Monday, February 24, 2014

Catching up

On Saturday we went to see Amy play in sectionals in LeRoy.  We left LeRoy before they built the new school, so it was interesting to see at least part of it.  I'm guessing they payed a lot for the sound system, since they had it blasting out noise I assume was supposed to be music at a deafening level.  (I am actually able to make the comparison to a Metallica concert and this was worse by far!)

  I am not a basketball fan, but this was a very good game- exciting to the end even thought Wellsville lost.  It is very hard to get a good shot of Amy playing, since the only time they stand still is for foul shots.
 ( I hate you, blogger!!  Be consistent- can I type next to my photo or not???)

Ok, now that I got that off my chest...

I finally remembered to bring my camera on my walk on the one day a week the gallery is open.  (I'm sure the lady whose name is on the door envisioned something MUCH more friendly to the public when she proposed an art gallery on campus)
Anyway, it's an interesting exhibit, by Leigh Yardley.
She places these chunks of fabric out in the woods, and in fields, and lets nature leave its mark.  Then she embellishes.  I'm not sure I get why fabric with bits of leaves and moss are art, but I did enjoy looking at it.  (And maybe that's why it's art?)
This is my favorite piece. It's called Corn Field ( I think- I lost the list)    She enhanced the image of the corn stalks with paint.  Then she embellished it with what looks like the old sisal type rope they used for hay bales.  
What's really cool is that since it's cheesecloth, the rope is visible on both sides. But each side is different.

She also takes photos of interesting things while she's out in nature.  She calls them Evidence of Occupation.  This rock has neat fossils in it.  Below is one of her Fragments of Place pieces.   

My own  artwork is far less abstract.  I finished my "creative girl" quilt yesterday. I have ideas for several more, and can see where these would be great gifts for people!  Fun to do, and a quick project.

Retreat is coming at the end of this week!!!  I am packed already and eagerly anticipating three whole days of sewing and camaraderie!  Hopefully I'll have more than one project to show this year! (last year I did the George Siciliano piece)

We were talking about the fact that globally it was the warmest January on record, in spite of the fact that we froze our whoopie cakes off!  {thank you online slang dictionary} The irony is that extreme climate change will eventually trigger a new ice age.  It's scary how many people think the cold proves global warming is a myth. 

I am grateful for:
Sharing auditing duty with ladies who have as much trouble with accounting as I do.  (maybe we shouldn't have done it)
Retreat in 4 days!
Wine O'clock
Peanut butter brownies (with chocolate chips)
SEWING time!!!!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Deep winter

 Now that football season is over, there is nothing to distract me from the fact that it's too cold to do much but hibernate in the sewing room.  What else are you going to do when it looks like this outside?  (and we didn't even get that last big storm they got up the east coast)

I do enjoy the ice formations on the windows, though.  

 I wish that meant I was getting an awful lot finished, but I have been practicing what I call "Short attention span quilting" lately.
 The only thing I have finished is this tiny log cabin quilt. (That's my friend Alex hiding behind it)

  I have never made a log cabin quilt before, in over 20 years of making quilts!  I started this when I was making the new banner for the guild to hang at public events, like our challenge.  However, I realized that the banner would have to be ginormous for this small quilt to be in any way proportional.  So I set it aside. A few weeks ago, I was excavating the pile, in preparation for the retreat at the end of the month.  (I am a planner.  I want to know what I'm working on so I know I have all my supplies!!)  Anyway, I realized with only a couple of hours worth of work, I could finish this!  So I did.  I sewed the label on at the guild meeting on Saturday and handed it right over for the silent auction at our show in October.  That's why I had to have someone hold it for a picture.  I have actually given things away before and forgotten the picture.

Other items on my short attention span sessions included getting the borders on the portrait quilt.  I wasn't sure I could make the mitered corners since the darker fabric had a big chunk out of it.  But it JUST fit. Next step for this is to do invisible zigzag stitching around all the pieces to make sure I don't lose any along the way.  I have never done one with such tiny little pieces before and can't guarantee that the quilting or thread sketching will hit all of them. 

I assembled the background and fused the bouquet for this smaller version of the raffle quilt, also for the silent auction.  I started the blanket stitching yesterday.  Tedious work!  So when I got sick of that, I got up and picked fabrics for something else before sitting back down.  I have two more flowers to go around.  Then the rest of it should go together quickly.  Only 2 small borders on this one, and it will be machine quilted.

One of my retreat projects will be to assemble the star blocks I got from the last online swap I did.  I know I want to alternate them with a "plain" square.  (not too plain since that would make me feel obliged to do some fancy quilting in those squares.)  I rooted around in the bins and boxes and found a couple of good candidates.  At first I thought I would hate the large print, by either Amy Butler or Anna Maria Horner.  I didn't, but I decided that the more subtle print on the right won't overwhelm the blocks.  Depending on the size of the finished quilt, it might go in the newly painted guest room.

We ended up canceling our ArtCGirlz meeting last week.  We had planned to make "creative art girl" quilts at the meeting.  To make it doable in the time we had, we were all supposed to have the background prepared and only do the girl at the meeting.  So I had the background, using Kathi's mosaic technique, all finished and my girl pieces fused to their fabrics.  The next day I had some time, so I fused them down.  My girl is- as you can see- a crazy cat lady.  My background fabric is apparently more polyester than cotton, since it melted a bit on the one side.  So that settles the issue of whether or not to leave that as a border, doesn't it?

My "green" tip this week is about the air quality in your winter home.  I don't think these up on my own.  (shocking, right?)  So when I searched green tip winter and found this, it made me think about my winter sinus issues and the fact that many people suffer similar respiratory issues in winter as well.  I wouldn't have thought of this, but it is true that not only are we humans cooped up inside all winter, but so are the environmental irritants.  For example, we have recently painted a room. The fumes weren't bad, but they did take longer to dissipate.  Anyway, this article has some good ideas for how to keep the air in your home clean. 

I am grateful for:
Good music in the morning.
Guild meeting was a blast this month!
Overcoming old angers and hurts
I got to keep the bag I liked best.
Almond Croissants from Wegman's

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Challenge display

Yesterday we hung the 2014 Challenge quilts in the gallery room at the Richmond Memorial Library.   There are 16 quilts, so each has space to make its own statement, which is much nicer than having them hung "cheek by jowl"
I apologize for not having the names of the quilts.  The labels weren't put up when I left because the judges were coming.  (Here come da judge- an age test!)
The challenge, as I think I mentioned, was to make a quilt representing something from the year you were born.  Not all participants shared their year, but the quilts all tell a good story!!!

Cynda Watroba

Cynda's entry tells the story of her mother being in labor during a blizzard in Niagara Falls.  She couldn't get to the hospital unless she walked!!!
Susan Rathbun

Susan said she invented new swear words while making these faces.  But didn't she do an amazing job????
Casablanca was new the year she was born.

Mary Ellen Casey

Mary Ellen Casey honored the fact that the New York Ballet Society was created the year she was born.  The quilting on this one is exquisite!

Val Schultz

Val Schultz found inspiration in Picassos's "Woman with green hair".   As a child, Val apparently didn't like her red hair, preferring to tell people her hair was green. 

Val's quilting is also worth a closer look!

Chris Kuehl

Chris Kuehl learned a lot about 1953 while researching her project.
Gloria Crittenden

I always look forward to what Gloria Crittenden has created!!!   Her quilts are always my favorites!  She is so creative.

The car represents a baby picture she found of her sitting on her Dad's car!

Gloria Crittenden

And, of course, no words are necessary for this one. Just takes your breath away, doesn't it?
Dodie Morrison

Dodie Morrison also used a world war II theme in her "Victory Garden"

Kate Martin said this is her third (?) challenge crazy quilt.  Charlotte's Web was published in Kate's birth year.

Elaine Ross

Elaine's friend sent her a picture of some cd's and challenged her to make a quilt. She added names of tunes from her birth year, and killed two birds with one stone- or is it met two challenges with one quilt? 

First time entrant Kevin Hammon found inspiration in the band Rush, formed in his birth year. This represents their "Snakes and Arrows" album.  Kevin found great meaning in the symbols.  The motif is hand painted.

Kathi Everett

Kathi had a completely different plan. But when it fell through, she still managed to do something wonderful in just a few days!  JFK was inaugurated in the year she was born.

Mary Ellen Ames was inspired by the music from the year she was born.  (it was great music!!!)

Susan used another of her ice-dyed fabrics to make this piece, which commemorates the first nuclear reactor.  The purple  lines represent the wooden box which housed the device. The scientists apparently sat on top of this box in case it blew up!!!
What a great change they brought to our world!

Susan's embellishments and hand stitching make this piece  worth a closer look!
(can you tell it's my favorite?)

Akex Hammon

Alex Hammon also found too  much from her year to choose just one favorite.

And my piece you have seen, but I wanted to include it so you could see the context. 

There was a piece in our paper about this woman's book, A Year of Nothing New.  Can you imagine buying nothing new for a year?  Nothing?  I can't.  It boggles the mind.  But it also makes you think about the word NEED as it pertains to shopping.  In our consumer driven economy, we have been encouraged to spend money we don't have on things we simply do not need!!!  So I challenge you to pause when you pick up a shiny new something at the store.  Can you do without it?  Could you buy it used?  Or simply make do without it? 

I am grateful for:
A really good sewing day Monday
Luke came over to watch the Superbowl.  If it hadn't been for his company, the evening would have been wasted.
Guy called
My photo album is up to date
A little bit of spring in the flowering bulbs I bought last week.