Thursday, August 28, 2008

Boo Hoo and Wah Hoo Too

Well, today I got a little bad news and a little good news. I have been bumped from the fall issue of Studios Magazine; seems they had too much stuff and are saving my studio story for spring. But, hey, spring works just fine for me.

The good news is that Cate Prato just got her advance copy of her book Mixed Media Self-portraits, and I have 10 pages right up front! How cool is that? Little ole me, Linnie from Clinton, 10 pages in an art book. Wouldn't Mom and Dad be proud? To quote Fred Flintstone, "Yabba dabba do!"

Dinner at Our House

This is a small piece; one of the first postcards I made when I started art quilting. I used a poem I had written about a dysfunctional family dinner, and put some of my own plate designs on it and mixed in newsprint. I have been toying with the idea of making a big quilt of this concept.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


This is a little quilted piece I did from a photo of my great niece, Morgan. She was all dressed up in fancy, girly clothing and the photo was done with sepia tones to make it look antique. I added velvet trim, little rosebuds and fresh-water pearls to enhance it. Isn't she a charmer?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Country French and India

Last year my artquilting group, Threads of Sanity, did a traveling book project. We each chose a theme and did a page for each other over the course of about 9 months. My theme was world folk art, and for my own page I did what is dear to me, Country French. I had always noticed the similarity between the expensive Pierre Deux type expensive fabric and the inexpensive, hippie-ish made in India cottons. With a little research, I discovered that travelers brought the Indian designs back to France many centuries ago, and thus the mystery in my mind was solved. I also discovered that the paisley design originated in the far East and printers in Paisley, Scotland became known for their fine printing of the design, and thus it was named after that town. I took a country French scarf design from a textile book, scanned it, flipped and repeated it, then printed it out of my computer on cotton. I quilted it and added a little elephant as a tribute to India, where I must have been in the fabric business in another life.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Rotary Cutter...Rotator Cuff

Hmmm....rotary cutter/rotator cuff...sounds almost the same. Except that one of them wrecked the other. That would be the evil but fascinating rotary cutter ruining my rotator cuff. (It is basically a razorblade on a pizza wheel.) With my frugal self, I purchased the tiny rotary cutter when I started art quilting, and in my creative frenzy, didn't realize that the little cutter had gotten dull and was too small to be cutting through heavy fabric, layers of paint, thick pellon, peltex and metal mesh. My arm and wrist would get a little sore as I worked, but not enough to slow me down. But then the pain got really bad and I had to eat left handed and could hardly drive the car. After a joyful (not!) and painless (not!) MRI in early February that revealed two of the four pieces of the rotator cuff were torn, I started physical therapy. Fortunately I am getting slowly better and have avoided surgery. But it is so hard to want to create art when your arm and hand don't want to cooperate.

I can't blame it all on the rotary cutter of course. Maybe the furious, hour-long scribbling on pellon with crayons during a panic attack had something to do with it. Maybe the years of competitive sports finally took their toll. I guess this is nature's way of slowing me down and so that I work on only the projects that are really important. Maybe it is forcing me to breathe and meditate and think about where the anxiety is coming from rather than just scribbling it out. The good news is that I have gotten pretty skilled with the left hand; I can steer the old computer mouse from the left and even do layout design left-handed now. Not quite ambidextrous, but working toward it!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

First Art Self-portrait Art Quilt

Right after I picked up my first issue of Quilting Arts, I knew I had found my place and my people in the art world. The very first art quit I made was this one. I took a self-portrait that I had designed on the computer and printed it on the gooey, cheap t-shirt transfer sheets. It was a little stiff and gummy, but the colors reproduction was excellent. I hand quilted the entire thing and embellished with beads. It was used, along with some other pieces, to illustrate my piece entitled "Painting out the Panic" that appeared in the April/May 2007 issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors Magazine.

Reiki Energy Card

This is a small piece that I did that has a reiki influence. I used the same gold medallion as on the reiki peace quilt, but did it in subtle earth tones and added gold spirals of energy. I added some earth-toned tyvek beads on the bottom, and intentionally left the string hanging off them. It is trimmed with a green hand-dyed cotton that was sent to me from a quilt addict in Norway, Kjersti.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Reiki Peace Quilt

This is pretty much the first art quilt I made. It was for the journal quilting project and was shown in Houston last fall. I experimented with new techniques and materials and was pretty happy with the way it came out. This is the artist statement that went with it:

A Page from My Book:
Journal Quilts 2007— Journal Quilt Project

Linda Edkins Wyatt
Sag Harbor, NY

Reiki Peace Quilt

Creative Quilting techniques used: Tyvek painted with Lumiere and heat distressed (p. 175); stitching on metal (p. 223); hand-beaded embellishment (p. 245)

Late one February night, I couldn’t sleep, and was reading my monthly on-line newsletter from I read about William Lee Rand’s travels to the magnetic North Pole, where he placed the first World Peace Crystal Grid. He later traveled to the South Pole and to Jerusalem, placing grids constructed of copper, gold and crystals in the hope of magnifying prayer energy to facilitate world peace. They are designed in the shape of the heart chakra, and each petal has a symbol of one of the 12 major world religions. The inscription on the plaque says: “May the followers of all religions and spiritual paths work together to create peace among all people on earth.” Rand’s vision of world peace and religious harmony inspired my quilt.

In addition to tyvek, glass beads, sequins and 100% brass woven fabric, I used coffee-dyed and distressed waxed rice paper, Angelina fibers, polyester fabrics, hand quilting and machine quilting. I edged the quilt with coffee-dyed cotton. The hand-quilting is done in a geometric pattern to represent Earth’s magnetic fields. The three medallions are actual photos of the North Pole Grid, printed on cotton and over-painted with gold acrylic. The 12 sequins on each tip represent the 12 major world religions, and the four spirals represent elements—air, water, fire and earth. The distressed tyvek square represents our endangered planet Earth. I chose deep purple for the bottom background because it is the color used on the reiki meditation symbol, the Antahkarana, and light aqua for the top background to represent the sky.

Over the past months I experimented with many new materials. I like the contrast of silky fabric with metal and paper, the organic quality of hand-dying cotton and paper versus the man-made Angelina fibers. I used hand quilting on the background since the fabric was so silky and slippery. I have been sewing and painting for years, but I only began combining the two in September 2006 with quilted postcards, and first began journal quilting in January 2007. This quilt represents a major accomplishment for me, and is my first large piece. I feel I have finally found my artistic niche and voice as a mixed-media art quilter.


Here are a couple of postcards I sent to the Alzheimer's Quilt Initiative last fall. Lo and behold, I noticed today that they had sold. Now of course, that gets me wondering...who the heck bought them? and do I know them? Well, they are two of my favorite little pieces.

India-inspired Tyvek Earrings

I made these earrings on the 4th of July during a 'mom & me' jewelry making session. It was too overcast to go to the beach, so we sat on the deck and beaded while Hugh (my husband) and Coco (the wee lad disguised as a dog) attended to preparing a barbecue. They have my own tyvek beads in the center, and inexpensive glass beads from the local 5 & 10. I think they are my new favorite.

Little Universe Between Our Backs

Well, this is not exactly an art post, but I just had to blog about what a great concert I went to Sunday night. As a birthday treat, I took my daughter, who will soon turn 20 (!! does that make me OLD?) to see KT Tunstall. We had 3rd row center seats and of course she was fabulous and intense and sang all her hits. Such a tiny wisp of a woman with a powerhouse voice and presence. She had on a cool black and white graphic outfit, kind of black and white triangles fanning out from a center point and cool 80s UK rocker boots. She changed her guitar for every song; our favorites were the glittery silver one and a shiny red oddly shaped one. Clearly I know almost nothing about music or I would know the names of the styles and brands of guitar...but maybe they were custom made. So, I am inspired to do a quilt or piece of art illustrating the Little Universe between our backs.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Self-portrait card series

One of my favorite things to do is make self-portraits. When I moved from NYC to the end of Long Island ten years ago, one of the first arty things I did in my new office/studio was to try and teach myself to oil paint. I did a self-portrait, which I then scanned into the computer and played around with in my layout design program, QuarkXPress. The design possibilities are endless in Quark, and you can step and repeat designs, make them bigger or smaller and add elements from other designs. This is one of my favorite in a series of self-portraits that I did. Naturally it has my favorite paint color, yellow. It is a mix of several of my textile designs, plus the oil portrait.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Egyptian Dreamer

This was my entry for Quilting Art's Doorway Challenge. We had a choice of several black and white doorway frames to base a quilt on. I decided to stick my face in the middle, use the doorway rocks as hair, and the windows for sunglasses. It came out kind of Klimt-like and a little Eqyptian looking. Best of all, it was featured in Quilting Arts Magazine's Doorway Challenge issue last fall.