Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Thanksgiving and the Ice Storm

Thanksgiving was fabulous.  We spent a beautiful week in Colorado with our friends, hiking, eating, laughing, drinking wine....and of course taking our annual hike to find the perfect Christmas trees.  
Brian on the trail 
Erik-- scouting for the perfect tree
We got back to Fort Worth the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.  The weather was balmy, and the maples and oaks were colorful.  This has been a gorgeous fall in North Texas!

 But we heard there was an ice storm coming.  I went out and picked the last of the roses.
It started to rain on Thursday, and Friday morning we woke up to an unusual sight.  Brilliant fall color against a blanket of snow.

Except that it wasn't snow.  It was ice, and had formed a solid blanket 4" deep.  5 days later, and it's still there, pretty much intact.

Dallas/Fort Worth was crippled by the ice.  270,000 customers lost their electric power.  The freeways were impassable, and on Monday they were still full of cobblestone ice.  Minor roads (like our street) were ice covered until Tuesday.  Our street still has icy patches.  The grocery stores started running out of bread and milk (delivery trucks couldn't get through).  Brian says the view from his 32nd floor window in downtown Fort Worth reminded him of winters in Ohio:  gray sky blending into the white ground.  We had to shovel our walks -- with a garden spade.  We don't own a snow shovel.  Brian was unable to go to his office on Friday -- the first time he has ever missed work because of weather.  All those years in Houston, despite storms like Tropical Storm Allison and Hurricane Rita, he always managed to get to the office.  Our power went out on Sunday, but was back on by the time we woke up on Monday.  And it has been really really cold.

Today (Wednesday) the kids are back in school and the sun is peeking out.  I hope to see the grass again soon!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

studioQ Challenge quilts -- I'm caught up!

My fiber art group, studioQ, has been working on a series of color challenges.  Every other month, one of the members selects a photograph and presents us with a palette of colors pulled from the photo.  I am finding this rather challenging, because 1.)  I usually work with a large number of shades and tints, even if the palette is restricted to several hues and 2.) the chosen palettes have been way outside my normal color comfort zone.  I mean, look at all of that blue!

So several months ago, I  came home from a meeting with 7 color swatches, 3 of them shades of blue.  I decided to make a largish figure surrounded by smaller figures.  I put it together, and then realized that I had made a funky sort of tuning fork.  Hmmmm.
Challenge 1 - 17" x 23"
 I started the second challenge right after I got back from International Quilt Festival.  Tuning forks were very much on my mind, and I decided to just go with the flow and make a tuning fork motif quilt.  I decided to treat the green swatch as my background fabric, and had gotten permission to add the dark gray.  I felt that the swatches as presented did not have enough contrast.
Challenge 2 -- 23" x 35"
Both are quilted, so now I have some binding to do.  And I now feel that I can get back to Tuning Fork 13, which is on the design wall.

I'm linking this post to Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Friday, Richard and Tanya's Quilts Link a Finish Friday and Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday.  Go see all the wonderful work there!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Tuning Fork #11 won 1st place in Art-Abstract, Large in Houston!

 I just got home from International Quilt Festival in Houston.  I'm simultaneously exhausted and exhilarated.  I was thrilled just to get two quilts juried into the "big" quilt show, but I am over the moon about winning first place with TF #11!
I of course had to pose with it!
I will write more about my adventures in Houston when I've had time to process the experience. What a wonderful week!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Over at Amy's Creative Side it's time for the fall version of the Blogger's Quilt Festival.  Check it out -- it's lots of fun.

My entry is Tuning Fork #12:
Tuning Fork #12, 46" x 67", 2013
 I finished this quilt in August and it debuted at the Trinity Valley Quilt Show in September.

A few closeups:



I'm adding a few process pictures, since people have been asking me how I work.  I start with a very general plan.  For TF #12, I decided to work with black to medium gray as the background, so I started making tuning fork units and placing them on the design wall, starting in the upper left, grading them from dark to light and small to large:
 Then I decided to add a drift of color from top left to bottom right:
The colored tuning forks became denser as they drifted towards the center:
Finally, I had a layout of pieces that I felt worked.  At this point, they are just hundreds of blocks on the design wall.  I started sewing them together:
Once I'm past the big design decisions, it doesn't take me long to sew it together!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The last studio day in a while...

I've enjoyed these last couple of days in my studio.  Between Houston and family commitments, I won't have much chance to work for the next two weeks.

The first piece I worked on was for the studioQ color challenge.  We were given color swatches and told to make a piece from only those colors.  Lots of blue, very far out of my usual color palette. It was due at our September 30 meeting, but  had been working on TF#13 and didn't get around to it.  Our next meeting is Monday, so I thought I'd better get to it.  
Look, I made a tuning fork! 16" x 24"
Then I worked on TF#13.  A closeup of the section I've been working on:
I'm linking this post to Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Friday, Richard and Tanya's Quilts Link a Finish Friday and Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday.  Go see all the wonderful work there!

studioQ Meeting and the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo, Fort Worth

Besides working on Tuning Fork #13, I've been busy with studioQ (the local Fort Worth fiber group) and SAQA events.

studioQ met at Bethany's.  She showed us a wonderful discharge technique using Ritz color remover, and of course, we all shared our recent work.  Except me.  My current piece in in 100s of pieces on the design wall...
A piece by Kay shown during studioQ
I manned the SAQA booth during the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo, a new show in Fort Worth.  SAQA had two traveling exhibits at the show, the "Deux" quilts and a show by the members of the Georgia/South Carolina region.
SAQA booth.  We had to drape quilts over the pole since we couldn't pin

The "Georgialina" quilt exhibit
I was assisted by two SAQA members, Jay and Kerri.  Thanks, guys! 
Jay and I

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Peek at Tuning Fork #13

Tuning Fork #13 is going well.  I can see my vision for the quilt slowly forming on the design wall.
I have two more studio days, and then I will be manning the SAQA booth at the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo in Fort Worth.  Some of the SAQA "Deux" quilts will be there, and I'll be selling the catalog of the exhibit and, hopefully, signing up new members.  I'll post more about the expo later this week.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Hard at Work

 Busy busy week.  Monday was my birthday, and also studioQ meeting.  I spent the day with fiber friends, and then Brian took me to one of our favorite restaurants for a birthday dinner.  Tuesday I decided it was time to get to work on Tuning Fork #13.  Here's a peek at my progress so far:
Lucky number 13!
On Wednesday afternoon I decided I needed a break from the black and gray, so I pulled out three quilt tops I started this summer, and reworked them a bit.  These two are slightly better:
Figure Study #5
Figure Study #3

This one I pretty much mangled.  Death by rotary cutter:
Figure Study #4.  RIP

Today I did some office work, and my assignment for my goal setting class with Lisa Call.  It's a great class.  And I spent some time in the garden with the turtles.  The weather here is a little cooler (still in the upper 80s, but tolerable) and I'm trying to get the garden into shape.  Fall here is a beautiful time -- after a hot, dry summer everything bursts into bloom once again.  And the nights are much cooler.  Kind of like what we called Indian Summer in Ohio.  And then, sometime around Thanksgiving, the leaves turn and fall.  I'm looking forward to the cooler weather!

I'm linking this to Off the Wall Friday -- http://ninamariesayre.blogspot.com

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday, September 22, 2013

More quilts from the show

I was asked to post pictures of other quilts I had in the show.
Ruins #1

ModLogs

String Theory

My personal row at the show

The First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church quilt.  I quilted it.

"Pugcasso" by Annelle Smith.  One of my favorites!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Trinity Valley Quilt Guild 2013 Show

I've just returned from the awards ceremony at the TVQG annual quilt show.  


Tuning Fork #12 won first place!  And, to make my day complete, String Theory won second, Ruins #1 won third and ModLogs won an honorable mention.

There were some beautiful quilts in the art category -- honestly, I wasn't the only entrant.  I am totally overwhelmed by my awards.

And, honestly, feeling a little guilty.  I am currently taking a class on goal setting from Lisa Call, and during our first week we are examining our "be do have" list and our underlying core values.  I have no trouble with the "do" list and the "have" list, but the "be" list has me stumped.  What am I?  The other day someone asked me what I do and my answer was, "I'm kind of an artist."  Why did I say that?  I have sold quilts, exhibited in galleries, been in national quilts shows, even won awards in national quilt shows and I still say that I am kind of an artist.  Why do I feel like such a fraud when I say I am an artist?

Monday, September 16, 2013

3 Cities #1

I finally finished my quilt for the SAQA Texas exhibit, "A Texas Experience."   Here it is:

3 Cities #1, 12" x 12", 2013
No overtly Texan, is it?  As an abstract art quilter, I just couldn't do something realistic.  I tried, honestly, and it felt very false.  So instead, I thought about my life in Texas and came up with this.

The artist's statement to accompany the quilt:

I'm not a native Texan, but I've been here for 31 years.  The three squares in "3 Cities" represent my three Texas homes.  To the left is Midland, hard edged and very bright.  The southernmost city is Houston, softer, wetter and a very exciting place to live.  The square on the right is Fort Worth, my current home, a city I have fallen in love with.

If you live in Texas, are a SAQA member and are interested in submitting a quilt to the traveling exhibit, click here for the prospectus.  The postmark date on entries has been moved to September 30.

I'm linking this post to Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Friday, Richard and Tanya's Quilts Link a Finish Friday and Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday.  Go see all the wonderful work there!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A Really Good Day

Yesterday was a really good day.  I went to the Cowtown Farmer's Market, ran a few errands and worked on the SAQA volunteer booth schedule for International Quilt Festival.  SAQA will have a booth near their exhibits, "People and Portraits" and "Text Messages," and I volunteered to solicit the volunteers to man it.  So if you are a SAQA member, will be attending the show in Houston and would like to volunteer, e-mail me and I'll give you a time slot.

When I sat down at my computer to sift through the volunteers' e-mails, I found one from IQA (International Quilt Association, who run the Houston show) that I had won a cash award for Tuning Fork #11.  I'm a winner!
Tuning Fork #11, 2013
I won't know which award it is until the official awards ceremony, but frankly, I don't care which one it is.  Being a winner at International Quilt Festival is a big deal whichever it is!

Brian and I celebrated both his birthday and my win last night.  It was a wonderful wonderful day!

Whoooo hoooo!

I'm linking this to Nina-Marie Sayer's blog.  Go look at all the cool stuff there!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Cape Cod 2013

Brian and I are just home from our annual visit to Pop's home in Eastham on Cape Cod.  We had a wonderful time!

Our first day, we went to Chatham.  Brian and I spent our honeymoon there 34 years ago.
Pop and Brian at Chatham Beach

Chatham Light

The house we spent our honeymoon in.  Brian's great
aunt owned it at the time, and we stayed in the guest house.

Mill Pond, Chatham.  Brian's great aunt's house faced the pond.
I had always wanted to whale watch off Cape Cod.  The Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary is just north of Provincetown, and is a great place to see several types of whales.  So we decided to take a whale watching cruise out of Barnstable Harbor with Hyannis Whale Watcher Cruises.  It was a fabulous day!
Our whale watching boat

The young humpback rolled over to get a look at us.

Mother (blowing) and baby humpback
We saw several baby/mother humpback pairs, a finback and a number of minke whales.  It was amazing!  And the boat ride itself was fun, riding through Cape Cod bay.  We could make out the cliffs of Eastham and Wellfleet, the lighthouse and beach at Provincetown, and the beautiful harbor at Barnstable.

Sandy Neck, Barnstable Harbor
And we visited all of our favorite places.
Nauset Light

Salt Pond, Eastham.  One of my favorite places on the Cape
I am endlessly fascinated by the salt marshes.  There are several in Eastham.
The marsh near First Encounter Beach, Eastham
Eastham Windmill Weekend is the weekend after Labor Day.  One of my favorite activities is the sand sculpting competition on First Encounter Beach.
Loved the seal!

Lobster Bake took best in show

First Encounter Beach, Eastham, at low tide

Boomer was glad to see us home!

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