Monday, December 9, 2019

NEXT JAPANESE FABRIC INSPIRED QUILT

For someone who doesn't much care for the process of creating 'patchwork' quilts, I sure have been making a lot of them lately.

I always like to have one large 'quilt in waiting' for display at Woolworth Walk Gallery.  Optimistically hoping for brisk sales.  My initial attempt at a new one failed (previously posted), so I started again in a completely different direction.
Making a quilt following a pattern is foreign to me.....I prefer creating original work.  The basis of this one however is a very traditional pattern; Chinese Coins.  I love the look of scrappy quilts and this will definitely be scrappy since so many of my previous quilt designs have derived from fussy cutting motifs from my vast stash of Japanese fabrics.

This is such a busy time of the year for everyone.....hopefully I'll have more to share with you soon...... 

Sunday, December 8, 2019

EVENING WITH THE ART OF MUSIC

The final evening at the 4th annual Balsam Range - Art of Music was magical.  Click here to learn more details about the various presenters.

 We've enjoyed the music of two members of this group at other events playing with different groups.  I believe they've found a perfect home with this new group, Sister Sadie, the IBMA 2019 Vocal Group of the Year and Grammy nominated Album Sister Sadie II. 
 John Driskell Hopkins dazzled the crowd as he performed along with the Atlanta Pops Orchestra.  He's best known for his role as a founding member, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter for the Grammy Award Winning group Zac Brown Band.
The show ended with a fabulous medley of Christmas and traditional bluegrass songs by Balsam Range and the Atlanta Pops Orchestra.  It's hard to imagine unless you've had the rare opportunity to experience this combination of musical talent...the concept of a Pops Orchestra and a Bluegrass band is unique and outstanding.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

THE ART OF MUSIC FESTIVAL

Enjoying two nights of Bluegrass Music as the Art of Music Festival - 4th annual event hosted by one of our favorite Bluegrass groups; Balsam Range. All members live right in our back yard.....in Haywood County, NC and the venue is 18 mins. from our house. What could be better than that??
 BALSAM RANGE:  Bluegrass music's reigning Entertainers of the Year, Balsam Range, consist of five original members who all hail from Western NC. 
The Tim O'Brien Band was one of the guest groups. He's well known for his participation in bands such as Hot Rize and The Earls of Leicester. He's strayed beyond his bluegrass roots (too far for my taste) but the musical talent of the entire group was very entertaining.

Friday, December 6, 2019

JAPANESE INSPIRED QUILTS

My newest Japanese inspired quilt, along with another one, is now greeting holiday shoppers at Woolworth Walk Gallery in downtown Asheville, NC.


I try to always have a replacement piece to display as each big quilt finds a home.  I had to do some marathon stitching to make that happen this time!

So now, without taking a breath my next 'quilt in waiting' must begin.

This large panel has intrigued me for a long time. It takes me a ridiculous amount of time to develop a fabric palette.  In this case I fought one whole day trying to incorporate other design specific fabrics in order to create a cohesive LARGE quilt.  Nope, this one needs to be a moderate size wall quilt....I cried uncle and began again on a totally different track.  

Come back and check out where I've headed next....

Check out what other artists have been working on this week:  Nina-Marie's Off The Wall Friday & Sarah's Whoop Whoop Friday.

Monday, December 2, 2019

PATHWAYS THROUGH JAPAN

Happy to say my latest Japanese fabric inspired wall art quilt is now finished. This was a very, very time consuming piece to create.....sorry for the mediocre photo.....I'll continue to try to get a better one.  
PATHWAYS THROUGH JAPAN  -  61" X 43"
Japanese & batik cottons, machine pieced, appliqued, & heavily quilted.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

BABYING MY SHOULDER

I'm attempting to machine quilt while continuing to baby my problem shoulder.  Even after a short time stitching, it aches more.  Clearly the angle I'm working at and the amount of pressure used to keep the quilt flat is aggravating my condition. 
So, I gave up using quilting gloves and dug out these two non-slip pads.  One is larger than the other....there must be a reason but I don't recall why, nor even who makes them (no markings on either one.)  I've owned them for years but they've rarely been used since handwork had been my focus for so long.  (An Internet search didn't locate this product but perhaps someone can provide the manufacturer's info.)

The amount of pressure required to maintain pucker free straight line quilting has been greatly reduced. Perhaps this approach will be helpful for others who find their shoulder/upper arms scream out during machine quilting.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING.....a day early....  I'm very thankful for all my Asheville area and vitural fiber friends.

PS - Thank you to Wanda S Hanson at Exuberantcolor  for the product info: "They are called Quilt Sew Easy Discs by Heavenly Notions, Portland OR".  They are available at Leah Day 

Friday, November 22, 2019

HAPPINESS

Thanksgiving is less than a week away....but I don't need a special day to be thankful for these rambunctious grandkids. Despite the late hour due to airline delays, not to mention traveling across the country, they came running to out of security to embrace us with kisses and hugs.

BLISS

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

DECISION MADE

Waiting for the quilt to tell you what to do sounds like a ridiculous statement, but it's totally true.  When design/layout/color scheme decisions are fleeting, allowing ideas to simmer while continuing to audition options is usually time well spent.
After trying a dozen or so background fabric choices....I settled on this blackish/grey batik and this uneven block layout.
 Connector strips had been planned from the beginning of this project. Originally however I expected to add only 1 strip between each block.  But, as I said, time and experimenting with various options change & alter ideas and in this case it led to 3 strip units.
 Of course this top could be pieced, but I felt the excess number of seams would be distracting.  So instead, I've hand basted all the elements to the wholecloth background and plan to hand applique them.  Given that the fabrics are all batiks, it may be more challenging than my sore shoulder can handle.  I'll be reporting back soon.

Friday, November 15, 2019

PTA NOV. MEETING


Each member of our group takes their turn organizing one monthly meeting a year.  We have 14 members (one living out of state) so our time line runs for 13 months.  We draw numbers to determine the order of selecting months for each of the upcoming 13 months.  This month was Cathy's turn and as always she comes up with great outings for us.
 We met at 12 Bones restaurant.  A well known eatery in Asheville, featuring of course ribs!  We snagged a back room to contain our noisy group.  The walls are 'decorated' by customers with graffiti of sorts.
 After lunch we had show and tell.  Barbara was given a lovely scaled back designed panel which she enhanced with a border and cleverly added 'window panes' with narrow ribbon.
 Connie has been busy making the most adorable cloth dolls featuring mostly some of the huge stash of upholstery fabric she had been gifted, along with  various fun trims.  We all marveled over each one!
 Dort shared something most of us agreed we needed to do.  She lengthened the pockets of her pants.  So many manufacturers are now making skimpy pockets...why!?!  To save money??  This is in the days of everyone carrying cell phones.  Some of us would rather not store it in a back pocket (if one even has them).  (A) how many screen have been broken by sitting on them?  (B) Who needs an extra layer on their backside??
 Gen loves to knit....here's an attractive small purse with matching fingerless gloves she created.
 Cathy came armed with a baggie of markers for us to leave our mark on the wall of 12 Bones.....guess who wrote this??
 Judy's contribution was left with a pink marker.
 There wasn't much room in most of the accessible areas.....but Lynne's clever addition was a spool of thread leading to the words "hanging by a thread".
 Connie found a small area to continue the stitching theme.
 This restaurant is in the River Arts District which is home to dozens and dozens of artist studios housed in old warehouses.  It's hit or miss whether any will be there and working, and if working, will they invite viewers in.  However, most have large glass windows to show off their work environments.   

We were fortunate Barbara Zaretsy of BZD Designs was in her studio packing to move to a different location in the maze of warehouses. She graciously provided a lengthy explanation of the tools, process, & materials she uses. We all love her work....here's a sample of printed/discharged/stamped/dyed linens and silk runners.  
Another studio space shared by several jewelry makers was open...they had a small showroom available where viewers could purchase their work.  I loved how these rings were displayed in a bowl of wild rice.

The few other photos I took were poor quality, either too dark or too far away from the subject to share.  But if you are ever in Asheville....The River Arts District is another place to roam.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

FRUSTRATED!!!

It's so darn frustrating to have a mental vision (even though it's hazy) and yet not be able to pull the design/fabric/color together into a cohesive piece!!



AND.....even if I find the right fabric combo....how on earth would I piece this purposely random block placement without pulling out my hair?