Category Archives: Artists

New Quilts from an Old Favorite 2017 winners

Ever since I got involved in the quilt world I’ve been fascinated at how modern quilters interpret old block designs. Each year a classic block is put out there by the National Quilt Museum and each year I am amazed at how they are interpreted.

Flying Geese block from Craftsy - designed by Rebecca at QuiltingSupport.com

Flying Geese block from Craftsy – designed by Rebecca at QuiltingSupport.com

This year is Flying Geese.

Migration Patterns by Susan Mogan

Migration Patterns by Susan Mogan

At first I looked at the winning quilt by Susan Morgan and didn’t really get it. But somehow the colours and design stuck in my mind, and when I saw the title it made sense. Very clever.

I used to think I would make one of these quilts one day but I think I’ll leave it to the experts! Go see some of the other winners.

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Want to Make a Beaded Dragon?

Big Beaded Dragon Tutorial by Viko Kecaa

Big Beaded Dragon Tutorial by Viko Kecaa

Unbelievable! I need to take a year off to put this together……

Go ahead – you want to make a Big Beaded Dragon?

Another dragon by Viko Kecaa

Another dragon by Viko Kecaa

Seriously – this is beautiful. And there are other creatures just as amazing. And tutorials. You could spend your life working on these fabulous works of art.

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Ann Johnston at the Columbia FiberArts Guild

Many years ago, in a galaxy far, far away …. no, that’s not right, I mean here in Portland, OR – in April. Ann Johnston – one of my heroes, gave a lecture to the Columbia FiberArts Guild and then offered a 3-day workshop afterward.

Hand dyed fabric from Ann Johnston

Hand dyed fabric from Ann Johnston

Hand dyed fabric from Jill Hoddick

Hand dyed fabric from Jill Hoddick

What a fascinating ride Ann has been on. For many years she’s worked with dyed and painted fabric – produced in her own studio. Her book – Color by Accident, was my bible. My Virginia kitchen was filled with ziplock bags of fabulous coloured muslin, silks and sometimes even velvet cloth. Rows of curing yardage spread out on the kitchen table – while my husband was away flying planes, or putting up cellular towers in strange places around the world.

Since then, we have left our Virginia house, where I had the free run of the kitchen for my dyeing projects. We were beginning an 8 year wander, from Virginia to Florida to end up in Portland, Oregon.

My dyeing equipment sold, but I kept all the fabric and schlepped the boxes around from home to home. I still made quilts but surface design and dyeing was off the books.

Now we are settled here in the NorthWest, we have finally decided to buy a home again.

I am thinking…….. maybe I could start dyeing my fabric again?

And if I do, I’ll be following Ann’s books and now her DVD.

Melanie Potter workshop

Flora beadwork kit by Melanie Potter

Flora beadwork kit by Melanie Potter

The Portland Beading Society is bringing Melanie Potter to Portland! So excited to be taking 3 workshops with her.

This Flora necklace, made with WireKnitz, comes in 4 different colors. I chose a pretty Henna one – well, they’re all pretty but I am thinking about my wardrobe….um. I like this gold too, but in the end the henna got my vote.

There’s homework for this workshop. Yikes!

WireKnitz

WireKnitz

 

 

Cool stuff this WireKnitz. And it comes in all sorts of colours.

I have a video: Beadwork Designer of the Year Series: Bead Stitching Chevron Chain with Melanie. Rather intricate so more of a challenge and therefore keeps me busy thinking.

Metallic bronze tila bead bracelet made with tila, bugle and seed beads. Chevron stitch beadweaving. Finished with a slide lock clasp. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.

Here’s a Bronze tila bead bracelet I designed after watching Melanie’s video.

Melanie Potter Labyrinth necklace kit

Melanie Potter Labyrinth necklace kit

This is another of the workshops – Labyrinth Necklace. This can be worn with anything! No worries about wardrobe colours here.

Versailles Cuff by Melanie Potter

Versailles Cuff by Melanie Potter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are making a very pretty Versailles cuff too. I’ll be thoroughly decked out when these are all finished.

One day……

Craig Wetzel and the Imaginactory

I Thought He Was A Pig by Craig Wetzel

I Thought He Was A Pig by Craig Wetzel

We get some interesting people buying thread from our store. Fishermen, quilters, airplane model makers, musicians and now Japanese bookbinders.

Craig Wetzel’s email caught my eye – what on earth is the Imaginactory? Well, a strange word at least. And, it appears, a strange bird is Craig.

Lovely paintings, in egg tempura. A little used medium but utterly beautiful in execution. His subjects could almost be from a Lewis Carroll world, or even Edward Lear. A pig on a bridge………?

And his writing is after my own heart. A man with a sense of humour, and apparently friends with like minds, such as Amey, who writes amusingly about Craig.

Perhaps you would like to wander around Sycamore Shadows – an imaginary town?

Quilt Alliance videos of International Quilt Festival 2014

Quilt Alliance videos from International Quilt Festival 2014

Quilt Alliance videos from International Quilt Festival 2014 – interview with Sandra Lauterbach

The Quilt Alliance videoed some great interviews with quilt artists who showed at the International Quilt Festival 2014 – Go Tell it at the Quilt Show! If you couldn’t go it’s lovely to see the quilts. And if you did go, it’s interesting to hear what the artists say about their work.

Sara Impey

Process by Sara Impey

Process by Sara Impey

Many years ago my quilt ‘Summer Haze aka Volcanic Pizza’ was shown at Alexandria Palace in London, UK. My mother and I looked through the catalogue and noticed a familiar name. Sara Impey’s family lived in the area close to my mother’s house. When I went to the exhibition opening I sought out Sara and we remained in touch ever since. Her quilts have lain on my mother’s living room floor while we discussed the design and content. Sara’s work was shown at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. In fact, they have been shown all over the world.

Over time Sara made textile art based on personal issues and social concerns. She made a name for herself with these text based quilts and eventually Batsford publishers asked her if she would consider basing a book on her work. For a while she resisted. She is well aware of the time and effort involved in authoring a book – she was a Times journalist and has first hand knowledge of the publishing world. In the end though, she decided to work on the book.

The book is now published:

Hollis Chatelain – textile artist

Some years ago I was part of an art quilt group founded by Hollis Chatelain. Life and geography have intervened since then but in my mind I hold the quarterly meetings and the members as a wonderful memory. And am grateful for the friends I made.

Hollis found a technique and style suited to her need for political and environmental comment. Quilting isn’t usually associated with social matters. If quilting is mentioned most people’s knee jerk reaction is to say – “oh, I have a wedding ring quilt hand made by my grandmother, could you finish it for me?”. Or variations…….

There is a vast underground of mostly women artists (which is probably why we receive the above comments), who use a soft medium and speak about their world view. Be it social commentary, colour studies, cartoons, abstract, 3-D pieces, or any other known expression of creativity. And possibly unknown!

Enough of the serious stuff. This isn’t meant to be an essay on a particular art form. I want to introduce you to Hollis Chatelain’s work from my point of view.

She operates in three areas. Figurative, Abstract, and Nature. Because I am more of an abstract artist I have greater interest in her abstract work. I have the usual reaction of humans towards realistic depictions. If it’s not spot on it feels off, and therefore makes me withdraw from the work. This is known as the Uncanny Valley effect.

Denim Flow by Hollis Chatelain

Denim Flow by Hollis Chatelain

Of course, I immediately show a piece which isn’t something Hollis is known for. It’s one of her alternative methods of making quilts. But I just wanted to point out her use of colour and the title, which incorporates the word FLOW. And exactly describes the work.

African Doodles by Hollis Chatelain and unnamed Nigerian artist

African Doodles by Hollis Chatelain and unnamed Nigerian artist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a piece she made in 2013. It’s absolutely lovely. It uses complicated swirls and patterns from a painting by a Nigerian artist. Hollis bought the painting and translated it from paper to fabric. Once again, this is not what Hollis is known for but makes sense in her body of work as she is firmly connected to Africa.

The Change by Hollis Chatelain

The Change by Hollis Chatelain

 

 

 

 

 

 

This piece is created in Hollis’ known style and technique. It is a hand dye-painted, machine quilted, whole cloth quilt.

Her statement: “An area of natural forest the size of a soccer field is cut down every two seconds, estimates Greenpeace.

From lush trees and wildlife to barren fields and deserts, how long will it take before the change becomes irreparable?”

Can you imagine walking into a gallery and being faced with this huge work? it’s nearly 7 feet wide. Firstly you are drawn to the colour – she tends towards the monochromatic. Then your eye turns towards the left of the piece where the heavier and darker trees lie, and finally you mentally walk down the avenue of shady trees.

But the kicker comes when you naturally go closer to the work because you wonder – how on earth is this made?

Strikingly, the whole surface is stitched thread.

Finally, you read her statement. And think a little.

Who knows what goes on in the mind of an artist? People may question why Hollis works in fabric and thread when she is obviously an accomplished painter and photographer. My guess is; the things she wants to talk about are more forcefully brought to attention when a left field medium is used.

It might be a deliberately calculated choice to differentiate her work. It might be Hollis just likes working in fabric and thread.

But she sure gets attention whatever her rationale.