Wednesday, March 30, 2005
Well, I was at Border's today and came across Susan Carlson's Free Style Quilts. It's like a light bulb went off or something. Her explanations of her collage method are clear and simple enough that even beginners like me could follow with no problem. I love her portraits. I can't wait until payday to go back and get it! (I have to pace myself buying books. Books and quilt stuff...It's a problem...trust me.)
Monday, March 28, 2005
Saturday, March 26, 2005
I went to a local quilting bee's show and open house today. It was very nice and I saw a lot of my Guild members there. One reminded me that I have a guild challenge coming up. An 18 x 18" quilt with "Soulful Celebration" as the theme. One thing's for certain, they've definitely got me motivated.
I think I'll use this digital illo I did a few years ago...
Well everybody, until my digital camera's got a new card reader, this phone photo of my 4 x 6" "Comets Crashing on Jupiter" will have to do! I wish you could see the quilting better! It's my first time free motion quilting and using Wonder Under. I was going to send it to someone as a postcard, but now...well, it won't be in the mail anytime soon.
Friday, March 25, 2005
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Well...I cut my hair last night. It was past my waist! Just too too much. It's spring. I felt I needed a change. A new look. I just feel so inspired. I haven't cut my hair so radically (for me) in 6 years now. Wow I'm tickled. What you can't see in this pic is that it's copper red and red brown. I haven't been this happy about a cut in years. Just had to share...
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Well, here's my workspace right now. In the hoop is the block from my guild's Back to Basics workshop. I thought I'd "make it pretty." You can see "Jupiter" at the top. That's Quilt Africa under a bunch of Wonder Under and my notes to myself about my machine settings. On the cutting mat? Templates I created for the zoo quilt. What you can't see are my plastic bins of fabric on the floor and a tote bag full of larger yardage fabric.
Monday, March 21, 2005
Sunday, March 20, 2005
1. What is it about Modigliani's paintings that you find inspiring?
Pure vanity. When I was younger I was told that I looked like one. I find it to be kind of true--esp. when I was thinner, lol. Like the paintings, everything about me's a little, well, long. Other than that, I like the "quiet" sense and simplicity of them.
2. Have you made an ancestor altar quilt? If not, will you?
Definitely! So funny you ask because it's on my list! They are always always with me. I was raised by my grandmother and my great-grandmother and I were very close. Every year I still spend time at my family's home in the country--which has been in the family since the 1800s. I am in line to be my family's historian and I've done genealogy so my ancestors are so real to me now.
3. What are your personal quilt art goals in 2005?
Since I am a relatively new quilter, my goals are to improve my skills, continue to create, create, create, and stay on track as I find myself fighting procrastination and being overwhelmed by all of my ideas a lot.
4. What do you like about being in a guild?
Having found a community of creative, supportive, like-minded folks who "get it." They see my potential as a quilter rather than the beginner that I am.
5. Have you found nexus points for your writing and quilting, design-wise for your art quilts?
Yes, which is why art quilts appeal to me so much. Now I can tell a story through my quilts too.
**If any of you want me to interview you like this, post a comment saying "Interview Me" and I'll send you five questions. Then, post the answers to your personalized questions and include an explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post. Woo-hoo!
Friday, March 18, 2005
Still working on Jupiter, but that's on the backburner for two things: the Zoo quilt and short story edits that are due on Monday. Yikes! This month's gone by fast, hasn't it?
Thursday, March 17, 2005
I heard drums and jumped up from my cube to a nearby window overlooking the fancy hotel across the street. They blocked off two lanes of the street as passersby stopped and watched. I sat up in the window and watched the full 20-minute performance. It was incredible. As three seated drummers played, they took turns dancing. The women were mostly traditional dancers w/buckskin dresses and shawls, but the men were more varied, with traditional, grass and fancy dress. I enjoyed the hoop dancer, but I loved the fancy dancers with their very long fringe the most. The dance styles are definitely different, with fancy being the fastest and more whirling. At the end, a young man dressed in a black leather jacket and boots and jeans with hair shaved on the sides came to the mike and played the flute. It sounded beautiful coming from this guy who looked so tough and punk. Then the dancers pulled in the spectators to dance and everyone danced in a circle together and then they swirled in and around each other. This totally made my day!
My grandmother turned 82 today. It's OK for me to say it. Really. My family's never been the type to want to keep that to ourselves. She's very proud of that fact and would be the first to tell you her age herself. Why must a woman hide her age anyway? I mean, I'm 30. 3-0. There. I'm pretty OK with that. It's what I am and I've been through a whole lot in life to get here and I still have more to go. If anything, the biggest realization for me when I turned 30 was that there is still so much to learn and it's not too late to become incredible great at it. If it takes 15-20 years of practice to train or practice at something enough to become excellent at it, then, OK...I'll be 45? 50? So what? That 's not old. That just means that I can say I'm great at something rather than not at all. When I realized that, the epiphany hit me like a Mack truck. When I was younger, the thought had just never, ever even occurred to me. It was as if I hadn't learned it by now I was doomed with a capital D to never learn it and be good at it. I took up guitar. I got serious about my quilting. Check in on me again in another 15-20 years.
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
My reality is I went out with my husband as he showed houses to clients, inc. my cousin--who brought my brother. I hadn't seen him in about 3 weeks or so, so that was nice. I was really happy to see him. I had fun, but I couldn't help but think, I need to work on this quilt!
Oh, and have you ever gone to the bookstore and had to pry yourself away from the quilting books? That would've been me at Barnes & Noble tonight. I was lucky...they didn't have the book I was looking for. I saw it at another B&N location though...hmmm...
Monday, March 14, 2005
OK...just got finished reading Jinny Beyer's Quiltmaking by Hand and she addresses the awkwardness factor I felt. She recommends propping it up a little on the arm of the chair or a table. Um, OK. I'll let you all know how that goes for me.
In the meantime, I cut out some freezer paper designs for applique, but I think it'll end up being fused instead. My guild's been invited to have a display of animal-related quilts during an Easter Monday event at the National Zoo. I'm doing one based upon my favorites: golden lion tamarins, Asian elephant Shanthi & her baby Kandula, Mei Xiang the panda, and the four new cheetah cubs--the 1st to be born at the zoo in 115 years.
Sunday, March 13, 2005
- Arz ar-Rab ("Cedars of the Lord") --the cedar tree grove in Bsharre, Lebanon. A national symbol and treasure, the trees were prized in the ancient world and some are believed to be over 1500 years old. Only 375 remain in the grove.
- Young fathers or older brothers walking little ones to school
- Wild horses grazing in the delta marshes of Carmague in the Provence region of France.
Saturday, March 12, 2005
When I left, the sky was so sunny and blue with these large puffy white clouds filled with depth. I felt really happy and way more confident in what I could now do. I'm going to finish up my little sampler. I'll post it here when I'm done. Oh! I showed Judy a drawing of an art quilt that I want to do, and she and Sheryl gave great suggestions on how it could be accomplished.
I like to pre-wash my fabric by tossing it in the washing machine without detergent and then letting it air dry until slightly damp. Then I'll iron it. Works for me. Well, I went to look at the machine and suds were a-spinnin'. Somebody must've thought I forgot it and put some in for me, lol. All I could do was groan. Looks like my charm squre exchange squares will be smelling laundry fresh! Good Lord.
Thursday, March 10, 2005
The last one I "rescued" (PoPo)lasted 3 years...I figured, "This plant's a survivor. It deserves a chance." It's name is Charlie PoPo, because it looked like Charlie Brown's forlorn little Christmas tree--all branches and scraggliness. But you remember what his tree ended up looking like in the end...
Monday, March 07, 2005
Singer John Mayer has a song called "Daughters" that has beautiful lyrics:
"On behalf of every man
Looking out for every girl
You are the god and the weight of her world
So fathers be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do..."
I just had to share...
Sunday, March 06, 2005
- the Irish legend of Queen Maeve vs. Cuchulainn (pronounced "koohollen")
- the snow on the trees from the "storm" we had earlier this week
- the Shoemaker-Levy comet pieces hitting Jupiter
- my family's country home in Virginia
- Exploring Textile Arts by Creative Publishing Int'l
Saturday, March 05, 2005
Well, here's a photo of the beginning of my postcard-sized project. That hot pink-y circle in the corner is actually going to end up being reverse appliqued. I've never tried that so I'll let you all know how that turns out (cross your fingers)!
Friday, March 04, 2005
Thursday, March 03, 2005
I find my energy so sapped by the end of the day that I can barely move when I get home from work sometimes. Working in an office and dealing with others and their whims on such a constant basis is both physically and mentally draining--esp. when it's not your calling and has nothing to do with who you really are. I joke about becoming an antisocial recluse in my home as soon as I can. All day long I daydream of the creative things I wish I could be doing instead of being parked in front of a computer all day long tik tik ticking away. I know so many others like me...wishing and wanting to do more, but are constrained by bills and monetary needs.
Can you imagine what the world would be like if this wasn't the case? Just a thought.
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
At one point I had a stack of bolts--hand dyes and solids and two Asian-inspired prints. I'm trying to build my stash and I realized I have a relative lack of solids/near-solids. I was really excited about my selections--esp. the beautiful glass bottle greens and a hand dye that mimicked the sky. I carry my list of projects to keep me focused on what I need vs. what I might grab if left to run amok. "See you in two weeks!" I told them as I left and they started laughing.