Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Dramatic Farewell to Cabo

My gosh this place is beautiful. Last evening at dusk as I looked south over the sea for but a few minutes, the sunset was alive with fire amidst a blue sky.

Looking north up the Baja peninsula, lower wispy firelit clouds hung in the air. Breathtaking!
Yesterday, I was thinking I was ready to return home, but now... ?????

Sadly, I have nothing artistic of my own to show you on this trip. I did a great deal of handwork but as you that do handwork know... a lot of time invested does not mean alot to show for it. I'm working on a likely year long hand project you will eventually see.

Now to think about packing for home.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Clever People of Cabo

I finally ventured out of my resort today. Quilters are always looking for efficient ways to store the many quilts they make / accumulate. A local shop stored mexican 'blankets' in a reproduction of a small cart. Seems like this would produce less weight on the folds and thus fewer 'memory creases' in quilts. Whether this works for you or not, I did think it to be a clever idea.

As I was walking along the dock of the marina, headed for the center of town I began thinking about last summer here when my husband and male friends told me they 'purchased' a fresh fish for dinner... from a man on the docks named Marlin Brandon. Well, it all seemed too much to believe to me, but they did bring the fish for dinner. As I was thinking about this guy named Marlin, his boat came into view. Too funny. If only actor Marlon Brando were around to have seen this one.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

You Know You Need A Vacation When...

I am in Baja's beautiful Cabo San Lucas for a much needed week of pure Patt downtime. Cabo is safe, unlike the mainland of Mexico and is just wonderful this time of year. Weather is beautiful.... the resort fairly quiet though full, mostly because kids are in school back home. It seems I've been on a dead run for months so this downtime was very welcome. Following the Road Quilt Show, I packed to come here fairly quickly without a lot of pre thought time on what to bring. I didn't need much I thought. A couple pair of sandals and a few clothes, and my handwork. I DID pack 2 pair of sandals... a funky pair for around the pool ( not shown here) and some newer nicer ones. I tried to pack for efficient use of space.
I was less thrilled with my efficiency when I separated the 2 sandals..
Oh well.... They sell shoes here!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hello all... This is a slightly different post than normal.... First and foremost a FINISHED piece from class by Diane Winder. YEAH!!!! No grass growing under this quilters feet. She had this tiger painted, bordered, and quilted w/i 2 weeks of class. With her permission, I am posting her tiger quilt photo here.

Also.... I've copied and pasted correspondence between Diane and myself about the use of monofilament thread. She asked about it... here's my response. I love it but there ARE some tricks to its use.

I do tend to use clear monopoly in the bobbin... and often also in the top... a smoke monopoly in the top works great on the black of the tiger....

Do the following when winding your bobbin
1) wind more slowly than a pedal to the medal . Monofilament ( anyones) will tend to stretch if wound too fast. It can add to possible breakage if stretched too tight. If you have a machine where you aren't controlling the winding speed with your foot, you likely have a newer machine that will wind your bobbin in accordance with your 'machine speed setting.' If thats the case.... set your machine speed to slow before you engage the bobbin winder.
2) You needn't fill it all the way. About 2/3 full is fine and will make it easier to pop the bobbin in the bobbin case.

When using either 100wt invisafil or monopoly/monofilament in the top, I use a microtex SHARP needle...usually a 70 which makes a very small hole.

Lastly.. tension with monofilament is interesting but quite doable... the top tension is set very low... almost zero... and that usually works out.

Hope that helps... practice on a scrap quilt sandwich. If you still have trouble.. holler. I do admit I 'hear' some machines just don't like monofilament threads of any manufacturer... but my Berninas seem fine with it.

Take Care!!! Patt

Diane's response:

Here is the finished article. I will be giving it to a friend of ours today
as a belated gift for helping us move into our house a couple of years ago.
He loves tigers and I think he will treasure it.

Thank you for all your help in the class and via email. The monoploly thread
worked just fine - I'm so excited that I can now use that kind of thread. I
have always avoided it in the past because I could never get it to work.
Your instructions were great and I didn't have one breakage!

Anyway, here is the picture of the quilt,

All the best

A Naval Tribute at Road To California

2011 is the 100th Anniversary of US Navy Air and worthy of tribute. As such, the Navy (through Curator Kelly-Gallagher Abbott) launched an exhibition honoring Naval Air History. Road to California is the only exhibition site where the total array of winning entries were to be shown. It was an enormous exhibit that filled a sizeable area of the exhibition ballroom.

A future auction of many of these 40" x 40" art quilts will support funding for young people's attendance at a Naval Flight Academy.
Below a pic of one of several exhibition booths.

One of my favorites (there are many) was created by David Taylor. What a talent!

My quilt honoring the Incredible Corsair is along for the ride.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Traditional Beauty at Road To California

I realize MOST pictures I took are of quilting close-ups of enormously sized and beautiful quilts. This first one though is not so very big. What would be your guess about size? (You may click or double click on photos for detail.)
This beauty is not much larger than 12 inches square and done by the infamous Mildred Sorrells. Look how gorgeous this is not to have a 1st place ribbon in the miniature category. Her micro stipple is so small I can't see the pattern without putting my nose in the photo.

I loved the adorable group quilt shown here. How fun.
Now to showcase a beautiful quilt by award winning Arizona artist Terry Doyle. Again... this shows you how competitive a show this was. This quilt is gorgeous and just shy of a ribbon

The quilting level at this years competition was off the charts, and I found myself doing closeups of work. This is an outer border of the quilt center shown below it.

Both of these closeups are from quilts by Gina Perkes of Arizona.... First the golden urns in her Judges Choice Quilt.
Look at the dragonfly detail in another of Gina's quilts.

I could go on and on....There are so many of this high caliber. This show has definitely arrived!!!!

2011 Road To California Art Favs

One would think after having worked in the judging room, I might be DONE with looking at quilts when the judging was complete. NOPE! Not at all. I was out of the room for most art quilts ( temporarily in the photography room) because I had pieces in 2 art categories. So, I got to see them when the show was hung. Soooo many favorites... I can only show a few. First one I LOVED and unknown to me why, it did not ribbon. This quilt is spectacular and shows how utterly competitive the show has become. Ofcourse, a viewer doesn't get the see every detail the judges see up close/front and back. Click once or even twice on photos for closeup. My apologies... this first image is a bit blurry but others are better photographed.

Kudos to the artist/creator of Ruffled Feather!!!
Another favorite is that of friend David Taylor. Ya gotta love Maynard the Bulldog!!! "Maynard" won Best Art Pictorial

This piece is one somewhat unsettling at first view but continues to draw you in as you view. Can you believe how far quilts
travel to get to this show?

Just WOW!
And ofcourse I needed to show my friend Paulette Landers first big win... 1st place in Art Abstract. She was so thrilled!!!

This judges choice was breathtaking and included techniques I'd not seen before. Three dimensional snow atop limbs was varied sized frosty white beads carefully chosen and placed. WOW! You might guess this is a heavy piece. Another gentleman quilter I believe.
and lastly for this post, another 1st place innovative art quilt from friend Sharon Scholtzhauer ( I'm pretty sure I butchered this spelling) from Colorado Springs, Colo.

I'll have another post on more traditional quilts. I thought this years entries were even more spectacular than last years with again many ribbon worthy quilts not winning! WOW again! Tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Results are in!

The judging is done , the quilts photographed one by one, and results are in!

It is tricky when you volunteer in a judging room and also have competitive pieces in the show. One... you DON'T reveal while volunteering you have anything in competition, and two.... when your category comes up for judging.... you must leave the room. Seems right to me albeit a bit crazy-feeling. So yesterday, I leave the judging, go home to find email notice that both my entries ribboned. "Family Resemblance" : A pictorial piece that had never been in competition and turned 2 years old this month.... was to be seen now or never as 2 years is the age limit on this event. I did this piece to assure students afraid of tracing and drawing, that if all else failed, there were plenty of royalty free clip art images ( example this one) that could be researched and painted. I found these guys in a 'grown up coloring book of animals. I did quilt these fellows, but seem to have posted the original painted only version. Oh well! (c)

The important piece for me is this tug at my heart image from my 2009 trip to Ecuador. This little girl was playing in a box amidst filth in an open dirt market in Ecuador's capital. The painted/quilted version of my photo is titled "In Quito's Market" and won "Best Painted Surface Quilt" at the 2011 Road To California Show which officially opens tomorrow.(c)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Ready For The Road

It's Monday , the first day of Road 2 California Classes and Day one of Judging. The doors to the show won't open for a few days but when it does, John Flynn will be the featured quilter.

The Judging Room is full of quilts and ready for the judges to arrive!

Friday, January 14, 2011

'And WHY Have I Been Cleaning So?

You know it isn't because it is a fun thing... well... it does feel good when you are done. The bottom line... I needed to clear out a 2 car garage that is not used as such but instead has been a storage unit from my previous sell of a 4 bedroom home. This space is at my studio where I need clear area of about 16 foot by 8 foot for my new Vision Gammill which 'should arrive next Friday. Since I am unwilling to eliminate my in studio sewing set to up make room for this unit.. it will take up the garage until I'm willing to take up the entire living room of the studio condo.
I bought a 26-10 Vision from the Houston Show in November. Gammill honestly could have gotten this to me sooner... It was I that needed the purge/clean time. So I'm ready with a week to spare

Since I do a good deal of very tight/small quilting on my art pieces, I figured I needed these add-on cost micro stipple knobs.
This new machine also comes with a live camera feed to view bobbin tension. Sounds so cool.

This will require a new learning curve for certain. I'm very comfortable moving the quilt myself.. so moving the machine instead will be a real learning curve. I'm willing to do a few charity quilts while in the learning mode.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Where HAVE I been?

No. 1... I've been looking for my camera! DANG! No success as yet. I love my older Digital ELPH..... but somewhere between Friday evening and Saturday... It disappeared. Saturday, I taught an awesome class of 20 students in Yorba Linda, Ca. You now know why there are no pictures posted here but it was such a great group of people. I had a ball.

Whenever I feel out of control ( like when I lose something), I need to organize.... so this time.. it is all my quilting stencils of which there are many. BUT WAIT.. you are maybe saying, Patt is an art quilter, what's with the stencils? Well I COULD tell you it's because I've been quilting for hire all along.... but that would largely be a lie. It's because I think they are cool... and I will need them someday. None of you relate do you??? Out of this enormous pile, I've really used maybe 4 or 5. But I feel better today by sorting them and placing 'like' stencils on the same ring... eg a ring for BLOCKs, for Small borders/sashing, Large Borders, Corner Blocks, patterned Fills. This is fun to inventory... but sad to find I've purchased duplicates. Oh well!!

For another thought.....

You know how you sometimes make a friend an offer you don't think they'll take, and then they really do. My friend did and I think this might be fun. Ten years ago when I was a brand new quilter, I drew my new jewish/blue loving friends name for my first ever friendship group Christmas exchange. A little bird told me she had mentioned she would like a hannekuh (?sp) tree skirt in this pattern and in blues... and so I went shopping as i had NO stash back then. This thing is enormous and I finished the binding a mere 1 hour before the party and exchange. I knew so little then. Bottom line, I'm a much better "Quilter" now and the piece has been returned to me for additional quilting. Oh my... what to do.
It won't happen tomorrow or even next week.... I've much other cleaning out/ organizing to do to accommodate a large delivery next week

Friday, January 7, 2011

When Your Birthday Follows Holidays

This can be a problem. In fact the same is true if it preceeds the holidays. Last month, I took my niece to lunch for her mid December birthday and she teared up because people get sidetracked with their holiday shopping/planning and sometimes forget. Then for those birthdays that come after the holidays, the stores are often picked over and/or people are beat and plain old tired. Anyway... my own daughter is amongst these and her big day is next week. She lives in cold country so a flannel top and backed quilt is headed her way to stay warm. I loved putting this sweet and simple quilt together. The flannels were "woolies" meaning they looked like wool. The richness of the fabrics make this quilt. I'm running to finish another non quilting project so my dear friend quilter for hire Phyllis Reddish quilted this one for me. She is nothing short of incredible.
Shame on me.... I almost forgot to add a label, but with the help of Powerpoint, I cranked one out and got it on the quilt back in 20 minutes. Then off to the UPS store quick!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Jake Finished and Delivered!

Jake seems like a nice young man so it's been a delight to work on his portrait. Before I label it done, it's time for minor refinement.

More shadowing and fine tuning on his face. This is when small additions/ changes are made... sometimes the result of nuances observed through magnifying glass viewing. No... My eyesight isn't gone.... but even with good eyesight, there can be minute things we don't notice at a normal glance. The message here.... REALLY slow down and LOOK!!!!
Oddly enough... one of the real challenges was blocking in the radical/ complex T-shirt design. Matching the real thing probably wouldn't be all that important to Jake's father, but it definitely would to Jake ( he loves that shirt) so it's worth the effort to get it right. The message here is the same as when I used to write business letters (former life). Always KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE... and your audience is usually beyond the person receiving the piece (in this case DAD!).
That's it! It''s done... and was delivered yesterday afternoon. Dad called thrilled with the result. It's always a concern when working on a portrait of someone the owner knows so very well. Minor nuances matter.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Soft Pastels Start Out Hard

Time to get going on this piece.... Here's Jake... This is a Fundraiser piece for a local food pantry in need of any financial help it can get. I've said before, one of the reasons I enjoy pastel on paper work is that it is quite similar to ink on fabric. There are a obvious differences of course, but the similarities are profound. One uses a slow buildup of color/value...laying color into or over color and blending. A main difference shows up at the beginning stages of pastel. Pastels come out onto paper more like a soft crayon.... but are quite linear to start. Jake looks a bit 'scratchy' to begin with

Then you start to blend using tools, the most efficient at this stage is your fingers. Smudge is a descriptive word.

Much like ink on fabric... the initial goal is the get the main image positioned, blocked in over the whole page. This is somewhat the case here. After this, the real work begins.. adding deeper shadows. refining details. We'll see that next post.