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Jewels

There is an exhibit of my work going on right now at a local restaurant. Krave Cafe is an upscale restaurant in Newton, NJ - our County Seat. In addition to their fabulous food they are known for exhibiting the work of area artists.

I understand that I am the first textile/quilt artist to exhibit there. Exciting! My work will be hanging until October 31, 2012.

I have two large quilts hanging in the main dining room, and I think they really show well on those walls. There is sort of an 'annexed' dining area beyond the main room with a 14-foot gallery wall. On this wall are displayed 12 framed textile collages.

I made several new pieces just for the Krave exhibit, including these pieces that I call "Jewels". They are sparkly and colorful and beautiful. They look like a collection of little jewels. They are made with fabric and plastic credit cards and beads. These pieces are all 5"x7" and framed in 8"x10" shadow box frames. This is just a sampling.....

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Emerald 5"x7"       ©2012 Martha C. Hall

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Amethyst 5"x7"       ©2012 Martha C. Hall

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Carnelian 5"x7"       ©2012 Martha C. Hall

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Pearl 5"x7"       ©2012 Martha C. Hall

I've been using credit cards as an art material for awhile now. I initially started collecting them to use for color and shape, but then the fact that they are credit cards added another level of meaning to the work. Some of my quilts using credit cards have a social or political idea about them.

For "Jewels" I wanted to revert to the idea of just using the credit cards for color and shape. Even though these small pieces have a beauty about them, I realized that the inference of credit cards as "jewels" went further than just pretty. What do we hold dear and precious? What is of value to us, prized above all?

If you live in the area, pay a visit to Krave for some fine dining and art viewing! Call 973-383-2600 for a reservation and BYOB.

Until next time -
MCH

Oh Jim, Jim, Jim.....

Oh Jim, Jim, Jim.....  not again.....

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And I'm still working on drawing hands.

Until next time - 
MCH

Doing vs. Done

I'm doing a lot, but not getting a lot done . . . . . as in finished, completed. Dedicated studio time has been scarce lately, largely due to "The Wedding" which is less than a week away!

Last post I showed various ongoing projects. When I do catch some time in the studio, usually with my morning coffee, I've been working on the small Journal quilts. These involve mostly hand work, which I can do in small snippets of time. Although i sometimes get so engrossed that I spend long snippets of time. (Is there such a thing as a "long snippet"?)

The Journal quilts are samples for the upcoming workshop I am teaching, "Big Ideas In Small Art". I want to have them ready to show at my next guild meeting. One of the things we will experiment with is using unconventional or collected items in the small art pieces.

I collect various and random items. Buttons aren't so unconventional to sewing, but I do have a growing collection of all the extra buttons that come with the garments I buy. I don't have most of the clothing anymore, but I still have all the 'extra buttons'.

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I emptied all the little packets they come in and, of course, I had to sort them.

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I used various embroidery stitches to attach the buttons, mimicking the stitches used elsewhere.

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After the buttons are attached I will do still more embroidery. These are developing as I go. I want the three pieces to relate to each other, but also be able to stand alone.

This week I will concentrate on the wedding projects - creating enough "petals" and patches for people to sign at the wedding, and also creating a dreamy swag of tulle and ribbons to decorate the wedding gazebo.

I'll also spend some time with my "extra buttons" and embroidery because the hand work helps to calm my senses. I am so very excited about the wedding, but also getting a case of nerves as it approaches!

Until next time -
MCH

 

 

Catching Up ..... as if!

It’s crazy time! There’s too much going on! Although I am happy and grateful to have a “full” life, it feels a little too full at the moment.

I have finally resumed work on the big quilt on my design wall – the one I wrote about here. I knew I could figure out a way to assemble this one. I’m constructing it in segments and sections, and then those get sewn together, and VOILA! It is working! And it is doing what I wanted it to do.

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detail of quilt in progress

It really is like assembling a puzzle. As with most of my quilts, I started with a basic concept and design idea, then during assembly the surprises reveal themselves. And when it works it is oh-so-happy!

In the meantime I also started making some 8 ½” x 11” Journal Quilts. These are samples for a workshop I’m teaching in September. I’m doing hand embroidery, inspired perhaps by all the embroidery I saw at FiberPhiladelphia this Spring. The new Surface Design Journal arrived this month and it’s all about embroidery too.

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details of hand embroidery samples

I used to do a lot of hand embroidery back in the day. I do so much machine work these days that it feels relaxing and contemplative to sit and stitch by hand. I have let it distract me from the large project, but at least I am making something!

The real kicker this summer is the upcoming marriage of #2 son. I knew that after we returned from vacation in early July that the wedding next month would be my primary focus of attention. The bride-to-be has asked me to make a quilt for them. Of course the answer is “Yes!” It will be a signature quilt, in lieu of a guest book. I’ve been working out some ideas that incorporate sunflowers, which she loves and which will be prominent at the wedding.

At least the quilt itself doesn’t have to be made until after the wedding! But I did need to have some components of it ready for the guests to sign at the bridal shower last weekend. Which meant that I had to make some design decisions right now. Which meant that I couldn’t procrastinate until August.

The idea involves having all the guests sign sunflower “petals” – made from fabric obviously. And right here and now I want to make it totally clear that the inspiration for this idea came from Cheryl Lynch. Cheryl created a beautiful chuppah for her son’s wedding – you can read about it here on her blog. In this post you can see the signed “leaves” that she used to create the tree forms. There are actually several entries where she tells about the construction of the chuppah, so check them out, too.

The biggest difference between me and Cheryl is that she had to get her project done before the wedding, and have a reprieve until after the wedding! Whew! (Thank you for the inspiration, Cheryl!)

I will also be making squares of fabric in case some people want to write a longer personal message or words of inspiration for the newlyweds. I did manage to pull something together for the shower and I have some time to prepare more petals and patches for the wedding day.

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The fabric is pressed onto sheets of freezer paper to give it some substance to write on. The petals are marked out on uncut sheets for now, to make writing on them easier, rather than making people try to write on little bitty petals. Of course, the freezer paper easily peels away later when it's time to construct the quilt.

I'll do my best to show the progress of the "Wedding Sunflowers" quilt as it progresses.

Oh, and I'm pretty sure I'll never 'catch up', but I'm OK with that. It just means that I always have something to look forward to!

Until next time -

MCH

A Portrait

Tuesday Figure Drawing

 

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Athina's Portrait    June 26, 2012
by Martha C. Hall

4B Pencil on Bristol board

25 minutes

 

 

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