Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It's time for a little of this and that!

My friend Suzie and I try to spend a week together each year doing some quilt related class or retreat. This year we are spending it at my house in Florida.
Suzie and her husband Kerry arrived late Sunday afternoon. This is their arrival photo complete with the flamingo necklaces each of my house guests receives. If you come to visit you will get one too!

I gave them time to put away their suitcases and wisked them off to dinner and a game of Shanghai at our friends Chuck and Mary's. The men decided to watch the golf match rather than play cards. If was a fun evening with delicious food, delightful friends and a good game of cards.
We have been quite busy since they arrived as we had to fit a lot in as Kerry will leave early tomorrow afternoon for home.

I received an email from my son's office manager Geri today. She follows my blog and got a kick out of my picture at the ocean a few days ago.
My son's back was bothering him so she made him a get well card.

The front read: Roses are red, Violets are blue...

Inside: Your Mama is in better shape than you! Get well Soon! (With picture)

She said: "He thought it was quite funny, then threatened me with showing you how I superimposed your face! HA ,HA joke back on him since your the one with the sense of humor!

It made a cute card and we all had a good chuckle- "

Suzie and I have made 2 trips to the local quilt shop Whippoorwill Station. Yesterday it was to see what they have and today Suzie bought fabric for the quilt she will make while she is here.

These are the fabrics she chose and will be making this for her granddaughter. I can't wait to see the finished quilt.

I have a whole stack of quilt projects I can chose from to work on. They are all works in progress.

Two years ago Suzie and I went to a retreat and I brought my then new Embellisher with me. There were boxes of assorted fabrics that had been donated for us to use. I pulled fabrics from the boxes that I would never have used in a million years in my quilts: polyester, sleazy nylons, metallic stretch fabrics, almost anything goes. They were the perfect fabrics to use with the Embellisher. It was so much fun. By the time the retreat was over everyone wanted an Embellisher. I added a few beads and some tinselly strands to complete this piece.

It is tonight's puzzle.
Click to Mix and Solve

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Colors Of My Life - The Grand Finale

Colors Of My Life 20 -- The Grand Finale is 3 quilts in one. It is a polymorphic quilt which allows you to see 3 different views depending on where you are standing when you look at it.
If you are standing on the left of the quilt this is the view you will see.

If you are standing directly in front of the quilt this is the view you will see. You are actually seeing both the left and right views both at the same time.

If you are standing on the right of the quilt this is the view you will see. As you walk from side to side you see a blending of the quilts until eventually you see each quilt as the individual composition it is. I wish I could have all of you be here in person to walk from side to side and view this quilt live.

I composed 2 separate quilts and then combined them for the final quilt in this series. When composing this I kept in mind that I wanted each quilt to be able to stand on it's own as a strong composition, be a unique work, and to play well with the other one.

Technically it is without a doubt the most challenging quilt I have every made. The construction was time consuming. It required absolute perfection as I sewed it. It was important to make all the edges crisp and sharp so that you saw exactly what I wanted you to see.

Jane Steinberg was a huge help as I started the final countdown. She gave me advice as to how to accomplish the sharp and crisp edges. Seebeck Gallery did the actual armatures I needed to make it happen. Thanks to both Jane Steinberg and John and Vicky at Seebeck Gallery for allowing this quilt be everything I envisioned.

I hope you have enjoyed the photos of all the quilts from my show Quilts: Another Dimension including The Colors Of My Life series, June series and the quilts in the gift shop. In addition to my quilts I also have been honored to show the work of the other four artists who were a part of the show: Frances Holliday Alford, Pamela Allen, Sonji Hunt and Clair Fenton.

You didn't think I'd forget a puzzle tonight did you? Tonight's puzzle is the Grand Finale front and center view.
Click to Mix and Solve

Sunday, March 29, 2009

By the time you read this post Quilts: Another Dimension will be quilt history

The show was well attended and had many visitors throughout it's run. The people never stopped coming. So many people came back several times. I talked to Candace and she said it was one of the best attended shows they've every had.

Colors Of My Life 18 is the largest quilt in the series. It measures 49 inches square. I spent a lot of time and footwork collecting the soft yellows and peaches for this quilt. At the time I made it these were not popular colors. I started with a diagram outlining the elements of the quilt and followed it exactly. The challenge was shading the fabrics and trying to use a great variety of different fabrics to get the gentle shading for the background. I also had to work to get the dimension of the interwoven ribbons as they crossed over and under each other and the large X. I can not over emphasize the importance of havaing a varied and complete color palette in your fabric collection.

There is only one quilt you haven't seen yet and that is The Colors of My Life 20: The Grande Finale. Stay tuned as it will be appearing soon.

Last night I didn't post a puzzle. Sally Field suggested I post a puzzle with yesterday's photo so I have done that. If you scroll down to yesterday's post you'll have a second puzzle to do tonight.

Colors Of My Life 18 is tonight's puzzle and I've used my favorite cut: lizards.
Click to Mix and Solve

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The temperature is 91 degrees today

Funny Pictures. Mermaid
When the temperature reached 91 degrees today I had to decide whether to turn on the air conditioning or drive over to the ocean.
When I looked in the mirror and saw how pale my skin is the beach won.
Like my friend Oprah I really don't want to be seen in a swinsuit in public, but I decided I'd grin and bear it - well not all of it!
I'm just glad I'm here where the weather is so wonderful, rather than back in Wisconsin where they are predicting 7-10 inches of snow.

Sally Field suggested I turn this into a puzzle so here it is. I think those bird puzzle pieces are sea gulls!
Click to Mix and Solve

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Colors Of My Life & I'm a guest blogger

I was invited to be a guest blogger on Simply Robin.
My post appears today.

I'm honored Robin invited me to do this. I have always enjoyed her blog and hope you'll take the time to visit her blog. She is having a week of guest bloggers and you will enjoy all of them. She'll be back next week sharing her talent and her life.

I made a sketch in my sketch book for The Colors Of My Life 17. I colored in all the black and just roughly decided where I would place the colors in a somewhat rainbow order.

Imagine my surprise when I realized I had placed the black where the colors were suposed to go and vice versa. I don't think it really had any effect on the finished quilt. This is one of two quilts in the series with a subtitle: An Amazing Quilt! Get it? It's a maze!

There are only a few more quilts to show you in this series and just two more days to see the show. I hope you are enjoying the quilts as I post them if you have not had a chance to see the show in person.

The Colors Of My Life is today's jigzone puzzle. Enjoy.
Click to Mix and Solve

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Counting down: 3 more days to see Quilts: Another Dimension

Colors Of My Life 16 was a challenging quilt to design. The inset shades from dark at the top to light at the bottom while the outer section does just the opposite.
It uses the same and similar fabrics in each section. The challenge was to keep the values different in the medium area on each section so the separation would still be obvious. Eventually I was able to achieve my goal.

You still have three more days to see the show "Quilts: Another Dimension". My solo show features two series: The Colors Of My Life and June. All the details and hours are on my blog in the right column. The show also has the work of 4 other quilt artists who work in 3 dimensions. They are: Frances Holliday Alford, Pamela Allen, Sonji Hunt and Clair Fenton. It's a incredible show in a marvelous facility. I'm not just saying that because I am the featured artist.

For those of you who can not get there I have shared many photos from the show on this blog. To see posts related to the show all you have to do is put either June, The Colors of My Life or Quilts: Another Dimension in the white box at the top left on my blog. Then click on Search blog to the right of the box. Many of the posts will then magically appear.

The Colors Of My Life 16 is tonight's puzzle. Enjoy.
Click to Mix and Solve

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

June 18 and 19 - concluding the series

June 18 used fabrics I had dyed at several different dyeing sessions. The main fabric in this quilt was originally dyed yellow and turquoise and I was not pleased with it. I then did the shibori dyeing over it and still couldn't think of any way to use it. It sat on the shelf until I started working on this series in June 2007. The design decisions and playing with the fabric and trying various ideas with the fabrics took much longer than the actual sewing process. It was quilted about this time last year. The finishing was not done until shortly before my show opened.

June 19 was done with fabrics I had recently dyed along with some fabrics dyed several years ago. I normally work in much stronger colors but I started this quilt with the light lavender and the long strip of shibori down the center. For some reason those soft colors in those fabrics appealed to me at that time and I am still drawn to this completed quilt. Selecting the quilting design was a real challenge for this quilt as the quilt is so simple. I needed something to add interest but not overwhelm the overall design.

If you would like to see a close up of the quilting you can click on this photo. I have used various colors of vareigated threads so the quilting does not stand out in the photo as it would have if I used a solid thread. That is the effect I was after - soft.
If you would like to see all the quilts in the June series go to the top of the blog and put June in the white box and click on Search and all posts with a June series quilts should come up.

Tonight's puzzle is June 2.
Click to Mix and Solve

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Commission quilts

I was asked to do 2 small commission quilts for an office.
I find it very hard to work in this scale.
Each quilt was to be 4" square and only 3 1/4 inches of the quilt would show when they were put in the frames.
These 2 were my first design I came up with for the quilts.

As I worked on them I also did a second set.
I sent both sets and now that they are in the recipients possession I can show them to you. I couldn't before since they follow my blog.
I did an all over meander style quilting on both pairs. After quilting I mounted them on that stiff interfacing stuff you use to make baskets and boxes so they can easily be placed in the frames.

They were a good thing to do as it got me back into quilting after I arrived in Florida.
As you have seen there is a lot of socializing and company when I am here in Florida.
I love that aspect of my life too. It provides balance. I also feel there is nothing like long time friends and so many of my long time friends are within a few miles of me here. I am also fortunate that other long time friends are able to visit me here.

My friend Judy left this morning to return home to Wisconsin but we will both have wonderful memories of her visit. We'll look forward to repeating it next year.

I'm looking forward to more houseguests in a few days.

I've resized and combined two of these quilts for tonight's puzzle.
Click to Mix and Solve

Monday, March 23, 2009

Ladies who lunch can quilt too!

This is the view of the outside of the Cotillion. The building was originally a bank.

Kay and Judy did lunch today at the Cotillion Southern Cafe.

Judy enjoyed the Texas country fried chicken. She said it was excellent and brought back memories of home cooking.

Kay had the tomato bisque soup (not shown) and the catfish with cheese grits, coleslaw and a special tartar sauce. MMMM mmmm - delicious.

After lunch a little aerobic exercise was in order so off to The Villages to visit the shops at Spanish Springs. The shopping expedition was successful.

In the evening both Judy and Kay made a fused quilt.

Judy was able to get "out of the box" and create this very artistic quilt. The timer was set and she had one hour to create this. She will quilt it when she returns to Wisconsin. I am quite sure she surprised herself with her accomplishment. I LOVE this quilt. It is so original and appealing. Can you believe this was her very first fused quilt?

This was also a challenge for me to create a fused quilt with commercial fabrics. I usually work with hand dyed fabrics when I make my fused quilts. I'm also pleased with it.

Judy's quilt is tonight's puzzle. I'm sure you'll enjoy it and I know her grandchidren will have fun doing it.
Click to Mix and Solve

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Ladies who lunch do dinner

I love fresh flowers in the house. The azaleas are so beautiful this year that I asked Judy, a talented designer, if she would pick some and arrange them in this vase.
She did an absolutely beautiful job.
Tonight we had dinner at the new Bonefish Grill. It was the best meal I've had in the 5 years I've been in Florida. I have previously been to a Bonefish Grill but this one had the ambiance, a lovely, attentive and informative server, and exceptional food. We started with Calamari for an appetizer - best Calamari either of us ever have eaten. Of course I forgot to take a picture.

After I had tasted my food I realized I should pull out the camera and take some food pictures. I had salmon with lemon butter sauce, au gratin potatoes and fresh asparagus. I came very close to cleaning my plate!

Judy had a seafood combination that was delicious. Unfortunately I don't remember what it was called. She said "I can't believe I ate the whole thing!"

After dinner we came home and relaxed before we had our dessert.

Photo styling by Judy and Kay!
When you are in Florida Key Lime pie is the most appropriate dessert. It was delicious with a cup of coffee. A perfect ending to yet another day in Paradise.

Spider Mum 2 is another quilt that was a problem quilt. Or should I say my brain was not functioning properly when I made this. I laid all these tiny scraps of hand dyed fabric on the base and then covered them with a layer of Wonder Under and fused it.
No - Kay - that's not the way you do it. You put the fusible on the back of the fabric, fuse it to the back ground and then quilt it. Of course I had a mess with the fusible on top. I pressed it a lot hoping it would be absorbed into the fabrics. It hardly happened so I added more fabric on top of what was already there and then quilted the life out of it! I think one of the wonderful things about quilting is there seems to be a way to save just about any quilt!

This is a close up of some of the quilting.

Of course tonight's quilt is Spider Mum 2.
Click to Mix and Solve

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The adventures of Judy and Kay or another beautiful day in paradise!

After a very leisurely morning enjoying the perfect warm weather with a gentle breeze we went to the Market of Marion which is just a few miles away.
It is a typical Florida flea market. It has a few antiques and collectibles, a lot of fresh produce and the usual assortment of STUFF that you can find at Florida flea markets. T shirts, knock off purses, painted wine glasses, Harley stuff, luggage, dollar stores, fresh strawberry shortcake, fudge, cheese, clothing, Mexican imports, puppies, tools, eyeglasses and magnifying glasses, golf carts and golf cart accessories, plants, rugs, yard flags, paintings and frames, contractors who will paint your driveway, build you a screen room, tile your floors, craft items, peanuts, candy, and that is just the beginning.

People come from miles away to visit Marion Market but for us it is just a few miles away. Sometimes the traffic backup to get in stretches 2 or more miles. Welcome to Florida during snowbird season!!!!!!!!
At the end of this month we will start seeing the gradual departure of snowbirds.

Judy and I each bought 3 glass pendants and we got a free ribbon when we purchased 3!
It was a fun girl thing to do. We did our little bit for the economy.

We came home, had lunch and enjoyed the weather again as we caught up on each others latest news.

For dinner we went to The Villages. The parking lots were super full but we found a parking space after less than 10 minutes! Every third Saturday there is a car show at The Villages and tonight was the night. It is a fun activity but we missed it as we had to wait in line at a restaurant and didn't get out of the restaurant until 9 p.m. At 9 p.m. they roll up the sidewalks in The Villages and everyone disappears.
It was very crowded tonight as it is spring break and many people have visiting children and grandchildren. Spring break, perfect weather and the car show and it was one of the biggest crowds I've seen there.

My sister Connie said she thinks every senior citizen in the area goes to Wal Mart at 11:30 a.m. as she had to drive around for a half hour to find a parking space when she visited us. (This is the top selling Wal Mart store in the country}. Well Connie, I have news for you - they were ALL at Spanish Springs Town Square tonight.

One of my favorite quilts representing Florida is Mary McBride's Snowbirds In a November Sky. I've seen this in person and it makes a statement that we all can relate to here in FL. Humorous and so true to life!

Tonight's puzzle is another quilt, Three Dimensional Rainbow, I designed in Corel Draw but never made. It actually could be pieced quite easily with strip piecing. The 3 dimensional construction would not be easy.

Click to Mix and Solve

Friday, March 20, 2009

Ladies who lunch enjoy another interesting restaurant

Today Judy and I had lunch at B. D. Beans restaurant. It is so funky it makes my house here look absolutely conservative. The food, coffee and desserts are delicious. It is just such a fun place. We had this table with the wing chairs right in front of the fireplace - what a fun setting for our great lunch. It was the perfect spot. She's been here 2 full days now and I don't think we will ever run out of things to talk about. It's been so much fun catching up. I'm sure the week will be over too quickly. You can't help but smile when you have lunch here.

I wouldn't let Judy leave without seeing the ladies restroom. It is so funky with the hats, old lamps, rope lights and other tschotkes. The men's rest room is equally interesting but we didn't peak in there today! I ran out of room on my camera memory card so these are the only photos I have to share.
After we came home I took a short nap, enjoyed the beautiful sunset, and enjoyed an appetizer supper. We visited some more and then had some delicious key lime pie. Another perfect day in paradise with sunshine, warm weather and great company.

I've been playing around with Corel Photo Paint again and I have a variation of June 16 for tonight's puzzle.
Click to Mix and Solve

Thursday, March 19, 2009

My Halfy Birthday Present

Today is my halfy birthday. When my sister went to Key West a few weeks ago she bought me a present.
She didn't buy a present for anyone else so I know I am her favorite sister.
She sent it so it would arrive today for my Halfy Birthday. How cool is that?

She sent me 1 yard of 60" wide flamingo fabric direct from Kay West. She thought I could make a quilt or do whatever I want with it. I will be testing ideas of how to use it.

Here's a closeup of the fabric. As many of you know I collect tasteful flamingos. Don't you think this is a tasteful flamingo item?
Thank you Connie for the present and also for picking me your favorite sister!!!

My friend Judy came all the way from Wisconsin to help me celebrate my Halfy Birthday. We lounged around and enjoyed the beautiful weather. We went over to Market Square at The Villages and had dinner at Up The Creek. We both enjoyed it, but as usual I failed the test and didn't take any photos.

I have had a question about how to do my puzzles. To start just double click on the puzzle and it will come up in a new window with all the pieces ready for you to put together. To start just put your cursor on a puzzle piece and move it around until you find another piece it belongs with. Continue to do this until you get all the pieces put together. If you would like to do an easier version of the puzzle just click "Change cut" and you can select from the various cuts with different numbers of pieces.

Tonight I'm using the Halfy Birthday card I sent myself for the puzzle.

Click to Mix and Solve

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spider Mum not really a scrap quilt

Spider Mum is a quilt I started with the cuttings left from other fused quilts. I soon found out I needed a lot more pieces and still more and still more. I ended up cutting at least 6-8 times as many pieces as I started with.
The focal point that looks like it might be an eye is really a flower center. This is all done with commercial printed fabrics. The background is Gutcheon polished cotton. I stockpiled quite a bit of this fabric and I am so happy to have it since it hasn't been available for years. The quilt is heavily machine quilted.

If you click to enlarge this photo you can see the quilting better.

It's been quite a while since I used the USA puzzle cut so I'm testing your knowledge of geography as well as your skill in putting together a puzzle tonight.
Click to Mix and Solve