Lifelines III: Can Something Come From Nothing? approx. 60" x 60" - by Ricky Tims (2012)

Whoo-hoo! I'm flying high this morning. My quilt, Lifelines III: Can Something Come from Nothing has won first prize at the International Quilt Festival in Houston. I'm stunned really! This quilt was so much fun to make. It was total playtime! In addition to the "caveman" (improvisational) piecing, the free motion couching with the Bernina free-motion couching foot worked like a charm. The quilt basically built itself and grew out of spontaneity.

The past couple of years I began playing with inserting long, skinny, "V-shaped" wedges into my patchwork, similar to putting in a gusset only way longer and skinnier than normal. I called these inserts "lifelines" because they reminded me of the lifelines on our palms. In this case, I also wrote a poem and stitched it into the quilting. The lines of a poem can also be called "lifelines" if they have some sort of life message. Here's the poem.

Can something come from nothing?
Can we stop the hands of time?
The road of life moves forward,
And the past is left behind.

Hey everybody! Great news from the Houston International Quilt Show! The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative Auction begins online Thursday, November 1st. Twelve wonderful celebrity quilt artists were asked to create quilts for the event and I am delighted to be one of those.

The quilt is titled Sentinnels at Sunset II: Someone to Watch Over Me. As sunset moves to twilight and then to darkness, vigilant sentinels stand guard. It is a metaphor for those fading away from this world and a tribute to those who care for them on their journey.

You can own one of my original quilts and help fund Alzheimer's research! To become a part of this amazing event please follow this link: to bid on this quilt. All profits fund Alzheimer's research. Your bid is greatly appreciated and remember -  you only have until November 10th! I might have to bid on this one myself...(wink)...I'm just sayin'.....

I know - it's about time! So many of you have been asking to see the final results of my studio and I appreciate your patience. This year, as you know, I've been GONE GONE GONE and getting a video shot and edited was simply impossible - until now! Here it is...... drum roll please...... ta da!!!! It's so totally cool... I'm just sayin'...

My week in New Brunswick (see previous posts) progressed and eventually we were each given an individual assignment. The goal was to take a theme and produce 20 images based on that theme. Among the themes were, softly, solitude, heavy metal, and unmade bed as a landscape. My assignment was "on the verge of chaos."

It was near dinnertime and dark when the assignments were passed out and I was a bit unsure of how to proceed. After dinner I went to bed thinking about my project. About 3:30am I woke up and started thinking of just what would I shoot to create 20 images of "on the verge of chaos." I had been dreaming and suddenly realized just how dreams easily jump from one seemingly unrelated thing to the next. When I realized that dreams were chaotic I decided I would pursue my assignment as if it were all in a dream - a dream of my visit to St. Martins. I was wide awake by 3:45 and thought no better time than now to get started. 

My first image is a single exposure, taken with a time delay. It starts the sequence as if I am dreaming. I then proceed into the hallway where I'm dreaming of going out for the day to shoot photos. I set my criteria so that each image would look as if it was from a dream. I also decided that any "special effects" would be shot "in-camera" not created later in Photoshop. By the time breakfast came I already had 4 of my 20 images and the next 5 hours would be a rush to get them all done. Worse still - it started raining.

I drove out to a country road but it was raining too hard to get out of the car. To my surprise, an additional five images or so were take from inside the car - looking out through the glass or an open window. Suddenly I was back on day one - taking photos stuck in one place. I learned the best place to take photos are where you are right now. Being stuck in the car reminded me just how true that was.

I won't post all 20 of the photos, but here are a few of my favorites from the assignment.

Below is my favorite image from the week. It's taken through a wet windshield, looking down a county road. It is a double exposure. I like it just because it is so mysterious. I hope you like it too.

On Wednesday (October 10th - day three of the Freemand Patterson/André Gallant photography workshop in New Brunswick, Canada) we drove from St Martins to Shamper's Bluff located on the St. John river on the Kingston Peninsula where Freeman lives. His property is over 100 acres and is part of a protected nature conservatory. It was a great place to shoot everything from barns to roots. Many of my photos were taken specifically so I could practice shooting long depth of field where the subjects are far apart, but they are all sharp and in focus. In both of the photos below I could have reached my hand in front of the camera and touched the fern or the flowers. The subjects in the distance are far away.

Freeman's barn is a photographer's dream. My first photo of the barn is a "dreamscape" - meaning it was a double exposure where one exposure was blurred and the other was sharp.

The two photos above are both impressionistic photos created "in-camera" using panning. I purposefully overexposed the first one to create a light, airy effect. Justin says the second one reminded him of a Kincade painting.

Last but not least, we were encouraged to take texture photos that could be layered over other photos in a photo editing program. I found a bed of leafy ground cover and superimposed it over a very simple two-rectangle composition of two waxy leaves. Actually if you look close it's a three-rectangle composition... I'm just sayin'...

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