Monthly Archives: May 2009

Quickening Moon: Seedling Ambition

Hunger Moon, Wild Moon, Ice Moon stealth,
in quiet preparation I love my self,
Brigit, Persephone, Diana, Kuan Yin,
Help to cleanse and heal what’s within.
-Dallas Jennifer Cobb

In February, I watched for the moon for days before and days after the after the actual full moon event, to no avail.  The sky, for days, was completely shrouded in clouds; not even a peek at a star could be seen.  I imagine before the modern days of electric lights or even the earlier gas powered lights, these nights would have been very, truely black.

The Quickening is when tree sap begins to flow again and the Earth starts to awaken.  Each year, there are seeds that sprout too early while their brothers and sisters sleep just a little deeper down in the dirt.  This quilt is about those ambitious seeds, dreaming of the coming growing season, and jumping the gun, awakening too early.

Three little seeds (apple) are nestled within their own little full moons, but one has jumped the gun, so excited by his ambitious dreams that he popped out a little bit too early. I machine embroidered the tiny seedling onto its moon first, then attached each of the 3 moons to the quilt.  I free motion quilted the piece being careful not to let the quilting lines touch the seeds that were still ‘sleeping’.  Finally, I attached the seeds and tiny glass seed beads to give the impression of stars in the sky.

This piece will be shown at Artomatic 2009, but will not be offered for sale on Etsy—it has already found a permanent home.

Artomatic 2009 is coming…

I’ve been keeping myself quite busy for the past few weeks with preparations for Artomatic, and now the show is finally upon us!  Walls have been painted, lettering has been added, postcards printed, paint touched-up and, most importantly, art has been made and HUNG!  Even though I completed my installation on Sunday, there is still a nagging voice in my head saying “What on Earth did I get myself in for?” and “Isn’t there more that I can do?” I can’t wait until 10pm tonight—the last minute of installation.  After that, the building will be “hermetically sealed” for staff to clean and finish prepping things like lounges, bars, and classrooms.  So as of 10 pm, I can’t do any more, even if I wanted to.  The show opening is this Friday, May 29th—I will be there as soon as I can be after work.

I’m showing two different sets of work—4 pieces of each series.  The Full Moon series that I started at the beginning of the year includes Wolf Moon, Quickening Moon: Seedling Ambition, Storm Moon, and Wind Moon.  I realize that I haven’t made blog posts about any but Wolf Moon; I am going to try to get them together and post this week or in the first week of the show, in case folks come here wanting to know more.  The second is a series that I began over a year ago which I’m calling Water & Stones. I pieced the large quilt many moons ago as a study of patterns and lines and colors and just got stuck.  I pulled it back out and quilted it just recently in time for Artomatic.  The small quilts that run along side it were fun little variations on the theme.  There is a fourth, but 3 is a better number for display purposes.  My current description of them starts out with “if Andy Goldsworthy were a quilter…”  Once again, I realize that I haven’t made a blog post about any of these.  Just like with the full moon series, I am planning to post something descriptive up this week or next.  If you want to see more pictures and details of the quilts, check out my set of Artomatic pictures on flickr: .  Once Artomatic opens, I will be posting (almost) all of the pieces on etsy for purchase: .


Me & my wall
Me & my wall
Originally uploaded by alyson_olander

Here’s the oh-so-important plug and show information:

55 M Street, SE (Navy Yard Metro, Nationals Stadium Exit)
Washington, DC 20003
My work be found on the 4th floor, near the education area

May 29-July 5, 2009
Fri-Sat: Noon-1 am
Sun, Wed, Thu: Noon-10 pm
Meet the artists night: June 13th (I’ll be there!)


More Information:

Artomatic 10th Anniversary White Square Banner

NIH Juried Art Show

I submitted 3 pieces to the NIH Juried Art Show this year. Last year when it came around, it was advertised as only for NIH “SCIENTISTS” and while I could technically argue that I am a computer scientist, having a degree in that field, I didn’t overly care. This year, it came around and was announced as ANYONE with NIH in some form or fashion and since I am an NIH contractor, I fit the bill.

They chose the piece that’s been around the block and back, the purple swirly journal quilt. I was serious about retiring it after this show, if I can. No other quilts seem to stand a chance against it.

Anyway, I have to admit, at first I was a little disappointed. The “reception” was some plates of cookies and bottles of water. My quilt was in a “gallery case” through another set of doors, along with 8 other pieces – the rest of the pieces were located in a separate but attached length of hallway that seemed to gather much more in the way of crowds. AND they spelled my name wrong, making it impossible for anyone to contact me if they wanted to.

But then things improved. A few of my co-workers showed up, then Bill, then some of the people I am friendly with and then some Important People Whom I Am Friendly With. And then I finally went and spoke to the guy who had done much of the work on the show, to ask him to take my picture with the quilt. He told me how much he loved my piece and that they really wanted to display 2 of them, but that they were trying to go with only one piece/person (they had 500+ piece to chose from and only 40+ places). And then he asked me if Lillian had contacted me because she really wanted me to do a PRIVATE SHOW. Like…a show, all to myself, at NIH. Um. *blinkblinkblink*

We are not holding our breath.

But it was really nice to hear.

Busy, busy, busy

All washed up
Originally uploaded by alyson_olander

It’s been a while since I posted. I’m so out of practice. I worked on this piece today. I know you can’t see much of it here, but it will be in Artomatic between May 29th-July 5th, so iffin you want to see it, you should come for a visit. Or, I will probably post a full pic when it’s done, so you could take that route as well.

Also, we made a pilgrimage to Ikea for Artomatic lighting and a myriad of other fun things. I want everything. In particular, a new kitchen; but also, everything.

The NIH Juried Art Show Starts tomorrow. My purple swirly quilt that’s already been everywhere is in that show. While I am very excited to be accepted to a juried art show, I have to admit to feeling disappointed that the other submissions were overlooked in favor of the purple swirly one. I think it’s getting retired after this show, I’m tired of looking at it.

Off to go work on some more stuff for Artomatic. I think it is possibly a bad idea for me to leave all of the hand-sewing till last…