Thursday, November 26, 2015

Good Morning Thanksgiving!

We are spending Thanksgiving at the lake with the entire family. It's going to be a glorious day. Everyone has their assignments. What could be better than that?

Thank you to everyone who takes the time to read my writings and follow me on this wonderful journey. Wishing you a wonderful day filled with turkey and pie and elastic pants and family. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Joy of Teaching

I had a great day Saturday teaching Part 1 of the Convertible Curvalicious Backpack at The Round Bobbin. (If you want the pattern head to
It was the perfect day to be teaching. How could anyone complain about being in a quilt shop for 4 hours?

Gretchen Gibbons was in the class. If any of you love wool appliqué, you probably know her. She has 2 wonderful books, Pennies From Heaven and Enchanted Garden. She brought her most recent quilt with her to share. It may be a Block of the Month, so I said "sign me up". Check it out. I think it's gorgeous with such an expected setting fabric. 

Here's a couple of close ups. 

The photos are a little blurry, but trust me, it's gorgeous. I don't know if you can see the seed beads. (I really need to learn to hold my phone still when taking photos.  )

I also finished Mary Marks' latest mystery book, called "Gone But Knot Forgotten".  Mary comes up with the most unexpected ideas as a basis for her novels.  It was a great read and truly a surprise ending. It's the third book that Martha Rose is the middle aged divorced quilter that is always at the center of a murder and helps to find the killer. 
I shared my Curvalicious tote bag with my class on Saturday. It really is bold and eye catching. I do love batiks. 
There is no pattern available, BUT, it's available as a video class. The video class is part of a year long class with 12 projects from 12 different teachers, called Quilted Adventure. Head to this site for more info: bitly/CherylLynch
It was filmed with my friend Nancy,in my sunroom, with my iPad. It is divided up into two parts. Also included is a tour of my studio and an interview. I'd love to have all of you as my students. This bag is one of my favorite designs. The class would make a great holiday gift, if someone you know needs a hint!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Lost ...... and Found!

This is a quilt I created to tell the story of Alzheimer's. I created it in 2006 as an entry into an exhibit called "Alzheimer's: Forgetting Piece By Piece" curated by Ami Simms. I made it in memory of my Dad, Leonard Krisel. It was the first time I entered a competition and was beyond thrilled when it was not only accepted along with 49 other quilts, but it was given the #1  position and placed on the cover of the DVD. This quilt exhibition travelled all across the country and was seen by thousands and thousands of people. It was a very unique way to share the facts and stories of Alzheimer's. 

Here's the label on the back:

Here's a detail photo of the arch, that I created with silk dupioni, an organza overlay and beads. 
The leaves on the tree are representative of all of our attributes that we possess as functioning humans. I wrote on the appliquéd silk dupioni leaves with a gold metallic marking pen. 

The first tree depicts my Dad, as fully functioning. As dementia took hold, there were more and more things he couldn't do, until finally he was only a human being, a Father and Grandfather, depicted by the leaves falling off the tree. It's called "Leaving Us".  

I have been thinking about this quilt a lot during my recent talks about quilting with silk this year. This was the first quilt in which I incorporated silk dupioni.  The problem was I thought it was missing. Well, actually, not that I thought it was missing, but I hadn't seen this quilt for about 5 years. There was a point in time where I couldn't find it. I had brought it with me to share with quilt guilds and one day, I couldn't find it to pack it up to bring to the next one. I was almost sure that I didn't leave it some place or that some wayward quilter took it for her own, but I just could not find it. With my lackadaisical attitude, I thought it will show up one day.  But it hadn't for all those years. 

This week I was sorting and putting away all my quilts that I had shlepped to the various guilds that I had visited. I have a closet in my guest room devoted to quilts. Well actually, the entire room is quilt storage. I was trying to put some small boxes on the top shelf of the closet. There was a big plastic bag in the way. My inclination was to power through and shove  it out of the way, but instead I told myself to do it the right way and take the time to take the bag out. As I pulled it off the shelf, there was something rolled up in it.  Could it be? I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw little pieces of ribbon sticking out one end. 

Welcome home Dad. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

What Happened???

I made my first mini fiber mosaic after returning from a trip to Israel in 2012. The mosaics there were inspirational, both the ancient ones and the modern day ones. My first view of a mosaic was leaving the airport. I was smitten.

I was told to visit the town of Acco to see a synagogue, Or Torah. It was an Amazing Race adventure. (If you ever meet me, I'll be happy to share the story. )  The entire inside of the building is covered in mosaics, inspired by biblical stories and Jewish history. 

I met the wonderful man that was responsible for these mosaics. Although he only spoke Hebrew and French, he gave me a tour of this building that was his inspiration from a Tunisian synagogue - his home. Some how we communicated. What was obvious was the pride he had taken during this 50 year project. 

This was the first one I made when I returned home. It measures 5" x 7". 
I have continued working on these over the years. They are made from tiny pieces of fabric, about 3/8" square. I love the mixture of all the different patterns in the fabric. It gives it such depth and interest. I have been working on a very large piece for several years that I'm not ready to share yet. 

Since I am teaching this technique at the Daytona AQS show, it has rekindled my interest and I've created a few new ones. (Click HERE for class info. )
Here's some of my newer mini mosaics and they are mini. I use a tweezer to place the fabric pieces!
For me, it's a relaxing project that I can work on while watching tv or a movie or chatting with friends. 

Recently, I thought I hurt my hip, but it turned out to be sciatica plus other assorted ailments. I was sidelined and started another mini mosaic. I decided to use Bailey as my subject. 

Everything was going quite well. It really was starting to look like her, but somewhere in the process, I lost my way. I abandoned my "map", lost the look of her and lost her hair sprigs on the top of her hair. To me, that's what makes it look like her. 

I also used a different stabilizer. I tried rinsing it out. The batting shrunk, squares of fabric floated away, and now not only did I have a dog that didn't look like my girlfriend, it wasn't flat anymore and not the look I wanted. I do still love the pattern varieties in the fabric. 

The experimenting is good for teaching. It's not always what you should do, but sometimes it's what you shouldn't do. 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

A Busman's Holiday

After a great trip to the Needlechasers of Chevy Chase, I had the wonderful opportunity to take a workshop with Leni Levenson Wiener. She is an amazing fiber artist that creates these amazing and realistic portrait quilts. 
I missed her lecture on Wednesday, but learned so much rom her during the workshop. She had many of her quilts and told wonderful stories. Her choice of fabrics were unexpected, but perfectly fit and enhanced the portrait. She is quite an accomplished artist and teacher traveling internationally, exhibiting in galleries and museums, with several published books. 

Her wonderful teaching style led all of us students in the right direction to turning our photos into quilts or using her patterns to learn her technique. I will share some of our works in progress. 

This is her current book and the basis for our workshop. 

I spent Friday catching up on regular life as my professional life winds down for the year and I am recuperating physically. So I cleaned, quilted and snuggled with Bailey. It was so nice to spend a day at home and I even stayed in my pajamas. Perfect!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Frosting On The Cake

Today was my last lecture presentation for the year. It has been a busy and exhilarating Fall sharing my silk quilts with guilds in PA, NJ and MD. The Needlechasers of Chevy Chase was such a warm and friendly guild with a bent towards art quilts. There was only one traditional quilt shared during Show & Tell, and it was a beauty. Here are a couple of photos of their raffle quilt. 

And the back
It was quilted by one of their members with lots of different leaf motifs. 
They asked tons of questions during my talk. I love that. It shows they weren't sleeping (Ha!) and they were actually interested in what I was talking about. 
We had quite a discussion about my wonky Midsummers Night Dream quilt. 

It was also wonderful to reconnect with my friend Josephine. She was a member of my current guild until she moved to Maryland to be near her kids and grandkids. It has been years since we talked and it seemed like yesterday. She sends her regards to all her friends at Calico Cutters and misses us and we miss her too. 
She is heading to Holland, her home country, and whipped up this gorgeous quilt in no time to bring as a gift. 
It feels so good to be done traveling for the year and awesome to be ending it on such a high note with a vibrant and active group of quilters! Thank you Needlechasers. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Another Beautiful Convertible Backpack

I love the neutral palette. 

Hattie made the backpack for a dear friend of hers. There are still a couple of spaces left in my class at The Round Bobbin in Ambler. 
If you want the pattern, visit: