Saturday, September 16, 2006

"POLARities" exhibit opens!

As many of you know, I am participating in the "POLARities" exhibit at the UAF Museum of the North opening this week. See here for an interesting announcement regarding the exhibit. To view the artwork online, visit the website.
This exhibit is to coincide with the international arctic science conference taking place the first week of October. I'll be presenting a short lecture regarding my research and artwork on Phyllocnistis populiella. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Collection Collective: Quilts, continued...

My Grandmother made this quilt for my sisters and I when we were little (30 years ago), so it is a testament to her good sewing skills as well as the absolutely indestructible nature of 1970's double-knit polyester. Machine sewn and pieced, hand tied.

This quilt was made by my great grandmother out of wool fabric samples from a tailor's shop. I've never used it, because I don't want to let it start to fade or wear out. My great grandmother was a midwife and schoolteacher who traveled the rivers and railways up to Alaska with her new husband shortly after the gold rush. I think she was probably a very tough and resourceful lady.
Hand sewn with blanket stitches.

I've been working on this quilt for um....10 years. (Yikes!) I wanted to challenge myself with a project that was subtly monochromatic. I usually call it the "Wedding Quilt." All of the fabrics were found at thrift stores. Machine pieced, hand quilted.

The Alaskan Flag Quilt. Started 1996, ended.....perhaps never. I just keep working and working on this quilt. I added a full quilted back to it, as well, in which I've carefully quilted only half-way through the dense batting, so that each side has it's own designs. I take this out and work on it only every six months or so. The stars are appliqued crinkle satin. There are 49 iron-on embroidery stars around the border (AK is the 49th state). This is the most intensely quilted quilt I've made. I'm proud to report that other quilters who have seen it have shaken their heads in wonder. But will it ever really be finished?
Machine pieced, hand quilted and embroidered. Posted by Picasa

Collection Collective: Quilts

Quilt I recently found IN A DUMPSTER! It's hand embroidered with hundreds of names.
Machine pieced, hand tied. (Bad, lumpy batting that I intend to carefully replace this winter.)
I've been inadvertently collecting quilts since I started making them myself in 1992. I've never taken a class...just learned as I went.

A quilt made for my husband and I for our wedding by our friend Jan. It has small, clear yellow seed beads sewn onto it, as well. Strange as this may sound, I was once on a very rough flight, really bad turbulence, and thinking of the texture of this quilt beneath my hand calmed me.
The back is made of irregular rectangles of black jean fabric, so it's a pretty heavy and warm quilt: good for cold, Alaskan winter nights.

This is my first quilt. I began it in 1992, skipping art school classes to stay home and sew away on this HUGE thing. I had a spark of intuition one day that if I were to make a quilt, good things would happen. (I'm an artist; I get these powerful, almost nonsensical thoughts all the time.) Anyway, I taught myself how to quilt with this project, so it's construction isn't elegant: it's just strong. Many of the fabrics were really delicate and have shredded over the 14 years I've used it. I've put patches on it, then patches on the patches, which is the true nature of a crazy quilt---recycled material. See the Quilters of Gee's Bend, if you need some mind-blowing quilt beauty of this genre.
(Yes, good things happened after I made this quilt.)

This is a quilt I bought at a garage sale for $7.00. It's been on our bed for years, so it's worn out. Many parts are shredding badly, but the cotton it's made with is so soft! Machine pieced and sewn, the pattern is sometimes called, "Drunkard's Path." I hope to make a quilt very much like it, then sew this one in as the batting to be able to keep using it.
Too see other Collection Collectives, look here and here, and here. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I speak in pictures...

Art is work...

It's beautiful outside today: a perfect autumn day....+55, sun, gold leaves...
It's a day to go on a long bike ride, pick berries, go for a hike, harvest the garden...anything outside!

...and I'm stuck inside madly working on the paintings for my next show. Three weeks until this solo show opens. I've just got a few to finish, then framing, then hauling all 15 down to Anchorage. Work, work, work....

 Posted by Picasa