Monday, October 15, 2012

Honoring the Collaboration: A Story about "Exquisite Journey"

Prompted by my friend Kathy York's blog post today, I want to share about a wonderful collaboration.
Frances Holliday Alford, a wonderful artist and the Embellishment Queen (her studio is named "Embellishments") initiated this project over a weekend mini-retreat at her Vermont studio with Victoria Findlay Wolfe, Michele Muska, & Hoodie Crescent.  After looking at their work and thinking that a couple of additional panels might round things out a bit, she contact Kathy York and I.  Who can say no to Frances when she has a bee in her bonnet?!  Both of us were already treading water, walking on thin ice, feeling like we both had "art ADD", but, like I said, who can say no?  Neither of us!
After the 4 "northerners" completed their individual panels Frances shipped them to us.  Kathy and I planned a couple of intensive work days to figure out the placement of the panels and find some small elements to add cohesiveness to the piece.

Here was the sketch each of us received from Frances

The next two images are of my panel, under construction

I toted my sewing machine to Austin and set up in Kathy's studio.
One of her cats seemed to enjoy the top of my machine bag...

and also the inside!

cut rounds of Kathy's gorgeous hand-batiked cloth were appliqued
across the panels to add a unifying element to the piece.

I love Kathy's birds, especially the one carrying the worm!
Other small adjustments were made.
Kathy works on the panels.
To say this thing was "thick" would be a massive understatement.
This shot shows two of the panels being joined together.

I think Kathy said it best when she stated it was like sewing two planks together
to join the last two sections!
We were really cracking up while putting together the final sections.

We got pretty punchy at the end of the day.  There was so much fluorescent thread on this thing
that I made a comment about wishing we had access to a black light so we could see how much it would glow.  Kathy jumped up and rushed into her son's room and returned with his black light!

Super cool!
I have had several people inquire about the thread. 
I use Super Brights by Superior.  
These colors may be purchased separately or as a set of twelve.

Here is our finished quilt!
Size:  45"L by 90"W
It will be in Houston at the International Quilt Festival hanging in the group category.


  1. that looks amaaaaaazzzinggg! Wish I could see it "in big".:)

  2. very cool! yes, I want to see it better too. will it be in long beach next year? hope so, it looks fabulous.

  3. I wish it would be in Long Beach, but I don't think it will since it is not up for an award. Sigh. Guess we will have to arrange a private viewing ;-).

  4. That is gorgeous! They should have a black light up for the exhibit but I suppose that would be problematic. I'm excited that I will get to see it in person this year as I get to go to Houston! Wahoo!

  5. So glad to know you will be in Houston, Lisa! I was very touched by your blog post about the breast pockets BTW. Kudos, baby.

  6. Where do you get fluorescent thread? Black light viewing of this piece should definitely be part of its showing!

  7. I use Super Brights by Superior. They look really scary, but they are wonderful. I learned that they can be used with just about any color to add some subtle (or not so subtle!) pop. They are great as a highlighting tool.
    They may be purchased separately or as a set of 12.


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