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.