Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Ending 2013

I suppose we are supposed to be philosophical and reflective when we go from the end of one year to the next. Or we can elect to just keep "soldiering on" as we have been doing. Nothing wrong with that approach if we don't want to spend too much time analyzing!
I finished the quilts for my newest great-grandsons just short of their first birthdays next month. Myles and Jude are two weeks apart and live close enough to be buddies. I traveled to Dallas to see my precious family before Christmas.
Myles Jordan and his granddad Mark Ginn

Jude Baker

 The quilts are about 58" square, although the photography could be improved.
Granddaughter Christy Ginn--my iPhone expert

6-week-old foster babies Ramona, Alamo, Alice, Pixel (clockwise) in a rare still moment
Looking forward to more art quilting, good times with friends and family, and blessings during 2014! And lots of kitty love!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas 2013

In South Mississippi (60 miles from the Gulf of Mexico), we’ve had several nights of below freezing temperatures, along with beautiful sunny, cold days. No snow, no ice, no power outages--I’d say the best of winter conditions! The sasanqua bush is beautiful.

Music events, art events, Christmas parties and dinners have filled my calendar, and caring for two little foster kittens while I medicate them and socialize them for their forever homes has been a joy. I will get to visit my son and his family (including my four great-grandsons).
Visiting the Manger
Lap full of kitties

My quilt guild (Pine Belt Quilters) gave away 122 quilts yesterday to five agencies serving children and 30 larger quilts to the Mississippi Veteran’s  Home. We also filled two tables of gifts for mothers and children at the domestic abuse shelter. Seeing the generosity of my guild makes me proud to be a member. My church participates in ministering to families in need. All these activities help celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.
Gifts for mothers and children

Saturday, December 7, 2013


When I talked ABOUT him, I used his name, Bigboy. But when I talked TO him, I called him Baby. I got him from the shelter three years ago as a two-year-old and fell in love with his sweet face. Roy loved him, too. He had excellent kitty manners and was my constant companion, especially enjoying sleeping on any art quilt I laid on my work table.
Bigboy had breathing difficulties two months ago caused by fluid around his lungs, which the vet drew off. When he had more symptoms, x-rays showed a mass in his chest, and more fluid was drawn, giving relief only a few days. I could not bear to think of him suffering, so had to let him go two days ago. Everyone who reads this will be reminded of a similar painful experience in their own lives. Join me in being thankful for our pets and celebrating the joy they add to our lives.  

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving and Lemon Meringue Pie

Lying in my cozy, warm bed listening to the cat purring near my feet and the cold rain falling outside is a great reminder of how truly blessed I am! Thanksgiving brings back memories of family gatherings at my brother's home in Austin, Texas. But here in Mississippi, I have church friends, quilting friends, art friends, neighbors and community friends who share with me a sense of belonging.

Most of my family still live in Texas, but we had a lovely Thanksgiving Dinner today, daughter Linda and I and two USM library friends. Rather than turkey and dressing, I ordered a Chicken Pot Pie from a local caterer. What a great idea! The others brought the rest of the feast.

My only cooking was lemon meringue pie, duplicating my grandmother's recipe. It's hard to find real lemon meringue pie, with the popularity of the icebox pies and condensed milk lemon pies. But since my new Meyer lemon tree (a gift from a friend) has produced some small but beautiful lemons, I was eager to try my hand. I used to be a purist about homemade crust but have gotten over that. The young tree was so heavy with fruit that one of the branches broke. I have rescued the remaining fruit from the freezing overnight temperatures.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Pictures at Exhibition--William Carey University

Here are some up-close shots of pieces in the exhibit. Click to enlarge for more detail.
Red Ruffles, 29" x 28"

Orange Sunflower, 29" x 28"

Twisted Tree, 22" x 19"

Galaxy, 37" x 24"

Color Bars #8-Red Roses, 17" x 23"

Color Bars #2, 36" x 22"

When Worlds Collide, 34" x 18"

Amaryllis, 25" x 27"

Color Bars #9, #6, #10, #11
12" x 12" to 9" x 12"

Thursday, November 14, 2013

At the Opening Reception

Sarah Farris, Ollie Jean Lane, Rosalie Schoell, Ellen Hall, Ella Lucas
Some of my best quilt buddies came, even though they had seen everything through the stages of construction and completion. Isn't it wonderful that our friends will come out to cheer us on!
With Dr. Tommy King, WCU president
Dr. King is dedicated to the arts and was instrumental in saving this historic building and having it remodeled to house the Lucile Parker Gallery.
With Dr. Ed Ford, art faculty
Dr. Ford's work will be exhibited in the gallery in January.
With Dana Stratton
Dana Stratton is my favorite watercolor artist and a dear friend. I have studied drawing with her on several occasions, always realizing how inspiring these lessons are. Another reason she is so special is that she loves my cat and will come and visit and feed him when I am out of town.
Gena and Russell Lott with Blue Iris
Some of my favorite pictures are of people viewing and discussing quilts and artwork. I love to describe the process and compare notes with others. Gena and Russell are dear friends from my church; Gloria is a quilt artist in my small Innovative Fiber Artists (IFA) group. We meet and share ideas and encourage one another.
Gloria Green with Color Bars
Jackie and Wayne Watkins
Jackie is an accomplished quilter and artist from Jackson. She first showed this twisted tree technique to Polly Duggan, who shared it with our IFA group. In addition to trees, coral or other interesting organic shapes can be made this way. Quilters are a sharing, giving lot!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Ready for Opening Reception

Here are some photos of the exhibit at the Lucile Parker Gallery at William Carey University, ready for the opening reception. Imagine my surprise to see this sign at the traffic light at the intersection for the turn off the highway! It covered the time for the opening reception and the date. Since it would be changed after the opening, I pulled off into the service station across the street to get the picture.

We placed large floral works and a twisted tree piece on the right wall, and abstract pieces on the left and back walls. Four smaller pieces were hung on the passageway to the next room (on left side at the top of the ramp).

The ramp and diagonal railing presented some challenges in the hanging process (the eyes play tricks with getting pieces level), but the unusual shape of the wall allowed for interesting placement.
View entering gallery
Left wall

Right wall

Ghost Quilting, Stitch Combos #1 and #2, Color Bars (blue)

Friday, November 8, 2013

Exhibit at the New Lucile Parker Gallery

The reason I've been so absorbed and interested in hanging methods lately is because I have been preparing to hang my fiber art exhibit at the Lucile Parker Gallery at William Carey University in Hattiesburg, MS. The gallery was established in 1990, named for a loved and respected watercolor artist and teacher at the college. It was housed in the building with the Jones Auditorium in the front of the Music Department.

In September 2013 the gallery moved into its new home in a remodeled two-story historic brick building. It is a charming, intimate space with good lighting, ideal for art exhibits, located across the street from the campus main entrance.
Lucile Parker Gallery, 512 Tuscan Avenue
I was invited to exhibit my fiber art in the new gallery from November 12-December 11. The invitation pictures a detail shot from one of my flower pieces. The opening reception will be November 12 from 4:30-6:00 p.m. Regular hours for the gallery are 1:00-4:00 p.m. or by appointment.

Friday, November 1, 2013

My Favorite Hanging Method

     Quilts need a 4" sleeve on the back to hang on the pipe and drape hardware in quilt shows. When displayed in galleries or art shows, a wire is usually required. Attaching sleeves is my least favorite part of the entire process, so I certainly don't want to have to change or add a new sleeve to change where the piece is to be displayed. If one method can accommodate quilt shows, art shows/galleries, and hanging on my wall, so much the better.
     I prefer one hole in the center of the slat and use a divided sleeve that is open in the center. For years I have used a 1/4" thick wooden slat with a hole drilled in the center to go over a nail to hang an art quilt on the wall. If that piece was entered in an art show, I attached eye-hooks to the ends of the slats and attached the wire (twisting like on a picture frame).

     Recently I discovered 2 inch faux wood blinds. They are economical, sturdy, and can be cut shorter or or glued together to add strength and extra length. I bought one 23" x 64" blind and disassembled it, leaving me with lots of neat white, thin slats with two little slit openings. I can run wire through the slits. To secure the knot in the wire, I add some Liquid Nails or E6000.

front, facing the sleeve opening
back, facing back of quilt
     For shorter slats, I can cut these with heavy scissors instead of having to saw the wooden slats. If the 23" slat is not long enough, I overlap and join two slats with Liquid Nails or E6000. An electric drill will drill holes easily for the wire since the slits are covered.

front, two slats glued to get proper length
back, two slats glued, using drilled holes for wire
ready to hang in gallery with slat; remove slat for pipe & drape

Saturday, October 19, 2013

My High School Reunion

It was a marvelous, fun-filled, nostalgic weekend. I flew from Mississippi to Corpus Christi, Texas, to attend the 60th reunion of my W B Ray High School class. Since moving away from there 40 years ago, I have only been back twice, the last time in 2004, and I admit I had forgotten how beautiful it is. Palm trees and large houses line Ocean Drive from the downtown area all the way out to the Naval Air Station.

My friend's 8th floor condo has views facing north, east, and south, and weather changes offer variety from day to day and from morning to evening. 
 We wore name tags with our names on one side and senior pictures on the other--a great help for recall. Our classmate Bill Glass (former Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns and four-time Pro-Ball star) was our inspirational speaker. He is the author of 12 books and founded Champions for Life, one of the world's largest prison ministries. He stressed the importance of telling our children (spouses or parents or friends) that they are loved.
Jannet Traylor Smith, Claire Smith Hook, Jeanette Hill Gordon
Joy Humphries, Martha Weeks Ginn, Jeanette Hill Gordon
I enjoyed some great Tex-Mex food, had delicious shrimp salad on Padre Island, and saw how much the city had grown.
Perhaps the highlight of my visit was getting to visit with my former employer, Marshall Boykin III. I went to work for his law firm as a naive young mother with good secretarial skills. He was an intelligent, honorable man who became my mentor and friend.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Color Bars

I'm still enjoying making free-form quilts. Here are three I've finished recently.

Color Bars - Yellow
30.5 x 29
Color Bars - Purple
16.5 x 10
Color Bars - Red/Black
36.5 x 22