Thursday, June 20, 2013

Fun With Hexies...

I'm making a quilt for MD Anderson's Ovarian cancer fundraising event.  I decided to challenge myself to do something with hexagons, and ended up playing with them in a somewhat unusual way.  
I love piecing them.  There is something very meditative about the entire process.  My challenge was to manipulate them slightly to conform to the shapes of one-half a uterus, a fallopian tube, and an ovary.
I never said I was "normal".  

To get an ovoid shape I stitched two hexes, then two more "portions.

There is something quite lovely about the paper templates, isn't there?

More folding and stitching

This, believe it or not, is the inside of the half-section of the uterus.  
It does look very "wing-like".

Here is the ovary, stitched in place and quilted to resemble a flower.

I apologize for the poor lighting of this image.  I'll try to reshoot it and post a better one.
The name of this quilt is "Life Force".

I know a couple of women who are doing battle with ovarian cancer, so this is personal.  I encourage you to stop by the website for this project and check it out.  The online auction will begin later this year.

Friday, June 14, 2013

A Fundraising Labor of Love for Libby Lehman

Libby Lehman is one of the greats in the world of quilting.  She has won countless awards for her work over the years and is truly one of the best teachers of quilt making and design I have ever had the pleasure of studying under.  She is, quite frankly, one of my "quilt heroes":  a woman who encouraged me early on and really turned a corner for me in my work twenty one years ago.
Recently, Libby had a devastating stroke and is working hard toward recovery.  I read the following post and feel it is worth sharing.  Please take the time to read it and consider whether you might be able to make a charitable contribution toward her medical fund.   Libby will have a long road to recovery.  She needs her friends from the quilting subculture to lend a hand, if at all possible.

I realize the post written by Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson is overlapping into my border info.  I believe you can still read it, but apologize for the inelegant borders.
Thank you so much for reading this.

http://www.thequiltshow.comHelp Libby Lehman
1977_libby_w_quilters.jpgHow YOU Can Help Libby Lehman!
WIN A Quilt From Alex or Ricky
100% of Proceeds Go Directly to the Libby Lehman Medical Fund.
A Note From Ricky & Alex:
Following the medical tragedy of our dear friend Libby Lehman, there has been an outpouring of concern from quilters all over the world asking how they can help. Quilters want to make quilts, but Libby does not need quilts. The kind gesture of making a quilt for Libby and sending it to her will create more challenges than comfort for her and her family, with whom we remain in close communication. Please do not make and send quilts to Libby and her family. Cards and quilted greeting cards are fine.
After weeks of "waiting" to determine the best way we as a quilting community can help, the mission is clear: to raise funds to help offset the staggering costs of medical expenses and rehabilitation expenses. Libby's Medicare is ending soon but the medical expenses will continue for a very long time. We need to raise funds to assist. Outlined below are three ways you can help.  READ ON!
1977_win.jpgMethod One - Enter To Win Ricky's/Alex's Quilt

Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims are each donating a quilt as a fundraiser. Two people's names will be drawn. The first name drawn will have a choice of either quilt. The second name drawn will get the other quilt.
Amish Sawtooth Star
Made entirely by Alex Anderson and published in her book Simply Stars (page 41). It is machine-pieced and hand-quilted with meandering feathers in the body of the quilt and a twisted feather border. It is a classic Alex Anderson quilt and is in excellent condition. (52"x 52")
Harmonic Convergence - Revelation
Made entirely by Ricky Tims and made from Ricky's first commercial fabric line.  It is machine-pieced using Ricky's Convergence technique and machine-quilted on a domestic machine with both variegated and metallic threads. It is finished using Ricky's well-known piped-binding method. This contemporary wall quilt measures (48" x 48") and is in excellent condition.
Enter & Contribute:
1. Click "Enter" below to get the registration form. Print out the form, fill it out, include a donation, and mail everything to the TQS office: TQS/Libby Lehman P.O. Box 418, La Veta, CO 81055.
2. Send a check, money order, or cashier's check in US Dollars made payable to "Libby Lehman Medical Fund". Your contribution (no matter how large or small- no contribution necessary to enter) will enter you in the drawing for the chance to win one of the two quilts. Naturally, our goal is to make a sizable donation to the fund. The amount you wish to send is up to you. We encourage you to be generous - $25, $50, $100, $500 or more. Thank you so much for participating in this important effort. We will report the total amount we raise in an upcoming newsletter and blog.
3. All entries received on or before July 13 will be eligible.  The drawing will be Monday, July 15th. Winners will be contacted and must respond in one week (July 22, 2013) or another name will be drawn.  Once the winners have responded it will be announced on the site.
Method Two - Raise Funds With YOUR Quilts

If you have made (or are making) a quilt for Libby, please consider finding a way for that quilt to generate money for the Libby Lehman Medical Fund. Raffle or sell it and then send the money and a picture of the quilt directly to the fund at Libby's sister Cathy's address below (not through the TQS fundraiser address in Method One above).
Better yet, do you have a quilt in your stash that you are willing to sell on Libby's behalf? If so, sell it or raffle it and send the money directly to the Medical Fund at the address below along with a picture of the quilt. This will mean so much to both Libby and her family.There is no immediate deadline for doing this.  The Lehman family will need assistance for a long time ahead.
Please make checks, money orders, and cashier's checks in US Dollars payable to "Libby Lehman Medical Fund" and send them directly to Libby's sister:
Cathy Arnold
2220 Stanmore

Houston, TX 77019
1977_screen_shot_20130612_at_121714_pm.pngMethod Three- Just GIVE!

Follow Libby's progress and give whenever you can.
The following is from Libby's family: 
            As Libby’s recovery plan is beginning to take shape, it has become clear that this will be a long and unpredictable process. Medicare will only pay for a portion of the cost of the rehab. She does not have an auxiliary policy. The burden of paying for the long-term rehab and care will fall to Libby’s husband, Lester, and the family.
            Thank you to all who have donated to CaringBridge in tribute to Libby.  Although those contributions do not go toward any medical expenses, they have helped to make possible this website communication.
            If you would like to make a much needed contribution toward Libby’s rehab and other extensive medical expenses, it would help ensure that Libby gets the best medical care possible. 
            A bank account has been set up at JPMorgan Chase Bank. The name of the account is the “Libby Lehman Medical Fund.” Checks, money orders, or cashier’s checks (U.S. dollars only) should be made out to “Libby Lehman Medical Fund” and mailed to her sister, Cathy Arnold, 2220 Stanmore, Houston, TX 77019.  Please include your name and address if it is not on the check. If you wish to use an online secure transfer method from any bank (called Chase Quick Pay), please email Cathy’s husband, Bill Arnold, at, and he will provide you with proper instructions.   
            Bill Arnold and Bill Askey, Libby's brother-in-laws, are the Trustees of the Fund and the only signors on the bank account. To the extent possible by the amount of funds in the account, they will be responsible for issuing checks to pay for any medical bills that are presented by Lester. The family is very appreciative of all cards, letters, quilt pieces, and contributions received on behalf of our beloved sister, Libby. She is a real treasure to all of us, and we all want her to be able to recover to the best of her abilities.

Friday, June 7, 2013

A Few Bits from the SDA conference

Today was a honey:  the speakers at the SDA conference here in San Antonio were so great!
This morning started with keynote speaker Janet Echelman.  Oh my goodness.  I still get crazy goosebumps just thinking about it.  I snagged this image from her website because you just have to see one of the sculptures she creates.  This particular installation is right around the corner from the hotel my husband and I always stay in when we travel together to Amsterdam for a trade show (for his business: I get to go for fun).  I would so love to see this in place and wonder how long it will be there!
Here is a link to her TED talk about her installations.

The story of her artistic path is really interesting. 
Here she is with Robert Rauschenberg

I loved this quote that was part of her talk.
The numerous vendors at the conference are offering all sorts of beautiful things:
clothing, yarn, wool roving, threads, beads, stencils, vintage textiles: both Japanese and Indian.
Tonight's trunk show was astonishing.  I was volunteering in the book store or I would have gotten into even more trouble than I did!

This evening's speaker was Michael James.
His presentation was surprisingly touching.
His work has greatly inspired me over the years.

I apologize for the quality of the images at the bottom, but I couldn't/wouldn't use flash here!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Making My First Pieced Pincushion

Maybe I should be embarrassed to admit it, but I have never made a pieced pincushion before.  And I love pincushions!
The SDA conference is many things, and one thing is the silent auction of (hopefully) the many pincushions people will donate:  everything from vintage to hand-made.  That is the reason for the following experiment.
I'm not great at following directions (some of you will not be very surprised when reading this..) so I decided to make something up.  Did I prepare in advance by researching what to stuff the pincushion with?  Of course not.
Since I had just received some gorgeous linen prints from Anna Maria Horner's new collection I thought they would be perfect for this.  I fused a lightweight interfacing to the linen, as well as a piece of solid Kona cotton.
Since the print had a beautiful floral motif it followed that the cushion should be round, right?!
First, I cut two pieces of the linen using the floral motif as my guideline (approximately 5 inches diameter).  Then, I cut 1 strip of solid fabric, 2.25 inches wide and long enough to stitch to the circumference of the linen circles.
Right sides together, I folded the leading edge of the solid back on itself about 1/2 inch.

I repeated with the second circle, attaching it to the opposite edge of the solid.
I ended up with a little "box".  I notched around the seam allowance about every 1.5 inches
so that it would reverse nicely at the seam lines.

You can see that I left a bit of an opening along one seam because I wasn't sure when to stitch my buttons (read:  I haven't done this before..).   After turning the cushion inside out I attached my two buttons at this point, using bookbinding waxed linen (read above).  I deliberately made my interval between the buttons a bit narrower than the width of the side piece.

Using a recent piece of lovely mail from a friend (hi Sue:  it was close to my work table!)
I created a funnel for the sand.  Yes, sand.  I poured it through my opening.

I ran out of sand before it was really stuffed full, but I think it looks pretty good!
I made a little tag and stitched it in place when I hand-stitched the closure.

Side-effect:  Now I want to make more.  I like the "heft" of the sand as the filler.  My late friend, Laura Pitts, who made the most beautiful pincushions I've ever seen anywhere, filled them with sand.  
Next up:  a square pincushion.  But I cant show it to you yet because I need to go to Home Depot and get more sand.  

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Pop-Up Gallery and the Surface Design Conference

Greetings!  I've been away from my blog for a couple of weeks and I apologize for not posting.  Between an overcrowded disc on my computer and an overcrowded schedule, I was struggling to find time to sort it all out!  (I'm not sure how successful I was at finding room in either case, but so be it).
The time is finally here:  the Surface Design Conference in San Antonio is beginning this week, with pre-conference workshops and bus tours of some of the sights in the city.
Those of us who share the Art Cloth Studio space decided to have a pop-up gallery to welcome people on the tour.  Everyone has been anxious to visit the new digs, which are very close to completion.  The following are a few shots taken this morning as the tour groups came through.
Everything but the two center pieces on this wall are mine.  
The two in the center were created by Lisa Kerpoe.

The work on the table (foreground) is by Miki Rodriguez,
and the fabrics on the back are by Lisa Kerpoe.

Miki Rodriguez' work

I made the flags hanging in the doorway...
more about those later.

Guest artist Sharon  Rowley created the beautiful large prayer flags
that will hang across the buildings of the 1803 studio during the SDA conference.

Jane welcomes part of the tour group into the newly completed wet studio building.

I will be updating the blog regularly during the conference so please stop by often to see more images.