Monday, June 25, 2012

My Alliance Quilts

The Alliance for American Quilts--soon to change its name to The Quilt Alliance to reflect its growing international role--is currently hosting its annual quilt contest/fundraiser, "Home is Where the Quilt Is".
The contest quilts this year are truly extraordinary in have a look at them here!

I've had the pleasure of creating quilts for this annual contest for the past five years, and thought it would be fun to show them all together here.  They all measure 16" X 16" except the last one, which is 15" X 19".

"The Home in the Garden" 

"Ode to Tamar"
 "Garden Lace"
"Granddaughter's Flower Garden"

"Soil and Sky"
 "Washougal Valley View"

Membership in the Alliance is only $25, and every penny is used to support its mission of documenting, preserving, and sharing quilts and the stories of their makers.  You can join here, and as a member, you can vote on this year's contest quilts too!  But you only have until June 28th for the voting...

All the quilts will be auctioned off on Ebay this fall, so look them over and start thinking about which ones you are going to bid on...and thank you for your support!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Little Allie Bay

Here is another quilt at my brother and sister-in-law's house, made for them in the late 1990's towards the end of my landscape phase.
It's yet another Lake Michigan quilt, where I tried to capture how magical the place was to me as a child (hence the title.)

It is about 18" X 45".  Do click on it!

It's raw edge applique....Had I to do it over I would heavily quilt that sky....but you know how that is....

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Laura's Trees

I have to admit, when I visit relatives it is fun to see some of the things I have made for them up on the's like visiting a few old friends a little bit, too.

I made this for my sister-in-law, Laura, three years's about 8" X 10".  This was all constructed with the machine embellisher (felter), with hand embroidery over it.  It's so nice to see it on the wall in her guestroom!

Friday, June 8, 2012

A CQ Scrap Experiment

I was lucky at Empty Spools to visit the classroom of Susan all know her work, she is amazing.  Her collaged fabric quilts are fabulous...just think "pink rhinoceros" and you know who I mean!

Watching her students working and collaging their fabrics made me wonder why I couldn't adapt the method to crazy quilting.  Experimental crazy quilting....

Why not just adhere my scraps onto foundation with a little bit of glue?

You can see the scale here is quite small.  My foundation muslin is 6 1/2" X 10 1/2".
These scraps are the little precious bits from my Moon over Hood project that I could not throw away.

They are all laid out with overlapping edges...but just held in place with a little glue in the center of each patch.  The edges of the fabrics are trimmed, but raw.
This was obviously quite fast.

The real experiment was to find out how adding machine embroidery on the seams--in crazy quilt fashion--would look, and how well it would secure the edges of the fabrics.

I think it worked great!!!
I used Aurofil machine threads in a size #12, and some of the built in stitches on my old Pfaff machine....nothing fancy. 

For a quick project using your precious scraps, this is pretty darn fun.  Try it, you'll like it!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Empty Spools at Asilomar, California

My experience as Artist in Residence at the Empty Spools seminar at Asilomar, California utterly surpassed my expectations--it was a sublime week.  I was inspired by the beautiful environment, my fellow quilters, the great faculty of teachers, the flawless organization of the conference....and the chance to share my work was really fulfilling.
If you ever have the chance to attend Empty Spools, do it!

It was a beautiful morning when my friend KT dropped me off.

I love that girl...

Then it was time to hang my show and set up my Artist in Residence "station".  Each session of Empty Spools features an or she shows her quilts, gives the opening night presentation, and then works away where people can come by and view the process, ask questions, and in my case, give very helpful suggestions too!

All set up for the evening presentation.  That group of people up front is Gwen Marston and her students; their class was conducted up in Merrill Hall where I was and I loved hearing all the laughter coming from them throughout the week, in their "Liberated Quiltmaking" class.

You will notice that the architecture of the hall is spectacular, as is the whole conference center.

It was designed by the famous Bay Area architect, Julia Morgan.  She also designed Hearst Castle.
Asilomar is a classic example of the Crafstman style.

I would start my day by the fireplace in the Social Hall...

 ....then walk along the beach before breakfast....

...this is where we ate every meal....

....then I would ascend the steps up to Merrill Hall where I went to work.  It was all so beautiful!

My presentation Sunday night was fun to give and my audience seemed interested...I could tell because they came up to examine the quilts afterward!

 What quilter doesn't love having others really look at her work?  It was pretty neat.

I set up and began work on the Moon Over Hood project, using all Japanese fabrics, in homage to the lovely imagery of Mt. Fuji found in all the Japanese arts.

 After assembling the central image, I pieced a whole cloth surrounding border from kimono silks.

There was a lot of traffic by my table, as the Cotton Patch had their store set up right across from me.  It was very convenient for students and they do this for every session of Empty Spools.

Everyone loves the Cotton Patch ladies...

Also right across from me were Gayle and Suzanne, the owners and administrators of Empty Spools.

I quickly grew to respect them immensely and developed great affection for them too.

I made some new friends, which is one of the best parts of attending quilt gatherings.

Here I am out for dinner "off campus" with Susan Carlson and Gwen Marston, two very, very fine teachers and quilt artists.
Joyce Becker and Anna VanDemark, two more astounding teachers, were at that dinner too...

Joyce is in blue, Anna on the right.  We were looking for the phone number for our ride back to Asilomar!

I think the teachers at Empty Spools really enjoy exchanging ideas.  Anna and Susan here were deeply into it...

I'm sorry I can't give an overview of all the great classwork that was done by the over 200 attendees last week, but I stayed close to my table and worked!

This is how far I got...  Using Karen Miller's indigo, and the antique cotton shibori, ikat, and other Japanese fabrics in the outer border, along with the lovely kimono silks in the inner was just uplifting to work with these fabrics, products as they are of such a deep tradition.

Thanks to everyone who was so gracious to me last week...