Friday, September 13, 2013

Little Bird
42" x 68.5"
Little Bird
It all started from shopping one afternoon after we had lunch together.  We got inspired by some upholstery fabrics, which I don't think I had ever considered putting into a quilt before.  However, the fabrics were so lush and beautiful and textural, and sophisticated and modern.  We simply could not resist.  And so, we started building a new stash based on one pattern.  After one day, we probably accumulated over 30 different fabrics from a number of different stores.  Here is a photo after we made the quilt and took it back to the source of our inspiration.
At Bolt Fabrics, South Lamar, Austin, TX
The next week, we got together, sliced it all up, and put it on the design all.  The creative juices were humming, sparks flying, a special synergy created by the four of us, in the same room, all collaborating to decide where the pieces would go.  Sherri was the wizard of the rotary cutter.  Barb and Connie were the masters of design.  The trick was not to over think it.  We did make a few decisions along the way.  The most exciting part was how each member contributed to the eventual design of the overall quilt.  We have never worked improvisationally like this before.  It was SEW fun! And it was quick and satisfying.

Pieces were trimmed on the wall, in situ, and quickly pieced together.  If it didn't fit, we trimmed it, or added another piece to make it longer.  Somehow it all worked together.   Then I took the leftovers and made a back for the quilt which was also quite fun!  The next week we took turns machine quilting it, adding binding, hanging tube and the label.  It was a completely collaborative process, start to finish, yet one of the most cohesive quilts we have made.
Here are a few detail shots for you!

Look for it in Houston this year.  It was selected as a finalist in the World of Beauty at the International Quilt Festival.  Also, look for another piece that we created in the same way for the auction for IQA.  You can bid on the mini-quilt called Little Bird Too (16.5" x 22").

Friday, September 14, 2012

Balancing Act
103" x 46" 

Here is the result of many months of work by our group!  We are all so pleased with the results and were so happy to have it juried into World of Beauty at the International Quilt Festival in Houston.  You can see more of how we made the quilt if you scroll down, but I am sure you will agree that it has grown a lot since it's first formations!  It took many hours to arrange all these rocks, and then sew them on.  We also added shading to the rocks with ink, and what I thought would be really scary (to start coloring on these AFTER they were on the quilt), was actually fun and pretty easy to do.  Susan jumped in and showed us how, and we followed her lead! 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Art Quilters: What Happens Behind the Scene

Hello, thought I might give you a peak at our art quilt group meeting! We are the Austin Art Quilt Bee. Pictured from left to right are Leslie Tucker Jenison, Susan Storey Lewis, Connie Hudson, Sherri Mc Cauley, Barb Forrister, Natalie Jenison and Kathy York. Most of us live in Austin but we also are fortunate to have Leslie from San Antonio, Texas and Frances Holliday Alford from Grafton, Vermont. We gather together to work on group collaborations. This is an amazing group of women and although, we do not meet on a regular schedule, when we do get together, we are celebrating the holidays or are in high gear working on our next project. Each of us have our own unique style that we bring to the table and yet somehow we are always able to blend our work together to come up with some pretty cool compositions. This year is no different, We are working on a rock quilt and are now in the design stages. The background has already been quilted and pieced and the rocks have been created. Now comes the fun part; the design process. Pictured below is our third revision of the design and still, it may not be the end product. We will move and rearrange things until we come to a general concensus that we all find pleasing to the eye. Once we conclude the design process, we will address how to finish the edges. This quilt has an irregular edge on the bottom which I believe allows the eye to move freely around the piece and adds interest. This week, we will meet up again to reinforce the seams on the background and hopefully come up with the final design. The most wonderful thing I have experienced working as part of the group is that we are all committed to creating art collaborations and supporting one another in our own personal and art endeavors. That is a very unique and endearing aspect of which I am blessed to be a part of.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Rock On

My portion of the background is finished. Can't wait to see it fit into the rest of the pieces. I quilted following a rough outline, then trimmed it after finishing the quilting. Next up to work on are my rocks. I may have to pull out the airbrush tools to try and get the effect that I want to see. After climbing up and down our lake "canyon" (use to be our deep water cove) today, I'm seeing rocks everywhere and unfortunately they're all cream colored Texas limestone. Must get some color in here somewhere. No photos yet!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Houston Bound.

I am sorting this weekend to get ready to fly to Houston on Tuesday.  In the days that I was a full time Austin resident, I could just fling everything in my car, fill the tank and start out.  Not any more.  I have to figure out the weather in Houston, choose clothes and then figure out what supplies I will need to keep me from tearing up the bedding in our hotel room and using it for a project.  So, at  minimum, I need needles, scissors and floss.  Everything above that is just all to the good.

Artists Garden
52" x 52"
Here is a final photo of our quilt that will be in Houston this year.  We are so delighted!  This was a really fun project to work on.  Connie Hudson was the project coordinator.  Here is a description of her inspiration (from her blog)....
How we got here. In May of 2010 I took my mom on a "road trip" to visit Frances Holliday Alford in Grafton, VT. Since my mom is a Master Gardener we decided to visit Longwood Gardens in PA. I decided to take photos of flowers that represented my art quilt group friends. So driven by the idea that was in my mind that on the return trip home from visiting Frances, we detoured back to the Gardens for another round of photos.
The Task. Each artist was given a selection of photos and was asked to interpret it in their style or even try something new. My only parameters were the size of the block and that each piece had to be finished.
In my mind's eye I was seeing individual flowers (person) beautiful alone but together supported by the trellis (each other) accomplishing and making an incredible garden (art).
Artists involved:
Top L-R Connie Hudson (West Lake Hills), Cindy Henneke (Independence) Annie Smith (The Woodlands)
Middle L-R: Francis Holliday Alford (Grafton, VT & Austin), Leslie Jenison (San Antonio), Sherri Lipman McCauley (Lakeway)
Bottom L-R: Kathy York (Austin), Barbara Forrister (Austin), Suzan Engler (Panorama Village)

I can say that one of the things I really enjoyed about this project that was different than our previous projects is that each block stands alone as it's own little quilt.  The blocks were assigned to each of us.  Previous quilts have had rather loose parameters, which makes the assembly much more difficult.  We tend to bring our work to group sessions and then slice, dice and rearrange ad infinitum....until a consensus is reached, and then we start the long process of stitching them together.  I will post some of these quilts in the days to come, but suffice to say, some of them were amazing works of art creating by lots of tender loving care mixed in with some rather heated discussions!  It is not an easy process, but for me it has been a rather rewarding and bonding one. 

And last, because Connie took the lead on this one, she invited some other artists to join us.  Good decision!   Their work and new friendships have really pulled this one together!  Thanks everyone!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Rainbow Pixel Project
Here are some of the possible quilting design lines that we can put on the surface of the quilt after all the pieces have been joined. These were drawn on my digital drawing tablet, with advice from the room. If we select an idea, then we can discuss thread colors later. What do you think?