Thursday, October 25, 2012

He Loved the Monster!

Yes, I shared with you the piece I was quilting at the request of a friend for her friend.  Yes, it was months  I have never worked on one piece for so long.  Yes, it was on and off, yes, I was out of town quite a bit and yes, my machine was in the shop for 5 weeks.  But 6 months...  that's a long time!

Well I am happy to announce that he picked it up last week, and LOVED IT!!  I must say it did come out quite nice..

Here it is laid out on the table.  It is quite large 130"x130", so only part of it fits on the table.

Here is a close up of one of the centers...

The gentlemen who was giving the guilt as a wedding present, asked me to quilt the names and date from the invitation into one of the rings.  The date is based on the Jewish calendar :-).
I am sooo happy he loved it, but even happier that it is done :-).


Monday, October 1, 2012

Country Quilters Retreat, Fall 2012

Had a wonderful time this weekend at the Fall 2012 CQQ Retreat!  Unfortunately, I left my camera home and my phone went on the blitz, so no pictures :-(.

I used the weekend to progress a couple of pieces and while I didn't get anything 100% finished, I made a lot of progress  :-). But as always, I spent Friday night creating an original piece.   It was not what I had in mind at the outset and while ok...not really something I really like   Oh well, every piece is a learning experience. :-).

 53 quilting ladies, good food and laughter over 2 1/2 days.... Ahhh heaven! 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Lola Jenkins comes to Pelham Quilters!

As a TQS (The Quilt Show by Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims) Star Member, I get to watch all the available shows.  To be honest I watch some and not others, all depending on how interesting the subject 'sounds', or if I know the featured quilter.  Well, when I saw the intro for the show featuring Lola Jenkins, I almost didn't watch it.  In fact, I think the show had been available for a couple of months before I did.  Boy,  was I glad I did!

First, Lola was a very entertaining guest on the show.  She is energetic and bubbly, with this interesting voice. Yes, interesting is the only way I know how to describe it :-).  But what really got me was her personal story, how she came to quilting and how she tackled each step along her journey.  It is a very moving story!!  Please watch if you can.

But what got me to reach out to her, was when she said she had a goal of visiting every guild in the country.  So I emailed her and asked if she wanted to visit our small, casual guild in Pelham, NY.  She responded immediately, saying she would LOVE to come and that she was presently scheduled to be in NY in September, 2012.  So we booked her, and boy was that a smart move.

Yesterday, Lola taught her Fantasy Landscape workshop to the Pelham Quilters, or at least 9 of us and 3 guests.  We had a ball.  Lola shared her secrets of looking at fabrics with an eye for the scene we have in our minds, vs what fabric as a whole.  She shared the 1/3's principle of design and guided us to our own, COMPLETED, top of the day.

That is right, everyone in the class completed a landscape top and earlier than we had expected!

Let me share with you some pictures from the day....

First, pictures of the quilts she brought with her as inspiration...

This first piece is from Lola's online Art Deco class.  She uses it as a sample for the class.  It is a whole cloth style quilt, with black thread as the basis of the design and then the fabric is "colored" in with colored pencils and other coloring aids.

Each of the following pieces are done using Lola's collage approach.  I tell you, I will never look at fabric the same again!

It is amazing to see what can be done by clipping pieces of fabric from many different pieces of material and pasting it down!

Here are some of the pieces that were completed in this one day workshop...

Barbara and her Apollo Jazz scene.  To you recognize her sky from one of Lola's quilts.  Funny they had a lot of the same fabrics!

Cheryl's piece with her fire sky...

Donna's, City meets Africa cityscape...  As always Donna listened to the instructions and thought out of the box.  This was supposed to be a 'fantasy' landscape.  I think she captured the essence of "fantasy".

Doris, one of the doll ladies joined us and did a serene, calming landscape...

 Doris Green and her gorgeous water scene. I love the boys running by the river bank.  Sorry Doris, it is prettier than you think....

Dorothy's inspiration fabric had these gorgeous fall tree's...

Jacqueline another of our guest for the day, did a wonderful desert scene...

I love Lorraine's New England scene with a lighthouse and sail boats...

Here I am with my second Sister Chat piece or as I will call it, Sister Chat II !

And a former member of Pelham Quilters, Gwyn, a doll maker and Doris's sister as she adds the last rock surrounding the river.
 Now, the queen of landscape collage, Ms. Sandra herself. Her birds are lovely as usual.  Sandra and Donna would ruin the class curve if this was a real art class :-). 

I love June's farm scene.  It looks like a little bit of Tuscany. 

It was a wonderful day, with a wonderfully group of talented women.

A special THANKS to Lola for traveling all the way from Oklahoma City in her PT Cruiser, with her sister Darlene as her co-pilot!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Mermaids and Merwoman in Black Folklore: A Fibert Art Exhibit

Well I am back from the Artist Reception and our little vacation to Charleston and Savannah.

Oh was it a wonderful experience.  First I want to say Thank You to Torreah "Cookie" Washington, for letting me participate in such a wonderful exhibit, full of magnificent quilts and dolls, made by some very talented artists!  Second, I want to Thank Donna Chambers, who pushed me to get my piece done and submitted by the deadline.

But, I must say, the exhibit was AWESOME!  There were 109 pieces of art, made by over 70 fiber artists.  I took tons of pictures and have them all loaded on Shutterfy.  I will post a few here, but if you are interested in seeing all 82 pics, you can try this link...  Not sure if it will work, if not, just post a comment with your email address and I will add you to the share site.

Besides the quilts and dolls, there were 18 poets who wrote new, original poems on the same theme for the exhibit.  All the quilts, dolls and poems are included in the book, "Black Mermaids in Vision and Verse", edited and conceived by Torreah "Cookie" Washington.  The book includes both pictures and artist statements of all the quilts and dolls in the show.  This is the first time a compilation of poems, quilts and dolls has ever been published for a gallery exhibit.  And to think, my work is included!!  So exciting :-)....

Here is the piece I submitted...  the Pelham Quilters Round Robin quilt that I did the last round on and then quilted.  I submitted it under all 3 names:  Donna Chambers, Doris Green and myself..

 I posted close ups of the piece in my last post.

Here is a picture of my friends, Donna's submission.  Tell me it isn't awesome :-)...

These two were also done by NY quilters, although the artists were from all over the country.

This piece by Bianca, is exquisite.  It is mostly painted, but look closely at her mermaids tails.  They are real fish scales that she got from the fish market and then cleaned and glued each scale on one by one....

Doesn't it look like her hand is coming right out of the quilt top?  ..

Wow.. is all I can say....

Look at the fierceness in this mermaids eyes....  don't mess with those souls :-).

I have decided to make an effort to learn how to do faces after this exhibit.  So many of the quilters had such strong emotion in their pieces, all expressed through the facial characteristics.

And I have to share with you some of the dolls that were made.  The details....

I was truly amazed that you can ask 50 artists to submit their work around a single theme and end up with over 100 pieces that were all so different.  Each artist interpreted the theme as individuals and the result was one FABULOUS show.

If you want to see the exhibit for yourself, it is open until October 28th at The City Gallery at Waterfront Park, Charleston, South Carolina.

Hope you get a chance to see it....

I know you will enjoy it!!


Monday, August 13, 2012

Sneak Peak !!

I have been busy finishing up both my round on the Pelham Quilters 2012 Round Robin top #1 and since I was fortunate enough to be the one who got to keep the top (Thanks Donna and Doris :-) I was anxious to get it quilted.

At our May meeting when I shared my progress with the guild, I had most elements pinned in place, but not all, and nothing from my round was pieced in or appliqued down.  It was just truly a concept.  Since then, with the possibility of it making it into a gallery show, I had to steal all the minutes I could to get it finished.

Well I submitted the photo of the unfinished top and told myself if it was accepted, I would get it done.  If not, I would prioritize some other projects that I have going on...  boy is my studio a mess :-(.  Well it was accepted...WooHoo...  but wait, be careful what you wish for.  I had no idea how or when I would get it done!!  Well for the last two weeks, I had to burn the mid-night oil, cutting sleep to a minimal, but I made it. 

I posted bits and pieces on facebook as I went along, but have refrained from posting the entire quilt.  Why, because I want to drive as many of you as possible to the exhibit.  It will be a wonderful exhibit made up of 50 or so fiber artists who have chosen to take on the challenge of the folklore surrounding the Black Mermaid...  Mamiwata or the Mermaid goddess Yemaya.  There will be over 100 pieces, both quilts and fiber dolls, depicting black mermaids and the folklore which has been passed down over the years from the slave women who were taken from Africa during the slave trade era. 

The exhibit, entitled "Mermaids and Merwomen in Black Folklore: A Fiber Arts Exhibiton"  takes place at The City Gallery, in Charleston, SC.  The exhibit runs from August 28th thru October 28th, with three days of Opening Weekend festivities, September 6th - 9th.  Interestingly enough, the old Afro-Brazilian women celebrate "Boa Morte" on Wednesday, August 15th.  What is Boa Morte or the Sisterhood of Good Death Festival?  It is the celebration of the old ways and cultures, cultures that slaves were forced to denounce when brought to Brazil.  It mixes the Assumption of Mary from the Christian community with the "Good Death"...  those slaves who died free.  Well these women believe in the existence of the Black Mermaids who were the watch guards of the dead souls, those who did not make it across the seas and were thrown overboard by the slave traders.  So, guess where I will be on that day?  In Brazil!  It is as if I was meant to participate in this entire experience!

Won't you join me?  You can find all the details here...  "Mermaids and Merwomen in Black Folklore: A Fiber Arts Exhibiton" .

To tempt your fancy, here are a couple of snippets of my entry, Sirenias, A Pelham Quilters 2012 Round Robin.  The center square was done by Donna Chambers and it was two fish appliqued onto a white sparkling background.
Doris Green added the seaweeds floating around the fish on a light green background.

I then added another round of a darker green batik, with more seaweed, starfish, etc on the bottom and the mermaids on the top. 

Of course like many of my newer quilts, I doesn't have straight borders. But you will have to wait to see the quilt once the exhibit opens to see how it is finished.

Once the exhibit opens I will post a picture of the completed top :-).... 

Did I tempt you ???  I hope so!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

More from Quilting By the Lake 2012

Well you saw what I worked on while in Syracuse two weeks ago in my last post.  But I thought you would like to see what some of the others in my studio class worked on.

I arrived on Wednesday for the 3 day studio with Philippa Naylor.  But the QBL old-timers knew better.  They were there for the 2 day studio and 16 of them stayed in the class to make it 5 days with Philippa Naylor.  What a treat.  Wish I had thought of that! 

But anyway...  this is what greeted me as I walked in the room.  I knew I was in the right place :-)..

Well actually, I didn't get a picture of this when I arrived, but this is where she was at the end of the week.   Diane designed this quilt using PhotoShop Elements and then enlarged the pattern.  This is a quarter of the total quilt.  It is going to be phenomenal when finished.  I hope she sends me a picture :-).  Oh and no, that is not the title of the quilt above it.  Apparently Diane always takes Philippa Naylor's studio classes at QBL and that is something Philippa wrote for Diane 2 years ago.  Sorry to say it, but the consensus was she wears the title well :-).   Funny note, Diane and I decided we were sisters separated at birth.  Our fabric choices for the week were practically identical...  In fact, we ended up swapping fabric while we were there.  She didn't feel she had the right orange and so I offered her a piece from my stash.  Well wouldn't you know it, it was the same Carol Bryer Fallert gradation fabric that she used for the purple!  Of course, I got a wonderful new hand dyed from Diane :-).  Yummy!!

Sitting next to Diane, was Ellen.  Ellen had many pieces going on over the 5 days and one was just better than the other.  No over analysis here.  Ellen was done with this piece when we arrived. 

As you can see, she has another rolled up in the corner behind her.  That was piece made from a Jelly Roll, using the Jelly Roll Race pattern.  I didn't get a picture of it unrolled, but it will be the background fabric for a silhouette style applique.  I like that idea.  Will have to try it for one of my appliques.  Thanks Diane :-). 

This was the piece Diane worked on while we were there.  Oh my,  you have to love how she used that hand dyed background.   Those birches just come alive off of the fabric.  It really looks like you are in the woods at sunset.

The birch trees were made as an applique unit.  She did some thread sketching on the tress before adding them to the background. 

Delicious wouldn't you say!  Can't wait to see how she quilts this one.

Now my friend Donna Chambers and I went to QBL together.  Donna has been toying over the idea of making a quilt in honor of her grandparents who helped start a local church.  They donated a stained glass window when the church was built and translating that into a quilt has been a dream of Donna's.  Well, she used the creative energy in the room to kick-start this dream.  Like me, she arrived armed to tackle a couple of different projects.  But I am so happy she decided on this one.

Donna a goldsmith by trade, is not use to working in such muted colors.  At first she wasn't pleased with the way the inner glass was coming along.  Well, I can tell you, she added a piece of her signature rust metallic fabric around the inner glass and the piece was instantly transformed.  Whoa...  then adding the purple bottom and she knew it would be another winner.  Here she is adding the applique flowers to the center glass.  The bottom will have a photo of her grandparents.  As you can see there is another panel pattern to the right of this first panel.  That will be the stained glass that was donated by her grandparents best friends.  But I think she made a wonderful start in the three days!

As part of QBL the teachers make aprons to be auctioned off on the last night of each session for QBL scholarships.  Well I told you in my last post that Philippa had such a great wit and personality.  Here she is introducing her apron models.  Oh yes, I said models, not model.  As always Philippa outdid herself.  She made 3 aprons for the auction and they were modeled by her husband and two sons :-).

The QBL Dancers:  

She even made them bow ties in honor of the the Chippendale Dancers.  Of course, her aprons took the highest bid of the night!  Way to go Philippa!!

So that was my first QBL experience.  It was wonderful.  So wonderful I have already signed up for next year.  What am I taking you might ask?  A 5 day class with Hollis Chatelain!!  WooHooo.....

Until next year QBL.....


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Quilting by the Lake - 2012

So I finally made it to Quilting By the Lake!  I have been wanting to go for the last 5 or 6 years, but neither time or money seemed to work in my favor.  Well this year the stars aligned and I got 2 friends from my art quilters mini group to go with me.  Thank You Donna Chambers and Sandra Parrott!!

Together we attended Session II and took Philippa Naylor's Studio Workshop.  We were closed out of both of her classes for session 1, so a word to the wise....  if you see a class given by Philippa in your area, jump on it quickly!!

Well, I couldn't have been happier. First, Philippa is a wonderful person and an equally wonderful teacher.  She has such a sunny personality and such quick wit.  But boy, can she work a room.  Her teaching style allowed her to address everyone's questions in a timely manner, while still leaving enough time for you to progress your projects and for her to give numerous demos on things the students requested or topics she thought were appropriate for the class.  What a great style.  This is definitely NOT an independent studio!!  Especially since the projects we worked on were so varied in nature.  Folks took advantage of the fact that Philippa started in the fashion design business.  So while many of us worked on quilts, others worked on pants, jackets, dresses and such.

My goal for the 3 day studio workshop was to learn how to transform my sketches into full size patterns and then turn the pattern into a quilt.  Well, my mission was accomplished.  We started by looking over photos of my quilts, so she could get a feel for my style.  Then we looked over some of my sketches.  We discussed the various techniques she would use to make each of the quilts I had sketched and decided on one that would give me the opportunity to learn a technique I had not used before.

This is the original sketch @ 12" x 18".  Sorry it is a little light, but the pencil lines aren't showing up very well.  I just wanted to give you a clue of what I walked in to the workshop with :-).....

This is the quilt in progress on the design board @ 40" x 60"  (I tried taking a picture of the full size pattern, before I started placing fabric, but that was even lighter than my sketch in the picture :-(.

This is a picture of the center partially completed, without the applique or side 4" panels :

And here is a picture of Philippa and I in front of the quilt as we wound up the 3 days : 

Unfortunately, I have deadlines on other pieces that I need to meet before I can pick this quilt back up.  But, I am anxious to get back to it.  I have side borders that need to be added to complete the top.  We discussed how it will be quilted, including trapunto and embellishments.  Oh yes and hopefully with the tips I learned from Philippa, I won't cut through my quilt top when cutting away the batting around the trapunto.  But guess what ....  yep, she taught me a trick for that too!!!

I'll share photos of some of the other pieces folks worked on later in the week.  Including the gorgeous piece Donna is working on.

Until next time, Cheers :-) !!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

As promised... pics are here.

So I have received pics from my friend of the final quilt.  Unfortunately, the ceiling fan was blowing so it is not a full face on photo.

I really enjoyed working with the Quilter's Dream Wool batting.  It gave my feather's such a wonderful look.  I quilted with Aurifil 50wt cotton for the entire quilt, which is unusual for me.  But I wanted to be authentic to her mother's style.  Plus, it worked so smoothly in my machine, which is rare for the 830 these days.  I am pleased to say, I marked nothing on this quilt :-), including the stems!  So I guess my feathers are finally getting there.

Of course, the quilt brought tears to her eyes, especially as she read the dedication on the label.  Here is a picture of the two of us, once she composed herself :-)...

She truly is my longest and bestest!! 

Much Love....

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Deadlines are good...

So I guess I just needed a deadline to kick me in the pants and get me going!  I have made good progress on this piece.  I am loving the feathers.  One more setting triangle to go. 

Still need to figure out what to do in the checkerboard border.  But if I can get the last triangle and the outer border done tomorrow night after work, then Friday I can do the checkerboard border and block it.  Leaving Saturday to square it up and do the binding and Sunday morning to wrap it!!!

This is the first time I have quilted a whole top using the Quilter's Dream Wool. In the past I only played on practice pieces.  I love the texture it is giving the quilting.  The compass really looks trapunto'd once I outline it and stitched in the ditch of the top and middle layers of the folded compass.  The circle geese have the same effect, as I outlined them as well.

But my question for the night is....  has anyone blocked a piece that has wool batting?  Does it shrink a lot?  Anything I should be aware of?

Appreciate the input.

Night all!!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

It's been a long time coming...

Sandra from India posted a comment on my blog last week, asking me why I stopped blogging.  To be honest, I hadn't planned to stop posting.  It is just that I really only blog about my quilting.  Not the other myriad of things that go on in my life.  Unless that is, they relate somehow to quilting :-).

Well for the last 2 months, I have done very little quilting of my own.  My son graduated college... WooHoo...  we went on a family vacation early this year as I now have two 'working, supporting society' children.  My son started work on July 2nd :-).  Then 3 days after we returned from vaca, I spent two weeks in Mexico, Argentina and Chile for work.  It was all fantastic, but that meant in the month between Mary 25th and June 24th, I was home for a total of 7 days.  No quilting then.

Once I returned, I had to get back to the quilt I am quilting for a friend of a friend, who brought it on Etsy to give as a wedding present.  It is huge and it is a traditional double wedding ring that he wants quilted traditionally, so you know it is taking me a long time...  :-(.  So of course, I can't post progress pictures of someone else's quilt until it is in their hands.

So that brings me to this weekend, when I realized I will be having dinner at my best friends house (we have known each other for 39 yrs ...  yikes) on her birthday.  Neither of us picked the date.  It was picked by another women, she wants me to meet.  But in this revelation, I realized that the quilt I started for her almost two years ago, could really be finished for her birthday if I focused.  So today, a good friend (Thanks Teri Lucas !!) dropped me off a piece of wool batting and tonight I basted it and got all the in the ditch work done, as well as the free motion quilting in the center Mariner's Compass square.

You may remember this quilt, as I made the center compass in a class taught by Mary Anne Ciccotelli, using her 3D, folded fabric technique.  I then used the folded flying geese around the center medallion and then again for the outer boarder.  You can find more info about the top here, here and here.  Told you it's been a long time coming :-)...

But for now, here is the quiling progress for tonight.

I like my corners.  I can't believe I did them without a single marking.  I started to mark at least the straight line from the corner to the tip of the flying geese and decided against it. :-).  The photo's are a little blurry (or I am soo tired, they look blurry to me).  But either way I will try to take better pictures tomorrow and share it with you.