Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Birthday

I had a birthday a week or two ago… I didn’t/don’t announce those… publicly. Never have. Anyone that is a friend on Facebook knows about this last one….  because some dear friends and some family sent wishes… via Facebook.

I am, alas, not really thrilled about getting older. Yes, things are getting better the older I get, but then there is the whole thing about wanting to live forever, and seeing… that - that won’t be the case. There is so much more to do!!!

This last birthday had a 5 in it… and of course I did a little thinking about birthdays and the age thing… that line of thinking didn’t last very long, once I realized I was going down the wrong path- of melancholy… You know those questions… about the mark you are leaving, your contributions, your legacy…. etc. So I let it all go, changed the channel so to speak! I’d still like to leave a mark… a good mark… do some good… somewhere.

Don’t get me wrong. I had a great birthday!!! this year. I got some cards and letters, a lunch out, a couple of gift certificates that I will put to excellent use!!! My husband gifted me one of the best gifts, though. It is a Web Domain of my own… for my photographs. Everyone says they like/love them.. and I know I do… so I am planning to offer them online. I envision some postcards or greeting cards, some prints… I’m thinking out loud here… so if you are interested in helping me pick some photographs or have a particular favorite…. sound off either in the comments or send an email… (see upper right side bar for a link).

I did get two quilt related (fabric gifts). One from my friend Karen, she blogs FQ-fabshere, rather intermittently recently. We belong to an International Fat Quarter Swap group… and generally we send a generous envelope… to one another for the birthday. Some years she sends some of her Hand Dyed or Snow Dyed fabrics… but this year an awesome stripe-y batik that goes from pale green to yellow, and it is more than a FQ! There was also a gray and white… batik with snowflakes falling on it… I can see that as a background for another project similar to the Star “Hunter”… (I don’t know why the pictures from the little Nikon S01 take such gray photos in the Creative Space, but trust me when I say that batik is less yellow and more green).

And from my friend Wolfie, in Sweden, choc-saltshe blogs here sent a really fun envelope!!! In it was a box of chocolates, and as she wrote, not for the chocolate but for the tin they come in!! A box of flavored salts. Big flakes, a plain salt, a lime salt, a paprika salt and hickory salt flavors and while all that sounds great…

swedish-towelThe best was a towel with all kinds of mushrooms illustrated by a famous Swedish cookbook author, Märit Huldt. But even better was the meter of fabric, which depicts many of the illustrations drawn by the same cookbook author. My plan is to make some placemats and a table runner from it for the kitchen table!!! Just look at all those funny little illustrations… clipping herbs, checking the pot, presenting the dish, eating, they are all just so cute!!!


I can’t wait to start making!!! All in all it was a very nice birthday!

More Later!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Challenges Revealed

I have been hard at work the last few weeks creating a piece for the Guild Challenge!

The Guild “Golden Scissors Challenge” is issued early in the year… in February, at which time you may register, pick up the fabric and rules for the exorbitant sum of a $1.

The rules were pretty simple.

  • The theme is "Stars".
  • The perimeter of the quilt should not exceed 200".
  • You must use at least some of the challenge fabric 
  • The quilt can be hand- or machine-pieced and/or appliquéd.
  • The top must be completely finished and ready to be layered and quilted.
  • There must be a label on the back that includes name of maker, name of quilt, and other relevant information. At least one star must appear on the quilt top.
  • Quilts may have a secondary theme such as holidays, seasons, etc.

Categories for judging included:

  • best interpretation of star theme
  • greatest number of stars
  • most traditional
  • most unique use of stars
  • best handwork
  • best machine work
  • best in show (viewers' choice)

There were 20 entries in the challenge, nearly half of the entire membership, which is an extraordinary turnout! The guild has a membership of 52… and just recently expanded to 54! I have posted pictures of the prize winners, mostly because many of the entries were original designs, and I did not ask permission and well the windows behind us made some of the pictures not as great as they could be…. All the attendees of the meeting were the judges by ballot, so the quilts were judged by quilters of all levels.

First up was Deb B’s…. and she won for “Most Traditional”. It was hand quilted. Her quilting depicted fire works, which is what the challenge fabric reminded her of.


Brenda A’s …. was a Hunters Star and won for ‘Best Machine Work’ every single point matched!!! (sorry for the picture… neither picture I had was good). I don’t think the camera liked the light and couldn’t figure out where to focus on the quilt.


Irene T’s was a stunning in it’s simplicity and workmanship. She won for ‘Best Handwork’ and “Best in Show”. While she didn’t use the smallest bit of  the challenge fabric…it was close. (“the comets tail”)


And lastly my quilt. The challenge fabric is her dress, the largest piece used… in any of the quilts (I think). She started life with the working title ‘snow queen’ because of her cape and hood, but since the theme was stars… that had to change. The title is Estrella del Cazador, translated The Star “Hunter”. The inspiration came from a Dover Design Coloring Book. All I saw was the star in her hands… I, of course,

took some liberties with the drawing and made much of it my own by coloring with fabric. I played with this… and had lots of fun and some frustration… in making it my vision. Some things worked and some didn’t quite go as planned.


One of the things that worked was the star in her hands. I used 2 pieces of wool behind it, but above the cotton batting, to make it seem round and appear to come off the quilt, like a globe. One of the things that didn’t go quite as planned was the fur on her cape. I really wanted it to look furry, but the thread just didn’t want to cooperate and the “maker” was a little frustrated that day… but I really like how the ‘holographic/flat iridescent’ thread on edges shines and gives sparkle. One of the other things that didn’t go as planned was her face… I used a bit of wool batting behind that too so I could add some dimension there as well, but all it did was make it wrinkle a bit, which in the end worked. I’m not sure it translates in the picture… I also didn’t have quite the right color thread to stitch in facial contours or wrinkles…. it is bad enough I had to give her chin a bit of a cleft! I built it as I went with very little thought as to how and when I was going to achieve each element. I wish in some cases I did a little more planning…

All in all she was fun to make, I am happy with it. The prizes she took were ‘Best Machine’, Most Stars (68-the globe, the appliqued stars, the quilted stars, the jewelry and 19 sequins on her dress) and ‘Most Unique use of the Theme’. Each prize was a small gift certificate to the LQS!!!

As Always… More Later!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Nature at Harpers Ferry

I parked the car and walked through the lower part of the park, along the river and then back through the town. Way back when, in the mid 1800’s Harpers Ferry was an industrial town. The Shenandoah river was harnessed to produce water power for a weaving mill, a pulp mill and several other factories. But that did not last too long... after the late part of the century. As with most rivers, when it left its banks… the damage became too much to repair, over and over again.

Much of the stone work to channel the river, is still there, as is some of the holding basin

While walking back to the car along a remnant of the basin, I found some turtles. They are so used to movement along the shore that they don’t scurry off the logs. I like how green the little guy is.


Then there were these 5… catching the last of the warm weather before going into hibernation for the long cold winter ahead. Again another green one.


And then, this lady was just laying here, not concerned about the humans standing just a few yards away. Didn’t even flick an ear.


And I think just about the last of the wild flowers


I hope you enjoyed my day out in Harpers Ferry.

More later-Beth

Monday, November 3, 2014

More from the Drive

I decided to head for Harpers Ferry, West Virginia… from my house. The road rolls along some small but very scenic valleys. I like going to Harpers Ferry, because it is along the river, actually settled between 2 rivers, the Shenandoah and the Potomac. The town is quaint and not generally overrun with tourists and there is a National Park there too, so it is clean!

On the way, I passed a winery. With just what I was looking for… color! I’m a little late for perfect… we have had some wind… but no frost yet.


In Harpers Ferry, I saw this rock wall, but I hadn’t noticed the sign painted on it. Something about Powder


As I passed by a couple of buildings, I checked out the door hardware (again).


I love how decorative, even some of the most mundane things were in the past. Look at the second door handle, you can see where there is some wear on the pattern.


Next post a little more nature…

More later, Beth