... I'm just a guy who likes to make quilts ... and tell stories. Every day is an adventure as I try new things. Like the rest of life it seems, what can be done in quilt making is limited only by my imagination. What an incredibly exciting journey!
This blog continues on from my farm blog ... willowgardenshetlands.blogspot.ca ...
email ... firstname.lastname@example.org
In June, I took a class with Victoria Findlay Wolf. More on that in another post, but suffice to say ... it was an amazing experience and I learned a LOT. I also got to visit her shop and came home with some awesome 'Christmas' Fabric. It is her Green and Red line. Check it out in her on-line store Victoria Findlay Wolf Quilts.
This quilt is my first ever Christmas quilt. I love it because it doesn't SCREAM Christmas and I can use it all year. I also LOVE lime green.
I tell folks that this one is called 'Unexpected Interuptions', which is the story of the season ...
for my Canadian friends, the REAL name for this one is 'Dave Cooks the Turkey'.
As Canadians, we know that THAT is the real story of the season!
Days before his eighth birthday my Grandson told me … “My
Dad doesn't think that you act your age Grandpa.'
In an attempt to discover how old I do act we
continued to chat.
We discovered that we
We both like to get our own way; we both get grabby when
we’re tired; we both like to eat ice
cream; we both like Lego and making
things; we both tease our sisters; we both laugh when we hear farts; and we both have no intention of kissing a
Back from my quilter, Deanna Gaudaur, where it was made into a 'silk purse' ...
On August 15th, 1997, at the age of 47, I rented an apartment on my own, and began living a new life as a gay man.
Twenty years later, on August 15th, 2017, while taking a design class with the amazing Jacquie Geering there was a realization of anniversary, and I created this block using rust dyed fabric. This quilt is not an attempt to pass judgement on any part of my life ... it was good before and it continues to be good now. It is just an attempt to celebrate the fact that my life thrives through change. My life has been an adventure! May this continue through the next 20 years.
I am so impressed with Georgia Okeeffe’s ‘Winter
For me, it represents the greatest lesson that I need
to learn with my own art … to simplify.
In this painting, she has removed layers and layers of detail, until all
that remains is line. And the power of
that simple, gentle, and beautiful line, tells a story that Georgia had no
I start so many pieces with grand ideas of how the
quilt will tell the story, yet much of the time they just fail … until I pull
away the layers, and the details, and the excess. Until only the story is left.
Joni Mitchell is another of my favourite artists. For me, she always has the words to tell my
stories, simply, without all the layers.
Looking at Georgia Okeeffe’s ‘Winter Road’ has always
made me think about Joni Mitchell’s song (poem) ‘River”.
This quilt is my attempt to tell a part of my own
story, using Joni Mitchell’s ‘River’ … simply …
in a way that is inspired by Georgia Okeefe’s ‘Winter Road’.
Congratulations! Your quilt Reflections of the Sydney Opera House has been selected for inclusion in the special exhibitTactile Architecture™ 2017. This year was a difficult year for the jurors because so many beautiful quilts were submitted.
I am absolutely thrilled and humbled that this quilt will At the International Quilt Festival in Houston this Fall, along with one of my other quilts ... It's Cloud Illusions I Recall, which will be in the Celebration of Colour special exhibit.
While in Australia recently, I fell absolutely and totally
in love with the Sydney Opera House.
I dragged my poor husband onto boats, through gardens, up a
bridge, across a harbour, into a train station, onto a roof top, and to a zoo
... just so that I could view and photograph it from all angles!
Of all the views captured with my camera, I love this iconic
view of the sails of the Opera House best.
The sails are traced from an enlarged copy of one of my own
photographs. To me, this view captures
the grandeur of the structure, as it reflects over and over in the waters of
Sydney Harbour, and in the hearts and minds of visitors from all corners of the
world. There is the most amazing and positive energy under the sails of this UNESCO World Heritage site and I never tired of viewing or visiting it. For me, it needed to be incorporated into a quilt that I could wrap myself up in.
With this quilt I have attempted to capture how stunning the
Sydney Opera House is.
The ‘water’ is my own hand dyed indigo fabric. The ‘sails’ are from fabric designed by
Australian, Shauna Scicluna. Jorn Utzon,
the designer of the Opera House said that his design was inspired by the ‘simple
act of peeling an orange’, so the orange fabric colour seemed perfect.
These three quilts were selected for display in 'The Art of Changing the World' show, at the Core Gallery, during the Downtown Belleville DocFest.
This quilt started as play at a men's quilting retreat in Vermont, using up bits left over from other quilts. As it grew, it quickly took on a life of its own, and it began to tell about my own life.
I live with Attention Deficit Disorder and the variety in colour, the randomness, the undisciplined nature of the arrangement, the pops of bright colours, the irregular and irrational shape, the movement and flow, the joy ... all captured in a sea of happiness ... that is my world; the way my world feels to me.
I smiled all the time that I worked on this quilt, and I still smile when I look at it today. It always reminds me that ... life is good.
Reconciliation: a Father and Son Story
I was an odd child and certainly not what my father had expected. We weren't close. There were no obvious signs of affection between us; from either of us. It was like we had both given up the other, for the good of the family; keeping up appearances.
At the age of 47, I came out to my father. By then, he was widowed, blind, and living alone in a retirement home. I travelled to Edmonton to tell him face to face.
That visit was life altering for both of us. We talked for hours about the moments that we hadn't shared; the little things that mattered; our secret dreams. For the first time in my life, I understood, what I had sensed others were feeling, when they spoke of their fathers. During the remaining four years of his life, I visited whenever I could, and we spoke almost daily. We were father and son.
I will never forget saying good bye to my father after that visit. He hugged me, and told me for the first time in my memory, that he loved me … and then sobbed ... “If I had only known. If I had only known. Think how different our lives might have been.”
This quilt is my attempt to tell that story.
Comfort and Joy
The fabric in this quilt is my favourite to work with. It is an African batik fabric, hand-made in small batches. No piece is longer than a few metres. It is made in Tanzania by a woman who supports her family by selling this fabric to fair trade dealers.
It changes her world everyday.
When I work with this fabric, I know that she was happy and I can hear her humming. The energy is so positive.
I do my best to add my own positive energy when I work with this fabric by free hand cutting the pieces within the blocks.
When I wrap myself in this quilt, I am always comforted by her joy.
This quilt was juried into the 'Celebration of Color' exhibition that will first appear at International Quilt Festival, Chicago, in April.
It will tour with IQF, and be returned in December, 2019.
CLOUD ILLUSIONS I RECALL
This quilt reflects on my life.
To say that my life has been a colorful one is an understatement. Certainly, it has been disjointed and chaotic. And much of what I remember is hazed over, as if by clouds. But always there has been color … brilliant, joyous, vibrant, shining through the cracks color! Color is what got me through the times when … 'clouds got in the way.'
Sometimes I wonder if Joni Mitchell was right and it is only 'cloud illusions I recall'. I guess it doesn't really matter, as long as I can have color.
A couple of weeks ago, I met the most amazing young woman named Molly. It was love at first sight! And since her mother had three other kids to deal with, she let Molly hang out with me for a few hours ...
So ... I figured that if she could hang with me for that long, she was `Quilt Worthy`. I`m still working on it, and want to use it for Show and Tell at our next Guild Meeting, but, this one is called ...