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around the world blog hop logo

I’ve been following along in reading the blog posts of many of my fellow art quilters in the Around the World Blog Hop that’s been going on for the past several weeks. My good friend Elena Stokes invited me to join in the party by posting this week and answering some of the same questions about artistic process that the others have been answering. I feel honored to be asked, especially since I have not been actively making art for about a year now! More on that in just a bit.

Elena, on the other hand, has been really productive and has been getting her work out far and wide in the past couple of years. Including being accepted into Quilt National 2015 – on her first try! She also has two pieces travelling with SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) exhibits. “Tranquil Marsh – Wild Iris” has been travelling in the Seasonal Palette show. And more recently the SAQA exhibit, Celebrating Silver, opened at the International Quilt Festival 2014 in Houston. Elena’s piece for Celebrating Silver, “Moonshine”, is absolutely stunning and, not surprisingly, sold before Festival closed. Click HERE to see a video of Elena talking about her quilt and process at the Houston show.

And if you click HERE you can read Elena’s post in the Around the World Blog Hop and also link back to previous posts on the “hop”. I hope you will check out some of the other bloggers by clicking back through all the links.

Now for my turn….. 

I’m supposed to start by telling you what I’ve been working on lately. And what I’ve been working on lately is moving from a large house to a much smaller house. And that process has completely sidelined me from my studio work. As a matter of fact I can hardly even enter my studio these days, it’s so packed to the brim with moving boxes! Not an ideal situation.

Studio 2

Studio 3

Studio 1


 You might not think that a simple move could be so distracting and all-consuming, but I have been reminded that moving is not so “simple” after all and IS all-consuming, especially when you are forced to divest of more than half your possessions. Well…..  I said I wanted to streamline and downsize!

My last major project before embarking on the move was my piece “Chloros”, created especially for the SAQA travelling exhibit, “Radical Elements”. For this exhibit each artist was assigned an element from the periodic table and we were asked to “move quilting beyond the usual materials of fabric and thread, exploring the function and decorative properties of different surfaces and stitching materials”.

When the call for entries came out for Radical Elements it felt like a good fit for me, as I had been using alternative materials in my art quilts for a while, specifically credit cards and other plastic cards, like gift cards, hotel “keys”, etc. I had also been creating some things with craft wire using the technique of “looping” or knotless netting. I used both of those materials to create “Chloros” depicting my element of chlorine. You can click here and here and here to see some of my process in creating “Chloros”. I’ve done some other work using the plastic cards and it is a material that really grabbed my imagination and sent my mind into overdrive. Now that the Radical Elements exhibit has opened, as of last spring, I can show you an image of the finished piece.

Chloros blog
"Chloros" ©2013 Martha C. Hall, 36" X 22"

Here are a couple of other quilts that I've made utilizing credit cards.

Hall M HouseOfCards 1
"House of Cards" ©2009 Martha C. Hall, 29" X 40"

Hall M HouseofKings 2
"House of Kings" ©2012 Martha C. Hall, 18" X 18"

I collect some on my own cards, but at this point really rely on friends to supply me with enough raw materials! I know there are other artists out there using credit cards in their art, too. I don’t think the idea to use these alternative materials is exclusive to any one person, but I do think that every artist has their own unique version of HOW they use the material. I still embrace the use of fabric because it is what I have always loved doing, but I also embrace looking forward and trying out new and different ideas and materials.

I am getting “antsy” to get back in the studio and make art. With most of our day-to-day living spaces in the new house pretty well organized and livable I think I will be tackling the studio soon. In some ways I think the studio hiatus has allowed me time to think about what I want to do next, artistically. I’m not sure exactly where my art will head, but I think I’ve been given an opportunity to go in a new direction. Because I have been away from my art for so long, in a way it takes the pressure off and lets me start anew.

Wish me luck because I think I’m going to need it! If for nothing else than making sense out of that mess of boxes in the studio.

Remember to check out Elena's blog and to click back through the series to see how others work!

Until next time  ~  MCH

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