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November 8, 2008

Quilt Festival 2008

I began to attend the annual International Quilt Festival (in Houston) when I lived in Texas and continued this yearly pilgrimage after I moved to New York City.  This was my 24th year and it was as informational and inspirational as ever.  A wonderful old friend accompanied me making the 4 days even better.  I took classes, went to lectures, and wandered the entire convention center surveying new products and exceptional textile art.  It was hard to spend a few minutes completing my daily sketch before bed at night, but I tried to make the pages a visual journal of my important daily activities.  I used the sketchbook that I bound with Fabriano Artistico soft press 140 lb watercolor paper for the first time. 

I inherited my husbands old iPod (and playlist) and took it with me to listen to on the airplane.


Festival opened at 5PM and on Wednesday evening I sketched a face inspired by one of the award-winning art quilts, tried to use a teeny silk screen for watercolor, and sketched the logo for the huge program of events.


On Thursday afternoon I took a class that was part of the Silk Experience series and painted a beautiful series of silk color squares that were in the room and the piece of layered silk that I learned how to felt using a manual felting tool.  Hand dyed silk roving is gorgeous and I now need to decide how to use some of it in my projects at home.  The painted square at the bottom right is made of layers of silk roving, silk gauze, silk Dupioni, and silk cord - all felted to a piece of silk batting.  I may need to add small beads to it and make a decorative pillow.


On Friday I took two classes - Stitch-resist Shibori on silk in the morning and Stamps, Stencils, and Embossing (on velvet) in the evening.  The top sketch is a poor-likeness of my teacher drawing the stitching pattern for our first piece of shibori.  The bottom sketch is the pattern I made for my silk-screen and stencil work.


On Saturday I attended a morning session where 20 mixed-media artists demonstrated their techniques.  Although I always use procion MX dyes for my surface design on fabric, I was interested in trying fabric paints to convert some of my sketches from paper to fabric.  These are just paintings of the bottles of the primary colors and a 4th bottle where I painted the remaining colors, from the set of 8 that I purchased.  I also love metallics mixed in and bought an additional jar of antique gold.  It is good that I will be retiring next year so I will have the time to play creatively on paper and on fabric. 


Early Sunday AM I flew to San Antonio. my old home in Texas, to attend a medical meeting and I will post those journal pages tomorrow.

March 22, 2008

A New Granddaughter!

Annabelle Miriam was born today at 3:54 PM to our son Jason and his wife Shannon.  Mommy and baby are wonderful and Dad - a Pediatrician - says she's just perfect.  I sketched and painted the waiting nursery when I visited several weeks ago - and took her the new babyquilt and matching musical pillow.  This week I made her a really soft pink bear and will take it for our visit next weekend.



                              There is a music box in this shadow applique pillow.


                                           This bear is so soft - I hope she loves it! 



February 27, 2008

The Baby Quilt is Finished


We're expecting our 5th grandchild in 3 weeks and I just finished hand quilting the baby quilt!  I used to love to hand quilt in the evening and now I spend much of the time playing with my sketchbook.  Last year Callum's baby quilt was unfinished when he was born in London 6 weeks early - so I'm pleased that I was able to meet my deadline this year.

January 4, 2008

Happy 2nd Birthday to my Blog

Two years ago today I started my blog with an entry about the 3rd silk wedding chuppah that I made for one of our children's weddings.  Since then "paper," not "threads," has dominated my blog entries.  So for the birthday celebration today I selected my favorite threads project from this December - a pillow I made for my grand daughter Sydney.  Sydney's 3rd birthday was December 20th (her baby brother's is Dec 19th!), so I wanted to make one of our birthday presents something special.  This is the same pillow that I made for my daughter, Syd's Mom, when she was a similar age.   My daughter's reaction, when the present was opened, was more than I could have asked for.  Sydney's favorite color is orange and her new bedroom will be pale pink and pale orange. 


Here is the only photo that I have of the pillow that I made for our daughter in the late 1970s:


Although I was skeptical about creating a blog and sharing my "naive sketches,"  every minute of it has been a wonderful adventure. 

Tomorrow I will post "faces" that I've sketched the last few days to convince myself that I'm serious about this 2008 Goal.



December 4, 2007

Christmas Creativity

I love making decorations at Christmas and for more than 30 years have been making Christmas Pillows and Tree Ornaments.  This year I used Procion MX dyes and black gutta and "sketched" my Santa on silk for a new pillow.  Working with paintbrushes and dye on stretched silk is not very different  than working with watercolors.


I have been making 2 dozen tree ornaments - all from the same design - every year since my children were babies.  They became presents for family, teachers, ballet teachers, coaches,  and friends.  When each of my 3 children were married, I gave them a large bag full of all of their ornaments and now also give them to our grandchildren.  Many of my Santa ornaments were sketched as part of the EDM challenge "Draw a Collection" (Santas-1, Santas-2, and Santas-3) when I first joined EDM.  This year I made pigs from hand-dyed pink cottons and 3 of them already went home with our grandchildren Henry, Sydney, and Callum for their Christmas tree.



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