Monday, July 20, 2015

Sacred Threads - A Little Bird Told Me

I've been remiss in blogging about this year's wonderful Sacred Threads exhibit. We were out of town for most of the duration of the show, but I was delighted to go Friday morning and record an interview for Quilter's SOS and, more importantly, look at the exhibit. I didn't expect to be as moved as I was; it was a remarkable experience.

As I wandered through the exhibit several other quilters were being filmed for their interviews. Hearing the stories of the quilts in their own words and voices was wonderful. There was also an audio tour, available by phone, and again hearing the voices of the artists made the exhibit even more meaningful.

I had two quilts in the exhibit, California Dreaming, which I've blogged about before, and a new quilt made expressly to enter in Sacred Threads. It's called A Little Bird Told Me.
A Little Bird Told Me copyright 2015 Diane Rusin Doran

Detail, A Little Bird Told Me copyright 2015 Diane Rusin Doran
Here's an approximation of what I recorded for the audio tour for this quilt:

We found out in August 2013 that my mother had malignant melanoma. After months of enduring surgery, infection, infusions, and many hospitalizations for a variety of serious side effects, we knew that most likely she was nearing the end. In May of 2014 I went to stay with her for the weekend, as my father was in the hospital and my mother could not care for herself. She had become more and more forgetful and depressed, but never complained. We finally took her off one of her medications, for cholesterol, and it seemed to really perk her up. She was still somewhat forgetful, but so pleasant to be around. That weekend, to my surprise, she took me up on my suggestion to go for a walk in the park behind her house. It was a stunningly beautiful, perfect spring day, glowing with light and new growth. As we walked, I realized that it almost seemed as if she were already in heaven, and I was visiting her there. It was a dreamlike experience, and I’m so grateful not only that I shared it with her, but also that when it happened I had the presence of mind to recognize the beauty of it. This piece represents the glow of that day. The two birds are my mother and I, both blue as that is the color we both wear so much. As a child, when I asked her how she knew something, she often said “a little bird told me”, so that’s why I chose the birds and the title. The buttercups are a melancholy touch, as she could not remember what kind of flower they were and asked me their name during the walk. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Happy Things

A couple of fun and exciting things have happened recently.

- I went to the AQS show in Lancaster. It was wonderful to see so many lovely quilts.

- I won a Judge's Choice award at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival for California Dreaming. Yeah!
California Dreaming copyright Diane Rusin Doran

- I'm so pleased to have two of my quilts (Winter's Tarnish and Return of the Grackle) featured in the April/May issue of Quilting Arts in Jane Davila's article on filler stitching, plus a full page ad for Craft Daily featuring Sunrise Serenade as the backdrop. (All these quilts are on my "Recent Quilts" page.)

- I finished a small quilt! When I find out if it was accepted to the exhibit I entered it in I'll share all the details.

I was so wishing spring would have arrived by now, but alas, this is how it looks in my neck of the woods today:

Here's hoping spring has already sprung for you.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

NEW Work for FFAC 2015



I am very honored to be an invited artist for "The 100" to be held tomorrow, Wednesday, February 4, 2015 . The goal for this fiber fundraiser for the American Cancer Society is to raise $10,000 in one day.

How? All the details are here: http://www.virginiaspiegel.com/FFACThe100Fundraiser.html, but here are the basics: On February 4, the first 100 people to contact Virginia Spiegel (Virginia(at)VirginiaSpiegel.com) beginning at 10 a.m. Central will be given a link to donate $100 by credit card directly to the American Cancer Society through Fiberart For A Cause.  Each donor will receive an artwork from one of the 100 artists who have generously donated their work. Assignments of artwork will be made using a random number generator. 

I'm sure you will want to be one of the very exclusive 100 patrons who will be randomly assigned artwork from an extraordinary line-up of international fiber artists. 

Here is my contribution, Leaves/Reflections 1
Leaves/Reflections 1, © Diane Rusin Doran 2015
11.5 x 11.25 inches
Digital collage, Machine quilting

Fiberart For A Cause has already raised $240,000 through the generosity of fiber artists and patrons. I've been a participant several times before. This year I especially wanted to contribute, but at the same time it was very difficult for me. This is the first piece I've made since May of 2014.
Detail Leaves/Reflections 1 ©Diane Rusin Doran 2015

My mother was diagnosed with metastatic Melanoma in August of 2013. She had surgery that fall, and we rejoiced when it seemed that it was "only" stage 3. Unfortunately, in February of 2014 we learned that the disease had spread further. The months between then and her death on July 8 were a blur of doctor's appointments, infusions, and emergency room visits. My brother, sister and I tried to go to as many of these with our parents as we could, and we counted ourselves lucky to be able to do so.  

I've seen the impact of cancer on other family members, but this was truly overwhelming. I hope that by doing my small part I can help just a little to prevent someone else from going through something like this. I don't want anyone else to have to miss their mom the way that I miss mine, or watch her go through so much.

To preview some of the other artwork go to our Pinterest board, https://www.pinterest.com/d_boschert/the-100-fundraiser-to-fight-cancer/ .

Thank you!

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Sue Reno's Printing Expertise

The first time I saw Sue Reno's work in person was in 2006 (see this blog post). I was struck by the graphic impact of her work, along with the skillful design of the piece. I was later lucky enough to meet Sue at the big quilt show in Houston (maybe in 2007?) and spend a little time with her, as well as at a show in Lancaster shortly after that.
"Fireball" copyright Sue Reno

You don't have to know Sue long to realize what an intelligent and thoughtful person she is, and these qualities are clearly reflected in her work. When I found out she was making an instructional DVD for Interweave I was very excited for her, and I couldn't wait to see it!

Well, the wait is over, and it's worth it“Surface Design Essentials for the Printed Quilt”  is now available as both a DVD ($24.99) or a digital download ($19.99) from the Quilting Daily Shop. Sue covers four printing techniques as well as strategies for using the prints in compositions and quilting them to best advantage.


I love printing fabric using a variety of techniques, and have tried cyanotype, heliograph, collagraph and Thermofax printing with varying levels of success in the past. What I admire about Sue's presentation of these techniques is that she has perfected a process for each one that works for her. She demonstrates these four methods of printing in a straight forward, approachable, and yet very thorough manner. Following her instructions, I feel that most artists could create successful prints of their own in no time.

In addition to demonstrating these techniques, Sue discusses options for combining prints in a variety of different ways. I particularly appreciate the way she uses more than one variety of printing technique in a single art quilt and is able to create a cohesive composition.

Finally, Sue pulls her pieces together with well planned quilting. Her tips for ways to quilt the prints are great. In my experience I usually feel that my prints are "precious" and difficult to showcase, but Sue manages to do so with ease.

Bottom line, I love it! If you are ready to try your hand at printing I think this DVD would serve you well.

Several other friends of Sue's are also participating in this blog tour. Here's a schedule so you can stop by and see what they have to say:

11/5/14: Sue Reno http://suereno.blogspot.com/ 
11/6/14: Susan Brubaker Knapp http://wwwbluemoonriver.blogspot.com/ 
11/7/14: Allie Aller http://alliesinstitches.blogspot.com/ 
11/8/14: Diane Doran http://www.oohprettycolors.blogspot.com/ 
11/9/14: Vivien Zepf http://sevenpinesdesigns.blogspot.com/ 
11/10/14: Virginia Spiegel http://www.virginiaspiegel.com/blog/ 
11/11/14: Cynthia St. Charles http://cynthia-stcharles.blogspot.com/ 
11/12/14: Natalya Aikens http://artbynatalya.blogspot.com/ 
11/13/14: Lyric Kinard http://lyrickinard.com/blog/

Friday, November 07, 2014

Winter's Tarnish

As the trees begin to lose their leaves I realize that in the craziness of this past year I never shared one of the quilts I made. I created it specifically for an exhibit called "Tarnish" that was held at Visarts in Rockville, MD. Here's the description from the Visarts website:

"The Studio Art Quilt Associates present a juried exhibition of contemporary quilts from the Maryland, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina regions. Artists address the idea of “tarnish”- a patina that affects the outside surface but protects the underlying layers- with inventive quilts."

I've always been fascinated by the sculptural quality of deciduous trees in winter, as well as by the wide range of colors in the woods that routinely go unnoticed when overshadowed by the brighter colors of spring, summer, and fall. It occurred to me that many of the colors of the woods in winter resemble those of weathered or tarnished metal - verdigris, rust, browns and the like. This inspired me to combine and manipulate photos of trees and leaves to represent what I think of as the tarnish of winter.


Winter's Tarnish copyright 2014 Diane Rusin Doran


Detail Winter's Tarnish copyright 2014 Diane Rusin Doran
The exhibit and exhibition space were beautiful as you can see from this shot of myself, Misty Cole and Linda Strowbridge at the opening reception. I felt honored to be part of this wonderful exhibit!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Blog Hop Winners & Exhibition Opening Invite

Congratulations to Janie, who won the copy of Quilting Arts Gifts, and Stitchedbyme who will be entered into the grand prize drawing for Candy Glendenings bloghop for her new ebook!

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On another note, I'm delighted to part of a group exhibit that's opening this Sunday. We'd love to have you stop by and say hi!

The Arts Council of Metropolitan Memorial UMC
          Presents an Afternoon of Art and Music
 Sunday, September 28, 2014 Concert

Chicago Piano Duo

3:00 pm in the Sanctuary

Pianists William Phemister and Brian Lee
Works by Schubert and Brahms
Exhibition Opening and Reception
4:30 pm in the Great Hall
Stitched Together: Art Quilts by SIG-SAC
Presenting artists include: Susan Callahan, Connie Condrell, Diane Doran, Ann Graham, Cathy Kleeman, Linda Strowbridge, and Susan Walen
Exhibition Dates:  September 28 – October 26
Exhibit hours: M-F 9 am-5 pm; Sundays 9 am-12:30 pm

Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church
3401 Nebraska Avenue NW / Washington, DC 20016
No admission charge, plentiful parking





Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sew Much Fun

I'm so excited for my lovely friend Candy Glendening and pleased to be part of a blog hop to celebrate her latest achievement. She's a prolific designer and I'm sure you've seen her many clever projects in various Quilting Arts publications. Now 18 of them are available in an e-book: Create Handmade Gifts for All: 18 projects for everyone on your list.

Candy is a natural teacher, and I've always appreciated her clear and complete instructions. 
She has a knack for color and design that gives her projects a contemporary flair. I love that her mini bird quilts, pictured below, could be used in so many ways - as gift tags, Christmas ornaments, or wall decorations.
Ever since I saw these jester stockings they've been calling my name. I think this is the year to make them.

So if you're looking for quick and stylish projects for the holidays and beyond this e-book is just the ticket. 

To celebrate the release of her e-book Candy is having a lovely giveaway:

Leave a comment on this post. The drawing will close Wednesday, September 24 and I'll announce 2 winners Thursday morning. The first person will receive a hard copy of last year’s “Quilting Arts Gifts” magazine. The second person’s name goes into a drawing for the Grand Prize, the messenger bag Candy made that is featured on the cover of the e-book. Candy will announce the Grand Prize winner the following Monday on her blog. Make sure your comment is connected to an email so I can contact you. And check back on September 25 to see if you’ve won. Be sure to visit all the blogs below for more chances to win.