Thursday, January 30, 2014

CLAW: Crossing The Line_Artists at Work; An Online Art Quilt Group

I joined an online art quilt group through the Yahoo Group from Studio Arts Quilters Association created by Karen Musgrave back in the summer of 2012. We are named CLAW which is Crossing the Line_Artists at Work,  Karen is the mastermind/curator of the group and she has the hard part of finding galleries and venues for our quilt exhibits. We have 20 art quilters involved and every 6 months we have a theme and a size of 18"w x 24'l and we can create our quilts to our liking as long as we follow these simple guideline. I have only met Karen and two other quilters in this group and we correspond through our Yahoo group. The mission statement of the group is "CLAW is a group of fiber arts who believe that art has the power to transform thinking and inspire people to act. We are committed to creating art that deals with women and social issues for exhibition.
There have been four themes or collections so far. Karen had asked us up until recently to keep our work private but is now allowing us to share our work on our blogs.
The first photo is from our first collection called Women Who Broke All The Rules. I chose Ruth Handler who invented the Barbie doll as my rule breaker. I also chose Ruth because I love Barbie dolls and still collect them today and Ruth was the first toymaker to create a fashion doll for girls to play with. Up until this time girls strictly played with baby dolls. She was completely successful and the Mattel Company has flourished partially due to the Barbie doll. I needed to stay away from anything with the Barbie logo but I embraced the hot pink that is Barbie's signature color-the back of the quilt is fun too! 

The second quilt is from the collection called Art Can't Hurt You. This subject matter is about social issues and I chose racial injustice. My daughter is biracial and we have plenty of stories of people being confused and/or saying stupid things because they assume and judge us only by skin color. I used to say "I'm the Mother!" because people didn't "get" it. I chose various values of pink for our hair, skin tones and clothes because that is our favorite color. This quilt is my favorite of the four pieces because it is so personal and I used my two favorite colors-hot pink and lime green!

The third quilt is from the collection called Rewriting Art History. We were to select a female artist who was innovative in the art world. I chose Michalene Thomas who is a female black artist who is currently living in New York and creates very graphic and bright portraits of black women often with a 1970s look to them. She also embellishes her paintings with rhinestones and jewelry. I selected Michalene as my subject because I love her use of bright colors, mixing various patterns and doing portraits as her subject matter.
And lastly is my quilt the fourth collection called 20 Quilts which explores emotions and actions. I chose LAUGH because it is a positive action based on humans experiencing something funny. When I think of a huge laugh I envision a big toothy smile and crinkled up eyes. I added a yellow background because psychologically yellow is cheery. I positioned laugh, chuckle, tee hee and lol, which is text lingo for laugh out loud, to the background in a subtle way with another yellowish  batik. The whole quilt has a warmness to it which seems happy and positive. This is no particular woman-just that I prefer brown hair with highlights, red lipstick and bright colored clothes!

Soon Karen will announce the next subject for the fifth collection. We have about 6 months to design and complete our quilts.

If I am correct the first collection, which I have the Ruth Handler quilt in, will be at the Mancuso Quilt Fest in Denver May 1-4, 2014. That is exciting news for our group. I will have another quilt at that quilt show as well so I am doubly thrilled by the exposure!!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Martin Luther King Day: "One Race Human" Quilt

I started to think about tomorrow being Martin Luther King Day and I remembered this quilt I made in the summer of 2006. I was my third art/portrait quilt and I was inspired by a t-shirt I bought that had the words "One Race Human" and the creativity burst out of me!! I thought about my own biracial daughter who was chemically relaxing her hair to be flat and smooth. (she is a natural curly haired woman now!!) I thought of people who change their eye color with contacts. I thought about being a hairdresser and many people wanting  the opposite hair texture as they were born with. I thought about all the pale girls of European decent who were trying to be tan in the tanning bed at the salon I worked at but didn't treat people with naturally dark skin very nice.

To make the quilt, I found three African-like prints and three to four Americana prints and I started on the left with the African fabric and 'morphed" to the Americana fabrics for the borders.

Technically I had a long way to go for nice bindings, straight borders and consistence free motion stitches but I still like this quilt because it represents how I wish people could all get along and not judge each other by our skin color, hair texture or how we talk. Happy Martin Luther King Day!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Intro to Portrait Quilts: Long Hair

I made another sample for my Intro to Portrait Class this week since it's winter and that's what I do this time of year!! In my pattern I have 3 hairstyle choices-short spiky, layered bob and long wavy. I only made one long hair version so that's what was my motivation this time. I found the large gold/white/black floral that I forgot I had and pulled colors to coordinate with the floral. I chose white hair and a black background instead of the other way around and then went monochromatic for the shoulder straps, hazel irises and embellishments.

This lady ended up looking like a nymph or siren and I love her-you never really know what it will look like until it is fused to the background!

I embellished with two different gold sparkly nail polishes for the  hair enhancement, a orangey nail polish for the lips, a silk yellow flower, a gold button for the flower center (margarite daisy) and a sheer hologram-like gold leave bead for the hair accessory and gold and black rhinestones in the flower centers in the outside border.

The psychology of color was at work here because the yellows and golds helped me feel warmer during the cold spell in January.

I will be teaching this class in Oshkosh WI March 14-15, 2014 at the FVTC Sewing and Quilting Expo and at the Little Traverse Bay Quilt Guild, Petoskey, MI May 8 and 9, 2014

Friday, January 3, 2014

Northwoods Quilters Crayon Challenge Exhibit

My local quilt guild, the Northwoods Quilters, had their first crayon challenge this year. We randomly selected a crayon then was challenged to create a quilt, tote, apron, pillow etc. no larger than 25" x 25" and we had three months to make it. We had no rule except to use the crayon color in our project. There were no judges-just the fun of making something using the crayon color.This photo is my cerulean blue crayon quilt. Blue is used in the iris color, the vintage jewelry and in the background batik.
I chose another crayon because it was fun and I had the time and I got gray as my crayon color. This quilt is the same quilt I am doing a demo on for Quilting Arts TV and I have worked in gray before so this wasn't much of a challenge but I used black, red and hot pink for my applique colors instead on red, yellow and blue or hot pink, lime green and turquoise.

The exhibit is in Menominee, MI at Spies Public Library Gallery, 940 1st Street during normal library hours and the exhibit is FREE.

 We had 33 entries and I did the installation of the exhibit and is ready for viewing today and goes until Friday February 14, 2014.
I categorized the items by a gradation of color around the gallery.

 I loved how we had such a variety of items, styles and techniques. Our guild is very talented and all styles of quilting is represented in our group.