Monday, December 31, 2018

State of the Studio - 2018

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As the year is ending, I am once again reminded to look back at the year and see what happened in the studio.    My first thought was that I hadn’t accomplished a lot during the year, but as I worked thru it, I found that I had actually gotten a lot done!!  That is one of the many perks of writing this blog!!!   

First was “The Tiles of San Giovani”…..The Tiles of San Giovanni

….which took SEVEN months to finish!!   Of course, I did start over on it a couple of times!!!


Secondly was “Snowed Under”…..IMG_5449

….which only took about 4 days to make!!!

There were two Quilt-Of-Valor tops that were fun to make……IMG_5384

I didn’t get a final photo of this one but here it is before the borders were added……IMG_5447Probably the most fun that I had in the studio was working with friends who wanted to try a little quilting!!!   I continued to meet most weeks with 10 year old Claire and I encouraged her to “up her game” as the year progressed.   She started out making a small quilt for two of her brothers…..

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….followed  by one for her Mom and Dad…..IMG_5379

Next was a top that will be given to our Guild charity group to be made into a kid’s quilt for the Battered Women’s Shelter…..

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Th last part of the year was spent getting her 4-H Project ready to go.  She chose “Let’s Make A Quilt”!!!

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My final quilting project for the year was helping a special friend make a gift for her husband.   He had traveled to Angola earlier in the year and had brought back three very interesting fabrics.   We used two of those to put together this great quilt…..

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Ruth and I had fun working together and having “Sir Bo” (he calls me “Free-Free”) join us made it even more fun!!  Ruth sent a video of Austin opening it on Christmas day and his excitement just added to the fun!!


In these last few days I finished a small quilt made from a pattern that I bought at the Houston show.   For the last two years, Linda and I had visited the booth of Cynthia England and watched her demonstrate her freezer paper piecing technique.   She made it look SO easy and I wanted to try it for myself so I bought one of her cute patterns.    I used her technique for the first 4 or 5 sections and decided that it would be easier to piece it using traditional paper piecing.   Anyway, it is now finished and SOO cute….IMG_7404


And now it is on to 2019…..it is going to be a CRAZY ride!!!







Monday, December 17, 2018

10th Anniversary

Today marks the 10th anniversary of my quilting blog!!

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I had originally started a travel blog when we spent 2 months in England back in 2007.  Before we left several people had said for me to email them and tell them all about the trip.   As I thought about it, I knew that I wouldn’t spend hours emailing each of those individuals so decided to start a blog and anyone who wanted could have a look at it.   After that, I did another blog for our India trip in 2008 and yet another one for our Australia trip in 2008.  

Then in December of 2008, I got the idea to make ONE blog to hold all of the Arnold family exploits, both quilting and not…. and I called it Quilts & Other Stuff!!!

In these ten years I have met people from all around Georgia, the United States and the world and it has been a blast!!!  I even had one woman stop me at a local theater and tell me that she likes my blog!!

So, for my 10th anniversary post I want to tell you about some “Other Stuff” that happened this weekend…..

On Saturday, my Daughter-In-Law and I visited the Yayoi Kusama Infinity Mirrors exhibit at the High Museum in Atlanta.   Amber is a member of the “High” and was able to purchase advance tickets and was sweet enough to invite me along.   

I really knew nothing about the artist but found out that she is an 89 year old Japanese immigrant who started painting when she was 8 years old.  She suffered from some mental illness and hallucinations and says that many of her pieces are designed to let others see the world in the same way that she sees it.

The excitement was palpable as Amber and I stood in line to enter the exhibit at our appointed time…..48361441_10109419037834520_4896550252615565312_n

The first room contained many of her larger-than-life paintings…..

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I, of course, loved the triangle borders on many of the pieces…..

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There were 7 installation pieces that required waiting in line for 10+ minutes to spend  20 or 30 seconds inside the mirrored room.   That doesn’t sound like a lot of fun, but it was a blast as we talked about what we had just seen and what we were waiting for.  

My favorite room was titled “Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity”……IMG_7326


It was a peaceful room and the flickering lights were serene!! 

The next favorite was “All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins”.  Unfortunately you couldn’t take cameras into this room….apparently because the glass pieces were very fragile and a falling phone or camera could greatly damage the art.     I pilfered these two photos from the Dallas Museum of Art site…..

Yayoi Kusama_All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins_(1)_Courtesy YAYOI KUSAMA Inc., Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo  Singapore and Victoria Miro, London (photography Thierry Bal) © Yayoi Kusama

Although I really liked this view from the floor, I really LOVED the view from the top mirrors…..Yayoi Kusama_All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins_(3)_Courtesy YAYOI KUSAMA Inc., Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo  Singapore and Victoria Miro, London (photography Thierry Bal) © Yayoi Kusama

One of the exhibits called “Love Forever” had a peep hole for two people to look into the exhibit at the same time.   Amber and I had fun taking photos of each other as the lights flashed around us……

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One of the cool things about the exhibits is that you are a part of it as your reflection is bounced from wall to wall!!…….IMG_7315


There were several galleries with some of her earlier, more traditional, art.   I especially liked this piece from 1953…..IMG_7319

and this one from 2007 called “Dots Obsession”…..IMG_7334

The final room was called “The Obliteration Room” and this was the sign telling about the exhibit…..

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Amber and I got to participate in this exhibit by carefully placing our 6 dots in strategic places in the room…..IMG_7363

It took us several minutes to determine the exact spot that we wanted to cover.   I didn’t get a photo of it, but Amber climbed UNDER this table to place at least one of her dots….

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It will be interesting to see” what this room looks like when the exhibit closes in February.   I certainly hope that the High Museum posts a photo!!!

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One of her quotes said….   “Everyone asks me where my inspiration comes from, but I just pick up the paintbrush and follow my hand, and the work just flows from me”.

I consider myself to be a “deliberate” artist… I don’t feel that it flows but that I have to work at it, but I am happy with the time and abilities to explore creativity.


HERE’S TO 10 MORE YEARS!!!!


Thanks for reading along…….





Saturday, November 24, 2018

IQF–Final day!!

Saturday was my “classroom day” although I did find a few minutes for some shopping and quilt perusing.

I started out the morning with the “Saturday Sampler” where I got to spend 2 hours in a room with 28 quilt artists and walk from table to table to hear what they were saying and see their demonstrations.

Since I had seen so many quilts to painted tops, I was particularly interested in those techniques.   There were two artists who were talking about Inktense Pencils.  The best hint of the day was to hold the pencil at the far end when coloring so that you get filled in color and not hard lines that will stay as lines when they are activated…..IMG_7025

The question most asked was about how to “activate” the pencils and there were several different views.   If you are using the pencils on paper, then plain water will do, but on fabric, water will cause the colors to seep and spread.  The real debate was whether to use a fabric medium (such as Golden GAC) or a simple Aloe gel (the kind that is used to treat burns).   From what I heard, the fabric medium will set the colors, but will change the “hand” of the fabric….ie it will be thicker and less pliable.   The Aloe Gel apparently works the same but it soaks into the fabric rather than sitting on top of the fabric.


I spent time with Melinda Bula, listening to her talk about different types of fusible products…. IMG_7021 Since I haven’t been pleased with most of the fusibles that I have tried, I found her talk very interesting.   If nothing else, she reminded me that I need to do some research before my next big landscape/portrait quilt.

Next, I visited with Susan Edmonson and enjoyed watching some of her hand embellishment techniques…..IMG_7023

Can you tell from the state of her “booth” that she is highly creative!!!

I had the most fun watching the hand applique work of Karen Buckley…..

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She had great ideas about how to prepare the applique pieces which, to me, is the worst part of the applique process.   Her templates are made from “Templar plastic” and result in a sharp folded edge.   She also suggested brushing the edges with  “Magic Sizing” to help the fold hold in place.   I succumbed to her shop and bought a set or two of templates.   So, I guess that means that I need to get some hand applique organized!!

In the afternoon I spent 3 hours with Jenny Lyon, working on machine quilting filler patterns.   With each design, we started out by drawing the design for about 5 minutes…..IMG_7074

….and then we moved to the machine to give it a try……

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As you can see, we were working on wonderful Pfaff machines that had a larger throat area. 

Next was a long feather design.   I found that I could sew the right side well, but moving to the left was much more difficult…..IMG_7078

The last design was a box filler…….IMG_7080I have always had trouble with this one but her instruction made it much easier to do.

Jenny’s quilts are all wonderful but I especially enjoyed the border in this Bunny quilt.    It is just a black piece of fabric with LOTS of quilting with white thread…..

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I also like the idea behind this quilt…..

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……make a top that highlights a single block of printed fabric and then use that design to inspire the rest of the quilting!!

During my lunch break, I made one more, very quick, run thru the show, taking a few photos of some quilts that I had missed.’

This piece by Cecilia Koppmann used fabrics that were given to her by her students……

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These quilts were all reproductions or inspired by an 1876 quilt……

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My favorite version of the quilt was this one in blue and yellow…….

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We talked to Barbara Gonce who made THREE versions of the quilt.   Here she is pictured with two of them……

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The night ended with Nachos and University of Georgia football…..

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As we flew home, I could only think about all of the inspirations that I came away with.   I spent the entire time on the floor sending myself emails to remind me of things that I might want to try.   My suitcase was filled with a number of goodies, including a pattern for an upcoming baby quilt, a wool pressing board, a Tsuniko Ink starter set and many other fun things that I cant wait to try!!!

The last task of the trip was to fill out the hotel request for NEXT year’s show!!!IMG_7095



CAN’T WAIT!!!!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

IQF Day 2 (Part 2)

The first quilt of this post is a purely whimsical offering by Beth Miller, also from Canberra, Australia……IMG_6890

This quilt by Susan Mogan is a beautiful pastel sunrise……IMG_6902

This stripe quilt by Maria Shell caught my eye…….

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I loved the laces that were used for waves in the piece by Eilene Williams……IMG_6925

I love this old barn by Karlyn Lorhenz, but REALLY like the painted sunset…..IMG_6927

Speaking of painted quilts, it seemed to be the recurring theme for the show.   There were so many where the tops were either painted, drawn or digitally produced.  Even this gorgeous quilted piece by Mikyung Jang was enhanced with painting…….

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This landscape by Pat Derbin reminded me greatly of our forest trip in China back in August.   The thing that I noticed most about this quilt is that the “leaves” on the steps are simple squares of fabrics……IMG_6938

In the category titled “Balanced Piecing and Applique", I was drawn to this quilt by Karen Grover.   I really like the applique that is overlaid on the piecing…..IMG_6952

This great quilt was made by Hsi-chen Hsu…..the same artist who made two of the quilts that I showed from the Preview night.   I obviously relate to her work……

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I was attracted to the colors in this quilt by Betty Busby that was based on Lichens.   The center “lace” pieces were meticulously cut out!!…..

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Finally, this applique quilt by Zena Thorpe was truly amazing……IMG_6989

I not only loved the whimsical nature of the quilt, but these 1/8th inch wide circles were crazy.   Linda and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how they were done…..IMG_6990

….and then decided that it didn’t really matter since neither of us were going to try to do it anyway!!!


We closed out the day by meeting some friends for dinner and enjoying an hour of talk about all of the sights of the day!!!


One more day to go…….

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