Art Journey {Part 1}

This year, I set a goal to move more into the art world and seen as a textile artist. I don’t know why but I was not expecting much of a difference. I was so wrong. There is a lot to navigate in the art community that is not the same as in a quilting community (for me a modern quilting community). I thought I would start sharing my experiences now that I am finding my feet. Over the last 12-18 months, I have been learning a lot and have been successful by:

  • included in two exhibitions
  • sold a couple of pieces
  • selected in an art auction event for NC Museum of Arts
  • accepted to a 2 week winter residency program at Penland School of Arts and Crafts
  • and invited for a solo exhibition July 2023.

One of the hardest things I found, was where to start. The best things I found were:

  • Find local art community spaces that aligns with your interests. It is a great way to meet people. I found Artspace North Carolina who offers studio’s for artists, exhibitions and classes (both adult and children). They have a monthly fiber meet-up, First Friday events which is an open house to walk through studio’s and see the current exhibitions, volunteer opportunities to help out. They have an artist membership which you get local community information and calls for exhibitions, studios and artist jobs.
  • Diversify my Instagram (or social media accounts) to include artists in different medium (painters, printers, knitters, and sculptors as examples), local and regional art groups (SAQA (Regional), Durham Art Guild (NC), Artstigators (NC)) , art schools (John C Campbell Folk School (NC), Penland School of Arts and Crafts (NC), Madeline Island School of Arts), galleries/museums (CAM Raleigh, NC Museum of Arts, McColl Center) , art magazines (Create Magazine, Fiber Art Now, Where +What Woman Create), and web-based art curators (Artrepreneur). These resources helped with getting to know other artists and also when calls were for exhibitions, residencies, studio space and teaching opportunities.
  • There are several places you can join for calls for entry. These calls are how to find out of there are shows/exhibitions or publishing opportunities. My favorite due to the variety is Cafe (Call for Entry).

I still struggled with how and where to sell work and pricing; what do I need to submit to an exhibition and how to apply for residencies. Next post, I will share how I have applied for an exhibition (both a group/themed exhibition and a solo exhibition) and what you need. I’ll share the content I submitted. Stay tuned for part 2.

If you have any questions, let me know below and I will do my best to answer them based on my experiences.

Scrappy Star Blocks {Tutorial}

These blocks were inspired when looking at some vintage block combinations. I was thinking about making a gift our of scraps, specifically pink & yellow fabrics with scrappy low volume backgrounds. My goal is to alternate the blocks and make a twin sized quilt (4 x 5 blocks)

Block 1 is made with a simple 9-patch center. Block 2 is made with an Ohio star center. They measure 18″ finished (18 1/2″ unfinished).

Notes:

HST = Half Square Triangle
RST = Right Side together
All seam allowances are 1/4″

Cutting Instructions for each block

Block 1 (9-patch center):

  • Five (5) 2 1/2″ low volume squares
  • Four (4) 6 1/2″ low volume squares
  • Eight (8) 4 1/2″ low volume squares
  • Eight (8) 4 1/2″ pink squares
  • Four (4) 2 1/2″ yellow squares

Block 2 (Ohio Star center):

  • Five (5) 2 1/2″ low volume squares
  • Four (4) 6 1/2″ low volume squares
  • Eight (8) 4 1/2″ low volume squares
  • Two (2) 3 1/2″ low volume squares
  • Eight (8) 4 1/2″ yellow squares
  • Two (2) 3 1/2″ pink squares

Construction of the Center Blocks

Block 1 (9-patch center):

  1. Layout the 9 patch square by using the five (5) 2 1/2″ low volume squares and the four (4) 2 1/2″ squares. The low volume and yellow squares should alternate starting with a low volume square in the corners and center of the block.

  2. Stitch together each of the rows of three blocks. Press seams.
    Note: I press open as it lays flatter and I find it easier to match the seams.

  3. Once all three rows are stitched, sew them together matching seams and pinning in place while stitching. Press seams.

Block 2 (Ohio Star center):

  1. Start by making quarter triangle squares. Take the two (2) low volume and on the back side, draw a diagonal line between one set of corners.
  2. Place the low volume square and the pink 3 1/2″ squares RST.

  3. With the low volume back facing upwards, so you can see the line, stitch a seam on either side of the line.
    Note: I chain piece these, and do all one side first and then the other.

  4. Cut along your drawn line with a ruler and rotary cutter. You should now have two (2) HST from each set of 3 1/2″ squares. Press seams.

  5. Using a ruler and rotary cutter cut these squares in half along the opposite diagonal that is pieced. You should have 8 half pieces.

  6. Match up the halves from all the blocks so that the color triangles are diagonally lined up. Put triangles RST, match the seams in the middle (along the longest length) and pin. Stitch together to make 4 blocks. Press seams.

  7. Lastly, trim the blocks to 2 1/2″.
    Note: I use a square ruler with a 45 degree angle line (see image below in next section #5). I line up the 45 degree line with one of my seams and trim all 4 sides (2 at a time), making sure I don’t cut it smaller than 2 1/2″ (you should have at least 1/8 inch to trim for each side).
  8. Follow the steps above for Block 1 to now make a 9-patch (instead of yellow use the pink quarter square triangles). The layout, I use, is as follows.

Construction for HSTs

  1. Take the eight (8) 4 1/2″ low volume squares and on the back side, draw a diagonal line between one set of corners.
  2. Place the low volume square and the pink or yellow 4 1/2″ squares right side together.

  3. With the low volume back facing upwards, so you can see the line, stitch 1/4″ seam on either side of the line.
    Note: I chain piece these, and do all one side first and then the other.

  4. Cut along your drawn line with a ruler and rotary cutter. You should now have two HST from each set of 4 1/2″ squares. Press seams.

  5. Trim all HST to 3 1/2″.
    Note: I use a square ruler with a 45 degree angle line. I line up the 45 degree line (as shown below) with the seam and trim all 4 sides (2 at a time), making sure I don’t cut it smaller than 3 1/2″ (you should have at ~1/4 inch to trim for each side).

  6. You will now be making flying geese with the HST’s. Four will be with low volume in the middle and the colored print on the outside, and four with the color print in the middle and low volume on the outside.

  7. Once you have laid out your squares, put them right side together and stitch them together using a 1/4″ seam. Make sure you know which side to stitch. Press seams open.
  8. Final step, is to make four (4) 6 1/2″ squares using one of each of the flying geese (white and colored middle triangles). Place the flying geese RST, along the long side, match the middle seam, so that your colored squares are forming an arrow. Stitch together.

Construction for Final Blocks

  1. For the final construction you are essentially making another 9-patch square. Place the four (4) 6 1/2″ low volume prints at each corner, in the middle place the center block (smaller 9-patch or Ohio Star) and then in the space place the arrow block (the pink or yellow HST block).
  2. Stitch together each of the rows of three blocks. Press seams.
  3. Once all three rows are stitched, sew them together (with RST) matching the two seams and pinning in place while stitching. Press seams as you go.


Enjoy the tutorial and let me know if I need to clarify anything. I would love to see your blocks if you make any. Tag me on Instagram @ml_wilkie and use #scrappystarblocks when you post or share.

30 days of Quilting – Week 3

I totally missed a week when writing my blog posts for my 30 days of quilting. It happens to be one of my favorite projects I finished. The week I finished this quilt marked the one year of being in lockdown/quarantine for COVID-19. So it seemed appropriate that “Inside looking out” is my remembrance of this year.

The quilt is the view of my window in my studio looking outside. It is a minimal design in mostly white, off-white and grays. The pops of orange were used to show where light streamed through the window and played on the window frame or wall.

For the quilting I decided to use Jacquie Gering’s Arrow design (from Walk 2.0) for the window, thinking that a diamond or triangle design would reflect the refraction and play glass can have with light.

I also decided that the light that played on the wall would be represented like a light beam and quilted vertically. This would make an interesting play in contrast to the 1/2″ horizontal lines the rest of the background (wall) had.

To pick up the orange colors in the quilt top I used the same color in the binding. The white corner in the binding continues the light beam in the quilting through the binding.

Details

Name : Inside Looking Out
Design:
 Original Design 
Fabric: Kona Cotton (White, Snow, Silver, Torch)
Backing: Kona White
Binding: Carolyn Friedlander, Friedlander
Dimensions: 
26 x 24 in.
Quilted: Straight lines walking foot quilting
Start date: 17 October 2015
Finish date: 22 March 2021

Other Blog posts for #30daysofquilting
Week 1
Week 2
Week 4-5