Monday, July 24, 2017

Power of the Press
31" x 28.5"
2014
I am humbled by my failures.  I am disappointed. I am sometimes sad, and sometimes angry.  All of these are okay.  It is simply part of the path.  Sometimes work needs to be made just because it's next.  There are no guarantees that the work will be good, or relevant, or accepted.  And just as I have utter joy in my successes, I know that they only represent part of the story.  I try to accept all parts of my story, but honestly, the successes are much easier to talk about--publicly.
Today's piece is a quilt I made several years ago.  It has been rejected too many times to count from every venue I entered it into.  And now, it has aged out.  It is too old to enter into most venues.  And, though it is a failure to me for a number of reasons, perhaps it is ahead of it's time? Perhaps it is even more relevant today?

I wanted to make a piece about what news is and what it aspires to be.  As I get older I feel more cynical.  This piece begs the question, how much of a story is actual news, and how much is written just to sell newspapers?  How much is written and published just to sensationalize an event, regardless if it represents a whole story, or a true story?  What is truth?

Yes, I am that old.  I am the age where my 'go to' for news is still newspapers.  But how much more heinous is the act when it is published and consumed so instantaneously?  It hurts to think about it.

This piece is made out of newspapers, newsprint, cotton, and silk.  There is a tremendous amount of black thread sketching. The newspaper titles were printed, paper laminated, and then Mistyfused into place. I made the binding red to allude to the old riddle, "What is black and white and red all over?" There are many answer to that riddle, one of which is a newspaper. The emotional expressions and the red work well together. 

Today this piece feels more relevant because of amplified hate speech, lies, rhetoric that are being published as "truths".  Some people are calling it fake news.  Some very powerful people are calling anything they disagree with fake news.  The era of reason and truth seems to be disappearing into the background.  Sensational or not, it would not be normal to NOT feel shocked, appalled, and angry today. I think fake news is the ultimate oxymoron.  If it is fake, then it isn't news.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Floating in a Sea of Symbols
40" x 40"

created for:  Dinner@Eight, Personal Iconography: Graffiti on Cloth An artistic expression based on personal style
An underlying social message
A story that is told through lines, shapes and imagery
A graphic landscape that conveys a story
A mark, an object, an idea

"As I get older, I indulge in reminiscing about my past. Each ocean layer is comprised of an abstraction of shapes which have multiple meanings for me. This allows me to express my personal history while simultaneously maintain some privacy."
This is an invitational juried exhibit.  Each year when I make my entry, I never know if I will be able to come up with an idea and then be able to execute that idea to my satisfaction, AND, whether or not it will fit in with the rest of the exhibit.  I am delighted to find out that this quilt has been accepted to the exhibit.  I am also very pleased that it is so appealing to me.  Double win!
I had a hard time getting started on this one.  The theme of personal iconography didn't speak to me.  I struggled and struggled.  I gave up more than once.  I tried googling the words in the title.  I tried journaling about what it meant to me....more than once.  The entry description is purposefully vague and open to interpretation, but I was not feeling it.  Sigh...
For me, making art is about expressing something that I need to give my voice to, something personal, something meaningful.  However that voice can also be too personal, sometimes private, and I am not comfortable sharing it with a wider audience.  It is a delicate balance.  

And so, I finally made some progress when I settled on an ocean theme, with blues, and quite a bit of reminiscing.  Each layer goes back to some period in my life.  All of the symbols represented large overlapping chunks of my life, decades.  I also had a long list of symbols I wanted to use, but decided to narrow my choices to those that had multiple meanings for me.  

I started with blue. It has been a while since I have dyed anything or played in my batik studio.  So, I bought some new blue dyes, and set about the task of experimenting so that I could choose my blue palette.
Next stop, the process of patterning my cloth with batik.
These concentric rings would become my sodium chloride ions.  The fabric started as blue, then I stamped some concentric blue circles with different found objects.  This shows what it looked like after bleaching out the blue fabric that was not protected by wax. It was later painted with 2 different colors of dye.  Then the wax was boiled out.  I used fabric paint to paint dots for the electrons, and a black ink pen to put the symbols Na+ and Cl-. (Not tedious at all, eh??)
This one is similar to the above.  It was dyed a dark blue, batiked, and then bleach discharged.  It is waiting to be overdyed.  Notice how the dark blue dye did not discharge to a white (like the fabric above).  That happens sometimes, and it adds interesting color qualities to the next stage of overdyeing.
These two have been dyed, and then batiked.  The next step is the bleach discharge to remove the color.  And then dyeing again to put a contrasting color on top.  
After getting all my fabrics done, I decided which order to put them in by layering them on the floor.
Then, I used a freezer paper template to cut out the wave shapes for each layer.  The fabric was then fused (sweet, sweet Mistyfuse) to some white cotton batting, and then the white batting was trimmed with scissors to echo the shape of the fabric wave.  I built up the quilt one layer at a time, machine quilting as I went.  When I finished, I hand stitched the tiny white float with the girl on it.
As for the bicycle layer?  I ironed freezer paper to the back of a section of blue fabric, and then traced with a black pen from a line drawing underneath.  I taped the drawing and the freezer-paper-backed-fabric to my sliding glass door to let the sun shine through in order to see the drawing through the blue fabric.  Then I colored in different parts of the bicycle with markers and heat set. I LOVE the bicycle!  And, I love the scale of the bicycle!

This exhibit will open at the International Quilt Festival in Houston this fall.  It will be at both Quilt Market (Oct 27-30) and Festival (Nov 1-5).  I can't wait to see it!  The images flooding Facebook yesterday from the selected artists are incredible!

Friday, June 02, 2017

Dinner @ Eight Exhibits
It is time once again to enter a quilt into the annual Dinner @ Eight exhibit. Each year the exhibit is based on a theme and a size which are selected by the curators, Jamie Fingal and Leslie Jenison. This exhibit is is by invitation only and is an honor to be asked to participate.  It is also a juried exhibit.  This means that quilts are entered on-line and my identity is kept a secret from those who select which quilts will be in the exhibit.  I have been participating in this exhibit since it first began in 2009.  This year I have been looking back at my previous body of work for this exhibit.  It is interesting to see my path, and how my art has changed over the years.  The exhibit always has a theme, and many, many times I have struggled to interpret that theme.  For me, the quilt has to be about something that needs to be made next, it has to be interesting to me, and it has to fit the requirements of the exhibit.  It is difficult and hard work, but always enjoyable.  I love the way this challenge has pushed me to try new things.

2009 Edges: 1) the sharp cutting part of a blade, 2) sharpness, keenness, 3) the projecting ledge of a cliff, etc., brink, 4) the part farthest from the middle; border; margin.
A Few of My Favorite Things - 36" x 48"
2010 Beneath the Surface: From the roots that anchor a majestic tree, to a song by Kings of Leon, "Beneath the Surface" has many connotations.  We look into the dark water and wonder what lies beneath.  We long to understand the meaning of a cryptic statement.
Fifty, Female and Fearless - 36" x 48"
2011 The Space Between: A pause as we reach for the telephone. The moments between the lines. Negative space in a painting. Uncertainty, and finding your voice. From one place to the other. Birds on a wire, and the distance between friends...The Space Between thought and action. Thin cracks separating this from that. Lines on a highway, or reading between the lines...The Space Between.
Blue Towers - 36" x 48"
2012 Rituals: An exchange between friends. A handshake. A kiss before bedtime. The artist at work.  A sun salutation. The wave before boarding the school bus. A song, a word, a meditation. A habit, a custom.  The traditional toast at a gathering. A rite of passage. The sacred moments of the ordinary.  Rituals:  What are yours?
Morning Commute with Sweet Jane - 24" x 60"

2013 An Exquisite Moment: Consider the following:  The unfurling of a flower. A hummingbird in flight.  A magical moment shared with a lover or friend.  The birth of a child.  A personal milestone.  The realization of a dream.  A treasured memory.  The sacred moments of the ordinary.  These are the Exquisite Moments that make us who we are.
Balance - 24" x 60"
2014 Reflections: A mirror image. A response to a thought or word. A memory. What glints back at us as we gaze upon the water. The throwing back by a body or surface of light, heat, or sound without absorbing it.  What will your reflection reveal about you?
 
The Deep End - 24" x 60"

2015 Affinity:
I am the garden that I plant.

I have…a natural liking for or attraction to a person, thing, or idea.
I am all the books that I have read.
I have….. A close resemblance or connection to someone or some thing.
I am the places that I have been
I have…. An agreement with someone.
I am the people that I love to be near
I have…a relationship or ties to another individual.
I am the sum of my life experiences.
“Affinity”.
Dot - 40" x 40"
2016 Patterns:
They may be naturally-occuring or manmade.
They can occur in relationships and in flocks
We construct them
We often drive in them
Some can be changed, but others cannot
Fibonocci was famous for recognizing and sequencing them.
Some are symmetrical, others wabi sabi
They are everywhere if we pay attention.
Which pattern might speak to you?
100 Days, 100 Nights - 40" x 40"
2017: Sorry, I can't show this quilt yet.  But I am keeping my fingers crossed that this one pleases the jury and plays well with others (meaning that it works well with the other entries to make a great exhibit).  Some time in July, I will be posting about it.  Until then.....

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Life Book 2015

I have taken a few weeks out of my calendar to put the finishing touches on my Life Book project (yes, sadly from 2015!).  I decided how I wanted to bind the pages, and what to use for the cover.  I have had practice with the binding process, (see these art journals here). You can also read more about the Life Book class on this link!
 
I painted this lovely bright flower painting when I was in elementary school.  It is acrylic on canvas, and I still had it after all these years!  I wrapped it around some book board to make a cover for my Life Book.  I just love the symbolism of where I started and where I have been going with art education! Plus, I am still a sucker for primitive art.  I remember when I painted this, how frustrated I was at the inability to control the thickness of the line with the black paint. Now, I kind of like it!

Here is the inside and cover page.  You can see where I wrapped the canvas painting around to the inside and covered with a piece of paper.
There are too many pages to show, and I think some of the projects are proprietary, so I can't show them all anyway.  However, this assignment was my favorite.  It had a formula that was easy to follow, but made easier by the fact that I had many unused postcards of my artwork that I was able to cut up and put on the luggage tags.  It made them so much more personal and fun for me.  I also used Mistyfuse to fold over the top of the tags with some of my batiked and dyed fabric circles.  Then I punched the hole through all the layers before tying the floss on.  I loved these so much that I used them on my luggage for a trip last summer.  They held up well and helped identify our bags quickly.  I also like them for small gifts and bookmarks.  I like them so much, that I keep making more!  Great project!
The right side of this photo, that was cut off, was one of our first assignments.  I paired pages from class either with other class pages or paintings made for fun and then put the back sides together.  I taped the inner edge and hand sewed the other 3 edges of the pages.  That way I had finished images on both sides of each page.  I like the texture of the hand sewn floss around the artwork too.  The above image shows a class assignment (cut off) on the right and a small watercolor I did at the beach the following year.  I thought the colors looked well together, so they were paired up.
Here's another random page from my book.  The right side was an assignment.  There is a letter folded and tied with ribbon in the center of the right page.  The left page was just PLAY.  I love the abstract nature of the image and how fun it was to put together.  And, I like the way the 2 pages play together.
These two pages were all about acknowledging and appreciating our support systems.  The paper dolls were individualized to real people in my life, and have messages on them.  I had fun with this too, so I added our resident house cats, and some flowers (for good measure).  I painted a blue background and stitched on some organza pockets.  The assignment on the right was very similar. And though I'm not sure if these projects or crafts rise to the level of art, it just didn't matter to me.  I had fun doing it and it was meaningful.  (see #4 below).

I will reiterate that in spite of being somewhat reluctant and resistant, I DID learn the processes, and eventually learned how to put it together with my own voice.  I also gave myself permission to skip the lessons that were the least interesting to me. 

The absolute best things I got out of this class:
1.  Knowledge.  I know what matte medium is now! and Stabilo pencils! and watercolor crayons!
2.  Freedom to explore.  I no longer feel inhibited or intimidated by the supplies.
3.  Joy from playing.  With no intention in mind, I can start painting and it feels like playing.  I love it!
4.  Healing.  A number of the assignments worked on a deeper, subconscious, and intuitive place.  I loved the guided meditations.  I loved the assignments geared to working on issues.  These were the BEST!

Thanks so much Tamara!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Women's March 2017: by the Numbers
48" x 48"
This quilt was made to honor the 3 million people who marched globally the day after President Trump's inauguration. Each 1/2" square represents 325 people.  That is equivalent to a large jet plane full of people. Imagine a full airplane for each tiny little square! That's a lot of people, all marching to protect the right's of women.

For my quilt geek friends:
You may be wondering, how many squares are there? The answer is 9216.  
And, how long did it take to make it?  The answer is less precise....too long.  I thought this was a great idea when I started, but I got tired of stitching all those little squares long before I finished it.  And yet, I continued on.  Sometimes it helps me to have a daily quota, a minimum I have to do to finish by a certain day.  On most days, I managed to do the minimum.  On some days, I did nothing.  And, on a few days, I did more, and some days I even did a lot more.  The right combination of good sleep, motivation, great music (or Netflix), and I can get a lot done in a single day.

This was also made during the season that is the absolute best for gardening, and I have some ambitious plans for my garden, so I tried to do some of both every day.  It helped to have something that involved moving my body to contrast with all the hours of sitting and stitching.

It starts with the cutting. I always prewash my fabrics and then press them.  When I started, I had no idea how many squares of each I would need, so I just cut a few, and then replenished the pile as I went.   This also helped avoid repetitive motion injuries from using the rotary cutter for too long. I eventually used 60 different colors.  Here are some stacks of the 1" squares.  I would gather a few from each pile for the daily quota, and then toss them up in the air, several times (this was the FUN part), and then picked squares that were close to each other to begin stitching.
It begins with sewing two squares at a time.  To save thread and time I decided to chain stitch.  It also helps keep those tiny pieces from being sucked into the machine each time you start stitching.  This is stage one of stitching.  I call it, making the butterflies, because when they are open, they don't lie perfectly flat and they loosely look like butterflies to me.
The next step is to sew two "butterflies" together.  This makes a four patch.  To me they look like lounge chairs.  I put them in a grid to keep track of the direction the seams are pressed.  This helps manage the bulk of all the seams on those tiny pieces.
The lounge chairs are then sewn together in long strips, and then the rows of strips are sewn to each other to make a daily block.  Each day the block is sewn to the previous day's work and the quilt slowly grows bigger!
When I got to the pink part, I had to keep track of where the pieces were.  So, I consulted the master plan, a scaled drawing on grid paper.
To keep track of my progress, I colored it as I went and referred to the diagram for placement of the squares.
You can see the emergence of one of the pink ears of the pussy hat in the lower right corner.  This also shows the amount of work for a daily quota, 160 pieces. And, as time went on, I gratefully became more efficient at stitching.
Here's a photo of the back side.  I grew to like this side better, but unfortunately, I had plans for the front side, so this beautiful and fascinating view is now hidden inside the quilt.
I also kind of went crazy in love with how this looks in a window with the light shining through it.  It looks like candy to me and I just want to eat it!
Eventually I finished piecing the whole quilt top together, and I didn't know exactly what to do with the quilting.  This quilt is already complex.  I wanted to keep the quilting lines simple because I didn't want them to compete with the design. I selected a plan and decided to do a sample piece.  There are two great reasons to do this!  One is to test the process.  Does it work?  Will it shrink too much?  Will it bunch up, or be too hard to sew through the layers?  The second reason is to check to see how it looks.  I planned to use pink thread exclusively and I wanted to know if it would look bad on all the other colors.  It is really hard to pick a thread color when there are so many colors in the quilt!  So, I did the small sample....
It worked!  Here's a close up of the actual quilt:
LOVE IT!

This is my entry for Threads of Resistance.  There are almost 2 weeks left before the deadline of midnight, May 1.  If you haven't entered already, I hope you will consider doing it!  The opening venue is:
Premiere dates: July 11 - September 9, 2017
New England Quilt Museum
18 Shattuck Street, Lowell, MA 01852
    Opening reception: July 15, 2017 at 11 a.m. 
And there are 11 more venues already scheduled for the next year and a half! 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Threads of Resistance
a call for entry for an exhibit to protest the Trump administration's actions and policies
I am so proud to be a member of the Artist Circle.  We have supported each other, encouraged each other, and given advice through the years.  Now I feel like I am on the precipice of a great change in our country, and not a good one.  Our country is being pulled apart by our hearts.  Emotions are raging and it is not bringing out the best in Americans.  The nasty is coming out.  The only thing that gives me hope is knowing that the good is still there too, the compassion, the generosity, and the love.  I suspect we all have a lot more in common than that which divides us.  

I am an artist.  It's what I do.  So I am compelled to respond by making art.  Making art gives me an outlet to process all these emotions. It also allows me to use my voice. And the only way I can guarantee my right to my voice is to use it.

And while I won't be commenting much about the political scene on my blog (unless I make some art about it), you will find me being much more vocal than normal on my social media accounts.  I have even learn how to tweet, just for this purpose.  It is certainly not the first time I have felt afraid to speak, but I am moving forward and I am not alone.

I didn't write this but I believe it expresses my sentiments fairly closely.  It is our artist statement for the exhibit.

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." -Martin Luther King, Jr.

We as the Artist’s Circle stand for unity and love and light. We believe we have a duty as citizens of this country to shine light into dark places. We feel we must stand to preserve the good in America and speak against oppression and corruption, hatred and lies.


History is a written record of human behavior.
Art is a record of human emotion.
Quilts are art.

Art has always expressed both the hope and fear of its time. As artists speaking through our quilts, we come from a long tradition of political activism. The first known fundraising quilt supported the abolition of slavery. Quilts through the past two centuries have spoken to many causes, including the Temperance movement, women’s suffrage, nuclear proliferation, and AIDS awareness.

Just as quilts are traditional symbols of comfort and healing, our art can help us unite as Americans. Our quilts let the fearful know they are not alone and isolated in their struggles. Our quilts can inspire us to be greater and braver than we think we are. Our art speaks for those who are oppressed and have no voice.

Through much of history, quilts were one of the only acceptable means of expression for women whose political voices were silenced. Sometimes art must shock us out of our comfort zone and into action. In this venue, these quilts are also giving voice to emotions and ideas that for too long have been deemed unacceptable if spoken by women. Here, as women and men united, we speak together. Because of our love for our country, silence is no longer an option.

Americans are feeling a mixture of hope and anger, love and fear. We take issue with the divisive actions of the Trump administration. Our art explores our emotional responses to these actions, in the hope that it will encourage civilized, constructive conversation and, ultimately, better understanding of one another's viewpoints.

“Ye cannot live for yourselves; a thousand fibers connect you with your fellow-men, and along those fibers, as along sympathetic threads, run your actions as causes, and return to you as effects.” 
Rev. Henry Melvill, written in 1853

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Beach Colors
71" x 72"

Last week I showed you Neurodiversity.  I may have mentioned that I liked the back better than the front.  Then I heard about a new exhibit by QuiltFestival, and I thought my quilt would be PERFECT for it.  It is called A Celebration of Color!  Yes!!  Unfortunately, the quilt was too big!  Nuts!!  However, I really like this design of squares stacked in colorways separated by thin strips of contrasting colors, so I decided to make another one and enter it.  I cut all the squares of every fabric, but then felt myself being drawn to quite a different and calmer palette.  The result:

I was even thinking of calling it, Sun, Sand, Surf, and Sky but reconsidered using a tongue twister as a name! I loved working on this quilt and it went together quickly, which is fun.  It is machine quilted and I used a different color of thread for every line!  Super crazy, but it looks super good! I love the texture and I love the subtle addition of the thread colors, all randomly chosen.





I also decided to try something for the back of this quilt to make it two-sided (of course!).

Simple, clean, delicious!

The notification of whether or not this one got in will be in February, so now the waiting begins. Meanwhile, I have it hanging in my living room.  I love it so much, I don't really want to let it go, so I truly have some ambivalence about it getting accepted into the new venue.  I might just be shouting "Hurray" if it gets rejected.  Go figure!

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Neurodiversity
94" x 95"


Neurodiversity is simply a term that means a lot of different kinds of brains.  I think this makes for an interesting world.  It is difficult dealing with people who are different than I am, but I can see value there. I am also of the firm belief that if we seek answers for today's or tomorrow's complicated problems, we just might need that "out of the box" style of thinking. 

I abstracted this idea to color choices in my quilt.  I wanted to show lots of diversity in color combinations.  What I found really interesting is that some of the colors I used were not favorites of mine.  I couldn't imagine how to use them all together in a way that would be appealing to me.  I learned that when pairing up these colors with other colors, suddenly I could see the beauty.  It opened my eyes. And, put all together rather randomly in a small photo, it's a bit overwhelming.  However, the giant size of this quilt, in person, is really quite nice.  I love seeking patterns in all of this chaos!
It's all hand quilted too.  You may remember me talking about this quilt in a previous post? I really enjoyed slowing down to do the work, and the meditative quality of time spent hand stitching.  It was good. 

I also thought for this quilt, it would need a colorful back.  So I took some of the same fabric I used for the front and created a new pattern for the back.  I call it Light Box, though I am not sure why.  Honestly, after I finished it, I actually preferred it to the front!  I am really drawn to the organization of the colors because it has a calmer energy.

If you notice, all around the edges, the squares are cut off.  This is because I always make my backs larger than the fronts.  That way, if the front side shifts at all during quilting, the back is still covered.  I can't tell you how many times I have relearned this lesson in previous quilts! 

Speaking of neurodiversity....one of the things my brain struggles with is putting things into categories.  Is this an art quilt or a modern quilt or a variation of a traditional quilt???  I plan on listing it in one of my gallery pages, so where do you think it should go?

Anyway, I have made another Light Box quilt, and entered it into the new juried show called A Celebration of Color.  The show is judged and will have prizes and opens at the International Quilt Festival in Chicago this April.  I will post about the new quilt next week!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

A Diamond in the Rough
70" x 84"
A Christmas Story

We used to joke that my dad could find a golf ball hidden under 4 inches of mud in the middle of a lake!  It wasn't far from the truth.  Each Sunday when my dad came home from playing golf, he brought with him about 70-80 found golf balls.  He like to walk the course, and he walked on the sides, the roughs.  He always found a lot of lost golf balls.  He cleaned them up, played with the best ones, traded some for golf equipment, and also saved most of them.  It grew to quite the collection over the years as you can imagine.

Well, this quilt is all about my dad, but not just because of all the balls he found.  I also think of him as a diamond in the rough.  He grew up in a household with a lot of kids and a mom to take care of everyone.  She frequently had 2 jobs to make ends meet.  There were lots of stories of fighting over food and collecting bottles to get extra money.  He went from these modest beginnings to pursue a lifelong career of entrepreneurship.  He could always see a way to make money and save money in unusual ways.  He owned a chain of stores, he rented properties, he made deals.  He had a type of stewardship of property and money that was just brilliant, and all with only a 10th grade education.  He also earned his GED, and got an international consumer credit credential.  He joined the army during the Korean War, and was very proud of the time he served there.

It was the later part, about being a veteran that he talks about a lot today.  When I was a kid he never mentioned it.  But now, in assisted living, he bonds with other veterans.  So, I was inspired to make this quilt for him, in red, white, and blue.  It is a log cabin block, because that is both the first block I ever learned how to make, and also because it is about home, and this is his new home.  The choice of red for the center traditionally symbolized the hearth of the home.  The arrangement of the blocks, that part is the offset diamond, or a diamond in the rough, that's my dad.

I went to see my dad this week and gave him his quilt.  He was quite pleased with it, and also very gracious about accepting it.  I am so glad.  I hope it will keep him warm and give him comfort.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Big quilts and quilting....

What I've been up to. 
I have finished HAND quilting this giant 96" x 96" quilt.  I had planned to enter it into QuiltCon, but alas, the cold winter season is upon us.  I have already entered 3 other quilts, and though I doubt all 3 will get in, if they do, my bed will be cold this winter!  So, I am saving this one to use, just for me.  This is the back of it.  Like a dog in the grass, I simply adore rolling in the colors of this quilt.  It makes me HAPPY.
folded up view of the back of the quilt
I quilted it by hand because it was so heavy, I didn't have the heart to push it through the machine. My initial plan was to machine quilt it.  I made up a small sample to test my idea of what that would look like:
This is a sample piece that resembles the front of the quilt.
The very dense quilting lines look fantastic!  It was, unfortunately, a lot of quilt to push through the machine so many times.  Heavy and daunting.  And, the issue of texture.  Though, I love the texture of this machine quilting, I don't like to touch it, I don't like the way it feels.  I wanted this quilt to be useful, as in touching and keeping me warm.  And so it may seem that the hand quilting would take longer, that would not have been the case. 
This is the actual quilting of the front of the quilt.
One could make the argument to machine quilt it in a much looser pattern so that I could complete the task quicker and get the texture I wanted.  Possibly true, but that is not what my Muse was insisting upon.  I try not to argue with the Muse.  So hand quilting it was.  And, I really enjoyed the process.  It is slow, and meditative and relaxing. I will get around to photographing the entire quilt and posting, so please, check back with me later.

As for the Giveaway!
...  and the winner of the MQG calendar is Karen (who posted comment #6)!  I have already emailed her, so hopefully she will receive the calendar soon!

Thanks for stopping by!