Sunday, March 29, 2015

"Improv 2.15" -- Modern Improv Piecing

This spring and summer I'm teaching a new class at Greenbaum's Quilted Forest (Salem, OR) from Lucie Summer's book, Quilt Improv.  I first became aware of her about 5 years ago when I purchased a few of her charming silkscreened fabrics on etsy.

So of course I was intrigued when Lucie's first book was published.  I was also looking for something new to teach, so decided to use her book and step into the world of modern quilts.  Because the title implied that it was based on improv piecing (my favorite way to work), I jumped right in, piecing and slashing and reconstructing like usual.

 I love Lucie's method of making the reverse-applique circles; they all turned out beautifully, like magic!

After constructing several different units, I realized that some of the units I was making were elements not included in the book.   So I removed  the areas of intricate piecing and tiny inserts (the green & red section on the left) and made a dedicated effort to work within the confines of the book, since that's what I'd be teaching from.

Before removing green & red section on left and other red pieces.
I decided to use red only as an accent, so I removed the larger pieces of that color: 
   Now it was beginning to look more serene.  I added a few tiny accents of red throughout the design.

Still, that vertical row of white squares (left side) bothered me.  I wasn't sure it fit.  I removed it, switched the positions of the last two rows, and began to audition borders.

Auditioning borders.
 The seafoam-green border won out, giving it a completed, contained feeling:

It was finally ready to be layered and quilted. I finished it with a binding because in the end, this might become a crib quilt rather than one that hangs on the wall.  (No, this is not a notice of impending grandparenthood . . . yet!)  It measures 31" x 37".

"Improv 2.15"
 Here's the pieced back:

It makes me smile to find a bit of piecing on the back of a quilt!
The book's title, Quilt Improv, implied working in an improvisional style, but I feel that wasn't quite accurate.  The book actually prescribes 12 different quilt blocks that you can mix and match in putting your quilt together.  Just one of those 12 blocks is pieced improvisationally.  Because this quilt would be hung in the shop as a sample of what the book and/or class entails, I tried to stay true to the book and it's parameters.  However,  my heart was set on creating a modern improv look, so I also incorporated my own personal touches and asesthetic.

Either way, I truly enjoyed this project and hope that the finished quilt entices lots of students to sign up for the class this spring and summer!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

More results from the "Emotions Challenge"

Though not Fiberexplorations members participated in last year's "Emotions Challenge," I did post the results of three members' projects in my Oct. 13, 2014 post.  Unfortunately, we didn't have adequate lighting for photography at that meeting, which was obvious in the detail photo I posted of Erika's piece, "Content with My Content."

To rectify that and to honor Erika's beautiful work, she's given me better photos to share on the blog:

"Content with My Content" by Erika Close
Note the intricate machine and hand stitches in these detail shots:
detail of focal point
detail 2
detail 3

Good lighting makes all the difference!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Facebook Artists' Challenge

Lynda Christiansen, my friend from the Valley South SAQA group (Eugene), nominated me for the Facebook Artists' Challenge.  By accepting the nomination, I will post three photos of my work on fb for 5 days, and nominate a new artist each of those days.

Before I do my first post, I thought I'd share a nice surprise that came in yesterday's mail:

What a nice-looking certificate!  I think it deserves a frame.

Along with the certificate was a letter from gallery coordinator Janne LaValle, with some news about the In Stitches 2015 show.   Janne wrote

The quality [of the show quilts] placed the practice of quilting into the fine art category, definitely not your grandmother's quilts.  With this impression made, we are happy to announce the In Stitches 2015 theme will be Not Your Grandmother's Quilts.

The timeline will be similar to the 2014 show, with digital entries due in Sept., notifications in Oct., and delivery in Nov. Look for the Call to Artists [Pacific Park Gallery] for exact dates.  

Our goal is to bring arts to the Oregon Coast that will challenge and encourage artistic exploration.
Better put that on my calendar for September and share the news with others!

See my Nov. 7, 2014 post about the In Stitches 2014 show.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Art Quilts at Stitches in Bloom

This weekend is the annual Stitches in Bloom quilt show at the Oregon Garden in Silverton.  Back in Sept., I volunteered to coordinate a special exhibit of art quilts for this show.  With a small but efficient group of volunteers, we met our goal of collecting 25 art quilts (they had to meet the show's required measurement of at least 24" x 36").   We named our exhibit Art Quilt Friends Revisited (last year was the first time for this special exhibit and it was called Art Quilt Friends)

Here are some of the quilts in the Art Quilt Friends Revisited (AQFR) exhibit:

"Effervescent" by Nancy Bryant

by Sidnee Snell

"Industrial Nature" by Erika Close

"Menopausal Aspens" by Mandy Miller
My "Natural Symphony"  (Joanna Price)

"Rhythm in the Landscape" by Jill Hoddick
"Where's Elmo?" by Lynda Christiansen
The work displayed inside our booth did not have to meet a size requirement, so we had a variety of pieces from journal quilt size (9" x 11") on up to18" x 36".

collaged floral piece by Jill Hoddick

detail of Jill's floral textile collage
Some of my photos were difficult to crop, so the booth's black drapes are showing:
"Glacial Melt" by Betty Davis Daggett

Except for the unevenness of my cropping, I really like Lynda's quilt against the black background:

Lynda Christiansen's "The Bare Tree"

 We included two of my journal quilts from 2005 . . . what?  ten years ago!


Unfortunately, we were unable to hang any pieces that were framed or on stretcher bars, such as this  gorgeous landscape by Ginny McVickar:

"Purple Mountain's Majesty"
Here are a few other quilts that were close to our booth but not part of the AQFR exhibit:

"Pachyderm Posies" by Dee Burson
 I'm showing a large version because the original itself was large . . . and fun and colorful.

Finally, a few pieces from Portland's High Fiber Diet group and their show What's Blue to You?

"Blue Ewe" by Pamela Pilcher
"Forget me Not" by GerrieThompson

There's still time to see the show tomorrow!  I'm returning then to see the entire show (including a special exhibit of felted items in another building), and  to take home the exhibit quilts when the show closes at 4pm.

A huge THANKS  to my fellow volunteers Lynda Christiansen, Elizabeth Bamberger, Jill Hoddick, Stitches in Bloom volunteer extraordinaire Mary Goodson, plus all the booth volunteers and participants who loaned us their quilts for this exhibit.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A wedding . . . but quilt-related!

My son, Max, married his sweetheart Brandi on Nov. 22 in Sisters, OR.  My friend Betty came from Delaware for the event, and I was extremely thankful for all of her help.  While I was busy making a burlap banner for the rehearsal dinner,


Betty filled little burlap bags with candies, then closed them with velvet ribbons to match the wedding color:  aqua.

Then I went back to finishing up the guest book.

     with pretty paper on the inside cover

Wait . . . back to the book.  Did you notice the color?  and the burlap? 

 And last, but just as important, is the wedding quilt, all laid out and getting stitched together.  What color?

And here's the happy couple:

Makes me so happy!

Friday, November 7, 2014

"Blue Note" wins award!

Deb and I each entered three pieces in a new juried textile show in Coos Bay, OR called "In
Stitches" and all of our pieces were accepted.

I was unable to attend the show, but heard that there was a nice turnout for it at Pacific Park Gallery.  The day after the Nov. 16 artists' reception, I learned that my quilt "Blue Note" won "Honorary Mention."  What a thrill!
"Blue Note" by Joanna Price, 2013
The show is open until mid-January 2015.

[Post note]  The January 2014 issue of the Coos Bay's Bay Area Artists' Association newsletter featured a review (p. 4) on the show, "Fantastic fiber arts at Pacific Park Gallery."  In the article, author Graham Wickham mentioned, among others, two of the pieces contributed by Deb and myself:

"A very imaginative work, 'Passion Flower,' by Deborah Sorem, is photo-manipulated with applique and is very painterly in its approach, " he wrote.

"Finally, I was taken with a very engaging piece, 'Summer Village of My Dreams,' by Joanna Price. It is done in an intentionally folk/primitive style with great skill and feeling and life.  It has the air of a Klee or a Chagall without being maudlin or overly whimsical."

That made my heart sing!  (And he was pretty close; Hundterwasser was my inspiration for that piece!)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Emotions Challenge, Unveiled

I'd like to share some of the results from our Emotions Challenge.

One of the things that brings Deb joy are her grandchildren.  Here, in her very first portrait quilt, is her granddaughter Cora's first grade smile:

 "1st Grade Smile" by Deb

Isn't this incredible for her first portrait quilt?  I think it's amazing.  Of course, she had an amazing subject!

My piece for this challenge allowed me to plunge into my luscious stash of greens. As I explained in a previous post, the inspiration for this work was a spring evening, when the world outside my window was awash in shades of green, intersected by dark lines (reflecting tree trunks and branches), and bits of color scattered throughout (for wildflowers).

"Alive in the World" by Joanna
My improvisationally-pieced "Alive in the World" also reflects the emotion of joy, and the way  I feel in the spring, when everything comes alive again and all is green, green, green!
Detail, "Alive in the World"
Photos of other finished pieces will be added as they trickle in.  Before I can show you Erika's gorgeous piece in its entirety, I'll have to take more photos in better light.  The detail shot below doesn't do justice to the colors she used, but you can get an idea of what's to come:

Detail shot of Erika's piece

Stay tuned for more!