Sunday, April 22, 2018

April--and Southern Pines Animal Shelter

April is such a beautiful month, with the trees leafing out. My front yard is almost totally shaded. The days have been mild to cool.
I’ve had so much fun working on a lab coat for White Linen Nights, a Hattiesburg Arts Council and the USM Merchandising Program fashion extravaganza honoring healthcare professionals.

I chose to honor the staff at Southern Pines Animal Shelter with my lab coat. The coats have to be kept secret until the April 28 event, so pictures will have to wait a week.

Meanwhile, Linda and I were asked to sew patches on doggie vests to help get them adopted.

Elizabeth was very interested

Friday, April 13, 2018

Pathways and Bellingrath Gardens

I had an enjoyable trip to Mobile, Alabama, to present a program to the Azalea City Quilters Guild this week. The group met at St. Mark United Methodist church, followed by our workshop the next day at Spring Hill Baptist Church, which makes me want to mention how grateful quilters are that  churches share their space with us! We try to pay our way, but know that we are given charitable rates. University Baptist Church, my home church in Hattiesburg, has graciously let us meet and quilt and store supplies for many years, probably since the early 1990s. So thanks to our churches!
Completed practice squares

I always start the Pathways class with a small practice square using Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry's "applipiecing" technique. After the students get the over/under preparation of seams and stitch one or two, they are ready to design their own pathways on the larger pattern. Everyone got the practice square done and I got a group photo before we moved on to drawing our flying geese or piano keys or mountains/valleys pathways.
My hostess lives south of Mobile, almost to Dauphin Island, and after following the directions I was given, it was reassuring that I was at the right house when I saw the wrought iron Ohio Star on the garage. The gated community has small lots, so the houses are three-story with elevators. "My" bedroom window and balcony had beautiful views overlooking the Fowl River. What an amazing sunrise!
Quilt block on garage

"My" bedroom window on upper right

Other houses down the street
We were only a short drive to Bellingrath Gardens and Home, and it was delightful getting to visit there again. After my family moved to Mississippi in 1971, we often took any Texas visitors to see this hidden treasure. Some of those majestic trees were lost over the years to hurricanes, but the place is restored and kept as a showplace of the South.

Walter Bellingrath was Mobile's first Coca-Cola bottler and bought an abandoned fishing camp on the Fowl River in 1917. His wife Bessie began to plant flowers, and an architect help them transform the fishing camp into a country estate. The Bellingraths began inviting friends to the gardens in 1932, and since 1934 the gardens have been open year round. A 15-room house was completed in 1935 and is filled with period furniture, porcelain, silver and crystal. Mr. Bellingrath created a foundation to honor his wife and oversee the gardens and home; income also goes to three Christian colleges and two local churches. I highly recommend a visit to this beautiful place! In addition to the 65 acres of gardens and the home, there is a building housing the Delchamps Gallery of Boehm Porcelain, another treasure not to be missed.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Pathways Class

Four weeks after my injury I am working diligently in PT to get my shoulders functioning again. If I didn't have to turn the steering wheel, I'd be a happy camper! But I am happy I am able to present a program and Pathways workshop in Mobile. It is one of my favorite techniques to teach and I'm looking forward to the class. It is using Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry's Applipiecing technique I learned at her workshop in Paducah in 2009. My all-time favorite quilt is Caryl's Corona II: Solar Eclipse, which won a $10,000 purchase award in 1989 and is in the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, KY.

Corona II: Solar Eclipse, by Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry
Of course, this is an extreme example of what Caryl can do with her technique. We will start quite simply with a background and three "ribbons" or "pathways."  I call a "pathway" a series of flying geese, a row of piano keys, a series of spikes, or even a solid piece of contrasting fabric. When I was in her workshop in 2009, I began the piece I call Galaxy, which has one pieced and twisted pathway of gradated strips of hand-dyes from dark blue to medium blue to light blue to yellow to green and two pathways of other hand-dyed fabric (orange one and blue-green-blue one).

There are untold variations with this technique, and students can learn to draw their own designs.
Pathways in Stone
What a pattern looks like

Twisted Ribbons

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Happy Easter! He Is Risen!

Flowering of the cross
It's a beautiful spring day and our worship services were inspirational. We bring fresh flowers to add to the cross.

For lunch I even ordered lamb (a high favorite I don't get often). Linda and I saw the movie Peter Rabbit and would go back again for a wonderful time!

Happy Easter from Grandbunny

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Springtime in Mississippi

After an unusual winter with TWO snows, we are welcoming springtime with temps between the 40s and 80s and azaleas in full bloom. I'm glad I got some good pictures a few days ago because this week's rain really took a toll in my yard.
Quilting has been at a minimum this month (March) because of a fall stepping out of the bathtub on March 2 which caused a severe cut and bruise on my L shin as well as rotator cuff injuries to both shoulders. If that were not enough misery, my computer was out for 12 days, and one-finger typing is no fun.
View from my front porch

View from street to my house
There is a huge black bumblebee in these azaleas
I planted about 10 new hostas last spring and they are bursting forth

Second year for these established hosstas

The "reluctant" amaryllis

Two days later, still reluctant to open fully
Different ones
Linda Ginn showing her Bandanna Race quilt at PBQ meeting
Tarbaby showing his long legs

Elizabeth is always close
Looking forward to more flowers and a beautiful Easter celebration tomorrow! I am blessed.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Green Fish and UFOs

The green fish has been quilted and has its facing and sleeve done. The collaged background of irregular shapes was more challenging than the geometric shapes on the yellow fish, but still interesting and enjoyable. I'll show the yellow one again below the green one.
Green Carp, 24" x 18"

Yellow Carp, 22" x 17"

My guild usually has a challenge each year. Since this is quilt show year, we didn't want to take on a huge project that might pose a hardship added to the work and preparations relating to the show. So this year's challenge involves UFOs (quilterspeak for unfinished objects) and is designed to give us all a push to finish projects as well as to encourage us to use our fabrics instead of buying, buying, buying--translate hoarding.
The plan is this: we list six UFOs in number order and describe the degree of completion as of January 1, 2018. Numbers will be drawn, and the UFO corresponding to that number will be due in two months. We can earn fat quarters by bringing the finished work in on time. If all six projects are finished, our name goes into the hat for a $100 prize. How interesting to go through closets and shelves to come across these forgotten pieces! My oldest one is a half-done mystery quilt begun 23 years ago in 1994. As I recall, the instructions were confusing and inaccurate, and when I came to the step admitting some early mistakes, I gave up on it. However, there is too much fabric and time invested to discard it, so it went on my list. I just hope its number is several months away. There are several nearly finished pieces and even some that I choose NOT to finish. And that's okay. Maybe they were learning tools along the way but no longer hold my interest.
I'll report back on the UFO progress.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Fabric Collage Past and Present

My most recent obsession is fabric collage using Susan Carlson's technique of laying on a multitude of fabric bits to create a piece. Think of a painter dipping a brush into paint and applying it to canvas, whereas in fabric collage I cut a bit of just the right piece of fabric and lay it on the background. Having a huge fabric inventory is essential, because there isn't the option of mixing paint to get the right color. You have to search through you fabrics--which is a fun activity in itself!

I have completed The Window Watchers; Green Carp is complete except for quilting and edge finishing, which will not alter the look much. In Green Carp, paper is laid on to show where the edges will be when finished.

The Window Watchers, 22" x 28"

Green Carp top before quilting, 24" x 18"
I have done fabric collage for many years in a more simplified way. Here are a few earlier pieces from 2006-2013. Red Hibiscus is a Lorraine Covington pattern (called Pink Hibiscus); all other designs are mine.
Campfire 2006
Pacific Coast 2009
Amaryllis 2012
The Atrium at Ochsner's 2012
Red Hibiscus, 2012
When Worlds Collide 2013
Campfire, 2006, 22" x 23"
I located an in-progress picture of Pacific Coast from 2006 and can recall that I constructed it on a background by cutting bits of fabric and building the scene. The sky was a white piece which I painted. Water began as white with paint, then cutting strips. Angelina fibers and painted, crinkled cellophane simulate frothy water.
Pacific Coast, under construction, 2009

Pacific Coast, 2009, 18" x 15"
In The Atrium at Ochsner's, large sections were used for the buildings, with leaves depicting the tall palm trees in the atrium. Smaller pieces were cut for the foliage on the floor, but still in larger, representational cuts for the objects.
The Atrium at Ochsner's, 2012, 19" x 29"
Red Hibiscus, 2012, 29" x 24"
In When Worlds Collide, the circles and donuts were applied over a pieced background, with addition of organza, feathery ribbon, and beads.
When Worlds Collide, 2013, 34" x 18"
Linking up to Off the Wall Friday

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Progress on Yellow Carp and The Window Watchers

This fabric collage is exciting and enjoyable . . . and addicting! It's not quick, but when you are enjoying what you do, it doesn't matter what time it takes. Well, maybe a little more discipline here would be a good thing.
   The Yellow Carp (by Susan Carlson's Carpe Carpem pattern) is finished and ready to quilt, trim, and finish the edges. The background was as challenging as the fish body, mainly because there were so many options about how I wanted to do it. I used dark geometric shapes to help highlight the busy and organic nature of the fish body. The backing will only take off a seam allowance all around.
Yellow Carp (yet unnamed), 22" x 18"

   The Window Watchers (my three cats looking out an east window) is quilted and ready for facing. They are Rahrah, Tarbaby, and Elizabeth. Elizabeth was featured in an earlier piece, Elizabeth, My Almost Perfect Cat, in some earlier blog posts. Susan Carlson included her in Volume 7 of her Finish Line blog posts. Susan posts finished pieces from her students, and it is an honor to have Elizabeth shown there.
The Window Watchers, 23" x 30"

Tarbaby is solid black, and the sun shining on his back gave me the opportunity to use a variety of textures in addition to cotton prints. It's hard to photograph organza, and the black flannel and lace don't show in photographs.
Detail of blue and black satin and organza.

Working at the computer. What we put up with to humor our pets!
I should have both the carp and the three cats totally finished in the next post. I will also have progress on the Green Carp to show. It's going to be a great 2018!

Linking up with Off the Wall Friday.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Ending with Fish

It's traditional at the end of a year to look back and celebrate or complain. Without getting philosophical about what's wrong, I admit I am at a very happy place along this journey. Having just turned 82 and being able to pursue my passion of art quilting, I am looking forward to more creating, more cats sleeping on my lap, more pictures of my granddaughters and great-grandchildren, more wonderful friends, and more music! I hope to be sensitive to the needs of others and lend a hand and support worthy causes.
The Window Watchers is nearly finished, but it has been shoved out of the way in my enthusiasm for creating two more fabric collages, using Susan Carlson's Carpe Carpem fish pattern.
Click on any picture to enlarge.

When I gathered the possible fabric choices, it was obvious that I needed to make two fish. Here was my starting dilemma:

Beginning the yellow fish. (Ignore the polka dots; my white base fabric was thinner than I wanted, so I backed it with a scrap mint green/brown dot fabric for stability.)

Completed yellow fish, ready to glue and add background
Completed  yellow fish, ready to glue and add background 

Next I began the green fish. Here is his progress. Some of the yellow fabrics were needed for the end of the ruffled tail.

Completed green fish--ready for gluing and background
I use the term "completed" loosely. There is always the chance and temptation to tweak and keep adding more beautiful touches! And, of course, there will be quilting stitches over all.
Daughter Linda has thrilled me with her falling in love with quilting--not just the idea and admiration, but the actual sewing and quilting. She has completed far more than I did when I started, even donating two quilts to our guild, Pine Belt Quilters. We have enjoyed discussing and sharing our projects. Here are two of her completed quilts. And she just started watching videos and buying fabric in January.
Started in Barbara Cline class at 2017 MQA Educational Seminar

Started in an online challenge
Looking forward to another creative year in 2018!

Linking to Off the Wall Friday