Sunday, May 29, 2016

All packed


At the airport, heading home.  I have to say that Woodland Ridge Retreat the best place I have ever taught at. We have all been pampered to the nth degree, which is good for creativity  -the students' and mine!

Almost everybody left after lunch yesterday except for Nancy, who left late in the afternoon. She took this piece home to put it on a backing and quilt it.  This was her second piece and she made it in two days.

 Happily for me, Cindy and Barb stayed on till this morning and kept me company in the studio last night. They didn't want to give up sewing until they had no choice. LOL.  Here is the piece Barb finished yesterday.  


Here is Cindy's finished piece and she has more in the works.


Both were still working on pieces when the day ended and I didn't get pictures. I hope they will both send me photos when they have completed them all. Here we are after dinner. Cindy on the left, Barb on the right.

Gwen finished and quilted all three of the pieces she started on Tuesday.  Here are two.
 

Mary had started a piece but wasn't happy with the direction, so she took it apart (why not??) and when she left for home,she took these units with her so she continue making more and working on it at her leisure.  Can't wait to see what it will be when it is done.


Judging from the beautiful pieces Mary brought from home, I am sure it will be terrific.  Here is one of her wonderful quilts from show & tell.


Karen was also nonstop and had two finished pieces. Here is one of them in process (bad lighting).
Here is Karen the first day with show & tell from quilts at home. She calls it her "Rayna Quilt" because she made it after she read my book.  Everybody thought it was a delight - including Rayna.



Carol worked in this color combination.  Super! 

And Elizabeth's quilt reminds me of the colors Klimt used in his paintings. So rich!



I'm sure I have forgotten something, but the plane will be boarding soon.  A week from today I am headed out to teach at QSDS - Print Original Fabrics, Make Original Quilts. See some of you there!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Too much fun - continued.

In addition to the luxury accommodations, the meals here are gourmet-delicious and plentiful.  Here is tonight's dinner, waiting for us to help ourselves. I have to say that Woodland Ridge Retreat is like a boutique hotel.


Tuesday -- the first day of class -- was an intro to Free-form and we made units, which turned into small pieces -- or at least the beginnings of pieces -- some of which were finished by today (Friday).  People also worked on other pieces, as Carol is doing here.

Cindy is hard at work on the wall behind her. 

Elizabeth is putting up the piece she made today.


Wednesday, we had a challenge to make a small piece, starting with one specific shape - a rectangle with a strip in the middle. They were to work in limited colors: a dark, a medium, a light, and along the way, they could add one other color if they wanted to. There was quite a variety of results once people started cutting up the shape and playing. 

This is Elizabeth's challenge piece.

Here's Carol's.

And Patricia's - with a splash of whimsical orange.

Cindy stayed with the brights for this geometric one.

And so did Barb.


And here is Nancy's free-form abstract piece.

More pix tomorrow from this  talented group.  Time for me to put away the computer and get some sleep.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Having the most fun!

If you ever have a chance to take a class at Woodland Ridge Retreat in Downsville, WI -- RUN, do not walk, to come here.  It is paradise!  Drop-dead gorgeous location,wonderful meals, beautiful rooms, and Chris Daly, owner of this first-class quilt retreat venue, goes above and beyond to make you happy and comfortable.  

 Accomodations - de luxe!  No extra charge for the tree frog on the studio window this morning.



So far, two days of laughter, learning, and lots of play  --   studio photos to come tomorrow.  The studio is open 24 hours and you can sew to your heart's delight into the night if you have a mind to.  I was there until 11 tonight and will post more tomorrow.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

out the door again

Tomorrow morning, catching a plane to go teach for the week in beautiful Downsville, WI. at Woodland Ridge Retreat.   I have packed a huge stash of fabric because after teaching during the day, I plan to sew at night.  The studios are open 24 hours and it's not only a boon for the students, it's a perk for me!  I have been doing therapy sewing - some old fashioned string quilts with all the strips I have.   
And I have to make a challenge piece with the shweshwe fabric I brought home from Durban last August.  It needs to be 40 cm x 60 cm (approx.16"x24") and since the one I worked on last week turned out to be too big, I'm back to square one.  It's ok. I need to be challenged!

Leaving at the crack of dawn in the morning, so am going to put the last few items in the suitcase, zip it up, and leave it by the front door.  I expect to take lots of pictures of the locale and the class and will post. whatever I can.  
Cheers!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

A working vacation

This is part of my vacation.  Outer Banks of North Carolina - peaceful and elegant. 


The rest of it is much hilarity with 8 of my close college friends - along with eating, drinking, and a few pithy political discussions.  Happily, we are all on the same page -- and all equally distraught at what is going on in election-land.  And, although we are in the land of rest room bigotry, we were all greatly cheered to see this sign (and an accompanying one on the other door, in the little place where we stopped for lunch en route to our rental house.



Yes, I have brought my sewing machine with me and this afternoon, am taking a break while it is quiet and I can blog.  I have been working.  Before I left for this vacation, I was in my studio and came across something I started, probably in the early '90s. Had forgotten completely about it.  Got this far and couldn't figure out what I wanted to do with it -- so, put it away. Hmmm... I haven't the vaguest idea which traditional pattern this started out to be.  It's actually kind of cool - maybe it's finished.  What do you think?




In the meantime, while everybody has gone to Kitty Hawk, I am going back to my design wall.  Will keep you posted if anything exciting happens in the wilds of the Outer Banks.




Wednesday, May 04, 2016

the complaints department

That's me.  Yes, I apologize to my loyal (and not-so-loyal) fans who have complained that I have not  posted since the day before I left to teach at the Virginia Quilt Consortium's bi-annual Celebration.  I have to admit, the countryside at the 4-H  place was lovely -- but the cell phone service and Internet were somewhat tempermental.  

Nonetheless, I had a wonderful time, with two fun groups of students who provided a lot of hilarity and some nice results.  It is not easy to teach Free-form in one day, and a couple of students who had never done this before were stymied early on by the thought of cuttiing without a ruler. BUT - they persevered as I coached them (as in, cutting without a ruler is the same as cutting with a ruler, except you don't use a ruler).   I worked with one of the students and here is what she had at the end of the day: it was a real accomplishment!

A couple of other pieces from that class...




These three tops were finished by the end of the day and I'm sure the others will be finished soon.  Amazing for a one-day workshop!

Backtracking a bit -- I flew into Greensboro and it was about a 2-½ hour drive to Wirtz, VA.  The lovely Lucille Amos, who lives in Greensboro, gave me a ride and it was a pleasant (and amazingly short) couple of hours.  Along the way, we spotted a farmstand selling just-picked strawberries and I had to stop.  Our strawberry season in NJ is in June and is so short-lived that it is impossible to find them.
So, I purchased a gallon of berries, about half of which I consumed while we were at the Quilt event.

Five days later, when I was leaving for home, they were a bit iffy, after having frozen in the back of the fridge and defrosted en route home.  Going through security with two quarts of strawberries was less of a challenge than I thought it would be. Happily, I was the only passenger at the Greensboro airport going through security and I simply announced to TSA person #1 that I had strawberries. She alerted TSA person #2 and it was not a problem.  When I got home on Monday night, I made 1-½ quarts of strawberry ice cream.  I don't even LIKE strawberry ice cream, but there you have it.

TODAY (Wednesday) It is 40-something degrees and has been raining for two days.  The heat on in May?  Yep.  And this morning, I made a pot of soup, some of which I am eating as we speak.

I did spend the day in my studio, experimenting (for a change) and deciding that the idea I had in mind was too much trouble for the result.  I abandoned it and started to work with the African and Indian fabrics I love so much.  Schlepped a ton of fabric home so I could work on it tonight and tomorrow because I am leaving again on Friday. Unpacked, did laundry, and will re-pack, all without even taking my suitcase upstairs.

It will be a week's vacation in the outer banks with my friends from college.  I can only hope that it will not be 40-something degrees.  SO - if you don't hear from me for another week, you will know why.
I expect we will be sitting around, walking if it is nice weather, eating, drinking, reading, and knitting.  I may bring some hand-work or even my sewing machine.  We will see.
See you anon.

sewing and drinking thé à la menthe

Not at the same time, as I am bound to spill whatever I am drinking on what I am stitching. My cousin France got me started on mint te...