Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fireflies Art Quilt - it glows in the dark!

"Fireflies," 15" x 17.5"

This art quilt was made for the 19th Annual Open Members' Show at the Dayton Visual Arts Center. The theme this year was "Darkness."

One of my favorite things about living in south west Ohio is that we are on the western edge of the Eastern Time Zone, so it says light in the summer until almost 9:30 pm. And when it finally does get dark, the lightning bugs come out. Did you know there are some places in the country where they don't have lighting bugs?

The best place to see lightning bugs is in an open field where there are trees at the edges. The bugs like the field, and with the dark trees behind them, they are easier to see. So for my "Darkness" quilt I wanted to have a lighter area in the center for the field, and darker areas at the edges for the trees.

I started with some black fabric, added some shiny silver fabric in the middle, then added some pieces of dark blue and purple fabrics on the left and the right of the silver fabric and dark green across the bottom. I added many embellishments, then placed some black sheer over the top of the items then quilted it all down, being careful to quilt around the embellishments, which trapped them in the fabric.

After adding the binding, I couched some yarn where the binding met the quilt to add a little bit of color and frame the quilt. Here is a close-up photo:

Some of the embellishments I used were buttons, beads, and colorful threads. I also added some parts of glow-in-the-dark stars and some pieces of a broken CD. And while those pieces don't blink like lightning bugs, the CD pieces will catch the light and "wink" as you walk by the quilt.

I even used glow-in-the-dark thread, although it doesn't stand out very much. Below is a photo of the glow-in-the-dark parts, you can see the faint image of the quilting looping in the middle. This wasn't an easy photo to get!

More about Fireflies

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The 19th Annual Open Members' Show at the Dayton Visual Arts Center runs from July 13-August 19. An Artist Reception will be held on Fri. July 16, from 5-8 pm. DVAC us located at 118 N. Jefferson St., Datyon, Ohio.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Village Green Fine Art Fair in Fairfield, Ohio

In spite of the rain last Saturday morning, the Yellow Springs Street Fair went well. This Saturday, June 19 I'll be at the Village Green Fine Art Fair at the Fairfield Community Arts Center, 411 Wessel Dr. in Fairfield, Ohio.

According to the weather websites, this Saturday is going to be in the low 90s with a chance of storms, which is why I'm glad that I'll be INSIDE the Fairfield Community Arts Center in Booth A, where it'll be cool and dry.

The Fairfield Community Arts Center is only 3 miles from Jungle Jims, and only 14 miles from Ikea, so if you live in the Dayton and Cincinnati area, you can make a day trip out of it. The show runs from 11 am to 5 pm...so if you come out, be sure to stop by booth "A"...where I hope to be cool and dry!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Glen Helen Quilts as Note Cards

I was so happy with the way the Glen Helen quilts came out that I decided to have them made into a set of six notecards, which I'll have for sale for $25 per set on my Etsy page. Each card is professionally printed and is blank inside. They are 5" x 7" and fit in a 5" x 7" frame or in an 8" x 10" frame with a mat. Six blank envelopes are included. They arrived last night, just in time for me to take to the Street Fair tomorrow!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Glen Helen Quilt Series

Last year I made a series of 6 quilts using the theme "Feathers." I enjoyed the process and the results so much I decided to do something similar this year with a Glen Helen series.

This year happened to be the 50th Anniversary of the Glen Helen Association. Glen Helen is a 1000-acre nature preserve owned and operated by Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. They run educational programming including busing out 6th graders to stay overnight in their dorms and learn about nature.

You could say that Glen Helen is dear to our hearts. Many years ago my husband and I both attended Glen Helen when we were in school (although not at the same time) and we both kept coming back whenever we could, and many years later we shared our first kiss in the Pine Forest.

One of the events to celebrate the 50th anniversary is a juried art show, featuring sights found in Glen Helen, and these 6 quilts are all of places in the Glen. All of these quilts use a collage format, are made primarily of fused fabric with a raw edge applique technique, and are all embellished. Since they all have an image that was inspired by a photo, I tried to find different ways to "frame" the picture on the quilts.

They are all 8" x 11". I also had notecards printed using images from these quilts.

 "Pine Forest Looking Up" The pine forest is a favorite place for a lot of people, and this is the view when you lay on the forest floor and look up. The sky fabric is hand-painted with thread painting on the green fabrics to loosely represent the pine needles. There is a thin piece of red fabric framing the pine trees with a piece of brown yarn couched around it, and has two metal buttons.

  "Pine Forest Tall" This quilt shows the pine trees from a straight on view, with most of the pines needles at the top. The light brown fabrics on the pine floor are the sunlight that filters through. There are three boxes on the right side with a silver cord couched on top of them. The cord emphasizes the height of the trees and it also hangs below the edge of the quilt with a wooden bead at the end. Seven small wooded beads are on top of the silver cord and a stone-like bead is in the brown box.
"Grinnell Mill" The Grinnell Mill, located at Grinnell Road and Bryan Park Road in Yellow Springs, was built in 1813 and restored in 2006 when it was converted to a Bed & Breakfast. The building uses three different red fabrics and blue and green yarn is couched around the blue background. There are two square and two round beads on the blue and green boxes above and below the mill.
"Covered Bridge" The covered bridge is located near the Grinnell Mill. It was moved to this location over a creek and can be crossed by foot. There is a black cord couched around the opening to the bridge. The vertical orange batik was pieced to the brown fabric, has black bugle beads down the middle, and there are red and black beads at the bottom.

The trillium flower is one of many Spring wildflowers found in the Glen. The flower is on a green leafy print and is pieced to the blue and yellow fabrics at the top and bottom. There is a gold cord couched where the green leafy fabric meets the others. There are two metallic-type beads in the yellow stripe, several gold seed beads in the center of the trillium flower and eight green glass leaf beads at the bottom.

"Cascades" The cascades is the waterfall over Birch Creek. I used several different grays to make the rocks and couched some white yarn where the falls meet the water. There are two pieces of blue yarn couched horizontally across the top and bottom of the quilt and I used blue metallic thread to quilt the falls. There are three round gold beads at the top, one metallic green bead near the bottom, and seven stone-like beads across the bottom.

More about the Glen Helen series

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Street Fair: Cookies and Quilts and Pie, Oh My!

It's Street Fair time again! This year we'll have homemade strawberry-rhubarb pie made with fresh, locally-grown strawberries and rhubarb. We're also going to have a chocolate-nut pie. The mini, single-serving pies are $3 each, and whole pies are $15 each.

If you made it to the Fall Street Fair last year, you might have tasted some of our Springerles, German anise cookies made from my husband's family recipe. These cookies requires one day to roll out the cookies, the next day to bake them, and three weeks for them to ripen and get nice and strong. Scott made them three weeks ago so they are perfect right now. The cookies are $3 for a half dozen.

Stop by booth #185 (if you're facing the Little Art, we'll be on the right). Along with the culinary treats, I'll have my quilts and quilted art, and copies of Gravity Fiction, a anthology of short stories by college writers, with commentary on the craft of writing fiction. Gravity Fiction got an honorable mention in the Eric Hoffer Award for independently published books.

The Yellow Springs Street Fair is located on State Route 68 in downtown Yellow Springs. It's a one-day only event, so mark your calendar for this Sat., June 12, from 9-5 pm, although last year we sold out of the strawberry-rhubarb pies and the Springerles around 2 pm, so come early!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Project Quilting

Several of my on-line quilting friends really like watching the show "Project Runway," and one of them, Kim, has started a quilt challenge called "Project Quilting." She posts the requirements for a challenge on Sunday at noon and the projects are due the following Sunday at noon, then she posts the entries so that people can vote on their favorite, and she's also enlisted the help of some official judges who also vote and offer comments. Prizes are awarded to the judge's first choice, to the winner of the public's choice, and a randomly-drawn participant who posts a comment will also win something.

One of the things that I love about challenge projects is that it can sometimes force an artist to be more creative than they might otherwise be, especially when it comes to limitations. At one of my first graphic design jobs, back when desktop publishing was just becoming popular, I had a computer with TWO fonts. I had Helvetica and Times. This challenge made me work harder to use those two fonts in creative ways that I probably wouldn't have, if I'd had more fonts to choose from.

The Project Quilting challenges are created by Kim's mother-in-law Diane. There have been several projects so far and I'm very impressed with the challenges that she designs and the variety she includes. One was to use a certain quilt square, another was to cut a certain number of strips of fabric and use those, once she had a limit of how much you could spend which made the participants use fabric from their stashes. The current one is to use fabric that had a previous life as another object (like the wall hanging I made out of ties). To read more about the general concept of Project Quilting, click here.

To make it more like Project Runway, Kim decided that she'll run an eight-week season and add up the scores so there is one winner of the complete season. Two of this season's challenges have already passed, the third challenge for the season started yesterday, and the last challenge of this season will be on Aug. 22.

As much as I love the whole concept of this, I just don't have the time to make the challenge quilts right now. Kim recently posted a request for judges, and I decided that I did have enough time to judge the entries and offer comments to the quilters. I did my first judging duties last week for the "Road Trip" challenge. I did have an idea for this challenge, and maybe sometime in the future, I'll make one following the challenge guidelines.

If you want to join in, you can "Follow" Kim's blog so you'll get reminders about when the challenges are due and when you can vote. There's also a Facebook Fanpage.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Ties That Bind...something a little different

"The Ties that Bind"

I'd gotten a call for entries for a new gallery in Tipp City, Ohio, was planning an exhibition called "It's a Guy Thing." They were looking for art of men, about men, or things of interest to men. I wasn't sure if any of my existing pieces fit this category, then I remembered a bunch of silk neckties that had been hanging around my closet (literally) and thought I should use them for this exhibit.

I cut the ties apart, then wove them back together.

The exhibit will be on display at the Studio 14 – Benkin Gallery of Fine Art’s from June 3 through July 25, with an artist reception this Sun., June 6 from 2-4 pm. The gallery is located on the second floor of the Benkin building, 14 E. Main St. in Tipp City.