Sunday, November 8, 2020

Still Making Masks--Mask Pattern for Men with Big Beards

 I never gave it a thought that men with large heads and huge beards might have trouble finding masks that fit them. Well, that problem DOES exist. My niece recently contacted me to ask if I could make a mask for her husband. She said that when he wears a "regular" mask he looks like he has a duck bill and his friends are giving him a hard time about it.

I began the search for a pattern I might be able to use for him. There are a few out there, but I found this one to be the one I liked the best. If you need to make a mask like this, this is the pattern link--PATTERN; PATTERN INSTRUCTIONS. (You get a message when you click this--something about redirecting to a page. Click on the link, and it will take you to the PDF pattern.) This is the instruction video--VIDEO. (Watching this video made it A LOT easier.)

Here is the pic of Adam with the new mask. (He said he didn't want to mess up his beautiful beard, so he didn't put it inside the "beard pocket.) LOL!

Problem solved!

(I am not making masks for the general public. Do not contact me about making masks. I'm all masked out!)

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Exciting News for Me

I got some really exciting news recently--I will have a quilt in Quilt National '21! The email said, "Congratulations! Your quilt, Journey of the Painted Ladies, has been selected by our jury to participate in Quilt National '21. Acceptance into this show is a great honor, as the jurors have been very selective to ensure a compelling and diverse exhibition that highlights excellence in contemporary quilts." I have been driving to St. Charles, MO, (The Foundry) to see the traveling QN exhibit any time it was there. Every time I have seen it, I have been in awe of the talent I see in the work exhibited. When my husband would ask why QN is SO special, I always told him that QN is the "Super Bowl of Art Quilting." He was a "sports guy," so he understood that analogy. Needless to say, I am excited and humbled that my quilt will be in an exhibit with artists I admire SO much.

This is the quilt that was selected. (I hope, if you get a chance, you will come to see it in person.)

This is a closeup.

I have worked on this quilt for several years. I originally was shooting for QN '19. (The exhibit is an every-other-year affair.) That meant that the quilt would have had to be finished before the fall of 2018. As you know, 2018 was NOT a good year for me. (My Dad and step-Mom both died, and Nate was diagnosed with cancer.) Needless to say, the quilt did not get finished in time. 2019 was no better--Nate was still ill and died in June. I went into a creative funk, and the quilt did not get finished in 2019 either. Because of the issues occurring in 2020, I found myself at home, alone, with a lot of time on my hands. I decided to begin work on this quilt once again. FINALLY, it was finished in August or September (I can't remember which.), and I took it to have it photographed. 

I filled out the paperwork, sent off my QN entry, and forgot about it until October 1. I remembered (and had it written in my Quilter's Planner) that confirmation of acceptance or of rejection would be sent by October 9. I was at my son's house (in AR) when I got the confirmation email. Everyone there was happy for me, but I REALLY missed being able to share the moment with Nate. He knew how much I had wanted to have a piece in QN.

Today, I had a custom box made in which to ship the quilt. This is the biggest quilt I've sent off to an exhibit (approximately 62" X 62"), so I didn't have a box I could reuse. The box is really long, so it isn't easy to fit it in my car. I'll be glad when I get it shipped off.

Before that can happen, I have to do some cleanup on the quilt. Since the background is black, every bit of lint and thread shows up on the background. I will be going over it, with a lint brush (and maybe packing tape), to remove all the lint and threads. Then, I have to attach a label to the back. Thankfully, I had already sewn hanging sleeves to the top and bottom of the quilt, so I don't have to do that. I'm hoping to get it mailed off yet this week. Saying goodbye to a piece that has been with me SO long is hard, but I'm sure hoping I get to see it hanging at the Dairy Barn Arts Center--in person and not virtually!

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

An Exhibit by the Art Cloth Network--The Space Between

On Monday, I went to Krempp Gallery in Jasper, IN, to pick up a piece for a friend of mine from an exhibit that had just closed. While I was there, I got to see the new exhibit of pieces from the Art Cloth Network. The Art Cloth Network is "a diverse group of professional artists from the US and Canada who have come together with a common goal--to promote the medium of cloth as an art form and share it with others. Each of our members brings a personal vision and sensibility to his or her cloth. The group was formed to provide a support forum as well as exhibition opportunities for its members and to promote an appreciation of art cloth in the broader community." The exhibit is called "The Space Between" and will be on display through October 30, 2020.

I took pictures of my favorites and those that I found interesting. There seemed to be a lot of pieces with transparent layers.

This piece reminded me of walking through a stand of birch trees. It was a layered piece--very light and airy. I've included a closeup of the piece along with a full pic.
This was also a layered piece. It was one of the few "political" pieces in the exhibit.
This is the last layered piece I'll show you. The small picture on the right shows how the piece was hung to emphasize the distinct layers of the piece.
I love this piece. I like the sky and the lights in the buildings. It gives me a calming feeling. (I can REALLY use that these days.) It reminds me of the method Kathy Loomis uses to make her "postage stamp" quilts. It is made up of very small squares of fabric sewn in vertical and horizontal rows. If you look at the closeup, you can see how it is sewn together.
There is a lot I like about this piece too. I am really drawn to the colors, and I love a good 3-D piece. The artist has stacked different shapes and put them together into rows. Nice.
I was touched by this piece--probably because it is about dementia. Having lost two special people to Alzheimers, I found the piece quite interesting. 

The exhibit will be up during the month of October. There are lots of nice pieces I haven't shown you, so there is still plenty to see. If you get a chance to attend the show in person, do it. COVID safety protocols are in place. Check out days and times and more about the exhibit here.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Fractured Finished (2)

In my last post, I wrote about working on a quilt I called Fractured. Well, IT IS FINISHED! As I'm writing this, it is in the washing machine. I finished hand stitching the binding last night. First, let me show you all the "help" I had while stitching that binding. 

What is it about quilts that cats like SO much? Every time I took a break from working on it, I had to shoo a cat off of it!

I took the quilt (minus the binding) outside to take a photo, so here is the "finished" quilt.
I fretted about the quilting (even though I knew it wouldn't show too much), and decided upon script--making it a diary entry of sorts. It tells a short story of the quilt and these times. I explain in the quilting that the three Xs in the quilt represent loss for me--Nate (my husband), my Dad, and my stepmother. I lost Dad in 2018, Helen (my stepmother) about two months later, Nate was diagnosed with cancer in the fall of 2018, he died in June of 2019. I remember thinking (at the end of each year) that the next year would HAVE to be better. Then, a global pandemic hit! I felt broken, but kept in mind that a fracture can mend--it takes time, but it WILL mend. 

Here are a couple of closeups of the quilting. You can read it if you look closely. 

When I wrote about the pandemic, I thought it would be pertinent for me to include some statistics about the virus. The quilting contains COVID statistics--globally, United States, Indiana, and Dubois County--on the day the quilt was quilted. 

It scares me a little bit to put this out there, but SURELY 2021 will be better! 

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Working on "Fractured" (1)

I've been busy working on my "Fractured" quilt--making block after block. As Kathy suggested when she commented on this blog post, "Make lots and lots and then make some more." Well, I have done that. In the last week or so, I have made approximately 75 blocks. I haven't yet decided what size I'm going to make the piece, but I wanted to have a variety of blocks from which to choose. I MAY end up using all of them (and maybe more) in this quilt--or not. I'm sure I'll find a use for any leftover blocks I might have. I'm leaning towards tall and skinny (but not TOO skinny). Right now, I'm playing with the pieces on my design wall. This particular wall isn't wide enough for me to put up all the horizontal or vertical blocks, but this gives me a good idea of what it will look like. The blank spots in this picture are blocks I'm currently working on.

My upstairs studio is jam packed with bright scrappy strips of fabric. I'm really drawn to the chaotic combination of colors. Maybe because I feel the chaos in my own life with this pandemic and all. 

I have also finished a couple of little wool projects--a little scissors keeper and a needle case.

This is the outside of the folded case.
This is the inside of the case with it open.
I think I'll make good use of both of these. I have a wool pin cushion yet to make. Hopefully, it won't take me too long to get to that.

I had a nice porch visit with a friend of mine from Louisville. Part of the time, when Nate was in the hospital, I stayed with her and her husband. Since her visit was close to my birthday, she  brought me a journal she made. Isn't it beautiful? I think I'll use it to keep notes and ideas from my Textile Artists Stitch Club workshops.

I will update you, again, when "Fractured" is further along. Now, back to work!

Monday, August 24, 2020

Some Much Needed Sister Time

My birthday was last week, and my sister made the trip to my house from Tennessee. We have both been very careful with COVID protocols and both are in agreement that being with family is essential for our mental health. She made my favorite foods--her chicken salad and a big German Chocolate cake. We ate on those all week. They were both DELICIOUS!

We took a little drive to our hometown (Orleans, IN) to visit some of the places we knew as children. It is funny; the town sure seemed much bigger back then. We placed flowers at the cemetery and drove by the home in which we grew up. We made a few trips up and down the familiar streets to see how things had changed since we lived there. We really enjoyed reminiscing about the "good ole days."

After we had covered Orleans, we drove to Spring Mill State Park in Mitchell, IN. We didn't want to stop to eat anywhere in public, so we brought a picnic lunch. We had such a good time.

It was a BEAUTIFUL day--hard to believe the temperature was so mild for mid-August. 

Later in the week, we made some new masks. I just LOVE them (well, as much as you can "love" a mask). My friend, Debby Cresanto, sent the fabric to me. She said when she saw it, she had to send it to me (because she knows I love bright colors and all things flamingo). I tweeked a pattern to provide a bit more room around the nose, so I don't feel quite so restricted. I used some flat nose "wires" I had ordered along with some "soft elastic" which feels really good on my ears. (Debby sent the soft elastic too.) I made a pineapple and flamingo mask for each of us.

We had a really nice week. I have found a little "family time" can certainly give me a nice pick-me-up. I need that every now and then.