Sometimes it’s best to wait awhile before reviewing and/or passing judgment on events of the past.
Take 2011, for example. Except for a flurry of bindings, hanging sleeves, and labels to prepare art quilts for the “Journey” fiber art show held by Art Quilters Unlimited, Fort Myers, FL, in January, I completed only four art quilts in 2011.
One of them was, I thought, pretty successful. I intended to create a still life using intense machine stitching on a photo transfer (using techniques from Carol Shinn’s book Freestyle Machine Embroidery) and that, I think, was what I accomplished. “Buying Local” will travel with the Michigan Quilt Artist Invitational in 2011 and 2012.
I was also pleased with the second piece, “Asili”, which incorporated a collaged “canvas” I began years ago in a class with Fran Skiles, together with mud cloth and African beads I had been collected.
After it was rejected by two shows, I was beginning to doubt this piece, but this year it was juried into an exhibit sponsored by Quilt Surface Design Symposium International called “Celebrating Our Past: QSDS” to be held at the Ross Art Museum in Delaware, Ohio, this spring. Lesson learned!
The third piece was more experimental. Early in the year I signed up for the Creative Troupe, sponsored by C&T Publishing. When a “call” came out for projects based on a special “paper surface” intended for use in mixed media projects, I quickly applied, received a piece of the the special surface, and began experimenting with different materials and techniques.
“A Thousand Suns” incorporates extensive free motion quilting; stippling with ink stamp pads; thermofax screen transfers; painting with fluid acrylics; and highlighting with colored pencils.
I sent it off to C&T, where it was eventually shown on their website when the product “Mul-tex”, a laminated mulberry fiber sheet, was publicly introduced. The photo of my quilt is here; information on Mul-tex – which is really a pretty cool material – is here.
I was only moderately happy with my work, especially seeing it in the context of other projects that were submitted, but it was fun playing with the paper and the different techniques. Here’s part of the sample I worked with.
And at least the assignment was complete — except for receiving my complementary package of Mul-tex. But when that arrived recently, there was another surprise. Here’s the package: notice the packaging? Click on the photo to get the full effect.
And the fourth piece? Well, at this point it seems to have been simply a failure. But given what’s happened with those other two quilts, I think I’ll wait awhile longer before making that decision final.
A note about my links to book titles: Book titles are linked to the site of McLean & Eakins, an independent bookseller in Petoskey, Michigan. They sell online, and their service is outstanding. Yes, you can undoubtedly buy these titles cheaper on Amazon, but, you know, I think keeping independent bookstores in business is more important.