Tuesday, March 8, 2011

International Women's Day

Today marks the 100-yr. anniversary of International Women's Day, and as I was thinking of the women in my life who have inspired me, clearly the #1 on my list is my mom. Always putting others' needs before her own, a great friend and multi-talented creative soul as well, she has always encouraged me to reach for the proverbial "gold ring", and made me believe I could do things as well as anyone else. She taught me to sew when I was only 5 years old, and always took the time to show me creative techniques and the value of an imagination. What an inspiration she continues to be for me today!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival XXII

Last weekend was the always-amazing Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in Hampton, VA, and this year's show was the best! For me, it started out less-than-stellar, as I broke my little toe 2 days before I left for the show and also managed to either crack (probably) or bruise a rib en route, so I was not at the top of my game physically this year. Luckily I had a great helper with Lynn M., who made sure I didn't have to do any heavy lifting or shuffling and took care of lots of details including the booth while I taught my Wild Wooly Flowers Class.

We had so much fun in this class! We did have a full class, several of the girls were students in my felting class last year, and we also had some newbies including a man. Everyone's flowers turned out spectacular, just breathtakingly beautiful! And they learned some basic wet-felting techniques as well as how to shape their flowers. I'm adding some photos from the class, as well as from Show 'n Tell from Saturday night and a teachers' picture, that's me in between the very talented Esterita Austin and Gloria Loughman. How blessed I was to get to teach at this awesome show! I always love sharing my passion for felting and meeting fellow fiber-lovers. And I also got to see what the other teachers were doing, most phenomenal work. Here are a few pictures from the exhibit by Gloria Loughman who is from Australia, walking through her section of the show was like strolling through a serene rain forest with all it's lush vegetation and fresh greesn and colors; she also used an interesting woven look in several of her quilts, which were full of color. I also really liked Karen Carter's work, completely different but you know I love folk art; Karen's pieces are the ones with so much wonderful texture and dimensional embellishments. (Karen, BTW is a real sweetheart and looks so much like Meg Ryan!) And you know I love the wearable art! This was the first year I didn't submit anything, I have just been so busy, but there were some stunning pieces there, including the Best of Show by Rami Kim, a magnificent silk ensemble with folded flowers. All in all, it was a fantastic show, even with the scandal of the "controversial quilt". ^_^

Silk Dyeing

A couple of weeks ago I took a class with Mary Anne Caplinger on silk dyeing, little did I know what a pro I was studying with! Mary Anne was an awesome teacher and so talented, I discovered she has written 2 books on her particular niche in the quilting world, a beautiful artsy technique she uses in many of her pieces, several of which were hanging in her amazing studio. (You can see one of her jackets in the background of the photo of Mary Anne and me.) She has also been to Japan and studied shibori dyeing and indigo dyeing, and so one of the techniques we learned in her class was "arashi" dyeing, or in layman's terms, pole-wrapping. I had always wanted to try this, and it was a little more involved than I expected, but I loved the results! And while we wrapped and tucked, we had a lesson in Japanese culture, learning such tidbits as that the arashi technique represents rain-drops. We wrapped, dipped and dyed all day and learned so much! I'm posting a few pictures from the class, which was so much fun to take with Carolyn S., she was a great companion. (Our wipe-up rags turned out great, too. ^_^)