Unreal

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Unreal is the only word to describe my experience at Quilting in the Garden at the Alden Lane Nursery in Livermore! More than I could ever have imagined. I have attended Quilting in the Garden, so I knew it was a well attended quilt show. But the personal experience was so much more than my observation.

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My Kantha blanket (number 128) at the entrance display.

Thursday morning I dropped off about forty of my quilts. Cyndee Carvalho is the coordinator of Quilting in the Garden, and she is quite an artist herself. She had looked at all my quilts online, and created a backdrop and a vision for how the quilts would be displayed.

I arrived early Friday morning to teach, so I had plenty of time to go and check out my quilt display in the greenhouse. Cyndee had grouped my quilts so well, and added parasols and the HAND DYED clothespin circles to enhance the circles that I love to use in my quilts. The backdrop was painted in a color to enhance my quilts!

This is what I saw coming through the front door of the greenhouse.

 

 

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Saturday I arrived bright and early. I loved getting there early. It gave me plenty of time to prepare myself and be relaxed before people started arriving. There were so many people! At one point on Saturday morning, I looked up, and the entire room was just FILLED with people! Cyndee came by a few minutes later and said that 250 people per hour were coming through the nursery’s front entrance!

Here are some more pictures of the display wall.

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And then many of the quilts were hung at various heights from bamboo stakes (perfect for a nursery display!) I wanted people to be able to see the stitching up close, and was so happy that all the quilts were at the perfect level.

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So many people came, and spent time looking closely at the quilts and the stitching and the wording. Many read the descriptive tags that I had written for each one. So many people commented that they enjoyed the message, and that the entire room had a calming effect on them. I loved chatting with the people about my process and inspirations for the quilts.

This was the perfect place to display the Hallelujah! quilt. The filtered sun came through those windows and it glowed.

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You can see the corner of the table that they put there for me. I had some of my very small quilt samples on the table as well as a few small quilts for sale, and some of the embroidery kits that I assemble for my class. And, I had some room to sit and stitch too!

The other Kantha blanket and The Fire Quilt.

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By Saturday morning, they had artistically placed lots of plants around the greenhouse.

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Since this was at a nursery, and my garden has been greatly influenced by this nursery, I brought my two garden quilts and had a bunch of 8X10 photos made of my garden. Cyndee displayed all the photos I brought, and that was so fun to share with the gardeners who came through the exhibit.

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The first Housetop quilt:

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His Kingdom Will Never End was displayed to the right of the entrance door.

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I know that this will probably be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. To be able to share so many of my quilts at one time, and to be able to interact with the people who are viewing them–it was…unreal!

Since this is an outdoor show, all the quilts have to be raised each morning and taken down each night! They have an army of volunteers to hold the quilts as they are raised by a pulley into the air!

Early in the morning:

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I had a number of inquiries about teaching, and so maybe I will be teaching my Quilted Embroidery a little bit more in the future. I haven’t talked about my Friday class experience. I will just say that there were 23 students, and it seemed that they enjoyed the class. I provided a blank quilt sandwich, and 3 pieces of hand dyed fabric, as well as 20 colors of thread. I was happy to see that many of them had their own ideas, and made designs other than my favorite circles! I had lots of sample mini quilts and ideas for them to see. And then they were off to create their own quilt. During the day I demo’d the various stitches for small groups to see. One of these days maybe I’ll remember to take pictures at my class.

 

 

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Finally, I’m Beading!

Finally. I did what I knew I needed to do in order to start beading. I needed a designated place to put all my beading materials and be able to keep it out for a while. My cutting table/desk is perfect. I knew I was at a good stopping place (not making any new quilts or quilt sandwiches for a bit) and so I set up my beading station.

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After adding a few beads to the last quilt I showed you, I knew I wanted to work on a quilt that was more about the beading than the embroidery. I had “finished” this quilt a while ago. But while I actually had planned to do beading and/or embroidery in each of the fabric tiles on this quilt, all I got done was some background beading. It was the perfect project to start on.

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I have several books that I refer to (Robin Atkins book and her brother Tom Atkins book) and I just started in working on each tile. I don’t really know what I’m doing, but its pretty fun. Beading actually goes faster than embroidery, and it is pretty easy on the hands too.

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There were 54 tiles in this quilt. I am down to the last 12, and so I hope to have this completed to share at Quilting in the Garden. Hope to see you there!

Another Finish

This was a quilt blank that I made before my surgery. I had visions of some glorious embroidery covering the entire quilt. Unfortunately, following my surgery, I didn’t seem able to make even one decision on where and how to stitch.

Then one day, in a link from someone’s blog, I heard a well-known artist say that you would never  be able to recreate the vision that was in your head. Ha. Yes, that sounds very familiar. I ended up embroidering this piece pretty much the same way I stitch most pieces. Still, I am pleased with it.

I didn’t create it with “light” being the theme of the piece, but that seemed an obvious choice as I went along. I used Bible Gateway to search “light” in the New Testament, and picked out some of my favorite verses. I did have a new idea of filling the “frame” of this piece with these verses, and using the most familiar verse “I Am the Light of the World” as the header.

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After it was all done, and bound and washed, I decided to try adding some beads to it.

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What’s Happening!

Well, sorry I haven’t written for a while. My excuse is that I did not enjoy sitting at my desk with my knee dangling. And, I got distracted with other things 🙂

In just a few weeks I will be teaching Quilted Embroidery at Quilting in the Garden at Alden Lane Nursery. And, I am the guest artist, so I will have an exhibit of my quilts in their beautiful greenhouse! I was so excited when I talked to Cyndee and found that my class was full. So I have been busy putting kits together, and then going through my quilts organizing which ones I want to take for the exhibit. Checking to see if I need to make sleeves for any of them (yes, I do 😦 ). And then working on trying to finish up some smaller pieces.

Here’s what I finished this weekend:

Pink is Pink:

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Close-ups:

I experimented with different fabrics and threads in this piece.

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The circle is wool. Some of the thread is silk, the rest is perle cotton.

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I tried fabric weaving in a couple of the blocks.

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My Guide:

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The verse  says, “He is my God forever and ever and He will guide me until I die.”

Close-ups:

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This was a little experimental piece I started a LONG time ago. It was just from a doodle in my journal. And then I got tired of it/started new projects/forgot about it/took it out and was uninspired to finish it… And then I decided it was too pretty to leave it unfinished.

I hope if you’re in the area you will come to Quilting in the Garden! Its a wonderful show in a beautiful garden, and there are some great classes offered along with the show.