email Youtube

Home
Galleries
Blog
Workshops & Calendar
Store
Resources
About
Contact

Archive for the ‘Quilt Inspiration’ Category

16 years! Home, Maine, HOME!

Saturday, July 11th, 2020

When I arrived in Maine 16 years ago today, to move into our house in Camden (we moved from there to neighboring hope in 2011), I did not know that after 46 years of wandering the globe and living on four continents, I had finally found what I always wanted: HOME!

After the storm, just a couple of days ago, from our front porch

Maine has become my muse and my soul’s home. Within two years, I made this quilt which flowed out of me effortlessly. In such a short time, I had become Maine’s and Maine had become my heart’s true home.

A Sense of Place: The Wall

When I grew up on the West Coast, everyone said that the West Coast was friendly, open, welcoming, made up of newcomers. Yet as a 6 year old arriving from Argentina, it wasn’t. The leader of the Brownie troupe wouldn’t let me join because we hadn’t lived in California long enough. Children told me I wasn’t a Californian and never would be because I wasn’t born there. Quests for better schooling let my mother to move me from school to school: Bayside, Central, Grenada, Del Mar and finally San Domenico all in the time from January of First grade to the start of 7th grade. I didn’t belong and never did. From College until age 46, I moved. And moved. And moved. All work, but still. No place to feel HOME.

Yet when I moved to Maine, where there was supposedly the vaunted “Yankee reserve,” I was welcomed with open arms even though I am indeed “from away.” Long time Mainers and others from away welcomed me equally. Quilters welcomed me and gave me a home. I began my quilt art and teaching career here. And this year, I was honored, humbled and thrilled to learn that one of my quilts will hang at the Bicentennial Exhibit to celebrate Maine’s 200th anniversary of Statehood at the Maine State Museum in August as one of Maine’s contemporary quilts. Everything has, of course, been delayed by COVID, but there will also be a book and I’m in it, with thanks to Laurie LaBar, head of Textiles (and other things) at the Museum. Did you know where I live was part of two states (sort of)? The District Of Maine was part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony when the colonies became the first 13 states in the Union in 1776. In 1820, as part of the Missouri Compromise, Maine became a separate state.

Over the past few years I have been making work inspired by the world around me, including Lupines.
Rose Hip, by Sarah Ann Smith (c) 2019. 36″ square. One of my favorite quilts, in part because it is of my beloved Maine, but also because I’ve been able to meld my personal hand dyes, a hand dye by Lisa Walton, fabrics printed and over-painted by me, to create a cohesive image.
My beloved apple tree, on the lower part of our driveway. This WILL become a quilt! A big one.

My goal is to make an exhibit’s worth of quilts celebrating the world around me. Guess I’d better stop blogging and get back to the studio. I am forever grateful to be here with my husband, two sons Joshua and Eli, my third-child-by-another-mother DIL Ashley, and all the various critters past and present and future that share our lives.

From dog walkies this week. Always the world changes and is the same. It inspires me, it fills me with joy and awe and hope.

The good news continues! I’m a Michael Miller Brand Ambassador for 2020

Tuesday, November 26th, 2019

That’s it in a nutshell! I really need to go buy a lottery ticket! During International Quilt Market, which I recently blogged about, I stopped in the Michael Miller booth while swooning over many things, including the indigo design minky (!!!) and the Cotton Couture solids. One of the staff members mentioned the Brand Ambassador program….when I got home I followed up, submitted an application and this morning this happened ……

Ta DAAAAAAAAA!

Today started off with a great big WHOOOP when I saw an email titled “2020 Michael Miller Fabrics Brand Ambassador Selection” and that began with “Congratulations! You have been chosen…..”

I wasn’t sure as an art quilter I’d be up their alley, but clearly they are willing to give it a go and so am I. Early next year I’ll let you know more about what it that means and what I’ll be doing as a Brand Ambassador, and in the meantime I have already ordered 3 yards of a print minky of theirs coming to help me make a lap quilt of a top I finished at least a decade ago from a charm square pack purchased in Hawaii circa 2002! And I ordered 7 yards of an aqua in Cotton Couture (Luna) to play with those amazing fat quarters in the giveaway I won….remember this? Can’t wait for it to arrive!

That’s how happy one looks when you’ve just won 214 glorious fat quarters in the softest cotton fabric around!

Now, alas, reality intrudes and I’m going back to cleaning the kitchen (so it can get really mucked up over the next couple of days…makes total sense, right?)! But I’ll go back to work happy as a clam!

Int’l Quilt Market, Part 3

Monday, November 18th, 2019

And yes, there was even more fun stuff at Market…see why I never got to the quilts? (Previous two posts have more good stuff.)

Loved the Robert Kaufmann display, especially the Library Pockets, which of course made me think of my friend Kate C. who is the Bowdoinham town librarian and wonderfully crafty and artful!
Can’t you just see this for a teacher’s room, or library, or your studio, or a busy family?
What a lovely display of little “this and thats”
The artwork in these fabrics made me stop in my tracks! I snagged a brochure… and yeah, I’d like THOSE chairs too…. The quilt on the right is a panel. I’m not sure I would use that, but the coordinating fabrics, and even just cut up those BIG flowers, and then cut the text up into smaller bits to piece into something amazing……

One trend I noticed across various fabric booths is that they are getting super smart about cross-marketing. The artwork isn’t just in quilting cotton, but heavier and/or lighter weights (in this case a canvas weight for a jacket, chair upholstery or tote), wall paper, gift paper, note cards, little stationery items. Smart.

I adore the look of watercolors…. look at the coordinating green and aqua prints on the right! Wonder if Fiddlehead Artisan Supply in Belfast, Maine, will carry these? Or Alewives Fabrics in Damariscotta Mills?
And the Tilda booth….would love to just SIT for a moment
The Ruby Star Society booths and displays were another WOW moment. Almost makes me wish I didn’t have a Big Board and just a regular ironing board–I’d so buy this cover!
And Ruby Star also is marketing designs in different weights, like the drapey fabric in the dress. For the first time, they had a guest designer! LOVE her bold prints. And that quilt in the basket on the left…OMG it is a PANEL….
No one was around this late on Monday (within a half hour of closing) so I opened it up a bit to get this photo. It is the Tiger Fly panel by Sarah Watts. WOW!
And for my friend Tori, the Alison Glass display!
No trip to Houston is a success unless it involves dinner at Ninfa’s. I got to go twice! On Monday my friend Susan Fletcher King picked me up when Market closed, and we spent a lovely rest of the afternoon at her house. Then Lauretta Crites joined us for supper after teaching that day.
I’m a creature of habit: El Henry! Taco, enchilada and ….YUM OH YUM… tamale!

A perfect end to a fun Quilt Market. More on the house renovations, Festival, family and more in the coming weeks.

Int’l Quilt Market Part 2

Saturday, November 16th, 2019

So I actually did see things besides the productive visit in the Michael Miller booth (previous post). The Martha Negley quilt and fabrics were across the avenue in the Free Spirit booth:

I had so much fun tootling about and was delighted to see that Martha Negley fabrics are again available…she is one of my favorite designers.
In the Free Spirit booth. I also saw this amazing quilt across from the Martha Negley display:
Calico Horses by Lorraine Turner has all sorts of cool stuff including wool roving and yarn as well as regular cottons. Free Spirit booth.
The feel of the scissors in this booth were amazing quality for price. Based in Toronto, Canada, I think this young couple is just adorable! Here’s to their success! And yes, I bought a pair of scissors for me. https://shopldh.com I put them in contact with SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) which is looking for vendors for the conference in Toronto in March.
They even have a few kitchen items (not all on their website yet). I bought the wood-handled poultry shears for Joshua’s birthday. Even if he just hangs them on the wall they are beautiful, but they work. AND the two on the right separate easily for cleaning kitchen yuck!
Denise Burkitt’s fabric for Free Spirit made my heart soar! I just fell in love with everything about it. She is a fabric dyer, so I totally swooned over the original pieces and the phenomenal printing that captures the hand of the artist in the cloth. WANT! And want to channel her muse when I’m next in the dye studio.
Alas, my photo of Denise is blurry. She made a shirt out of some of her fabric — it is her own design but I’d love to find a pattern like it, the collar is so flattering and versatile (wear long sleeve underneath in winter). And I’m really loving what Free Spirit is selling!
Tula Pink is always amazing, with a beautiful booth. (this is a visitor in the booth, not Tula)
In Tula Pink’s booth: I WANT THIS. I have been thinking of re-doing our cushions for the porch rockers and settee. I’m now thinking pieced!
I wore my Vogue 9112 dress made from a fabric by Brandon Mabley that I have hoarded for years…I love it! Well, as I’m walking market who do I see taking a bit of a short rest in the Kaffe Fassett booth but Kaffe Fassett, Brandon Mabley and Liza Prior Lucy. So as I walk by I say loudly “Hey Brandon” and point to my dress. He came out immediately and we got this selfie even though he said he is usually reluctant to do them…thank you!

So that is part 2… I think I’ll save the rest for a third and final post about Market. And no, I didn’t really get to see many of the quilts at all–I was having way too much fun doing Market!

Int’l Quilt Market Part 1, a sale and a win!

Thursday, November 14th, 2019

So much has happened in the past 2 1/2 weeks: International Quilt Market, International Quilt Festival, and a whopper of a cold, a lovely weekend with my older son and DIL, and some home improvements. So I’ll start at the beginning…with one detour: I sold a quilt at Festival after all! I’ll post on that in a few days (I shared on FB), but first let’s start with Market. And read to the end for the big surprise!

I arrived on Sunday of Quilt Market–usually I fly in on Tuesday or Monday and begin teaching the next day. It was wonderful–so much less stress about finding my boxes of stuff shipped and making sure everything was there and organized for each day of classes! Then, following my roommate’s example, I planned to see all the quilts BEFORE Festival when I wasn’t tired from teaching. Well…instead I got sidetracked by the lure of Market. I had SO MUCH FUN visiting the booths. One of the first was Michael Miller Fabrics.

While in the booth, I was mulling over how to bump up attendance for a workshop, and have finally conceded that I have to offer half day classes with complete kits. I have always loved the hand of the Michael Miller Cotton Couture solids, so I was brainstorming in the booth. Since it was late on Monday, the final day of Market, it was quiet and two staffers came to chat. I asked about purchasing fabric wholesale to use in kits, which led to a wonderful and productive conversation.

First I spotted this eye candy…don’t you just want to dive in face first? It is a box of one fat quarter of all 214 — yes TWO HUNDRED FOURTEEN — of the Cotton Couture colors. And they were having a giveaway…fill out the form, and if you got all the answers in the quiz (fun stuff about Michael Miller Fabrics) the winner would be drawn from those with correct answers. Of course I filled it out with what I already knew…I googled up their website and found some answers I didn’t know, and with paper in hand, asked a staffer if I could ask Michael’s favorite dessert–luckily I had guessed the correct answer. Turned it in, and moved on.
Can you believe this is that glorious soft Minky fabric???? I had to walk up to 12 inches away and indeed it is…looks like indigo shibori on cotton! I so want some of this…I need an alternative to my wintry sofa throws. I’d make a top, quilt it on the thinnest cotton, the back with this and bind. LOVE IT!
They also had this really cool teaching tool for new quilters to learn color. I don’t teach that sort of class, locally or on the road, but it’s a brilliant idea for a shop.

Can you tell I spent a lot of time in the booth…today’s post will be all Michael Miller, then I’ll do another about the rest of Market soon!

The quilting on Modern Quilts enchants me–perhaps what I like best about this fresh approach to quilting. Not to mention these are SO my colors. And yes, I am a member of Mt. Battie Modern Quilt Guild and the MQG itself!

Well, after I got home, and spent several days first doing bookkeeping (ugh ugh UGH and may I say UGH) and then feeling sick….I got laryngitis on about Tuesday on my first class day. By Weds. I was feeling worse. By Thursday I could barely squeak—ladies in the audience at the Machine Quilting Forum were dropping cough drops on my table! Then it morphed into a sinus infection. I soldiered on through my last class Saturday, but was honestly glad it has lightly attended. I wouldn’t have had the energy for a full 24 and it was a FUN group of students as it was. So when I got home, I went into chair-potato/get well mode.

Then I got an email from Michael Miller: I WON THE 214 FAT QUARTERS!!!!!! They arrived about two days ago. I mean, first I sell a quilt and THEN I WIN THESE????!!!!! I need to go buy a lottery ticket.

Yes, I am HAPPY! I just can’t believe it…I never EVER win stuff…so what a boon! And yes, there is a quilt coming! 214 fat quarters…over 53 yards!!!!!!!!
THANK YOU to Michael Miller Fabrics…you ROCK. I am so thrilled to have this bounty. I’m already planning a quilt called 214…and one that isn’t too complex, one where I can have FUN and get it done and revel in color!

This post has gone on long enough, so I’ll break here and carry on with the REST of International Quilt Market in my next post. But yes, Thank you to Michael Miller–stay tuned for what I do with these!