Friday, February 22, 2008

Art in the Dark

Music by candlelight. I encourage people to feel my work, but not usually to feel their way through the rooms displaying my work! The reception last night was a smashing success (if 3 cubes of cheese and a strawberry with a nibble out of it being the only leftovers is any guage) even without power. We had just gotten into the rhythm of things good when the lights went out. The power actually went out in the entire downtown area. They say this is only the second times that's happened in years. So of course it happens during the reception. Carmen and Ann calmly began passing out candles and people just chatted with whomever was standing next to them. I did my "elevator pitch" for the allotted 3 minutes then the party continued as usual. The surprising thing is that nobody left right away. And people continued to arrive. I'm not sure exactly what I expected from an artist reception (this is my first, remember) but if they're all like this one I think I'm going to become like those old ladies who show up at all the wakes. I'll just make the rounds every week to all the opening receptions for artists all over town. Carmen and Anne made things unbelivably easy and (other than the power) the evening went off without a hitch. As a testament to their calm approach and composure, I only worried about the whole open flame + melted wax + quilts thing for about 30 seconds.

For those of you without the inclination to buy a quilt, you should check out Carmen's new "Blues Tapestry" candle creation! I felt so honored by her doing that.

Many thanks to everyone who showed up, whether I knew you or not, and to Kenta for the incredible food, and most especially to Carmen and Anne.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Hollow cube quilt blocks

Speaking of copyright, I've noticed over the last year or so that one of the most common search strings that shows up on my site meter is for the hollow cube block. The actual pattern can be found in Sara Nephew's Big Book of Building Block Quilts. The pattern was designed by her and is still under copyright to her. The only way to legally get a copy is to buy the book (or draft your own pattern for it), so you won't be seeing the instructions on my blog. The books aren't really expensive (under $15) and, judging by the interest in the pattern, well worth the money if you want to use it in one of your own quilts. I found copies for sale on a bunch of different sites so it isn't hard to find.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Natchez gathering

The meeting went well and I always love seeing the people I only get to see at the gatherings. Broach did a short segment on copyright (a subject near and dear to my heart as most of you know) and ironically, the pictures for the newspaper article in the Natchez Democrat were taken during that segment. I say ironically because, although NOBODY asked my permission, my picture is in there anyway. Complete with misspelled first AND last name. I can only recall one instance in my entire life when I was ASKED that I refused to allow a picture to be published and I had a very good reason that time. It's not whether you will or won't grant permission, it's the fact that you should be ASKED, especially by a supposedly professional media outlet. I'm still considering whether to write a letter to the editor or something about it because it really got under my skin. I know it sounds picky as hell, but I AM picky as hell about copyright and public domain and all that other stuff. Maybe it wouldn't matter to me as much if the piece they so thoughtfully published a picture of wasn't a potential competition entry (yeah, one that prohibits prior publication) that I'm also drafting a pattern of for sale. I had half a dozen quilts with me and if they had only asked I'd have been happy for them to take a picture....just not of THAT quilt. I have no idea how many shots the photographer took since I was sitting next to the door and he was shooting from the door into the room. It's not like he didn't get a chance to ask me either, since we spoke outside as he was leaving. He didn't mind telling me he was off to power lifting, but it was too much trouble to ask if he could use the photo?

OK. Rant over. Well, probably not, but at least on the blog for now.

Anyway, the article is at along with the pictures. Did they ask any of the other quilters for permission? Bobbie? Dee? Anyone? I'd copy and paste the entire article but that would be violating their copyright, so you have to go look for yourself.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Y'all come!

I picked up the postcards for the show yesterday and I feel like a little kid at Christmas! What a rush to see a picture of one (actually, two) of my quilts with my name and "Artist Reception" right there on the card! Anne at ARTichoke did a beautiful job on getting the card laid out and I love the font she used. She watermarked the smaller quilt on the back so it is a shadow sort of effect of the actual quilt. I'm very happy with the look of it though. When she was working on it, she just started poking keys on the computer and all of a sudden, voila', there it was! I was soooo impressed. It puts my cut and paste skills to shame to see a true master at work with photoshop. Besides forcing me to actually finish the quilts I start, this project has made me get at least a little bit better at getting some pictures of my work. Tripod, high res shots, lighting, that sort of thing. I tend to take crappy pictures since I already know what the pieces look like. Maybe my brain extrapolates the intimate details onto the rudimentary photos so I "see" what I know is there. I need to pay more attention to getting pictures that let other people see it too. Well, for everything but the glitches. No close ups of the unmatched points or crossed stipple lines anyway.

Without further ado........
I hope to see everyone there! (Wine will be involved.)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Oxford Piecemakers and other stuff

What a great group of quilters! 17 students in the embellishment class Saturday and a big turn-out for the regular meeting following the class. I LOVE working with a group of people who are willing to just jump right in and go with the flow. I heard very few "that's not how it's done" comments and a lot of "what if" comments. My kind of class! The members came well-prepared with stuff to use, and open minds and curiosity. Can't ask for any better than that. Every time I leave after teaching I wonder if the students have gotten as much out of the class as I have. I often get follow-up emails with questions or comments and I love those since it gives me a little more direction for the next class I teach. Things that need to be expanded on or clarified.

An evening of visiting and playing and eating with my lovely hostess Jane, and Sonia, Linda and Dana as co-conspirators. (Hi, Butch!) I love the give and take and sharing when a group of quilters get together. And what was supposed to be a quick stop by the local bead shop turned into an hour of show and tell with the owner. A quick stop by the outlet mall in Batesville turned into a $100 shopping spree too, but I got some grown-up clothes so it wasn't wasted. The day was beautiful, the drive was nice, and it was good to get home. My hub says I need to charge enough to cover the cost of boarding my cat when I'm gone overnight since he (the cat, not the hub) wanders the house screaming the entire time I'm gone.

And news on the home "spare" son, Nick, has joined the Marines! He leaves for boot camp on the 25th and graduates at the end of May. I WILL be at his graduation! My friend has just moved to SC so I will make a double-duty road trip out there. I'll cry at the graduation, but I'm so proud of him I could pop. As the hub said last night, I couldn't love him any more than I would if he was my own. There's just something very special about him and I want him to make the most of his gifts. And a week with Vicki, playing in her new studio is like heaven on earth. The timing is good too, since the arts festivals I'm lined up to do will be over (maybe I'll make enough to cover expenses for the trip) and so far, I have nothing else planned right away. It's also a great excuse to visit Fiber on a Whim on my way through Atlanta.

Still tired from the drive yesterday so I'm just rambling sort of scatter-shot, but I'm trying to post more often (for myself, not my visitors) and the best way to do that is just to sit down and do it.

If anyone knows a group that would be interested in a short presentation or workshop between here and S.C. during the last 2 weeks of May, let me know. I plan to take my time and do what I want on the trip. I've never actually planned a trip like that!

Lots of stuff to finish and details to tie up in the next week before the show hangs, so I better get at it.

Oh yeah, in case there is anyone who would like a postcard for the show, just email me your snail mail addy. They aren't worth anything, I'm just so excited to have them I'm willing to mail one to anybody who is interested!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

I am the Taxman

Another one I just HAD to make, unsewn sleeves and labels be damned! The houndstooth check was the genesis for this one (spotted in the remnant bin while having the expensive stuff cut) and it just went from there. Figuring out how to do the continuous line treble clefs too longer than the pattern and appliqueing did! After MANY false starts (everything from Celtic bias to satin stitch) I finally landed on exactly what I wanted with machine cording. It's simply 1/4" bias strips run through the rolled hem foot with a medium zig zag, then stitched down with the same zig zag. Works like a charm and is just the look and size I was shooting for.