Monday, June 29, 2009

"Winged Messengers" Quilt Show at Aullwood

Yesterday I went to the artist's reception for the "Winged Messengers" Quilt Show at the Aullwood Audubon Center (scroll down 2 posts to see my fabric mosaic that is in the show and for details about the exhibit).

There are many beautiful and creative art quilts there but what caught my eye were the three journal-sized quilts there by Elin Waterston. I mention that because she is one of the authors of the "Art Quilt Workbook" which I wrote about in the post below this one. (If you have the book, one of the quilts is "Return 2" which is pictured on page 85 of the book.)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

"Feather Series" Quilts Inspired by the "Art Quilt Workbook"

Some of the members of the Miami Valley Art Quilt Network decided we would meet once a month and work through some of the exercises in the "Art Quilt Workbook" by Jane Davila and Elin Waterston. The book suggests you pick a theme, color set and have all the finished quilts be the same size. I chose "Feathers" as my theme and a batik color palette of green, blue, brown, rust and cream. All of these quilts use a collage format and are all embellished. This is my Feather series.

This is "Blue Feather." It incorporates the design principles including: repetition, balance, rhythm, proportion and emphasis. The feather is made with a blue batik fabric fused and appliqued onto the cream fabric (with a rust batik "shadow" behind it) and the shaft is made with a piece of yarn with some ribbons wrapped around it and is couched to the top of the feather and also hangs down outside of the frame of the quilt. Each of the smaller appliqued boxes on the right has a bead or button embellishment that is the same color as the box.

"Blue Bird"uses a photo as inspiration and the bird is made of blue and white fabrics with a piece of green fabric as tress on the horizon line in the background. The found object "barbed wire" is an actual wire twisted to look like barbed wire and then sewn to the quilt top. There are 6 copper feather charms in the three copper boxes at the top and three boxes at the bottom of the quilt and the bottom boxes have a thin blue line anchoring them together.


The feather in "Threaded Feather"was made by "thread painting" where layer upon layer is built up just using thread. It's a neat effect but it can take awhile to create. I used several shades of blue thread plus some gray and black, then "painted" in a small amount of blue metallic thread to give it some sparkle. The rust-colored bars on the left side breaks the frame at the top of the quilt and the bar on the right hangs down past the bottom edge of the quilt. Four light blue beads are on the left bar and four copper flower beads are on the right bar.

"Floating Feather" has curved piecing. This is the first time I've done curved piecing and it took a few tries to get the hang of it, but it was actually fun! The feather that is floating is the same cream fabric used in the other quilts with a little bit of fabric paint on it. There are small blue beads along the curved piecing and also some in the ripple under the feather. There are four frosted feather beads on each of the copper bars and six green beads with gold feathers etched in them along the bottom edge of the quilt.

"Painted Feather" was painted with fabric paint and then appliqued to the cream-colored fabric, with a piece of netting over the top. The background uses insert strip piecing, and although I used a different piece of fabric, the color tones are similar for a subtle effect. The strips are quilted, even when they go under the cream-colored box. There are six blue discs on the corners of the feather, sequins on the strip pieces, glass beads in the bar at the top of the quilt and wood beads in the bar at the bottom.

The final piece was made by doing "wonky" piecing, in this case using the "Log Cabin" block. There is color-coordinated couched yarn where the fabric changes and color-coordinated seed quilting (little random stitches) of different lengths and proximity. This was the first time I've done the seed quilting and I found it relaxing. In the center there is a blue button and a bronze feather charm, which is why this quilt is called "Little Feather."

More about the Feather series

Monday, June 22, 2009

Early Morning Hermit Thrush Fabric Mosaic in Aullwood Quilt Show

"Early Morning Hermit Thrush," by Pam Geisel, April 2009

My husband and I first encountered the Hermit Thrush on our honeymoon in southeastern Ohio. We were interested in it’s call, which sounded a little like wind chimes to us. I used several of my favorite pieces of fabric in this piece.

I used different brown fabrics for the bird's feathers and a piece that has tiny gold and maroon shapes on it for the bird's chest. I used yellows and pinks fabrics to blend the sunrise background, covered the pieces with tulle then quilted it.

This fabric mosaic is included in the Aullwood Audubon's 17th Annual Art Quilt Exhibit. The exhibit runs from June 27 through August 15 at the Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm, located at 1000 Aullwood Road in Dayton, Ohio. There will be an artist reception on Sunday, June 28 from 2:30-4 pm.

More about Early Morning Hermit Thrush

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Yellow Springs Art Stroll

We survived the Yellow Springs Street Fair last weekend and are looking forward to the Yellow Springs Art Stroll tomorrow, Fri., June 19. There are several happenings that night including the "Miniature Show" at Would You, Could You In a Frame. The photo is of the 2" x 3" "Woven Confetti" fabric mosaic I made for the show, although it is unframed as the frame shop owner is putting it in a frame for me and I haven't seen it yet.

We'll also spend some time down at Urban Handmade, the new store selling only hand-made items, including some of mine. The Yellow Springs Art Council is hosting a show, and new work in Chamber Pot Gallery (the bathrooms at the Train Station, really). Plus roaming musicians and performance artists.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hand-painted Fabric Winner

The winner of the hand-painted fabric is Natalie from the Etsy shop "Tins and Treasures." She makes handmade, primitive art that is just adorable! Congratulations, Natalie!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie at the Yellow Springs Street Fair this Saturday, June 13

Tempting, isn't it? Almost too pretty to eat. Homemade by my culinary-gifted husband Scott, it's made with fresh, locally-grown strawberries and rhubarb. And if you're in Yellow Springs, Ohio this Saturday, June 13, you can discover that it tastes even better than it looks. It's edible art!

Stop by booth #126 (if you're facing the Little Art, we'll be on the right). We'll have pies, my quilts and quilted art, and copies of Gravity Fiction, a new anthology of short stories by college writers, with commentary on the craft of writing fiction. Gravity Fiction is edited by Scott, a man of many talents, and I did the layout and cover design.

There are many other interesting things to check out at the Yellow Springs Street Fair. Be sure to stop by and say "Hi!"

Friday, June 5, 2009

Beach Fabric Mosaic

"Beach," 10" x 8", made by Pam Geisel, March 2008

I made this framed piece in March of 2008. It is a fabric mosaic. I arrange small pieces of fabric on a background fabric or piece of innerfacing.

For this piece I blended the blue fabrics from dark to light. To help make the pieces look like they are blending, I used some light blue fabric that had white printed on it. Some of those were originally white clouds on a blue sky but it's hard to recognize that since the pieces are cut up small.

I also arranged some cream colored fabric with a slightly darker cream closer to the blue because wet sand is darker than dry sand. Where the blue and cream fabrics meet I put white fabric to represent the foam where the waves meet the sand.

I sewed the piece down then framed them.

More about Beach.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Cascades Fabric Mosaic on Exhibit with Best of 2009 Show

"Cascades" Fabric Mosaic, made by Pam Geisel, November 2008

In the rules for entries for "Quilt National," they require that the quilts be fabric or "fabric-like" material and composed of 2 complete layers held together by stitching. When I make my "Fabric Mosaics," they are made of little pieces of fabric arranged and secured to a backing fabric with a piece of netting is placed on top and the whole thing is stitched together. So technically my Fabric Mosaics are quilts, but due to their delicate nature, I like to frame them.

And while I haven't been promoting them any more than I do my "regular" quilts, they've been getting a bit of attention lately. Three of them are currently on display or scheduled to be on display soon.

My piece "Cascades" is in the Ohio Designer Craftsman's "Best of 2009" show. The traveling exhibit will be at the Ohio Craft Museum in Columbus until June 21; at the Southern Ohio Museum in Portsmouth from July 3-Aug. 26; at the Mansfield Art Center from Sept. 13-Oct. 25; and at the Wayne Center for the Arts from Nov. 12-Dec. 19.

And as for the other two Fabric Mosaics, I'll post about them when it's closer to the exhibit openings.

More about Cascades.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Recent Fabric Mosaics

 "Denim Confetti" fabric mosaic, 14" x 5.5", made by Pam Geisel, April 2009

I made fabric pieces that I call fabric mosaics where I take small pieces of fabric, arrange them on a piece of fabric stabilizer, cover them with a piece of tulle (fine netting), then quilt the pieces down. I usually make abstract pieces but have done some representational art and I usually frame them but have sometimes pieced them into a larger art quilt.

"Denim Confetti" is a triptych (three pieces hanging together) made with blues and yellows. The blue thread is placed under the tulle and not stitches. The quilting is done with yellow thread.

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"Pink Lemonade," fabric mosaic, 14" x 5.5", made by Pam Geisel, April 2009

"Pink Lemonade" is also a triptych made with pinks and yellows. The red thread is placed under the tulle and not stitches. The quilting is done with a variegated red thread.

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"Woven Confetti" fabric mosaic, 5" x 7", made by Pam Geisel, April 2009 

"Woven Confetti" is made from some of the pieces trimmed off of "Denim Confetti" and "Pink Lemonade" that were woven together then covered with tulle and quilted. The sparkly blue thread is paced under the tulle and it's quilted with pink thread.

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"Peacock Feathers" fabric mosaic, 5.5" x 14", made by Pam Geisel, February 2009

"Peacock Feathers" is a triptych made with blue and green fabrics on a black background. There is a piece of couched yarn with loos thread that is stitched down on top of the tulle.

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"Pansies" fabric mosaic, 14" x 11", made by Pam Geisel, April 2009 

"Pansies" is a representational piece of three pansies on a green background.

I did some thread painting on the flowers with a purple thread. This piece is now a part of the Yellow Springs Arts Council's Permanent Collection.

More about Denim Confetti - Pink LemonadeWoven Confetti - Peacock Feathers - Pansies