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Assembly Required

Oh Lawdy, I’ve done it again! I seem to have a knack for it.

When the concept for the EVOLUTION exhibit was presented I jumped in with both feet.

I had an idea of what to make – I wanted to somehow use all the looped wire elements I’ve been making….. oh! but I need to make more of them first….. oh! and I think I’ll combine them with fabric….. oh! and….. well…. you can read my previous posts to see how this project has been evolving.

Here I am at the deadline and I’m still working on it! This reminds me of when I was in school and all the art project deadlines I had. Couldn’t keep it simple….. nooooo….. always working on the grand schemes right up to the last minute.

And of course, today I decided that I needed to make MORE leaves.

Earlier this week I started getting all stressed out over it and thinking, “You know, I’m not in school anymore. I don’t have to meet no stinkin’ deadline. The world will not end.” But then Mark reminded me that there are still deadlines in life and art, which I know. It was also suggested that I “girl up” and get back to work.

OK! I’m working as fast as I can!

Wire leaves FB
Individual wired leaf elements


Wired leaves on white
Leaf elements wired together into one piece. I had thought I'd leave the looped wire sections open in order to leave them airy and see through.


Wired leaves on fabric
Leaf elements on a fabric backing. Now I'm thinking of mounting all my wired elements onto a fabric backing. The leaves and colors "pop" a lot better with something behind them. Too much "air" behind the open wire work makes it all disappear.

Speaking of deadlines….. when I flipped my calendars this morning I also tossed out the last of the January show entry forms that never got done. Deadlines missed. The world did not end.

Next time I'll continue with more of the assembly process.

Until then --



Looped Leaves

The evolution of my piece continues. Last time I showed some fabric leaves to go with the looped wire “flowers”.  I’m making more leaves, but now I’m back to looping wire. There are quite a few more of these to make. (Click on any of the pictures for larger images.

                Looped Leaves 1 blog        Woven Leaf blog

                                                          Leaves staggered blog

This piece is evolving to include both wire elements and fabric. Decisions will have to be made soon on how to combine everything. I have a picture in my mind of where I want to go with it. Between the sketchbook and the design wall, it will evolve. My wrists and fingers are kind of screaming today from working wire for the past few days. When that happens I switch back to stitching the fabric leaves for a break. This is the prototype of a woven leaf. This one takes about 3 – 4 times longer to make than the looped leaves, so it remains one-of-a-kind for now. It’s about 1- 5/8” in length and is really solid and strong. I love it, but oh, so many hours…..

 Stay tuned….. some assembly is in the future!

Until next time -

Fabric Leaves

My "Evolution" piece continues to, well . . . . . evolve. I decided to combine fabric elements with the wire, so as I did with the wire "flowers", I am creating a whole pile of fabric leaves and will figure out at some point how I'm going to assemble them all together.

Here's a look . . . . .

Fabric Leaves 2 blog

I selected some batik fabrics for their textural look. I backed them with a lightweight interfacing. I'm not sure what the interfacing product is called - it is sheer and has a fusible side that I heat press onto the back of the batik. I got a stash of it from a workshop instructor who was trying to lighten her load for the trip home. I think it's probably something used in garment construction as a stabilizer. Maybe next time I go into NYC I'll bring some with me to one of the fabric places and ask what it is -- just in case I ever need more. For now I have plenty to work with.

In any case, fusing the stabilizer to the back stiffens the fabric enough that I don't need to use a tear-away paper stabilizer when I stitch.

I made plastic templates for two sizes of leaves and mark them out onto the fabric. I've selected several thread colors and satin stitch around the outlines of all the leaves. 

             Fabric Leaves 3 blog        Fabric Leaves 4 blog  

When the whole panel of leaves has been outlined stitch I simply cut them out as close to the edge as possible without snipping the stitches. Then I have a pretty pile of colorful leaves! 

             Fabric Leaves 5 blog        Fabric Leaves 6 blog


                         Fabric Leaves 7 blog         Fabric Leaves 8 blog


I'll be at TraillWorks again on Thursday, January 24th, working on somthing a little different. You can check the calendar here to see when various artists will be working at the gallery.

Until next time -


We artists are now preparing for a new exhibit at TraillWorks Gallery in Newton NJ. The title of the show is “EVOLUTION”. Here is a description of the concept from the TraillWorks website

TraillWorks is taking an entirely new approach to our first exhibit of 2013. Throughout the month of January artists have been coming in to TraillWorks with their materials and creative minds to start and complete the process of making a work(s) of art. As each artist completes his/her piece, it will be immediately hung on the wall.

This "evolution" will be completed at the end of January, and will then be on display for one month's time. The formation of the exhibit will emerge over time and essentially be curated on its own terms. This experimental progression of artists creating work in the TraillWorks gallery/studio space will result in an entire body of work titled, EVOLUTION.”

I’ve been working at the gallery one day a week, usually alongside one or more of the other TraillWorks artists. And just so you know, I’m doing a lot of the work at home, too. I’ll be at the gallery next week on Thursday afternoon, January 24th. Come on by!

A closing reception will take place on February 23rd from 5:00 – 8:00

Here is a look at how my piece is evolving – and it is truly evolving as I have no idea what the end product will be.

Pink and Purple flowers blog     Orange wired flowers blog

I started by making multiples of the various elements. The centers of these are cut from the flower pictures on plant tags. I drill small holes around the edge and loop craft wire to create the circular shapes. I’m calling them flowers. And because I’ve decided that they’re “flowers” that leads to some ideas of what I might make with them. A garden, I think……..

Stay tuned ----


Double Talk at PNQE

Here I am with my QR quilt, "Double Talk" at the recent Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza. (Gotta love that show name!)

Martha with Double Talk at PNQE blog

What a thrill for me to take a First Place in the Innovative Quilt category! The show took place in Oaks, PA on September 13 - 16, 2012.

I drove down with some friends on the Saturday to see the show and, of course, get my picture taken with the quilt and ribbon.

I was able to speak with a good number of people about the quilt and what it means. It surprises me that many people still do not know about QR codes! But I'm happy to explain it and to talk about my work. Many people, though, did know what is was and were pulling out their smart phones to see what was within. Some of the more interested viewers were a couple of men (there with their wives) who thought the quilt was totally cool. I think they really dig the tech aspect of it.

Now, in case you don't know about QR codes there is a brief explanation of them here. My artist's statement about "Double Talk" can be found in this blog post. This QR quilt is "readable" (even from the computer screen) if you download a QR code reader app to your smart phone. Google "QR code reader" and you will find a selection of reader apps to download, all of which are free.

The best part of this whole experience has been that my friends were as excited about my win as I was!

Until next time -

P.S. How's this for some double talk --- Diametrically Incongruous Contradictory Double Talk

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