Friday, April 27, 2012

Poet/Artist Update

In-scents or Out-scents
20" x 30"
©2012 - Sharon V. Rotz

This past weekend, I attended the Poet/Artist Collaboration reception at the Crossings Gallery in Zumbrota, MN. This was a wonderful chance to the poets who inspired our artwork. During the evening, the poets read their work as the artist's interpretation was projected on the screen. We all enjoyed the comments and thoughts that went into each work.

I had the opportunity to meet Karen Anway, "my" poet who inspired In-scents or Out-scents.  Was it because of our collaboration? Do we share a bit of our soul as we create? We became instant friends the moment that we introduced ourselves.

Karen's prize-winning poem follows:  

Incense and Nonsense

When I Read
Spirit has its own aroma
I thought,
an appealing kind of nonsense
and started smelling

For instance, did you know the scent of rotting stems in slimy-water flower vases is the same one inside your mouth when you forget to floss all week, and the smell of that dumpster in Kansas made me homesick for the ocean just like fresh garlic makes me think of sex?

In certain ancient cultures people burned incense because they thought the fragrance
The Nostrils of God

When we burned that good luck incense Joan sent from Hong Kong,
and had to leave the house to breathe,
we wished we’d burned that stuff outside
and could have easily heard from the police,
                                                              or even God.

Jayne smelled her father in her car after he had died. She said she knew he’d been there even though that was impossible. My father’s car smells like him, but it wasn’t until after he died that I noticed. When I buried my face in my mother’s pajamas after she died, I could still smell her there for almost a year, but like every precious perfume, eventually that sweet bouquet my mother left behind for me, disappeared, and I was left holding cloth.

Well meaning friends tell me, Your parents still love youremain with you even though they died.
I yawn,
Nonsense, I say, and snort
a breathing woman
smelling everything.

Written by Karen Anway, used with permission of the author.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tuesday's Tile - Resisting and Using Resist

Quilter's Tile - A Gossip
8" x 8"
©2011 - Sharon V. Rotz

This Quilter's Tile is one of my favorites because of both the words to live by and the technique used. First, this should be my prayer everyday, to take the time to think before words come tumbling out of my mouth.

A troublemaker plants seeds of strife. 
A gossip separates the best of friends. 
Proverbs 16:28

To make the project, you need a resist (something that the dye or paint would not penetrate) to draw the lips. In this case, I used a bottle of white children's school glue that would later wash out. After I drew the lips and let the glue dry, I painted on the fabric using Dye-na-flow paints. After the paint was thoroughly dry, I soaked the fabric to remove the glue. The hardest part of this process is the waiting for things to dry. I tend to be too anxious to see the results and waiting is SO hard.

After the fabric was prepared, I layered the fabric and used free-motion machine quilting to highlight the lips and add the words.

The binding was made by turning the backing fabric to the front and hand stitching mitered corners. After folding under the raw edge, I used cross-stitches to secure the binding. 

Will you spend your day resisting?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Raising It Up to a New Level

detail from Broken Star in the Garden

You can add eye-catching appeal to your quilting project with ruching. This is one of my favorite techniques for three-dimensional accents. 

It is easy to do with just a folded strip of fabric and a needle and thread.

Fold and press a straight grain strip of fabric (as you would fold bias tape). The width of the fabric determines the size of your ruching. The size of your ruched strip is approximately 2/3 the size of  the strip that you start with. (For example: 1-1/2" starting strip = 3/4" folded strip = 1" ruched strip)

Mark one edge of the strip for your stitching. Because you are making 90 degree corners, your marks should be equal to twice the width of your folded strip. (For example: 3/4" folded strip = marks 1-1/2" apart.)
Mark the second side of the strip with marks midway between your first marks.

Starting on one end, stitch from mark to mark making sure the thread goes around the edge of the strip.

Draw the thread to gather the fabric.

The ruched strip

To make a flower, stitch the ends of the ruched strip to form a circle.

The ruched flowers are ready to be appliqued unto your quilt. In this quilt, leaves are added and french knots enhance the center of the flower.

Have you incorporated ruching or other three-dimensional accents to your quilts? Please share your results.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tuesday's Tile - Extremely Pearly

Quilter's Tile - Extremely Pearly
8" x 8"
©2012 - Sharon V. Rotz

As with any project, we find special moments as we work.

I found beading very addictive. After I added one bead, I couldn't wait to add another and watch the beadwork grow.

I found this project very relaxing. I loved handling all of the beads and running my hand over the surface of the beaded fabric.

I found moments of peace and joy. As I walked into the room one sunny morning, the pearls were just glowing. 

I also found that my bead collection was lacking. I could use more contrasting beads to prevent the shapes from washing out.

I found that my favorite beads were little pearly grains of rice.

I am looking forward to more quilting projects that include beadwork. Have you tried it? Do you have a tip to share?  

Follow the link to find ideas for beading on-the-go from Quilting Arts.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Inspired by a Poem

In-scents or Out-scents
20" x 30"
©2012 - Sharon V. Rotz

Where do you get the inspiration for your artwork?

This year I wanted to explore new opportunities and was juried into the Poet Artist Collaboration at the Crossings at Carnegie Gallery in Zumbrota, MN.  As an artist, I was challenged to interpret the writings of one of the poets selected. Incense and Nonsense was the title of my chosen poem. This led me to ponder how to visually show something as abstract as smell. The decay of flowers, the smell associated with a loved one, and the over-powering smell of incense found their way into this piece.

You can view the work of 26 artists and poets at the show. See how each artist collaborated to create a vision for original poetry.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tuesday's Tile - In Progress

My quilter's tile for this week is a work in progress.

I once had the opportunity to be part of a group art exhibit in Madison, WI with Lisa Binkley and two other fiber artists. I fell in love with Lisa's exquisite beaded work and the idea to try more beading has been floating around in my head since then.

I have numerous packages of beads, some were from the bodice of my daughter's wedding gown which I hand beaded. Some of the beads were from craft projects and others were collected for projects that never materialized.  They are not all quality beads but I have them on hand and they will certainly be good for a first attempt at "extreme" beading.

I thought it would be easier to start with a design, jumping over the hurdle of creating my own. I had a small piece of indigo dyed fabric which I find very interesting so my plan is to embellish this with beads.

Working with the beads that I have, all those wedding dress pearls, and basically very little background knowledge, I am on my way. This will be my relaxing project, hand work that I can do (or not) as I watch a television movie.

I am enjoying stitching on each little bead, feeling the shape and watching it add life to my fabric. This project is not to be hurried so you will have to wait another week to see more.

Smile as you think of me this week, chasing those little run-away beads across the floor.

Friday, April 6, 2012

38" x 44"
Sharon V. Rotz

Happy Easter to Everyone.

Jubilation is my interpretation of the Easter story. It is completely machine pieced from hexagons, in some cases small ones inserted in larger hexagons. Join in the jubilation!

May you have a blessed weekend celebrating with family and friends.
And may the Easter bunny never overshadow the power of the Lord.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tuesday's Tile - Mixed Up and Confused?

Quilter's Tile - Mixed Up and Confused
8" x 8"
©2012 Sharon V. Rotz

In the box? Out of the Box? Why is there a box at all?

I couldn't resist playing with a bit of an optical illusion when I spotted the identical fabric in two different colorways. I added fusible to the backs of two identical prints, one pink and one orange, and cut out the beautiful bloom. Laying one over the other, I cut out two rectangles and interchanged the colors and fused. Because the fabrics are so close to the same value, the color change almost disappears. What does that say for value being more important than color? These fabrics were two strikingly different colors.

Of course, this experiment led to two Quilter's Tiles instead of just one. 

Just like twins, they were parts of one another and wanted to be together. Since I didn't have coordinating beads at hand, I made some from rolled fabric tubes and joined the two Quilter's Tiles.

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