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Archive for the ‘Guild’ Category

Inspiration in the Ordinary Lecture on Saturday, January 27 in Waterville, ME

Friday, January 26th, 2018

Hi all…quickly popping in to say HI!  I’m debuting my new lecture, Inspiration in the Ordinary, tomorrow at the Pine Tree Quilt Guild quarterly meeting in Waterville, ME.  To get directions, click here for more information.  Note, however, that the meeting has been moved down the hill to the auditorium.  Just look for where there are more cars parked!

From Sarah’s new lecture, Inspiration in the Ordinary. Many of you have seen my “dog walkies” photos…this is what inspires me, and a I’d like to inspire YOU.

Tomorrow I’ll have a follow up post with a PDF and links to the “visiting artists” websites, pattern links, information about apps, and the books mentioned in the lecture.   Hope to see many of you there!

And the last slide in the lecture


Birdie Bernina takes her first drive….

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

Imagine that…working on a quilt, and not an art quilt! AND it’s a UFO! Here I’m trying out various design options.

We moved to Maine in 2004.   This top pre-dates that move by at least a year–I made it as a local quilt group mystery quilt (design by Debbie Caffrey but don’t remember the name).  I only made four blocks, made it into a small top, and it has sat in a basket mocking me lo these many years.

Fast forward:  I SPLURGED.  I ***seriously*** splurged.  I bought a Bernina Q20 sit down.  Yes, it costs as much as a nice used car.   And Oh. My. Yes. it is worth it…what a DREAM!  I figured you only live once, quilting is my favorite thing, so I’m gonna just go for it.   And yes, I am beyond grateful that I have been able to earn enough by writing, teaching and selling my art quilts to be able to afford this indulgence!  To each and every person who has ever read an article or my book, watched my DVD, or taken a class or bought an artwork, THANK YOU!

But that means  need to learn to use it and not be a tad intimidated.  Light Bulb Moment!!! Take those two UFO mystery quilts (yep, there’s another larger one) and use them to test-drive the new Bernina, named Birdie because of the beautiful bird’s eye maple cabinet (yes, I splurged a little more and upgraded to the cabinet…pics below).  So I got the somewhat soiled, tired, not particularly well pieced tops out, ironed them, and decided to go for it.

You can see some of my quilting design. I planned to do some straight line work with a ruler and ruler foot in the green. I wanted to do more ruler work and curved cross hatching in the white spaces. And since I’m adept at free-motion, some of that using a leaf motif from the navy print in the corners and small squares. I’m not positive yet what I’ll do in the navy floral, but may just use navy and outline the flowers.

Here I’ve completed the straight line work on the green (not perfectly, but not bad for a first attempt as I get used to using the stitch regulator with the rulers. I just LOVE LOVE LOVE curved cross hatching! And then I began on the free-motion for the leaves. I plan to go back in with a lighter weight thread–I’m using 40 wt Superior trilobal poly here–to to a background dense fill around the leaves. There is a half inch outlined space between the leaves and the cross hatching.

I have to say the included-with-the-machine video was great, although I have no clue WHY Bernina doesn’t make it able to play on a DVD player–only a PC or a Mac.  Have they not noticed that computers don’t come with disc drives any more?????  Luckily, separate disc drives are cheap (about $30 or less) and I had planned on buying one for other reasons (moving CD music to the laptop).  But still.   The disc ought to be able to be played on a DVD player!   Anyway, it is well done, as is the manual.

The Q20 comes with a bobbin tension gauge and the manual says (yes, I read manuals! you should, too) you should test every bobbin.   So for now at least, I am.  That helped me get my combination of thread–40 wt. trilobal poly in the needle and 60-wt very fine Bottom Line poly in the bobbin–adjusted with a minimum of fuss.  The stitch balance is simply fan-flipping’-tastic.  I DO match needle and bobbin thread always, though, just in case!

And here’s my beautiful Birdie Bernina on her maiden quilt. Contented SIGH.

I need to thank three people:  Barb Black and Karen Miller are friends who have the Q20 (Barb’s is a sit-down like mine, Karen’s on rails) and Jeanie Cook-Delpit of Bernina for their advice, rave reviews and, from Jeannie, help.  When I saw Barb at Quilt Festival I got a great big laugh out of her when I greeted here with “Thank you for leading me into temptation!”  It’s totally true.  And Jeanie — you helped make this possible.  THANK YOU!  You are the creme de la creme of Bernina Ambassadors.  I’ll post more pics when done.   Let’s hope the power doesn’t go out tomorrow during the incoming storm, which is supposed to be heavy, wet snow.  I wanna quilt!

NYC! with friends and fun

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

For the first time in more than 30 years, I got to visit New York City, thanks to the Northern Star Quilt Guild and my friend Deirdre Abbotts!  On Tuesday of last week I gave my Journal Quilts and Journaling for Quilters lecture to the Northern Star Quilt guild in Somers, NY.  Thanks so much to one and all for inviting me down–I hope I get to return to teach!  When the engagement was booked, Deirdre suggested I plan on staying with her and she’d take a day off work and we’d go to the City and play–So we DID!  FUN!

Cheers!  With Luana Rubin and Deirdre Abbotts

Cheers! With Luana Rubin and Deirdre Abbotts–see below for more info

The week before heading down, I found and fell in love with Gudrun Sjoden’s clothing, website here, and discovered they have just ONE store in the US:  in New York!  So we went, and I indulged.  No pics of the clothing, and I forgot to take pics of the inside of the store other than this one, but I can tell you I could have dropped four figures on clothing in there with no difficulty.  Fortunately, I restrained myself (a bit).  And I figured out what sizes I take in her clothes, so now I can order online.  <Beam>

Behind the cash register at Gudrun Sjogen's NYC store

Behind the cash register at Gudrun Sjoden’s NYC store–I <3 this line!

Deirdre lives about an hour’s commuter train ride from NYC, so after a brief stop we headed in to the city armed with our fare cards for use on the train and subway.  Because we got there in the late morning, we shopped a bit, went to Purl Soho, walked around Soho a bit (which seems a lot more skyscraper-ish and less Bohemian than I remember from 30 years ago) and went clothes shopping (where Deirdre got the deal of the week on the sale rack).  We then had a late lunch at Le Pain Quotidien at the recommendation of the shop clerk.  SCORE!  Seriously, some of the best tasting food I’ve had in years.  A simple open-faced sandwich, but every component was succulent and savory:

Two "tartines" at Le Pain Quotidien in Soho.   The drizzled sauces were incredible...I've written in hopes they'll share some of the ingredients since the place has a website with some recipes given.  YUM!

Two “tartines” at Le Pain Quotidien in Soho. The drizzled sauces were incredible…I’ve written in hopes they’ll share some of the ingredients since the place has a website with some recipes given. YUM!

Deirdre had noticed that Luana was in town, so we texted back and forth hoping to meet up for a drink or something after Luana’s business meetings and play (Denzel Washington in A Raisin in the Sun).  Luana thought they’d be out at 3:30, so Deirdre and I decided to subway up to the theatre (near Times Square–what a zoo), but turns out that was intermission time.  So we just HAD to go to City Quilter while Luana watched the second half before meeting her for wine and appetizers at her hotel, near Grand Central.  I brought home a couple of their custom prints…fun!

Cheers!  Raising a glass to friendship!

Cheers! Raising a glass to friendship!

I’ve got a couple more posts with buildings and inspiration!   Stay tuned–here’s a sneak peek:

How lucky we are that the titans of industry 150 years ago poured money into buildings that are art!

How lucky we are that the titans of industry 150 years ago poured money into buildings that are art!

Be Inspired, Part 8–A Ribbon!

Monday, July 27th, 2009

Hallelujah, the quilt was done in time to deliver to Maine Quilts last Wednesday.  When hubby and I went up on Friday to see the show (hooray!  first time ever he has gone with me…of course, given the downpour torrential rain and the crowds inside, I may never get him to another!), I got worried as we worked our way back through the judged section:  lots of third place ribbons and honorable mentions, but FEW reds and blues…. meaning tough judging.  When I saw my quilt, though, boy did I smile:


Yep, that’s a blue ribbon (one of five in the entire show, and the other four were traditional quilts!) AND a Judges’ Choice from Kathy Kansier (website here).  When I went to her classroom to thank her, I learned she is also this year’s Jewel Pearce Patterson scholarship winner for quilt teachers…way to go!  Plus, she’s going to have a special exhibit at the Quilt Festival in Houston of her doorways and archways quilts… I’ve been taking pictures of doors and gates and windows for 30 years! Can’t wait to see it…anyway, Thank you, Kathy!

Here’s a picture of me (and yes, I have lost 18 pounds!  about 12 more to go….) looking quite happy (thanks to Paul for taking the picture):


And a “neighborhood” shot of the row:


I’ll blog about the show later in the week, and also give some close-up shots of the insane quilting…..

Postcards in Farmington Valley, CT

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

This past week I was invited to lecture and teach in Simsbury and Avon, Connecticut, for the Farmington Valley Quilt Guild.  It was so much fun, and quite a large guild, too!  On Wednesday evening I presented a lecture, The Decorated Quilt: Beads, Embellishments and other Treasures, at the Eno Memorial Hall in Simsbury.  There were easily over a hundred women there in the HUGE hall. I was lodged at the Simsbury 1820 house (guess when it was built):

The Simsbury 1820 House

The Simsbury 1820 House

I’ll do a couple more posts about the trip, including pictures of the town, windows, and other cool fodder for quilts and design ideas!

I had sent down some of my postcards (made by me and received by me) and ATCs to help advertise the class:


The next day, at the beautiful, modern public library in Avon, CT, about twenty women joined my class on Fabric Postcards, which is a non-threatening introduction to art quilt techniques and making fabric postcards.


I set up next to the only flat, blank wall so I could do something new to me:  using the videocamera and digital projector to project what I was de monstrating onto the wall behind me.  This way, EVERYone in the class had a view as if they were sitting next to me (or on my lap!).  It took some getting used to… I’d forget to make sure my hands were in the range of the lens, so they got good at reminding me LOL…thanks ladies!  I think this will work, and I definitely got better as the class went along.

Each student had a spot at their own table, but we set up a workstation area for paint and another two for ironing.  The class included my “chunk and jigsaw” fusible applique method and using angelina, so that took place at the ironing stations.  I also taught painting techniques using textile paints (Jacquard opaque, Setacolor transparent, and Lumiere metallics) using direct application, stencils, and printing (with mats, bubble wrap, stamps) and Shiva paintsticks  in both direct application and rubbings.


The ladies were grand, I got to meet folks I’d only met before on line (hi Judy!  hi Vivika!), and learned from them…something that always happens when you teach!

Here’s a view of the program room where our class took place:


And here are a range of postcards–if yours is among them, drop me a comment and I’ll add your name to your card!

Easter eggs using sheer, fused fabrics

Easter eggs using sheer, fused fabrics--By Marie


Textile paints and Shiva Paintstiks

Textile paints and Shiva Paintstiks--by Diane


colorwash abstract under tulle

colorwash abstract under tulle--also by Karen


Her licence plate is "Outdoor"

Karin's license plate is "Outdoors"


An array by Betty

An array by Betty


I thoroughly enjoyed the trip, and hope the students learned and enjoyed too!  Thanks to Judy R., co-program chair, for finding and inviting me and doing all the work her position with the guild entails, and thanks to all the ladies who took their time and talent to come to my class.

Thanks Betty for filling me in on who did what!