Cross Country Quilting

It all started with this print.

 I’ve been interested in color blindness tests for a while and am currently working on a series of screen prints. This reductive screen print has seven colors.

screen printing

screen printing

After interacting with the extremely talented quilting artist Luke Haynes as a MITCH Collective visiting artist, I decided to challenge myself and translate the print into a very large-scale quilt. I set out to make something for my bed, but got carried away and just kept making it bigger and bigger…

16 yards of fabric went into making the background

I sketched out a modified chevron pattern for the back ground and used my geometry skills (yay Math!) to create a pattern.



optical illusion background

I collected a variety of clothes from thrift stores and used a laser cutter at TechShop Pittsburgh to cut them out into a variety of circle sizes. If you haven’t heard of TechShop, check them out! It was recently featured on NPR in a story about the rise of community access maker spaces.

lasers are awesome

After I laid out all the circles into the background, I safety pinned all of them and then meticulously turned all the raw edges under and hand stitched them into place. This was by far the most time-consuming part of the process. I estimated there are 400-500 circles, but I couldn’t bring myself to count them.

hand appliqued circles

The whole reason I was working so large was because I knew I would have access to a long arm quilter at the TechShop San Jose location. After a crash course on how to use the machine, I fired it up to practice my free motion quilting on a test piece. This was my first time doing free motion quilting. Using it on such a precious project was like throwing a baby bird out of the nest and just hoping it would fly.

practicing free motion on the Avante quilting machine

I love drawing with thread! After a short test-run, I loaded up the quilt onto the rollers and set to work. TechShop San Jose was my cozy new home for the four quilt-filled days I spent there.

all three layers loaded onto the rollers

all three layers loaded onto the rollers


I used King Tut Canaan and King Tut Temple thread from Superior Threads for the grey and white areas and a clear monofilament thread to stitch around all the circles. Thank goodness for invisible thread! Machine stitching around circles perfectly is almost as hard (and impossible) as hand stitching them.

stitching detail

stitching detail

The finished piece measures 100″x100″ and I’m super thrilled about it. This lovely portrait was taken by the all-around fantastic San Francisco photographer Alex Huff days after I finished the machine stitching. Calavera will be on view in Pittsburgh, PA at Revision Space gallery in a group show entitled The Enduring Skull opening on October 31, 2014.

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SGC Printmaking Conference in San Francisco

MITCH Collective set up a vendor booth at last week’s SGC Printmaking Conference in San Francisco. We promoted our residency program to many talented printmakers and challenged passers by to try their hand at assembling seven tangram shapes into a square.

tangram puzzle challenge

tangram puzzle challenge

We met lots of interesting folks and reconnected with friends from yesteryear!

vendor fair set up

vendor fair set up

As part of the conference we toured Paulson Bott Press in Berkeley, CA and saw a demonstration on how to translate Gee’s Bend quilt tops into etching prints.

quilt top soft ground etch

quilt top soft ground etch

In St Louis, I met some of the ladies from Gee’s Bend and took a quilt top workshop from them at the Missouri History Museum. It was very inspirational!

Paulson Bott Press

Paulson Bott Press

Seeing quilting combined with printmaking was a great crossover between two of my art loves.

quilt top proof print

quilt top proof print

There were many exhibitions around the bay area in conjunction with the conference and this piece by Kouseki Ono was a stand out. It is 100 layers of oil based screen printing ink and it creates a very three dimensional effect.

100 layers of oil based silkscreen ink

100 layers of oil based silkscreen ink

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Lovescaping Project in Downtown Wheeling

The Ohio Valley Young Preservationists have brought affection to the streets of downtown Wheeling for the 2nd Annual All You Need is Love campaign. For the month of February, 30 buildings have been adopted by local groups to get people to notice and appreciate them.

Located at 12th and Market you’ll find an installation of Osculation Diagrams on the windows of the McClain building. These vinyl stickers were cut out at TechShop Pittsburgh on the CNC Vinyl Cutter. The diagrams were originally 6″x6″ calligraphic drawings made from interview data about how people categorize everyone they have ever kissed. The final size is 22″ on the smallest side.

Here are some process images of the installation. Click an image to zoom in. Click here for instructions on how to read the diagrams

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Luke Haynes Artist Residency

Last month, supremely talented artist Luke Haynes participated in a two week residency at MITCH Collective.

LUKE is an artist to watch. He is up-and-coming while continuing to innovate and design new ways to create art. His work is currently hanging in the Brooklyn Museum as well as the Newark Museum and the Headquarters of the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation just to name a few. He shows across the country and internationally.
Haynes has lived in 14 states, he is currently living in Los Angles California. He studied architecture at Cooper Union in New York and considers his fabric art to be an architectural method of images creation.
His works can be classified as quilts since they follow the traditional methods of construction, but they are much more. His concepts and images pull from the annals of historical painting and sculpture but are also allowed to pull from craft and the domestic since the medium is atypical, this allows for pieces that have multi layers of visual as well as conceptual intrigue.

Luke likes to work with found textiles and after exploring the Wheeling area wanted to emblazon one of the buildings on a blazer.

He was interested in experimenting with screen printing, especially after viewing the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh.

During the two week residency, there were two quilt shows.

A solo show in St Clairsville, Ohio at Ohio University Eastern (above) and a group show in Wheeling, West Virginia at the Wheeling Artisan Center (below) featuring Joe Cunningham, Leslie Tucker Jenison, Erin Wilson, and Luke Haynes.

The Children’s Museum of the Ohio Valley welcomed Luke to lead a kids activity related to quilting. The kids wove colored strips of paper into different patterns.

There was also a special presentation in Pittsburgh at Techshop. Luke gave an artist talk and trunk show, sharing his process and some of his past projects. The audience got a chance to see the quilts up close, which added a lot of pop to the presentation.

Thanks to Luke for being a bundle of fun and inspiring so many people during his stay! The residency program is all about bringing talented people into the Ohio Valley to make work and share their talent with the community.

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Children’s Museum of the Ohio Valley Screen Printed Wall

What do you get when you take a lemon yellow wall and jazz it up with hot pink ink?



This screen printing project took place at the Children’s Museum of the Ohio Valley. The 25″x36″ screen was made by cutting vinyl on a giant plotter at TechShop Pittsburgh and then sticking it onto the back of the screen. The vinyl method worked really well since the logo was so large and lacked tiny details.

The layout was inspired in part by the famous Andy Warhol cow wall paper:

Cow Wallpaper

Andy Warhol inspiration

jamboree logoThere’s a big Jamboree USA sign painted on the back of the Capitol Theater in Wheeling WV that provided inspiration for the Children’s Museum logo that I designed.

Americorps volunteers held the screen in place as I awkwardly pulled the squeegee from left to right. The prints were just the right amount of imperfect. Andy would be proud.

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Quilt Shows in the Valley

There is a fantastic quilt show at Ohio University Eastern up now until Jan. 23 with a reception this Thursday starting at 7 where you can meet the charming and ebullient artist Luke Haynes. The gallery is located on the second floor of Shannon Hall and is open M-W 11-5 and Thursday 5-8.

There’s also simultaneously a sister show at the Wheeling Artisan Center featuring Luke Haynes, Joe Cunningham, Erin Wilson and Leslie Tucker Jenison from Jan 16-30 open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. There is a nice article about the year long build up to the shows here:

On Thursday we are doing a gallery hop from Wheeling to St Clairsville to hit both opening receptions. Wheeling’s is 5:30-7 and St Clairsville runs 7-8:30. Both shows were coordinated through MITCH Collective’s residency program.

Hope you get to see these amazing shows!

Portrait Quilts (Luke Hayne’s solo show)
Show runs Jan. 13-23 opening reception Thursday Jan. 16 7 pm
Ohio University Eastern
45425 National Road St Clairsville, OH
Gallery open Monday-Wednesday 11-5, Thursday 5-8

Group Quilt Show featuring Luke Haynes, Joe Cunningham, Leslie Tucker Jenison and Erin Wilson
Show runs Jan 16-30 opening reception Thursday Jan. 16 5:30-7 pm
Wheeling Artisan Center
1400 Main Street Wheeling, WV
Gallery open Monday-Saturday 10-5

Luke Haynes hanging the show at Ohio University Eastern

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Sonic Bloom

My love for hand quilting originated in Hawaii in 2011 where I learned the Hawaiian hand quilting technique from locals. The radial symmetry patterns based on the shadows of plants captivated my aesthetic. Since my first try at applique, I’ve gotten a good bit of practice and a few months ago attempted my most complex and largest Hawaiian quilt project yet.

sonic bloom5

I responded to the graphic quality of the pattern and started making plans to translate it into a screen print. The pattern was taken from Denyse Schmidt’s book Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration

sonic bloom1

I picked two very bright colored fabrics that popped out at me. The teal fabric is a batik with lots of visual interest. I hand cut the fabric and it took a while to get the complicated pattern to lay flat. I basted the perimeter of the teal fabric before proceeding with the applique.

sonic bloom2

This is an in process shot taken while working on the quilt at a cabin in the snowy woods of Ohio over Thanksgiving. I hunkered down next to a wood stove and stitched for hours and hours, only taking breaks to jump in the outdoor hot tub.

sonic bloom4

The quilt measures 42″ squared. I made a quilt label for the first time by screen printing handwritten text onto a piece of fabric used on the front.

sonic bloom quilt on the wall

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