Houston Quilt Festival is Around the Corner

And I am one of the lightposts. Well, one of the cazillion instructors who somehow can't resist the prospect of toting too many bags and boxes around the acreage of the George Brown Convention Center, walking our feet off in the exhibits, gaping at the amazing array and approach to quiltmaking that shines in the world, and, usually. spending more money in the vendor's stalls than we make in the classroom. BUT, I wouldn't miss it for the world. And you shouldn't either. This is the Kentucky Derby equivalent of the Quilting World, and the winners are eye-inspiring and the sheer volume of things to see, do and experience make it definitely worth the trip.

If you are attending, and are looking for a class to take, please join me for fun and fabulous adventure. My work will also be on display in the RITUALS exhibition presented by Dinner@8. 

Wednesday, 9-5, Shaping Symbols into Art Quilts

Master design skills with free form patterns, cut-paper shapes and original stamps as you explore personal imagery and iconic symbols. Simplify photos for original quilts, printing and more. Thermofax screen mailed later.

Thursday, 2-4, Mixed Media Miscellany, Inkjet transfers with Wet Media Film demonstration

Friday Sampler, 10-noon, Stamp out Your Message, demonstration

Saturday Sampler, 10-noon,  Your Own Alphabet on Fabric, demonstration

Sunday, 9-noon  Inspiration is in the Cards

What inspires you? Create a one-of-a-kind card deck to spark creativity, take you out of your creative rut, and move you into art-making and imagination. Collage and design your way to a new studio ritual with a variety of mixed media techniques.

For more information and to register on line, see the Festival website and catalog. My events are #330, 460, 545, 735 and 806.


Beneath the Surface

Here's a link to a video of the "Beneath the Surface" exhibit, curated by Leslie Jenison and Jamie Fingal, as it appeared at the Long Beach International Quilt Festival. I have a piece in the show (above), "Powers of Ten." This piece, with its complex juxtaposition of many kinds of fabrics, was inspired by the Ray and Charles Eames film from the 1960s of the same title. The film looks at the similarities of structure and form of the microscopic and the macroscopic, cells to galaxies. I used a number of the inkjet transfer techniques in this quilt that I have been discussing on the blog lately. Here's a detail showing an inkjet transfer using polyester film:

My quilt isn't part of the video, but there are artists featured here whose names you'll recognize, including regional artists Barb Forrester and Linda Minton, and our own San Antonio curator Leslie!

If you'd like to buy the book catalog, you can find it at BLURB http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/1478885?ce=blurb_ew&utm_source=widget. The pages will be included later in the preview, after the show in Houston. You can also see more of the quilts online at the Quilt Inc. site under Special Exhibits.

P.S. This quilt is for sale. If you are interested in it going home with you after the touring exhibit closes, send me an email and we'll talk turkey!

Five Ways to Put Text on Textiles

I recently learned that my art. "Faith is a Law" has been selected for includins in the special exhibit Text on Textiles, 2010 at the International Quilt Festivals in Houston, Cinccinnati and Long Beach next year. The piece was mulled upon and finally completed (just in time for the deadline) during the time I've been trying to complete my online course, Text on the Surface. (Yes, it is almost complete!)

As part of the course, I'm including some personal information that's not so much technique as it is philosophy of using text in a visual piece. Here's the excerpt from the course -- enjoy and consider signing up for the whole shebang, once I've made some tweaks and edits suggested by a loyal and persistent group of test pilots.

Read on for some ideas to play with, some approaches and some examples from my work and (eventually) the work of those who have taken this on-line course.

1. Use text as visual noise, purely as a design pattern, without much concern for specific word or language meaning. I do this often with sunprinted fabrics that have “noisy” background prints of letter forms. The art quilt “Too Much Information” below uses some background printed and batiked fabrics with text, plus more overt and content specific text that is embroidered onto the quilt surface.

2. Use text in a way that is both content and texture, as in the piece of red art cloth above. The writing is actually meaningful to me, but it is less likely to be read by a viewer than the embroidered text in the Twitter piece.

3. Use text as subtle design elements or content that enhances the story of your quilt. This quilt inspired by a visit to Lucca in Tuscany includes phototransfered images of the travel journal I kept on my trip, as well as embroidered text.

And this large art quilt, “She Steps...” has batiked “story words” circling the central figure.


4. Another way I sometimes use text is as big bold labels for the quilt, with almost equal weight as the images. The second example below is still waiting for stitching, one of a series of “Pears” using watersoluble crayons that I made as part of a DVD Workshop on Rainbow Printing.

5. Faith is A Law (above at head of post) uses text both as a textural design element and as a bold label statement -- but the boldness is made more subtle by the use of a light translucent gold stamp outlined by free motion quilting. This gives the message of the quilt quite clearly, uses text as a considerable design element, but avoids having it hit you over the head. Why this text on this quilt? The century plants have been blooming wonderfully this summer, spurred by the break in the drought. These plants, dispite the name, do bloom more frequently than a century, usually, but the mother plant, after waiting for the right conditions to bloom, dies, to leave room for the infant plants that spout from the base of the agave. The patience of faith to wait for the right time to bloom is a reminder to all artists to keep faith with our own time and pace.

Let me know your favorite way to include text on textiles. We'll share!

Open Studios Online

Ran across this online invitation today, and I thought it would be fun to participate.You might want to, too.

Be Part of Our Online Open Studios Event

The theme of the Fall 2009 issue of Studios is Open Studios, so we're kicking it off with a virtual tour, and you're invited to participate. Here’s how:

Step 1.  Take pictures and/or video of your studio. Maybe your studio is a large, dedicated space or maybe it’s just a corner of the dining room. It doesn’t matter—we want to see it! And don’t worry that it isn’t perfect. Art is not about perfection. You can clean it up, leave it in its natural state—it’s up to you.

Step 2. Announce the tour on your blog/website and include the cover image of the Fall 09 Studios, linked to our website.

Once you’ve posted image and link, leave a link to your blog/website in the comments section of the In the Studio with Cate editor’s blog anytime before October 2.

Step 3. On October 3, post the images/video of your studio on your blog or website with a little commentary describing your creative spac and what makes it special to you. Leave the post up through October 4, or as long as you like.

The first 25 people to join the tour (i.e. leave a link to their tour announcement on Cate’s blog) will win a door prize from the Studios storage closet (books, fabric, craft bags, art supplies, and more). Everyone who participates will have the opportunity to share their unique workspace and get ideas and feedback from others.

So, join the fun! Any questions? Contact Studios Editor Cate Prato at cprato@interweave.com.

And it will get me to clean up my studio, at least a little, before I take off on the first of three event journeys to Houston.

Here's what's on the agenda:

Federation of Texas Fiber Artists Meeting -- Houston's HAFA hosts this year's events, held every two years among the four member "chapters" of the organization -- Austin, Dallas/FW, San Antonio and Houston. Here's what I'll be doing:

 Studio tour, Workshops on Photoshop and various facets of art business and professionalism and gallery visits -- Gallery stops at the ArtCloth Network's exhibit at Archway Gallery and the Federation's show at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (nope, my entries were not accepted for either show, better luck next time, right?)


International Quilt Festival, the big one at George Brown Convention Center, all four floors!

I'm teaching, demoing, lecturing way more than I expected. I sent in some proposals last spring, thinking that the way they worked would be to pick three, maybe four of my options. I was asked to present seven different programs. Good thing I am traveling up and back to the Houston Federation event, so that I can take some of the supplies then and leave them at a friend's house. I am excited, but a bit apprehensive about all the activities -- suspect I won't be doing much for fun except teaching. But, I am signed up for Ann Johnston's dyeing course, one I've wanted to take for a long time. This will be the lecture, demo version, but I am certain I will learn a tremendous amount. Ann is the dye guru in my book!

Here's my teaching ,etc. schedule, in case you get a chance to join in. Last time I checked I had openings still in all of my offerings. Workshop registration includes one admission ticket to the exhibits, trade shows, etc. For more information go to www.quilts.com.

The International Quilt Festival in Houston will be
held October 14- 18 (earlier than normal this year only).
Catalogs are now available for classes and workshops
from Quilt, Inc. Several Texas artists are included as
instructors and lecturers. Susie Monday will be lecturing
and teaching (# from the catalog): For more information,
visit www.quilts.com
#368, Wed, 4-5pm, $8
Lecture: Nurturing Creative Kids (and Grandkids)
#411, Thurs, all day, $83
Workshop: Rainbow Prints with Water-Soluble Crayons
#540 Friday Sampler, 10-noon, $30
Demo: Zapped (almost) Instant Silk Scarves
#605 Friday 6-9
Workshop: The Sensory Alphabet, $43
#749 Sat. 10-noon, Mixed Media Miscellany, $30
Demo: Rainbow Prints w/Water Soluble Crayons
#756 Sat 2-5, $50
Workshop: Shapes and Silhouettes
#804, Sun 8-11, $45
Workshop:Inspiration is in the Cards
#Sun, 11:30-1:30
Demo: Stories on Your Shoulder

And third:

ArtCloth Network Meeting

This is a group of (up to) 25 artists who have a special place in the repertoire for art cloth. Right now there are only 20 members, so if you are interested, check out the website for the group and send me an email. We will be opening up for applications sometime later this fall. The meeting is largely a Show-and-Tell with some fun gallery visits, business meeting and lots of fun with friends who I've met through this closeknit group.