Tuesday, March 26, 2019

NC HURRICANE QUILT PROJECT DONTATION

The dontation quilt I've made for the NC Hurricane Quilt Project is finally complete.  Please consider getting involved as the need is great, my friend Carole is helping to coordinate the effort....details can be found on her site.

I rarely make bedsize quilts, so I truly underestimated the time it was going to take.  Additionally, since I don't make big quilts, my inventory of backing fabric is nil, requiring piecing a backing as well.  BUT...what a great use of fabrics. All I have left to do is make the binding and it will all be packaged up and on the way to a generous long arm quilter who will finish it.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

TECHNICOLOR WALL ART QUILT

You may have noticed....I changed the orientation of this quilt from vertical to horizontal.  I can't explain why I worked on it one way and decided it presented better hung differently.  That's one of the many reasons I love creating one-of-a-kind work......the quilt and I make the decisions.....not someone else! 

TECHNICOLOR    21" X 21"
Hand-dyed cottons and batiks. Machine pieced and quilted.

Monday, March 18, 2019

THINKING SPRING

We are early risers....and happy for the morning to arrive one hour earlier so we can get our 'forced march' over with sooner.  The sun wasn't actually over the eastern mountain ridge just yet when I snapped this photo, but surely in another hour these forsythia will really glow!  
SPRING ALONG A BACK ROAD IN UPPER CRABTREE, NC

Sunday, March 17, 2019

SPRING IS COMING SOON

Our car club had an outing this weekend....early spring is perfect driving time here in the mountains of Western North Carolina.  Visibility is great as the trees are still bare and the tourists have not yet arrived.  The sports cars were all zipping along on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
 Heading on our last leg home....we came upon an amazing sight.  14 female elk wandered out of the Great Smoky Mountain National Forest and were loitering on Soco Road, about a mile West of Maggie Valley.  Majestic creatures...that totally stopped traffic on this two lane road.  


And then while on our afternoon 'forced march' on the steep roads in our development we spotted 'our' wild peach tree starting to bloom.  'The husband' has been pampering this volunteer tree for several years now.  Last summer it produced about a dozen small peaches....despite the severe ice storm that knocked off most of the blossoms.

Spring must be on the way.....

Saturday, March 16, 2019

PTA - 11th ANNUAL RETREAT

In no particular order and certainly not every project that was underway or finished... ..here's a quick look of the activity that swirled around the sewing room for this our 11th annual Professional Textile Artists retreat at Lake Logan Retreat Center in Canton, NC.
We use a large meeting room with beautiful views overlooking Lake Logan, a large community cutting table and two pressing stations.
A few fortunate attendees have their own portable design walls which are so handy.
Georgia Bonesteel teaches at a ranch in Montana every summer....this quilt is a gift she will present to the owners.  It is a larger version of the project the students will work on....see below. The scene is a Forest Station log cabin.

If that isn't enough to do....Georgia and Marene both were making a donation quilt for the Quilt of Valor project.  Isn't this just perfect?

 Kate is our speediest sewer.....she had this more than 50% finished by early afternoon of the first day.  As is typical.....I fell down on documenting the progress and finished pieces....big sigh.

 Leigh Anne came with the blocks mostly assembled and was quickly on her way to completely her top by adding sashing and setting triangles.
 Barbara created this stunning piece based on a Ruth McDowel design.
 Next she moved onto stitching up some wonky log cabin blocks.
 Lynne created this design on her computer and is well on the way to completion.
 Marene actually finished this wall piece.....but again I didn't get a photo....the borders really pull the design together.  She rarely works in bright colors and we all agreed....she should do that more often considering the success of this piece.

Quilt top #2 completed by Kate.  She has an Accucut machine which she attributes to quick assembly as all the pieces were pre-cut accurately at home.
 I was pitifully slow...despite arriving with my strips and foundation square already cut.  I had planned to add the red sashing as I created the blocks but decided early on I should wait till all were made in case I wanted to do some rearranging.  
Not an excuse.....but this is one reason I was so slow.  I had my own cramped assembly space set up because my approach to sewing string quilts is: sew, flip, and press each strip...ya I know....but that's just the way I work.
 By the end of day two I only had 4 of the 9 rows sewn.
So on day three I pinned the center stripe fabric to the remaining 40 blocks and stitched as many units as I could. I decided to square them when I got home where there was more space to work. There are still about 19 blocks to make.  This project is taking far longer than I expected, but it's being made with care and the hope that the person who receives it as part of the Carolina Hurricane Project will find joy in my gift.

Our accommodations for overnight is a big house which we all share......oh my...what fun.....next I need to decide whether some of our goofiness can be shared......stay tuned...maybe.

Friday, March 15, 2019

MOUNTAIN ART QUILTERS - EXHIBIT ANNOUNCEMENT

 Our Mountain Art Quilters will be hosting two contemporary textile exhibits open to the public on March 29, 2019, in Asheville, NC.  Details are below.  

If you are in the area do come.......you won't want to miss this opportunity to view these innovative and inspiring quilts.  I'll see you there!




Wednesday, March 13, 2019

PTA - 11th ANNUAL RETREAT

By the time you read this.....'the husband' & Sooty (our rescue black lab) will be holding down the home front and I'll be stitchin' and grinin' at our 11th annual PTA (Professional Textile Artists) retreat.

As any quilter knows, we don't travel light...this is my pile of just sewing related 'stuff'......food, beverages, and personal gear will double the amount required for a blissfull 3 days of fun.

Of course I'll share the results of all that sewing.....but naturally, some of what goes on at Lake Logan Retreat Center will stay there!  Back soon.....

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

MOUNTAIN ART QUILTERS

So far, March has been a busy art filled month and will continue until the near the very end.  The Mountain Art Quilters (an offshoot Pod of SAQA - Studio Art Quilt Association), had a members only meeting where we were able to view Group A of SAQA'S Traveling Trunk Show.

By the time you get to the end of this post you'll want to see them for yourself.  Our group will be hosting a public display of these pieces on March 29th in Asheville....more details will be posted soon.  You'll want to mark your calendar if you are in this area because at the same location you'll be able to visit "Seasons of Green".  A contemporary art quilt exhibit presented by 19 members of the Mountain Art Quilters group of which I will have a piece on display.
Each of the 58 miniature masterpieces utilize a variety of materials, textures, and techniques. They are 10" x 7" and mounted on a black backing measuring 12" x 9".
I was delighted to see this stunning Ginkgo Leaf piece by Linda McLaughlin, a blog buddy who creates the most amazing hand stitched art.  Check out her work here.

To wet your appetite....the following are samples of the mini pieces in this trunk show....credits provided, click to enlarge.




 

 


Again....watch for my post with details where to see two great contemporary art quilt shows.  (Or email me for details if you can't wait!!)


Sunday, March 10, 2019

FIBER JUNKIES MARCH MEETING - PART 2

Our show and tell was a little sparse this month.....but Denny as usual had been hard at work.....sandwiching 14 tops that had been shared with us in previous months.
 She quilted two.....this one was done on 3 different machines.....standard home machine, mid-arm (Sweet Sixteen) and her newest mid-arm with movable head....sorry I didn't catch the name of the model.
 I love a good scrap quilt.....and was so impressed with her quilting.....choosing to quilt the pattern, rather than an all over-motif.
 Quilt back.
 This month's focus was lino block carving.  We met at Judy's.....and as always she had all the supplies on hand and organized.  
 Besides having a variety of precut lino to use (from Dick Blick), and blocks of 'easy carve' (feels like soft eraser material), Denny added some interesting dense Styrofoam that required only a pencil or stylist to mark.
I had watched numerous you-tube tutorials before hand and came away with a few tips to guide me.  (1.) soften the lino (covered with a towel and warm iron) to make carving easier.  (2.) to prevent the material from moving around too much use a special metal tray with a back wall and a overlap on the front that secures it to a table.  I tried to find an example to post a photo for you, but it evaded me. AND..... since I didn't have one, I brought a small short lipped cookie sheet and a small terry towel to put it on (as seen above).  It worked fine and helped to keep my fingers away from holding onto to the top as I carved.


 I worked with a very narrow cutting blade fitted on this Speedball cutting tool.   Just to get a feel of what I was doing, I started with small straight lines. 
 After feeling like I had some control, I transferred a design I'd drawn with the aid of transfer paper and did this piece.  I knew only the smooth areas would print....but had hoped it would still be interesting.  For my first attempt it was too daunting to carve any more than what you see.  (A mistake on my part!!)

 Thick print ink was applied to Plexiglas with a hard roller....when distributed nicely, it was rolled onto the lino.
......it was covered with a cloth previously printed with dyed shaving cream...and burnished with the back of a large spoon to transfer the ink/design.
And again and again......the images only got worse.....  Next time I will carve the background instead!  I was aware it takes practice to get good prints.....oh ya....so true.

This is one of Denny's Styrofoam blocks that carved like butter.
And the print....isn't it nice? 
Judy marked this with just a stylist..... 
The print is Denny's as she had done one too.....printed twice...black and red inks.  Those that worked with this material found that it started to disintegrate, leaving debris when printed on fabric.

As usual, a fun and productive day was had by all.....of course I have dozens more photos....but you get the idea so I'll stop with these.  Why not grab one or more of your fiber buddies and make a day of it carving your own designs?