Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Watch Me On The Quilt Show For Free - This Week Only

This is the week you can check out The Quilt Show for free from this blog post.  If you are not familiar with the show, it's on the internet and the hosts are 2 of today's pre-eminent quilters.  You may know Alex Anderson from Sinmply Quilts, which was a fabulous show on HGTV for many years.  Ricky Tims, not only makes beautiful quilts, he also makes beautiful music. They have amazing chemistry and are both so knowledgeable.  The show brings the latest and the greatest about the quilting world into your home.  You can watch it any time of the day or night.
That's Alex on the left and Ricky on the right. I'm in the middle.
If you click on this link, you can see an episode all about my quilts inspired by my trip to Mexico, my Judaica, including silk torah covers that I have made and a bit about my love of bicycling.There's also a slide show with a bunch of my quilts.  Did you know that both Alex and Ricky have made chuppot (Jewish wedding canopies)?

Here we are holding up my quilt, "Merry Menorah".  It's available as a pattern.

 Anyone joining during the week will have an opportunity to see my show and other fun things. Alex and Ricky offer a very friendly, interactive online community. They are offering my blog readers a 20% discount to join.  Enter this code: 165791354796.

It was an experience of a life time.  Watch it and let me know what you think. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Morning Reflections

I am sitting on our dock on Whitney Lake. It is early in the morning and there are 3 geese that are providing some entertainment. Their bantering to and fro reminds me of when the kids were little. Three was never a good number. Whenever there were 3 friends together playing, usually one ended up going home with hurt feelings. I was never a good mother when it came to managing social interactions.

2 of the 3 geese with their refelction
What I find amazing is that I am indeed sitting on the dock writing this blog post and uploading my photos. Technology is so wonderful sometimes. But there is no internet, so this will be uploaded in when I get a chance to go to the library in town.  We came up to the mountains for some R&R and to open the house for the summer. I also had a talk nearby (relatively speaking) to the Warwick Valley Quilters Guild. I was so impressed with their big hearts and how much they cared about their members. One member had died and a member’s friend was recently diagnosed with leukemia. There were moments when even I got choked up listening to the plans for healing and grieving. Way to go ladies!
Thanks to the geese, the lake is very noisy this morning. I know they are talking to each other, but what are they saying? I guess an animal behaviorist would know, but I can only make something up. “Should we summer here this year?” “Why can’t we all just get along?” or “What’s for breakfast – Look at that cute little dog. She might be yummy!” They better not come near my Bailey or we may be having pate for dinner! (Just kidding.)

We have had a summer house on Whitney Lake for 22 years. It has been a wonderful; place to spend the summers with my sons. They get to a certain age and then there are other things to do and we have not spent nearly enough time here for the past 10 years. I’m hoping this summer will be different.

Over the years, I often look at the reflections of the trees in the water with a quilter’s eye. It is amazing how clear they can be at times, like looking in a mirror. And when the wind gently blows the water, the reflection is distorted. So many times I have thought about how to interpret the reflection in fabric. It definitely would be so challenging. I admire Melinda Bula, who has done this with her quilt of Monterey Bay in a magnificent way. I think that is why this is one of my most favorite quilts.

It is time to stop blathering on. What a great way to procrastinate. Now, it’s time for me to strip the beds, wash all the bedding and get ready for summer.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Quilt Show and ME!!!!

I thought it would never come.  It felt like a dream when it was happening.  Last August I flew out to Colorado for the taping.    That was 9 months ago.  Today on The Daily Blog, there's a slide show preview of my visit with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims on the set of The Quilt Show.  It is so amazingly professional. You can see it here:  The Quilt Show and Me!  Pinch me, I must be dreaming.  Is that really me?
And if you haven't seen enough, check this out on Facebook. Click on Play.
Stay tuned for the entire episode.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I Always Learn Something At My Own Workshops

"Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Machine Applique" was the topic of my workshop Saturday  with the Red Rose Quilt Guild.  The women had varying levels of experience, but everyone learned something new.  The wallhanging is really a sampler of all the echniques that I call "For The Birds".

This workshop is not for the faint of heart.  It is work, work, work with a little bit of fun thrown in.  With 7 techniques to learn, it's a lot to squeeze into one day.  I really love it when I hear squeals of surprise when I share some of my unique techniques.  

One of the blocks is composed of eggs in a nest.  To create the nest, "twigs" of brown fabric are fused surrounding 3 eggs.  My Mama birds did a great job building their nests!  Take a look at some of them.

So what did I learn from my students?  Facebook!  I have been reisitant to participate in this social media.  Most of my friends are not members and I really have kept no contacts from my childhood.  Who would be my friend?  I have heard more and more about using it as a networking tool to promote my book, lectures and workshops and keep in touch with my students.  These ladies in my workshop are devoted Facebook fans.  They don't read blogs.  You must, you must they told me.  So I have. Won't you be my friend?


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Blogger's Quilt Festival: Spring 2011

I am always thrilled to participcate in Amy's Creative Side Blogger's Quilt Festival.  This spring I decided to share a quilt that is very personal to me.  Someone close to me was diagnosed with lung cancer.  It was very difficult news to handle and we had so many questions.  The questions weren't Why Me? but When can we have this test done? When will we get the answers? When can we start treatment? Why this drug and not that drug? Who'sw the best Dr?  etc, etc, etc.    As a means to deal with my sadness and pain, I created the quilt that I call "Questions".  It will be exhibited at The Sacred Threads Exhibit in Northern Virginia June 22-July 4th.

The dimensions of the quilt are 12"x12".  The fabrics are cotton, silk dupioni and organza.  It is embellished with beads and buttons and contains digitally printed fabric.  It is certainly a cathartic piece and I recommend working on a creative project to deal with any personal situation.

Be sure you check out all the other quilts.  You will be totally inspired.

Amy's Creative Side

What To Do With Used Dryer Sheets

Oh Ratz!   My "one day" Mother's Day project was not finished in one day.  I bit off more than I could chew.  My plan of making myself a sewing machine cover is not to be - for now at least.  I must put it on a shelf (another UFO) to meet some deadlines.

I visited The Red Rose Quilt Guild of Lancaster Tuesday night.  My presenation was a trunk show that I call One Quilter's Journey.  Packing my quilts for this talk is always a walk down memory lane.  I love sharing the first quilt I ever made with other quilters.  It is well loved quilt, but a testament of how a quilt should not be made.  It really inspires the ladies to see where I started and how far I've come and they can do the same thing.

My friend Rolinda moved out to Lancaster County a few years ago. She belongs to the Red Rose Quilters. At the meeting, someone handed her a pile of used dryer sheets. It piqued my curiosity.

Rolinda and another member of the guild, Patty,  and their team have now been to Budapest, Hungary three times to share quilting and their faith with women in church supported quilt clubs. The clubs meet monthly to sew, learn new techniques and be challenged by a devotional message. Of course, they don't use dryers much or even have them in Hungary so the team took all the extra dryer sheets along for future use by the clubs. They also take as many donated quilt supplies and fabric as they can fit into their luggage to share with the clubs.

So, the dryer sheets???? 

This is what Rolinda told me:
The drawback to paper piecing is removing the paper. It takes too much time. (And when we thought ahead to working with the Hungarian ladies we were afraid they would stop and take time to remove the paper instead of getting more sewing done.) Using twiced used and pressed dryer sheets eliminates the paper removal problem. The dryer sheet has minimal bulk so it may stay in the project (i.e. quilt block).

It would have been much easier to print paper patterns but they had an 'army' of friends help them prepare piles of patterns on the pressed dryer sheets (low/cool iron). They found that taping the patterns down (to a clipboard) and then taping the dryer sheet over top worked well to prevent shifting. Tracing with a pencil and using a ruler for straight line guidance seemed to work best.

Happy 25th Birthday Roger!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day!

Mother's Day is my favorite day of the year.  My husband and I share the same birthday, so it's the only day that I can claim as mine.

 I pamper myself today.  It's not with a pedicure or a massage or a dinner out.  I stay in my jammies all day and do a fun sewing project that I can hopefully finish in one day.  My plan is to make a cover for my sewing machine.  I got the idea from a couple of swaps gong on in blogland and I have been spending the last few days, designing and planning it in my head to make it my own.

So my wonderful husband will make me a wonderful dinner and try to let me stay in my pajamas all day.  Check back tomorrow to see if my sewing machine has received a new coat!

And Happy Birthday's Day to all of the fabulous mothers that I know and those that I don't know.  You deserve a day to be appreciated and adored.  Go for it.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Writing On Fabric

I love to put words on my quilts and creations. .  I use it as another layer of meaning and design to whatever I am working on.  To put the words on fabric,  I use anything that I can get my hands on  - anything that I can use to spell.  It can be wooden or metal letters, beads, stamps or writing implements.  I am working on a special piece now that I call "Freedom".  My goal was to write my thoughts about freedom on a rectangle using some type of pen or marker. 

My friend Kelly of http://www.pinkadotquilts.blogspot.com/  tells me over and over to share my oops as well as my successes.  She tells me that people will learn from my mistakes.  I learn from my mistakes, so I guess she could be right.  So I will share what I have learned from trying to put these thoughts on fabric.  This is the fabric I planned on using.

These are some of the writing implements I thought I could use.  As long as it won't run or wash out, I will use it. 

The first thing I did was draw lines with a black marker on the paper side of freezer paper.

Then I ironed the waxy side to the back of the fabric.  This is to stabilize the fabric for writing.  For the best adhesion, I recommend that you iron both sides with a hot dry iron.

Then using a light box or daylight window, I could see my lines to write.  If you don't care about the straightness of your words, you don't need the marked line, but you still need the freezer paper.

So I started testing my pens.  I thought I would like a metallic gold.  No.  Black? No.  Green?  No.  Thinner black?  No.  Brown?  No.  I tried so many different thicknesses and colors.  Either I couldn't discern the words or they were too much like blobs or they were too obvious and in your face.  I didn't like anything.

  I finally realized that it wasn't the pens and the colors.....it was the fabric.    Even though I looked at the fabric as a tone on tone, it was just too busy with too much contrast.  I switched to a less busy fabric and I found a pen to work.  It was a good balance.