More Fabric Collage Workshop

I am very far behind on my posts. Not part of my plan I intend to post twice a week.

And sew...I have more photos
from Adrienne depicting the students we assisted and their work during Tina Brewer's Fabric Collage Workshop. This workshop was made possible through the Visual Arts Career Orientation Program at the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh.

This group of high school students was from the Carrick School District.

What a great group.


Fabric Collage Workshop: Tina Brewer

I was delighted and honored to be asked to assist with a fabric collage workshop taught by one of my favorite quilt artists and mentor Tina Brewer. Tina creates story quilts. She brought four quilts with her to the workshop for inspiration and reference. I wish I could direct you to her website, but sadly she doesn't have one. But I can direct you to publications and for this post Threads of Faith by Carolyn Mazloomi and Patricia C. Pongracz. One of the quilts Tina shared with her students was There Are No Mistakes (photo in Threads of Faith). What better choice for exploring art, fabric, creativity and self-expression. It's an awesome piece.

Anyway, Adrienne Heinrich and I were her assistants. We had two days of classes two different groups. The students were high school students. And the work they created was inspiring. Tina is a wonderful teacher her enthusiasm is infectious. The students dove into piles of fabric as Tina brought something for
everyone, they cut, stitched, used wonder under collaged, and the day was finished practically before it began. I think I learned as much if not more than the students did.

Photos provided by Adrienne, I wish I had thought to bring my camera. I was most impressed by how the students jumped right in no hesitation, completely spontaneous, what I strive for when I work and rarely achieve.

My role was to help with quilting, got a little carried away. It was a tremendous opportunity I hope to do more. I have a great fondness for teenagers. A very successful two days made possible by the VACOP Program through the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh.


The Quilter's Catalog by Meg Cox

I have to begin with an admission of bias about this book. My sister, Barbara, is the copy editor.

But, I am so impressed with it, I had heard just bits and pieces about the volume of the material and the size of the undertaking of the book which is massive. I was eager to read the results. No disappointment.

Meg Cox, the author, is a very good writer. Her enthusiasm about the subject is infectious. The book is divided into sections quilt history, who quilts, why we quilt, with what we quilt, how we quilt, how we learn to quilt, who are some of the quilt gurus, how to finish the quilt. Every section is so interesting. Although I am familiar with alot of the material I am enjoying reading Meg's presentation.

I haven't finished it yet, and do tend to skip around a bit. Obviously it is a resource and not meant to be read sequentially but as you need. It's over 500 pages. But if I were new to quilting and trying to understand how to get involved, this book covers everything. To have in one volume the information on all the major quilt shows and what to expect if you attend, for a class or otherwise is fabulous. Meg thinks of everything.

If you are a member of the quiltart email list as I am and have been for years. You will read quotes from many listers whose posts you have read over the years.

For me the most valuable section so far is about sewing machines mid-arms and long arms. Terrific resource to help anyone make an informed decision about this type of purchase,complete with links to internet sources to learn more. I didn't understand the difference between a mid-arm and long-arm, I sort of guessed and now I get it.

Ok I am biased, but even so I recommend anyone who quilts, young or old to purchase this book. It is a delight and a reminder of what a wonderful community the quilt world is, how exciting it is to be a part of it, how much more there is to learn and what wonderful opportunities exist within it.


HBO Documentary The Gates

HBO recently aired a documentary on the Gates which was installed in Central Park February 12 - 27, 2005. This is a chronicle of how Christo and Jeanne-Claude were able to see their artistic vision realized.

documentary is fascinating you get a sense of the magnitude of the project and all the difficulties they faced. In particular you get a real appreciation for what is involved in the creation of public art that must be approved by various members of city government and the community. Particularly interesting is that the project is proposed at no cost to the city and still it is not approved until 2003.

The filmmakers do a fabulous job of editing the various meetings and interviews of the key people in NYC to tell the story, which begins in 1979. It is NYC and everyone has an opinion, but you realize that this would be true in any city. They also interview people on the street before it is installed as well as once it is in the park. They film the construction of it and depict the choreography of the installation and subsequent unfurling of fabric panels. It is breath taking, and exhilarating even on film. What a celebration of the city, one gentleman says that it gives "a sense of hope and cheerfulness. It feeds the soul."

The views of it are numerous and glorious in all types of weather. The way the fabric billows in the wind and the sound that it makes.

But what I particularly loved is Christo's explanation of why he created the work:

"The most essential part of all our projects coming from a former communist country, I will never, never do something for some reason. I will do only these because I like to do it. I have unstoppable urge to do this project, they are absolutely irrational, irresponsible without any justification this project has only happened because artists like to have them."

Unfortunately I was unable to see The Gates in person, but my sister lives there
and took these photographs.

Enjoy and watch the documentary if you can.