Every once in a while I have an opportunity to make a presentation to an arts or textile group. I was invited to speak and show slides to the Fidalgo Island Quilters Guild last month about the courses we hold at our center in La Conner, Washington. The Fidalgo Island Quilters are a large group of active people who meet once a month at the United Church in Anacortes. There is a group that meet in the morning and another that meets in the evening. I talked to both groups. It was such an inspiration to speak in a beautiful environment surrounded by stained glass windows and beautiful architecture and to be met with enthusiasm. Brightly colored quilts in red, white and blue were draped over the church pews. Just a few of the many quilts made especially for veterans by the Guild every year.
This month three of our students: Christina Erickson, Nancy Drake and Dianne Corso were also invited by the quilters to show some of their art and textile work that was created from the courses at our center in La Conner, Washington. Each one presented their artwork to much acclaim from the audience. Here are a few photos.
In October 2014 Gail Harker took a group of students to England to study British Textiles. One of our stops was at the famed Victoria & Albert Museum in London where we spent most of the day viewing magnificent 12th-19th C textiles embroidered in England. Just as we were being ushered to meet our bus, I spied a small exhibit of Kantha quilts from India. They grabbed my attention partly because they were visually so different from the refined textiles we had just been studying. Their repeating patterns were carried out in running stitch in yellow, red and blue threads on off white cotton fabrics, and in their simplicity they made powerful statements. I grabbed my camera and was able to take a few photos as the others loaded onto the coach.
Thanks to the Victoria and Albert Museum for allowing photography within the galleries.
Autumn Exhibition – Blog #9 – Level 3 Advanced Studies in Experimental Stitch – Asters – last in series
Coming to the Barn House for courses is always a pleasure. The Skagit Valley is so beautiful and changes every day. The friendship of the students and the open gift of support and sharing are so enjoyable, but this course has definitely taken me in new directions and stretched me. I’ve enjoyed exploring new hand stitches, accepting that distorting them is fun and very creative. The historical studies always open new doors for the bank of textile knowledge. Gail is patient and encouraging. This time Penny has been on hand each session to extend the guidance and add suggestions.
The thought of creating a 3D item has always intrigued me but it has been a long hard learning curve to create one for this course. I dredged up many schemes to make a jelly. I’ve learned so much about internal structure, piecing parts to make a whole, finding new materials that express the integrity of the subject etc, etc. The brain games, the research, the sampling, the redoing, and the need for patience and dogged determination have all been part of my life over the last months.
Autumn Exhibition – Blog #8 – Level 3 Advanced Studies in Experimental Stitch – Asters
I always have a sense of satisfaction at the end of a 2 year program when I pause to reflect on all the wonderful work we have all achieved. But for me, it is the journey that has the most meaningful lessons. Taking vague ideas, filtering them through design principles, and learning to listen to the work in progress is a wonderful challenge. Along the way, we meet and bond with other emerging artists in our class and have the luxury of spending creative time in a supportive environment here at ‘the barn.’ The guidance of Gail and her assistant Penny along the way is focused on our developing the skills to work independently. Much of my work is inspired by the flora of the West Coast as in my umbrella titled In the Shade. However, world travels remain a strong influence as in my piece titled Gellabeya.
Between our past two exhibitions a very special class finished up. The Art of Machine Embroidery is a class that began last January and we’ve had a wonderful three sessions. The students have had an incredible time further exploring machine embroidery and implementing techniques to translate their inspirations into art. Here are a few pictures from class and some of their work which I’m excited to share with you. Our next Art of Machine Embroidery class begins in November, click here for details.