Wednesday, November 23, 2011
This year I really outdid myself, not only vending Houton Quilt Market & Festival, but also teaching 2 classes, participating in 2 round-robin samplers, giving 2 "Meet the Teacher" lectures, and even taking 3 classes myself, what in the world was I thinking?! I enjoyed it all immensely and am still cherishing the memories of meeting Jinny Beyer, chatting with Eleanor Burns (shown in the photo above in period costume, as she was promoting her new book about quilts of President's Wives), networking with my fave silk velvet dyer Brooke (on Halloween, see photo above), & teaching my Wool Geode class and the Texas Birthday Candle-mat class (the students were great! A true joy to teach, and their projects turned out awesome, as can be seen in the photos above.) One of the highlights of my stay there was visiting with my friends Patti, Michelle, and Danielle, some of whom live in Texas, what a breath of fresh air they brought to my visit! Always good to reunite with treasured friends. I really enjoyed the classes I took, too, all of them involving color on silk (lol imagine that!) Tuesday morning I took a painting on silk embroidery class with the very talented JB, and learned lots of extra tips and tricks for coloring silk with Colorhue dyes, plus made this fabulous silk piece I'll turn into a little purse someday. As I sat next to the awesome Diane Ricks (what an artist! puts me to shame..), I found out Diane was teaching a silk chiffon dyeing class the next day, so I signed up for that too! OK, my piece turned out a bit bright, I'm saving it for the next Grateful Dead concert lol or maybe I'll overdye it to tone it down, but we sure had fun and learned lots too. Then Friday night I took a class on decolorant with June Colburn, learned lots and we also got to see real silkworms and silk cocoons in June 'n JB's classes, what a treat! Saturday night we finally got to unwind a bit at the "Gala on the Green" in the park across the street with some authentic Texas-style BBQ and live music,yeah!
Of course I always love visiting with others who share my passion, this year I was so blessed to win an award, my first Houston blue ribbon! My little Flower Fairie Quilt won 1st place in the Sleep Tight Doll Quilt 'n bed contest in the art quilt category, you can see it on display in Houston at the very top. My most talented daughter Maxi Clontz actually made the bed out of vines she gathered and branches from my dad's peach orchard that had blown down in a storm, they were perfectly gnarled and crooked as you would imagine a fairy bed would be. Maxi also gathered up flower blossums and dried them, and I made a sheer organza mattress in variegated greens and browns which we stuffed with the blooms. This was covered with my art quilt, a nuno-felted concoction of hand-dyed silk chiffon,hand-dyed merino wool fibers, curly mohair locks, hand-dyed cheesecloth, gold metallic mesh, wet-felted flowers, beading, vines, and even a wet-felted fairy teacup resting on a felted leaf saucer. The piece was full of textures and mystery, and one of the nicest compliments I received was that it was full of stories, I love that! I also heard from fellow felters that it was their favorite piece in the show, wow! I know I really enjoyed making it.
With all this going on, I barely had time to run around and do any shopping, much less see all the quilts. But I did manage to take a few pictures, and am posting them for your enjoyment, may they bring you much inspiration! I know I'm already looking forward to my trek back to Houston next year!
Monday, November 21, 2011
SAFF was amazing & magical this year! Asheville is such a beautiful place, and especially in the fall of the year with all the leaves putting forth their best show of color; this year we had spectacular weather too, T-shirt weather in the sunny afternoons. And what a crowd! I think all the awesome vendors were very happy this year, I taught 5 classes in 2 days and didn't get to shop until the very end of the day, but even then things were still pretty busy as folks shopped for every imaginable yarn, fiber, handmade button, needles, tools, even finished wares. And I loved the new teaching venue! All the classes were held in the new building in the back of the Agricultural Center, we had lots of space, great tables, and I was just steps away from running water for all my wet-felting classes - a dream!
My Wild Wooly Flower class is always popular, and this year was no exception as one class quickly filled up and we had to add another flower class Friday morning. I was thrilled to see familiar faces all weekend, even some friends from Salisbury had driven up to take a class, what a great time we had! All the flowers turned out gorgeous, you can see some of them in the photos above. Saturday I taught 2 Wool Geode classes, hard to photo as the students have to wait until their geode has dried before they can cut into it to reveal the beautiful swirls of color hidden inside. Several of my students made longer geodes so that they could cut them in half and have one pincushion to keep and one to give away, and one student even made a long narrow one she could slice into segments and use for a necklace or bracelet for some one-of-a-kind jewelry. My last class was the Wool Beads Bracelet, I was thrilled to see several young folks in this class who made beautiful beads and wore their finished bracelet out of the class. We even had 3 generations at one table, with mom, grandma and granddaughter all making beads together, the youngest was a real go-getter and even made her mom a pair of earrings, what a sweetie! And I even learned something from her; as she was adding her sparkling Angelina fibers to her wool beads, she commented on how like angel hair these metallic fibers were. "I'll bet that's why they call it Angelina," she said, duh! I never thought of that, and I learned something from my youngest student that day. You can see my wonderful students and their creations in the photos above. All in all, a great show, and I can't wait for next year!