Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hey Michael! & RiffRaff Group is Born!

I am not a fan of pictures of myself, but this is like a "Hello" to my son Michael. He can check my blog to see what's going on in my little life! So with my precious chubber, Fiona, sleeping at my back, while I stitch away on 1/2" inch hexi's (total to date: 265!) as I was downloading pics from the first meeting of a RAFA subgroup, I thought I would do the long-arm-pic all the kids do for their phone pics. Yes, Michael, Jenn, Melissa & Dave...I admit Fiona is, well, fat!

Along with myself, Sue, Stephanie, Frances and Beth met up for our first time at Beth's lovely house. We did a show and tell that acquainted us with each other. We are going to make a group blog at our next meeting and calling our group RiffRaff. Love it.
Beth is multi talented. She has made jewelry and books. We were all in awe at a bin full of great handmade books. I was especially partial to this Celtic knot cover. I know she told me how she did this, but I was so involved in looking at it all that I forgot!
This was a page inside. I love the glass monocle type bit over the eye. I have a couple of them. That would be a great idea for a pendant.

Stephanie had many inspiring pieces, but I especially loved this guys head! It is from a small art quilt that has actually inspired our first group project. She is lucky to have a mother and sister that do what she does. This piece was her quilt that she passed to them to make a small quilt using it as inspiration.
We are calling it a Whisper Challenge. Each of us will make an 8 1/2" x 11" piece that will in turn inspire the participants to make a piece using it as the inspiration. I love it. Depending on how many end up doing it, we have 7 committed right now, it will be a story. It's an exciting project!
Stephanie also took a class in Arizona with Liz Kettle and showed us the things she made there. Using a picture printed on fabric, various fabrics and hand stitching, as well as machine stitching and overlaying a sheer, they are awesome. This was my favorite.
Frances is the most traditional quilter in the group, but she is ready to stretch herself and start working smaller and artier. So you can imagine how delighted we were to see this...
Frances showed this awesome quilt at the last RAFA meeting. I love this quilt!
Sue is in another subgroup I visited a bit ago. We made copper necklace and earring using alcohol inks. (need to get picks of those) She is moving from traditional to arty. I loved this flower piece she made using a photo.
Notice the gems on the petals to signify dew drop.
I was very happy to get the feeling that all at the meeting yesterday are dedicated to making a Saturday group work. It would be nice to see a few more come on board, but it is a wonderful group of women!
One of the best things that I have done is to actually join RAFA. Thanks to my friend Elaine for letting me tag along! I am finding people that love what I love and make it happen. It's like finding your home.

I have learned:

  1. Don't miss cancelled cable at all. I have Netflix. I am very into the BBC shows....Doc Martin, George Gently, The Book Group, Vera, The Commander and Inspector Lewis. I am talking to myself with an English accent!
  2. Rented the first season of Empire Boardwalk. Very, very good. 
  3. Writing an artist statement for a show of my little art quilt group at GoART! in November. No time to make new pieces, so going through some things now. We did a show there a few years ago. We have more people in our group now, so it will be a bigger show. 
  4. Sarah, my best friends daughter, is living in NYC right now, working for HSBC. Hurricane Sandy is heading her way. Media frenzy. I am a bit concerned. Hope it all looses steam on the way up the coast.
  5. You can get a free scanner app for your iphone for many agencies in your area. Like. Reminds me of when I was a kid. My dad had a scanner in the kitchen. He would get crystals that would let him listen to area police. He would have loved that app!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

SPC Michael Everett 24 Today! (Quilt show album link too!)

My favorite picture of my son and daughter, Michael & Melissa. Michael turns 24 today! No cake, no special dinner in Afghanistan. At 8 this morning I missed his 8:05 I was so happy he called back. In my quick swing from disappointment to elation and our subsequent full conversation, I said to him," there was something else I was going to say"....of course it was Happy Birthday~! But that dawned on my cobweb brain after we hung up! Ugh. His first review went well and as I expected, he is doing well all around. He loves to strive to succeed. Always has. He's nursing a cold, as the weather turns cold there also.
Melissa turns 30 in December. Wow. 30. Such good looking specimens I created!

I made a Snapfish album of our entire quilt show if you want to take a closer look. It is worth a few minutes!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

My Quilt Show

Our quilt show was a raging success! The new venue was perfect, despite a water service break at the end of the show Friday, which was repaired and toilets ready to flush Saturday morning!
My jacket won a ribbon for best garment. Martha lead a class in the "fabric" making months ago. I used a Marcy Tilton pattern.
"Spring" won ribbon for best visual impact.
"Smog" won one of the judges choice ribbons. These last two quilts were made for a Project Runway type challenge one of the girls is running on HGTV message board this year, so I owe Lori a thank you for being motivating!  In fact the black and white fabrics in Smog are from her stash.
CQ pillow won ribbon for best home decor. Pam was happy to see that since this pillow is hers now!
And Jam & Jelly won for best large quilt machine piecing! This one is the stretch and surprise for me. This was started for Melissa's wedding gift, so when wedding called off, this quilt became mine. It was a lot of piecing. I got in a groove with it though and found I enjoyed doing it. I sleep under it and love it.

I had a lucky day.

Tracy & I ran the silent auction for the first time. All went well and we raised $1070.00 for the Batavia VA.

I love my guild. We are truly a talented, generous, kind, caring group. Next show October, 2014!

Now on to some projects that have been ruminating in my mind!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pockets for Melanie Testa!

"your story, lets tell it!" The first pocket for Melanie Testa's Flattie Awareness campaign. It kind of brings in to the picture that her husband is so supportive. Silk pocket and vintage lace.
Velvet pocket with thread sketched writing.
A cut from the UFO art quilt that made an appearance on Quilting Arts TV for some advice for finishing....I love it in pieces!
I needle felted a pretty rose chiffon scarf to felt and hand stitched this one. It's the one for my mom.

I will be mailing these tomorrow to help Melanie make her 1000 pocket goal. I loved making these pockets and the sentiment they convey.

My friend Tracy showed me how to do English paper pieced hexagons. I love these! They work up so fast...great TV watching project...easily transportable. I made 35 last night using the fabrics I hand dyed myself in our resent guild workshop. They are gorgeous.
Hexi's are everywhere right many sizes from small to very large. I found this link to print your own in 2 sizes, free, from Texas Freckles. I used regular copy paper, works great. These are addictive!

I have heard from Michael enough to keep the dots of safety connected in Afghanistan. he has asked for Christmas twinkle lights and fake mustaches! Ok. He has his own shacky room now. I do miss him much.
Jenn, his wife was here last week. She kept me company for a few days. Home to Fort Campbell yesterday, to start her middle school art teacher job tomorrow.

Melissa and Dave moved to Buffalo over two months ago. They love it, despite waking up Thursday morning to her two driver side tires removed, wheels and all, from her Cobalt. They even left the jack. Could have been worse....all four. The police said happens all the time. Sucks.
On a good note, she loves her teaching job in Buffalo! I'm very proud of her.

MRI on the foot this past week. The lump is still there.

I have learned:

  1. I have good, caring friends. My art quilt group, in adopting Michael while on deployment, filled an entire box with goodies this week at our meeting. I received the second block for the quilt that I will put together for him once he's home from Elaine. Martha made last month's block. It is a way for me to count the months as they each make a block a month. I truly appreciate them.
  2. My sister has enlisted help in getting Michael what he needs over there as well. Truly appreciated!
  3. How to play Canasta. I love it. I want to play right now!
  4. Cancelled cable. Too much negative, moron television on. Not worth time or money. Do have Netflix.
  5. Love Doc Martin, a British show. Disappointed when I finished all of them. New episodes coming soon. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Melanie Testa's Flattie Awareness Pocket Project

Melanie Testa, a quilt artist, author, teacher and among other things, a Breast Cancer survivor, was challenged by a reporter to have 1000 pockets contributed and they would do a feature on her Flattie awareness. She chose not to have reconstructive surgery after her double mastectomy. I applaud that. I would do the same. My mother died 10 years ago at age 61 after a 6 year battle with BC. She had reconstruction. Maybe if she had not, the second round would not have been the path to the end. I happened to watch an episode of What Not to Wear this afternoon, and the young woman they were reworking had also opted for the same...officially a Flattie.  Many women could not even fathom such a decision I am sure. I think it is brave and sane.
So I am making one in memory of my mother, even though she wasn't a Flattie. I will make one in honor of my ex-husbands grandmother who was a uni-Flattie! I will make two for Melanie and her inspiring quest for all of us to consider this an option if we are ever diagnosed.
If you go to her blog, you can read the story. It explains the pocket idea so you understand the meaning of it. I urge any of my friends to make a pocket too! Please.