Author Archives: metaphysicalquilter@gmail.com

About metaphysicalquilter@gmail.com

Retired art teacher from Colorado. I have a Masters in Art. I am passionate about Studio Art Quilting, I love to read, golf and enjoy the life of my dreams!

Road to California

Last month I got a chance to attend the "Road to California" quilt show. The show is an annual event in Ontario California.

I had a quilt on display in the human figure category. It was the first time I entered a traditional quilt show. 

As an art quilter, I have been devoting time to exhibitions which are either open ended or have a specific theme  like diaspora, our gun culture or metamorphosis. I entered on a whim my quilt "Swing".  My goal was to better understand how these venues determine winners, provide feedback and what the value would be for an art quilter like me to enter these kind of shows in the future. 

By the end of two days at the show I learned that I needed to improve my technical skills and rethink what might be a better fit using my current technique. I am even thinking of making a a more traditional quilt to enter in next's years show. 

The big surprise I had was how much I loved looking at vendors. These entrepreneurs offered a wide variety products. What stuck me was that they were fantastic creativity coaches. 

My favorite vendor was the "French General". The store located in Los Angeles displayed everything needed to start an embroidery project. Just looking at the booth ideas poured into me head and the staff was welcoming. Not pushy or elitist. Just the right balance.

I bought a hoop, small scissors (I planed to buy these) and a tea towel kit without stitch instructions! The staff me permission  to just do my own thing - perfect an out of the box person like me. 

Until next time...
Margaret

Keep a Little Notebook

There is a book by Gretchen Rubin called the "Four Tendencies". It's a book that divides personality profiles into four basic groups. She has test to find out where your personality falls. As it turns out I am an "Obliger". 

Obligers respond best to external motivation. They feel obligated to take out the trash, get the kids to do their schoolwork, dust before company comes and meet the needs of others. 

Where they have difficulty is when they are doing something just for themselves. They are the people who can't find the time to get to the gym or have a regular pedicure. 

I have a little work around as an artist to set up an external obligation to fool myself into doing something just for me. 

Every morning I write in my notebook a short bullet list. Some items might be obligations, like getting to Walmart or walking 8000 steps. I also put on that list studio/creative time or reading in the sun. 

Surprise! Since using this little notebook I find time even in a busy day to get creativity and learning scheduled. 

Until next time...... 

Why am I the “Metaphysical Quilter” ?

As I hand out a business card that most frequent question I get is

"Why the "Metaphysical" Quilter". 

In truth I have to say that I decided on this moniker 10 years ago and did not fully think through my choice. But as time goes on I am becoming more attached to this name.

Metaphysical is by definition " a field of philosophy that is generally focused on how reality and the universe began." It is about the study of deep truths and big ideas.

In popular culture metaphysics is used in connection with new age spirituality. People in the new age culture have taken religion and spiritual study in a new direction. To those who worship in mainstream churches these new age worshipers may seem strange. Both groups however have many things in common. Most importantly both groups fully embraced the central idea of the existence of  God.

Art quilting has kind of a "new age" relationship with traditional quilting. Art quilters are taking the process of layering and stitching fabric together in new direction. The work of an art quilter is not bound by previous rules or not held to set standard. It is a wide open field of artistic expression.

Both traditional quilters and art quilters share a love of fabric, thread, craft and love of making. Quilters will always have something in common.

until next time....
Margaret

 

 

And a Happy New Year!

Dear Readers,

When we were small children we wrote a letter to Santa asking for all the presents we wanted to see under our Christmas tree. As we got a little older the letter was no longer written to this fictional character but the expectation of getting the perfect gift was still a big part of this magic holiday.

Like many of you, I no longer want to receive any gifts other than the much anticipated time with my family. I am blessed to have many gifts in my own life.

Friends old and new who make my life here in beautiful Saint George Utah so special.

My husband of over 30 years who takes good care of me and has made all the difference in my life.

My children and grandson who bring me joy.

Connections through  the Studio Art Quilt Associates, the Dixie Quilt Guild, the Southern Utah Fiber Artist and my much loved critique group.

Inspiration received from my travels, social media, books, magazines, museums, Art Quilt Tahoe and the generous world of art quilters. 

For these gifts and many more, I am grateful. 

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Wonderful New Year!

Reimagine an old project.

In my last post I described the process of looking at a “failed” quilt as an opportunity to create something new.

"Tom and Jim" The first attempt at this project.

“Tom and Jim”  was the quilt I wanted to take a second look at and try to resolve some of the visual mistakes.

 

The photograph of my dad (Jim) and his brother (Tom) was taken around 1912, when my dad looked to be about 6 years old. Both boys are dressed up as soldiers. They were living in a small mining town near Pikes Peak in Colorado when the culture was at the tail end  of  the wild west.

My dad described seeing men with sidearms walking through town to the bar or whore house from the window of his classroom. The family would be forced to move from that town when the mine shut down after the collapse of gold prices. Eventually they would settle in California.

 

SAQA put out a call for entry which focused on artists take on a highly charged topic: Gun Violence. Although politics and advocacy are not the focus of my work this photo was a bridge allowing me to authentically address this topic through the lense of a personal story. It also was a vehicle for me to reimagine this image.

The first change I made was a simple one. I turned the photograph 90 degrees so that the print would be larger. The second change was radically simplify the background. I chose to eliminate the background and place the figures on yellow lined paper. I cleaned up scratches on the figures and sharpened the image as much as I could.

Unlike my first attempt which was response of an open ended call for entry (Pathfinders) this project required me to address a specific topic: gun violence. Using  the lense of my family’s story; I wanted the viewer to think about how over a hundred years gun violence has changed for children. I used accurate statistical data published by the Brady Center to call attention to an everyday tragedy for families with children not very different from these two boys pictured.

The text of daily statistics on gun violence involving children was floated on top of the figures to create a greater sense of space and to allude to relationship of present and past.

When the fabric arrived in my studio; I realized that I had made this too plain. The yellow background had no horizon line leaving the figures floating. To remedy this problem I used the lined paper as “sky” filled with script repeating the title. The ground became a dense field  of flowers. The text boxes of statistics were made to pop out from the page using black on a white background.

You can take a look at the result and make your own judgement. I think it is an improved composition. Whether it will stand the test of getting out into the world to seen, has yet to seen.