Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Pieceful Haven—Winter 2017

Each year I have the opportunity to attend an art retreat with some of my friends at a place called Pieceful Haven. It is a chance to visit with artist friends and get some much needed, uninterrupted work time in.

Everyone works on different things—some art related and some not. This year the projects ranged from making gifts for Christmas to catching up on computer work. We also have a “Show & Tell” (sometimes critique) at this retreat. I took a few pics along the way.

I have one project that I finished but can’t show yet. (It is a surprise gift.) Besides that, I made these 4 kennel quilts for TQPM Small Kennel Quilts. I hope they don’t keep the cats/dogs awake. These kennel quilts are desperately needed by organizations that take in cats/dogs that have been displaced for some reason—fires, floods, etc. The fires out West have really increased the need for these small kennel quilts. You can find out more about this great cause here. These small quilts are quick to make (and you can do some stash reduction). Maybe you would like to make a few too. I also made 4 blocks for the 20,273 Project mentioned/explained in this post.
I also got a new pattern drawn up for an art quilt I’ve been thinking about and completed the stitching on my “In the Eye of the Hurricane” quilt top. I was the last person to leave the retreat; it was a lonely place that last day. However, I was DETERMINED to finish the stitching on my hurricane piece. I watched “John Adams” on Amazon Prime while I worked and really enjoyed that.
You may (or may not) remember that I taught an “Extreme Embroidery” class for LAFTA (Louisville Area Fiber and Textile Artists). The first piece Kathy made was sold. She recently finished the stitching on this one that will also be for sale. I just love seeing pieces my “extreme embroidery” students make.
This was Vickie’s first time at the retreat. She got A LOT done, and I think she enjoyed herself. (Don’t you just LOVE these pieces?)
Debby worked on several projects.
Felice didn’t get to stay very long, but made some good progress on one of her pieces. (I didn’t get a picture of the new piece.)
Pamela is always VERY focused during the retreat. Often, she spends time making gifts for friends—this time she made beautiful purple rocks to brighten up a friend’s garden in winter.
Debbie worked on a Christmas gift (among other things).
Robin finished a quilt top for a baby quilt and got a good start on another project.
MJ worked on original patterns.
Wendy brought a scarf to show. It is made from of silk from old kimonos.
This is such a good retreat for me. It comes at a time when stress (about the holidays and other things)  seem to be prevalent. I have time to wind down and also get some work done. If you need some time away, you might check out going to a retreat.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Spreading the News—70,273 Project

Have you ever “gone down the rabbit hole” while surfing the Internet? Well, I have done it many times. The last time I did this I discovered a project in which I am VERY interested (and I hope you are too). It is called the 70,273 Project.

Let me give you a quick description. This is a project that will use white quilts with red Xs to commemorate the lives of the 70,273 physically and/or mentally disabled people that were murdered between January 1940 and August 1941 by the Nazis. Each pair of red Xs on the quilts represent one life. To explain—after three Nazi doctors read the medical files of a disabled person being evaluated, it only took two of them to make a red X on the medical form to condem that person to death. The 20,273 website says that “most were murdered within hours.” 

Jeanne Hewell-Chambers decided she wanted to commemorate these 70,273 voiceless, powerless people who were so callously and casually murdered by gathering 70,273 blocks of white fabric (representing innocence and the paper the doctors read), each bearing two red X’s (representing one person) and stitch them together into quilts. She knew she couldn’t do this alone, so she has created a world-wide project in which you can participate.

This past weekend I was at an art retreat and made some blocks to contribute to this project. I used recycled sari silk strips and stitched them down with red embroidery thread. I stitched Xs to hold the strips down. I thought that was both meaningful and attrative—adding a nice texture to the blocks.
I am an Amazon Prime subscriber and have enjoyed some of their original programming. One of the programs I have watched is “Man in the High Castle.” “Man in the High Castle” is described on the Internet as a “series, loosely based on Philip K. Dick's novel of the same name. It takes a look at what the world might look like had the outcome of World War II turned out differently. In this dystopian scenario, the Axis powers won the war, leading to the United States being divided into three parts, an area controlled by the Japanese, a Nazi-controlled section, and a buffer zone between the two.” 

One of the episodes in Season 2 is about a child who has a disability. The child’s father is a Nazi officer and is asked to give his son a shot that will kill him simply because he has a dibilitating disease. (I won’t tell you what happens so as not to spoil the story for those of you who haven’t yet watched the show.) That episode was SO heart wrenching for me that I couldn’t get it out of my mind. When I saw this project, I knew I HAD to participate. 

As you can see above, I have made some blocks so far, but I am thinking the REAL need will be putting the blocks together into quilt tops and quilting these quilts. I’m hoping, at some point in time, I can help with that too.

Check it out. You can read more about the project here Maybe you will feel moved to participate too. (You don’t even have to be a “quilter” to contribute. There are LOTS of ways to participate.)