Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Texas Quilts: Art in Stitch Opens at Texas Tech

Texas Quilts: Art in Stitch, which opened in Abilene last September, has opened at the museum at Texas Tech University in Lubbock.
Tuning Fork #11 (red and gray quilt) with dinosaurs!
More Dinos and quilts.  Magnetic attraction is on this side of the gallery.
I am thrilled to have two of my pieces hanging in this show.  And to have them hanging with dinosaurs is a thrill.
Tuning Fork #11, far right
Magnetic Attraction, bottom left
Today's Quilts: Art in Stitch will be exhibited at the Museum from November 22, 2017 thru February 18, 2018. More than 30 pieces by 22 quilt artists are included. The SAQA Regional exhibit was curated by Gay Young and juried by Brenda Wyatt.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


Bruce, me, Brian in Japan, Christmas Day, 2014
An hour after I arrived home from Houston I received a terrible phone call.  My brother-in-law, Brian's identical twin, had died at his home in Maryland.  It was sudden.  It was unexpected.  And it was a horrid blow.

Bruce and Brian were very very close.  Naturally.  I don't entirely understand the "twin bond," but it was eerie how much they thought alike.  And acted alike.  Brian is inconsolable.

At the moment, we are trying to keep moving.  There is so much to do.  The pain is there, bubbling to the surface periodically, but working keeps it temporarily at bay.  Yesterday, I even spent a few hours in the studio.  Grabbing the scraps from my last project, cutting, sewing, ironing, not thinking.  The piece in progress is looking very jagged.  Echoing the turmoil in my head.

It will get better, I know it will.  And we will get through the overwhelming amount of work that needs to be done.  But Bruce, we will miss you.  The world will never be the same.

NTAQ in November

NTAQ met on Monday and revealed the quilts made for the Modigliani challenge.  The inspiration piece was Gypsy Woman With Baby, painted in 1919.
As always, the members of NTAQ had some very interesting interpretations of the piece:
You can read about my piece, "Pods," here.

Report From International Quilt Festival

I had a wonderful time in Houston.  As always.
First of all, I won third place in Art: Abstract - Large.
Schist #2
My quilt was in very good company!  Quilts by Barbara Oliver Hartman, Betty Busby and me
I had four quilts in the show, if you count my celebrity auction piece:
My donation quilt for the auction
Wild Thing in Dinner@8
Volcano!  in Textile Posters
And I spent time with old friends.  And made a few new ones.
The Dinner@8 Bunch, photo by Jamie Fingal 
Annie, Suzan and Lauretta, photo courtesy of Lauretta Crites
Maria Shell demonstrating techniques from her new book
It was wild, it was wonderful, it was full of color and pattern and I enjoyed every minute!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Motivated by Modigliani

NTAQ's challenge for November is "Gypsy Woman with Baby" by Amedeo Modigliani.
Gypsy Woman with Baby (1919), Modigliani
Modigliani was an Italian painter known for his elongated figures.  It's a pretty distinctive style.  This particular painting hangs in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

When starting one of our group challenges I first look (squint) at the picture and try to decide what elements jump out at me.  In this painting I was struck by the gypsy's elongated face and hands and by the way Modigliani outlined each field of color with a thin black line.  Almost cartoonish.

I decided when we started our monthly challenges that I would stick to the artists' color choices.  More or less.  There are two reasons for this:
  1. It is one less decision to make when starting the piece.  The colors are already chosen for me.  
  2. It forces me to work with colors I wouldn't normally choose.  I generally lean towards the warm side of the color wheel.  But I have found that my palette has expanded since I started "forcing" myself to work with cooler colors.  Which is a wonderful thing.
So, elongation and black lines.  In teals and rusts.  Easy peasy.  And fun!  I pulled some fabrics (including some very nice pieces from the Urban Artifacts line by Leslie Tucker Jenison) and started to piece elongated curves.  And to add a few black lines.

The result was this small piece:
Pods, 22"w x 17"h, © 2017
I have tentatively named it Pods.  I need to come up with a better title.  Any suggestions?

After quilting the Canyon quilt I felt I needed to try quilting with curvy lines again.  Although I liked the way that piece turned out, the lines of quilting on it were pretty straight despite my curvy intentions.   So I got a little wild with this one.  More curves than straight lines.
I initially quilted it entirely in curved lines.  But when I looked at it the next morning, I HATED it.  Honestly hated it.  So I went back and quilted the entire piece again with straight lines.  I didn't rip the curved lines out -- I just quilted over them.  Much better.
I think part of the problem was the density of the quilting.  I like it dense, and it wasn't.   And I like the crossing and intermingling of the straight and curvy lines.

I'm off to Houston for International Quilt Festival tomorrow.  I can't wait to see all of the exhibits and to catch up with friends I haven't seen in ages.  And to find out what award I've won!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Mudcracks in the Canyon -- Finished!

Mudcracks in the Canyon, © 2017, Heather Pregger
I finished quilting "Mudcracks in the Canyon" yesterday, and it is trimmed down to it's finished size.  32"w x 48"h.  After I posted the pictures last week, I decided the cliffs and sky needed to be a little more prominent.  So I added a little more cliff/sky/cliff along the top of the quilt.  What do you think?

Those of you who follow my work know that I usually quilt in long straight lines, 1/8" or so apart.  For this quilt I decided to quilt a few curved lines, mixed in with the straight lines.  To represent the wind in the canyon.
Mudcracks, Detail
It's a pretty subtle difference.  But I mention it because I found the whole experience rather amusing.  Apparently, after 5 or so years of quilting long straight lines, I find it very difficult to quilt a curved line.  I'd start each line on the left side fully intending to make it swoop and sway and realize about halfway through that I was quilting a very straight line.  I really had to concentrate.

I do love the slight variation, even if it wasn't as dramatic as I originally intended.

I plan to enter this piece in "Life Along the Rio Grande," a SAQA regional show open to members who live in the states the Rio Grande crosses.  SAQA exhibits, both regional and international, are fabulous opportunities to show quilts.  Most shows travel to many venues, showing off our work to hundreds or even thousands of people.  It's great exposure.
The original photo, taken in 1988 in Santa Elena Canyon
I'm linking this post with Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Friday, Confessions of a Fiber Addict and Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday.  Go see all the wonderful work there!

And the winner is......

Kathy E!  I hope you enjoy your copy of Improv Patchwork: Dynamic Quilts Made With Line and Shape!

Thanks to everyone who left a comment!

Remember, you can buy the book on Amazon or at C&T Publishing.  And Maria will be at International Quilt Festival next week -- you can get a copy of it from her there!

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