Saturday, November 6, 2010

November - Exploring Art Quilts

This month I'm going to spend time exploring and learning a little bit about the Art Quilt.

In 1971 Whitney Museum of Art in New York is were the Art Quilt movement began with a exhibit called "Abstract Design in American Quilts".  It was here Martha Sielman editor of the excellent book "Masters-Art Quilts Major, Works by Leading Artists said ... "Abstract Design in American Quilts moved the Amish quilt collection of Jonathan Holstein and Gail van Hoof off the bed and onto the wall."

I've been around all types of fabric most of my life.  The picture above is my mother.   She is about 17 and this picture was taken during the Great Depression.  My Mom had always sewn and she could make just about anything with fabric.  This picture was taken just before going on a date to a dance with my Dad.  My Aunt Barb told me that my Mom made all her own cloths and this particular dress in the picture she took apart five different times to make five different dresses.  She had sewn well into her 70's and she just had this affinity with cloth, thread, patterns, etc. just like I have with paper.  The Artists we are looking at this month who do Art Quilts have that same affinity with their medium and the scope of their creativity is far reaching which is very mind opening and a joy to see. It is interesting to see with some of these artists the similarity they have with the collage artists.

Zinnia By Velda Newman (87x212)
I was inspired to do this because of a exhibition called  "Quilt Visions 2010 - No Boundaries".  This is the fifth time since 2002 the Oceanside Museum of Art  (the town I live in) in conjunction with Quilt Visions a non-profit organization dedicated to the Art Quilt and all it's facets ... with exhibits, workshops, classes, lectures etc. presented their 11th biennial juried international exhibit.  I attended their exhibit once before in 2006. I was impressed then as I am now with this years show and art and the artists represented.

The catalogue for this exhibition plus 2008 and 2006 are available at the Quilt Vison's online store.

I have also included links to some of the artist I liked in Quilt Vision 2010, plus many other artist featured in the book Masters-Art Quilts.  

by Nancy Crow

I would like to feature a quilt artist I came across at Seattle's legendary independent and very cool book store The Elliott Bay Book Company and that is Nancy Crow.  I don't know what it was, but I could not put her book down, the colors, the forms etc just hit me.  I have since bought her second book
and her work is fantastic.
In her books she opens her studio, her sketch books, her thoughts and her processes which makes both of her books so great.   She dyes and prints her own fabric like many of the quilters and what an eye for color & design!  So spend sometime on her web site and if you can get your hands on her books I would highly recommend that.

by Nancy Crow

One last thing on quilts and that is the Gee Ben Quilters.  I read a book about them maybe five or six years ago and was blown away with their designs and stories.  So I've included a few videos of some of the quilters talking about themselves and their quilts and a clip with a little historical information.  Great place to get inspired and get ideas as well.

Gee's Bend Quilt

... :::

For anyone interested in paper, the source of many great works of art, Stefano Mancuso will give you something to think about and appreciate when working with this wonderful material.

“Does the Boston Fern you’re dutifully misting each morning appreciate your care?  Or can a spreading oak in your local park take umbrage at the kids climbing it’s knotted branches?  Not likely, says the Italian researcher Stefano Mancuso, but that doesn’t mean that these same living organisms aren’t capable of incredibly sophisticated and dynamic forms of awareness and communication.
From his laboratory near Florence, Mancuso and his team explore how plants communicate, or “signal”, with each other, using a complex internal analysis system to find nutrients, spread their species and even defend themselves against predators.  Their research continues to transform our view of plants from simple organisms to complex ecological structures and communities that can gather, process and -- most incredibly -- share important information.”  -

Live at "The Club" -- Dizzy Gillespie :::

From the big bands, to creating along with Charlie Parker Bee Bop, to appearing on Sesame Street and the Muppet's, to leading the United Nation Orchestra on tour,  he was one of the most important creative figures in Jazz.  He is thought of by many as one of the greatest jazz trumpet player of all time and of course you can't miss his trumpet with it's signature bell pointing to the heavens.  He was a highly talented, original for his time and a very funny man.  I hope you will take the time to listen and enjoy his music.

Foodie :::

"A new generation of culinary talent is ignoring tradition and experimenting with techniques, reinventing French cuisine. Come with us to meet these young masters: One is changing the face of the French bistro at his restaurant, Le Chateaubriand; another is taking the organic movement in new directions on his farm in the south of France. And we’ll visit a restaurant in a premier art museum, where the chef is creating iconoclastic dishes based on classic ingredients (foie gras and celery rémoulade with popcorn, anyone?). Join us to find out why France could be on the verge of another revolution. Back in theGourmet kitchen, we’ll see another innovation from French chefs: the Silpat, which has revolutionized pastry-making." - Diary of a Foodie


That' it for now, enjoy your journey!


  1. Nice picture of your mom. Love the family history update.
    We saw the Gee's Bend Quilts when they were on display in San Francisco at the DeYoung. I enjoyed it so much. What a legacy.
    From your your cousin Sally

  2. That fake rabbit fur coat was your Mom's. My Mom said your Mom bought it with her first paycheck from her very first job, can't remember the job, maybe the State. But my Mom thought it was really going to impress my Dad, but apparently when they were dancing the fir came off and completely covered my Dad's suit and my Mom said she was really embarrassed, but apparently not enough to stop them from getting married eventually :).

  3. BTW ... the Gee's Bend Quilters had a show at b. sakata garo in your own town in 2008 ... I would have like to have seen either one of the exhibits.