Thursday, July 30, 2015

Love what you do

Making quilts or quilt art or art quilts or  creating with fabric, all that mainly because I love color and flowers.  What I do not love is getting my picture taken.  But today I had to suffer through getting that done because the curator of an exhibit I will have a piece in requested a couple of images of me in my studio.  Lois came before
I had make-up on and came back when I did.  She was very patient with me making faces at her and was able to get one that I don't mind the world seeing.
 
 
Liz was with her the second time she came wanting to see my renovations.

This is Liz, she has the most charming British  accent,  Makes you want to sit for a spot of tea when she speaks.
Speaking of visitors, I  had the biggest spider I ever saw come for a visit yesterday.  I figured it came down from the attic through the hole that was cut for the microwave  exhaust pipe.  I saw it when it crawled out of the cabinet while I was heating my lunch in the microwave.  Once I got over the shock of seeing it, I couldn't move fast enough with my broom to smash it.  So it spent the night in my house hiding up in the area above the kitchen cabinet.  I had a light worrying sleep, imaging the thing coming to walking all over me as I slept.  But that didn't happen. 
All day yesterday and this morning when I  went to the kitchen I was on the look out for it but never say it again.  Today, just when I had not thought of it for a while it came walking across the studio floor. 
No longer shocked at its size I ran for the broom.  This time it did not get away.  Can of bug killer in one hand,  broom in the other, I tried to usher it out the door to keep from killing it.   You know there is this old wives  tale about killing a spider and causing it to rain.  Well it rained today, boy did it rain, thunder and lightening rain, now I am not saying it was because I killed the spider, which I did as much as I didn't want to because it refused to be swept out the door. 
I had to live with the bug spray smell for a while, but at least tonight I can sleep soundly.
And best of all  no more critter invasions, at least not though the hole in the cabinet.  My friend Lois's husband came this morning too and filled the space around the vent pipe with expanding insulation foam.  A husbands of a friends who is handy is a very good thing.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Every morning I wake up to this blank wall

     So I decided what it needs is a quilt.  Yes I have quilts, many of them, but not one I want to look at all the time.  Plus I have this thing about  my living space.  Stuff needs to fit, feels right and the work I do as much as I love it and love creating it, does not to my mind fit in with the feel of my bedroom, which is kind of  not quite country cottage.
    That being the case I got the bright idea to make a quilt, one I have no plans to sell, thus insuring it will not be seen outside my house where it will make those seeing my work think I have regressed to my beginning quilt making days.  Even back then I never made a quilt that will be as utilitarian as the one I have in mind.    Thinking that , I went looking for fabric I like, (1930's kind of stuff) to make a really simple block.  The quilt for the space can be between  60-80 inches square.  That means I will be making about 100 to 169 block  since  I decided to make it with 6 inch block constructed with 1/2 square triangle,  One half a solid color and the other patterned.  I have a pile of the patterned fabric 1/2 squares cut up and waiting.   I won't cut the solid color halves until I am ready to make the blocks. 
       100-169 hmmm.  Might have to change my thinking.

     I will be home for the next 7 weeks before I am off to teach again.  In that time with the condo all done I  hope to get a lot done with this quilt and others..
As I am putting this quilt top together I will split  my studio time with the piece that has been under the needle of my HQ 16 longer than any piece I have every painted.  I started on it way back in April...
     April, three months... man! 
     I tend not to pre plan the quilting of any piece I make but for some reason I am of two minds on this piece.  One mind is saying, send it out to a long arm quilter.  The other is of the opinion I should put up my floor frame, the one I transported from KY to MO and here to FL,  and hand quilt it.
I had a  wonderful time with the members of the Seaside Piecemakers on Florida's Space Coast quilt guild.  Another great group.
 
     Teaching in Florida has exposed me to many parts of the state.   On the way home  from Melbourne on Thursday in the middle of a rain storm  I couldn't help but stop by The Quilt Place, in Rockledge, FL.  .  It was a good thing for my checking account t that I got there 10 minutes before they were scheduled to close.  Despite that,  I dropped a tidy sum. 
Anyone who knows me would not be surprised at how much  damage I did in that little time, especially when there were three people cutting the selections I was  placing on the cutting counter..
     I promised myself that I was not going to whine about the weather, but why can't some of this cloudy rainy weather go visit the people out West where they would welcome a few inches of this stuff.
      I know,  I know,  It wouldn't be lush green tropical Florida if there was a draught, but really, everyday!
    

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Got back last evening from teaching

a two day class to 11 fiber artist.  I think I was in Fruit Cove, which is somewhere  between St Augustine and Jacksonville, FL  right at 2 hours worth  drive mostly the interstate from my place.  I generally look up where I am going with Map Quest to get my mileage and to have some sense of where I am going,, which is a good thing.  Sometimes my GPS with a mind of it's own, sends me in the wrong direction.  Or tells you, " you have arrived"  and there is no there, there.
What a wonderful group.  Most of them were not quilters in the sense that you normally think a quilter is, as those who use the  quilting stitches for more than just holding the layers together or  who make quilts to sleep under.  There were several painters in the group but none who paint on fabric in the way I do, some had used textile paints. 
     I also had a very accomplish quilter in the bunch named Jayne Gaskins who has a piece in this year's Quilt National and in talking to her I learned that this was her second acceptance and that each time, she had submitted   only one piece, the one she felt was her best effort.  Interesting....
Here's a list of those in the class in no particular order, definitely not be seating order, Julie, Roz, Laura, Dana, Victoria, Susan, Jayne, Virginia, Gretchen, Amy and Ellen
 
     Here's  a look at every one's  piece as they were working on them and a few that were finished at class end, leaving them to go home and stitch (I am not saying quilt because some of them will not be doing so in the traditional sense. 
    Forgive me, if I give you the wrong name for  each class attendee.   I am awful with name,  Now faces, I will remember and their pieces I will remember, 
     Everyone was instructed to send me a picture of a flower they wanted to paint,  From those images I made them a line drawing and enlarged it to class size which was a maximum  of 20" x 30" I also made them a smaller version just in case they did not want to tackle the larger size.  Those were 15" x 20

Ellen, holding a copy of the photo she sent me of the flower she wanted to try to paint.

Susan and her Hibiscus
We had a lively discussion in class  about this flower and concluded it is an orchard. 
 
Laura
 
 
Virginia chose to draw her own design based on an enlarge photo of plants growing in her neighbors yard.
 
Gretchen, she too sent a picture of a Hibiscus that she chose to paint blue instead of red as her picture depicted.
This is Amy and her Passion Flower
 
 
 
My two hour drive that I planned to have coming home turned into one with heavy rain at time, thunder and lightening and traffic accidents with miles  long  backups.  3 hours and 30 minutes later, boy was I happy to pull into my garage. 
 No matter where you've been and how much fun you've had, it is always so good to get home safe.  

Monday, July 06, 2015

My garden is looking good

Still need mulching, but have not had time or  mulch on my mind on the days I've gone shopping to get more paint for the house and other d├ęcor stuff.  

Picture is  not as sharp as it could be because  I took it through the slider screen.  For my own garden viewing pleasure I will be moving the screen to the other side of the slider.
Love the peachy orange color of these Hibiscus and man are they blooming like crazy.

My place is finally back in order after my "I'm just going to do a little updating" project went from what I thought would be a month to  six week tops  to double that time.   Now that the end is here I am so glad I did it.  I hope that holds true after the people come on Tuesday to replace the missed-matched quartz. countertops.   
And at last I'll  have my yellow house exactly like I wanted it.  .  Every room and hallway has yellow walls but not the same yellow throughout.   I thought that would be a little boring so I used six or seven different coordinating ones.. 



As I was putting everything back after the walls were done, I thought I'd try a  different arrangement for the studio space,  Before, the sewing machines and tables were clustered in the center of the room because I did not want to block the design wall.  But this arrangement feel better and I rarely use the design wall anymore now that I am doing whole cloth..   
 
I am off to do a two workshop for a group in the St. Augustine area next week and following that a couple of days in Melbourne.  That's on the Atlantic side of the state.
Still haven't finished what's under the needle of the HQ16 yet, but plan to get in some serious working time the rest of this week. So hope to have it done by the time I leave.