When I go to the Chicago Flower & Garden Show each year, I love to see all the blooms and the bright colors and the gardening ideas. But my favorite part isn't the flowers! I always look forward to seeing the exhibit from the Women's Journey in Fiber, a group of fiber artists from the greater Chicago area.
This year's exhibit did not disappoint! This year's theme: Umbrellas . . . Open to New Ideas. Each artist used an umbrella as the starting point for their own take on the theme.
Some of my favorites:
Rain that makes you feel alive. (There are crystal raindrops hanging from the umbrella.)
Magical fairies. (This one was hand-quilted and just exquisite.)
Contrasts between "open" and "closed" minds. (This one is felted wool; the outside is bright and "open"; the inside is dark and "closed.")
Pennies from heaven. (This one is made completely of copper and brass wire -- and pennies!)
Starry nights. (Painted silk; it just glowed!)
Spring . . . coming again. (This one looks like tree bark -- but is actually exquisite embroidery stitches!)
Clouds. . . with silver linings. (Fluffy crochet clouds -- and the inside, of course, was silver fabric.)
Coral reefs . . . with a plea for protection. (This one shows the inside of the umbrella - quilted to create the reef; the outside was the calm sea -- with no clue of the beauty inside.)
Dancing in the rain. (Simple, bright, and lovely.)
Fun - with a Seuss-inspired umbrella. (Such whimsy!)
And my two favorites:
A simple remembrance of the artist's Dad. (Delicate painting on rice paper.)
And . . . a yarn bomb. (I wanted to throw this one on for a shawl!)
Each umbrella (and my photos here represent only about half of the umbrellas in the exhibit) was unique and wonderful -- and such a treat. Really -- the best part of the Flower Show!
To learn more about the umbrellas - and to read the artist's statements - click here.