Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Messy, messy, messy sewing room! New studio!

Okay, I'm sure some of you have sewing rooms that could be a bit more organized. Maybe some of you are feeling a little overwhelmed with the mess. I'm going to make you feel better!

As some of you know, I have had some work done on my house (remodeling). While that was going on, lots of "junk" was shoved into my sewing room. During the time that I couldn't physically get into my sewing room, and I came across sewing paraphernalia that needed to be put somewhere, I kind of stacked and threw the stuff into the room. Now, it is the biggest mess it has ever been. Take a look at these pictures--they will make you feel better. You'll be able to say, "Gosh, someone has a bigger mess in their sewing room than I do!" I do want you all to know I will be working to create some calm in the chaos as soon as I'm home long enough to do that.

Now...I'm sure there will be a collective gasp...and you'll say, "I can't believe she actually took pictures of that mess," but here goes. This is a view from the door. I know you can hardly see it, but my sewing machine is at the bottom left. I cannot work in a mess like this! That is one of the reasons I have started hand quilting on my whole cloth quilt again--I don't have to be in this room! You can kind of see a path if you'll look towards the bottom right by my purple Tutto.
This is a view of my cutting table (under the window). Of course, I couldn't cut anything on it because it is covered with "stuff!"Here's a better view of my sewing table. I might be able to sit down if I moved all the "stuff" off the chair. Then, I might be able to sew if I cleaned off the sewing table. The problem is...there is nowhere to move it!So, after seeing this mess, I'm excited to pass along that I'm getting an honest-to-goodness "quilting studio." My son-in-law is converting the entire finished part of the basement minus a bathroom and bedroom into a space for me. I'm in the process of researching layouts, colors, furniture, etc. If you have any ideas you'd like to share, PLEASE leave a comment. Let me know what you think I just can't do without. Any help you can give me is much appreciated.

The demolition and construction work is being done on some weekends and evenings, so it will take awhile to get finished. I will keep you up to date with posts and photos. Here is what it looks like now...(It has a long way to go to get to be called a "quilting studio!")

This is the largest part of the basement. I actually get a window!!!!!!The framed-in part you see is the bedroom (that also has to be redone). To the far left is the bathroom. All the rest is mine, mine, mine!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

New Marie Bostwick Book!!!!

I'm really excited about today's publication of Marie Bostwick's new book (her fifth), A Thread of Truth. I have been waiting for it since reading (and reviewing) her book A Single Thread. If you haven't already checked out my review of that book, check it out here... The information on Marie's website says A Thread of Truth "picks up where A Single Thread left off, telling you more about Evelyn, Abigail, Margot, Liza, and the rest of the residents of New Bern, including Ivy Peterman, whose story was just beginning to unfold as the last Cobbled Court novel drew to a close." I really fell in love with the characters in A Single Thread. I'm glad to have a chance to "get to know" them better in her new book.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Oh the Strange Sights You'll See at a Quilt Show!

These strange and interesting sights come from the Paducah Quilt Show (2009).

This first strange sight is me with "Quilt Man!" I don't know if you can tell, but he had on a quilted cape, quilted cuffs, a quilted mask, and quilted boots. He was too funny! Now, that was a site to see! He entertained everyone. This lady was outside the convention center sitting on a bench. I love the hat!
I'm not quite sure what to say about this...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Even More Paducah Quilts

I'm busy trying to find time to work on my whole-cloth quilt this Memorial Day weekend. So far, I haven't had any luck. My husband is home from Indianapolis, and we are having company practically every day. I do have some more Paducah photos for you, though, and I'm planning on having a picture of me and "Quilt Man" in my next blog entry if I can find it! Hopefully, I'll have more of my work to show you soon--at least I keep hoping I'll get something done...

As I walked by this quilt, I caught Patricia Delaney (the quilt maker) and took her picture by her quilt “Inspiration Draws from Nature’s Art.” She is from Abington, MA. She said that a morning walk inspired drawings of ferns and fiddleheads. Depth and texture in the quilt come from trapunto, thread color, and over 35 different red-and-white fabrics. Hand-applied cording and handmade bias cord edging are features of this quilt. “Heavy Lifting” by Kay Preston from Deep Gap, NC, is a foundation pieced pineapple quilt. Now, I have made a small pineapple quilt, and I know how hard it is. This quilt is spectacular; the colors are stunning.
I included a closeup so you could get a better look at the quilting."Garden of Dream" was made by Fusako Takido from Japan. In the garden footpath, flowers perform a play. The Cattleya orchid has the leading part, supported by wild herbs. The applique on this quilt is SO striking. I think you can click on this picture to get a closeup. The quilting includes trapunto and really adds to the beauty of this quilt.Susan V. Polansky from Dedham, MA, made “Pastoral Disturbance” after the October 2006 schoolhouse massacre. The Amish community responded with forgiveness despite the random victimization of their children.

Hand Quilting and Even More Paducah Pictures

I have been working on my whole-cloth quilt for the last few days. At last count, I had approximately 291 hours in it. It will take lots more hours before it is finished. In the last few months I hadn't done much hand quilting; I do find that I have missed the direct connection to the cloth that hand quilting brings to a project. Hand quilting is a great investment in time and love.

Now, for more Paducach quilts...Judith Larzelere from Westerly, RI, created "August" on a 50-year-old machine. The quilt is strip-pieced and strip-quilted. It is an original piece made from hand-dyed cotton by Heide Stoll-Weber. The colors were SO vibrant they truly made me feel the August heat.
On the other side of the coin is this quilt made by Akiko Torii from Tokushima, Japan. The way "August" could convey the heat of the summer, this quilt (called "Blue Water") conveys the coolness of water. Shining waves appear to reflect the sunshine in Akiko's pieced original design, inspired by a Kyoko Oguri workshop. The quilt was quilted on a home sewing machine.
"Feathered Geese in Autumn Splendor" by Joanie Wyatt and Helen Rode from Fredricksburg, TX, is a striking quilt. I think I was really attracted to the colors. I LOVE autumn colors. (I painted my kitchen orange, my living room red, and my dining room yellow!) Joanie paper pieced Judy Niemeyer's Autumn Splendor design and gave artistic freedom to Helen to longarm quilt with microfeathering, meandering, and pebbles.

The next quilt is a miniature. You wouldn't believe how tiny the pieces of this quilt are. Each tiny piece is machine button-hole appliqued to the quilt using thread to match the color of the piece. The workmanship on this quilt is awesome. The quilt is called "Himalayan Garden" and was made by Pat Holly from Ann Arbor, MI. An old embroidery from India inspired Pat to design this completely machine-appliqued and quilted miniature to honor amazing textiles from around the world. The quilt won Benartex's Best Miniature Quilt Award. All I can say is WOW!

More Pics from the 2009 Paducah Quilt Show

The house work is progressing nicely. I can finally see an end to the mess! I have actually settled down enough to resume hand quilting on a whole-cloth quilt started long ago. Hand quilting tends to calm me down, and God knows I need that!

Some miscellaneous quilt stuff...
The UFO (from the UFO Challenge) is due in about two weeks. I'll have pics of that up in the next week or so (so watch for it).

...and now, more from the 2009 AQS Show in Paducah..."Fandango" by Judy Peterson from Pinehurst, NC, was inspired by Alice Arnette's ORIENTAL SPIRAL quilt incorporating Bethany Reynolds "Stack-n-What" Fan blocks and Lone Star Quilts & Beyond by Jan Krentz. It is longarm quilted. I just thought the color combination was very striking.

I promised another cat it is. Being the cat lover that I am, I just couldn't resist this quilt. I love it. It was made by Sandy Curran from Newport News, VA. It is called "Wild Cat." In the garden Sandy's purring pet becomes a wild predator. No mouse is safe! The eyes are all important! Feel him quiver before he pounces! It is home sewing machine quilted.The eyes were spetacular in this quilt. They really drew me in. I thought they deserved a closeup.
Jean Evans from Medina, OH, made Patio Schene III, "Tomato Takeover." This quilt won 1st in the Large Wall Pictorial quilt category. A tomato plant grew so large that it took over a brick wall and became the inspiration for this partially painted, hand-appliqued quilt. It is hand and machine quilted. I just couldn't believe how real those tomato plants looked.

Finally.....Paducah Pictures

"Color Me High on Life" is an original design by Karlyn Bue Lohrenz from Billings, MT. It was quilted on a home sewing machine. I just loved the vibrant colors and the movement in this quilt. I've included a close up picture too. It gives you a better look at the details of the design.
Kirsten Johnston from Ontario, Canada, made the quilt below. It is called "Rosewindow." Magnificent stained glass windows from Europe's medieval cathedrals prompted Kirsten to use Paula Nadelstern's fabrics and template technique to facilitate the creative process. It was home sewing machine quilted. This quilt truly looked like you were looking into a stained glass window with light behind it. It was breathtaking. The closeup gives you an idea of the work involved in a quilt like this. Wow!
Rosewindow won an Honorable Mention Award.

House Pic and Trying to Upload Paducah Pics

I am having problems uploading pictures into my blog. I have tried to upload Paducah pictures five times today. They look like they load, but they aren't there. I'll keep working on it. I'm frustrated! Can you tell?

Let me just say up front that this picture doesn't do justice to the mess I have lived in for the past couple of weeks. This picture shows the furniture from my living room and dining room crammed into my sunroom. My sewing room looked pretty much like that too (maybe that is why I haven't gotten any sewing done lately). My living room and dining room had paper on the floor, plastic over the ceiling fans, and no piece of furniture to sit on. Thankfully, some of the mess has been cleared out, and things are slowly returning to "normal." The funny thing is that the painters just finished up yesterday. I decided there just wasn't enough color (the Swiss Coffee color I chose was just too neutral), so I'm repainting two rooms! Hey, at least the mess is mine!

I'm Back...

I am finally back on line!!!! Yeah!!!! I've been off-line for the last few days due to the painters working in my computer room. I finally got everything hooked back up and working today. Stay tuned...I'm even going to show you the mess my house was in during the painting! I also have more great pictures from Paducah to share with you. I'll get pics posted some time today, so....please check back. It is after midnight, and I'm heading to bed right now.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Messy House and Paducah Quilts

My house is still in quite an uproar...walls knocked out, hardwood floors put in, plastering, electrical work, and painting. Right now, all my furniture is smashed into my sun room (and wherever else it will fit). I have boxes everywhere. My new hardwood floors are covered with paper and tape; my brick wall is covered with plastic. My sewing room (which is packed with "stuff" and is a mess anyway) is a bigger mess than usual, because it now contains items from several other rooms. The painter called today and isn't coming until 8 tomorrow! Arghhhhhhhhh! This is putting quite a strain on my quilting--I'm not getting a lot done. That being said...

I did get my sample finished for a machine applique class I may be teaching for my quilt guild. It is an original design and is hand quilted. I hadn't done any hand quilting for quite awhile, so I REALLY enjoyed doing it.
I have worked all afternoon on editing the quilt photos from the AQS Show in Paducah. I'll be putting more of those up in the next few days. Check back for more pics. The quilts were absolutely awe inspiring! Enjoy!

“Emerald Eyes” by Elizabeth Janowitz from Pinecrest, FL, is an original design. Fused appliqué, thread painting, and fabric painting techniques were used. It is based on the Firekat photograph by Darren Levant and is machine quilted. I am a cat lover, so this one captured my heart. I have another cat quilt that I'll put up later.
Pat Rollie from Los Angeles made "Elephant Walk." This is a wholecloth quilt based on a photo by Steve Bloom. The texture and patterns of the elephant skin are free-motion quilted on a longarm machine. This one made everyone smile when they looked at it. It truly looked like you were observing a real "elephant walk."
“Blushing Triangles 4” won 1st Place, Small Wall Quilts in the Home or Longarm/Midarm Sewing Machine Quilted category. The quilt was made by Gloria Hansen from East Windsor, NJ. It is the fourth in a series of original digital paintings and is based on triangles. She merged her love of digital design with her love of quiltmaking. This quilt just looked "soft" to me. The colors were brilliant.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Last of the Chicago Pics--Paducah Pics to Come

All of the following quilts were photographed by me at the 2009 Chicago International Quilt Festival.

The first quilt is called "My Diamond," by Noriko Misawa, Kujoshe, Tokoyo, Japan. It is hand quilted and is an original design. It received a second place award in the Innovative Pieced, Large category. The colors are spectacular. The tiny pieces form a large hexagon-shaped quilt.

This is the cutest quilt. You can't help but smile when you see it. It is called Red Owls by Karen Peirce from Belmont, MA. It is hand appliqued and hand quilted. The closeup shows you one of the little owls and the quilting. Furrowed Fields by Rosemary Cromer from Overland Park, KS, is made of shirts worn by men who (she says) "may have worked the land." It is the most clever use of shirting fabrics. My friend and I compared our pictures when we got back to the hotel room, and we both had taken pictures of this quilt. It is very striking.
Scarlet Beauty by Kathryn Sims from Alexis, IL, is foundation pieced. It is machine pieced and machine quilted. She designed the border using EQ5 and used a pattern from Susan Garman (designer of the block-of-the-month quilts for The Quilt Show) called "Sleeping Beauty." It won third place in the Traditional Pieced category. The big black vertical "thing" in the picture is not a part of the quilt; it is a light pole. There was no way to get a picture without it.

This is a closeup of the border of the quilt. I love the half-circles she designed using Electric Quilt.