Tuesday, July 25, 2017

How About a Field Trip? Let's Go Where the Art Is...

If you live within driving distance of Dunedin, Florida, there is still time to see this wonderful Quilts & Textiles exhibit at the Dunedin Fine Arts Center. It's on until the 18th of August. If not, then enjoy an armchair visit with me. Happily the Center allows photos of the works exhibited. This piece is titled "Maria Rosa" and was made by artist Karol Kusmaul.

The DFAC entrance is inviting with a decorative tile wall and this appealing teapot outdoor sculpture.

But it's what is inside that will make your heart beat a little faster! Several themed exhibits of wonderful quilts and fiber art. "Shirt Tales: Portraits by Karol Kusmaul" is a solo exhibit of many quilts Karol has crafted using re-purposed thrift shop clothing. This one is titled "Elizabeth's Wishes".

In the "New Quits from an Old Favorite: New York Beauty" from The National Quilt Museum, this is "Gotta Dance" by Cathy Geier. There were so many fantastic interpretations of the curved and intricately pieced New York Beauty block.

Included was "Exotic Enchantment" by Jean Brueggenjohann. 

 Karol's quilts were a highlight for me because I loved the expressive characters and the source of her varied fabrics. "Song" is shown at top. All that wonderful shading is done with snips and bits of fabrics. This bottom photo is "Grandma Magic". Did you have a Grandma who mixed batter by hand and had chickens? I did, so this was a fond memory.

"SAQA Florida: Growth" was another exhibit. SAQA is Studio Art Quilt Associated. This piece is titled "Urban Maul" and is by Annette Boncek. Looking down from the top, you can see the inside is filled with park-like imagery in contrast to the buildings.

And one more by Karol- this is titled "Motherboard" and it has a background fabric that resembles circuitry. I am impressed by how prolific Karol is. There were many more of her portrait quilts on display, and that's not all she makes. Do visit her website to see more of her work. The quilt is also known as "Emerald". So many techniques and materials were a part of the quilts on display that it is endlessly fascinating to study them.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Is it a Quilt? Is it Quirky? Yes to Both!

This quilt creation (yes, it is a quilt- three layers with quilting to secure it) doesn't have a name yet. That's because I'm still speechless over it. Maybe that should be its name? Speechless. It began as a class project taught by Dianne Hire at the American Quilters Society show in March. When I walked into Dianne's classroom and saw all of her class samples, I thought, "Oh, this is going to be great fun!" And it certainly was.

Dianne may be the Queen of Quilt Enhancement given her creative addtions of curvies, tabs, dangly things. All of them are stitched and inserted into the seams of a pieced base. And then comes the embellishment of the enhancements! There are two felted beads made in a mini-class in my Fiber Art Bee group, along with other beads and bits I've collected along the way.

There are two more little geckos like this one hiding in the layers of the quilt. Can you spot them all?

Even the smallest scraps and figurative motifs can find a home in this style of quilt. Add some black and white prints for accent, and the whole piece invites you to lift, inspect, and examine it. I know I'll make at least one more of these projects! Oh, and by the way, the display rod is a simple dowel cut to size, painted with black craft paint, and dotted with white Posca Paint pen. Two wooden beads glued to the ends, and I've got a lightweight hanger that coordinates. Below are some of Dianne's class samples and the inspiration for elements to add to the project.

You can hardly count the layers and elements in this quilt. Dianne also uses stacked beads and buttons along with broken jewelry like those banana-shaped yellow beads on the dangling flower.

Prairie points, large and small, and tabs upon tabs- so much to look at in Dianne's quilts!

Also, the Queen of Curvy Piecing, you can see (almost) how the base piece has irregular shapes pieced together before the dangling bits are added. Even those have curved seams. Dianne's book is show below.