Sunday, March 18, 2018

Our 10th Retreat...Can You Believe it!

We recently returned from our annual PTA retreat - our 10th to be exact....hard to believe. We've always been lucky enough to get the same house every year which holds 10 of us and the large community room for sewing.
 First things first....get the refrigerator stocked for later....Make room for the bubbly.
 Next is our snack table in the community room in case we are starving between meals...
 and last is to set up our sewing spots. Notice our priorities - food and bubbly coming first.
 The room is so large and this year, each one of us had a double wide table to work on....
 and some of us chose to group ourselves as a threesome which we do every year.
 I hung up the one project I was going to work on - all pinned and ready to sew.
 Janice had her pieces all cut and boxed...
 and ready to zip on through.
 Marene was working on perfect points...
 which she does beautifully.
 Leigh Anne was working on several quilts including this elegant panel surrounded by piecework.
 Kate always sews rings around us - a great piecer but also very speedy. She had already made the strip-pieced 4" squares so all she had to do was sew them together.
 And in one day....
 A very productive day and then it was back to the house for happy hour..
 Lots of goodies and bubbly.
 And onto dinner where we push the tables together....Stay tuned for more beautiful projects and some snow!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Getting Ready

 Our annual retreat is right around the corner...can't believe a year has gone by. This will be our 10th annual time and it just gets better and better. I have made way too big a deal over what to bring to work on...going from one thing to another....bottom should be simple, no brainer so I can sew and listen to all the fun stuff going on.
 Another priority is to try and use up fabric from my stash...well, it's never gonna happen...sure you can understand but I like to think I'm making a tiny dent. I had some fabrics that all worked together and chose this pattern I found on Pinterest.
Everything is cut and pinned and just ready for sewing...looks a little complicated but the fact that I'll be in a room full of amazing piecers...know it will be fine.
I still have 2 quilts almost done and probably should finish up with them but this held more appeal...will keep you posted. I am linked to Off the Wall Friday and Whoop Whoop Friday.

Thursday, February 15, 2018


Years ago I started making blog books - it's a printing of your blog in book form for whatever length of time you want...I do it yearly. I first heard about it while reading Kay Sorensen's blog. She does a blog book every year - it's her journal. I've never been one to keep a journal although I love the idea. Much as I've tried, I just forget or am not motivated enough, I'm convincd you have to have the "genes" to do it. I had an artist friend years ago - Sybil Rampen, who lived in Toronto; I taught with her so many times, she loved life and she loved journaling her life adventures. She had an entire bookcase full of journals - all hand written with watercolors of places and things that were part of her daily life. So long story short, her and Kay inspired me to do a blog book as it is my journal; it's wonderful to look back on memories I've created over the years.
 You can go back through your blog postings and do a book at anytime for any time period. I'm up to year 2015, I wait for the sales. I use the cover to highlight a quilt made during that year or an extra special event. In 2010, it was my daughter's wedding; she and her hubby - Adam were on the cover. The cover color was a deeper blue - the same color as her bridesmaids dresses with bubbles (which they had instead of rice). In 2012 the cover featured my new little granddaughter.
The back coverss often feature my little granddaughter Audrey. Since I mostly blog about fiber art and my fiber groups and girlfriends, the books are filled with those events but I do manage to sneak in family and of course my cats...This is my life afterall....and I love looking back on so many wonderful memories. I am linked to Off the Wall Friday and Whoop Whoop Friday.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Inspirations for a New Quilt

A while back, I was visiting John C. Campbell Folk Art School in North Carolina. It is a beautiful place and provides endless opportunities of inspiration for art.  I do a lot of picture taking so while walking around the campus, I came upon many wonderful and interesting things to photograph. 
This old water wheel, still in place was corroded and scarred from the passage of time. The stone wall behind it was stained and boasted of many hours of being subjected to rushing waters.
It was old, it was worn and it was beautiful in its own right.
The moss and crumbling rocks just added to the charm.
I was feeling a very strong connection to this water wheel and the beautiful plant life, weeds and moss.
I also found some amazing doors which I love to photograph, especially the very old and worn ones.
Now here's a door for you....brightly painted with beautiful latching.
However,  this is more to my liking - the old painted peeling door...
and this which is not really a door but some wonderful weathered wood.
So I had to decide and the water wheel won out.  I put the photograph into Photoshop elements and turned it into a black and white and then did "find edges" in filters...
and this one which is "photocopy" in filters. I've always liked the "find edges" as I think it gives you more of a feel of values and distinct lines...but both will be used in the design process. Stay tuned for the step by steps on how this photo became a quilt. I am linked to Off the Wall Friday and Whoop Whoop Friday. Check out these wonderful sites to see what other fiber artists are doing.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Beautiful Work

I fell behind in my blog posts in December - lots going on including a trip to New York with my daughter. At our annual holiday party, we had so many beautiful things to share and so I thought ...why not, it's never too late to share.
Denny has made several of these beautiful bags for holding all kinds of things - the perfect size.
She color codes the different sections with zippers which is such a smart idea - pink for needles, beige for buttons get the idea.
Mary showed us her latest big piece inspired by her large Japanese fabric collection given to her by a friend. Mary doesn't love Japanese fabric but she does a beautiful job working with these very high energy fabrics.
Our wonderful girlfriend Val (this is her birthday picture) announced that this would be her last meeting with us. Due to health issues, Val is backing out...we're hoping it's only temporary. She has brought so much happiness and inspiration to our won't be the same without her. At our gift exchange, I was lucky enough to get Val's gift and can share with you all the wonderful things she made. We've always said she has magical hands. I often get to be next to her at a meeting and follow what she does, hoping my piece will turn out just a little like hers...but not gonna happen.
First thing in her bag of goodies, was this beautiful handmade book done with Eco prints. Val got us started with this technique, setting up the Eco pot etc. at one of our outdoor meetings at her house.
For these books, she uses a very heavy paper - Khadi paper great for eco printing. These are some of the inside papers in the book.
Val is so clever and innovative in her use of materials - here a doily is popping out as part of a page.
And some trim on the other side.
 The inside of the book is just as magical...
 with silk screens of her beautiful drawings.
 I loved this book with the unusual closure...
 and beautiful hand painted papers she created.

 And another booklet, each one was more beautiful and interesting than the one before.
  The back and inside...
I love to take them out and keep them close to where I'm working so I can pick them up and soak in the magic. 
This was probably my favorite as she used tissue paper thin paper as a cover and some wonderful hand stitching on the binding. It's very delicate. Most of the inside papers are blank and can used for anything....thoughts, quotes, a small journal.

I was fascinated with the paper that Val used and did a search to see if I could track some down...first place - Dick Blick as they seem to have everything and ....success!
So of course I had to order some.
They are beautiful, luscious and a little bit fragile.
but hopefully, I'll find a way to use them. In the meantime, I'll just drool over them on my studio design wall.

And our super Fiber Junkies group...Love those gals!  I am linked to Off the Wall Friday and Whoop Whoop Friday...Check them out!