Thursday, June 30, 2016

Rise and Shine, Inner City has come home!

Rise and Shine, Inner City has come home! I shipped the quilt to SouthArts in November 2012 for its trip to six venues in China with the exhibit "The Sum of Many Parts--25 Quiltmakers in 21st Century America." It was my privilege to attend the opening of the exhibit in Dalian, China in 2013. At the end of this two-year odyssey, Mid-America Arts Alliance picked up a dozen of the pieces for a US tour entitled "The Sum of Many Parts--Quiltmakers in Contemporary America," which traveled to Oregon, Arkansas, Nebraska, South Carolina, Missouri, and Florida. Now after almost four years, the quilt arrived back in Hattiesburg. 
I love that so many people got to enjoy this quilt and think about its story. There have been many inner city quilts made with a variety of color plans and arrangements--my favorite, and the one which first inspired me--is by Jinny Beyer. She cleverly caused the viewer to see hexagons in a beehive pattern. 
by Jinny Beyer

After taking a scrap quilting class from Jinny in the early 90s, I began my quilt, using colors grouped as "neighborhoods" meeting and touching one another with the sun coming in to wake up the city. It is vital that neighborhoods work together to make up a successful and healthy city, just as it is for countries to work together to make a peaceful world. I hope my Rise and Shine, Inner City has helped to spread this message to the people who viewed it on its travels.
Large poster advertising exhibit at Dalian Modern Museum
In Dalian
At Crealdé School of Art, Winter Park, FL
Now the quilt is back at home in Mississippi; I will enjoy seeing it on my guest bed as it rests from its exciting adventures. Lucy Fazely helped me write a pattern for my version of this traditional Inner City block.

Monday, June 27, 2016

More Artist's Altered Book Pages

I created this page for Sandy Donabed for her Aerial View theme. She replied that her granddaughter has a special fondness for eagles--so do I!

by Martha Ginn for Sandy Donabed
Janis Doucette sent me this beautiful page she made from her eco-printed cotton and silk. The front and back of the page are both pieced in crazy-quilt fashion, which she has heavily embroidered with silk ribbon and floss. She added a clever little tab on the right.
by Janis Doucette

Then I returned from a trip to find my page from Joani Share. She says, "Flowers add joy to any environment," and I heartily agree. Joani used flower petals overlaid with transparent rice paper, adding cut paper flowers and free-motion stitching. She wrapped painted branches in copper wire for the stems--creating "a mixed media bonanza of organic materials."
by Joani Share
This brings my pages received to five, with four more to go. Each page is so different in style and technique and I imagine these next four months will bring more surprises! Seeing what these artists have made for me encourages me to dig deep into my creativity for each of them. I'm a month ahead of schedule, but with quilt show coming up in October, getting ahead seemed like a good plan.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Twisted Trees Class

We had a good time making Twisted Tree art quilts at the MQA Gathering last weekend in Jackson. We started with a background pinned to a piece of foam core or cardboard, then made the precut strips into little twists.
Peggy Wehr and Martha
Once I was certain they all knew how to hand-twist the strips, I showed them how to speed up the process with an electric drill. 
After getting enough strips twisted, we began to create the trees by pinning the twists in place over the background. Once the twists were arranged in a pleasing manner, the pins had to be released from the board and turned flat to get the work under the sewing machine head.
Theresa Wege

Amy Schwalm

Cindy Allgood and Presley
Rebecca Dobbins

Rose Naquinn

Dianne Smith
Christy Calhoun
Myra Cook
I'm sorry I didn't get good pictures of Connie Moore, Nancy Newman, Diane Rayburn, and Roberta Slowey. Most quilters got their tree created and began sewing it down. This part is challenging to avoid hitting pins or injuring fingers, and twists can be adjusted and rearranged during this process if necessary.
Cindy stitching her tree
We discussed the background quilting and finishing and I shared my favorite edge treatment--facing--rather than binding. I promised to send Kathy Loomis' excellent facing tutorial she posted on her blog March 18, 2011.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Twisted Trees for June

I'm excited about teaching my Twisted Trees class at our Mississippi Quilt Association Workshop Gathering this weekend (June 17-18) in Jackson. MQA has three Gatherings a year plus an Educational Seminar in different areas of the state so more people can attend, but this Workshop Gathering is always centrally located.