Something to Celebrate

Yesterday I received an email informing me that both of the quilts I submitted to Sacred Threads have been juried into their exhibition! I was more excited than I thought I would be. It is a good affirmation, and will offset those moments where I have thoughts like “what are you doing? making more quilts to stick in your closet?”

And now I want to go to Washington D.C. this summer! The exhibit will be held at Floris United Methodist Church, Herndon, VA (outside Washington, D.C.) from July 10-July 26.

The quilts I submitted are Hope in Uncertain Times:

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And Sing for Joy:

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Cleaning Up and Switching Gears

I’ve been telling myself I needed to get back to rug hooking for quite a while. A couple of mornings ago, I went into the studio, determined to switch gears. I was still mid-stream with the “what they said” series. So I decided to finish putting together the sandwiches that day, and at least that part of the project would be complete. I was afraid that if I didn’t do that, I might never finish. Eighteen little quilt sandwiches complete! The embroidery on the wording is coming along quite well. I work on those in the evening.

And so the NEXT morning, I put away the sandwiches and the remainder of the bolt of Kona Snow, and I got out my rug hooking. I need to have enough room to spread out my wool “worms. My cutting desk is just right.

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The NEXT MORNING, I walked in the room and thought, wouldn’t it be nice to work in a clean studio? And really, ten minutes later, it was clean enough. And so much nicer to work in.

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Some parts of rug hooking are similar to quilting. Value is very important, and auditioning colors and fabrics for projects looks much the same.

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Different hooking techniques are tried out.

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Pictures are taken and shared with my one rug hooking friend to get input and advice.

And then, finally, I am ready to get to work! Sometimes I have to gently tell myself that all this pondering and experimenting are an important part of the artistic process.

Starting a New Series

I am finally starting the “what they said” series. I had chosen about 20 phrases that people uttered when they encountered Jesus. The different reactions people had were quite outstanding, and I don’t think I have ever seen them addressed. So I feel very firmly that this is something I am meant to do. But the HOW was not exactly established. I knew I wanted them to be somewhat simple, so that the words would take the pre-eminent place in the work. As the time approached, I got out all the little squares that I had pieced at my Lake Tahoe retreat (that retreat turned out to be a VERY GOOD THING!) and decided that I would use them in this series. I thought a LOT about whether or not I wanted the quilts to be the same size. I usually don’t work that way. Then I saw how Melody Johnson mounts her small works on a cradled wood panel, and I thought that might be another way to add interest to this series. I haven’t decided for sure whether I will mount these quilts like that, but it helped me to make the decision to make them all the same size, and to choose a size that will fit on wood panels that are available. Almost all of them will be 15″ X 15″.

Then, finally, it was time to start. I didn’t plan this, and I have never done this, but since they were so simple, I put together multiple sandwiches. I am using my favorite Kona Snow as the background color on all of these. Fortunately, I had a bolt of it in the closet 🙂

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One of the reasons that I continued making sandwiches was because I knew how to piece these simple tops. But, as usual, I got a little stuck at the quilting. I finally followed my BF’s advice, and did a little quilt-sketching. That broke the barrier. Yesterday, I sat down and put the words on the first quilt with my blue pen and started embroidering. I have my starting sketch all ready to go so I can quilt it as soon as I finish the words.

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I am happy.

Another Psalm Quilt Finished

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This quilt is a good lesson in “just continue on.” I actually had decided I didn’t like this quilt, in the stage where I just had the circles pinned in place. I was going to put it in the thrift store pile, but I do find it hard to do that, so I just threw it in the closet. A few months later, I was looking for something to do some handwork on, and I brought it back out. Well, maybe just for fun…

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The more I stitched on it, the more I liked it. And then it ended up being the one that I completely stitched over the whole surface! In my defense, one of the reasons I disliked it was because I didn’t do such a good job making the quilt sandwich. This was one of the projects I worked on in my little self-retreat up in Lake Tahoe last fall, and I only had my Featherweight with me. Anyway, I decided to let that go and just stitch away. I’m glad I did.

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The Psalm that I chose for it is one of the passages that Wendy and I loved when we started working with the kids in the village in Haiti.

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Endless Stitching

Whose smart idea was it to do kantha stitching over the ENTIRE BACKGROUND of my latest quilt? Its not a very big quilt, but it seems like I will NEVER finish. Its all straight-line stitching, of course, and I am only stitching through the top and the batting, so it is fairly easy stitching. But it is a LOT. Its not nearly as fun and interesting as the circles 🙂

Here’s a couple of views of it resting on the ottoman in front of me. Note to self: when it is resting there, its not being stitched…

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And here is another little quilt that I did for some dear friends. The wife asked if I would be willing to make a small quilt for their 60th anniversary! Of course I would. I admire both of them. Both are strong and intelligent people, who have worked at having a good committed marriage, something I admire very much. My friend showed me a plate with the colors that they liked, and that is where the simple color scheme came from. I used more than the usual amount of lazy daisy/leaf type stitches, as that was reminiscent of the pattern on the plate.

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