Friday, April 21, 2017

Creative time...Accomplishing so Much......

How do you feel when you complete a project?  Isn't it exciting when you finish a piece and it actually is what you saw in your "minds eye"?   Around the studio here in Paducah you can feel the energy as things are being created.  It is absolutely wonderful.

When we got here we had a rough idea of what our priorities were, you see while daughter dear was in NYC in March I pulled a sneaky and developed five new colors.  You read that right...5!  They will be rolled out at Spring Quilt Market in St. Louis next month, so of course we needed to make up some new designs using those new colors.  That part of the plan is coming along wonderfully.  The other plan was to finish up some collaborative projects that have been being pushed to the end of every to-do list for months now.  We have actually managed to complete a few of them...I posted some of those on yesterdays blog.

Here is what I missed....
"Serenity I" is one of our stacked landscapes framed in a vintage ceiling tile frame.  The gentleman who created the frame could actually tell where he got the tiles from...really cool.  This piece is for sale;  it is $65.00  (actual piece is 4 1/2"by6 1/2", framed it is 10"by11 1/2").
This is "Lone Tree I" Sold

 Then again you have to balance out all that hard work with a bit of play....right?  My hubby came to visit us and after our anniversary dinner last Saturday at Doe's Eat Place in downtown Paducah, which by the way was fantastic.  We strolled around a bit so I could show him other places we love, as we were strolling past the Art Guild of Paducah gallery window we spotted this beautiful cherry bench.  It was closed and he headed home, but midway through the week I got a text suggesting I buy it.  Well I'm nobody's fool....we went downtown yesterday, measured it, hubby checked measurements at home, I checked with the artisan, Hoye Filbeck to see if he had any other cherry benches in various sizes.  We went back today and bought this gorgeous bench, which will be perfect in our family room.
Here is a peak at one of the prayer flag designs by Susan Edmonson that I am working on.  I have been having such a great time making these little gems that I now have 7 of them in different stages.  Believe me, Kristin is probably tired of hearing me giggle and clap as I stitch, but I am having a ball.
Check back in, you never know what we may get done....hopefully a lot before Quilt Week starts next week. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Paducah, Kentucky; Artist in Residency.......

We arrived in Paducah on April 9th, unloaded both vehicles and collapsed.
From that day on we have been busy....seeing friends, eating at our favorite restaurants...oh and discovering more....and stitching, stitching, stitching.  My hubby even joined us for Easter weekend/Our 45th Wedding Anniversary.  As we did last year we went off around the countryside to explore.  Normal outing when traveling around like this is to stop and poke around the local antique shops.

Somehow Kristin managed to find something she couldn't live without and it found it's way into our car....
Returning to our are a few photos of what we have done so far...the pieces below are for sale and hanging in the front gallery.
                         "In the Distance I" is $150.00 (11"by18")
 "Bayou I" is $75.00 (7"by12")

"In the Distance II" is $50.00 (6"by11")

"Waters Edge" is $100.00 (12"by16")  This is a pillow created from one of our stacked landscapes and hand-dyed burlap in Cobalt.

There are more but my fingers are itching to be stitching on my latest piece....I will post more I promise.

If you are in the area or are coming to Paducah for AQS quilt week we will be open Tuesday through Friday, April 25th thru April 28th stop on by.  You can find us at 621 Madison Street in Lower Town.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Hooray....One Done.....

Have you ever felt like "life" is conspiring against you getting any creative time?  Well, for the past couple of weeks that's how I have felt.  First, we had to make more of our Bindles in order to fill those orders coming in after being given a shout out in Quilting Arts spring issue.  Thank you everybody...we really appreciated all the orders, it made us kick it into high gear and make more than we have ever made at one time before...whew!  Secondly, I got this nasty cold, that left me with absolutely No Energy.

On March 11, I gave you a peak of a "stacked landscape" we had done that was going to be turned into a pillow...
Here is the finished pillow...done and on it's way to Lakeshore Sewing in Grand Rapids, Michigan as part of a trunk show.  If your in the area of either of their locations, stop in and check it out.
This close-up shows the trees,foreground and if you look closely the clouds.  Oh and birds.
Raggedy edges give my heart palpitations....just love the moods they evoke....all this texture draws the viewer in for a closer look.  Somehow it gives the work an added presence, something extra that a flat piece of cotton doesn't.  Enhances the overall effect.
Stay tuned....the pattern for this and the seascape pillow will be available shortly.
Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Without Knowing, Friends Inspire Me.....

This past fall in Houston at Quilt Festival I was making my way down to our booth after teaching my last class and saw a couple of wonderful ladies relaxing at a table.  I stopped to say hello and joined them briefly.  Now this wonderful pair befriended us at AQS-Chattanooga 2015, and have over the last year brought us many wonderful goodies, a taste of home.  When their smiling faces arrive at our booth we know we are going to benefit from their arrival...okay maybe not my "waistline" but I haven't found that to stop me.  As we were talking they wondered if we would hand-dye some vintage linens for them...I quickly said yes....figuring this would provide the perfect opportunity to thank them for their kindness'.
While hanging these gems to dry I found myself thinking about the women who created them, and what they would think of the colors I had used.  For some reasons I can honestly say they were stuck on my mind all evening.
 Today, I kept checking on them, admiring how they looked...only a couple didn't turn out how I hoped they would.   In the past I have admired artist "memory" cloth work, where these gems have been incorporated into their present day pieces.  In fact I have included my grandmothers crocheted doily and clear glass buttons into one of my Minnesota series pieces.  I have also created and gifted angels for my cousins and siblings made from the same grandmother's was my way as the oldest grandchild to pass along memories. In the past I have hand-dyed other vintage linens, but they haven't turned out like these did, brain....just keeps working overtime.

Here are a couple of may see why they have worked their way under my skin.

 As I've touched and admired them today I believe the possibilities are endless.  Thank you ladies, this made me look at these old linens with fresh eyes and with a new respect for "women's work"...I have always used them just "as is" and this has made me look at things differently.   Hopefully they will also be inspired to create something wonderful and I will be excited to see what they do with all their new and tell will be encouraged.

Monday, March 20, 2017


My fingers have been worked to the bone, tying these little delectable "bundles" of textures, our Bindles.  After being given a shout out in Quilting Arts magazine we sold out in 24 hours, so we jumped to dyeing all the compoments.

This box full of Bindles now shows all those components tied together and ready to go, it is 3 layers deep and there is a second box not quite as big but overflowing.   Hopefully we have enough to fulfill all orders quickly.
We often say our booth looks like eye candy when we get all the wonderful colors out there, these are a great contributor to that sight.

After finishing all these goodies I took time to view the blossoms on the trees...ah spring and warmer days are on the way.
Back to the dye studio....I'm in the process of dyeing fabrics to work with during our Artist in Residency during April in Paducah, KY.  I've been mulling some new projects over in my mind and figure that will be a good time to try and implement them. 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Somedays...When You Least Expect It........

You get a nice surprise that takes you off guard.  Yesterday we kept getting orders for our Bindles, which are small bundles of various textures that reminded us of a hobo's pack...resulting in their name.  It wasn't until almost midnight when it dawned on Kristin that she had provided a Spicey Mustard Bindle to Quilting Arts last fall in Houston....hmmm....  Today her hunch was confirmed....  We got an awesome shout out from Quilting Arts in their April/May issue on our Bindles! Thanks to Scott Murkin for the photo....cause he had already received his issue.

Soon thereafter another order came in for Bindles and basically wiped us out and we thought we were so smart with how many we had prepared prior to our three shows.  Now mind you on our drive back from Florida we were pretty happy with the thought that we would not have any really heavy dyeing to do before Kristin leaves for New York City next laid plans, you know that old saying.  So guess what we are doing, you got it...we very quickly jumped into a heavy dyeing schedule so that we can fill those orders.  Thank you to everyone who reads Quilting Arts we really do appreciate you.

Now back to the couple of other embroidered pieces I managed to finish while in Florida. This landscape will have a few beads, rocks and such at the bottom; then possibly set into a small wall hanging.

This is one of our finished "stacked landscapes" finished off into a pillow...
Here's another one that I finished embroidering on in Florida that will become another pillow.  The first time I worked in this longer rectangular format it took a bit to adjust, but I think I'm becoming more comfortable with it.

These pieces are a collaboration between Kristin and I, she lays out the landscape, does some basic hand stitching and then passes them off to me.  I'm supposed to view it, add embroidery and create a scene or hopefully visually create something the viewer can connect with.  Yeah right....sometimes it's harder than you might imagine, sometimes a total surprise even to me.  We have found that we see colors differently, she sometimes sees something in the piece that I don't and she is usually surprised by what I finally come up with. Guess that is the nature of a collaboration.

I will try to remember to photograph and post all these "stacked landscapes" after they are totally complete, so stay tuned.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

A Few Days On the Beach.......

We managed to do three shows in 2 weeks and squeeze in a few days on the beach in Florida.  Oh if only those few days had managed to last a bit longer....I really could have used them wisely, really I would have.
During the show I demonstrated a few items, but when attendance dropped off in the afternoon I managed to stitch a little.  Then in the evenings I stitched and felt so good to get a few things done.  I will have to add a few beads to a couple of them, cause they do need a little bling.

These bitty stacked landscapes are really sweet.  It really doesn't take much stitching to enhance them, or create a scene.  A couple of beads, rocks or such will add to the overall effect.  For now it will take a bit more contemplation before they are done, because I think they each need to be finished a bit differently.  Choices....framed, pieced into a quilt, mounted on a quilt-let (small quilt used as a mat) maybe I can figure out something else too.

Still on beach time....time to call it a I will show you some more in the next post.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

A Peak At Our Booth at Mid-Atlantic....

I really planned on posting photos yesterday after we finished setting up, but left without taking any.  Hope you enjoy...

 Cheesecloth gradations.
The red bird is the one I was working on in the last blog post. Burlap smalls and Linen fat quarters.
Osnaburg fat quarters sitting on an Osnaburg quilt in the greens.
 In this little space we have our hand-dyed rayon seam binding, sari silk, 2 sizes of rick rack, lace....I probably have overlooked something.

In the event you are at Mid-Atlantic in Hampton, VA come by and say hello...we are in booth 1310.  Or if you are at QuiltCon in Savannah, GA stop in and say hi to Kristin.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

A Little Stitching Time.......

Finally a few minutes to stitch.....with an audience to boot
She did not appreciate my intrusion into "her room" especially my taking over "her chair and table", to add more insults, the sun was shining, access to her window was blocked by yours truly.  It is always fun to be scolded by this very sweet kitty.....and somehow I do feel guilty even though I did pick her up so she could sit in the window.  I have come to realize she does not like how the table vibrates and the sound of the sewing machine. 

I did persevere and managed to get a couple of things stitched together
This pattern by Susan Edmonson called "Birdie Bird" has been so much fun that I am on my second set of birds...for those of you attending QuiltCon in Savannah, Georgia these two will be on display in our booth there. 
These are the first two I made and they made an appearance in Houston at Quilt Festival 2016.....

they will be coming with me to Mid-Atlantic in Hampton, Virginia next week.

I am contemplating creating an entire flock of these guys....cause they are so much fun to make and each has their own personality.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

"Ironing" Elbow vs "Tennis" Elbow......

After ironing for a week now I swear I am suffering from "ironing" elbow/shoulder....but we have more to do to be ready for 3 shows over 2 weeks...cause there will be no time to restock between.  Whoever thought this would be a good idea....needs to be put in time out.....hmmmm!
These little bits of burlap will get tied up with our hand-dyed cheesecloth, osnaburg, and kona, becoming what we call "Bindles" yummy little packs of texture. Great for adding dimension to your work...just need a little bit in a landscape.  Love them.
However, most of my time over the past week has been taken up with ironing 8 yard bolts of osnaburg...15 bolts worth....holy moly that is a LOT of fabic.  By the time Kristin came back from her week of "relaxation" there were stacks of fabrics ready to wind onto the cardboard you can see that hasn't happened yet...even though she's been home for a few days.  It is like sitting in color heaven!

Oh and we have folded cheesecloth and folded cheesecloth to the tune of 4 overflowing clothes baskets.  Remember the stack in the chair I showed previously...well this is the last basket full...yeah the chair is empty...yippeeee!  This does not even take into count the perle cotton we have twisted, rayon seam binding or sari silk we have package.....oh boy will our booths look good come Mid-Atlantic in Hampton, VA, QuiltCon in Savannah, GA and Quits in Paradise Show put on by the Friendship Knot Guild in Sarasota, FL.

Guess I've had a bit of a break and it's time to go tie up all those goodies.....