Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Inspiration from Phoenix

The colors of Phoenix and the Southwest are always inspiring. A stroll through the local galleries this past weekend is more than enough to inspire even the timid quilter. As most quilters, I get my inspiration from many different sources... as a color inspired art quilter, I would be on overload if I lived out here.

So I decided to share with you a sample of the local artwork. Hopefully it will inspire you as well....This piece is by Barbara Galazzo and is made from glass. Absolutely wonderful color, especially with the azure blue background.

This mixed media painting on canvas by Gregory Deane caught my eye for the fiery oranges. Although not red, it reminded me of the Red Rocks of Sedona.

I was not able to find the name of the artist for these woven baskets or vessels as they were called at the gallery, but the color combination was phenomenal. Just look at how well the colors play off one another.

From the same gallery as the baskets, this piece (I lost the paper with the artist's name just like the baskets... I know, I know...) is a quilt waiting to happen. The un-even blocks, along with the swirls all keep the eye moving, in a piece with only 3 colors in varying shades. It is calling out to all you fabric dyers, saying make me... make me...

I am hoping to get to some quilt shops Friday morning before I head to the airport. It will be interesting to see if I find original quilt patterns that are as inspiring as the local gallery art pieces!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Phoenix bound..

Hi... I am heading out to Phoenix for business next week and I always try to make one local quilt shop visit anywhere I go. Normally I look online and do a google search for quilt shops by the hotel or office where I will be, but I thought this time, since there are so many quilt bloggers around the globe, that I would see what folks recommend.

Can anyone suggest a good quilt shop that has at least one night of evening hours? Yes I will be working during the day.

I will be at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak on North 16th Street.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

New Challenge: Post #8

Ok, here is tonight's progress.... it is amazing but the applique part of this progress just seems to lift me. I was dancing and singing in the studio as I worked. I really enjoy playing and creating the appliques to transform the vision I have in my head into reality.

Not sure, but the black and white vase on the bottom left may be a little too big, but it can be trimmed if need be later. I still need to add the tree trunk on the left, but I also think I need more palms on that tree. The green on the left balances the green mass of bushes on the right. I enjoyed creating the small masks hanging on the stone wall. This brings color out from the center of the piece. Need to think about whether I need to do the same on the right side, somehow.

Hopefully I will get to the fabric store to get some gold satin or lame to make the shawls for the ladies. My DH keeps asking about their arms :-)!

I am happy tonight. I can go to sleep dreaming of how this will evolve over the weekend.

New Challenge: Post #7

Well, I guess I had to make up for lost time. Teri, even responded to my post on Facebook that she was shocked I hadn't done much of anything for a week... I think she used the term "quilting withdrawal syndrome" :-).

So tonight I added a brown wicker basket to the middle of the piece and the foliage on the right hand wall. I really like how the green foliage really adds some life to the stone wall. I think it is really starting to come together.

Can you believe almost a month on this piece and not a bit of sewing. Nothing is actually sewn. Various sections are just fused and for now pinned together to form the piece.

Now what to do on the left hand side of the piece... hmphhh....

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

New Challenge - Post #6

I haven't had much energy over the last week to quilt or to design.... always so much to do. Life can seem to get in the way of creativity at times :-). But I thought I would share what little progress I have made on my woven piece. Good news, no more weaving... bad news is finding just the right fabric to go with all these colors is a challenge... and I LOVE color.

Well I have created my 2 ladies and two of the baskets that will go between them. I still need to create a basket on the left side, but the left hand dress is sooo busy I need to tone down all the choices I have come up with so far. But here it is....

I still need to add the ladies shawls, some trees on the sides of the walls and maybe some leaves coming down over the top of the wall, and, and, and.....

But that is another day...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

New Challenge Update - Post #5

Well... after playing around with the sky and floor with various fabrics draped around it, I decided to not make a second sky section until I had the stone wall created to frame the view. So I spent the last few nights creating my grid on Wonder-Under, transferring it to the two fabrics and weaving the two batiks to create the stone wall. I am glad I did..... take a look....

I am pretty pleased with the results, although I think I will still add some blue on the sides of the sun where it meets the floor (the horizon)... just to help delineate visually the sun from the sky. The sections are just pinned together at this point.... I am still trying to decide if the brown fabric I selected for the archway is too reddish in nature.

I also made my templates for the applique women and baskets tonight, as well as auditioned fabric for the dresses. In going through my African inspired fabric, I think I found two pieces that are pretty graphic in nature, yet on a small enough scale to work as dress fabric. They both have a deep blue as the primary color that will help tie the background together. That will be tomorrow night's project.

Looking at the piece I think I will definitely need to add some green leaves or ivy to the wall... or maybe a palm tree... hmphhh... well, I will cross that bridge when I get to it. Tonight I will enjoy the fact that I am pleased with where this piece is at the moment. Although the stone wall took FOREVER to weave........ ughh!


Pelham Quilters Round Robin Top #1

For those of you following the Pelham Quilter's round robin progress, here is top #1:

The last quilter was Lorraine Smith. Lorraine brought the yellow out from the center block and incorporated some of the black and white stripe from the very center of the piece into the corners. Anne Frascarelli took the top home with her this month. Thanks Anne for sending me a photo.

Anne has the priviledge of adding the last border. I can't wait until we get to see what Anne comes up with!

Teri Lucas is still reworking her border on top #2. She will send it on to Mary Anne Ciccotelli to add the last border on that piece.... and the anticipations mounts!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Oh my, just what is a quilter to do....

In the quilting world there are many ways for a quilter to get the materials he or she needs to practice the art of quilting.... JoAnn's, WalMart, even the internet. But to a true quilter, there is only one place to truly get everything they really need... a Local Quilt Shop. The LQS as it is known in the quilting cirlce, is so much more than a fabric store. The LQS is what inspires us, encourages us, transforms us from a sewer to a quilter. A good LQS manages to make even the beginninng quilter or fiber artist believe they can transform bits of fabric and thread into works of art. They are there to quide us, to teach us, to share a wealth of knowledge, to bestow all the tips and techniques the art form has to make quilting easier, to make it fun.... in many cases they are our muse.

So it is with much dismay that I learned this week that my LQS (well, if local means a 45 minute drive) will be closing their doors. The owner Claire Oehler, will be retiring. Yes, Claire's daughter Jane Davila, will be carrying on the Country Quilter tradition with an online store, but with all the cyber world has to offer, it can not replace the feeling that walking into that store created for so many. We will miss the staff that greeted you with a smile and by name as you walked into the store... the staff that somehow managed to learn not only your quilting personality to serve you better, but became an extension of your quilting family and even felt like or in some cases became a close friend. In short we will miss them for what they are to the quilting world, as their philosophy on the web site so simply states: "Our Philosophy: To provide quality products at a fair price in an inspirational and creative atmosphere. To offer a supportive environment for quilters to learn and grow."

I know retirement is something that Claire will look forward to, after 18 1/2 years.... what stamina it takes to run a business like this. The brick and mortar store, the classes, the pattern business, the online store and even their fabulous retreats (thank goodness they are continuing the retreats twice a year!)... I am exhausted just thinking about it. So I do wish her good health and happiness in this next stage of her life, enjoying their country home, travel and grandchildren.... but I will miss her smile, her laugh and they way she says 'well... I don't know Renee'. Thanks Claire for all your positive responses to my pushing, prodding and even pleading over the last 10 years for just the right class or gadget I needed to improve my quilting skills. Oh yes, thanks for being my dinner partner before evening classes. I will miss this time as well!

Yes, Jane and I became 'friends' on Facebook last night and I will continue to stay in touch with the retreats, our blogs, the Country Quilter newsletter, and her workshops. But to me, loosing the Country Quilter is more than loosing a local supplier, it is like loosing a member of my family.

So for the next two months, until the sign comes off the door, I will have to make sure I get my fix of all things 'Country Quilter'. Just like I did with 4 other quilting friends yesterday, who got in our car and had a 'road trip' and made a day out of our visit to our favorite LQS!