Sunday, June 27, 2010


I couldn't help taking a pictures of our two trapped kitties making friends with Sammy, our next door neighbor's free roaming cat. George loves being outside in his penned-in area while Cheney would just as soon pass on that luxury!

Well, the week started relatively well with getting the heron all put together. However, life interrupted the advances -- both good things and bad things. Bad thing was a much feared root canal through a tooth with a crown already on it. After having had dear husband and closest friend have disastrous results on a similar dental excursion, I was expecting the worst. Fortunately, it was a piece of cake but it certainly distracted me for the first part of the week and I swear taking the penicillin each day is making me extra tired.

The other distraction was clearly of the good kind!! Thanks to the internet, I found my best friend from high school after not knowing where she was for 35 years! She went and moved -- no wonder I couldn't find her!! We have been catching up via email for the past week and I will be seeing her in December when I visit Florida, where she now lives. I was thrilled to find her. And what is even cooler is that we are meeting at her sister-in-law's house and her SIL is an art quilter -- now how neat is that! It is funny what the two of us remember and what we had forgotten! I might add that we met again through

Despite all that I tested out a new pattern called Summer Tote by Lazy Girl. I liked the clever top treatment but didn't like the exposed seams on the inside so won't make that one again. I finally finished up two Potato Chip bags (you "can't do just one"). These both used a combination of my salt dyed fabric and commercial batiks. I loved the addition of Indian trinkets recently obtained from Priscilla! These bags are clever, very fast and have lots of pockets and room for some creativity.

I have also culled out another 100 books or so from my library and it hardly looks like there are any missing. Will try to sell them locally before I put them up on Amazon. I have a lot of very nice quilting books that I have purchased over the past 30 years -- far too many in some years!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Great Blue Heron is Ready to Take Flight...

George just can't help himself. He feels compelled to help me complete everything and today was no exception!

I have been extremely lazy since returning from NC, partly because of a myriad of postponed doctor and dentist appointments which have distracted me.

Two nights ago I decided, enough and have been setting myself modest daily goals again. This always works to get me back on track. The first of these goals was to do the little bit of sewing needed to complete the Great Blue Heron which has been languishing on my design wall for a couple of months.

I literally had lopped off a bunch of background before I left to move his position on the piece. He had called out for some grass and land before I left for NC and I finally complied and did some hand applique to finish him up. I then sewed on his border blocks (aptly named Great Blue Heron).

Now to baste him and start the quilting. He is going to have some thread painting to give him his fancy blowing feathers in front as well as some additional grass I think! He measures about 30 x 48 inches and includes a bunch of my hand dyed fabrics. I am relatively pleased with him although reminded that someone commented on SAQA just a couple of weeks ago that they couldn't bear to see one more Great Blue Heron standing in grass! Oops, guess she won't be pleased! However, I like him and he will love residing at the beach house!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Visit to a Nature Paradise (For Me)...

Very dear old friends invited us out to their house last night for a barbeque. They live out in the country on a rather large piece of land that has coyotes and beavers in residence (their pond keeps getting larger and larger). Now I have never seen these critters when out there, but can see what they have done! I might add that the chipmunks were amazingly abundant -- more so than I have seen elsewhere.

Of course I forgot my camera as I had wanted to get pictures of their miniature horse and goats while I was there. (The goats have found a new home as the miniature horse was not at all fond of the baby.) He seems to be just as happy by himself spoiled rotten by Nola (you could have eaten off the stall floor, it was so clean). I was really sorry that I forgot my camera when I saw their bird feeders and a virtual bird sanctuary in visiting colorful birds!! I borrowed my friend Peg's camera and did what I could (it was getting late and I was not familiar with her camera).

I took this picture of a male Baltimore oriole through a screen at night so forgive the blurriness! What a stunningly beautiful bird it was. They were there constantly feeding on grape jelly in a feeder!!

There was a hummingbird feeder next to this feeder that constantly had hummingbirds at it. These were right outside the living room window.

This was a rose breasted grosbeak -- you can barely see the bright red patch on his chest. They were there constantly also. I saw nuthatches and chickadees and lots of woodpeckers (I think hairy but could have been yellow bellied sapsuckers). There were also some sparrow like birds I couldn't identify. They also have nesting bluebirds -- the eggs haven't hatched yet.

These next two were really beautiful wildflowers, neither of which I could identify although my friend Peg though the second might be yarrow.

I will be returning to try to get some decent pictures hopefully this week but in the dear sister will give me credit for these birds as I did get pictures, albeit not good ones! (Her husband claims that if I don't have a picture, I didn't see it!)
We had a wonderful time and played Mexican Train well into the evening -- late for us oldsters who had an hour drive home as well!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

GVQC Raffle Quilt for 2010

This is the Genesee Valley Quilt Club raffle quilt for 2010. The lucky winner will be chosen in 2010. The tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5. It was inspired by a quilt I did a couple of years ago with blocks from a batik exchange. I really like their version!

I went to a birthday party for a friend's grandson over the weekend and was absolutely enthralled with three of the other guests. They were a set of fraternal triplets, children of one of Katy's friends. The only difference I could really see between the three little girls (26 mos old) was the curliness of their hair! One had tight curls, one had more wavy hair and one was right in the middle. They were awfully cute as was the birthday boy!

Saturday, our little book club met (actually we were a VERY little group) and I managed to see this cute little toy sewing machine to add to my collection!! I am running out of room on my shelves so the next house will have to have a larger space allocation!

Well, back to actually getting some sewing done!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Class with Cynthia Corbin

My impetus for going to the NC Quilt Symposium was to get a feel for the kind of quilting I would find down there. I belong to a very active guild and art quilt group here in Rochester and want to make sure I can duplicate the experience down in NC for future reference! A nice treat was that I was able to take another class with Cynthia Corbin who is a tremendous artist and heck of a nice lady besides. She is able to gently move you in new directions without pushing you to do Cynthia Corbin quilts. We did a lot of critiquing in the class, all of it very helpful.

I had a very limited pallette (I had NO space in my car driving down so had to skimp on the fabric). Basically I had two gradations -- one of greys and one of red to brown and several random pieces of hand dyed fabrics in miscellaneous colors (whatever I picked up). So I ended up doing my studies using just shades of grey. This is definitely not my pallette so was very challenging. Add to that, forgetting my cutting mat at my daughter's the first day so I had to hand cut everything..... So I just played with grey studies the first day in very geometric shapes (no curves). They were okay and useful. The second day, not being able to stand not having any curves I took a random piece of cranberry colored fabric and added tree shapes into the greys.

This was the beginning of a piece by Patti. She cut up her image that she first made.

This was a couple of iterations later but still not quite pulled together although she had cut up all her smaller compositions.

This was my very first piece after just slashing lines. The goal was to show contrast between each individual section. Told you I had a limited pallette!

Here I have cut into it three times already and need to do more to break up the large sections.

I then went into the shades of grey trying different combinations hoping to get something I liked! I had redone the original drawing by now so there are more lines as well.

This was another classmates first day's projects. She ended up with a very nice horizontal piece at the end of the second day.

These were the many sketches that classmate Diane accomplished within the first hour! She definitely would be a candidate for Iron Quilter as she was fast and accurate!

Here are most of my trees from the second day. I need to do a couple of more to have them facing in a different direction! I also moved from a horizontal to a vertical format. In the first one in the upper right I used a template I had created separately from the piece. It didn't work well. The rest I just cut into and was influenced by the lines already there so that was definitely a better direction.

This was another student's piece cut apart and reordered with the addition of the purple. It was interesting to watch her progress as she tested fabric after fabric for where the purple is. The purple was by far the most successful!

This was another student's first piece (upper right) and then the modified piece below which she then used different fabrics to produce the four square quilt. Lovely luscious browns.

It was interesting to follow Lise's work as well. She felt she had created a boat in her first piece so she split it up and used very dramatic fabrics which worked very well.

This was Patti's final piece pulled together with the black and white with circles fabric.

Monday, June 7, 2010

North Carolina Quilt Symposium

Well, I finally took a good picture of my non-prize winning quilt at this show!! I never seem to get any points for degree of difficulty!! A nice woman came up to me at the take down, remembered the number of the quilt when she heard it called and raved about it though and said she voted it best in show so that was nice!!

The show was small compared to our guild show but the quilts were lovely. There were a lot of beautiful applique quilts inspired by a local author whose specialty is applique.

I had signed up to come to the show and the classes to get a taste for what is going on in North Carolina from a quilt perspective as my intention is to move here fulltime some time in the future. After taking the class (more later on that), I can honestly say it was just like being at home except I didn't know any of the ladies and most spoke with a Southern accent!

This quilt called Winter Wonderland by Leah Day won for Best Machine Quilting and it certainly was!!! I have included two closeups below. She also won Best of Show for another of her quilts.

This is a closeup of the quilt that won for Best Innovative. It is called Out of the Mouths of Babes: Grape Kiss by Deborah Langsam. Evidently on the back were sayings from these famous women. Below you will see the whole quilt which wasn't that large. All these pictures were about one inch square.

A Tree by Laura Patti Bethune. I liked this one a lot even though it didn't win any prizes!

Aftermath by Linda Black. This was an interpretation of the Australian bush fires in 2009.

I loved the color and the unique pattern in this one but did not get the name of the quilter. I think it may be called Tequila Sunrise by Debbie Rieck and Janice Hoyes but I may be wrong.

In a later post, I will put a link to my Picasa album which has all my favorites in it!