Category Archives: Artprize 2012

A Whirlwind Catch Up

     I have all these grandiose plans to write a separate blog post for all the fun things I have been doing. But it just seems like old news. So I will give you the abbreviated whirlwind catch up:

1. Attended a day long workshop by Susan Brubaker Knapp at the WMQG on Thread Sketching. I didn’t take the class but was just a classroom volunteer. She is a very good teacher and  I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her for a workshop.

2.After two weeks of Artprize, I loaded up the car and went to the Barn for Sets and Variables #3.    Really intense assignments given by Nancy but I loved it. I , of course, came home with lots of pieces and parts not sewn together but I understood the concepts and am loving fine lines.  Lots of ideas swirling around in my head from this class. I need no reminder to know what a privilege it is to study with Nancy Crow each  and every time I take another workshop from her.

3. More press: Jennifer’s nice article about me

4. The Saturday I drove home from the Barn  I squeezed in a quick  90 minute trip to our West Michigan Quilt Guild  which was held at the Deltaplex Oct 3-5th. I was surprised to have won three ribbons for some of my work.

I was proud of our guild and the quality of the work shown.

4. I over-dyed about 40 yards of medium valued fabrics as I used up lots of my darks at the Barn.  I used an electric blanket under my plastic containers to maintain some warmth overnight. More blotchy than usual but not bad! The dye studio has been packed up and placed down the basement ready for next summer.

5. Yardwork, housework, more yardwork  and more housework in a major catchup mode. ( I did very little around here in the month of September).

6. A week of jury duty where they chose me to sit on the jury. At least it was an interesting case=bad boys in big bad trucks being very bad. A business case.

7. And Lucy , my Bernese Mountain Dog,  who had an anterior cruciate ligament repair at MSU vet school. Looks like a 3 month rehab process.

Oh geez….life just goes round and round, doesn’t it?  I always have hopes of life slowing down but that is not the case. I am just going to embrace it.

I hope to regain a studio schedule on Monday and am looking forward to it.

Artprize Recap # 2/ Fiber Related

 I was lucky enough to sneak in to some of the very busy venues in the first few days of Artprize. I was anxious to see this piece by the lovely Lynn Krawczyk. Lynn had a prime spot at the BOB and I am sure many, many people were able to see it. It fit this spot between two windows on this brick wall perfectly.

“Remnants Collage #17, Lynn Krawczyk

“Remnants Collage #17, Lynn Krawczyk
Details on “Remnants 17”, Lynn Krawcyzk

Nice piece Lynn and I loved being able to see your work up close and personal.  The texture is really superb!  Next to her piece  on the other side of the window was a nice compliment of acrylic on wood.

“Tidal Waves “, Steve Pleva

Back to fiber….

Circles  4 12, Ellen Stuckey

I took a class with Ellen a few years ago.  Nice to see her piece here again.

 The next exhibit was at the GRAM. I could have looked for a long time at all the embroidery.  It is titled – Along the Lekksenne by Eames Demetrios.

So much to see in so little time. One more post left to wrap things up.

Artprize Recap #1

   I thought  I would share with you some interesting pieces from Artprize 2012.( I credited the artists  by placing their name cards following the piece. )

I watched the artist one afternoon on this installation. I was fascinated by how the light hit this variegateted string/thread.

This  next installation  “The Land Up North” by Jared Cherewski was at the new Kendall College building which had been restored. Over 4000 pieces of clothing had been borrowed from Goodwill. I loved the rainbow of colors against the floor and white walls.

Recovery Mode


      I looked at the date on my last post and it was September 20th. I can believe how quickly the time has gone this fall. I have done two weeks of Artprize, a week at the Barn for a class last week and now I have a week of jury duty. And I was, of course, chosen for the trial.

    I have unpacked my stuff from the Barn (kind of) , cleaned off my desk from the busyness of Artprize (kind of) and felt my whole body just relax. I am in no way caught up. But I feel this huge sigh of relief that I made it through both things and had a great time. Pictures processed next and I will share!

Opening Night

       Yesterday was the official opening of Artprize 2012.  But the venue I was participating in, Cathedral Square  had an artist’s opening on Tuesday night and it was a great time to meet other artists.  I had a hard time taking photos but another fiber artist, Elizabeth Brandt,  found some great pictures here: Cathedral Square -the facebook album for our venue. The curators are standing in front of my piece. Very fun!

     I have had the privilege of walking this journey with a friend, Elizabeth. We have known each other  two years after meeting at the Crow Barn. Elizabeth and I are first time Artprize artists and we were chosen for the same venue as well as her talented husband Blair Rieckman, a sculptor. Our moments of panic, our hard work and just the joy of participating certainly was made sweeter by doing it with friends! I really cherish this time with them and their help. Blair provided my hanging rod and Elizabeth used her marvelous graphic design skills to design my cards.

Elizabeth Brandt, “Instructions for Living”

Viewers enjoying Elizabeth Brandt’s piece

     Make sure you look at her Artprize profile as it shows the time-consuming and amazing process she used to create her piece. I loved seeing this piece develop over the past few months and love her! Great job, Elizabeth. 

Blair Rieckman, Cuneiform

   Just met Blair a short time ago.  I loved the shadows this sculpture made on the wall as did  my son.

Great job Blair and thanks for letting me take a picture( he was initially an unwilling subject ) and for your help.

Rooflines #6, Colleen Kole 2012

A happy artist!

I am having a great time meeting people, artists and answering questions! I hope to see some art too over the next few days. 

Artprize Piece Done, Done, Done…!

Rooflines# 6,  74×80, ©2012  Colleen Kole
Details of Rooflines #6

and more details of Rooflines# 6


My composition, Rooflines # 6 , is a contemporary art quilt. This Rooflines series celebrates my fascination with the architecture of the Frederik Meijer Gardens here in Grand Rapids. The steel beams juxtaposed with the glass windows against the sky and the varying colors of nature contained within the conservatory building provide for a rich study of line, color and shape. I have utilized my hand dyed fabrics as my paint and the free hand cutting of shapes and lines to create this piece. Dense machine quilting adds texture and another dimension for the viewer.

I am done and it is a relief. A few more pieces of paper and then I can celebrate. Artprize starts September 19th and I am very excited to be one of a handful of textile artists to be accepted.

Wrapping Things Up

     I finished machine quilting my Artprize piece last weekend and wanted to sink in to a really long nap. I procrastinated on the last twenty inches of the machine quilting and it just made it more painful. I will leave tomorrow for Michigan and can’t wait to see it all spread out. I don’t have anywhere here to hang it or block it in the way I like to. It is back in it’s ziplock bag for a 15 hour ride home and I feel at this point it could write it’s own little book about it’s journey this summer. 🙂

     As my reward, I got out the dyes and, as a friend said, dyed a little more rainbow in my backyard here in VT. And even got them ironed and ready to use this fall.

     I tried flat dyeing again as I wanted some really deep colors and wondered if I could get it by flat dyeing rather than over dyeing. It was really messy to clean up but I think it might have worked.


     And a few strands of floss for winter stitching.

     Even though dyeing is labor intensive, I always feel as if all this color is a reward to me.

Hodge Podge

     Just a sampling of what I did before the trip here last Thursday.

Tried to finish up some fabric dyeing of deep browns, blues and a funny mustard color.

I hand basted my Artprize piece-twice. The first time I didn’t follow the You Tube directions correctly using Sharon Schambers method. I really resisted hand basting but was going to hand carry this throughout the airport. The idea of hundreds of safety pins going off through security convinced me to do it.  A few wobbly lines which I am calling organic have been sewn in. Yes, I am doing this one from top to bottom with the walking foot.

And I squeezed in a little ice dyeing. I had a few pieces of fabric left and it was so hot I thought it a great time to try it.

A little ice on top of soda soaked fabric.

A little dye sprinkled on top of the ice and then a few more layers of fabric.

Twenty four hours later, I rinsed as usual and washed and I have some interesting pieces.

Nice markings on the fabrics and it was super easy.

I was stuck in the airport for about 36 hours and my husband came to get me in a CT airport.  I retrieved my lost luggage on Sunday which had the thread it in it for machine quilting. It was really an adventure from the netherlands which I have no idea why it always happens to me.  But this time it exhausted me .

In Vermont now for a few weeks and I hope I catch my breath enough to get the stitching down on Miss Artprize.

Under The Machine

     I finished piecing AND basting of my Artprize piece yesterday. It was a really long weekend….with several adjustments on one of the edges. I had to join what I had designed on two design boards  and when I actually sewed it together it was a mess.  I ran over to a friend’s house with all my various pieces in a plastic bag and she gave me some advice when I was not at all rational. ( Thank you Betsy!) Calm but not thinking straight.  I returned home and out came the fabric for a few new pieces and more adjustments. It was frustrating to say the least but what a relief to have it this far.

Rooflines # 6 in process,  © Colleen Kole 2012

It will be about six by seven feet -large. I am anxious to  get the machine sticking started. I thread basted it to reduce the weight of moving it under the machine. I will take it to Vermont with me on Thursday when I return there. It’s only 6 weeks away before I need to turn it in to the venue. I am about 3- 4 days behind on the schedule I set for myself.

At 4 pm yesterday, I was way too cranky and tired to start machine stitching so I fiddled around with washing out some more hand dyes. This is a picture of earlier in the weekend. My tree in back  of the fabric is so stressed with the drought, it is losing leaves and looks like fall.

Settling In

     Just arrived in Vermont on Sunday for the week. I kept working on my Artprize piece the past few weeks and have driven my family mad with it.  I think I am now on version #2578 of the same piece and left it half assembled on my design wall. I promised them that I wouldn’t talk about it all week long. 🙂

Rooflines # 6 in process , 2012  Colleen Kole

 Nope not it.

Rooflines #6 in process, 2012 Colleen Kole

Nope, not done yet…

So where have I been?

1. I finished some over dyeing of last week’s fabrics before I left.

 2. Attended a wedding of my daughter’s best friend. My daughter was a bridesmaid and it really shocked me that I have a daughter with a married friend.  They just seem  so young.

my pretty girl 

3. Went to two SAQA exhibits at the Gerald Ford Museum.

4. I was interviewed by the Grand Rapids Magazine in regards to an article they are doing titled (?)The Quilt as Art. A photographer was sent to my studio to take pictures of me working. ( I really cleaned it up before they came and that took a few days! ) They are doing the article in preparation of the AQS show which will be in Grand Rapids August 22-25th.

I really don’t like have my picture taken-ok I hate it… but I hope I am not too much of a dweeb in this article. More importantly, I hope I have spoken somewhat intelligently.  It should come out at the end of July. At which point I could snatch all available copies off all shelves in all stores if it is horrid.

5. I was also interviewed by the experiencegr blog for the same reason. I was more relaxed and had an easier time answering questions for that interview.

6. Packed and rode 14 hours here.

Settling in to summer between Vermont and Grand Rapids. I hate lists in the summer. But I think I might need one this summer in order to get done what I need to do for the fall.

Anything fun planned for the 4th?