The Ends of the Earth

Sometimes I feel like I have to drag myself back into reality, and the past few weeks have been no exception. Since the funeral for DH’s grandmother and the passing of my friend Rita, I’ve been waylaid by the head cold from hell. I’m still not 100%; I have shortness of breath and a cough that has been lingering.

This past weekend was our quilt show for the Fiber Art Divas group I am a part of. Our first show, and the first debut of my “large” quilt Road to Home. I worked through sickness, and a shortened time frame from being away, to get this done in time. I’m glad it’s done, and I’m thinking ahead to other quilts to make, and the hopes that this will get photographed and entered into the Mancuso Show in Harrisburg PA.

There’s so much to do around the house, the lawn and garden are sorely disregarded right now, and need some attention. My sister got a house and got engaged on the same day, so I have spent some time over at her place helping strip wallpaper and paint, but my own place is crying out for some TLC. The laundry, the dishes, all kinds of chores need doing. It can get overwhelming.

Sometimes, just keeping up with a weekly project or on some other task can make sure you see things through to the end, and be able to come back to reality. That’s how it was with this month’s weekly quilts. They started off with the best of intentions, the idea that they would be a form of perspective and the Principles of Art, and also use a unique shape. They look a little strage, the further along the project went, and I have one more week to try to pull the idea together…

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Back in B-more

I’m back in Baltimore for a quick work trip and then heading to the Baltimore Heritage Quilter’s Guild’s West River retreat, and event I loved to do when I lived here. I haven’t found any retreats near my house in Illinois so far, but i would love to if they are as affordable as the one in Baltimore….

I attended the Mancuso run Greater Chicago Quilt Expo III, which I understand is going to be the last one here. It’s apparent that the show is poorly attended, which surprises me, as the IQA show in April is a mega-show. There were no white glovers, which I heard through the grapevine is because “people here don’t volunteer”, which is crazy, because my friends volunteered for IQA’s show a whole bunch… I think it’s because it’s poorly marketed to our area. The show is small when you compare it to other shows. And having had attended the Williamsburg Mancuso show, this was teeny tiny compared to shows of their own!

I did have the lovely pleasure to take a class from Rosalie Dace, who is a lovely person, and great teacher. Our class was on “Up Close and Personal” taking images of microscopic things and making them the basis for quilt design. I had pretty good ideas and have taken away good ideas, so for me the class was a success. I’ll post pictures of the things I made, along with things from this weekend’s retreat sew-a-thon, when I get back.

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Tough decision

I made a difficult decision on a juried quilt “call for art” last night. I am really disappointed with myself for not paying better attention to the entry dates, and I won’t have my entry done in time.
With San Diego Comic Con next week, I won’t be able to finish it. It’s a tough decision for me, since I could spend every waking moment from now until I leave for the show to work on it, but rushing it will not be my “best work”. And, I would be ill prepared for the comic show, which is the “nerd prom” and kind of a big deal in the industry. I’m even doing something super secret (for now).
I have the design sketched out, but no time to make it. I had really thought the deadline was Sept 1. My husband and I discussed it, and he has had similar painting deadlines he has let slip by for similar reasons, so it was very good to talk this over with him.
We both agree I still need to make the quilt this year by Sept 1 so that I can still accomplish the finished work. I wanted to focus on getting entries into shows this year, and this is one opportunity that I was really looking forward to.
I could write a whole blog post about “best work” and juried shows (and magazines) showing the same few artists over and over, and the downside of wanting to be an artist but working a (admittedly cool) full time job. Some other time perhaps. Later this weekend I will have a slew of art to show. That’s positive, right?

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The Bounty – Show and Tell

I saved for quite a while to take a goodly sum to IQA Chicago, knowing it was the place to find odd tools and such. Here’s a look at everything I bought.
I made several trips to the Cherrywood Fabric booth, and spent over $30 each time.

A pattern I coveted from last year’s show(!), a jelly roll for a couple of baby quilts I am making, and two fat quarters of dupioni silk from Vogue fabrics.
18 inch batting samples from Hobbs. These were $8 a bundle, and there’s 2 different bundles here.
Only at a show like this can you find tools you can’t find in stores. These Clover pompom makers and needlefelting molds are exactly that.
Lakehouse fabrics bought at the Tammy Tadd booth. There’s about $90 worth of fabric here.
I plan to try some dyeing this summer, so I bought a gradation kit from Pro Chemical and Dye.
Two orphan blocks of embroidery that I bought for $5 a piece. I love the idea of rescuing these poor things. The Kewpie doll is really ugly, and I had to have it!
Another place I can drop some serious money is at the Quilting Arts booth. I bought some cool embellishing kits, and the first season o fthe Quilting Arts program on DVD. The little hearts are from an antique quilt booth, made of a cut up quilt with hand piecing and quilting on them. Not sure what I will use those hearts for, but they were 50 cents each.
Booths selling wool were everywhere. And while i am not looking to get into making quilts or projects with wool, I do have a DVD bu Jane LaFazio who does a little wool applique piece I would like to try. So with access to great hand dyed wools at the show, I indulged a bit. There’s $20 worth of wool here.
Lastly, a bit about being Teacher’s Pet. In my experience, I have gotten a “gift” from each teacher I was the Pet for. Now, I will say, that I NEVER expect this, and it’s a wonderful thing that they do, but I must say that I also EARN my rewards. As Teacher’s Pet, you are not paid, and you also paid for your enrollment to the class, so the job should not be so overwhelming that you do not get to enjoy it. You get a pin to collect as your reward, but this is something extra that teachers may do. I always get there very early, ask the teacher throughout the class if they need anything, and also help them pack and clean up IN ADDITION to the duties given by the show organizers. These kits were my reward for the classes I took.
That’s it (I know… this is a lot of stuff, but Chicago only comes once a year)! I hope to post some pictures eventually of the stuff I made out of these supplies!
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Recap of International Quilt Festival Chicago

I did so much, it’s hard to remember it all.

First off, here is week 14’s weekly quilt, before I forget. The center is a scrap of fabric we played around with during QuiltingArts’ Make it U class at the end of last year’s show. Also, some silk rods I bought at last year’s show in the corners.

This year’s show had lots of classes lined up, and I hope to do more like this again. The Thursday preview was worth it, as I bought the majority of my purchases then. I also got into the two Make It U classes I signed up for on this day. Since these moved to a lottery system, Thursday is the best bet to get in.

Friday, I attended the reception hosted for email list and SAQA members by Karey Bresenhan and the IQA. I met fellow quilt artists at my table, got to see the famous tiara parade (which I will do next year), and also a beautiful 1860’s silk quilt that was on it’s way to a museum. It was a lovely event, and thanks to the lovely Karey for hosting it.

That same evening, I attended the very difficult to get into Friday Night Sampler, and those teachers were amazing. From Thermofax and gesso silk screening, to mosiac fusing, and other great classes, I learned so much in those 2 hours.

Saturday, I took a make-it-take-it on a felt flower pin, looked at all of the lovely art quilts and journal quilts, and shopped some more. I also met up with 2 fellow ATCers from my favorite ATC site, I also took my dyeing fabric in the microwave class, and made some great fabric. I was lucky to get into the second most sought after class, the Saturday Night Sampler. This evening was just as good, but the highlight was elinor peace bailey. She is such a joy to listen to, so inspiring, and it was nothing to do with technique. Her art journal was amazing to look at, and I am so glad that I took this class just so I could have met her. She reminds me of JoMomma, my MIL, except elinor had pink hair.

This is a piece of lutradur and collaged background in a Make It U class tought by Patricia “Pokey” Bolton of Quilting Arts. I love how it turned out.

Finally, Week 15. It’s a quilting template I bought in 1997 that I traced and filled in with Fabrico fabric markers. I quilted it by hand, since I was away from my machine and needed to have something to do by handwork. You can see my pencil marking lines, which I will erase.

Before the show I went to, which will soon be my local shop, and Susan Marie’s, a shop near my dad’s house. Both stores were a delight, and at, even though the owner was getting ready for the show, was pleasant and very nice.

I left most of my bounty in Chicago with my DH and DF since I will be relocating there in 2 weeks, but I cannot wait to start making things with all of the great ideas I have in my head from attending the show.

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