Monday, March 24, 2014

Fine Arts Student work

 In the gallery at GCC right now is my favorite exhibit of the year,  featuring the work of our own very talented students.  I look forward to this show every year. 

I love the fact that they are apparently encouraged to find ways to make are from "trash!"


The picture I took of the "middle" piece, wasn't good enough to share. 
Aren't these beautiful?  I kind of want one.

Sadly, the gallery isn't open very often.  The gallery manager position is vacant at the moment, and may not be filled for a long time. It's a shame, really. The gallery could be a great asset for the college, but they haven't found a way to make it live up to its potential.  I'm hoping that they will.

Meanwhile, in my sewing room.....

I made a sort of Easter basket with a couple of the "rejected" fat quarters from the left right center game at retreat.

I layered them, and quilted the whole thing.  I cut the corners away to make the basket.  Not wanting to waste them, I zigzagged the edges and made coasters.

I bought Mary Lou Weidman's book, Flower Power, last year, but have never taken time to play with it.  I finally moved that to the top of the list.  I may or may not ever use this flower.  I was thinking of Kathi while I worked on this, since I decided it didn't matter if I hated the result- I was only learning the process!  (Kathi will understand)
I actually made a big mistake on my very first attempt.  Those star points weren't supposed to look like that.  But When I realized I did them wrong, I decided to see what I could do with them!
I enjoyed doing it.  That's all that matters.

I never shared pictures of the clothes I made.  But they don't look nice on a hanger.  So this dogwood fabric is a sort of a jacket.
The Kaffe Fassett print is a spring/summer dress. I'm hoping we will someday have spring and summer.

I saw an episode of "Only in America" with Larrry the Cable Guy last week, showing something called the "Loveable Loo".  It is a composting toilet.  You basically go in a bucket, dump it into the compost box and get nice soil for your gardens.  I admit it, part of me wanted one.  But since my composting efforts went awry due to the fact that I am lazy about it, I know I am not really the right person for this.  (If you do it right, it creates heat, which kills the bacteria.)  So I have found my limit.  If our water supplies do become as precious as is predicted, I will have to.  But for now I will "pass".  

I am grateful for:

My sewing time.
Red-winged blackbirds,  Turkey Vultures, and Woodchucks- all of whom know spring is coming!
Really yummy soup.
How funny George is.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

AQS show Lancaster

 Kathi, Tracy and I had a wonderful three days together on our trip to see Kathi's "Ice Crystals" quilt in the AQS Lancaster show! 

The trip started outwith us all having to dig our way out of the snow from the storm which passed through on Wednesday, March 12.  Apparently the one day snowfall records were all broken by this storm.  Kind of funny, considering the name of Kathi's quilt! 

This was taken on Friday when we met up with Carol,  one of my online quilting buddies.  The artwork behind us is at the main desk at the Lancaster Convention Center.
One of their friendly staff members was nice enough to take our picture.

Many of the quilts I loved best were not award winners. The choices are subjective- even from show to show!
All of the tiny appliqued circles on this one amazed me!

Anything with lots of color is going to be a favorite of mine, especially when paired with black!

 Marylin Badger had two collaborative pieces in this show I felt should have been award winners.  This one  just amazed me!

This piece by Leona Harden won my admiration for the use of metallic threads!  Not only that, she created the gradation effect in the stars with her quilting.


Another piece with metallic threads, and LOTS of sparkle.  I know some people think the crystals are overused, but I just love them.  I so want to create a piece where the quilting gives me lots of places to add sparkles!!!

 This piece made me wish I had thought of this when the blue prints for our house were newer!  What an awesome way to record the creation of a new home!

There were two zentangle pieces, which of course I loved!

 (Apologies to Karen Marchetti for not getting a close up of her label)
This piece was made for a black and white challenge.  She spent 80 hours inking and coloring this design!

Apologies also to the very nice rep in the Sulky booth, who allowed me to photograph his small quilt.  I'm sure I wrote down his name, but I promptly lost the scrap of paper I wrote it on!
He said as soon as he saw "Zentangle", he knew he would love it!  This piece was done with NO stops and starts- beginning in the upper left corner, to the lower right!!

I will share more pictures in my next post.  There was a LOT to enjoy at the show!!

 There was also a lot to enjoy in the Lancaster area!
On Thursday we enjoyed a wonderful meal at the Red Rose restaurant, just up the street from the convention center.  Afterward we were treated to an entertaining ride back to our car on the shuttle.  The driver was a nice man, formerly from South Africa. He was a hunting guide and rancher there, but was forced to abandon the ranch.  In spite of what must have been a terrible loss, he has apparently not not lost his zest for life!
On Friday we had a great fish and chips meal at Annie Bailey's Irish pub, also just up the street!  I bet they will have a wonderful corned beef dinner for St Patrick's day!

Before we left for home, we headed down to Intercourse to enjoy the amazing fabric selection at Zooks, and the best hot pretzels in the world at Immergut, right next door!

There is no "green" portion to this post. Instead I feel the need to rant about the sudden need for every part of our lives to be scented.  I suffer from allergies/ chemical sensitivity.  Those so-called air fresheners are like poison to me.  I can't breathe in rooms with them.  I place a scarf over my nose to use the rest room- or hold my breath until I think I will pass out.  Today- after three days of being subjected to them- I am suffering from a horrendous attack of sinus inflammation.  I have used half a box of tissues and taken numerous OTC remedies to be able to function at all.  I know I am not alone in my total loathing of these products and the notion that every aspect of our lives must have a scent.  In frank terms, I would rather a bathroom smell like what occurs in there, than some chemical representation of "fresh mountain air".  I have threatened to start a revolt against this trend.  Care to join me???

I am grateful for:
Three days with good friends!
Random interactions with friendly and interesting people.
That hot pretzel, and sitting outside in the sunshine to eat it.
Signs of spring.
Sleeping in my own bed.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

How do they do it?

I'm not sure how they do it, those women who post to their blog every day!  I must be really boring, because some times when I think about creating a post I can't think of anything to write about.  Or maybe I'm  really busy because even when I have something to post, I just can't manage to get posts put up as often as I would like.  

So I'm sitting here this afternoon while the Freaking blizzard rages on outside.  I mean yesterday I was walking outside without a jacket and today it looks like this outside!!!      (Here is a time I could really use that great cursing book Vinnie had at retreat.  It's on my wish list at Amazon!)

I took this picture last week before work.  This was before the joke of daylight savings time put me back into the pitch dark in the morning.  Sometime in June I should be able to see the sunrise again.  By June it will be warm enough for me to appreciate it being light out later in the day as well.  I just don't get it at all.  But, I digress....    Anyway, this was so glorious I was almost late for work!!

One of the many projects I have been working on lately is the small version of the raffle quilt to donate to the silent auction at the quilt show in October.  This has been done in the past with the scraps of the large quilt.  The guild makes a donation  to the VA every quilt show, and the money raised from this will help. Especially if there is a bidding war at the last minute.  Last time, the winner of the big quilt decided she needed the small one as well.     This one has been way less painful for me than the full sized version.  Fusible appliqué and it will be machine quilted.

When I packed for the retreat, I discovered a couple of garments I had cut out about this time last year and never got put together.  So I worked on them.  Garments are a nice break once in a while because they are such quilt projects!  If only a quilt could be made start to finish in a weekend!!!
I'll get a picture up soon.  
And next time I post I hope to have pictures from the AQS show in Lancaster.  My friend Kathi has a piece in it this year!  

Someone recently asked me for recycling ideas for the bags coffee beans come in.  That's an item I have just accepted must be thrown away.  But it made me think about the things I don't even try to repurpose or recycle.  I guess there is always a little more we could be doing to make as small an impact as possible.

I am grateful for:
My ArtCGirlz friends
My fellow cat ladies at the shelter looking out for me
Al is here to rescue me from this *&%^#$ snow!
A great trip to look forward to
Being outside enjoying the sunshine yesterday!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

I spent three days on retreat, and I'm already ready for another

Last weekend was the annual Museum Quilt Guild retreat at Camp Asbury on Silver Lake.  It is one time living out in the boonies works for me, since I am less than 20 minutes away!

My sewing space was right by the window. This was my view Friday afternoon.

After spending all three days last year working on those teeny tiny George Siciliano blocks, I decided to bring quick and easy projects this year.  I had recently gone through the bin of samples from when I was teaching Scrap Therapy classes.  There were two projects in there I knew I could finish quickly.  I started on those.

This pattern is called "Charming Buds".  All the sashing rows were assembled and the borders were cut.  So once I got a few blocks used as my "process" samples assembled,  it went together very quickly!  This is the charm pack variation, which is lap-sized.  I don't know where it will go when I get it quilted.

I goofed on the orientation of two of the blocks.  Can you spot them?  Oh, I should do a giveaway for that! hmmmmm

This quilt is made of disappearing nine patch blocks. They were samples for the "Triple Dip" Pattern.  This is not one of the dips.  I didn't want a square quilt. Doesn't this look like a cake or brownies with sprinkles???

Melanie sat across from me all weekend.  She was fun to play with.  She was the one this year doing lots of piecing on small projects.  She got four more of her George Siciliano blocks project.

She has to do more blocks to finish her project than I did.  But mine had more pieces per block. We thought it was about even for how hard they are to finish!

My Saturday project was to assemble these flower blocks into a top.  I got these as a surprise thank you gift a few years back.  I helped a friend who had to drop out of the swap at the last minute, by making a set of blocks in her name.  I was not the only one.  So we all got a set since there were extras.

Funny how many people mentioned this didn't look like a "Martha" quilt.

Saturday evening, I got out the fabric to put between these stars, which also came from a swap.  I wanted my quilt to be bigger, which is why I added the squares in between.  I got the blocks all assembled, but I think I want a teal border, so I will probably "have" to go buy some fabric.  Poor me.

It was so wonderful to have this time to just sew and enjoy the company of the other ladies on retreat!  Nothing like it!!!

My "green" thought this week is to ask: Are you like me- picking empty water bottles out of trash cans so you can recycle them?  I do it, if they are right on top. I try to make people aware that I am willing to help with recycling wherever I am.  Many people don't want to bring home empty soda bottles after an outing.   I was happy to pick up the bottles left behind after retreat and get them to the recycle bins.  I forgot to announce I would do this in advance.  It is part of my welcome to the students each Fall to let them know I will do this for them.
So make your voice heard and your intentions known!   Together we CAN make a difference!!
 ( I do hope no one feels singled out by this- that is NOT my intention!!)

I am grateful for:
Three wonderful days with friends!
My hubby doesn't mind my obsession.
February is over!
The birds were singing Sunday morning.
Hugs, always.