Monday, March 26, 2012

Oh, but I can't show you "that"!

I have been busy lately, honest!  I just don't seem to have much to show for it!  I think it's because I'm working on a bunch of "secret" projects. 
I did some work I really loved a couple weeks ago on one of the round robins we are working on in the "ArtC Girlz" group.  But, I can't show you that! 
I'm working on a couple of lap sized quilts as gifts.  But, I can't show you that!
We had some wonderfully summer like weather last week.  It was almost too hot, in fact.  I hardly had time to enjoy the mini irises and crocus before they were gone.   I didn't take pictures in the gardens because mostly all I did was cut down dead stuff left from last fall.  So, I can't show you that!
I can show you the new work table, all resettled and in use!  So far it's working wonderfully!

I can show you the new bag I made myself for my trip to Lancaster.  It matches the jacket I made last year since I used some of the leftover bits of patchwork from that project . Hmm. I just went and looked for a picture of it and couldn't find it. You may remember how much trouble it gave me when I was working on it in the spring of 2011?  I'll have to let Edith model it  for you.  Yay!  Something else I can show you. 
 This is the back side of the bag.  At the quilt show, I purchased a heat set tool for adding crystals to things.  I've been using the iron which is so imprecise! Anyway, Cheri said my jacket needed some bling.  I didn't think so, but did add some to the bag in my hotel room that night!  Like any little kid, I just wanted to play with my new toy!

And I can show you the "dinner plate Dahlia brooch" I made with a pattern by La todera.  ( I will be looking for more of their patterns!)
They call it a brooch, but I doubt I will be wearing it. Maybe on a purse?  (ooh- that means I need a new purse!)

 And lastly, I can show you why you need to keep your "Supreme Slider" clean!  I had just started to quilt around the tulip on this- the April calendar quilt.  It felt odd, and I though the needle might be dull.  So I stopped and guess what I found!

Yup, I had quilted my supreme slider to the back of my quilt!
I quit for the day after that.
 Some things you just know. 

My green tip for today is my usual outrage at something I observed.  I was in Bed Bath and Beyond last week.  Some ladies were shopping for friends who had registered. The store associates happily print out the whole list- several pages for each shopper ( I don't know if they were together, I had to wait behind three who needed this sort of help).  The one who had made her purchase was asked if she needed the list.  When a negative response came, the list was taken and tossed in the trash.
How hard would it be for the store to have a recycle bin for them?
Or for the shopper to take it home and drop it in her own recycle bin?
Small choices in each of our lives could make such a BIG difference!

I am grateful for:
Time in the garden.
Sleeping with the windows open.
Finding a place for everything in the sewing room. (but also finding a few things I didn't need places for anymore!)
One of my favorite wines comes in a box- saving 4 glass bottles!
Home made cinnamon bread for toast.

Monday, March 19, 2012

An exciting week!

I had a great- if very quick- trip to the AQS show in Lancaster last week!!!

The weather was great, which made my stop in Intercourse so much more enjoyable- walking the shops on the main street and eating a soft pretzel at Immergut!

The quilt on the left was made by  Debra Lohman
 Seeing my quilt in the show was an amazing feeling.  The honor of being chosen took on a much larger meaning as I walked around the show admiring the rest of the quilts chosen as "my competition"!!!  My quilt seemed rather plain by comparison.  I guess if I really want to compete, I have a long way to go!

Here are a few of my favorites!

Made by Yvonne Walter.  Another quilter inspired by a black and yellow garden spider!

By Jan Hutchison.  I am in awe of her machine quilting skills!!

Claudia Pfeil is not only an amazing quilter, but she must have spent weeks putting all the crystals on this piece!

Heidi Zielinski used some wonderful fabrics for her pheasant!

Jennifer June's quilt made me want to get a dog. (but don't tell my husband)

Karen Kielmeyer found the perfect balance of tradition and art, don't you think?

Crown Jewel by Claudia Clark Meyers and Marilyn Badger
 There were several special exhibits on display along with the competition quilts!  The Association of Pacific West Quilters gave us "The Spirit of the West"- quilts from the American Southwest, to Saskatchewan, Alaska and Hawaii!
Part of the "Spirit of the West" exhibit, by Barbara Polston

Another "Spirit of the West" quilt, by Nancy Lee Chong

I spent my evening playing with my new toys!  (Cheri at Cheri's crystals gave me homework!)

When I got home, I moved back in to the sewing room.  The new space is configured similarly to the old one, but with some major differences. I tried to put things back the way they were for the most part, so I know where to find things.   I sewed in there for a short time today, and so far it feels great!!!

A good green tip this time is to remind you to use fewer chemicals on your lawn and garden!  The world will not come to and end if you have a few weeds.  If you have trouble growing grass without fertilizer, check out alternatives to grass in your lawn!  There are low growing plants that require less care and no chemicals. 

I am grateful for:
A quick visit with a friend
Being in the company of some great artists!
Bringing joy to others with my odd apparel.
A good Guild meeting Saturday
Drinking a glass of wine with  my hubby on the deck on St Patrick's day!

Monday, March 12, 2012


I'm off to Lancaster this week, so hubby is installing the new worktable in my sewing room.  Seemed like perfect timing to me!  With a sewing machine that allows me to quilt larger quilts myself, I realized I needed to rearrange my sewing space to accommodate them.

 The old set up was a piece of counter top on milk crates stacked so I could use them as shelves.  Like dummies, we didn't think of taking the before picture until everything was moved out.  But you can get a glimpse of it here. The green behind the machine is some foam wrapped in plastic to level off the space so the quilts don't drag behind it.

So I showed hubby pictures of the cabinets you see for sale at quilt shows and explained what I'd like to have.  He is very talented and loves to build stuff, so he drew pictures and measured and drew more pictures and measured some more and started working in the basement.
 He got all the preliminary building done and helped me move into a temporary set up in the guest room/ studio.
 (This is the clean side of the room!)

He wouldn't look up so you can't see how cute my handyman is, but here he is working away.
Hopefully next week, I'll have a picture of it all set up.  It may take a while to figure out where all the crap that came out goes back in, though!

Tomorrow I leave for Lancaster to see my spider quilt hanging in the show.  People keep wishing me luck.  They can't know that just getting the quilt in to this show was the win for me!  Seriously.  It's not like the Oscars where they all say it's an honor to be nominated. Just seeing my quilt in the show will be the prize for me!   That is not to say I won't jump up and down screaming like the ladies on the Price is Right if they call my name at the awards presentation!!!

Just a simple green tip this week- I forget from time to time, so I'll remind you to put the reusable bags where you see them so you don't forget them  even when you're only going in for one or two things! (cos you always get more, right?)

I am grateful for:
A call from Guy
My new sewing space
Tomorrow I'll be eating a yummy soft pretzel in Intercourse, PA
Sunshine and spring bird song and crocuses blossoming
Diana Gabaldon

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


The Dreaded Pear Quilt
That Which Survivies
I am lucky to have a nice space in my house to display seasonal wall quilts.  I have lots of small quilts.  LOTS.  I make them to try a technique, or for a challenge, or as a teaching sample...
These two, for example, are technique pieces, made during the early days of the art group when we were trying everything!

Then just add them to the collection.  I give them as gifts if I know they are going to a person or place who will appreciate them.  But mostly they go in the drawers and linen closets and hope to be selected for display at least once a year.
Beginner class, 1 of 4!

Recently I discovered there are quite a few that rarely, if ever, see the light of day.  Poor little things.
Aunt Yuki's garden- folded fabric technique

So what to do with them? I could donate them to my Guild's silent auction and hope someone likes them well enough to buy them- even for $5 (which is the minimum, I think)  But I doubt they want to have a one woman show.

I can give the uglies to the animal shelter for pet beds, maybe?  
Another early class sample
Would a doctor or service agancy like to hang them in their offices?

Made at our "iron quilter" meeting

Maybe I should leave them in hotels when I travel.  They have to be better than what passes for art in a lot of those places!

Made in a class with Esterita Austin

Collage, based on a "zentangle"

"Wings", an art group challenge

I have put prices on some of them when they've been on display.  I guess I haven't found my audience yet because no one has ever asked about purchasing one.
So I take them out an look at them and put them back in the drawers.
Know anyone -or any place- that needs a small quilt?  Tell them to make me an offer! 

My green tip for this time is not really about recycling. The birds will all be returning soon.  It's easy and fun to give them a spot to rest, feed, or nest around your home. Here are some ideas!

I am grateful for:
The work days that pass quickly
An inspirational art quilt exhibit.
Only 6 more days!
My dear hubby, who takes such good care of me and puts up with me.
Lucas calling to ask how I cook a favorite dish he wants to  make himself.