Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thread Heads Exhibit at the World of Energy

Fiber art group, the Thread Heads of Seneca, SC took on the challenge "Native" as the main theme for their fourth exhibit at The World of Energy. The pieces take us from Hawaii to the. Trail of Tears. Each piece telling a compelling story.

Jean Wachs "Trail of Tears"

Bonnie Ouellette tells a folk tale in her piece about Hawaii

Carolyn Harris tells this interesting story. Carolyn first read this story in Guidepost Magazine. She found it difficult to get the story our of her mind.

close-up of the story Carolyn used for her inspiration.

Carolyn's rendition of the wall.

Heidi Wolko

Paula Ridley

Ronette Askew

I wish I had more information about how each member was inspired to create their individual piece, and enough room to show each piece. However, you can experience this exhibit at the World of Energy, Seneca, SC through Nov. 4th. 10-5.

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Beautiful Shebori from China

My friend Sarah Miller works in China. This past week Sarah and her husband were doing a little touring and came to the village of Xizhu. Here she saw this woman stitching some amazing designs in fabric. Below is Sarah's comments.

Marilyn, this whole region is one you would love...such beautiful faces, such interesting traditions and yes, I thought of you when I saw the tie-die. They actually do a type of silk screen procedure to get the pattern on the cotton, then they stitch it up to get the exact designs, then they dip the whole thing 22 times in the home-made indigo die, letting it dry each time, then they undo the stitching to let the design unfold. It is really very interesting!

This is a piece that Sarah purchased. I believe that this process is actually called shebori, although Sarah's said her guide used the term tie-dye. How beautiful is this?

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Round the World Blog Hop

I have been nominated by Linda Steele to join the Round the World Blog Hop. Linda is a fellow fiber artist who lives in Australia. I have so many wonderful friends, whom I have never met, on the internet. What a wonderful time we live in.

Linda creates the most beautiful hand embroidery on Crazy quilts. You can see her work here  She has won awards in Australia, as well as, International show in Houston and Paducah.

The blog hop consist of four questions:

What am I working on?

It's hard for me to work on one thing at a time, so I always have at least two or three works on the design wall. I often get stuck, as with this one, and have to look at it for a while. The shadow is my problem at the moment. When I began creating this piece, of my cute and athletic grand niece, everything meshed. I was on a high from the creating process, but then hit a wall with the shadow. I think I have the problem solved, but haven't had time to get back to work.I have been teaching and traveling a lot this year. Neither is conducive to creating.

I also am working on an architectural piece. I have the fabrics assembled and the pattern somewhat ready.

  I had a few days to spend on a project, but didn't have time to get into something major. I have been working on class prep and really wanted something quick and fun. I took this photo over thirty years ago, and it has always been one of my favorites. So I dug it out and did some work in PS to prepare a pattern. I am very happy with this and ancious to develop it further.

I also have a major quilt working its way through my brain now. It is a Modern Quilt. I have never done anything like this. I really like Modern quilts and hope that I can do it justice.

The idea came while preparing for a class called Drunkards Path and More. This class has so many possibilities. One of the reason I love to teach is that it makes me experiment, and in doing so, I find new ways to create.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

 I think as artist we all have individual gifts, talents and ideas that make each of our creations unique and different. Therefore even though we may work in the same genre, each piece is different. However, there is an area that I have enjoyed working in that I have not yet seen emerge in the quilt world. My work in computer manipulated art images on quilts has been very exciting and fulfilling as well as unique to the quilting community.

Ohm, won a second place in the computer category at Houston in 2011.

 Spirit of the Kiva 

Spirit of the Kiva just won Best of Show the Asheville, NC quilt show.

These are both were created with photos of mine that were manipulated and enhanced in PSE.

Why do I do what I do?

This question is probable the easiest to answer. BECAUSE I LOVE IT. 

How does my process work?

While I have always worked with my hands creating, I never considered myself an artist. my husband and I married young, and I worked while he went to college. I was a happy stay-at-home mother. With my husband's job we made many moves. Once we came to a location where we expected to be for a while, I went back to school. I wanted to find out if I could actually learn to be an artist. I believe you can.

My major was photography. My work comes almost solely from photographs that I have taken over the years. I think that many people feel that if you use a photograph as an inspiration, that it is somehow cheating. One needs to remember that the photographer has the eye; first to see the image, second to hone in on the important section, and to know or create, the best lighting conditions.

I love to create and work with my hands. I love beauty, color and texture. I have always been a sewist. Combine these and you have the answer to why I do what I do.

I've been very windy but I hope you have stayed with me. I am going to introduce two artist whose blog I follow.

Virginia (Jenny) Greaves is a talented portrait artist whose blog I started following many years ago. You will find it here   Jenny and I have communicated via internet for several years. I was pleased to meet her last year in Houston. Jenny won a well deserved blue ribbon for her portrait of Lincoln. I have it on good authority that is is a winner this year as well.

LeeAnna Paylor's blog is titled Not Afraid of Color and you can find it here,
It is an  very apply name blog. LeeAnna is funny, talented and generous with her tutorials. Her quilts, as well as her personality, are alive with color.

Jenny and LeeAnna will be posting on Oct. 20. Please check out their blogs.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


I've been teaching a lot this year and it's been fun. I have a Mini Nature class coming up next Monday in N. Augusta, SC. I've had a lot of request for a bird pattern, so I've been working on creating one. One of the things I like to show my students, is how the background can change the whole mood of a piece.
These are a few of the different backgrounds I tried.


I have been tapped to join the Round the World Blog Hop. My post will be coming out Monday, Oct. 13. Come back and see what I have to say.

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Friday, October 3, 2014

A week of R and R

We spent the last week at the coast with family and friends. We always love to go there, it's peaceful and restful. Since it was gray and rainy the whole time, we got lots of rest. It's been hard getting out of that mode into one of accomplishing something. I have a feeling that won't happen today. It's raining here, and we need the rain, but it doesn't exactly fill me with energy.

I don't remember if I posted this portrait yet. I had a short period before we left on vacation to play a little, and I wanted something quick and fun to work with. I usually mat and frame these pieces, but after looking at it on my design wall I've decided on a different approach. I am making a narrow black sash, not sure it's really a sash, to act as a black mat might work within a larger mat.

I have this wonderful black and white fabric and have decided to to use it as the boarder around the portrait. It's the perfect piece to get me excited and working again, even in the rain.
This post is linked to Off the Wall Friday

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