Sunday, January 31, 2021

THE VACCINE

 I got home late afternoon after leaving at 8:45AM for a 3+ drive (one-way) to Charlotte, NC.  I almost didn’t go!  Our weather was terrible, snow/ice/sleet/fog..….fortunately, we pretty much drove out of it into all rain.  When I say WE drove out of it....basically that means "the husband" drove out of it.  Anyone who knows me, knows I'm totally directionally challenged, I'm lucky I can find my way to Asheville, never mind Charlotte! 

Atrium Health held a  2 1/2 day MASS Covid vaccination event at the Panther’s football station, dab smack in downtown Charlotte, NC.  Because of an alert friend (thank you Arlene) I snagged an appointment.  Traffic was a bit of a drag as you got close, but once parked folks were there to direct you as you began the 10 min. walk to the stadium.  Everyone must of taken happy pills….each person, every step of the way was cheereful, helpful and just plain swell.  It was kinda like going to Disneyworld with maze after maze to pass through...hummm also like following the yellow brick road but instead, there were blue 6' spacing stickers!!  Everyone was social distancing, respectful, & patient....I found that so positive.  

Again…happy, happy cheerful volunteers.  VERY efficient……I was in and back to our car in less than 45 mins. which includes the 15 min. observation time and the two 10 min. walks from the parking garage.  (Though I will admit - not kidding here - to taking photos of what I was passing in case I had trouble finding the car again.) Truly it was so well run, that wasn't necessary.  A negative is that it’s a 6 hr. round trip drive.  However, I’ll gratefully do again for my 2nd vaccine injection in a month!!  

Can't say enough good things about how well this was organized and grateful to get shot #1, though events like these seem to be reducing the number of vaccines available for smaller local counties like mine.  Thankfully I was able to make the trip, but so many more elderly don't have that option.....it's such a dilemma for those in charge of getting the vaccine distributed.

AND who did I find in line getting her shot....well yes....it was Chrissy Crisis!!!


Whoo Hoo.....Chrissy and Mary have one down and one to go!!!!


Friday, January 29, 2021

CROSSROADS

I'm pleased to share my latest Japanese inspired quilt.  The process was unusually challenging.  In my experience, the less complicated the design appears, the more extra care that is required because every misstep will become much more compounded & visible.  I'm needing a better photo but for now here's the final look.

CROSSROADS - 58" x 64"

 A striking one-of-a-kind large wall art quilt.  Authentic Japanese cottons & commercial black cotton fabric. Hand & machine pieced with vertical machine quilting. Ready to hang with fabric hanging sleeve attached to the back.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

TOP FINALLY PIECED

Persistence pays off.......top is finally pieced and I still have all my hair! 



I'm pin basting it within an inch of its life to maintain straight blocks and even connector strips as its machine quilted on my home machine.  Big quilts are always so difficult to quilt as I don't have a long arm or any of the hybrids.....one is coveted but not doable.


Monday, January 25, 2021

EXCITING GAME - DISAPPOINTING FINISH

 Heartbreaking, not just as a fan but especially for Aaron.....I couldn't even listen to his entire post game interview.....just such a darn shame.

 Tampa 31 - Packers 26.  They were beat by a better team and they lost because of a few mental mistakes and in my humble opinion, a defense that must get better if we want to say, "There's always next year".

As always   GO PACK GO!!!!

Sunday, January 24, 2021

HERE WE GO AGAIN!!

   OH.....to be at Lambeau Field today.......GO PACK GO!!!

I grew up about 45 mins. from the Frozen Tundra......and of course have always been a Packer fan.....even in times when we had to say, "there's always next year."  I sure hope that won't be uttered today.... 

My loyalty has been displayed in so many ways.......


I was the featured guest speaker for a luncheon at one of the annual AQS Quilt Shows where I presented a fashion show of my wearable art garments.  My entrance set the audience at ease, I explained, NO, my garments are not made to wear scrubbing the kitchen floor or attending a Packer game.  That broke the ice with an edgy audience that had to endure a very long wait for their food due to serving delays.


Here's Blossom....she weighed 65 lbs.  She had a large rubbermaid tub full of accessories.  It was so much fun dressing her for various occassions.


And here's Sooty, our sweet rescue black lab who helps us show our Packer loyalty.

GO PACK GO!!   GO PACK GO!!   GO PACK GO!!


Saturday, January 23, 2021

ON A COLD MORNING

This morning's 'forced march' started earlier than normal. The sky was turning light, but not fully light yet.  Our home is in a mountain valley with mountains closeby on 3 sides.  The sun was just peaking over the ridge to the East when its light struck the top of the mountain range to the West.


Though it appears as if the forest is on fire, it isn't........rather it's just a beautiful trick of morning light.



 

Thursday, January 21, 2021

SLOW BUT SURE

 It's been slow going but I'm making headway.....glad I didn't give up. I'm loving the color combo and uneven grid design.



Wednesday, January 20, 2021

REVAMPING THE DESIGN

After much shuffling, eliminating, staring and moving pieces like they were on a chess board....this is the final layout.  Now all I have to do is come up with a way to piece it.  

The suggestions of using graph paper to determine the size and order of the black background pieces might work for some, but I'm a math idiot.  Some of the blocks measure in the 1/8" - 1/16", oh why oh why didn't I pay better attention at the start? And just to add to the drama....the gold fabric is a direction print....yup...silly me.

But you can see, I'm making headway and the whinning is over......I'm knuckling down and will get the job done!


Monday, January 18, 2021

PITIFUL MEMORY

Having at least one large (over 60") wall art quilt in my inventory is always a priority.  Along with my booth mate Judy Simmons, we have access to display a few quilts at the entrance of Woolworth Walk..  It's faublous to have such a visible location to hang our bigger work which isn't possible in our booth.


I've been focused on much smaller pieces for a very long time and had the urge to dig into start a more challenging one.
Clearly I've been out of practice....the picture in my mind thought this was a good idea.  NOT, definitely NOT!  I love the random sizes and placement of these blocks and was feeling confident after arranging them since I had made a similar piece a few years ago.


Holy cow, my brain must have turned to mush after this prolonged isolation.  As I began sashing the blocks I was still ignorant of the problems ahead.....sure the black background looks great BUT....how on earth could this be pieced?

I'm a good record keeper, so I dug out my files to find reference notes for that previous similar, but not the same quilt. None....no where to be found.....ah ha.... I didn't save them because it was such a terrible way to make a quilt. I decided that it'd be one and done.  Obviously I didn't remember that. 

The huge stash of Japanese style fabrics that I never thought would diminish, actually has.  Finding interesting motifs to cut in standard sizes is no longer available.  So in case you haven't figured it out.....what I did the last time was to appliqué the blocks to a whole cloth backing..........photo below.  Why oh why did I not recall that before going so far with this one......   Well, I'm not calling quits yet.....there must be a piecing solution I just need to find it.


Saturday, January 16, 2021

PACKERS WIN!!!!!

 If this is what I needed this week to get through the game....what will I need next week, an IV drip of bubbly???



WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A PACKER

The Packers have always been a class team.....some call them America's team......here's a heartfelt tribute from inside the Packer's locker room.



                          And for the fans like me.....it's just WAITING.........

       GO PACK GO   GO PACK GO   GO PACK GO

Thursday, January 14, 2021

ON HOLD

Not a great deal of progress has been made on this little piece.  It's going in a holding pattern right now because something else has popped up that I had to attend to.  

 It's comforting knowing there's a piece 'in waiting'!  In the meantime I'll  still be busy and will share what's developing soon.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

A GERM OF AN IDEA BEGINNING TO GROW

An idea I've had floating in my head has finally burst out, let the fun begin. 

Appx. size 9" x 14"

Sunday, January 10, 2021

RAW EDGE APPLIQUE TIPS

It's been a number of years now since I retired from traveling the world on the quilting highway.  I don't miss the airline travel!  I do miss the energy I got from the workshop experience, sharing newly discovered techniques developed from projects made for my quilting cruises/tours, books, & competition quilts and garments.

This comment came from a follower in regard to a recent blog post.  AND that brought out the 'instructor' still in me:  

"Stunning!! I have to know what scissors you use to do all that fussy cutting of the cranes. The edges are perfect."

I'm happy to share my approach to raw edge applique.  But first I have to confess.......I used to turn my nose up at this technique.  I judged a lot of quilt shows in the day and often saw unintended frayed edges, sloppy applique, and distorted backgrounds. But I also saw beautifully executed pieces that elevated this art form.  I personally still favor handwork, but now through practice and trial and error, developed numerous methods to achieve the high quality standards I'm a bit obsessive about. Most importantly, it's given me an additional design path. Okay....enough of this intro....

#1.  Nope, no special brand of scissors.....I use quality small sharp to the point embroidery scissors.

#2.  Misting lightly with spray starch or fabric sizer and pressing before cutting is very helpful to help tame those cut edges.  This is especially true on more loosely woven fabrics which may require a bit more than a misting.  I don't find it necessary for most batiks.  SIDE NOTE:  Since my work focuses on art quilts that aren't washed, I don't over-do this process as there is a concern that starch attracks insects....whether true or not I'm not sure but I've never seen.

#3.  I'm old school and still recommend Pellon's Wonder Under.  I buy it by the bolt, and find it very dependable and economically priced.

#4.  Once the motif is fused in place, coat the edges with June Tailor's Fray Block.  See details HERE. I learned this trick from applique expert Linda Cantrell.  The ONLY time this product has ever stained my fabrics was when I used silk dupioni.  It never hurts to test first though.  Batiks may not require this step, but if in doubt take the time to do it.


#5.  I always test stitch on scraps before committing to the stitch style,  width, length, & thread type. Do I want the applique to be as invisible as possible or to add to the design?  This is also where I discover whether extra 
stabilizing is necessary.  Very often just a piece of tissue paper beneath my project is enough to eliminate puckering.

Believe me, I still consider myself sort of new to this technique, but because I'm extremely fussy in regard to construction, all these steps are necessary to give me the results I'm proud of.

Perhaps you will find these methods helpful as well.




Friday, January 8, 2021

SNOW #4 - 2020-21 Season

 Fortunately, the prediction of a huge snow storm didn't quite materialize....we got about 2 inches on the ground.  As is often the case here in the mountains.....precipatation freezes on the roads, covered by the snow....dangerous for walking and driving.

So for the safety of our old bones, we donned our Yaktrax.....and grabbed our hiking sticks as we headed out for the dreaded morning 'forced march'.

Turns out the temperature overnight wasn't cold enough to allow accumulation on the paved roads, though much of our walk is not paved.
Dog and human (Yaktrax) signs on our almost clear roads.
We weren't the only ones out for a morning stroll.......

Thursday, January 7, 2021

GINKGO RAIN - ART QUILT

 My fascination in creating art quilts from my large inventory of Japanese fabrics continues.

GINKGO RAIN - 13" x 22.5"
Gingko trees defoliate quickly, generally in one day.   Japanese cotton fabrics, batik, pieced, appliqued, and quilted with metallic thread.

Detail


Linking to Nina Marie's Off The Wall Friday  and Sarah's Whoop Whoop Friday

Monday, January 4, 2021

PACKERS WIN!!!

 

Our hero..... Aaron Rodgers 
set a new #Packers single-season record for completion percentage at 70.7%, beating his previous mark of 68.3% from 2011.



NFC (first seed) CHAMPS!!

Sunday, January 3, 2021

GINKGO LEAF QUILT IN PROGRESS

 Rarely do the original designed art quilts I create end up as envisioned. Actually, rarely do I have a clear vision at the start. This one is still transforming itself......from a skimpy number of ginkgo leaves and potential additional motifs to more leaves and other motifs.... Still not satisfied....more auditioning to go.....