Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Retreats... Great for the soul... And the creative juices!

So twice a year for the past twelve years I have had the pleasure of spending a long weekend with anywhere from 45 to 55 wonderful woman.  All quilters of course!  This past weekend was no exception.  

How is it, that when you get a group of woman this large together, that the experience is always wonderful?  Our leaders of course!  Originally started by Claire Oehler of the then Country Quilters in Somers, NY, and now organized by Claire and two of her former staff, Nancy Mirman and Noreen Lippolis, these 3 ladies are a class act.  The weekend is organized, full of fun and just plain fantastic.  From the little gift bags they provide, to the activities planned for the weekend, there isn't a detail missed. But I would be remiss if I didn't mention two of their main 'weekend ingredients'.  The setting... Interlaken Inn in Lakeville, CT a wonderful boutique hotel nestled it the CT countryside and Mary Gay Leahy, who always has wonderful fabric treats for us and offers great tips and technique demos throughout the weekend.  It is no wonder we all walk around smiling and laughing, it is a wonder we actually find time to quilt. But quilt we do.  I will let these pictures speak for themselves in that department.

Enjoy the show...

First my works in progress and then some of the works by others...



Now photos from show and tell and as I wonder the three rooms we sew in...















Hope you enjoyed... Until next spring!

Renee

Sunday, September 7, 2014

"Which Path would you Take" wins First Place, Wall quilts at Northern Stars show 2014

As you can see from my last post, I am catching up on my blogging.

The 2014 Northern Star Quilt Guild show was a good show for me.  I have won many second and third place ribbons at this local guild show, but I have wanted for many years to see one of my pieces hang on the 'blue ribbon' wall.  So I was extremely pleased to see this piece do so.  


Lucky for me, the person who brought this piece at the gallery exhibit was happy to let me enter the piece in a few shows this year.  This was the first show and it made me proud.

Besides, this first place ribbon, "Paisley Inspirations" was awarded a third place ribbon in the same category :-).

It was also nice to see a good friend and fellow Pelham Quilters guild member, Donna Chambers, also on the blue ribbon wall for her Umoja piece.  "Umoja, Goddess of the Sea"  won first place in the People, Places category and Best of Show, Small Quilts.  :-).  


Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Art of Quilt Making, by the Pelham Quilters at DMA Gallery

I can't believe this is still sitting in draft.  This show was in April.  My sincere apologies, but this has been a crazy year.  I lost my mother in May.  She was 87 and lived a good life, but she was suffering and it wa very hard to see her in such pain.  She is finally at rest and reunited with her true loves, God and my father... The best husband in the world according to her :-).

Once I got myself out of my slump, it was time to focus on my daughter's wedding and her wedding quilt.  She was married on August 31st and was a lovely bride.  But that is for another post.  

So this is a show that 5 women in my local guild, Pelham Quilters, had in a local gallery, DMA Gallery.  Unfortunately the gallery closed shortly after the exhibit closed, but for us it was extremely successful. 

Opening night was packed and then the gallery held a book signing (first two pictures below) for two local authors, that also brought folks in to see our work.   


This is "Umoja, Goddess of the Sea" by Donna Chambers. 

Here is a local artist viewing one of my pieces, "In the spotlight". 

Donna is discussing her artistic process in the making of "Fashionista". 


The curator, Lynnette, welcoming everyone during the opening reception.  You can see my kimono inspired piece "Pathways" hanging in the window, and a part of one of my woven pieces, "Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy" on the easel.   My piece "Sista Chat" is hanging on the front of the pedestal from which Lynnette is speaking.  


The next three pieces were made by guild member, MaryAnn Ciccotelli.  

Here I am, thanking everyone for coming and sharing some back ground on Pelham Quilters, and the five exhibiting quilters.

These three pieces are by guild member, Sandra Parrott.

This is my most recent piece, "Which Path would You Take".  I was very pleased that it sold during the opening reception.

Here's Sandra, in front of one of her small pieces, "Tumbling Blocks".  



To the left you can see a corner of MaryAnn's quilt and on the right is my parrott piece, "Jungle Paradise".  



This is another of Sandra Parrott's work.  She does wonderful small art quilt pieces.  

I know it is late, but I hope you enjoyed seeing our show.  I will have a solo exhibit in January 2015 at Etui Fiber Arts in Larchmont, NY.  


Monday, April 28, 2014

I've been busy.. sorry it has been over a month since I've posted.

So March and April seems so much like a whirlwind.

Our exhibit, "The Art of Quilt Making" at The Design Management Art Gallery, in Pelham, NY in March was a big hit.  4 pieces were sold, including 2 of mine, "Which Path Would You Take?" (subject of my last post) and "Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy".  I have been quilting for just over 13 years and in the last two years, have gotten the confidence to show my work outside of the normal quilting circles, family and friends.  I have been honored to see the reaction to my work, but most importantly have grown, since with the exposure comes my awareness of how much more I have to learn.  I think that is one of the reasons quilting speaks volumes to me...  as long as you are open to experimentation and practice...  the possibilities seem endless.

Well a few days after the exhibit in Pelham closed, my fiber art group, FiberArts Northeast (FANE), held there yearly gallery exhibit.  This year's exhibit was entitled "Architectural Elements" and I couldn't think of a more fitting gallery for the exhibit to launch than at a new fiber arts store and gallery, called 'Etui Fiber Arts".  Etui is located in a renovated old pharmacy, where the owner, Julie Saviano had the foresight to expose some of the original brick work and high ceilings.  Larchmont, the town where the shop is located has so many old buildings, just full of architectural wonders.  It was just a fabulous launchpad for the exhibit (besides the fact that the store is absolutely wonderful!).  Each piece in "Architectural Elements" had just one requirement, beside size, it had to include or represent an architectural element.  Size limitation was 18" x 30" and the piece could either stand up on  pedestal or hang on a wall.  Our leader encouraged us to include a 3D element, of which many members did.  Since the members of FANE come from all different backgrounds .... collage, felting, dying, quilting, printmaking,  etc....  the pieces were all so different.  Here is a picture of mine.  It is entitled "Just Knock...I'll Be There For You".  It does hang on the wall with timtex as its structural element.  My original theme was the knocker, which in does swing up and down, for the viewer to knock on my door, but once the knocker was made, the door itself, became such a strong visual statement.  I had fun adding the old wrought iron accents to the red door, in tribute to Larchmont, which has many homes and churches with red doors with ornate wrought iron hardware.



On top of the Architectural Elements show, I was also busy working on this years challenge for FANE.....  Opposites.  Meant to include a visual representation of opposites the piece had challenging hanging requirements as the concept had to be clear if the piece, which had to be made in two pieces, was hung on a wall, side by side, or over a stand, similar to the way our kimono inspiration pieces hung last year.  The Opposites exhibit opens next weekend at the Northern Star Quilt Guild show as a special exhibit.  The show runs May 3-4th at Kennedy High School in Somers, NY if you are free and can come by.

I will do separate posts on all the pieces in both FANE exhibits, as well as a post on the Pelham show in the coming weeks.  I promise :-).


Sunday, March 2, 2014

"Which Path Will You Take" is finished!

So you have seen the original beginning from my QBL adventure in July 2012, but it is finally finished.  And as I talked about the gallery exhibit opening this week, I showed additional pictures.  So now I thought I would show you the finished product.

Hope you enjoy...

There were six different green fabrics in the center of this piece and each different green had it's own fill pattern.

 I wanted to make sure I had some type of continuity, so in each of the swirly-ques in the green fabrics, I filled the centers with little bubbles..  which made me really HAPPY!
As with alot of my recent pieces I have added trapunto to give just a little bit more of interest..



The border fabric, was a different green fabric and it had its own design.  I also didn't want a straight border, so I added the curves from the center piece, since the whole spirit of the piece is that our lives usually don't take a straight path as we travel on our journey.   So you will see curvy quilting in the border and a curved edge to the piece.


The inner border plays off of the center design, with both straight and curly quilting, again to lend focus to the spirit of the piece.  Remember, the choice is always yours in life.  No one says you have to take the straight path to your dreams.

Another one of the things I like in this piece is the double piping before the binding.  I just love the added touch of detail!

 So here is the finished quilt....  no top or bottom border, because our journey should never have a defined start and stop....


This piece is quilted totally with Superior Magnifico: Congo Lime and White; and Superior BottomLine Majenta (yes, I used BottomLine in the top for the pink, because it was a perfect match).

Hope you enjoyed!  It took awhile to get it finished, but I am glad I did. 

A special thanks to Philippa Naylor who gave me the courage to start this technique in QBL 2012 :-)...

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Art of Quilt Making: Featuring Quilts of the Pelham Quilters (that's me) @ DMA Gallery, Pelham, NY

That's right, I will be one of five fiber artists featured at a gallery exhibit in Pelham, NY.  DMA Gallery in Pelham, NY has chosen to feature quilts of 5 members of the Pelham Quilters in their upcoming Fiber Arts exhibit.  I am so happy to have been chosen to participate.  They even used a part of one of my quilts for the artwork on the evite for the opening reception!



The exhibit will run March 6th to April 6th, with an Opening Reception on Thursday, March 6th at 6pm.  If you live nearby, I hope you stop in for the opening, or at least stop by the gallery during the month.  They are open Tuesday-Saturdays from 1-7pm EST. 

I am so excited!!


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Global quiltsphere...

As I was working on my latest UFO to hopefully get completed this week, I began to realize how thankful I am for the influence of others on my quilt life. 

A year and a half ago, two quilting friends and I went to Quilting By The Lake in Syracuse, NY.  We were signed up for Philippa Naylors Open Studio class. I was so excited, because I had Philippa's book, Quilting In the Limelight, and I just loved her work and how she tackled complicated quilts. I was armed with my sketchbook and my goal was to have her share her technique for completely at least one of them. Oh wait, this post is about global influences....did I mention that Philippa is from the UK and has lived in Saudi Arabia, where she first started quilting :-). 

So Philippa described how she would tackle the three sketches and we decided on one, since the technique for the center was something I had never done before. 

Once home, I was thrilled, but other projects got in the way and it sat.  I did work on it just under a year ago, to add the borders and trapunto. Philippa's book is how I learned to perfect my trapunto style. 

Now that the top is quilted, I realized how many other quilters have influenced this piece.  There is Claudia Pfeil, from Germany, who gave me the courage to make my own feathers and not worry if they were correct.  You can see those feather's in this piece.


There is Mandy Applebee Hares, Lisa Stripes, Mary Anne Ciccotelli and Karen McTavish, all from the US, who have influenced and inspired me to perfect my quilting.  No it isn't perfect, but these ladies at different points along the way, all gave me the confidence to take the next step. There is even Donna Chambers, one of those friends that took the trip with me many months ago, who challenged me to up my game in the creation and style of my tops.

Of course, there are others that I have missed, but am I ever thankful for the internet and all these wonderful sharing ladies, who have helped me to progress along this journey we call quilting!