Sunday, July 31, 2011

Hugs and Kisses Upcycled Necktie Mini-Purse

It's the end of the month so today's the deadline for the Project Quilting Off Season Challenge #4, the "Non-Quilt Quilt."

Quick recap:
1. The entry must be made of fabric and three dimensional, so not flat like a quilt but be anything from a bag, to a sculpture, to a wearable, to an accessory.
2. The entry must also incorporate at least two items or textures that are not fabric.

This was a challenge for me as I haven’t made anything three dimensional before because it intimidates me. I knew right away what I wanted to do for this challenge, something I’ve been wanting to try for over a year now, it just hasn’t made it to the top of the “to do” list, so this was the push that I needed to get it done.

Last summer I made "The Ties that Bind" a wall hanging using men’s ties and shortly after that I came upon several really fun, colorful ties made with beautiful silk fabrics and the idea of making a single tie into a purse intrigued me. It already had innerfacing in it so I wouldn’t have to figure out how to do that, and the underside of the widest part already had a lining, so I wouldn’t need to add that either. It’s not a big purse but I’m not the sort that carries a purse so this would be nice for when I just need to take along a cell phone or keys and lip balm.

It took some trial and error (yes, there were some ugly ties harmed in the making of this purse) but persistence paid off and I came up with a pattern that I liked.

The two non-fabric items/textures are a Velcro closer and a round, red button for decoration.

This was part of the “Save the Children” collection and this fabric, called “Tic Tac Tie” was designed by Alec who was 8 years old at the time.

The outside dimensions are 6”h x 3”w; inside dimensions are 5”h x 2”w x 1”d; the strap is 38" long total (shoulder to purse 19" drop)

To see the other entries go to the Non-Quilt Quilt page.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Quilt blocks from a garage sale

For clarification, yes, fabric arranged into a unit are often called quilt blocks. What I mean is real wooden blocks. What do you see when you look in this box?
Do you see quares, half-square triangles (or right-angled triangle for you non-quilters) and 45-degree diamonds (or rhombus for my mathematically-inclined relatives)?

What did I see when I looked in the box? (Hint: what can you make with squares, half-square triangles and 45-degree diamonds?)

A quilt!

And my niece and nephew can play with them when they come to visit. It seems only fair since I played with their blocks the last time I visited them.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Art Quilt Exhibits: Quilt National and the Zanesville Museum of Art

The Dairy Barn in Athens, Ohio

Quilt National is a biennial art quilt exhibition that held on odd-numbered years at the Dairy Barn in Athens, Ohio. This year's show includes 88 quilts from 20 states and 6 countries.

Since Athens in only 2.5 hours away from Yellow Springs, I've been fortunate to go to this show the last 3 times. This year I went with Lori and Kim who are both art quilters. We spent 6 hours in the car and 4.5 hours looking at quilts (3 hours here and 1.5 hours at the Zanesville Art Museum, below). And we had a blast. (In 2009, Lori and I went with Macy, which you can read about here.)

If you're wondering why there's a photo of the outside of the Dairy Barn, that's because you aren't allowed to take photos of the quilts in the show.

My favorite quilt this year was "Meadow Pine 2" by Nelda Warkentin, who has had several quilts in the show in past years and was one of the jurors for this year. Her quilt appears to be mostly painted tulle that has been layered. I found the colors very calming and awed by the way the colors shifted depending on what was layered over the other colors. I just couldn't stop staring at it. She had a similar quilt in the show two years ago.

Two other quilts that I really liked were Bette Uscott-Woolsey's "52 Pickup" (no photo at this time) and Paula Kovarik's "Global Warming, The Great Unraveling." Paula's entry in the 2009 show was my favorite from that year. Her "Global Warming" quilt can be seen on her website: ( It is beautiful but subtle quilt with a lot of intricate yet whimsical quilting that almost seems to be doodling. I strive to do more with my quilting which might be why I'm entranced by her work. And after a little poking around her website, I learned that she is also a graphic designer.

Quilt National is at the Dairy Barn Arts Center, 8000 Dairy Barn Lane in Athens, Ohio through Sept. 5 and costs $7. The Dairy Barn Arts Center is open Tues.-Fri. from 11 am- 5 pm, Sat.-Sun. from noon-5 pm, and they are also open until 8 pm on Thursdays. After Sept. 5 the show will be grouped into different parts and travel to Moorhead, MN, St. Charles, MO, San Jose, CA and Sainte Marie aux Mines, France.

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Kim and Lori outside the Zanesville Museum of Art.

Lori, Kim and I also went to the Zanesville Museum of Art. While Zanesville isn't exactly on the way from Yellow Springs to Athens, it only added an extra hour to the drive. We went to see exhibit "Superlatives:" quilts and fiberarts by seven acclaimed Ohioans: Deborah Melton Anderson, Sue Cavanaugh, Sandra Palmer Ciolino, Rebecca Cross, Nancy Crow, Linda French and June O'Neil. Deborah and Rebecca have had quilts in Quilt National before, Sue had a quilt in the last time and also this year, and Nancy was one of the founding members of Quilt National and has had several quilts in the show. (And again, I wasn't allowed to take photos of the quilts.)

I was really taken by Sandra's quilts where she used hand dyed fabrics and created a unique shape or block that she repeated over and over but changed the size of the block which made it very interesting visually, and she does a lot of quilting on her quilts. She had quilts from her Martello Series and also her Sgabello Series. (Sandra also has a quilt in the Aullwood show "Water, Water Everywhere" that Lori and I are also in.)

Linda French has more of a traditional feel but her technique is amazing and her color choices are sublime. Her quilt "Circles of Life" is very impressive, the curved machine piecing, the intricate machine quilting and the complex hand appliques (all those little circles, and some with trapunto, I think) and not anything I plan on attempting. (The first photo is out of proportion, the other photos are correct).

Unfortunately this show is already over, we went on the second-to-the-last day it was open. The museum does have several quilts in their permanent collection but they aren't always on display.

Monday, July 11, 2011

"Little Sister's Kite Tails" at DVAC annual art show

"Little Sister's Kite Tails," 12" x 12" x 1"
Last year's theme for the Dayton Visual Arts Center's Annual Open Members' Show was "Darkness" and I entered my "Fireflies" quilt (which is currently touring with the "Best of 2011 show).  This year is "Light" so I entered "Little Sister's Kite Tails".

I thought this fit the theme because the background is white and the colors are lighter shades of blues and greens, because the triangle fabrics are only sewn down in the middle so it appears as if the fabrics are so light they are lifting away from the quilt, and also because a kite tail has to be light enough to fly.

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The show runs from July 15-August 20 with an opening reception this Fri., July 15 from 5-8 pm.  DVAC is located at 118 N. Jefferson St., Datyon, Ohio and is open from Tues.-Sat. 11 am-6 pm.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Annual Art Quilt Exhibit at Aullwood: Water, Water Everywhere

From left, quilts #1, #3 and #5 are by Lori Gravley, #2 is my quilt "After the Rain" and #4 is by Mindy Marik.
These are some photos from the 19th Annual Art Quilt Exhibit. This show has 42 amazing art quilts submitted by art quilters from across the country. The local art quilt group, the Miami Valley Art Quilt Network has quilts by 5 of our members: Deb Bently, Lori Gravley, Fran LaSalle, Mindy Marik and myself.
Several of the quilts were arranged by colors and three of us from the MVAQN group worked independently in similar color families and ended up being displayed together (top photo).

This year's theme was "Water, Water Everywhere" so there were several quilts that had aqua colors and they were also arranged together. The little one in the bottom right is my "Floating Feather" quilt.

"Isle Royale Sunset" by Deb Bentley
The show runs through August 21 at the Marie S. Aull Education Center, 1000 Aullwood Rd. in Dayton. The center is open Mon.-Sat. from 9 am-5 pm and Sun. from 1-5 pm. There is a $4 admission.  The building also houses an educational center and there are hiking trails.

Dayton, Ohio sits on a large aquifer and Aullwood is located near Englewood Dam, and Yellow Springs is named after a spring, so while there is a lot of water here, there are several parts of the country (and the world) that don't have an abundance of water.