Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Jill's Quilt....Top Finished

The top is all sewn together. I won't be actually finishing this for a little while but have come to a really good stopping point for now.
I like how it came out! Very 60's, as Barbara said.

I am going to quilt it. (Gasp!)
Around the blocks, mostly, but it needs some quilting in the green area of the center too. Any ideas for that, anyone?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Jill's Quilt...Progress!

My quilt for Simplicity's Pink Bandana Challenge has been my focus since returning home from the Adventure in Crazy Quilting in CT. I am loving this project not only for the joy of making it, but also because it promotes breast cancer awareness and will be contributing money to research for a cure.

I put some of the motifs I received in Connecticut to work right away!
The crocheted yellow rudbeckia is from the Maryland ladies who attended.

And the Black Eyed Susan is from our Mistress of Ceremonies, Susan Elliott.

I love that my friends' work is joining me on this quilt.

I used my Accuquilt Go! Cutter to cut out some hearts for some of the blocks...

I don't know how I lived without this tool....!

I machine appliqued the hearts onto their backgrounds and then buttonhole stitched them down, also with the machine, using #12 silk perle thread and a #110 jeans needle.

Sue Weeks's beaded motif was just perfect for the center here.

I trimmed and assembled all the blocks together, and now will have the grand fun of creating embellishments and sashing for the center block.

I'm enjoying pushing this crazy quilt into a contemporary, graphic direction. I've mixed handwork and machine work together, too, in a way I haven't tried before.

For the center I have a feeling some of these are going to show up....

While these were not made by M & S Schmalberg, the owner, Warren, gave them to me while I was there in NYC last week. (See Cathy K's fabulous post about our visit there.)

So some people who are dear to me are coming together here on this quilt...seems symbolic of the way to defeat breast cancer too.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Live with Mark Lipinski Today!

The phone rings, I pick it up with my usual somewhat hesitant "Hello?" and a major blast of energy comes barreling through the earpiece!
"Is this Allie???? It's your Secret Boyfriend!!!"
None other than Mark Lipinski is on the line, inviting me to be on his radio show, Creative Mojo, on Wednesday, April 20th...that is today! My scheduled show time is at 4:30 p.m. EST and I will have ten whirlwind minutes to talk with this most enthusiastic of Quilt Personalities... It will be 1:30 p.m. here on the West Coast.
Anything can happen with Mark!...here is the link:
Hope you tune in!

It was fun! Mark asked really great questions and listened equally well too.
Here is a link to the podcast from today's show...the entire show was interesting...my part is close to the end.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Most Excellent CQ Adventure

Irene's badge captures the spirit of beauty and individual creativity on display in Connecticut last week at the Adventure in Crazy Quilting.
I've been home for a day and have caught up on my sleep, processed my photos, and most importantly, spent several hours in my sewing room yesterday. That is the best way I know of to "ground" myself after a long and stimulating trip.

Maureen Greeson did the most fanatastic job conceiving, organizing, and manifesting this conference. Susan Elliott was our Mistress of Ceremonies throughout the 3 Days and her exuberance was contagious. Here Susan is presenting Maureen with some thank-you flowers on the last night of the Adventure.

I loved meeting so many of my online friends, and seeing some other dear ones whom I've met in the past. There were new characters too...
It was a privilege to be a teacher along with Sharon Boggon and Betty Pillsbury and I loved every minute of my classes. Thank you to all my very great students!

I did get to M&S Schmalberg in the Garment District of NYC. I didn't take a single photo there, unfortunately! But later one of our group snapped this picture of me and the Tailor, I think on 7th Avenue.

I love the homage this statue makes to a vanished way of life.

I also had the great opportunity to be a student myself, taking Sharon B's three day class after the Adventure was over. I learned ALOT.

Sharon has taught art for many years at the university level, and indeed majored in painting when she was in school. She brings enormous skills, therefore, as a teacher of design to crazy quilting. Her decades long experience learning, documenting, and practicing stitches is the other deep strength she brought to our class....not to mention her famous quilts and 75-foot long band sampler for us to refer to and enjoy.

My favorite part of her whole 3 days was the period she spent analyzing blocks students had brought to class to discuss their design possibilities. It was amazing to see how her knowledgeable eye zoomed immediately to the crux of the matter on each block. This was an experience for me, as student and teacher, that I will long remember.
Sharon, you absolutely rock.

I grouped the various techniques Sharon taught us in one corner of the block I brought.
But it wasn't just technique she stressed: her main themes were these: firstly, that more than anything else, contrast is necessary in a crazy quilt block to capture the eye and "pull it in". Secondly, if you understand the structure of a stitch, then you will be free to vary it in unlimited ways.

A very interesting sidelight....the trouble I had with certain stitches led Sharon to observe that she thought I perceive things upside down, or backwards. As an art teacher she has seen this many times before. She suggested I look in a mirror when attempting a new technique to see if things made more sense to me. I am going to try this!

It was a truly wonderful experience on so many levels. Deepest thanks to Maureen Greeson for putting on this Adventure...I hope she will do it again!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Greetings from Hartford!

It is so great to meet so many of my blogging and internet stitching friends, some old some new. Really, the spirit amongst us kindred spirits is just so wonderful. Maureen Greeson, who is our conference hostess and organizer, has done a simply immaculate job preparing and organizing our events and making it so special for everyone.

I have a few pictures to post and then it is off to class for Day 2, teaching 3-D flowers.

The stage is set before class....

Students have settled in and are working hard....

...and playing hard too!

Linda was really having a good time with the Dye-Na-Flow!

After class I was sort of staggering back to my room but happened upon a most congenial gathering in the hotel lobby, so I plopped down to join them.

Susan Elliott was telling a very funny story and Sharon Boggon is here looking quite amused.

Then after dinner Betty Pillsbury gave us a talk about her vintage crazy quilt collection, only a portion of which she brought but my goodness what a collection she has.

We just soaked it all up....
Two more glorious days to go, gotta run to class!