Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Please Come Visit My New Blog

So many exciting changes happened in my life in 2013 that it seemed like time to start a new Reap As You Sew website, and to move my blog there. I expect to post a couple of times a month. I hope you'll come visit and subscribe to the new blog. Thanks for being a part of my circle!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Ask and You Shall Receive: 3 Quilts Starting Their Travels

This year I sensed that it was time to stop living as if managing remodels were my purpose in life! Several years of that really interfered with my writing and my quilting. Finally, we are 95% done with our construction, and I'm delighted -- my new studio is divine! So, now, in getting ready for my book to launch (which seems to be a calling), I felt that maybe doing more showing of my quilts outside my local area would be wise. So I asked the Spirit to help, followed promptings as to which pieces to submit to which shows, sent them in with prayers for the doors to open where they should, and here we are, 3 quilts on their way to 5 venues. Hallelujah!
"Dualism Deconstructed" (above) will be at Sacred Threads in metro DC in July. "Vintage Wagon Wheels" (below, made from antique blocks and vintage fabrics) is going to IMAGES 2013, part of the annual Lowell Quilt Festival to raise money for the New England Quilt Museum in Massachusetts in August.
Bring On the Endorphins!" will be traveling to the World Quilt Show in New Hampshire in August, Pennsylvania National in metro Philadelphia in September, and Pacific International Quilt Festival (PIQF) in Santa Clara, CA in October as part of SAQA's "Color Wheel of Emotions" exhibit, all juried shows I'm thrilled to be a part of!
I'm especially excited to meet the other artists at Sacred Threads, a show I've always wanted to exhibit in since it is a venue specifically for quilters who see their art as part of their spiritual journey! IMAGES is special because this is third year for me to have a quilt in that show, held in my father-in-law and his ancestors' home town. And the SAQA show is exciting because of its multiple venues, great feedback and interaction with the team of women involved in putting the exhibit together, and the opportunity to see the exhibit when it comes to PIQF. I feel honored and grateful to share my passion through these events.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

"Promontory Point"

Photo Credit, with thanks: Phil Wendt Copyright 2012

Started back in October and worked on this January at Point Bonita, I completed this 56" x 38" piece to enter in the Pacific Piecemakers Quilt Guild Challenge Show, hanging (for sale) at Gualala Arts Center in Gualala, California through April 27, 2012. My previous post was a fun exercise made from the sections I rejected for this larger piece, since those segments seemed to have too much rectangularity.

I was asked to submit an artist's statement with the challenge entry, and here's what I wrote.

When I started making pieced and appliqu├ęd quilts fifteen years ago, I refused to be locked into any technique, subject area, or palette. Gradually my style grew into process-oriented storytelling. Today, each quilt incorporates a visible and invisible spark of spirit. Ideally, I’d like viewers to interpret my conceptual quilts and discover their own stories.

Typically I start an Art Quilt with a specific saga or subject matter . . . and use fabric, thread, paints, and dyes to express my ideas and feelings. Symbolism is an important element in my work, along with whimsy, lyrical rhythm, and energetic flow. As I explore color, composition, and technique, I frequently gain insights about life’s journeys. I’ve found you can reap many rewards as you sew.

My heart and soul resonate with the coast. For the past four years, I’ve split my time between the East Bay (Orinda) and The Sea Ranch, where I’m active with our wonderful community of quilters and other artists. So it is here that my husband Toby and I are building a special quilting and dye studio for my art. The studio is perched on a promontory or “bluff,” and this piece is my abstract expression of the view from atop that point of holy ground! My inspiration for this piece came from the techniques of many teachers over the years and many books, critiques from artists and friends (yes, Sue [Friedland, my Zen quilting friend], less is more!), some machine quilting (stitching lines) posted online by Leah Day, and mostly, the splendor of our coast and its creator.

More information about my work can be found at www.ReapAsYouSew.com.
I have 7 other quilts on Exhibit at The Sea Ranch Association Office.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Just Over the Edge

Made especially for a North Coast Artists Guild LIVING ON THE EDGE show, my quilted wallhanging "Just Over the Edge" uses the hues we see on a bright, sunny day as we gaze over land’s edge at the sand, the rocks, the harbor seals, the ocean, the breaking waves, and the sky. I hand-painted some of the fabrics; others were purchased hand-dyes in silk and cotton, as well as commercial fabrics, combined in a way that was just over the edge from what I’ve done in the past. The finishing is Sue Benner-inspired, “just over the edge” as well.

This small 20" x 18" piece is now on exhibit at the NCAG show -- which features 57 artists and 120 works of art -- at Gualala Arts Center, Gualala, California, up from January 6 - 29, 2012. At the Opening on Friday, I was pleased to see a First Place - Quilts ribbon hanging next to it. Painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, jewelry, digital art and other fine art predominate over the show's few quilts, but I was happy to hear the judge Donna Seager of the Seager Gray Gallery in San Rafael (Marin County, CA) tell me when she handed me my prize check that she had really liked both of my entries. Big Grin.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Happy Campers

Eleven lucky women made the most of summer quilt camp at the Point Bonita YMCA in the Marin Headlands last week. If you only saw the bunks and showers, you'd say "masochistic" instead of "lucky," but once inside our workroom, it was a whole other story! We arrived Sunday afternoon and by Tuesday night I'd finished a quilt that I sent off to Art in the Redwoods (opening Friday in Gualala, CA). Called "Evolution of a Sea Ranch Studio," the piece depicts the journey my husband and I've been on since 2008--designing an addition, going through the homeowners' association's design review process, and then getting it built (still not done).

After that, I made pants for my grandson and completed a wildly colorful top out of Sylvia Einstein Circles of Hope blocks--letting go of perfectionism and just playing with the kind of wonky blocks and bold border.

Good food, good laughs, good camaraderie, new techniques shared . . . and inspiration abounded. I am so grateful for the time to create, to finish projects, to enjoy a break from the quotidian, and to connect with my sister quilters.

As we slid into the second half of the week, I decided to piece a Day of the Dead/Dia de los Muertos quilt, inspired by my new friend Leigh. After a trip to New Pieces for fabric, I pieced that queen-sized quilt in no time when a couple of other quilters took a break from their own projects one evening to act as my sous-seamstresses. In a day and a half, it was ready to sandwich and quilt--a project that would have taken a month and a half if I hadn't been away and singleminded! (Multi-tasking isn't all it's cracked up to be.)

Next, I took some blocks left over from my "Sea Ranch Through the Redwoods" quilt, made a couple more, and put them together as a top to donate to East Bay Heritage Quilters' outreach program, which donated over 1400 quilts last year to babies, children, and others in need. During that one week of camp, I think Deanna, EBHQ's lead philanthropist, must have finished 15 tops to donate!

I practiced "precision piecing" on a couple of blocks for a Christmas quilt, but had no patience for the process, especially while tuned into all the conversations in the workroom; so I moved on.

I took some of my recent handpainted fabric and made a small composition for a wallhanging, fusing and quilting it, so all I have left to do is to bury the thread tails and add the binding.

I can't wait for our next quilt camp in January, and then again next August! Look at the setting . . . by the lighthouse, with an evening view of a full moon over the Golden Gate Bridge.

And we had dark chocolate caramels.  Wow!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Wedding Quilt: Sage and Butter Tessellations

In quilting with an open heart, I am often blessed with spiritual rewards as I sew. With this quilt for my daughter Brenna and her soul mate, I worked with their color palette (sage green and buttery yellow) and their desires for a nature-inspired but not flowery quilt. As I pushed the color scheme (because I just had to), I felt that each new color brought a prayer for their union.  And so, the label reads:

"As you walk the labyrinth of life together, may your lives be as sacred as sage, as rich as butter, as sweet as chocolate and as grounded as the earth in all its seasons. May surprises fascinate you like an iris blooming in the meadow. May your days be bathed in Light and, while you sleep beneath this wedding quilt as each day flows into the next like a tessellation, may blessed dreams guide your paths and help you to be beautifully joined in love forever."

100" x 100" - Shown on a queen bed

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Today My Bernina Buddy Was Awesome (Again)

I needed help with designing the big quilt label I want to machine embroider and attach to the big wedding quilt I just made as a special gift. After two days trying to get the design ready on my V6 Bernina software, I stopped in to see Donna at The Cotton Patch today and we sat down and worked on it together for maybe 30 to 40 minutes.  What a doll!  I think it's almost ready to go sew!