Saturday, November 12, 2011

Put a PIN in it.

I have been home from Houston for about a week now.  I already have enough projects to work on, really I do!  However, instead of diving into the project I've been working on, I took a bit of a diversion, cleared my design wall, and started playing with blocks.  I love my design wall.  It is  made from foam core boards that are 4 feet by 8 feet, covered in polar fleece fabric.  And my fabric sticks pretty well when just thrown up.  It allows me lots of freedom to play with design, until I find what I like. 


On this particular day my heart was desiring something big.  I covered the entire wall with little blocks, about 1000 of them.  Which is fine, but I am not planning to work on this project yet, and now it is on my wall!!  Every time I open the studio door, or close it, or move too quickly, the wind gusts blow off the little fabric blocks.  So, I spent the next day putting pins in all the blocks.  I really thought I would have to buy more pins, but somehow I had over 1000 pins! Now it can safely wait until I have time to actually make the quilt.  And I have demonstrated the literal interpretation of "put a pin in it!"  :)

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Honorable Mention!

I am happy to announce that my quilt, High Rise, won an Honorable Mention this year in Houston! Even more delighted to actually see the show and how many outstanding quilts that were in my category. I have no doubt that the judges had a tough time picking winners for this category!

I am also really proud of all the attention our Artists' Village (and here) has received. IQA (or was it Quilts, Inc.?) went above and beyond to make the display an awesome one! They built an entire stage to set it on and draped it with black fabric. The lighting was perfect! And the height of the stage was just right to see all the details of the houses. I absolutely LOVED it! And I enjoyed seeing the project connect with so many people. A labor of love!
 
Artists' Village with Kathy York, Sherri McCauley, and Barb Forrister
Artists Village with Kathy York, Sherri McCauley, Jamie Fingal, and Leslie Jenison
 It's hard to believe that I spent four fabulous days in Houston and still did not see all the quilts. The ones I saw were simply fabulous and too many to list, but of course, I have to mention the Twelveby12 exhibit.  I got to meet a few of the artists, which was a blast.  After following their work (take a peek at their blog and see the group photo that I wish I had taken!), it was great to see the pieces in person.  Such an inspiring project!  I love the way it enriched each of their lives and their work and also how it connected them as a group. Even better, is how it has gone practically viral and other Twelveby12 groups are springing up.  Yes, I bought the book.  Can't wait to read it!

I made the small mistake of depending on my iphone for photos. And while it takes relatively good photos, it does not have a flash, and it needed one! Next year, I will take my camera!! duh! Meanwhile, it seems like there would be plenty of time to see everything, but no. And not for the obvious reason....eh, that I spent too much time shopping the vendors. The main reason for me was that I kept running into people that I only see in person at the quilt show. I HAVE to stop and visit. It is the most wonderful use of time and I wouldn't trade it for a minute. Maybe I should just plan to spend even more time in Houston if I want to see all the quilts in all the exhibits??

Jamie Fingal, Rachel Parris, Frances Alford, Judy Perez, Kathy York, and Leslie Jenison

Frances Alford ,Sherri McCauley
Behind this glass wall is Spencers, our meet up spot for dinner
Kathy York, and Frances Alford

Jamie Fingal, Judy Perez

Rachel Parris, and Sherri McCauley

Jamie Fingal and the Girls

Jane LaFazio
One of my favorite activities at the show this year was doing Open Studios for Quilting Arts Magazine. I met so many wonderful people there and had a great time demonstrating the simple techniques I used to make the 3D buildings seen on several of my quilts. The funniest story I can share with you .....I had a hard time setting up my demonstration. Though my hands are almost fully recovered, I have lost flexibility and a lot of strength. The Bernina sewing machine, so graciously donated for use by Bernina, was still in the box. I started having a minor panic attack when I couldn't get it out of the box. Pokey Bolton happened to be standing on the other side of the curtain and heard that 'special tone' in my voice and came bounding through the curtain like Wonder Woman! And poof, in a flash, the machine was quickly extricated from it's box. My jaw hanging open and eyes popping out, she disappeared just as quickly before I could even say, "Thank you!".
Jamie Fingal, Kathy York ,and Rachel Parris in front of Blue Towers at the Space Between exhibit
I was lucky to have so many quilts in the show this year, especially considering that I lost half the year at least half the year in recovery. I had my quilt, Blue Towers, in The Space Between exhibit, curated by Dinner @8 Artists (i.e., Jamie Fingal and Leslie Jenison). I had already bought the book and was looking forward to seeing the quilts in person. The photos are always so awesome, but they never do the quilts justice. Seeing them in person is such a richer and fuller experience. I got to meet the cover artist, Susan Brubaker Knapp, and hear her story in person. Very touching! The quilts were simply amazing. I could stand in front of them for hours!

I had two entries in Tactile Architecture, Central Park and the Artists' Village. I had two entries in the Judged Show, High Rise and a group quilt, Artists Garden. I had five quilts in the book, Lone Stars III, two of mine, A Few of My Favorite Things and Little Cities, and three group quilts, Cosmic Curves, I Sing the Flower Eclectic, and Group Conversations. Three of these were at the Houston Quilt Show in the Lone Stars III exhibit, and two are at the new Texas Quilt Museum. The exhibit in Houston of the quilts in the book was phenomenal! The layout of the exhibit had traditional quilts and art quilts interspersed. I thought the effect was wonderful!

I was also given a minor presence in Libby Lehman's Lecture (though I unfortunately did not get to see it), and in Stitched which showed on Saturday morning. And if that is not enough, by complete surprise I found that my winning quilt High Rise is featured in the gallery section of On the Quilt Scene!  It looks beautiful!  Thanks Quilting Arts!!!!

Two other events definitely worthy of mention were the Alliance For American Quilts Save Our Stories and the event for the quilters in the book Lone Stars III. Karey Bresenhan and Nancy O'Bryant Puentes hosted a wonderful event with fabulous food, drinks, and an interesting introduction to her book. We signed each others' books and then went down to view the exhibit. These two events are interconnected this year because quilters who were in the book were invited to share their stories through a recorded oral interview.  I was asked to bring a touchstone object, which I selected my quilt, Fifty, Female, and Fearless.  The interview lasted about 45 minutes and will be available after it is transcribed.  It is such an honor to be a part of this project and to be a part of history!  I am in awe of both the project and the number of volunteers who contribute their time to this worthy project! 

And last, I had three small quilts, 9" x 12", at the SAQA booth for sale. These did not get to be viewed for long though. One sold before it got to hang on the wall. The next two sold quickly on Opening Night. I was beside myself with excitement that the quilts sold and it has motivated me to make some more that I will offer for sale on my blog.
1BdrmApt
Full House
Nine Houses


You might have to wait to see these though because, sadly I always catch a cold in Houston, and this trip was no different. Fortunately, I made it through three days healthy, and got the cold on my last day. Now, I am trying to rest....which is really hard after Houston because all the creative juices get flowing! like just looking at the exit stairs to the Parking Garage for the George Brown Convention Center.



And, to end on a good note, I leave you with these two photos of my cats. The first is before I leave on a trip, the second is when I return. I suspect that they are happy I spent my first day back with a cold and in bed all day...part of the reattachment process. :)
Cats before my trip..."if we just stay on top of her suitcase, she won't be able to pack it!"
Cats after my trip....
Thanks for stopping by!