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Inspiring Quilting: Elly's blog to boost your creative IQ

Archive for the ‘Weaving’ Category

What’s new is Oldham, Todd Oldham

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

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All of Everything refers to the many materials, styles and themes that Todd Oldham used to put into his fashion. It is the name of the show, the first major exhibition to focus on the exuberant style and playful aesthetic of Todd Oldham’s runway opus of the 1990s. I just saw it at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Museum; it’s there until Sept. 11.

Some glimpses that us quilters will love…that is, IF you’re into All of Everything, and everything but the kitchen sink in your fashion!

Patchwork

Different types of fabrics and patterns in the coats above and below, and in the mock-up with glued wool that was photographed and used for a print.

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Patchwork with Woven Ribbons

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Embroidery

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Button Embellishment

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Beading, Quilting

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Knitting, Lacing, Surface Design, & Beading

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This last pièce de irresistance was the culmination of a class Oldham taught at RISD in 2014. Except for this collaboration, it has been 14 or 15 years since he’s designed fashion. In the years since, he’s been putting All of Everything into interior design, kid-crafts, and other follies for Target, Old Navy, La-Z-Boy, Escada, movies, and TV. Check out his home here!

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Let It Flow

Saturday, October 24th, 2015

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Ahoy there, mateys! Just picking up from my posts of June 29 and July 1. Seems like I row row row my boat, get off of it, get back to it, and row some more. Isn’t that how everyone courses through their bigger projects?

Please excuse the metaphors, if they don’t float your boat. Always thinking of my son and his fiancee as they about halfway through their one-year trip sailing the Great American Loop, which you can read about on their blog, sailbatic.al.

To refresh everyone’s memory, including my own, the wind beneath my sails is a challenge from Quilts for Change, titled Water Is Life. See this post for info, and this post for my launch of the project.

The weavings came together, with lighter and darker sections cut in curves and overlapped, as shown above. Then, I added stream of consciousness phrases with free-motion script:

  • Justice
  • transparent governance
  • wellsprings of knowledge
  • flow of info
  • ponder policies
  • unclouded judgement
  • funding streams
  • wo/mandates
  • fathom the depths

After that, some dense quilting in wavy lines. Then appliques to lighten some areas, tone down others, add interest and contrast and texture.

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The finishing was a whole ‘nuther trip around the bend. One rust binding all around wasn’t enough, so that became an inset with a pieced binding.

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Still not enough. So I auditioned several different sizes and colors of rickrack. Aqua, white, yellow, blue and gold…

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Opted for a yellow green to add light to the whole. Or, as a mutiny against spending more time and angst over this piece. (I’m ready to set sail on a new project.)

Yes, after months, I have finally reached the shore and completed my art quilt today! And submitted images, a bio and a statement.

Title: Let It Flow

Water is a deeply complex issue, swirling with interwoven challenges of safety, security, social justice, and access.

Only transparently clear, progressive, democratic governance can ensure a good flow of information and funding streams.

As the traditional water gatherers who understand what is best for their communities, women deserve a place in discussions and decision-making. When mandates become “womandates,” results are life-affirming.

 

Done! And 9 days before the deadline: a record for this captain of last-minute industry. Making art and quilts is usually a lonely, isolated journey, so comments and constructive criticism are always very welcome! 

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Letting Concepts Flow

Monday, June 29th, 2015

No matter what the crisis or social issue, there’s a warm and multi-layered response from the quilt world. As a quilter who’s passionate about advocacy and fabric-play, I am salivating and drooling to participate in a challenge by Quilts for Change. The theme this year is:

Water is Life: Clean Water and its Impact on the Lives of Women and Girls around the World

A challenge quilt exhibit to debut at United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland in March 2016 to commemorate UN World Water Day. Organized by the United States Mission to the United Nations in Geneva in partnership with American Exchange Rome and Quilt for Change.

Quilters are invited to create and submit art quilts that address the issue of clean water and its impact on the lives of women and girls. Participating quilters can highlight any aspect of water – for example, how access to clean water can effect women’s daily lives, health, safety, the environment, mobility, income and development or any other aspect related to the theme, including women’s relationship to water, such as fishing, acquaculture and even transport.

The call for entries is here:

http://quiltforchange.org/quilt-for-change-exhibits/water-is-life/, and the deadline is Nov. 1, 2015.

Planning this work has meant 3 stages so far:

Idea collecting:

*Images of women with water containers on heads and yokes…which has been done so much, and to which I have no personal connection.

*Vessels–a symbol for women, bulbous or with sinuopus curves, vases or urns with handles that mimic the uterus with fallopian tubes, and vessels that call up containment in the sense of being held, of safety and security…and again, presume the womb!  I return to this image again and again in my work:

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Wedding gift for Archaeologist Marcie Handler and Classics Instructor Mark Atwood

 

for my mother

Gift for my mother, a wonderful potter, upon her 80th birthday

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Detail of The Vessel

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Vessel (a completely different title, right?)

 

 

Stage 2: Panning for Gold! I read all the articles cited by the challenge orgs and more to better understand the issue. I googled images of microbes for typhus, river eye blindness, and more. Reviewed some great watery-art quilts and images used to illustrate the problems of water. Wishing well graphics would find their way into my piece…

Stage 3: Advice from the experts! Answering my calls for help, uber-advocates Janet Goldner and Sammie Moshenberg pointed me toward insightful articles on the subject, focusing on sub-Saharan Africa and Colombia.These readings illuminated the bigger problems, above those of purification, draught and pollution and access and climate change. It’s not just about good, scientific solutions to the problems of purification and access. That’s solvable. It’s corruption at the top, a lack of good governance. Funding for local wells, well-kept-up pipelines, and the technology for safe water and sanitation practices rarely reach those in poverty who need them most.

No question about it, WATER is a complex, many-layered problem, with interwoven aspects. Think I’ll do a woven piece and let it evolve…

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Waking Up, Down the Shore in process

 

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Surprise Party of Color, detail

 

Text is the only way I can think of to get across the sophisticated concepts. So I’ll layer areas of organdy, printed with words or phrases. Try to express the GAP of Governance, Access, and Policy. The importance of Power and Justice, Funding streams and the Full-on Flow of Wealth, rather than trickle-down realities. I’ve been pooling together other expressions: Pollution and Poison,  Poverty and Powerlessness—but these are all polarizing negatives. No one wants to see a PO (pissed off) attitude displayed, but a clear POV (point of view) seems essential.

What other words or phrases concisely speak to this issue? Could a top-down ordering of concepts in text be used to show the hierarchy of problems? Or differences in font size? And apart from using curves, spirals, teardrop shapes, and vessels, how to communicate the role of women in all of this? I’m struggling in the water…who wants to throw me a lifeline? Comments extremely welcome!