Monday, January 5, 2015

Sawtooth "Deck the Halls" 2014

I was so honored to be invited to participate in the annual "Deck the Halls" Christmas show and sale at the Sawtooth School of Visual Art again this year, and what a great show it was! I am always in awe of the  incredible talent on display there, and this year was no different:
 Played around with lots of yummy colors and textiles for the fascinators this year!
 I love birds, and thought this wool bead and cardinal fascinator would be cute for winter.
I loved this fascinator so much I made one for myself and wore it the day I worked my shift at Sawtooth...the other one sold while I was there!
 Ran into my friend Julie when I went to the open house, looking glam as usual!
handmade jewelry, pottery, dolls, paintings, mixed-media, scarves, and of course my own fascinator hats, felted flowers and scarves, and wool bead earrings. I always like to try new things, and so I experimented with a few new spins on my fascinators and used some silks and tapestries along with edging the flowers with metallic golds for the holidays. I also made some new wool bead earrings in the shape of tomato pincushions just for fun! Here are a few of my things I had there, lots of ideas for my 25-year Anniversary Contest in these fascinators!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Houston Quilt Festival Classes

Can't forget my fun classes in Houston! We had a full class for my "Heavenly Felted Hibiscus", and every flower turned out absolutely gorgeous! So proud of these gals and all their hard work...each one a very unique work of art. Wish we'd had time to get close-ups of all of them they were just spectacular.
And our Fascinator Fun class was just that - so much fun! A small cozy class on Halloween night, I was thrilled to have my friend Patty there. We had such a good time, a very relaxed laid-back class, and everyone's hat turned out absolutely beautiful! Each one was so different and the girls did an amazing job, so proud of each one of them.

Houston Quilt Shows

Well after a whirlwind fall and wonderfully busy holiday season, I'm finally getting around to sharing some photos from Houston Quilt Market and Festival! This year I was fortunate enough to have a booth right in the middle of the show, handy to folks I wanted to touch base with and a corner space too. I even got to demo my twisted fabric flowers from the "Downstairs Fascinator" pattern on a Bernina sewing machine, which was so much fun! I also discovered that these easy flowers not only make up cute in cotton fabrics, but also in bamboo felt and even silk dupioni. I ran into some great old friends and made a few new ones, here are a few pics from the show...couldn't have done it without my good friends Patty and Michelle to help me out too, they were awesome!
 Here's Patty and Michelle sporting their gorgeous "Downton Abbey" attire which Patty made, love!
 Had a great dinner with Deb and Sharon one night, so good catching up with them.
And it was great to see Madeline, had been way too long!
 Having fun modeling whimsical fascinators.
 Jill all decked out for Halloween, love her costume!
 Thrilled to win a Judge's Choice ribbon at the Stitch in Time fashion show luncheon!

This was the sweetest group of ladies from Japan, the young lady at left taught some classes during Festival, and I met them at my Saturday demos. I was headed to see my daughter in Austin right after I saw them, and they were sweet enough to let me have a few of these beautiful silk cocoon blooms to take her.
This was the Christmas ornament I demo'd at Festival, several different versions of my flower, all easy to make!

 Beautiful quilting here.

 Special display of the "Ruby Red" quilts for the Quilts Inc. anniversary.

 Proud maker of this beautiful quilt, as she should be, stunning work!
 Buttons, buttons, whose got the buttons?

Can't forget the wearables, 1st and 2nd place winners!

What a wonderful, memorable show...already looking forward to going back next year!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

"Downstairs Collection" patterns for Andover Fabrics

Back in May at the Pittsburgh Spring Quilt Market I had the good fortune to meet several of the folks at Andover Fabrics, among them the very talented Kathy Hall who designs the Downton Abbey fabric collections. I am a big Downton Abbey fan and love the clothes and hats on the show, and I was interested in using some of their fabric for a new hat pattern. As it turned out, they were looking for someone to make up a fascinator with some of their fabrics, the Downstairs Collection in particular. Kathy, in addition to being an awesome fabric designer, also has a whimsical side, and wanted some fun little hats that could be worn to a tea. On their fabric story board, they had some child-sized silverware next to the Downstairs Collection, and she wanted some fun embellishments like that for the fascinator designs. When I returned from the show, I started keeping my eyes open for accents for the hats, and lo and behold, I ran across a child's toy silverware set at a local antique shop just the right size for the little hats! I paired it with a toy teacup and crocheted doily for a little vintage downstairs tea look.
I do like to offer a few choices in my patterns, and so I decided to add a funky sewing fascinator to the mix complete with a useable pincushion and mini-sewing tools! The long decorative pins in the pincushion added just the right touch.
I needed one more look, and decided on a fun folded fabric rose nestled on a soft bed of tulle. This is such an easy flower to make, and the downstairs line of fabrics was the perfect choice for a soft, feminine feel.
I'll be demonstrating how to make these flowers at Houston Quilt Market next weekend in my booth # 929, and will also have the patterns available, here's the pattern, one size fits all, worn with a little hairband or comb.
Around the same time as the Spring Quilt Market I also lost a dear aunt, my mom's sister and last remaining sibling. It was very sudden, she did not suffer long, but at the same time it was a real shock for her family and many friends. She was a strong country woman who still raised her own vegetables in a little garden and loved to cook and sew, and I was blessed with some of her hand-embroidered linens when she passed. I knew I wanted to do something special with them and also something to honor my Aunt Catherine, and the Downstairs Collection really blended beautifully with her linens and some other things I'd been collecting.
I decided to do an apron pattern and named it "Nana's Apron" after her, as her grandchildren and their mom all called her Nana. The pattern has 2 versions, one I made up just in the Downton Abbey fabric, and the other I mixed up the fabric with the vintage linens: dresser scarves, little embroidered doilies, etc. The pattern is adjustable to fit most sizes, you can see on these sisters, they're wearing the same size apron so it's pretty flexible. A pullover style that ties in back or can wrap and tie in front, the apron has 2 big patch pockets for holding recipes or the necessary tissue for drying a little one's eyes. We shot the pictures at the Old Stone House for a true authentic look, yet the apron has a contemporary feel to it too and is super-easy to make, good for beginners! Here's the cover photo,
 this will also be at Houston Quilt Market...hope to see you there!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Old Stone House

A couple of weeks ago I visited a historic landmark that's not too far away; the Old Stone House. Originally built in 1766 by a German immigrant, it's the oldest house in Rowan County and has been preserved and restored beautifully over the years. It's owned by the Rowan County Museum, and was restored by the same folks who did a lot of work in Old Salem in my hometown of Winston-Salem.
The house has a beautiful stone facade, and is set in a very quiet rural area with little fanfare, a simple setting befitting its time and dignity. There is a little garden in the back where I'm guessing the family grew vegetables, and the kitchen at far right has been rebuilt. I believe there were areas of damage over the years, but care has been taken to preserve as much of the original structure as possible and recreate what was missing. The front windows and door are so charming and inviting, the sun just streams in the long windows.
Inside to the left there is a living room with large fireplace where the family would gather, and behind that in back a bedroom. To the right  was a nice-sized dining room with a humble serving pitcher sitting in the window, and behind that, a sweet little nursery with a child's bed and antique dolls on display. The furnishings are true to the era and simple.

On the right end of the house is the kitchen with a massive fireplace used for cooking and big table. There was a little set of stairs in the back corner which led up to a larder, and a small pantry area below. There was also an apparatus set up in the corner for making candles. I suppose a house had to be completely self-sufficient in those days!
The upstairs of the house is huge! Half of the second floor was taken up by a fiber art area of looms where all the house's rugs were hand-woven, spinning wheels to spin the fiber, and carders to card the fibers. The ceiling went all the way to the top of the house with exposed beams, just beautiful, and of course there were fireplaces upstairs too.
The other half of the second floor was mostly taken up by a large bedroom. There was a dress on display there that belonged to one of the ladies of the house, and the story goes that when the dress was starting to show wear, her husband went out and bought her some new buttons to sew on it to dress it up. And what beautiful buttons he chose, too, they matched the fabric perfectly!

I've really enjoyed visiting the Old Stone House in the last couple of weeks; one of my recent visits brought the attention of a little butterfly who landed right on my hand, and then followed me to my van as though he wanted to go home with me, very bizarre and cool! If you'd like to visit this museum, they're open Sat. and Sun. 1-4 through November, and then they do a special around Christmas too. Well worth the trip, and you will learn a lot about the history of the house with a guided tour.

Vessel class at Tranqwool

Last weekend we had a new felted vessel class at Tranqwool Knitting Provisions aka Green Goat Gallery, and what beautiful vessels these girls made! I have to say my students were experienced felters, they had gone through all the rockin' and rollin' we do in my nuno-felting classes, and so they were thrilled to do some wet-felting with minimal rolling. Instead we rubbed and bounced our way to felting freedom and the results were spectacular! Their works of art were very different, one girl wanted a larger vessel and chose more subdued hues, and then we had an explosion of color and texture too! So proud of my students and we all enjoyed the class - as well as the delicious lunch Jenny prepared for us that day.
 The colors and textures really came out in Jane's beautiful vessel when it dried!
Love Anne's delicious soft colors and curly fibers!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Nuno at The Green Goat Gallery

Not long ago we had a nuno-felting class at The Green Goat Gallery/Tranqwool Knitting Provisions

in Spencer, the girls made some beautiful scarves! They each started out with a hand-dyed silk chiffon scarf and merino wool fibers to harmonize, each gal choosing their own favorite colors. After laying out their fibers on their scarves, they tweaked their designs with some curly mohair fibers, bamboo and a bit of Angelina to add a touch of bling. Then they wet-felted everything together, and lastly, shrunk the wool to add the texture to their scarves. They really had me hopping at the end of the class but I was able to get a couple of pictures, absolutely gorgeous work, and I was so proud of each of them!