Sunday, April 29, 2018

It REALLY is ALL Denim

I really enjoyed the AQS Show in Paducah, KY, this year. One of my favorite sections of the show was the Ian Berry special denim exhibit “Done in Denim.” I have never seen anything like it. Keep in mind, as you look at each of these picture, that EVERY SINGLE part of the exhibit was made of denim. It was quite impressive.

There was a “scenario” called Main Street Community Garden.
Even the brick wall in the background (which you can see better in the next photo) is made of denim. Absolutely EVERYTHING you see is denim of some color. This is a closeup.
My favorite denim “scenario” was the laundromat.
Again EVERYTHING you see is denim.

This next scene was unbelievable—even the highlights on the “parquet” floor are denim.
You can see the texture of the denim in this closeup.
Another exhibit I really enjoyed was the SAQA Korean Quilts Now. This exhibit was on display at the Paducah School of Art and Design. I think a lot of people at the quilt show might have missed this exhibit because of its location. What a shame—the exhibit space is really nice, and I have enjoyed the  exhibit located there every year. If you get a chance to go to the Paducah quilt show, don’t miss the exhibit they have at this nice venue. (It is usually on the shuttle route.) Stay tuned—my next blog post will focus on that exhibit.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Goodbye Helen

It is really hard to lose a parent; we are never ready. I lost my last parent yesterday. As most of my readers know, I lost my Dad at the end of February. He and my step-mom were living at home (with help). They were the sweetest couple. My Dad had A LOT of trouble getting around—it took him a LONG time to get from place to place with his walker. But, every time he FINALLY got to the living room, where Helen (my step-mom) would be sitting on the couch, he would come over and give her a kiss. She’d say, “I think I’ll have another” every time. They would always hold hands and sit by each other. I think this is the last picture I took of them together. (Notice their hands?)
Helen had Alzheimer’s. She couldn’t do much for herself, but she always asked, “Can I help you with that?” Dad tried to do as much as he could for her and she for him. They were married 40 years. This is my favorite picture of them.
When they were more able bodied, they spent time traveling. They traveled the country in a BIG RV and wintered each year someplace warm. Dad never got used to the cold winters here in southern Indiana after that. They both still talked about their travels and smiled as they remembered “the good times.”
After Dad died, Helen was never the same. She would say, “Papaw Gene (what she called my Dad) went away, and I didn’t want him to.” Later on, she would cry and say, “I’m really sad, but I don’t know why.” She just didn’t want to go on without him. She stopped eating and drinking—something she could control. She passed away yesterday—two months and one day after my Dad died. I truly believe she died of a broken heart.

Helen helped me so much when my Mom died. Things were really tense between my step-dad and our family. He kept everything that belonged to my Mom along with the things my Mom had inherited from my grandparents—things of a sentimental nature, not of much monetary value. My sister and I ended up with no physical remembrance from my Mom or my grandparents. I remember going to Dad and Helen’s after I had spoken to my step-dad about those sentimental things. It was a very difficult situation. Helen cried with me and comforted me. There was never any doubt that she loved me and my family. She was Grandma Helen to my kids and Grandma Helen to my grandchildren. She was always there for me—for us. She was special.

I’m glad she is now with my Dad. She will be missed.

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 Yucat√°n 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.