Friday, May 10, 2013


Detail from Red Chair

Now that I've given myself permission to take a different direction for the F.I.N.E. mapping show, I'm finding myself looking back at some techniques that I enjoyed and want to explore further.

I've decided to focus on two ideas.

One is the concept of Crossroads.This is hitting home particularly as I try to find my way to the next stage in my artwork. At the moment, I'm conceiving (great word!) of this as a series of square shapes with strips of fabric hand stitched to form cross shapes. The overall design will be made up of nine patches using these squares and there will be a large cross shape formed in the center.

I'm debating about make the squares or rows of squares into stuffed pockets that I can quilt as I go. This is similar in concept to how I worked on my small primitive dolls.

Small Primitive

I like the effect as it creates a sturdy piece, that's feels good in the hand.

The other idea is X Marks the Spot. This piece will be made from small folded squares sewn together to form units that have an X in the center. These will then be sewn together so that a larger X is formed.

I used this technique for a piece called Red Chair that I made ages ago. I've always wanted to come back to this technique. Now seems like a good time.

Both of these ideas are larger pieces generated from small parts.  Right now, I'm dyeing, painting and printing  lots of fabrics that can be cut into small units. These will be portable (until they are sewn into the larger pieces). I know that I'll be making some trips to Savannah to see my folks so having small portable units to work on will keep the ball rolling with these pieces.

Two artists got me thinking about working in small units that I could carry with me and work on anywhere. My friend, and fellow fiber artist Pam Sullivan suggested that working larger didn't have to mean a single large piece but perhaps instead many small units that become the larger piece. Maya Matthew recently had a post about a textile piece she carried around with her and worked on over a period of time. Click here to see the post.

So...I am beginning work on these two ideas and will see where they lead...


  1. I remember the Red Chair - it was magnificent. Wasn't there a blue one as well?

    I'm thrilled that you've finally given yourself permission to move on with your work and cannot wait to see what you do. It's frightening to leave the familiar behind, isn't it?

    1. I've been all over the place for a while. I was really stymied by the mapping show. I'd chosen an idea but was no longer that interested. It was starting to feel like a chore and obligation to go down that path rather than something I wanted to explore. I know that even these 2 ideas are a lot of work...yet as they will be made piece by piece, I think I might relish the work...or at least I hope so!

  2. I have no doubt you will find your path -- at this crossroad. I carried a couple of pieces of stitching with me the last year or so with my parents. It turned out to be a calming activity for all of us. Just make lots of squares!...takes the pressure off of having to make a perfect piece. Have a good weekend!

    1. Thanks've given me the small unit advice a couple of times now...guess it took a while to sink in! I like the idea of have lots of small things to work on. I'll be back down in Savannah in a couple of weeks. Some hand stitching might help keep me sane! Hope you have a nice Mother's Day.

  3. Wow! Was I surprised to see my name and my textile fragment mentioned in your post.It was like I was at crossroads with the piece myself but I'm glad it took time because its been worth it.With an art piece and a textile one at that you need the luxury of time for the piece to evolve unless of course you yourself are a more evolved human being then I guess you can deal with crossroads in the blink of an eye.
    That folded square patchwork has got me thinking, thank you for sharing.First time I'm seeing this pretty little unit/patch.
    I'm getting my greens together for Thursday. see you then.

    1. Hi Maya- I was very inspired by your textile piece and the story behind it. I'm happy to be getting back to some exploring and picking up on some ideas that I meant to get back to ...including the folded "unit". I will post more about these pieces as they progress. Who knows I might be led off in an entirely different direction! Glad to hear you're joining us for Roy this week.