Mar 16, 2018

need a moose for your wall? the Bailey's do!

Teresa Duryea Wong. Moose Bailey. 38 x 31 inches. Cotton. Machine quilted. 2018.
Fourteen months ago, some friends of ours commissioned me to make an art quilt for them. Today I finally finished it!

Our friends had seen two quilts of mine (pictured below - the zebras and Holy Cow) in our home, and they looked at them closely and said they wanted something like this for their house. I didn't pay too much attention to the comment, I though they were just being nice.

Turns out, they really did want an original art quilt. So we talked about ideas and color schemes. We settled on a moose! I enlarged the image in black and white to the size I wanted the finished quilt to be. Next, I covered the image with tracing paper and used the photo as a guide and traced shapes that followed the contour of the moose. I ended up changing the image I traced to smooth out edges, etc. and make it work better for a textile.

The image below shows the photograph with tracing paper placed over it. Kind of hard to see, but the pencil marks are how I made the applique shapes.

Next I covered a natural colored cotton with Misty Fuse and got ready to applique. I pulled about two hundred fabrics in the colors I wanted. Then I used a light table to trace the shapes onto freezer paper. I ironed the freezer paper on the fabric and cut them out, then fused them to the cotton shape --- using the traced image as a guide for placement. This applique is raw edge.

It was quite fun to make this one. Our friends want to have it framed... so that is the next step.

I have only done one other commission, and it was a quilt for a kid's room. I really enjoyed making this moose. His name is: Moose Bailey.

Thanks Bailey's for your patience and more importantly, for your trust in me to make something for your beautiful home!

Feb 28, 2018

reflections on QuiltCon 2018: few words, many photos.

Reflections on QuiltCon 2018: few words, many photos

 Pasadena, California exhibit hall: Nice space!

 Day One: its cold in California?!? And I'm so lucky to have a lifelong quilt buddy, Amy G.

 "She Was Warned" by Liz Harvatine won Viewer's Choice. This was one of my favorites too!  

I gave 2 lectures! Whew, that was SO FUN!


"Black, Brown and White in Orange" by Karen Maple is a powerful statement, 
but also a very beautiful quilt.


Modern quilts are changing, but minimalism still reigns. "Mod Garden" by Jack Weise.

By god, there's hope for America! This quilt was in the YOUTH category.  
"Twitter Tantrum" by Cabrina Cabriales.

SAQA had a retrospective on the art quilt. This one is from 2009. Stunning. 
"Edge 6" by Marina Kamenskaya.


Lovely dinner with Etsuko san. She is wearing a top I made for her! 
Featuring fabric designed by Yoshiko Jinzenji, made in Japan by Yuwa.

"Women dress for other women" said Coco Chanel. And women stop other women and ask them about their clothes and shoes! My friend Amy G. makes a new friend... and maybe finds new shoes?

And these two young, beautiful women are friends of my daughter! They recently moved to LA (from New York). Who knows why they would give up part of their weekend to come meet their friend's mom. Lucky me!

Day four: a little warmer. My new handmade mariejay handbag was everything I hoped it would be!

Final thought: The Modern Quilt Guild is a vibrant community 
filled with really cool quilts and quilters. 
I hope I can be a part of Nashville in 2019!

thank you #quiltcon2018

Jan 29, 2018

new quilt finished & hung on the wall: "Moons Over Japan"

 I finally got around to hanging a quilt on the wall over our bed. Its been on my to do list for so long... this one seemed like a perfect choice. I finished this quilt in 2017 and titled it "Moons Over Japan." This may not may be the first thing you think of when you hear the words Japanese fabric, but all of the fabric in this quilt came from Japan and all of it was designed by Keiko Goke. I love the contemporary vibe and the simultaneously bright and muted colors of these fabrics.

Me with Keiko Goke in Sept 2017.
I first met Keiko Goke in 2014 and we've visited on several of my trips to Japan. She's been quilting since the early 1970s and her quilts are infused with color and whimsy. Each one is beautifully made. She also began designing commercial quilting cotton a while back and her fabrics are lovely.

Her primary fabric manufacturer is Yuwa, and some of her fabrics can be hard to find in the U.S.

This summer, Keiko Goke will have a new line of fabrics available with Free Spirit.

So this blog post is about my own personal journey with quilts I have made with her fabrics. 

For a more professional story.... you can read more about her and her quilts in my book "Japanese Contemporary Quilts & Quilters" and learn more about her fabrics in my 2nd book "Cotton & Indigo from Japan."

Collection of commercial quilting cotton designed by Keiko Goke. Printed in Japan by Yuwa.
Photo published in "Cotton & Indigo from Japan" by Teresa Duryea Wong
'Behind the scenes' at work prepping the fabric photo shoot --- at a friend's ranch in Columbus, Texas.

I made this quilt several years ago. It was actually inspired by one of her quilts... its an improv take on a double wedding ring. My husband and I went out to Round Top, Texas to photograph this quilt in front of a small wedding chapel. I've shared it on this blog before, but I decided to share it here again ... so I can show my collection of 3 quilts I've made with these fabrics.

The double wedding ring quilt top is embellished with lots of hand embroidery.

And last.... this little quilt below is one I made about 12 years ago!!! It was one of my first attempts at 'art quilting.' It is all hand applique and hand quilted!

And just for fun... here's two more photos. I took these photos of her booth at the Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival in 2014. Seems so long ago. The Tokyo Dome show 2018 is going on now. Wish I was there!

Jan 7, 2018

docent for a day for artsy quilt exhibit

The Houston Center for Contemporary Craft invited me to be a docent for a day. I was asked to be present during a reception for their very artsy quilt exhibit called "Storyline: The Contemporary Quilt." My job was to answer questions about how the quilts were made, and show the backs. It was great fun.

There were several Luke Haynes quilts on view. His message to curators is to display the quilts any way they want... and to be creative. I love how this one quilt is just plopped down on a display box. It looks like a hard sculpture, or something sitting on my couch.

This one is definitely not a quilt, but it certainly references one. It is made with discarded motion picture film from the Fashion Institute of Technology. The artist cut up bits of film and stitched them together with monofilament and regular thread using half square triangle block patterns. I love the creativity. It is displayed on a light box. Here's a closer look.

Michael James made this art quilt below. He is a longtime art quilter and is known for many innovations in this form. He is head of the textile department at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

This black and white whole cloth quilt is by Carolyn Mazloomi. Beautifully done (detail image). The visitors to the Museum really responded to this quilt and I enjoyed pointing out the beautiful stitching that really 'makes' this piece. Some stitches pull the design forward, and some quilting pushes the image backward. Brilliant.

Now this one below is totally unique... weird and strange in a really good way. Look closely... then read more below.

You are seeing the whole quilt. It is a whole cloth quilt, hand dyed and hand quilted!

It looks fuzzy but the image is in focus. Anna Von Mertens created this. It is the 'aura' she imagines would surround Whistler's mother... and she has carefully stitched the pattern of Whislter's famous painting of his mother sitting. See the titghtly stitched pattern now? Then the echo stitching stretches out from there. Here's the description panel, which includes the original Whistler painting. 

So to sum up this small exhibition with a critical view.... I love that this important Houston museum is featuring the quilt as art. And I think they have succeeded (for the most part) in choosing pieces that elevate and illustrate the craft of quilting as art, which is part of their mission.

They brought in some new pieces that I had never seen and I loved learning about these pieces and the artists who made them. I am particularly interested in the piece by Anna Von Mertens. She has created something I've never seen before and that always gets me excited. Her piece is so strange, so artistic, totally innovative, yet she created the most important element - the line - with hand stitches. So a mix of very old and very new forms. Totally cool.

For me, what's not so cool is that there were 6 artists featured in the show - 3 men, 3 women. No offense to the men who were chosen, but for an art form that is dominated by women, I feel the women were underrepresented in this show. And I think about this every time someone writes an article about the men of quilting, or hosts a show with men only. Don't get me wrong, I do not think this is undeserved, I just find it an interesting question to ponder. Men are a minority in quilting and needle arts and every minority deserves a voice and a chance to be recognized.

But I wonder. Are the men quilters more well known because they are men? Do museums give them preference because they are men? Are men quilters taken more seriously as artists because they are men? In some cases, and at some times, the answers are yes.

And my biggest example of that is the quilts by Luke Haynes in this particular show. Luke has done some really innovative work and I have enjoyed seeing his take, but none of his innovate quilts were here. Instead, there were 3 examples of his improv log cabin series, something anyone could have done, and many have done with equal measure of success. So, why was he chosen? Why were these quilts included? Is it because of their connection to Donald Judd's exhibition at Marfa, as the panel explains? Donald Judd is a serious artist, a man. So are Luke's log cabin quilts worth more because he made them with Donald Judd in mind?

I've seen lots of stunning log cabin quilts, many are infinitely more interesting than the ones shown here. But those quilts were made by women and the makers did not market their log cabin quilts as inspired by Donald Judd and they didn't hang their log cabin quilts outside in weird places and in unusual ways. Luke did. And because of that, his log cabin quilts have this "story" now, and an aura of art that other log cabin quilts do not. So there you go.

Lastly, here's my selfie of my docent for a day experience. Selfies always look better in front of a quilt!

One last little tidbit - I made the dress I am wearing. Its a pattern from Tilly and the Buttons, Coco dress. And I got this really interesting knit fabric from The Cloth Pocket (in Austin - great store!!!) I think they still have this fabric in stock and they sell the pattern too!