Tag Archives: quilting

Winter Projects and Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from chilly central Virginia, USA! Temp this morning was 11 degrees (F)! The sun’s out now; it’s up to 21! As a result, I’m staying inside, at least until after lunch. Before I head back into the studio to retool from sewing projects to water color painting, here’s an update on what’s been happening recently in Richmond town.  For inspiration I’ve attended two premier exhibitions, the Terracotta Army, Legacy of the First Emperor of China at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (up thru March 11) and the 38th Annual Virginia Watercolor Society exhibit for 2017 at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, Virginia (up thru January 7).

I came away from the VMFA show with the consuming question – “How did the ancient artisans of what is now China make 8,000 unique individualized terracotta statues?” The twelve sculptures of warriors in full battle regalia look as though living soldiers were turned to stone. The figures on display are mostly uniform in color, but we’re assured by the accompanying exhibit text that all were originally fully painted in realistic detail. How did they do that?! Do the secrets lie in the central temple compound that has yet to be excavated?

The techniques and motivations of the artists behind the Virginia Watercolor Society exhibit are not quite as opaque. However, their skill and exuberance are every bit as inspiring. I took many photos. I share this one of the painting by Brenda Hounshell with you because I was captivated by the light, and the color of the oranges reflected through the crystal onto the background. Perhaps I could do that….time will tell.

We had our first snow of the season on December 9th, and as typical for our neighborhood, we lost power. I was in the midst of finishing a quilt for my grandson and didn’t want to loose momentum so hauled my treadle in front of the sliding glass doors, and kept sewing. Not my usual fabric choice for this one, since this boy is consumed by transformers. We won’t tell him that the pattern is called “Free Wheeling Single Girl” by Denyse Schmidt!

The watercolors shown above are from two photos taken on the Jamestown Ferry, 25 years apart: 1991, our daughters; 2016, children of our older daughter! My paints are calling – back to work.

I leave you with this quote from Edith Warton, “In spite of illness, in spite even of the archenemy sorrow, one can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in small ways.”




Exhibitions: Quilts, Photos, Watercolors!

Where did July and August go?! Here, at least, is what’s happening in my life in September! Early this morning I drove over to the Richmond International Raceway (RIR) to drop off quilts, and then swung by the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond to drop off photos and watercolors. The posters give the details on the two events.

The Richmond Quilters Guild Quilt Show happens every three years and I have three quilts that will be on display this weekend, Saturday and Sunday. The show promises to be excellent! The Richmond Times Dispatch has run two articles referencing the show: Decorate with Quilts, and Quilting Business Continues to Grow. Hope you get a chance to get by – along with approximately 300 quilts there will be vendors and a boutique.  Sales from that last all go toward Richmond Fisher House, a temporary lodging facility for families of hospitalized active-duty service members and veterans.

Next week is the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond’s annual Gallery Show. I’ve heard about this show forever as THE PLACE to sell and buy high quality art, but I’ve never been.  This year I decided to apply to show my photos and watercolors, and was accepted!  So check it out – I’ll have two framed photos on display and 25 matted photos and watercolors, all available for purchase.  The show opens on Wednesday evening and rumor has it that to see the best work you need to get there early!

In you’re in or near Richmond, Virginia, I hope to see you at one or both venues!

Recent Challenge

2013 has been a challenging year so far. We laid another of the greatest generation to rest this past week, my mother-in-law, after a full 90 years.  In the restorative sewing frenzy that followed, I finished my entry in a recent quilt challenge, for my Beatles’ song of choice, “Honey Pie”!  Everyone participating chose one of their songs to illustrate in a 24″ x 24″ fiber art piece. The quilts will be exhibited in several venues.

I struggled a while with how to show a pie of honey, then at my husband’s suggestion, went instead with pi!  I’m pleased with the way it came out. I used several techniques: fused applique, paint stick texture plates, couching, and stamping with a hand carved stamp.

Winter Quilting

President Blocks

President Blocks

Memories of 2012

Memories of 2012

Caught by the Surf

Caught by the Surf

Mug Rug

Mug Rug

March already!! Apologies to my faithful readers – January and February slipped away from me. We bid my 93 year old father good bye in mid January, and I’m starting to get myself back together. Hospice, his choice, was a godsend.

Meanwhile, I have been in the studio. Creativity has marvelous healing powers. I started working on the first quilt top shown above in early January at our quilting beach retreat. I’ve had the blocks since 2004 – they were given to me by my quilt chapter when I stepped down as president. They sat in a drawer for all this time because I couldn’t figure out how to set them – I wanted more control on their orientation than the square format of the blocks were allow. I’m very pleased with this solution! I stitched each block to fusible interfacing in a cirlce, then turned and ironed to the stripped background.

The second quilt came together as I was cleaning off my sewing table in December and came across a lone TARDIS with fusible already on the back of it! I was just back from the trip to NYC, and had see the December full moon the night before thru our lace curtains…. The purple fabric of the blocks was some muslin I thru into the dye bath when I was dying the garden gloves my husband brought me from a rainy parking lot.  The palms were pink, but the cream of the fabric was still dingy after several washings.  Now they’re purple!!

I’ve finally finished the seashore wall hanging of our daughter, at 3 years old, running from the waves! She’s a bit older now.  I may do it over – it doesn’t pop as I would like.

The mug run was one of our beach projects that I didn’t get to til the end of January.  I was so pleased with it that I’ve made eight of them to set aside as Christmas presents.  And my morning beverages sits on one beside me now as I type!!

Hope your March is full of wind, rain, and early Spring buds!!

Post Card Swap

May 30th (or thereabouts) is the target date for our Virginia Consortium of Quilters semi-annual fabric post card swap – got mine done!! Yeah! With a grandchild on the way any day now, I’m pleased these are in the mail.

Our theme for this swap is ‘myth’. Since this is the year of the dragon, the May moon is also known as the dragon moon, and the first unmanned, commercial space capsule is named the Dragon (actually I just found that out today!) – seemed like a good choice for my cards. I wanted to screen print them, and tried the drawing fluid/screen mask technique for the first time. Either the window sheer fabric I used was too loose a weave, or I did something wrong – three attempts later I gave up on that approach.

Instead I cut the dragon stencil in adhesive vinyl and fused to the window sheer material – worked great! Mostly. Where the dragon didn’t come thru strongly, I followed up with a paintbrush. The moon was ink jet printed on satin and fused over a hole cut in the dragon print; stitching added; all done! Here’s the text from the back of the card:

The wingless Oriental dragon, fifth sign of the Chinese zodiac, is a water creature with power over storms and bodies of water. He’s deaf and frequently shown with a giant, fiercely protected pearl. The pearl is represented as the moon, symbolizing the tides and the dragon’s origin in the sea. Therefore: Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and good with catsup!

Pepper Cory visits Hospitality Quilters

I love old scrap quilts – the feel of them, the vintage fabric patterns, the whimsical color choices. Last Wednesday was a special treat – Pepper Cory, a long time quilter, collector, and author, gave the program for my Hospitality Quilters chapter here in Richmond.  She was fascinating to listen to, and the quilts, new and old, that she shared with us were delectable.  If you get a chance to hear her speak or have her for a teacher, do it!  The photos above are details from some of the vintage quilts she shared with us.

Travel Snugs

Snuggle your creative tools! That’s what I’ve done with these small bags/purses. They’re just the right size for my small notebooks, and the larger one fits my iPad. I’ll probably modify the iPad version to have a flap and strap, instead of the drawstring closure. I didn’t realize until I’d finished that it was such a good fit! The pattern was distributed at Quilting Adventures’ New Years Day party – a Mary Terry design.  I added batting and lining, and a second drawstring.  Dimensions before stitching together were 9 1/2″ x 14″.

The small clutch style snugs were inspired by the Urban Winter fabric from Stephanie Brandenburg’s Urban Art Collection, Camelot Cottons.  I love the typewriter image!  I embellished with sari silk yarn that I unwrapped and stitched on as I free motion quilted before inserting the zipper and then stitching across the ends.  They’re just the right size for my small notebooks!  The smaller one fits a small moleskin notebook – fabric, batting and lining were cut 7 3/4″ x 9 1/2″. Fabric, batting, lining for the slightly larger one were cut 9″x11″.  I used nylon zippers and cut them to fit, after stitching across the teeth for stops.  Each snug also accomodates a small pen and a few envelopes, in case in my travels I come across papers I’d like to save.