Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Man's Darkest Side through the Windows of Hope

We visited Hiroshima a few years ago, and it was a very moving experience. The Peace Park is full of tragic and hopeful scenes. One of the sites that struck me the most was this building, the former promotion hall, that was at ground zero of the bomb. As you walk around the area, you come to a shinto alter which contains the names of the victims. As you gaze through an opening in the alter, you see in the distance the peace flame and beyond that, the promotion hall. Peace Park is a place of rememberance and teaching, not just sorrow, although there is plenty of that. The plan there is to leave the peace flame burning until nuclear weapons have been eradicated, then it will be extinguished. We were there in winter and this tree was very stark and very fitting with feelings I had looking at the building.

Deborah just asked me to show the original image so I'm adding it in here.

This piece was made using a thermofax image, stitching, painting, then stitching again with gold thread.

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Fellow travellers

While you are waiting for our window quilts to be displayed, you might like to take a look at the latest art quilts shown at:
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Monday, March 30, 2009


Now that is a lot of windows. I love the gridded patterns of windows in a highrise. Do you think that is what I have done? You will just have to wait a couple of days. I am so giddy at having mine done before the night of the due day!!! And, I am having such a wonderful and relaxing time at my shibori workshop. I really needed this. Later...

Roses for Gerrie

When Gerrie first announced the window theme, I recalled the Gothic churches of Europe and their magnificent rose windows. I set about with some painting and, as shown on my blog, even progressed to quilting but then I went in another direction...

A little peek

(not peak, right?..)
I finished my quilt yesterday. Now I can enjoy this sunny day in my garden.
Looking forward to seeing the other quilts...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

This and That

We've been a bit less chatty on our blog on this current theme. I've had ideas bubbling in my brain, but I hadn't actually cut into cloth until this week. Here is a peek. (Not to be confused with peak.)

I'm also thrilled to tell you that my Fractal Tree art quilt which I created for our Mathmatics theme won an Honorable Mention ribbon at the Dallas Quilt Show. I entered it in the "Other Techniques" category since the focus of the quilt is the hand embroidery. I was pleased to add the ribbon to the small collection on my inspiration board. It's the giant gray one.

One more interesting experience to share... The librarian at my kids' elementary school invited me to come talk with the fifth graders about fiber art. I brought several quilts including all the pieces I've creative for our 12x12 challenges. I asked them to try to guess the themes for each quilt. They loved that! They guessed the "chocolate" theme right away and I had to give them lots of hints for "community" and "mathematics." If you have an opportunity to share your 12 pieces with a group, I hope you'll try the same thing. It was really fun and it's an excellent, interactive way to introduce fiber art to kids (or grown ups)!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Window teaser

Fellow Twelves probably do not want to speak to me today. I am done. I too found the theme hard because my initial thoughts were so literal and consequently boring. But then, brainstorming phrases including the word windows I hit on an idea and I was off. All I am saying is that (a) I have not taken an obvious interpretation (b) that there is the usual social message to go with the quilt (c) that I am hoping that you look at theme over accurate portrayal of the subject matter and (d) that I might have taken a slightly liberal definition of 12 x 12!

Here is a teaser photo.

Hurry up April, I want to see what you all think of it!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I'm not having an easy time with this "windows" theme. The problem, I fear, is that I have a love affair with windows and tend to photograph them. I have too many ideas, most too detailed for what I can (or want to try to) do in a 12-inch format.

My husband, helpfully, suggested that I do the view from out of the front window of a car, with the road ahead, also containing the rear view mirror showing the road behind. Cool concept, indeed, but in 12 inches? I don't think so. I told him I'll look forward to seeing his quilt when it's done.

I have a bunch of photographs from various vacations in Nantucket some years ago. Talk about great windows! The pictures are sort of faded now, but I scanned a few anyway to see if I could use them. I'm not sure how it's going yet. So, you may see a bit of this one, or you may not. It's too soon to tell. :-)

By the way, as I think about windows, I find that I'm drawn to the idea of looking IN windows from the outside, more than I am the perspective of looking out from the inside. When I was a kid, we'd have Sunday dinners at my grandparents' house, and I remember how I'd always be looking at the windows of the houses on the way home, trying to see if I could catch a glimpse of a person or get any sort of sense of the life inside that house.

Hmmm. Are you guys having the same difficulty I am? Too many thoughts and too hard to settle on one?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Bull's Eye Glass

My window will be of the 17th Century type. I am trying out a technique of first quilting, then painting over it. One of Deborah's recent studies reminded me of this texture enhancement made popular by Linda and Laura Kemshall and taken to incredible levels by Deidre Adams. It's not something I would normally do as I prefer my fabric to stay soft and supple, but the point of this group (and our small-ish format) is to branch out and try new things. For the purposes of my window, I think it's going to work out perfectly.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Blooming windows!

No, I am not swearing, although I'm tempted to given the woeful state of my efforts for this challenge so far. Rather, this is a mini-tutorial by way of a belated response to Susan Brubaker Knapp who inquired about how School Windows was constructed. This piece uses a technique known as "blooming". These are the steps:
  • Layer 3 or 4 fabric squares evenly on top of each other. Iron flat.
  • Mark and stitch a grid through all the layers leaving a 1/2in margin all around the edges (shown in the clickable photo below but not in the diagram).
  • Using sharp, pointed scissors, cut a cross "X" in each small square. Be careful not to snip through the stitching lines.
  • Lay the panel over another fabric square and stitch over the grid lines again.
  • Fluff up the layers with a nailbrush. Loose weave fabrics have an extra shaggy effect.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Window Inspiration

As I have made the rounds of blogs during the past week, I have noted some mention of the window challenge. I have mine firmed up - just have to do it. I have been thinking about windows and some of my photographs. I remembered this one that I took at a deserted ranch which is now part of Joshua Tree National Park.

The park has huge rock piles every where you look and this photo had a reflection of one of these formations from behind me. The ranch house still has all the things one would have used during the early part of the twentieth century. Here is another shot, showing the items in the quaint kitchen.

I hope you are all finding lots of inspiration and ideas for your windows.

All kinds but still no idea

Tonight with the encouragment of Brenda I leaned how to use Picassa. And here is proof - a collage of some of the window photos on my hard drive.

Fun to do? Yes. Helpful in narrowing down my quilt design? Um no!
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