Friday, June 27, 2014

Chairs, Chairs in July

While developing a workshop for an August class at Sewing by the Sea in Trenton, I made several versions of Adirondack chairs. These two proved to be too small to be manageable for students. So fussy! Such tiny pieces! I never throw things away though--even if I never use them again, bits and pieces from old projects are pinned to the design wall as visual reminders, like the trial wine glasses for 'Mom and Aunti Jean Play Gin'. (The ones on the quilt are the second pair, created after the experiments on how to make it look like the glasses had wine in them.) Coincidentally, I had two green squares from an exercise in perspective also pinned to the design wall. Put the two together and 'Voila!' Just loved them! A little thread paint and quilting later, mounted on stretched canvas, and the two are nearly ready to hang at the Center for Maine Craft exhibit that begins July 2, featuring several artists from Art Quilts Maine. Swing by the Center if you are out and about this July--it's in the West Gardiner travel plaza where 295 meets 95, so you pretty much have to go by it if you travel past Augusta. Starbucks, rest rooms and Maine crafts--what a concept!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Old Fort Johnson

What a lovely day we had at Old Fort Johnson near Amsterdam, NY on Saturday! We started the day with quilt historian Kris Driessen, who brought many antique quilts to illustrate her discussion of dating and appraising quilts. She was very informative, talking about various fabrics a historian looks for to help date a quilt, such as double pink, or turkey red, and sharing some little known facts that we New England quilters take for granted. For example, quilts designed for four poster beds are an east coast phenomenon--western families did not have four poster beds, so that unique shape is unknown to them. Likewise, shirting fabrics were commonly brought home as cut-aways from shirt factories and mills found mostly in New England. The best part? Kris allowed us to pass her quilts and tops around to handle and examine the fabrics, note the stitching, admire the rich colors. After a grand picnic on the lawn (it was a gorgeous day and one of the women brought a to-die-for chocolate cake) we reassembled for my trunk show. I brought a baker's dozen art quilts--including the unfinished Honu. Like Kris, I enjoy letting others handle my quilts and discuss details of technique and style choices. We worked our way from Back Bay Winter, completed in 2006, to the present. I brought some of my Quiltini Pins--you can see my post on them here. Once I got started making them I found it hard to stop--I get more ideas as I work. I think I've made nearly 100 so far. They were a hit at the gift store!

Thursday, June 5, 2014


Friendship, Maine
Done, with a week to spare! Well, except for the label. I printed it out, so it is drying. Oh, and dotting the i's on the quilted names of places in Friendship. All that will have to wait til after the weekend. But this quilt is going with me to Amsterdam (upstate New York, that is!)

I've been invited to be part of a day-long quilt workshop at Old Fort Johnson, titled "From Antique to Art Quilts: Quilting as Artistic Expression." The Fort has a new exhibit, "Pieced in Time: Antique Quilts from Montgomery County" that I am really looking forward to seeing--if I bring white gloves do you think they will let me handle the quilts?

On Saturday morning, quilt historian Kris Driessen will present an hour and a half lecture on the influence fabric, economics, politics and other factors had on early quilts. I am on after lunch, with a trunk show of about a dozen art quilts. I'll try to tie my discussion in to Kris' a bit, and talk about the tools, fabrics and techniques that influenced the modern quilt revival, and have made art quilts (and a wide variety of other styles) so popular. Should be fun!