Sunday, August 21, 2011

Luana Rubin

Luana Rubin from eQuilter shows some highlights from the SAQA exhibit at the Huston Quilt Festival 2010. You can look at more images of these highlights here.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Quiltin' and Stitchin'

It all started with this...Sharon B's Pin Tangle blog. Above is a small portion of her embroidery sampler. In 2009 it was 33 feet long and growing. Sharon lives in Australia and her embroidery is fantastic. I am so inspired by what she does, I feel the tug of embroidery once again.

It all started with this, but not really...I remember my mother pencilling Xs on white cotton fabric when I was a child. I would used three strands of embroidery floss and stitch over those rows of Xs. Nothing ever came of those rows, it was all about the process.

When I was in Girl Scouts, I remember being at my friend Gloria's house and working on a satin stich letter "S" which became part of a quilt we gave to our leader. The blocks spelled out Girl Scouts in green letters. That's all I remember about that, but I do remember thinking it was so beautiful. I wonder where that quilt is now? Probably it wasn't even quilted, it might have just been backed with fabric and meant for a bedspread.

Then when I was in high school my mother and I signed up for a crewel embroidery class.
It was taught by Thelma Verrill of Bowdoinham. Although we took our class at the high school, I believe she had a shop and sold wool thread and patterns. My mother and her friends went on to learn rug braiding from Thelma, too. From that early beginning they formed a Friday morning stitching group that met for many years. One woman in the group was the librarian in town and since the library was not open until 2pm on Fridays, that was a good morning to meet. For years after Fran left the library, the library still was not open on Friday mornings. I always got a kick out of that, I'm sure the future librarians did not know the "real" reason behind the library hours.

Which brings me to my interest in embroidery all over again, thanks to Sharon B's blog. I've been reading crazy quilt books. I just got a book through interlibrary loan and was surprised to see it is written by a woman here in Maine. It is called Crazy Quilting: the complete guide by J. Marsha Micher. I'm not sure where all this is leading to, I'm not really "crazy" about crazy quilts. I think it is the "craziness" about them that does not appeal to me, so I may have to come up with my own interpretation.

I also recently bought Judith Baker Montano's new book: Fiber Montage. In this book she combines her love of crazy quilting with her love of photography and shows how to create ink and watercolor images for a crazy quilt block or as a stand alone image to embroider and embellish. Oh, such fibery goodness!

In my sample above I have used yellow silk ribbon for the roses. Green silk floss for the stems and leaves. Pink linen thread for the "rosettes" with a white bead in the center. Lots of clear beads sparkle from the tips of the stems. I filled in with tiny purple seed beads sprinkled over the entire motif. Oh, and the dark dots? That is deep purple chenille thread/yarn done in the raised cup stitch. I used Sharon's stitch dictionary and Mary Corbet's videos as well as Fiber Montage for inspiration and directions.

The idea for my piece came from CQ online magazine. You can find the pattern here, which I loosely followed.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Maine Quilts 2011

Grab yourself a tall glass of champagne and let's begin! I went to the Champagne Preview of the Maine Quilt show with two quilting friends while I was on vacation. We always have fun and like to stop at every vendor and spread our largesse.

The theme for Maine Quilts 2011 this year was bears. We have black bears in Maine and the black bear is the University of Maine mascot.
I do love a Lone Star quilt and this one is called "Medicine Bear" by Abbie McMillen, quilted by Alice Koroski. I love the way she used the background color in the star, it lends an ethereal quality that seems just right for this quilt subject. Quilting is superb.

Wow, that's a lot of ribbons! Cartoline da Venezia (Postcards from Venice) by Margaret Solomon Gunn. Best in Show! Fabulous. I couldn't do that in a million years. Just enjoy!

Now here's something I could do and have done, well, four of these blocks. This is a Piece o' Cake design done here by Judy Babbidge, called Ruby's Garden Club (I think, the ribbon is covering up the name and since I lost my show book I don't know if that is accurate.)

Judy did lovely work on this quilt. It is not easy to applique all those little pieces and keep the edges nice and round and even.

There certainly is something for everyone at a quilt show. I really liked this quilt. It is called The Maine Quilt and it was made by Jeanne Leland and quilted by Donna Tetreault. All the fabrics relate to something in Maine.

I'd like to make one of these. Anyone want to swap fabrics? Is there a pattern for this? I really like the black sashing strips that tie the blocks together.

And now for something completely different, an art quilt by Rana McConnor called Mom and Aunti Jean Play Gin. I'd like to look at that lampshade up close, wouldn't you? I did see this quilt when Rana brought it to an art quilt meeting. Fantastic!

Another quilt by Margaret Solomon Gunn! I really like the purple ribbon and what you can't see is all the little sparkles on the quilt. Awesome.

Speaking of sparkles, DigiBobbeE 4 by Bonnie Lyn McCaffrey is a gem! I saw this during our lunch break when I was taking a class with Bonnie. The quilt was moving back and forth due to the air conditioning and the rhinestones or crystals she used just winked and glittered! The threadwork is all bobbin work, which I learned in one of the classes I took with her.

Sally Rowe did the crazy quilt picture in this collection from the crazy quilt group. Sally does lots of gorgeous images and I think she probably hand dyed the fabric for this piece.

How's your champagne? Do you need a refill? Almost done. This is called "Seasons" by Jane Sparks. I really liked the colors in this one, very contemporary.

I love the way the trees are made. What a clever idea. The polka dots make it very fresh.

Can you believe this? Yummy! "Heartland Medallion" by Jo Bunker. Love that dachshund!

Last of all, this is my face from the Painted Faces class I took with Bonne McCaffrey. If you saw the previous post, you saw the whole class with our "faces". Bonnie said the goal was to come away with a face that looks like a human face. We all did that!

We started with shading to make the contours of the face. A lot of mine disappeared when I ironed it. Next Bonnie demonstrated how to do the lips. No lips, no lunch. I had lunch. Next we did the nose, the eyes, the eyebrows.

I learned so much from this class and Bonnie is an excellent teacher. She does the demo from her desk with a camera pointed at her work so that we can see just what she is doing on the screen behind her. I guess everyone is doing that these days, but it is very effective. You feel like you are getting one on one instruction. She took the time to come around and critique each and every one of us, too, which was very informative.

Now I need to add hair and clothes and a setting......still thinking about that.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my photos of the show. For those of you who are familiar with the show, I am sure you noticed that there were fewer quilts due to the copyright rules imposed this year. I think it really effected the number of quilts exhibited and the quality of the show. Otherwise, I truly enjoyed most of the show, the classes, and the splendid vendors.