Posts Tagged ‘quilting’

Envisioning Ourselves: Draw this First

Monday, May 26th, 2014

my ladies and iI’ve been working on an online portfolio. I find that whenever I’m slogging through something, I have a soundtrack of things I say to myself to pull me through.

It runs currently like this.

There’s nothing like reworking your portfolio and resume to make you take a close look.

Before you pick up a pen or a brush, or sit down to your machine, there’s a whole other art piece you need to create. You make whatever it is you make. You give it life and breath and spirit and hope in that creation. But along with that, you’re creating yourself.

Our vision is what we choose to see.

Our decisions make us what we choose to be.

Our limits define our strengths. We do what we do often because it is a work around for what we can’t do.

Our courage continues in a process that isn’t linear or rational or always along with the flow. Art is not for wimps. Of course it isn’t measured in how you feel. It’s measured in what you do.

All of those things make us who we are as artists. And who we are as people.

Vision is that person viewpoint which is wholly our own. It doesn’t matter if we see the world in dead bones, or trees, or flowers or space ship parts. We see what  we see. Our vision may be the most powerful gift we have as artists.

As I’ve been reworking my online portfolio, I’m finding that everything I’m saying here is simply what I need to hear. I’m whispering to myself in the dark. But that’s an art too.

Please come see my new portfolio at and let me know what you think.

In Praise of Speed

Friday, March 2nd, 2012
Quilting with the Sweet

Quilting with the Sweet

I never cared about fast cars. A little bit about fast guys.  Never about fast bicycles, or the many drugs under that heading. Speed has always just been trouble in a  box.  But fast sewing machines……………….Well, Yes!

One of my pet peeves is sewing machines that are just too slow. There’s a moment for that. The first time you show a five year old how to  do free motion, yes, I do put the machine on slow. Its not likely to happen any other time.

Why? There’s an illusion that if we sew slowly we’ll have more control. Boy, is that an urban legend.

Imagine yourself on a bicycle for the first time. That first time when you are so scared that you pedal slowly. Wobble, wobble,  wobble. Once you really start to pedal faster you find you have so much more control and stability. It’s true of free motion too.

I’m so enjoying my experiments with the HQ Sweet Sixteen. The speed on a long arm/ mid arm machine is what makes the smooth and excellent stitching possible. Slower is wobbling along on my bike.

Nicer than the machine speed is the ability to stop on a dime needle up or down. Fast starts, fast stitches and fast stops make for excellent free motion.

But here’s the really cool thing. I just quilted 7 little quilts in less than one hour. Wahaha!!!!!  My mother would have called that seven in one blow. Take that, Green Giant!

There are things you didn’t know you needed, you really need. 

Lauren Strach: A Botanical Lunatic with a Plan

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Lauren doesn’t look like a lunatic. She looks like a pink cheeked soccer mom. Look out! Stand back! 

She’s an emerging art quilter who attacks new approaches and techniques with gleeful ferocity. And masters them with passion. Every time she visits me, I find myself flying to my machine, inspired by her intensity.

Lauren says,

“My inspiration, like so many other quilters, comes from nature. 

As a life-long biologist and Master Gardener, I thought I saw nature, but it wasn’t until I embraced my artful journey that I began to really see.  My inspiration is found in the whorls of snail shells, the miniature worlds of mosses and lichens, the rugged nooks and crannies of the bark of the fallen tree, and the intricate shading and nuances in the early spring wildflowers. And, the more I see, the more I see.

The act of translating that vision in line, pattern and color into textile recreations introduces the next level of AHA!  It is an ever fascinating challenge to take the experience of seeing with eyes wide open, to shape it into form. From the fantastical realism of exaggerated insects, to the abstracted likeness of the quintessential flower bud, I seek to uncover the universal codes, to bring them to life with fabric and thread.  Tactile, textile translations of the mysteries of nature, celebrating the wonders of life, that is where I find my inspiration.

Lauren’s work has been showed at both Paducah and Houston. She was a finalist in the $100,000 Quilt Challenge. Where will she show next? It could be anywhere. If she doesn’t send it in, it’s likely 
to fly in on it’s own.

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