Thursday, May 26, 2011


The Textural Rhythms exhibit at the Museum of the African Museum has come and gone but there were so many exciting moments that it has taken me a while to calm down from the beauty of it all.  In March I lead three art quilt workshops that started with fiber postcards, a mainstay of my short workshop program.  Students who are interested in art, fiber, thread and needle work find themselves inspired and the quilt projects easy to accomplish no matter their skill level.  I usually do the sewing and introduce them to using new materials and using a sewing machine.  Some students attended all three workshops and made several projects for themselves and for gifts.  I am looking forward to seeing and working  with these creative students again in the future.

No matter how organized I try to be I always manage to forget something.  For the first workshop I forgot my sewing feet and thread.  I left them in the studio nicely packed in a plastic bag.  Thank goodness for an understanding and accommodating husband.  He made the 40 minute drive from our home in Castro Valley to San Francisco to bring these essential items so I could actually conduct the class.  Thanks Nyls.

Niambi and her mother Ora came to all three workshops and were very prolific.  Ora has a natural ability to create fabulous mask and portraiture quilts.  She gravitated toward using imagery within the fabric to drive the design of her pieces.  It was a delight to see her work.

Ora started saying she didn't know what to do but she moved past that quickly and designed some dynamic pieces using ethnic fabrics.  She also began exploring what type of sewing machine she would use in the future.  Mother and daughter used this workshop as a time to share and develop a mutual interest in fiber.  It was great to work with them.

Deborah helped save the day when she used her iphone to provide music for the workshops.  Thanks girlfriend!..She created a variety of work including postcards, a 12" square mini quilt and started designing a memory quilt for her father.  I demonstrated making photo transfers via computer and scanner in the second workshop.

Anita and I know each other from  African American Quilt Guild meetings.  She is an experienced sewer and used this experience to create a variety of work.  Like me she has a background in making garments.  She was also interested in embellishing using beads and other materials.  She came to all three workshops too and by now has probably completed many additional fiber projects.

These events have a funny way of connecting people who didn't even know each other.  Patty came to two workshops and made fiber postcards and a 12" mini quilt that included a nature photo transfer.  Unfortunately I didn't get a photo of the piece but I remember it well.  Patty and another student in the second class had mutual acquaintances at work and had lots to share although they did not know each other prior to the class.

Allison watched attentively as I worked on he postcard.  She was only able to attend one class because of  inevitable Saturday time conflicts.  I wish her well on her expressed desire to make a baby quilt for a family member.

 Although we had a small space we optimized every bit of it.  Don't you just love the organized chaos of working with fiber!

My neighbor, Virginia, and I weathered the rainy weather to trek into San Francisco to indulge our passion for fabric.  Once she got the hang of it she was very productive.  I really like this African mini quilt she designed.

She and I both agree if we can't get to Africa anytime soon we'll just bring pieces of Africa to us.  And so she did.

This nice fish card looks great and make us all want to go to the beach.  Maybe it also helped us escape the rain and wind outside with  fantasies of the great sea and San Francisco Bay.

I can't remember who made this beautiful piece but it looks like it was done by Christine since I see her signature at the bottom.  It certainly has the spirit of the jazz quilts in the gallery.

For the third and final workshop Doris made this excellent mini quilt.  She had a vision and implemented it with great care. She graciously send me this photo after she completed the piece at the end of the day.   The final class was absolutely full after the workshop was designed in the San Francisco Chronicle as an event to attend.  Whoopee!

Yes, we can thank Doris and Louis Armstrong for reminding us what  that it is a wonderful and diverse world.

Another jazz inspired piece includes this work that uses paper, braid and photo transfers.  Very nice.

Pride shows all over Deborah's face as she presents her ethnic mini quilt.  So many nice beginnings.

For sure I'll treasure the creativity and energy expressed by the students in March.  We were all uplifted by the process and the results.

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