Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to everyone no matter where they are in the world! Enjoy!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Cancer Awareness: Good News!

Spoke to my mom yesterday. She went to the doctor's Tuesday and they told her the lump was pretty much gone, even to the point that they couldn't feel it!

They said that they'll do surgery to make sure they get any remaining tissue, etc., but she probably won't even need the plastic surgeon at all now.

My mother said "Thank you all so much for all of your prayers because God has truly sent his blessings."

Wow, this is such good news to hear that I don't know what more to say right now!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Fashion School Flashback

Right after I got out of GW, I went to the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City for a short while. I had a great time there and loved being surrounded by so much creativity everyday. I had a really nice room too, with our own bathroom and kitchen that connected two bedrooms. My roommate Fifi (Fiorella), was a Goth and one of the nicest persons I've ever met.

I was so fresh & new to fashion illustration then, lol. Those are my professor's notes along with mine on the sketch. My "B-" grade, lol, had a lot to do with the fact that while I could draw, I was also being graded on my muslin toile and clothing construction was something I was in the process of learning.

My classes were challenging and I loved them (except patternmaking, which I hated). My only problem was that, while I was good at designing, at that time I wasn't that great at sewing on a machine. It was also pretty stressful too. A lot of hard work. For me, I was living out a dream, but it was at the cost of my health. The better and better I was doing in classes like draping, illustration, and sewing, the worse and worse I was feeling, due to a heart problem that caused me a lot of chest pain. I ended up having to withdraw due to my health, which made me very sad.

While helping to clean my grandmom's basement earlier today, we found my draping class work--muslin toiles complete with the sketches. I couldn't help but sit there touching them and looking at them, as I had very little from my time there up to that point. It almost felt like a dream. I am so glad we found it. It felt like finding a little piece of myself...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A Little Bit of Shadvina's Heart

This is Shadvina. This beautiful, 16-year old high schooler was the younger sister of my very good friend, author Chesya Burke. In August, Shadvina collapsed after working out at her Atlanta, Georgia-area high school gym and died en route to the hospital. Her family was stunned to find out that it was from a congenital heart defect that they didn't even know that she had.

Chesya and her family recently did a local news interview to let everyone know about what they are doing to make sure this doesn't happen to other students. They have started a foundation called "A Little Bit of Shadvina's Heart" and are promoting Smart Heart scan screenings for student athletes. This positive effort has already helped ID two student athletes who were unaware of their possible conditions!

If you have or know a student athlete, please encourage them to get checked out ASAP!!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Quilting Hand--Got That Itch!

My hand's doing a lot better! I think I'll be able to start quilting again very very soon! YAY!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Sew Chick Go Boom! OW!

I had a really nasty spill on Thursday. I was crossing the street at work and hit a groove in some uneven pavement in front of my building. BOOM! I went down. Hard. 4 or 5 kind folks rushed over to help me up I hit so hard. My hands and knees caught the brunt of it and I scraped them all, gouging out some of my right hand. I hurt so bad that when I tried to get up, my legs buckled and I fell again. I couldn't believe how hard I fell!

I was wearing all black, so my pants ended up being covered in gray construction dust. You have to imagine what I looked like--bleeding and dusty-dirty--getting onto the elevator. Despite the pain, I held onto my lunch the whole time and back at my cubicle told my open-mouthed co-worker "Wow. I smooshed my sandwish, but I'm gonna eat it anyway!"

What wasn't bruised, stings. What doesn't sting, aches. All over. Badly. I went to the doc yesterday and it's nothing that rest, compresses, soaking, and some painkillers won't help, but geeeeeesh! It's safe to say I can't quilt until my hand's better!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Cancer Awareness: Look Good...Feel Better Program

The day I accompanied my mom to her oncologist app't (Nov. 1) to find out what her treatment would be, the doc matter-of-factly said, "You will lose all of your hair in 3 weeks."

Later, we ended up running into a friend of hers that worked in the "Images" clinic. My mom urged me to try to go back to work, but it was already late-afternoon and I realized that we should stop through there that day and told her so. This is a service provided to cancer patients through the Look Good...Feel Better program, which I think is absolutely fantastic! The program tries to help patients deal with treatment-related changes in their appearance through workshops that include skin care and make-up lessons, options for dealing with hair loss (wigs, hats, scarves, turbans, rockin' it bald!), and nail care techniques. It works on the principle that when we feel good about how we look, it helps our health both mentally and physically as well, and that's important!

Another friend of hers, Marian--who is the program's official contact at Hospital Center--whisked her into a room with a salon chair and we actually had a lot of fun helping her to try on different wigs. My mom had already planned to wear one and really got into it and took our advice by going with wigs and styles that were different color- and style-wise than what she was used to. One definite consideration color-wise is something that would brighten her complexion once she was really into her treatments. They really do look like her hair. You can't tell the difference at all.

She looks great and it really did make her very happy. Thank you so much Marian!!!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Dennis Quilt begins

Well, I've fused it it's stitchin' time!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Too Many Fans

I got free tickets through my job to see the Washington Redskins (Ugh! Their name!) play the Carolina Panthers. It was my first NFL game and I'm not a football fan at all. I'll admit I wasn't following it well. My fan of a husband was in bliss though. Only love and free tickets could make me go to a football game and he was so happy. Cool seats high up in a suite with cushy chairs. On the way up, I remember a girl telling me "Carolina sucks!" as we walked up the ramp. After the game, which Washington won, I looked at my outfit as we were walking out to the car surrounded by thousands of hyped-up fans.

I realized I was wearing Carolina's colors of turquoise and black. Um, oops? Then again, given how I feel about the name, I sure as heck wasn't wearing burgundy and gold. Now that I've been to a game I don't think I will again.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving Eve & Darfur

We have so much to be thankful for. I was reminded about that this evening as my husband and I stood in the cold looking at images from Darfur in the Sudan projected 40 ft high against the walls of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. As part of the exhibit Darfur/Darfur, leading photojournalists documented the devastation as a soundtrack of haunting music called "To the Sudanese Women" accompanied it. It was very late and there was just the 2 of us and a photographer taking pics of it.

"Why isn't more being done?" I asked him. They are heartbreaking images. Villages being burned. Over 400,000 people have been killed, millions are homeless. In the corner pic were portraits. On this Thanksgiving eve I know I have much to be thankful for.

How can you help? Keep track of the news. Write letters to let others know how important it is. Support relief efforts and spread the word in your own community. You can also support museums like the Holocaust Museum because the memory of its reason for being is the driving force for its speaking out against other genocides as well.

You can read more about the exhibit here.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Hope and Remembrance

One of the nicest things about working at Chorus America is being able to attend concerts of local area choruses. I took my mom with me to a performance of The Washington Chorus today at the Kennedy Center. Today's concert "Hope and Remembrance" was their season opener and a commemoration of the 5th anniversary of 9/11.

They performed Beethoven's Eleigischer Gesang, Op. 118 andMozart's Requiem. They also premiered a commissioned piece by composer Joel Puckett entitled "This Mourning." In addition to the orchestra and chorus (whose "sing-whispering" during the piece reminded me of what it would be like to have souls everywhere) was a "choir" of crystal glasses. The piece ended with the glasses fading out--keening and eerie. The new piece was my favorite and I thought it was beautiful. I had a chance to meet Mr. Puckett and tell him so.

My mom liked the concert a lot too. I'm so glad she was able to come.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Buzz Buzz

Who knew my extension table could double as a lightbox? Heck I wasn't using it...
Since here I am! I love Jennifer's quilting room!
Renea doing pieceing on her featherweight.
Here's Jennifer, the hostess with the mostess! I'll miss you!
Here we all are. I'm the one in the very back with my face being blocked, LOL.

Went to a bee with some of the ladies in the guild. Our guild coordinator Jennifer, is leaving for Florida. I will miss her as she helped support my crazy idea to create a website to bring the guild into the 21st century, LOL. We had a really good time and I was really productive. You can see a bit of my piece in the corner on that striped background (which I didn't keep as the background--whew!)

Friday, November 17, 2006

Artist David C. Driskell

First, I would like to think everyone so much for your kind thoughts about my mom. I really appreciate it.

The Washington Post has been running a fantastic, very interesting series called "Being A Black Man" and today's installment is a video interview with artist David C. Driskell. When asked about his parents, he says that his mother was a quiltmaker.

I think you'll enjoy it for his insights on art, his career and process, and inspirations. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Dennis Prep

Once again, I thought I'd get a piece ready for a show and once again, I decided to take my time. Oh well, lol.

You can see the preps I did for the Dennis piece.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Where Has Sew Chick Been?

A bit on the preoccupied side lately...

This is my mom. She was being "difficult" when I tried to take this photo. youngest sister's just like her, LOL.

Last month we found out that she has breast cancer. She just started chemotherapy and in less than 2 weeks she will lose all of her hair. She's okay with me writing this. Her doctors were surprised at her reaction when she found out, because she had a feeling, even dreams, for a while that something was wrong. "What did they want me to do? Mope? No, I move on," she told me. "Now that I know, I can get better." She worked at the Cancer Institute at Washington Hospital Center for years, so she knows what to expect. She has a lot of friends looking out for her there and good doctors taking care of her.

My siblings and I were all stunned pretty speechless at first--which is hard to do to us--but you know, she's really, really positive and optimistic. We will be too. We're taking turns going to appointments with her so that she won't be alone. While with her there recently, I noticed people looking at us because despite it all, we still managed to laugh.

In the future, I'm devoting Thursday postings to ones relating to breast cancer and cancer awareness.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween Ha-Ha

In the spirit of Halloween, I thought everyone would enjoy this hilarious ghostly YouTube video...

Have a good one!

Monday, October 23, 2006

New Quilt

I'm about to start a new quilt. I have the photo all printed out, so now it's time to start the drawing and painting. Woo-hoo!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Carole Lyles Shaw

Friday evening I had the pleasure of attending the opening reception for fellow art quilter Carole Lyles Shaw's exhibit "Memories and Dreams 2006" at the Touchstone Gallery here in D.C. Carole's art quilts have been seen in numerous publications and exhibits and she has been in all of the Mazloomi exhibits of African American art quilters. She is quite an art quilting force. She also started the website, which I've mentioned in an eariler post.

Her collages were both dreamy and vibrant, some incorporating photo transfer portraits of her family. My favorite was the rose-colored "sunrise" collage. When I saw it (and not the title), I thought of sunset at first. I interviewed her about her work and art quilting and you will be able to hear it on the next Sew Chick podcast. One thing we talked about that's not on the podcast is her transitioning to collage work. She feels that she is doing fewer art quilts and more collage work. Her creative priorities have shifted and collage work is what she is feeling right now. Art quilts only comprised two of the works that she had present and I told her that you can see how one medium influences the other in her work. After all, quilting is a form of collage.

My friend Nicole likes to say that as artists, we go through creative periods where we reach a point that we are "done" with a particular form of expression and we move on. Perhaps we might come back to it again in the future, but it's the current form of expression that works for us and allows us to "get it out." As artists, I feel that sometimes you to have to challenge yourself in order to propel yourself forward. It's what keeps you from stagnating creatively.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Cousin Jo is Outta My Hands!!!

Well everyone, Cousin Jo is shipped and gone and as of this morning, is in Ohio with Dr. Mazloomi. Folks have been asking me how do I feel about it being gone like that and to be honest, I am relieved, LOL! For a year I have been worried that I was going to have some kind of freakish occurence (which wouldn't be unlike me) that would damage it before it could make it to the exhibit.

Oh man, in that respect, I am so glad it's out of my hands now. Now I just have to look forward to it traveling to museums all over the country. It won't be coming here to D.C. until the very last stop (the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum in 2010). At least I'll see it in Baltimore first later on this year.

Oooooooweee...I am so excited!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Brand Spankin' New Podcast Episode!

Hey everyone!

A new Sew Chick podcast is available! I know, I's about time, right? I talk about getting prepared for shows and the practicalities like shipping and insurance. I also talk about not rushing work to be ready in time for shows and creating a body of artwork to pull from.


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Quilt Hint Photos...and a Cravat!

Glimpses of photo inspirations for upcoming quilts!!! These are my grandmom, my friend and his dog, and my best friend's dad @15. And, yes, he was wearing a cravat for his school picture.

Feel the excitement!!! Ooooooo!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Fashion and Frivolity

In the grand scheme of things, fashion could be rated as something that's unimportant, frivolous even. When I was a senior in college I interviewed Robin Givhan, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fashion editor for the Washington Post, who told me "Fashion isn't frivolous when people literally kill for it." At that time (and it still happens sometimes) teens were being killed by other teens for their expensive coats or shoes. It makes you think twice about it.

How you're dressed reflects how you feel, and how you want the world to view you. If you feel good, you project that you feel good. Right now, with all that's going on in the world, I can't argue with getting some kind of pick-me-up whatever way you can.

I was checking out different websites and thought I'd share a favorite fashion blog of mine called The Sartorialist. Great, candid shots of fashionable folks out in the world in NYC and other major cities. Of course you've got your fashion industry folks, but you also have stylish "regular" folks too. It's fun to visit. Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Renaissance Festival '06

Jousting and turkey and costumes, oh my!

Did you miss me? Sorry about that! The end of summer's been crazy and busy!

The other weekend, I had a great time with our friends at this year's Maryland Renaissance Festival. We always have a great time. The guys found a way to work the word "wench" into as much as they could. I got out my flower wreath and we ate just about anything that sounded good: Corn on the cob, smokey turkey legs, steak on a stake, cheesecake on a stick (Hmmm...there seems to be a theme here.) You actually felt a little weird not being in costume. Everyone just seemed to be really enjoying themselves. Speaking of turkey legs...I'm looking like that because when I took the first bite it was MUCH juicier than I expected. Even the little girl behind me was surprised.

Toooo much fun!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Stumped & Art Quilt Appreciation at Guilds

Still struggling withthe background of the Grandma quilt. It just hasn't hit me yet as to what I'll do quilting-wise for it. Arrrgh.

Went to a guild meeting for the first time in months (summer break). It was nice seeing friends and talking shop. I also realized that my guild truly has an appreciation for art quilting. The members are just as excited about art quilting techniques as they are about traditional quilts.

Have others had this kind of experience in their guilds? I've been getting the feeling that this is not the norm.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Native American Quilters

"Dress Series: Green Crow" by Margaret Wood

I was interested in finding out more about Native American art quilters, but there's such a lack of info on the Web. There are Native American quilters who specialize in beautiful star quilts, which are usually given away at honor ceremonies, but art quilters? There have to be more out there, right? I suppose that if you're thinking "art quilt" in the sense of contemporary art quilt, some of the quilts in the past "To Honor and Comfort: Native Quilting Traditions" exhibit would definitely fit that category.

One that I found is Margaret Wood, who is Navajo and Seminole. She does beautiful work. Hers is one of the few Native contemporary art quilt sites that are current. I'll be interviewing her in the future for the podcast. The public really should know more info about the quilters featured in the exhibit because their pieces really are beautiful. I know that as an art quilter of color, how important is it to have different viewpoints in the creative world and art quilting's no exception.

Monday, September 11, 2006

5 Years

There's so much that I can say about today. I could talk about the horror of 5 years ago. The surreal images on the TV. Seeing the black smoke from the Pentagon fill the air. Waking up frantic in my apt. across the river from National Airport when it was reopened after days and days of eerie silence except for military helicopters and jets. Or walking home from work for weeks, scared to take the subway and hearing siren after siren as I passed soldiers with machine guns in convoys along the way.

It has definitely made me value my family and friends a whole lot more. It's easy to reflect upon those other aspects of this date, but I know that the thing I'm thinking about today is being lucky enough to be able to have one more second, minute, day, breath to try to live the best life that I can.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Quilts A Bubblin'

Well, I've actually been making quite a lot of progress on the "Grandma" quilt. The background has really been a cause for a lot of anxiety for a long time. I can't believe I have been working on it for that long! There was a point I had to just put her away and not think about her because it had me so frustrated. Next up in that series is my other grandmom. You can see the photos I'm basing them upon here.

I have other quilts swirling though. I only know the titles ("B2FH," "He Only Wanted It Because She Had It First," and "Tarantula Nebula") so far, but I can see them in my mind. Sometimes I lie down and think about them and I can see the colors and shapes just come to me. I'll be honest, I don't often sketch them out first. Usually by the time I'm creating them, it's like pen and paper--I just do.

I was thinking about entering a few shows this season, but I've been a bit slow. I'm not rushing anything for a show, so if I do I do, if I don't--oh well. There's always next year (although for Quilt National I'd have to wait two).

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Mumbo Sauce--the Real BBQ Yummy Deal

Speaking of Chicago, here was one of the most surprising things I found out...

Living here in D.C., I somehow mistakenly believed that mumbo sauce--that tangy, yummy, sweet, BBQ sauce-y goodness--was a regional D.C. thing. I've even been joking for years that the reason mosquitoes bite me so often is that I "must be covered in mumbo sauce or something." Ask most African Americans raised here (and within proximity of a carry-out) and they will know what mumbo sauce is. What it is not is that almost apricot sauce sticky sweet, day-glo-colored stuff you get at the carry-out.

What mumbo sauce is has everything to do with the late Mr. Argia B. Collins, who founded Argia B.'s BBQ Restaurant in 1957 in Chicago's South Side and supposedly invented it. His version, the tangy, yummy, sweet BBQ sauce-y goodness I tasted in Chicago, stunned us. We had never seen an actual bottle of mumbo sauce before. The closest we've come to its taste is at Wings 'n' Things on upper Georgia Ave. (and worth the trip if you're here)--and they claim that the Adam's Rib Restaurant here made it. I was told in Chicago that mumbo sauce made its way here from there.

Ms. Collins (his daughter), if you're reading this, is your Mumbo Sauce available in D.C.?? Everyone I know would have some. Okay, lol...I think I'm really hungry now.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Sew Chick in Chi-Town!

First, I would like to give a shoutout to Trish Williams and the ladies of the Needles and Threads Quilters Guild in Chicago! While wandering through the stalls and stages of the African Festival for the Arts in the South Side's Washington Park, I came across a small pavilion filled with art quilts! I introduced myself and as I was about to leave, Trish asked me my name and said "You're Sew Chick! I read your blog everyday! You haven't updated it recently! Where have you been?" I laughed and said "I'm here!" Here's an interesting thing about Washington Park: Someone let some pet parakeets loose and they have bred. Their large nests are all over the place there.

In town to visit friends again, I had a good time checking out the 150-foot high geyser jet and fabulousness that is Buckingham Fountain, the Cloud Gate at Millennium Park, the Chicago Botanic Garden (check out the Japanese garden!) and the Field Museum. I love Chicago and never got used to Lake Michigan's freaky blue-green, Caribbean-colored water. Fantastic city.

Oh yeah, that's me above "running" from Sue--the Field Museum's largest, best preserved and most complete T-Rex skeleton yet discovered.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

My Lovely Sam-Soon

It's a K-Drama Katastrophe!

What is it with me having to go of town during the very last episodes of these?! Why?! Regular readers know that I love Korean dramas on AZN. The latest and even better than the rest has been "My Lovely Sam-Soon." One of the highest rated shows all over Asia (and Hawaii!), Sam-soon (actress Kim Soon-Ah) is a 29-year old pastries chef. Slightly overweight (by Korean standards I guess, since I think she looks fine), outspoken, and constantly teased about being an "old maid," she is dumped by her boyfriend during the Holidays. In danger of losing her home, she agrees to be a fake girlfriend to rich guy Jin-Heon (actor Hyun Bin) to throw off his mom and pay the debt. Toss in an ex that comes back from the States into his life and the supercute hottie doctor who loves her, and the hilarity ensues. Sam-soon's down to earth and truly speaks her mind--more than any other female lead character I've seen in a K-drama so far. This is a hilarious, well-written (and subtitled) show. Imagine a Korean "Bridget Jones" and you'll understand why I love it.

And, darn it, I'm going to miss the first episide of the new one "Full House!"

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Quiet Peace In the Country

I was down at my family's country house this weekend with my grandmom and great-aunt, which is always relaxing. We talked non-stop. I am very close to both of them and enjoy my time with the two of them. They put me--who is a very non-domestic type--through some hard manual labor, lol, washing dishes after a big dinner for an hour and hoeing and raking the family cemetery. I didn't mind at all though, as I didn't want them doing it, even though at one point I joked about "following the drinking gourd."

I brought Nicole (my best friend from college) with me--as I thought she could use the getaway, lol. I always like to share the peace and quiet that is being down there. The way the leaves rustle through the trees. The stars scattered across the night sky. The breezes and freshness of the air. The deer bounding across the field. The visits from our neighbor's dogs. The sense of being on land that my ancestors have had for generations.

She took full advantage of it by reading, writing, or painting outside on the porch or on a blanket under our plum tree. I know she just went through a bad breakup recently and hope that she found some healing solace in it all. Everything's so familiar and comforting for me there, that I'm glad that she got to feel like that too.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

New Podcast Episode! Quilting Hang-ups and Emotions

The second episode of Sew Chick: The Podcast is ready!!

I sat down with psychologist Dr. Cynthia Sparrow and we chatted about how to deal with clutter (I've seen your studios and stashes out there!), procrastination, self-doubt and envy. We also talk about entering shows and dealing with rejections.

I had a lot of fun talking to her and I hope that you all enjoy the interview!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I Love You Janome Sewing Machine & Table!

That's it. I'm leaving my husband for my sewing machine and extension table. I love you Janome 6260QC and extension table. I LOVE YOU! LOL!

D. knows that I'm joking, but even he sat down at it (and pushed the foot pedal for a moment before jumping up and running) and admitted that my spankin' brand new Janome extension table is as "ooooooo" and "ahhhhh" as I couldn't stop saying. I can thank Mrs. Mel for that as I saw hers in a photo on her blog and it sparked an accessory envy that was so bad that I had to have one for myself. I twitched all through a Janome factory backorder, but it came. My supercool table finally came. Ooooo y'all. All sorts of creative ideas are floating through my mind to put it through its paces.

What also came was some very cool Nelson Mandela fabric that I ordered from Kyra Hicks, the author of Black Threads: An African American Quilting Sourcebook. It's a heavy cotton canvas from South Africa. It's pretty eyecatching, huh?

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Back from Princeton

I was in Princeton for a chorus seminar for work. It was pretty cool...

Okay, a comment in Monday's posting led me to thinking: Do we associate rejection letters with being rejected? My poster says we shouldn't , as it can lead to different thought, and I agree.

Although they don't make me feel bad or rejected, I think many of us do. How do some of you cope with them?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Addicted to Korean Dramas

Those of you who regularly read this blog know that my husband and I love Korean dramas that come on the AZN network. I don't know, we find the characters engaging and enjoy the peek into Korean culture. Pretty well-subtitled, they only run for a few weeks--about 20 episodes--just enough to leave you wanting more.

On "As You Wish" (Ruler of Your Own World), Bok-su (played by actor Yang Dong-Geun) is a charming, young pickpocket who finds out he has cancer and goes about trying to live his life to the fullest. We get to follow his adventures (and trials) as he does so. Not a downer at all, it particularly focuses on his relationship with Gyeong (Lee Na-Young), a musician who sweeps him off his feet, and his ex--the bossy, fiesty Mirae. I thought it was funny, thoughtful and well-written.

I'm going to be in Princeton and miss the very last two episodes after not missing one at all! Sigh. "My Lovely Samsoon" starts next week, LOL.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Reviews and Rejections? "Fffft" on That!

I've been reading Anna Deavere Smith's Letters to a Young Artist. So inspirational for creative folk. Pick it up!

I thought about how rejections and negative critiques and reviews can be so hurtful to our creative psyche. I once asked a well-known symphony chorus conductor how he felt about reviews and how he dealt with negative ones. He raised an eyebrow, looked at me and grimaced. "Fffft!" he practically hissed in disgust. "I don't. I just can't pay attention to them. I think about how I discuss and disagree with my colleagues. Imagine if we were writing the review--you'd have one person who loved it and another who hated it. It is too subjective. It is also scary that one person can wield that much power." I agreed.

As a writer, I deal with rejection letters and that constant nagging "Oh I measure up?" little voice in my head sometimes too. As art quilters, we deal with those same things, just like any other creative type: rejections from shows, envy, self-doubt, fear. It's how we actually cope with this that makes all the difference.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Art Sewciety Bleach Discharge Day Photos!

Finis (ABOVE) picks up her pre-bleached fabric...
Elle lays bleach gel over plastic canvas
Bennie and some of the supplies...
Elle's stitch resist before the bleach dip
Winifred spraying bleach over gingko leaves

I'm sorry everyone! I thought I posted these already! We had a great time experimenting with different bleach discharge techniques. We used 100% bleach for dipping, 100% in a spray bottle, diluted in a spray bottle, tick and thin versions of bleach gel, Ajax-style cleanser, and bleach pens. I even went Jackson Pollock and poured/threw bleach onto the fabric!

Enjoy the pics! You can hear what happened on the Podcast!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Sew Chick Podcast is Ready!!!


The first episode of Sew Chick: Art Quilt Adventurer--The Podcast is ready! You'll hear me chatting about how I got into art quilting and then it's a sound visit with the Art Sewciety as we had fun with bleach discharging and talking about art quilting.

I'll be posting about the Art Society tomorrow and you can see what a good time I had.

Enjoy the show!!!!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Retreats and Discharge and Apples, Oh My!

This week's going by really fast for me so far. I can't believe it's already Thursday. I've been under the weather so I haven't been creatively productive at all lately, which isn't good, you know? However, Saturday might change that...

A few of my guild members branched off to form the Art Sewciety, which focuses on aspects of art quilting and techniques. One of its members went to an art quilting symposium given by Juanita Yeager and she's going to share bleach discharge techniques with us. I haven't tried that, so I'm pretty excited. I'll be recording some of it and talking to some of the members for my podcast (yay!), which you should look out for this weekend!

I'm also excited about the possibility of getting in a really good dye day next month. I'm going down to my family's country house (see the pic below), to spend some chill time w/my grandmom and great-aunt. I think I'll try to get some dyeing done, maybe even experiment with sunprinting too. Hmm. My best friend from college might be coming with me to "get her art on" and I'll make her assist me. She'll probably get a kick out of it--being a painter and all. Ohmigod, maybe they'll make us apples for breakfast! I love when they do. Ooooo...this is going to be fun.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Sew Chick: The Podcast!

Oooo! What's that link on the right?

That's right! Sew Chick's going audio and diving into the world of podcasting with Sew Chick: The Podcast! I thought it would be fun to have a companion podcast so check it again soon, as you'll be able to enjoy my explorations of the art quilting world! And, don't think I might not call upon my fellow AQ'ers to be in on the journey!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Solo Show?

I am so excited...talks are in the very very early stages, but I might have a solo show happening next March! I am so tickled that I don't know what to say right now!!!! I'm going to cross my fingers that this all works out!

Monday, July 17, 2006

From One Extreme to the Next!

Do I live in Vegas? No. Do I live in Arizona? No. New Mexico? Nope.

I live in D.C., so why, why, why was this the temperature outside today--at 5:45 pm!

First the rain, now this, LOL!!!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Project Runway's BACK!

Okay Deb and all of you Project Runway style mavens! It's baaa-aaaack! One of my fave designs is Michael's above--out of coffee filters!

I think this season's designers are better technically all around from what I've seen of the show so far. Last year's had quite a few dicey ones and I didn't think they were as good as the first season's. What PR has proven time and time again is that if you are not technically proficient--as in, you can't actually construct a garment--you will not make it through this show.

I love PR. Tim Gunn is the man.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


I'm thinking about entering Quilt National in Sept., which means I need to get crackin' now.

I have some ideas swirling around. It's been a while since I've entered a show, and those of your who are regular readers know how I feel about them. It's like a necessary evil or something. I figure I'll enter ones that I feel are worth it to try. You've got to at least try, you know?

Sunday, July 02, 2006

More from the Textile Museum

I had a good time at the Textile Museum.

It's a small museum and seems to have rotating exhibits based upon its collection, but there were cool examples such as this Peruvian piece from the 15-16th c. It is made of feathers! How cool, huh?

Yup, that's me peering through a magnifying glass (provided by the museum) at a piece from the Greek Isles/Crete embroidery exhibit. Such detail! There were so many other cool pieces. Like us, I imagine the textile artists who created these spending so much time and effort to create these pices of beauty--often serving functional, everyday uses and not given a second thought to it. Once upon a time, your sewing or embroidery skills were prized. It was something to be passed down. These traditions are being lost as new generations don't even know how to thread a needle in this disposable society.

We have to keep these traditions alive...

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Indigo Dye and Textile Museum

Okay, I finally made it to the Textile Museum! Fantastic place! I had a lovely time there!

I was there for a presentation called "True Blue," which discussed the use of indigo dye in cultures worldwide. It was very interesting. Trade routes sprang up along centers of its production or natural plant growth. "Crocking"--when it rubs off on the skin is considered great in some parts of the world as it imparts status. However, in India, the color blue was once associated with lower castes, and the printing and dye processes were passed down patriarchially. In Japan, it was considered a protection from snake and insect bites--which could've been due to the nautral ammonia in the indigo. Celts used a form of indigo (woad) for their blue skin coloring. In Nigeria, a pit method's used where the dyestuff lasts for a year and they add more plants in to maintain the color. There, the dyeing's done by women in the South, and men in the North. Sadly, the younger generation is becoming disinterested in the process, and these dyeing methods could eventually be lost. The only place indigo wasn't native to was the Americas--where logwood was used for a rich deep blue instead. Man, I hope I got all of this right, lol...I really did learn a lot, lol!

After the main presentation, textile student Johanna Buschmann, from the Univ. of Kansas, gave us all an indigo dyeing demonstration. She specializes in shibori and in the pics above you can see her examples, demo'ing a shibori technique using a little stand with a hook, and an indigo resist piece from Cameroon. It was pretty cool. For all you dyers, she was using synthetic indigo...