Thursday, October 20, 2016

Need a Creativity Boost?

I'm often asked, when I run dry of excitement and interest in quilting, what do I do. I have to do something because I have shelves full of fabric, several sewing machines and so many commitments. I never run out of ideas, but it's the impetus to take those ideas and turn them into a quilt, that sometimes becomes difficult. So, what do I do? Sometimes I just wring my hands and worry. Sometimes I visit with other quilters. Sometimes I just get in the car and go some place. Sometimes the trips are well planned. Sometimes the trips are to a museum. Sometimes the trip is a spur of the moment.

This post is FULL of photos, because I want you to share my excitement. I'm still vibrating. Yesterday I took a trip to Luna Parc. It's only opened to the public several days a year. It has been on my calendar for a long time. It's an artistic wonderland filled with so much "stuff". I couldn't wait to walk up the drive. I was not disappointed.

Ricky Boscaro is the artist behind Luna Parc. He's an artist and a craftsman. He calls himself an itinerant artist. He's a jeweler. He's a potter. He's a metalworker and a welder. He's a woodworker. He's a painter. He creates mosaics and sculptures from created and found objects. He works with cement. Is there something I forgot? And, oh yeah, in addition to that he's a collector who collects everything and anything.

Bailey and I roamed the outdoor grounds along with other visitors. I'll just share photos. They speak for themselves.

There were limited tickets for the house tour. I'll post those photos another day since I 'm having trouble with them appearing in my photo gallery. But believe me, they are worth waiting for - a bathroom covered in mosaics, handcrafted wooden stairs, collections of egg slicers, eye cups, taxidermist animals and the most gorgeous stained glass windows I have ever seen plus a view of the house before Ricky started his "decorating".

This visit was such a gift. A gift that will last for a long time. Other than the photos of all these treasures and this sensory experience, I bought myself a real gift, a piece of jewelry crafted by Ricky. The pedals and the wheels move. This man is a genius. His attention to detail is so admirable.

I was fascinated and energized by everything, especially the mosaics and the mosaic sculptures. I see one in my future, whether it be made from tiles or fabric. I'm vibrating with ideas. My creative juices are flowing and I am definitely recharged.

So if you're feeling uninspired or just blah about making art or making quilts, take a little trip.


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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Riding The Capital Trail


Before the craziness of Quilt Market, we took a break to ride the Virginia Capital Trail. (Quilt Market is a trade show for the quilting industry and Curvalicious is making its debut!!) The VA Capital Trail is a multi use Trail that connects Jamestown to Richmond. No cars allowed. 53 beautiful miles with my buddy Bailey in my basket and my hubby

Lots of history along the way. Apparently Sherwood Forest is not only the home of Robinhood, it's also a Plantation - the home of President John Tyler.

But no time to read the signs or visit any of the plantations.

Over the Chickahominy River. I do love riding over bridges.

A great 2 days on my bike. It's been a while and it felt good. Now, to get ready for Market. Stay tuned for a sneak peak of my booth preparations.


Saturday, October 8, 2016

A Visit With Sara Bond


Today was the start of the Philadelphia Open Studio Tours. There are lots of old factory buildings that have been turned into artist's studios. I had driven by this sign when taking a different route picking up my grandson from daycare in Germantown. Later that day, I was surprised when I saw on Instagram that this was the location of quilt artist Sara Bond (@slbphilly). (She's on FB too). I love her quilts and knew I had to stop by during the open studio tours. This weekend is for the studios on the West side of Philly. The dates for the open studio tours in the east is October 22-23. Visit for more info.

Sara could not have been more warm and friendly. She was so generous sharing her knowledge. She creates all these quilts while having a full time job.

She had an amazing stack of quilts that we went through one by one, like when you are shopping for Oriental rugs. This was my favorite. These are my favorite colors and the contract with the graphiccontract of the black and white make it a stand out. I'm also crazy about the quilt behind us AND this homage to stripes.

Sara has lots of room and everywhere there are either quilts or pieces of quilts in her inimitable style.

This was a great self-portrait that we saw on our way out.

Sara will be teaching, "Release the Geese", at Quiltcon in Savanah this coming February and I will be vending there, so I will get to see her again. I'm also fortunate to be the Program Chair for Calico Cutters Quilt Guild, so we talked about her coming to give a lecture. We'll have to wait until 2018, but I know our members will love her quilts.

Visiting with Sara, made my frigrandson me Dina and me in the fabric buying mood. A few minutes away is a local fabric shop called Gaffney Fabrics. They carry some of everything at REALLY good prices.

I have been here before, during one of their amazing sales, where every fabric was discounted $1.00/ yd.

I was clued into their basement last time. There are quilting cottons for $2.99 yd!

I practiced a bit of restraint in my purchases (LOL), hoping I'll get back for their Thanksgiving sale.

This was outside the store and the quote is so inspirational and heartwarming and means much to me as a quilter. We all experience adversity and grief and quilting enables me to share and show my love.


Monday, September 26, 2016

The Genesis of a Quilt

I am often asked two questions. One is if I sleep? The answer is "not much". The other questions is how does my brain work when it comes to my quilts. Honestly I don't even know myself. Sometimes when I have an idea, everything flows smoothly from inception to completion. That's a beautiful thing. It makes my heart sing. But sometimes it does not go so smoothly. That is the story with this quilt aka large tablerunner. It measures 25" x 54".

My goal was to use my stack of shot cottons that I purchased a few years ago. They are kind of like my iridescent silk dupioni, but not really. The warp and the weft are 2 different colors. They do have a handwoven look.

I had a bunch of fat quarters, so this size limited what I could create. I started with a tablerunner.

I used a Curvalicious based design. The colors made me think of Fall and also Craftsman colors, except for that bright yellow and maybe that pink. This just didn't do anything for me. So I took it apart and sewed it together in a different configuration.

I love the way the Curvalicious strips change color as they flow into one another. Now how to take advantage of that. And with the additions of circles, I wasn't happy.

At this point I printed a photo of the quilt without the circles. It would be easier to cut this and move sections, as opposed to ripping and stitching the actual quilt. It made me think about changing the orientation.

I liked it, but I thought another section was needed for balance. I had to scrounge for fabric, and I had just enough.

It became the first project that I quilted with my longarm. The variegated thread gave a nice look. I learned a lot about my new machine. I'm glad this entire thing was an experiment.

I added a bunch of folded triangles at each of the ends. I developed this technique for my book

Sew Embellished. They are very easy to add after the quilting is done.

And they add a nice finish. Maybe it needs a few beads for embellishment!


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Hello Long Island!

I grew up on Long Island and had a very nice upbringing. This is a current photo of my house that I snagged from Zillow. It has certainly been updated.

North Woodmere is located on the south shore, pretty close to NYC. Many people took the LIRR ( Long Island Railroad) to work in the city. My friends and I often took it to hang out there. Very rarely did I head to the eastern end of Long Island. The properties were either potato farms or summer communities. I left for college when I was 16, and during that time my parents sold the house and moved to a retirement community in NJ!

I was looking forward to head back to LI to visit the Eastern Long Island Quilters Guild (ELIQG) and check out the East End, as they call it. Wow! It was so bucolic. I stayed with a friend of mine, who was also in charge of programs.

The first night I arrived, we went into this sweet little town of Port Jefferson, right on th LI Sound. You can catch a ferry boat to a couple of different places in CT.

I just loved this tugboat.

Roberta's husband is quite knowledgable about boats, so we had a nice tour of the harbor.

My friend, Roberta, has started a business as a vendor at quilt shows. She has set up one of her bedrooms as a shop. It was located right across from the room I was staying in.

Can you see the drool dripping down my chin? She had just received fabric from the latest Tula Pink collection. I had to buy some plus a bit more.

I'm glad I don't sleepwalk. She also sells on line at She carries lots of Kaffe fabrics, as well as Glorious Hexagons paper piecing packages.

As we drove to the workshop on Wednesday morning, heading east, there were many vineyards and farmstands. It was too early in the morning to stop, but I couldn't resist this photo op.


They chose the silk Curvalicious workshop. I love this workshop because the ladies get pretty far into the project, learn lots about working with silk and Curvalicious. It is a very ironing intensive workshop and Oops! We blew the circuit. Those little irons pull a lot of current. This led to very creative ironing stations, wherever we could find outlets not on the same circuit.



At the end of the day, here's our group! Nice job.