Thursday, March 8, 2012

Home from Hornby

Well, here I am, back home from my "artist's retreat" on Hornby Island. It was terrific - taking time apart from the busy-ness of life to be creative, to focus on my work, to think about what direction I want to go in. I would highly recommend it to anyone. Without the usual distractions of life, I have better been able to narrow down what kind of work I want to do, and confirmed in myself a new, and somewhat unexpected direction. In addition to quilting, I did a lot of journalling (this is a decades-old practice that I find very helpful in sorting out my thoughts, as well as for unloading concerns and cares that have the potential to divert me from what I really want to do), and collecting of images that inspire me and sorting through those. I was able to concentrate on eating a healthier diet, and getting outside for daily exercise - all those good things that are part of a more balanced life. It was good, very good. So . . . . I thought I'd show you just a couple of the pieces I worked on, besides
the Hornby Quilters journal pieces. "To Market, To Market" is the first in a series of improvisational studies I am embarked on making. I used a painted barkcloth image as the focal point, and built around it, with strip units that were cut in different widths, some of them wedge-shaped and some not, and sliced apart to make a border for the focal point. In the second study - So Many Zebras", I began by making curved strip-units, and then cutthem apart and put them back together again. I will show you others in this series as they evolve. Next is a piece called "Windows on Africa". I made a grid by couching very thin strips of African fabrics,
then filled in the squares with scraps of some of the many African wax fabrics that I have used in the past. It's a playful "What If?" piece, and measures 16" X 36". "Knight" is the last piece I worked on, and it still needs quilting. I used Ruth McDowell's method to break down a photo of Knight, one of the Bitengye Designers, as she was ironing on a table underneath the trees. It will be the first in a series of quilts featuring African women. As you've probably gathered, I am focussing on African-inspired work at the moment. I am using African fabrics, and other fabrics that work well with these, as well as African artwork, and have tucked most everything else away for now. And this is what I plan to continue working with in the coming weeks and months. Thanks for letting me share this with you.

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