Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Bernina Reunion

I just returned from the Bernina Artisan Reunion in Chicago. I was a little nervous thinking I might be stranded in Chicago, but the weather was with us, a little snow and so pretty to see, especially if you don't have to drive in it!
78 Bernina Artisans had the opportunity to meet and fall in love with the new Bernina 830. It is quite an amazing machine - larger than their other machines, BECAUSE it has the 12" extended bed for machine quilting. Now, that is amazing. It also has a built in dual-feed and oversize bobbin for those of us who don't like to stop and wind bobbins (that might be ALL of us). The built in embroidery unit is oversize to make larger designs. It has a clock (that tickled me) where you can set a timer to go off in case you want to stop sewing (that might be NONE of us). My mind was spinning with the amount of features but perhaps the thing I liked best was how user friendly this machine is. I consider myself leader of the pack - of dinosaurs, when it comes to technology; this machine is a dream to use. We had 2 days to try out all the features and work on a neat project Bernina planned for us.
The opening ceremonies on Wednesday evening included a "Show and Tell" of our most interesting project this past year. This amazing piece by Pat Holly is a miniature piece; the details and workmanship are mind-boggling.
We also had our annual challenge led by our Master of Ceremonies, Head Judge, Taker of Bribes and Maker of Silly Rules - Bobbie Aug. This year we were to embellish a denim shirt. It was to take no more than an hour to do and under $10 for embellishments. The catagories were outrageous. Jane Sassaman's shirt made it into the "Anal Ironing" catagory. I can't believe this only took an hour, it was gorgeous.

One night after after sewing all day, we got very silly with some "nerf balls" and mini marshmallows left over from one of the denim shirts (I won't even go there). We decided we needed boob enhancements. My good pal Mary Stori was first in line. I am hesitant to show this blog to my husband, he thinks we work very hard at these events (which we do, but we also have BIG fun), I don't want to lose my "credibility".

Even one of our Bernina Educators who shall remain nameless got into the spirit of the evening. Jeanne, you're a good sport - oops.
We worked hard and played hard; it was a wonderful 3 days. We learned so much, reconnected with friends and made many wonderful memories.Thank you Bernina! I'm pooped, Goodnight1

Shady Ladies, Amazing Ladies

Last Tuesday, the Asheville Quilt Guild held their monthly meeting which featured a very inspirational and exciting program - the Shady Ladies. The Shady Ladies are a group of fiber artists from the Waynesville area of NC. They meet once a week, under the direction of Jane Cole and Wendy Bowen to brainstorm, work and generally draw inspiration from each other. They presented an amazing amount of work which featured some of their annual challenges as well as individual work. Some work was traditional, some very artsy, all was excellent and inspiring. I left on such a high with so many wonderful ideas spinning in my head.
Below is Jane Cole's  "Blue Ginkgos". It is amazing in person.

I don't know about you but I always fantasize about "if I could go home with one quilt, which one would it be". Although there were so many amazing quilts, this evening it would be "Blue Ginkgos".

Monday, February 16, 2009

Off to the Windy City

Well, I'm off to Chicago for 4 fun filled and informative days with Bernina. I'm part of the Bernina Resource Program. They have a reunion every year for the artisans.  We get to see (and play with) the latest and greatest of Bernina. Their newest baby - the 830 came into being a short time ago. It's quite amazing and I'm hoping we get some time with this "baby", will definitely keep you posted.One of the fun activities is a challenge/ This year we're to create something using a purchased (second hand) denim shirt, no more than $10 on doo-dads and 1 hour of our time. I had leftover appliques from a quilt, fused them on and added some polka dot binding and viola! I love recycling!

Friday, February 13, 2009

More about Faces From the Past

Here are some details of my newest piece - Faces from the Past. This is one of the baskets sitting by the door; it was printed on a coarse linen which I really like for the rough texture. Depending on what I'm doing, clarity of an image in printing is not always a top priority; sometimes the coarser weaves provide more interest.
My family were "savers" and how lucky for me. This is a page from my mothers autograph book, remember those? They were very popular way back when. This page dated 1933 was written by a man with the most beautiful handwriting. Little did he realize that this message would be used in a piece of art someday. I love the significance of that. The page was copied and made into a silkscreen.
This is an old postcard written to my grandmother; it uses her maiden name;  since she was married in the early 1900s, I figure it to be around 100 years old - another little piece of history. I made this into a silkscreen also and placed it upside thinking it to be more interesting. The picture of the man is a drawing my son did of no one in particular - thought it was a great face.

This door has a picture of my grandmother in the window, created by layering in Photoshop.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Hi and welcome to my blog. This is my first post and I'm looking forward to visiting with you often.
I live in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina in a subdivision which used to be a dairy farm; we live on one of the higher hills. It's very windy which led to the name Windy Hill Studio.
I have always loved creating and have tried it all but fabric is my first love. I especially love surface design and creating my own fabric, so please stay tuned for more happenings from the studio on the hill.