Wednesday, July 31, 2013

IQF News

gray blue striations with white moon
Striated Gray © 2013 Linda A. Miller

The International Quilt Festival opens this week with Preview Night on August 1st and will run through August 4th at the Long Beach Convention Center.  On Saturday, 8/3 from 10:00am to 12 noon, I will be sharing my texture quilting techniques at the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) booth in the exhibits section.   Attending the IQF?  Come by and say hello!  Sadly, this will be the last year that the IQF will be in Long Beach, as it is moving to Portland, Oregon in 2014. 

There is always so much to see.  Stay tuned!  Updates on the Festival coming next week.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Unfolding Story

dancing red stick figure with spiral head
Dance   -  9" x 7" © 2013 Linda A. Miller
I've said before that every craftsman
Searches for what's not there
to practice his craft.

A builder looks for the rotten hole
Where the roof caved in. A water-carrier
picks the empty pot. A carpenter
stops at the house with no door.

Workers rush toward some hint
Of emptiness, which they then
Start to fill. Their hope, though,
Is for emptiness, so don't think
You must avoid it. It contains
What you need!

- Rumi, excerpt from "Craftsmanship and Emptiness" 

Recently I participated in a Creativity Lab at my meditation center.  These monthly workshops are an exploration of creative process in meditative spaces.  Storytelling was this month's offering using rice as the landscape to which random objects were added.  This contemplative process is somewhat similar to the sand play used in some forms of therapy.  It was amazing to see the stories unfolding with very little coaxing, as we worked together in small groups.  Storytelling, in some form, seems to be an innate part of who we are as humans.  The means to how we share and connect.  What are your thoughts? 

Though I tend to work abstractly, there is still a story to be found in each piece created.  I had not intended for a figure to emerge out of "Dance".   I approached the work with the quilt and shrink technique using one of my hand dyes. My quilting stitches were intuitively sewn around the dye shapes.  Following the texture patterns, foil, oil sticks, and hand embroidery were added.  As the quilt developed, there was a figure form that appeared to be waiting for attention.   I chose to accent her in simple lines with hand couched cotton yarn, allowing the spiral foiling to be the head.  The movement of shapes, colors and line danced together, hence the title.  Through pattern and texture the quilt creates its own is up to me to pay attention to what is being said.  This is often more a visual story than a verbal one.  Does storytelling play a part in your work?

Linking to Off the Wall Fridays.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Linear Moves Revealed

black and white calligraphy lines on quilt
Linear Moves  -  54" x 30" © 2012 Linda A. Miller

"Linear Moves" is included in the Sacred Threads exhibition through July 28 in Herndon, VA.  This quilt has been a part of the touring exhibit Black and White with a Twist  which debuted at the International Quilt Festival (IQF) in Long Beach July 2012, and is scheduled to go to the Pacific International Quilt Festival (PIQF) in October.  

Sacred Threads statement reads:  I am inspired by the essential beauty in the ink calligraphy of Asian art traditions.  Having worked with this meditative art form on paper, I wanted to translate the essence of the brushwork to cloth.  By staying present with each step of painting and sewing, the process became a contemplative practice that allowed me to express the freshness of the moment in a direct way.  To maintain simplicity in the overall presentation, I was influenced by the framing layouts of Asian scrolls in my arrangement of the borders. 

black and white ink lines on quilt
Linear Moves (detail) © 2012 Linda A. Miller

Regular readers know that I have been exploring contemplative art, linking meditation and creative process, within Shambhala Art programs.  What do I mean by contemplative practice?  Being fully open to the moment, engaged with all your senses.  Working in this manner is a calmer, clearer approach to making art. (Not to say this is how I always work!)  It seemed natural to connect meditation and creativity, so why not extend this to quilting?  Hand work is especially well suited to contemplative process.  For this quilt, I began by creating ink mark drawing on cloth.  This center section was machine pieced together with borders.  It was hand and machine quilted, with some added hand embroidery.  It proved to be a wonderful project.  I am pleased to be able to share it with you through these exhibits.

Sacred Threads quilt exhibit
Overview of exhibit - Photo courtesy of Sacred Threads

Linking to Off the Wall Fridays.

"Without seeing things as they are, it is hard to create art. Our perceptions are obscured and our mind is not fresh, so making art becomes a troubled, futile process by which we're trying to create something based on concept."
- Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Heart's Vision Described

quilt with turquoise eye and tears for compassion
Heart's Vision -  24" x 32.5"
© 2011 Linda A. Miller

"Heart's Vision" is now on exhibit at Sacred Threads 2013 through July 28th.  In answer to questions about this quilt's process, here are the techniques I used:  fused applique of horizontal and vertical shapes in center panel, with the "eye" also fused and heavily thread painted.  The "tears" were threadpainted separately on soluble stabilizer and appliqued on.  Side panels were machine pieced in striped commercial cottons and turquoise silk, with undulating details fused.  The quilt was machine quilted, and hand embroidered.  The colors of red and turquoise represent heart and clarity.

quilt detail with turquoise eye and tears on red background
Heart's Vision (detail)
© 2011 Linda A. Miller

My statement for Sacred Threads reads:  There is an aspiration practice in the Buddhist tradition that asks:  “May I be free from suffering.  May you be free from suffering.  May we be free from suffering.”   The intention is to contact genuine compassion.  Connecting to the heart, in pain or joy, allows us to see the world more clearly.

The original quilt was missing something.  Planning to submit the quilt to this year's Sacred Threads, I set about refining the image to better express my intended theme of compassion.  In my estimation, it worked successfully once the top was cropped and the tears added.  Yes, it seems the jurors agreed.  I was very pleased that "Heart's Vision" was accepted into the exhibit!

Linking to Off the Wall Fridays.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Creative Circle Workshop

Creative process allows us to make new discoveries about ourselves and our world.  Are you ready for an art adventure?  I will be teaching a Creative Circle Workshop on August 11, 2013 in Culver City.  Join in this hands on exploration of simple and fun techniques while making your own prayer/aspiration flag.  These flags cross cultural and spiritual boundaries to share expressions of positive energy with others.  Let the day be your celebration of renewal.   No art or sewing experience needed.

For more details go to the Bhavana Project website.

When:  Sunday, August 11, 1:00 - 4:00pm
Where: Buster's Baskets and Flowers, Culver City
Early Registration until July 21 - $40.00
Registration after July 21 - $45.00

Space is limited.  To reserve your place, or for further information, please email me.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Letting It Lighten Up

Lighten Up by Linda A. Miller 2009

"What would it feel like to yield your
own stubborn willfulness
which has brought you so far in
this world of achievement
and allow the things you could never have
planned for, to unfold?"

- Christine Valters Paintner

Messages coming in this week about letting go.  Funny how things go easier when I can just let them be.

"I think of the trees and how simply they let go."
- May Sarton

"We don't have to let go, we simply have to not hold on."
- Joseph Goldstein

Monday, July 1, 2013

An Anniversary Sale!

hand quilt in red, yellow, orange with 5 ganesh stamps above fingers
Handprint by Linda A. Miller

My Etsy shop has been open for almost a year now.  In celebration of that event, I am offering a 20% discount throughout the shop.  Use coupon code ANNIVERSARY1 when prompted at check out.  Etsy will deduct the discount from your total.  Sale ends July 12th.

Fabulous fiber bowls, mini quilts and greeting cards are available.  So come and explore!

thread bowl in yellow orange with red heard on gray background
Thread Bowl by Linda A. Miller

4 art quilt greeting cards
Art Quilt Greeting Cards by Linda A. Miller


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