Home Is Where the Art Is

home-blocks-2-crop-500 This post also appears on my Patreon page.

Home. It's a nebulous concept, one that's been on my mind a lot lately. These mini quilts are an expression of longing, rootlessness - perhaps "home" is a part of us that we always carry, though it may drift to the bottom with the kleenex and loose change.

The Home quilts went out to my top-tier Patreon patrons this month. Thank you all for being patrons, your support means so much to me.

Following is a more detailed look at the quilt construction process:


Notes on construction, quilting patterns.


Drawing a general outline onto the batting.


Sewing the pieces directly onto the batting, as part of a quilt-as-you-go technique.


The first one with all three layers (top, batting backing) assembled and quilted.


Quilting lines look so cool on the back.


Moving down the assembly line...


Finished blocks, photographed on a convenient hedge.


Quilting creates such wonderful textures.


More stitches. I'm not a fan of stitch-in-the-ditch, but I love getting right up toward those ditches.


Hand-finished binding, always perfectly imperfect.

Not a patron yet? You wanna get things like this in the mail, too? Sure you do. A pledge at the Awesome Afficionados level or higher gets you an original work of art every two to three months!


Lemons out of Balance

Lemon Imbalance. Acrylic on canvas, 18x18 inches, 2015 by Sarah AtleeLemon Imbalance. Acrylic on canvas, 18 x 18 inches, 2015 by Sarah Atlee

Let's talk about balance.

It's overrated. It sets us up for false expectations, failure, and guilt. "It's as useful a concept as original sin." (That's from Danielle Laporte.) Actually, we don't really need to talk about balance.

Let's talk about letting go of "balance."

I've shared this Bruce Sterling quote on this blog before, and I'm sure I'll do it many more times. It's from a speech he gave at the Computer Game Developers Conference in March 1991 in San Jose, California. (Read the whole text here.) Behold:

"Don't become a well-rounded person. Well rounded people are smooth and dull. Become a thoroughly spiky person. Grow spikes from every angle. Stick in their throats like a pufferfish."

That's really all the advice you need. Now, let's look at some other artists who have embraced both lemons and asymmetry! Click on any image below to view its source.

Glass and Lemon in a Mirror. Oil and magna on canvas, 1974 by Roy Lichtenstein Glass and Lemon in a Mirror. Oil and magna on canvas, 1974 by Roy Lichtenstein.

Lemon Peel. Sculpture, 1963 by Sven Lukin. Lemon Peel. Sculpture, 1963 by Sven Lukin.

Half Lemon. Acrylic on canvas, 1969 by Gene Davis. Half Lemon. Acrylic on canvas, 1969 by Gene Davis.

Lemons. 1972 by Funasaka Yoshisuke. Lemons. 1972 by Funasaka Yoshisuke.

Lemons, May 16, 1984 by Donald Sultan. Lemons, May 16, 1984 by Donald Sultan.

All this imbalance making you feel icky-poo?

Feel like life handed you a couple of lemons? There are options. You can embrace the lemons, or refuse to accept them in the first place:

Portal 2 Lemons by somebody called blimpcat. Quote source.

See Lemon Imbalance in Person

Lemon Imbalance will be available for purchase in February 2015 at Ro2 Art in Dallas. Join us at For Real featuring Sarah Atlee and James Zamora. Contact Ro2 Art for more details.

UPDATE: For Real has been reviewed by Jenny Block for The Huffington Post! Read the full review here: "A Hyperrealism That Questions Reality With James Zamora and Sarah Atlee at RO2 Art"

Day/Night Quilt Fragment

Day/Night Quilt Fragment, acrylic on canvas, 12 x 12 inches, 201 Day/Night Quilt Fragment, acrylic on canvas, 12 x 12 inches, 2013 by Sarah Atlee

This painting grew out of the process of creating an actual quilt (read more about that here). I painted this for the 2013 edition of OVAC's annual 12x12 fundraiser. I wanted to create another composition along the lines of Beside the Ironing Board:


20110801 beside the ironing board - final version

Beside the Ironing Board, acrylic on canvas, 12 x 12 inches, 2011 by Sarah Atlee

Just as with this earlier painting, I found the raw "material" I wanted in a quilt-in-progress.


painting and quilt 1 72 500

Day/Night Quilt Fragment in the studio, with the model in the background.

In a beautiful act of generosity, the person who bought Day/Night Fragment gifted me with a box of quilt pieces that his great-aunt had begun before she died. I feel sure I will complete that quilt someday, and share it with you here.

Sketchbook 2012: Day/Night Quilt

Sketchbook 2012: Day/Night Quilt, ink on paper, 2012 by Sarah At Day/Night Quilt sketch, ink on paper, 2012 by Sarah Atlee

I had so much fun with my Millennium Quilt series that I raced right into this quilt concept for a friend's impending baby.


mely's quilt beginning cropped

I began cutting and piecing not long after finishing the sketch, though it was almost another year before I completed the quilt proper.

At one point, I was so enamored with the finished sections of the quilt that I decided to turn one of them back into 2-dimensional art. I'll post pictures of that piece next week.

Here are pictures of the near-completed quilt in my studio (I just love the morning light in here):


day night quilt photo 2 72 500

Day/Night Quilt, detail view in the studio, 2013 by Sarah Atlee


day night quilt photo 1 72 500

Day/Night Quilt, detail view in the studio, 2013 by Sarah Atlee

Update: See the portion of this quilt that became a painting.