Christina Blais Fiber Artist Inspired art created in fabric and quilted Wed, 29 Aug 2018 23:51:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 137625562 Perspective Study with Trees Wed, 29 Aug 2018 19:10:44 +0000

Challenged to make a work with just rectangles and squares, the image of the first tree in a line of trees popped into my head one early morning.  Then I could imagine changing perspective, and seeing the line of trees, and continuing my walk, enter a lane with trees on both sides.

Tricky piecing!  I hope you like the colors and shapes!

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Narcissus Wed, 29 Aug 2018 18:38:49 +0000

Flowers in Vases

Narcissus: that is what my mom would call daffodils, so I do too.

In this piece, the background is made of squares: a nod to the patchworking roots of art quilts.

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Tulips Wed, 29 Aug 2018 18:28:20 +0000

Flowers in Vases

I created two quilts of flowers in vases: Tulips and Narcissus.  The works vary in the type of vase: opaque vs transparent,  and vary in the background technique: the tulips background is made of oddly shaped pieces, whereas the narcissus background is made of regular squares.  Both were fun to make; and it was quite a departure for me to work in black in white.

Tulips won second prize in the Spring 2018 Flower Power Earth Day Juried Show at Read's Art Center in Bridgeport, CT....thanks!

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Delivery Wed, 29 Aug 2018 18:15:40 +0000

It Is All in the Delivery in Curling

I have just started to learn the sport of curling, and let me tell you, it is harder than it looks!  There is finesse in the physicality of it, skill in the aiming of the stone, and lots of strategy to learn.  I am working on my delivery, here is how it should look.... nice long lines of arms and legs....

I used organza for the ice, and quilting cottons for the rest of the composition.

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Consider Wed, 29 Aug 2018 17:51:13 +0000
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The Big Move of 2018 Fri, 04 May 2018 18:52:53 +0000 I have moved my studio.  It has taken about two months to pack up, move, settle in, organize and weed out what I know I no longer will use.

Happy times at The NEST

It was a big decision to move from The Nest Arts Factory  back to home where this journey all started. I will miss the Open Studios events, including being part of the Bridgeport Art Trail where visitors gave me lots of positive feedback and encouragement.  The Open Studios were a true “high” for me. .. things were fun at The NEST during open studios;and you never knew how you would look when a photographer would be around.

But it turned out that my must-do’s fragmented my day, and I just wasn’t showing up at the studio with regularity or chunks of time.  And it was frustrating that whatever I needed was either at the studio or home, and I was in the other place.

So my darling husband and I waved our arms about our home, and determined we didn’t really need a TV room!  We took everything out, gifting to the Habitat for Humanity Restore.  The dog crate stayed, though, and Dutch – my dog and my favorite muse – is my new roomie.

Downward Dog Dutch

The new studio is smaller than the old, and a lot had to go.  Here is the old studio at The NEST: I felt like Goldilocks: this studio was Just Right!  Closets to hide things, room to move around.

Wowser! What a big space you have!

Here is the new space: it is a former one car garage:  The window you see on the right used to be the garage door, and the slider on the left goes out to the patio..I am going to like it here!

Before the fabric…
After the fabric…

But this is how it looks now:  tables of fabric that I want to give away,and not so tidy. but I am getting there.

It is very hard to be away from my creative work;  a piece I started months ago awaits gluing and stitching, but I have vowed to complete it next week.  After all, now that I am home, I can take advantage of all those little pockets of time!

Goodbye, NEST.

The NEST Arts Factory

Hello, Garage.

My new Center of the Universe


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2017 In Review Sat, 30 Dec 2017 14:17:10 +0000 Here we are – at the time to reflect on the accomplishments of another year gone by. I always start a year by thinking that I am going to create one art quilt a month, and I always fall short of this goal. I need to be more realistic about September when I enjoy weeks of family reunion time, and December with its holiday events and vacation. That leaves ten months and ten quilts, and I don’t hit that mark, either. What I forget about are the peripheral activities that go along with the business. Here is a little recap…

Exhibition Coordinator: In early 2017 I worked as the Exhibition Coordinator for the SAQA Textile Posters exhibit. In this role, I answered exhibitor’s questions, reviewed entries for thoroughness and compliance to the exhibit requirements (how sad to have to tell artists that their work would not be included in the jurying process for non-compliance), and tracked and nudged accepted artists about their bios, artist statements and exhibit contracts. There were a couple of bonuses to this job. First, I got to see all the entries to the exhibit, and second, I started relationships with artists and administrators in the SAQA organization. It was a good gig.

Entering Shows: The time it takes to enter shows can’t be underestimated! Going to the photo shoot. Writing artist statements. Submitting on-line. Preparing works for shipping. Shipping. Tracking the shipping. All these keep you away from the fabric! I am happy to report that this year I shipped two works: Chien Blanc and Van Gogh Dog which are touring with their shows. I hand delivered other pieces this year for show entries with one Best-in-Show award and two pieces in our regional SAQA show.

SAQA Conference: I travelled to Lincoln, Nebraska for the SAQA conference. I will admit that I wasn’t enthused about the location – but am so glad I went! Lincoln is not to be missed! It is a great city, very friendly, easy to navigate, great galleries and the International Quilt Study Center and Museum was amazing! As a perk from being part of the conference, we got a behind-the-scenes tour- wonderful. This was my second SAQA conference. I am still pondering a quilt conference that has no quilts! Aside from the small works donated for the silent auction, there are no actual quilts! The focus, it seems to me, is on the quilters: their methods, journeys and insights.

SAQA Regional Rep: Along with my colleague Kelly, I have been a Connecticut Region representative to the SAQA organization. A big portion of this has been meeting coordination of venues, speakers, lunch details and agendas. There is administrative work with expense and activity reports. My term is ending soon, but I will always be there to lend a hand to whoever takes my spot.

Part of an Artist Community: I am very happy that I have a studio in a building with other artists. We hold six open houses a year, inviting the public to see what we do, and how we do it. This means tidying my workspace, tidying outside my workspace, and working with the group on big building projects to make our NEST ARTS FACTORY shine.

Continuing Education: This year I took a ten week oil painting class. My goal was to work with a teacher in developing “seeing” and translating seeing to expression, and to work in an unfamiliar medium. The class has made me appreciate my fabrics more! I like working with scissors and sewing machines. I will continue my painting, but it will have a back seat to my quilting work for now.

Finally, in 2017, this website, complete with a gallery and a store are up and running! It was a significant undertaking, with a huge learning curve, and I am still learning. The website development meant that I needed to find the photos of my work (I am not the most organized when it comes to this), upload and download til my fingers were blue, and learn the ins and outs of tote bags and T-shirts!

So, what holds for 2018? My first works are in the idea stage. I will commit to only eight works this year and will be open to any Call for Entry that comes my way.

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Beckley Furnace I and II Sun, 19 Nov 2017 12:58:44 +0000

Proving that no subject matter is off limits, I made two versions of the Beckley Furnace (and submitted one) for an exhibit featuring the “Northwest Corner” of Connecticut.  The first version of the Beckley Furnace is collaged, where the second version is pieced with embroidery details.  Beckley Furnace I was also juried into the SAQA Local Color: CT Stories show.

The Beckley Furnace, located in North Canaan, CT, is a state-owned historic site and  is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Built in 1847, and continuing in operation until 1919, it was built for the production of pig iron.

Beckley Furnace I and II Close Up image

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Lordship-My Little Town Sun, 19 Nov 2017 12:24:10 +0000


This is a map of my neighborhood on the shore of the Long Island Sound in Connecticut.  I love maps, and when I was young, while driving, my dad would give me navigation tests:  Which way are we headed? Which direction is the wind blowing? Which way do we turn to get to the store? I loved these navigation games (and the math challenges he would give me, too.  Thanks, Dad.)

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Dream Deferred Sat, 18 Nov 2017 12:04:16 +0000

What happens to a dream deferred?
The sun reigns in this piece. We can either dry up with deferred dreams, or harness the sun's energy for good, growth and for achievement.
Another letter and word work, this piece has unfinished qualities and raw edges to show my take on unexamined, unchallenged lives.

The dot at the bottom of a question mark does not have a name. For a lively discussion on this, check out this link.

Some people have wanted me to make them just the sun portion of this piece, and I am open to that!

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