* * * An Exhibition of Prairie Inspired Ceramics & Stitchery @ Shervin Smith Gallery, Melfort. May 1 - May 31. ***All works available for purchase by contacting the artists. Monika Kinner-Whalen 306.979.3519 / Ken Wilkinson 306.227.4687 in Saskatoon.
* * * PUBLISHED - Stitch Magazine (UK) 'Let the Yarn Speak' technique article issue #94 @ Barnes & Noble, Indigo Bookstores
* * * Dimensions 2015 - opens May 23 at The MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina SK, until August 16th, 2015. A selection of Saskatchewan Fine Craft juried by June Jacobs & Tom McFall. (Prairie City is part of this touring exhibition)

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Tuesday, 26 May 2015

More Stitching Needles

I have been working on this one for a long time.  I got a commission to make the evergreens from Gardenscape.  I had a big 8x10 one that sold as it was being set up for that show.  Then I got an email from someone else asking for it via facebook.  Gotta love Facebook.  So away I went to stitch this.  The first time I did the evergreens, it just happened quite effortlessly and it turned out perfectly lovely.  This second one?   I have been stitching this out for a long time on and off.  It went through the longest ugly phase I have ever had to endure.  I was so close to throwing this out and restarting.  I think the problem was that I began with such drastically different colours of thread - brassy orangy green and blueish emerald.  It was a lot of thread colours before I felt I had it appearing blended properly.  Usually I start with medium tones and then add the deep shadows and highlights.  I'm not sure what possessed me to start the way I did this time.  I think I may have just picked my favourite colours first.  (never doin' that again!)

But - I am SUPER HAPPY.  This is done.  It has so many colours in it and it's all done free machine on straight stitch.  There's no zigzag used.  That's all manually manipulated.  It's a lot of threadwork.

9.5" x 7" commission

This will be heading to Alberta - an old friend from highschool has purchased it.  I haven't seen her in years but she's been following my art on FB.  We used to sit in art class together waaaay back in the early '80's.  I think I have a sketch of her and a couple friends still from those days when we had to do some continuous line drawing samples.  (Waving - Hello Mrs. Deptuch!)

: )

Here is a detailed part of the threadpainting cropped square.

And here is the same portion in black and white.  VERY interesting!

A friend of mine is having her art in the paper for Weyburn ArtWalk & Join the Thread.  She had to see which have the most variation in value so that they are still appealing if printed in black and white.  That makes me want to view all my work in black and white to ensure it's not blaaaaah.  Smart.

Okeedokee.  Off to frame & box it up.  I'm so excited for her to get this!  It's awesome - I've been shipping a lot of work to Alberta lately.

linking to TN&TN and yes - I will be stepping away from that if anyone is interested in taking over that blog.  : )

Have a good day!

Thursday, 21 May 2015

A Lot of Housekeeping

Hi!  I have a bunch of things to update so instead several single posts, I thought I would just catch you up in one fell swoop.

First - the Ceramics & Stitchery show is extended by one weekend.  I will head to the Kerry Vickar Centre in Melfort to take it down after the last weekend in May.  If you have purchased anything of mine or Ken Wilkinson's and you are in the area, that would be a great time to pick up the art in person.  If you aren't in the area, we will gladly ship.

Overlapping with that is Dimensions 2015.  Dimensions is a 2 yr touring exhibition of Fine Saskatchewan Craft.  There is a wide variety of mediums and the 36 show pieces were juried in by June Jacobs and Tom McFall.  The first showdate of this tour begins May 23rd in Regina at the MacKenzie Art Gallery, all the way through to August 16, 2015.  The piece I had selected is 'Prairie City'.  It's not for sale - it has a new owner, but you can find more of my Prairie Threadpaintings as well as my Prairie Postcards in the Gallery Shop there on site.  Very exciting!

The 10th Annual Broadway Arts Fest is Saturday, May 30th.  I won't have a booth there, but will have new art & lots of Prairie Postcards available at the Saskatchewan Craft Council, which is right there on Broadway.  My work has been moving steadily through there every month, and so thank you to those who support the artists & the gallery.

I'm teaching Creative Postcards Class in my studio (Saskatoon) on Friday, June 5th from 1 to 4pm.  All you need to bring is a sewing machine and thread.  Email to sign up or for more information Monika@MySweetPrairie.ca

I am teaching my Threadpainting 4 hour class also in my home studio on Saturday, June 6th from 1 to 5pm.  This class is nearly full since this is a prior waitlisted group, but I can take two more people.  Again, all you need is a machine and thread (limited classroom machines are available for a small rental fee to cover annual maintanence).  : )  Email me at Monika@MySweetPrairie.ca

Saskatoon Modern Quilt Guild 1st Annual Quilt Show will be one day only on June 14th from 10 to 4 at the Nutana Legion.  (see my last post for details)  I'm actually going to have entries!  That's so weird.  I can't wait to see this quilt show.  So far, I've really only seen Modern Quilts en mass on the internet.  Plus - this is their first show, so it's part of the beginning of the rest of their 'life' as a guild.  : )  That's pretty significant.

What else... Have you heard about the goings on in Weyburn this summer?  It's big.  It's REALLY big.  I think Jaynie Himsl is organizing the whole thing!  She's amazing.  I will do this event justice with it's own post, so keep tuned in!  In the mean time, I am excited to tell you that I'll have my art in Weyburn for the entire summer as part of Art Walk, along with a lot of other wonderful artists and group shows.  ALL SUMMER!  I might just want to move there.  That's a lot of fibre art!

Speaking of southern SK, Liz at Tiger Lily Quilts took in a huge stack of my art cards to sell at her quilt shop in Wolseley.  The cards are images of some of my favourite threadpaintings.  If you are doing a road trip, you'll have to stop in at her shop.  : )  If you purchase any cards, you are supporting my need to buy more thread.  : )  It's all good.

Crazy, right!?  

I'm on the homestretch for completing commissions now and shipping work all over Canada, which feels amazing!  I've said it a few times on my Facebook page, but I have to say it again:  I'm so grateful and relieved that my yarn embroideries have been so well received!  It was wonderful to try something new, but scary to show people when I'm known for the threadwork.  Those larger textured embroideries were created with the support of a Sask Arts Board grant and nearly all have new homes.  That feels so validating.  I have more to go before the grant period is up, and will do a big review post once I have it all complete and photographed.  I've been kind of hoarding a few things and enjoying them for myself.  As soon as I blog them, they are sold and gone to a new home.  I'm sitting here looking around at my bare walled studio trying to recall what I've all done - it goes so fast that it's a bit of a blurr.

Maybe I'll make myself a coffee table book, like a memory book of my work.  lol

Okay.  Fundraising.  Later in the year, I will be emailing my 'helper' group with the details of a project to raise funds for medical care and surgery for victims of a specific form of domestic violence.  It's a stomach-churning topic, but one that I cannot get out of my head.  So I want to do something to help the survivors of an atrocity known as 'acid throwing'.  I won't get into details or descriptions here.  I will say it is horrible.  You can google acid throwing, but be prepared for some images that will shock you to the core and shake you enough to question humanity.  I can't stop the horror, but there are medical services that we can help fund.  My idea is to create an art auction or event of some sort in order to give aid to the victims who are mainly women and girls - mothers and children.  If you are handy with a needle and thread even minimally, and would like to be part of a positive, simple stitching project that really shouldn't take too much time at all, email me with "helper" in the subject line.  At a later date, I will bulk reply to all the 'helper' emails.  THANK YOU.

And so with the Year of Craft half-way complete, I'm happy to say that I am indeed a part of it.  Curating, collaborating with other artisans, trying out new territory in the way of embroidery, writing articles, introducing fibre art to children in several schools, and happily settling in to my new studio to create and have people visit from near and far.  It's awesome.  It's full time + a half work, but it's very rewarding.

Thank You for reading this incredibly long post and for keeping up with my blog & goings on.  : )  I think you are awesome.

p.s. none of the bold words are linked.  I will post more details and links with detailed posts in the near future.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Postcard Bee & MQG

I recently discovered that the Saskatoon Modern Quilt Guild will be having their first official quilt show next month.

Right away, I thought how cool it would be to have a section in the show just for Quilted Postcards with modern flair!?  I recall one year, the Saskatoon Quilt Guild's huge show had a section for an idioms challenge.  I enjoyed looking over those smaller art quilt challenge pieces so much.  Sometimes small, creative bursts of eye candy can really bring a joyful flavour to a quilt show.  So - I called up the Saskatoon Modern Quilt Guild and invited them to my sewing space for a late night postcards bee with the idea that the results of the evening could be displayed at the show.


I spend many nights alone in my sewing space, so this was wonderful to invite people in just for sewing.  It was one busy Bee night.

that's a whole lotta Janome machines! : )

I picked the Friday of the May long weekend for this, and unfortunately. several were not available because of family events, travelling, or health reasons (Oh Carly - we missed you so much!).  I did have four fantastic women come in though.  Each brought a small bag of modern fabric scraps... because I have none.  *thank you.

I started blogging right when the Modern Quilt Guild movement was born.  I was blown away by what I saw.  The guilds popped up everywhere across the USA and then in Canada.  The Modern Quilt Guild members across this continent are very passionate what they do.  It's practically an industry.  I tried so hard to keep up as a new quilter, but I just could not get it.  I did not fit in and could not for the life of me create an original modern quilt.  That was also the time I got into fabric art postcards, began landscapes, and was hired to do my first commission.
And then another.
And another.
...and so down the art path I went.

This Modern Quilt Show announcement reminded me how much I tried to create that look but failed.  And so, initiating this Bee with the SaskatoonMQG was a way for me to (hopefully) learn.  I provided the stabilizer, backings, and sewing space.  They provided the fabric scraps, and thank you for the munchies!  We made a pile with the fabric donations and we started to sew postcards.  I asked, 'how do you make modern?' and Jaclyn would say, 'Just be yourself ...but don't do landscapes.'  haha. Yeah.   And so then what!?  ; )

I watched them create, I asked questions, and I tried out a few things.  Postcards are SO great for experimentation with new techniques because it's small and over quick so you can assess how you are doing.  Me?  Meh.  Not so great.  However, the fabrics were so AMAZING and I marveled at how they put them together.  Here are some of their results.

sweet mini-quilts / modern postcards

Once everyone left, I kept going.  In fact, I made 10 cards myself that night!  I woke up the next morning and whipped up 5 more.  No kidding!  I could have kept going - I was so inspired by the fabrics and how to coordinate them.

This was my first card.

playing with 12 weight thread, so nice and thick

I love it.  I'm not sure it qualifies as Modern though.  Maybe?

This next one was too much fun.  It all started with those EARS.  That's the whole piece of fabric - just the ears.  Away I went.  It's a cut & paste collaged style.

I won't show you all 15, but this was one of the last ones I made.

I could just keep going.
Postcards are addictive!

my batch of modern postcards

Okay - one more.  Someone in the MQG made a rainbow stripped card that was sliced and had a white piece put in between.  I thought looked fantastic, so I bounced off that idea and made a b&w rainbow and split it with some major colour.  (see below)

the fabrics are just so fun.

Am I getting close?  Well,, if not, between the bubbles and the paper clips, I'm pretty happy anyway. : )  The fabric is too fun and I'm definitely enjoying letting go into abstract.

Thanks for reading this loooong post.  In the mean time, I have restocked Fabric Postcard supplies in my ETSY Shop (linked).  There's lots of supplies available.  I hit the garage sale jackpot for embellishment colourways as well!

THANK YOU to the Saskatoon MQG for letting me play with you. ; )  I am so inspired.  I will be putting some of my Modern Postcard entries into the show too I hope.  If you already make postcards and want to add some modern ones to the show (or larger Modern quilts), there's a small entry fee if you aren't a member (ten bucks).  You still have today and tomorrow to enter quilts.  It's easy, via email.  You can read more about the show and how to enter  here.

linking to WIP Wednesday @TN&TN

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