Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year to all

It has been a really busy 2011, but in looking back I would not have traded it for anything.  I met some really nice people.  Some I didn't know this time last year I now consider friends.
On the other hand, some of the people who started the year with me are no longer in my life on a daily bases, namely my middle grandson Justin.  Shh.  Don't tell him I miss him and my daughter Rene', she knows I miss her a lot.  Amongst other things she and I do together or have a common interest in (reading books) is my going to the movies buddy.  I know I could go alone and do, but it is so nice to have her company.  She is here for the holidays and I've seen three movies since Christmas, Mission Impossible (very good) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (loved so much that I had to read the other two books in the series and lastly Sherlock Holmes that was okay.  The least liked of the trio.
I have a new great-grand daughter that I didn't have this time last year.  She is an adorable addition to our family.
My daughter Lyn has joined me here in Florida and seems to have settled into her job.  She is also my side kick and major supporter in all things quilt related even though she has no interest in making one herself.  As an independent curator for a University here in Florida I don't know how I would manage it all if I didn't have her here to help me.
Thanks to the gift of a Nook Color from Rene' in 2010, I've read too many books to name.  Despite that I can't believe the number of art pieces big and small I finished this year nor  the number of competitions and exhibits I have been a part of.
 I taught more then I thought I would or had planned to do when I moved to Florida, but it's all good. I've enjoyed the traveling and the quilters I have met.  My quilts have always taken me to places I would not have visited otherwise. I am looking forward to the teaching engagements I have on my 2012 calendar.

As this year ends in less than 1 hours I am sitting here listening to the noise makers, the voices raised in merriment and the sporadic burst of fireworks that are going off within the complex. 

A little before midnight as this day turns to a new year, I will go up to the 7th level and out into the garage to look at the display of fireworks that will be going off.  This year with a clear sky I should be able to see the fireworks display in Orlando.  Last year the overcast sky prevented having a clear view of them from where I am.
One of my favorite sayings has always been "Bloom where you are planted"
 In November of 2010 I brought a Christmas cactus that was fully in bloom.  When the blooms were all spent I never believed it would bloom again.  From time to time over the year I gave it some water,but did little else to ensure it survived and then a  few days before Christmas to my wonder despite my neglect I noticed several small pink buds.  As the days progressed the blooms got bigger and bigger, gorgeous.  I wonder if more care would have made a difference. 

Here's hoping every one of you has the best year ever.  That what ever you wish for yourself and loved ones comes to be.

And lastly on this last day of 2011 I resolve that
 I will be open to change, create the art I love.. take each day as it comes and rejoice in family and friends, in other words I plan to continue to bloom where I have planted myself. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

There are a few things I have to get done before the new year

one of which was Rene's quilt.  That is now done.  Got out the lights for this shot so it read pretty true to the colors and value.  The binding is on and so is the sleeve.  Now it will get folded and put away until she arrives in a couple of days. 
Since I agree to handle the educational programs for the guild I have a few chores to take care of so the January 5th meeting goes off as planned and then there are a score or so of padded envelopes I need to open and DVD to view.  I think I blogged about curating an exhibit titled "Faces of Color" that will go up Feb, 1 with a reception on the 2nd.

 From years of being a part of jurying art work into exhibits, (mainly quilted art) I am looking forward to selecting art works from painters and photographers  for this all inclusive media 2D  exhibit.
I need to start working on a prospectus for a quilt/fiber art juried exhibit
that I want to install for a couple of months next Autumn.  Will keep you in the loop.
Finally in case I don't get back to blogging before the 25 I wish you  Peace and Joy and the best of Holy-days.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Here is the finished top

and now what awaits is  days and days of quilting.  I plan to have it done before Rene' comes on the 23rd for a weeks stay so I will be steady at it.
 I did not want to get out the lights I use to take photo's in the apartment when I am trying to do an image worthy of a show entry so the colors in this piece are not reading true.  I'll go to the effort of taking a better image when I get it all quilted and the binding is on.  Most of my work of late I like faced, but I think this one really needs a binding.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

This is the quilt that wanted to be made

or rather more to the point, it has a yard and one half of fabric that wanted to be the "star".  Now mind you I am not at all sure, the fabric,  the combo of colors or composition are ones Rene' will want to live with.  No flowers for sure.  I fell in love with a piece of fabric "Urban Square by Camelot Cotton".  While I no longer use commercial fabric in my work, I do still love bold prints especially ones that make a statement.   Often the piece of fabric that begs to go home with me has a mind of its own and wants to take over the design. This one was no different.   I think you will see what I mean.
When finished un-quilted the top will measure 48" x 60". 
The composition is one I planned out on graph paper,  The piecing of the individual blocks and rectangles are easy to do which I am happy about since it has been months and months, since I last created a pieced quilt.  The piecing together of the blocks and rectangles is not as straight forward.  There are no long stretches of uninterrupted seams.  Lots of part seams and set ins.  There was a time when I relished this kind of a challenge so I think the how to's will come back to me without any tears.  I do still have seam rippers.
I will give you a look at the finished top once it is all pieced.

Karen, sorry to hear  Forget-Me-Knot is closing.  Let's hope someone will   buy the business and continue on in the friendly welcoming ways the shop is known for, plus keep a great selection of fabrics too.  It won't be me.... 

Now back to Rene's quilt.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

I was out and about yesterday and today

and at the end of this day all  I really would like to do is sleep in tomorrow morning but I probably won't.
Yesterday I went to speak to a quilt group in Belleview, Fl, just a little north of the Villages.     My daughter Lyn, having the day off decided to drive me.  I did not argue with her.  You see I have no problem riding in the passenger seat to the right of the driver. On the way up we took the Turnpike. I enjoyed my time with the quilters.  They were having a holiday party with favors and cheery decorations and FOOD.  I sampled everything on the table that was free of wheat.  On the way back we took the local roads and Lyn got to see some more of the state. 

 Today I decided to start to work on a wall quilt for my daughter Rene'.  She  requested I make one for her new apartment soon after she moved back to Louisville.  Rene is the only child I make quilts to fit her decor.  The others will take what I already have made and make them work in their space.  But Rene' does not do realistic flowers or bright summer colors.  So sad.  These are two of  my favorite things.  I've had this pillow for her sofa for a month or more.  Yes if you look closely it does have a flower and leaves and a bud.  But she said of the pillow she brought with her when she came back to Florida two trips ago, "Ignore the design, it came with the couch. Just look at the colors".  So I did.    Me not being an Autumn color person, of course I did not have any of these colors in my very limited stash.  During one of her visits we went fabric shopping and picked up a couple of pieces but they too were more to get a feel for the color and were not fabrics that would ever see inclusion in any thing I made.  (I did not say NEVER).  On Wednesday I dyed several yards of fabric trying for a chocolate brown, a gray with a slight green cast and a red brown.  I came real close to what I wanted.  Having those colors at hand was a start but I needed to supplement them with some commercials so off I went today to two quilt shops in the Orlando area that I have not visited before.    The shop on East Colonial had the best selection.  At the second shop  the Quilters Cove on Curry Ford I found a couple of more fabric to add to the pile. 
When I left home to shop I had a design in mind.  But after shopping and getting my purchases home...   I began to have some doubts. 
So off to Joann Fabrics I went and picked up some more.  While I was there I flipped through some quilt books.   So many ideas... Only one quilt needed.  I'm going to sleep on  all the thoughts swirling around in my head and maybe, just maybe when I wake on Sunday morning the quilt that wants to be made will be clearly in focus.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

I am not one to make small work

When I was in my get rid of everything mode in the month or two before I moved from Missouri to Florida I am not sure why these four small pieces; the largest one measures 11" x 14", were not put in the pile slated to be offered for sale in my studio garage sale along with several other tops.
Yesterday as I was stuffing some scraps into a box that will eventually get sent off to my friend Kathy in Louisville (I hope she's still interested in getting them)  I saw these four small pieces folded on the top of the scraps  in the box.
My box of scraps to Kathy are not what the common quilter might think a scrap of fabric is. A scrap to me is often in the fat quarter or larger range. Sometimes the box of scraps to Kathy will contain a top which I completed but just is no longer to my liking or something that was made in a workshop and just was not something I wanted to finish.
Contemplatively I unfolded them, pinned them to my design wall and  gave them an audition.  In my opinion they were all complete compositions.  In my opinion nothing could be added to them to make them larger without just adding to be adding.  And to my surprise I still liked them.   So I asked myself if I still wanted to send them off to Kathy or if I wanted to keep them.  If I kept them  did I want to spend a  day or quilting and binding them.
Mind you I am still days away from finishing the quilting on my last painted piece which I had put aside to get myself organized for a trunk show/lecture that I will be giving to a quilt guild and hours drive away on Friday.
The  four little pieces won out.  So back to the Kathy box I went to find fabric to use for the backings and bindings.  Sorry Kathy your box got shorted not only of these four little tops but some large hunks of scraps.
So since I spent all of yesterday quilting today I need to go fold and roll some quilts for my program tomorrow.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Last Thursday I came instantly awake

 haven't given into a rare case of the afternoon sleepies.  Eyes closed, dead to the world sleep in my favorite chair snuggled under a knitted throw.  Not that I can hear myself but in all likelihood I was snoring. 
Then I was straight up wide eyed AWAKE......  The sound of the fire alarm in this building is unbelievable LOUD.  Even when the fire is not in your unit, the alarms,  all three of them in a 1000 square feet space, blare in your unit.  And I have the good fortune to have a set of fire doors that automatically close when the alarm goes off in the hallway short steps from my front door and doubly fortunately that one of the alarms is right outside of said entry door.  The alarm when on and on for what seemed like hours.  In truth for about 30 minutes.  No one on premise can turn them off.  Only the fire department which arrived within minutes, sirens going.  But not until they walk every floor of this building do they shut it off. 
There was never a fire in the building.  This good news was reported in the e-mail that went out to all the tenants, just some mishap on the garage roof caused by one of our resident maintenance men.  But non the less a news helicopter was dispatched to hoover over the garage, which added to the noise.
 I saw this iron demonstrated at the Mancuso Quilt Show in West Palm and had to have it.  I have never liked ironing, not since I burned my leg with an iron when I was about twelve.  Back then irons were really HOT and HEAVY and non steaming.  Now this iron is all about the steam and the only thing better then using this iron to iron with in my opinion is having someone else do the ironing for you.  The iron arrived about a week ago but having no reason to turn it on until last night when two sets of bed linen came out of the drier needing a little attention so with that excuse I thought I'd see if I had spent my money wisely.  I am reporting that I have.  Now mind you I AM NOT going to turn into a person that irons everything. No way.  I'll just stay with ironing flat lengths of fabric, an occasional t-shirt when I need to make a better  than just good impression and when I want to pamper myself, my pillowcases.  I do so love a freshly pressed, lightly starched pillowcase.
 I can finally say I am a Floridian.  For the past two Christmas seasons I haven't felt much like Ho, Ho, Ho-ing.  Seeing stuff with snowflakes and the words "Let it Snow" I think are hilarious absurd when one is living in sandals and shorts and lights on palm trees.  I still haven't  completely gotten past that but  warming to Winter with out snow I have succumbed to stringing icicle style lights on my balcony from the railing along with wrapping the railing it with greenery of the artificial kind.  I love and miss the smell of real pine, but the real stuff would dry to powder in one or two days because of the heat and the afternoon sun that shine on my side of the building.
With a little shopping and an hour worth of doing the balcony looks festive.  There is a holiday wreath on the outside of my entry door but as of now the inside of my place still screams.  STUDIO.  I can't get around that.  I have two 24 inch trees and ornaments to decorate them but as of now I haven't decided if I want to do that.
 I put my name on the list to get a copy of Vol. 2 of Masters Art Quilts to review.  Not having done a book review before and not having a clue as to how the selections of who would be chosen to do so was done, imagine my surprise when a copy came in the mail on Saturday.  Just flipping quickly through it I decided that it deserves a stretch of  uninterrupted time and a good cup of coffee something I want have until Saturday... the time not the coffee. So next week end, when I am caught up on a few things I'll have that cup of coffee on my festive balcony and give you my opinion of this book.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

As I call it a day

this is what it looks like.  It needs a little more shading in some areas, but all in all I am happy with the look of the piece.  Of course the quilting will add to it and I am looking forward to getting started on that tomorrow first thing. 
Might not get back to you all until it is done.  If I don't...
have a good Thanksgiving.
Hope you will be spending it with loved ones and friends. 
 Rene', Lyn and I are not sure if we are going to share kitchen duty and cook in or  join the horde of tourist and find someplace to eat along the stretch of International Drive.   Josh the oldest grandson is still here convalescing is still on crutches and while he is motoring along quilt well, it still is a chore for him to go great distances.  If we do, it is  not very likely that we will find a place serving turkeywith all the trimmings.  Don't cry for me.
I got over equating Thanksgiving with food years ago. With a wheat allergy of the worst kind... no more mac and cheese, no more giblet gravy or stuffing, no more pumpkin pie or Parker House rolls slathered with butter.  Plain turkey some cranberries and plain mashed potatoes  and a few green beans just doesn't say HOLIDAY.  Picturing  just those thing  is somewhat reminiscent of a TV dinner. Nah! 
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Painting yellow flowers

 I spent most of Friday trying to decide what to paint next and waiting for my daughter Rene to arrive, which she did.  She will be here until the Sunday after Thanksgiving day.
 When I discovered that  I was down to this last length of  broadcloth I put in an order for more. Order should arrive by this time next week.  There is no presser like the presser of knowing that if you flub up you have no fall back cloth to work with. 
As it is now stretched on my paint surface it  measures 44" long by 55-56" As pictured, you are seeing about 48 inches on the width of the piece with the other 8 inches wrapped to the back of the foam board.  More than likely I won't crop it by much. 
If nothing else comes up today, I should finish painting it today and begin quilting tomorrow. 
Will update you as I go along.

Monday, November 14, 2011

I so often have the hardest time coming up with a title

 for my art work.  This one was no different.  Often in the past I've sent out a please name this piece S. O. S. to my friend Marti.
 Not since I have been doing what I call quilted paintings have I gotten to that place of late mainly because what I am painting and quilting looks so much like what it is that naming my work has  been simplified.  "Morning Glory" , "Hibiscus", "Snow Drops",  etc.  Naming this one was going to be no different.  The flowers remind me of an old rose variety and the name was going to be that.  "An Old Rose".  However, my oldest grandson immediately upon seeing me working on this piece, said.  "Those flowers look like the ones on your dishes". And he was right. 
Now you are wondering why a young man would notice such a thing, but I didn't because his every meal while my three grandsons lived with me was served using my favorite dishes... Franciscan dessert rose pattern. 
Yes you can and I did have three boys in my house for years using these dishes for everything from their breakfast cereal to dinner.  Even when they were in charge of doing the dishes, there were no mishaps.  I on the other hand broke a few. 
So now the name for this piece will be "Franciscan Rose".  I will see if others make the connection.
The piece has been blocked I am showing you the piece as I plan to crop it.
here is what it looks like now.
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I did a little shopping while at the quilt show

on Saturday.  Two items an iron and a vibrating pillow for my back is being shipped.  Both items sold out at the show.  I will give you a report on both of those items when I have them and have tried them out to see if the show hype hold true.  At the show, the back pillow had me sitting in the chair and signing... ahhhhh.  The iron on the other hand hand my mouth dropping open with amazement at the seeming ease at which wrinkles disappeared from every kind of cloth and garments.  Since I do very little ironing of what I wear day to day, the prospect of how easy wrinkles could be gone from my hand dyed cloth was just too good to pass up.  I just want to say, for the price it had better work here in apartment 434 as well as it did at the show.
In the mean time... here is a look at the stuff that did come home with me on the bus.  There was a vendor at the Jacksonville Show that was selling these basket said to be made in Africa I didn't buy one then mainly because I have promised myself that if something did not have a use I would not buy it.  Between the last show and this one I decided that I could corral the long rulers I use at this table and save myself the step it takes to return them to the other side of the room.  So with a purpose in mind I brought it.
I've been aware of this brand of rotary cutters for a while, but I couldn't resist buying one this time because I took the time to stop and try it.  The Soft Fuse was new to me. The product was developed by Stacy of Shades the fabric dyer out of Atlanta who I meet on the quilt show circuit way back in the late 80's.  I was really happy to see her. 
Having been in on the developing stage of Misty Fuse and not liking the initial offering, I was in love with the Soft Fuse immediately.  It has the softest hand of any sheet adhesive on the market that I have tried to date and best of all for me is that it comes 36 inches wide.  I have something in mind for it's use but will hold that thought until I have tested it and only then will I tell you.  That is if it works for the purpose I brought a 3 yard roll of the stuff.
You would be amazed at how fast I can get through a quilt show and this one was no exception, but since I was on a bus with people I was in charge of I had to wait for all the others so to pass the time I spent a lot of time stopping at vendor booths and listening to sales pitches.  So at one of two booths filled with yarn I stopped long enough to listen and be tempted to buy one skein of yarn that when pulled open and knitted by picking up a loop at the top edge produces a very frilly lightweight scarf that is suitable to wear on milder temperature day here in Florida.  To pass the time I was tempted to buy a pair of knitting needles, find a quiet spot and begin knitting while at the show, but I didn't.  You can not image how many circular needles of every size I already have and to buy more was just "stupid" I told myself so I found a quiet spot outside in the courtyard and read a book on my Nook that I brought along for the ride down and back instead.  My debit card thanked me.
My friend Marti in Louisville asked that I send her a picture of how I attach a shop/trouble light to the stitch panel on the back of my Janome 6600P for added lamination.  I am using a 60 watt Feit brand daylight bulb which I buy at Walgreen's.  My aging eyes love the added light.  This set-up provides a larger area of light than some of those stick on goose neck light marketed for stitchers.  Best of all the daylight bulb give me better color detection for selecting threads as I stitch.
As you can see I have been quilting.  I stopped to do this entry because I just put in the last stitches on this piece a few minutes ago.
Will give you a look at it as soon as I block, crop and true it up.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A lot of stuff caught my eye as I

walked through the World Quilt Show Florida III yesterday.  The bus trip started early with me rolling out of bed at 5:15.  I  was at the first bus pick-up point, a block and 1/2 from my front door less than an hour later.  After the last of two more stops for bus riders we were on our way down the Florida Turnpike transversing quite mundane landscape populated mostly with cows until we were back near the Atlanta ocean coast line were civilization returned in the form of people and buildings that I am now thinking of as typical Floridian architecture.
  I remembered to take my camera along and I took more pictures than I do as a rule and that might have been because there were so many quilts and enough of any one kind and style to suit most every quilter or lover of them. 
As I sat  here looking closer at the images of the quilts I thought were interesting when I took the time to stop and take a picture of them less than 24 hours ago I was surprised to discover that on looking closer they were not holding my interest this morning.  But I will share with you the ones that did.
This is the work of Lynne Quinn/United Kingdom
I know this is not a quilt but this doll among all the usual looking one stood out and made me smile.  Sorry the makers name is not easy to see. 
Susan Wessels/South Africa
Visually  interesting up close with all the laying down and couching of threads and beads. 
AND THEN THERE WAS MY PIECE. First runner-up to best of show.  YEAH!!!
I was very reserved in my purchases when I went to the Jacksonville Quilt show a month or so ago, but I can't say the same for yesterday.  I will give you a full accounting and report of what I thought I couldn't live without tomorrw.  But for today I need todo the bookkeeping and report to the guild treasurer  and then I am back to quiling for the rest of today.  I am hoping to get it done by the end of the day so I can give you a report of one of the products I brought yesterday.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

I have a fondness for small towns

and the charm of Punta Gorda, Fl had me from the instant I crossed the bridge spanning Charlotte Harbour and made my way along the palm tree lined streets that were already dressed out for the Christmas season with white lights and big snowflakes.  I wished I had taken a picture of them.  Before moving to Florida, I thought a palm tree was a palm tree, but I am now noticing the differences in them.  In Punta Gorda, I saw some that were definitely different in appearance. 
This coming December will be my third winter in Florida and I am still amused  by all the images one can find of snow  here in Florida and how anyone can possibly think of snow when you are running around in shorts and sandals is beyond me. 
My drive over to the west side of the state on Tuesday evening was a pleasant one.  Music of the 70 on Satalite radio keep me humming along with the songs and at times singing off key outloud.  After about 70 miles I turned off of I -4 onto I -75 and  had to put myself into the mindset that so many retired Floridians have acquire.    Mainly, "what's the rush?" The posted speed limit means nothing in certain places .  On I-75 there were enough drivers driving "slow" that I had to keep reminding myself that I was in no hurry.  That I wasn't on deadline.  That I could be there when I got there.  Even when the speed limit was posted at 70 they were driving 55 and in the left hand lane to boot.  The slow down and back up in spots was caused in part by the large number of RV's pulling small cars and the so so many moving vans.  After a few miles it dawned on me that I was traveling along the annual south bound  snowbird migration route.
Despite that it was a straight uncomplicated trip from my door to the hotel and I really didn't need my GPS, to get there, however, when I did need it, it told me the address I was looking for was on the right.  But in fact it was on the left and when it said I had arrived I was on the ramp heading across another bridge and on my way to Port Charlotte on the other side of the harbour. A quick turn around on the other side, or as the GPS says, at the next opportunity make a legal "U" turn. Which I did.  And after a series of left turns I was at the hotel.
 This is some shots of my painting on silk class.  We were using one of the rooms at the Charlotte Cultural Arts center which was buzzing with people taking a variety of classes.  There was a cafeteria that serves three meal on site as well as a resale store that my quilt class angel took advantage of; purchasing a "t" shirt for $0.75 after she had gotten paint and water on the one she began the day wearing.
There were lost of creativity zinging around the room as you can see.  I selected only a few of the flowers painted by the the 21 students in the class.
Sorry I did not take any pictures of the second day class and their projects. The second day class was held in the social hall of a local Luthern church in Punta Gorda as was the talk and truck show I did for the group on Friday morning.
 Here is a collage of images from Fisherman's village.
 This is Audrey, my class angel for both workshop day and she was truly that.  We are in line for lunch.  They reserved a room off the main dining area "the English tea room" for our group.  I guess they thought we would be a rowdy bunch, but in an English "tea" room one must be a little more reserved and we did the room proud.
That evening I was treated to dinner at Fisherman's Village which was built on the site of a former municipal pier, it was designed to replicate a traditional fishing village with boat slips, shops, restaurants and  above the shop residences .  Several ladies from the class came along with Audrey and me, making us a party of six.   The restaurant on the wharf had a view of the harbour and I being the guest got the best seat by the window.  The food, the company and the view were wonderful.
Without having an excuse to do so I would return to Punta Gorda and I would most certainly accept an invitation to teach for this group if asked to do so again.  My hat if I wore one would be off for Kathy the education chairperson and to every member of the Peace River Quilter Guild. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Someone viewing my balcony

my balcony from across the court yard might think I was doing the laundy.  But no... this is 21 pieces of  soy milk soaked silk broadcloth air drying.  It is a perfect day here in Central Florida, low humidity, just barely 70 degrees with a breeze that had me looking for socks for my feet. I have used since moving here used one of those collapsible cloths dryer but it makes me have to dry in shifts, so in preparing for an upcoming class I had to come up with a way of drying a greater quantity all art once.  Thus the clothes line strung between two high backed patio chairs.

The weight of the wet silk had the chair wanting to fall over backwards.  Nine yards of wet silk is heavy.   I counter balanced it with jugs of drinking water. I always have gallon jugs of water some in the apartment to drink, cook with and especially to  make my coffee and tea with.  Having grown up in Louisville, KY with some of the best tasting water in the USA the water here is hard to swallow.  I never got used to the drinking water in Columbia, MO either.  Good thing jugs of water do not cost much.
  Doing a little quilting, no reading, and working steadily on getting artist to participate in the "Faces of Color" exhibit.  Oh didn't I tell you that my proposal for the exhibit was accepted so  it is full steam ahead with my plans.  Stay tuned and you guys will be the first to learn of all the details.
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Monday, October 17, 2011

Here in apartment 434

I am in full get it ready mode.  Every flat surface is covered with stuff for the two upcoming workshop I will be doing for the Peace River Quilt Guild over on the Gulf side of the state. 
As I was settling my head on my pillow last night something popped into my head and wouldn't let my eyes close.  That something was the thought that I hadn't done not one thing since last week that spoke of my creativity.  Dyeing yards and yards of fabric didn't count.  Sitting at the computer ordering stuff didn't count.  Making a pot of chili sort of did, but with no one here to compliment me on how good it tasted.... Well if I to say so myself, it tasted pretty good.
Back to creativity.  So instead of willing myself to go to sleep, I got up and pulled out the last of my painted silk compositions and started the process of sandwiching it and I went back to bed, only to get back up 15 minutes later.  I cleaned and oiled my sewing machine, put in a new needle and started to quilt.  AHHH... the sound of the machine was like a shout of "calm".  Just stitching for less then 15 minutes was all it took for that little creative voice in my head to say,  "Now you can go to bed." 

And I did and slept really well.  This morning I will stitch for a while, do a little housekeeping, go off to the bank, pick up a few things from Wal-mart  and while I am out I'll drop off a package at UPS. I'm returning something to Joann's which I purchased on line. 
Then later I will be off to a 5:30 PM meeting of the guild's raffle quilt committee. 
The rest of the week looks a lot like the past week but with more stitching time. 
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Sunday, October 09, 2011

It's not that I'm not doing much

that I haven't blogged but rather more that I'm doing a lot.  Despite the lot, not any of it is  worth taking a picture of to post here.  To that point I am not sure if I will have anything worthy of documenting in digital format for at least a week are so unless you want to see me sitting at this computer trying to find the best prices on paint brushes, silk broadcloth and other stuff I need to make the kits for my two upcoming classes. 

Not sure if I mentioned that I have been asked to curate an exhibit at a college here in central Florida but I decided to see what I could come up with and I did quite readily.  The hard part, getting my vision down in writing.  Just so you know, for me  writing an exhibit proposal is not a fun thing to do .  It was four days of researching,  writing, rewriting and  condensing  to one page all my thoughts was how I spent four full last week. 

So it was meals on the fly and no reading for me.  Last night when I had an hour to read, it took me several pages of reading, beginning with where I had left off to get my brain to recall the jest of the book I was reading and what had happened in the tale to the point where I had picked it up. 
I did get my acceptance letter from the Mancuso show so Hibiscus is going to West Palm Beach.  . 

I am going to try really hard to get in some quilting this week on the last remain painting I did several months ago.  So if I promise to show you what I have done come this time next week I will  make every effort to get to it.  So check in next Sunday.  If anything else come up in the mean time that is of interest, I'll blog.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Not since the mid 1990's

have I been really enthused about a quilt shows.  Not since the mid 90's have I gone out of my way to  attend one either.  To be supportive of the quilt guild I decided to join shortly after I moved here, I decided I would help in whatever way I could  with the quilt show the guild held last January.  It was a good way to get to know some quilters in the area.  Then I  decided to fill the guild's trip coordinator  slot when it was vacated this year.   This volunterism resulted in me on  Saturday having my behind plopped down on the front seat of a coach bus  and on a road trip to Jacksonville, FL to attend the Florida QuiltFest.  Funny.... after not attending any shows in the last 15 years, here I am in  2011, attending three. The third one is in November.  I will be aboard another bus  riding along with the group attending the Mancuso's World Quilt Show Florida III show in West palm Beach.

Just so you know where my mind and motivation is right now.   I've been out of the quilt guild world for many years and ventured back into the competition part of that world a year ago.  But to get back into the "helping out" side of a local quilt guild after all that time ( more than 15 years ) was something I gave a great deal of thought to and let me just say I stepped back into it with a great deal of  hesitancy.
But once in I shrugged and thought "in for a dime, in for a dollar."  So I helped with planning the quilt show floor layout; worked with the committee on quilt take in day, helped put up the poles and oversaw the hanging the quilt, the take down and return.  Now I am adding my vision and hands to making the guilds  raffle quilt.  I am hand appliquing 3" diameter circles to the center of 38 blocks.  Now I am the bus trip coordinator and serving on the nominating committee that selects the slate of officers for next year.  No one so far is bubbling with joy and enthusiam to be elected to the top position, that of being President of the guild.  "Would someone please volunteer."  So I can move on to something else.

For those who do not put in the time or the labor to get a show with hundreds of quilts in place in time to open the door for those who come to view them  have no idea of how much effort it take by so many.  The Jacksonville Quiltfest  shows was well done and  worth seeing and to the organizers; I for one know and appreciate all the behind the scene effort it takes from inception until the last quilt is taken down, folded and returned to the owner. So a pat on the back is in order for the seven quilt guilds in the Jacksonville, Fl area who come together to produce this annual show.
At this show, hand quilting seemed  to be making a come back. The best of show was accomplished all by hand including the quilting.  While there were several quilts that were obviously influenced by the style employed by national teachers the overwhelming amount of them were based on traditional block and patterns in the public domain and quilt block, done with  tradional settings using the fabric of choice these days, which is batiks. Good use was made of those  popular happy 30's colors and print of that era in known for too.

 The dominate color of fabrics for sale at the show was overwhelmingly iof an Autumn palette.  Knowing how much of a saturated pure color late spring/summer color palette person I am, there was nothing that insisted it come home with me.
I promised to made a quilt for my daughter Rene's to hang in her apartment in Louisville.  Her color choices speaks of Autumn.  I did not buy any fabric for her project either.  I forgot to take with me the two pieces of cloth she picked out when she was here over Labor Day weekend. They in all likelyhood will not be in the finished quilt.  My thinking was to  use them as a guide  to either dye some cloth or buy other pieces with colors she decided she could live with.  Then too I thought, it does not make sense to buy willy nilly when I  has not firmed up in my head what the compostion will look like or the size.  So I  just looked and touched and hummmed and kept my cash in my pocket.   I did buy a thimble like the one I have misplaced somewhere  here in Apartment 434. Drat!!!  Don't you just hate forgetting where you put something.  What would you bet that I will find it now that I have replaced it?   I also picked up a couple of packs of hand sewing needles; ones I like to use and am running short of.  Double Drat.... would you believe I lost one of the packs of needles somewhere between buying them and unpacking my back pack this morning.

As a point of interest, the convention center where the show was held is housed in a renovated train station. 

The aisles were quite generous and while there was a good crowd on Saturday, you never felt like you were being squished.
This is the best of show, a collage of it follows with detail shots and credit to the maker.

I have several things on my adgenda for today, blogging was just one of them.   Now I am on to clearing the assortment of stuff that clutters  all the flat raised surfaces in my space.  Cleaning up so to speak before I begin my next things.  I have progressed to the point where the coffee table has only one book resting on it that I plan to finish reading and the desk top where I am current sitting, blogging.  It is neat and organized no longer strunned with  empty envelops the contents of which have been discarded or dealth with, like bills,  junk mail and scrap paper with quickly jotted notes that are no long relevant, .