Archive for the ‘My creations’ Category

Getting Up to Speed

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016


Just a quick post to let you know what I have been up to. First, I am happy to say that I am getting stronger every day. I can get back up the hill to the condo faster and without stopping to catch my breath! I can stand up from the sofa faster ad easier each day. My backaches are subsiding. That is great progress for me.

Above you see the house that I created from the blue moon quilt.Here is the original – kind of boring. I love it as a 3-Dconstruction.


It was on display with other fantastic 3-D objects at the Oregon SAQA conference. Our Blending Poetry and Cloth exhibit is on display there now at the Salem Historical Center. I loved getting reacquainted with my Ode to aTree quilt.


That was an all day affair, and the next day, I took myself to the NW Quilt Expo to wander amongst the quilts and do some retail therapy. I love Marcia Derse fabrics and I selected these from her new line. Love the greens! I also picked up some thread and needles from Superior Thread.


The big news is that I am moving my studio next month to a place a bit larger where I can have a design wall that I can stand back from. It will be a shared space with my daughter Lisa who needs a place to do her fine art painting. More about that as we progress with the move and setting up the space to accommodate both of us.

Great Workshop and Moving On

Monday, September 19th, 2016


Last week, I was privileged to take a 2 day workshop with Fran Skiles. I had so much fun and it was kind of like making a mystery quilt. She would do a demo and give us instructions to create some pieces and then we would move on to something else. She purposely did not show us a finished piece so that we would not have a preconceived notion of what to do.

We started by making random stitches on a piece of plain fabric.


Then we coated one side with gesso.


Next we made monoprints on Chinese rice paper using printing ink.


Then we drew on Japanese rice paper with a bamboo pen and India ink.



We learned how to transfer photos from copy paper using gel medium.


I don’t have photos, but we also drew on stitch and tear pellon with watercolor crayons which we then transferred to the fabric with gel medium.

Once, we had all our parts, we started assembling collages and then doing washes with thinned paint.



I have 3 more skins (Fran’s word for the treated fabric) and lots of parts to make more collages. It was so much fun and so freeing to create the parts without a plan – just to play.

On Thursday, we have our Oregon SAQA one day conference. Our guest speaker is Kay Khan, who does intricate 3-D fiber work. In an homage to her, we were invited to create 3-D pieces. I am cutting up a boring quilt which will become a structure. I glued the parts to stiff pellon tonight.


Tomorrow I will assemble it and hope it stands upright without too much work!!

Beyond Fistula

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016


Beyond Fistula is an organization that helps women and girls in Africa who have recently undergone surgical repair for fistulas- a complication of difficult childbirths. My friend and fellow art quilter, Mary Ann McCammon, is very involved with this organization and has traveled to Kenyan to work with the women, teaching them to create little art quilts. You can read about her here.


There is to be a fund raising event here in Oregon wine country, selling a lot of the work these women have created. Mary Ann asked us to create a larger piece, using the work done by the women. I have done two of these. I am embroidering their names on the front.


On the back is a pocket with a card with information and photo about the maker.


Here is the second one I made.




The fund raiser is in November at a winery.

Tomorrow is Columbia Fiberarts Guild with Fran Skiles as guest speaker. On Thursday and Friday, I am excited to take a workshop with her.

Radical Embroidery

Saturday, July 30th, 2016


I signed up to take Radical Embroidery at Oregon College of Art and Craft. It was a 3 day workshop. It turned out to be not that radical, but I learned a lot about using embroidery as an art form. The instructor was a delightful young woman from the CA bay area, Victoria May. Her website is here. Her work is a bit radical as she has a fondness for the gritty and industrial debris that she finds in her travels. I think that adding delicate embroidery to these found objects serves to confound the viewer.

On the first day, we learned different ways to create line in our work. The piece at the beginning of this post is my sampler. We used Dynaflow paint on canvas to  begin our work. Then I added lines in various ways. We used organza in our work. For this line, I painted organza which I tore into strips and couched down. I really like the effect.


The next day, we moved on to working with painted organza layered on canvas and we were to capture some things between the layers.

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I had some previously quilted rusted silk which I cut into rectangles. Two pieces are under the organza and the middle one is on top. I am in the process of stitching the quilted silk pieces down. Then, I will add some interesting stitching to the rest of the piece. I am thinking of adding a bit of rust to this in some way.

Then we were introduced to stitching on water color paper. The trick here is to pre-punch your stitching holes with a needle or awl. For my piece, I stained the water color paper with acrylic ink and got some interesting effects by blow drying it. Click on any photo to see it larger.



I am in the process of stitching with variegated thread, following the design created by the ink.

On the last day, I had an idea that I just had to work on using some of the materials that I brought.

First, I painted the canvas with indigo Dynaflow paint. I forgot to get a photo before I started stitching, but you can get an idea from this photo.


I had some indigo fabric with clamped circles. I cut out three circles for the composition. I also had a dark blue shibori organza which has black lines in it. And I also had a piece of Rymplecoth that my friend, Maris, gave me. It is more loosely woven than cheesecloth and is used for cleaning and polishing. She uses it in her felting. I dyed it a dark black. It takes the dye really well.

I used strips of the organza as I wanted some of the painted canvas to show to give a better value change. I ripped some holes in the Rymplecloth so that the organza can poke through.

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The top circle is on top of the organza and is couched down and stitched with silver metallic thread.


The other circles are under organza and stitched with the silver thread. I have started doing some stitching on the organza and canvas and then I will tack the Rymple cloth down.


Here is the final layout which looks a bit messy, but I think I know where I am going.


I was feeling a bit overwhelmed earlier this week and wishing my recovery was moving faster. Yesterday, I had Mr C  help me get my sewing machine table back where I use it and pulled the Janome up out of hiding. It made me so happy, I almost danced. I think it is a symbol for the life I want to live and now, I am feeling so much better and have been doing better. I think I turned a corner.


All I did was shorten some clothes, but it felt good. My knee didn’t like the knee lift, but that will get better.


Good News All Around

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

gerrie congdon cover copy

Several years ago, I was honored to be a featured artist on The Textile Blog by John Hopper. I was a fairly new fiber artist and it gave me a measure of confidence about my work. He profiled several artists over the years. Click Here to read the original post. John has recently started publishing online magazines featuring fiber and textile art, titled Inspirational. In the most recent issue, he asked those artists to send him photos of recent work and to write something about our current artistic life. I am happy to once again appear in a publication of his. Above is the cover of my section. Click Here for a link to the online magazine.


The other good news is that I got a call this morning to reschedule my knee replacement surgery. It will two weeks from today on  May 24th. Whew!! So, I continue to prepare for the surgery, the pain, the physical therapy and the recovery. Thank you to every one who reached out to me. I really appreciate your good wishes.