Thursday, January 29, 2009

Japanese Garden quilt #2

Yesterday I posted a little quilt done for a Japanese Garden exhibit. I wasn't thrilled with the finished product so today I did this one. I photographed the fish statue when I was in Japan in October. See the original below. I thought the background was too busy so I cut it away. I used a watery fabric that shaded from very dark to light blue and use three different sections. The red strips are reminiscent of Tori gates, although the real ones have no bottom bar and more bars at the top. It's only 8" x 8". I think I'm going to face it or maybe bind it in the same fabric.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Japanese quilt

I have to make an 8" x 8" piece for group exhibit at a museum with a Japanese garden and the piece has to depict something that you would see in a Japanese garden. I've been to Japan recently and have hundreds of pictures so this should have been easy. Not so! I had a hard time picking a picture and settled on this one from a fabulous garden that we visited in Nars, famous for its thousands of stone lanterns. I blogged about it here. I worked on this today (another snowy inside day), but I don't love it. I tried to have the photo transfer blend into the fabrics from my stash. It blends better in person. Here I have offset the photo image.

And here I have it centered. I think I'm going to try something totally different tomorrow. I'll post it if I do.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Ribbons for Challenge Quilts

I volunteered to be chair of the challenge committee for my guild, Norther Star Quilter's Guild, this year because I really wanted this theme. It's called Going Green and the participants have to use some recycled material in their quilt. The size is 18 x 22, either orientation. There will be first, second, and third ribbons given in each category: The Best Use of Recycled Material, The Best Use of the Color Green, and the Best Environmental Message. There will also be a Best of Challenge, shown on the far right. I collected the quilts at Tuesday's meeting and they are terrific! The quilts will be displayed at the February meeting and voted upon by the members. Then they will travel to the Quilter's Heritage show in Lancaster, PA in April and lastly be shown at our own guild show in May.

I thought that the ribbons should be made of recycled or re purposed materials and this is what we came up with yesterday at a workshop at my house. Here's what we used, from the bottom up: a used CD, a plastic plate cut with pinking shears, a six pointed star from an old box of spangles, a cardboard disk covered with silver lame, and different buttons raided from our button boxes (sometimes two stacked) for the centers. The ribbons are strips cut from Mod Podged comic pages and satin ribbons left from another show. I printed the words on my computer and just glued them to the ribbons. We made 10 ribbons in all. I think they're pretty cute.

The quilts can't be shown until after the February meeting because they're supposed to be a secret and the voting will be blind. I have made one and using all recycled materials. I'm hoping to get another one done, using some recycled, not all.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Studio tour

When I bought this house eight years ago I thought that this big bonus room over the two car garage was the studio of my dreams. While I am still very grateful for having this designated space, now it seems too small. I've done some tidying up yesterday, but this is pretty much what it looks like most of the time unless I'm working on a project when it gets quite messy.

This is the entry to the room, a rather narrow passageway. On the wall is a friendship quilt made several years ago, signed by family, friends, and some big name quilters. I still love looking at it.

On the opposite side of that narrow passage is my book storage. On top is part of my dress form collection and my antique thimble collection. Directly opposite the bookcase is a door to the closet, a big, square walk-in in serious need of reorganization and much too messy to photograph.

This is the part of my sewing area that you see first as you walk into the room. More of my dress forms on the wall and an antique printer's box to hold some of my thread.

The opposite side of the sewing area with lots of notions and "stuff" hanging on a pegboard.

Looking at the sewing area face on. The window faces the street, so I have a window on the world, such as it is on my very quiet street. I can swivel my chair from one machine to the other if need be. The ironing board is behind the chair and never gets put down.

Continuing on the same wall and rounding the corner is my office area with my Mac.

Work table with part of my design wall showing. The TV is often on, but I mostly listen to it. It keeps me company. I also have a radio that plays one CD and sometimes I listen to that.

Fabric storage, floor to ceiling. I can't seem to keep it much neater than this. I also have fabric stored in 6 plastic drawer units under the work table and piles on the end of my work table.

Friday, January 16, 2009


I didn't realize what a mess my studio was until I had to photograph it for a project. Everything shows up in a picture, so I've started cleaning. I found a lot of junk that could be thrown away, but also some things I had forgotten about like this little piece. I was asked to demonstrate free motion quilting at a museum a few years ago as part of a guild project. There were several members stationed around the room demonstrating different techniques. I fused on these circles and squares at home and just started quilting away as people walked around the room. Maybe it could use a little more quilting or some beading. What do you think?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


We're having such a cold winter here in CT. These pictures are from last week's ice storm. It was beautiful to look at, but a lot of homes lost power. Fortunately, I was not one of them.

I had the heartiest rosemary plant this year. It just keeps going and going even through this cold weather. It looks a little worse for wear since its ice encasement, but it's still alive. It's going down to zero tonight and I doubt it will survive. The forecast for tomorrow is more snow.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Marco Island Opening

This past weekend I was in Florida for the openings at the Marco Island's Center for the Arts. Here is a shot of the building with the splendid palm trees. We had a perfect weather weekend, in the high 70's during the day and no humidity and cool enough to sleep at night with no AC.
There were two receptions, one on Saturday night for members of their DaVinci Society. They pay higher dues and get invited to these special receptions with catered food and fancy drinks.
It was not very well attended, maybe only 20-25 people, but I did get to meet some charming people and make some contacts. The Sunday afternoon reception was open to anyone, with wine and yummy food made by volunteers. There was a very good crowd.
The pictures are in no particular order and I'm only showing pictures of quilts, not the encaustic painting or collages of two of the artists. Please click on each picture for a bigger view.

This couple was very interested in my Ocean Treasure and I thought I might have a sale, but no such luck. The show is up until Feb. 11, so maybe they'll be back.

Trying to explain my techniques in making one of my configuration quilts, Twilight City.

This is at the Saturday night reception wearing "the jacket". I received a lot of nice compliments

This couple was intrigued my fern quilts and how they were made.

Here is my friend and hostess, Janet in black top and tan pants, getting a closer look at one of Debbie's quilts.

Another shot of the crowd at the Sunday reception. There was a very good turnout.

Bruce insisted that I take a picture next to one of Debbie's quilts because my jacket looked so good next to it. Isn't it a gorgeous quilt?

Cindy Friedman's wall with three larger quilts and several small framed ones. They looked great in person. For some reason they were hard to photograph because of the lights. There were lights on her quilts and lights behind me on my quilts and I think they were fighting each other.

Part of Debbie Schwartsman's wall. Her quilts are amazing and got a lot of attention.

The other end of Debbie's wall.

The food at the Saturday night reception. It was catered and absolutely delicious. The bar was set up in the other room. All of my quilts were in this room. Again, the lighting did not allow for good photos, but they looked alright in person.

On Saturday night we had a violinist playing lovely background music. Those are my quilts behind her, to the right of the door, Debbie's to the left.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Marco Island Show

In November '07 through January '08 I was in a Fiber Revolution show with this quilt, Fern Dance, at the Museum of the American Quilter's Society in Paducah, Kentucky.  It was seen by a board member of Marco Island's Center for the Arts  in Florida and I was invited to be part of a five woman show this January.  The show opens on January 2, with the opening on the 3rd and runs through February 11, 2009. 
I have a friend who winters in North Fort Myers who has invited me down before, so I took advantage of her hospitality and am going down for the weekend to be at the opening.  I have sent 7 quilts down, including the one above.  The show, called "Natural Women", will also feature work by  Cindy Friedman and Debbie Schwartsman, fellow Fiber Revolution members, Ricky Martin who does encaustic paintings and Claire Keery who does collage and assemblage. If you are going to be in the area, please visit. The hours are on their website.
I finally will get a chance to wear the new jacket that I showed here.