Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Quilt on display

Blocks of violets were scattered throughout the quilts

Epislon Tau's Ruby Anniversary

In 2005 my initiating chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. celebrated its fortieth anniversary. Epsilon Tau or ET as we affectionately call the chapter is located in New York City. I pledged in 1983 along with my Sands, Roz and Frances.
I was on the Reunion Committee and we had a great time planning for our weekend bash. We were looking forward to Sorors traveled from around the county to share in the fun of being with their sisters. We planned for an evening at Apple Bees, a slumber party, a picnic and a dinner cruise.
One of the other events that we planned for was a raffle. From the outset I knew that I wanted to create a quilt that would honor the women who had crossed the burning sands via Epsilon Tau. When we discussed the idea of the quilt it was decided that it would be the second prize. It was only later that I realized that the group didn’t know how extensive the quilt was going to be.
The quilt that I planned was a signature quilt. I didn’t want to send out signature blocks because I didn’t want to risk not getting the blocks back. Talking about being upset, I needed control. Anyway, I saw a pattern that I liked and off to the rotary cutter.
The center of the quilt would have picture of the Sorority’s twenty-two founders. Around the picture would be a border of violets, the flowers sorors give on another. The signature blocks would be arranged with the charter members closest to the founders; they would have the word charter written in the corner. The date was also included. From this point on the sorors were listed by line and date. I also indicated if the soror had been a president of the chapter and if they were deceased.
I love my colors, but after dealing with that quilt I didn’t want to handle anything red and white for awhile.
When the sorors saw the quilt for the first time they were speechless. I got a thrill watching them look for their name. It was fun, but the best thing was when many of the sorors stated that the quilt should have been first prize.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Debbie, Teri-Jo, Claudia and Me.
Interm Luncheon and presentation of quilt to Derider.

For several years I have worked with the Parent Group at my school. On one occasion I handed out a package of small squares; this was their introduction to quilting. Over time, many of the women expressed an interest in learning the art of quilting. I developed a project whereby the women would be working on a group quilt. The quilt was titled “Purse Strings.”
I had hoped that when the project was completed we would be able to raffle off the quilt for the Parent Association. However, this was not to be. Women would come to the workshop, take their packet and never return. Talk about frustrating! Finally, I took the completed blocks and added the missing ones. In the end the remaining women decided to present the finish quilt to Ms. Flynn, our retiring principal.

A Few More Quilts

In looking back at some of the quilts I’ve completed I want to note a few special ones.
Two years ago I was asked to participate in a Women’s History Exhibit sponsored by a political group from the Northeast Bronx. The exhibit was to have the look of a dinner party and you were to set the table to honor a particular woman.
I wanted to honor my mother, so I had to think about her achievements, favorite colors and flowers. I decided that I would make a quilted tablecloth incorporating her favorite color, green and flowers one of them being hydrangeas. I also displayed photos of E.J. as a young woman and candid pictures of her and family. I also included a small quilt I entitled “Look Ma, I Can Read.”
Also included on the table was a collection to travel borchures and a fancy perfume bottle.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The collaborative part of the project came in where by after you finished your center you were to pass it off to your partners for them to add their ideas to your project. After the additions were completed the piece was sent back to the original artist and they were to add the finishing touches. I used the quilting pattern called Baptist Fan, because I felt it represented the ebb and flow of life.
All in all it was a great project. The ladies of my team enjoyed ourselves so much; we’ve decided to do it again on our own. I’m working on a piece now and need to get a move on so that I can get it mailed out by next week.

I used my son as a model for the profile. To add dimension to the quilt I used the technique of trapunto, stuffing the profile, and this made the face pop.

Soular Flair, development

The name Soular Flair was a play on the term for solar activity that takes place on the sun. The music note fabric was the sun’s face and I chopped the blues and black to give the effect of outer space. As for the beading aspect of the quilt, I decided that I would recreate the constellations that I could see from home. The constellations were the Big and Little Dipper, Cassiopeia, and Orion.

Soular Flair - Art Quilt Journey

So, now I’ve been quilting for several years and I’m a member of an African American quilters group on Yahoo. As a member I have participated in several swaps and hosted a swap. Now, I’m the proud owner of several bags of UFOs that I need to finish.
About two years ago one of the group members brought up the idea of creating art quilts. There were many of us who had never ventured into this realm of quilting, but we became intrigued at the idea. Carole suggested that we work in collaborative teams and keep journals about our experience.
As the deadline loomed near I was in a bit of a panic because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to present. I finally decided that I would let the fabric talk to me and I would go with the flow.
Off to City Quilters and sure enough the fabric started talkin’ and I was busy listening. One piece of fabric stood out and I decided I would make it the focus of the project. The fabric was black with metallic gold music notes and staffs. Also at that point the title of the project came to mind, Soular Flair.
The project took months to execute at one point my project was in jeopardy, but the fates prevailed and everything turned out beyond all of our expectations. Angela and Juanita were my partners and it was an exciting time for all of us.
There were many techniques that I wanted to use on the project, my mind was swimming. However, above all I wanted to hand quilt the piece and include beading. So, here are the photos of my journey into art quilting.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Entering the World Quilting

In 1998 a college friend of mine reintroduced me to quilting. Up to that point I had been making quilted pillows. I guess you could say I was a bit intimidated by the idea of doing a full size quilt.
During my time of living in Cheyenne, Wyoming I became interested in quilting. I started collecting magazines and thinking how great it would be if I could do this. At that time I didn’t follow up on my ideas, it just stayed a dream of something to do. A couple of years later this all changed. My husband received his orders and we were off to Grand Forks, ND.
While pregnant I decided that I would make the baby a quilt. Out came those quilt books and I made a simple nine patch quilt of yellow and spring green. That was the last quilt I made for many years.
Clarice took to a quilt show given by the Brooklyn Quilting Guild, I was fascinated and hooked. I fell in love with a Tumbling Block quilt and vowed that I would make one; pretty ambitious for a person who was nervous about tackling a full size quilt. As it turned out the first quilt I made was for my sister’s twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. I wanted the quilt to reflect my sister’s love of African art. The major portion of the top was pieced by hand. I backed the quilt with a blue African inspired print that reflected the color of her wedding dress that had been made in Kenya.
My next quilt was a tumbling block that I made for my eldest son. Since Adam was into music, I let the quilt reflect that theme. This quilt too was pieced by hand. I have no idea why I didn’t hop right on to working on the machine; I guess some purist quark was running around in my brain at the time.
These quilts were the start of my quilting life. I will post photos of these quilts later on.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Journey Begins

Welcome, my name is Sandi and this is my blog. I chose the name Renaissance Woman because my interest are wide and varied. The name renaissance means rebirth and awakening; this pretty much describes me and my thinking.
Many years ago along with my sister I discovered that we had a talent for pulling ideas out of thin air and making them work. Give us a word or two and we could develop an idea or concept. From that point on I have considered myself a Conceptual Designer.
Besides conceptual design, I’m a teacher, writer, photographer, and jeweler. For several years I have been exploring the world of quilting; recently I have added doll making to my “To Do” list.
With this blog I am inviting you to come along with me as I journey through this phase of my life. On the blog I will share thoughts and pictures of my craft work and ideas that are running around in my head