Category Archives: art quilt

Summer is here!!!

Happy Summer Solstice

New Quilts in Progress…

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This quilt is in the binding phase now.  I started out with the intention of a functional  baby girl quilt but it seems more appropriate as a wall hanging.  It would look great in a girl’s room or really anywhere in a light and happy home.

stencil-flower-1 stencil-flower-2  stencil-flower-3      stencil-flower-5

This quilt was inspired by the flower design.  I made a stencil for this project.  I have got to try out silk screening!  That orange and blue gadget in the first picture has a rotating blade that allows very easy curve cutting.  It’s Awesome!  I found it in a clearance bin!  It’s made by Fiscars. They call it a “shape cutter”.  The dots are simply stamped with the end of a dowel that is lightly dipped into the fabric paint.  You might be able to see the circle that I used as a guide in pencil.  (Oh, after this sample, I taped all of my edges to avoid the mistake you see in the last pic.)

I used batiks I dyed last winter and I love how they really stand out with all the black and white.  The quilting is simple:  White rayon thread on white, black on black, and the details between the blocks and detailing the flowers is in silver metallic thread.

The size is approximately 36” x 36”.  stencil-flower-12

detail of quilting on the back of the quilt

 

My quilts are a breeze to hang!

Hanging this quilt, like most of my quilts, is so EASY!  It has a split sleeve on the back to insert a rod or thin strip of wood or acrylic and can hang and be balanced on one hook, nail or screw on the wall.  Or it can be hung traditionally or on a decorative curtain rod with wall brackets.  (see picture of quilt back below)

signature

Like my new signature?

This quilt is perfect for custom made!  I can do any motif you like!  Contact me for more information or questions!

 

Pisces Constellations

Constellations of the zodiac exist, right?pisces-1

I’ve been working with circles a lot lately.  I use a wonderful technique that involves freezer paper  to get the perfect inset circles as opposed to applique (the shape sewn on top of the fabric). 

I started hand stitching around the circles and pulled a lot of thread out because it was just boring.  Then I had the idea to make stencils out of freezer paper and rub gold Shiva oil stick paint ( Dharma.com ) with a stencil brush.

And the quilting was a sudden inspiration.  I just went with it and that’s how it turned into the idea of the constellation of Pisces… if that exists.  It’s done with silver metallic thread.

The size is approximately 24” x 9”.

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Detail of Pisces Constellations above and Split Sleeve below

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New things at the Gallery on High

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These are paintings that have been matted and are showing at the “Birds, Bees, Butterflies and Bridges” themed show running through the summer. 

All are for sale through the Gallery on High. 

Also, you can find new SkyGirl Dolls©, Tote bags, hand bags, little girl handbags, book bags by me and loads of fabulous art by other local artists in Glass, Ceramic, Paintings, Photography, Jewelry, Up-cycled Art and more!Sew-4-Ever!

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Loud Animals

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I came across this wonderful fabric during winter on clearance at Fabric.com and finally got around to working with it.

 crab1

This one is going to hang in a local crab restaurant “Crab Crazy at Friendship Farm” in Amityville.  They are nuts for crab decorations so I asked Tim, who works there (7 days a week !) to hang a crabby quilt and my info.  And, because he’s such a nice guy, he said “Of course!”

People seem to shy away from quilts because of the traditional hanging method.  I agree that it’s kind of a pain in the butt.  You need a level, some sort of brackets to hold the pole, wall anchors for the screws…  Worth it for a large piece but for small quilts I came up with this method in the pic below. elephant-3

First, instead of a sleeve, I use triangles, which is common enough.  But to display at The Gallery on High, the art must have a wire hanger.  So I now attach a wire loop on the dowel which makes it very easy to hang and balance.

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detail of elephant

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detail of quilting with the gold metallic thread

These quilts were so much fun to work with.  I got a simple system working and plan put this style on my Custom Made page.

Update on Jody’s Quilt

Hard to believe but Jody finally got her quilt!  It was a little more than a week ago.  The USPS somehow destroyed it.  They offered no explanation.  Then there was some run-around…  In the time that passed, poor Jody was in the midst of all of those crazy storms down south.  I gave it a little time to make sure the quilt would arrive safe.  In the email she sent, she sounded very happy and said she was testing the quilt against every wall, windows and mirrors- because it’s transparent.

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Jody’s Quilt.  I asked her to pick one of my other quilts since her first one was destroyed in the mail.

Dolls to new homes:

Audrianna’s  doll arrived safe and sound.  This is the little girl with PWS.  She loves her new SkyGirl doll and named her Maggy.

Another SkyGirl went to a 3 year old girl.  She named her doll G. G. for her great grandma.  She’s called G.G. for “Gorgeous Grandma”.  Love that!  I love all the neat names that people come up with for grandparents!

IMAG0155      Blossom-3

Maggy and G.G.

This is going to be a great sewing week!  Finally spring time temperatures!

Sew-4-Ever!

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New Matted Minnies

Happy Memorial day Vets

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In this mini painting, we have a sailor having some down time with his pipe and Annual Magazine.  The source is one of many of my dad’s photos taken between 1954 to 1959 while in the U.S. Navy.  I think this guy’s name is “Rip”.

Available at the Quilt & Fiber Arts Shop on Etsy.

  Enter coupon code:  smilesunshine for 20% off

 

 

 

 

A new way to own some art that is also affordable.

parasols-1  parasols-3parasols-4  parasols-6

Why not order a grouping?

These little quilts feature actual paper parasols that I painstakingly deconstructed to make them lie flat. Inside I found these strips from a Chinese (guessing…) newspaper that were used to wrap the little plunger and the top of the umbrella, which were covered by another material. You would laugh to see me hunched over dozens of paper parasols, Xacto knife in hand and tiny strips of paper being rescued for this project!

The center, where there was only a hole left, is covered with a sequin.

5” x 7”, matted and ready for framing. Comes in a protective cellophane envelope.  Just pick up an inexpensive frame and you’re done!

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  Coming up next is a baby boy quilt that just needs to be photographed.

Thanks for checking these out.  Leave a comment!  What do you think of this idea?  What would you like to see?

Sew-4-Ever!

    

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Sacred Threads Exhibit, Washington DC

Dissected  Letting Go

I’m very pleased to say that I had 2 quilts accepted in the Sacred Threads Exhibit to be held in the Washington DC area

June 22 – July 4, 2011.

Church of the Epiphany

3301 Hidden Meadow Drive, Herndon, Virginia

Sacred Threads is an exhibition of

quilts exploring themes of spirituality, joy, inspiration, peace/brotherhood, grief and healing. This biennial exhibition was established to provide a safe venue for quilters  who see their work as a connection to the sacred and/or as an expression of their spiritual journey.

The objective is to create a dignified exhibition of artwork that touches on both spiritual and personal levels all those who view it. We want to share with others the experiences of quilters whose stories may be a source of healing and strength.

-from the Sacred Threads Website

The Quilts that were accepted:

Click Images for a Larger View.

Dissected            (Grief Category)Dissected

2009

27” w x 67”

In order to heal, one must acknowledge all of the scary and ugly elements in a life. Feelings of being censored, judged, mistreated, abused and misunderstood were the driving force in the beginning of this piece.

There was grief in mourning parts of myself robbed of me; elements of “self” that can never be recovered.

After a period of time, I found elements of positivity: The realization that One can stitch the torn pieces of the self together again. I used a lot of symbolism throughout the piece that I leave to the viewer to interpret in her own way.

Letting Go       (Healing Category)

2008

14.25” w x 25” h

I painted the center panel after a hurtful argument with my daughter when she was thirteen years old. I was having a very hard time coming to terms with her growing up. We were always so close and she was starting to hide things from me. She began defying me. I took it very personally.

As I continued to work this piece into a quilt, I explored memories and my feelings as a mother and her point of view as a young teenager. It was a therapeutic exercise in healing and accepting that my little girl was just growing up.

Other Art Quilters who will be exhibiting in this show

note:  I had a uploading issue today and some of the names are not linked properly.  Sorry!  I will fix this problem on Tuesday 5/3.

Jeanette Thompson 
 
Wen Redmond – Chasing Color
 
Kate Themel – After the Wake / Lemme See!
 
Mary Pal – Musing
 
Meena Schaldenbrand – Savor Every Second
 
Mary Beth Frezon – 36
 
Judy Momenzadeh – Jars of Clay
 
Cheryl Lynch
 
Laurie Ceesay – Venus Rising: Out of Addiction
 
Deborah Spincic – Continue / Temporary
 
Deborah Stanley – Apple Tree of Trees
 
Linda Edkins Wyatt – Eye of Panic / Antahkarana
 
Carol Howard Donati – Wine and Bread
 
Linda Miller
 
Jamie Fingal – Spilling Over
 
Judith Heyward – Imagine
 
Barbara Curiel – Fall Madonna
 
Marilyn Wall – A New Beginning

 

Sacred Threads is unique in a few ways:

  • The Artist’s Statement about the quilt is displayed with the quilt allowing the artist to express the inspiration for the work.
  • Viewers at the exhibit are given note cards to write responses to the artist about their quilts and the note cards are mailed to the artist after the show closes.
  • This is an exhibit where quilts that don’t usually have a suitable venue fit in beautifully.

The 2009 Exhibit In Ohio

Deeply Inspiring….

Beyond the Barrier – a Special Exhibit of Sacred Threads 2009

In the fall of 2008, prison Chaplain Jami Burns formed a new activity group at the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville, OH which provided the participating inmates with an opportunity to express their life’s journey through quilting. Many of these women have never quilted before but their works give voice to powerful emotions and deep faith…

I was honored to have quilts in the 2009 Ohio exhibit when I was just starting out entering art quilts into shows.  See Earlier Works :  Kodachrome and Immortality.

My family went to Ohio for the weekend to attend that show.  It was a moving experience to say the least.  If you are in the Washington DC area, check it out!   

Thanks for visiting!

Sew-4-Ever!

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Launch Day!

shouting-from-the-rooftops!  Welcome!

If you found this blog because of the email I sent out, Thank You for taking some time to see what I’ve been up to!  (I was just informed that the font was really big…  Oops!  Another lesson learned:  simple font.)

Win one of my original art quilts!

To make things more interesting and fun you can enter a drawing to win one of my original art quilts : Scar Tissue: Flow!  It’s easy to enter:  just leave a comment  at the end of this post and I’ll put your name into the hat!  On April 18, we’ll draw the winner! 

Click for a larger view

Flow    2010     17.75” x 14.25”

About the Quilt & Fiber Arts Shop:

For those of you who are not familiar with Etsy, Wikipedia says it best:

Etsy is an e-commerce website focused on handmade or vintage items as well as art and craft supplies.  It has been compared to “a crafty cross between Amazon and eBay,”[2] and to “your grandma’s basement.”[

This is a fabulous opportunity for artists to sell our creations and offer credit card options at a reasonable cost.

bzuazua-instant-messages Instant Messages  2009  55.5 L x 44 W

If you didn’t find this blog via email:  Want to get a secret coupon code for 25% off?  Tell me in the comment box and I’ll email it to you!  The code is good until April 25.  That’s 2 weeks!

See more Tote Bags, Hand Bags, and Book Bags 

Give the Perfect Gift:  Customized!

One of the best things I do is offer customized Quilts, Art Quilts, Bags, Dolls, Baby Play Mats or whatever you have in mind.  On the upper right of this page you will see the widget that says “Made Just For You”.  There you can learn more about how I calculate the cost of custom made items.  I will be adding more information to that page as I have more samples available to view.  Just tell me what you have in mind and I will work hard to make your idea come to life.

See Dolls in the Quilt & Fiber Arts Shop

SkyGirl© Dolls are an original creation I’ve been developing over several years.  If you order a custom doll, you can choose your colors, fabrics, characteristics and hobbies specific to the recipient.  Read more about the process and the SkyGirl story.

And just a couple more thoughts

If you read on, particularly the post: The Art of Going Pro, you will see that few months have been quite busy and full of learning new things.   In the post you can see all of the resources I found and steps I took to get to where I am now.

Check the Workshops page to find information about workshops I offer at The Gallery On High in Pottstown, PA.  Every season I offer something new for beginners, kids and adults.  See the Summer Session post to see what’s coming up.

Thanks for visiting!!  Don’t forget to comment to enter the Quilt Drawing!

Sew-4-Ever!

A Holograph Quilt?

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I read about Holograph Quilts by Wen Redmond at the Quilting Arts Magazine website while looking for interesting and easy workshop ideas for the Summer Session at the Gallery School of Pottstown, PA.

The photographed image of a railroad tie with pebbles embedded in a crack looks blurry but it’s because the effect is hard to capture in a photo.  The trick is printing an image on paper backed organza (a light transparent fabric) and iron on transfer paper, which is then ironed onto heavy cut away stabilizer.  The organza is layered over the ironed on image so it’s a double image.  Seeing through the organza to the solid layer creates the effect of a holograph!  Meaning, the illusion of depth is created.  This is way cool!

The steps:bzuazua-pebbles1

I gathered supplies here you see: the hand dyed batik fabric, the image as a whole and the cut up image. I printed the organza and transfer paper 24 hours earlier, which is recommended for the organza.

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Here you see that I’ve sewn the organza image pieces to strips of fabric. Organza is not a fun fabric to work with.  It wants to fray and distort.  Be very gentle.

At this point I was thinking about some surface design because if I messed up, I still hadn’t attached my borders.  I just got 4 new Shiva Sticks for my birthday (from me!) from Dharma Trading– I ordered the organza from them too.  So, I’ve always wanted to get these oil sticks and they are a dream!!!  So soft and vivid and very metallic.  I just made little circles and blended them with a stiff brush and heat set with a press cloth and hot iron.

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Now, I deviated from Wen’s instructions in the article.  Instead I ironed the transfer onto one large sheet of heavy cut away stabilizer after marking the photo placement very carefully and ironed on the images.  When I placed the organza images over the solid image….. MAGIC!  Wow, it really works!

So after pinning in place all over, I started some free style quilting.  Because I used a large piece of heavy stabilizer, I don’t need a hoop!  Cool, huh?

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Here, you see some quilting motifs going on.  The circles are gold metallic thread.  You can barely see the branches I stitched in brown.  I’m thinking I might use the blender iridescent Shiva stick to highlight…  ?  Dunno.  Ideas welcome!

I was thinking I might add some natural elements like some twigs and outside findings.  The image is a very close up of a railroad tie with pebbles embedded in the crack.

Thanks for reading!

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The Art of Going Pro

There are those people who say that they can’t draw a straight line on a page.  And then there are people, like me, who cant draw a straight line to the bank!

The good news is everyone can learn.  Give the non artist a ruler and give me a coach!

Leap!  bzuazua.com

Leap!  2008

Leap! And the Net Shall Appear! 

Good inspiring advice from my good friend Kathy Casey , L.Ac., Dipl. OM
Licensed Acupuncturist & Diplomate of Oriental Medicine, the inspiration of the quilt you see above.

She said it often to me over the years.  And many attempts ensued.  But the truth is I wasn’t confident enough to really pull it off until recent years.

How I got started

Three years ago I started entering quilt shows.  Feeling encouraged, I joined SAQA (Studio Art Quilts Associates), an international guild of quilt artists in late 2008.  The world opened up for me!  I attended the annual conference in Ohio of May 2009 and learned all kinds of things about marketing: using a website, mailing lists,  emails, post cards, business cards, among so much more.  Frankly I was overwhelmed.  But I was inspired and energized!  I set to work on selling my quilts.  Here’s what I did:

  • Set up my own domain and a hosting company recommended by a fellow artist.   http://bzuazua.com
  • Personalized email.   barbara@bzuazua.com
  • I was accepted as a teaching artist at the non profit Gallery School of Pottstown that promotes art in the community especially for underprivileged kids.
  • Business cards.
  • Talked to anyone who would listen and gave out cards to everyone.
  • Signed up with the Visioning Project (SAQA-U education for members) to keep focused on my goal for the year.
  • Read and reread “I’d Rather Be In The Studio” by Allison Stanfield.  (I still read it all the time)  It’s an artist’s guide to self promotion and more. I'd Rather Be in the Studio! Book Cover

All of these things really made a difference!

  I learned a lot in 2009 and in 2010 I did more:Sayuri's Memories bzuazua.com

Sayuri’s Memories 2009

  • Donated quilts for auctions for non profits : Sayuri’s Memories, 2009, donated to SAQA auction (above).   Walking Away, 2008, Village Productions (Pottstown PA)
  • I started to talk a little bit more on Facebook about events I was involved with. 
  • Set up a spot at a couple of art festivals and craft shows.
  • Attended events related to art, even speaking at one of them!

My sales actually doubled!  Then I had a freaky melt down . 

In January, this year, 2011 I did all of my financials so that my taxes would be ready.  I was so thrilled and then ……..  crippling  fear.Whirl bzuazua.com

Whirls: a work in progress

How was I going to have another year as good as that?  My mind was spinning!  Mind you, my sales weren’t even enough to cover my art making, showing, entering, shipping expenses.

I had to step it up and I didn’t know how.  I can read, I know what people say to do, but I was a little too scared to toot my horn too loudly…  What if I failed?  That’s why I only get the one year subscription or pay the month to month:  It’s fear of commitment and making a total fool of myself in front of the entire world!!!!

That is all changed now.  I learned what I was afraid of and I committed even further.  I spent the past month working hard on all you see here on this blog site, my new Etsy shop and the email you received that brought you here!  Thank you for coming!!

Can you relate?  Are you ready to grow?

Grow bzuazua.com

Grow  2010

Remember the line drawing blurb from the top? My friend and coach Cyn is one of those people who can draw straight lines on paper, to the bank, while texting a client about a house to sell and making copies at Kinko’s at 1 am!

Cyn is the woman behind CynWorks and I hired her to coach me for one month.  We had phone meetings once a week.  Each week we set goals to get to this point.  There will be more to do in the future but we’re working with a budget.  That’s one of the best things I like about working with Cyn.  She’s flexible.  I recommend her service to any artist who is really serious about not just making the art, but also selling it and just needs a bit of practical advice, how to’s, and guidance to get things moving. 

The other resource I recommend very highly is “I’d Rather Be In The Studio” by Allison Stanfield.  The book and the website is overflowing with tools, check lists, forms, ideas, ACTIONS, and very detailed explanations on who, what, when, where, why and how to do the things we have to do to get our art out into the big, wide, wonderful world.