Saturday, March 31, 2012

And Now For The Show...................

In the previous post, we had photos of 'orphan' blocks that were found in the storage bin.  We must say sufficiently 'aged' blocks!  Here's how they were finished off.
The tops need to be under 44" wide so most fabrics will work as backing, hence the reason the side borders are less than the top and bottom.  This one was sashed with 1.5" mellow yellow border, then this green polka dot fabric brightened up the otherwise dull center.

This one worked out perfectly using two shades of blue for the borders and since these are charities quilts for Binky Patrol, funky fabric was a must.

You've got to love these mysteries!!  This package was also found in the storage bin--everything you see here was in the envelope and that's all.  At least, there was one finished block to give some idea of how to make similar blocks.  Why oh why wasn't it finished in the first place??????

Luckily, there were several of these sewing patterns in the bin also--okay, sew up some 2" finished half square triangles and go from there.
This small hanging was a finished project this week!!  Hurrah!  Although it's small and easy to do, it feels good to accomplish something and not put it in the storage bin to age!!! 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tying Up Some Loose Ends

Recently, while cleaning out the storage bins, these blocks were found in the bottom.  What to do with all these loose blocks that have no rhythm or reason for being there--most likely from an exchange in another life.  The blocks needed to come to some fruition for a good purpose and hence, here is what we did in the sewing room.
These bear paw blocks measured 6.5".

As did these nine patch blocks.

And one lonely heart block...............
Even though we had several bear paw blocks, only four were needed.
The blocks for this top measured 4.5" and included several paper pieced blocks that were received in a block exchange in early 1990's.  Boy, that seems like yesterday but to figure it was over 15 years ago--these blocks are sufficiently aged!!
The dilemma--how to finish these center blocks?  What would look good as borders?  Solid colors?  Bright colors?  Prints?  Stripes?  Oh, Woe is Me--we just can't let these things age anymore than we need to--so they are pinned to the design wall as we audition different fabrics. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

This Little Pig................................

This little pig travels with us everywhere.  He has been to many US states and to foreign countries like Canada, Mexico, China and others to numerous to name.  He is always willing to travel.  He doesn't eat much, sleeps alot and doesn't make much noise.  He is willing travel companion. 
He fits nicely in the side pocket of a canvas bag. 

He even has his own backpack to carry any essentials he might need.

He fits comfortably in a jeans pocket as well.  And he wears his handwoven bands to show his true pride.

Unfortunately, this last trip he had to hurry to the side of his adopted grandmother as she lay ill in a hospital.  There were few stops along this journey--only rest stops, like this one on the Kansas turnpike where he perched on the sunflower emblem.
If he'd had a choice, he would have flown--but we all know pigs can't fly!  But this one can if given the chance!  And so, the trip came to an end at his adopted grandmother's side and miracles of all miracles, she rebounded and was moved to a skilled care facility where she will receive much needed rehab.  Once, again this little pig climbed back into his comfortable sleeping spot in the canvas bag as his job was done and off we return to our home state.
He was waken from a nap as we approached the Texas welcome stop.  He was so anxious to pose for this photo that he didn't even change into his journey garment.
It wasn't long before we found the roadsides covered in blooms!  Bluebonnets!  And little pig saw a photo op--what a bright spring day it was as he trounced through the lovely scented flowers.
Ah, sweet Spring has returned and so has this little pig...............................until the next adventure.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Have a look at something finished out of the UFO stack!  We really like working on Sindy's 2012 BOM!  How fun these chickens are....................................
Is this not a chicken with an attitude??  Love working with the bright colors and using up small pieces from the 'trash' bin.

And these blocks came together into this........................

Just have to change it around somehow to make it interesting!  and for some WIP's (works in progress) well, almost in progress............................

The next pattern in the Stephen West's shawl club is out!  Always exciting!  and deciding on the yarn to use is the next step in the process.  Searching through all the stash takes some time and finally, here is what was decided on..................... 

Lorna's Laces sock yarn--this shawl should be cheery and perfect for spring (if we finish in time for spring!) and have you seen the new patterns out on Knitty website!  Take a look at this unique sock pattern titled Carousel !  This will be perfect to use one of these yarns from.........
String Theory Colorworks which we purchased at January Spin-in.  Okay, now we're off to listen to the birds sing their songs, watch the leaves turn green and flowers to bloom as we decide on needles and then wind the skeins into balls for future knitting.  Happy stitching to you during these spring days.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


It has been a slow start to the year--but, guess that's not all bad! Slow is good, huh? But, the past few weeks we have churned out a few things
Little Miss Shabby was the host for a stitch along during 2011--maybe you saw previous posting of the individual blocks.  Finally, finally, the border was decided--with a little help from quilting friends who suggested the larger scale pattern.  Okay, off to the quilters long arm this will go.

This will a quick and fun stitching project.

Another stitching project took place last summer--this from the studio of Crab-apple Hill.  "To Grandmother's house we go"--whoa!  lots of stitching, but fun to do!  And then the finishing..........................
Luckily, all the right fabrics were in the stash--or could it be we purchased all the fabrics needed over the year it took to finish?!!
Here is the finished charity quilt top--well, almost finished--still need to sew the blocks together but it will go to the quilter soon.
This is February shawl from Westknits and the genius minds of Stephen West.  We are using stash yarn--yes, we are!!
And here is March's creation!  more stash yarn out of the closet!!
Now, this was total genius at work!  so unusual--thanks Stephen! Next one waiting in the wings.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

So, You Want to Enter a Juried Exhibit?

The first Thursday of each month is reserved for Fiber Artists and March program was led by Anna Walker, Curator for Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC).  Anna  received her MA in Arts Administration from Indiana University before coming to Houston for the Curatorial Fellow position at HCCC.  While at HCCC Anna has overseen 18+ exhibitions and recently curated "Beyond Useful & Beautiful:  Rethinking Domestic Craft" in fall of 2011.  She presented the interesting information on how the selection process works for juried exhibits and show. 
So, you want to enter a juried show/exhibit?  Here are some measures you can establish to give you a better handle on what jurors look at in their process.

1) have a strong web presence (website)
2) have good photography, include details of work
3) keep your information updated often
4) entering exhibit--submit max # of images allowed (jurors have different opinions on some work; more entries increase the odds of selection of at least one piece for the show)
5) Develop newsletter: quarterly is sufficient.  Include exhibit/new work; always add and expand your email list
6) mail your portfolio to establish interest, include CD of images, write letter of interest, include media lists along with size of work and year made
7) DO research!!

The current exhibit at HCCC now are weavings by Lia Cook, Bridge 11: Lia Cook is part of the biennial Bridge Exhibition Series organized by the Society for Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

And then, members presentation of talent!

In February the Federation of Texas Fiber Artists held their conference in San Antonio and members showed their workshop samples.  This was felted pouch using embellishments.

The backside of the pouch.

This was portion of a scarf purchased from the vendor area.

This was another scarf purchased-- it was knitted with different fibers and fabric.

This fiber artist is studying Batik and showed several of her recent pieces. 

She employed stitching techniques to give the work texture and highlights.

This silk piece was just one of many she had to show.

The latest piece of work she is stitching on at the present time.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Busy Interesting Week!

The first full week of a month is always interesting--not only are their household chores (tile cleaning, laundry, regular etc. etc stuff) going on, there are also two meetings to attend.  Tuesday is weavers' gathering and round talk show and tell takes place. 
Penny had her lovely handwoven towels to show off--lucky sister who will receive this handy work.  Cottolin warp and weft makes for a thirsty towel.

This towel is cottolin warp and linen weft--nice handle.
Penny had this novelty boucle yarn scarf to show off!  Great cozy comfort this is!

Penny also had a set of six table linens to offer for sale--all dyed with indigo from her dye pot! Each of the six is individual in their look.

100% linen towels found through an Internet site.

Rosemary showed off her unique bracelets made from handspun yarns--time consuming but lovely to wear.

Talk about overshot was a big topic since the sample exchange this year was miniature overshot.  Rosemary had her notebook filled with the samples and also had this booklet honoring 40th anniversary of the guild.  An updated on was made for 50th anniversary.  The meeting was rounded out by presentation on how to tie for weft ikat dyeing--our 2012 study.
The second meeting of the first week is fiber artist meeting--next blog post on jurying for exhibit.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

March Road Trip #1

The weather is beautiful--well, maybe little cloudy, but we can't complain too!  We are heading south to enjoy a local festival.  Our first stop is this quilt shop--yippee!  A Quilt Shop!  Hubby can sit in the car while investigation takes place..............................

Cedar Chest Quilt Shoppe right in the middle of town!  As soon as you walk through the front doors, you are greeted with a warm 'hello' and 'welcome to Cedar Chest'!  Really nice folks here--willing to assist you with whatever you are looking for.

We are browsing--looking at their displays and fabric selection.  This is such a cool kids section!  Love the kiddies pillow and quilt!

The neat thing about their displays throughout the shop are not only these lovely quilts but the pattern that was used to make the top are right there beside the finished project.

Great Balls of circles!  Super fun!

This is such a sharp looking top!

And this one with red and white!  One of the quilters working in the shop talked about her black and white quilt for her daughter--can't you just see this top in black and white--simply smashing!!  And you say what was purchased??
You just can not leave this shoppe without purchasing something.  So, these fabric bundles caught our eyes--and yes, there is a purple bundle!  Can you believe??  It was difficult to pick those up, but we did!  We also joined one of their BOM clubs.  This one released through Patch Abilities.  It is a monthly calendar flag for table stand--kit includes stand header, pattern & fabrics--all for $25!    Back on the road and heading south again........

Arriving in Fulton, Rockport, TX for the 33rd annual oyster festival!  We are going to enjoy those fresh oysters right out of Texas bay waters.  Shuckers are kept busy as we pull out our tickets and pick up a dozen. 

Fresh, salty and delicious!

Along with our Shiners beer and a dap of cocktail sauce and a few crackers, we settle down to enjoy as our ears listen to country rock band on stage #1.

Don't like oysters, then one end of the tent is set up for you--fried shrimp & oysters, sausage on a stick, fried pickles, crab cakes, funnel cakes, etc.  All the food you care to chow down on.
Spring in Texas bursts forth with a wide variety of wildflowers and blooming trees.  The byways are decorated with blooming Huisache trees.  We spied many Indian paintbrush as well.  We are looking for those state flowers--the bluebonnets to appear. Happy trails to you as you traverse across your state during the spring time!