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” – 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” – 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” – 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.
Disclaimer: if stories about blood make you faint, read no further in this post. There is danger lurking in your studio … things that will jump out and attack you!
Most of us are familiar … sometimes too familiar … with the usual hazards … needles, scissors, rotary blades. If you haven’t been stabbed or cut at least once in creating a major work, you’re lucky. I have a friend who had to go to emergency because she sewed through her finger. And another had to leave a class early because she lopped off the end of her finger with a rotary blade. Ouch!
We all have gory stories about things that have happened in the course of creating our work. Well, I have one more, rather unique one to add to the collection. I was recently attacked by a plastic ruler – one of those 12 ½-inch clear (and expensive) ones by a well-known manufacture
First of all you have to keep in mind that this probably won’t happen to astute artists as you are, but I’m rather a Klotz. I also have very thin skin and have sheared it off of my leg before … and at an art quilt meeting, as some of you will remember.
The ruler was sitting on the floor propped up against one of the legs of my sewing table. I was using it to measure as I machine quilted a piece. I turned in my chair apparently catching my leg on the corner of the ruler and slashed a right angle cut on my leg. Blood all over the place, fortunately not on my work though for just a minute I was tempted to use it to stop the flow. I yelled for my husband. He was upstairs watching a ball game on TV, actually dozing. By the time he responded, there was blood in several places on my studio carpet, and the Kleenex box was empty.
Several bandages later my leg was bound, and I was propped up on the couch with it elevated and a non-lethal book to read. My leg is now in the process of healing. I’ve¬¬ even done some more quilting on the piece but with a cloth measuring tape instead of the plastic ruler.
The moral to this saga is:
Yes, we work with sharp tools;
Yes, we should be cautious; and
Yes, we should have a first aid kit in our studio … in addition to a large box of Kleenex.
25″h x 25″w
But on to safer things: If you’re in downtown Tacoma, be sure to stop by the American Art Company to see the Twelfth Northwest Contemporary Quilt Invitational which runs through October 4. The gallery, at 1126 Broadway Plaza is open Tuesday – Friday 10-5:30 and Saturday 10-5. There’s a favorite Thai restaurant right across the street. I have three pieces in the exhibit … Fandango, Walking Sticks and Stick with Me, the latter two from my Sticks series. You’ll also find work by other Pacific Northwest artists. You can also find information and photos from the show on the website – http://www.americanartco.com
Keep making art … and keep safe!
In my last post I told you about a new product called WireForm. I used it on a new quilt in my collage series which, along with another new pieced quilt, were juried into a CQA (Contemporary QuiltArt Association) exhibition which opens this weekend in Tieton, Washington. Some friends and I will be there for the opening.
34″h x 35″w
First about the quilts: On “Sustantivo” I used the WireForm, folded into strips, to connect the smaller pieces that I do in my collage technique.
25″h x 25″w
“Fandango” is a pieced – rather complicated I must admit – quilt. Both will hang in “Salsa,” which runs 5/25 through 7/14/13 at the Mighty Tieton Warehouse Gallery in Tieton, WA.
Second about Tieton: Where in the h— is it? Mighty Tieton is a group of entrepreneurial creative individuals (designers, architects, artists) working in Central Washington to revitalize the economy of the town and region. Their Warehouse Gallery is located at 608 Wisconsin Ave, Tieton, WA, which is 15 miles west of Yakima on Highways 410/12, approximately two and one-half hours from Seattle.
More good news: An older quilt, “Healing I” we juried into the SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) exhibition, “Color Wheel of Emotions.” This is only the second SAQA show my work has been accepted and it was one of 19 out of 268 entries. The show opens a the World Quilt Show in New Hampshire 8/15-8/18/13; travels to the Pennsylvania Quilt Extravaganza in Oaks 9/19-9/22/13 and then to the Pacific International Quilt Fest in Santa Clara, CA 10/7-10/11/13. More venues may be added.
All of this inspires me to work in my studio. I’m machine quilting on another in my “Sticks” series and starting to piece the works inspired by my Hawaii and Australia photos that I mentioned in my last post. All of this fits into May activities and life in general. I keep telling myself that quilting is a priority, but … More next time.