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. . . Processing . . .

At quilt shows, I am often struck by quilts with descriptions that include how many of this or that element went into making the whole.  Or how many hours of hand-sewing or quilting it took to produce the work.  I stand in awe of the patience and persistence of these artists.  And always I think I should keep a journal of the my processes.  But I never do.  I never have.

Enter, the Process Pledge.  An epiphany for me: one of life's little "a-ha" moments.  For me, the Pledge is a catalyst to do what I have wanted to do but didn't make time for.

During 2011, I worked on two collaborative art quilts.  Today, I want to talk about one of these, Low Tide,  a joint effort by 5 women from the Seacoast Association of Fiber Artists (SAFA).

This is the finished piece, Low Tide, hanging in the Images (Lowell, Massachusetts) show in August 2011.

It was my first attempt at a landscape or seascape art quilt therefore it stretched me out of my comfort zone. A good stretch.  I learned a lot.  Unfortunately, I did not keep a written journal of my process nor do I have a good photo record of the many, many incarnations of my slice.

This is my finished slice.    
 I couched yarn and dry felted roving for the sky and water. This part of the slice intrigued me but I couldn't, just couldn't get the colors right and did it over several times
The sea foam is variously antigue lace with roving and cheescloth.  

The sand is layers of hand-dyed cotton and a shear overlay and
 hand-stitching kantha-style to get a grainy, watery effect. Here it is partially stitched; the white space on the right is where the sea gull and more rocks will be placed.

The out-cropping of rocks are a sort of ruched cotton print with gray and black and tan.  

The little sea gull is crewel embroidery using a variety of yarn.

About the process:
For this work, SAFA, a group of 10 women, divided itself into 2 groups of 5 artists each working from two photo inspirations.  The photos were enlarged and then divided into 5 slices.  Each woman received a black and white enlargement in what would be the finished size and a color enlargement (8x10). 

We completed two art quilts, Low Tide and Trapped, for March exhibit in Artistry for Home in Portsmouth.  They were later shown in Fabulous Fibers (York Art Association) in June; and, at Images in Lowell, Massachusetts in August.  Now, in October, they are on exhibit at the Cocheco Quilt Guild's annual show in Rochester, New Hampshire.

We called our work 'collaborative art quilting' but really each slice was the individual artist's interpretation of the photo; each artist used her own unique style and techniques.  Some of us paint on fabric; others use  digital imagery and holographic effects; I use a lot of hand-work.  During the process, we didn't meet or communicate except to discuss borders and binding. It was actually happenstance that our colors were similar and major lines similar because we intended the slices to hang together on two long slats, top and bottom.


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