Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Red button octopus wall plaque


This is a wall plaque made out of buttons, beads, and sequins that were sewn onto a stiff Pellon cutout of an octopus. It measures 12 inches wide and 11.5 inches high. I adapted the techniques of Frances Holliday Alford to create this. Many of the buttons in this piece were white before an encounter with red Rit dye in my microwave (you can find this technique on the web). The process was hard on the fingers, but it sure used up a lot of odds & ends in my bling stash. This octopus is an homage to the delightful red octopus who resides at the Monterrey Aquarium in CA, and I made it as a birthday present for a friend who collects all things cephalpod except for the creatures themselves.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Tree frog made from buttons and beads

My friend Gloria and I were scheduled to take a class in embellishments from Frances Holliday Alford ( last September at The City Quilter in Manhattan, but the teacher cancelled because she wasn't feeling well. After reading her article, "Outrageous Embellishments" in the Dec/Jan 2008 issue of Quilting Arts Magazine, I just had to try out her techniques on my own. So, I stitched the outline of a tree frog on a quilt sandwich, free-motion quilted the background, and then embellished the frog a la Alford. It was too much fun! The frog is about 9.5 inches high and 7 inches wide.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Goundhog Eating Kudzu Art Quilt

This wall hanging was made as a challenge quilt for the Heart in Hand Quilt Guild of Dawsonville, GA. For the challenge, each member selected a brown bag that contained about a half yard of fabric. Mine was a brown batik that I cut into strips and reassembled as the groundhog in this piece.

I titled the wall hanging, "Groundhog + Kudzu: A Love Story." I was inspired by all the groundhogs I see by the side of the road wherever kudzu grows.

 Kudzu, the notorious invasive vine from Asia, has choked thousands of acres of forests in the southeastern USA. One beneficiary of the vine, however, has been the groundhog who derives room and board from it.

In turn, the groundhog donates its dung as fertilizer. The vine can easily regenerate any leaves eaten by the groundhog

Dimensions: 28 inches height x 22 inches width

                Materials: Cotton and silk fabrics, thread, broken jewelry, buttons, paper, tulle.

Techniques: Hand applique, machine thread sketching, hand embellishment, yo-yo construction.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Gastro Guest House--a free form crochet and knit wall hanging

The Gastro Guest House is a free-form crochet/knit wall hanging that was accepted into Tangled, a Montana Fiber Arts Collective exhibition called Shelter. It was exhibited for the month of October, 2013 at The Purple Pomegranate, 222 Central Ave. Whitefish, MT 59937. 


Here was my artist's statement:

Trained as a biologist, I have a special interest in the living arrangements, good or bad, made between organisms. In The Gastro Guest House, small creatures peer out from their niches in the viscera of an unknown species. As guests, are they welcome, or not?

Fiber is the foundation from which I create my sculptural pieces, which I then embellish with beads, buttons, fabric, and found objects. Sometimes the goal is to express my odd sense of humor and hopefully make the viewer smile. I also like to remind the viewer of life's transience. In this regard, the haiku of Issa, who viewed insects and other small creatures with humor and pathos, is an inspiration.

Year completed: 2013

Dimensions: 22 inches wide by 31 inches high; 4.5 lbs.

Materials and techniques: Yarn, beads, felt, trim; crochet, loom knit, needle felt, hand beading.




Sunday, January 12, 2014

Cat Face--A portrait in purple fabric of my long-hair cat.

I take a lot of pictures of my female cat PT, and I particularly liked this one.

I decided to make an art quilt titled "Cat Face" based on this picture. I thought it would be fun to make her fur purple and to enhance the green of her eyes. The finished piece measures 45 inches high by 46 inches wide. 

Materials and techniques: cotton and pearl organza, tulle, rickrack, thread; hand appliqué, machine quilted.

"Cat Face" was juried into the 2013 East Cobb Quilt Guild Show in Marietta, Georgia and won third place viewer's choice at the Heart in Hand Quilt Guild Show in Dawsonville, Georgia.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Another Panic Attack--A Wall Hanging

This wall hanging is titled, "Another Panic Attack," which I made to enter in a Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) show called, "I'm Not Crazy."

My artist's statement:

Someone close to me suffers from panic disorder. Based on my observations, I depicted an attack where blackout closes in on a chaotic emotional state.

Description of the piece:

Size: height x width, in inches 34 x 29.5
Year Completed: 2012
Materials and techniques: Cotton batiks, seed beads, sequins, yarn, 3D paint; appliqué, reverse appliqué, hand embroidery, machine quilting

Here was the show prospectus:

 Theme: Mental illness carries with it a stigma; many of us have experience with disorders, temporary or permanent, curable or not, that in the past and in some cultures even today would be labeled as crazy. That stigma can make it difficult to admit its effect on our loved ones or ourselves. Disorders as common as anxiety or depression, or less common, like schizophrenia or multiple personality disorder, can have a devastating effect on families and friends, and on ourselves. Negativity towards those who have these disorders often causes many people to keep the diagnosis hidden from friends and family.

· What does “crazy” look like?
· What does it feel like?
· How does the world look through the eyes of someone experiencing a panic attack or depression or other mental disorder?
· How does loving or caring for someone with a mental disorder look and feel?

We’re looking for work that covers these experiences: from the eyes of the caregiver, the friend, the family member, and, of course, those who have experienced any of these disorders themselves. Your work can reflect the disorder or the chaos it holds on our lives, it can be humorous, it can be sad, it can be crazy or incredibly calm.

Juror: Sue Reno
Sue Reno is an award-winning fiber artist who lives and works in Lancaster County, PA. Her work focuses on the natural world and historic architectural themes. She exhibits widely in art, fine craft, and quilt venues, and her work has been selected for the U.S. State Department’s Art in Embassies program. She has been a SAQA Professional Artist Member since 2009. Sue has served as a juror for Sacred Threads in 2009 and 2011, and for the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts in 2011.

A catalog of the show, available on Amazon, was published with my piece on the cover.

The show traveled to the following venues:

 August 16-19, 2012 Exhibit opening: World Quilt Show--New England X
Radisson Center of New Hampshire, Manchester, NH
September 13-16, 2012 Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza XIX
Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, Philadelphia Area, PA
October 11-14, 2012 Pacific International Quilt Festival XXI
Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA
November 8-10, 2012 World Quilt Show – Florida IV
Palm Beach County Convention Center, West Palm Beach, FL
February 21-24, 2013 Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival XXIV
Hampton Roads Convention Center, Hampton, VA
February 28-March 3, 2013 The Quilt Fest of New Jersey IX
Garden State Exhibit Center, Somerset, NJ
May 2-5, 2013 Denver National Quilt Festival VIII
Denver Merchandise Mart, Denver, CO