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.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

On a Roll

We are rolling right along with our rock balancing art-quilt.  Here are some photos from our last meeting where we gathered to connect the individual segments that each of us had quilted over the holidays.  Connie, Barb and I aren't in these but that's because Barb is out of the country, Connie somehow escaped my camera, and I am tucked away like any self respecting introvert....BEHIND my camera.  Enjoy!
Beginning at the bottom and moving upward we laid out the individual pieces to be trimmed for joining.

It takes at least five people to do this....three to hold the table down, one to wield the rotary cutter and one to photograph the moment. From left to right: Frances, Sherri, Leslie, Kathy

More trimming and fitting together as we go.

Two detail shots of a cross section of the joined pieces. From top to bottom the pieces were quilted by: Kathy's, Sherri's, Leslie's, Connie's, Barb's, Susan's Frances'.

While we are not through making our rocks, we couldn't resist getting a peek at how they are going to look against the new background that we have almost completed.  This will be divided into seven panels that hang together as one piece.
Well now it's time to get busy creating a ton of rocks!  Our quilt measures approximately 86"w X 50"l.  Till next time,

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, December 16, 2011

Rocking On!

Fortunately Kathy had the foresight to purchase a 4'x9' piece of paper for patterning!
Hey! Susan here with an update on our stacked rock art-quilt project. First things first, we enjoy a wonderful holiday breakfast at Kathy's (yum!)  Frances is with us in spirit and Leslie has driven in from San Antonio, so she, Kathy, Connie, Barb, Sherri and I get down to business. Having exchanged a few e-mails since meeting last month we do a bit more brainstorming and decide how we want to design and quilt the background, which we will later divide into seven panels.  Kathy suggests the same formula as our Cosmic Curves quilt and we all agree.  (This is quite a complicated formula that involves holding pencils and drawing curved lines across a length of  paper.) After a bit more deliberating (or is it channeling.... check out Connie and Leslie in the picture below on the far

left. Am I wrong or does it look like they're tuning into something as Kathy looks on!)  Well, the next photo proves they've figured it out and so we each take a turn drawing our lines.  After we erase and reshape a few of them Kathy gets out the sharpie and marks our pattern.  We then pull out the fabrics we brought from our stashes and assign them to
pattern pieces.  We each choose the pieces we want to quilt based on our fabrics, cut the pattern apart and divide it up.  Frances' pattern and fabric will go off in the mail to Vermont, and until we gather again we will each quilt our pieces. 

At the next meeting we will connect the quilted horizontal pieces, (using a top secret technique) then we will slice the quilt into seven equal vertical sections and divide them among us.  In this way we will each be working on a background that has been quilted by each participant in the project. 

Well this about sums up our progress so far.  We each plan on making lots of rocks in the weeks to come, and if I heard correctly at the meeting today Leslie just might be coordinating another cairn project for us to get involved with.  But we'll leave talk of that for another day.   Til I've got more to share, Happy holidays!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Rock On

At our last meeting I proposed a new group quilt idea inspired by the art of rock balancing. Happily everyone joined in with excitement.  I've decided to track the project here as we go along so we can share our process. The finished art-quilt will be put together in the style of a triptych, only with seven panels instead of three.  Each member will design a single panel of balanced 'rocks' that reflects their creative aesthetic or personality.  The plan is to create a common background and then slice it into seven equal strips, sending a panel home with each artist for contemplation.  I'm looking forward to engaging the group process again and seeing the rocks take shape as we gather at our regular meetings.