Monday, March 31, 2014

Rabbit on the Run

Being the director of an art workshop venue may seem like a "cushy" job with lots of opportunity to sit in on classes, but the truth of the matter is that most of the time I barely have the time to walk through the classroom once day just to make sure everything is running smoothly. My normal work day starts at 5:30am and ends at 8:30pm, with just enough time to relax with my husband and the pups for an hour or so before I'm out like a light in the evening.

I'm often asked if I get to take any of the classes, but I always say the only way I'll get to take a class is to go somewhere else! So that is what I'm doing in just a couple of weeks. I'm going to the Alegre Retreat at the Gateway Canyons Resort in Grand Junction, Colorado to take a work with Katie Pasquini Masopust.

I have longed for the opportunity to go to Katie's Alegre Retreat from the very beginning, way back when she held it near her home in New Mexico. When she ended that retreat, I kicked myself for missing out on all the fun I had heard about for years. Then when Katie restarted the retreat in Colorado, I was overjoyed. I swore that this time I wouldn't miss the chance to go there at least once. So two years ago when I was planning our 2014 workshops schedule for the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops, I emailed Katie to see if they had the dates yet for their 2014 retreat. We always schedule two or three years in advance, so in order to be able to go to Katie's retreat, I had to block off those weeks in our schedule. Then I had to wait two years!

The wait is finally almost over and I'm raring to go. The workshop Katie is teaching is "Working in a Series," and in fact it is the workshop she just taught for us at HRVAW, so I got a preview of what the class was all about.

The students are suppose to bring one existing art quilt and then develop a series based on that. I have agonized over what I might possibly start with, whether I should just pick a piece that I had already made or make a new one just for the workshop. In the end, I'm sort of doing both. I just finished another rabbit quilt - "Rabbit on the Run" and that will be my starting point. I have no idea where I am going with it, but that, as I learned is the best place to start in this class!

Rabbit

I'm also getting a new appreciation for all of the people who come to our workshops from a distance, having to deal with packing for air travel and/or shipping your supplies ahead of time. This will be the first workshop I've taken that I didn't drive to. I asked a couple of veteran distance flying workshoppers at the last class for packing tips. They said UPS is your friend, but pack the things you don't want to do without for long in your suitcase, because UPS will have your supplies several days on the way there and several days on the way back. They also advised to pack light on clothes, after all, who cares if you wear the same clothes more than once if it allows you to pack more fabric in your suitcase!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Going Crazy with Ties

I had a recent customer request for 4 more of my Crazy Ties, so I've been in a tie making frenzy. Making more ties had already been on my list for this winter, as my stock was almost all gone, but this request moved this task up to the top of my to do list.

I had promised more within 2 weeks, so was able to complete 10 of the batch yesterday.

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As soon as I finish the rest of the batch of 26, I'll be taking individual pictures of each tie to get ready for listing them on my etsy shop, although I sell most of them in our inn gift shop.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Market Report - 2013

Quilt Market in Houston was marvelous. We get to feel sort of isolated being innkeepers and hosts of the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops - Paint & Fiber (sometimes we don't leave the property for months at a time, except to get groceries), so having the opportunity to go Market this year was such a wonderful treat.

Browsing the vendors and picking up the vibe of the industry brought us renewed enthusiasm and inspiration for our business.

However, for me as a fiber artist, it was the exhibits that were the soul of the trip! Wow, such eye candy and artistic expression.

The added bonus of seeing the exhibits during Market instead of Festival was that there were no crowds and I could get fairly good shots of the quilts in the exhibits that allowed photographs, were were mainly the judged exhibits.

These are shots of my favorites. I didn't learn the results of the judging until after we were back home, but it was amazing the number of my favorites also turned out to be the favorites of the judges.

The title and artist's name is above the photo of the quilts.

Hand in Hand by Reiko Kato

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The next four photos are of the amazing Caryl Bryer Fallert exhibit - 30 quilts for 30 years. All thirty of these quilts were stunning - the artistry, composition, color, and stitching. We bought the CD of the exhibit so that I can be inspired whenever I want.

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Wind by Masanobu Miyama

The Superior Threads Master Award for Thread Artistry winner

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I just loved the feeling of wind expressed with the blowing fur and swirling colors in the sky. Just beautiful and expressive.

House in the Valley #5 by Laura Wasilowski

Art-Miniature - 3rd place winner

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My favorite part of Laura's work is her sense of whimsey! Love it. I was sorry to see that this piece was already sold. Laura is teaching a workshop for us next year in April.

Tropical Fantasy by Bonnie Ouellette

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What can I say, I love beads and bright colors. Some of the leaves are completely covered in beads and others are hand silk-screened fabric.

Home at Last by Kaye Koler

Miniature Quilts - 3rd place winner

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The log cabin block is one of my favorite traditional patterns and this one is so wonderfully scrappy. The fact that it is no larger than about 14" square makes it all the more amazing.

Pray for the Land of Green by Masa Yanagimoto

Mixed Technique - 2nd place winner

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This piece was in the embellished category and it is a beautiful example of just the right amount and kind of embellishment. It features Japanese embroidery, Sukashi with kumiage (combination open work), hand piecing and appliqué.

Illinois Album by Jane Sassaman

The Baby Lock Master Award for Innovative Artistry - winner

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I'm always inspired by Jane's work! The photo below is a detail shot of the same quilt. Jane is teaching another workshop for us next year in December.

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In the Bleak Midwinter by Ruth Powers

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Beautiful use of hand-dyed fabric to evoke the chill of winter. Ruth will be teaching a workshop for us in 2015.

Random Rose Garden by Karen Eckmeier

Innovative Pieced - 2nd place winner

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Such a marvelous blending of colors.

A Pocket Full of Paisleys by Lorilynn King (detail shot)

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I Have Many Faces by Natalie Carlton

Art-People, Portraits, and Figures - Honorable Mention

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Jack by Sandy Curran

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All Together by Hiroko Miyama and Masanobu Miyama

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Emmy Tovo by Sherri Culver

Art-People, Portraits, and Figures - 3rd place winner

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I love the playful expression in this portrait and the use of the fabrics.

Cock of the Walk by David Taylor

Art-Pictorial - 3rd place winner

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David is teaching a workshop for us next year in August, which is filling fast.

Did You Wash Your Beak? by David Taylor

Judge’s Choice winner

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Venus in the Garden by Sheila Frampton-Cooper

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This photo doesn't do this large piece justice. It is amazing. I love the composition, the colors, and intense stitching. Sheila will be teaching a workshop for us in 2015.

Shadows 2 by Margarete Steinhauer

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This is just a general shot of a grouping of fabulous works. I'm sorry I didn't get the titles and names of the artists but my camera battery gave up the ghost right after this shot.

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It Takes the Case by Karlyn Bue Lohrenz

Art-Pictorial - Honorable Mention

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The Great Barrier Reef by Miki Murakami

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Emerald City by Norma Schlager

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Tutti Frutti Main Street by Susan Bleiweiss

Art-Whimsical - Honorable Mention

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Lair of the Amethyst Deva by Sheila Frampton-Cooper

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Snow Buddies by Ruth Powers

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Best Friend by Barbara Yates Beasley

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I was immediately drawn to this happy dog face, probably because, as I learned after reading the description, the dog is part Dalmatian, so I recognized the smile!

Sue Spargo's booth at Market displaying all her original folk art quilts.

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Sue will be teaching a workshop for us in 2015.

Jane Sassaman posing the booth featuring her new line of fabric.

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Lenore Crawford's work on display in the Northcott fabric booth.

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Lenore is teaching a workshop for us next year in November.

One can dream can't one . . . . The new Bernina.

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I love the art of Charlie Harper and this new line of fabric by Birch Fabrics features his art. It is made of organic cotton.

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On the last day of our stay in Houston, we took the Texas Quilt Museum tour. The museum is in La Grange, TX, which is about 2 hours west of Houston. The bus was very comfortable and the tour guide kept us all entertained with lively descriptions and histories of the things and towns we passed on the way.

There are no photos allowed inside the museum, but this wonderful mural is painted on the outside.

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Also next to and part of the museum was this lovely historically inspired garden.

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The museum is near the town square in La Grange. The center of the square is the location of the historic town court house, an impressive stone structure with an atrium in the center.

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Not showed but one of the highlights of this stop was the Quilted Skein, my dream quilt shop that not only had loads of tempting fabric, but also yarn! It was right next door to the museum.

Then next stop on the tour was the town of Round Top, TX (we have a Round Top, NY near us!) The feature of this little town was the Henkle Square Market - grouping a small shops, one of which was the Copper Shade Tree, a shop featuring artisan-made products including fiber arts.

Another of my favorite shops was the pie shop, Royers Pie Haven! I enjoyed a slice of yummy strawberry rhubarb pie on the front porch. Nothing says "country living" more than homemade pie on the front porch!

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All in all, it was an awesome experience and I look forward to doing it all again some day.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Foundation Rabbit

The first rabbit is complete! I'm planning to make a bunch of rabbits and then later use them in one or more compositions.

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This one has some interesting variations in color, which I can decide to blend with stitching thread color or add shading with ink. It all depends on the setting and background.

It will be handy to have this one pinned to my design wall as I work on the next one.