Exhibit Hung!

Helping to hang a quilt show on Friday got me in the “display” frame of mind for hanging my exhibit on Sunday. I truly enjoyed seeing all the wonderful quilts at this year’s Ann Arbor Quilt Guild show, but I did not bring my camera so no pics! All I can say is that if you weren’t able to make it, you missed some wonderful quilts!

Sunday–hang my exhibit day! In the grand scheme of things, it’s not huge, but it’s great for the space it’s in. There are two huge showcase windows in the front of the store, but I just couldn’t bring myself to put anything in them. I had sun damage from an exhibit years and years ago, and I’m just not going to have that happen again!

These are the pieces I chose to hang, but I didn’t have a dowel for one piece I wanted to hang. I just know I made it, but I just didn’t have it. And I may change out or add another piece…maybe something will sell and I’ll HAVE to bring in something new! Wouldn’t that be cool?

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Not seen are a few small pieces that are placed on the shelves and some small pieces mounted on matboard and in bags.

Just getting myself organized enough to choose pieces to display was worth any effort I put into this. It’s very satisfying to have a body of work hanging and just step back and look at what you’ve done.

Details if you are in the area:  Location is Pentamere Winery, 131 E. Chicago Blvd., Tecumseh MI.  Artist Reception is Sunday, August 5 from 1-3, and everyone I know is certainly invited, along with any friends you’d like to bring! The exhibit will be up through Labor Day, so stop in any time…and check out the wine, too. It’s pretty darn good!

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A Day Off…

Total decadent laziness…did absolutely nothing yesterday but go out for lunch, play on the computer, peruse a couple of magazines…just slug-like living! And why? Because I have all my deadline-driven projects done and ready to hang, deliver or ship.

I kind of welcome days like this. It actually gives my brain a chance to do a final checklist on the deadlines. I can almost feel those responsibilities and details falling out the side of my head to make room for something new. I’m sure I can feel my eyes rolling around inside my skull, opening wider and shifting focus to new colors, new fabrics, new ideas, new goals…

I want to go to a workshop of some kind. I’m not sure what, but I feel the need for some guided study.

There is an idea hovering at the edge of the planning part of my brain. It needs some serious thought and maybe a whole pile of fabric pinned to the design wall.

Quilt National has always been a competition that I thought was forever out of my reach or capabilities. I won’t think negatively like that anymore. I’m going to make a piece to enter in that contest. I’m not likely to make this year’s deadline, but I will have something to enter by next year.

Prioritizing…deciding what I really want to do…recharging the creative battery…that’s what a lazy day is all about. I’m awfully glad I had one.

Oh, what to do…what to do…?

When a process you are counting on for a project doesn’t work, you’d better have a backup plan or plan on getting creative!

I had my images all picked out, copies made and ready to transfer for my next project (and I’m really pushing the deadline on this one!). I was going to use Citra-Solv and transfer the images right onto my fabric. I liked the look I got when I-recently-learned this method. I had everything ready to go…

and it didn’t work! Apparently my copies were not of the correct toner type for the Citra-Solv to work. Ooops! What now?

Back up plan was to print directly on to fabric, cut out and applique. Did not ever like that idea, so I thought I’d try printing on the organza or silk type and I was resigned to heading out to the store to buy some.

But wait! Look on the shelves of your fabric stash!!! More mystery fabric–grainier than tulle, finer than netting, different texture than organza…what could it hurt?

Mystery fabric and fusible–a winning combination!

It didn’t melt when I added fusible and the ink stuck to it when I ran it through the printer. I was very excited because it looked like it was going to give the effect I wanted…hooray for happy accidents!

This is quite close up and you can see the grain of the fabric and that it’s slightly different in color than the background. I’m actually quite happy with this result…I was aiming for a feel of faded newspaper and I think this does it.

I am so eager to finish this project now. I actually like this better than my original idea. Sometimes lucky is better than good and my initial panic was unnecessary. But when your eyes open wide in that panic state, sometimes you see what you need. Lucky, lucky, lucky!!!

What Color Binding?

I’m almost done with the quilting phase of my next beading project. The plan is to have lots of white beads, maybe some foo-foo threads and yarns and stuff, maybe not. We’ll decide that after some beads go on!

What I’m stuck on right now, though, is what color binding to use. It’s not essential that I have it done before I bead, but I like to have the quilt part totally done first. My first plan was to use the darkest red from the piece. My next idea was black. My third idea was black by the black/white stripe and red on the rest. Any opinion or suggestion you have would be welcome.

It doesn’t look square and even in this photo, but it is, really!

I always love to get your opinions!

Photography–NOT Fun!

Spent a good bit of time today taking pictures to have some simple snapshots of newer work on my gallery pages. I also need to be better at documenting my work, so the photos are necessary.

I just am not a very good photographer and I’m really not committed to getting that much better at it. I think I’ve decided that if I need a really good image to enter a show, I’ll pay a professional to do a good job for me. Lights, cameras…all that stuff I don’t want to invest any more time or money into. I’ve followed the advice of Holly Knott and read lots of photo articles and it’s just not my thing!

For this post, I’ll give you a quick slideshow of what will be on the gallery pages. Most of this will be going up in my exhibit next week, along with a few pieces that are in another show right now. I love making the stuff, but photography really is NOT fun for me!

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Co-op? Let’s Try It!

There’s a new gallery spot in Tecumseh. The Black Door Gallery is expanding into another location, right on Chicago Blvd. This location will serve artists as a co-op gallery and I’m part of it.

Ideally, artists want to be represented by a gallery with a national collector following, pay only their artist commission for the privilege and sell everything they place. In the real world, especially in small-town America, you can’t sit back and wait for the big galleries to come calling…it just ain’t gonna happen that way.

A co-op gallery is a great solution for our area. We have tons of really good artists here, but not everyone can spend time on real intense marketing of their product. In this case, we pay a small fee per month, we don’t even have to work in the gallery and customers are treated to a wide array of artwork. A win-win for everyone, I think.

I took a few pictures yesterday, pre-opening. I think the place looks great and there are plans for more display setups, but the priority was to get up and running ASAP.

My ‘City Grid’ along with some beautiful photographs. I don’t pretend to know all the other artist’s names!

Of course, my pictures include my artwork!

You’ve seen my ‘Windblown Gingkoes’ on this blog before, but here you can see some lovely pottery as well as part of a large painting in the back.

I’m not the only textile artist represented, either. I’m sure these smaller pieces are done by my friend Sherry Peterson, but I kind of like the way my ‘Out of the Darkness’ looks hanging alongside her work.

I have high expectations for this new phase of the Black Door Gallery. The original gallery space is still going to be used also, as a traditional space, not for the co-op. It’s great to have a gallery here in town and I’m happy to be part of it.

Oh–there are still spots available if you are interested in becoming a co-op artist. Check out The Black Door on Facebook or stop in and talk to Susan. More artists = more variety = more for customers to see!

Sorting and details, details, details

Doing final prep work for my exhibit…oh, maybe I haven’t mentioned it here, yet. I will be the featured artist for the month of August at Pentamere Winery here in Tecumseh. I’m adding a lot of work on canvas rather than just hanging textile work and that presents some technical challenges. While I enjoy a challenge, I don’t want my efforts to look anything less than professional, so I’m working hard on the finishing details.

I have mounted some pieces on painted canvas–those are the easy ones. Just need to decide how to finish the back, with paper or fabric of some kind. I looked for scrim and the people at JoAnn’s didn’t know what it was. It’s not really common, though, is it? All right, I’ll tell you–it’s the thin, usually black, fabric that you see on the bottom of furniture or in a theater backdrop. Possible alternatives are felt, interfacing and plain black broadcloth.

Paper will work fine for this one.

Even just wrapping a single layer of fabric leaves that untidy raw edge…and you can see the stitches where I attached the piece of art.

Some of my pieces are more problematical, however. I have mounted them first on a quilted background and then put them on stretcher strips. That makes a much bulkier strip of stapled fabric on the back of the frame. Paper just won’t cover that neatly.

Bulky and messy, in my opinion, but paper just won’t cover it well.

Scrim would be nice and the other alternatives would probably work just as well, also. I also had a suggestion to hot glue a strip of grosgrain ribbon around that edge and not cover the whole back. Not sure which way I’ll go, but I can hear the tick, tick, tick of the deadline approaching.

I have a few quick (bad) snaps of my favorites so far. Asking an artist which piece is her favorite is not quite as bad as asking a parent which child is the favorite, but it’s pretty hard to pick.

Favorite 1!

Favorite 2

Favorite 3

Which brings up one more chore to add to the list…take good pictures of these pieces and get them on to my gallery pages! Yikes!

I’m also joining a co-op gallery here in town. The Black Door Gallery is expanding from it’s original location and adding space right next to Pentamere…convenient for me, right?  I’m planning on my regular hanging textile work for the beginning, but I need to decide which piece(s) go where. My latest piece will be in the Ann Arbor Quilt Guild show the last weekend of the month. I want that piece in one of these two venues, but the timing will probably be better for the gallery.

Mounting the pieces–almost finished.

Backing decisions and getting it done–tick, tick, tick…

Labels–need to measure everything to mark sizes and titles and get them attached, as well as labels for the walls at Pentamere, with the prices.

Pictures!

And then there’s the project that’s due Aug. 1 for Women that Broke All the Rules…tick, tick, tick…

These details could just finish me off!!!