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 :-) !!