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I had several workshops in January this year. One in particular stands out and it was on January 28th in Fairfield, CA, at the North Winds Quilt Guild. (It’s always windy in Fairfield, which is why this guild’s name is so appropriate.)

One student, Layla Kinsman, in particular must be mentioned. Last week she sent me two photographs. One was her finished quilt top as I had designed the pattern. Then, she sent another! She bested me – take a look.

Great job Layla!Student_1_28_2015_Layna_Kinsman

It started as a stressful week at Harmony this year as I had set my self the impossible task of finishing the hand appliqué on a king-size quilt’s border, and the cutting and piecing of a double-size quilt! The other quilters at the retreat didn’t think I was ever coming up for air. I had my nose to the grindstone for the first day and a half. Then I remembered that this was supposed to be a relaxing week with good friends! So, I tried to enjoy the view, the friends, and the time to do what I wanted to do – sew!

At this point I must mention the wonderful, brilliant tool I have ever purchased! I bought a pair of the CraftOptics magnifying glasses that come with your very own vision adjustment. Expensive – well, yes, but worth every penny! My appliqué stitches cannot be seen! My stitches looked like they did when I was using my 30 year old years to stitch with, and I am more than twice that old today.

Back to Harmony, where the food is terrific, the wine is plentiful, and relaxation is abundant.

This year, Lisa’s husband spent the week with us. No, he is definitely not a quilter, but he loves to cook and, he is a good cook. On the last night, we had meat fondue – complete with sauces of Bernaise, curry and one with so much horseradish that my eyes teared.

It was over too fast and we are all longing for next year. Sweet memories!

The view looking south from the cliff at Harmony.

The view looking south from the cliff at Harmony.

I was asked by the Dinner@8 girls (Leslie and Jamie) to submit a quilt to be possibly juried into their 2014 Reflection exhibit at Houston Market and Festival in 2014. Weeks and weeks went by as I strived to create and then finish my “reflection” quilt. I had a major setback after binding my piece and discovering that it was not exactly 24″ X 60.” It was more like 25″ X 60″! Now you may think this was not a major issue, but the rules stated that the quilt would be exactly 24″ X 60.” There was only one thing to do, and that was to remove the binding, slice off a bit of each vertical side, and then re-bind it! That’s what I did. Hope you enjoy this preview.

 

Quelle Vie!

Quelle Vie!

Beautiful tree?

How is it possible that my family’s Christmas tree in 1960 looks so meager in 2012? Every year our tree had the same ornaments, metal tinsel, and an angel on top. As I look at it with eyes that are now 64 years old, I am a little embarrassed of it!

Memories are made, be they ever so humble.

This is my first digital quilt, “Harmony Lighthouse.”

I purchased a re-conditioned Epson Stylus Pro 3800 for $850 + tax at the end of a weeklong workshop at Asilomar, CA, hosted by Empty Spools Seminars. I intended to print digitally altered photographs on EQ fabric sheets with this printer!

Boy was I mistaken! Apparently, this printer took a dislike to me and my studio right off the bat! I downloaded new software to it after waiting hours and hours for the download, and managed to get only “1,” yes, “1,” sheet of 11″ x 17″ to print. I wasted more of my life than I care to think about dealing with this printer. Finally, I gave up and used my cheap ($89) Epson C88+ color inkjet printer to print out 8.5″ x 11″ photos and collage them together to make this quilt.

This is a photo of the gallery wall at Back Porch Fabrics in Pacific Grove, CA. Here you can see some of the work displayed by a group I belong to, “Pacific Photos 2 Fiber.” The theme of this exhibit is “Digitally Textured.”

Three of my quilts are in this photo. The first is in the top row, the third from the left. It is a quilt titled, “Moo-desto.”

Below it is my second quilt, “Cows, Grapes, Phlox – Oh My!” Literally the title is the photos featured in the quilt.

My third quilt is in the lower row, and again is the third from the right. It is “Harmony Lighthouse,” a completely fabricated scene with an east coast lighthouse on a photo of the beach and cliffs at Harmony, just off Highway 1 south of Cambria, CA

 

Hope you get a chance to see the show. It hangs from August 26 to October 30, 2012.

Machine Appliqué Tip

This is an actual stitch sample I stitched out for my 1993 Fairfield ensemble, “Sixteen Pounds and What Do You Get?”

My goal was to stitch out how many parallel rows of zigzags I wanted and what stitch length with width, and presser foot, would have the best visual effect. I made notes on the actual sample with my extra fine point, black Sharpie pen. You can read my notes, too.

This visual record of my final choices aids me each time I work on a new quilt or garment. In this example I even did the stitching through the batting because the batting would be in the actual garment. Note: use a generous size for your sample, mine is roughly 10″ x 6,”  – it will make it much easier to find!Image

It was fun to visit Puyallup, WA, in January. There was a little rain, but it made everything green.

I presented my “Wearable Art Vest” workshop to the ladies here, working all day the day before to fit each student’s muslin garment. This is an unpaid day; boy does it make the workshop fun! The students get right down to designing and cutting and sewing!

Don’t miss downtown Puyallup if you love to shop. In one store I bought a new purse, chocolate dipped sea foam, and a mocha. Couldn’t ask for more than that! Check this wonderful town out at: Puyallup.com

Jonelle Wheeler and her husband hosted me in their lovely home. Jonelle is a hoot – we really clicked!

Don’t know where the time has gone since I last posted something to this blog. Probably lost all my followers too!

 

Anyway the photo below is from students in my “Eight Pointed Star” workshop in Thousand Oaks, CA, for the Conejo Valley Quilters. These ladies went home from the workshop and worked very hard to get their little quilts this far along to show at the monthly meeting. Aren’t they great?Image

Summer has flown!

This dragon fly accidentally ended up in my swimming pool this summer. One of my grandchildren picked it up with a finger and passed it to me. It sat on my finger for 5 minutes or more until it was dry enough to fly away. My youngest daughter photographed it – she’s a great photographer. But now, summer has flown away like the dragon fly did.