Seasonal Palette Quilt #2: The Journal

My journal for the Young Forest quilt.

In a dramatic mood, I began the journal entries for the creation of my quilt, Young Forest #5. The journal, along with the quilt, is on exhibit in the Season Palette exhibit debuting at the IQF in Houston this fall. Following is the first entry from around March 2011. (Cue dramatic music here.)

There is very little introspection going on in my mind when I make art. I seem to dissolve into time and space when creating and emerge on the other side unaware of how I got there.

And, although I am an artist, I am also a teacher. So many of my journal entries read like pattern instructions or directions for a student. These entries were written after working in silence on the quilt for hours at a time.
I find it difficult to write about how I feel about making art work while also making the art work. It’s better to just let the art flow and examine how it was done later. 

Apple Trio by Laura Wasilowski. This is what I’d miss as a play write, food.

Fortunately, I do not work as a play write for a living or I’d be starving by now. But I did find keeping a journal a little annoying. I just wanted to make the darn quilt! Tomorrow we’ll get down to real nitty-gritty, the creative process. (Cue more dramatic music here.)

Seasonal Palette Quilt #1: Juried In

Young Forest #5 by Laura Wasilowski

Young Forest #5 was created for the SAQA Seasonal Palette juried exhibit opening at the International Quilt Festival in Houston this November. This giant of a quilt measures about  32″ w x 78″ h. (And since I have Tyrannosaurus Rex arms, it wasn’t easy to create.)

Young Forest #5 (detail) by Laura Wasilowski

One of the requirements, after acceptance in this exhibit, was to document the process of creating the work including inspiration, design concerns, and techniques in a journal. Over the next few weeks (while I’m off gallivanting in Houston and California) I’d like to show you my process for making Young Forest #5. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll wonder why.

Art Hiding Behind the Art

A random act.

Can you guess what this is? A little hint. It is a random act of fusing and has a lot in common with this quilt below.

Plum and Leaf by Laura Wasilowski made in silk.

Yes, they are one in the same. The top image of a jar of strawberry jam is the reverse side of Plum and Leaf.  I like the idea of art hiding behind the art. It’s mysterious! This little silk quilt is now on it’s way to the IQF show in Houston. It will be on exhibit in our booth #839. Please stop in and pay the beautiful Frieda, the so-so me, and the gorgeous plum a visit!

Guest Artist: She’s a Little Fresh

Cheryl and her fun house quilt.

The trip to visit the Trillium Quilt Guild in Sister Bay, WI is still fresh in my mind. Must have been all that fresh air! Or maybe it was all the wonderful people I met while I was there. People like Cheryl above. Here she is showing off her beautifully completed quilt from the Tiny Homes class. She says:

It was FUN!!!!  I loved doing it.  I learned lots along the way of doing it and have many ideas for other new quilts plus better ways to do some things.  Thank you for this new technique in my repertoire!

Thank you for sharing your wonderful work with us Cheryl. All that fresh air seems to agree with you!

Autumn in Illinois

It’s a beautiful fall day here in Illinois. We are so lucky to have seasonal changes. It makes you appreciate Mother Nature even more. Soon I’ll leave Autumn in Illinois and be on my way to the IQF show in Houston.

But first, lets take a walk around my neighborhood. You’ll see the maple trees finally turning. They appear in a vast range of color from green through yellow through red.

The air is fresh. The colors are wonderful. And when I return, it will all be gone. That’s the wonder of Fall. The leaves are the prettiest when they are dieing!

A Passion for Potholders

Bias fusing to make a collage, a grand technique.

As novelist and screenwriter Raymond Chandler once said: 

Technique alone is never enough. You have to have passion. Technique alone is just an embroidered potholder.

Bias cutting to make leaves. Another grand old technique.

Ouch! That part about the potholder really hit hard. Sometimes I think all I’m doing is practicing a technique and making is a bunch of embroidered potholders. And then I think, well at least I enjoy making my “potholders”.

A vase on a table made with a bunch of grand fusing techniques.

But Chandler is right. Making art is much more than technique. It is having the desire and drive and passion to create. You need the skills and techniques to make the art. But mostly, you need the passion.

Betty’s Bloomers #5 by Laura Wasilowski

That’s what brings me back to the studio everyday: the joy and passion of creating…..even if what I make does resemble an embroidered potholder.