Monday, November 19, 2012

New Class Samples

I've been having fun embellishing my Crazy Pieced Heart Block and also making a new "Frame It With Flowers" class sample, this time honoring my husband's family.  Have a look!

This block has a whole new incarnation when it is quilted and then embellished!

This is such a simple project, but what a fantastic gift it could be....!  You still have plenty of time to get one done before Christmas.

...and....Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Author Photoshoot...with Val and Me!

After spending all last week together, Val and I just can't hold it back any longer:

****We are writing a book together for C & T Publishing!!!!!****

We've been working on it together since last January, and are having an absolutely lovely time collaborating.

Val came to visit me here in Washougal last summer when we actually got to sew together for several days.

Our styles of working are pretty different, which makes the exchanges between us so rich.  She is so neat and calm and executes her work flawlessly, while I am wild and out of the box.

She realized this when I dumped out all of my silk stash on the floor of my living room so we could pull some fabrics for our projects.

Val loves to swim, but swimming in silk was a first for her!

We've had such fun working long distance together....but of course it was wonderful to reunite in Wichita last week and we got a lot done in person.  I can't wait until you all can see what we are up to!  But it will be awhile....our manuscript is due next May, and the book won't be out until May 2014!  That is soooo long to wait....

We knew that last week was our one chance to have our photo taken together, as we won't see each other again before next May.  So we asked our fellow C & T author, Judith Baker Montano, to take our author photo for us.  Judith is a very fine photographer, and she graciously agreed to help us out.  The fact that she has been a huge influence on both of us in our work made it even more special.

Well, getting one woman to be happy with a portrait of herself is hard enough, but two of us?  It took three different sessions over three days, but Judith was so kind and funny with us, (saying outrageous things to make us laugh) not to mention being very experienced (telling me, "For God's sake, put on some LIPSTICK, honey!"), that she finally got one we both love.

Val and Judith are looking at some of our 400 shots....yes, it took that many!

Here is Judith trying to get my frizzy hair a little bit under control.

We had some funny outtakes...

Nope, I was giggling and the light wasn't right...

Oops, there's a plant growing out of my head!

On the last morning, Judith got it.

 We are thrilled with Judith's portrait and each feel very, very lucky to be traveling on this wonderful crazy quilt journey together.  We can't wait to take you with us!

To read Val's take on this, click on over here:

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Report from the Victorian Stitchery Retreat

I just returned from teaching 4 days of classes at the Victorian Stitchery Retreat in Wichita, Kansas, hosted by my friend Valerie Bothell.
It was a mellow and harmonious week, where the students all worked hard but in the relaxed and gracious atmosphere of the Hotel at Old Town. I was so inspired by their creativity and warmth.

My fellow teachers, Judith Baker Montano and Candace Kling, gave me so many ideas about how to teach more effectively, and of course being able to see all their work on display in their classrooms was extraordinary.  Candace and I roomed together and talked every night until almost midnight...what a wise and cultured rock and roller she is.  She was so generous with her friendship....

Here are some pictures...just a few...of a magical week.

The Frame It With Flowers Class.  Each student created her own unique beauty...a couple of examples show what I mean.

Lonna's work reflected her growing up as a florist's daughter.  This is her son and new daughter-in-law.

Sandy Fox "wrote a love letter", as Kathleen Glynn calls this, to her cat Tabitha.

The Wee Farmscape Class was full of enthusiasm and hard workers.  I threw quite a bit of class content at them in 6 hours, and they stayed with me every step of the way.  Many thanks to Pamela Kellogg for allowing me to include her waste canvas seam treatments.

This class was especially fascinating to me, because though everyone followed the same pattern, again, each of their projects had a different feel to it.

Pam Peugh's cozy farmhouse beckons...

...while Vicki Clements' is energetic like a children's' book illustration.  Of course, Vicki being a pediatrician might have something to do with that!  Vicki spent all four days with me and I felt especially proud of all the work she did.

Friendships can grow deeply and quickly over the needle. Love you, Vicki!

This is one of the two heart blocks she cranked out in the Curved Hearts class.

She gave me some good insights for refining the pattern for the next time I offer the class, which I really appreciate.

 Vicki's mom was at the conference too, here with Vicki in the Punchneedle Flower Class.

There she is in the aqua shirt. The bond between them was a source of real joy to me.  I lost my own mom 36 years ago, so I love being around mothers and daughters.

How many of us can relate to Margie's glasses here?  ;-)

Lydia Talton was in the Hearts class too, and made this wonderful block...

 She didn't let that ornery clear mono-filament thread slow her down!

I was able to peek in on Judith and Candace's classes on the last day.

Students learned to make underwater seascapes using Judith's freeform embroidery techniques.

Candace's classes were next door to me, so I could hear that those ladies were mostly silent, really concentrating on their work.  Being able to teach such complicated techniques in ribbonry requires a very skilled teacher; I soaked up everything I could learn from watching her.

She was organized, positive, clear and precise, and tuned in to what each student needed and how she best learned.

I love this picture of Candace and Lujean, who is 79 years young...

Some of Candace's display boards give the barest glimpse of what she does.

Click on this one!  You'll want to see these ribbon flowers up close and personal.

None of this would have been possible without our lovely Val, who has put on this conference for 7 years, and her friend and invaluable assistant, Dixie Derksen.

Val has said this is the last year for the conference.  But....maybe we can talk her out of that........

 Thank you for everything, Val.....

Monday, November 5, 2012

Loving Teaching!

When I started blogging about my quilt life in 2005, I never could have predicted it would lead to the opportunity to travel and share my love for stitching with others.  But over the last few years, that has happened, and each time I "go out" to meet new students in a classroom, I enjoy it all the more.

I leave for the Victorian Stitchery Retreat in Wichita, Kansas tomorrow, teaching alongside two of my heroes in the fiber world, Judith Montano and Candace Kling.  My dear friend Val Bothell is hosting this event and some old friends will be attending--I'm sure I'll make some new ones too!  I feel very lucky.

Four classes in four days!  Preparing for them has been a labor of love...

The kits for "Frame it With Flowers" are ready to go...

I made a couple new samples for my "Crazy Hearts" class.

I added quilting to this one as an experiment.  Very fun...

The "Wee Farmscape" class will cover a lot of techniques so I expect my ladies to work extra hard...

This concept can definitely be expanded to more elaborate work.  I've done 3 other ones since this sample last winter, one of which was my quilt for the Quilt Alliance's contest, "Home is Where the Quilt Is".

"Washougal Valley View" was purchased by my friend Victoria Findlay Wolfe.  That was great!

The last class I'll be teaching is about making punchneedle ribbon flowers.  You all know how much I love making 3 dimensional flowers...  ;-)

It is going to be a busy and creative week in wonderful Wichita.

I'll report back when I get home...meanwhile, thanks for stopping by....