Thursday, March 25, 2010

Relaxing day

Today I met up with some friends and we headed over to the local Japanese gardens.. I didn't even know we had one. We went with the intention of seeing a fiber (banner) exhibit by 3 local fiber artists except I didn't read the fine print. Apparently they only do the fiber on weekends.... I didn't have my reading glasses on and didn't see that part.... that is my story and I am sticking to it! The gardens are gorgeous and the day was perfect... sunny and comfortable. We bought food to feed the Koi and watched as they fought themselves and the ducks for it. Sometimes it is fun acting like a kid. The Cherry trees were starting to bloom and the air was fragrant. We had a wonderful stroll. They have a Tea House and they do demonstrations once a month. We are going to try to sign up for next month.
We topped the day off by going to a fabulous Japanese restaurant. The sashimi was delicious. Now I need a nap.

Ego boost

Everyone needs an ego boost from time to time. I got mine this morning totally accidentally. I was catching up on my email and followed a link posted by someone else. Imagine my surprise at finding my quilt "The Path Not Taken" picked as one of their favorites from the Arizona Quilt Show Sol y Sombre. I was out of town and could not get to see the show. For more of their favorites and other interesting postings check out

I am off today to the local Japanese Gardens where there is an exhibit of banners from local fiber artists. The sun is shining and I am hoping to take some pictures.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Just a heads up... this post is not quilt related!
Ned and I got back from 10 days in Reno for a bridge tournament. It was the worst bridge either of us have played in 10 years.. and to top it off I came down with bronchitis and sinusitis. I am finally feeling somewhat human again as I managed to sleep last night. Sleeping sitting up is not restful. That is the good news. When we go away, our neighbor usually takes care of our kitty, Sammy. This time it coincided with her kids spring break and they weren't going to be around either. Sammy went to the vet to be boarded and we found out the really bad news. He is 16 1/2 years old and still pretty spry, but he has one kidney that is non functional and one that is only partially working. He lost 2 lbs in the past year. We have changed his diet to try to keep him hydrated and take some of the stress off his somewhat working kidney. We have to give him an antacid and off course he is not cooperative on that score. We are hoping to buy some time here. He is not currently in any distress and as long as it stays that way we will continue to do what we can to help him along. There is nothing else wrong with him.

I have to finish up the binding on my QA@15 challenge.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Breaking Out

This is going to be my auction piece for SAQA (Studio Art Quilters Association) for this year. Auction will take place next September.  I have titled this "Breaking Out". I decided to play with some of my leftover pieces of the fabrics I dyed last week. It is 12" x 12".

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Pass the smelling salts!

My quilt, The Path Not Taken got accepted into Paducah!!! To say I am excited is the understatement of the century. I have not entered many shows and this is the first national caliber show I ever entered. I am honored to be among the stars of the quilt world. You can see it on my website Fields of Color or the January 9, 2010 posting on this blog. Most definitely doing the Happy Dance!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Making a sample piece

I posted a few weeks back about a piece of fabric I had dyed that reminded me of the caves in Lascaux, France. I want to do something with that piece in keeping with the ideas it sparked but I was afraid I would ruin it by just jumping into it. I found another piece of fabric in my stash that sort of comes close and I decided to play on that piece first to see if I could pull it off. Since I cannot draw anything other than stick figures (and no I do not want to take classes) I depended on the photos of a good friend of mine John Blubaugh who has been traveling to some of our national parks and monuments and taking wonderful pictures. I asked him if he had photos of rock and cave paintings and if I could use his photographs as a basis for my piece. He kindly sent me about a dozen. I am happy with the way this one is coming out and my future plan is to make a large piece that incorporates the ancient art of the many areas of the world. The paintings from Europe, Australia, Africa, and the Americas all have similarities yet each retain the flavor of the local flora and fauna. I have used trapunto , layers of paint, and pen on this piece. I have shown here just a small piece of it. It will be 15" x 15" when done.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

On a Lark

… pun intended. Several months ago I responded to a request from Lark Books  looking for reviewers for their Art Quilt books. I never heard from them and  I will admit it had slipped my mind. I arrived home yesterday to find a package by my front door… I couldn't recall ordering anything and the return addressee did not ring a bell. Of course I excitedly opened the package! Inside were books… before I pulled them out, I was trying to remember IF I had ordered some books and forgotten about them.. no. I now looked at the titles and knew I hadn't ordered them, although one was on my list. So now I am thinking, maybe I have a secret admirer and they were sending me a gift. Not quite that kind of luck. Inside was a letter from the senior editor at Lark Books hoping I would review the books. I guess they had not forgotten me. The books are "500 Art Quilts: An Inspiring collection of Contemporary Work" and "Pretty Little Mini Quilts".  On to the reviews:

Pretty Little Mini Quilts
by Ray Hemachandra
This book contains 30 mini quilt projects from 26 quilt designers. The book is well laid out and has nice photos. This book would be appropriate for those who are very new to quilting or want to step out and try their hand at a simple art quilt. The projects include piecing, applique, hand and machine stitching, and some embellishment. The more advanced projects include printing on fabric (but doesn't tell you how to treat the fabric or which treated fabric to purchase), watercolor painting, and trapunto. Most of the projects are pretty basic and those are very clear. The few more advanced projects really do not explain the techniques very well and unless you are already familiar with them, might be confusing. If you understand these techniques then this book is not geared to you. I think this should have been 2 different books. One on basic mini quilts and another book on basic mini art quilts BUT with more expanded explanations and instructions.

500 Art Quilts: An inspiring Collection of Contemporary Work by Ray Hemachandra and juror Karey Bresenhan

WOW is my first reaction. The photos are spectacular and each artist is given space enough to shine. Some pieces have close up detail shots as well. This is a very diversified and eclectic mix of styles by very talented artists. There are well known names as well as those who are not up in lights and the mix is refreshing. Any technique that you can imagine is used by these artists and there is something to please everyone. The styles range from the more "traditional" art quilts to the totally avant guard. These are truly pieces of art and could easily rival paintings on canvas. Some pieces are representational and some are totally abstract. It is pure eye candy and a must for every library. This is not a book you would ever get tired of looking at.

As an aside... I would like to kick myself. I had an opportunity to submit a piece for this book and felt that my work was not good enough. I do not know if  I would have made the cut or not, but NOT trying was one of the most boneheaded and idiotic decisions I have recently made. Bad on me. Kudos to all who submitted and congratulations to all whose work was accepted.