Monday, May 31, 2010

My "Travelin Man" in Tbilisi

As I logged on to post this piece, I suddently heard Rick Nelsons Travelin' Man song running through my head..."he made alot of stops, all over the world..." Well that's my hubby's story. He's in Tbilisi, Georgia ( the former Soviet Republic, now an independant state) and it is Ray's 55th country ( he's traveled to many of those 55 multiple times). He's more like a 71 year old college backpacker touring the world with only what fits inside his backpack. Indeed a man in need of few comforts. This visit, he took a hand full of small American flags which he hands to those who engage him in friendly fashion. Ray is like Will Rogers... He's never met a man or woman he didn't like, so on this day, he is essentially a good will ambassador for the U.S.A. He makes an annual pilgrimage of sorts to study other cultures for the sheer thrill of it.
TBILISI, Georgia.. home to 1.3 million people

He will eventually return to the city of Baku, Azerbaijan where he will fly out to Moscow, then to Los Angeles. Not soon enough for me. I miss him.

Can We Talk???

This appears to be my weekend to catch up on friendship group projects, and since one can't have too many groups of quilter friends, I have plenty of projects. Today is the fused and inked block (yet to be satin stitched) made using a pattern titled "Let's Talk!" by Custom Creations. This block is one of 9 depicting vintage and retro phones. This pattern is designed for fused applique, so indeed the overall phone structure is a fused batik chosen from the stash of a recently lost to heaven member. I thought this would be a way to include our dear Maria in the piece.

I chose to use my transparent inks to shadow the phone set itself and "draw' in the curly phone cord. I would not want to applique that puppy. I know how, but WHY would one spend hours when inking takes minutes. Yes... to those embellishers that are thinking, why didn't she couch a fiber yarn or the like. I have used such a method and it often is just the ticket, but this time, I wanted this finished sooner than later. The couching foot and machine that fits it are at my studio down off the mountain. I am curled up at home today. Late springtime in mountains are quite beautiful and I'm enjoying being tucked in mother natures arms today.

I know this method will look fine when quilted. This curly phone ink alternative only worked because the background is such a light value. Since the inks are transparent, a choice of a dark background fabric would have likely called for the many hour applique method lest an opaque paint was used instead. I'm not a fan of opaque paints tho as they stiffen the fabric surface while inks... do not!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Looks a little like the Jetsons house

Hope you are all enjoying this weekend! I'm doing a block for one of my friendship group exchanges. This is a real challenge. My friend Nancy Mastroianni loves to offer projects that push people into new and hopefully creative areas....It's an area she works in all the time. She's very creative. Patterns are not always part of her quilt plan. This time... the challenge is to create an kind of nutty house that might be built by someone with more money than sense. So I got to thinking... quilters always need MORE SPACE.... I took a sharpie (orange) and drew a house in space complete with flying geese roadway connectors. I painted atop this drawing so the colors you see are bleed thru ink. Nancy loves bright colors, so this is a bit bright.

Note: If you create an original drawing for a piece, be certain you use a permanent marker and not a watercolor type marker that would bleed when it gets wet.
After painting, I applied paper backed fusing material to the back, and cut out the image.

And.. finally fuse to a night sky background.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Arrrrrggggh Captain

Wow.. If you were a young man at a pirate theme birthday party, how would you like Captain Jack Sparrow (Pirates of the Caribbean) to show up? That's what happened at Margurite Sawyers grandsons birthday. Very cool.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Here Kitty Kitty

Painter Terri Hunt from Apple Valley took on a sweet kitty and hummingbirds in her own classroom challenge. This piece was 95% complete when photographed and finished 100% before class was done. Go Terri!

...and Jan Potter of Scottsdale Arizona took on a challenge painting this leapord perched in a tree. Her original reference photo has this animals head in dark shadow. Jan is using transparent inks now to get these shadows in place.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

So much beautiful work

Here are more photos of student work from last weekends Painted Quilt Art Retreat in Temecula, Ca. The Geisha previous was painted by the wife of today's showcased student Dr. Larry Tinsley. Another Geisha... they plan to frame and pair the 2 pieces for display.
Larry has made great strides in the last year. No longer is he exclusively painting exactly what he sees in a picture. He updates, adds, creates new images as well. Yeah!
Larry says he's starting a 'chicken series!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Honoring Geisha

I am home maybe 20 minutes now and had to get something posted from this years multi day Painted Quilt Art Retreat in beautiful Temecula, California. There was so much great talent in this retreat. Our retreat location maxed out on available beds so we had to keep the number of students at 15. My apologies to those that had wait listed. Please check for 2011 dates.
A quick pic of a few of this years students.

The couple front and center (Larry and Cindy) are both Southern California doctors who have joined me 2 years running, and are growing their skills by leaps and bounds. Neither had done any such thing a year ago. Now look!. Cindy has developed a keen eye for seeing what is needed to enhance a piece. This first Geisha was painted by Cindy Tinsley.
I'll be posting more of students work over the next few days.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

At Beautiful Vina

Already, this retreat is too wonderful to end tomorrow... so many beautiful things are developing by 15 spectacular students. I hope to show you some of these once I get permission to post. Below however is a portrait demo done quickly. The subject, my granddaughter on the sunlight veranda in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Packed up.. heading out in the a.m.

Anyone who travels and teaches knows what kind of time goes into advance preparation. Whew. But I am packed up complete with all student supplies for my 4 day long retreat starting tomorrow in the wine country of Southern California. (
Sure glad I have an SUV!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Way fun roundabout in red and white

One of my groups of friends pass around their own projects each month.... one to another... having each of us do a part of their project... and of course, all the while others are doing part of mine. This approach to sharing effort bring my skills along muchhhhhhhh faster than they would otherwise. Usually the projects are each of us completing one block, but this one began with the originators red and white work in the center and the rest of us built around it adding whatever seemed right to us. ... month by month til this really nice red work and pieced/appliqued quilt top emerged.. and better yet... it was already all together ready for quilting. The lucky owner (not me, boo hoo) is Hilary Field, Orange Ca.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Quilting Ideas everywhere

Happy Sunday all. It is indeed a beautiful sunny day in California.

Not able to quilt today (other stuff in the way) but knowing that some time back on this blog I spoke of finding inspiration for quilting patterns in everyday stuff we see. Here are a few idea shots I captured in Sedona earlier this month.
The couch fabric in the Hotel Lobby: A concrete pattern at a building entrance:
And the search continues!
Have a wonderful weekend! Patt

Friday, May 14, 2010

Storing the Thread Storage

Now that title sounds redundant! Earlier, I showed you how I sort and label thread spools into different plastic carriers. Now.... how does one efficiently store those carriers?
This is not only efficient, it's inexpensive. What? in this day and age , something doesn't cost an arm and a leg? YEP! You know those prefabricated,put it together yourself bookcases, cabinets, etc you buy at Target or other such general merchandise department stores? For around $20, one can get a narrow 2 shelf pre fab. unit wherein each of the 2 sections holds 6 of the plastic storage carriers. Thats 12 carriers in not much more than 2 cubic feet. ...and it all fits underneath a table. Very handy.

Storing thread

At home, when I begin working on a new quilted art piece, I begin by laying an assortment of threads out atop the unquilted piece. I generally 'sleep' on my choices a few days and make minor changes, then when I begin, I make fewer changes in 'choice' as I go along. BUT...sometimes we are busy and 'run away' to far away places for quiet quilting time. I recently returned from just such a quilting retreat vacation where I started working on a colorful art quilt. I'd not had time for several days of auditioning. That said, I needed a wide variety of threads to travel with me. This is where my assortment of plastic project carriers come in mighty handy. Check these out.... they take little space and hold lots of threads.The one above is flipped open for easy thread viewing. I got these at a Super Joanns. I 'used' to see them in office supply stores as project portfolios as letter size papers easily fit inside.
I generally 'sort' threads by type, by box, and label them.
pretty cool! I have many of these plastic carriers/boxes, each holding different styles.

I was able to select thread boxes for travel in a matter of minutes, and make the individual thread choices at the destination.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Spring has arrived

I finished up and mailed off all the Houston IQA submissions today. Plus captured a few pics of nature.

I got a 2 minute stare down from a squirrel outside my window. He won!
and spotted a sweet bird I've not seen before:

Any bird watchers out there know the name of this Southern California mountain bird?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Prepping for Houston

Man.. it takes a long time to prepare all the paperwork, pics, CDs, etc for submission to IQA Houston. I'm submitting 2 pieces. When submitting to Houston... all the edges of the quilt are required to be shown.... so know there is NO black border on either of these... just a black surface on which the quilts are photographed.

Proud Heritage
(C) copy written image

In Quito's Market
(C) copy written image

'Will be mid July before the show is juried. The painted surface category is perhaps the most competitive there is.. so we'll see. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bank Security

Today Tuesday I am embedded in paperwork in preparation for my upcoming painted quilt art retreat( Not much quilting will get done today. I just came home from doing some banking and found myself chuckling at the name on the seat tissues in the ladies room. Sorry if my sense of humor is a bit wacky today, but given the state of banking in the world.... I thought this product label was a riot!
Happy Tuesday all!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Making Faces

I think I might be done with this guys head. I used a variety of line types and threads... some matching, others not. Click on photo for enlarged view.

Happy Mothers Day all.

To Motherhood

To honor everyone that mothers ! This piece set out to reflect the power , protective nature, and love which are part of motherhood. All of those characteristics are embedded in the name of this piece titled .... ofcourse... MAMA!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Travel Day to California

Heading home today but 'am happy I was able to quilt a while yesterday. Finally all those large leafy extensions are quilted. Yeah!
Now to finish this guy off quilting his colorful head.
I'm already thinking about the background quilting...water/seaweed/air bubbles.

I must say... I'm not really ready to leave Sedona. There's no doubt, I will return.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Heart pounding at "Out Of Africa"

Vacation alert!
I love BIG CATS and have been looking forward to visiting this wildlife park for at least 3 years. Yesterday was nothing short of spectacular. Pretty good camera and lense plus a great guided tour made my adrenaline flow all afternoon. Very Exciting. I shot something like 275 pics in less than an hour. Was I excited or what???
Haven't done much editing yet, but wanted to post of few to prove I was really there.
I will return again... no doubt!!!! Trivia question of the day....
Which animal at this park promotes more fear in the handlers?
a. Tigers
b. Ostrich
Believe it or not... B wins. Tigers that get to know their handlers, become tolerant, even playful with the people they know. Ostrichs on the other hand, DON'T!

Boo Hoo... WE leave for home tomorrow.. but today.. I get to quilt!! Yeah

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Someday My Prince Will Come

Check out this guy found in the open patio area at Tlaquepaque.
and finally, my favorite flower found next to Oak Creek in Sedona... The Dogwood!
Finally ...a bit of time to quilt on the major project began LAST WEEK!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

How very GRAND!

Great day! First some exercise on the incredible campus of the Sedona Scorpions.
Then a drive to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon bound today

It's 5 am , Hubby will soon rise! We're off to circle the track for some exercise, then to the Grand Canyon for the day. I haven't been there in years and am very much looking forward to it. With Ray here, I admit I haven't done much quilting this week so I'll show you a project in progress that I will own but am not doing all the work. ( This will surely cost me) I LOVE Kaufman's Radiance fabric and wanted a whole cloth quilt made of it. Friend Kelly Gallegher-Abbott ( is a genius on the Statler Stitcher (Gammill) and is doing a spectacular job in stitching this cranberry quilt "for me" Yeah! Go Kelly!

This is going to be gorgeous! Lucky me!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Dressed for the job

This Indian sculpture is off the charts accurate. I could see the creases in his skin at the hip/leg joint. Even Michaelangelo would have approved of this work.

The color of the Indian rug markets is remarkable.
My trip to Flagstaff was successful and costly.

Juki fixed ( not costly) -
Purchases while it was being fixed... VERY costly.... but fun!
After all it was an enormous sewing center with oodles of great stuff.

Sedona's Chapel of the Holy Cross

This one is for the ladies. This extraordinary chapel was designed by a Marguerite Staud and funded by her as well in the 1930's. Mrs. Staud took her sketches to the world reknowned Frank Lloyd Wright who created the architectural drawings for construction.

This exquisite chapel sits perched upon a ridge as if part of the large red rock mountain behind it.
Today, I am heading to Flagstaff to repair my Juki. Fingers crossed!!!!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

I am in love with Sedona

What a beautiful Sunday... Spent really early morning exercising ( really walking) on the first rate all weather track on the campus of the Sedona Scorpions. Wow... what a financially sound first rate high school. Then off to a church with wall sized glass panes overlooking beautiful red rock country. Quite a challenge for a pastor to keep your attention on the sermon. He managed quite well. Lovely brunch at Kens Creekside with a very cool jazz combo ( the kind you can really listen to and enjoy) Finally off to a bit of gallery shopping. My hubby Ray is a glass artist and recently achieved his 2nd degree in Art... so he truly enjoyed it. Still troubles with internet for uploading pics so none here today. I think tomorrow will be a new story including pics.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Internet troubles abound

New place/ new wifi....I'm not enjoying the complications that come with the change. Hope to figure this out but for now...borrowing someone elses connection i'll add more pics of beautiful Sedona. Cleverly crafted burros.... no cleanup
Both are at a wonderful venue called Tlaquepaque