September 30, 2013

New Work in Progress -- In Dreams I Saw the Colors Change

Sue Reno, In Dreams I Saw the Colors Change, Art Quilt, Work in Progress, Detail 1
I have several new works in progress for my River series, in the same theme as my recently completed In Dreams I Flew Over the River.  This one, In Dreams I Saw the Colors Change, is making me very happy as I work on it.
Sue Reno, In Dreams I Saw the Colors Change, Art Quilt, Work in Progress, Detail 2
It’s all silks and wools, with needlfelting and piecing.  I am being just completely extravagant with my use of materials and it’s very liberating and exciting.  I am folding and crimping and letting the silk go where it will, falling into pleats and creases.  I am using a lot of wool roving and silk snippets to build up layers of color and texture, and as these teaser details shots show, it’s very textural and inviting.
Sue Reno, In Dreams I Saw the Colors Change, Art Quilt, Work in Progress, Detail 3
Really good silk, the only kind I use, is difficult to come by.  Many of these pieces were purchased on my trips to India, or brought back by family members (thanks!).  When I buy it here in the States, it’s expensive.  So while I use it often in my work, it’s usually in a measured fashion.  (A recent exception would be Ginger, where I also went a little crazy with the silk.)  But here I’m throwing caution to the wind and just reveling in the beauty of the materials, and the impact it has on the story I’m telling.

In Dreams I Saw the Colors Change will be part of my upcoming show in November at the PAE Gallery at Marketview Arts in York, PA. More details on that exhibit are pending.

If you are a regular reader and it seems to you like I have a lot of works in progress, that’s because I do.  I’ve had a great year so far for ideation and creativity, and am churning out the quilt tops at a record pace.  Soon enough I will settle down, light the coal stove, and spend the colder months quilting and finishing.  At least that’s the plan.  Stay tuned!

September 25, 2013

New Work -- Bleeding Heart

Sue Reno, Bleeding Heart, art quilt
This summer I was asked to  write an article about my cyanotype process for Quilting Arts Magazine.  I wanted to break down the process into step-by-step instructions and illustrations, and went looking in the garden for an appropriate botanical subject to document.  Luckily my bleeding heart plant, Dicentra spectabilis, was having a banner year and was in full bloom.  I clipped a flowering stem and used it for a cyanotype print on cotton, and was especially pleased at how well I was able to capture the delicacy of the flowers.  You can read all about the process, and learn how to make your own cyanotype prints,  in the Oct./Nov. issue of Quilting Arts, available here.
Sue Reno, Bleeding Heart, art quilt, detail image
Now that the magazine has hit the newsstands I am ready to share the art quilt I designed around the print.  Bleeding Heart was made with my handpainted fabrics, along with commercial cottons and silks, and measures 30”h x 28”w.  It captures that moment in the early summer garden when all the world seems bright and fresh and new.  It’s up online in The Garden gallery on my website - enjoy!
As always, thank you for reading and commenting.

September 24, 2013

Cyanotype Article in Quilting Arts Magazine

Sue Reno, Botanist's Delight, Quilting Arts Magazine
My article on the cyanotype process is in Quilting Arts Magazine!  I’m so pleased and honored to have this opportunity to share one of my favorite surface design techniques with the Quilting Arts readership.  I take you step-by-step through the process, and make it easy for beginners to get good results.  I use cyanotype extensively in designing my art quilts, and I never tire of either the method or the results. 
Quilting Arts Magazine Cover, Issue 65
The article, “Botanist’s Delight” is the Oct./Nov. issue, which hits the newsstands today.  It was a great experience to work with the QA editorial team, and I'm very happy with the look of the article and the quilts that are featured.  It’s a great issue from cover to cover.  You can read more about it and order a copy at the Quilting Arts website store.

September 6, 2013

Jack in the Pulpit -- Work in Progress, Update 5

Sue Reno, Jack In The Pulpit, Work In Progress 24
As I hope you can see from the previous posts, there is a LOT of work that goes into one of my projects before I reach the point of actually designing and constructing it. I like to have all of my elements--the prints of all types, and the patchworked fabrics--ready before I start putting everything together.  Ideally, I will clear my schedule and take a day or two for full immersion into the construction.  I don’t generally finish in those immersion days, but it’s enough for me to see where it is I am headed. 
Sue Reno, Jack In ThePulpit, Work InProgress 25
Jack in the Pulpit is now a finished top. It measures out at roughly five feet by six feet.  Here’s a few glimpses of how the piecing went. I am  excited by how well it all came together!  It still  needs to be layered, quilted, and finished.  I have a lot going on right now so it has joined the queue. 
Thanks for following along up to this point, and stay tuned for further updates.