Wednesday, February 03, 2016

A Wednesday List

I work 2 days a week (usually) at The Shop...so for the other 4 (Sundays excluded), I generally have A List.

Wednesday, being the Odd Day Out -- in between the 2 days I work there -- can sometimes have no agenda whatsoever, which means the day resembles scrambled eggs and at the end of it, I've no idea what I've done. Lately, I've been trying to corral this with A List.

Today? (In no real order of importance...)

  • Mark on the Body: stitch for Tuesday (that would be yesterday) and Wednesday (that would be today);
  • 15 x 15: make sleeves for the two pieces that have to go to France -- sooner rather than later;
  • Send an e-mail to DD to tell her that her Birthday Skirt is finished -- save for sewing on the buttons, and would she like me to do that with her so they're in the right place?
  • Send out a SAQA Regional e-mail re: an up-coming workshop in B.C.;
  • Post up-dates to the SAQA Western Canada blog;
  • Post up-dates to the parish blog and Facebook page;
  • Do the dishes!!!!
  • Make a card for YP who is ill*;
  • Take a walk/jog/DO SOMETHING to MOVE the BOD!
  • Start to blind hem the binding on L's Magic Tiles quilt.

It's now evening...how far have I got?

  • Mark on the Body: stitch for Tuesday (that would be yesterday) and Wednesday (that would be today);
  • 15 x 15: make sleeves for the two pieces that have to go to France -- sooner rather than later - cut out and pressed; not sewn or attached.
  • Send an e-mail to DD to tell her that her Birthday Skirt is finished -- save for sewing on the buttons, and would she like me to do that with her so they're in the right place?
  • Send out a SAQA Regional e-mail re: an up-coming workshop in B.C.;
  • Post up-dates to the SAQA Western Canada blog;
  • Post up-dates to the parish blog and Facebook page;
  • Do the dishes!!!!
  • Make a card for YP who is ill*;
  • Take a walk/jog/DO SOMETHING to MOVE the BOD!
  • Start to blind hem the binding on L's Magic Tiles quilt.

Not bad.  :-)

After supper I'll work on that binding, while listening to an audio book.  Meanwhile... a bit more about...

*Candles for Yvonne

Yvonne Porcella
An excerpt from an e-mail I received earlier this week -- one of the posts in the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) general Yahoo Group:

In 1989, Yvonne Porcella, a California quilt artist, sent out 50 letters to artists and friends to rally them to her cause of establishing a place for art quilts in the world of contemporary art.

Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) was launched from Yvonne's initiative, rapidly growing to include hundreds of members across the USA.

Forward to 2016. Yvonne Porcella is facing some very serious health challenges. SAQA, the organization that is her brainchild, would like to surround Yvonne with positive thoughts from the membership, and with candle light, which is particularly meaningful for her.

We invite SAQA members to participate in two ways:
1. Email us at social@... with an image of original art you have created for Yvonne featuring candles, either art quilt, fabric collage, or photographic art, and a positive statement for her challenges or statement of gratitude for Yvonne's efforts in advancing the art quilt (no stock photos, please)
or
2. Create a 4"x 6" postcard-sized art quilt featuring a candle and/or positive sentiments or affirmations. Email image to social@... AND mail the actual art quilt to Candles for Yvonne, c/o Cynthia Wenslow....

It is our hope that these positive thoughts and images will surround Yvonne at a time when she needs them most.

These images, sentiments, and art quilts will be shared with Yvonne as possible, and posted on SAQA social media for her to enjoy.  We thank you in advance, in sincere gratitude.

And so...

Initial Sketch/water colour

Traced on fabric with 'blue gel glue (washable)

Painted with fabric paints
(SetaColor because that's what I have on hand)

Blue Flame - finished!

I called it "Blue Flame" because the blue flame is the hottest part of a flame...and because blue is a colour of the Spirit (in my faith journey, the Holy Spirit), of peace, of calm, of comfort.  Of healing.  I wrote these sentiments to Yvonne -- whom I've never met, but feel I know -- put the card in an envelope and mailed it on my walk.

Those of us who are SAQA members owe her a great deal.  Those of us who make textile art of any kind -- including wearable art, in which Yvonne began her textile journey -- owe her even more.  Please keep her and her family in your thoughts and prayers as you work in your studios this week.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at The Needle and Thread Network...And thanks!

Monday, February 01, 2016

And All is Revealed...

"Fifteen Quilts" -- aka 15 x 15 -- has posted its first "reveal" for the year!  The theme is "Mono-print"; it's intriguing to see how each of us used that technique to create something new.  For many of us it was an adventure outside the proverbial Comfort Zone...

Don't See Cardinals Much 'Round Here

You can see detail shots and the back-story on the 15 x 15 site, HERE -- and enjoy the contributions from my colleagues!

Over at Mark on the Body...you can see the update for January 29 HERE.  And thank you for your support!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Dissolving January

January is melting away here...or so it seems.  The weather has been mild...with forecasts up to 7 C today (that would be in the forties Fahrenheit) -- distinctly balmy for this part of Alberta in January! And...once again, a month that started yesterday, full of promise, is winding down today. Go figure!

I'm thankful that this week my priorities agreed to the line-up in which I'd put them!  Well...maybe not the laundry and the dishes -- they're so demanding, aren't they?! -- but everything else.  :-)  And I am thankful that I am back to my regular 2 days a week at The Shop -- and no more  I love the work, but...!

My 15 x 15 piece for the "Mono-print" theme is finished and photographed -- you'll get to see the "Reveal" HERE at month-end.  :-)

And -- blessedly! -- all six "refugee" quilts are quilted.  Five of the six are completely finished, while the sixth needs it's binding sewn down on the back.  My aim is to have them all finished and washed, to be delivered to the church on Sunday.

Split 9-patch and "Off the Rails" - finished!

"Chunky Churn Dash (Bonnie Hunter) sandwiched
-- before quilting and attaching binding -- now done!

And...my daughter's wrap skirt is growing...only a few more inches to completion!

"Carnaby" skirt by Nikol Lohr in Sirdar's "Harrap Tweed"
- now even wider than when the photo was taken!

As for EB's Dyeing for Quiltmakers...Lesson 3 was posted last week and I printed it off, discovering that I'd done many of the exercises before, when I took my City and Guilds...So I filed the notes for future reference, and let the class carry on without me on for one more week.  Lesson 4 will be posted tomorrow...and we shall see.

I'm linking up to WIP Wednesday over at The Needle and Thread Network...Have a great day!  :-)


Sunday, January 17, 2016

Choices

I have to keep reminding myself that I'm not 25 -- or 35 -- or 45 -- or even 55 any more!

This week has been full indeed: full of extra work hours to fill in for a sick colleague.  While this gave me extra knitting time (a bit, anyway), it wreaked havoc with my studio time, my computer time (SAQA business and such), my participation in my online class -- Dyeing for Quiltmakers with EB via The Academy of Quilting -- and even my sleep.  Yesterday I was so tired that I sent an e-mail (photo attachment, short note, innocuous) to my boss that was supposed to go to my friend P in Montreal!

LIFE -- ya gotta love it!

I had to re-think my priorities.  I managed to get the laundry done Friday (washed while I was at work; dried when I got home) but dishes and dust bunnies were threatening to take over my kitchen, so...I buckled down and did my dishes (no dishwasher; old pipes, no room) and swept the kitchen (I hate doing this and always leave it till I can't stand it any more).

Then I had to decide what needed to be taken care of first in the sewdio.  My sewing machine was still set up for artwork -- YLI silk thread on top and Superior's Bottom Line in the bobbin -- so I set to and finished my 15 x 15 piece...except to hand-sew the binding and attach the label and sleeve. Below is a detail of the layered, quilted mono-printing, complete with 'snow' (spatter paint).  You'll have to wait till month-end for the full "reveal".  :-)

Quilted mono-print;
organza laid over commercial fabric,
spattered paint

After that I finished up the second mini that I got out of the samples for the above piece:

January Surprise II (C) 2016
Quilted mono-print on organza,
commercial cotton, paint

I've enjoyed these so much that I'm down to the last bits of the background fabric.  Blessedly I still had some selvedge, so was able to look it up -- and found the line is carried by my fave LQS, Caroline's Homespun Seasons, in nearby Stettler.  If she still has this in stock, I'm going to get some more!

It took two episodes of Bonnie's Quilt Cam for all of this, and I needed a break...so I went out before the sunshine disappeared and shovelled the walks and my driveway.  It felt so good to be in the fresh air and moving around that way!  We'd had a fresh dusting of snow on Friday and overnight.  How I wish my camera could catch the sparkle of the sun on that powder!



Back inside -- and next up: the "refugee quilts".  What was going on there?

I'd finished the third one Wednesday and set out batting and backing possibilities for #4 ("Off the Rails").  Navy poly-cotton for the backing (donated)...long enough but not wide enough...so I cut it up and pieced it.  The batting piece (also donated)?  The perfect length but too narrow by less than an inch on either side.  I was darned if I was going to trim the borders of the quilt so...dug out a pre-cut pack of Quilter's Dream and cut the size I needed.  Now spray-basted, it's ready to quilt...as soon as I decide what thread to use.  I have some navy for the back but...for the front?  With those colours, maybe white will do!

By this time it was evening and I was pretty much at the end of my energy.  Time for a light supper...an audio book and some knitting.

Nine hours of sleep followed -- and the spring has returned to my step; I'm ready to go again...with a new set of priorities.

Today is Sunday -- which means church...followed by a visit to my colleague in hospital.  By the time I get home it will be late afternoon...and MOB has been neglected, so there will be 'stitch-along-to-the-audio-book' again.

I'll be working in The Shop at least half of tomorrow...and all of Tuesday...and maybe some of Wednesday...and all of Thursday...so I can see that Dyeing for Quiltmakers will continue to go on without me...

That's Life!

I'm linking this up to Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday, where this week she too is talking about Time Management...and her hopes for her schedule in this new year.  Good luck with that, Nina Marie! :-)









Monday, January 11, 2016

Goin' to Philly! (with Knitting)

No, not me...but this little piece I finished earlier this afternoon:

January Surprise
6" x 8" (before mat)
Mono-print on organza, spatter-painted,
fused to commercial cotton, machine quilted.

It's not being sent on that mat -- I just placed it there because it's grey-white and it needed some sort of background for the photo!  I expect it will be put on a black mat by the good folks at SAQA, as it's going to be one of the pieces up for bid at the ICE (Inspire - Connect - Engage) Spotlight Auction fundraiser at the 2016 SAQA Conference in Philadelphia.

I called it "January Surprise" for a variety of reasons -- I made it in January (groan -- that's SO obvious!); it was half of a larger sample I made when I was playing with mono-printing over the New Year's weekend; I was surprised how much I enjoyed the process...and am thinking of doing more of it; and...well the impression of a wee red bird is supposed to be a cardinal...and if one sees a cardinal on the Canadian prairie -- farther west than Manitoba, that is -- it's a surprise indeed!

I have another piece of this mono-printed organza that will be made and matted (actually using that mat) and offered for sale at the Lacombe Art Show and Sale in April (God willing and my DD and I are accepted for a booth!)

Meanwhile, speaking of my DD...her birthday (as I know I've mentioned before) is this week...and while she won't get it on time, I have been diligently knitting on her gift.  She requested a skirt...in a tweed, please...and she found a pattern.  We had the Perfect Yarn in The Shop -- in the Perfect Colour -- so late last week I cast on, and here's where it is so far...

Pattern: "Carnaby"  by Nikol Lohr,
found in Knitty - Deep Fall Issue 2010
Yarn: Harrap Tweed from Sirdar 
in Colour #105 - "Horbury"
NOTE: This is the skirt on the needles.  The waist is on the left; the hem, on the right.  It will sit on the hips, and be buttoned down one side.  The panels are a simple "box stitch" (think: miniature checker-board); the gores are done with short rows which require some concentration but aren't difficult.  I'm lovin' it!

And though it might seem crazy, in the fine tradition of always having socks on the go, I've cast on again this month for a new challenge from the Ravelry group, "Socks from Stash".  It's an easy challenge: make a pair of socks using at least two colours of yarn from your stash.  I'm making a pair of "Ribbed Bigfoot Socks" from Robbin Koenig on Ravelry, which were originally designed for men, but which I've sized down.  The sock pattern is a simple "knit 3, purl 2" rib pretty much the entire time.  I'm using one colour (actually, a multi-colour) for the cuff (2"), heel and toe, and black for the rest.  Uses up yarn, fairly mindless process...may or may not be done by month-end.  No matter.  I'm enjoying myself!

All the news that's fit to print for today...off to do more quilt binding...and to watch a video about artist David Hockney via hoopla digital (free with my library card.  Aren't libraries wonderful?)...

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Rich and Full

That is how life is for me right now...and I am truly blessed.

I've just up-dated my last blog post to reflect what's going on in my "Celebration Year".  I've cancelled my knitting retreat in March.  Before you groan, consider this: I did it to ensure I can fully enjoy my trip to Stratford, Ontario in May!  Yes!  SAQA colleague, Jaynie Himsl and I have teamed up to travel together for the Opening of "My Corner of the World" and "MCOTW: Canada" at the Stratford Perth Museum in May.

The opening is May 21 from 1-3 p.m.  That's smack dab in the middle of the Victoria Day Weekend here in Canada...so we've booked everything early -- flights, accommodation, rental car...  And because it's Stratford, of course we've also booked 2 tickets to see some live theatre at Festival Theatre ("A Chorus Line").  Whoo-hoo!  We'll be there May 20 - 23...it's gonna be gr-r-reat!

On the home front, work proceeds apace on the "refugee quilts".  I found out at church this morning that "our" family has been identified -- a married couple with five (count 'em) kids, ranging in age from 1 to 10.  That's all we know.  No idea how many of the kids are boys, or how many are girls.  No idea about their origin...but we think they're likely Muslim.  We do know that this particular family is not from the 'professional' class (i.e. what we'd call 'white collar'), and that they don't speak English, so they are going to need extra help.

Three of the quilts have now been quilted and bound; one of those is completely finished, one is partly-hand-stitched, and one is pinned, awaiting hand-stitching.

Three more tops await quilting.  I've been given some more solid colour fabric by my friend J -- who also gave me some batting for the project -- so there should be plenty for backing them.  With such a large family, I'm thinking all 6 quilts will have someone to love.  :-)

And...I've been sampling for 15 x 15's next theme, "Mono-print", which will be revealed at month-end. 

I couldn't believe it.  I really didn't think I'd like this process -- mono-printing, that is -- as much as I do.  In fact, I like it so much that I need to get a larger jar of black fabric paint, and want to invest in a permanent plate (plexi-glass, 8" x 10" or 11" x 13" and about 1/4" thick) if I can find one.  Right now I've just about exhausted my black and deep purple fabric paint (tiny jars) and am going through the laminate plastic off-cuts my daughter's brought me -- at least the ones that are the size I like.

My Inspirational Photo

Auditioning for layout, position of "birds"
Working title: "Don't See Cardinals Much 'Round Here"

The neat thing is that out of the sampling on sheers, I got an idea for two minis -- with snow.  I decided to do the snow by spattering paint...but I didn't know how.

How to spatter paint, that is.

I think I must have done it as a kid, with an old toothbrush and water paints...but I'd long forgotten.  Thank goodness for YouTube tutorials!  I learned quickly from Aiden, clearly the best in the business:




So...I tried it on one of my early mono-print pieces.  I think the snow improves the look of the sample, don't you?!  ;-)



Then I tried it on a sample that was a mono-print on organza:

One sample = two minis...

This was so much fun that there might just be snow spattered on the "big" piece (above) too!

But...enough for today.  The sunshine is calling me out for a Sunday walk, to be followed by a quiet evening of stitching binding, while listening to Peter Robinson's Gallows View on hoopla (superbly narrated by Mark Honan).
"Sunrise" quilt top -- before quilting (ca 2013)
This quilt now lives with my next-door neighbours, J & E.

I'm linking this up to Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday.  This week she's talking about using kits.  I used to use kits a great deal when I first began quilting.  Nowadays, not so much...but I still enjoy OPI (Other People's Instructions) -- for exactly the same reasons she's enjoying her new kit.  :-)

I've finished a Block-of-the-Month (12 little kits, actually) a year for the past three years, and last year I hand-quilted the first top made from one a pair of kits ("Sunrise" and "Sunset") bought from Thimbleberries in a by-gone time.  The second top beckons
from its box on the shelf in the closet of the sewdio...

Sew many quilts; sew little time!  Have a great week!





Sunday, January 03, 2016

What's This About a Word?

:-)  

A 'word for the year', that is.  This concept isn't foreign to me at all; it's just been a while since I did it -- chose a word and let it carry me along for the next 12 months.

Looking back, I see that I've really only taken one year off this word thing...but having ignored my 2014 word for most of that year, it feels like longer.

And I wasn't going to do it again this year, either; that is, until yesterday, when I listened to a recent podcast from Sandy of "Quilting for the Rest of Us", when the subject came up again.

Suddenly, a word came to me.  A 'WORD' for 2016 that would actually make sense.  A word that will be an essential part of this next 12 months, for a variety of reasons.

That word is celebrate!  Yes, the exclamation point is included!  :-)

This year, there'll be something to celebrate just about every month, I think...to whit:
  • January
    • I just had my first-ever acceptance into a major SAQA juried show! (My Corner of the World: Canada).
    • My sweet daughter -- and photographer extraordinaire -- Gina was born 35 years ago this month.  Whoa! A milestone...from which she (and I) can look back on a life well-lived...tragedies overcome, challenges met (like living without kitchen counters for weeks!), scholarships earned, employment successes noted, relationships forged (like her "second family" in Saskatchewan)...living out the tenets handed down from the grandfather she never knew: family, friends and faith...
    • I'll be sending off two more quilts to France for our 15 x 15 Guest Exhibit at Beaujolais later this year.
  • February
    • I was engaged 41 years ago this month;
    • My sweet DIL-to-be, Chereena, has a birthday --  turning...23?
  • March:
    • SAQA's annual Conference -- this year, in Philadelphia, PA (March 31 - April 3).  I'm not going, but you can bet those attending this year will be celebrating the studio art quilt the entire time!
    • My dear friend, JM in the UK, turns 64 this month.  We've been corresponding (pen-pals) for 54 years...and have met twice.  Our relationship ebbs and flows, and there have been gaps...but we continue to connect across the miles.
    • EASTER Sunday is March 27th.
  • April:
  • May:
    • I'm going to Stratford, Ontario...for the opening of  the SAQA exhibits "My Corner of the World: Canada" and "My Corner of the World: International" at the Stratford Perth Museum.  (May 21) I'll be sharing the rental car and B&B accommodations with my colleague, Jaynie Himsl of Saskatchewan.  In addition to the MCOTW opening, we'll be taking in "A Chorus Line" at the Stratford Festival Theatre, and socializing with SAQA colleagues from across Canada.
    • Victoria Day - Long weekend!
  • June:
    • A break in the action?  Nope!  My son Marty turns 31 on the 6th!
    • AND I hope to have finished a piece to commemorate my mother's centennary on the 8th.
  • July:
    • My nephew, George, turns 23 on the 7th?  5th?  Somewhere in there!
    • My afore-mentioned son, Marty, and his sweet Chereena, are being married on the 23rd.
    • The same date would mark my widowed mother's marriage to my step-father, Reg Daniel, July 23, 1957.  My sis and I were the cutest flower girls *ever*!
  • August:
    • Heritage Day long weekend -- and my artsy gal pals come up from Calgary to play in my Outdoor Studio;
    • The 9th marks my 41st wedding anniversary;
    • The 9th also marks the 10th anniversary of my DH's death, and the end of stitching on the Mark on the Body project.  After this date, the project is polished up and prepared for exhibiting.
  • September:
    • Labour Day - long weekend!
    • I turn 64,
  • October:
    • Thanksgiving!
  • November:
    • My sweet sis turns 63;
    • My DH would have been 64;
    • It's National Diabetes Month.
  • December:
    • The Incarnation of Jesus (aka 'Christmas')...
    • And Hanukkah celebrations...
    • And the celebration of another year well lived.

Something tells me it's gonna be a Great Year!