Monday, June 28, 2010

Flyin' the Flag for CREATE!

"Women Fly@CREATE"

This flag is headed to Cloth, Paper, Scissors as part of their flag challenge in honor of the CREATE artist retreat in Chicago (see previous post for details).  The only thing missing are the needed grommets.  Since I feel strongly that they should be purple I must wait until Stamp Antonio opens in the morning.

This flag was strip pieced from 4 different unique pieces of cloth:  (from left to right) Spoonflower fabric,
dye-printed facial washcloths (see my article in the April/May 2010 issue of Quilting Arts magazine for details), hand-painted gessoed canvas, and deconstructed screen-printed silk in the center.  The Women Fly patch is from one of my frequent trips to the Oshkosh EAA fly-in, and the letters are grungeboard painted with Tsukineko All-purpose ink and stitched into place.

The flag back is an old car rental map, fused to the front with MistyFuse fusible, then zigzag stitched at the edges.

flag back

Jamie Fingal and I will be teaching a flag-making workshop in Long Beach at the Quilt Festival next month in Quilting Art's  "Make-It-University".  Who knows?  We might do it again in Houston @ IQF in November.  It will be loads of fun, so come join us! 

Excitement is building for CPS CREATE retreat!

CREATE with Cloth Paper Scissors Mixed Media Retreat
August 25-29, 2010
Rosemont Hotel (just outside of Chicago)

Join Cloth Paper Scissors at an event that celebrates artistic expression through Mixed-Media unlike any other. CREATE with Cloth Paper Scissors is a Retreat that brings together inspiring artist instructors and enthusiastic participant artists of all levels for an exciting weekend of workshops, special contests & prizes, shopping opportunities, and the first annual Mixed Media Mixer.

CREATE features workshops with your favorite artists from the pages of Quilting Arts including Pokey Bolton, Judy Coates Perez, Leslie Jenison, Jeanne Moore, Leilani Pearson, Jane Davila, Susie Monday, Jane LaFazio,  Kelli Perkins, Beryl Taylor, Bob Maloney, Jenn Mason and many more!

Learn more about the techniques you love...
Collage, Screen Printing, Layering, Hand Stitching, Machine Stitching, Mono Printing, Screen Printing, Thread Painting, Tea Dyeing, Hand Painting, Emboss, Embellish,Journal…you can do it all at CREATE.

Join us at CREATE in August. Purchase a full package for the best rate or develop your own schedule and pay-per-class.
Register today at

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Laid-Back Shopkeeper in Lawrence, KS

On my last day in Kansas I drove back to Lawrence and wandered around downtown with my friend, Billie.  We spotted this relaxed assistant ("Allie Cat") and I had to take some photos of her.
Allie Cat wedged in the front window of the shop

There are more photos of her on the "It's About Time" Facebook Fan page:

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Double-Knit Quilt: "Maude's Double-Knit Extravaganza"

This quilt was hand-pieced by my paternal grandmother, Maude Tucker.
Oddly enough, she then had it long-arm quilted.  The batting is thick, and the backing is (gulp) dacron.
The quilt is between and full and queen size.


Oh! My grandmother loved double-knit!  She made me so many double-knit pant suits when I was in high school.  I was more the "Espirit de Corps" cotton shirt & jeans sort of girl, so these pant suits went unappreciated.  Too bad my second daughter wasn't around to receive these gifts.  She spent quite a bit of her high school era collecting and wearing double-knit from vintage and thrift shops.  She looked a LOT better in it than I did.  The jewel in the crown of my grandmother's double knit experiments, clothing-wise, was a floor length swizzle skirt (remember those?) made from alternating panels of orange print and black.  Oh my.  I would give a lot to have that thing back.
Unbeknownst to the family, my grandmother was piecing this amazing quilt from leftover cloth of her clothing projects.  We found it after her death, wadded up in a storage closet.  The quilt was unbound and very distorted.  I claimed it, took it home, and tried to figure out how to wrestle it into submission.
My original idea to bind it with more double-knit was quickly cast aside when I tried to figure out how to control it.  I'm not experienced with taming knits.  Let's just say it wasn't a pretty sight.  I settled for creating the binding from a piece of hand-dyed cotton broadcloth.
I can find a number of blocks that contain leftover pieces of my old pantsuits.  I absolutely treasure this old quilt.  I like to think that my grandmother would be pleased that I own it.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

In and Around Atchison: Part 2

The producers of the recent film, "Amelia", starring Hillary Swank and Richard Gere, donated some items from the film to the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum for display.  The AE House is one of the most frequently visited places in Northeast KS.
Hillary Swank, as Amelia, looks at her reflection on the side of her 
Lockheed Electra

Costumes from the film

additional costumes

film poster

Saturday, June 19, 2010

In and around Atchison

Atchison was home to numerous railroad barons.
This lovely restored painted lady is one of many beautiful homes in the city.

My brick in front of the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum.

Posing with one of the oil paintings I made of Amelia.
This 16x20 painting resides in the museum.

The soda fountain at Ball Drug Store

Another Day: Another Storm

This storm boiled up quickly while we were at the 
Forest of Friendship this morning, and it produced rain and very high winds

It left a lot of broken limbs and debris in its wake...

Double Rainbow

It isn't often that I see a double rainbow.
This one appeared after a big thunderstorm in Kansas City.

Stacked stone fences in the Flint Hills

Throughout the more settled areas of the Flint Hills where the land was divided into parcels you can see these stacked stone fences.  I'm fascinated with the artful construction of them.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Stark Beauty of the Flint Hills in Central Kansas

It is difficult to describe this place to someone who has never seen it.  The Flint Hills are a fairly narrow strip of land that runs north and south through the central part of Kansas.  Every time I return to the Flint Hills I try to photograph this vast, rolling grassland but the photos never do it justice.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Taking it easy in Topeka

my husband makes himself comfortable on Billie's sofa
(note the ever-present ipad)

Tim and I traveled to Kansas yesterday afternoon.  We will drive to a remote location in the Flint Hills, near Cottonwood Falls, to attend the Symphony in the Flint Hills, a benefit concert for the Kansas City Symphony.  Billie and I attended last year, and it was spectacular.  I am thrilled that Tim was able to come with me this year.  
We woke to the sound of gentle thunder from an early morning storm.  With luck, the storm has cleared out  and paved the way for a beautiful event this evening.  The thought of being the tallest thing for miles out in the middle of the Kansas grassland in a lightning storm doesn't thrill me, so I have my fingers crossed.

a peek out the front windows of my friend Billie's house.

Billie has a lovely bay window overlooking her front garden.
See the small green tree located between the bird feeder and the central
window casement?  That is her new Gingko tree!
I may "borrow" some more leaves to bring home for a thermofax screen......

Being in Kansas in mid-June is such a pleasure.  It is hot and humid, really almost the same as in San Antonio, although no one from either place believes me about this.  Things are lush and green, and the wildflowers on the prairie are blooming.  Nothing fills my cup like driving through the Flint Hills and seeing the rolling grassland.  The prairie has a stark, lush beauty that is like nothing else.  Try as I might I can never seem to capture the essence of it in a photograph.  And I WILL keep trying.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Alliance for American Quilts fundraising event-look at this!

Dear Alliance Members & Supporters,

The photos below say it all: the "New from Old" contest quilts are heeeere!

New from Old quilts arriving   New from Old quilt stack

New from Old Contest Quilt Avalanche!
We received over 100 entries for our "New from Old" contest and fundraiser. The quilts will be posted to our website by Monday, June 14, when our member voting begins. Until then you can see the "New from Old" quilts in a series of YouTube videos.

Contest voting begins on Monday, June 14 and continues through Sunday, June 20.All current members will be emailed  voting instructions and a weblink to our online ballot (be sure to check your spam/junk mail box if you don't receive your ballot email on Monday!). If you're unsure about whether your membership is up to date contact Amy Milne, AAQ executive director, and (828)251-7073. Renew online today.

Summer Membership Drive
Not an AAQ member yet? For as little as $25 a year (less than most of us spend on fabric in one shopping trip!) you can be an AAQ member. And now there's even more incentive. The AAQ Summer Membership Drive began on June 1, 2010. All new members who join between June 1 and August 31, 2010 will be entered to win a drawing for incredible prizes from AAQ Business Members: AccuQuilt, Moda, Simplicity Creative Group and G├╝termann. (Renewing members will be eligible for an equally exciting prize drawing). See our website for full details and a link to our secure membership payment page. 

summer membership drive graphic

New Pattern Search Feature on the Quilt Index Launched
The brilliant tech team at the Quilt Index just keeps adding great new features to the site. They get that it can be daunting to navigate a comprehensive stash of more than 50,000 documented quilts (with more coming), so they keep making it easier to find and compare categories and individual examples. The latest helpful tool is a list of more than 200 pattern names, mostly based on Barbara Brackman's esteemed Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns. 

browsebypattern example_Quilt IndexWhether you are looking for orange peel or pickle dish or yo-yo quilts across all the museums and state documentation projects archived here, you can find them. Click on "log cabin" and you will see 2,000 plus examples. Then you can use some of the site's other features to examine the lot in detail: such as having them displayed 60 at a time on your screen, and choosing to view them chronologically, from the oldest to the newest quilt.

Here is the link to the pattern browse feature, and here is a gorgeous quilt to pull you in (at left). This 1938 quilt by Florine U. Plumb is one of 86 examples of the New York Beauty pattern. See the full record on this quilt on the Quilt Index.

The Index is a joint project of the AAQ, Michigan State University Museum and MATRIX: The Center for Humane Arts, Letters and Social Sciences Online. 

Come Visit Us in Asheville for a Quilter's Vacation
August 7-12, 2010 

sweet biscuit inn asheville  Ann Holmes quilt
August is a great time to visit the Blue Ridge Mountains and the home of the AAQ! Our friends at the Sweet Biscuit Inn in Asheville, North Carolina, are offering a Quilter's Vacation August 7-12, featuring a "No Sewing Until You Quilt It" workshop with AAQ member Ann Holmes (Ann's quilt, "Working Together to Achieve Our Goals," is pictured above). This is a great weekend for quilters to visit our mountain home--the incredibleAsheville Quilt Show will be presented at the NC Arboretum and the Biltmore Estate is only a few miles from the Inn. AAQ Executive Director Amy Milne will be making a presentation on today's exciting quilt documentation movement. Best of all, you'll be supporting the AAQ--Angela and Robert Maddix, innkeepers at the Sweet Biscuit Inn will make a donation to the AAQ for every guest that hears about this vacation via the AAQ.
Visit the Sweet Biscuit Inn's website for full details. 

"New from Old" Quilts on Exhibit at NQA
June 17-19, Columbus, Ohio

NQA show bee If you're planning to attend the 41st Annual National Quilting Association Quilt Show in charming downtown Columbus, Ohio June 17-19, please come by the AAQ booth--number 602. AAQ Executive Director Amy Milne will be there with some special goodies for anyone who joins at the show. Don't miss this opportunity to see the "New from Old" contest quilts in person (and pick your favorites for the auction).

Membership Update (May 7 - June 10, 2010)
We'd like to welcome these new members:
Marie Johansen, Betti Effrig, Wendy Reed, Lisa Allen, Sondra Cone, Tina Graham, Allison Evans, Dana Lynch, Eric Sciotto, Lisa Penny, Deborah Hemphill, Mary Beard, Dorothy Euske, Joyce Hughes, Janice Stone, Kimberly Dolan,, Kathy Guardia, Laura Martin, Peggy Bass, Patsy Thompson, Karimah Abdusamad, Dana Zurzolo, Barbara Curiel, Mary Epenshade, Judy Eades, Sylvia Weir, Deborah Holman, Starr and Sophia Primm, Donna Starley, Peggy Schroder, Shelly Burge, Dot Collins, Lisa Lubin, Sue Rivers, Jeff Lovin, Mary Morgan, Jayne Davis, Christine Deering, Mary Reed, Kathy Dunigan, Mary Hooser, Betty Pillsbury, Pat Daniels, Mary Markworth, Julianne Scotto, Martha Stuart, Jennifer Rodriguez, Michael Michalski, and Rachel Clarke.

And send a big thank you also to these renewing members:
Elizabeth Colton, Kathryn Christopherson, Bridget Wideman, Asheville Quilt Guild, Marybeth Stalp, Nanette Fleischman, Karla Poggen, Mary Worrall, Jill Le Croissette, Terry Pottmeyer, Ellen Hernandez, Sandra Starley, Chandrea Kowalski, Kathryn Wagar Wright, and Sherry Boram.

Alliance Friend's pinAAQ Members ensure that the stories of today's quilts and their makers are documented, preserved and shared for generations to come.
Join today for as low as $25 with our secure online payment form or by mailing in your membership form. Visit

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

"Painting Outside the Blocks: Artists Do Lunch"

created by Frances Holliday Alford, Barb Forrester, Connie Hudson,
myself, Sherri McCauley, and Kathy York

On a roll! Our art quilt bee has made two quilts to enter into Houston IQA this year! This one is the result of what happens when you ask artists over for lunch, which is exactly what Frances Holliday Alford did! After lunch she brought out the fabric markers, and told us to play on the tablecloth. So, we all sat around, mindlessly drawing and playing.

Then, each time we got together we would draw or paint on a different section. Eventually, Frances tore up the tablecloth into six pieces, gave each of us a piece. The instructions were to finishing painting and then quilt your section. In about a month, we met again and joined our sections, then cut them apart and then joined them again. Last, we quilted some sections of black and white and then the border was overlapped with the edges of the quilt to create the curvy boundary, which were then joined together. It looks super fabulous! And really, really fun!
You can see more details on Kathy York's blog here.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Fun Online Art Class coming up!

Melanie Testa, is offering a fun online class through Joggles called "Let's Exchange Some Art", which will introduce artists to the idea of building layers on paper with many of the same tools that are used on textiles.
Here is what she has to say about the class:
This class is scheduled to begin on June 25, 2010.

In this class we will discuss layering and building grounds using stamps, stencils, washes and lots of color!

We will make our own stamps using fun and innovative ideas to build both overall designs and singular motifs. We will make out own stencils and use found stencils, create washes, explore accidentalism and have some fun!

3 major projects will be explored using these ideas; Artist Trading Cards, Tags and Mail Art-lets put some cards and envelopes in the mail and give our local postal workers a visual treat while they deliver some fun stuff! So if you are ready to create papers, ATC's and tags that have dynamism and verve, come play with us!

The supply list will be sent to all students one week before the class starts. Once you buy this class you will receive an email order confirmation, but you will not hear from us again until the supply list is sent.

A high speed connection to the internet is recommended for all students.

In order to participate in online classes at joggles you are expected to have basic computer and internet skills. You need to be able to browse the internet, know how to download and save a document to your PC's hard drive, and understand how to open and save email attachments. It is your responsibility to learn these skills before the class begins.

Please be certain you are comfortable with all of these skills. Class fees will not be refunded once the class has begun.

Here is a link to the class registration on Joggles' website:

The class will teach you to paint and surface design PAPER! Make stamps and stencils, and play with ideas of composition and color. We will create three projects using these techniques, Artist Trading Cards, Tag and MAIL ART. We use the postal system as an art gallery, making our own envelopes and sharing the fun with one another within the group.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Future Black Swallowtail butterflies have lunch in my garden...

See my little green friends?

My rose bed is planted with other things such as parsley, fennel, agastache, lavender, and Russian sage 
in order to attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds because they are such good pollinators.  Interestingly, the caterpillars have a very distinct preference for either fennel or parsley, depending on the variety of caterpillar.  Monarch caterpillars love the fennel, as you can see in the photo.  

"Coloring Outside the Blocks: Artists Do Lunch" before & afters

Our second group quilt collaboration involved taking a tablecloth and doodling on it with markers and paint, switching positions so the styles became a bit blended, then dividing the cloth and giving each artist a piece to take home and push forward with additional painting and quilting.
Here is the piece I worked on beyond the initial session:

additional painting and quilting

I'll post an image of the finished piece soon.  It is very exciting!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Pixel Perfect

I'm borrowing (with permission) the post about our group quilt, "Pixel Perfect", from Kathy York's blog:

by Kathy York, Connie Hudson, Sherri McCauley, Leslie Jenison,Frances Holiday Alford, and Barb Forrister

Well, here's the full view of our entry for Houston this year. It went together so easily, and we had fun making it. When asked about techniques on the entry form, I just wanted to list, "everything". Obviously, it is impossible for it to have EVERY technique, but it sure felt like it!
We tried something new with the joining of the quilted blocks that I wanted to tell you about. We usually trim the quilted blocks, butt the edges together, zig-zag with invisible thread. Then we turn it over and fuse fabric strips over the joined edges, flip the quilt back over and satin stitch over the invisible zig-zag.
This time, after joining all the pieces with invisible thread, we decided that the satin stitch would be distracting because our blocks were so small (just 2" x 2"). We liked the way that the invisible thread looked, but were concerned about the overall strength of the piece. So, Leslie dyed a gorgeous piece of red organza (which I have not taken a photo of yet, sorry!!), and we fused the entire thing to the back. The photo below is what the back looked like before the organza. I thought that looked pretty awesome too!

Here's the back before the organza was fused to the surface.
Each artist had a unique "mark" stamped to the back of her blocks.

After fusing the organza, we went back and zig-zagged all the seams through all the layers for reinforcement. Then we decided to add some satin stitching lines, keeping them consistent with the overall work but not overwhelming the work that was all ready there. It was hard to decide what these lines would be, but we eventually settled on these somewhat concentric lines. The thread was chosen to be similar to the background to keep the effect subtle, and some hand stitching with embroidery floss was added to both soften and emphasize our new lines. The work is just incredible! It is rich with the individual artist's voices and the group process sings!
Last, this was an easy group project that has so many possibilities! I am curious to see if we will try it again and get a totally different quilt.....or if any of you will give it a try! Be sure to let me know!



To add to Kathy's description I would say that this was, indeed, a fun project.  The group enjoyed working on it, and it fell together very smoothly.  I'll post an image of the quilt back with the fused organza soon.