Monday, September 26, 2011

Tis the Season for Busy Little Bees

  1. If you looked at the slide show of my little quilts, you will see the little quilt that is composed of four beaded hearts.  This piece is called  The Seasons of the Heart.  They captures how I see each season, the first being spring with the bright pinks and purples that I associate with that season, then we move along into the bright reds, hot pink and yellows that I think of as summer.  In the fall when the colors begin to change in preparation for the falling leaves most people find this season of great joy and warm colors, yes I agree with that, however, it is also the season that begins to squeeze the joy out me, as I know what happens next.  It gets cold, wet, the wind begins to howl  and all of my trees get stripped naked.   Winter, well, it just breaks my heart.  I wonder if life will ever be the same.  this obsession has served me fairly well because some of my favorite little quilts have been naked little trees.  Go figure.  My pastor visited me at home one time and I had to answer the phone,  When I returned to the living room he said, "do you know that are 9 pictures of dead trees in this room".  Yes, do you think I need counseling?
          That was a long time ago.  Now  this time of year signals all of the holiday shows we do (my husband and I)  at which we sell our fused glass jewelry and my little quilts.  We don't travel very far from home  and are not quite ready for large juried shows.  We have a tent but at this time of year it is no fun spending the weekend fighting weather issues.  You never think about breaking even if you don't spend an arm and leg for entrance and hotel rooms. 
           The days are full of  running between the  studio and the work room where the kiln cooking another load of glass.  A friend suggested that I should be gluing the binding on the little quilts, but my work is not, and never will be about cutting corners.  Beverly Sills is quoted as saying, "there is no short cut to any place worth going".  This morning my friend Susan Pickering Rothamel was featured on Home Shopping Network and she used pieces that I had quilted for her to embellish with her USARTQuest products and I could smile and know that even the part that no one could see was done to professional standards (Thank you Susan Cleveland) 

            The teaching schedule also kicks up a bit at this time of year as quilters want to learn something new that they can either use as gifts or decorate the house with.  For the beading class, I make a little 8 x 10 inch quilt with an oval shape in the center and a feather design quilted around the outside edge.  In the center of the oval, there will be an ornament shape drawn with pencil that they will fill with 8 different bead stitches.  It's fun, its cheerful and can be done completely in 4 hours.  (and it is completely bound when they get it)  Yes, I charge a kit fee and provide all the beads, too.

Saturday, September 3, 2011


       These happy feet have been to two quilt retreats, one in the Toledo, Ohio area where I got lots of mindless, but relaxing sewing done and a pedicure.  My Quilt Guild, Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild, asks each member to make and donate one quilt  per year to the women's shelter, so this is a good place to focus on that.                                The second retreat is the one I live for, it is in the thumb of Michigan on Lake Huron/Saginaw Bay, near where I grew up.  It is held at Bay Shore Family Camp and Ministry, I have been going to this  retreat once or twice a year for 7 years, once in March and again in October.  It a source of much personal growth and  wonderful fellowship with kindred spirits.  They have great classes to choose from, even for those of us who are non-traditional/art quilters.  If you choose not to take classes, which about half of the 80 plus quilters prefer, then there is a large work area to meet their needs.  If you haven't been to a quilt retreat, you are missing something.

In June, my happy feet took me to Columbus, OH for the NQA Show, and a day trip to Athens to see the Quilt National 2011 Show to see up close and personal work of so many of the names I have heard of and admired. 

 Fused glass jewelry, has led me to be a vendor at several  shows this year and we (my husband and I) have had such a good time and met so many wonderful people who have offered inspiration and lots of advice for us as we start off on this adventure of  seeing where the collision of fused glass and quilting is going to go.

These feet actually jumped for joy a couple times this year (3 times to be exact.  The first was on the 31st of January while hanging a show for the Ann Arbor Fiber Arts Guild     in the Power Center, George Clooney who was filming in Ann Arbor walked in to the lobby  while a half dozen 60'something year old women were sweating like athletes.  the second time was on the 2 of February when I got a phone call telling me that one of my wall quilts sold; no, Georgel Clooney didn't buy it to take back to Hollywood, but it was a very significat piece.  the third yippee came with the e- mail that a piece that I called Quoth the Raven was accepted to hang in the Sacred Threads 2011 show

tallyho, I hope all of your bobbins are full!