Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween
I just returned from the West sound Quilters 2006 Quilt Show. The theme this year was Anchored In Tradition A Salute to the Sea Services (Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, Merchant Marines) Bremerton, WA is a town that is closely tied to the sea and the armed forces, the guild wanted to acknowledge those that are and have served in the Sea Services.

One of the highlight was the Robert Howe Quilt. The quilt was completed in 1945 by Aldora Howe mother of Robert Howe. Robert was an member of the Coast Guard during WWII, his ship US FS200 had been comissioned and was sent to the Pacific Theater. Aldora started making a quilt for Robert. She asked for the names, serial numbers and state of each crew member. The quilt is embroidered with that information as well as the state bird and flower for each crewmans home state. Also included are the Coast Guards insignia, the ship mascot and a drawing of the ship all surrounded by a red, white and blue border.

It is truly a piece of American history that is cherished and remembered. It will eventually be given to the Coast Guard Museum.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Hand marbling fabric is one of my greatest joys in life. Creating wonderful things out of my fabric is another. I am one of those fortunate people that has many ideas exploding out of my head. Soon after I started marketing my fabrics I discovered that not everyone is ready to design their own quilts. So I started searching for patterns to help encourage, inspire and show off my hand marbled fabrics. I thought I would share with you my version of Moon Explosion by Patricia Bravo (yes, I do have the pattern for sale). I like this pattern because it can be constructed by beginners to advanced quilters. It is a great way to use up scraps and it can easily be customized. Cut out the pieces, play with the pieces until you like the arrangement, attach them and sew them in place. I found it turning into an experiment in thread painting. I just tried different threads and had fun with the stitching, style and technique. You will soon discover that I do not color inside the lines and my version is a perfect example of that.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Just returned from Washington State Quilters Show in Spokane, WA. The show is very well put together and well run. It was located in the new Spokane Convention Center, the staff was very helpful and the bathrooms were always clean.

Now to the Quilts. Such a wonderful variety of styles and techniques from art quilts to traditional. I was really inpressed with the number of large turned needle applique quilts. I have not learn turned needle applique just yet. But these quilts are true works of art. One was so intricate and layered, I was glad to see that the maker had put on it's information card that it had taken her 3 1/2 years to make. It was beautiful and worth every minute of effort she put into it.

The guild also provided a wonderful slection of demostrations to help inspire. Machine quilting, what to do with left overs and helpful tips when making wearables, and many more. All in all a great show and lots of fun. One of the great side effects of being a vendor at a variety of quilt shows is getting to see all of the wonderful quilts and meet intresting and inspiring people.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Image the Photo inspired.
Bright Yellow was inspired by all of the beautiful Birch and Aspen trees I would see evey Fall along the Kenai River. The entire hillside would be covered in gold in some areas. The colors would be so bright it hurt your eyes and took your breath away. And as soon as I saw them once again I knew that the Birch and Aspen trees in all of their Fall glory had inspired this fabric.

Inspiration and the image.
My friend Jay Stott took some wonderful photos while we were in Alaska. So I thought I would put up the photo of the inspiration and the fabric it inspired. Thank You Jay for permission to use your photo. Not all inspiration is a big AH! moment. It just might be something that you see every Fall, but you don't really see until you are far away. It's hidden there in your mind.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I just returned from Alaska. Arrived yesterday morning after flying all night. I went up to help Alaska Wildland Adventures celebrate their 30th Anniversary. It was a quick trip, but so much fun. We hiked, consumed wonderful food, caught up with old friends and did what Lizzards do.

But the thing that really made the lightbulb go off in my head was the fall colors. When I arrive with my marbled fabric at various shows, I always get asked how I come up with my colors. Well, now I realize how much Alaska and the natural enviroment have influenced the colors I have created. Bright yelow is the birch and aspen trees in their glorious fall colors. Emotion red is the bear berry and fireweed in their fall colors. As I looked around me the list just kept growing.

It was fun to again see the excitement that nature can inspire. A bunch of us were sittting around the campfire chatting and telling stories when one of the fishguides comes up and say "there's a brown bear in Juneau Creek". The camp fire was empty in 30 seconds or less as we all skipped down to the river to see the bear. I'm not sure who was more excited the little children (ages 1 1/2 to 3) or the big kids (ages 30 to 70). I have seen tons of bears but I am always happy to see one more.