Monday, April 23, 2018

Quilt Show Booty

I just got back from the 2018 AQS Quilt Show in Paducah, KY. The first thing Robin and I always do is head for the vendors. As a matter of fact, we usually go a couple of days before the show actually starts and shop the vendors who have come in early.

The fabric was REALLY hard to pass up. I got most of the yardage for $3, $5, or $5.99 a yard and most of the precuts for 40% off. I purchased very little fabric at the “normal” price.

As you can see, I shopped for striped fabric. In the past, I haven’t used much striped fabric, but I’m branching out—I see a striped quilt in my future. I also purchased some thread for my Juki QVP2200 sit-down long-arm machine. I have finished a few quilt tops, and they need to be quilted. I’m hoping these threads will work for me. I also fell in love with a line from Moda called Catnip by Gingiber. I got 3 yards of a background fabric, a layer cake, a charm pack, and a jellyroll from the line. I found 5 yards of a Victoria Findlay Wolfe background fabric too ($5/yard). I got a jellyroll of the new Kona solids, a charm pack (Moda Fragile by Brigitte Heitland for Zen Chic), a Moda Yucatán by Annie Brady layer cake, and a Robert Kaufman fat quarter bundle.
For those of you who know me, you know I’m a “gadget girl.” Of course, I had to hit the notions wall. You also know I’m a “table hog” at retreats.

  • I got something called a “Table Tidy” and a “Table Tidy” add-on for 50% off. It is a table/desk organizer that clips to a table and holds lots of retreat essentials. I’m hoping it will help me clear some much needed space on my table (and the tables of those seated near me)! I’ll be testing it out at my next retreat and will let you know how it works.
  • I purchased a “Clear Glide” foot for my Juki QVP2200. It is supposed to “glide” easily over seams when machine quilting. Since I see lots of machine quilting in my future, I though it might be of some help to me.
  • I purchased two books—Creative Stitching Second Edition by Sue Spargo and Spelling Bee by Lori Holt. I’ll let you know how I like them in a later post.
  • I got a pair of Karen Kay Buckley’s new orange-handled Perfect Scissors. They are touted as making the cutting of fusibles easier—we’ll see.
  • I got a spray bottle that sprays a micro-mist of whatever you put into it. I’m going to use it for Best Press. (Spraying this fine mist of Best Press onto a quilt marked with chalk is supposed to set the chalk so it doesn’t brush off so easily while you quilt.)
  • At the Pellon booth, I purchased a package of Batting & Seam Tape (to seam smaller pieces of batting together) and 2 yards of Flex-Foam 2-Sided Fusible Stabilizer (to use in making my bins for holding fat quarters).
  • A retreat-size wool mat (40% off).
  • I also bought some Size 1 Quilter’s Safety Pins for basting quilts, a alphabet stencil, a 5” X 5” Quilter’s Select ruler, a new sewing machine brush, some new silk straight pins, and an Olfa “Endurance” rotary blade. The blade is supposed to last twice as long as a “normal” rotary cutter blade. I’ll let you know about that after I’ve had a chance to test it.

I usually do some shopping for non-quilting items too. I got two tops at the show and two tops and a jacket at various other shopping venues in and around Paducah. I also found a necklace and earring set at the show. I have done my part to help the economy!

I’ll have a few blog posts on the show itself as soon as I can put some together, so stay tuned if you are interested.

Friday, April 20, 2018

At the Opening of Fantastic Fibers 2018

My husband and I attended the opening of Fantastic Fibers 2018 at the Yeiser Art Center in Paducah, KY.
Here is a picture of my piece hanging in the gallery.
And here is a better photo of the actual piece (Come Dance with Me).
The show began in 1987 as a wearable art show but has evolved over the years to include a mix of traditional and non-traditional works created from natural or synthetic fibers and work that addresses the subject or medium of fiber. The exhibit opened on April 14, 2018. The exhibit is held during the American Quilter’s Society (AQS) show and the selected works will be seen by thousands of viewers. Paducah becomes a Mecca for quilters and quilt enthusiasts each April as more than 30,000 visitors from across the globe attend AQS QuiltWeek. This year’s AQS QuiltWeek dates are/were April 18 – 21, 2018. The Fantastic Fibers Exhibit is open through June 9, 2018.

I took several pictures of the pieces in this show. I was not surprised by the unusual pieces chosen by this juror. Aurturo Sandaval was the juror, and he uses very interesting materials for many of his own pieces. You can check him out here.

This is my favorite piece from the show. There was A LOT of threadwork, and it was somewhat three dimensional as the face was actually “shaped.” The visible eye was actually set into the piece and the cheek jutted out from the piece—almost like it was stuffed. I just loved it. You can see some of the maker’s other work here.
The maker is Jayne Gaskins and is called Memories (24” X 40” X 2”) She says about the piece, “A Peruvian woman gazes at her home in the Colca Canyon. In her mind are the hardships she and her people endured over the centuries in their struggles to maintain their culture and lands. This is a 2-D piece but, because of the unusually strong relief effect, depth has also been provided.”

There were quilts and quilt-like pieces.
(top left-Niraja Lorenz; top right-Kathy Nida; bottom-Pat Pauly)
(left-Gray Caskey; right-Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry)

There were other embroidered pieces (besides mine).
(top left-Paula Giovanini-Morris; bottom left-Jill Vendituoli; right-Marah Carpenter)

There were sculptural pieces, too.
(top left-Suzanna Scott; bottom left-Tina Struthers; top right-Chris Motley; bottom right-Eva Comanche-Sanchez)

I’ve shown you a REALLY small part of this exhibit. There are garments, more sculptural pieces, tapestries, and a couple of very contemporary and unusual pieces. (The “Best of Show” piece isn’t shown in this blog post.) If you have a chance to go see this exhibit in person, please do.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Wrangling Scraps

I love scrap quilts—all scrap quilts. I have LOTS of scraps (and I’ll bet some of you do to). Okay, okay, I’m a fabric hoarder! For the last few days, I have been organizing my scraps (at least some of them). 

When my sister was here for my Dad’s memorial/burial, she stayed at my house a couple of days. She isn’t a quilter, so we decided to do some marathon “Game of Thrones” watching. The problem with that is I find it hard to just sit and watch TV without working on SOMETHING. This is how I solved that problem. She ironed some of my scraps, while I cut them into useable segments on a portable table set up in my living room in front of the TV. (These pictures are of the same “stuff” only from different angles.)

I also made an “Opportunity Block” for a quilt retreat I’ll be going to in the fall. The retreat committee makes a quilt from the blocks turned in, and someone who has made a block will win the quilt in a drawing.
I made strip sets in sizes from 6” wide decreasing in size by half inch increments down to 1 1/2” wide. I have stacks of these strips sets and am working on a quilt design to use them.
My house in an ABSOLUTE disaster area. I have fabric in the kitchen, dining room, and living room. I can’t eat at my bar or on the dining room table. You can see why in the next picture—that’s my dining room table. Luckily, my husband is out of town, so he doesn’t have to look at all this. I’ll have it all cleaned up before he gets home—maybe!
In addition to working with my scraps, I have made binding for three quilts, I have machine quilted the golf quilt (My sister said she had no idea how big it was from the picture. It measures approximately 60” X 72”.), I’ve made a mug rug, I have three “kennel quilts” cut out and ready to quilt, I have cut out lots of pieces for a red, white, and black scrap quilt, and have cut out lots of pieces for a scrap “L” quilt. (You can see the blocks for that slightly above the blue shoe box on my dining room table in the picture above.)

Now isn’t this fabric “rope” cool. I’ve been making this from my scraps too. I’m really liking the way it looks; now I just have to figure out what to do with it. Suggestions?
I have also spent time folding fat quarters into segments that should be easy to store. Now all I have to do is find the pattern for making the bins to hold them. It looks like I’ll be needing LOTS of bins, because this picture only shows a few of the fat quarters I have accumulated!

I Am Beyond Frustrated

I just tried to publish a new blog post about using scraps and scrap quilting. I spent about an hour writing what I thought was a decent post with some good pictures. I’m using a blogging app that is iPad compatible. (I have been using it for quite some time.) Once I had the post finished, I went to publish it and POOF—the title of the post showed up but NONE of the post itself. It didn’t show up here, and it disappeared from the blogging app too. I have asked for help from the “help desk” to no avail. (As you can see by the post above, I rewrote the post—in Blogger—which also has problems when working on an iPad. It takes about twice as long to do. I decided to keep this post in case someone sees it that has a suggestion as to an app I can use.)

I’ve tried blogging straight from Blogger, but my pictures from my phone don’t transfer over. I’m at my wits end with this. I don’t use a laptop for anything except doing my taxes. I WANT TO USE MY IPAD TO BLOG! If you know of a good blogging app (ANY blogging app) that is iPad compatible, please let me know. If I don’t find one, I guess I’ll just have to quit blogging.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Evansville Extreme Embroidery Class

I recently had the opportunity to teach my “Extreme Embroidery” class to a group in Evansville. We had a great time. The group posed for a class photo.

There were lots of great designs and beautiful work.

One of the students had already finished her pin and had started a new piece before a week had passed!

I always love it when I get to see some of the finished pieces. If you would like a class on “Extreme Embroidery,” get in touch!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Penny Sisto Exhibit

I had the opportunity to attend a gallery talk and see a fabulous exhibit by fiber artist Penny Sisto at The Carnegie Center for Art & History in New Albany, Indiana. Penny has captured the 60s in her solo show “The Sixties—Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out.” Penny describes the time for her as “Escape and Ecstasy.” I think it was that way for a lot of us.

I have always loved her work. Several years ago, she had some pieces on display at KMAC (Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft). There was a piece there that just “haunted” me—I couldn’t get it out of my mind (and still can’t). I hesitated on the purchase and lost it to someone else. I mentioned it to Penny when I saw her at this latest exhibit. She assured me that it found a good home. I STILL regret not buying that piece.

Anyway, back to this exhibit…the show is loosely divided into sections—art and music, spiritual growth, civil rights and like-minded counter culture people. One of the pieces that really speaks to me is “Vote.” It is a HUGE piece. I can’t imagine the making of this piece as Penny’s studio is rather small.

So that you can get an idea about the size of this piece, I took a picture of Penny in front of it as she was speaking about it during the gallery talk I attended.

Penny says, “It was made during the last election…it stresses the importance of every single Vote…it also shows a ballot called Choice ’68 that was sent to schools and colleges listing names of possible candidates…every name on that list inspired in me hope or despair.”

I still love the music and excitement of that time. Her quilts of John Lennon, Jimi Hendricks, Janis Joplin, etc. take me back to that time.

Some of my friends were lucky enough to acquire one of her quilts at this exhibit.
Congratulations you two!!!

If you have the opportunity to see this exhibit in person, be sure you do. It is SO worth a trip to New Albany.

Sunday, March 11, 2018


I had written an earlier blog post about having trouble doing any “creative” work after my Dad died on February 23. I had an art retreat scheduled (before any of the stuff happened with my Dad) for March 5-8. I decided to go, and it was one of the best decisions I have made in a long time. I immersed myself in my work and got my creative mojo back!

This art retreat consisted of several artists working in varied  mediums—felt making, poetry writing, book making, organization, sewing/piecing, hand stitching, sketching, planning, eco-dyeing, collage, etc. Being surrounded by people who CREATE really fed my soul. The first thing I did was finish the machine appliqué on the quilt I made out of Dad’s pajamas. (See the blog post about that here.)

I finished six 3” blocks for my 365 Quilt and two 6” blocks for it.

I finished the stitching on an “extreme embroidery” pin.

I started an improvisationally pieced quilt top. I got several good-sized units pieced and several smaller units ready to join. This type of creative project was just what I needed. I thoroughly enjoyed the process; the colorful pieces make me smile.

I arrived home to several very nice sympathy cards from friend (all of them much appreciated) a walking foot for my new machine, and a new hair care product I want to try. My husband unloaded all the retreat stuff from my car. Life is good.

Thursday, March 8, 2018


I received word last week that one of my “extreme embroidery” pieces (Come Dance with Me) has been juried into this year’s Fantastic Fibers Exhibit at the Yeiser Art Center in Paducah, Kentucky. This is a picture when I was working on it while at a retreat.
So…if you are going to the BIG quilt show in Paducah in the spring, please stop by and see it in person. The exhibit will be on display when you come to the big show. The opening reception will be held on Saturday, April 14 from 5pm-7pm (free admission). The show will be on display from April 14 - June 9, 2018, with a regular admission fee of $5.

According to the email I received, 364 submissions from 11 nations and 35 US states. From those 364 works submitted, only 42 were selected as part of the exhibition. I’m pretty excited to be a part of this group!

This years juror was Arturo Alonzo Sandoval, a fiber artist whose experimental techniques and expressive interpretations have earned  him  an  international reputation. He is one of Kentucky's most original, influential and significant artists. Because he creates an extensive collection of work his artwork is everywhere. His work is in the collections of the New York City Museum of Modern Art's Architecture and Design Collection, as well as galleries and private collections throughout the United States and the world. I wasn’t sure one of my pieces would get into the exhibit with Arturo being the juror, because he does REALLY innovative work.

If you haven’t been to the Yeiser before, it is located in downtown Paducah. It is a non-profit visual arts organization which recently celebrated sixty years (1957 - 2017) of serving the community through exhibitions and education throughout the Tri-State Region. The Yeiser Art Center is wheelchair accessible. The hours of operation are Tuesday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

If you get a chance to stop by, let me know what you think! (I have changed the setting on my blog, so try to leave a comment here—especially those of you who have never been able or who have never tried to leave a comment I’d love to know if my changes to the settings make any difference in your ability to leave a comment.)

Monday, March 5, 2018

I Think He’d Like It

Today (March 2, 2018) is the first day since my Dad passed away that I have felt like doing ANYTHING. I worked on designing a quilt using pieces of fabric cut from my Dad’s pajamas. (It is the only piece of clothing I have from my Dad.) I thought about how I might make the most of the fabric, because I might need to make more quilts with it.

My Dad absolutely LOVED golf. When he was able, you could find him golfing, talking about golf, or watching golf on TV. Maybe that's why this design came to mind. I liked the shape for the “tees,” and used the pj fabric to make those. I painted the “golf balls” by adding paint to the rim of a bowl to make the circle. Then I dipped a pencil eraser into the paint to make the “dimples” on the ball. After that, I thought what the quilt was missing something and decided it was the hole in the green. So, I added the big black circles onto the green fabric.

Right now, the pieces are just temporarily adhered to the background fabric. I have to finalize the placement of the pieces. I think Dad would have liked it. What do you think?

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Thank You

As I have gone through my Dad’s illness and death, there have been constant sources of “help” for me. My family has been there every step of the way, of course; my friends have been there too. From listening to my worries to comforting me at his passing, my friends have been there to support me.

I’m thankful that Dad is no longer in pain. I worry about my step-mom, who has Alzheimer’s and is having a rough time comprehending that he is gone. I’m thankful for my family who have been there to help and comfort me. I am thankful to my friends for lending an ear, sending cards, commiserating with me, and trying to keep me busy.

Thank you to those of you who have reached out to me and my family. May you all be so blessed to have such good friends and such a loving family.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018


I remember when I was a little girl and my Dad would take my family to my Great-Grandmother’s house in Tennessee. My Grandmother, Maw, would cry when we got there and would cry when we left. As a kid, I never understood that. Why did she cry? Well, now I get it. I cry with joy when my grandchildren come and cry with sadness when they leave. It is always hard to say goodbye to those you love.

How do I say goodbye to the man that has been with me all my life? I lost my Dad last Friday (February 23, 2018). My head knows that is the way it should be—he was in a lot of pain the last few months—but my heart just wasn’t ready to let him go.

My Dad was not a perfect man, but he made many positive changes as he grew older. He was there for me whenever I needed him. He attended EVERY important event in the lives of his grandchildren whenever he possibly could. He loved my step-mom deeply, remaining patient and loving in dealing with her Alzheimer’s. There was nothing he loved more than his family.
These are pics of my Dad with my children and their children. You can tell by the big smile on his face that he loved the “little ones.”
I love you Dad. Goodbye.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Creative Void

I haven’t gotten much creative work done in the last couple of weeks, but one of the habits I’m tracking in my Quilter’s Planner “Habit Tracker” is to do at least one blog post a week. Well, here it is.

My sister and I are dealing with our aging father. She is staying with him (and our step-mom who has Alzheimer’s) right now. I’m SO thankful she can do that. However, I feel guilty when I’m not there, I feel very emotional and inadequate when I am there, and I worry about him ALL the time. I’m having trouble sleeping, and I’m having trouble concentrating.

When I come home from being up there, I am emotionally and physically exhausted—nothing like my sister I’m sure. I find myself playing “mindless” card games on my iPad (just to take my mind off things) rather than working on my MANY in-progress creative endeavors.

It is REALLY hard to see a man who has always been SO vibrant, active, strong, and proud deteriorate before my eyes. Here are a few pictures of Dad and Helen with my grandchildren from better days.
Dad and Helen with June Beth.
Dad and Helen with Cade.

Dad with Asa Gene (his latest namesake).
 I love you Dad.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Slow and Steady

I have been home a bit more than usual this month, so I have been working on my latest project. Here are some of my progress pictures.
And here is a picture of some of these pieces put together.
As you can see from this picture, not all of the pieces in the collage have been added to this yet. I’m not sure how many of these “circles” I can fuse together before I start placing them on the background fabric. The piece is starting to get heavy and is somewhat delicate. I don’t want the weight to “pull” it apart. There are always problems to solve when making art. Sometimes the solving is fun, but sometimes that is the part I hate the most.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Progress on the “Forever” Hexie Quilt

My friend (Lora) approached me at the end of last year and asked me if I had finished my hexie quilt. I let her know I had finished the hand stitching on the quilt but didn’t have an idea for finishing. 
I was worried about the spikey red pieces on the center of each side and just wasn’t sure what would work for finishing.

She said she had been thinking of it and thought a mitered ombre border might be interesting. I thought so too, so I went to her house (where she had some ombre fabric), and we auditioned it on the quilt. We both agreed it was a winner, so I got online to find a fabric I thought would work. FINALLY, the fabric arrived, and Lora and I set up a date that we could get together and add the borders to the quilt. (She offered her expertise to teach me to make the weird angled mitered corners I needed for the quilt.) I just got back home from that work date.

Here are the borders on the quilt. (They will be trimmed and evened up at a later date.)
What neither of us took into account is how BIG the quilt would be with the borders added. Before any trimming (which will be done AFTER the quilting), the widest part of the quilt measures a whopping 128 inches! (It is SO big that I can’t even come close to photographing the whole quilt. The left and right sides are folded over in this picture and the bottom is resting on the floor. I think you can get the idea, though.) I’m not thrilled about cutting off ALL the black of the ombre fabric (which might happen if we cut it down to 120 inches which is king size). Luckily, I don’t have to worry about that yet. My next “job” is to hand appliqué the hexagon quilt to the borders. (Right now, it is just basted to the borders.) I’ll keep you apprised of the progress I make on this.

Oh and for those of you following my progress on using my Quilter’s far, so good. I have written lots of things down, checked a lot of things off,  and have followed through on using it (and doing a daily Instagram planner challenge) for the last month. I pretty proud of myself!    

Monday, January 22, 2018

“Work” Day

Since I’ve had my Quilter’s Planner, I have been a bit better about making small goals and actually DOING them. I have Quilting To-Do Lists and Personal To-Do Lists. I find I REALLY like drawing that line through completed items on my To-Do Lists. 

On the top of my list this week, is to start on my “Butterfly Migration” quilt. (The quilt was inspired by a radar picture of a butterfly migration.) Right now, I’m in the early stages of work—the not so fun stuff. (finishing the pattern drawing, assigning colors, putting Misty Fuse on the back of my HUNDREDS of fabrics, drawing the templates) The exciting part comes when I actually get to put some of the pieces together.

I find that this is the week I have some time to work on this new project. I have NO IDEA if I can actually make this piece (because I’ve never done anything like it before), but I am excited about it. Today, I am working on assigning colors to the sections I want to start with. Hopefully, I’ll have enough colors assigned and enough fabric prepared to actually start fusing some of the segments together tonight.

Here’s what I’m doing now. I’m referencing my color “master pattern” to label each piece of my drawn (black/white) pattern with a color.
Another “Quilting To Do” in my Quilter’s Planner is to publish at least one blog post a week. I guess I get to cross another “to-do” off my list! Woooooohoooooo!!!!!