Saturday, September 25, 2010

Stitching in Newport

Here I am in front of the Perry Mill Building, behind the 'Wave' statue in Newport, doing my thing. My daughter Andrea and I arrived right on time and we got set up fast. I created from 2-6pm on the plaza. By 3pm the wind really started to pick up a bit as we were not far from the docks. What we couldn't pin down, we weighted down.
I brought along a few things for people to look at and touch. The "Masters" book was one of a sampling of books I brought for people to look at. A few people had never seen art quilts before. My photos brought lots of attention from the kids who walked by, as I explained how they were quilts made by kids in school art class. The piece above sparked lots of interest. It's called 'Alfred's Garden' and was made in a workshop with Susan Shie. This is a very personal piece which connects to a love of gardening, passed from my father to myself, and a very wonderful reminder of a once in a lifetime experience with a master quilt artist.
My handy little traveling Sunbeam iron has been through just about everything and it is still working wonders. This is a studio iron only, as often bits of fusible web get onto the plate. Several people asked about the process of using fusible web. Some people find that it makes the quilts stiff and therefore don't use it, but I like the stiffness. It gives stability to the piece especially when finished and hanging. It is a bit of a challenge to embroider through it though as I will be remembering as I sew in all the cactus pickers.
So this is what my set up looked like. I brought along some finished pieces to illustrate in a visual way what finishing a piece looks like. A few people asked about how I would finish the piece I was working on. Well, if you are reading here, you know that here is where you will find out what happens to the one with the adobe and the prickly pear cactus.
We had to get a little creative on finding a way to hang the finished quilts. Next to the quilt is my plaza mate, a young knitter and spinner. This was only the first year for the people at Newport Bay Club to organize their Arts on the Plaza series. The coordinator, Bobby Oliveira, is looking to expand his idea next year to providing metal rigs to hang artwork, and possibly including musicians. All changes to the format have to be approved by the city of Newport zoning department. A special thanks to Bobby for the invite. It was a special day and an adventure. To the many of you who picked up my artist cards today and are reading this blog now, welcome.
Here is my progress for the day. I was able to iron down and sew all the cactus pieces including two of the five cactus flowers. I really have only small details left, the windows on the doors, the posts and their shadows, and three more cactus flowers. Then I can start planning the quilting, embroidery and the borders.
OK, what year is this? As we were packing up for the day my daughter noticed this restored 'Woody' rolling slowly up in traffic. My uncle Charley had one just like it years ago, minus the two surf boards, of course. A rolling antique, how cool is this! A fittingly fun way to end a lovely day in the city of Newport.

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