for making them at the upcoming shows. Still dyeing like a madwoman getting ready for those – over 100 yards of new work and counting!

P1230139The shows we will be at:

Hampton, VA, February 24 – 27, 2011

Somerset, NJ, March 3 – 6, 2011

Lancaster, PA, March 16 – 19, 2011

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Subversive Stitchers: Women Armed with Needles: Good Advice from a Real Professional Artist: Susan Lenz

Wandered across this post and found it very interesting.
Subversive Stitchers: Women Armed with Needles: Good Advice from a Real Professional Artist: Susan Lenz
Got to love the blog title. But seriously, the points Susan Lenz brings up are oh so valid. Work worth doing is worth doing well, and I need to remember that, and put the time in that my art needs and requires of me.

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More on the Keeper

keeper3virtualsmallWell after reviewing all the wonderful comments on ‘Can’t let this one go,’ below, I decided it was time to do some virtual design wall stuff. Plus it’s a good way to learn to mess with Photoshop Elements and DrawPlus Starter Edition. Not going to post everything I tried; the items below were worth keeping. Some I like better than others – what do you think?