Sharing My Work

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I love sharing my work with others. What I don’t love is paying $30-40 and having someone say “no thank you” with no explanation whatsoever. I don’t have a solution to this problem. But I think for $30-40, a short explanation of rejection should be included. Yes, I’ve heard all the explanations of why a piece might be rejected. I know that the more you enter your work, the higher the chance that it will eventually be accepted. But $30-40 is a lot of money. Children are dying of hunger and thirst every day, and I do mean this literally. It is something that concerns me. And selfishly spending $30-40 in the hopes that an unnamed stranger might like my work and accept it into their show is not something that I enjoy doing on a regular basis.

 

Here’s an interesting story about that. Last fall I entered a rug into the big rug hooking contest, Celebrations. One of my instructors felt that it had a very good chance of being accepted. A few weeks ago I realized that I had never heard from them pro or con. So I started investigating. And the question I asked was, “I would like to know if my rug was viewed.” Lo and behold, my $35 entry fee went through just fine. But the rug images never made it to the judges. Now, in all fairness, I have to give kudos to the woman I was corresponding with. She could have just brushed my concern aside. But she was honest, investigated what had happened, and was very apologetic about the whole situation.

 

Anyway, all that leaves me with still wanting to share my work with others. Recently, I showed a couple of the pieces in the “what they said” series to my pastor’s wife to see if there would be any interest in sharing them at my church. She was most enthusiastic, and I ended up displaying them for Easter weekend. I really loved sharing them with others. If anyone has a church that would like to have a display of any of my quilts, I would love to share them.

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Back story on these pieces. I always intended to mount them on cradled panel boards. I tried staining the boards, but I didn’t like that look. So I decided to paint them black. I was so careful. They were propped EVERYWHERE in my little wet studio (there are 18 pieces in this series!) I let them dry for several days, and then carefully brought them into my regular studio to mount the quilts on them. 10 of them had little bits of paint that chipped off! Back out to the studio for touch-ups. I shared a few of them with Teresa, the coordinator for the Oak Hills gallery, and she said they needed mounting hardware. Okay then. Ordered that from Amazon, and had a morning of adding little screws and wire to the back of each one. I kind of resented doing this, but I have to admit that it made hanging them extremely easy 🙂

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After sharing them with my church, Grace Fellowship, in Jackson for a few weeks, they will go to Oak Hills Church in Folsom, and will be there from May 14 through June 18. If any of you are in the area, there will be an artist’s reception on Friday, May 19, from 7pm to 8:30pm. I’d love to see you!

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Sewing Machines

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I have three sewing machines. My first machine, a Janome Memory Craft 6500 has been an excellent machine. I probably got it 15 years ago, and it is still a fine sewing machine. One day I complained to the mechanic at Meissner’s that it was a long way to bring my machine in for routine servicing. He took the time to show me how to care for my machine myself, and it has been many years since I have paid for a tune-up. I use my Janome almost every single day.

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And then one day, maybe 10 years ago, with all the talk of featherweights, I had to get my own Singer Featherweight. I was extremely lucky, because I bought it on eBay from someone who was not a sewer. It has worked most excellently for me, and has not needed any repairs. The thing I like the most about my featherweight is the certainty of each stitch. I am told this is partly because it only does one thing (straight stitch) and it has a single hole face plate. I finally remembered to ask at Meissner’s if they had a single hole face plate for my Janome. They did! I am excited to try it out. And I’m pretty sure I will break a few needles before I remember that I need to switch it out when I want to zig zag. I usually use my featherweight once a month when I get together with a few friends for a sewing day. But if I am sewing triangles or other more precise shapes, I will get my featherweight out to use at home.

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And then a year ago, I got my Juki sit down long arm machine. I was in love with it, and then the motor malfunctioned. That really threw me for a loop. Even though Juki replaced the motor, you’re left with that niggling thought will it happen again? But now, after using it for about five months with no problems whatsoever, I am starting to relax again. I love the certainty of the stitches. I love that it is fairly easy to wind a bobbin and replace the bobbin (haha, after much practice 🙂 ) I love that there is only one place to oil before each bobbin change. And of course, I love the spaciousness of it. It is so much easier to work on than trying to stuff a big quilt under my Janome. I quilt on my Juki 3 or 4 days each week.

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All the pictures are of recent quilting I have done on the Juki.

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