Friday, November 27, 2009

Back to My Roots

Paper Quilt


I made this printed paper and fabric quilt about a month ago based on a class that Melanie Testa taught using recycled items such as cardboard, string. corks, etc. I love printing on paper and fabric and do it a lot with the mixed media collage class I teach.  The individual blocks were machine stitched together then layered with cotton batting and back. The binding was hand stitched and I really want to add some hand stitching in a circular pattern (what else!) but that will come some evening over the long cold winter when I have some extra time.

I have sewn for my whole life starting at about age 5. My Grandma Smith was an excellent seamstress but I don't remember her teaching me. I just picked up a needle one day to make some clothes for a doll and later taught myself to use a sewing machine when I was 12 and started making clothes. 

Quilt making came later when a friend taught me the basics of traditional patterns. This was back in the late 70's to early '80's when Art Quilts were just getting their start and I felt the calling to design my own quilts. I had quilts in a bunch of shows but soon tired of the labor intensive process and abandoned quilts in search of a more immediate process. This led me to being an apprentice at a handmade paper mill and making that my main medium for a number of years. Slowly I incorporated found objects into my work and they eventually won out over the handmade paper to become the stars.

Coming full circle I started playing with fabric again about ten years ago making much smaller quilts that didn't take as much time but were still incredibly satisfying to make. I probably have at least 20 small to medium sized quilts in various stages of finish that I will one day exhibit together. It's funny, I still have people from when I was known as a quiltmaker that ask me how my quiltsmaking is going and soon I can say, "really great and I'm having a show at......."

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Sleight of Hand
Mirror, Mirror
Plunge (detail)
Here, at long last are some images from my show Transformation, which came down this past Thursday. I sold 7 pieces! and surpassed the goal that I had set for the amount I wanted to sell. Thank you Christine Kane and Gailann Bruen and Lisa Call for setting me on the right track.

Thursday was a sad day for me. I always have a hard time with transitions and taking down a show is high up there with "what do I do next?" and "how do I top that?" Well the thing is I don't have to top that. I just have to keep moving on, to the next goal, the next show, the next event and make them the focus so that I don't feel this big empty hole in my life.

So moving in the right direction I am participating in a craft show called Handmade in New York on December 12th from 11am to 5pm at St. Anthony's Church on the corner of Sullivan and Houston Sts. in NYC. I will have jewelry, scarves, fabric bags, cards and other paper goods and some small artwork. Hope to see you there! Tell me you saw this blog post and I'll give you a 10% discount on your total purchase. 

Another way for me to move forward is to start posting on this blog again regularly. So my promise to myself is to post at least once a week, more if time permits. See you again soon...