Monday, February 17, 2020

MOUNTAIN ART QUILTERS

Even though I managed to attend two quilt group meetings last week....I suspect I left some of my brain/memory on our hallway floor as a result of my fainting episode because name recall (as I write this post) has stumped me.

I apologize in advance for not being able to attribute all of them to their superb pieces!

The members of our Mountain Art Quilt group are such treasures; positive attitudes, incredibly creative in so many directions, generous in their knowledge....what a treat to be included! 

This piece took my breath away!!

Detail of the machine appliqué, stamping, and some commercial fabrics.
 Norma thoughtfully brought several pieces she created using mostly sheer fabrics.  It was perfect given our focus at this meeting was a demo showing a technique of painted sheer fabric.  Norma's past included being an interior decorator.  She rescued sample books of sheers and said she spent many, many happy and relaxing hours stitching them together.
 Norma also created this almost see through long narrow piece....also embellished with beads and trinkets.
 Detail
 And here's a third one which included photo transfer and a leaf transfer method taught to Norma by Judy Simmons.
 Our meeting was on Valentine's Day....what a perfect time to share these cuties.
 The cardboard glue on stands really expands how they could be displayed.  Very clever!!
 Lynn has been working on a 'memory' piece featuring small jewelry treasures made by herself and family members.  She even found her Brownie pin and added it to the piece.  Her plan is to have other family members add their small treasures and hopefully it will be passed down for younger generations to enjoy.  A true labor of love.

 Jenny Perry presented a well organized and interesting demo of a technique she learned in an Esterita Austin workshop taken at Paducah last year.  
 She explained how to recreate an inspirational photo with paint on sheer fabric.
It's an interesting technique that has lots of applications as displayed here with Jenny's painted lily.  In fairness to the instructor, rather than providing details, if this sounds intriguing you may want to seek out a class presented by Esterita.  

Saturday, February 15, 2020

PROFESSIONAL TEXTILE ARTISTS (PTA) - FEB. MEETING

Instead of indicating that we had our monthly PTA meeting.....we could have named our Feb. gathering "Pity Party".  These last few weeks have tested the patience of our members....what with several husbands being ill, several members ill, flooding issues, car problems etc.

But we rallied and spent a lovely day with Dort as our hostess.  I have no clue why the photos I took of her quilt in progress aren't on my camera....but I can state she was working hard on it.
 Barbara brought this colorful abstract top with an almost stain glass appearance.  The photo of course doesn't do it justice!
Here's Barbara explaining some of the construction issues she solved.
 Connie shared this large traditional quilted block, mounted on wood.  Love the color combo and contemporary fabric choices. 
I fell in love with Judy's newest piece.  A combination of her deconstructed screen printed and batik fabrics. The thoughtful fabric placement, quilting motifs, and hand stitching contributed to this very stunning piece. I just wish I could have gotten a better photo.

The drama in the lives of so many of our members was the understandable reason our Show and Tell was so limited.....next month we will have our 12th annual retreat where wonderful pieces will be flying out of our sewing machines.

Friday, February 14, 2020

BELATED ROLEX 24 HOUR REPORT - Part 2

The luxury and enjoyment continues.....
To reach the activities in the infield, before and during the race, 8 brand new Porsche Cayenne shuttles were available to us.

We took advantage of their shuttle service to meet up with friends at the start finish area of the track.  Prior to the beginning of the race, tradition allows fans to get onto the track while the drivers stand by their cars and get introduced one at a time.  Racing is very fan friendly!  Many fans bring markers to write their names or messages on the track.
 We could see the front of the pits across from our hospitality viewing area.
 But we really got a treat by being escorted by a Porsche representative on a 'hot pit' tour (meaning the cars are racing).  This is the open back area of the Porsche pit.
 There were 4 of us on this tour.  Our escort fitted us with microphone/headphones so she could explain what we were seeing and we could ask questions.  Here is 'the husband' snapping photos.  We were urged to stand close to the fence to get out of the way of the many golf carts type vehicles that are constantly driving by with equipment/supplies.


Porsche ran two cars at this race, and always has one driver outfitted and ready to go at all times.  Everyone in the pit is glued to their specific lap tops, screens etc.  They had a dedicated representative from Michelin tires monitoring that aspect of the cars.  Really this was fascinating....even for me.

                                                
A variety of spare car parts are stored there too.....as are a very large amount of tires.
Safety of course is a major concern.  There was one person assigned just to stand by with a fire extinguisher whenever any fuel is being handled.

In case you are wondering....Porsche came in 2nd & 3rd in their class.....giving them the points lead in the season.  This was the first time their brand new cars were run.....a great finish!   






Thursday, February 13, 2020

BELATED ROLEX 24 HOUR REPORT - Part 1

 After the simply awful weather at last year's Rolex 24 Hour race at Daytona International Raceway, this year we were rewarded with perfect weather.
More perfect was the opportunity to gain access to Porsche VIP Hospitality. (Thank you David A.)  Our home away from home was 5 suites high up in the grand stands...behind those big glass windows you see here.
The patio area was just one of the great places to view the race.

 I normally have my face in my Kindle the entire time we are at the track.  It's obviously much more interesting when you can see the entire race track and actually hear the announcers.  I never even opened my Kindle!
 It's a very posh experience!!
 And the complimentary food was astonishingly good.
 As were the complimentary beverages.  No bubble, but I made do.....ha, ha.

One of the suites featured comfy leather recliners facing a wall of two huge TV screens.  AND...if you feel the need to get up and order a fancy coffee at the always open coffee bar.....there was a smaller screen available so you don't miss a single minute.
 Other areas (all with TV screens everywhere) are outfitted with table and chairs for your comfort to enjoy the numerous buffets.  The whole experience was awesome...I may not even grumble about 'the husband' dragging me to various races if I can enjoy them in this manner!!


Wednesday, February 12, 2020

BOOK COVERS

It's so satisfying when small pieces of hand-printed fabrics can be turned into useful items such as these mini notebook covers. Visit my items at Woolworth Walk, Asheville, NC.


Tuesday, February 11, 2020

BILTMORE SHOWCASES DOWNTON ABBEY EXHIBIT

Oh my, what a treat!!!  The Biltmore Estate is hosting another Downton Abbey Exhibit and I've been preparing for my visit by (yet again) binging on the TV series.  It was a dreary day outside, but with a happy heart I joined two friends as we examined the displays.  Thank you Lynn for making this happen!
 The exhibit has many interactive viewing stations. In fact there's a lot of unexpected high tech that I won't share to avoid spoiling the surprises for further visitors.  But at one such screen, viewers could apply for a job at Downton.  After answering numerous questions, I was short listed for a job as a Lady's Maid!
 Every aspect of life at Downton was on display.  Jewelry worn by the stars as well as clothing.
 How many times have we all seen Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Carson donning this clothing?  They are as familiar to fans as our own.
The Downton Exhibit is actually presented in two separate areas of the Biltmore Estate.   Quite a large selection of clothing worn by the actors was beautifully & thoughtfully displayed in Antler Village.  I was especially enthralled by the delicate embroidery and beadwork.  This was one of Mary's evening gowns.
This screen displayed pages of a book and viewers could listen the descriptions. The presentation is just beginning as the pages begin turn and become visible. What struck me as I traveled through the exhibit is the melding of our current technology into a long past way of life.
 Astonishingly one could walk into sets from the show, here's the kitchen along with (headless) Mrs. Patmore and Daisy!
Lady Mary's bedroom and two pieces of her bedroom wardrobe.
 Each room had video screens with scenes from those settings playing in the background....you can see it here in the dining room.
  What incredible luxury....one can just guess at how many courses they would be served by looking at all that flatware.
 As one nears the very end of this part of the exhibit, you come across 'the gong'!  Rung to announce the time to dress for the evening.  Of course I rang it.
 And as you enter the last room, Mr. Carson appears on a huge screen and asks who rang the gong!  Several other characters also make appearances, chatting with the viewer like you are actually there.  It's a charming way to end this part of the exhibit.

We spent several hours going through the two exhibits, so I'll spare you the massive number of photos I took.  Honestly, for such a fan as myself it was so much fun.  The exhibit will be at the Biltmore until April.  We arrived early and because it was a very rainy day, the crowd was manageable.  I give this an enthusiastic thumbs up!




Sunday, February 9, 2020

WINTER IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA

A beautiful winter scene at 24 degrees during this morning's 'forced march'.
Time has evaporated!  Can't believe we've lived here now for nearly 14 years.  I never imagined living out my days anywhere but Wisconsin..but oh my we really stumbled upon the perfect environment for us!


Saturday, February 8, 2020

BLACK AND WHITE - BLACK BACKGROUND

Continuing on the black and white theme..... I've decided to work with prints with a black background for my upcoming retreat project.

If you are a regular follower of my blog, you know that where patchwork is concerned I prefer to do most, if not all, my cutting and arranging of the patches on my design wall before sewing.  Many quilters successfully chain piece with amazing speed.  I'm a slow poke....often taking only two or 4 patches to the machine, sew their seams, press, and reposition back on the design wall.  Maybe it's my age or a control issue, but I get too easily mixed up any other way!

 This by no means is a finished arrangement ...3" sqs. have been cut from some fabrics just to see if what's in my head is a viable direction to travel. I'm considering piecing or fusing colorful squares to make an otherwise dark piece sparkle.
 The small test section above wasn't big enough to make a decision so I enlarged the sample.
 To get a better idea of the look, I sewed some blocks together.
Next, I auditioned various sizes of colorful squares and circles. Initially I started with 1" squares then decided that was too small and cut 1 1/4" squares.  But now after seeing this view, which are mostly too many and too overpowering 1 1/4" squares, I may just go with 1" squares.

However, that decision will wait until the entire 60" x 60" top is pieced.  I may not even do squares or circles or squares and circles together.  Time will tell....but for now I'll cut the nearly 600 black and white patches, pull some solid fabrics, and get the rest of my supplies ready to pack.  When I tell you this event isn't until mid March you'll really be shaking your head....YES.....I am an A+ type.....I'd have been a good Girl Scout as I do like to 'Be Prepared'.