Nellie"s Needles

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The 1st of the Next 50 Lake Quilts

This piece is my interpretation of the lake near the end of a typical fall day. The sun is low and glaring, the air is clear and fresh, strong winds blow the clouds and make high waves that wash debris ashore, plus there's a bit of pinkish color cast over all.

Lake #51 (13"x12")
under construction
Since we arrived in Tennessee, I check the webcam that is focused on Lake Michigan at the Holland channel just about everyday. Our cottage is less than a half mile down the beach. I miss being there to experience the sensations, but being able to check out the lake conditions and effects of the weather satisfies something within me. I look forward to watching the ice form and build up on the piers and lake.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Home From the Mountains...and the PIF Result

We just arrived home from our weekend with friends up in the Smoky Mountains. This is the view we enjoyed from the rented house that is near the top of a very big hill.
There was a bit of stitching going on. Six more blocks for the "and Still Counting" project were stitched by Susan, Virginia, and me.Here are a few of the photos I took on the Motor Nature Trail that loops out of and back into Gatlinburg. It's a one-way narrow road over five miles long and the next best thing to actually taking a hike. There is the option to park and take short hikes off the car trail.


All of the photos were taken from our slowly moving car. I set my camera to "action" mode for a fast shutter speed. The next two were taken through the sunroof.


I thank all of you who responded to the Pay It Forward artshare meme. The first two participants, Deb and Amy, had responded before I left home. The third is Koroda. Thanks to all the rest of you for leaving comments and I'm sorry for any disappointment about not getting to partake. I hope each of you continue to pursue a PIF in which to participate.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

International Artist's Day

October 25th every year has been selected as International Artist Day. This worldwide tribute honors and brings recognition to artists contributions made to civilization. Everyone around the world can do something special on this day to enhance the visual arts: take an artist to lunch, host an exhibition, buy a piece of art, attend a gallery show, visit a studio of your favorite artist.


My tribute is participation in the "Pay It Forward" (PIF) art share meme that is circulating. This involves giving art to the first three people who leave a comment on this posting. The first person will receive this small lake art quilt. It is a collage constructed of pieces from the first 50 quilts in my lake series.

Lake Series 50 1/2 (8"x 7")
The second and third people to comment will receive similar pieces made in the future from the second fifty quilts in this lake series. One of the stipulations of PIF is that it take place within one year.

The only thing that those of you who participate in this PIF meme have to do in return is "pay it forward" by making the same promise on your blog.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Lake Series - Half Done

Yeah! I'm half way to my goal of 100 lake quilts. Every 25th piece is an abstract made from the trimmed off edges of the previous 24.

Lake #50 - 13"x 12"
The one other abstract quilt #25 that I 've made worked well with a horizontal arrangement of strips. This one has extreme light and dark pieces that I couldn't get to "flow".
Just before I fell asleep after an evening of trying to make this work, the solution came to me. Cut horizontal strips after the vertical ones are sewn, then slide each one way or the other by cutting a section off one side and re-sewing it onto the other. This is very much like the fast technique for constructing a "trip around the world" or bargello pattern.

The result reminds me of David Hockney's photographic collages.

The Lake Series albums in the sidebar have been updated. Album I includes all fifty quilts. Album II will contain the next fifty.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Lakes Created At the Gallery

I had a good time creating three pieces for the Lake Series during the Gallery Stroll at Good Goods in Saugatuck, Michigan. It was fun having an audience and being influenced by them.

Pulling batting apart to make clouds.

This one was inspired by a visitor's memorable day of the lake. It was a brilliant blue day with high winds. The lake was extremely rough, so much so that a kite surfing competition was cancelled.
Lake #47
Here it is before the machine quilting was done.
Winter was another visitor's favorite time of the lake. This one was a bit of a challenge for me. I know the lake with ice and cold from living near it in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for thirty-plus years.
Lake #48
However, that is not the lake I love and to which I have an emotional attachment ... it's the summertime lake from the shores of Michigan. The Wisconsin side of Lake Michigan is quite different. There are many rocky and clay cliffs on the west side of the lake as opposed to the sand dune shoreline on the east. Also, the water is most usually cold because the predominantly westerly winds push the warm surface water to the Michigan side.

Here's the icy, winter lake under construction. I added oil stick pastels and white paint to make it even frostier than you see here.
Many visitors responded to the large lake piece with a bit of a sunset. I was determined not to make obvious sunsets in this series ... or at least not yet. However, I kept pulling a piece of hand painted fabric (actually a clean-up cloth from another project) from that bag of scraps. Soooooo ... I relented and made this one.
Lake #49
The finished piece has black tulle netting laid over the surface making it darker than you see when it was being constructed ... indicating the sun has already set below the horizon.

Post Script Oct.20: I see a couple of kite surfers on the
webcam that takes a picture every 30 seconds of Lake Michigan at the Holland channel.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Last Lake At the Lake

Sob! Summer at the lake is over. We closed the cottage this past weekend and arrived back to Tennessee this afternoon. Now, to make the transition between households and studios.

Below is the last lake piece created in the presence of the lake for this year. This particular day was one of the last very warm ones. The sky and sand were nearly white in the glare of the low angle of the sun. Wind ripples and boat wakes textured the water.
Lake #46 (13"x 12)
There were many footprints on the beach made by a neighboring family with six children and their two dogs playing on the beach that afternoon. Who would ever have thought that the "other side" of a flower print on a white background would depict all that fun so well.

Here's the piece before the free-motion machine quilting was done at Good Goods during the Gallery Stroll.
Next ... the three lake pieces created during the weekend of my demonstrating at Good Goods.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Playing With the Lake

I had been wanting to use the purple Thai silk remnant sent to me by my sister-in-law in yet another lake piece. The drama and richness of its color and texture are perfect for depicting what's happening out on the lake many days this time of year.

Lake #43 (13"x 12")
...and here it is before the quilting. There's a strip of blue and white floral silk brocade under the loosely torn batting and roving making up the cloud bank.
I enjoy making each and every lake quilt but, this next one even more so. It was created for our older son's 41st birthday present. He had previously chosen Lake #23. However, I inadvertently included that one with the whole bunch taken to the gallery. So, he got to direct the making of this one.
Lake #45 - (13"x 12")
He requested a brilliant sunny, wavy, perfect beach kind of day. He liked the more dramatic, stormy lake pieces. But those reminded him of work rather than play ... he bikes almost daily the twelve plus miles along the lake shore to work in the Chicago loop.
I liked having him visit in my studio and tell me how he feels about the lake. He'd give a thumbs up, or down, to my choices of fabric (even approved the zebra's head in the foreground of the beach). At one point he brought me a length of thread laying on the living room carpet. It made a perfect wave near the horizon.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Fun Weekend at the Gallery

Demonstrating my "ortwork" collage technique while creating lake quilts at Good Goods for the Gallery Stroll in Saugatuck, Michigan was a lot of fun.
I had taken a bag of "orts" (scraps) to design and construct lake pieces. For a couple of them I took suggestions from viewers as to their favorite kind of days at the lake. Here I'm quilting one of those, an icy day in early winter.
My favorite part of the experience was talking to visitors and sharing my techniques and experience with other artists and quilters. This young man hand sews fabrics together and then oil paints over them. Now, he may get a machine to applique them instead.
Take note of that fabulous furniture made from "scraps" in the background of the above photo (click on photo to enlarge it). This connection between my work and those pieces especially appealed to men.

All available pieces were displayed. The yellow ocher wall was a wonderful backdrop. The large piece (#44) sold ... YEAH! I lost track of the number of regular sized pieces (13"x 11-12") that sold.Three of my "Crinkle" quilts were also displayed. The positive viewer response to those pleased me. I had taken the one I'm currently stitching to share that technique as well.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Gallery Stroll

The gallery that carries my work sent out this email yesterday:

Saturday and Sunday, October 6 & 7
Help celebrate the 30th annual Gallery Stroll!

Lake #44 - 23"x 20"

Good Goods of Saugatuck will feature the work of two artists: Nellie Durand and Bill Olendorf. Nellie is a local textile artist and Bill, who summered in Saugatuck for many years, painted in oil and acrylic.

Nellie Durand has set a goal of creating a hundred different images of Lake Michigan in fabric. She creates quilts, often embellished with pastels and paint that calls to mind the waves, beach, sand and storms of Lake Michigan. Her Lake Michigan Series will be featured for Gallery Stroll, and Nellie will be present demonstrating and discussing her techniques.
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The above pictured lake piece was made especially for this venue. The curator and owner requested that I make a larger cornerstone piece. They had come for lunch and to see what was involved in the making of these lake pieces. Sandra, the owner, influenced the direction I took for its mood by being drawn to this piece from a previous sunset series.

"Contrails at Sunset"- 8 1/2"x16"
I found it more of a challenge to work on this large of a scale (23"x 20")than for the smaller lake pieces. The problem was obscuring the patterns of the larger pieces of fabric chosen for the water. I most certainly do not want a viewer's reaction of, "Oh, look at that piece of fabric in the lake (or on the beach, or in the sky)". Patterns were not obvious to me before the piece was quilted.A few of them popped right out there when it was done, necessitating the use of oil stick pastels and paint. Wish I had taken a photo before those additions, but I could hardly wait to diffuse them. Here most of the work is done. The setting sun peeping through the clouds, plus intense red reflections were accentuated even more after I finished the edging.
I just came home from delivering it to the gallery. I'll be there both afternoons from 1:00 to 5:00. Whew! I'm looking forward to creating "live".

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Last Side of Side-by-side Lake Panel

I've decided that each panel for this larger project will depict the lake at different times of the same day.
This last side on the far right is late afternoon of a warm sunny summer day.

Lake #42 - 17"x 14"
Here it is before the free-motion quilting was done. The change of its appearance made by the quilting still amazes me.
Now, what kind of day should I make the next panel of four pieces?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Goodies In The Mail

YIPPEE!!! Goodies from two cyber friends arrived in the mail this week. First came a postcard, "Turtle Soup II", from Dianna in Maui.
This was in exchange for a mini-lake series postcard from me. Essentially we traded "orts" (scraps).

Yesterday these threads and fabrics came from Beverly.
To see the fabrics these threads unraveled from go to Beverly's September 3rd, 2007 posting. Sorry I can't provide a direct link to her post.

FUN! FUN! FUN!