I'll be dieting for a month after this week's round of holiday parties. PTA's was held at Janice's home. I'll try to make this brief as there was so much going on I had to pick and choose what to post.
Dort generously gives each of us a small jar of her homemade mustard each year. She's started a trend. Cathy passed out bars of luxury soaps for all of us and Barbara gifted everyone a nifty flashlight, featuring a magnet that allows one to attach to a refrigerator so you'll always know where to find it.
We do a 'white elephant' gift exchange...some gifts are truly white elephants possibly destined to show up next year, others are more coveted items that are sought after. The order of selection is determined by drawing a number. Stealing gifts from another recipient when your number comes up makes it extra fun.
Food and wine were plentiful, beginning with appetizers.
Show and tell was very limited but that doesn't mean it wasn't exceptional. Marene made this stunning wall piece using a printed fabric panel purchased from Barbara Webster.
Dort made this adorable little piece for a friend who adopted one of her cats that was having a difficult time transitioning to their new home.
This is a commission piece she made of a home in Portland, OR.
Now.....back to the gift exchange....Dort is our true mountain gal.....more than once she had to hop up and dig her handy small folding knife from her pocket to aid in opening boxes.
This gadget is an example of an item that got recycled back to the group. It's some sort of straight pin dispenser...which immediately fell over, spilling all the pins. Remember the flashlight I mentioned earlier.....the magnet on the back worked well to corral the pins.
Many times there will be numerous items included with one gift.....how cute is this bonus holiday sock coin purse!
Dort recently moved out of their 1800's log home and uncovered long forgotten items in the process. Georgia displays this Union suit undergarment...
.....and a man's swimsuit which dates to about 1925-1935...it was a 'Speed Style" suit.
Georgia has a habit of putting bows on her head at every party....and the funny thing is we are so totally used to it, she could have and gotten in her car to go home and we'd never think to remind her to remove it.
Ya gotta wonder....why two bras? I guess one of our members ordered them and decided the fit wasn't right and yup....they ended up at our gift exchange where Marene went along with the fun.
That's all for now.....there's a lot more to share but I'll leave it to your imagination. Hoping all you faithful readers are enjoying this wonderful time of the year, making memories with your buddies too.
December wraps up another fun and educational year for the Fiber Junkies. It's the first holiday party with new member Susan Webb Lee and the return of Denny Webster after an extended recovery period after her spinal fusion. Sadly, it's also the first full year without our dear friend Val, a founding member of the Fiber Junkies who passed away last January.
Show and tell was sparse this month.....I guess everyone was busy with Thanksgiving activities and getting prepared for Christmas. However, Gen was able to find time to knit this adorable doggie sweater....cable stitching and all...can you believe it?!?
Kate organized a small holiday project this month....fabric covered Styrofoam to resemble pine cones.
Supplies are few.....sequin pins, Styrofoam eggs, and 1" fabric squares, sides folded to make a point at the top.
Gen (left) and Kate wearing cute holiday sweaters.
Susan quickly got the hang of attaching the tiny fabric pieces to create this colorful pine cone.
A sample of completed and nearly completed pine cones.
Of course feasting is always a part of our gatherings, but none as yummy as a luncheon of all appetizers!! As seen from top to bottom (and there was more not yet added to the table) - artichoke/spinach bread bowl, mini meatballs, tortilla turkey/cheese/spinach roll ups, and delicious stuffed dates.
Denny treats us every year with this spectacular and very realistic Yule Log made by a bakery in the Greenville, SC area.
You can see we weren't the least bit shy about digging into this yummy treat! Our Jan. and Feb. 2021 dates are already in our calendars as we embark on year # 13 of Fiber Junkies.
Process continues on this version of the traditional Chinese Coins patchwork pattern.
As is my typical approach to quilt designing, I prefer to select, cut, & arrange fabric on my design wall before sewing it together. In this case patchwork rows 1-3 are now sewn but the long strips of fabric are not. I've realized the seams between the two will be too bland.
So, by adding narrow red flanges (left) there's an immediate positive change. That pop of color worked! Notice how dull the strip on the right is without it.
So....obviously more stitching (and cutting) is required.....but slowly the piece is coming together.
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......
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.
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.
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....
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.