Lake Cooper, finished

I think the piece that started with something I was afraid to cut into is finally done. I have contemplated it for several days, added a bit yesterday, and have decided it is time to stop.

The bit I added yesterday was the shadow circle at the bottom, made of dark (navy?) tulle. I think the piece reads like a diptych now, and I think--I admit I'm not sure--that it balances well. It's a case where the negative spaces may be more important to the design than the positive ones.

And I did a lot of hand stitching on this piece--not the quilting, but seed stitches and French knots here and there. Here's an example:

The first picture is a more accurate rendition of the color than this one; but here you can see the seed stitches. While I am striving toward the 'less is more' school of design, I think that adding texture that can only be appreciated when you approach the piece is a good thing.

I originally just overcast the edges on here, but I actually didn't like the frayed look for a change. I had enough of the acid green silk (which came from a hand dyeing accident--one of the few times I've had color transfer in the washer after dyeing) to use as a single layer binding. I thought about using black, but decided that was because my design wall is black, and not because of what looked right on the piece. I like the echoing of the greenish circle.

The piece is called Lake Cooper after the place I recognized in the original dyed tea towel--the lake formed above the dam on the Mississippi at Keokuk, where I have watched many sunsets on the calm still water, the best ones from my kayak.


more news

Yesterday I found out I got a piece in Fiber Focus 2007.

This piece is called Strata.

The show is in St. Louis, Missouri, at Art Saint Louis, 917 Locust Street, Suite 300, from September 10-October 18.

The opening is September 14. There are several fiber related events in St. Louis that weekend, and sometime this fall Quilt National is going to be nearby. So if you're in the area, check it out.


Balancing Act

For the first time in my fiber artist life, I got three pieces into a single show, a SAQA sponsored show called 'Balancing Act.' The show runs from August 28-September 28, 2007, at the Lawrence Street Gallery in Ferndale, MI. Here are the pieces that got in:

Now I have to get busy and put hanging sleeves on them...


inspiration and problem solving

Today is 'Hammock Appreciation Day' for some reason, so I thought I'd post a tribute to my hammock. It's where I do a lot of thinking and problem solving. Five minutes in it, watching the birds and the insects and enjoying the shade and the breeze, and I figure out how I want to solve a design problem.

It isn't all about the design wall for me; sometimes I have to get away from the stumbling block to see a way around it. And while I'm swaying back and forth, I see the birds strutting around that inspire my napkin sketches.

So if you're mulling a problem, find a place to relax and maybe the solution will come.


progress? movement, anyway

I had these strips of various silks left over from Dancing in the Moonlight. I hung them with pins on the design wall, and like their unevenness and the darker color. So I sewed them on (by hand! unusual for me these days), and even left one hanging past the edge.

I even tore off the holes on the right side, mainly to make a more rectangular piece. I also tore off the hemmed edges, because I intend to have a frayed edge as part of the finished piece.

But it needs something to balance the left side on the right side. It has to be something that allows the ripples to show through. I did a bunch of thumbnail sketches, and decided I liked a circle best.

The acid green pieces are just sitting there for now. I think I'll probably fuse them on and then do some stitching on them. Then quilt the piece and figure out where to go from there.

But I have overcome the hesitation and cut into that 'perfect piece'. If it works, great. If not, there's more fabric out there...like the two great linen tablecloths I got at a garage sale this morning...