Travel case for quilting gadgets

One of the many aspects I love about teaching, is being introduced to useful quilting “stuff” by my students. A lady in my class for the Metropolitan Patchwork Society in Beaverton, OR, had this great little travel case for storing quilting tools. It is supported by a plastic display rack, approximately 8″ x 6.5″. The purple cover flap is hanging down the back and flips over to close the case with the velcro strip. This is so handy for all the small tools and gadgets that quilters like to carry and have at their disposal.

This nifty travel case was designed by Pearl Pereira and the pattern is available for purchase at her on-line store.

 

Gateway to Mongolia

I recently taught my Gateway to Mongolia class at the Metropolitan Patchwork Society in Beaverton, OR. The pattern is available from my on-line store. Here is what one of my students made. This beautiful Ölzii is made from one fabric.

When I first saw the fabric choice that this student brought to class, I wasn’t sure how the fabrics would work together. However, she was able to fussy-cut from selected areas of one fabric to create the desired effect and it is very successful. She used motifs in the pattern for the intersecting squares of the Ölzii design and sections of fabric that changed from lighter to darker green instead three different fabrics for a color gradation. The fabric in the outer edges of the Ölzii also came from this fabric. It really pops on the black background and we were delighted with the results. Here are another two, one on a light background and the other on a dark background. Both students did a fine job on achieving the woven effect with a good gradation of colors.

Suzani from Ukbekistan

While I was in the Portland area to teach in Beaverton, I visited my good friend Nancy Watts, who has worked with me assisting the Mongolian Quilting Center for several years. Nancy had just returned from a Silk Road tour to Uzbekistan and shared her stories. She purchased this amazing suzani at an antique shop in Bukhara. It is at least 100 years old, woven in strips and hand embroidered with silk thread in intricate designs.

Traditionally, brides make these for their husbands. They are used in their yurts as wall hangings, bed coverings, or covers for belongings. The beautiful embroidered motifs all have symbolic significance and meaning: the pomegranate for festivity, peppers to protect from evil spirits, wavy stems for wealth and vitality, tear drops and almonds for abundance, and flowers which are the paradise garden in the desert to bring luck, good health and longevity.

Japanese Kimonos

Last month, I taught in the Fort Worth area of TX and was fortunately to be able to visit the Kimbell Art Museum where there was a special exhibit, Lands of Asia, featuring items from the Sam and Myrna Myers Collection. Most of these sumptuous silk kimonos were made for use in the Japanese theater from the early 1600’s to late 1800’s.

The kimono has been worn by both women and men in Japan since the sixteenth century. The T-shape is made from four strips of fabric folded in half and sewn together to form the sleeves and body of a robe that opens in the front. It makes an ideal garment for embellishment with elaborate decorative motifs.

The weavers in Kyoto produced large quantities of brocade with colorful designs and gold and silver thread. Much of it went to the Noh theater where masked actors performed rituals and dance of scenes of mysterious tales to melancholic music. The costumes replaced the stage decoration and needed to evoke the condition and moral qualities of the characters by their colors and their motifs. They are stunningly beautiful with both woven and embroidered designs.

The picture on the right, immediately above, is an exception. This is a fireman’s coat which is reversible. It is made rather like a quilt with layers of padded cotton (batting) between the outside and inside fabrics, all stitched (quilted) together. These thick kimonos were soaked in water when used in fire-fighting and would have been tremendously heavy when saturated.The design on it is a magic feathered cape, which flies in the sky above a stream like a phoenix. This image is drawn from mythology to evoke the notion of rebirth from the embers.

 

 

Silk Mandala Patchwork

Last month, I taught in the Fort Worth area of TX and was fortunately to be able to visit the Kimbell Art Museum where there was a special exhibit, Lands of Asia, featuring items from the Sam and Myrna Myers Collection. This silk Mandala from Tibet, Qing Dynasty (1644-1912), made from Chinese silk, caught my attention. The simple geometric pattern of triangles made from silk scraps glows and looks luminous. The large scale dragon print in the border is an added bonus.

In Tibet, where imported silks were always in short supply, the practice of making patchwork from silk scraps and recycled donations of clothing became a pious act born of necessity. These Mandalas made from half-square triangles, may have served as sacred diagrams to focus meditation. The number of pieces and their colors and arrangements were linked to numerology and divination. Mandalas were used by Tibetans in daily and religious life for altar coverings and table covers. In the context of Tantric Buddhism, geometric patchworks evoked the matrix of time and space in which the soul was caught in the web of existence.

“Home” exhibit at Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (2)

“Home” is a group exhibition featuring twenty-five artists from the Puget Sound Region. The exhibit is at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, where it will remain until June this year. The “Home” group exhibit was organized by a partnership between Olympic College, Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (BIMA) and Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network (BARN). On 26th March, I posted a picture of me standing beside my quilt, Trip Around the Garden, in the exhibition hall. Last Saturday, I spent an afternoon there for a “Meet the Artist” event and noticed how the reflection of my quilt appeared in another artist’s work. We were delighted by this fusion of art!

The center of my quilt is reflected in Matthew X. Curry’s piece, Valet 1, made from Argentinean lignum vitae, stack-laminate, branch, oxidized copper, wall-covering, leather and dried ivy root. The surface of the mirror isn’t quite flat in on the right side especially in the lower corner, so notice how the quilt becomes distorted in this section. Thank you Matthew, for permission to post this.

Quilting Around, Weatherford, TX

I recently taught at three quilt guilds in TX; Arlington Quilters’ Guild, Trinity Valley Quilters’ Guild in Fort Worth, and Quilters’ Guild of Parker County in Weatherford. I visited Quilting Around,  the quilt store in Weatherford. The store has a wide selection of fabrics and some beautiful patterns designed by Will Simpson. They are known for their block of the month patterns and for pattern kits. Here’s a little visual tour of the store. They sometimes have quilts for sale and they also collect quilts for donations to local charities. One of the photos shows some of these quilts. It’s worth a visit if you are in the area.

 

 

 

March for Our Lives, Seattle

On Saturday, 24th March, I participated in the March for Our Lives in Seattle. I applaud the young people taking a stand for the implementation of common-sense gun regulations and wanted to show my support for this cause. The march was peaceful and there was a feeling of optimism and hope that this is a beginning for positive change. Several of our St. Barnabas Church parishioners participated along with other members of the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia including the Bishop. Here I am marching with our church banner, one of my rare applique quilts, made in 2000.

The banner was much admired during the march. This is one of the more challenging quilts that I’ve made.. The Island, church, shield and lettering are done using a combination of hand, machine and fusible applique. The ferry boat was pieced and then the whole thing appliqued onto the background. We have a beautiful red brick church and I expressed my idea of our community extending beyond the parish by quilting lines radiating out from the lit up windows. The blue u-shaped piece in the border was cut from a large piece of fabric so that it could be made from just one piece. The quilt was machine quilted on my domestic machine. It has a split hanging sleeve on the back to accommodate the banner poles.

I spent several weeks working every day on this banner just after my father passed away in the spring of 2000, and the experience was very soothing. I donated it to my church in his memory. He was an Anglican priest and a Canon of Newcastle Cathedral, (U.K.), and this seemed a fitting tribute to his ministry and my fond memories.

 

“Home” exhibit at Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (1)

“Home” is a group exhibition featuring twenty-five artists from the Puget Sound Region. A few weeks ago I posted twice about this exhibit opening at Olympic College in Bremerton, and showed some of the work of the other artists. Now the exhibit has moved to the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, where it will remain until June this year. The “Home” group exhibit was organized by a partnership between Olympic College, Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (BIMA) and Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network (BARN).

I feel honoured to be a participant. As a previous exhibitor at BIMA, I was invited to submit any works pertaining to the theme of “Home”. Interpretation of the theme could be very loose. Two quilts were selected for BIMA. I offered two bed quilts, one contemporary and one traditional: every home needs at least one bed with a quilt! The contemporary one hung in the Bremerton show and BIMA selected this traditional one, Trip Around the Garden, which I designed and pieced. My good friend Wanda Rains machine quilted it beautifully on her long-arm machine. This quilt is featured in my book, Traditional Quilts with a Twist.

 

As for the Bremerton show, my other piece on exhibit is Toto’s Garden, a decorative wall hanging for a child’s bedroom. Toto’s Garden, was made by me to be featured in a special exhibit, Quilts for the Young at Heart, at the Houston International Quilt Festival several years ago. The exhibit was sponsored by David Textiles Inc., who produced a Wizard of Oz line of fabrics and invited various quilters to use these to make Wizard of Oz themed quilts. I was invited by merit of my work teaching children to quilt and several kids made patchwork pillows and one made a lap quilt under my supervision. These all appeared, along with my offering, in the exhibit. Look closely to see the Cowardly Lion’s tail, the Scarecrow’s hat, Dorothy’s shoe, the Tin-man’s axe and the quilted tornado. This whimsical quilt was fun to make and rather atypical of my quilts which are not usually pictorial or applique. I like the way this quilt is paired with colorful glass fused bird houses in this exhibit.

Kitsap Quilters’ Guild Show (5) – Maggie’s small selection

At our recent Kitsap Quilters’ Guild show, over 200 quilts were exhibited displaying the wide range of talent in our guild and a large variety of techniques used. In previous blogs, I’ve already shared pictures from our featured artist, some Round Robins and some animal quilts. This collection shows just some of the many quilts that appealed to me for a variety of reasons. I like quilts with strong designs and those in which the use of color and value enhance the patterns. The use of black in first two makes stunning backgrounds to intensify the scrappy colors.

Linda Eakin-Johnson made this striking Curved Log Cabin quilt, quilted by Linda Moran, after taking a class from Ann Trujullo at Quilted Strait. She had a collection of Asian fabrics and used all 1,500 pieces! I love how the black fabric makes curved ribbons between the medley of scrappy logs. Checkerboard Garden, was made by Carol Kunold and quilted by Mirium Gill. The pattern is by Jason Yenter and I like how effective this very simple idea of a strippy quilt with assorted small squares and a fussy-cut large scale print with a black background works.

These two are very intricate with foundation paper-pieced triangles. On the left, Tumble, was pieced and quilted by Pam Knight. The pattern for this stunning quilt is Fire Island Costa by Judy Niemeyer. Pam dug into her stash of French General fabrics to create her own look. Her machine-quilting is exquisite and really enhances the quilt. Something Blue was made by Becky Rico and quilted by Teresa Silva, using a pattern by Jacqueline De Jonge. I have a soft spot for classic blue and white quilts. The next ones have a more modern feel.

Marj Deupree made this Prism quilt which is so bright and dimensional, and the Fruit Slices, a variation on the Courthouse Steps Log Cabin, (pattern by Monique Jacobs). The use of color in these two quilts really makes them pop.

On the left, a-MAZE-ing, was made by Mary Ann Hooker and quilted by Linda Moran. Mary Ann used the Antelope Canyon and Garden Delights pattern by Laurie Shifrin. Her persistence with ripping and re-sewing after discovering mistakes in three out of the four blocks, paid off and the finished quilt is beautiful. Becky Rico made Hexie Hexies, (quilted by Linda Moran), after being inspired by an antique quilt of a similar design. She enjoyed updating this pattern with more contemporary fabrics and the white background makes it look fresh and modern.