Saturday, December 24, 2016

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas, and my geranium just loves this cooler weather. My thermostat has been changed from heat to cool several times. It's hard to believe the beautiful snow scenes I've seen when my yard is sunny. The geranium plant in my last blog post has added several blooms, with that November bloom finally beginning to wilt.

In the back yard is a huge sasanqua bush that really rewards me every winter.

I enjoyed finishing a wall quilt that daughter Linda had begun several years ago. She was quite surprised to see it tonight in a gift box. The HQ16 made this a quick project.
The Christmas season has been filled with music--live performances and radio and CDs--and this helps center my thoughts on the true meaning for the celebration. I had fun making some fabric postcards for special friends and family.
My decorations center around a Santa in a quilt robe made by a friend. Elizabeth has been keeping him company in a box that's not quite large enough for her. When I'm at the machine, she is in my lap or on the machine, trying to bite the threads. Recently I accidentally snipped her right cheek whiskers, which did not change her fascination for thread; she is growing some replacement whiskers and I try to be more careful..

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

It's a beautiful sunny, crisp Thanksgiving in Hattiesburg and I celebrate the blessings in my life! I made these pilgrim dolls while I still lived in Corpus Christi, meaning before 1971. Guess that means I can't deny being a pack rat! The turkey family cookie jar can be seen in the background. Thanksgiving is usually a time for families to gather, and I have wonderful memories of these times at my mom's house and later at my brother's. We usually had to travel rather than hosting. But they were happy, joyful times, more like the ones in pictures rather than the horror stories you read about!

My geranium has a huge bloom on it, with buds promising more beauty.

My maidenhair fern was originally from my mom and it gives me a home-sweet-home feeling when I see it.

I recently read an appropriate quote that brings our thoughts under control at this season:

Do more than belong:  participate.
Do more than care:  help,
Do more than believe:  practice.
Do more than be fair:  be kind.
Do more than dream:  work.
     ~William Arthur Ward

Meanwhile, back in my studio I have been having fun lots of fun sorting and arranging fabric for my Indian Orange Peel blocks.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Fall is Here, also Karen K Stone

Wheeee! It's really feeling like fall, and that huge moon adds to the joy. My neighbor's persimmon trees were loaded. I had a crew do massive clean-up in my yard. My barn quilt sign was hidden and is now prominently displayed. It's nice being identified as a quilter.
Karen K Stone was in Hattiesburg for a lecture/trunk show and workshop last week; her unique color sense is so exciting and her quilts were eye candy.
Karen's Indian Orange Peel

I could hardly wait to get started selecting fabrics for an Indian Orange Peel. Here's my first arc. Karen's method makes these much easier than they first seem. And getting to play with and coordinate fabrics makes this so much fun.

Friday, November 11, 2016

My Favorite Veteran

Roy Ginn, 1950
Remembering my favorite veteran on Veterans Day. I didn't meet Roy (on a blind date!) until he came home from the Navy, but he looked just like this. Who wouldn't fall in love with those blue eyes?
     This picture was taken when he was on a ship headed for Japan after a year in radio communication school on Bainbridge Island, Washington. His training was in decoding radio transmissions in Russian.
     We married when I was 18 and he was 24--good thing at least one of us was an adult. Our 57 years together were happy and fulfilling. We were the perfect example of "in sickness and in health," each taking turns caring for the other as needed. He was a wonderful father and friend and we raised two outstanding children. Parkinson's robbed him of his last few years of activity, but he never gave up.
     Thank you for your service and your love of country, family, and all things good.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

November--Pensacola Program and Wood Sculptures

I enjoyed presenting a program/trunk show for the Pensacola Quilters Guild and staying in the lovely home of Cena Harmon (and seeing her quilts like this New York Beauty). The technology gods were cooperative, so I got to share some pictures of my 2013 China trip and since it has come home, I had the Rise and Shine, Inner City quilt to show. When I left Pensacola, Cena directed me to the most unexpected fabric find--at A&E Pharmacy! It's a traditional drug store with all the usual products, medicines, pharmacists, and gifts. But there was also a huge section called A&E Fabrics featuring first-run fabrics from well-known designers and more batiks than I have ever seen in one place.
Batiks as far as the eye can see!
I stopped at the Florida Welcome Center and took several photos--a jet plane and some of the carved birds that a talented carver, Marlin Miller, has created from the oak trees killed in Hurricane Katrina in 2005. These are truly amazing and give tribute to the indomitable spirit that rose from the Gulf Coast after the devastation.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

October and Pine Belt Quilters 16th Show

After several weeks of preparation, my guild's 16th show took place on October 7-8-9, 2016. We hung 250 quilts plus a Hoffman traveling exhibit, held hour-long lectures on all three days, gave door prizes, shopped at 16 vendors, silent auctioned about 30 small quilts, drew for our Autumn Splendor raffle quilt, had quilt appraisals . . . and thoroughly entertained our visitors to the show. Any time you don't lose or damage a quilt, you count it as a successful show! Those of you who have been involved in the behind-the-scenes workings of a quilt show can fully appreciate this statement. As show chair, I was extremely proud of our members who worked so hard and willingly to create this unique event.

On a personal note, it was exciting to win my first Best of Show-Small for a friendship quilt made with four others: Marcus Weekley, Cathy Reininger, Julia Graber, and Rita Warnock. (Our show awards two Best of Show awards--a Large and a Small.) I have shown the five sections in this earlier post. We were pleased at how the finished piece looked when the five sections were presented together. The award was a Nechi EX100 machine, and we thought of King Solomon's wisdom in what to do with one award to share among the five of us. We plan to sell it and split the proceeds.
Mississippi Ag Museum in Bloom, 120" x 36"
by Marcus Weekley, Martha Ginn, Cathy Reininger, Julia Graber, Rita Warnock
VisitHattiesburg has sponsored a purchase award for our last five shows, with this show's theme commemorating Curious George's 75th anniversary and the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection at USM's 50th anniversary. The theme was "Curious George Visits de Grummond," and my quilt was titled "Curious George Reads Ezra Jack Keats" (with scenes from The Snowy Day). I was especially honored to have my quilt selected for this award since I am a supporter of the de Grummond and my daughter is a catalog librarian at USM.

My Round Robin Pathways won a third place ribbon; it is amazing me with its third award in the three shows it has appeared in. Since it "grew like Topsy" by being designed in six stages with each round being a surprise, it seems appropriate that it continues its adventures.
Round Robin Pathways, with Shapes on the Green beside it, both challenges in our guild

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

September's new Artist Altered Book pages and Celtic Banners

For Nanette S. Zeller, 8" x 8", theme See the Forest for the Trees 
I have created two more pages for my exchange in the Artist's Altered Book Project, with only one more to go for October to complete the exchange among ten artists scattered from California to Florida to New York. Here are my August and September pages for Gabriele DiTota and Nanette S. Zeller:
For Gabriele DiTota, 5-1/4" x 8-1/4", theme Fire
I received pages for my Tree themed book, pages 8" x 10" from Leni Weiner and Joani Share. I have a new computer and haven't managed to transfer and find all my pictures--maybe later!

Our Pine Belt Quilters show is fast approaching and I hope my computer work is about finished. Our dates are October 7-8-9, 2016 at Lake Terrace Convention Center. Chairing a show is daunting work, but with 15 shows behind us I counted on lots of folks knowing lots of jobs.

I helped create two large felt cut-away banners for my church's new monthly Celtic Services that began in September. The patterns are by Fashions by Sarah and are similar to the Advent banners shown here and Fall banners shown here.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

August and Vicksburg Old Man River Quiltfest

My Round Robin Pathways is enjoying another successful quilt show appearance. It won a 3rd place (white) ribbon in the Old Man River Quiltfest in Vicksburg yesterday. This is a new show hosted by Kay Elliott's Stitch-N-Frame Quilt Shop and Vicksburg Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The Mississippi Ag Museum in Bloom was also a 3rd place winner in the Vicksburg show. The five sections are 36" high and a total of 10 feet wide when hung together. The sections are
Birdhouse by J. Marcus Weekley, Gulfport
The Mule Barn by Martha Ginn, Hattiesburg
Wagons and Roses by Cathy Reininger, Madison
Small Town Mississippi by Julia Graber, Brooksville
Print Shop by Rita Warnock, Madison
Mississippi Ag Museum in Bloom
Kitten update: My latest foster kittens (Hops (pictured below), Brenner, Eleven, and Nancy) for Southern Pines Animal Shelter have been sent on a transport up north. During the week I had them, they needed lots of socializing to learn that people are kind and loving. Tough job but I love doing it. My two-year-old cats pouted the entire time the little ones were in the garage.

Our Pine Belt Quilters show entry deadline has passed, and we are doing the registration and catalog paperwork and finalizing display plans. October 7-8-9 will be here in a flash.

There is tragedy affecting our neighbors and friends in South Louisiana. We have seen unbelievable devastation from flooding, but it is heart-warming to see all those boat owners rescuing people and pets. No waiting for federal troops when neighbors can help immediately.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

What Happened to July?

Where did the month of July go? It’s been a whole month since I posted about my Rise
and Shine, Inner Quilt coming home. It’s been fun seeing it on the guest bed. Rah-Rah wanted to sleep on it, so I added a fleecy to take care of cat hair. Of course, it lost its charm and she moved on. 

I 'm taking care of two little foster kittens from Southern Pines Animal Shelter--solid black,  just like Tarbaby when he was a kitten. They live in the garage and quickly learned to escape the fence, meaning they have a large place to run since my car stays on the driveway. They were frightened and hissing when I got them. It's amazing what a soft voice and canned cat food can do. Now they run to be picked up and loved, purring before I get them up.
I submitted my Round Robin Pathways quilt to the Smoky Mountain Quilters 2016 show and received a 2nd place and an impressive red rosette ribbon. It is being entered in the Old Man River Quiltfest in Vicksburg next month as well as our PBQ October show. This quilt won “Best Quilt by an Individual” last September in Jackson.

Our Pine Belt Quilters show is fast approaching--October 7-8-9 will be here soon. I have my entries ready and am busy contacting possible sponsors for our awards as well as businesses who will advertise in our show catalog.

I have grieved over the tragic loss of lives I see and hear on the news. Some days I prefer not to turn on the TV for fear there will be another senseless act of violence. It troubles me to wonder, “Am I doing anything to change things? If I am not helping with a solution, I am part of the problem.” These thoughts encourage me to be patient, seek the good in others, and treat others as I want to be treated. Sounds so simple. And it’s not a new message.

As much as I love making art quilts, recently I have been enjoying stitching some colorful Log Cabin blocks.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Rise and Shine, Inner City has come home!

Rise and Shine, Inner City has come home! I shipped the quilt to SouthArts in November 2012 for its trip to six venues in China with the exhibit "The Sum of Many Parts--25 Quiltmakers in 21st Century America." It was my privilege to attend the opening of the exhibit in Dalian, China in 2013. At the end of this two-year odyssey, Mid-America Arts Alliance picked up a dozen of the pieces for a US tour entitled "The Sum of Many Parts--Quiltmakers in Contemporary America," which traveled to Oregon, Arkansas, Nebraska, South Carolina, Missouri, and Florida. Now after almost four years, the quilt arrived back in Hattiesburg. 
I love that so many people got to enjoy this quilt and think about its story. There have been many inner city quilts made with a variety of color plans and arrangements--my favorite, and the one which first inspired me--is by Jinny Beyer. She cleverly caused the viewer to see hexagons in a beehive pattern. 
by Jinny Beyer

After taking a scrap quilting class from Jinny in the early 90s, I began my quilt, using colors grouped as "neighborhoods" meeting and touching one another with the sun coming in to wake up the city. It is vital that neighborhoods work together to make up a successful and healthy city, just as it is for countries to work together to make a peaceful world. I hope my Rise and Shine, Inner City has helped to spread this message to the people who viewed it on its travels.
Large poster advertising exhibit at Dalian Modern Museum
In Dalian
At Crealdé School of Art, Winter Park, FL
Now the quilt is back at home in Mississippi; I will enjoy seeing it on my guest bed as it rests from its exciting adventures. Lucy Fazely helped me write a pattern for my version of this traditional Inner City block.

Monday, June 27, 2016

More Artist's Altered Book Pages

I created this page for Sandy Donabed for her Aerial View theme. She replied that her granddaughter has a special fondness for eagles--so do I!

by Martha Ginn for Sandy Donabed
Janis Doucette sent me this beautiful page she made from her eco-printed cotton and silk. The front and back of the page are both pieced in crazy-quilt fashion, which she has heavily embroidered with silk ribbon and floss. She added a clever little tab on the right.
by Janis Doucette

Then I returned from a trip to find my page from Joani Share. She says, "Flowers add joy to any environment," and I heartily agree. Joani used flower petals overlaid with transparent rice paper, adding cut paper flowers and free-motion stitching. She wrapped painted branches in copper wire for the stems--creating "a mixed media bonanza of organic materials."
by Joani Share
This brings my pages received to five, with four more to go. Each page is so different in style and technique and I imagine these next four months will bring more surprises! Seeing what these artists have made for me encourages me to dig deep into my creativity for each of them. I'm a month ahead of schedule, but with quilt show coming up in October, getting ahead seemed like a good plan.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Twisted Trees Class

We had a good time making Twisted Tree art quilts at the MQA Gathering last weekend in Jackson. We started with a background pinned to a piece of foam core or cardboard, then made the precut strips into little twists.
Peggy Wehr and Martha
Once I was certain they all knew how to hand-twist the strips, I showed them how to speed up the process with an electric drill. 
After getting enough strips twisted, we began to create the trees by pinning the twists in place over the background. Once the twists were arranged in a pleasing manner, the pins had to be released from the board and turned flat to get the work under the sewing machine head.
Theresa Wege

Amy Schwalm

Cindy Allgood and Presley
Rebecca Dobbins

Rose Naquinn

Dianne Smith
Christy Calhoun
Myra Cook
I'm sorry I didn't get good pictures of Connie Moore, Nancy Newman, Diane Rayburn, and Roberta Slowey. Most quilters got their tree created and began sewing it down. This part is challenging to avoid hitting pins or injuring fingers, and twists can be adjusted and rearranged during this process if necessary.
Cindy stitching her tree
We discussed the background quilting and finishing and I shared my favorite edge treatment--facing--rather than binding. I promised to send Kathy Loomis' excellent facing tutorial she posted on her blog March 18, 2011.