Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Project Update

After Posted by Hello

Here is one new version of the no-contrast piece. I still may add more, but I think I like it less busy like this, and of course the contrast is better. If I pick this one, then I will need to do something really interesting with the quilting in all that empty black space. Or not. It is a work in progress, and I am thinking of changing the shape to non-square and perhaps adding some different colors. It is a work in progress....

Remember this?

Before Posted by Hello

Blog Quizzes

You Were Actually Born Under:
Your most comfortable inside your head - and often daydream the day away.
You have an artistic temperament that makes you seem creative to some, eccentric to others.
You avoid conflict at all costs, and you have a difficult time with relationships.
Attractive and with good manners, you tend to shine in social situations.

You are most compatible with a Pig or Rabbit.
You Should Have Been Born Under:

No worries, you're not really pig-like in your personality.
(Though you have been known to have a healthy appetite!)
You are highly intelligent - forever studying and gaining knowledge.
You have a heart of gold and you are appreciated by many.

You are most compatible with a Rabbit or Goat.

Funny Blog Things

Your Birthdate: June 10
Your birth on the 10th day of the month adds a tone of independence and extra energy to your life.
The number 1 energy suggest more executive ability and leadership qualities than you path may have indicated.
A birthday on the 10th of any month gives greater will power and self-confidence, and very often a rather original approach.

This 1 energy may diminish your ability and desire to handle details, preferring instead to paint with a broad brush.
You are sensitive, but your feeling stay somewhat repressed.
You have a compelling manner that can be dominating in many situations.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Today's project

Today's project Posted by Hello

This is what I worked on today. The background is pieced from hand painted and hand dyed fabric. The forground shapes are mostly cut from hand painted fabrics, but I used some brown and dark green texture from the store bought stash. To me, this is not "popping", and I thought of introducing more yellow shapes, or taking a cue from Sonji and cutting it apart and assembling with other colors. Specifically, I thought of cutting it into squares and rectangles of different sizes and framing them with contrasting fabric. We'll see what develops. Comments welcome.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

The Christening

DS gets a smile from Baby Bryce. Posted by Hello

Finally, we are fast enough with the camera to catch a smile from the man of the hour. Posted by Hello

First off, a heartfelt thanks to those of you who sent birthday wishes or posted comments to my blog. I am just so pleased I don't know what to do. I tried to send some emails, but for some reason had trouble with that yesterday. I really do appreciate it when you visit and let me know about it. I love having on-line friends!

Saturday morning started out great. I actually slept in, and when I got up, DH was fixing me a fabulous breakfast. (I am riding this birthday train for a month, if I can.) We relaxed and did a little work around the house, then went off to church for Sat. night service followed by the christening of our great-nephew. Following that was another LARGE family gathering, highlighted by lots of baby squeezing and more good food. This baby is quite a chunky armful and looks to me a lot older than his age of three months, but that might be because he took his time getting here.

Sunday morning a goodly number of us put the restaurant staff of "Country Comfort" to the test by meeting for breakfast and lingering over coffee. They were gracious and brought the right food to the right people, and it was still hot. Not an easy thing to serve a tasty breakfast to a couple dozen people who have taken over half your restaurant. Kudos to them for a job well done.

Home from brunch now and really, ready for a nap, but no, we have to give our dogs haircuts and baths. I know there are folks who are better at this and do it for a living, but DH has this funny idea that we will do it better and more gently. He spoils our dogs shamelessly. Maybe after these chores, I will get into my studio. Happily, I have the holiday tomorrow, so I am sure to get there before the weekend is over.

DS takes a break. Posted by Hello

DH gives baby Bryce a hug. He doesn't look that enthusiastic, but he took it all in stride... Posted by Hello

The man of the hour with his new quilt. Posted by Hello

At the christening with my handsome son. This is my entirely objective opinion, of course.  Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Fabulous Fifty

It started out innocently enough. My SIL Barb called earlier this week and invited us over for a Friday night gathering at her house. My neice Kelly and her husband are in town visiting with their children, including a new baby, and I was anxious to see them. Even though there will be a christening and party on Saturday, its not that unusual for all of us to gather more than once when out of town family comes to visit. These large family gatherings are usually "potluck" style, so I asked DH what we were supposed to bring. "Drinks". "Where are they?" I asked, knowing he had already been to the store. "Oh, I took them by earlier." Well, that seemed a little strange to me, because why not just take them when we go there?, but I didn't say anything. As we got to their neighborhood and came closer to their house, I noticed the parked cars. LOTS of parked cars, LOTS and LOTS of parked cars. One of the neighbors must be having a party, too. Wait...isn't that my friend Lisa's car? Why would she be here....I had hardly formed this thought when I saw my little nephew bouncing around outside. He greeted us, then dashed inside. We came up the driveway and through the front door....SURPRISE!!!!!!

My 50th birthday is not until June 10th, so I wasn't really expecting this. The place was overflowing with most of the family and my closest friends (quilting buddies, naturally) and I was just blown away. In our family, we "do" decade birthdays, so I was expecting something, but they really and truly surprised me by doing it early. The miracle is that no one leaked it. My husband is the worst one about keeping a secret, and he always hints around until I guess. (This is when I am NOT asking.) Let's just say I have never been surprised at Christmas. When I opened all my lovely cards and gifts, I ended up with a PILE of gift certificates to...Rosie's Calico Cupboard (the largest fabric shop in the San Diego area), a gift certificate to the Cozy Quilt Shop (small shop in my neighborhood), and a $50 gift certificate for Starbucks......do my friends know me or what?

Earlier this week I was feeling sad about turning 50, and a little blue because none of my original family is still alive to celebrate it with me. My youngest brother died back in 1983 when he was just 18. When he was born I gave away all my baby dolls because I had a real baby to play with. It broke my heart when he died, and I named my son after him. In 1993, my mom died from heart disease. She was a dear friend, as well as a parent, and she is the one who taught me how to love. In the intervening ten years she had survived a heart transplant with grace, courage and determination, but she struggled after her kidneys began to shut down. When her surgical port for dialysis failed for the last time, she said "enough" and refused to have another operation. She was 59. Last year, in January 2004, my dad and my other brother died within 10 days of each other. My brother was just a few days short of his 45th birthday. I won't go into all the details, but the short version is that alcoholism and diabetes killed them both. It still feels strange to be the last living member of my original family.

But...God is good. I have had the same wonderful husband for 29 years, and he is just the best. My son has grown up to be handsome, smart, and kind. I married into a very large and very loving family. We have shared holidays, weekend outings, weddings, births, funerals....so, so many things. And, I have friends. Wonderful friends. Friends with whom I can laugh until my face hurts, or until the tears run down my cheeks. I am truly, truly blessed, and on this birthday, I am surrounded by love.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Something Fishy

Closeup of Minkee backing and quilted fish. Posted by Hello

I made this fish quilt for my newest great-nephew Bryce. My neice and her husband are in town this weekend, and the christening will be tomorrow. I look forward to seeing this little guy. His big sister will be two in November, so his parents are very busy people.
You might wonder about why I chose the fish theme for a baby...His parents are very into tropical fish. They have a huge tank in their home and invest a lot of time and money into it. When I first started out to make it, I had more elaborate ideas in mind, but I think this will work and they will like it. It is sturdy and soft and ready to be drooled on, dragged around etc.

Fish quilt I made for my great nephew. It is backed with blue Minkee. Soft! Posted by Hello

A word about Minkee...I found it very hard to quilt on my small sewing machine. I was not able to do some of the free motion work I had in mind, so I settled for curving "wave lines" and some echo quilting. If I had it to do again, I might go see my friend with the longarm.

Some handpainted fabric. I used Saran Wrap and scrunching to create the texture.
This has nothing to do with the fish quilt, I just thought I'd show you something to do with art.
I am happy with this because I am learning (slowly) how to control at least some of what happens.
Posted by Hello

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Fusing Fun

Something to Brighten the Kitchen Posted by Hello

Last Saturday I had a little "fusing party" with my quilting friend Barbara. She is new to the concept, but open to the idea of using fusible to expand creatively. We both bought Laura's book while we were in Paducah, and I have the new Fons and Porter magazine with Mrs. Mel's fine article. If you haven't seen it yet, check out this magazine. It also has a nice article on quilt artist Frieda Anderson.

We both had a nice collection of bright fabrics, and I scored a good price on a bolt of Wonder Under fusible and we were good to go. I had been using a different product on my other fused projects. The advantage of the other (Steam A Seam 2) is that you can temporarily "stick" pieces up on a design wall and move them around. The advantage of Wonder Under is the nice crisp edge and what seems to be a tighter bond. To make a long story short, we had a marvellous time, and I converted another long time traditional quilter to the fun of fusing. The little piece above is NOT really art (too derivative) but it will brighten my kitchen this summer.
I'm thinking of using that bright sunflower fabric for a border. Not very serious and a lot of FUN!

Studio Confidante

Studio Confidante Posted by Hello

I'm a little behind the trend here, as usual, but here is my studio confidante. She is the gift I received from my lovely hostess in Paducah this year. Aside from her patchwork skirt to show us she is a quilter, she has an array of sewing notions (and a knitting book) attached to her outstretched arms as she creatively "soars". I wish I could credit the clever artist who designed her, but I can't find any name. Knitting seems to be the hot new trend everywhere, and I do mean EVERYWHERE. I have so far resisted because (A) I barely have enough time to do quilting and (B) I can't afford the space for another stash! I do confess to caressing yarn when I visit the shops, tho.......MUST RESIST!

Friday, May 20, 2005

Wassily Kandinsky

Composition X, 1939 Posted by Hello

See more images here and here.

Yellow, Red, Blue, 1925 Posted by Hello

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Beautiful and Amazing Tapestries

Sunset Posted by Hello

Sunflowers Posted by Hello

Beautiful Tapestry Posted by Hello
One of my favorite blogs to visit is Jenny Bowker's Postcards From Cairo. I'm not sure what rock I've been living under, but I'd never heard of Wissa Wassef fiber art. These are gorgeous tapestries. Check out the Ramses Wissa Wassef Art Centre for a treat for the eyes.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


Over on Pat's Art Journal there are some fabulous pictures of Baltimore Orioles. DH and I like to watch the birds, although we are strictly amatuers. I keep a bird book handy, but it usually just ends up in a friendly debate over what we are actually looking at. We have some bright yellow and black birds a little like these, but I am pretty sure they are not the same bird.
Probably the most interesting and exotic birds we see are the parrots. Yes, parrots. I remember the first time I saw them. It was a few years back, and I was walking with a friend for exercise around the track at the local high school. The whole flock was lined up on a telephone wire. Now my distance vision isn't all it could be, so I wasn't at all sure what I was seeing until I got really close. But there they were, all bright yellow, red and green and squaking up a storm. Trust me, you do NOT want parrots to move into your yard, they are noisy and disruptive. When I told my son, he said they were frequently in the area and the teacher sometimes had to close the window because of the noise. Not long after that, I saw a newspaper article about them. There has been a lot of speculation on where they came from and how they started. Did they fly up from Mexico, escape from a pet store, fly away from a zoo ? Whatever their origin, someone counted, and the flock is up to about 300 birds. Amazing!

Monday, May 16, 2005

Flannel quilt Posted by Hello

A Few Traditional Quilts

Yesterday was another fun "sewing day" with my small quilting group. We swapped stories, shared quilts and sewed and snacked all day. My idea of fun! Right now I'm finishing up a couple of traditional quilts of my own to meet the deadline for giving them. The quilts here were made and "shared" by my friends Sheryl and Carla.

Pretty traditional quilt in warm fall colors Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 15, 2005

More From Emily Mason

Shimmer Posted by Hello

Outpost Posted by Hello

Opposing Cells Posted by Hello