Monday, November 17, 2008

Fall Show Update

Wow!What a crazy, busy, wonderful fall it's been with so many great quilting and sewing shows, workshops and classes! I can't believe it's been 3 months since I last blogged, but that just shows how hectic things have been around here. I was fortunate enough to be a part of several awesome shows up and down the east coast, both vending and teaching, and I couldn't have done it without my wonderful friends Alby and Debbie. They were with me keeping the road hot and helping me through thick and thin, setting up and tearing down booths and meeting all sorts of interesting people in between, even a couple of 4:00 a.m. fire drills! We dined with Carol Cypher one night, the very talented fiber and bead artist, and she was so down-to-earth and full of advice on all sorts of things like writing, getting published, etc. We had the opportunity to hear Marianne Fons speak, and how she and her friend Liz Porter got started years ago with kids in tow but with a dream...sound familiar? We met June Colburn and marvelled at her soft-spoken words of wisdom, and we drooled over Sue Spargo's gorgeous hand-dyed wool. All my students were amazing, from the sweet little 10-yr. old girl who made the most perfect wool beads, to the young lady who proudly sculpted her "pac-man" beads with big wide smiles, from the beginnig sewer who painstakingly worked hard on her Santa, and was so pleased she bought kits to make more for Christmas gifts, to the expert dollmaker who put her own spin on her Needle-felt Santa, and all the girls who skipped dinner to make big luscious needle-felted lily pins and proudly wore them to the show the next day - my thanks to you for making the shows so very, very special!

A highlight for me at one of the shows was when some of my creations were modeled by "volunteers" during a wool lecture I gave; a huge thank you to those who graciously gave their time to show off my designs in front of everyone at the show! My wearable art never looked so good!

I also had the opportunity to create a special sample showcasing my talents for the Faculty Display at some of the shows. I created an original wall hanging called "Wallflowers", shown at left. First, I drew a stone wall, then created the wall from different shades of Woolfelt appliqued to a dark wool background. Then, I needle-felted all sorts of different kinds of orchids separately, and I nuno-felted orchid lips from hand-dyed silk and merino wool (you can see them all lined up.) I sewed the lips to the petals, and after appliqueing stems and leaves to the wall, sewed the dimensional orchid blossoms on top. I needle-felted dark brown wool "dirt" in between the Woolfelt "stones", and needle-felted harmonizing fibers to the lower part of the quilt to represent the decaying at the bottom of the wall (in contrast to the beauty of the flowers.) The final touch was some green yarn "Spanish moss" stitched randomly on the quilt. Lots of research went into those orchids, I'm telling you, I felt like an orchid expert after finishing that quilt!

I also had some "orchid lips" left over, I had made a few extras so I could pick and choose my favorites, but I hate to waste anything. So I made a little flower pin out of the leftover lips, sewing them together for flower petals with a button in the middle. See the photo at left, amongst the peaches from our tree (yes, I finally got around to picking those peaches!)

Altogether, it was a most exhausting, exhilarating autumn, and I look forward to returning to the shows and both seeing old friends and to making some new ones._

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