Sneak Preview of Challenge Quilt

I am participating in my first Quilt Challenge group -- a little personal challenge in follow-through for me, since I tend to get lots of things started and then, whoops, quite a few of them drop by the wayside. The challenge is one in which 12 participants each make a smallish art quilt every two months, with each member choosing a theme single word in turn. The word/theme for the first quilt is "wall." And along the same set of goals, here is my mantra for the month:" MAKE ART EVERYDAY. No matter what else is going on, or where ever else I am other than the studio (this month has a good deal of travel for teaching in it). So far, so good!

For the quilt challenge, I decided to continue some work I 've been doing with prehistoric imagery for this first challenge -- since it seemed to be a perfectly good fit -- rock walls, rock art! And it's given me a great opportunity to continue experimenting with transfers using polyester film and textile medium -- an interesting way to get a kind of organic quality to the image that fits the theme.

I also wanted to try and use words in each of the challenge quilts, but this one may take the prehistoric images as a preword word! If I find a poem or excerpt from a poem about cave walls or shamens maybe I will try to work it in via the quilting. If this one doesn't work out, I have another piece of fabric in the works that might be better. It's been interesting for me to have a two month stretch to work since usually I don't spend this much time on a small art quilt.

This photo shows the kind of effects you have from the image transfer, though this is a sample from another project, not fabric I am using in this piece.


This work was inspired by the Petroglyphs and Prehistory workshop that I taught here at El Cielo this fall. You can see more of the design work that is adding up in this piece on my blog entry for that event here.

Vintage Inspiration & Accidental Collections

Vintage tablecloths are, I guess, one of my accidental collections. I first started buying them with the idea of overdyeing or cutting and piecing, and found myself hoarding them instead, unwilling to cut up any but the most tattered and stained.

And now, surely it shouldn't come as a surprise, I have learned  (from a sweet blog called A Charmed Life) that vintage tablecloths are quite collectable and that you can even find catalogs and lists and galleries with names, dates and manufacturers! Oh dear, another web-based fritter awaits me, as I try to track down the provenance of these lovelies. I must have about 50 now, and I still find them at quite affordable prices at thrift stores, flea markets and the like.

What's the attraction?" Some of it is purely visual -- the funky designs and colors, the outrageous tropicals and holiday prints. And some, admittedly, is because I was there then -- in the 50s and 60 when every bridge table had its lovely cloth for parties and tea and holiday open houses.

And, yes, sometimes a cloth finds its way into my work, often on one of my small studio or home wall altars.

Accidental collections are those assortments of things you never really decided to collect, but one day you look around and your home or studio or desktop or garden is full of them. Accidental collections have a kind of natural growth that usually has more to do with liking something than it does with investing in it. And whether you think your accidental collection has anything to do directly with your art or not, it probably has something to do with your strong suits and inclinations in the sensory world.

What are your accidental collections? How do they inspire you?

(Remember, if you comment, you will be entered into my raffle for a free copy of New World Kids, The Parents' Guide to Creative Thinnking)