Monday, May 30, 2011

The Fabrics of War

Last week my husband and I spent a wonderfully restful week with friends on Harbor Island, SC. One of our day trips was to the War Museum on Parris Island. I knew the guys would enjoy this trip but quite honestly I wasn't to excited about a war museum.

The trip turned into quite an education on the US and the many wars in which they have been involved. However, you put a fiber person in a museum and what do you expect they notice the most? Right on. The uniforms and fiber associated with that particular war.

You see from the photos that I've attached so far that each period is dated so you can get an idea of the fabrics used.

I don't know why the WW II era interest me so much. Some times I think it is the unimaginable things that happened during that time. I find it hard to accept. Just read (The Postmistress) a sad but well written book about that period in the US.

My Dad was drafted into the Marines during that time and was sent to Parris Island. He had been in a wreck a year or two earlier, that cut muscles in his arm, making it difficult to load a gun. After three months he was honorably discharged with a medical disability.

The flag was found in a Japanese camp. The stars had been removed and it is speculated they were used on their uniforms.

This was also found in a Japanese camp. I love the sentiment that goes with the idea.

If you are a woman reading my blog you might find it interesting that until the 1970's women were given a discharge if they became pregnant. After 1976, pregnant Marines were allowed to stay on active duty and in 1980 the first military uniforms for pregnant women were issued.

Nurses uniforms in the early years.

T-shirt worn by the press. How would you like to rely on a T-shirt to keep from being shot?
This is a bandage found in Iraq. I would hope that the Medic would have had enough training to know how to use these bandages without needing the pictures.

If you are ever in the area of Parris Island, SC I would say take the time and visit. I don't think you will regret the time spent there.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

You Win Some You Lose Some

About a month ago I submitted this piece to be judged for an exhibit titled "Deep Space". I had several ideas but didn't have the equipment to carry out one of the ideas. (I needed a wide format printer).

I decided to go with the idea above. This is a reversed applique piece that came from a photo of my grand daughter doing yoga. I used Photo Shop Elements to eliminate all the gray in the B & W photo. After making the reverse applique I quilted the piece starting with a gray/black variegated thread on the left size and then changing to emerald colors finishing the piece.

My thought for this piece fitting the theme "Deep Space" came with the feeling that with meditation you can reach the into the deep spaces of your mind. For whatever the juror's reason they chose not to accept "Ohm II" for the exhibit.

This is the first time I've ever made a piece, with a theme, with the intentions of entering it in a particular show. I enjoyed making this and will enter it in another show somewhere. You win some you lose some.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Focus Fiber Art May meeting

Our May meeting was held at the home of Dixie Haywood. You might be interested in seeing all the ribbons around the top of the room. Ribbons from AQS and IQA and all the other big shows can be found there.

First up for show & tell was Marge Edie. We decided at the meeting that Marge first brought this complicated design to Focus last May. That makes a year. This design came from looking at a crystalized metal photo from a Scientific Magazine from about 30 years ago. She worked on the computer drawing and designing until she came up with this amazing design. I think I'm right to say that there are four shapes of diamond patterns making up this design. I might add that Marge is sewing this together on the sewing machine.

Veronica Moriarty brought two finished quilts and one in progress to share. This is one that she had shown early to us asking for advice. The conclusion was to bind the quilt with a peach batik.

Veronica's daughter graduated from USC this year and is entering the work force. She wanted something from home and wanted her Mom to make her a quilt out of her sports shirts. She participated in Track & Field at USC as a pole vaulter. Veronica really didn't want to make a t-shirt quilt but sucked it in for her little girl.

I showed and talked about the piece I'm working on now. The working title is "Spirit of the Kiva" I got some great input from the group and am mulling it over in my mind.

Dixie is showing her finished quilt made for the Wounded Warrior Project at our Lake and Mountain Quilt Guild. (More about that on another post) Dixie machine quilted words in the border like "Thanks you for your service".

Dixie has been on a marathon to get rid of all her UFO's from years and years of teaching. The little finished pieces are for a project from Diana and Veronica's quilt guild in Spartanburg. These little quilts are given to needy children and they are called "Lovies".

The two wall hangings are old pieces from her Pensacola, Fl guild or older UFO's.

Donna Barnhill, one of our new members, brought this piece that she started in a class several years ago. Donna is far from being a traditional quilter. While Donna taught Home Economics for years she did not have time for much quilting. From the beginning I knew that Donna was not a traditional quilter.

After she placed the piece up on the design wall she pulls out squares of copper screening and places them on the design. Then the fun began. The squares were moved around until a very interested design appeared.

Several other ideas were discussed, can't wait to next month to see what she does.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

HiFiber Meeting for May

At our May meeting I wanted to show our members the different paints, pencils and ink that are available for painting on fabric. I have almost every type of these in my stash. Some I really like and some not so much. However, I wanted everyone to be able to experience each product to make up their own mind. I prepared a leaf and a flower petal for each person to experiment painting.

I rarely paint the whole piece of fabric to get the flower or leaf design. My use of paint is more to create depth and dimension. However, for the class I wanted them to use as much paint as possible just to experience each product. On the sample below I used about five different products to paint the leaf. I labeled each product for identification.

One of our members, Sandra brought her daughter, Chris as a guest. Chris is a commercial artist. This is what she did with her petal. I was happy to see Chris make a Calla Lily out of what I had intended to be just one petal of a flower. This gave me the opportunity to talk about keeping your mind open to "what if" I did this instead of that.

Due to being occupied with teaching I had little time to take photos of every ones samples. I thought I had taken more photos of each individuals samples but I guess not. Hopefully some will be brought back to the June meeting and I will post them then.

HiFiber Meeting for May

At our last meeting Bonnie Ouellette gave us a short demo on how to make Shaborri fabric. Bonnie gave each member four pieces of fabric. One square each of damask, linen, cotton and Aida. For me one of the most interesting parts of this experiment was how the different fabrics accepted the dyes. As it turned out the fabric that Bonnie though was cotton was not and did not accept the dyes as well as the others. I felt the best fabrics were linen and damask.

Since we were meeting in a gallery and we didn't have a wet place to work Bonnie came up with a method for us to take all the ingredients home to actually dye the fabric. During the mini workshop we tried many different ways to fold and manipulate the fabric for resist.

Beatriz left the thread in this piece so we could see how the thread worked as a resist.

Barbara chose to dye thread along with the fabric, a great idea.

These three were very interesting designs and I believe dyed by Donna.

I did this piece and the design was accomplished by using golf balls secured with wide rubber bands.

Heidi has specific plans for this piece.

These were some of the images done by Bonnie. There were many great designs that came out of this experiment. After everyone did show & tell, Bonnie challenged us to make an art piece using no other fabric than the four pieces we dyed. The piece can be embellished with any thing. This should be interesting.

I did the program for the May meeting, demonstrating different paints used on fabric. More on that later.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Spirit of the Kiva

I decided to write my comments as a blog post mainly because I wanted to thank you all for your comments. I have loved this piece since I first blended them in Photo Shop. I can't begin to tell you about the experience we had during the trip to New Mexico. I wrote about it in my journal on my trip home. It took the whole flight for me to write my feelings and experiences.

Perhaps when I get this finished I will pull the journal out and condense it a little for a blog post.

About the photo, I did not use flash on this photo only overhead light. I will try it outside and see how it comes out. Thanks again for your comments and I will keep you posted on its progress.

New Work "Spirit of the Kiva"

I'm working on three different projects at the moment. The working name for this one is "Spirit of the Kiva". The photograph has been manipulated in Photo Shop Elements blending two photos.

Months ago I used this photograph which I took on vacation, of a beautiful little girl, and made this fabric portrait. I loved the haunting look in her eyes. This whole trip had been very spiritual for me.

Months before we had been in New Mexico visiting many of the American Indian Pueblos. We were taken to this Kiva which is a spiritual meeting place for American Indians. The feeling of these places and people were very special to me and I wanted to portray this in "Spirit of the Kiva".

I chose to blend the portrait that I made in fabric of the little girl with the photograph of the Kiva. The child is representing the spirit as it fills the Kiva.

It is printed on cotton sateen fabric and is 36" x 40". I have done some research on American Indian symbols and have drafted a pattern for a boarder of pieced Kiva Steps. I am also going to stencil petroglyphs on the interior boarder.

Still have lots to go but am fairly well satisfied with this piece so far. I have found that cotton sateen reflects light and is difficult to photograph. Any comments on the piece would be appreciated.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Night with Dixie Haywood

I know I promised photos about the Picken's Museum opening but I forgot to take my camera. I hope to go back before it comes down as there was a very interesting fiber piece that I'd like to post.

Last night I had the opportunity to see Dixie Haywood give a retrospect of her work dating back to the l980. Dixie is a friend of mine and was giving this rare program to raise money for her church.

Crazy Quilt Series

Dixie explaining to her audience about what a crazy quilt and foundation piecing is all about. I will apologize in advance for the quality of my photos. I didn't want to use a flash and I think I was to far back in any case for it to help. Some of these are a little soft.

Pineapple Series

Pineapple and Star

This may be one of Dixie's most honored quilts.
Hot Cotton

My favorite quilt ever of Dixie's is Hot Cotton. It is shown here front and back. The back is as beautiful as the front, maybe not as colorful but just as beautiful.

My apologizes to Dixie for the bad photography. I also started with more info by each quilt and lost the post. Just couldn't post all that again.

Most of these quilts can be seen in Dixie's books co-authored with Jane Hall. This retrospect was indeed a chance in a life time to see all these beautiful works in one night. Thanks Dixie and Happy Birthday.