Monday, March 16, 2015

I just finished my SAQA 2015 donation piece!

I call it "Purple Flash:  Tuning Fork #28".  It is 12" x 12" and is pieced using both commercial cottons and cotton fabrics that I hand-dyed.  It will be available during the SAQA Benefit Auction, which begins September 18.  Click on the link above for more information.
I am happy to make this donation to SAQA.  It's a wonderful organization.  I hope it does well in the auction!

I'm linking this post to Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Friday, Richard and Tanya's Quilts Link a Finish FridayFriday Fabric Frenzy and Confessions of a Fiber Addict. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

A Great Day at the Dallas Quilt Celebration!

Oh my!  I just got home from the Dallas Quilt Celebration, the annual show put on by the Quilter's Guild of Dallas.  I had entered 4 quilts, and I was unable to go to the Awards Ceremony last night.  So I was very excited to see how well my entries had done.  Well, they had done very well.

"Tuning Fork #22, Dark Waters," won the blue ribbon in the Master Art Division!   
"A New Riff" won both an honorable mention in the same category and a Judge's Choice Ribbon from Gerald Roy.  I am so excited!  I've never won a Judge's Choice before!
 "Tuning Fork #11" and "Tuning Fork 24, Lake Effect"  both won Honorable Mentions in Master Art!
Needless to say, I am thrilled at the awards!  The show was beautiful and the Master Art category had 30+ very strong entries.  Brian and I will be celebrating tonight!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The only part of the quilting process that I hate..... the finishing process.  I love to design a piece, choose the fabric colors and textures, cut and piece the components and, most of all, I love to put it all together.  I actually get a thrill when I face my design wall, look at the jumble of components clinging to it, and think "How on earth will I ever piece this together?"  It's a bit like a jigsaw puzzle, breaking down the construction into logical sections and joining them into a flat "whole".  Sometimes I piece rectangular areas, sometimes much of the quilt is pieced in horizontal or vertical lines.  I love this part the best.  And I also enjoy quilting the layers together, adding a little bit of color and texture to the surface.

But putting on the facing and the label?  Ugh.

I don't know why I dislike it so much.  I don't hate cutting strips (unless I know they are for the facing).  I don't hate sewing things on the sewing machine (unless it is sewing the facing to the quilt). I don't hate handwork (unless it it sewing the facing).  And creating and attaching a label is quick and easy.   Hmmmm.  I guess it's all in my head.

Whatever the reason, I always have a pile of quilts that are quilted but need the finishing work.  And one of the quilts in the pile has been entered in the Dallas Quilt Show.  Whoops!  That show is next week.  So I have been working at what I hate, and hating pretty much every minute of it, decreasing the pile of unfinished pieces.

It's a good time to work on facings.  DFW has been snowed under!  It doesn't take much winter weather to bring things to a halt in the Metroplex, and for the last week we've been dealing with ice and snow.  Last week we had an ice storm followed by a snow storm.  Big fluffy flakes and about 2 inches of snow.  Life in North Texas screeched to a halt.
This morning we awoke to nearly 4 inches of snow.  My intrepid husband marched out first thing this morning to clear the car and the driveway.  Unfortunately, we don't own a snow shovel, so he went out to battle the snow with a broom:
 He won the battle and went to work on time.  He just called to tell me that he was the only one in the building so far.

The snow is beautiful, but the sun is shining for the first time in a week.  It won't last long.
I guess it's a good morning to finish my finishing work.  

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

QuiltCon 2015

I spent last week in Round Rock, just north of Austin, Texas.  In part, to spend some quality time with my friend Kyra.  And in part to attend QuiltCon, the second national show of the Modern Quilt Guild.

I've been a member of the Fort Worth Modern Quilt Guild for over a year.  I enjoy the meetings, though I do feel a bit, well, old for the group.  Not necessarily in age, as the group has members ranging in age from the early 20s to the 80s.  But in experience.  I've been quilting for a very very long time (35 years), and many members in the group are pretty new at quilting.  In fact, I started quilting before many of them were born.  OK, well, maybe they do make me feel a bit old.....

Why do I attend?  Because of the level of enthusiasm and the tremendous energy of the group.  I always leave the meetings feeling recharged.  I don't always get that from my local traditional quilt guilds.

I entered two quilts in the show, Tuning Forks #12 and #13.  Tuning Fork #12 was hanging in the "Use of Negative Space" category and Tuning Fork #13 was in the "Improvisational Piecing" category.  The show was small.  At a guess (and this is a pure guess) there were probably between 200 and 250 quilts displayed.

The first thing I noticed was the age of the crowd.  Definitely younger than the average quilt show crowd.  And definitely better dressed.

Secondly, I noticed that the quilts were, almost without exception, very colorful.  Not much brown in the room.  Lots of clear, bright color.

Thirdly, I noticed that people were really studying the quilts on display.  They weren't just wandering through on their way to the vendors (although the vendors were very busy).  People were stopped in front of the quilts, admiring the piecing or appliqué, moving in closer to see the quilting stitches.

It was, in my opinion, a very good show.  If you want to see the quilts in more detail, you might check out my friend Maria Shell's blog.  She photographed every quilt in the exhibit and is showing them on her blog, category by category.  If you missed the show, you can see it on her blog.

 Here I am with Tuning Fork #12:
Thursday, after a hard morning of looking at quilts and shopping, I went to lunch at Chez Zee with Austinites Sona and Kyra:
 I went to the show again on Saturday.  I met Maria there, and we attended a talk on "Art History and the Modern Quilter."  I thought it was a very good lecture, well presented.  And then I met up with some Fort Worth friends and attended the keynote lecture, featuring four quilters from Gee's Bend.  They spoke of their early lives, showed a few small improvisational pieces and sang gospel songs.
I'm glad I went to the show.  It was both fun and informative.  I hope it comes back to Austin again.

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