Monday, October 28, 2013

Wax poetic

How about a peek at my awards from the Treasures of Tomorrow quilt show, Marshfield,WI October 25 and 26:

Bittersweet Too - Second Place

December  - Third Place

I Love the Nightlife -  First Place

Great show as always.  It's not a huge show, but it is judged.  I enter and attend every year.  

It was wonderful to talk to other quilters about their quilts and mine.   I met another quilter who had entered two of her quilts, one winning the Best Machine Quilting award and the other winning second place.  Her quilts were beautifully hand appliquéd. She used a technique called back basted needle turn appliqué which I had never heard of, so she explained it to me.  This was her first attempt at hand appliqué and her first quilt show entries.  Way to go!  

A Mercer friend and artist who always attends the show mentioned to me that she recognized the botanical elements in December from "our north woods".  That comment was so interesting.  She is not a quilter and I love the fact that a viewer would catch something like that when looking at my work.

By the way, I Love the Nightlife was considered for the Best Machine Quilting award, according to the judge's comments.  Hear that Lisa Arndt? (my machine quilter for that quilt).

I've had some thoughts since the show.  I don't normally wax poetic in my blog posts.  I figure readers want to see some of my photos, read a bit, just get in and get out.  But here goes.

Why do I enter quilt shows?  Based on my comments above, you may get the general idea. But questions arise at times about how much prize money I receive, how many shows I enter, do I make quilts just for show, just for the chance to WIN.  Am I looking for fame and fortune??  

I do make show quilts, but I don't make them just for show. I make quilts because I love the process and because they are an expression of things I see and love in life. Making quilts of show quality is a challenge I enjoy; it makes me always strive to improve my work. By the way:  I received no "could be better" comments from the judge on my quilts.  I guess I have finally passed the binding test.  That's one area I often needed to improve according to judge's comments.

I enter shows for the pure fun of it.  I love viewing every quilt at a show and it is so fun to see mine displayed among the others.  I love talking to people and answering questions about my quilts.  I learn so much from other quilters at a show and I am always inspired with new ideas to take home.  I take only a few photos of other's quilts and I never post other quilts on my blog without permission and credit to the artist.  

I notice very often - on Pinterest especially - photos of quilts posted without identifying the quilt maker.   Not good. 

One interesting note:  I entered December in the Wall Quilt, Art category described in the entry form as "Quilters original design that depicts a person, place or thing in a realistic or abstract manner."  Any technique may be used.  December is my depiction of winter and especially the month of December.  The dark background represents winter darkness setting in, with snowflakes brightening the landscape.  The bright blue pieces here and there depict the clear blue sky, not seen too often.  Fabric circle borders surrounding the snowflakes are the colors of  pine trees.  I used botanical elements in the snowflakes, such as birch trees, little snow clumps on brush branches, icicles etc.  All these ideas were gathered on my daily walks.  But looking at the other art quilts displayed in that category, I wondered if December really is an "art quilt".  No matter really.

But the perpetual question remains:  What really is an art quilt?  And that age old wonderment:  Are quilters artists?  

I don't wonder the answer to the second question.  To me, all quilts are works of art, and all quilters are artists.  

Fame and Fortune for me?   I am not trying to be famous and prize money is always nice but will never cover the costs of entering shows.  I cherish my ribbons more. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

That bittersweet time of year

"Bittersweet Too"

Autumn is my favorite season, especially here in the Wisconsin north woods.  I love the sights and smells of the woods, chilly nights, the striking moon over the lake.

Even though there is a ton of yard work to do now, it's  good  to be outside enjoying the weather.  (That's my story and I'm sticking to it).

I hope you've purchased my book "Nature's Journey Appliqué" as there you will find the pattern for Bittersweet Too.  This quilt really captures the essence of autumn.  

If you attend the Treasures of Tomorrow quilt show in Marshfield, Wi October 25 and 26, you'll see this quilt on display along with 2 of my other quilts.  

Soon winter will be here, snow will cover those remaining leaves and pine needles on the ground and I'll be nestled into my sewing room again, hard at work. I'm looking forward to it.

I have a new quilt on the drawing board and other projects to finish including machine quilting "Cubic Circles." I  started with some simple straight line quilting using my walking foot.  Next, I outlined and echo stitched each outer circle, filling that space with pebbles, and last, I will pebble quilt all the open spaces.  I'm using Hobbs 80/20 batting and I do like it's loft versus my usual cotton batting.  

"Cubic Circles"
Note that I've already machine stitched the binding in place.

Detail straight line quilting

Pebble quilting in progress

Roadside pick of the day.