Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Looking Forward with a Glance Back

What's your resolution, goal, wish for the New Year? 2010. Doesn't that sound like a promising number?

For me I have this plan of revisiting my too long abandoned sewing skills. It is hard to believe that there was a time when I won awards for my sewing. That seems like a lifetime ago. Now, I just want to get up to speed and while I'm at it have some fun!

One book that will help me toward this goal is The Art of Manipulating Fabric by Colette Wolff. If you don't have this in your reference library, think about getting it. It may just be the most difinitive work on fabric manipulation. It goes way beyond tucks and smocking to mixed manipulations and incorporating all of the different techniques into an art form. Pictured here is Plumage, by Colette Wolff.

I wanna do that!

Also in the year 2010, I want to focus more on Crazy Quilts. I like the form. I like the freedom of that form. And I like the embellishments. It seems like it would be a perfect way to increase my ability to make choices as to fabric, color, shape, balance, and also work on embellishments and embroidery and again, fabric manipulation. Anything goes in crazy quilting which is probably why it is referred to as 'crazy.' But also, it is therapy. So soothing not to meet anyone's expectations of what the finished product should look like -- except my own!

And I must add that Pamela Allen, one of my new dear friends (whether she knows it or not) has set my life on its ear with her way of looking at the world. The way she thinks, they way she embraces everything with such joy and abandon. Her crazy quilt always makes me smile. Crazy About Quilts -- is that a self portrait? It could be my own image she's captured because I am crazy about quilts!

I also like the idea of a crazy quilt as a timeline of a life well lived. My great grandmother made such a quilt and it is exciting to see dates embroidered on the blocks of a time long before my own. She lived through the American Civil War. Maybe I'll do a timeline of my mother's life -- born the year the Titanic sank, lived through the Great Depression, saw the first automobiles, World War I, World War 2, Man Walking on the Moon. Well, I can just see so many possibilities for a crazy quilt.

Susan Lenz has so inspired me with her quilts. If there is anyone who puts her whole heart and soul into her quilts -- it is Susan. Her Grave Rubbings series is just one of the directions she has taken her art! Everytime I see what she's working on, I just gaze speechless and inspired. The reverence with which she approaches the graves and the care she takes to preserve artifacts and not endanger any historic site. Susan taught me more than stitching. See a detail photo of her Mother and Father quilt.

In my own efforts, I hope to use the techniques of Celtic Quilts. The bias tape work maybe even incorporate that into a stained glass piece. Lots to do in 2010.

Note the photo of Philomena Durcan's quilt The Children of Lir. Hopefully she will visit us in 2010. Her work as Scarlett Ross attested has inspired a whirlwind of creativity and a legacy of beautiful quilts from the hands of her students.

And I hope you will all join me on the journey. I hope we can have a show and tell page next year with Subversive Stitchers. A time when anyone can offer up a photo and an explanation of what they're working on. I'd be glad to post your 2010 fabric resolutions here. What are you working toward? Maybe post some photos of your first steps?

Several guest bloggers are also waiting in the wings -- Kathy York, Sharon Pederson, Gloria Hansen, Martha Sielman.... I won't give away the whole list, but there are lots of exciting things ahead.

I have so enjoyed sharing this year with all of you. Subversive Stitchers: Women Armed with Needles began as my little way to say, "Even when denied words, we speak with what is at hand." Needles, through the ages have given voice to the oppressed, the needy, the powerless, the female.

At the same time, I was finding so much creative inspiration online that I just wanted to share it with others who understand that fabric is so much more than woven threads. Well, you know what I mean. And it is so much more to share my discoveries than to just admire them alone.

I think of names and a cascade of beauty instantly flashes before my eyes. Guest bloggers through this year have expanded our horizons -- Karen McTavish and her machine quilting -- but also her tattoos. How many more quilters sport feather tattoos now that they've seen Karen's? Leslie Riley has me so excited about photo transfers and her wonderful TAP product. Virginia Spiegel's Boundary Waters quilts and amazing fundraising efforts; Linda Cooper's unique kinetic quilts and Eileen Doughty and her thread sculptures and landscape and activist quilts? And then traveling with Vikki Pignateli and seeing her classes and fabrics of other lands. Diane Gaudynski's machine quilting that makes me cry when I see how beautiful it is. And her love of fabrics so perfectly described. Lyric Kinard's inspiration about playing and experimenting. The class I took with her at Quilt University this past year was a turning point in more ways than one! And I hope to do more with paints and the various techniques I learned. Sarah Ann Smith certainly untangled threads for me!

Ami Simms and her inspiring mother! Maybe this is the year a cure is found for Alzheimer's Disease and maybe that will translate into a cure for ALS. Thanks to all of you who supported Derrol and me throughout this year. For buying raffle tickets and for encouraging me in that endeavor. Fundraising is not for the faint of heart! My hat is off to everyone who takes on that battle!

I'm so humbled that people say they like this blog. Humbled and so pleased. Every guest blogger is so special to me. Please revisit their guest blogs -- the line up is listed on the right column.

On the days when I can't think how to cope -- you all get me through. Each blog follower touches me whether you know it or not. If this little blog helps you through your day -- well, I can't ask for anything better than that! If it inspires you to do greater things, push further with your fabric art -- AMEN!

So, here's to 2010 -- I hope we can all enjoy it together! Let me know if there's someone or something you'd like to see displayed or featured here. If you'd like to guest blog, please let me know. It's been a fabulous year (despite the world problems)  -- I hope you feel the same.

Happy Holidays and a Happy Prosperous, Soul Satisfying New Year to Everyone!


Bob Sanchez said...

You show some beautiful work, Dawn. My wife is a quilter, so I'll have to show her your blog.

My 2010 goal is to lose 33 pounds by my birthday in October. The world can use less of me!

Bob Sanchez

Dawn said...

Hey Bob, I never expected to see you here! Welcome! And yes, please bring your wife next time! 33 pounds is a lofty goal and I know you want to look buff for the book signings! But no, the world can not do with less of you! Good luck!


Karen said...

Happy Holidays!! Sewing goal for the year, to get my stash out of storage so that I can enjoy it!! LOL Also to get a lap throw made from minky that I bought a long time ago, then on from there!

Susan said...

I cannot thank you enough for so many things...including this blog post that mentions me and my work with such beautiful words of support! Your interest in my work means so much to me. Like you, I look backward in order to more effectively plan the future. With thanks and reflection, realistic goals are formed not only in the mind but in the heart. Yours sound absolutely wonderful...and perfectly YOU! I look forward to seeing the progress made in the coming weeks and months. I also look forward to the posts of upcoming guest bloggers....especially since I now recognize names on your list! This leads me to a confession: I don't really know many of the "big names" in the fiber arts world...especially in the area of art quilts....but I'm learning! Increasing this knowledge could be a New Year's Resolution for me....but I've already set my sights on another goal: professional affiliations. Right now, I don't have any! I'm hoping to change this because it could help get my work in front of curators and gallerists that others who put together invitational exhibits, books, etc. Who knows where such affiliations might lead? What an adventure! Last year's New Year's Resolution was getting proper gallery representation....and it took until September to get it (Grovewood Gallery in Asheville). Let's keep supporting one another on our quest for self expression and on the adventure of making our dreams/goals come true! You're wonderful! Thank you so much for everything!