Recent Acquisitions from the TCQC

deVos, Not Even SolomonA Love Affair with Quilts

Recent Acquisitions from the Thomas Contemporary Quilt Collection

November 1 – January 19, 2014

Del Thomas personifies the kind of art collector that artists love. She adds quilts to the Thomas Contemporary Quilt Collection for a variety of reasons, but mostly because she develops a little love affair with each new piece. She wants to know everything about the work, what inspired it, what techniques were used, and how the fabric choices were made. She wants to meet the artist, learn about other quilts the artist has made, know what excites the artist about her work and propels her to design quilts. Del is the ideal collector. Meet her at the opening reception for Recent Acquisitions from the Thomas Contemporary Quilt Collection on November 9th from 5-7 p.m. Admission is $5, and free for members of Visions Art Museum: Contemporary Quilts + Textiles.

As a quilt-maker herself, Del Thomas didn’t decide to be a quilt collector. She fell in love. In 1985 Del bought a quilt at a guild auction because it was love at first sight. A year or so later, she fell in love again, and soon she was falling in love with more and more quilts until she realized this must be what it means to have a collection. The Thomas Contemporary Quilt Collection was born.

Today, the collection has 250 quilts. In the beginning, Del was seduced by traditional quilts, but over the years quilters began experimenting and Del became smitten with art quilts. The Collection is nearly all art quilts.

The Thomas Contemporary Quilt Collection is really several collections. It comprises the largest single collection of Ruth McDowell’s quilts. The Collection has over 60 twelve-inch square quilts. There is a strong selection of landscape motifs in the Collection especially quilts with trees and birds.

Recent Acquisitions from the Thomas Contemporary Quilt Collection features 29 quilts by 22 artists including eight quilts by Ruth McDowell. Several of the quilts have won awards at recent quilt shows and the newest quilts to the Collection will be on view for the first time.

Join Del Thomas on December 9th at 2:00 p.m. when she gives a tour of the exhibition and talks about each quilt and how the romance began quilt by quilt. Del generously shares information about her collecting experience and will be available after the talk for questions.

Visions Art Museum: Contemporary Quilts + Textiles is located at 2825 Dewey Road in Liberty Station, San Diego, California. Museum hours are 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is $5. Children age 12 and under are free when accompanied by an adult. Visions Art Museum members enjoy year-round complimentary admission.

Heather Lair Tribute

Heather Lair

We are sad to share that Heather Lair passed away on July 3. Heather was a master quilter, artist and teacher.  Heather joined Postmark’d Art in April 2009 and generously shared her art, inspiration and techniques with us.

We all had the pleasure of joining Heather for a tour of her studio in December 2011. She shared family history with Karen Musgrave in her essay “The Oldest UFO” for her book Quilts in the Attic, Uncovering the Hidden Stories of the Quilts We Love.  She was looking forward to teaching in Australia in 2015 and member Maureen Curlewis was excited about the opportunity to meet her in person.

Here is some of the art that Heather shared with us.

We will miss Heather, her art and her friendship.

View Heather’s obituary here. To learn more about Heather’s art and teaching, visit her site here.

Summer Garden Series – Janet Hartje

Janet Hartje’s solo show art quilt show entitled Summer Garden Series willl be hanging at Central Park, an indoor park in Woodbury, Minnesota, through the month of September.

Janet created the pieces using raw edge applique, fabric paint and thread painting.  She was inspired by photos she had taken at a garden show in Woodbury.

Also included is a piece representing Janet’s interpretation of tree bark, made for the Studio Art Quilt Associates exhibit at the Minnesota Quilt Show in June.

For hours and directions check out Central Park.

I’m Not Crazy Exhibit

Of 128 art quilts submitted by 86 artists Sue Reno had the task of selecting just 20 art quilts for I’m Not Crazy, an exhibit sponsored by Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA). The show was juried “blind” — names of artists were not revealed during selection — so Sue found out who was involved along with everyone else. According to curator Kathy Nida, “Together they create a compelling exhibition of work addressing issues of mental illness and the stigma attached to it.”

Karen Musgrave’s art quilt Glimpses of the Dark Angel is one of the 20 pieces selected to travel with the exhibit.

Karen says the call spoke to her immediately:
Mental illness carries with it a stigma; many of us have experience with disorders, temporary or permanent, curable or not, that in the past and in some cultures even today would be labeled as crazy. That stigma can make it difficult to admit its effect on our loved ones or ourselves. Disorders as common as anxiety or depression, or less common, like schizophrenia or multiple personality disorder, can have a devastating effect on families and friends, and on ourselves. Negativity towards those who have these disorders often causes many people to keep the diagnosis hidden from friends and family.
What does “crazy” look like?
What does it feel like?
How does the world look through the eyes of someone experiencing a panic attack or depression or other mental disorder?
How does loving or caring for someone with a mental disorder look and feel?
We’re looking for work that covers these experiences: from the eyes of the caregiver, the friend, the family member, and, of course, those who have experienced any of these disorders themselves. Your work can reflect the disorder or the chaos it holds on our lives, it can be humorous, it can be sad, it can be crazy or incredibly calm.

Here is the schedule of venues (more may be added):

August 16-19, 2012 Exhibit opening:
World Quilt Show–New England X
Radisson Center of New Hampshire, Manchester, NH
September 13-16, 2012 Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza XIX
Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, Philadelphia Area, PA
October 11-14, 2012 Pacific International Quilt Festival XXI
Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA
November 8-10, 2012 World Quilt Show — Florida IV
Palm Beach Country Convention Center,
West Palm Beach, FL
February 21-24, 2013 Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival XXIV
Hampton Roads Convention Center,
Hampton, VA
February 28-March 3, 2013 The Quilt Fest of New Jersey IX
Garden State Exhibit Center, Somerset, NJ
May 2-5, 2013 Denver National Quilt Festival VIII
Denver Merchandise Mart, Denver, CO
Unfortunately, Karen doesn’t think she’ll be able to attend any of the shows listed. If you have the opportunity to view the exhibit, please contact Karen and share your impressions with her.

Postmark’d Art Members Support Studio Art Quilt Associates (Three will be at Houston’s International Quilt Festival)

SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) holds an online auction of donated 12″ x 12″ art quilts each year. Last year’s auction had 309 artworks donated and they raised $52,925 for the organization.

In 2012, 394 artists donated art quilts.  Most will be sold through SAQA’s online auction.  A special group of 106 quilts will be sold in the SAQA booth at International Quilt Festival – Houston (October 31- November 4) and three were donated by Postmark’d Art members:  Franki Kohler, Suzanne Kistler and Sarah Ann Smith. In addition, Postmark’d Art members VIvian Helena Aumond-Capone’s and Sara Kelly’s quilts will be available during SAQA’s online auction. Bravo to all! The online auction will begin on Monday, September 10th at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time and conclude on Sunday, September 30 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern.

Spring Quilt Market with Dian Stanley

Spring Quilt Market, the trade show for the quilting world, was in Kansas City, Kansas this year.  I work for Indygo Junction, an independent pattern company based here in suburban Kansas City.  I design patterns, make samples and do some office work.

Market was open May 18-19 at Bartle Hall, a large convention center in downtown Kansas City.

Wednesday, May 15th was “load in” day when everyone brings their product and booths and starts setting up.

It comes in all forms from wooden crates delivered by fork lift to plastic tubs pushed on a dolly.  Since we were so close to home this year we were able to forgo the wooden crates and bring a U-Haul truck.  Once everything is in your space, the hard work starts — unpacking everything and assembling the booth.

For Indygo Junction, setting up the booth consists of dressing manikins, setting up the video monitors, making sure the pattern rack is stocked with all the new patterns and all the samples are all placed to their best advantage.  Indygo Junction introduced more than 20 new patterns for this market.  It’s a monumental job to get everything displayed properly. The booth was finally finished by Thursday afternoon. My newest pattern is the ruffled purse hanging on the manikin in this picture (#7).

Thursday night is one of my favorite parts of any Quilt Market — it’s called Sample Spree.  Hundreds and hundreds of shop owners line up to attend this event. Many of the vendors set up tables and sell their products to shop owners in singles. The purpose of Market is to sell to shop owners at wholesale. Vendors set their own minimum order quantity. Indygo Junction sells 3 of each design, though at sample spree they will sell one.  Purchasing just one pattern allows a shop owner to take it back to the shop and “test” it before their full order is shipped.

My thanks to Peas in a Pod for sharing the above 2 photographs.

Most of those people run straight for the Moda booth. I think it resembles the running of the bulls. Moda has at least twelve 8-foot tables stacked four feet high with their newest fabric. They sell out in under 30 minutes. It’s like a feeding frenzy. Then the people start to visit other booths. Vendors can also take part in the buying frenzy. Over the years I have amassed a beautiful stockpile of silk, tons of machine embroidery thread, beads, books (signed), fabric and Bali Pops.  I go nuts!  It lasts until 10:00pm and by then everyone is ready to drop.

Market officially opens on Friday morning.  It’s so peaceful before they open the doors.

You have never seen so much fabric in your life!  Every fabric company on the planet has a booth and some of them are a sight to behold.

There are vendors of all sizes —  Moda and every other major fabric company, to distributors and the one-person booths.

Part of my job is to walk the show looking for new and different products and techniques that Indygo Junction could carry or feature in a pattern.  I know it’s a tough job but somebody has to do it!  And I get samples to try out. So much fun!  The small booths are my favorites. I love to see what the individual entrepreneur is doing. The creativity on display is amazing  The other part of my job is to work in our booth talking with customers about our new patterns and books.  That part is fun, especially seeing those repeat customers. I also get to meet celebrities like Nancy Zieman, Jane Sassaman and Pokey Bolton.

Market is open until Sunday at 4:00 p.m. when the reverse process happens.  Everything that was so lovingly put in its place on display, now gets put in plastic tubs and bags for the trip home.  It’s a lot faster to pack everything up than it was to unpack and set up.

Market is over but the work isn’t.  Now the administrative part of my job kicks in.  One of my responsibilities in the office is the “Sample Closet”.  That’s the place all of the samples live.  And after each market I have to find room for all of those new samples that you saw in the Indygo Junction booth pictures.  It’s always a tight squeeze.

Market is always fun and hard work — and it’s always good when it’s over!

Franki Kohler — Artist in Residence

I was invited in 2010 to be the Artist in Residence during one of the five sessions that Empty Spools Seminars holds classes at Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, CA. Arrival day was Sunday, June 17, classes ended June 22. My sister Christy met me here (she is taking class) and was invaluable in helping me to hang my work and set up my work space in Merrill Hall, a stunning Julia Morgan designed building. The size of the hall allows for ample space.  The free-standing wall behind my space holds Princess Bliss of the Land of 4 x 6 who came along to keep me company and display postcards for sale.

And here is the opposite side of that free-standing wall where I displayed more of my work. This also captures a portion of the balcony where we hung my Christmas quilt. It is so fun to see the work together in this large, important space!

Across from my work space Carolie Hensley, owner of Cotton Patch in Lafayette, sets up a pop-up quilt shop. Carolie has been doing this for over 12 years now. What a job! But what a necessary luxury it is for the attendees to have those supplies just steps away from the class room.

I wasn’t kidding — it really is a pop-up quilt shop!

The first evening during the conference involves a gathering in Merrill Hall to introduce all of the instructors and the resident artist. A bit of anxiety here, of course.  I spoke about the events that took me from being one who makes bed quilts to becoming a fiber artist, complete with Power Point images. The first minute or so of speaking the tension was high, then I settled down and began to enjoy it. Whew! It seemed to go well — no one walked out of the hall while I was talking.

Here’s the stage, taken from the balcony.

Following the introductions there was a buzz at my work space with lots of questions about the fabric postcards, my book, how I work. Lots of fun!

My experience at Asilomar Conference Grounds was exciting for so many reasons. Just being at this jewel-in-the-crown California state park is a wonderful experience. Here are just a few reasons why.

This is the sunset view from my room. (Click on photos for a larger view.)

Walking on the boardwalk. . .

Interesting stumps!

Notice the three new plantings that will replace the decaying tree.

So, back to the primary reason I was there. Because my work area was the first spot with quilts people saw as they entered Merrill Hall, my brother-in-law Marshall commented that I was like a store greeter. Well, not a bad observation. As Artist in Residence I was the only art quilter who wasn’t taking a class, so I had the opportunity to interact with everyone who entered Merrill Hall and there were plenty. Empty Spools Seminars was just one of many conferences scheduled for the same week. (Their 2013 schedule of classes is available now.) And we had many day-tripping folks wandering in to see the Julia Morgan building we were in as well.  I was working on two different projects during my stay so I could demonstrate a variety of techniques that I use often during my creative process. I did not finish the broken ginkgo piece I took, but I got a very good start.

The fact that I used dryer lint as a background for this project always drew a smile. I needle felted the lint directly to a fast2fuse backing, hand-stitched sea grass cotton thread for the outline of the leaf shape and beaded like crazy.

This was a wonderful experience. I will treasure the memories for years to come.

Empty a Spice Tin — Make a Book

Isn’t that what everyone does with an empty spice tin? Hmmm, well, it’s what Diana Mains Welte of Maysville, Kentucky, did and her book was published in the recent release of Pages 2012, the annual special edition from Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine and Interweave Press. The issue is hitting the news stands now.

Get the complete how-to instructions for creating your own book like this one:

Of course you could use any spice tin you wish

If this concept intrigues you, click on over to Diana’s blog to learn more about how a 2011 challenge from her group of book artists set her on this path. Here’s a peek. . .

Hearts for Christchurch

American Quilter, the magazine of the American Quilter’s Society, featured an article in their May 2012 issue called “Hearts for Christchurch.” The article shares what Evie Harris, of Napier, New Zealand, did in response to the devastating earthquake of February 2011 that killed 182 people and is the costliest natural disaster for New Zealand to date.

Evie created a blog and posted simple instructions asking readers to send hearts, “. . . a small measure of something nice to give in this terrible time.” Thousands of hearts arrived from around the world. When the Canterbury Museum reopened its doors in September 2011, more than four thousand hearts were featured in the exhibit Hearts for Christchurch.

Evie continues to receive hearts on a daily basis. To learn more about the project and the exhibit, visit Evie’s blog here.