Thursday, February 18, 2010

Valentine's Finale

Here is the Valentine's Quilt for 2010 in final form. It is all appliqued and uses Sassaman fabric from this season and last. It began with the black Sprigs heart trimmed with a bias edge of pink and red checked fabric. Then I fussy cut the periwinkle Fronds, also from the Sunshine & Shadow line, and placed them to radiate from the heart and finished the raw edges with satin stitch.

The heart looked too empty so I added some red birds cut from a rich hand dyed fabric. The edges are satin stitched to add some character. The little heart and the black and white background are made from  the Sassaman Dots that appear in new colors every season. The little blocks of satin stitch, the decorative spikes around the hearts and heavy thread in the ditch are quilting, so they are going through all three layers of the quilt and add extra texture, too.

I have grown very fond of this spikey decorative stitch which, in this case, adds to the slightly subversive "tatoo" motifs. Of course, the red roots or stems also lean in a decadent direction. Just couldn't resist!

There was still space to fill so I borrowed some cicadas from last season's Teasel and Lace fabric. I filled their bodies with another decorative quilting stitch and also quilted the background with radiating pink threads. This little project is my "thank you"gift to all the readers who visit this modest little blog. Thank you all for your patience, support and enthusiasm!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Day

I was thinking of all my quilting and crafting friends as I worked on my little quilt all Valentine's Day!
I had hoped to finish and post it for you, too. But being a perfectionist, there was always another detail to add and a few hundred more threads to bury. So stay tuned and it will appear in it's complete version in the next few days.

I wrapped up the new fabric designs this morning and packed them for shipping. It is always exciting to finish a large project and begin to anticipate the next. But first, finish my little quilt and CLEAN the studio!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Beautiful New Quilt Books

Two new quilt books have been added to my library and between the two of them there is enough inspiration and information to become classics.  The first is American Quilts: The Democratic Art, 1780-2007, by well known quilt historian, Robert Shaw. Beginning with the cover, this book is a stunner from start to finish. Every chapter is illustrated with lovely color photographs and includes many historic quilts that I have never seen before.

 Mr. Shaw describes the history, diversity and continuity of four centuries of quilt making in America. Even though I am a contemporary art quilter, I begin every day by looking at old traditional quilts and Robert's knowledge puts it all in perspective.

The next book to arrive was the long anticipated 500 Art Quilts, curated by Karey Patterson Bresenhan and published by Lark Books. Ms. Bresenham was faced with the incredible task of encapsulizing the diverse art quilt world into 500 representative pieces. I am impressed with the results. Of course, you will have your favorites and unfavorites, but I think it is a fair representation of what is happening in the current art quilt community.

The layout of the book is very pleasing. Most quilts are featured on a single page and organized by color, technique and subject. The text is minimal, as it should be, with only the artist's name, the name and date of the quilt and the materials it was made with. The viewer gets to interpret each piece without
undue influence.

We have collected many of Lark's 500 Series for our home library... 500 Beaded Objects, 500 Bowls, 500 Brooches, etc. and never tire of the inspiration they provide. They are guarenteed to get the creative juices stirred up before you head into the studio.

I am pleased that both volumes have a Sassaman quilt within their pages. It is an honor to be recorded as a small part of the history of quilting!