Thursday, April 30, 2009

May Alzheimer Quilt Auction

I'm thrilled that Ami Simms has chosen two of my pieces, Bleeding Hearts and Crazy in the 70's, for this month's auction on The Alzheimer Art Quilt Initiative. There are particularly good quilts this month: some beautiful miniature traditional ones as well as mixed media art quilts. Go admire, and maybe bid, starting May 1!

In addition to the monthly Alz Quilts auction, Collage Mania, part of Virginia Spiegel's Fiber Art for a Cause is having their preview now. Bidding for those wonderful mini art quilts and collages begins May 5. You'll recognize many of the artists, and these pieces are definitely worth looking at. So you can pick your cause and your quilt style in the next ten days!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Completed Red Stars and a Postcard

When I arrived at my sister's last week I found my red star quilt waiting for me with all the quilting completed. I'm so happy with this! Click on the pictures and you can see a close-up of the beautiful quilting that Deb Geyer did. The center of the stars can't have been easy. I still have to sew on binding, but since I won't do that for a while, this is this quilt's
final appearance.

When I came home last night, I found this beautiful postcard from Joy Vale, sent all the way from Australia as part of an exchange on Stitchin Fingers. It's hand painted fabric with a lovely suede-like texture, and some applique. Thank you, Joy! This was a delightful piece of mail. In fact, this was a good week for me and the post office!

Friday, April 24, 2009


This is just a quick post to prove I haven't disappeared. I'm at my sister's, enjoying the visit, but very busy. I've dusted, vacuumed, cleaned kitchen drawers, weeded, all trying to bring some order to my mother's house which has been empty over the winter. It's rather a hopeless task, and knowing that I need to go home and do much of the same work at my house is depressing. It's beautiful here though, with spring flowers in full bloom.

I did go to the International Quilt Festival last week end, but don't have many pictures. Here's one-- Springtime in Japan by Akiko Kawata. It has a beautiful impressionistic quality, and the heavy quilting adds great texture.

The festival was excellent this year, and I'm not alone in thinking this apparently, since I've read unanimously favorable reports. I liked the special exhibits Town and Country, Tactile Architecture, the fabric artists' retrospective, and Hands All Around, the international exhibit which is always my favorite. The Hoffman Challenge quilts were missing, and disappointed, I tried to find out why. After asking four people, I finally found the person in charge of special exhibits, who reported that they just forgot to book it in time!

I'll be here two more days, and then I'm driving home. It will be good to be back to the regular routine.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Tomorrow I'm driving to Chicago to see my son, daughter-in-law, and of course the twins. My original plan was drive over to the Chicago Quilt Festival on Saturday and leave from there to drive part way to my sister's in Missouri. I find I'm not as excited about the show as I have been in the past. The crowds and the general hassle of getting there seemed more trouble than the show was worth last year. But I'll give it one more try. Perhaps I can find some interesting thread or fibers for my Hoffman Challenge quilt. I'll try to post a photo or two although that is becoming more frowned upon. In other quilt news, Deb Geyer has finished quilting my red star quilt and has sent it to my sister's so I can pick it up there and show it off to the family. I'm excited about that, and will definitely post a picture.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Old as Dirt

Happy birthday to me. This is a very low-key day. We're having a good dinner though, and as my gift, I am ordering a new cutting table to replace the ping-pong table that has been the center of my work space for years. The good thing about the ping-pong table is that it's large, and the bad thing about the ping-pong table is that it's large, so that I can't move around it to get to my storage space. I will be away next week at my sister's and while I'm gone, I hope the ping-pong table disappears and maybe, the new table will arrive and be set up.

In fabric news, I've started work on the Hoffman Challenge, buying new fabric for it. Every year I vow I won't do that, and every year I break the vow. I'm sure the Hoffman people count on that!

And then, just for sheer cuteness, here's this picture, taken last week when the twins were here. Too bad about the prominent placement of the condiments, but I don't have a way to crop this photo.

Cropped by way of Candace's suggestion. Thanks, Candace.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Finally Crazy: a Saga

When Debra send me one of her machine embroidery motifs, I tried to use it as the starting point for a crazy block for Alz Quilts. I made it my goal to push on this--going on after I thought it was finished. (My less-is-more attitude is not well suited to crazy quilting.) This was interesting. Ordinarily quilters think in terms of color, value, and shape. Line is less important. I found that I had to think about line in planning this block. It was a new approach for me, and I could almost feel my brain growing!

I drew a block plan, using freezer paper templates. This works for me. When I have just done flip and sew in a truly crazy way, I've found I regret the fabric choices and have to figure out a way to compensate. This way allows me to audition fabrics.

Heres the basic block. I liked this, and would really have loved to stop. But I forced myself to go on.

First some machine decorative stitches. I'm learning the Janome here, killing two birds with one stone, to coin a phrase. Then I couched some fibers, and attached the ribbon flowers (The leaf in the upper left was knit by my mother; she made it for me to use several years ago. It was a natural-colored thread, to go with linen, and I painted it green to use here. The paint had the added virtue of stopping its tendency to curl.)

I intended to stop here, but realized it was still naked. So then came the embroidered vine thing, with French knots. I'm stretching the limit of the embroidery stitches I remember here. Then I painted some lace motifs (not well done--I should have cut them out before painting), and added them, then I did a bit more embroidery, and then finally the yo-yos and little butterfly, something I usually wouldn't do.

Here's the finished version. I'm happy with it, although I didn't originally visualize such a 70's mix of avocado and harvest gold! Maybe those colors are classic.

Thanks to all you crazy quilters out there. Whenever I thought I'd had enough, I looked at some of your pictures, and realized I hadn't even started!

An Award

"This blog invests and believes in the PROXIMITY -- nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement! Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these blogs!”

I received this kind award from Liz. What a pleasant surprise! Thank you, Liz. The rules are to post the award and pass it on to eight people.

So after much thought, here are my eight: Karen, Jen, Debra, Paula, Libby, Candace, Annie, Dee. All nice people, interesting blogs. I could go on and name more, but this is a start. If you don't know them already, get acquainted.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Bleeding Hearts

This is ready to go to Alz Quilts as soon as I finish one more piece to go along with it. My grandmother always had this sweet old-fashioned flower in the bed outside her back door; the kittens hid in the foliage. It's favorite memory of mine. I thought the stylized shape would be easy for me to do, but actually it was hard to avoid a cartoonish, valentine-like look. I tried, but I don't think I succeeded totally. The very candy pink fabric is part of the problem. Also, now that it's finished, I'm bothered by the fact that there is no visible stem on the leaf in lower center. I could add a small appliqued or embroidered stem. What do you think? Are those leaves floating? But I do like the colors and composition, and was very pleased with the way one of the Janome's decorative stitches fit perfectly inside the little "drop".