Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Outfit for Anna

An outfit we made for Anna!

Peering Out of the Darkness: Quilt National 2015

My mom and I just got back from the opening of Quilt National 15 at the Dairy Barn Arts Center in Athens OH, and it was a really wonderful trip for so many reasons.  Later in the week I'll share some more pictures of the opening and our trip, but today I want to focus on the piece I have in the show.  I'm so excited to have been a part of such a wonderful exhibit and so happy to finally be able to share my piece here.  The entries were due last September, so I was actually working on this last summer. In my brain it feels like old work, and I've been really anxious to share it.  One of the best parts of the opening was that each artist was given two minutes to speak about his or her piece, and I think the recordings/videos from that are going to be on youtube.  If they get posted I'll share the links.

This piece had been brewing in my head for a long time, and I was pleased to finally be able to make it.  I talked about the process a fair amount here, and I mostly just want to share the final pictures now.

Peering Out of the Darkness, Shannon Conley, 2015 50" H x 42" W
Artist Statement: This wintry night scene is designed to capture the relationship between us, standing alone in the darkness, and the piercing lightness of the world outside.

I wanted to explore the ideas of ambiguousness and of taking away, of suggesting. The feelings of the woman staring out the window are up to you- is she hopeful? Sad? Desperate? Inspired? I wanted her expression to be sufficiently unclear that the interpretation reflected the feelings and situation of the viewer rather than the artist.

Peering Out of the Darkness, Shannon Conley, 2015, detail

The piece started from completely white fabric which was painted (with all different colors of mostly latex housepaint, but also screen printing paint and shiva paintsticks), cut, and quilted.  For me, the dual shadows--those projected within the piece, (i.e.in the bottom section) and those projected behind the piece (i.e. when it is hung away from the wall) are a critical part of the composition.  I was really pleased with the way it was hung in the Dairy Barn and will show some more pictures of it hanging later in the week.

Peering Out of the Darkness, Shannon Conley, 2015, detail

Peering Out of the Darkness, Shannon Conley, 2015, detail

There are many thread colors throughout the piece, including incorporation of metallic threads, so that from afar it looks very grey and muted but up close there is lots of variation.

Peering Out of the Darkness, Shannon Conley, 2015, detail

I'm linking up to Nina-Marie's as always!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Blogger's Quilt Festival: Art Quilt Entry

It's time once again for the fabulous Blogger's Quilt Festival.  If you haven't checked it out yet, you should- it's always a great opportunity to find lots and lots of fabulous new quilts and bloggers.

If this is your first time visiting here, thanks for clicking through and I hope you'll come back in the future!

This is my entry in the Art Quilt category, a piece called Gloria Patri which I finished earlier this year.  You can see more about it by clicking the Gloria Patri tag in the sidebar.

It's part of a series I'm working on depicting pieces of the Anglican Liturgy, and inspired by the style and motifs found in illuminated manuscripts.  The wording is printed with my handmade silk screens, and features the text of the Gloria Patri (Gloria Patri, et Fili, et Spiritui Sancto, sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saeculum saeculorum amen.) spiraling out both directions from the center.  The central Gloria is an ambigram, that is it reads "gloria" both right side up and upside down.

 I then quilted the piece around all the letters and then with the floral/branchy/leafy fillers.  The quilting colors ranged from various shades of red/blue through to green/purple.  Unfortunately, once I was finished with the quilting, the whole thing felt washed out, so I went back and painted in all the quilting motifs.

The label reads "There is no top and no bottom, there is only the center.  How to regain the center when equilibrium is lost?  Slow, repetitive, meditative stitching; slow repetitive, meditative prayer."  The piece feels to me like a meditation labyrinth, where pacing along a defined path give your brain and heart a chance to rest and refocus.

Many thanks to Amy for hosting the Blogger's Quilt Festival, and to all those who clicked through to see my quilt!

Bloggers Quilt Festival: Mini-Quilt Entry

Welcome to all those who clicked over from the Blogger's Quilt Festival.  As usual, Amy has done a great job organizing so if you haven't checked it out yet, please do.  

For those who are new here, I'm Shannon (from Moore OK) and I mostly make art quilts, but also love to make bags and attempt to make clothes.  I hope you'll consider stopping by again sometime.  

This is my entry for the mini-quilt category, and I made it as a donation for the annual SAQA auction.  For more information about this quilt, you can check out my previous post about it.

After working out my design (in this case using Adobe Illustrator)  I painted white polyester fabric with latex house paint in blue-grey-purple and then quilted.  The silhouette of the person is cut out of adhesive foil which I used as a stencil for shading in the silhouette with Shiva paintsticks. 

Finally I added more paint to the window frames and then cut out the windows. My goal was for the pieces to evoke thoughtfulness and reflection.  Maybe hopefulness or calm, or even anxiety or sadness.

This one was actually one of three I made at the same time, here you can see them all together; each just a bit different.

Thanks again to Amy for hosting this year's Blogger's Quilt Festival and to all those who clicked through to see my work.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Giveaway Winner

Random.org picked number 10, so Janice Paine-Dawes won the 1000 Quilt Inspirations Book Giveaway.  Thanks to everyone who commented!

Small Whole Cloth Quilt

If you're looking for the book giveaway,  click here.  There's still time to enter.  I'll draw a winner this afternoon around 5.

This quilt has been half quilted and pinned to my design wall for longer than I can remember.  The photo metadata says that I started this in May of 2012, and to be honest, I don't even know if I blogged about it.  Maybe?  It was mostly just a chance to practice my FMQ, but somehow I started it, got as far as the second picture in April 2013, and never got back to it.  Last week I decided to go ahead and finish it (it's about 24" square).  I spent a few hours quilting, then squared it up and bound it. I usually use the water-erasable blue markers to mark my quilts (they come out of everything I've ever tried them on), but I used crayola washable markers for this one because the blue was hard to see.  I know they wash out, but I was really scared, because the marker had been on there for sooo long.  Anyway, I soaked the quilt overnight with spray-n-wash and a bit of woolite, and then ran it through the rinse in the washer.  The marker did come out (yay), so I'll consider myself lucky on this one.  You can see all the red marker in the center.

Sorry for the bad colors in this next one, but I wanted to show how I block my quilts.  Most things I make are small enough to fit on my design wall, but I have never in the history of my sewing, managed to make something square.  As a result I always have to block my quilts when they're wet, squaring up to some element in the design that's supposed to be horizontal or vertical.  On this one that has the inner border, I blocked the inner border and the edge (you can see the billions of pins), stretching or mushing in till it lines up with my laser level (red lines).  Sometimes I block before squaring up and sometimes after (sometimes both if my quilt is really misbehaving), it just depends on the project.  (This quilt really is square, the picture is just crooked).

Here's a close-up of the quilting.  It's mostly 100wt silk thread in the center, metallic and polyester 40wt on the borders.  Definitely not perfect, but fun and finished!

Twirling through the Leaves, Shannon Conley, 24 x 24, 2015