Wednesday, July 31, 2013

39 Squares

Today, I laid out 39 squares. First a long 3 by 13 rectangle.

Then 5 by 8 with a piece missing.

I don't know exactly where Crossroads is heading. The patches are a mediation. Each square is like a little companion to take along and stitch. Yesterday it was at the ophthalmologist. Today, it was sitting in the living room.

As I rearranged the squares, it brought to mind the end of Sue Bender's book, Plain and Simple: A Woman's Journey to the Amish. It's been a long time since I read this book...but I do have a clear memory of how living with the Amish affected Sue Bender's approach to her artwork.

My work began to change. I drew hundreds of individual ninepatches. Pencil. Ink. Paint. Material. One dark patch, one light patch, a tic-tac-toe grid, a checkerboard. The squares filled every corner of the studio. There was a lot of activity, but this time it wasn't frantic. Moving the actual squares around became a meditation.

I worked with no plan--letting the spirit of the Amish take over. Just as I was about to sew the individual nine pieces together, I saw that the squares didn't need sewing. Even that was too much control. If they were to succeed, they had to just be....

...I learned there is nothing simple about the ninepatch. The varieties, mutations, and possibilities are almost endless. Looking down at one as if the first time. I saw the ninepatch with fresh eyes.

I saw a prehistoric marking, an icon, an ancient cross, and most clearly I saw a crossroads...

So I'll continue to stitch and arrange and see where this road leads....

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Sacred Threads

Shabbat Blessings by Susan L. Robbins

 Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to see a fantastic quilt show called Sacred Threads. This show was started in 1999 by a small group of quilt artists interested in creating quilts that focused on spirituality and inspiration. At the time, there were not many opportunities for quilt artists whose work focused on these themes. Below is a description of the show from their website:

For the exhibit, quilts are divided into categories based on theme. These are Expressions of Joy, Spirituality, Inspiration, Grief, Healing and Peace/Brotherhood.  The artwork themes provide thought-provoking insights, encouragement, inspiration and healing responses to grief and human hardships. It has attracted a wide array of visitors and has proved appropriate for all ages from young teens to seniors. The exhibit is a positive influence on the human spirit, giving joy as well as addressing concerns of the soul and mind.

I found the entire exhibit very inspirational and moving. If you live in Northern Virginia, you simply must get yourself over to this exhibit before it closes on Sunday, July 28th.

There were many quilts that caught my attention, for various reasons. I was able to take some photographs, though without being able to use a flash, not all of them turned out as well as I had hoped. Fortunately, there is a printed catalog with all the quilts and the artists' stories as well as a CD that has all the quilts along with the voices of the artists telling a bit more about what inspired the quilt.

This small quilt by Maryland artist, Susan L. Robbins, really sang out to me. It is the Hebrew blessings for Shabbat (the Jewish Sabbath). The story Susan tells is her memory of her mother placing her hand on Susan's head during the blessings. She remembers watching the candle light dance. What is amazing about this story is that Susan is deaf.

Detail from Shabbat Blessings by Susan L. Robbins.

I was especially intrigued by the Hebrew letters. They are, in fact, dimensional. I'm not sure if they are made from paper or some sort of interfacing...but they are truly beautiful.

This exhibit made me realize that I really do want to make art pieces that are spiritual and healing. I am still thinking about the format, but this idea is something that has been pulling at me for a while now.

Thank you Susan for your Shabbat Blessings.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

More Grrrreat Animals from Fiber Camp

Yesterday was my second session at The Art League School's Fiber Camp.


Another great group of campers and some grrreat animals!

Koala Bear

Curious Giraffe

Happy Giraffe

Furry Giraffe

Rabbit sitting on rug.

Rainbow Rabbit




Colorful Tiger
Funky Chicken

Sunday, July 21, 2013

And the winner is...

...Lisa. Congratulations! You are the winner of the bundle of three INDIGO fabrics.

Lisa, you and INDIGO must have an attraction for each other as you were also the winner of the INDIGO Challenge fabric last year :-) !

I'll be spending most of the day in the studio preparing for Fiber Camp and my Exploring Surface Design a la Carte class. I also need to set up a few final photos for the next issue of Julie B Booth Surface Design News, which comes out on Sunday July 28. Today, I'll be messing around with flour paste and blue glue resists and maybe a bit of nature printing. A bit of this and that, you might say.

Off I go...

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Searching for Roy G Biv Challenge II: Indigo Update 3

Is this Indigo? Well maybe not exactly, but I couldn't resist a photo of these inky blue-black berries!

This month's search was a bit tricky for me. What is INDIGO? Is it a fluorescent violet color? Is it a deep almost black-blue or a soft worn blue like Indigo dye? Very perplexing! Just as we did for Roy I, Jennifer and I have left the color INDIGO up to your interpretation.

Blueberries...are they Indigo? I don't know but the ones from the farmer's market were certainly delicious!

My search had me heading to the local farmer's market last Saturday. It was about a 30 minute walk from my home and when I got there the produce did not disappoint. I'm realizing that I may have a thing for photographing fresh produce!

Is this Indigo? A luminescent Morning Glory.

Hope you will join in with your interpretation of this ever elusive color. To play along, post up to five (we are very lenient about this!) photos on your blog (or website or Flickr page) and post a comment here to let me know you are joining our blog hop game. I will link to your posting. If you do not have any of the above and would still like to play, email me some photos and I will post them here. The game continues until 12 midnight (Eastern USA time) Saturday, July 20. I'll continue to post updates as new entries come in.

Indigo fabrics from my stash.

As mentioned in my previous post, the Challenge fabric this month is actually a trio of fabrics. Play along and you will be eligible to win when I put the names in my husband's baseball cap on Sunday morning.

Hop on over to my cohort Jennifer's blog to view her beachy INDIGOS.

Charlton Stitcher has a lovely array of INDIGOS some from as far away as Thailand and some as close as her sewing basket.

Kim Henkel at Letting in the Light created a pair of INDIGO earrings for the occasion. Her wooden giraffe makes a handsome model!

Fiona at Paper Ponderings explores the concept of process in her weekly Thursday Thoughts along with a meticulously stitched piece of INDIGO Sashiko.

Cindi at The Organic Manic brings us beautiful Alaskan INDIGOS.

Lisa at arzigogolare has some amazing musical INDIGOS and a bit of history about the color...hmm  maybe we should be searching for Roy G Buv?!

Christine Mauersberger has the INDIGO vat going and some gorgeous scarves! 

A late entry by Maya at Million Little Stitches. Glorious INDIGO skies from way up high.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Celebrating 333 and Indigo

 My last post was #333. So to celebrate, I decided to make three Roy G Biv Challenge fabrics this month.

Here they are:

If you play along in the Search for Roy G Biv this month (starts tomorrow), you could be eligible to win this packet of three indigo fabrics.

The rules are here. Join us!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Elusive Indigo: Roy Reminder Update

A Roy G Biv array of tomatoes.

Just a reminder that this Thursday, July 18, the Search for Roy G Biv (the colors of the rainbow) continues with the ever elusive INDIGO.

I find this to be the toughest color for me...Google it and you tend to see the various blues of the natural dye or a psychedelic violet! So...I leave it up to you to interpret.

Yesterday, I took off for a walk to my local farmers' market. I've lived in my town for 20 years and have never ventured to the farmers' market before. This is the first year that it is in walking distance and on my regular walking route. I took my camera along to see if I could find some of that elusive color.

Of course, I'm saving those photos for Thursday, but here are some photos of the local bounty.

Hope you will join Jennifer and me on Thursday...and let your friends know about this monthly blog hop. If you are new to the Search, click here for more information.

Update: For those of you having a difficult time searching for indigo...a project using your interpretation of the color is most welcome. Ersi is thinking about doing that this time round. Lisa did an amazing investigation of indigo for Roy I. Click here to see it.

Just realized this is my 333th post...wooohooo!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Ellie's Elephant

Here is Ellie's Elephant.

Ellie left Fiber Camp yesterday with her elephant almost completed, some extra fabric strips and a lot of determination!

She was determined to finish her elephant so it could make an appearance here on this blog.

Thanks Ellie for being such a hard worker! Making an elephant is pretty tough, but you managed to make a great one!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Wild Things at Fiber Camp!

Pink Turtle

There were wild things happening at Fiber Camp today! This was the first of two sessions I'll be teaching for The Art League School this summer.

Blue Cat

Campers made chenille stem (pipe cleaner) animal skeletons and stuffed them with cotton batting.

Rainbow Rabbit
They then wrapped their animals in gauze.

Red Horse
Blue and Pink Panda
 And finally wrapped them with colorful fabric strips and yarn.

Yellow Giraffe


Glass beads or googly eyes were the finishing touch.

Red Rabbit
Rainbow Dog on Leash

 What a great bunch of Wild Things!

Rainbow Turtle
Colorful Giraffe