Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Fiber Abstractions!

Last night was the opening reception of Fiber Abstractions at North Lake College in Irving.  The exhibit featured quilts by Carol Trice, Sue Benner, Barbara Oliver Hartman and me.
The usual suspects
North Lake College has a beautiful gallery, a big, bright and open space in the center of the campus.
North Lake College, Irving, Texas
Steven Benezue, the Gallery Director, did a wonderful job curating the exhibit.  I snapped a few pictures before the show opened.
Work by (l to r) me, two by Barbara, two by me and Carol  
A quilt by Sue
Work by (l to r) Sue, Barbara and Carol
The Salt Marsh Quilt hung near the refreshment table
The jazz combo played all evening
The exhibit is open until November 9th.  And if I do say so myself, it is a wonderful selection of abstract quilts!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Opening of Fiber Abstractions is Today!

The receptions is today at 4:30 pm at North Lake College.  I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Inspired by Degas -- The Art With Fabric Blog Hop

Alida P of Tweety Loves Quilting has organized a blog hop featuring quilts inspired by works of art.  I was excited to be asked to participate.  I love to challenge myself by choosing a known object, for example a painting, a building, a sculpture or even another quilt, and using it as a jumping off point to make a unique piece of my own.

The theme this time around was Mother Nature.  I chose a painting that celebrates the female form.

This summer, the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, hosted an exhibition of paintings from the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC.  It included paintings by an amazing number of famous modern painters: Matisse, Van Gogh, Mondrian, Rothko, Monet, Manet and O’Keefe, and many many more.  One painting that caught my eye was a large piece by Edgar Degas, Dancers at the Barre, which he painted sometime around 1900. 
Degas, Dancers at the Barre, c. 1900
Degas was fascinated by the ballet.  He frequently painted scenes of dancers both onstage and backstage, depicting the grace and beauty of the performance and the unglamorous lives of the dancers behind the scenes.  Dancers at the Barre depicts two dancers stretching backstage before a performance.  It is a very large piece, and painted largely in orange and turquoise.  It definitely commands attention.
I decided to create my own abstract piece about dancers inspired by the painting.   So I squinted at the painting and decided that two things jumped out at me: the orange and turquoise color scheme and the curves and angles of the bodies of the dancers.  (As an aside, I find that squinting is a very valuable tool in abstraction.  If you blur out the picture itself, somehow, you can break the piece into the basic elements of its composition.)

I pulled a variety of shades of turquoise, orange, cream and black/gray and started to cut freehand curves.  I love to piece curves.  But I find that it helps a great deal if I make a few chalk marks to match up after I cut the line:
Chalk marks across the cut line

And it helps if I pin carefully:

If I’m careful with the cutting, marking and pinning it is a breeze to sew a smooth curve.  Well, except for a little interference from my studio assistant: 

 After the first afternoon, I had this:
I liked it and thought I was perhaps finished.  I left it hanging on my design wall overnight.  A few hours away from a composition always helps me evaluate it more objectively.  When I walked in the next morning, I stared at it for a while, and decided to make it larger.  
I got to work.  First, I added another section:
Here is the piece at the end of the second day:
I was liking the movement and the interplay/interconnectedness of the piece.  With each addition it was moving further from the inspiration piece.  Intentionally.
At the end of the third day, I had tried different arrangements of the sections I had pieced together.  It went through several iterations:

And ended up here:
Dancers by Heather Pregger, 29"w x 24"h, © 2017
So the end piece does not look much like the inspiration painting.  But isn’t that the point?  

Visit the other artists in the Art With Fabric blog hop!  This week also features posts by:

Monday, October 9th, 2017

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017
Krysia, Hosted by Alida

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017 

Thursday, October 12th, 2017 

Friday, October 13th, 2017 

Monday, October 9, 2017

NTAQ - October Report

At today's NTAQ meeting, Jaye and Andrea demonstrated how to fold and tie fabric to create ice dyed mandalas.   The two of them have been dyeing mandalas this summer, and their results have been gorgeous!  Andrea used nine of her pieces to make a quilt:
We were asked to bring 20" squares of white PFD fabric, and Jaye and Andrea showed us a few simple folds:
I went a little crazy with the rubber bands.  I'm not sure they'll turn into perfectly symmetrical mandalas...we'll have to wait and see.  Whatever come outs will be pretty cool:
They showed us how to lay the prepared fabric on a screen that has been tightly clamped over a large plastic container: 
The fabrics will be covered with a thick layer of ice, and several colors of liquid dye will be squirted over the top.  The dye will drip through as the ice melts, giving us (hopefully) a very interesting pattern, penetrating the fabric but being resisted by the folds and rubber banded areas.  
We didn't dye our fabric today.  We will bring our dyed pieces to our December meeting for a big reveal.  I personally cannot wait to dye mine!

Our challenge for September was to create a piece using Degas' "Dancers at the Barre" as inspiration.  
The group did a great job!  Our pieces were all very different, but clearly inspired by the painting:
Here are all of them (but mine)....
To see mine, you'll have to come back tomorrow!  I've written a post about it for the Art With Fabric Blog Hop.  

Sunday, October 8, 2017

I'm Participating in a Blog Hop this week!

Alida at Tweety Loves Quilting is hosting a blog hop, starting tomorrow.  I was asked to participate, and since I LOVE to create pieces inspired by existing art, I said "of course!"  My post is scheduled for Tuesday.

Alida explained it beautifully on her blog, so I've copied it here:

"Every quilted project is a unique piece of art, full of love, creativity and inspiration.

However, have you ever thought about how "traditional" art could be reinterpreted in a quilted piece?
(by "traditional" I mean anything that a non-quilter will label as art, like paintings, drawings, sculptures, architecture from all countries and all time periods).

To explore the endless possibilities of art-inspired quilted pieces I decided to organize another edition of this Blog Hop!

This edition has a special theme...


Our amazing artists can pick can pick an inspiration piece that shows a landscape, plants and flowers, animals, the universe or humans...  how they include or interpret the theme is completely up to them!! I am sure we will be amazed and moved by the pieces from this hop!

This is the current schedule: look how many AMAZING artists are going to join!!

Monday, October 9th, 2017

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017 

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017 

Thursday, October 12th, 2017 

Friday, October 13th, 2017 

See you at the Hop!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017


I have always been fascinated by fossils.  Growing up (and studying geology) in Ohio, I spent hours searching for brachiopods and trilobites in the state's dolomites and limestones.  As an adult, I've not had many chances to collect fossils, but I have started to buy unusual pieces for my collection.

Most of my collection fits (admittedly crowdedly) on one shelf.
The largest trilobite is Andalusiana, a Cambrian trilobite.  He was collected in Morocco.  Of course, I didn't go to Morocco to get him -- I bought him at a mineral show in San Antonio.  He is about 9 inches from nose to tail.
In the picture below, the guy in the back row on the left is Scabriscutellum, a Devonian trilobite.  Back center (with the eye stalks) is an Asaphus, an Ordovician trilobite.  Back right is a Proteida, also Ordovician:
The guy right up front and center is an Isotelus maximus, an Upper Ordovician trilobite from Ohio:
Isotelus is the state fossil of the State of Ohio.  Cool, Huh?

My brother in law gave me a fossil crab for Christmas.  And that's another Isotelus to the left of the crab.
This is a brittle star, an Ordovician echinoderm:
There are lots more pieces in my collection. More types of trilobites, more echinoderms, ammonites, gastropods, brachiopods, fish, crinoids and leaves.  And I'm always on the lookout for more.  But, I'll admit it, I love the trilobites the best!

Monday, October 2, 2017

The North Texas SAQA Circle Meeting and a Big Surprise!

Saturday was not only my birthday, it was also the monthly meeting of the SAQA North Texas Circle.       It was a great meeting!  Several new members attended and lots of wonderful work was shown:
Jackie with her beautiful piece. 
Carolyn's small shibori piece was mounted on canvas.
Jay showed several gorgeous pieces.  I loved them all, but this one was my favorite.
It was announced that Jay is the newest Texas SAQA representative.  Congratulations, Jay!
Kara showed a flamingo quilt.
Jay and I drove to the meeting together, and I never realized that she had smuggled cupcakes into the car.  Can you imagine a better way to spend your birthday than with a bunch of fiber artists?  I can't!

When I got home, I found my husband had been very hard at work decorating the house in my absence.  It was like walking into a 60s wonderland.
We had a lovely dinner at my favorite restaurant.  Turning 60 isn't so awful after all!

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