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Archive for the ‘Lecture’ Category

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!

Flagstaff: lecture and wandering

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

As part of my travels and teaching for the Arizona Quilt Guild, I got to present a lecture at their semi-annual meeting.  They hold one meeting in the southern part of the state, and one in the north.  This one was in Flagstaff, in northern Arizona, and MY how beautiful and friendly a town!  I TOTALLY fell in love with the place, mostly because of the people!  We were booked at the Radisson, which had totally cool artwork and “stuff” to decorate.  Here are two neat pieces:

That second one, especially, gives me some cool ideas for an art quilt…hmm…..

And then there were these carved doors….WOW:

Talk about inspiration for quilting and applique designs!!!!

I gave my lecture at this meeting, and boy was that a challenge!  My laptop DIED two days before, and I was scheduled to do  a presentation using the laptop.  SHRIEK!   AND, even though I had the presentation on a thumb drive as insurance, we couldn’t find anyone on such short notice (that hadn’t already left home) that had a MacBook with Keynote installed, and no Mac stores anywhere nearby to rent one!   Fortunately, I had almost ALL my journal quilts with me (the topic of the talk), as well as my digital projector and video camera (which I use for live demos in class).  My intrepid host Tari Hammons came to the rescue.  I figured out that we could just hold the journals under the camera and project them “live” to the wall!   So I did the talk, flagged pages from my working sketchbook that I happened to have with me to share for that part, and Tari just swapped things out in order.  PHEW!  The group was MOST understanding, and it worked in the end.  But I hope never to repeat THAT experience.  THANK YOU, Tari! for your help…you helped save the day! Here’s me, doing the talk, looking more together than I actually felt:

(The long delay in blogging all this is due, in part, to having to reconstruct my life on the new laptop, which took two weeks to get built and sent from Apple in China….. thankfully, I had backed up fully the day before I left on the trip and had been saving for and planning on a new laptop later this year….so all is well in the end, but sheesh!)

The meeting was the usual guild thing, and this time outgoing President Lynn Kough was presented with this spectacular quilt made by board members…WOW:

Wish I had a better picture… the quilting (by the woman on the right, and I’m SO SORRY I didn’t write down her name…she’s the new Pres. of the guild I think) was GORGEOUS!

There were vendors, too (yippee!), and one had this lovely way to use up bolt-boards and display batik selections effectively:

Finally, here are two pictures from downtown Flagstaff…  The cathedral:

and this cool tree-sculpture on the Northern Arizona University Campus (between my hotel and downtown)…when the wind blew, the leaves clink and tinkle and dance…way cool:

What a wonderful, friendly, art-friendly town!   I don’t think I could ever live that far from salt-water, but if I could, Flagstaff would be very high on my list of great towns!

Second Printing!

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Well there is LOTS of news–with the best saved for last (yes, I’m evil…<GRIN>):

  • I’ve been to Arizona to teach, blogging to come
  • the family joined me and we visited Flagstaff (which is an awesome and friendly town!) and various points including Monument Valley, the Grand Canyon, Meteor Crater, the Wupatki ruins and Sunset Crater…and oh yeah, Sedona…more on that later, too
  • the laptop DIED—deceased, defunct, digitally toes-up—36 hours BEFORE I was supposed to give my slide lecture to the Arizona Quilt Guild.  We went to plan B, it worked, and everyone was gracious and understanding.  That morning I ordered the new laptop
  • I visited my beloved sister in law in LA for the first time in 27+ years, we went to the Getty and had a grand time, blogging on that to come too
  • I was home 3 days then went to Hingham, Mass., to teach at the Herring Run Guild, yes..blogging to come…and 90 minutes after I left for there my new laptop FINALLY arrived two weeks after I ordered it

and at long last….DRUM ROLL and unabashedly SNOOPY DANCING with wild ABANDON:

  • ThreadWork Unraveled has–in a mere six months–gone into a SECOND PRINTING!   I just can’t believe it… most books go into print once, are sold, and that’s it.  Thanks to phenomenal word of mouth starting with so many of you dear readers out there in cyberspace and good reviews hither and yon, the book has already gone into re-print!

So I invite you to join me in silly dancing, chocolate, a nice chilled glass of white zinfandel or your favorite sip-able (sp?), and CELEBRATE!

I’ll be back once I catch up on 2 1/2 weeks of work, student inquiries, teaching applications, quilt show applications, assorted mountains of paperwork etc. with lots of blogposts with lots of photos!

Cheers, Sarah the Elated (and really happy to be sleeping in my own bed with family close by!)

New Art Quilts (!!!)

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009


Hi all!  It is frustrating sometimes to be working, working, working, and feel like I can’t really share stuff yet!  In this instance, I finished writing my next article for Machine Quilting Unlimited (click here for more info on the magazine), which will be on negative space (basically, the spaces between….alas you’ll have to wait for the magazine to come out to learn more!).

For the magazine, I decided to use one of the exercises I illustrated to make a design which I then used as a quilting motif, and made a small wholecloth quilt.  The picture above is a detail photo….you’ll have to wait for the design, but I’ve decided to upload it to my blog/website as a free pdf for folks to download when the article is published in July…let’s hope that I can get the pdf thing to work!

Anyway, I totally love how this little quilt turned out and think I may enter it in an art quilt show this summer.

I also needed an alternative to the photo/illustration I intended to use in a different part of the article.  I had hoped that I could repeat an image from one article (in the April issue) to the next to illustrate my points…both to save on work, but mostly to show that the design principles I’m teaching  are all interrelated.  Alas, no go.  So I whipped out a new sample, and here’s another detail:


I really like this one… it would work well for traditional quilters, and art quilters can really soup it up….hope you like it!

Champlain Valley Quilt Guild

Sunday, April 12th, 2009


How time flies when you are on the road and busy!   This week I had the great fortune to travel to the Burlington, Vermont, area thanks to the Champlain Valley Quilt Guild to give a lecture on Journal Quilts and Journals for Quilters, then my Fine Finishes class (all about bindings, alternative edge finishes, and display options for smaller quilts).   Alas, I was SO BUSY during the lecture and the class, that I TOTALLY forgot to take class pictures!  So if anyone from the guild has a few to lend me, please let me know!

To get from Camden, Maine, to anywhere, requires a lot of 2-lane highways through beautiful, EMPTY space.   Basically, in New England, all (large-ish) roads lead to Boston.  That means anything that runs east-west is small, twisty-turny, and takes a long time.  Even though it was only 300-325 miles one-way, it took over seven hours (including pit stops).  Luckily, there were some gorgeous places en route. As I drove through the lakes district in sorta-south, western Maine, with the snow melting and the air warming,  I passed this beautiful view


While at a rest stop in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, I was pulling back on to the road, looked to my right and immediately stepped on the brakes, grabbed the camera and lowered the window…. see the picture at the top, too!


Then, around a bend, I came across the White Mountain Lodge, which looks as if it must have been built in the late 1800s…. isn’t this gorgeous?  And let me tell you, there isn’t much near it!


After my lecture on Tuesday evening, was show and tell.  At least I had the wit to snap a picture of Andre’s gorgeous bird quilt, made from a pattern by a designer from Texas.  LOVE IT!


My hostess in Vermont lives just across the road from Lake Champlain, and from their front rooms, you can see between the big homes across the street to the lake and the mountains in New York.  After class on Wednesday, while the lasagna heated up in the oven, Janet, Claire (the two co-program chairs) and Claire’s son Noah (look for his unbelievable miniature quilt at the upcoming Vermont Quilt Festival! It is amazing!) and I went for a lovely walk on a causeway out into the lake.  The day before I had thought, as I made my requisite donation to the local quilt shop (Yankee Pride, with a lovely and WAY too enticing selection of batiks), it occurred to me that one way to deal with beloved batiks that go out of print would be to make thermofax screens and print my own designs inspired by the batiks.  So I took some pictures of the ready-to-leaf-out treetops with that in mind:


Plus, look at this COOL pattern in the granite….good quilt and screen and stamping inspiration:


On the way home, I dipped south a ways to Springfield, VT, where my on-line friend Jacquie Scuitto lives.  Known on the quiltart list as the Quilt Muse for her poems on quilt and art and life, her home is about 2 hours south of Springfield but, thanks to those twisty-two-lane-roads, only added an hour to my trip home.  I got a tour of her home and quilts, met a few of her quilty friends, and was treated to a homemade corn chowder before starting my trip home.  Here’s a picture of Jacquie with her Second Day of Christmas (Two TURTLE doves) quilt,


and another (with her hiding) behind this fun variation on the traditional Drunkard’s Path quilt… I love the setting:


Jacquie came to visit me a while back when she, hubby Lou and brother Don had come to Maine for a family get-together (blogged about it here), and I’ll get to see her again this summer when her daughter and two granddaughters visit from Germany and travel through Camden…yeah!