People (and things) certainly come and go quickly around here, Toto!

Things have been busy in my little workshop, with projects coming and going before I have the chance to document them, so here is a little backtracking.

The High Fiber Diet art quilt group's next annual show will be "Heatwave" - its only requirement is the inclusion of the color orange, hence the nickname, The Orange Show.  Ideas came and went, the most tenacious one to do an orange nude looking back over her shoulder.  She would have been a representation of Reina Agüero, a character from the book The Agüero Sisters by Cristina García. Feisty and passionate, she would have been a very apt symbol of Heatwave, but before I ever got around to cutting into my beautiful collection of orange fabrics, it occurred to me that she would end up looking too much like one of those paintings of a nude on black velvet that people sell in empty parking lots.  I rolled up my large charcoal sketch and put her away, opting instead to finish this quilt that I started last year.

I call it Memory of a Tibetan Door - Metaphor for an Unplanned Life.  The Tibetan door memory is a photograph I saw in a book long ago that has always stuck with me: brightly painted and weathered boards that were found and nailed together haphazardly to block the wind from entering someone's home.  I loved every chip, crack, and happy accident of color in that door.  As for the unplanned life metaphor, I leave that to your imagination.

Small color experiments from a class with Rosalie Dace last year were included.  Machine stitches, hand stitches, wandering bits of thread - as I put the bits and pieces up I fall in love with everything that fabric is and does and just want to catch its natural tendencies.

Happily this quilt was almost finished except for a few final touches and deciding how to mount it (you wouldn't want to bind it and trap the edges!).  Good thing, because then a request came from Cactus Gallery to participate in The Love You Make - a Beatles-inspired show.  Cactus owner Sandra Mastroiani invited me to participate and send a piece down in two weeks time!  So the quilt was quickly finished in time for its deadline, and then onto researching Beatles' songs.

Participants were asked to choose a character from one of the songs.  Looking over the list of already picked characters, I saw that my first choice, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, was already taken.  I pondered Lovely Rita Meter Maid and Sweet Loretta Martin (who thought she was a woman, but she was another man), and decided on Lovely Rita.  A bit of research went into the making:

 British meter maids from the 1960s

British meter maids from the 1960s

 Go-Go boots!

Go-Go boots!

 Twiggy!

Twiggy!

All research done with the aim of getting the right flavor for a meter maid the boys might have been attracted to back in the day!  Here is my Lovely Rita.

 Close up with a hint of a smile added.

Close up with a hint of a smile added.

 Those British meter maid hats are the best!  It was fun figuring it out!

Those British meter maid hats are the best!  It was fun figuring it out!

 Rita's ticket book

Rita's ticket book

 I made her some zip on go-go boots!

I made her some zip on go-go boots!

 The whole she-bang!  (Surprise!  How do you like her London britches?)

The whole she-bang!  (Surprise!  How do you like her London britches?)

Rita is currently visiting Los Angeles and staying at Cactus Gallery, 3001 N Coolidge Avenue, Los Angeles 90039, until August 5th.

Next up: I will be the featured artist for Cactus Gallery's Dollmakers VI show in September.  I'm busy exploring new-to-me techniques and liking the results so far.  Here's a peek:

More later!