Planet Textile Threads

July 22, 2014

Neki Rivera

all that pink

i saw this spring had to come out one way or another.
cochineal on cotton gauze. first step for shibori scarf. more later.

neki desu
Creative Commons License 

by (neki desu) at July 22, 2014 11:35 AM

Margaret Cooter


The British Museum is famous for housing the Elgin Marbles. Rather less well known are the marble columns that are part of the staircase in the extension at the north side of the building (King Edward VII galleries), opened in 1914 -

Huge columns, sparsely - and mysteriously - veined. How many times have I walked past them and never seen them? I noticed them after spending a little time drawing the profuse veining in this marble jar-
Minoan, 2500-1800 BC; about 10cm high

by Margaret Cooter ( at July 22, 2014 09:30 AM

Cynthia St. Charles

Straight Stitching on Red Swirls

Another of my ideas is to cover the piece with straight (or almost straight) stitching.  I am not sure what I want to do here, and maybe I won't actually make a decision until the snow starts flying, because it is time to get into the mountains!

by Cynthia St Charles ( at July 22, 2014 05:30 AM

July 21, 2014

Dijanne Cevaal

Musings in Textile: France

Yes ! It is finally happening getting things together for a Pozible fundraiser so hopefully I can self publish my book Musings in Textile: France, so watch this space for details as I am hoping we will raise enough funds to  self publish and hopefully some of you will see fit to support the project. My daughter  Celeste Galtry will design the book and we started shooting photographs and styling photographs and putting in some serious miles to plan and decide on the style, type layout

Life is going to get hectic, because I have lagged in the writing- lots of ideas, written down but not in order, ideas floating around, but now it's time to pull it all together- it's been three years in the talking and preparing and doing.I have been working in the studio of a friend in Richmond and will continue to have the space until mid August- at least I can have a lot of my things out again

I want my book to be beautiful and full of inspiration and translation of inspiration. There will be a how to dvd in the back to explain techniques I have used but I don't want the how to  images to clutter the book.

so here goes....

And there is still time to join the Travellers' Blanket on-line class- where  you will fabricate and tell stories in fabric of your very own! The class starts on 28 July. Email me if you would like to join!

by Dijanne Cevaal ( at July 21, 2014 05:40 PM

Olga Norris

Architecture in the park

We made our second annual summer trip to London yesterday - early in the morning once more - to Hyde Park.  The Serpentine Gallery commissions an annual temporary pavilion which acts as a piece of living sculpture, abuzz with visitors, their children and dogs, having coffee and taking snaps.  Each year I am delighted with the solution, whether I like the structure or not - most of them I have liked - but no-one has yet surpassed my favourite by Frank Gehry in 2008
This year's pavilion is the design of Smiljan Radic, a Chilean whose grandfather emigrated from Croatia in 1919.  It is a playful structure which I can imagine at the bottom of a (large) garden, functioning as a children's play space during the day and as a adult party venue at night.
The fibreglass curves look home made, and must resemble closely the papier mache model. 
The outside imperfections intrigued, but bothered me a bit.  I found them too much of a contrast to the precise metal wires etc. 
Once inside however, I was totally converted: I just loved those contrasts.  There were attractions in every direction I looked.
I very much liked the lighting solutions and all the struts, supports, and functional whatnots generally.
It also very much worked with people in and around it - there would probably not be enough seating inside for everyone with their coffee, but the stones at its base were perfect for perching, climbing, and sprawling on.
There is more architectural discussion on the pavilion here, and here, and here.
After our coffee we strolled across the Serpentine itself to the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, which is also part of the Serpentine galleries.  The Serpentine Sackler Gallery was a gunpowder store, and was converted with an amazing addition by Zaha Hadid, opening last year.  The gallery space is amazing: room spaces which currently contain video/film pieces and are perfect for that - a contrast to the otherwise prevailing large white cube space.  Intimate brick enveloping the viewer made the work powerful.
The addition to the existing building is the restaurant appropriately named The Magazine.  Coincidentally, the day before we visited, Eirene posted about it with illuminating photos of the interior in her blog A place called space.
Dramatic curves work so well with the existing building, each blending closely, yet with their own character intact.
I was also amused to see that it is not just we at home who suffer from a surfeit of spiders these days!

by Olga Norris ( at July 21, 2014 04:50 PM

Marion Barnett

... And The Heat Goes On...

and on... and on... and I do know it's unreasonable to complain about it... but hey.  The Shed remains oven like... though it wasn't too bad yesterday, when I managed to get a reasonable amount done.  I spent the day painting, something I haven't done in a while, and finishing off most of the prep work on some altered books; there are still two remaining that need finished, but the other three are ready to be worked in.

I'm still exploring the 'Linescapes' idea, as you can see from the images that follow;

This is an A5 image, mixed media.  I like the energy in it; if they could move, those curves look as if they would be travelling at speed...   Robin calls it the desert piece.  Which was followed up by this;
This is a small board book, with its pages sealed together, giving the piece a three dimensional feel.  I'm not so keen on this one...these lines feel too thick, and too far away from each other, too regularly spaced.  Interesting, though.

And finally, this one, the best of the three, I think, Strata.

This is on a canvas board, and I think it shows some potential.  Again, it's mixed media; acrylic paint and oil sticks.  I like the texture of the overall piece, and I need to think some more about how to use textures in this series.  I had initially wanted the lines to be raised in some way, which is fairly easy to achieve in textile, but needs a bit more thought in paint.  Looking at this, though, I like the overall texture.  It's reminiscent of one of the first trial pieces I made in paint, which I didn't photograph, unfortunately.

Finally, I did some work on a small piece that I was not happy with, and it has ended up like this;

About six or so inches square, on board, it's called 'Dawn In The Summer Garden'.  Very gentle..and possibly not quite finished... oh well...back to the drawing board...

by marion barnett ( at July 21, 2014 01:43 PM

Margaret Cooter

Monday miscellany

Suzie Chaney often uses plaster and burnt paper for her sculptures (via)


Love this "diamante poem" by a 6th-grader (via)


If you like to see a city from "up high", here's a guide to viewing points for London. Last but not least comes Greenwich Park - great view across to Canary Wharf, and it's free.


Coming soon to the Euston Road - these electronic eyes will be on the Wellcome building.

"The Wellcome Trust has set up two massive pairs of eyes in the windows of their London headquarters to watch over Euston Road and react to people passing by. The artwork, ‘Eye Contact,’ by Peter Hudson is a video installation made from real footage taken from the eyes of 68 volunteers. The giant screens then recreate digital eye-scapes that consist of over 650 coloured pixels, lit by 16,000 LEDs. These are programmed to change throughout the day — rolling, staring, flirting — before they close at sunset when the building goes to sleep. And if that’s not weird enough, the eyes are set to pop open if anyone passes by at night."


"The Bartolomeu de Gusmão Zeppelin Airport located in the neighborhood of Santa Cruz in the western outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, inaugurated on December 26, 1936 by President Getúlio Vargas.  Before this day the rigid airships were docked at Campo dos Afonsos, where probably Le Corbusier landed [when he visited Rio for the second time, in 1936]. 

"Between 1931 and 1937, Deutsche Lufthansa had regular flights between Germany and Brazil, operated by Luftschiffbau Zeppelin using its rigid airships Graf Zeppelin and Hindenburg. As a consequence to the Hindenburg disaster on May 6, 1937 at Lakehurst Air Naval Station in New Jersey, USA, the Luftschiffbau Zeppelin requested to the Brazilian Government on June 17, 1937 the suspension of services. 

"The hangar is the only original surviving example of structures built to accommodate this kind of airships in the world."  (source)

by Margaret Cooter ( at July 21, 2014 09:20 AM

Neki Rivera

and now cochineal

bright,bright cochineal. remembered to buy bottled water because our water is vile .the skein on the left after an acid modifier-plain ol' lemon juice.

some ai. think it is this ai, 
cannot get darker than this. perhaps it is too old?
will dip them more today
but i think i already know the answer. 
this is not the first time.

neki desu
Creative Commons License 

by (neki desu) at July 21, 2014 07:34 AM

Cynthia St. Charles

Black Swirl on Red?

One of my ideas is to emphasize the swirls by using black thread to add more quilted swirls. 

by Cynthia St Charles ( at July 21, 2014 05:30 AM

Gerrie Congdon

Excuses, Excuses

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

That lovely girl in the photo with me is my lovely granddaughter, Mia. Those who have been following my blog for low these many years know that we moved to Portland 8 years ago when she was just finishing Kindergarden. And, just like that, she is taller than me and graduated from Junior High. Her gift from me was a trip to Seattle on the train and a night in a posh hotel.

We took the trip last Friday and Saturday. Prior to that, I was busy with meetings — Guild board on Monday, finishing quilts to turn in to High Fiber Diet on Tuesday and SAQA at Terry Grant’s home on Wednesday. It was a busy week.

Early on Thursday, I met Mia and Steph at the Portland Union Station to board our train to Seattle. I love trains and train travel. This is the ceiling of the Union ‘Station.

unionstation ceiling

By lunch time, we were in Seattle at the King Street Station.


We packed very lightly so that we could carry our stuff easily until we got to the Hotel Sorrento which is way up on First Hill – nine blocks up from the touristy area of the city. The station is near Pioneer Square, a lovely older area of Seattle with lots of galleries and parks. Steph knew of a restaurant there that she wanted to try — London Plane. The food was quite avant garde and very delicious. They also had a lovely selection of things for the stylish home.

I had to really hustle to keep up with my ectomorph daughter and granddaughter.


After stopping in a few shops, chosen by Miss Mia, we actually walked up to our hotel, stopping to rest at the beautifully designed Seattle Library.


The room was magically ready and so we were able to get settled. Mia loved the big king size bed so much that I thought we might never get her out of the room.


I slept in the sitting room on a pull out bed which they made up for me with a ton of pillows and comforter.

I always love going to Seattle to discover new things. On this trip, we found out about this small park which has a waterfall.


Steph caught me Instagramming.grammagramming

I love the variety of architecture.


We loved the small Finnish shop near Pike Place. They had a beautiful assortment of Marimekko fabric.


I took this shot of Mia on the train, coming home. I can’t believe how grown up and beautiful she is. In the fall, she is going to St Mary’s Acadamy – a highschool for girls.


We saw the start of the sun setting as we arrived back in Oregon.


Don’t forget to check out the Monday Creative Blog Tours for Helen Conway and Susan Lenz.


by Gerrie at July 21, 2014 04:23 AM

July 20, 2014

Thelma Smith

Tangible History

I don’t remember what year it was. It was the year the republicans tried to impeach Bill Clinton because of Monica Lewinsky. It was the year that Colin Powell was working in the white house. It was the year that I thought a member of my rather odd family would probably be the next joint chief of staff. AND it was the year that I had all the inside gossip and telephone ear because of all these things. I was so annoyed by all of that that I made this piece of textile art, No Pecker Wars.

It is available for sale. If you actually purchase it I will tell you the whole story instead of the coy teasers, above. I won’t even bother to change the names to protect the innocent. There were none.

by thelma at July 20, 2014 07:46 PM

Textile Art Collection for Sale

I have decided to sell the pieces of textile art I have collected over the years.  Here’s a list of the artists:

Nancy Erickson

Bodil Gardner

Pamela Allen

Sarah Louise Ricketts

Dijanne Cevaal

Fiona Wright

Loraine Sample

Barb Wills

Marion Barnett

Olga NOrris

Bailey Curtis – Horseshoe Pass, below

Kendra Bayer

Martha Marques

I have the images gathered together but not put in any sensible marketable format.  If you have interest in any of the works by these artists, please, let me know.  I will be preparing a CD with all the images.  To cover burning, printing, shipping, and handling the CD will be available for $5.00 US to thelma smith at hot mail dot com on pay pal.  The charge will be credited back when you make a purchase of a work.


by thelma at July 20, 2014 06:55 PM

Margaret Cooter

Art I like - Shelagh Wakely

"An influential British artist" is how Camden Arts Centre describes Shelagh Wakely. And she has done many public commissions, including designs for buildings in Knightsbridge. Yet her name, her work, was unknown to us.

What a treat to discover it! She worked in many media - glass, gilding, thread, wire, unfired clay, plaster, ink on cloth, video ... and drawing, many working drawings for the interesting objects and grand ideas.
Working drawings, and a display of unfired clay objects
Ink on unprimed canvas
Gilded fruit and "ghosts" of cherries
Silk jackets in which fruit was left to dry
Gilded fabric on floor, freshly gilded fruit on trolley (a melon has exploded)
I bought the book and look forward to reading it ... and returning to the exhibition. Too much to take in all at once.

"Art is about adventure, not about making objects to decorate museums," she said. Nor are her objects to be found in museums - everything was packed up in a shipping container, and it was the task of the gallery team to unpack the container and arrange the fragile objects. And to remake the "turmeric floor" -
Curcuma sul travertino, Rome, 1991 (via)

by Margaret Cooter ( at July 20, 2014 01:56 PM

Sarah Ann Smith

My episodes on Quilting Arts TV Series 1400!

Creativity, Inspiration, and Quilting Arts TV Series 1400, Clockwise from top left: Dog Walkies with Pigwidgeon (winter), Kiwi blossoms (garden), Eli home from camp (family), Poppy (garden), Notebook cover, On the set with Susan Brubaker Knapp, taping my Easy-peasy Inside-Out Bag

Creativity, Inspiration, and Quilting Arts TV Series 1400, Clockwise from top left: Dog Walkies with Pigwidgeon (winter), Kiwi blossoms (garden), Eli home from camp (family), Poppy (garden), Notebook cover, On the set with Susan Brubaker Knapp, taping my Easy-peasy Inside-Out Bag.  Click to view larger.

Series 1400 on Quilting Arts TV, now hosted by my friend Susan Brubaker Knapp, is about creativity and inspiration.  For me, inspiration can come from everywhere:  a glorious plant or view on my dog walkies with Pigwidgeon, ‘Widgeon himself, my family, an idea or a book, or something as utterly mundane as “I need a notebook cover”, or even a bag for all my watercolor stuff. I am so excited to get my copy of this series.  SOB–it’s not on PBS here in Maine on satellite (MPBN are you listening?), so I need to order.  You can too!  It is available either on DVD or as a download (episodes or the entire series) here.  Even better, if you link to the Interweave store from the button on the left sidebar, although the new series isn’t on discount, you can get a discount on some other items on the site. !    And last but certainly not least, visit editor Vivika Hansen DeNegre’s QA Blog and leave a comment for a chance to win a FREE  copy of the series!

Here's the cover of the upcoming Season 1400 for Quilting Arts TV!

Here’s the cover of the upcoming Season 1400 for Quilting Arts TV!

For today’s bloghop post, I thought I would share a lot of photos but not so much blather.  At the end of this post as well as here (the kick off day) you can find links to all the creative talented women who appear on the series, with many thanks to the creative talented women and men who are BEHIND the camera that make all this possible!

Thanks to Vivika DeNegre's post (she's Quilting Arts Editor), my dog walkies photos are now in the big time LOL!   Inspired by Gloria Hansen's butterfly photos, one day I took my good camera along with my phone and was able to get this shot of a butterfly on the clover alongside our driveway.  Inspiration is everywhere, including the most mundane of times and places--waiting for the dog to do you know what! Whoever came up with the idea of tethering yourself to animal waiting for it to do you know what???

Thanks to Vivika DeNegre’s post (she’s Quilting Arts Editor), my dog walkies photos are now in the big time LOL! Inspired by Gloria Hansen’s butterfly photos, one day I took my good camera along with my phone and was able to get this shot of a butterfly on the clover alongside our driveway. Inspiration is everywhere, including the most mundane of times and places–waiting for the dog to do you know what! Whoever came up with the idea of tethering yourself to animal waiting for it to do you know what???

And I'm always inspired by the landscape of Maine, the state that has become my soul's home.  From early summer mornings like this shot to the sunrises of winter and the sunsets of summer, the colors and lines and peace inspire me.  Makes me want to go play with cloth and dye!

And I’m always inspired by the landscape of Maine, the state that has become my soul’s home. From early summer mornings like this shot to the sunrises of winter and the sunsets of summer, the colors and lines and peace inspire me. Makes me want to go play with cloth and dye!

After nearly a decade using the same headshot, I decided it was time to be honest about the gray and the new glasses.   Here I'm with Widgeon--photos with him always relax me and make me laugh--so much better than posed.  And you can see my quilt, The Circle Dance, which is part of the exhibit and book Dare to Dance, An Artist's Interpretation of Joy (blogpost here).  Widgeon is joyful when he is fed!

After nearly a decade using the same headshot, I decided it was time to be honest about the gray and the new glasses. Here I’m with Widgeon–photos with him always relax me and make me laugh–so much better than posed. And you can see my quilt, The Circle Dance, which is part of the exhibit and book Dare to Dance, An Artist’s Interpretation of Joy (blogpost here). Widgeon is joyful when he is fed!

We all know trips can be inspiring, too.  Earlier this year I travelled to NY/CT to lecture, and got to spend a day with my friend Deirdre Abbotts.  We went in to the city and I spied this incredibly building.  Can't you see that as an applique quilt?  Reminds me of Jane Sassaman's work--and she's on this season too!

We all know trips can be inspiring, too. Earlier this year I travelled to NY/CT to lecture, and got to spend a day with my friend Deirdre Abbotts. We went in to the city and I spied this incredible building. Can’t you see that as an applique quilt? Reminds me of Jane Sassaman’s work–and she’s on this season too!

It's always fun to see behind the scenes, too.  Here are my three segments laid out in step-out sequence on trays, waiting for my turn to tape.  At the filming studios in Ohio.  I blogged about the taping here.

It’s always fun to see behind the scenes, too. Here are my three segments laid out in step-out sequence on trays, waiting for my turn to tape. At the filming studios in Ohio. I blogged about the taping here (part 1) and here (part 2).

Sometimes you just have to laugh!   We were trying to figure out where to hide the microphone for this episode, when I suggested pinning it to my bra strap.  The sound guy was only momentarily nonplussed, then started pinning as I stretched the strap.  Then, as Asst. Editor Kristine Lundblad was snapping photos, I blurted out, How am I going to explain to my husband that I just asked a total stranger to mess with my bra?   We all laughed!

Sometimes you just have to laugh! We were trying to figure out where to hide the microphone for this episode, when I suggested pinning it to my bra strap. The sound guy was only momentarily nonplussed, then started pinning as I stretched the strap. Then, as Asst. Editor Kristine Lundblad was snapping photos, I blurted out, How am I going to explain to my husband that I just asked a total stranger to mess with my bra? We all laughed!

One of the other fun things about this line of work is running in to familiar faces and friends in unusual places.  This is Lyric Kinard--does she not have the cutest, most infectious smile of anyone you know?

One of the other fun things about this line of work is running in to familiar faces and friends in unusual places. This is Lyric Kinard–does she not have the cutest, most infectious smile of anyone you know?

These are some of the bags you'll see on my Inside-Out bag segment (and ... hint hint... perhaps in print sometime soon too....more on that when I am allowed!)

These are some of the bags you’ll see on my Inside-Out bag segment for Quilting Arts TV Series 1400, Episode 1402 (and … hint hint… perhaps in print sometime soon too….more on that when I am allowed!)

Remember, you don’t have to wait for the episodes to air (mine are 1402, 1405 and 1408)–you can order the DVD or download the series or individual episodes here.   The way they are recorded, they should play on DVD players or computers around the world–yeah! And if you go to the Interweave store through the button to the left of this blogpost, you can get a discount!

Here’s the bloghop schedule, plus you can also read all about it on Quilting Arts Editor Vivika DeNegre’s blog here. Keep coming back here to click on the appropriate link for each day.


And because I can’t resist, one more of our beloved pug:

How can anyone NOT love a face that cute and pitiful?

How can anyone NOT love a face that cute and pitiful?


by Sarah Ann Smith at July 20, 2014 07:06 AM

Pam RuBert

Curious Curium – An Alternative Quilt & Journal

photoLast year I made a quilt using alternative materials for an exhibition called Radical Elements. Each artist in the show selected an element from the periodic table and was asked to create a quilt to the same size dimensions and without relying on traditional fabric and thread.

We were also asked to make a journal incorporating work samples. Since I used my real work samples, the book is sort of messy and irregular. It is spiral bound with a nice orange fiberoptic cable.

Curious Curium – A Radical Elements Journal


Curium is named for Marie Curie who pioneered research on radioactivity, was the first woman to win a Nobel prize, and the only person to win in multiple sciences.  I was fascinated that she like to ride bicycles. She and her husband Pierre went on a honeymoon bicycle trip after their wedding.

I had just bought a new bike and asked the bike shop to give me old used bicycle inner tubes to use in the quilt. Looking at photographs of Marie, I wondered how a forward-thinking person can look so old-fashioned to me?


I collected vinyl remnants that had a retro print look because I am drawn to those patterns and designs in my stitching and drawing style. As I began experimenting with cutting shapes and sewing, I realized the vinyl would be hard to work with, so I simplified my design and concept.


I started sketching, and from the beginning, I knew I would give her stars for eyes. Since at the time, I was also doing a lot of crocheting and yarnbombing, I decided to make the stars from yarn.

Blending images and concepts from 1895, 1950, and 2013 seemed impossible until I finally realized, regardless of our time or age, whether a scientist or artist, it is the commonality of curiosity that drives us forward.


Curium is a radioactive element used in space exploration and space probes. Last year we had visited the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, and I had seen how varied and beautiful were the designs of space probes and satellites. It seemed a perfect fit for those starry eyes.

I collected odd metal parts to make my own space probes — door hardware, old sewing machine parts, brads, rivets, wire. My friends teach art in school, so I raided their stash of recycled junk and computer parts. In one box I found a folder of old classroom math acetates, so I cut and sewed them into the quilt.

Today space exploration seems futuristic, and yet at the same time, there is old space junk floating out there from years ago.


Sewing all these objects onto the quilt was a challenge and an addiction. Once I started, I did not want to stop creating fantasy space probes.

By some odd coincidence, although the bicycle image was lost long ago in the making of this quilt, I found the best way to hand sew onto the vinyl was wearing leather bike gloves. I’m not very good at using a thimble, but wearing the gloves, I could push and pull the needle through very thick material.


The end.

Here’s the quilt. At first I was going to finish it like my drawing. Then I realized that if I stopped right where it’s at now — instead of one face, there are three faces. This was purely an accident. Can you see them?


The exhibition is now booked for the National Academy of Sciences on Constitution Avenue in Washington D.C. for April-September, 2015.

The concept and initial curation is by Jill Rumoshosky Werner, managing curator is Gigi Kandler with loads of help from SAQA traveling exhibitions coordinator Bill Reker, and the catalog designed by Deidre Adams. Other booking include the initial opening that was at Montgomery College earlier this year and in 2016, at the Funk Center for Textile Arts.

Detail photos:


p.s. The blue spot inside the test tube is part of a yoga ball!



by PaMdora at July 20, 2014 04:29 AM

Terry Grant

Black Thread

I am loving this black thread work. I am using Sulky cotton in both 12 and 30 weights. I especially love the boldness of the 12 wt, but it is a little temperamental in the machine. The 30 weight is almost as bold and not a problem, so I did all the added plants and rocks with that one. I added the rocks and the big cactus and decided the shadows under the roofline and brick feature were not working, so I picked all that work out. Hate doing that. Ugh. But after finishing and trimming the edges I decided I was done. 

And then I decided it wasn't done. 

What you don't see in the photo are wrinkles in the white of the building. And evidence of the black thread shadows that I picked out. Subtle, but it bothered me. So today I added stitching to those unstitched areas of building and sky. It's better, and now truly finished.  It is small—about 11" x 14". I think I will mount it on stretched canvas. 

La Casa de Chela

I love getting a surprise in the mail. This book arrived out of the blue today. It is the catalog for the SAQA show, Redirecting the Ordinary. I will have a piece in this show. 

Here is my page spread in the book. I confess I am always thrilled to see my work in print. And I have a special fondness for this piece. 

It has been a good day. 

by Terry Grant ( at July 20, 2014 12:04 AM

July 19, 2014

Margaret Cooter

Still stripey

(click to enlarge) 
Recently, more and more stripes have appeared on the daily painting. Every now and then I try to amalgamate some of them.

In today's version, some of the colours underneath still show a bit, and the dark stripes have been made into slivers -
This project has been going on for quite a while now, and I'm amazed at how much I look forward to getting into the studio and "doing something" to the canvas.

Now that I'm happier about using paint, it's all about the overpainting, about impermanence, about not needing to know what's going to happen next.

I'm not all that pleased with today's version ... it's rather reminiscent of a type of striped pyjamas I particularly dislike ... and despite a lot of repainting the balance needs further tweaking - but I did what I could with the three colours I squeezed out, and hey, it'll all be different tomorrow...

by Margaret Cooter ( at July 19, 2014 07:32 PM

Sarah Ann Smith

Quilting the Garden Giveaway winner is…..

The giveaway is done, and #36 is the lucky winner of the Quilting the Garden giveaway according to the Random number generator!

Drumroll:  and the winner is

Drumroll: and the winner is

my video workshop that takes you from your photo to a finished art quilt

my video workshop that takes you from your photo to a finished art quilt

Phyllis Carlyle, that’s YOU!  Please send me your snail mail address and I’ll pop a copy of my DVD into the mail for you.

If you want to see what it was about, check out my earlier blogpost asking for feedback on a new workshop I am developing. Comments are still welcome! Thank you ALL who participated—great feedback and suggestions. Once I get the results tallied, I will do a post, but not until the Quilting Arts TV Series 1400 Bloghop is well under way. For more on that, check out this post for the QA TV Series giveaway.   Thanks everyone!



by Sarah Ann Smith at July 19, 2014 04:24 PM

Marion Barnett


another day at 30 deg plus, and the shed is like an oven, even with the fan going full pelt.  Nonetheless, I have managed to get some work done... though I've left my brush in cling film, intending to go out and do some more in the evening when it cools down a bit.  I started off with this; you saw it in yesterday's washing line photo, looking like this...

It has changed a bit... I started adding lines with a pen, and when I realised I liked the results, started playing with a Markal or two.  It's a lousy photo, it shouldn't have that fuzziness about it, but I don't have the energy to go back out and take another one.

Originally, this was a manipulated image, which I stitched into, but wasn't happy with the results, so I painted it, left it for a while, and then added the blue moon and lines.  I'm still not happy with that heavy blue line on the right, but there's nothing I can do about it, so it'll just have to stay as it is.  I think adding the colour differentiation has helped it a lot, though.  It's quite a small piece, relatively speaking; it would be interesting to try that sort of design on a larger scale.  Not today, though...

And while I was at it, I added more paint and Markal to a piece I also worked on yesterday.  I've blogged about it before, here ; here's the piece as it was when I finished it then.

...and here it is, now...

I like this a lot more than I did the previous version.  Again, sorry for the lousy photo, but there wasn't enough room to put it flat on the table... why?  Well... the good side of this warm weather, is that things dry I decided to gesso some altered books and canvasses that have been lying around for a while in a semi-prepped state.

As you can see, that didn't leave much room for anything else...there are two canvasses and five books, as well as some printing blocks and paint  Given that I started to drip, however, I thought I would wait til later to continue.

by marion barnett ( at July 19, 2014 03:00 PM

Margaret Cooter

More slip-dipping

Even though the weight of the slip makes the cloth sag, the pleats stay in

Combining metallic organza with a non-metallic synthetic organza

A few stitches hold the two types of fabric together

Paper helps hold the shape while the slip dries

Centre - fired clay painted with porcelain slip (wonder what will happen...);
front - drinks-cup band punched, folded, sewn (this will be fragile, I think)

Some of the dipped fabrics

... and the rest of the objects

by Margaret Cooter ( at July 19, 2014 09:17 AM

July 18, 2014

Neki Rivera

mid summer's night dream

excuse me william :)
have a great weekend.

neki desu
Creative Commons License 

by (neki desu) at July 18, 2014 10:05 AM

Marion Barnett

Making The Most...

of the weather.

I freely admit to being a creature of emotional extremes, though, as I get older, these seem to be calming down somewhat... I think that has more to do with top notch psychotherapy than age, sadly. But I admit that when it comes to the weather, I am a conservative wee soul.  When they threaten me with temps of 30 deg, and even above, I whimper.  But I thought I might as well make the best of it by drying some fabric painted work on the line (and it's not even 11am...smug, me?  Hell, yes.).  

I actually went out to add another layer of varnish to this floor cloth, made by members of the Hub...
...that is the third layer of polyurethane varnish... one more and I think it will do.  I think they made a great job of it. There is another piece to varnish, too, but it is for a wall, so I may use a spray instead of laboriously painting on the varnish (though it really doesn't take all that long).

I'm working on a rug for myself, though Milliecat thinks that it is Just Perfect As It Is...

I reckon these fabric painted pieces won't take long to dry, which is great, as I want to work on them today...but before I do, I better go rescue and clean the brushes I used this morning.  My new motto is... 'It ain't over til the fat lady cleans up'...

by marion barnett ( at July 18, 2014 10:51 AM

Sarah Ann Smith

Quilting Arts TV Series 1400 Blog Hop!

Today is day one of the Quilting Arts TV Series 1400 Blog hop,

Woot!   Still can hardly believe it happened--thank you so much Susan Brubaker Knapp for inviting me to be on the show!

Woot! Still can hardly believe it happened–thank you so much Susan Brubaker Knapp for inviting me to be on the show!

and I’m thrilled to be a part of the bloghop and on the new series!  I can’t wait to see the episodes, and not just mine.  The overall themes for Quilting Arts TV Series 1400 were about finding your inner artist and creativity through inspiration,

Here's the cover of the upcoming Season 1400 for Quilting Arts TV!

Here’s the cover of the upcoming Season 1400 for Quilting Arts TV!

so I know this is going to be a great season. Please join in the bloghop by visiting the blogs below, starting with Vivika (editor of Quilting Arts) today and going on with other guests on the series including (who me???!!!) me!   If you’d like to order, click on the Save 15% Quilting Arts button on the left (or read on); if you’d like to check out the previews, look here.

Here’s a list of who is blogging and when:  keep coming back here to click on the appropriate link for each day.
July 18: Vivika DeNegre at…/qatv-14-sneak-peek-…. and
July 19: Luana Rubin ( Friedman (
July 20: Sarah Ann Smith ( Gloeggler (
July 21: Carrie Bloomston ( Catherine Redford (
July 22: Sue Reno ( Rebekah Meier (
July 23: Lyric Kinard ( / Margie Ullery (
July 24: Cheryl Sleboda ( / Jane Sassaman (
July 25: Susan Brubaker Knapp (

If you’re like me, instead of waiting you can order the series directly from Interweave and (a) not wait and (b) not have to deal with the fact that you don’t get the TV show on your local TV or cable/satellite service!  To order, click here or (even better) use the badge in the sidebar of this blog to get you there–that does good stuff for both Quilting Arts and me! Now go check out Vivika’s blog today, then come back and see the posts every day!

by Sarah Ann Smith at July 18, 2014 09:28 AM

Margaret Cooter

Out of the kiln

Very exciting to see the first of the slip-dipped textiles -
Metallic organza has discoloured the porcelain
The folded papers had stitching of various sorts to help them keep their shape -

A couple of beads made of wool wrapped around a paper core, then slip-dipped -
Sequin pins were stuck into the paper before wrapping with wool

by Margaret Cooter ( at July 18, 2014 09:04 AM

Rayna Gillman

ten days later...

Last Sunday, a trip to the Lower East Side.  The subways were hot and crowded and by the time we got there it was time for lunch.  Katz's delicatessen had such a long line (and bouncers outside to make sure nobody cut the line) that we decided to skip it and go to a hipster sandwich shop.  It was fine and we didn't have to wait. Sandwiches were yum!
 Afterwards we wandered  over to Orchard St.,where the Tenement Museum is --but the tours were all full except the one where you walked up to the fifth floor.  No thanks.  
Nonetheless, the visitor center/gift shop had a fascinating film and we rested our feet while we watched it.  I had been there when it first opened, eons ago and plan to go back one day with a reservation for one of the (lower floor) tours.  It is an amazing place.

The Lower East Side morphs into what used to be Little Italy and is now mostly Chinatown. It is now so little that it takes up two blocks. But these are lively blocks, closed to traffic on Sundays.
The stores and bars were open and there was lots of noise coming from the bars where they were watching the World Cup.   This place is not your typical tourist restaurant.
And I wasn't quite sure whether the 2 referred to the price or the size.

At least I have accomplished a few things in the past ten days. which is remarkable considering that much of my time has been spent deleting 2700 emails on my iPhone and iPad, most of them promising me all kinds of wonderful things.  Here is a small sample of irresistibles.
  • You can get an online doctorate!
  • Look ten years younger: better than a facelift and better than botox. (sign me up)
  • Restore your vision to 20/20!! (not possible)
  • Get help with your ED (now that would be an accomplishment)
  • Confirm your appointment for your window installation (huh?)
  • Get a nursing degree
  • Get discount funeral insurance
  • Drop your blood sugar level (right. I already have low blood sugar)
  • Reverse diabetic decay (see above)
  • Facebook has offered you a position but we have not heard from you. (bummer)
  • Google wants to hire you (see above)
  • Refinance your mortgage (I don't have one)
  • Get your Walmart loyalty gift (snort! There is no Walmart within 50 miles of me and even if there were...)
  • Your coverage is expiring (coverage for what?)
  • Eat THIS, never diet again! (It'll probably kill me)
  • Free Burger King Promo - expires today!! (as IF)
I have also  finished the piece I was working on and actually started to stitch it today.  Hooray for me! If I do nothing else tomorrow, I might complete the job.

And finally, I spent time in the kitchen. Made the most fabulous lemon ice cream and a pot of stuffed grape leaves with rice, chickpeas, tomatoes & mint, which I had been craving. (don't ask me why).

They cook in no time in the pressure cooker and you serve them cold. Lebanese recipe. Divine!  I used to make them all the time in my first life.  Tomorrow I will bake Kate's Brownies (Katherine Hepburn's recipe) to take to a family lunch on Saturday.  Beyond that, I don't cook on weekends. I did steam a couple of dozen clams for tomorrow's dinner, but other than that - I'm done.

by (Rayna) at July 18, 2014 04:59 AM

Cynthia St. Charles

Working out the Quilting Questions

Very often, I will attempt to answer my quilting design questions by working with a smaller piece.  This is the last few scraps of the deconstructed red swirls I had, and I mixed in a few other hand dyed fabrics to make a workable size.  I am not sure what to do with this.  I have considered a lot of different things. 

by Cynthia St Charles ( at July 18, 2014 05:30 AM

July 17, 2014

Sabrina Zarco

Monsoon Rains Showered with Lessons

This is my first year on the mountain for monsoon rains and its been a learning experience. In fact everyday here is filled with lessons. Lessons about myself, my abilities, gaining new knowledge and skills, and how to be alone like never before. 

The monsoons are a mystery. A sunny morning with a slight breeze can in a few minutes turn into a drop in temperatures, high winds that sound like the ocean waves, thunder, clouds and lightening. Yet somehow all this doesn't always bring rain. And then there are the sudden appearance of quiet clouds that bring  downpours of cool fresh smelling rain lasting only a few minutes. 

And yet another scenario where there are the storms that bring all the dramatic set up and pour for an hour or more. They fill the cracks in the soil and the rain barrels and buckets I have set out to gather the precious liquid. They make seasonal creeks out of trails under the trees and around the rocks in the arroyos.

Like life you never know what to expect and some days its better not to expect it. Just the lesson of learning to wait and trust that what is needed will come. 

Im learning how to be positive in bleak times when everything is wilting and trust that it will arrive. And it somehow arrives. I sigh with the release and inhale the sweet smell of wet ground and pine and piñon trees.

I am also thankful for the days that are a gentle rain with the warm sun shining that makes art in the sky lighting clouds from all angles. Rainbows and double rainbows reaching through the trees and kissing the ground. 

Learning to trust, let go, and accept are challenging and ongoing lessons in life. I use these images to remind me that I am not in control of anything. And to learn to be thankful that I am just a part of the universal plan. Blessings

by Sabrina ( at July 17, 2014 05:00 PM

Margaret Cooter

Poetry Thursday - I'm Nobody! Who are you? by Emily Dickinson

I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there’s a pair of us!
Don’t tell! they’d advertise – you know!

How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog – 
To tell one’s name – the livelong June – 
To an admiring Bog!

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) left 40 handbound 'fascicles' of nearly 1800 poems, which she assembled by folding and sewing five or six sheets of stationery paper and copying what seem to be final versions of poems. The handwritten poems include a variety of dash-like marks of various sizes and directions - which were removed by early editors. In 1981 the original order of the poems was restored, thanks to detective work among the smudges and needle punctures by Robert W. Franklin. The "non-meaningful marks" have been the basis of Jen Bervin's "Dickinson Fascicles" (she is interviewed about new formats of poetry books here; "Artist books are so far ranging; I sometimes wish our conception of poetry could be more so," she says).

by Margaret Cooter ( at July 17, 2014 02:04 PM

Marion Barnett

Surprising Myself.

Well... life is full of surprises... I decided to apply for membership in Prism, a well known exhibiting group.  As part of the process, I was required to submit up to six images of work over the past five years.  And that was what was surprising... first, that I'd made as much work as I had. Although given the lack of space in the house, that really should not have been a surprise at all...sigh.  The second, though, was the underlying theme running through my work.  I had always thought that it was 'about' emotions...and, of course, it is.  But it's predominately 'about' landscape...inner and outer.  I thought I would show you the images I have sent to them, to see if you agree with me.

Norfolk Flint.

This is a  manipulated photograph, taken of an old flint wall, and printed onto Lutradur XL.  Instead of stitch, there are places where I have burned away the fabric; the frame has lighting built into it, so that you can choose to light it or not.  I had never seen a flint wall before coming to Norfolk, and took a lot of photographs... the best of them are like paintings featuring different sections of beautiful stone.

Norfolk Landscape.

This piece celebrates the endless skies and fields of Norfolk, broken up, on occasion, by rows of trees... This is a monoprint with additional details painted in, then stitched.

Inner Landscapes IV

Pieced cloth, mainly hand dyes, edged with commercial cloth and sari ribbon.  A thin layer of Lutradur, transfer dyed and hand stitched, partially obscures the piece, but can be moved, a metaphor for depression.  The colours are of the Highlands, while the stitching is reminiscent of the flints of Norfolk.


Another Norfolk/Highland composite; this time, the colours are Norfolk in autumn and winter, while the found objects that decorate it come mainly from the Highlands.

Linescapes I : Rewriting The Landscape

I wrote about this piece a couple of days ago.

Visual Haiku.

Small, hand stitched pieces made to specific rules; I have written about them in several posts, with a summary of the 'rules' here.  In their way, they too seem to be landscapes...

This is the first part of the application process, and I have my fingers crossed.  If I don't get through, though, I have to say that this has been a very useful process to go through.  I had thought that I was quite clear about the way my work was going; this has been a useful refocussing of my attention onto the really important bits.


by marion barnett ( at July 17, 2014 01:49 PM

Neki Rivera

an outing to wine country

st. marti sarroca, medieval castle and  romanesque church in the middle of penedes wine country.
my yearly visit to my friend is always full of pleasant surprises.

details of the castle

my present fluo orange crush

view of montserrat from the castle

vines everywhere

 until september.

neki desu
Creative Commons License

by (neki desu) at July 17, 2014 12:10 PM

Cynthia St. Charles

Starting to Sew the Red Swirls

I think I have settled on an arrangement and now I am sewing the squares together into vertical strips.  These could still be rearranged if I wish, but sewing the strips seems like a commitment.

by Cynthia St Charles ( at July 17, 2014 05:30 AM

Terry Grant

And today...

The Portland SAQA (Studio Art Quilts Associates) group met at my house. It was really hot here today, but pretty pleasant out in the yard this morning.

We had a great meeting. A few people stayed home because of the heat, but they missed out. It was quite comfortable in the shade and such a great group discussion today. I really like this group. 

After the SAQA crowd departed I got in an afternoon in the studio. Remember how my current work looked yesterday?  Today I began to add more detail, including part of the garden in front of the house. I fused flowers and leaves. 

The fused shapes are giving it more interest. I contined the the stitched "drawing" on top of the added fabric shapes. 

I like where it is going so far.  Not sure if the stitched shadow under the roofline and balcony really work, but I love the little tree and the bougavilla!

Someone asked about the technique. It is pretty straightforward. I am working from my own photo, starting with a rough sketch, then a simple blocking of color, by fusing fabrics. The fused top was layered with felt and a fabric backing, then free-motion stitched on the machine, using two weights of black cotton thread. I sketched in the main shapes with an eraseable pencil, but improvised most of the details. 

by Terry Grant ( at July 17, 2014 12:02 AM

July 16, 2014

Margaret Cooter

Late in the day

16 July ... it's a resonant date for me ... birthday of my only child ... so there is much preparing of cakes and food going on...

And then the actual eating and drinking.... a Salade Nicoise, spicy bean balls, butter bean salad, and something with cucumbers and olives...

Followed by a lemon and almond cake...
and far too much rumptious jollifciation of he vinous kind throughout...

by Margaret Cooter ( at July 16, 2014 11:27 PM

Marion Barnett


almost to warm to work.  Well, I'm a Scot, I'm just not used to these high temps... and am very grateful I'm not in Arizona or anywhere else that's far hotter, for that matter.  I thought I'd go and do some work in the shed, but despite the fan, it was just Too Warm, so I've come back in to fiddle with photos in the relative cool of the living room, which, as it doesn't get much sun, is one of the coolest places in the house.  Sadly, it's also one of the darkest, too... but you can't have everything, and it is quite snug in winter.  But I digress...

I went into the shed to put a couple of layers of varnish on a floor cloth that has been painted by members of the Dereham Hub; I'll show you pictures when it's finished.  Since I was on a bit of a roll, I then started working on some cloth.  I started by trying to discharge dye some cloth...but either the cloth won't discharge, or the bleach pen I found is too old, no luck...

Then, I started playing with some hand dyes.  I had intended painting onto the cloth, but instead, started working with some lino blocks.  The first piece is tentatively entitled Flowers In The Fields, and is cotton sateen, hand dyed and then printed with two blocks.
Then, I remembered explaining printing with bubble wrap to someone this morning, and, since I had some big bubble wrap, proceeded to do just that... this piece features it, 'Ferns And Flints'.

This was a section of an old cotton sheet, dyed, and then printed, bubble wrap first, then printed with a fern shaped linocut (as if the title didn't give it away...).  I think the ferns piece is simply a background, I have Plans for it... but I think Flowers In The Field might become a poem.  We shall see...  first they will wait for a while, to see if my ideas change.

by marion barnett ( at July 16, 2014 03:37 PM

Virginia A. Spiegel

See My Artwork in Person – September 17



I’ll be talking about my art and art quilts at the Byron Public Library in Byron, IL on September 17 at 10:30 a.m. It’s for the general public, so I will definitely be answering the question, “What is an art quilt?”

I’ll also be discussing why I make art quilts and showing how my art quilts have developed over time. There will be tons of artwork there because talking is one thing, but seeing is another!

The event is free, but call to register (815-234-5107) so they know how many chairs to set up.  Or you can let me know and I will pass the info on to the library staff.

Joe and I pick towns to live in based, in large part, on what kind of library the town has.  Byron had a nice library when we moved here and then build this fab prairie-style one a few years later.  I’m happy to give back to a place I visit almost every week and always find something interesting to read.



by Virginia at July 16, 2014 11:10 AM

Neki Rivera

good to have adequate tools

the weather is overcast and muggy, awful  for being outside brushing dye to a pre mordanted scarf.
i know i am going to regret my wishes for sunshine, but at least it is dryer. i have been working inside after creating some space out of  my ever chaotic studio full of lots of everything .
anyhow  paraphrasing my beloved sennet and the craftsman it is good to have the required  tools  to complete a task.

note the harite on the foreground stretching taut the scarf. underneath some shinshi completing the task. 
i was mildly upset because all the tool nomenclature at tanaka nao has been changed and i was left in the dark.that said no one fabricates craft  tools like the japanese. they have elevated tool making to a craft itself.

the brushes;  works of art in themselves. the fat one is a small ground dyeing brush. if you regulate the amount of dye / paint you can get nice gradations. the other brush is for painting edges sharp. i think painting  fabric is my excuse for using these and getting extra pleasure from the job.
the scarf will be cured for a couple of days, then folded shibori like and dyed in ai perhaps? stay tuned.

neki desu
  Creative Commons License

by (neki desu) at July 16, 2014 08:00 AM

Cynthia St. Charles

More Rearranging the Red Swirls

OK, so here is another arrangement.  I feel like I am getting closer to something worthy of the time it would take to quilt it.

by Cynthia St Charles ( at July 16, 2014 05:30 AM

Terry Grant

What I am doing...

Aren't summer days supposed to be "lazy"? It's really kind of the opposite of lazy around here. This is one busy family. Ray is trying to retire, which means he is finishing up his current projects and/or handing over unfinished ones to others, while simultaneously dreaming up new ideas that he either will or won't be a part of. I get it. Being "retired" doesn't mean your brain quits working (well maybe for some people it does...).  As I told Ray tonight even though I retired from my paying job, art is my job now.  Sitting under a shady tree, with a book and a cold drink is what you do when you are nursing a broken leg, surely not a way of life. We are still finishing up painting and regrouping post remodeling, and helping with summer childcare, which we love, but keeps us busy too. 

Not enough studio time for me. But I am slowly moving forward with the sewing/drawing idea. I found a nice photo I took, in Ecuador, of my co-inlaw's country house, to work with. I started by fusing a few fabrics to a white fabric base. 

Today I started stitching. 

Kind of amazing how much just that little bit adds, isn't it?

Lots more to go. I will keep posting as I go. 

Our beach weekend was a wonderful break from the painting and remodeling mess. So much fun to see the kids on the beach. They loved it. 

We used the collection bags that Sofia made. 

Yes, Grandma's bag was the fullest. I just love those little flat rocks you can find only at the beach. I sew them onto art quilts. Sofia's was much fuller until her little brother stepped on it and turned her shell collection into shell gravel, which was pretty tragic. Marco's bag could not be found for this photo. When it was found it contained a piece of a bagel. He was only partially tuned into the program, but loved his bag all the same.  Great beach trip. 

Tomorrow I am hosting the local SAQA group for an outdoor meeting and studio tour. 

by Terry Grant ( at July 16, 2014 12:20 AM

July 15, 2014

Marion Barnett

Those Of You...

who follow me on Facebook will know that I've been writing a lot of poetry, recently.  And that I've been experimenting for a series called 'Linescapes'.  Here, though, the two meet.

The poem was written specifically for the piece, an accordian book made from transfer dyed Lutradur XL.  The front and back both represent Highland landscapes in Spring and Autumn, respectively (you are looking at autumn).  I stitched the yarn onto it to suggest the mountains...and then got stuck in an almighty fashion, for about three weeks.  I couldn't decide what to do next.  Then came the poem.

Rewriting The Landscape.

It might be somewhere, it might be nowhere,
A marriage of memory and imagination
A composite landscape, distilled
Like finest malt, from the high places, the colour
and the light.  A moment in spring,
Another in autumn.  A rush of names;
Strathpeffer.  Skye.  Lochinver.  Oban. Nairn.
Strathcarron.  Plockton.  Dornoch.  Cromarty.
Captured in colour, held in cloth, a fragment,
An amalgam,  aide memoire.  As if
I needed one; as if I could forget
The majesty of it, the grandeur of the high lands.
I lived there once; it lives within me still.
Unforgettable, burned into the bone.

I considered collageing the words onto the book, but it seemed fiddly to do, and not really suitable for a small I wrote them on in a toning pen.  My husband grumbles that he can't read my writing...but I figure it's fairly straightforward to decipher.  I plan to do more work like this, combining the two disciplines; it seems somehow fitting.

by marion barnett ( at July 15, 2014 02:12 PM

Neki Rivera

and now wools

fluorescent orange!!these mushrooms are awesome. the wool was mordanted in alum + cot then put in the dye  simmering liquor for about an hour. left there to cool until next day and resulted in this very bright orange, very similatr to mx deep orange.
the other skein is boiled over madder yucky brownish red. it will be overdyed in cochineal today, but need to throw away some dye to liberate at least one pot. such is the life of a wanna be dyer!
waiting for the weather to change to start the ai vat. in the meantime sewing a muslin for a skirt. need to get the fitting right before cutting the actual fabric. i have lost weight-not complaining- and what was valid last year isn't this year.

neki desu
Creative Commons License 

by (neki desu) at July 15, 2014 08:45 AM

Margaret Cooter

Bank of England museum

"The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street" is one of the sobriquets for the Bank of England. Designed by Sir John Soane in 1788 as a one-storey building, it had to be enlarged (1925-39) and is now seven storeys. A very few bits of Soane's design remain, the secure exterior especially - the wall is 12 feet thick in places -
In the entrance to the museum is a mosaic - perhaps by Boris Anrep (his mosaics installed in 1955 have now been moved to a different building) -
At the foot of a 7-storey staircase - elsewhere in the building - is a Roman mosaic, found when the basement was excavated during the 20th century rebuilding. Another Roman mosaic found on the site was acquired by the British Museum in 1806.

An enthusiastic school group of 14 year old boys in blazers and striped ties were also visiting - wonder how many of them will be the bankers of tomorrow?
Displays cover the history of the building and its important people, and the history of British currency.
The 1994 £50 note showed a Bank Gatekeeper [a job done by women in WWI) and the house on Threadneedle Street owned by the bank's first governor.

Among the "curiosities from the vaults", a small temporary display, were these gold bars, one a Coronation tradition, the other minted in the Roman empire -
On the opposite end of the bling spectrum, a bundle of one-rupee notes, bound together to be used for larger transactions; they (it?) were washed ashore from a WWI shipwreck -
Also curious was a selection from the exams that prospective bankers (or rather, clerks) took in 1906 as part of their recruitment - the £.s.d. arithmetic seemed fiendish, and the geography would flummox many a student today - wonder how those lads would fare -
"Divide £739 11s. 11d. by 556." 
"A bankrupt pays 13s. 6d in the £, and his assets amount to £1,458; what is the amount of his debts?"
"A man sold £7000 3 per cent. stock at 90 and invested the proceeds in a 4 per cent. stock at 108. What was the change in his income?"

"Name in order the seas and straits which a vessel would traverse in sailing from Dover to Sebastopol."
"Trace the course of the following rivers: - The Loire, the Mississippi, the Rhine, the Seine and the Vistula."

Pix of the bank itself can be seen here (and elsewhere) - including the gold vaults!

by Margaret Cooter ( at July 15, 2014 09:19 AM

Cynthia St. Charles

Rearranging the Rectangle of Red Swirls

I thought this piece might be more effective with the darker squares oriented towards the center......not sure.

by Cynthia St Charles ( at July 15, 2014 05:30 AM

July 14, 2014

Gerrie Congdon

Monday Creative Blog Tour

Rayna Gilman tagged me to participate in this tour around to discover how others create.

What am I working on?

Right now, I am finishing up two large quilts that will be entered in my local fiberarts guild upcoming show, What’s Blue to You? I have to do the mundane work of sleeves and labels and traveling bags, just in case they get in.

I went off on a bit of a tangent with my two pieces. When I was a child, my grandmother used the term sky blue pink quite often – simetimes to describe the colors in the sky and sometimes just for fun. I had several pieces of fabric that had been snow dyed and dyed in a class I took with Judy Robinson that reminded me of sky blue pink. I made a collage of them and made a piece of hand stitched cheesecloth the centerpiece. It seemed unfinished until I added some fused flying geese. It is called Flight Through Sky Blue Pink.


Here is a detail of the cheesecloth and flying geese.



The other is an enlargement of my Picasso Woman. I made an etching of this years ago. Recreating her in this large format was a major undertaking. I dyed blue fabric and printed blue fabric with copper highlights for her hair. She is now Blue Picasso Woman.

These are both quite large – 2 ft by 5 ft.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Since the work I do comes out of my crazy brain, I hope it is unique. I rarely use commercial fabric. I start with a blank slate of white fabric and then paint, print or dye to create what I want. Some times I create fabric for a piece and sometimes, a piece of dyed fabric tells me what it wants to be. I do not do much piecing. I love the freedom of fusing fabric. It is much freer and more painterly that when pieced – at least for me.

Why do I write/create what I do?

I recently went through downsizing and moving to a condo. I had to give up studio work during that time – about 6 months. When I got set up in my new studio and sewing area at our home, I was so happy. It made me realize how critical a creative life is to my well-being. I love fabric. I love how I can manipulate it, add new surfaces to it and stitch on it.

How does your writing/creative process work?

I often work on projects in what seems like a last minute kind of way. But I do a lot of my process work in my head, thinking about it on walks, when falling asleep and when waking up. I sometimes make sketches, but more often than not, I love just throwing fabric at the design wall, shifting and folding as I come up with a composition.

I recently wrote a new artist statement. In part, it says:

I spend my day observing and photographing the sublime and the quirky scenes around me — a shadow on the deck, a group of trees, the graffiti on a building, architectural details or the juxtaposition of shapes. These scenes become inspiration for the textile art that I create. I distill the scene down to the essential elements, often in abstract form. I love the serendipity of transforming a piece of fabric with paint or dye and using the resulting creations in my textile art.

I have tagged 2 artists for next Monday’s Creative Blog Tour.

Helen Conway was one of the Twelves in the 12 x12 collaboration. I have so enjoyed watching her growth as an artist. I think you will enjoy visiting her blog.

Susan Lenz is one of the most prolific fiber artists that I know. I was honored to be part of one of her past installations about choices we make.

I will try to remind you to visit these blogs next Monday.

by Gerrie at July 14, 2014 09:49 PM

Olga Norris

Not quite a 'fill in job'

When I was teaching, my pupils always let me know when they thought they were receiving a 'fill in job'.  They were usually right, and I have just created another. But in this case the purpose is to keep up the flow on the Ragged Cloth Café blog
I have filled in with a short post about a fascinating printmaker I recently stumbled upon: Susan Aldworth.  She is an artist very much involved with scientists, including scientific imaging and interventions with her own art.
There is a great deal to explore in the radio programmes and videos on her website, and I am still processing my thoughts arising from it all.

by Olga Norris ( at July 14, 2014 04:39 PM

Thinking about liberty

European history was a favourite subject of mine at school, and I particularly enjoyed reading about French history.  So, around this time of year my mind turns to the subject of the make-up of societies and to revolutions.
Eugene Delacroix: Liberty Leading the People (from here)
I am not one for violence but it pains me to think about how many people still live in dire social circumstances. 

by Olga Norris ( at July 14, 2014 03:58 PM

Neki Rivera

a to dye weekend

i have a new favorite dye;  Cortinarius  semisanguineus  mushrooms. 
the silk on the left was dyed with them. the color although yellow is less yellow than the photo and has a red pink tinge. the silk on the right was a madder blah orange and i overdyed it with cochineal. the color is a very nice red  redder than the photo.but in the various processes the silk lost its luster :( temperature control is not my thing, actually control is not my thing. makes me so very curious all those people who are control freaks!

still have more mushroom stock and will be dyeing some wool today. hoping to get the reds now.
the indigo stock solution for the new vat has reduced beautifully - took 2 days mind you. i am using the 1-2-3- ratio for a reduction vat. it worked very well last year,let us hope it wasn't beginner's luck.

in the geekery dept: i'm taking photos of some pages of a japanese dyeing book,  opening in photoshop, saving as pdf then opening in word and translating them there. oh rapture! oh bliss! even if it's cherokee english the instructions are understandable. life is good.

neki desu
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by (neki desu) at July 14, 2014 09:27 AM