Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Under the Weather

Isn't it unfortunate how ill health saps creative and motivational juices from a person? I have been ill for a few days and am just now recovering so I have not accomplished anything creative for days. Today I am nursing my ailments when I'd rather be at my monthly textile arts group meeting sharing and being inspired by what others share. I love the interaction at this group and look forward to it every month. It is painful to miss a session. Now I will have to go in to pick up my next technique packet without advantage of hearing the lesson and seeing the examples for it, and interacting with my fellow artists about it. This Thursday I have my small art discussion group gathering and I'm hoping that I am recovered sufficiently to attend and enjoy that experience. I love being able to discuss what I do with others who understand, enjoy, and are inspired to create art as I am.

My quilt, “From Winter We Emerge”, won a Judge's Choice ribbon from judge Scott Murkin at the Machine Quilting Exposition this past weekend. Since the judges choose from all the quilts in the show in every category I am very honored by this award. I expect that my two pieces that were in that show will be arriving home in the new few days so that they will be available to hang in my gallery exhibition beginning May 7.

Yesterday we mailed off my two entries to the Denver National Quilt Festival hoping that they will arrive unscathed by the deadline.

And, I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of the May edition of Machine Quilting Unlimited magazine which will contain a page showing my piece, “Twilight” in the Noteworthy column of reader quilts. I don't know when that will be out, but I look forward to seeing one of my works in print so every day I check the mail with great enthusiasm.

This past weekend, despite being somewhat under the weather, I enjoyed a few days of camaraderie and socializing with fellow quilters at a retreat. We went to Double Arrow Ranch at Seeley Lake, Montana. I was able to attach a sleeve, prepare and attach a binding to a larger piece I'm working on, and quilt on some unusual pieces that I then cut out and will be put together in a unique open-work piece. Some of the “pantry dyed” fabric I used in this piece are from our recent TARTS (textile arts) technique project and I used turmeric and instant espresso to create it. I created three batches of dyed materials (lace, ribbon, fabric, etc.) using blue Kool-aid/instant espresso, lemon-lime Kool-aid/instant coffee, and the turmeric/instant espresso. It was interesting to see how different materials absorbed the color in different ways. Silk ribbon, dryer sheets, and some of the lace (likely depending on it's fiber content) really soaked up the color. Other items were rather muted in color tone. Some of the fabrics that I scrunched up showed definite areas of espresso concentration versus the Kool-aid color. My intention was to not have bright clear color tones that I would have difficulty using and I obtained that by adding the instant coffee/espresso. One piece of cotton flannel that I pleated and then clipped using clothespins and dyed in the turmeric mixture came out very interesting.

It is supposed to get up to almost 80 degrees today and yet I cannot enjoy it. I'm sure once I feel well enough it will be 40 and raining. Oh well, then I won't mind so much as I will be entrenched in my studio creating a new piece fast and furiously to finish it for my show!! For I now I will rest and watch movies. I'm currently enjoying “Mona Lisa Smiles” with Julia Roberts. It's a good one.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Holiday Weekend

My husband, son and I took a short trip to Freezeout Lake to see the huge flocks of Snow Geese that migrate through there every Spring. We left on Thursday and got back on Sunday. We always take our trailer and spend a lot of time driving around in our Suburban since it is often windy and usually cold! There were thousands of Snow Geese and we also saw lots of ducks, some pelicans, swans, bluebirds, horned larks, and a golden eagle. I always get to visit The Quilting Hen in Carter, Montana and Cotton Capers Quilt Shop in Choteau to add some choice items to my stash.  This year I overdid it (yeah, like I don't do that EVERY year!), but I got some very inspiring pieces and I know they will all find their place in a quilt some day.  I also got some great threads which is almost as much fun for me as fabric!

Next week I will be going to our guild retreat at the Double Arrow Ranch in Seeley Lake, Montana.  I really need to get my act together and come up with something to do there.  It is hard for me since I work from my stash when I make a piece so I have to do the initial stages here in my "studio".  I'd like to take something to do handwork on as well as something to do machine work, particularly some quilting.  Last year I was able to get most of the quilting done on a piece and that was good for filling up a lot of time over the weekend.  I'll try to get a piece or two to that stage and then I just have to make sure I have a good selection of threads to take.  There are two quilt shops and a bead shop to hit during the weekend so I'll have to try to control myself.

I just found out that two of my pieces were accepted into the Denver National Quilt Festival.  This is the third year I will be in that show.  The pieces are "Phases of the Moon" and "Leaf Play" and they are both pieces I made in the last year.  I am waiting to hear from a gallery in Missoula to see if any of my pieces will be accepted into their local artist show in May.  Everything seems to be in May!  I had to be very selective as to which pieces to enter into these shows in order to still have an excellent showing in my solo exhibition at The River's Mist here in Stevensville.  I still hope to complete a couple of pieces before that show.  Luckily I do have a very strong inventory of work.  I'm hoping that my two pieces at MQX get back quickly after that show so I will have them for the solo show.  

If you are interested in textile and fiber art, please visit http://www.tafalist.com where I have a post about my work along with many other artists and businesses.  Not all are quilters, there are many types of fiber art included.  

Stuffed Turkey Thigh/Legs

Disclaimer: This is a cooking post not an art post!  But I will say that there is an art to boning, stuffing and baking this recipe--and it ...