Tuesday, December 2, 2008

December 2, 2008

Yes, I have still been playing with my fabrics and sewing.

But, I have been a little frustrated with it. I have days where I just can't get things right. I can't "see" things, I can't sew things, it doesn't naturally flow out of me. This usually happens when I haven't sewn for awhile. I need to break back into the groove and it's painful.
But I'll get through.

News - I have two quilts at the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen Hanover shop now.

I aspire to more...thus I will continue sewing.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

November 6, 2008

This Barack Obama
quilt by
Susan Shie
is available for sale
at the SAQA Silent Auction
November 10, 2008
Check it out!http://www.saqa.com/newsebulletins/Squares08_1a.aspx

I'm sewing!
Did you hear that?

Those upholstery gems are calling out to me and casting their spell. Right now, I am sewing together several yummy tidbits. I hope to "play" with them later (Cut them up and move them around, mix-n-match). It's a good process. I find I'm not so worried about ruining them this way. They are not targeted for anything, therefore there is no fear of loss or waste. And if by chance I make one into something that is stunning...then that becomes, evolves into something larger and more finished.
Thus the creative process begins.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

October 22, 2008

"You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try." ~ Beverly Sills ~


I realised the other day I'm starting to sound like a broken record. "Get in the studio...." "Get inspired...." "Do something...."

Yeah, I do have a strong feeling that I will be disappointed in the results of my efforts because I have alot of funky ideas I want to try right now. There are too many floating around in my head. I see myself starting something cool and having things go wrong in the middle of it. I'll be saying, "no, wait...I wanted to do this...." and then it will rip! Or the fabric will melt under my iron, or pucker, or shred. It's these thoughts and my time contraints that keep me from diving right in.

Yeah, Yeah, excuses, excuses.

Once while I was searching for some elegant mantra and elaborate mind boggling insight, my stepfather gave me these simple words of wisdom, "Just do it!"

What it means is: Take your head off. Unscrew your brain. Replace faulty battery, if battery operated. (Check for charred firewood and ashes otherwise) Press reset button. Rescrew on your brain. Put head back on. Proceed with caution until warmed up. Beware of squeaks.

I don't want to be doomed. I'll give it a try....tomorrow!.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

October 21, 2008

One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries." -A. A. Milne

OK, I found a quote that justifies my studio condition. I agree that whenever I start to tidy up, there are little jewels of fabric hidden underneath that distract me from my cleaning. Those little "teasers" that I leave out for myself, that end up getting covered up with other clutter, are quite wonderful.

Right now, the piles stacked on top of everything are the new upholstery fabric swatches and are they ever yummy! Oh, where can I put them where they won't get lost? I want to start sewing them right now.

Gotta go! sew!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

October 15, 2008

I went into my studio last night and stood there looking. I have a lot of cool stuff in there, and boy, it needs to be tidied up. It has been too distracting these warm sunny fall days. I've been outside gardening.
I have a few things up my sleeve to start on. I hope to get my camera in on the action this fall/winter to post what I'm doing.

Today's fortune cookie:

"You will be called upon to help a friend in trouble"

I hope it's someone who needs fabric...I can help out there and be helped at the same time! Less Stuff!

Monday, October 13, 2008

October 13, 2008

What a weekend! Wow. The weather was just great! Blue skies, spectacular fall foliage, and I gardened most of the weekend. I spent most of my two days outside in the warm sunshine. Just what I needed to raise my spirits!

Well, not exactly.... There is more!

My friend called me to tell me she had extra upholstery fabric books, would I like some? Say what?

So last night, I sat in my living room pawing over several books of upholstery fabric. Oh, I was in heaven. Later when I went to bed, I found myself drifting off to sleep feeling the waves of new found creativity.

There is a feeling that comes over me, I'm not sure how to describe it, of knowing that I can create something from these fabrics....it's a confident feeling, of seeing the unseen, understanding it and knowing that it needs, at some point, to come out of me.
That doesn't describe it really, but if you've ever felt the creatve wave...I think I'm reaching a crest. I'm hoping to ride the crest soon. I am really happy about it...'cuz man, it's been a long time. Metallic threads, upholstery fabric here I come.

It was a rest and renewal weekend with fabric being a cure!

Friday, October 10, 2008

October 10, 2008

"Difficult and painful as it is, we must walk on in the days ahead with an audacious faith in the future." - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

There has been alot going on in my life that is painful right now. My life seems to match the economy in many ways, in a spiralling downward pattern. Where is the leverage I need to stand tall and perservere? Maybe in my art.

I need to obtain the audacity of faith in color, composition and tactile, creative oblivion right now.

Spirals, yes, they do appear in my work. I've always seen them as rising up though. It's funny, how we percieve things, huh?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

October 9, 2008

"Your spirit of adventure leads you down an exciting new path"
- fortune cookie

Well, it's been awhile since I updated this blog. Summer has come and gone. The fall brings the annual Creare quilt show (hallway art show in a local business) which usually is a nice show. I have four pieces there, including "Continuing Convergence". I enjoy having the opportunity to hang my work with more traditional stuff. I see things differently in every place I hang my work.

I had a chance to see the World Quilt Expo and that was reviving. I bought a bunch of YLI metallic threads in a broad assortment of colors and now I have to use them. My palette is complete, it's time to work on inspiration.

The fall certainly has its vibrant palette.

Monday, May 5, 2008

"Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new".
- Brian Tracy

I've been in a bit of a lull. By lull, I mean, no action on the physicalness of sewing. But I think art and collect stuff, and display it...I just haven't acted on it.
I'm getting ready to act on it, though. I'm preparing for upcoming workshops and competitions.
This time of year is very hard for me because I am torn in multiple directions, my gardens, yardwork, laundry, my daughters softball, and especially reveries. I LOVE sitting in my garden, bathing in a warm pool of sunshine on a blue bench looking up at puffy clouds in brilliantly clear blue sky.

But, it's time to move out of my comfort zone. Yes, it's time.
Can I do it?




Monday, April 21, 2008

Monday April 21

Hey, I had a great weekend. Went to see the MQX show, it was fabulous and I came home with some yummy things from vendors there. Also made a trip to Franks in Charlestown, and found some great things, so my weekend was a mixed bag of touching/viewing fabrics and yard work.
I put together some fabrics for teasers and have left them displayed in my studio. O K, look out, there may be something happening soon. It feels so good.

The mind stands in the way of the 'eye', people paint what they expect to see. - Arthur Stern

You see, but you do not observe. - Sherlock Holmes to Watson

The daffodils are up, the crocus are blooming and it's looking alot like spring.
If I can find the perfect balance of work, yard work and quilting...along with the daydreaming, sunbathing and biking, I'll be good.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wednesday April 16

This is called, "Continuing Convergence" It is composed of fabrics that I monoprinted alongside commercial fabrics. It is the influence of a Joan Shultze workshop I took and it is a path that I wish to continue down and explore more. This image is of the quilt unfinished. There is a wide border of yellow and green with some ribbony elements winding across.

I am very happy about this one, and hope to explore and expand on this.

Fortune cookie of the day:
An exciting opportunity lies ahead if you are not timid

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Wednesday April 9

Here's a picture of my red quilt I hope to work on and enter into some upcoming shows. I have reached the point of fear on this one and I need to push through, transcend what is blocking me and just go for it.

I have checked out the book, "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron. This is my bible when I find myself in a slump and need motivation. I also have her tape version. When I know I have a period of time that I want to be creative, I start listening and reading/writing to get myself pumped. It is only after a few days of listening that I can truly say I can
"leap and the net will appear"
as Julia Cameron says.

I am getting ready by organizing the mess of my studio, too. Making myself a clean palette for working. Getting rid of clutter and scraps that are not essential to my creativity. Seeking new quotes to enlarge and post.
Another favorite of mine,
"This is your time. Stay focussed. Relax and Enjoy the process."

The process is every day. Staying focussed, thinking creatively, believing that the answers will come without a struggle. Trusting in that.

OK. Move Forward.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Thursday April 3

Good morning, Spring. Yes, I know you are coming. I saw a robin today.

I am currently thinking about repainting and decorating my house. This is something I have never done before. Yes, I have painted a place I resided in. Yes, I have decorated my apartment, but actually painting and redecorating my home, my house, the place that I own and live, I have never done that before.

I am reading a variety of books. "How to's" on decorating, creativity, Feng- Shui and color. And of course, I continually look at Quilting books. The message I am getting is "Keep a Notebook". Gather stuff! Silly, me, I knew that! This will help in all aspects of my creativity, too. One book I read said that the "book" itself could become the design after it's all said and done. That is intriguing to me, so there's the next project.

So, I am repainting my house, building a design book and collecting inspirational objects and things to propel me forward. I also hope to add images to this blog as I go, but that requires a little more work. Hopefully I'll get there.

I wanted to share something I found. In a prior blog entry, I wrote a quote of the day that I had found years ago in the Boston Globe. I cut it out for my design wall in my studio. Well, in all this research about creativity, I found the source of the quote and the actual wording. So here goes,
Perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add but when there is no longer anything to take away, when a body has been stripped down to its nakedness. - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

I don't need perfection, just the "knowing" when to stop.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sunday, March 30th

Ahhh, it's a beautiful sunny day. It's cold out still but the sun is warm. It is melting the snow fast, I like that. I have opened the windows to let the fresh air into my house. And I sit here typing this, looking at the mess that my studio is in. Time to spring clean.
There is lots to be done here. Sometimes I get very overwhelmed with it all. But if I set my mind to focussing on one thing, maybe I will achieve something.
So far at 2:30, not much has happened here.

-- Quote for today --
If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door.

Which reminds me, Yesterday, I went out for Chinese food and my fortune said," You are a lover of words, someday you will write a book." I think I will start building my door for that opportunity. That's a long range goal.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tuesday March 25

Now that the show is up, I have taken time to relax and enjoy my daughter, my cats and really focus on my house. Well, enough of that for now. Back to thinking and creating art.

-- Quote of the day --
Never ask whether you can do something.
Say instead that you are doing it. Then fasten your seatbelts.
--Julia Cameron

Gotta go do something.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tuesday, March 11

Hi! The show is up. The reception has happened and Oh, what a night! I really enjoyed myself and all the people who came! It was a lovely gathering of friends, acquaintances and new friends and I was able to talk to practically everyone. The gallery space is really nice for this kind of show, allowing each quilt to sparkle under the glow of its own spotlight. I saw my work differently too.
I enjoyed getting feedback, especially when someone is intrigued with the techniques I use.
Well, now I can relax a little. But I am going to continue down the path I have started with these new quilts I made. And it's time to set up another show!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Wednesday, March 5

Today I can say that only half of my show is up. It took me two hours to hang half the show by myself. I'm using fishing line and hanging from "S" hooks on moulding. I go again tomorrow for two and a half hours to hang the rest. The opening is Friday. Yikes.
I have finished five new pieces for this show and although I wanted to have six, I am happy to have five. They are strong, too. I actually like them and see in them a new direction that is both inspiring and lively!
My sewing retreat was really great. I took advantage of any people who offered help and it felt really good to have the help too. I enjoyed the weekend instead of being anti-social and stressed. The friends liked helping me too.

Well, Friday I will be a mess...but that always happens. If someone can tell me how I can create and hang a show, send out timely invitations, buy and present food in an appealing way, remain calm and well rested to make it through an opening reception, I am all ears. I keep hoping the more I do this the better it will get, but so far...I remain feeling out-of-control.
Wish me luck.
Saturday I will be a very tired girl.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tuesday, February 26th

I have been on vacation in Florida, thus the lapse in writing. My show looms ahead of me. I still have lots to do but I am feeling rejuvinated. I have a weekend sewing retreat ahead which will be utilized to the max (and hopefully won't max me out!) When I get home (I write this from my cousins in Florida) I will add more images to the page I just had my friend Jack take.
Countdown to show time.
No stress.
Ya right.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wednesday, February 13th

Reflection for the Day
A Designer knows she has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

Ah, I'm writing less, but working more on quilts. I have finished one completely and have the rest (well, except one) backed and batted. I need to quilt them and embellish them more. Did I say, in an earlier blog, that I hope to have six new pieces for the March show? So far so good. I just hope I don't run out of time.
I end this month at a three day quilt retreat. If I don't sew myself crazy I should be in good shape coming out of that. But again, we'll see.
I still have cards to make and send out announcing my show.

My Show:

Continuing Convergence

Norwich Public Library
Main Street
Norwich Vermont

March 5 - April 30

Opening reception
Friday March 7th
5 - 7 pm

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Wednesday February 6th

Good morning! Well, even though I haven't written in awhile doesn't mean I'm slacking. I actually finished one of my new pieces over last weekend. It's a quieter piece, not one of my really exciting pieces but one I like very much. It's made mostly of upholstery fabrics. My daughter says, "It's nice mom, but..." So I need to hang it up and see if embellishments are in order.

Here is my quote of the day,
"She lacked nerve. You've got to have nerve." - Georgia O'Keefe

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Thursday January 31

Ah, I've fallen behind on my entries. I haven't really worked in my studio this week either, so there is no real enthusiasm to communicate.
Well, that's not entirely true. I have a piece in my studio that I put together Saturday...that I literally cut apart and put together.... that is bright, bold and graphic designy. I love it and have been looking at it all week.
I also, just this morning while at work, came across an image that gave me an idea how to quilt another piece I have to finish. I have uploaded it here. These circles are going to look really nice on top of a fabric collage I put together. I just need to figure out if I should use regular quilting threads or couch funky yarns.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

sunday, January

Well, yesterday was a wonderfully productive day. But, surprise!, the one piece that I thought I would slash, remains intact, and another which I thought would be fine, has been cut and resewn. I LOVE it too. It just goes to show, that one day you feel one thing and another day can be completely different.
My show dates have been set and it has had a sobering effect on me. I'm down to business now, but if today is like yesterday, it's not all bad. It's enjoyable, exciting and amazing!
So here I go...it's snowing outside, I've got my story tape going, the lights are on and I'm looking at the piece I left out yesterday. Wish me luck.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Continuing Convergence

I have named my next quilt show, "Continuing Convergence."

My bio:
I am an Art Quilter.  I create my work based on how the fabric "talks" to me.  I do not use templates.  My pieces come together as I lay them out, attach them and cut them apart again.  There is a lot of experimentation.  I use techniques I learned from several different sources and incorporate them into my quilts to create my own unique voice.  This quilt show reflects the changes in my quilting style and shows the progression to my latest pieces.
My current work uses fabrics that I mono-printed, then draped with sheer
fabrics. I love creating depth and movement using fabric overlays. I also enjoy bobbin drawing with metallic threads to add new shiny elements into the overall image. I use rectangles, circles and spirals in my pieces with meandering threads and yarns incorporated on top. I find these shapes soothing.
Why did I choose Quilts as my art medium?
I like the idea of entirely creating the top fabric, embellishing it to a point, adding the batting & backing and then quilting over the entire thing. The batting, when sewn, creates a whole new texture and can really enhance the overall look. Then finally attaching beads and other enhancements...the options are endless.

Thursday, January 24

Yesterday I went into my studio and started yet another new piece. I was tired and not able to concentrate on any other works that I had started. But this one piece of fabric that I had cut away from another quilt had been calling to me, and continued to do so, so I started sewing it to other fabrics. This particular "siren" piece I see as a teaser, one that calls to be sewn together only then to be cut apart into smaller pieces. These tiny pieces could go in other quilts or become a quilt of its own. Not sure. This afternoon I become the slasher....Yee haw.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Martin Luther King Day

"One of the biggest risks you can take is to break with your rituals. You'll need to leave your Comfort Zone in order to take risks."
This quote I got from a page on creativity. Notice I italicized and capped comfort zone. It is because that is where I am right now. I need to take risks.
I have created two art pieces. I have done what I know, what I am comfortable doing, creating. Both pieces are hanging on my design wall pretty much in the same state of unfinish.
Now, finishing, and letting these pieces mature beyond my self is where they need to go, outside of my comfort zone. It is time to take risks.
How do I know when I get there? Well, the path to finishing is constantly interrupted by a luring dance that gets bigger and tougher to resist. Fear throws distractions and beacons in my path, like the sirens, luring me away. If I can get past a certain point, if I can stay at it, then I am home free...transcended into that place I so desire to be in but am so afraid of at the same time. Give me the strength to transcend myself and finish these pieces without a struggle. I CAN do this.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sunday January 20

Yesterday was good, not great. I found my mental turmoil getting in the way of my creativity. It took me awhile to focus and get myself into the studio, but I got there. The piece I created (a new one) reflects the muddled brain I had, but it's not bad. I now have two new pieces on design boards to look at and finish. Finish is the key word here.
I did go through the UFO's yesterday and none of them really propelled me forward. I hope to move in the UFO direction again this morning while I have a little time to sew, to look at it in a new light.
In finishing these new pieces I'm making, I just had a thought. I can see myself finishing these pieces on the day that I create them, however, the time it takes to sew and make decisions on what direction the piece will move seems to take up my day. Thus the momentum on that piece is lost when, not finished, I turn the lights out in my studio for that day. I also find that when I look at the piece on the design wall later, I think of so many directions the piece could go that I am afraid to cut and move forward because I may lose what I have achieved. I need to photograph the progress. That's what I need to do.
Huh, I just thought of something else. When I work in Photoshop, I usually copy the picture I will be manipulating, just in case I screw up, then I can return to the original if I need to. Creating in fabric does not allow me that option. I need to go forth and cut and see where it takes me...thus the fear factor. There is a sense of adventure in it too though.
"Do not follow where the path will lead, rather go where there is no path and leave a trail." (I think that's Emerson?)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Saturday January 19

It's Saturday. I have the whole day ahead of me to sew. I'm worried because it is right now that I need to identify the "dance" I do to avoid getting right into the studio to work. Things such as laundry, my computer Scrabble game, that video I've been waiting to see, etc. all seem to call out, distracting me. Why? I am avoiding the pleasureable feeling I get when I become immersed in my work. That feeling of becoming a little lost...But loving the moment anyway? It scares me sometimes how very blissful that place can be. I think sometimes I feel like I don't deserve it so I numb myself out with other things.
So, what do I need to do to get by the dance? First, I'm typing here, then I will set up my story tape. I will turn on the lights around my studio space, and see what teasers are out there. I usually pick up simple sewing to begin with but today I may go through all my UFO's (unfinished objects) and figure out what needs to be done to get them ready for my show. Then I will start with the easiest thing to finish. If I get challenged by it I'll move on to the next one. I probably should create a time line for finishing things today too. That should put things in perspective. Over lunch, I will write my bio and think of a name for my show.
Well, that's enough for now. A start anyway. I may add more to this blog later as I think of things. You go girl.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Wednesday January 16

It's Wednesday and I'm better today from my fall, but still very sore. I can't laugh without it hurting...but I guess that's a good thing, I'm laughing, right? So it hurts a little, at least I can still feel things. If anything, this fall has made me more aware of walking and paying attention to details. I was lost in a reverie when I slipped. I was taking in nature, enjoying the beauty of snow covered pine trees and fresh air. Now, I will need to incorporate an awareness of the space I am passing through. I think I can do that.
As I was entering into this blog, I was thinking how today, I will not have time to work in my studio. So what can I write about? Ha. I can't fool myself. I am thinking about my art quilt pinned to the design board a lot. I can process my fear of moving forward with that piece.
This is a common theme for me. I work on a piece and get very excited. Then, I take it to a certain point, hang it on my design wall, stare at it, show it to friends and get critique, then I stop. There it sits (or hangs) unfinished. Sometimes these pieces get stashed away. I have several that have reached this point and remain undone. What am I afraid of?
Here goes......
I am afraid of ruining it.
I am afraid I will over do it and not know when to stop.
I am afraid I will cut it the wrong way.
I am afraid I will not have a day when the planets and stars line up and everything flows from my hands like magic.
I am just basically afraid. Let this fear out in words. Let these words remove themselves from my body so that I can move forward with this quilt. Can I do this? Work with me here.
o k.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Tuesday, January 15th

I spent the morning Sunday sewing that silly donation quilt and I found that toward lunchtime, I was spending more time with a seam ripper. I decided I may be getting a bit tired of sewing, so I did some other chores around the house for the rest of the day. Well, yesterday, Monday, was a bust. My daughter had no school because of the snowstorm so I worked at home taking care of payroll on my computer. My studio and computer are in the same room, so I was able to look at all my stuff while working. At lunch time, I decided to take a break and go outside to move the garbage can at the end of my driveway before it got buried in snow. I was almost to the end of my driveway when I slipped on the ice and fell flat on my back. I also hit my head. It happened so suddenly I didn't have a chance to put my arms out. So I laid there, for about a minute, catching my breath and deciding if I could move. I had a headache and was in a mild shock. I managed to get up, then made my way inside, but I didn't feel so good. So the rest of the afternoon I was keeping an eye on myself to make sure I was o k. The incident made me realize how vulnerable we are in the world and how much I rely on my good health. I am still sore today and cloudy headed. It puts a damper on my creativity for sure. But tomorrow is another day.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Sunday January 13th

Yesterday I had a sewing day with my WOW group. I lugged my stuff to the local library, set up and started working on a volunteer project I'm doing for a local nursing home. I brought my design board with my latest Art pieces so I could look at them in a new setting and light. I am still very pleased...that's good. And I got a constructive critique from my friends.
I need to finish this volunteer piece, just a lap quilt, and it's so boring compared to what I do now. Yet, it is such a departure that the contrast is actually good at this time. The colors in it are pastels and soft like a summer breeze. It is a traditional quilt with a slight modern slant. The palette is not my doing, it was a packet of fabrics I choose to take and of course to challenge myself. It's coming out nice, but I don't think anyone would guess it was made by me! I'll be starting with the traditional quilt now and then when I'm good and warmed up with sewing I'll dive head first into my art quilt projects and see where it leads me. I have an open day today so here goes....I'm off into my studio.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Friday January 11

There was a two hour delay for school this morning so I went right into my studio to look at my artwork. I laid out a few "teasers" and fantasized about how I would add some bobbin drawing with thick metallic threads to my newest piece. I have to think about my processes to make sure I do them in the right order. If I add thick metallic threads now, I cannot continue to overlay sheer stuff on top or it will create a bump. So I need to hold back the enthusiasm....and sometimes it's hard to because I get so impatient! I just want to get it done...then sometimes I get scared of the possibilities, the depth I could achieve with the endless layers, so I get paralyzed. The teasers are a distraction technique to get me out of the funk, but also to create new ideas for the next time I go into the studio. Question: How do I get myself away from the standard square/rectangle edge binding without looking too contrived? My work calls for uneven edges, but because of that it's hard to conclude what the natural ending shape should be. Write an entry from the quilts point of view...that's where it will come. ok.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

January 10

Well, yesterday was wonderful. I started a new piece.
I'm using the fabrics that I mono printed over the summer. I start by draping sheer fabrics on top and then mark the shapes I want. It's neat to work this way because the sheers interact with the background fabric and make a really cool water color painting effect. I sew some sheer shapes permanently to the fabric and then cut away other parts with my tiny scissors. I will continue layering like this creating depth. When I am finally satisfied with the effect I use a close satin stitch to cover the raw seams and couch on some funky yarns too. Then, I will cut the fabric up and sew it all back together again! Ye ha!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

First Day

I have left work today early to sew. I am currently working on a piece that has me very excited. I am preparing for a show I will be putting up at a local library in March. I have a lot to do. I have set up this blog with the hopes of having a dialogue with myself, and others, about Art quilting.