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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...

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...