Saturday, July 31, 2010

Let the Quilting Begin!!!!

Well let the party begin! I've layered with my fibers and now I'm starting to quilt. I've put 2 layers of Hobbs 80/20 to make a faux trapunto look. I'm really liking this one.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Best of intentions get pushed to the side too often at my house. This spring I intended to give Sandy a bath outside and it didn't happen until yesterday. Today, she is fluffy and prancing, which is amazing since she had to roll and scratch her shoulders in the grass right away after her last rinse, and then she basked in the sun while laying in the sand and gravel driveway. Funny girl!

The Hayward Piecemakers quilt show is done and past, and a great success. The only downfall was when I got my vest home, I noticed damage in the lining where I had safety pins holding my hanger to the vest so it wouldn't fall off. This may not seem a big deal to some, but this is a vest for national competitions that I wanted to share at the local show. It now has 4 tear holes from it being yanked during take down. It is no longer show worthy. This show has a frantic flurry for take down. So for those that are part of the local Hayward show that are reading this...I WILL NEVER SHOW ANOTHER PIECE IN THIS SHOW!

Isn't Sandy a doll?!

The last three pictures are of my newest competition quilt that I'm working on. I spent most of last night and this morning cutting felt motifs with fuzable to apply to my mariner's compass quilt top. The top is made with hand-dyed fabrics made by Joan Skalbeck from Primrose Gradations. Joan passed away last year from complications of pancreatic cancer. I still have a bunch of her coveted fabrics that I've used for my "Party" series quilts.

I'm really pleased with how this one is turning out. The royal blue felt made the top feel more balanced. Of course when I fiber layer it and embellish's a whole other story for balance.

It feels great to be back to work on this top. It has sat for a while because of the busy summer I've had with gardens, grandkids, visitors, customers etc.

Monday, I'm off to Milwaukee WI for the first Milwaukee Machine Quilters Show. I'm traveling with 2 great friends, Lee and Carol. Plus there will be fun friends from our area that are also going, and we'll have to hook up and share all the cool things we'll see and classes we take.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Storm Damage in Hayward WI

We had a little storm excitement in Hayward WI last Wednesday. Here are a few pictures showing the tree damage that happened in the city and township. It was said that the straightline winds reached 95 mph during the storm. After touring around town I saw city and private crews still cleaning up after 5 days. There are hundreds of large trees that were knocked down with many close to the Namekagon river area. There were some power poles broken, damage at the electric transfer station, door and roof damage at the airport, at least one trailer had a tree land on it, all the trees are down in front of the Wesleyan church and old medical group builing, and some tree damage at the new library. There is also serious tree damage at the Hayward golf course, and up radio hill leading to the radio station which explains why that channel was knocked off the air at the time of the storm.
Of course this isn't small or dead tree damage. This was mostly healthy white pines that took the brunt of the storm. These pines generally bend with storms of this nature, so it is a real surprise that they couldn't handle the winds. It did come up extremely fast and hard.

This picture shows all of the trees gone in front of the Wesleyan church, they were large white pines. The bottom picture shows a few trees left standing on the corner of Hospital Rd. The rest were flattened as if they had been clear cut.

Friday, July 16, 2010

When I'm Down....My Friends Pull Me Up

One day this past week, I had a bad day. I was mad about things that were said by a few people involved with our local quilt show. In my mind and heart I've resolved the issue and will move on. But, I do want to say that when things are tough, real friends pull through to remind me who really cares about what happens in my life. Yesterday I visited one of those friends after I dropped off my grandson at the Mpls airport. Today I just got the mail and there was a great care package from another friend. And another friend emailed me this morning concerned about a posting I made about how mad and hurt I was. I want to say thank you to these friends. Thank you Stephanie Forsyth, Lee Spanner, and Amy Johansen.

Here are pictures of Dakota and Mikia, my 2 oldest grandsons. Dakota is 13 and Mikia is 9. They are brothers that have not been able to see each other because of family circumstances. They connect on Facebook and chat. One lives in FL and the other in WI. Tuesday and Wednesday was the first that they had been together for years. Pretty sad, but I'm so happy we could have them together. Both are great guys.

I haven't done much for quilting this past week, not wanting to miss any moment with the guys. Next week is our local quilt show and after that, I go to the Milwaukee Machine Quilters Show in WI.

With the wonderful care package that I recieved from my friend Lee, I think I should make an art quilt showing my release...freedom from the anger that I felt.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Last year my sister in law gave me a lovely potted plant that was almost finished flowering and I planted it in my front flower garden right away. This year it came up for the first time. I remember it as having been a pretty pink so imagine my surprise when it came up and popped open as an awesome butter yellow. My husband thinks they are beautiful and insisted I take pictures to make it into an art quilt. I did that with my orange tiger lilies last summer and it's hanging in our short hallway. He never said he liked it, but now I'm thinking he must if he thinks I need to make another. It is made to be a realistic representation of the picture.

Of all the art quilts and wallhangings I've made, some my husband doesn't like, or should I say, he doesn't show true enthusiasm. We have differing opinions and tastes in our art choices. Mike likes realism and exactness, I think it is the math based mind he has. I do too, but I find myself leaning towards abstract. I'm not saying I'm leaning too far over the line though. I still need order.

Some of my most successful show quilts and art quilts have leaned over the line. The base of most are traditional quilts that I then layer with "stuff", and embellished. It works for me and I feel fulfilled by them. They are not meant for bed use and aren't soft or cuddly. They prickle the senses sometimes and are textural. I think that is what intriques me. I want to feel texture, such as roughness, bumps, things that tickle my finger tips. It's almost a sensual feeling.

Okay, that may have been a bit too deep, but sharing is sharing.

2010 Hayward Piecemakers Quilt Show

July 23th & 24th, 2010
Friday 10 am-4 pm
Saturday 10 am-3 pm

Flat Creek Inn
Highway 27 South
Hayward, WI
Quilt display, Vendors,
Demo's, Raffles
Special Exhibits

Friday, July 9, 2010

Quilting on Silk

Today I finished quilting a silk quilt owned by Marge Portilla of Colorado. This was my first silk quilt to work on and I've gotta say...I love it. I used Superior Threads So-Fine thread on the top and bottom in a deep gold. I knew that I needed to use a thread that would slide through the silk easily and not catch and shred. It is a low profile thread that is very subtle and my personal favorite for my show quilts. This thread does need to be buried and not just snipped because it is slick.

Marge's quilt looked to be made from silk neck ties and was perfectly paper pieced. The picture doesn't capture the richness of her colors.
I'm hoping she will embellish it a bit and enter it in shows. It is very worthy. I should also mention she had me use a black dupioni silk for the backing. It also has a black batting to lesson the possibilities of batting pokies.
Now after all this talk of silk quilts and how beautiful it quilted...I kicking myself for not having started one myself. I've been picking up Dupioni silks when they are on sale at the Millends in Eau Claire now for a couple of years. I've been lucky to get them for about $6-$8 a yard when it goes on sale. I also have a coveted stash of hand dyed silks I bought on etsy, and a wonderful box of silks from the neck tie factory in Cumberland Wi that went out of business about 5 years ago. I got the box for free and the fabrics are stunners. I envision a paper pieced mariner's compass amid planets and stars. Silk when quilted shows the quilting beautifully. The silk refracts the light and shows great definition even when using a low loft cotton batt.
I challenge you to try quilting a small piece of silk to see this effect.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

My flowers and garden look lovely right now and today is the day to pick green beans for the first time this year. I love the colors that appear in nature this time of the year.

In my previous post I wrote about the reorganizing of my work room. Attached are a few pictures of my work area. It's not great for a work room and not finished for a basement, but it's all mine. I need a clean area to work in and it felt good to suck up the hidden dust bunnies that seem to grow in the places that my vacuum couldn't get to. With moving everything, I can now work on my longarm without having to move it to get behind it. With my limited space before a wall was removed this past winter, I had to move the longarm on it's casters to even turn the machine on and access my fabric stash or use the cutting table. Now I get to patiently wait until my husband decides to finish the sheetrock on the walls, paint, and put down new flooring. I'm not going to hold my breath on that one. He always has another project to do that seems more important.

Here is a picture of half of my thread stash. I like being able to see what I have. All are in little bags to protect from dust.
There is also a picture of Honey, my quilting buddy, or so she thinks. She can be a real task master and demanding if it's time for me to pet her or she thinks it's treat time. She's a 13 yr old siamese and my youngest cat of 3. I have a house of senior citizens for pets.

The plastic shelving that I use has been the best choice for my stash so far. Each shelf can handle 500 lbs and the unit is very stable and won't discolor the fabrics as metal shelving will. Metal shelving is also not as strong.
This is what I have to work with until a dream studio happens and for now it works well for me.

Yesterday I messed around with a wholecloth quilt that I had painted on in the past, tried shiva sticks on after quilting to test the effect, and tea dyed. I've gotta say this is the first quilt I trashed. Literally, I threw it away in the trash! It was a mess, ugly, nasty, and not worth anymore of my time. It wasn't even worthy of a cutter. I couldn't stand to look at it anymore or even allow it in the piles with worthier pieces. After it hit the trash, I felt so much lighter. Have any of you felt the need to do this?

Monday, July 5, 2010

It's hot and I'm Cleaning my Studio. Am I Nut's or What?

The end to a hot, tiring long day. I got a notion to move things in my quilt studio today. Glad Mike was around to help move the pool/cutting table. I moved, cleaned and reorganized. Looks much better and now it's time to load my queen sized batik quilt on the machine for tomorrow. Then I'm going to put a binding on my mystery quilt for our quilt show at the end of the month.
It was great to dig around in my "stuff" to be reminded of what I have and what I wanted to play and experiment on.