Sunday, June 22, 2014

Catherine Reinhart Home[maker]

Marny here…let me share a special exhibit currently being held in the Community Gallery on the ground floor of the Octagon Center for the Arts in downtown Ames.  

My artist brother-in-law, Stewart Buck, encouraged me to check out studio artist Catherine Reinhart's solo exhibition Home[maker].  It is fascinating.  Catherine has kindly granted me permission to use the photos I took in the gallery for this blog post.  I am only sharing a small portion of the show below.

Here is a quote from the gallery signage.
"Catherine's work is a liturgy of gesture where material studies and repetitive action dominate.  Her art making is a labor intensive ritual; a working through. By spending her days measuring lengths of thread and arranging delicate lines Catherine creates a quiet space in which to process the dichotomous relationship between the vitality and fragility of living."   

The string paintings associated with found quilt squares are indeed a "labor intensive ritual".  The arrangements of thread in "delicate lines" are astonishing.     As quilters, we often have piles of threads to the side of our machines.  But these are "positioned" threads completing a composition.  They are hard to describe or photograph.  As quilters repeating movements over and over with intention we can relate to Catherine's quiet space suitable for renewing thought.

Added to post 6/25/14:  Catherine shared that the quilt blocks in this show came from a gifted quilt top made entirely of leisure suits.  She disassembled the top "into pieces which are(were) aesthetically pleasing" to her.  The string paintings result from her own process, combining quilting and free motion sewing.  

Please visit Catherine Reinhart's website and visit the show if you are in town.  I couldn't do justice to her larger pieces so they are not included, but you need to see them!        
Forms of Collection: of layering, 2014
found quilt squares, string paintings

Tit for Tat, 2014
found quilt squares, string paintings

Sketch III, 2014
found quilt squares, string paintings

Sketch V, 2014
found quilt squares, string paintings

Early to Rise, 2014
found quilt squares, string paintings
Thread, yarn and string…ubiquitous, yet artistic here.  I am never going to look at thread quite the same way again.

Till Tuesday… 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Modern Workshops and Trunkshow

Marny here…yesterday the Keepsake Quilters hosted us in Cedar Falls, Iowa.  We gave a little workshop on modern quilting, transformed a traditional block with modern design elements, taught two of our patterns, had a delightful shopping excursion to the Crazy to Quilt Shop and finished with a Trunk Show of all our patterns.
Unloading for a fun day with the Keepsake Quilters.

Rare luxury of space.  
Even when everyone had arrived the room was wonderful!

A short lesson transforming this traditional nine patch to modern in a variety of ways.

Table filled with fabric for some exercises mocking up some blocks.

Samples of Cutlery and Leftovers for the class.

One student's Cutlery under construction.
Cross weaves and stripes-it is going to be beautiful!

Our trunk show was just drawing to a close when the sirens went off in Waterloo.  Persistent tornado warnings sent us to the very comfortable basement for 45 minutes.  Heavy rains, high winds and tornados in the vicinity did not keep the intrepid group from carrying on their meeting downstairs!

Jill and I departed on the best route for avoiding bad weather.  We were optimistic that we had to exit from the heavy rain and wind since we had seen the radar.  But the storm headed south along our path…emergency vehicle lights caused us to pause in the town of Traer.  Yikes more sirens.  But also a haven one block away.  The Traer fire department offered shelter to a dozen weary travelers.     
A comforting sight…this is an awesome underground shelter.   Luckily we never had to descend into it. 
Thank you to the Traer Fire Dept.  Professional and hospitable!

Back in the car, pulled off the road just once more, entered a totally dry Ames, dropped Jill at her house, and the skies opened up with another deluge for my last mile home.    

Despite the weather challenges it was a great experience with all the busy, creative, thoughtful Keepsake Quilters.  Thank you!!

Till Tuesday…

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Modern Architecture Walkabout

jill here...Iowa State University is a playground of art and architecture.  Sunday morning was a beautiful day to walk about and rediscover some points of modern.

This is one of my favorite campus sculptures.  Diagonal lines and rectangles create an active rhythm.  The mulch at the base (to alleviate mowing?) brings focus to this representational art work.

Love this modern gate.  The transparent changes in the background add to the interest.

The historic cross pattern makes it way to the featured kachina.  The light, medium and dark values on the medium toned brick are used in equal proportions but the light wins out.  Interesting how the horizontal lines at the base (and the windows to the right) bring the asymmetry into balance.

Even the Cyride bus stop has been modernized.  The rectangular red "waterfall" displays the graphic white logo making it easily identifiable.

The interior design displays transparent parallelograms.

 Vertical and horizontal lines create interesting combinations.  The green of the landscape really adds to the grey and aubergine on this gently curved facade.

This is the new modern building I set out for...the horizontal louvers not only act as aesthetic interest but probably function to help screen the southern heat gain.  Again, the landscape textures bring interest and soften the relief.

The asymmetric entrance is a nice welcoming change.

Curved bicycle hoops in the foreground will be filled this fall.  Only student orientation this sunny Sunday.

Sun and shadow accent the perspective of this design building.

This next Monday, June 16th, we'll be presenting a workshop and trunk show in Cedar Falls, Iowa.  The Keepsake Quilters Guild will explore modern!  If you're interested in more information, contact        Judy Tyer
Program Chair
Keepsake Quilter's Guild

'till next Tuesday...

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Repurpose bits of fabric stash into cards!

Marny here…with a suggestion for using the valuable/favorite little strips of fabric you've been saving to make a special, fast and fun three dimensional card.  The strips I used were between ¾" and 1 ½" wide and 5 inches long.  There are eight in this composition.  They were not straight, but none had major curves either.

Notice this card is made from silk and cotton cross weave fabric strips.  The warp and the weft are different colored threads in a cross weave.  This weaving process adds a slight visual texture to the fabric.  Its appearance also changes depending on the angle you see it from. (It has a nap.)   The colors here resemble those of a rainbow…red, orange, green, blue, indigo, violet.  The yellow in this "roygbiv" reinterpretation is a really yellow green.

Arranging the color strips was easy.  There are a couple of violets, blueish and reddish not seen on the right end.  They were already stitched (see below) when I decided to photograph the simple process.
Here are the two violets stacked on a foundation of yellow.  
The foundation fabric will never show.  
In this case the fabrics do not have a right and wrong side.  If I were using fabrics that did they would be stacked right sides together and stitched.

Press the stitching line first to "set the stitches", then press the end strip away from the other strip.

Rotate the piece 180 degrees and start stitching one strip at a time, pressing as before, working across the foundation fabric.

Here it is all sewn, pressed, and trimmed around the perimeter.

The reverse side.
The completed foundation pieced portion stitched all around to another layer of fabric (not shown) right sides together.
Cut an opening in the back.
Turn right side out through the slash in the back.
Push out the corners and press.  
No need to close the slash because it will be hidden once attached to the card.
One stitch in each corner attaching the little foundation pieced color story to a heavy piece of folded black construction paper.  
This is the orientation I chose for the final product.  
The interior of the card has additional paper double stick taped to it so that the stitches are hidden and there is a suitable surface to write a message on.
Another orientation…and I really like this one too.
Yet another way to look at the composition of color strips.  The dark at the top seems a bit heavy.
One final orientation for the textile "rainbow".
Till Tuesday…