Monday, August 8, 2022

Art on the Lawn, Sat. Aug. 13 in Yellow Springs

Art on the Lawn is this Saturday, Aug 13 from 10 am-5 pm at Mills Lawn, 200 S. Walnut St. in Yellow Springs, Ohio. I'll be there under the shade of the trees with my art. There will be over 100 artists, plus some food vendors and live musicians. The show is sponsored by and just a block from Village Artisans, where I am a member.

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Art in the City - Downtown Dayton & Wheat Penny


Art in the City is happening in downtown Dayton this Saturday, August 6 from 1-7 pm. My art quilt "Lavender Diamonds" will be at the Edward A. Dixon Gallery at 222 N St Clair St, in Dayton. The gallery has recently moved into a new home so they are also having a grand reopening on Friday, August 5 from 4-8 pm. In addition to this Friday and Saturday, the gallery is open by appointment.

While the Wheat Penny is not of the official Art in the City map, it is just a few blocks away at 515 Wayne Avenue in Dayton. I have 16 art quilts on display there through October 1. The restaurant is open Tue-Thu 11a-9p, Fri-Sat 11a-10p, and closed on Sun-Mon.

For a blast from the past, this photo was taken of me an my art quilt "Cosmic Connectivity" at the Wheat Penny at the Dayton's first Art in the City in 2016. And it is a part of the show that is up at the Wheat Penny now.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Two New Autumn Table Runners

(Left) Autumn Table Runner Long, 12" x 38" and (right) Autumn Table Topper Square, 25" x 25", made by Pam Geisel, June 2022

It's a little out of season but I recently made these two autumn table runners. They are both on the large side so I borrowed a friends large dining room table to take my photos.

The long rectangular one has rectangular fabrics that blend from a yellow gold through rust orange to a deep red and the border has autumn leaves in it.

The square one is done in a traditional "Broken Dishes" arrangement with triangles of yellow gold, warm brown, orange, and red and the background triangles have autumn leaves.


Friday, June 24, 2022

Letters from Lincoln: a patriotic art quilt

 Letters from Lincoln, 35" x 34", made by Pam Geisel, June 2022

I had an idea to make an art quilt with a patriotic theme and using an American flag seemed like a good way to arrange the letters on the stripes. I did a quick mock up and really liked how it looked. When I refined my idea I did spend some time working with a flag that is the actual dimensions of a flag but they are twice as wide as they are tall and that ratio wasn't working for me, so I decided to use my artistic license and go back to my quick mock up, even if it wasn't the correct dimensions.

Next it was time to chose a quote. For most of my other word quilts, the words came first and the image second. But this time I worked backwards. I searched patriotic quotes and found quite a few that I liked but they had to be able to be broken down into somewhat equal length chunks and this quote ended up working the best. This quote had a nice balance because the words and combinations of words all had even numbers so there are the same number of blank squares on the left and right side of each row.

The other quotes that I considered were:

May we think of freedom, not as the right to do as we please but as the opportunity to do what is right - Peter Marshall

True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else. - Clarence Darrow

Our country is not the only thing to which we owe our allegiance. It is also owed to justice and to humanity. - James Bryce

The love of one’s country is a splendid thing, but why should love stop at the border.  - Pablo Casals

Now to create the quilt. Like the other word quilts I traced the letters in reverse onto fusible webbing, fused those to a white fabric, and cut out all the letters. The letters were then fused to either a red or blue diamond shape, depending on where they would end up.

Because I already had the red and white stripes I did not add another colored square in those areas but I did to the blue section where I tried to used many blue pieces that had stars printed on them. (Some of the red diamond fabrics also have stars on them.)

All the diamond shapes got a piece of sheer fabric on top. Some of the sheers were in the expected colors of red and blue but others were orange, green, and pink which I thought added a nice subtlety to the quilt. The whole piece is quilted with "x" shapes through the square/diamond shapes using a variegated red and blue thread.

The quote comes from a letter that President Lincoln wrote to Henry L. Pierce declining an invitation to speak at an event honoring Thomas Jefferson. I named this piece "Letters from Lincoln" since I literally cut out fabric letters to put on the piece.

More about Letters from Lincoln

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Bee Kind

"Bee Kind," 11" x 11", handmade by Pam Geisel, May 2022

The hexagon shape is a common shape in quilt patterns, although in order to piece them together you have to do what is called an inset seam, which is when three fabric edges meet in a single junction when sewn together, with the angles different than 90 degrees. This is a tricky skill that I haven't really mastered but if I leave a little space between the hexagons and fuse them to a background, they look like a honeycomb. 

The shape of the whole piece is also a hexagon and I used my favorite facing method to bind it and it went easier than I expected, possibly easier than the usual 90 degree corners. 

In my other word quilts, the letters have mostly been on top of squares but in this one they are on the hexagon shapes. Like the other word quilts the letters have sheer squares of fabric on top of them to give them an added layer of visual texture.

With the exception of the backing fabric, the rest of the fabrics are hand dyed, with the letters "B E E" in warm colors (reds and orange) and the "K I N D" in cool colors (green blues, and purple).

Along the left side of the piece is a honey bee floating along. The body and the wings are all appliqued along the raw edges, the winds are made with a silver sheer fabric, and the antenna are couched yarn with knots on the ends.

The hexagons and letters are quilted with a yellow thread that crosses over the hexagon shapes three times creating diamond shapes. The bee's flight path is indicated with a dotted line hand quilted with black embroidery floss.

More about Bee Kind 

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Be a Spark on Exhibit with Best of 2022 Travelling Show

My art quilt "Be a Spark" is in the Ohio Designer Craftsman's "Best of 2022" show. The traveling exhibit will be at the following locations:

Ohio Craft Museum
1665 W. Fifth Ave, Columbus, OH 43212
May 8-June 26
Opening reception Sun., May 8, 1-4 p

Kent State University, CVA (Center for the Visual Arts) Gallery
325 Terrace Dr. Kent, OH
August 25-September 29

Sunday, April 24, 2022

The Persistence of Pluto

"The Persistence of Pluto," 20" x 23", handmade by Pam Geisel, April 2022

If you're like me, you learned that there are nine planets in our solar system. Some facts about Pluto:

  • It was discovered in February 1930
  • It was the first planet discovered by an American
  • With the exception of Earth, all the planets are named after either a Greek or Roman god, and Pluto is named after the Greek god of the underworld (the cartoon dog was named later)
  • It is one-fifth the diameter of Earth 
  • It is about 3.6 billion miles from the sun and 1 billion miles from Neptune
  • It takes 248 Earth years to complete one revolution around the sun
  • In August 2006, the International Astronomical Union demoted it to a dwarf planet
Even though Pluto is no longer considered a full-fledged planet, it still persists, orbiting around the sun.

After working up the design for this quilt, the first step was to select the fabric. I'd recently organized all of my colored scraps so that made the process easier although I'd need nine colors and technically there are only seven colors in the rainbow, so I added a hot pink for Mars and a teal green for Neptune. I'd originally started with the traditional rainbow order of red for Mercury but at the last minute decided to start with the yellow for Mercury since it was the closest to the sun.

I thought I wanted a deep black for the background and looked at fabrics online but then decided to go with a deep purple, which luckily I had a large piece of purple batik in my stash. I basted this fabric to the batting and backing fabric and pinned the sun in place then started quilted 1/4" lines echoing the orbital paths around the sun.

Then I added the colored squares, diamonds, letters, and sheer fabrics and quilted on top of the already quilted lines, tucking Jupiter behind the letters but putting the other planets next to the letters, with the exception of Pluto, who's "O" is the planet, and Mercury, which didn't have room next to the letters so it's between the "C" and the "U".

When I thought of adding some stars to the background, I'd originally thought I'd use some gold sequin-like stars that I had but when I went to get them, I found these plastic rainbow colored star-shaped buttons. I'm not sure where they came from and can't imagine having a chance to use them again in the future, so I decided to use them for this project.

More about The Persistence of Pluto