Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Brief Blog Discussion and Tons of In Process Shots

I've been blogging and reading blogs for more than eleven years. I always hate blogs that start off with something like, "I've been a bad blogger." Really, as a blogger you just have to chose to blog or not. Readers can clearly tell which choice you've made. You don't have to tell them.

And yet, I can't figure out that choice for myself and I really have been a bad blogger. I'm not apologizing to you as a reader (if you're even out there), I'm just trying to figure out what I'm doing here.

As you know, I have a book coming out in the fall. I'm teaching and lecturing more. I'm showing and selling more work. I love all of this! I really do. So, it makes sense that my blog would complement those activities. But, then it starts to feel like a marketing tool rather than a personal journal. So, I'm seeking a balance. 

How about some images of an in progress work? I always enjoy writing about my process and readers seem to enjoy it too.

I love the Tactile Architecture special exhibit at Quilt Festival in Houston every year. I love architecture and I think it's a never-ending well of inspiration for design. I've had the pleasure of being included in the exhibit a few times and I'd like to enter again this year. So, I set out to create something to fit the theme and size requirements.

I began with some brown, gray and black fabrics. I'm having a moment with neutrals this year. I added an orange mono-printed square... which looked awful.

I adjusted the proportions of the fabrics, cut the black to suggest a tree line, added a pop of red and swapped the orange mess for an off white fabric.

Crop lines?

No, but those lines could become a fence. Off white fabric gets folded into a house shape.

Brown bush on the side of the house? Hmmm. Looks like a pile of mulch. Or a pile of something else.

Pop of color with a blue door?

Would more "mulch" improve the design?

Definitely not. How about adding a branch? (You can see the bits of handwriting I've added to the brown section?)

Two branches suggesting my beloved arch over the top of the composition?


This is the first stage in my process. I've settled on the fabric foundation (and added just a tiny bit of surface design with the handwriting). Some of the fabrics are fused to each other at this point. The next step is to make sure every piece is the shape I want and ready to fuse to batting. 

Then I add more surface design. Then hand stitching. Then machine stitching. 

Actually, I created a video about this quilt and another follow-on quilt. You can watch it here.

So, should I keep blogging? More personal stuff? More process stuff? Just whatever comes to mind?

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Out and About

Claire and Benjamin and I had a fun weekend!

Benjamin and I went out for lunch at a new fancy restaurant I've been wanting to try, The Theodore. I started with a lovely latte. With a sugar cube!

Amazing sweet little donuts.

Eggs Florentine... on a plate with a bison.

Need some salt and pepper?

It was super fun to eat and chat with this amazing person.

The decor and atmosphere of the place was clever. Abraham Lincoln was peeking out at us from a secret room behind a bookcase.

We got close up with Lincoln after our meal. Washington too... over on the right.

Protect the Parmesan!

And Claire went to Prom on Saturday!

She went with a group of beautiful friends.

They went to the Dallas Museum of Art for more group pictures. I love this stunning image against the beautiful DMA mosaic.

A mother-daughter selfie.

And so it's not just about the kids...

My quilt, Rising and Setting is published in Machine Quilting Unlimited! It's part of a lovely article about quilts in the Matter of Time textile exhibition organized by Brenda Gael Smith. It's always such a thrill to be published. (Hey it's fun to be next to my long-time art quilter friend Sarah Ann Smith.)

Saturday, April 30, 2016

SAQA Auction Donation 2016

I always enjoy creating a small art quilt to donate to the SAQA Auction. I usually take inspiration from a recent quilt I've completed. This year, I worked with the color palette, shapes and symbols in my quilt, Multitudes.

I began by gathering fabrics.

Eventually, I settled on this basic composition. (You'll notice I only used five fabrics from that big pile I'd considered.)

I have a 12x12 window cut from a piece of cardboard. Here I am testing to make sure the design fits comfortably within the required size. You can see I altered the fabric arrangement just a bit. One of my favorite things about the larger Multitudes quilt is the black and white striped square in the mid-left of the background. This smaller quilt needed a similar pop.

Next I outline the bowl with thin fused strips of brown.

Here I am sketching the flower shapes that will be painted onto the quilt using a freezer paper stencil. I'm carefully thinking about the placement of the flowers in relation to the bowl.

Cut out the freezer paper stencil.

Press the stencil to the surface of the quilt.

I love this sponge spouncer for applying paint.

Ta da! Fabric and paint layers done. Now it's time for stitching. (You see I also added the tan striped fabric in the brown section and a smaller repeat at the top.)

Gold-yellow-mustard hand stitched arch across the top along with black machine stitched lines.

Seed stitch in the bowl. A few free motion lines too.

I fused on a backing, then trimmed all the layers to 12x12. (My beloved Y stitches, too!)


A few details.

Labeled and ready for auction in September. (I'll keep you posted.)

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Upcoming Three Day Workshop with the Visual Arts Society of Texas

I am delighted to be teaching a three-day workshop with the Visual Arts Society of Texas in Denton, TX August 29, 30 and 31. The workshop will be in the beautiful Center for Visual Arts on the corner of Hickory and Bell.

Art Quilt Collage: Designing with Layers of Fabric, Paint and Stitch
Create surface design on fabric with hand made stamps, found object printing, stencils, wet-on-wet painting, handwriting and other improvisational mark-making then use your original fabrics plus various commercial fabrics to create an original small art quilt incorporating hand stitching. You’ll have lots of left over fabrics to incorporate in collage or other mixed media projects.

$185 for VAST members; $220 for non-members
Registration Fee is $50 for sign-up, and is non-refundable.  Please make checks payable to VAST and mail to Kristin Spalding 2507 High Pointe Blvd, McKinney 75071. For a supply list and questions, email Kristin   kgn2507 (at) yahoo (dot) com

We'll spend one day exploring various methods of creating print and pattern on fabric with hand made stamps, found object printing, wet-on-wet painting and mark making.

There will be lots of opportunity to explore design and composition using your original surface designed fabrics combined with commercial prints. There will be individual guidance and critique.

Explore adding design, line and texture with hand embroidery.

I'll demo finishing techniques and share lots of examples of interesting ways to layer fabric, paint and stitching.

I'd love to see you there!

Monday, April 18, 2016

SAQA Conference Recap

I had a great time at the SAQA Conference in Philadelphia earlier this month. In fact, I wrote a trip report for the Craft Industry Alliance focusing on the programming and opportunities related to the conference. You can read that here.

But there were more personal details and experiences I can share here.

The bulk of the conference programming in the mornings was made up of lectures in a big hotel ballroom. It doesn't make for an interesting picture, but here we are.

I took lots of notes during the lectures. There were so many meaty little bits that I continue to think about and consider how the things I heard might affect my own art work and professional life.

I am so happy I squeezed in a brisk walk to Independence Hall with Maria Shell. The schedule was pretty full, but I really wanted to walk past "the room where it happened."

There was food, of course! A wonderful chocolate dessert bar on the first evening of the conference.

For lunch one day, we walked down the street to a dark bar for a Philly Cheesesteak (I ordered the chicken.) served by a waitress who was clearly annoyed by a table full of chatty women -- which made the experience seem even more authentic.

The best meal I had was dinner out with these gals for Indian. I had delicious butter chicken and naan with coconut, raisin and pistachio, but it was the company and conversation that made it such a delight.

A highlight of the conference was the Pecha Kucha talks. Twenty four SAQA members shared six and a half minute talks about a wide variety of topics. The room was packed.

We also visited Art Quilt Elements and I am always so impressed and inspired to see really world class art quilts in a beautiful space. You can see the whole collection online here. (Though of course, it's not the same as seeing them in the cloth.)

I was knocked out by the Best of Show winner, Diane Siebel's Head 10.

Oh this stitching!

It was great to see Lynn Koolish who is the editor of my book! My publisher C&T was one of the sponsors of the conference and I am so thankful for the connections we are building with art quilters and publishers.

We took a side trip to the Snyderman-Works gallery where I was quite taken with this piece.

Especially these crochet-covered branches with the tiny hands.

I was happy to donate two small art quilts to the Spotlight Auction.

There was lots of time spent chatting with other attendees, which I just loved! There were many many smiling faces, talented artists and inspiring stories to be heard.

We continued chatting even once we got to the airport to make our way home.