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Posts Tagged ‘Art Quilting’

Book Review: Masters Art Quilts, Vol. 2

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

Masters Art Quilts, Vol. 2
Martha Sielman, Curator
Lark Crafts; $24.95

A feast for the eyes, this second edition of Masters: Art Quilts features work by 40 of the leading contemporary international quilters. In curating the collection, Martha Sielman, executive director of Studio Art Quilt Associates, has selected approximately a dozen quilts from each artist, which are shown on ten pages per artist. Martha introduces us to each artist and then lets the work tell the story, with occasional quotes from the artist about his or her work. I loved both seeing work of artists I knew and learning about those I didn’t. If you are a fiber artist or have an interest in this medium, this is a wonderful addition to your library.

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: Quilted Symphony

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

Quilted Symphony
Quilted Symphony
Gloria Loughman

C&T Publishing; $29.95

If you’ve ever seen Gloria Loughman’s award-winning quilts and wanted to know how she was able to create such wonderful art, you are in for a treat with her book. She goes through the basics of design and composition and color and then focuses on the construction process step-by-step. She covers appliqué, piecing and embellishments, including painting, beading and stitching options. The book also includes four projects and a gallery of student work. I found myself so engaged by the book that I was torn between wanting to look/read more or getting right to my fabric. This is a definite keeper!

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.

Meet Shelley Stokes, the “Paintstik Place” CEO

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

paintstik_patches_pattern_rgb_72dpiThe Fall issue of The Professional Quilter includes a profile of Shelly Stokes, owner of Cedar Canyon Textiles, distributor of Shiva Paintstiks and related products. Here’s an excerpt from the profile in Shelly’s own words:

The Shiva paint company attempted to bring the paintstiks into the quilting world in the 1980s. However, the rotary cutter hit the market at the same time, and everyone wanted to strip-piece quilts rather than paint fabric, at least here in the United States; the fiber artists in the United Kingdom started working with paintstiks around that time and so have more years of experience with them.

After working with paintstiks for a while, I decided to write a book – the right product at the right time. I think it’s fair to say that I have done much of the work to make the product visible in the quilting market in the last few years, particularly here in the United States, but I am certainly not the first one to “discover” the product and its wonderful application on fabric.

Before I started working on the book in earnest, I went to visit Jack Richeson and Company to make sure that their wonderful paintstiks would be readily available to my customers. The Richesons supported my idea, and in 2004, Cedar Canyon Textiles became an official distributor for the paintstik products.

It took almost nine months of hard work, but my book was ready in May of 2005. Once a good set of instructions was available, the market for paint expanded dramatically. As it became clear that the paint was going to dominate our business, I had a hard choice to make: grow a business or continue to teach and create art. Because I had been away from the day-to-day job market for ten years, the business was very appealing. I’ll get back to more of my own quilting in my next round of “retirement.” We did the last of our retail shows in 2005 and made the transition to our new identity as the Paintstik Place.

In life and in business, one thing leads to another. As the fiber art and quilting world embraced the paintstiks, we saw the opportunity to venture into accessory products. In 2006, we manufactured four sets of rubbing plates for use with the paintstiks and started a pattern line in 2007.

To read more of Shelly’s story along with her business tips in Issue 109 of The Professional Quilter, your subscription or membership in the IAPQ must be current. Learn about all the benefits of IAPQ membership here

Meet Quilt Artist Linda Beach

Friday, July 25th, 2008

In the Summer issue of The Professional Quilter, Eileen Doughty wrote a profile on Linda Beach, a quilt artist from Alaska. Linda specializes in landscape quilts and she is quite successful in the competitive field of public art. I’ve admired Linda’s work for some time. Here’s a portion of Eileen’s profile:

How did you then become a professional art quilter?
After I had been quilting for several years, I realized that my fabric addiction was way beyond any reasonable “hobby” budget. I was also making more pieces than I could ever hope to give away. I was in a local coffeehouse one day, looking at the monthly display of art for sale, and I thought, “Why couldn’t I do that?” I spoke to the owner, scheduled a show and that was the start of my art career. After that, I sought out other spaces that featured art on a monthly basis — different coffee shops, a restaurant and a hotel lobby. Each one exposed me to a different audience and most resulted in a sale, giving me more confidence. Always, though, I was the one doing the approaching. I also tried showing my quilts in a local high-end craft fair for a few years. While ultimately not a good fit for my art, it did get my work noticed by a local gallery that decided to show my work.

That first gallery was a learning experience, with both good and bad aspects. I was very flattered that they wanted to show my work, and I eventually sold several quilts through them on a consignment basis. The gallery was one of the larger ones in Alaska, showcasing oils and watercolors with Alaskan subjects. I was featured in two shows so the exposure was great, but they made it plain that I was the first fiber artist they had ever worked with. I don’t think they ever really had an appreciation for or an understanding of art quilts. Needless to say, I lost all confidence in them and ended my association with that particular gallery.
Through my Web site, I was contacted by a local organization and invited to submit a proposal for an art quilt for their conference room. This resulted in my first big public commission. The project involved two very large quilts, and I was thrilled at the chance to work in such a large scale. In the meantime, I started to enter my quilts in juried shows, meeting with some successes and some rejections. My résumé was small but growing, and the success of my first public commission gave me enough confidence to apply for other projects. One call for art for a local hospital put me in touch with a national art-consulting firm. Not only did I get that commission, but the firm subsequently contacted me for commissions for several other projects.

What were your experiences with private vs. public commissions?
When first starting out, one private commission I did ended up being so micro-managed by the customer that by the end of the project the whole quilt seemed totally foreign to me. I have learned from that experience and am much more careful about which commissions I accept. For a private commission, I talk to the prospective customer about the quilt and their expectations in detail. If I feel that we are not “in sync” and that I cannot create a quilt that will make both of us happy, I will not take the commission. My experience with private commissions is that most people have too many restrictions and preconceived ideas to allow the freedom I need to work.

However, my experiences with public commissions have been totally different. Those seem easier in the sense that there are rarely preconceived design ideas involved. The committees involved in the selection process approach the project in a more professional manner and tend to have more respect for your choices as an artist. In public commissions you are either submitting your own proposal or responding to a general guideline or theme, so the committee decides if you will be the right “fit” before you ever get directly involved with the project. I only submit a bid if I’m a good match for the project and the design idea excites me. That way, if I’m chosen, I can put my whole heart into the project. Art consultants have been very receptive to my ideas, so the quilt that I ultimately create is still true to me.

You have many quilts in medical buildings. Are there any special concerns about either the design of the pieces or the materials you use?
Since the majority of my subjects are images inspired by nature, there usually isn’t a problem with the subject of my quilts. I did work on one project for a children’s psychiatric facility where they wanted quilts that featured animals found in Alaska, including bears. The only stipulation was that the bears not have long claws or visible teeth, so I depicted them fishing for salmon and foraging in a blueberry patch.

To read more of Eileen’s article with Linda Beach, you can purchase Issue 103 or can start a subscription here.

The Girl Who Stopped Swimming

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

The Girl Who Stopped Swimming
Joshilyn Jackson
Grand Central Publishing; $23.99

If you are looking for a good summer read, look no further. The book’s protagonist, Laurel Gray Hawthorne, is an art quilter, wife and mother living in a quiet Florida suburb. At the beginning of the novel, her orderly life is upset when the ghost of her 14-year-old neighbor, Molly Defresne, visits her. The ghost leads Laurel to the real Molly, who has drowned in Laurel’s family pool. What ensues is a good Southern mystery, full of quirky and endearing characters, dark family secrets and a life-altering journey as Laurel with the help of her sister, Thalia, try to uncover the reason for the drowning. The Girl Who Stopped Swimming was a “page-turner” and the characters stayed with me long after I finished it. This is the author’s third book (and I’ve picked up the other two to read this summer).
Why, you might wonder, did the author make her protagonist an art quilter? Joshilyn Jackson says that she felt a “fierce need to hand sew quilts” during her two pregnancies, but discovered she had “ZERO talent for quilt making.” But her desire to make art quilts led her to study them, and she discovered the work of art quilter Pamela Allen. She then spent seven years thinking about writing about an art quilter. In the course of the book, Laurel creates a quilt and last year the author commissioned Pamela to create that quilt.

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