Sunday, January 31, 2010

I'm a Sunset kind of girl!

Today was a beautiful clear crisp day with a high of 50 degrees.
It made for an absolutely beautiful sunset. I have a beautiful view of the sunset from my lanai.

When I create my art I don't think of anything specifically, but if you look at the following quilts I think it is obvious that the sunset is a strong influence in my work.

These quilts are various sizes and are parts of different series. I could add many other quilts I have made which also are sunset quilts.

I am trying to analyze if there is any correlation between the fact that I am NOT a morning person and the fact that I LOVE the sunset.

For my favorite time of day I have to use my favorite puzzle cut. Enjoy.
Click to Mix and Solve

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Quilt turning on the studio bed - Part 4

Turning point used a variation of my tubular spiral patchwork technique. You can see the hole in the center if you look closely. This quilt was also featured in Julie Silber's lecture the Grandmother Connection I talked about earlier. It has also been in many art exhibitions.

A lot of my quilts have irregular shapes and Night Watch is one of them. The lattice uses a 24 color hand dyed rainbow.

On The Wing Of A New Millennium was made for an invitational show at The Anderson Arts Center in Kenosha, Wisconsin to celebrate the Millennium.

Meet Me At The Fair was a totally enjoyable quilt to make, with the help of a grandson who was 2 1/2 at the time.

This one's for you Mary! My sister in law Mary has done every single one of my puzzles which number well over 200. These are her 2 oldest grandsons and my great nephews. I love the photo and it will be the 4th of July again in 5 months and 5 days.
Click to Mix and Solve

Celebrity Look Alikes- Rerun

On Facebook this week some friends are suggesting we paste a celebrity look alike instead of our own photo.
Instead of posting on Facebook I chose to paste mine here.

I was surprised who came up as my celebrity look alikes.
I was pleased with the choices though.
I've tried this with several other peoples photos and I don't think they'd be pleased with the outcome so I'm not sharing the results with them!
I very surprised to find Liza Minelli was my best match. And Raquel Welch? I never would have guessed. I'm flattered to look like any one of these ladies.

Today's puzzle is a quilt you've seen before but it is one of my favorites that I've made. Not only do I like the way it looks, but it won me a top of the line sewing machine.
Click to Mix and Solve

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Quilt turning on the studio bed Part 3

Some of the quilts I have made are too large for the trolleys under the bed and yet not nearly bed size. This is a replication of an Amish Trip Around The World quilt.

Five Forever is the quilt I made for the Quilters' Express Trip to Japan competition.
It won first prize and was exhibited at the Yokohama Quilt Festival.

This Origami Bow Tie Quilt was so much fun to make.

Cubic Jubilee was made from hand dyed fabric gradations. It was a challenge to make, but turned out to be very successful.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Quilt turning on the studio bed -Part 2

The bed that holds the quilts is an odd size antique East Lake Bed. It's close to 3/4 size but I had to have a special mattress made for it.
Over 45 years ago when we lived in Ohio I passed up a chance to buy one of these along with 4 crazy quilts for 25 cents at a country auction. I still kick myself about that.
I paid a whole $10 for this 30 years ago! We had it stripped and we refinished it.

I made this quilt in a class I taught "Quick Kid's Quillts". It turned out to be so much more than a simple kid's quilt.

This Amish Shadows quilt is one of several I have made.

Another Amish Shadows with blocks made at the same time. I didvided them into two groups. This was made from the group that contain yellows and golds in the blocks. The blocks in the previous one contained blues and roses.

This quilt also originated in the "Quick Kids Quilt Class". I call it Amish Pathways.
It uses a very unique color palette, even more unique when I created it.

Friday, January 22, 2010

50,000 - WOW

The neo counter I started using in December 2008 on my blog just registered the 50,000th visitor.
I have had visitors from 108 countries. I don't think I could even name 108 countries!

Thank you to each and everyone who has visited my blog. It is so much fun sharing my quilts and other important parts of my life with you.

Quilt turning on the studio bed

As I put the quilts back on the bed in the studio this past summer I photographed them on the bed as I added each quilt. I did this so it would make it easier to find any particular quilt.
This shows the bed before I started layering on the quilts. You can see the trolleys under the bed with the small quilts. On the left in my antique treadle sewing machine, another story, another time.

This is a sampler quilt I started in the late 1970's. At that time there was a very limited selection of quilt fabrics available to us. There are only 5 different (3 different print patterns) fabrics in this quilt. It was done quilt as you go. The borders are cut and ready to add but this in not high on my priority list to finish, even though it won't take a lot of time.

This is a 1920's quilt. I became the custodian of this quilt top that my great Aunt Alma had pieced. I had it quilted by an anonymous Amish quilter. All it needs is a binding. I just need to find the correct fabric to bind it.

I also became custodian of this quilt top pieced by my paternal grandmother Matilda Gruenwald Koeper. She was the sister to my great Aunt Alma.
If you have seen Julie Silber's lecture "The Grandmother Connection" you have seen this quilt top. If you haven't seen Julie's lecture, book it for your guild or conference. It is probably my favorite quilt lecture of all time, not just because I am one of the featured quilters. You will love it. I found a quilter who's work I felt was the quality I wanted to do the quilting on this. She started the quilting, but had to stop when her wrists gave out. I am still searching for someone who can complete the quilting with the same quality of work.

Please stay tuned as there will be several more posts to complete the layering of the quilts on the bed.
If you look at both of these quilts it looks like the sisters shopped together or traded some fabrics.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Millennium Time Capsule

We celebrated New Years Eve 2000 with our 4 local grandchildren. If you would like to see the Millennium quilts and their story just click Millennium quilts in the right side bar.
One of our activities was creating a time capsule, contained in the basket you see.
We decided to open it this year so had a pizza party and had the grand opening.

This poster features many New Years Eves but the emphasis is on our Millennium celebration.

The first item on the agenda was enjoying the delicious pizza from one of our local pizza parlors.

Jeff and Cooper did the honors opening the time capsule.

These are some of the things that were in the time capsule.

Heidi is modeling a tiara that was in the capsule.

When we celebrated Christmas this year I had each of the kids pick their favorite color from a selection of paint chips and sign and date it. They had no idea why I was asking them to do it. They forgot they had picked their favorite colors as we celebrated New Years Eve 2000 and that they were placed in the time capsule. Here is Dana with her sample from this year and her samples from the Millennium.

It looks like Kierstin dressed to match the colors she choose in 2000 and picked an accent color this year.

Since Cooper was not born until long after the Millennium had passed, he only had the colors from this year.

Jeff has loved orange for a LONG time but evidently hadn't chosen it at the time of the Millennium.

The time capsule contained little bottles of bubble stuff. Everyone, young and old enjoyed blowing bubbles.

And here are the original 4 participants from our Millennium party all grown up!

I don't think anyone enjoys my puzzles more than Cooper. I click the autosolve and they go click - click - click and he is fascinated.
Click to Mix and Solve

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Honey, I'm home - AGAIN!

The weather in Florida turned warm for my homecoming. What a treat after spending several weeks in Wisconsin. We are also receiving a much needed rain that should last all night. Perfect sleeping weather.

I had a perfect trip down. The flight left and arrived on time. My luggage was waiting for me when I arrived at the carousel. My good friend Lynn was there to pick me up as soon as I exited the airport. Life doesn't get any better than this.

I am looking forward to a wonderful winter and I have left the cold and snow behind for those of you who love it!

Friday, January 8, 2010

My New Great Studio - Rerun 9, Last studio rerun in series

Many of you have seen the photos of my Florida studio on March 13, 2009. I decided to make some changes since I am sewing more this year.

I have moved my sewing machine to the great room. It has a perfect view of the TV as I sew. I also have a view out the sliding glass doors of the golf course. I can open the sliding doors to enjoy the glorious weather. I've even considered moving the machine to the lanai! This is also a perfect set up if I have a friend come and join me to sew since a sewing machine can be set up on the kitchen table or the small folding table I have.
I am keeping the ironing board in the other room for now. I will get more exercise and in a small house like this you don't get enough exercise.
The bar you see behind the machine belongs on the lanai but we have not moved it out there yet. It makes a perfect place for me to put things I will need as I sew.

I wanted to layer and baste this Eight Point Star for a One Arm Quilter and figured out a way to get a large enough area. I brought my folding table into the kitchen eating area and wedged it up against the peninsula counter. Even though there is about a 1 inch height difference it worked perfectly. I taped the backing down with painters blue tape and layered the batting and the quilt top. Now it is ready to quilt any time I have the inclination to do so.

A studio can be created just about anywhere you have a little space if you really want to sew.

My Southern Studio - Rerun 8

This is where I store all my notions, threads,small sewing supplies, embellishments, small pieces of batting,rubber stamps and miscellaneous items. It is really a TV cabinet that was part of a storage wall for the guest room. This piece didn't fit so I repurposed it here. The center section has doors that I can close and you can't see what is behind them when the room is being used as our second guest room.

This is where I usually use my sewing machine. It is within arms reach of the cabinet in the last photo. I want to be able to see something when I sew and when the blind is up I can watch all the traffic and walkers go by, but more importantly I can enjoy my nieghbors beautiful yards across the street. I sometimes move the machine to the great room or the lanai.

The two wood cabinets are our old dressers that were damaged when a TV fell into them. We had them repaired. I store fabric in the drawers. My Florida fabric collection is significantly brighter than my Wisconsin collection. I also store interfacings, wrapping paper, gifts and other items behind the doors. The white cabinet in the center is my office.

My Florida library has far fewer books and magazines than I have in Wisconsin.

I find it easier to do my cutting at the kitchen counter in the great room and do my ironing there as well.
My "studio" is something anyone can create. Almost everything is repurposed or very inexpensive. Actually the entire house is furnished with repurposed or very inexpensive things.

You may have noticed you didn't see a design wall. I generally work smaller here so I just prop pieces up to look at them or tape them to something. The one larger piece I designed was laid out on a bed using a formula to distribute the blocks and then I took digital phtographs to decide if I was pleased with it. I did purchase a tension rod I can put in the closet opening and gray felt to use as a design wall. I haven't found I need it yet.

I find if you have a desire to create you can do it almost anywhere. I have seen studios that are even more modest than this one and I have seen some awesome work created in them.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Studio Rerun 7

Last week a topic of discussion on the Quilt Art list was where do you keep your thread?

Just about the time I finished my studio I was extremely lucky to find this thread spool cabinet in my favorite antique store.
The thread you can see in the front of the drawers is almost all old wooden spools with thread on them. I don't use them as the thread has probably lost it's strength.

Behind each one of them is space for about 10 spools of thread. I place similar colors behind each of the front spools.

Odd size spools go in the 6 bottom drawers.
It's both a beautiful and practical piece to enjoy in my studio.

Studio - Rerun 6

This is an overall view of my studio taken several years ago. You see the design wall which is about 30 feet long. It is covered in flannel (queen size sheets) and has 4 movable sections.

This is the fabric storage with the center two doors open. The photo was taken soon after I moved into the studio. The shelves are 12 inches deep which accomodates fabric folded into 4 thicknesses across the width. As you can see there are also sections that accomodate larger pieces of fabric. I arrange my fabric by color.

This is a photo of the same area taken today. Do you notice how I changed the distance between the shelving so now I can store the fabric vertically rather than in piles. This has made it much easier to see what I have, take fabric out and replace it. I periodically rearrange my fabrics getting rid of those that no longer fit my needs.
I couldn't do what I do and create the quilts I make without this palette to work with.

When I first moved into the studio I realized I hadn't made any accomodations to store finished quilts. I used to keep the larger ones on the bed in the guest room and ceremoniously remove them as my guests got a quilt show and Oh'ed and Ah'ed!
This got old fast and I realized I needed a better system.
I had purchased this 3/4 antique East Lake victorian bed years before for a pittance at an auction. My husband refinished it and we put a mattress on it. This is where I store my quilts. You see the top quilt here, but there are probably close to 50 quilts under it.
The smaller quilts are stored on two trolleys that pull out from under the bed. This has proved to be a great storage system as I am able to store them all flat.
The art you see on the wall is not a quilt but a painting by Frank Salcido, an Indian artist who's work I love. On the design wall you see several pieces of silk I dyed. I intended to make a unstructured jacket from this fabric to wear for the opening of my show. When I realized what the weather would be that day I changed my mind!