10/13/2014

Fall is Here

On Sunday I went out in the yard and was met by this beautiful sight! 



My cell phone camera did not capture the bright colors of this Maple tree. 
We have watched it grow taller over the 23 years we have lived here. 
I knew I needed to take a photo that day after the weatherman talked about 
the big storms headed our way for tomorrow. 

Every year when this tree shows its colors, 
the mood to quilt with bright, fall colors is awakened in me. 
This year I am in the middle of organizing another area of my sewing room,
so cutting fabric for a quilt will have to wait.

Do any of you find that the colors of the seasons stimulate a change in your quilting palette?
I looked on the internet and found a number of different color palette generating tools. One that I played with a bit was Adobe's Color CC.

Giveaway Package Arrived!

I returned on Oct. 5th from a quilting retreat and a package from Jan of Sew and Sow Farm was waiting for me. I had entered her Have a Cow Why Dont Cha giveaway. She reviewed Mary Jane Butters' book, Milk Cow Kitchen, which looks like a very thorough, yet eclectic, book on milk and much more. I was so very excited to get this package of beautiful, luscious Aurifil thread. And I can't wait to begin using them! Thank you, Jan.





10/09/2014

Sewing and Mail

This is a catch-up post. 

A little over a week ago, I received this pincushion in the mail from Laila in Norway. She sent a postcard, too, so I could see where she lives.  


My pincushion swap partner, Debra, received her pincushion from me about the same time. This pattern was one I found free on the website for the magazine SEW IT. . . TODAY.


And a few days later, I got my October pincushion from Debra. She embroidered her own ribbon tag to sew into the seam to remind me who made and sent it. That was a clever idea. 


This pincushion swap was organized by Beaquilter.com. And it is still fun. I enjoy looking for new pincushion ideas. 

SEWING BEE 

I organized a sewing bee for today. The 3 ladies who came helped sew potholders (8" square) for the church craft bazaar. This is a photo of some of the 15 we got finished. It was nice to get together and simply chat while sewing. 


I put together some orphan blocks and made a placemat set from them this evening for the bazaar. 


Thank you for stopping by. Happy Sewing! 

10/05/2014

Quilt Retreat and Unexpected Surprise



This past weekend I went to a quilt retreat with 11 other ladies. Some were from the Tall Pine Quilters Guild, some were friends.  It was relaxing and fun and with only 12 of us we had more room than normally is available at a retreat. 

It was held at KETTUNEN CENTER in Tustin, Michigan

In 2004 I had attended a quilting retreat here with another group. Only two of the other ladies had been here before. It is owned and operated by the Michigan 4-H Foundation. There are 160 acres and a lake and unfortunately it rained while we were there, so we did not get to explore the grounds. 

But we did a lot of quilting. I took projects that were nearly complete. I do this when going to retreats because I can bring more items to work on and usually get most of them done. I don't have to cut much more than bindings, backing fabrics or small pieces. 

And these are the things I finished: 

I sewed bindings on:  

The Give and Take quilt I made
after taking a class from Susan Purney Mark
at the 2012 AQS Show in Grand Rapids, MI


Small Square in a Square quilt for me.

A small Square in a Square quilt that will be donated for the church bazaar.



A Christmas table runner for the bazaar.

For the bazaar: 9" and 12" table mats from orphan blocks I had.

A 15" table mat quilted and bound, for the bazaar,
made from an orphan block given to me by a friend

Another block given to me by a friend. I added the 4 corner triangles,
quilted it and bound it (bazaar donation).
 
Another Christmas table runner that I quilted for the bazaar.
This is made using the Triangle Frenzy Pattern.
A table mat for donation made from a leftover block I made
using Quilt Smart Interfacing.
I sewed backing and front right sides together with the batting.
Then I quilted the curves of the center "flower".
I sewed the sashings on these slash and sew blocks I made a few years ago.
This flimsy will be a small quilt that could be a wall hanging,
child's quilt or used on a table.
Pillowcases for my daughter to go with the Chevron quilt that we made. 

Now, for the strangest occurrence at the retreat. 

I attended a retreat (at a different place) in the early 2000s, where I supplied a kit and showed the ladies how to make a 3-D flying geese block. Some of them chose to keep their blocks, others combined them to make quilts for auction or giving. While exploring the various areas of the building this weekend, I found a stairway with lovely quilts which had been donated over the years by retreat groups. 


And I found the quilt, shown above, hanging quite high on the wall; but I saw right away the 3-D flying geese made from the fabric I had supplied. And sure enough, when I searched the names, they were the ladies who had been at the retreat when I taught that block. You can see 2 of the blocks in each of the 4 corners. Some of the fabric around the signature blocks have geese flying in them. This quilt was donated to the Kettunun Center in 2008, atleast 4 years after the retreat! I am so happy to see that they used the blocks in the quilt they named: 

What do you take to retreats to work on? What kind of quilting retreats do you like to go on? 
Have you ever had something from your past show up in an unexpected place?




9/28/2014

Art Prize: a Bit of the Quilting Side

On Saturday I met my daughter and her boyfriend in Grand Rapids so that we could explore some of the Art Prize entries around the city center (approximately 3 miles). The art pieces are displayed inside and outside many venues (hotels, museums, restaurants, businesses, etc.) You can read more about this event HERE

I took photos of some of the quilt-related pieces that we came upon. Please click the links I have included to find out more about the pieces or places I've mentioned in the blog.

RUST BELT was an interesting quilt by Jenny Lynn which compared the 1950 and 2010 populations of some of America's largest cities and showed decline in all. I like that she used the colors red, black and white. I appreciate that she used math to calculate the difference in size of the inner and outer squares of each block. 
(Click the link to Rust Belt for better photos than mine. Bright sun shining in the windows from behind the piece made my photos under par.) 



At the same venue (a bank) was MISSION PENINSULA BARNS. These paintings by Linda Bassford depict 9 of 10 barns on the Quilt Block Trail through Old Mission Peninsula (located in the northwest corner of Michigan's Lower Peninsula). She arranged the paintings, framed in a shadow box, using a 3 x 3 block layout, like a quilt. You can find out more about the Barn Trail HERE.


INDIGO GEMS of ARGUS was also at this venue. This quilt was made with cottons and feathers. It appeared that some type of yarn was used in the seams of each of the blocks. Robin Greve tells about her quilt in the artist's statement:
"This is an art quilt that is made with a 3-dimensional appearance and the Golden Mean Ratio ( 1+1=2, 1+2=3, 2+3=5, 3+5=8, etc.) in the different proportions. It is then assembled in a nontraditional method after each square/ rectangle is first quilted."


I was drawn to the piece, FEEL BEAUTY. The texture was so inviting, although I did not touch it. I will quote the description from the Art Prize website as it explains the piece much better than I could: 
“Feel Beauty” Fiber Mural exhibit engages the senses. The viewer interacts with the work and is encouraged to touch and feel their way through the mural. “Feel Beauty” was completed using all monochromatic white fibers connected in various sized embroidery hoops. Technical fiber manipulations were employed to create different sensual topographies, from hard to soft, round to ridged and deep to shallow. This mural raises awareness of blindness and learning through senses other than sight. We are exploring the tension between what we see and feel. This project begs us to question art for the other senses, and what the role of aesthetics is in this process. Is there a non-visual aesthetic? What does beauty feel like? This is a collaborative piece, designed by Hark + Hark, and executed with the assistance of UC professor Brooke Brandewie and 29 local fiber artists from Cincinnati, OH.


While this next piece is not a quilt, I was fascinated by the work involved by this young artist, Megan Harrigan, from Traverse City, Michigan. THE BEADED TREE was spectacular. Megan was standing by her piece and I was able to talk to her. She said she spent 10 months, about 5 or 6 hours a day (with it on her lap most of the time) sewing beads to the heavy canvas on which she had previously painted her tree. She wanted the sun to shine through and the colors to add life to the tree. 


I hope you have enjoyed seeing some of what we saw on our walking trip around Art Prize. And now I will leave you with the beautiful painting nature had for me on my drive home. (I did pull off on the side of the rural road to take this photo.) 






9/26/2014

Quilting with Friends

I spent this day quilting with friends. There were 3 of us and we had a very relaxing, enjoyable time sewing, sharing ideas, discussing recent quilt shop excursions. We said we need to do this more often and are planning a sewing day in October. 

These are the projects I was able to finish today. 

For the church craft bazaar I made 2 table runners with a Christmas border print
I am amazed at what creative minds and the equilateral triangle ruler can make!


For Christmas gifts, Michigan potholders with the embroidery machine.


 And a pillowcase for (I can't say, because it is) a Christmas present 
for someone who likes Star Trek.


Have you been busy with holiday gift sewing? or sewing for a fundraiser?