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Archive for the ‘Good causes’ Category

SAQA Auction 2: Five Circles and a Grid

Monday, August 20th, 2018

The season is coming soon for the SAQA / Studio Art Quilt Associates annual fundraising auction:  bidding begins September 15th.  To learn more about the auction, go here. For my first Dream Collection, I chose Five Circles and a Line. Here are Five more Circles, with a Grid:

Karen Hansen’s Celebration, part of the SAQA 2018 Benefit Auction.  I love the play of the curved red against the starkness of the black and white.

Lynn Koolish, Black on White #7. I’m usually not one for abstracts, but I love the spontaneity of the line…reminds me of a portrait Lyric Kinard did of her daughter one year that is one of my favorite art quilts ever.

Laura Jaszowski, Sturgeon Moon. LOVE the color, the calm, the thin clouds drifting in the sky.

Patricia Gaska, Blue Moon. Another abstract-meets-representational quilt (and yes, I recognize and have that striped fabric LOL). I wonder if I have an abstract trying to happen in my brain?

Martha Wolfe, Koi. Perfection in the quilting. Perfection in the complex simplicity.

Alicia Merrett, Somerset Village Green. This NEEDED to be in a collection. What better spot than as a colorful counterpoint to the circles?

Will you bid on one of these?  Will I?

Christmas Quilts, Christmas Memories

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

Christmas may be over officially for 2016, but it will come around again.  And now that the recipients (except for Kate C.–don’t read this post Kate!) have received and opened their gifts, I can share.   I’d love for you all to know about Christmas Quilts, Christmas Memories, edited by Karey Patterson Bresenhan and Nancy O’Bryant Puentes, the cousins who were half of the four (along with their mothers) who founded quilter’s Mecca, the International Quilt Festival.   This petite square book (my iPhone 6plus is a tiny bit taller) is a holiday gem of antique quilts and Christmas memories — and to my utter astonishment, including yours truly!

Christmas Quilts, Christmas Memories, Ed. Karey P. Bresenhan and Nancy O’B. Puentes, available from the Texas Quilt Museum

As a contributor, we received a complimentary copy at Quilt Festival this year.  I **devoured** the book on my flight home–literally read it cover to cover between Houston and Boston.  Well known folks from the quilt community and members of Karey and Nancy’s families shared special Christmas Memories with an antique quilt on the left page.   I was astonished that I know of or actually know most of the quilty folks in the book, and I just cherish that they shared their memories.  I knew I would order many copies to give before I got off the flight!  I gave copies to my sons hoping that they will eventually read the book and maybe find traditions they would like to start for their families and lives.

Here’s the start of my memory, about collecting ornaments from around the world, first as gifts for my parents, then as an annual tradition. What’s this year’s ornament going to be?

As I read through the book, I was more and more astounded that I was selected to have my memory included given who else is in the book.   As I read, I felt closer to those I know for their quilt pursuits, loved the glimpse into their every day lives and memories.   Here’s the stories and the contributors:

The Christmas Memories table of contents

and the contributors to the book

This book is small but delightful beyond all proportion to its size.  It is beautifully printed, fits nicely in your hands, and I’m so happy to have it, and still a bit gobsmacked to be in it!  You can order it from the Texas Quilt Museum website, here.

And what was this year’s ornament?  Well, one of the reasons our tree is groaning with stuff is that we added FOUR this year.  In my defense, the two blown glass ones were gifts for the boys to be taken to their own places when they are settled.   I am actually looking forward to sharing the bounty with them and not having quite so much to put on (and take off and put away) each year, but love sharing the story that goes with every ornament on the tree.

After Eli was accepted to F&M, we went on a college visit and took the long way home via Vermont and the requisite trip to Ben & Jerry’s factory (the original one) and tour. Of course I had to add an ornament–I navigate the world by ice cream stores!

To commemorate Eli’s first year in college, a Franklin & Marshall ornament. Thanks to Eli for adding it to the tree.

When Eli and I visited England 2 years ago, we went to St. Tiggywinkle’s hedgehog (and now other wildlife too) rescue, about an hour west of London. This one is for him.

When we lived on San Juan Island when the boys were little, a great horned owl would perch in the fir tree beside our driveway, silhouetted against the night sky. Joshua remembers the owl and we were talking about it not long ago, so this one is for him.

And here’s the groaning tree….honestly, I just LOVE IT!   And this year was beyond delightful because all three of the kids, Joshua & Ashley and Eli, helped trim the tree!

The tree on Christmas Eve after Santa arrived.  It was a particularly bountiful year!



A labor of love–a quilt from A grandmother’s wardrobe

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016
A snuggle quilt

A snuggle quilt

I honestly don’t know how long I had the fabric for the two lap quilts I just made.  Maybe 18 months ago (?) Joshua’s sweetie Ashley asked if I could make a lap quilt from some of her Grandmother’s clothes.  Of course I said yes!   Her gramma had died recently, and Ashley’s mom, Sue, was really missing her.  I looked up some quilts on the internet, hoping for a pieced pattern that would work for a scrappy quilt, look good, yet not take a ton of time to assemble.

When Thanksgiving rolled around and her mom came up to Maine for the holiday, she brought with her….gulp…three white kitchen garbage bags FULL of clothes:  turtlenecks, sweatshirts, fleece tops, a fleece bathrobe and a couple of nighties.   Oh.  My.  Not a single woven anything.  Wish I had taken pictures before I began the deconstruction process!

These are just a few of the leftovers!!!! Yes, that is one of those huge IKEA bags. I started with the equivalent of three of those!

These are just a few of the leftovers!!!! Yes, that is one of those huge IKEA bags. I started with the equivalent of three of those!

And Sue asked if I could make two quilts, not one–one for her and one for her brother.  Sure!   I showed Sue the images of quilts I’d found and she picked the square in a square design you see above.   The original was quite scrappy, and went from lights in the center to mediums to darks, with a half-drop on the columns.  Alas, I seem to have deleted the original photo, plus I don’t know where I saw it anyway!

The second quit, on my sewing table. It is about 60x66 inches finished.

The second quit, on my sewing table. It is about 60×66 inches finished.

Well, let me tell you–the lesson is to make sure FIRST what the fabrics are.   Then see if you can ask (I didn’t) if you could buy and use something woven for the back.   I didn’t fully realize how much time it was going to take to prepare the fabrics.  First I had to cut apart the shirts and sweatshirts and nighties.   Then I figured out how I could maximize the fabric in the body and sleeves.   I cut those bits a bit oversized and, having made a trip to Joann’s Fabrics with a fifty percent off coupon to buy a bolt of tricot interfacing, I starting fusing the interfacing to the stretchy turtleneck fabric. Then I made another trip to Joann’s and bought another bolt (almost used up).

FINALLY, I could start cutting out the pieces.  I decided given the fabric, it would be best if I used a 3/8″ seam (from needle to edge of walking foot) and pressed the seams open.  And I decided to use only turtlenecks and nighties for the top, leaving the sweatshirts I had deconstructed for the backs.   I sorted and stacked.  I sewed blocks, trying not to duplicate any pairing of fabric.   I realized that I had lights and darks, but no mediums.  OK, the point of this quilt is love and family, not duplicating a picture from the internet.  Mental adjustment.

Once I got to sewing, it went fairly quickly:  sewing the blocks for and assembling the two tops took less time (by quite a bit) than prepping the fabric!   I divided the blocks into two pretty equal piles and started plopping them on the design wall.  Turned out I had enough for two very similar quilt tops six by seven blocks (they are about 9.5 inches finished).

Next:  backing.  I laid out the sweatshirt fabric:  enough for one backing.  So I also cut apart the fleece tops.  I decided to make one quilt with only sweatshirt fabric, the other with only fleece, to avoid “bad behavior” on the part of the fabrics.

Laying out the fleece for the second backing

Laying out the fleece for the second backing

I cut batting (poly needle punched from Quilters Dream) a little larger than I needed.  Then I sewed the larger squares to the batting batting by overlapping the edges and using a zigzag to join the “seam” and attach it to the more stable batting.  Regular seams would have been ridiculously bulky and stiff.  I didn’t interface the backing as the quilt was going to weigh a ton already, plus I didn’t think the interfacing would stay stuck long enough to do any good.

I used the walking foot (thank heavens) on my Janome 15000 (thank you again to Janome America for their support and the loan of this phenomenal machine) to quilt a spiral from the center out, then switching to straight lines in the dark border.  I used a variegated light color for the center, and a purplish variegated for the outside (Superior Threads).

Quilting in was a workout

Quilting in progress….it was a workout

The two lap quilts, the one with the sweatshirts on the back is on the right, back side up. Can I just say it weighs a flipping TON!

The two lap quilts, the one with the sweatshirts on the back is on the right, back side up. Can I just say it weighs a flipping TON!

The two quilts, the one with fleece on the back folded and on top of the other one.

The two quilts, the one with fleece on the back folded and on top of the other one.

The only thing from those three big bags I did not use was the green fleece bathrobe!  I have a few sorta larger pieces of fleece left, and then stuff like the cuffs and top of shirts left.  And oh….I used a dark blue solid for the binding.   Done!

The slivery bits too small to use for anything else

The slivery bits too small to use for anything else–yes, my garbage in my studio is one of those big garden tubs!

I’m so glad they are done, and so glad I was able to make them.   It will be a while, though, until I do another something like this–I may need to lift weights to be ready for the quilting process!  Eli may want a t-shirt quilt for college, but I’ve already told him, it must have woven cotton sashing on the front and a regular quilting cotton on the back!   I’m really looking forward to being able to give these to Sue (or have the kids take them down to Connecticut to her) and really, really hope she and her brother like them and enjoy being snuggled in a “hug” from their mom / mom’s quilt!



SAQA Dream Collections

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

Hi everyone!  I’m digging out from under from the wonderful trip to England with Eli.  Laundry is done, school has begun (meaning there is more of an order to our days), and the To Do list and list of things to blog about has gotten ridiculously LONG.  So I’m going to take things more or less by external rerquirements.  First up is the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) Annual Auction which supports the ongoing efforts for this wonderful organization to promote the Art of the Quilt.  The Auction begins September 15, so mark your calendars!  You can read more about it here.  SAQA put out a call for folks to submit their Dream Collections–sets of six quilts they would buy if funds were endless.   I decided to play and created two collections, Transported and Portraits.

Transported is about quilts that take me to another place:  just looking at them my mind starts to weave a story about the imagery.

My SAQA Dream Collection (at the top of page 2, follow this link)

My SAQA Dream Collection; click this image to see larger.  To see on the SAQA website it is at the top of page 2, follow this link.  To view the quilt, after you get to the link, click on the image of the quilt.  To learn more about the artist, click on their name to visit their website.

The Auction has four parts:  the first three are online Reverse auctions a week apart.  The price is highest on the first day, $750.  You look at your budget and decide what donation to SAQA you can afford to get that quilt.  Each day, the price goes down a bit.  Most quilts sell during the week-long auction.  The next week, the quilts in group  two go up for auction following the same process, and ditto for the third week.  The quilts in the fourth part are on display at International Quilt Festival which begins in late October in Houston.  As with the online auctions, the price is highest day one and goes down.  Do you risk waiting another day?  I’ve been lucky to purchase a quilt at a price I can afford (while wondering why no one else snapped up these favorites early in the auction) the past two years.  Will I be that lucky this year?   You’ll have to browse the four auction pages to see which quilts are being auctioned in which section.  Here’s the SAQA link for How the Auction Works.

My second collection is one dear to my heart.  I think accurately portraying a person or animal is about the hardest thing there is in art, not just capturing the physical image, but the personality, too (both of the individual portrayed and of the artist).   Here’s Portraits, at the bottom of the page in this link:

Portraits in a wide range of styles.  View the collection here, at the bottom of the page.

Portraits in a wide range of styles; click on the picture above to see it larger. View the collection on the SAQA Website, click  here, and scroll to the bottom of the page.

Which quilts would be in your dream collection?  Has one of the SAQA members put together a dream collection you’d love to have in your home? Enjoy the visual feast!

Vote for Fiber Art Now

Sunday, January 19th, 2014

Just a quick dip in to share that one of my favorite magazines, Fiber Art Now, is trying to win a Fed Ex small business grant.

If you click on the link, you can vote for them.  And if you HAVEN’T seen this magazine, you must! Visit Fiber Art Now on their website here and look for them now on newsstands.  In the US they are at Barnes and Noble and Books-a-Million and in Canada at Chapters.  Check out the site and the issues.