Friday, March 6, 2015

The Running Man

Thought you might want to see how the quilting transformed the Running Man quilt into a finished piece.  It'll hang in my hubby's office when the remodel is done.  

Photo by the more than awesome Ms. Lauren Hunt without which this post never would have happened!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A Modern Misunderstanding?

I finally got back to the blog and I was approving loads of comments that had built up and was getting ready to write a post about a new book that I am thrilled to be a part of and then I read this.  You know, I should let it go.  Why can't I? Maybe Taylor Swift is right.

Linda left a comment on my Modern Manifesto post.  Maybe she didn't read the post.  I was surprised by the anger in her comment.  It's comments like this that make it hard to blog sometimes.  Some days I feel we have made such progress in helping all kinds of quilters understand and respect each other, and then I read words like this.  They sap my energy. I know she's only one person, but are there others out there who feel this way?  I'd like to think it was simply a misunderstanding. How does setting a direction for myself put her down and merit this kind of sarcasm and meanness?

Linda said,

"I am trying very hard not to bristle at "modern". All of the words you use describe not just modern but amazing characteristics of quilters far back into history. It feels disrespectful of you since quilting has been evolving and changing for many years and we have all benefited. I feel put down by you. Sometimes I feel that modern has become buying a matching bundle of fat quarters and making a quilt - not as hard as trying to use your limited scraps and the little selection of fabrics they had available. Perhaps being wasteful of resources could be included in the description for modern. A spoiled society with disposable income that fancies themselves as innovative but are simply one more cog in a wheel. I'm disappointed that you are so anxious to separate yourself and that you see yourself as so different from women before you."
So my message to Linda is this:

I have to admit I am confused by your comment.  This is a personal quilt and is about my artistic journey.  The words on that quilt are my personal call to action to motivate me to learn and grow as an artist and a quilter this year.  I am part of the evolution in quilting to which you refer as are many other folks who are quilting today and throughout the history of our community.  Each of us who quilts makes a contribution in our own way.  We have all benefitted so why don't you want me to speak about how I might be able to continue to contribute?

I am hurt that you assume that I don't value and cherish those that have come before me, that I am being disrespectful to my mother, grandmother, and great grandmother who taught me to sew and my father who instilled in me a love of making.  You don't know me and who I am as a maker.  I am different and I am the same as all that have come before me.  We are all unique in our journeys.  I don't disparage how you came to quilting or your style or how you work; why do you feel the right to do that to me?

My goal is to be who I am as an artist and be a part of this amazing community.  I am not a cog in a wheel.  I am one member of the quilting community and I am contributing to the growth and development of the art and craft of quilting by creating, learning and sharing in a positive way.  If you bristle at the word modern, I don't believe you understand what modern quilting is or how the modern quilting community respects and embraces our history.  My email address is in the profile of this blog if you'd like to chat.  Maybe we can work together to understand each other.  I may be writing this to the wind, but sometimes the wind carries messages.

I've closed comments.  I'd like Linda to know how her comment was received and after than I'd rather us not say any more, but let's take action instead.  How about doing things like this?

Share what you make and why and how you made it.
Encourage others to sew and quilt.
Grow the community.
Make what you love, and love what you make.

I know that's what I'm going to do.  I'll share the book in another post.  It's nice to be back.  I've been sewing up a storm and I'm happy.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Energizing Spirit of the Prairie

My folks live in a small town on the edge of the tallgrass prairie.  Today my hubby and I finally took time to venture out to the Konza prairie trail just outside of Manhattan, Kansas.  It's maintained by the Nature Conservancy and is an opportunity to hike through the Flint Hills which is some of the last native prairie in Kansas.  We hiked for miles to the top and enjoyed the beautiful vista below.  It was chilly, but the sun was shining and it made for a wonderful time together. For those of you who have never experienced true's not flat.  Most of the hike was either hiking up, or down.

There are trees in the hollows where the runoff from the rain allows them to grow.  This one is probably hundreds of years old.  

Trees in the flint hills find a way to grow.  This one was growing from the middle of a rock.
This one was totally burned out from a prairie fire and it made a nice frame for me or a home for an animal or two.

I think my husband said it best.  It was a soul filling day.  Lifted my spirits and inspired both of us to leave the holiday behind and head back to work energized and happy.  I am a prairie girl at heart.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Retro Inspired

The focal point pieced for the second quilt in the retro inspired series.

 This is the plan, but I don't have enough background fabric to continue.  Stalled by having to order fabric.  Drat!

In the meantime I'm quilting the first in the series thanks to some wise advice from a couple of talented friends.

It's fun to work in a series.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Moving On

I'm calling it done.  I'm working on pieces that have been hanging in the closet for too long even though I'm long over them.  I've moved on, but they weigh on me.  I experimented with a new quilting design and I think it's a fail, but as my hubby says not all pieces are homeruns. He's right.  Each piece is a learning experience.  It's washed and dried and ready to snuggle someone's little one.  I'll add it to the donate pile and move on.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A Modern Manifesto

I do a lot of thinking about who am I as a modern quilter, how I fit in with the aesthetic, what my voice is, where I want to go and how I want to evolve and change.  Next weekend is my last traveling for about a month and having that much time to sew finally gives me a chance to create some of the pieces I've been thinking about for the last year.

I had the idea to make a quilt that is my Modern Manifesto, a personal mission statement that could guide my work for 2015.  I've thought long and hard about the words that might appear on this quilt. This is my first stab at the design.  It's a lot of letters on a quilt, but I think it could work.  

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Modern Holiday

My boys inspired this new design.  I went over to their house a couple of weeks ago and they had a decorated tree, their mantle was adorned with greenery and lights and even the hornless unicorn that hangs over the fireplace was sporting a bright red Santa hat.  They are home for the holidays for the first time in many years and they plan to make the most of it.  Last week they hung lights outside and even braved climbing the roof to make it happen.

It's heartwarming for me to know that my husband and I have passed on the tradition of embracing the holiday spirit.  "Home for the Holidays" means something to my children.

This holiday tree quilt is retro inspired for sure and it has the simple shapes and clean lines that I love.  I'm happy with how the triangles create a subtle "roundness" for the tree. I think it's bold on the black background.  Best of all, it's for me and no one else.  It feels good to sew again and create something I'm proud of.

If you celebrate Thanksgiving, have a happy one!  Thanks for being here with me.

Friday, November 14, 2014

It's Not an Illusion!

I'm so happy to be able to introduce you to another new book, Optical Illusions:  Innovative Designs for the Modern Quilter published by Kansas City Star Quilts.  It's a unique concept and contains quilts from nine quilters, many of them from my Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild.  Can I say how proud am I?  I'm happy to be one little stop on this tour through the book.

The beautiful photographs throughout the book showcase the quilts and the scenery of Lawrence, Kansas.  This books makes me feel like home both in the location and the aesthetic of the quilts.  

 Jamie David's Aura quilt is my favorite in the book and I'm not surprised that it was chosen for the cover.  It's spectacular in both color and design.  I don't say this often about a quilt in a book, but I will make that quilt.
 I also love Mary Kay Fosnacht's Tangerine Tumbler.  I love the illusion that her quilt creates.  It's simple and complex all in one and has such a strong visual impact.
Take a look at Jessica Toye's Water Ripples quilt.  Isn't that a fantastic illusion of movement in this quilt?  Stunning, and constructed with only one simple block.

Optical Illusions contains just nine quilts and their instructions, but it is a tightly written, well curated set of quilts and I think for those of you who love graphic, interesting quilts, it's a book you would love as well.

Be sure to check out the whole tour and I have a Kona color card to giveaway to my readers today just for reading about this new book, so if you're interested, leave me a comment on your thoughts on this new book.  I'll choose a winner on Monday.  Enter by Sunday, midnight central time.

The winner was Anya!  Congrats!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A New Brand?

I'm thinking about changing my branding to my name.  Maybe something like this.  What do you think?
Based on your feedback, I did a little tweaking adding my first name.

Orange has always been my fav color and is my preference.  It always seems to be viewed as a risky choice.  I think this was written with me and my philosophy in mind.  From an article on color choice in logos:

  • "Orange is often see as the color of innovation and modern thinking. It also carries connotations of youth, fun, affordability and approachability."

Monday, November 3, 2014

Quilting the New Classics

"...a single quilt does not exist in a vacuum.  Every quilt is tied to past quilts and past traditions, to other forms of visual culture, to its maker's ancestors, to its future use, and to all the stories we collectively tell ourselves about quilts...Every quiltmaker and every quilt is part of this ongoing conversation of adapting, innovating, and contributing to a larger, more beautiful whole."

from the foreword by Janneken Smucker

This quote from the foreword of Michele Muska's new book eloquently sums up the philosophy behind her new book, Quilting the New Classics.  Michele chose 10 traditional blocks and asked a group of quilters to interpret them in both a traditional and modern way with a touch of each quilter's personal stamp resulting in an eclectic mix of beautiful quilts.  I am happy to be a part of Michele's book and I am also proud to be a contributor to that "more beautiful whole."

There are ten traditional patterns featured in the book.  Each has its own chapter and Michele shares a brief history of the pattern along with historical examples and then a traditional and modern interpretation of the pattern along with instructions for each.  Whatever your quilting aesthetic, I'm sure you'll be able to find a design in this book that will intrigue you.

My assignment was a modern interpretation of a log cabin block.  I was paired with the incomparable Pat Sloan.  You can see our quilts side by side on the back cover.  My quilt, Hot Flash, is a minimalist interpretation of a log cabin and you can guess the inspiration from the title.  The quilt is lovingly subtitled, "My Hubby Wears Wool Socks and a Sweater in the Summer". 

When you get your copy, be sure to check out Michele's beautiful yoyo quilt made with Kona solids.  I never thought I could fall in love with yoyos, but that one intrigued me for sure.  I also loved Elisa Sims Albury's interpretation of the Bear Paw with her mama and baby bear blocks.

I am the last stop of the tour for Quilting the New Classics.  If you'd like to win a copy of the book, please leave a comment on this post by Wednesday at noon central time.  I'll choose a winner from the comments, or you can purchase a copy of the book so you'll be sure to get one.  

My greatest takeaway from participating in Michele's book, is that we don't own these designs and techniques, we share them, and we should be encouraged to use, adapt, redesign and put in our personal touch as we make what we love.  

The rest of the tour is listed here in case you want to hop around and check out everyone's thoughts on Quilting the New Classics and don't forget to listen to Pat Sloan interview Michele this afternoon on Pat's radio show.  Enjoy!

Nov. 3rd Jacquie Gering You're here now!
Nov. 3rd Pat Sloan 4:00pm eastern time  American Patchwork and Quilting radio show!

Comments are closed.  Winner announced tomorrow!