New Work

Nonseries Work, Parkinson

I’ve been working on some new pieces. Several of them are based on aspects of living with Parkinson’s disease, which I have had for about 15 years. I began this series last year, designing and making relatively small art quilts. I have several more that I need to transform from my brain into fabric.

My Battle with Parkinson: Hope

My Battle with Parkinson: Hope

“My Battle with Parkinson: Hope” – 20″w x 20″h – Hand-dyed fabrics, polyester quilting thread; raw-edge machine collaged & machine quilted. Completed 2020. Statement: I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease more than 15 years ago. Each of us who battles with this disease has similar and different symptoms. All of us have hope that the extensive research being done about the disease will lead to a cure.

My Battle with Parkinson: Frustration

My Battle with Parkinson: Frustration

“My Battle with Parkinson: Frustration” – 19″w x 20″h – Fabrics hand dyed by the artist, polyester quilting thread; machine appliqued, raw-edge collaged, machine pieced, & machine quilted. Completed 2020. Statement: I’ve dealt with frustration almost from the day I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. I experience it when I’m working in my studio and in everyday life.

During the last year I have lost three good friends; two have passed away and the third, Janet Steadman, has moved from nearby Whidbey Island to Omaha, Nebraska. This led to the creation of the next piece.

Janet and Me

Janet and Me

“Janet and Me” – 17″w x 28″h – Hand-dyed cotton fabrics, polyester & silk quilting thread; machine pieced & quilted. Statement: From the first “art quilt” I made, Janet Steadman has been a mentor, advisor, and encourager of my work. When Janet moved more than 2500 miles away, she cleaned out her studio, including two large garbage bags of scraps that I inherited with joy. This art piece combines some of Janet’s hand dyes as companions to mine.

Giraffes, Influences and a Village – All in 2018

Endangered Species, Nonseries Work

At a time in my life when I’m slowing down physically, I also seem to be slowing down artistically. Lately, I’ve found it takes me about 5 times longer to complete a project than it previously did. In the last year, I’ve added only 3 completed art quilts to my collection. Even so, I had a number of starts and stops and plenty of ideas. Here’s what was completed in 2018:

Illusive Giraffes (detail)

Illusive Giraffes (detail)

Illusive Giraffes” started out as two white strips on a black background. From the beginning, I thought they looked like giraffes, so I decided to pursue the pieces as part of my Endangered Species series. I overdyed, added pieces cut from a remnant of hand-dyed silk (given to me by a friend many years ago), machine-quilted the giraffes and embellished the piece with leaves cut from ribbon and attached with beads. My husband was pruning our fruit trees and contributed the hanging stick – literally a stick. From humble beginnings come a piece of art.

Influences

Influences

Influences” started as a challenge from Nancy Crow. I liked the initial piece but felt it needed refining. To make it more workable, I cut it apart. Yes, I used a rotary cutter and slashed it into sections. Some of these I slashed again, and even again, so that the piece had blocks (areas) of smaller improvisational piecing. Then I machine-quilted it with different thread colors. As I worked, it became my piece and not a workshop sample.

It Takes a Village

It Takes a Village

According to Wikipedia, “It takes a village to raise a child is an African proverb that means that an entire community of people must interact with children for those children to experience and grow in a safe and healthy environment.” My quilt “It Takes a Village” is so named because it took a community of quilters who over the years have donated scraps. I used their pieces, many already sewn together into strips, to create log cabin-like blocks. The triangle centers (leftover from a previous project) are roofs for houses, barns, a schoolhouse, a church, a bird house and even a houseboat – all detailed by the machine quilting.

Traveling quilts – where to see some of my work

Nonseries Work

Since my blog is in the going through dating process, here’s a catch you up on where you can see my quilts or check them out on other websites. My quilts travel more than do. Sometimes I wish I could follow them to places like Paducah, Houston, Chicago – even Brazil and Europe. But if I did, I wouldn’t be home to create my new art pieces.

“It’s Not Easy Being Green,” Melisse’s depiction of a red-eyed tree frog, has been traveling the US for three years in SAQA’s (Studio ArtQuilt Association) group show, Wild Fabrications http://www.saqa.com/memberArt.php?cat=8&ec=4&ex=53 

“Match Sticks,” juried into another SAQA show “Metamorphosis,” http://www.saqa.com/memberArt.php?cat=8&ec=3&ex=90 debuted  in November at the International Quilt Festival in Houston. Metamorphosis’ next venues will be: Quilt Festival Chicago: March 28 – 30, 2019; AQS QuiltWeek, Grand Rapids, Michigan, from August 21-24, 2019; and at AQS QuiltWeek Fall Paducah, Kentucky, from September 11-14, 2019.

“Seeing the Light,” one of my (74” x 77”) largest art pieces, is at the Texas Quilt Museum in LaGrange, Texas, through December 23, 2018 in a group show sponsored by CQA (Contemporary Quilt/Art Assn)  http://www.texasquiltmuseum.org/exhibits-at-txqm.html

“Sorok,” an older quilt & the first of my “chain” quilts, is at the Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum in LaConner, WA through January 31, 2019. It is part of Contemporãneo—Contemporary II, www.qfamuseum.org/exhibits.html  The quilts on the second floor were from exhibitions that CQA sent to Brazil. The third floor are quilts for the same exhibitions created by Brazil artists.

Daughter Julie & I are working on a website at this address. Look for changes & updates in January (we hope!) 2019. In meantime have a wonderful holiday season.  Melisse