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.

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