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Archive for the ‘Fiber Art’ Category

What Do Judges Look For?

Wednesday, September 12th, 2018


You have just finished your latest piece of art — your quilt. You are proud of your accomplishment and want to show it off. You first share it with your family, then with your small quilting “bee” and finally take it to show and tell at your next guild meeting.

For some quilters, this is enough. For others, it is not.

Many quilters and fiber artists want to see how their work stacks up against the competition, whether that is hanging it in a local, non-judged show or entering it in a major juried and judged competition. In addition to gaining recognition for your quilts, you also educate other quilters and the general public about quilting and its standards. For local guild shows, this is often a primary reason for holding a show.

Additionally, if your quilt is entered in a judged show, you can set goals for improvement based on feedback from the judges or your own comparison with winning quilts. And, of course, you might just win a prize, either a ribbon, cash, or merchandise.

Read more…

Meet Christine Adams, Artist

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

In the Fall issue of The Professional Quilter, Eileen Doughty profiled Christine Adams, an artist who works in fabric from Rockville, Md. Here’s an excerpt:

How did you get started in making art?

Even though I was the oldest of nine, and my father was often away on active military duty, my mom did not burden me with responsibility. Each of us had our tasks. Mom encouraged us to be who we were and to follow our muse. There was time for play and imagination. My mother could create beauty and peace from very little. She was my first “muse.”

In 1972, I gave a baby quilt to a friend, who often brought her baby along to her booth at craft shows. The owner of a local craft shop spotted my quilt at the booth and said that she needed to have the contact information of the person who made “that” baby quilt. Until the shop closed its doors, I created wall hangings, bed quilts, Christmas décor and much more for the owner. I suppose that was the start of my being a professional textile artist.

Teaching and mentoring are also my passions. After college I taught art, math and English at the high-school level. I got married and had six children; following my mother’s example, I sewed for them all. Also, I shared space in an art studio during this time.

When Rockville Arts Place (RAP), in Rockville, Md., opened, I was one of its seven founding members. At one point, money for arts organizations was scarce and the executive director had left, so I began to volunteer and run the office. Many people were passionate about RAP – it was not a lonely job, and I had many offers of help. The Board voted me in as Executive Director for the next five years. During that time I learned about grant writing and working with the public. I also learned how to integrate our programs with the community, public schools and summer camps. I am proud that VisArts, as it is now called, will celebrate its 25th anniversary in October. I am still involved, though in a small way.

My experience directing RAP was put to use again last year, when I co-chaired the “Sacred Threads” quilt exhibition in its spectacular Washington, D.C., metro area premier.

How did you get your commissions? Do you have any advice for others looking for similar opportunities?

I have sold completed work as well as site-specific work. A designer for medical institutions visited my studio and placed my work in several buildings, including the Greater Baltimore Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente, and the Ronald MacDonald House. She would give me a size, a price range, and sometimes a color palette, and we would work from there. Other professionals such as lawyers, dentists and nursing home administrators have purchased pieces. Having exposure in a studio outside my home was a great help.
My advice is to take advantage of opportunities that interest you, even if they come at inconvenient times. We are always busy, so just do it!

Share your ideas and interests with others. One step leads to another. Seek out other artists. Join a group, or form one of your own. Share your interests, successes and experiences, both good and bad.

I learned a long time ago to own up to the fact that I am an artist. It was hard at first, because when you say you are an artist, people expect you to be a good artist. However, if you are a clerk or secretary or some other professional, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are great at what you do, it just means that is how you spend your time. I spend my time as an artist. So, when I am asked what I do, I say I am an artist; sometimes someone is interested enough to then ask to see my work, and sales happen from there.

Themes? And Fabrics? Describe the style you like to use in your quilts.

Originally, I primarily used P & B fabrics – I call the ones in my stash my “Fun Fabrics.” For the most part, though, I buy what speaks to me. My photo imagery is self-created, and much of my dyed fabrics are also. There are wonderful dye artists out there, and I have collected pieces from many of them to incorporate into my work. Another passion is collecting vintage lace and buttons and other findings. These also find their way into my textile books, sculpture, and hangings.

My themes vary. At times I use simple geometrics and try to express a feeling, emotion or impression. Other times, the theme is what I am familiar with – the simple pleasures of the world around us. I also am taken with cultural diversity and sharing with one’s fellow man. Some of my pieces attack injustice. Many of my quilts are folk art. I frequently use quotes and vintage images.

I have a huge collection of silk ties. Sometimes a wall quilt or garment is made entirely of them. When my youngest son got married, I created the coat I wore for his wedding from his grandfather’s ties. His friends made my day by telling me I was “awesome.”

If you would like to read more of Eileen’s article on Christine Adams, it’s included in our Fall 2012 issue of The Professional Quilter and available to IAPQ members. The International Association of Professional Quilters offers resources and networking opportunities for you to create a success from your quilting business. Learn about all the benefits of IAPQ membership and join here.

Please share your thoughts on being an artist below.


Book Review: Purses, Bags & Totes

Sunday, October 7th, 2012

Purses, Bags & Totes
Moya’s Workshop
AQS; $22.99

Everyone seems to love to make bags, and we have lots of patterns for bags of all sorts. This collection from Moya Hu, who owns Moya’s Workshop, an importer of quilting and patchwork supplies to Taiwan, does include some fresh ideas, such as the tote that expands with a decorative zipper, the ties that create a pleat to the tote bag, and the leaf shapes that add a nice touch to the moon bag. The book starts with general instructions for zippers and pockets. Each bag includes easy-to-follow instructions with step-by-step full color photos. Patterns are included in a CD.

Look for the book at your favorite book retailer. Here’s a link to Amazon if you would like to learn more about the book.

Book Review: Quilt Blocks From Around the World

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

Quilt Blocks From Around the World

Quilt Blocks From Around the World
Debra Gabel
C&T Publishing; $21.95

Following up on the success of her first book, Quilt Blocks Across America, Debra takes you on a world tour, well, at least to 50 international cities. The finished six-inch square blocks can be used in a variety of applications, from small wall hangings to a sampler quilt of your travels. The book includes a CD so you can enlarge all the patterns, and almost all the gallery pieces are made at a large size. In fact Debra recommends enlarging 200%. You’ll also learn Debra’s Translucent Patterning technique that allows you to trace each piece and see color, positioning and overlap in one block.

Look for the book at your favorite book retailer. Here’s a link to Amazon  if you would like to learn more about the book.


Book Review: Exploring Dimensional Quilt Art

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

Exploring Dimensional Quilt Art

Exploring Dimensional Quilt Art
C. June Barnes
Interweave; $26.95

Since I talked about challenging your thinking, that’s what June Barnes does in this book. Most quilt art is two-dimensional. She urges you to create more dimension in your work. Some of what you’ll learn are folding techniques, stacking, curling, pleating and gathering. She includes some fascinating quilted pieces. I can’t call them quilts, because they are not flat. These include crescent-shaped pieces, prisms, cylinders and orbs. The book includes a gallery of work by fellow British quilters and textile artists. June attributes the increase in dimensional work by quilt artists to the introduction of categories such as that of Quilt Creations at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham. She also includes a section on finding inspiration and a list of verb command prompts, such as squash it, make it obvious and be unrealistic. A great reference for expanding your art.

Look for the book at your favorite book retailer. Here’s a link to  Amazon if you would like to learn more about the book.


Book Review: Decorate Your Shoes

Sunday, April 15th, 2012

simply triangles

Decorate Your Shoes
Annemart Berendse
AQS Publishing; $19.95

In 2011 at the AQS show in Paducah, Annmart Berendse got a lot of notice for her shoes. These were not ordinary shoes. What were originally white leather clogs were now filled with patchwork patterns. The attention led to her first book about creating fun, decorated shoes. With 11 different designs, she teaches you how to paint canvas, rubber or vinyl, and leather (man made or natural) shoes. In addition to your shoes as a canvas, other supplies you’ll need include a Sharpie® marker and either fabric or leather paints, as well as some embellishments. Some of the designs include the log cabin, simple patchwork, Mariner’s Compass, and intricate looking feathers. If you want to make a statement head to toe, give this a try.

Look for the book at your favorite book retailer. Here’s a link to Amazon if you would like to learn more about the book.

Book Review: Book of Days

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

Book of Days

Book of Days
Maggie Bonanomi
Kansas City Star Quilts; $14.95

Since we are starting a new year, I thought Book of Days: Create Your Own Primitive Book Full of Days would be a fun suggestion to capture activities, insights or gratitude notes. Maggie Bonanomi teaches you how to create a basic 6″ by 9″ book using wool and chipboard for the covers and card stock for the pages. Each month uses four pages and you can add photos and appliqué. Once you have five pages done, you stitch them together into signatures. When you’ve finished five signatures, you stitch them together and add a wool binding. While Maggie’s book has a primitive look, yours can reflect your individual style.

Look for the book at your favorite book retailer. Here’s a link to Amazon if you would like to learn more about the book.

Book Review: The Printed Pattern

Sunday, December 4th, 2011

Buttonwood Farm

The Printed Pattern
Rebecca Drury and Yvonne Drury
Interweave Press, $24.95

Do you want a more personal touch to your fabrics? Mother-daughter team Yvonne and Rebecca Drury specialize in hand-printed fabric at their East London studio. This book is your guide to designing and creating handprinted patterns for any surface – not just fabric. You’ll find step-by-step for relief printing, using potatoes, linoleum blocks, erasers and woodblocks; stencil printing; and four methods of screen printing. In addition to the how-tos, you’ll also find information on how to create and develop your own designs and the basics about your supplies. An added bonus is the collection of seven playful stencil designs that you can use. I was inspired to go look for the linoleum block prints from my college art classes.

Look for the book at your favorite quilt shop or book retailer. Here’s a link to Amazon if you would like to learn more about the book.


Book Review: Design Magic

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

Design Magic
Shelly Stokes
Cedar Canyon Textiles; $22.95

In this follow-up to her first book, Paintstiks on Fabric, Shelly Stokes continues exploring the possibilities of Shiva® Artist’s Paintstiks®. In this book, Shelly’s Design Magic method is based on a Japanese design principle known as Notan, which is defined as the interaction between positive and negative, light and dark space. The process includes creating a design, making a pair of equal and opposite stencils and then stenciling the images on fabric with Paintstiks. Shelly’s step-by-step instructions are very complete, down to cleaning your brushes. She includes instructions for stenciling whole cloth and patchwork images as well as instructions for five projects ranging in difficulty. If you prefer not to cut your own freezer-paper templates, Shelly includes one set of DesignMagic™ Stencils. You’ll find lots of inspiration from the gallery in the book, and if you want more, you’ll find it in the learning center on Shelly’s website.

Look for the book at your favorite quilt retailer. Here’s a link to Amazon if you would like to learn more about the book.

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