November 9, 2015 6 comments


I’ve had a piece in mind since 2013, and actually intended to make it for 2014’s International Quilt Festival in Houston (the "Oh Canada!" exhibit), but as you know, 2014 turned out to be a year of badness; and when I poked my head up from all of that, it was early 2015.

Since then, I’ve had difficulty getting my mojo back.  Fortunately, I was “discovered” by the birding community in late winter of 2014, so thinking about and producing birds has been enough to “keep my hand in” while I waited for the return of the muse.

In late August, I got one of my regular mailings from a local art gallery/working studio, and saw that someone was offering a technique class. The picture posted along with the class information was strangely compelling to me – and I decided to take the class if only to discover how to produce this very abstract, contemporary look.

It was my second class ever (the first was a free motion quilting class in 2007), so I felt a bit out of my element when I got to the class. The teacher asked why we were there, and, a bit flustered, I explained to her that it was the picture she posted with her class that I found so intriguing. She smiled and thanked me, and said she would show me how to do it, but first demonstrated the basic technique to the class. 
I happily spent the rest of the day exploring what I could do with this instruction, and it wasn’t until days later that I remembered that I had never found out how to produce that piece that so drew me in the first place!

But I continued to work with the pieces that I had made in class, at home, and began researching how to obtain the “home version” of similar equipment so I could explore the technique further. That’s kept me very busy since then. 

Every once in a while, I thought about sharing what I was doing with all of you; but it was so very different from what I had done before; I wasn't entirely sure whether it was a new direction or just a flash in the pan, and I wasn't sure whether I actually *wanted* to blog anymore, so I just kept plugging away, and kept myself to myself.

But last week, something awakened in me.

The piece I referred to above kept popping into my head at odd moments. At first, just a fleeting image would appear on my "brain screen" as I was doing something else, and then I’d find myself woolgathering in front of my computer screen at work, thinking about the “how” of constructing it.

Then I started collecting images of creatures who might make an appearance in such a piece, were it to be made, and by last Thursday, I knew I was going to make it, and soon!  

This past weekend, my BSP and I put Tyler in the car, and spent some time in the woods.

I was entranced by the foliage at the feet of the different trees, the shapes of the different leaves, and most especially, the barks.
Bark is the outermost layers of stems and roots of woody plants. Plants with bark include trees, woody vines, and shrubs. Bark refers to all the tissues outside of the vascular cambium and is a nontechnical term.”
And when we got back, I went up to the studio, and started making bark.

Usually, I needle felt my bark, but I tried something different this time. It's much faster, if not quite as heavily textural, but I produced a 3 feet long by just over a foot wide piece of "bark" comprised of hundreds of tiny pieces of fabrics in just 9 hours, whereas normally, a piece this size would take me 20-30 hours. So, a small sacrifice in texture to save me a lot of time!
Speaking of time, I'll post from time to time, and let you know how I'm coming along, shall I? 
How are you?  It's nice to see you. :)