Friday, September 29, 2006

"Fiber Revolution" Georgian Court University Exhibit

- From September 28th to October 31st, Lakewood, NJ -

I am one of 35 artist members(from 5 states in the Northeast) of a group called "Fiber Revolution" We exhibit together, even though most of us have never met everyone else in the group. Individually, we secure exhibit opportunities for the group, curate the exhibit, handle publicity,hang + remove the show, take photos of the venue, etc. It's a lengthy and time intensive process but we have exhibitions not only in our 5 state region - which includes CT, NY, NJ, PA and MD - but this year we have started securing exhibitions throughout the USA.

Yesterday we hung the exhibit entitled: Fiber Revolution - A Survey of Styles at Georgian Court University in central NJ. Kevan Lunney had been the one to receive all 35 quilts coming in via FedEx, UPS and USMail. I live in a small townhouse, so room to store the quilts prior to exhibit plus all the packaging materials is something I do not have. Nor do I have a van - thankfully, Kevan does! We worked about 3 1/2 hours yesterday with the help of Kevan's husband, Joel. Above and below are photos of the show.

Below: Kevan + Joel Lunney setting up Kevan's "POD." It is over 4' high and big enough for Kevan to climb into! It's an amazing and highly imaginative/creative piece of fiber/art/sculpture. It is all fabric & machine quilted. Each pod leaf is a separate unit and they are seamed together with Velcro(R). She is actually on a ladder on the other side of the Pod, stringing fishing line to the ceiling to keep the Pod from falling over if touched/bumped or whatever.

Fabled Fibers Challenge Quilts

Detail: "Vasalisa" (C)2006 Pat Dolan
The pocket created quite a challenge. It needed to be see-through yet stable enough to hold the small wooden doll inside while it's traveling to various shows. I used navy blue netting framed with the skirt fabric to make it strong enough yet easy to see the doll in her pocket.

"Vasalisa + The Doll in Her Pocket" (C)2006 Pat Dolan
Complete except for the binding, hanging sleeve and label.

Vasalisa is nearly complete - she only needs a binding, hanging sleeve, and a label and those should be completed shortly. The Vasalisa quilt is smaller than Baba Yaga, but with their matching border design/fabric, they work together fairly well. The colorful flame-style border on Baba Yaga is merely turn over to the opposite side of the fabric to make the silver border for Vasalisa.

These two quilts are simplified to a great degree. I'm a great believer in using one's imagination - and encouraging children to do so, as well. So these two pieces are minimalist, yet adequately carry the message of the story.

Here is the pair together - different sizes, but very similar in colors and style. The outer border on each is identical, except in the Vasalisa piece it is reversed, leaving it all silver vs. the colorful border on Baba Yaga.

Click on any image to have a larger view.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Vasalisa - continued

Vasalisa is coming down home stretch at long last... the quilting is pretty much completed. Like Baba Yaga, the quilting is minimal with the design the principle element to hold the attention of the viewer. Below is a photo of the quilted top. The border has been added - it is the reverse side of Baba Yaga's colorful border - silver 'flames' on black netting.

Here you can see how the doll will be "held" in Vasalisa's hand. It will be hand stitched in place, with a sheer pocket over-lay to complete the imaged.

Together, the pair of story quilts will, hopefully, command their fair share of attention no matter where they go...

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Progress with Vasalisa

Baba Yaga is now complete - not the best quilt I've ever made, sad to say, but adequate. The design, at least, is very strong!

Yesterday: Vasalisa

Planning the skirt and arm in detail. Color coding pieces prior to fusing.

Below, the dress fabric is auditioned against the black background (which symbolizes the "dark forest" where Vasalisa must go to meet Baba Yaga and obtain from her the fire). Without the arm and doll this would be a drab quilt indeed. Let's hope it is enlivened with the addition of the arm and doll inside the slightly opaque (chiffon or netting) pocket.

The plan for the outer border is to use the same fabric that is used for a border in Baba Yaga - but the reverse side, which is all silver...

Today: Fused skirt pieces together and fused to background. Border is laying along side so I can see how it will look.

Below: Fused arm - here it is simply lying on the skirt and background.

The arm and hand must be quilted prior to fusing to the background - partly because the hand will be free-standing from the background so as to hold the wooden doll.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


Black + White Cells 29"w x 39"h (c)Pat Dolan
Here is one in the series of monochromatic pieces that are presently "in the works." This one has me baffled as to how to complete it. It could be hung vertically or horizontally - both work. It could be trimmed in closer to the main stream of black and white cells. Or left as is. A black border could be added - I like to pillowcase most of my work, but this one may call for something different. Maybe it could be stretched on stretcher bars...

Comments and/or suggestions please!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Journal Quilt Project 2006 - The Four That Stayed Home

January 2006 - "Serendipity" (c)Pat Dolan $100

The last two days were spent preparing the selected five (out of nine completed) 2006 Journal Quilts for their trip to Houston. Who knew it would take so long to label each quilt, make the sleeve, attach them to the sleeve, label the sleeve, copy the jpegs to a CD, find the right box, etc.??? (You'd think I'd remember from LAST year, wouldn't you...) But finally the box is complete, sealed, labeled and ready to take to the USPS on Monday morning. Last year at this time many of us worried about whether or not our quilts might get lost in the Katrina postal shuffle. As far as I know, all journal quilts arrived on time and in A-OK condition.

"Serendipity," above, was made by combining hand crochet and crewel work with hand and machine quilting on my painted chiffon. I didn't select it to be one of the "big five" because it did not stretch me to try something out of my comfort zone.

Below: March 2006 - "Depression"(c)Pat Dolan

March did not go to Houston because it was so depressing, depressive, and extremely simplistic... However it is an appropriate representation of my creativity that month.

May 2006 - "Spring Bubbles" (c)Pat Dolan $60

This is from some marbled fabric that I made several years ago but didn't use until this year. I never quite knew what to do with it - but free-machine quilting it was lots of fun. It was a large piece which I cut up into 10 or so postcards for Virginia Spiegel's FAFC. The remainder became "May 2006 - Spring Bubbles." May stayed home for the same reason January stayed home. Not nearly as stretching and/or creative as it might have been.

June 2006 - "White Weddings + Such" (c)Pat Dolan $100

June stayed home because it was all white and would not represent well visually in Houston. I did stretch myself for this one - maintaining a monochromatic color scheme; gathering/pleating/puckering the organza; adding lace from my high school graduation gown; adding a doll house decorative floral emblem; and finally adding the candle ring - that's the silver bauble on the right. There is a small white feather in the lower left corner, some crystals and some beads. This one was lots of fun - as were most of the 5 I sent to Houston.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Progress in the Studio

Baba Yaga is now mostly quilted, although I'm not terribly happy with my quilting... I'll get to that at the end of my posting today.
Meanwhile, I've decided to make Vasalisa, too. Time is short - these must be completed by the end of the month to meet the Fabled Fibers Challenge. Anyway, below you can see my process and progress in pictures. First, my original notebook drawings for the pair of quilts - I had planned on doing both last spring, but didn't select any fabrics until September...

Here is a close-up of Vasalisa's hand which will hold the doll in a pocket.

Here are some of the fabric auditions for Vasalisa's dress and the background behind her.

Here I'm attempting to give the illusion of a pocket in such a way as to reveal to the viewer her hand holding the doll her mother gave her for protection and advice.

It's been a pretty good day, so far working on Vasalisa...

Baba Yaga is another story - and perhaps Vasalisa will suffer the same fate. Since shoulder surgery last spring, there no longer is any synovial fluid in the shoulder joint (due to arthritis, the doc says - but it was fine before the surgery to removed 4 calcium deposits lodged in my shoulder muscled). Lacking the 'oil' for the shoulder joint leaves me with a jerky shoulder. So, I'll be sewing along just fine free-motion quilting when suddenly the bones in my shoulder shift abruptly, causing a sideway jump in my stitching. If I don't extend my left arm very far, it doesn't happen as often, but it definitely is affecting my machine work. With Baba Yaga, I had some leeway - I decided to incorporate the jerky stitches into the design, which worked just fine for her hair. Not so great on the face, however, as you can see below.

Baba Yaga still needs some sort of finishing edge plus a rod-pocket on the back and, of course, a label. I'll get to that eventually... next week, perhaps????

And then there's the 2006 Journal Quilts that are due in Houston the same time Baba Yaga and Vasalisa must be done. Then I could squeeze in a quilt for FabriQuilt's new fabric line called "Sunny Side Up" - with a chicken theme... I'm not terribly excited about that one so it just might fall through the cracks of time into oblivion. O well.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Witches and Such...

The positive and negative images of my Fabled Fibers Challenge quilt featuring Baba Yaga - the witch in charge of keeping the fire alive.
I've sometimes felt like the "wicked witch of the west" or the wicked witch of the north - the Ice Queen... These two images struck me as pretty good representations of both!
Below: Baba Yaga - ready for quilting

Below: The Ice Queen - ready for quilting

I lost yesterday's posting with the whole story of Vasalisa and Baba Yaga when I was updating this photo, sad to say. And I'm not about to rewrite it so suffice it to say that the borders of both quilts are shiny metallic fabrics which shift and change colors in different lighting. Enjoy the photos!