Sunday, May 26, 2013

Magical Threads - GVQC 2013 Show

If you are in the Rochester area next weekend, please stop by for our bi-annual quilt show. It will be held May 31 - June 2, 2013.

With over 600 quilts, wonderful vendors, classes, lectures, appraisals, demos, and special exhibits, the Magical Threads -- Inspired Stitches biennial quilt show from the Genesee Valley Quilt Club is certain to excite. Our quilt club has over 400 members,  and our Biennial Quilt show will fill the expansive Rochester Institute of Technology’s Gordon Field House (our third time at this venue).

Here is some basic information so you can attend:

         May 31, June 1, June 2, 2013

          Friday 9:00-5:00
          Saturday 9:00-5:00
          Sunday 10:00-3:00

         $10.00 day pass
         $20.00 weekend pass
         $  8.00 Seniors (over 65) and groups of 10 or more
         $16.00 Seniors weekend pass
         $16.00 Group of 10 or more weekend pass
         Free – children 12 and under

        Rochester Institute of Technology
        Gordon Field House
        1 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, New York 14623.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Week of Odds and Ends and Asking for Feedback

This has been a week of 'exploration'. Part of the time I have been working on challenges for Art Quilts Around the World. One is due at the end of this month - Out of Asia - and the other at the of July. Since I won't be able to stitch very much in June, I decided to get a head start on that challenge. While I can't share my finished challenge for Out of Asia until May 31, here is a glimpse that I had posted to the group.

I am using both of these challenges to stretch myself - try methods I am learning or don't tend to use much so Out of Asia had some piecing, traditional applique and a bit of hand stitching.

I also spent part of this week playing with a small version of a print that I am thinking about making a larger art quilt from. Curious for any thoughts on it! This version is quilted and I have been adding some beadwork in the darker areas to see how I like it. I am fairly undecided on if I will make the bigger piece. My tendency now is to continue with the beading. I am fully aware that there is a stage in all my work where I tend to dislike it. That is usually the time to put it down and let it sit. Often, when I go back to it, I can see more merits. Sometimes, I just plug away and, in the end, wind up liking it more than I thought I would.

Finally, I am doing the prep work for a piece that I plan to work on this summer. I would love some opinions here between the two views for this piece. I have already blown the first up into full size but find myself hesitating. I am now leaning towards the second view which places the bridge further back in the landscape, has more of the landscaping to the left of the bridge and more of the pond and its reflections and less of the trees. The difference is subtle but I tend to be really fussy.

As you can gather from this post, it has been a different sort of productive week - laying a lot of groundwork. To get a glimpse of what others have been doing this week, check out Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Appreciating My Yard

This is the most wonderful time of the year on our property. After a day of potting plants and general weeding, I am able to sit back and take in the beauty of springtime in nature. And, take a moment to appreciate how fortunate I am in my life.

Wind singing through trees
Sunshine warming tiny buds
Glimpse of peace on earth

Monday, May 13, 2013

Update on Assembling Children's Board Book

In early April I posted a process for creating a Board Book for my granddaughter.  I am happy to report that she is quite pleased with her book and loves seeing her own toys and other familiar items in a book. She is enjoying it so much that we decided to add more pages.

Today was 'book construction' day and things went much more quickly and smoothly this second time - the biggest issue was that it took me a bit to remember where I had stored the roll of laminate. :)

I had said in my last post that I used some Illustration Board for the pages last time. Since I had already cut into the board cut some 8 1/2" x 11" sheets previously, this time I was able to manouevre the board so I could use a paper cutter. That was incredibly easier than cutting with a scissor. If you have access to some cardboard 8 1/2" x 11" sheets that you could use for backing for the pages, you could really do yourself a favor!

8 1/2 x 11 Post-It sheets attached to backing and ready for laminating

Secondly, I mentioned that I discovered cutting the laminate larger than the pages and trimming it after made it easier to work with. I want to underscore that. This time I allowed about an extra 1/4" to 1/2" and that gave me plenty of leeway for error as I mounted the laminate.

Finally, I came up with a technique for mounting both the large post-it notes and the laminate on the 8 1/2" x 11" pages. Basically allign a corner of the sheet on one side of the page and then peel off the backing on the catty-corner of the sheet  and fold it back. Set down the sheet and affix that corner to the page and then simply peel back the rest of the backing of the post-it note or laminate.

Happy to report that I was done with the project very quickly and now have more pages for our granddaughter's book to go in the mail to her. (The holes to add them to the rings will have to be done out west so they match up with the existing pages. )

Finished pages ready for mailing.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Valerie Goodwin Workshop

I spend the past two days in Valerie Goodwin's workshop, Explorations in Color Using the 7 Principles of Design. It was two days well spent!

Valerie teaches architectural design in Florida A&M University School of Design in addition to teaching fiber artists about design. Her experience as an instructor meant our two days were well thought out and we were definitely guided through a process. I found Valerie very skillful in working with our individual backgrounds and needs. There were 12 of us in the class so there was plenty of time for individual attention.

The workshop opened with a presentation on the 7 principles of design. We then spent the morning creating 4x6 paper collage examples for each design principle. The result was a colorful array of cards that we could then discuss.

Valerie brought along her own examples which she used through out the two days to reference what she was teaching. 

 After a critique of our paper samples, we spent the afternoon exploring a process that Valerie uses to create a base layer for her own art pieces. Working on a piece of crinolin, we built a layered base using fabric, sheers, and paints.

Valerie critiquing our efforts
The second day of the workshop was then spent using our paper collages as a reference for creating our own examples of each design principle in a small 4x6 fabric composition. Valerie lectured on various mixed media techniques we could use as we completed our pieces. She then circulated as we worked offering suggestions.

Sample of final results of class
I really enjoyed the class for a number of reasons. It was a good review of basic design principles. I found Valerie's approach for creating a base layer intriguing. I suspect that I will consider using crinolin rather than muslin for some of my own works in the future. What was most valuable was the chance to listen to Valerie critique our works and offer suggestions. Her insights were most helpful. Since we also gathered together to critique our works at times, we all had the benefit of each other's viewpoints. I think that really was an added benefit of the class.

All in all, we were a diverse group of artists and the class was designed in a manner where we were guided on a path but allowed to follow our own instincts as we worked through the two days. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Turning Failure into Discovery

For years I worked with Tom Crum, author of Magic of Conflict, supporting Tom in teaching workshops on conflict resolution, relationship, and centering. One of the key components in our workshops was what we called the Discovery Model.

In the Discovery Model, the 'limits of perfection' are contrasted with the 'power of discovery.' Most of us live a good deal of our lives in the 'limits of perfection' spectrum. Why? We strive to reach a certain standard or perform similarly to a role model and, when we fail to meet our expectations, we beat ourselves up as failures. In contrast, peak performers view the same failures to meet expectations differently. They view their results as information that can help them reach their goals - - they choose to learn from their experiences and view results as explorations into the unknown.

There are many examples out there of this mode of living, this 'power of disovery' option for viewing our life experiences. For example, the famous folk wisdom quote by Thomas Edison about trying to create a light bulb:  “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”  I am sure you can think of people in your own lives who have persisted in pursuit of a dream despite repeated 'failures'.

As I was reading some favorite blogs that I follow earlier this week, I was delighted to find a great example of the Discovery Model applied to art. David Limrite has a beautiful post, Failure is Freedom, that I really encourage you to surf over to and read. Here are the opening lines of his post, to whet your interest in reading what he has to say:

Failure is integral to the process of art making. If you are not failing, you are not pushing yourself and not taking risks. 
How you choose to handle these missteps is the key. You can let a mistake devastate you, even to the point of giving up. Or, you can be inspired, learn from your failure, keep at it and try again. I try to consider my failures as new pieces waiting to emerge.
Hope that you will be able to come from discovery as you live today!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Finishing Touch to the Irish Cottage

The Irish Cottage is well on its way to completion. The last bit involved a little bit of jewelry wire!

The actual cottage that the quilt depicts had an old wire fence running along the road. While I could have simply stitched one in, someone suggested actually using wire to construct it. I played with some alternatives and eventually decided that the wire used in making earrings might work best. It is easily available at bead stores and fairly simple to shape.

Here are my results:

At first I was concerned that it might prove a distraction to the rest of the scene, but since it sits against a fairly detailed background, it tends to blend in. In the end, I am quite pleased with the effect.