Saturday, September 5, 2009

Color Color Color


I have been dyeing fabric like a mad women for the last 3 days. I have always known that it could over take my world someday. When one of your only gifts is picking colors, there isn't a lot of jobs out there for the artist except maybe arranging the scarves at Nordstrom. I've been they're and done that.
So to mix, plan and try to control color is so thrilling and making me very happy, even though my feet hurt from standing on hard tile for 3 days and my back and hands are sore from wringing out and ironing 90 yards of fabric. It is so worth it to get just the color and to be surprised by the color accidents that happen. It's always a surprise. Remember, you have to suffer for your art, but being up to my elbows in color is hardly suffering.
I am working on making hand dyed fabric packs for the classes I will be teaching at the IQA this October in Houston. I thought it would be fun to give my students something special for their flower class. Each hand dye fabric packs are a little bit different and they will have a choice of fabric packs. I can't wait to see what they do.
On Tuesday when I was up to my neck in color, beautiful color, I got a phone call. I saw it was from Houston and my heart jumped. When I heard it was the International Quilt Festival I started breathing fast. Then I heard the words that my Baltimore Album Bouquet quilt won something at the upcoming Houston show and would I be attending the awards presentation? That is when my feet floated off the ground. I can't believe it. It is really hard to win in Houston. Just being accepted in the show is a big deal. This show represents the best of the best in the world.
Of course I will be at the awards presentation, but what will I wear?
I have included the quilt and the original silk flower bouquet that I made for this idea. All quilts start with a picture. I had been trying to make this quilt for 2 years but it just wouldn't come out. Then one day when my girl friends Dawn and Peggy and I where on a flower outing, I had the idea. I saw these perfect red roses with large pink peonies. When I added the turquoise pot, and it had to be the perfect turquoise fabric (Hoffman California) with the red and pink it was magic! Then I just needed the sweet time. How precious time has become and how hard recently it has been to find.
When creating this quilt I wanted to see if I could replicate a lacy table cloth all in fabric and thread. As I was staring at the quilt one day doing a little hand work on my real Baltimore quilt I realized that the block in my hand went perfectly with the quilt on the design wall. Light bulb! So I pinned my applique block on the my quilt and knew they belonged together. It hangs 3rd dimensionally on the quilt with raw edges and all. It's like it is waiting for the lady of the house to come back and finish it. I made a spool of pink thread with a needle and a pair of scissors laying on the table along side. I thought I was so tricky, I even giggled out loud.
The only problem with this brilliant idea is that now my Baltimore album quilt is missing its block.
You can't see it in the picture, but the stack of books the cat named Scrambles is sitting on are all named after real quilt books that I own. Including my own Cutting Garden Quilts and, of course, the queen of Baltimore, Elly Sienkiewicz.
The funniest thing is that there are no hand dyed fabrics in this quilt.
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