Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Day of Problem Solving.....

Spring is finally beginning to look like it is coming although the temps don't seem to match that expectation. The sun is shining very brightly but one still has to bundle up to go outside. The lions are beginning to hear a little better (they have ears now) and on the bottom are the pieced greens for the foreground.

Priscilla's leaves are really taking shape now and she is rapidly running out of time. Next will be fusing and then sewing. Yesterday was spent at Marcia's studio working on my lions and solving the problems of the world (which we do best). Priscilla, Marcia and I are co-chairs for our version of Iron Quilter which will be Saturday of our big GVQC quilt show in June -- we currently have 13 participants so it should be lots of fun. Genie Barnes has consented to be the judge for the competetion and for all those that know Genie, that should add a whole layer of more fun to this!!! We have finally picked our theme (a secret) and are selecting our prize categories and prizes! Mark Lipinski had been our judge but had to cancel at the last minute because of impending surgery. I think Genie will be at least as much fun if not more!!

Mary W joined us in the morning as she wanted some photos taken of this quilt for a competition she is entering. Beautiful quilt!

Of course part of aforementioned problem solving was our opening discussion of Colin Firth and the fact that he will be live in a play in London next fall. Les Mis is also playing there still so a trip may be in the offing for Priscilla and I...... I saw The Kings Speech for the second time last night and it was even better than the first time -- it has been probably forty years since the last time I wanted to see a movie a second time. I still didn't want to leave the theatre! Priscilla thinks I need an intervention!! (I might add that Priscilla has been to see this movie twice too.)

This is another of Mary's beautiful quilts. It has exquisite hand quilting but you can't see it too well in this photo. Of all the dumb things, I brought the wrong camera to Marcia's yesterday to take pictures for Mary! Can't believe I did that but luckily the old camera still had some battery life and had good sized SD card in it!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Lions are Beginning to Purr....

Even though it doesn't look like much yet, this is actually three sections almost done on the quilt top I have been working on from a design standpoint for months. I decided to start with piecing the background on this one rather than the foreground as I was a bit intimidated by the detail work. It was a wise decision as It is beginning to be easier to work on. This stage literally involves putting pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle -- a very detailed one!! There are 31 sections and probably over 1000 individual pieces which all will be backed with their freezer paper templates. I have been working on it a section at a time. There is some risk in this approach as there will probably be some "do overs" if the sections to merge well color and value wise! Ruth McDowells recommends putting all the fabric up before sewing anything together but I wouldn't finish this one in a lifetime.

This is Marcia in a jacket made from fabric she got from a friend who is retiring from dyeing. It's even nicer in person!

Last week was spent working on the beginning of fabric placement on my lions quilt top. Yesterday was spent at Marcia's beginning to actually construct the top (as you can see above). None of this started, however, until I had regaled Priscilla and Marcia with synopses of the latest old Colin Firth movies I had seen since last we met! I have been obsessed since seeing The King's Speech which is easily one of the most perfect movies I have ever watched! I don't mind being the butt of the amusement my obsession has provided to these ladies!! It is always good to laugh first thing in the morning. I do feel like, however, that I could start a standup routine on this!!

This is Marcia's latest quilt (although the bottom part was blocked by a table). It really is quite wonderful.

And oh, my! This is what greeted me when I entered Marcia's studio. It is the quilt top that Priscilla has almost finished (only needs its borders). It is made with all Kaffe Fassett fabrics (which I LOVE) and is just gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!

Priscilla is also well on her way to finishing this top in anticipation of a juried exhibit coming up. Marcia also encouraged her to enter it into other quilt venues. Priscilla is such a perfectionist, we may have to do some convincing along the way!!
It is always such a pleasure to work in Marcia's studio with such great company!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Random Ducks....

It was a really bright sunny afternoon last week when I headed up to the outlet again to see what the melting ice had revealed. As it turned out, the backgrounds on the pictures were really nicer than the ducks IMHO!

Here is a scaup and a female Common Merganser. There were quite a few Common Mergansers that day which was unusual.

I took this one for my sister who hadn't seen the Redheads -- there were again lots and lots of these mixed in with the Scaups.

This was a female Goldeneye. The male was there last week.

A closeup of the female Common Merganser. I love the blue skies reflecting off the water and so clear you can see her orange feet.

Again, the female Goldeneye

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Working at Marcia's

George is smiling because he has just prevented me from basting another quilt!! Every time I tried to put in some pins, George would move across the table so that I couldn't add any more. Eventually he just stretched out as far as he could and fell sound asleep, thus stopping any forward progress!

My days at Marcia's have been consumed with moving forward with the lions piece. Finally the whole pattern was marked and the freezer paper templates were created and placed into plastic bags. Every piece of brown fabric I own has been sorted into yellow browns, orange browns, red browns and blue browns and then into gradations. Artistic license has permitted me to change the background from yet more beiges and browns into a subdued green so that the lions will show up more! The lions really do have a lot of variety in their coats and will have to emphasize that to get them to show up.

This is my pieced background beginnings (for the lions). There is a lot of background in my lions piece so I had to make up quite a bit of "yardage". I like to have pieced backgrounds for my pictorals rather than using one piece of fabric.

Marcia, Jeanne and Priscilla are readying pieces to hopefully be juried into a new Pat Pauly challenge. We will keep our fingers crossed for them and look forward to seeing the final selection. Below is Priscilla's potential entry.

Priscilla continues to make progress on her hosta piece being developed for Pat's challenge.
This is a recent piece that Jeanne S has done and we all thought it was really beautiful. It started with one of Jeanne's photographs and then converted some imagery into digitally created fabric. I really think it has a lot of depth and of course her color choices are always superb.

This was a piece of commercial batik fabric that I would have stolen if Jeanne had left the room long enough!! So guess I will just have to try and recreate myself! I like the gradation of color and think this would be pretty easy to duplicate (although the color not quite as easy).

These were my fabric choices for the background laid out. I had pulled out some potential candidates (the bottom pile) as they provided too much contrast.

This is Marcia's most recent jacket. Priscilla is helping her adjust the shoulder pads so that they are placed correctly.
This shows the back of the jacket of course showcasing some of Priscilla's finds in India as well as her other worldwild travels.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Priscilla's Two Day Jacket Class

Having taken Priscilla's jacket class a number of times, I didn't sign up for our club's class which was pretty much filled anyway!
However, since it was close by, I decided to stop in and take some pictures and nag people to finish!! No one actually finished but many were well on their way and had at least the back done and parts of the front. Priscilla actually taught two jackets in this class -- one a classic sleeved version and another she calls the "Butterfly Jacket" which is kind of a marriage of a vest and a jacket. I have made two of this kind of jacket and it is a wonderful starting place for making pieced clothing. You can see the jacket above is well on its way. I was really impressed with the color choices that the people in this group made -- some beautiful combinations.
Priscilla teaches an excellent class as I have mentioned before. She is super knowledgeable and shares very freely everything she knows. She can also be counted on to help later on if you don't finish in class. She never imposes her own tastes (unless it is to one of her friends and then she doesn't hesitate to tell you what she thinks!!).

This is some of the strips that were created by the end of the first day. It is a good loosening up exercise and gets you to look at your fabrics closely.

Here is a primary color scheme and it uses a strip set that I really like and hadn't seen before (the one on the right).
This was a beautiful combination. She started out with a whole rainbow of colors and then moved to this wonderful blue and yellow combination.
Here is another beautiful start to a jacket.

Priscilla is helping the ladies finish up here and has her "signature" diet coke sitting in front of her. I have never seen Priscilla without diet cokes somewhere nearby!

Everybody is around Priscilla to get directions for starting.

Jenna is hard at work here.

Another pretty combination of colors and strips!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

And the Star of the Show -- Priscilla Kibbee

Today was the March meeting of the Genesee Valley Quilt club and Priscilla Kibbee did an trunk show of some of her more recent garments. She only bought 50 of her tremendously large collection of garments as she had done a trunk show for the same audience over ten years ago. It was a fantastic show and the models did a wonderful job of showing off the jackets and coats.

Mary was wearing this beautiful turquoise outfit -- not even a Bernina outfit and look how beautiful it is!

This is the tiger jacket with appliqued tigers all over!

This was one of the garments that was featured in either the Bernina or Fairfield Fashion Show (Bernina took over the show from Fairfield).

This is Priscilla's interpretation of a Rachel Clark pattern. It just sparkled.

This is the back of a beautiful turquoise and orange jacket.
Priscilla (you can see her blog on my blog list) travels all over the world and uses many purchased textiles and embellishments in her jackets. She even creates many from patterns she has drafted.
It is truly amazing how much you can learn in just one class from her. I am a relatively competent seamstress but I learned so much about how to alter garments, structure them as well as designing for garments that are essentially three dimensional.
It is no surprise that she got a standing ovation at the end of the trunk show!! I have only seen that a couple of times in the 12 years I have been in the Club.

This was a stunning quilt that was part of our show and tell. I didn't get any of the names today unfortunately.

I also loved this beautiful quilt.
This is an album quilt which is our 2011 raffle quilt. It contains scenes from various Rochester area sights. It was hand quilted by Chris Wickert and if you go to the website, you can see a better picture than this that shows all the stitching. It is a beautiful quilt and was appraised at $8500 which is not a surprise!

This was a beautiful applique row quilt.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Here a Duck, There a Duck, Everywhere a Duck Duck...

After going to the ACC show, I decided I may as well swing by the Irondequoit Bay Outlet into Lake Ontario on my way home.

Unfortunately, I was not dressed for the very cold weather. The ducks were everywhere and so many different kinds. I again went Friday morning and spotted these two American Wigeons (male and female), a species I hadn't seen before.

Here you can see the facial white on the male Wigeon. He did have the iridescent green head as well so I can add these birds to my list!
There were the everpresent Greylag Geese and this one was more distinctive than the rest. The geese (both Greylag and Canada) are very, very noisy now!!
Here is a group of Redheads and Scaups -- there were Greater and Lesser Scaups there today and LOTS of Redheads.
More Redheads and Scaups.

This was a particularly handsome Red Breasted Merganser who was hanging out with the gang!

Of course the male and female Scaups were with the Merganser constantly.

Here is a Common Goldeneye (the one to the left) with a Scaup.

I had never seen American Coots up here but there are several there now.

Here is a Common Merganser with a couple of Redheads.

Another new sighting (although they were really distant) were the Canvasbacks. Another birder was there and commented that he had seen a lot of these the past few days mixed in with the Redheads. I finally spotted them off in the distance and he confirmed I was right!
This birder also showed me pictures of the Wood Ducks he had taken that morning at the Outlet. He said he had seen eagles and Harlequin Ducks here also on different days as well as the falcons. There are nesting eagles at the foot of the bay now although I haven't seen them yet. Another thing to look forward to.
Another closer picture of the Red Breasted male Merganser. I think he is quite handsome.
With the usual ducks, geese and gulls, I counted 14 different species mingling in the icy water. And this is a 7 1/2 minute commute from my house!! Awesome....