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Speaking Engagements Fall 2016

Well, we are off and quilting new stories and sharing them hither thither and yon...gotta love spell check.  I do try to limit my lectures...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Reflections

Last year this time I was less than a week out of the rehab hospital.  I wondered if I was going to be able to take the next breath, the next lifting of my head, the next swallow of medication, the next trip to the bathroom, and the next drink of water, would I be able to swallow enough of it.

I wondered if I could accept the pills and the patches without crying, if I could look at all the faces around my bed and not reflect back the sadness and worry I saw there, if I could not cry at all because the back up of fluid in my mouth and nose was choaking me.

I started to water the plant in my bathroom.  And it began to open and to bloom.  It caused a crack in the way I was thinking.  Just a bit of water and sunlight and look what happened.


I wondered if I would remember things again, so much forgotten, so much lost, so much gone, simply gone. Would it come back, would I be able again.  Just able, not able to do any particular thing but just simply able. I thought for long periods between medicating applications and could remember none of it when next I was given medicines.

I wondered if there would come a time when I could just be.  Just not hurt. Just not cry. Just not ache everywhere, differently than before I went to the hospital in the first place. Just wondered if this was all there was ever going to be.  And then I would have a moment or two of clarity.  And the pain and misery of my situation and condition would press so tightly against my heart and my mind that I would cry backwards, I would muffle the tears as best I could but it never helped. I heard so many times, it is going to be ok sweetheart.

I did not believe it for months but I repeated it like a montra.  Perhaps everyone but me could see something when looking at me that I was completely missing.  I never gave up but I had nothing left to give either.

The cards and notes and small gifts of friends is what ultimately bought me around.  As they reached in with these small wonders I began to reach out and to look forward to receiving them.  It is hard to explain how much these cards and palm size gifts meant to me.  They were small enough to fit into the size my world had become.  They gave me hope, and let me know that dear ones outside of my room cared for me.  I needed to get better and try harder so that I could thank them.

And I did.  There were miles and stories between this year at this time and last year at that time but suffice it to say Thank You dear friends and love ones.  You pulled me through.  I made it. I will continue.  I have placed your offerings in a special place in my heart and in my room.  They make me smile and think and I know that I am loved.

How will I translate this into a quilt.  It is a must as I will want to add it to my storytelling.

Warmest regards,
Ms. V

Monday, November 9, 2009

Here are shots of Damion working.


I love so many of these shots.  Great job Damion.


You wait years to see the proof of your work
Wait to see the proof of the putting
Years go by and you hope something you do will be worthy
To finally see your work is almost spell binding
See how dedication and committment pan out
The true measure of a man's work is the process and documentation
Proof is always available when you are engaged in the process
Of all the days in my life I choose this one to take a measure of where I am and when
Your task is to keep on plowing the field, sowing the seed, and reaping the rewards
Work is only one of the many facets of life, do not forget all the others.

Ms. V

Damion Poitier New reels

"http://www.facebook.com/pages/Damion-Poitier/79925134454#"

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

In Loving Memory

There are days when the incoming news takes your breath away for a moment.
Days when you wish you could rewind.
Days when you wish other choices had been made.
And days when you know our higher power has invoked his, her, their will.
Sending out love and blessings respectful of how you pray, communicate, acknowledge, or not, asking for:  Peace to those who need it.
A Time to heal for those who are in the tunnel and not aware that there is a process before you come to the end or the opening, or the beginning of the next phase.
Love, warmth, hugs, tears, screams, sighs, back rubs and pats, watery smiles, and tearful kisses.
Moans and clarity, anger and surrender, confusion and giving up, Love when you need it most, silence and remembrance.
Above all peace and understanding.
In memorial we stand hands held, hips and shoulders pressed together to keep each other lifted up.
One more missing from my eyesight forever.
No answer why, no satisfaction in the silent moments spent alone, no sound of that beloved voice in my ear, smiling into my face, hugging my body with such a strong hug and such a loving goodbye.
Separation only for a moment of God's time.
 Beloved son, dearly loved cousin, there are not enough words to tell you how much you are missed right this moment.
If it be so, if it is possible, if all that we have been taught is true, you are with our other beloved family members and friends.
In God is our trust.
I love you and will keep the memory of you alive all my days, in my stories, questions, art works, and heart.
Cousin V

Memory, Love, Cousins, Forced Separation

There are days when the incoming news takes your breath away for a moment.
Days when you wish you could rewind.
Days when you wish other choices had been made.
And days when you know our higher power has invoked his, her, their will.
Sending out love and blessings respectful of how you pray, communicate, acknowledge, or not, asking for:  Peace to those who need it.
A Time to heal for those who are in the tunnel and not aware that there is a process before you come to the end or the opening, or the beginning of the next phase.
Love, warmth, hugs, tears, screams, sighs, back rubs and pats, watery smiles, and tearful kisses.
Moans and clarity, anger and surrender, confusion and giving up, Love when you need it most, silence and remembrance.
Above all peace and understanding.
In memorial we stand hands held, hips and shoulders pressed together to keep each other lifted up.
One more missing from my eyesight forever.
No answer why, no satisfaction in the silent moments spent alone, no sound of that beloved voice in my ear, smiling into my face, hugging my body with such a strong hug and such a loving goodbye.
Separation only for a moment of God's time.
 Beloved son, dearly loved cousin, there are not enough words to tell you how much you are missed right this moment.
If it be so, if it is possible, if all that we have been taught is true, you are with our other beloved family members and friends.
I love you and will keep the memory of you alive all my days, in my stories, questions, art works, and heart.
Cousin Val

Sunday, September 13, 2009

When is taking medicine just too much? or When I finally get to Quilt



Today was the first day in seven when I was able to get up and around, even outside for a bit. I have to wonder if the meds are going to keep me stymied for another year or if my prayers for a solution to the 'very' thing that has caused this 'state of being' to be resolved will be answered, in the near future. So today I gathered the last of my postcard pieces and should be able to get the MLK cards out tomorrow. That is if I can stay up all day working. It is not an arduous task to complete the final steps rather staying up is the arduous portion of the project. Some days I am able to dream of project after project...and that is a far cry from last year at this very moment. Is it asking too much for a complete recovery with no medications necessary in order to function. Absolutely not. I feel like my Amaryllis. This is the second blooming. The first was at work when the light was poor and watering it was done a bit too much, we were just getting to know each other. I feel like that is where I am with my meds. I am using less and less and trying to find just the right amount is becoming quite a chore. If I use too much I stare at the ceiling and get little done. If I use too little I hurt all day and yet my thinking is clearer and I can imagine project after project. I am finding the middle a little better everyday. This amaryllis is in it's third blooming process for me. The first was in the winter, the second was also. But right now it is in my yard and the leaves are spread fifteen inches or more from the center...four strong leaves drinking in just the right amount of water and sunshine, breeze and shade. I watch that plant and I believe it is giving me the road to follow. Look at the fullness once the first of four bloom sprung! They are so strong and bright. Each area doing it part. Each stem strong and fit. I found just the right balance of dirt, warmth, nourishment, water, and light last winter, I will find it this fall for myself. Thank you Amaryllis for showing me the way. I do believe this plant deserves it's own quilt
Regards,
Ms. V

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Afro Pick

Actually the picture is from a study I did of a statue my mother has. 

 I drew on cloth, later painted then quilted it. It was during a time when all the work I did had lots of details closely drawn or closely quilted. I have since begun to open up the areas that are not quilted and am thinking of quilting the piece based on the manufactures instructions. Like for instance 'this can be quilted every three to four inches'. That might be liberating for me especially as the size of my work has grown from 8 1/2 x11 to eight by ten feet wall hangings. I'll let you know what happens when next I take on a larger work.

Teaching or sitting in workshops - The Good, Bad, and the Ugly

There are a lot of pros and cons for the Teacher and the student when faced with so many different expectations. Most blurbs I read are about the horror or excitement of the student. Not a lot found on the trials and tribulations of the teacher, workshop leader, or the instructors.

The last workshop I taught the students came unprepared, they had a list of what was expected but were so accustomed to being disappointed that they arrived in an untimely manner and with that sort of monotone speaking voice thing people do when they expect to be bored or disappointed.

Well, when they left it was a totally different story. Their mouths dropped open during the session many times and the comments were on the order of 'this is exactly what I wanted to learn' so what is my concern as the instructor? The amount of energy it takes to pump up the group to be in a receptive mood and to open their eyes, ears, and yes their hearts to receive, was enormous. Keeping everyone involved and excited about what they were doing, having dragged or hauled extra...just in case supplies was a God send, but tiring.

Think about it...when you go to a class and you are pumped up and excited...and the instructor is great and knowledgeable, more knowledgeable than you even is terrific. When the instructor is reading out of the book only one step ahead of you is a drag and so disappointing that most people lose interest and even stop working.

So what's main point here...if you pay for a class, or someone else pays, or the instructor volunteers to share information that they have spent years or months even learning for the purpose of sharing with you...make the most of it. Come prepared for a great class. Accept what is being taught and if you are listening very carefully even a class where you should have signed up for the next level, as if you could figure that out before hand - not, there are some gems to be had. Look for them, if you learn a few things and you continue in the field of interest they will come in handy. There is a reason you are there beyond what you signed up or showed up for. Try it, if you do, you will walk away from every training experience with something powerful.

For the trainer, instructor, or teacher every experience sheds light on how to present the information in different ways based on the last set of students they had. In this new world of technology I have found that one thing has not changed, human nature, human types, human likes and dislikes. After you have taught for ten or twenty years you can look out on the class after just a few minutes with the students and actually pick out certain types. The beauty of this is two fold, you will either be absolutely right or you will be surprised. I hope the surprises are all blessings and the times you are right you will receive them with humility.

Regards,
Ms. V

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Pain is a message from one part of your body to another.

I often wonder if I did not have pain if I would ever stop. I usually work myself until I drop. If I don't drop I usually find myself sitting somewhere in a very uncomfortable spot needing desperately to go to sleep...in my bed. That was then, when I lived a very different life, the life of the young and the fit.

These last three or four days after an EMG I have been having aftershock pains running up and down my legs, over my hip, and almost feeling like they were like lightning stikes up and down my legs. It has been very difficult to move from place to place and if I forget and sit too long I ache for hours. I am waiting to catch up with my rest and waiting for a spot of no pain so I can feel some relief. I hope it comes soon. No that should definitely fall in the realm of a prayer. All for tonight, need to clean up the studio area so I can muss it up again. LOL, have a great night. Ms. V

Pain is a message from one part of your body to another.

I often wonder if I did not have pain if I would ever stop. I usually work myself until I drop. If I don't drop I usually find myself sitting somewhere in a very uncomfortable spot needing desperately to go to sleep...in my bed. That was then, when I lived a very different life, the life of the young and the fit.

These last three or four days after an EMG I have been having aftershock pains running up and down my legs, over my hip, and almost feeling like they were like lightning stikes up and down my legs. It has been very difficult to move from place to place and if I forget and sit too long I ache for hours. I am waiting to catch up with my rest and waiting for a spot of no pain so I can feel some relief. I hope it comes soon. No that should definitely fall in the realm of a prayer. All for tonight, need to clean up the studio area so I can muss it up again. LOL, have a great night. Ms. V

As the sun has been dropping I have been thinking about quilting and examples that I have of different styles I like to use. Here are a few examples of this past years works. Some of these are exhibited below but this gathering really appeals to me. The title from back to front are
'I Can Do It', 'Three Pregnant Ladies...', 'Storm my 2008 Journal Quilt entry', and 'Talk to the Hand; my 2007 Journal Quilt entry'. As the sun rises tomorrow I will begin another phase of quilting some of my more recent works...they are looking for the batting, felt, and backings.
Regards, V

Three Pregnant Ladies a seat and a antelope

Here is the finished piece. The center was plain muslin that has been painted and stitched. The first border is a commercial fabric that I could not leave at the fabric shop. The color was exactly the same and even had the same spiritual feeling of the woman who is brown. The was of course the third woman pictured on the far right. She is pregnant with pain and the loss of her father. I repeated that color with a dyed fabric that hand been stamped with a bleach and discharged. I create the stamp from a small sketch I made on a 3x5 card. Next I painted the blue piece with gold paint. When it came time to add the final border it had to be that blue piece. The gold picked up the colors of the middle woman. I bordered it with a very narrow border using the brown fabric. This was a labor of love and loss. Another piece done when my daughters were pregnant at the same time and my daddy had passed on. The lower edge of this piece had my finger prints one it. Each stitch and each painted stroke are very personal to me. Regards, Ms. V
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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Drumming My Way thru a Successful Postcard Sway



A very good friend Marlene O'Bryant Seabrook has a wonderful exhibit at the Avery Research Institute. I was lucky enough to have one of my postcards included in the exhibit. Here you see the postcard placed onto of a drum and enclosed in a plexiglass box. Thanks Marlene for using one of my 2008 AA Swap Postcards in the exhibit of your quilts and Postcard collection!

Below you see me standing near my journal quilt at the 2008 International Quilt Show Exhibit at the Saugus Arena in Lowell. I also submitted a piece for 2009 but it was not accepted in the show, it did however get in the 'not accepted for the show slideshow posted to the internet', that was a great idea of one of the people who submitted a work. She decided to get permission to have a 'not accepted for the show' presentation on-line. Great idea and my work did make it in on time.





Below you see four rounds of a round robin. My submission are the third round and the faces. Earlier I showed just the faces now you see the quilt top as it was returned to the owner. When she finishes with it I will ask if I can post a photo here so you will see the finished quilted piece.

















I just love working on textiles and the past week I learned quite a bit about deconstruction silk screens. It was amazing to watch what happens when you paint on a screen then use a product to break down the dye as you use a squeegie to scrape across the screen. Almost as much fun as these other first times: listening to popcorn pop, taking something out of a microwave oven, seeing windshield wipers work, having watched the installation of street lights on your block and then that night when they automatically turn on. After that happened we had to be home on the front steps when the lights came on. Imagine us running from all directions to make it to the steps before Mother looked out to see if we were all there. I just love first times.

Friday, July 31, 2009

V's 2008 Journal Quilt

This is my 2008 Journal Quilt. I figure since it is on the web it should be on my blog. It has an intersting story which I will share later but I wanted to get it on here so that I could share it with my friends and family. I even signed it using
my Sewing Machine, twernt easy but I practiced until I could do it. :)
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To pin or not to pin

This is the tenth time pin-ing these fractured squares up on my wall board. And I've changed my mind again. Now three thirds of the quilt top has been sewned and only three rows are left to do...since last OCTOBER...ok I'll wisper it next time. Now, and I am not sure what happened, but, I want to make this into a full or queen sized quilt and applique something in the center. The brown is still around the edges but the green was opened up and is only three rows deep. In the center I got the notion, why I do not know...but I did, to add some of the lighter shades from the flower and I cut, and stitched another 40 squares and put them in the middle. So if you can imagine what you see here as the outside two borders you can almost picture what it will look like before I put something in the middle. Yeah, it will probably be a face or a mask. But this time a contemporary one because of the leaves. I will be searching for one and will have lots of napkins and drawing paper in my handy bag to quickly scribble it down when I meet up with it. All for now, I am going to go out and enjoy the rain. Not.
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To pin or not to pin

This is the tenth time pin-ing these fractured squares up on my wall board. And I've changed my mind again. Now three thirds of the quilt top has been sewned and only three rows are left to do...since last OCTOBER...ok I'll wisper it next time. Now, and I am not sure what happened, but, I want to make this into a full or queen sized quilt and applique something in the center. The brown is still around the edges but the green was opened up and is only three rows deep. In the center I got the notion, why I do not know...but I did, to add some of the lighter shades from the flower and I cut, and stitched another 40 squares and put them in the middle. So if you can imagine what you see here as the outside two borders you can almost picture what it will look like before I put something in the middle. Yeah, it will probably be a face or a mask. But this time a contemporary one because of the leaves. I will be searching for one and will have lots of napkins and drawing paper in my handy bag to quickly scribble it down when I meet up with it. All for now, I am going to go out and enjoy the rain. Not.
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Masks, to fabric, painted on, stitched on, just on

Round Robins can be fun or a disaster to work on. I was lucky. I had the pattern you see below to work with and it was an opportunity to add a few appliqued faces to it. The final quilt is not mine, boo hoo, but the lucky person that has it is doing a wonderful job of finishing it. I hid the center in this photo to keep the secret going of whose is whom's, LOL. After the four faces were completed I did quite a bit of zig zag work attaching almost each edge of the faces but keeping texture in mind chose a few places to leave unattached. The faces went on all four sides of a center made up by the first person. I had the third round. The fourth round was wonderfully creative and once the piece is completed and permission is given by the owner I will post it.

I am really struck by the masks I come across. And have found over the years they pop up in my work as sketches, doodles, paintings, or are cut from fabric and appliqued to a quilt top or are sometimes painted on anything on hand like this one painted on an 8 1/2 x 11 inch piece of old left over felt. It will probably end up in a quilt...they all do at some point.

But keeping in mind how I envision my work I can find a face in almost any grouping of objects.
Invariable I will see images in the clouds, a formation of leaves in a tree, on the bark, in a pile of fabric or even in the fold of curtains.
I like trying to quickly sketch these faces. I have learned that the inside of an envelope works much better than a napkin, especially since I tend to grab a napkin to clean up a spill and it isn't until the ink is making it's way to the surface that I realize I have begun the destruction of a truly inspired piece. Ok now I am laughing at myself.



Most often I admit to seeing them in books, magazines, postcards, calendars, and one the walls of many of the quilters I know. Here are a few pictures of masks I have created in paint, applique, and of course the orange haired lady on the creme background in an earlier blog.



These are small croppings fabric paintings. This one has been finished and has made it into a number of exhibits. Again my daughters were pregnant and my daddy had passed, the blue lady is me and I am not sure if I am screaming my head off or about to twist myself around in and impossible manner or just falling apart or back together. So much happening in a short period. The animal and chair showed up on the fabric in a few crinkles in the folds...some of my daddy's favorite symbols. It was then that I knew it would be alright. Not right, not ok, not good or bad, not here or there, but I was going to be able to breathe again.
The one below has been arguing with me or rather I with it trying to decide whether to leave it as a painting or to incorporate it into a quilt.

When my friends see it they almost always
ask me to make a mask by forming it around
some type of stiffner or block of wood.
The jury is still out and the painting is still going
on. Or rather, I go back to it often. It is just about ready for the thread painting through out the face and on the yard of fabric to the right of the face. I have added at least 5 more hours to the work since this picture was taken.
It is interesting to say at this point that I do not end the piece. The piece seems to finish its self. I try to either add more stitching or more paint or more fabric, but the piece just...sighs, then I do and I stop.









I visited a GYN Doctor once...need I say more?


This picture was painted just after I visited a doctor who told me about a procedure that would help fix a problem they discovered. I was not having any part of it...It really expresses how I felt. Stretched out to the limit, eyes nose and mouth pressed flat. Throat and body scared by the exam. Had I as many legs and this comb has teeth I would have run away. As it was I refused the procedure and in time the problem has resolved itself. Now that works for many things but not teeth. So do not go thinking my problem will work itself out too...if it is in your mouth. My problem, or their diagnosis, was located somewhere else. And it and I am just fine, thank you. LOL. Ms. V

Friday, July 24, 2009

Summer prayer 2009

This year in Massachusetts we have been getting lots of rain and stormy, cloudly days. Where is the summer weather we all waited through the long dreary winter for? There must be a reason Lord. So I will not complain that I can not go to the pool and wade in the water, or sit outside on the ground an plant a few more flowers. I will instead, wait, wait on you Lord and seek a reason for this weather, for the slowing down of our usual summer persuits. Oh, I know there is a reason and if I read the papers or watch the news Lord I know what is down or low for this time of the year.

There is always a reason Lord and I will seek within myself for it. I hear you but I am not sure what the message is. I will use the quiet time and the rainy days to reflect on all that is going on in my life and I will wonder at your magnificence. The answer is there, in you, in me, for all to see.
Thank you for this day and the tool of the computer.
Thank you for bringing me this far, it's funny Lord but at one time I had no idea what that meant but sang the words..."We've come this far by faith, leaning on the Lord", and I had no idea then what was to come.
Thank you for giving me that song. It has continued to be a theme in my head and heart.
Thank you for bringing me through the storm to today.
I wait for the sunny days, but not of my life, this is one, any one I can open my eyes and breathe and pray is one.
Thank you for this Massachusetts summer.
Amen
Ms. V

Why so wide eyed?

It was not a fluke...that painting was pushed out of me...

How? Well this little bitty was created after a GYN visit. Look at the face and you can see that there was some news that I wasn't expecting or even wanted to hear. There was a procedure that would help me strengthen some muscles that were injured in a fall. Well guess what. I did not want to hear about it or even have any dealings with it. I was fine until the tech said, now don't think about this as anything sexual. Duh! I was out of there. Why would I even go there. This was a place of healing. Well they would not be healing me...any time soon. So I prayed, as usual, and asked if there was some alternative. God answers prayers. There was and is something that does not send my moral and sexual compass off the chart in the, let me outta here, fashion. I am not completely where I want to be but I am following the devine plan, and not the tech's.

"Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it's holy ground. There is no greater investment." --Steven Covey
So what does this have to do with Art Quilts, life skills, or stories. Well think about it. I will have a finished quilt one day...when the time is right. I will be able to share a life story that will I hope give someone the courage to say no when the procedure or plan does not fit your way of thinking or life style. There are many answers to physical concerns that will fall within your own pattern of thinking, what seems or feels right or wrong, and combined with prayer you will find a certain strength and sense of purpose when you are on the right or chosen track to great health and great strength, be it of purpose or of health.

Find a way to release the dis-ease you feel in many different situations. I paint on fabric or sketch on little bits of paper, envelopes that I open are of a nice quality for pen and ink. I also use any cardboard and scraps of fabric to rind a way to release any dis-ease that pops up in my day or way. This picture truly shows the feelings I had. Now how do I translate that into a work of art that can be recognized as I felt it by others...

Not sure but on with the process.

Now the audition begins. I need to look at my hand dyed fabrics I finished last year and see if any would be a suitable background. Eyes are laid on this piece called storm. I cut, stitched, painted, penciled, and cropped this piece and submitted it to the journal quilt process but it was not chosen. I have used the mostly finished piece, border not hand sewn...for workshops to show the use of multicolored threads on top and an invisible, or mostly invisible thread used on the back, which was also hand dyed by me. The result was rather good considering it showed a Massachusetts stormy sky. But that is not what it takes to get a piece in an exhibit. There are so many other bits of criteria that one wonders when placed against so many others how a piece gets juried in. More on that in my other blog, http://msvpoitier@blogspot.com/ when I get time to post it. It is already written and waiting for the right moment or hand dyed fabric to line it up against. In the mean time...
Here is a detail from the mostly finished 'Storm, or MA Atmospheric change" it is the lower left hand side.


I love the deck flooring but of course you can not use that when taking pictures for jury purposes. You should either have a professional 'quilt photographer' take the pictures or set up an inexpensive dark room in your home or studio for that purpose.

Here is the actual quilt top. if you click on it you will be able to view the details.

Thanks for stopping by, taking one more stitch, one at a time, trying one more technique and no more than three in a quilt, per my friend JY, one stroke of the brush or pen, one more bit of glue and my multi-crafted art quilt will be done...this year if possible...next if not.


Blessings, Ms. V

Saying a little prayer, or actually a really big one for friends and family. Hi Mom!






Why so wide eyed?

It was not a fluke...that painting was pushed out of me...

How? Well this little bitty was created after a GYN visit. Look at the face and you can see that there was some news that I wasn't expecting or even wanted to hear. There was a procedure that would help me strengthen some muscles that were injured in a fall. Well guess what. I did not want to hear about it or even have any dealings with it. I was fine until the tech said, now don't think about this as anything sexual. Duh! I was out of there. Why would I even go there. This was a place of healing. Well they would not be healing me...any time soon. So I prayed, as usual, and asked if there was some alternative. God answers prayers. There was and is something that does not send my moral and sexual compass off the chart in the, let me outta here, fashion. I am not completely where I want to be but I am following the devine plan, and not the tech's.

"Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it's holy ground. There is no greater investment." --Steven Covey
So what does this have to do with Art Quilts, life skills, or stories. Well think about it. I will have a finished quilt one day...when the time is right. I will be able to share a life story that will I hope give someone the courage to say no when the procedure or plan does not fit your way of thinking or life style. There are many answers to physical concerns that will fall within your own pattern of thinking, what seems or feels right or wrong, and combined with prayer you will find a certain strength and sense of purpose when you are on the right or chosen track to great health and great strength, be it of purpose or of health.

Find a way to release the dis-ease you feel in many different situations. I paint on fabric or sketch on little bits of paper, envelopes that I open are of a nice quality for pen and ink. I also use any cardboard and scraps of fabric to rind a way to release any dis-ease that pops up in my day or way. This picture truly shows the feelings I had. Now how do I translate that into a work of art that can be recognized as I felt it by others...

Not sure but on with the process.

Now the audition begins. I need to look at my hand dyed fabrics I finished last year and see if any would be a suitable background. Eyes are laid on this piece called storm. I cut, stitched, painted, penciled, and cropped this piece and submitted it to the journal quilt process but it was not chosen. I have used the mostly finished piece, border not hand sewn...for workshops to show the use of multicolored threads on top and an invisible, or mostly invisible thread used on the back, which was also hand dyed by me. The result was rather good considering it showed a Massachusetts stormy sky. But that is not what it takes to get a piece in an exhibit. There are so many other bits of criteria that one wonders when placed against so many others how a piece gets juried in. More on that in my other blog, http://msvpoitier@blogspot.com/ when I get time to post it. It is already written and waiting for the right moment or hand dyed fabric to line it up against. In the mean time...
Here is a detail from the mostly finished 'Storm, or MA Atmospheric change" it is the lower left hand side.


I love the deck flooring but of course you can not use that when taking pictures for jury purposes. You should either have a professional 'quilt photographer' take the pictures or set up an inexpensive dark room in your home or studio for that purpose.

Here is the actual quilt top. if you click on it you will be able to view the details.

Thanks for stopping by, taking one more stitch, one at a time, trying one more technique and no more than three in a quilt, per my friend JY, one stroke of the brush or pen, one more bit of glue and my multi-crafted art quilt will be done...this year if possible...next if not.


Blessings, Ms. V

Saying a little prayer, or actually a really big one for friends and family. Hi Mom!






Thursday, July 23, 2009

Weaving in process...quilt to follow of cropped areas of the finished piece.

This is one of the pictures that shows some of the early drawings and inspiration pieces I looked at prior to starting the piece. In the center is an old copy of a mask I found in the studio and it spoke to me on many levels. I had to pin it to the loom and some how incorporate it into the piece. The sketches are my own.
Next we have my work area in the studio I was using in NC. This room was a magnificent space that I had a small corner of. I was able to work any where in the room but the weaving happened in this spot near an open doorway to another work space.

I realized later I should have added a few of the earlier pictures so that you could see this piece before it became a quilt. That is on it's way, for now I am sharing the weaving. These were a few steps along the way. What you do not see, as I do not have his permission, is my dear mentor. He encouraged me in such a way that I was able to go from making small quilted squares to considering enlarging them and even weaving some of them on this eight by ten foot loom...that I built. I built the loom because the other one was in use. The things we do for the love of the art, or I just could not wait...to see it loom, yeah that was a pun.

Weaver creating a quilt from past works, they asked for it.

This piece started out as a square where I was layering torn fabric strips and ribbons, old thread and wool yarns. I was intriqued by the textures which you will be able to see if you double click on the picture to enlarge it. Much, much later the idea to put a face came to me. Looking at the weaving next to it you would not think so. They were done five years apart. This told me something about my love of the colors used in each piece.

The quiltled lines in the piece on the left came out of the motion I was creating of the hair. But the background was a strong vertical line seen from a distance...the diamond and squares, the rectangles and the points made by the zigzag stitching are only noticed when view up close. I like that about my work. Something to see from a distance, something to draw you in to say 10 feet away, and finally when you are a foot to three feet away, pow, you get to see all the work and the designs the stitches and the couched threads make. This piece says, I did it, and I ain't playin' no more. LOL


I have a few weaving's that are now calling out to me to reproduce them as quilts. The question I have is are they looking to be actual quilts or quilt tops.

I have learned over the years that some pieces are only ever going to be a quilt top, a way to learn a technique, to be used in a lecture or training workshop, or to just hang on my design wall. The unlucky pieces stay stuffed in a box or a bag. Why unlucky? Because I always intend to get back to them. This year those unlucky pieces from the last twenty-thirty years are going to see some sunlight.

Take this piece for example...As a complete piece it does not have the pull to create a quilt but crop it in a few places and it screams at me to take it on.

Look what happens to this 8x10' weaving when I crop it. It becomes a bold possiblility for a quilt. It lends itself to all kinds of techniques including adding some threads and beads, weaving the fabric in and out to mimic the actual weaving. The threads hanging from the bottom and around the eyes of the lower of the four faces could be strips of bias sewn above the eyes for example. I love the way the piece enters and exits the edges of the faces. The inspiration for this was an African Mask I saw with what appeared to me to be tears streaming down the face. Later I learned it was from an agricultural tribe and was used in ceremonies at certain times of the year that had nothing to do with what the mask felt like or meant to me.

I love putting together faces that work into each other and become the brow or nostrils of the next face. There is something me, myself, and I about it. This particular piece was almost done and I was going to work some type of hair treatment at the very top when a friend asked me if God would be looking down from above...although those were not his words but my interpretation of what he said. Like most of my art my hearing when it comes to my art takes on a life of its own and works its way into my pieces. If I want a piece to be solely my own I would probably have to shut my self up in a space with no outside influences. But is that even possible as we take with us all our previous and most especially last impressions into a piece. Well that is so for me, especially when I look back two or three years. I found the pieces I made with all the lazy eyes and noses were all about the adult asthma I would later be given a diagnose of. Did I bring it on, or did I know it, and not know what I knew. Look into your art works and see if you are weaving a quilt or creating a topic for discussion.

Weaving a quilt - or creating a quilt topic


I have a few weaving's that are now calling out to me to reproduce them as quilts. The question I have is are they looking to be actual quilts or quilt tops.

I have learned over the years that some pieces are only ever going to be a quilt top, a way to learn a technique, to be used in a lecture or training workshop, or to just hang on my design wall. The unlucky pieces stay stuffed in a box or a bag. Why unlucky? Because I always intend to get back to them. This year those unlucky pieces from the last twenty-thirty years are going to see some sunlight.

Take this piece for example...As a complete piece it does not have the pull to create a quilt but crop it in a few places and it screams at me to take it on.

Look what happens to this 8x10' weaving when I crop it. It becomes a bold possiblility for a quilt. It lends itself to all kinds of techniques including adding some threads and beads, weaving the fabric in and out to mimic the actual weaving. The threads hanging from the bottom and around the eyes of the lower of the four faces could be strips of bias sewn above the eyes for example. I love the way the piece enters and exits the edges of the faces. The inspiration for this was an African Mask I saw with what appeared to me to be tears streaming down the face. Later I learned it was from an agricultural tribe and was used in ceremonies at certain times of the year that had nothing to do with what the mask felt like or meant to me.

I love putting together faces that work into each other and become the brow or nostrils of the next face. There is something me, myself, and I about it. This particular piece was almost done and I was going to work some type of hair treatment at the very top when a friend asked me if God would be looking down from above...although those were not his words but my interpretation of what he said. Like most of my art my hearing when it comes to my art takes on a life of its own and works its way into my pieces. If I want a piece to be solely my own I would probably have to shut my self up in a space with no outside influences. But is that even possible as we take with us all our previous and most especially last impressions into a piece. Well that is so for me, especially when I look back two or three years. I found the pieces I made with all the lazy eyes and noses were all about the adult asthma I would later be given a diagnose of. Did I bring it on, or did I know it, and not know what I knew. Look into your art works and see if you are weaving a quilt or creating a topic for discussion.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Postcards and knowing how to manage your creative flow.

I really like making postcards. I find them wonderful little samples and ways to stay in contact with friends and family members.

Pulling together art work for a show can wear one down and the spirit of the creation can also be watered down in the process. Postcards and 8x11 size pieces help me keep my creativity flowing and the excitement high while I work.

I perfer when possible to create a number of works based on what is going on in my life then submitting the work if it fits the call. That is not always possible so I figured out how to work the opposite way. And I figured out that some of my UFOs would make wonderful small works of art.
There was a call for postcards and I worked on quite a few with different fronts but the theme was the same. I wanted to share pics of my ancestors, actually I have grand children so these women are their Great Great Great grandmother and GGG aunt. Three of this Great Grandmother's children went to Tuskegee Institute it was called in those days and they graduated and were very successful in their professional lives.
The most interesting part of that project was that no matter how hard I tried each one was different. I just could not make 20 identical cards. I kept thinking oh this one should have both the Tuskegee Institute picture and the family elders. Or an African Figure or some kente cloth.



The pictures of my Great Grand mother and Great Aunt along with different small figurines was repeated but the layout and colors chosen for the cards were slightly different each time. Oddly enough I knew in advance who the cards would go to but that did not influence my decision when it came time to mail the out.
In fact I made all the cards and put them face down and just addressed and wrote the information with out a clue who would get which card. I found that the be the fairest way to distrubute the cards, after all I do have my favorites, both cards and quilters.


I know we should not have favorites but for me the pieces are like small children. I give each card a lot of attention, and lots of thought, and lots of hand holding, smoothing the fabrics, searching for just the right small slivers of fabric and threads and word for the back.
When all is said and done I get to send out small wonderful works and my quilting friends return the favor. I get a boost in terms of creativity as I usually try a new or different way of using a technique. It could be something as simple as the stablizer or the bonding method. Or I try working with a fabric that is not cotton and may give me trouble if I don't experiment with sewing or applying it first.
Try a few postcards and take pictures of them for your journals. You can start in your (UFO's)The Unfinished Objects/projects...you know the one's you will never finish. I have found lots of ways to turn those unfinished projects into starting places for small works of art. Or you can sketch the ideas out, just toss a number of fabrics, threads, and stiffners...which could be postcards you receive that are ads... and go to work! It is stimulating, relaxing, and for me it is a way to keep the creativing flowing and 'completing' something meaningful on a regular basis.
Life goes on and small wonders find their way into my mail box, out to others, or on to a place of honor on a larger quilt, LOL. Have a wonderful day and remember to smile someone just might need to see it.




Saturday, July 11, 2009

My girls were having babies


The other piece that came from that color pallete was the one that represents for me one of two pieces done that expressed my feelings about two daughters pregnant at once and what a mother feels during that time. Together, spliting apart, fading in and out, frighten but excited...interesting enough this piece was stretched and used in a show at MIT during their excellence award ceremony to adorn the lobby where the refreshments were served after the ceremony. Now that was sweet. The only problem I had was making two one for each daughter. The eldest took the center before I could finish it and hung it on the wall of her bedroom, the youngest waited until I finished it, put it in an exhibit, and is not ready to take it home. Their daughters are much the same...I am finding. Loving the grandmother role...LOL



A sight line in this case is one that travels through a number of pieces, through your pieces and out through a few other pieces. An intriguing and stimulating idea. How would this work for me? Once I have the color theme what comes of it...what pieces... here I used the lighter colors shown in the earlier post for the boarder and behind the face and the orange hair, which were strips cut in an arc, I used ribbons, threads, strips of fabrics, stitching in the ditch, paper, zigzag multicolor threads and tons of other techniques to get that square to sing to me. once that was done I laid that face, necklace pieces, and began the fun job of quilting the swirls of tiny and widely spaced rows to create the vortex the face was to sit in.

I got a lot of feedback on this one but it is only one from the color pallet used earlier. Much later I used the mid-range colors to boarder a piece I did as a tribute to my father who passed some years ago. I was 'told' the colors were to similar, they meant it 'read' as almost the same tones...the point I might add. I was morning my Daddy's passing, there were no light-lights, or dark-darks there was only the pain of his voice and smell and touch... missing. For me that piece says that. It is somber, peaceful, with beautiful colors that are warm and they feel like his voice speaking to me.

Sightline - my process


There is an exhibit I would like to be a part of because working in a series really appeals to me. I am always creating quick sketches on what ever is at hand; and even though I have plenty of sketch books…they rarely get my best ‘notes and sketches.’ Next I work out the colors... and the theme usually follows in a series of either postcard size or 8 ½ x 11 size pieces. Later I create three to five one yard size pieces that I either dye; paint; or do a series of overlapping strips of fabric, ribbons, threads to use as a background for the main section of my project. Not really last, but next somewhere along the way, I can create the final piece using what feels right from what I now call my drafts. The drafts usually end up as finished pieces or are later used in their various unfinished stages as examples of the various techniques I offer in my workshops or lectures, to teach others about my process. The notion of creating and connecting to others work in this fashion is extremely attractive.

What is a sight line...

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Praying for Quilters, quilting, Painters painting...

Heavenly Father
I pray for all my sisters and brothers, who are quilting, and painting, and stretching, but
Not more or less for any one of them
At times we lift one or another up to you for a special blessing
As many have done on my behalf recently
And it is with thanks giving that I am responding to such unselfish acts of kindness
I pray that we all might all be blessed to extend acts of kindness to one another on a regular basis
Not only when one’s health fails, or one looses a job or when one gains one, nor when ones relationships
End or begins, or when we gain or lose a family member, or have our candidate voted in or not
I would that we ‘just’ remember to pray on each others behalf
I pray for all my sisters and brothers, regardless what they may have said or done in my past or present
I pray for all my sisters and brothers, regardless what they may have missed
saying or may have missed doing in each others past or present
I pray that we may through your grace realize that some of what we say
or do should be left unsaid, or undone, in our future


It is a challenge to create a work Lord and to have others critique that work.
Sometimes the words used hurt, unman, disable, or even cause an artist, a quilter, a person just starting out to
turn away from expressing themselves in any venue that leaves them open to criticism and not positive talk
Heavenly Father, your word can empower us in a way that stills our tounges and stops us from hurting one another
Lead us to do or say more based on what you have taught us through your word, and remind us to read your word
Heavenly Father guide our words in a way, that we may pass along a blessing, be a blessing, be a deed to one another

Show us where to find the ability to sharpen our skills so that we encourage each other, build each other up, empower each other
Heavenly Father I have been favored and blessed these pass months, as have all who read these words
At times knowingly, at times without a clue, at times because someone made a sacriface
At times because I or we made the sacriface, at times because I or we read your word
At times because we heard your word read, oft times together, oft times alone and lonely and forgetting that you are there for us at all times empowering us and blessing us.
I pray for all my brothers and sisters
Not more or less for any one of them
I pray for me, myself, to remind me to read your word regularly
to remind myself to be a blessing and if you are willing Oh Lord a candle, to light the way

Help me to stitch or draw, or paint, or write in such a way as to lead or head in the direction of the blessings you have in store for me.

Amen

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Deciding which Exhibition to enter

It is that time of the year when I try to decide which exhibitions have topics or themes that are running concurrent with the quilts I want to make over the next 12-15 months. The hardest part of this task is to not get caught up in the woulda, coulda, shoulda trap.
I really want to enter at least 12 different exhibits, alas, there is only time for one or two. How do I select the two that are closest to what I already have begun sketches and color schemes for? Not an easy answer, no matter how you look at it. Some quilts want to be made. Some quilts will find their way on your cutting and drafting table without you knowing how they managed to get there. Other quilts are torn out of you fabric by fabric, thread by thread, and sewing appointment or class no matter what you find yourself working on the piece even when you did not have it booked as a part of your sewing or creative time.
This year I have already committed my self to creating an antique money chest, a fractured square piece, and to write a book. How can I add two additional quilts when I know one is already spoken for and the other is screaming to be let out of my fabric totes?
Well it looks like another night will pass and the answer for question will find itself on the back burner. I promised I would finish one Unfinished Project or UFO, and finish one project that has already been figured out, fabric purchased, cut, and is sitting in my traveling bag. What is a quilter to do? Give up the new quilt ideas swimming around in my head? Or should I just keep trying to stay ahead of the pile of quilt tops that are piling up on what used to be my stash table.
That table hasn't seen the light of day in months, ok, years. But as soon as I get the UFO's done I will be able to have a solo quilt show, LOL. Have a great night and remember, sew a little, cut a little, and dream a lot...when it is almost midnight.

Ms. V