Yayoi, and Other News

 

by Sandra Bruce

Before I delve into my post, I want to send out a “Get Well” message to Heidi who is at home recuperating from a burst appendix. She is healing nicely and I’m sure she is storing up ideas in her head for projects to come! Sending you lots of love and well wishes, Heidi!

Our Zephyr Retreat is only about a month away we still have details to prepare, it’s sure to be a fantastic time. Heidi and Jane still have space left in their workshops, it’s not too late, if you hurry!

The main topic of my post today is my latest Matrix quilt, entitled “Yayoi”. But first a few words/pictures about my recent goings-on and travels.

I went to teach in Sammamish, WA recently and took the opportunity to visit my 3 (!) friends in that area, Kathy, Kathy and Cathy. I have tried to get all 3 together but have not been successful, yet. They are 3 of my favorite people. First I taught my Matrix class and did my lecture for the quilters in Sammamish, here is Trish in my Matrix class who was my hostess extraordinaire.

They were a great group and accomplished a good amount on their Matrix cup projects. Cathy #1 picked me up and off we went to Gig Harbor. From there a visit to Vashon Island and Island Quilters, woo hoo! Below, the “Kaffe corner”.

Moving on, to Kathy #2, my CODA buddy (Children of Deaf Adults), our outing to   remember was to “Quilt Barn” in Puyallup (which I can never pronounce), and the cupcake store a few doors down. Batiks and cupcakes, talk about heaven!
Kathy #3 lives in downtown Seattle on the 33rd floor of a building with a view! Wowie! One day we walked over 5 miles. We caught the first day of a fabulous exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum called “Victorian Radicals”, representing the Pre-Raphaelite period of 19th century British art. By far Rossetti is my favorite artist of that period, but in this exhibit my favorite painting was by William Holman Hunt, entitled “The Finding of the Saviour in the Temple”, from 1854. The artists from this period rejected traditional pictorial standards, making them true radicals. In this painting by Hunt, he chose not to follow established conventions but to depict Jesus’s life in a historical context, as a boy: Mary and Joseph have discovered the young Jesus missing but find him in deep conversation with rabbis in the temple. You can see relief in Mary’s face, and I love the beautiful depiction of the young Jesus, the colors! Look at the detail in the background. A really lovely painting. (I suddenly wonder if I’m sounding like Sister Wendy 🙂

It is something else to be on the 33rd floor of a building in Seattle. After our long excursion on foot we relaxed on the tip-top of her building with this view.Tired feet, yes.

In the evening we saw some of the sculpture that dots Seattle. This is my favorite, which consists of letterforms from 7 alphabets in painted steel, which, while not meant to be read, are constructed to create identity and hope that we “can all live together without a common language”. It is titled “Mirall”, by Jaume Plensa. “Mirall” is the Catalan word for mirror. Here is Kathy inside a part of the piece.

Back in California, I did my lecture and taught my “Stitching Words” workshop to the Santa Clara Guild. In my workshop was Mel Beach….she is a natural at writing with her sewing machine! Here’s her work, you can see her enthusiasm.   

I had  lunch and a brief tour of San Juan Bautista while in San Jose. Below a photo from the restaurant where I had lunch with my very kind host Andrea.

On to YAYOI!

So, if you don’t know who she is, here is an excerpt from a film about her that I’m sure you would enjoy:

She is, without a doubt,  a driving force of art culture in our time. She is at present, at age 90, the highest paid female artist living today. I won’t go into a lot of detail about her, watch the movie! You may have seen pictures of her and her art. Her thing is polka-dots. She began to see them in hallucianations as a child and they have greatly influenced her art. She has lived for 40 years in a mental institution, using her art to apply herself to her healing. Every day she walks to her studio to work.

I was invited by Susan Brubaker Knapp and Lyric Kinnard to participate in an exhibit called “A Better World”. We were asked to pick a hero and make an art quilt to reflect that person in our own interpretation. I chose Kusama. Her life story, the challenges she has had to overcome, her incredible talent and drive to make art… these all combined to make her my choice of hero.

I began by making a collage in Adobe Illustrator of pieces of Kusama’s face and inventing a background that resembles the art forms that she makes. She works in bright colors and forms. The quilt had to be 30″ by 50″. I decided to make a border on 2 sides pieced with the letters of her name and fun spiky points. And lots of circles inside. You know how I love circles!

In progress.

When I got the top done and all the circles appliquéd on (by hand) I needed to cut away the quilt parts behind the circles so that I would have a nice flat surface to quilt.

The dots on her sunglasses were drawn on with a pencil, then painted in with “Fabrico” pens (using circle templates saved from my illustration days), and her eye, that is barely showing through the sunglasses was painted on using “ProFab” textile paint. I had just taken a workshop at Empty Spools from Susan Brubaker Knapp on how to use these paints, so it was perfect timing. Painting on top of a quilt that I had spent a couple of months working on was a bit scary but all went well. Relief!

Next came the longarm quilting. I used Superior’s Monopoly on her sunglasses but Omni thread everywhere else. Lots of thread changes.

Since her hair is so straight and vertical I decided to baste the hair and do that final quilting at home on my Bernina.

Here’s the final piece, along with a closeup of the eye I painted.

The schedule of where the “Better World” exhibit will be is on my website, http://www.sandrabruce.com, under “Publicity/News”. It will begin in Houston this Fall. Look out for “Yayoi” to be in Quilting Arts Magazine in the October/November issue.

What’s next in my lineup of creativity? I’m taking advantage of summertime to work on learning my new iPad and how to use the application “Procreate”, along with a bit of lazy time reading (don’t get that very often!) and working on a few projects that always end up on a back burner. Of course I’m prepping for the Zephyr workshop and I’ll be flying to St. Louis towards the end of August to teach Matrix and Stitching Words to the “Bits and Pieces” Guild there.

Happy Summer to you all, here’s wishing you a safe season weather-wise, and lots of sewing time.

Painting on fabric, a new skill!

by Sandra Bruce

 

Greetings from Grass Valley, where Spring has sprung and we’re waiting for blue skies and sunshine. This photo of my dogwood tree is from last year, but I am patiently waiting. Dogwood is the state flower for Virginia where I am from, and it always makes me nostalgic when I see dogwoods blooming here. I favor the white ones.

First, a word about our Zephyr Retreat…in my workshop I only have a couple of spaces left, in case you’ve been contemplating a Matrix experience in beautiful Lake Tahoe 🙂  Jane and Heidi have spaces left as well, so think about it and check out the info on our “Retreat” page.

Today I’m going to show you the results from a workshop I took at Asilomar at Empty Spools in March. It was my first time going.  I met Susan Brubaker Knapp when I was a guest on QATV last year. It was great to meet her, and I became intrigued by her technique of painting on fabric. She taught at Empty Spools so that enticed me to go. I have not painted on fabric, except for making highlights on eyes of my Matrix portraits, and painting on fabric seems like a good skill to have. Before I left I assembled the items on the supply list, including the photo I selected to paint, a photo I took in the Japanese Gardens in Seattle last year of koi fish. I knew I wanted to finish it in the workshop, so I chose to work fairly small, about 13″ by 15″. Here’s the photo and some of the threads I selected.

I started out tracing my image onto PFD cotton. We all used the windows of our classroom for a light source.

I have some painting experience with watercolor, but not much with acrylics. It seemed a bit foreign at first, but I pretty quickly got into the swing of things.The fabric is taped onto foam core.  I started with the fish.  My palette was so colorful!

The water came afterwards. I tried to improve upon the water where I thought it needed it.

Here’s the finished painting…it took a bit less than 2 working days in class. It was fun!

Next was stitching. It’s a bit weird to stitch through paint. But you get used to it.

Trimming was SO satisfying.

Here’s the finish, next to the photo:

And the back….Susan has a finishing technique I have not tried before, so I did it on my piece.

Here’s a few of the other students’ work. As you can see, foliage was popular.

Susan is a great teacher, and we all really enjoyed her class. Below she’s helping my table-mate Roberta work on hers.

 

Asilomar is a very beautiful location. I loved being near the ocean, which I miss, living inland. I look forward to trying some painting on fabric in my work. Stay tuned!

Before I go, a quick note: I am the featured quilter at the Pine Tree Quilt Show here in Grass Valley, CA May 4-5 at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. I’ll have about 28 quilts on display! Hope if you are in the area that you’ll stop by and say hello.

Cleveland to Capitola

by Sandra Bruce

My suitcase has not been put away much in the last 2 months….it’s been a super busy time but filled with wonderful experiences and people. Before I get into my story, I will mention that I have ONE space left in my Material Matrix workshop for our Artistic Alchemy retreat this September. So….if you’ve been thinking about it now’s the time!

Cleveland was my destination in late April to be a guest on the Quilting Arts TV show, or QATV. Susan Brubaker Knapp, the host, invited me early in the year and I have been planning and practicing diligently my 3 segments. My 3 segments were: 1. Material Matrix, 2. How to Match A Binding to the Inside of a Quilt, and 3. How to Stitch Words with Your Home Machine. I have never been on TV before so I wanted to do a good job and leave my trepidations at home. My taping was on Thursday and I arrived late on Tuesday, so that I could practice Wednesday on the fancy new Bernina that I would be using in the taping. Also it was an opportunity to watch some of the other guests being taped which made me more relaxed when it was my turn. Here is the Bernina 570. Jeannine the Bernina rep helped me become comfortable with it. Talk about bells and whistles!!

    There is a TV screen in the lobby where we could watch what’s going on in the taping studio. Here is the screen, with Susan and guest Lesley Riley, smiling for the camera.

Susan’s website: http://www.bluemoonriver.com

I also got the chance to meet artist Susie Shie, with whom I share a dear mutual friend (Therese May)……it was wonderful meeting everyone. Here’s Susie with Lesley.

Susie’s site:  http://www.turtlemoon.com

Lesley’s site:   https://lesleyriley.com/?doing_wp_cron=1527819441.1061520576477050781250

When it’s time for your segment, all your “stuff” is carried onto the set, and a quick verbal run-through lets the crew know what you’re going to do/say. I had 12-1/2 minutes exactly to fill in each segment.

Jeannine came onto the set to make sure I was confident in my Bernina skills.

Then………bingo, show time!

I had to change clothes so that in each segment I was wearing something different, Susan too. My 3 segments may end up in 3 different episodes.

One last shot from the taping, of me with “Dame Lorraine” which was in the background. Thanks to Susan Brubaker Knapp, Vivika Negre, Kristine Lundblad  and the crew at KS Productions for everything! The episodes will be on TV in August, on PBS,  it is QATV Series 2200 to look for. I’ll post more when I have more information.

The following week was the Pine Tree Quilt Show and our Artistic Alchemy booth. It was great for the 4 of us to talk to attendees about Zephyr and sell wares.

Jane even brought her finished Material Matrix piece for me to see that she made in my workshop with her guild last year. Good job Jane!

A few days later, I left for Capitola, to take a workshop from the renown quilter, Rosalie Dace. She comes from South Africa to the US part of the year to teach. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take a workshop from this wonderful artist. She did not disappoint. Going pretty far outside my box, at least considering what I have been doing for the last 6 years, we worked on abstract designs using paper concepts at the start, and incorporating contrast, color, line, mood, and value into our pieces. My favorite was this one.

The paper version made of torn paper: 

I brought some silk pieces that fit the bill, and adapting the paper shapes was not difficult.

Here’s my finished piece. Although working in paper first was not my “thing”, I can see the value of doing it, and was glad to be able to work outside my box as I had wished. Doing something different is always a valuable learning tool. Looks like I was in a “stripy” mood!

I learned from Rosalie, absorbing all I could, and enjoyed her and the Capitola ladies very much. Below: me, Lorie, Rosalie and Pat.

I’m headed next week to the Denver, CO area to teach, then to Southern California…… in July my pace slows down. I look forward to trying new techniques, working on my “Stitching Words” workshop and lecture, and enjoying summer.

Judy Coates-Perez Inspiration

by Sandra Bruce

A couple of days ago all 4 of us AA-ers were fortunate to be together taking a workshop by Judy Coats-Perez. My head is still reeling with all the fabulous techniques we learned and spending the day with Judy.

But first, Judy came to the Pine Tree Quilt Guild the night before to give us her very interesting presentation. She had a few of her quilts hanging, which I photographed with my phone, not doing them justice! I encourage you to look her up and view then online. Here is my favorite, “Primordial Sea”. I love the sea creatures and flora of the ocean! It is painted on silk and very expertly quilted. Here’s a photo and closeup:

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Wow! And here’s another one, “Moon Garden”, which I remember seeing at PIQF a few years ago. It is black paint on white fabric, with some doosey quilting, which shows up on the back almost like another quilt altogether.IMG_0762 IMG_0763Yowza! We knew after her presentation that we were in for a fun-filled and informative day, and we were not disappointed.



Next morning, we 4 shared a table and our supplies with each other. I started out with this simple piece of fabric.IMG_0766The first technique was Thermofax images screened onto the fabric with fabric-friendly paint. Then, images either hand-drawn or copied from a printer onto tea-bag paper….yes, you read correctly! IMG_0767

The collage-ish part started here. Finding what Judy calls “ephemera”, bits of paper to add in, using all kinds of paper including cocktail napkins, ticket stubs, pattern paper, to name a few.

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Here’s Judy doing a demo on how to paint on top of the teabag images, that have been affixed to the fabric with medium.

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Here’s my finished piece, ready for quilting, can’t wait!

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Here’s Christine, working on her piece.

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Heidi, photographing hers.

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Mary, with her finished piece, she’s happy! I think I need to give her my “paint splatter” rubber stamp!

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Here’s 2 of Judy’s pieces. Love them! The second one was made from pieces she cut out of samples from classes, that she assembled, stitched together, and painted over again, with the bird image.

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At the end of the day we laid them out on the floor to look at each other’s work. Every one was different and filled with wonderful images and such a variety of creative ideas. Happy day for us, indeed!DSC_0040

Hard to believe it’s June already…….the spaces for Zephyr signups are filling up! Please consider coming to take a workshop from one of us, we guarantee a very creative-filled week with others who will inspire you. It is one of the highlights of my year. I have 2 spots left, and will be teaching polymer next year so now is the time for a Matrix experience. I would be truly happy for you to sign up for any of the workshops….Mary’s, Heidi’s, Christine’s, or mine. Check out the workshop descriptions in this blog for more info! Whether you are interested in color, wearable art, fabric manipulation/painting or my Matrix technique, there is something for you. We also welcome Independent Study ladies who want to work on their own projects in a beautiful, peaceful location with other like-minded sewists and artists.

For now, I’m signing off, time to work on my latest Matrix quilt. I hope you enjoyed looking at Judy’s work and our endeavors in her workshop.

Retreat 2015—It’s a Wrap!

by Christine Barnes

Oh my gosh, I don’t know where to start, we had such a wonderful week! I’ll begin with our “student body” photo, taken by Rejeanne’s husband. (They came from Canada.) This was taken on the last morning, and our retreat mascot, Pinto the cat, even made it into the shot.

Zephir group @72Sandra and Heidi will be posting in the next two weeks, and they’ll have lots of pics and observations to share with you. Their students and classes were amazing, just amazing.

Mary Boalt, our Artist in Residence, set up shop in my classroom, and we were fascinated and inspired by her work. You’ll hear more about her painted canvases and her trunk show in next week’s post. Here’s one canvas in the early stages.

B Mary cuteSee how she lays out her palette.

C Mary's paintsWe checked on Mary’s progress on each and every canvas. (Note the brownies front and center, thanks, Cindy.)

W ladies with Mary, laughing, yesMy workshop, “Transparency,” far exceeded my expectations, and I came home tired but elated. This mock-block is an example of a parent/child transparency, as if the center fabric is the logical “child” of the light and dark “parents.” (By Sally? Trudie? My apologies.)

D Stonehenge singleAn ethereal parent/child block.

M Rejeanne's icy blockBlocks by four students. Fascinating how varied they were.

J four trans 3 blocksLayered transparency blocks, as if a light area in the center of each block is hovering over a larger darker area:  G centered trans, 4 blocksHere the inner shapes vary more in value, and pattern adds another element.

H random trans groupedCindy brought even more pattern into the equation, with lots of Marcia Derse prints and Grunge semi-solids.

W Ciny with her unitsThe illusion that a two large triangles, one light and the other dark, overlap to make a smaller triangle of see-through color. By Marjorie. Love the black and white and gray.

ZZZZ teal and papaya starLinda hard at work on her violet star. Did you know this block is called “Party Hat”?

H Linda B and her lav starSome layered transparent circle blocks by Ellen, in shot cottons:

L Ellen's circle blocksAnd Ellen’s quilt takes shape . . .

P Ellen with her quiltMary Ellen’s fabrics, looking very Zen:

K Mary ellen's fabricsAnd her units, which will be joined into oh-so-modern blocks.

Z Mary Ellen's unitsMarjorie’s circles, in serene style.

N Marjorie's circle blocksKaren’s mysterious circles:

A Karen's circles brighterPattern really helps to “fool the eye” in transparency.

O Trudie and Rejeanne circles?? goodTrudie’s circles. Do you get the idea that I loved watching these circles take shape???

V Trudie's circlesOur room the day of “walkabout” (open house), the walls “papered” in color.

Q walkaboutOne final exercise, created by Rejeanne.

N final exercise, rejeanne copyPinto was kept busy with the toy Carey brought for him. Every time he rolled it, a treat came out. It will be great to see him next year—he’s quite the celebrity.  I Pinto searches for treats  The sunset on the last night. Take our word for it, that sun was ORANGE. T sunset, good A big thank you to all our students for making our second retreat such a success. You were the best! And for those of you who couldn’t come, thanks for going “on retreat” by way of pictures and commentary. Be sure to tune in for more inspiration and fun from Sandra and Heidi in the next few weeks. And start making plans for next year—we are!

Christine

Stitch Magazine, Winter-2015, Rods & Reels Pillow by Heidi Emmett

 

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On news stands now. I am proud to present my latest project, “Rods and Reels” pillow.

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Below, I am working on two. I always do that with any project, whether for a magazine or for a retreat workshop. I want to make sure my ideas work!

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Here it is just before I shipped it off to Stitch Magazine for their photography for the magazine. Front….

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This segues perfectly into one of the projects we will be doing in my workshop, “Art on The Wall, Art to Wear”.  Below, I have started a a pillow using a piece of striped fabric for color ideas. Our project is called, “Sketch Stiching and Easy Stamping”. The Sketch Stitching is in the Rods and Reels pillow above and the stamping is shown in the following pictures.

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We will finish the pillow top in class. I have a very cool way to add piping to pillows, clothes, or quilts.  Whoo hoo, so nice to have an extra day to complete projects. Please visit my personal blog for more pictures and fun chats about what I am up to. Hugs, Heidi

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KFC = Kaffe Fassett, Fall,Color

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Doing my happy dance! I LOVE KAFFE FASSETT STUFF, FALL, & COLOR!!DSC_0546

Oh yeah!, Twirling, you just HAVE to when you wear my Whisper Blouse pattern and everything Kaffe Fassett. Easy to wear, comfortable, easy to make. See it, buy it, make it! Go to Craftsy.com   Sewing patterns, Designs by Heidi, or Heidi Emmett.

DSC_0547I was twirling so much for these pictures that I got super dizzy! Ha, Ha. O.K., not having breakfast first probably didn’t help.

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The Kaffe Fassett sweater is from Peruvian Connection. Great place for ideas too on putting together a fun look. My sweater came from Ebay (I do get a bit emotional while bidding for anything Kaffe) and I HAVE to set my limits ahead of time and STICK to them.

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The necklace is from an art studio tour and the bracelet is from Ebay again. Ayala Bar. Love her stuff. The fingerless mitts are handknit in Alpaca from Zrphyr Point, Bear Necessities gift shop. Speaking of Zephyr Point….

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Just a few pictures from our recent stay at Zephyr Point in Cabin A. We call it OUR cabin now ’cause I made and installed new curtains for the little kitchen. This is Pope Beach at South Shore. This was taken at 11:00 a.m. The mountains in the background are on the western shore. We are watching a storm come in.

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Poplar trees at Pope Beach. No, those aren’t stars in the sky. The wind really came on strong and it was so beautiful watching it rain poplar leaves against the cerulean blue sky.

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Back at Cabin A watching the storm coming in. Those mountains are same ones viewed from Pope Beach.

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I had to get a closer look at the white caps. Temperature dropped like a rock and it was so windy that I had to SIT on the dock for fear of blowing off. It is 1:30p.m.

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Two hours later, storm done, lake calm, temperature ohhh so cold. See the beautiful dusting of snow on the same mountains.

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20 minutes later, a bit warmer, sun shining, so fresh.

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Bring on the water!

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Ahhhhh…sit on the bench and soak in the loveliness. It was a working vacation. I spent hours writing up pattern instructions on 3 new patterns. I need uninterrupted time. Find your own uninterrupted time for some creativity this week. 15 minutes, start with  15 minutes a day. Hugs, Heidi