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Sumac

Sumac is such a stately, regal plant and I think that certainly shows here in this print. I started this piece before I started Maples which I shared here. I dove back into my supply of fabrics that I created and added two silk pieces that I painted with acrylic paints in a surface design class in 2015. I am loving how these fabrics are finding their way together.

Again I turned to some hand-dyed variegated thread I purchased from Elin Noble many years ago.

I like to create one step at a time, making decisions about what I will use and how I’ll use it as each new step presents itself.  Here is thread painting done. Now — how to quilt the background surrounding the sumac.

I’ve been doing this a while. I have a lot of thread. And yet, I did not have the thread I wanted for this portion of the project.  It just arrived this week. Stay tuned.

Threadpainting Begins

For me, the beginning of every art quilt with a cyanotype is threadpainting the print. And as soon as that happens I become excited about how the print will look when it is quilted. It’s hard for me not to jump ahead imagining the great definition that the quilting will provide, the real puff of each leaf and flower, the color and texture that the quilting will add. For now, however, it’s time to stay in the moment and enjoy the process as it unfolds.

The print captured so much detail! Many of the veins of the leaves are clear and easy to stitch in. And the papery-thin flowers create such an elegant, wispy design.

Franki Kohler, Threadpainting begun

This print is on China silk, approximately 20″ x 24″. I’m using silk thread. It is stabilized with Pellon Shirt Tailor, a fusible interfacing that works perfectly for this kind of work. Unlike the paper tear-away products that I use, the Shirt Tailor will remain on the back of the silk print. Because of this, I stop every few leaves or flowers and give the entire piece a gentle steam pressing. It’s important to me that the silk remains flat and true to size.

I finished sorting and organizing my green fabrics yesterday and in the process discovered a piece of silk fabric that I screen printed in a class with Kerr Grabowski in 2007. Kerr uses a method she calls Deconstructed Screenprinting. I think this small piece may find its way into this quilt.

Franki Kohler, More silk fabric

For now its living with the other fabrics I’m auditioning. We’ll see what happens.

Win Dell’Ario’s TRUE COLORS Exhibit

I love going to solo exhibits of art quilts. I get a chance to see a body of work by one artist and that can be revealing, surprising and — did I mention fun? The only thing better is when I know the artist.  I slipped under the wire for seeing this exhibit advertised as WINIFRED’S THREADS: A collection of colors and ideas, played out in pieces of fabric and stitched into stories . . .

That’s Tom, Win’s Quilting Assistant, always the first to give her constructive, critical feedback on the creative process.

Amish Buddy I, made entirely of felt (from the local hardware store!), welcomes your entry to Win’s office. Simple Amish quilt color blocks hold escaping bubbles.

But the pieces hanging inside are primarily silk with bits of designer upholstery fabric here and there. Win muses over Penny on the Tracks (L), “Industrial detritus surrounds the train tracks where we used to see the train roll a penny out like pie dough. Do kids get to pull pranks like that anymore?”  To Do List (R) was improved when the Quilting Assistant  assessed the coral squares. “They need buttons,” he said. “Buttons it is,” replied Win.

I love the rich silks with the hardware of zippers and metal beads and found objects. It’s so rich. And aren’t they stunning on that wall color?! Win is an award-winning designer of kitchens and bathrooms by day — renegade art quilter by night — so her sense of artistry in her work comes as no surprise.

How about some charming Mobile Homes in the corner. This mobile was one of few art pieces not for sale and I completely understand why. On the wall, Vacation — Win describes it as “Quadrants of paradise. Dark exotic locations, tropical landscapes, clear azure waters, sun & surf & beach, speak of island getaways.” Unfortunately, my photograph doesn’t reveal the hand beading and incredible texture of the piece. (The cow painting is not by Win.)

A small, framed silk nine-patch — utterly charming! Win describes Pimento saying, “Log Cabin is a classic quilt pattern. This quilt uses nine log cabin blocks, turns them wonky, and ends up in a martini. Cheers!”

Win’s inspiration for making this piece came from a magazine photograph showing a simple painting of geometric shapes in a living room. The painting didn’t have those wonderful zippers!

This is just a few of the pieces in the exhibit. I missed seeing several pieces that sold. Guess that will teach me to calendar these events earlier.

All this art makes one hungry so off to Sam’s Chowder House Restaurant we went. Located at 4210 North Cabrillo Highway, it was just minutes from Win’s Main Street office and right on the beach. Win, my husband David, Mendelssohn and Taylor (our Bichon Frise boys) and I sat on the patio with this view while we had lunch.

Lunch was wonderful. . . the view, well it just doesn’t get any better. Period.