Friday, December 29, 2006

ANOTHER BLIZZARD I live in Colorado because I love this climate - well, not for the last few weeks. The snow is building again outside and I am going crazy with the idea that I am going to have to shovel out several time in the next few days. There is nowhere I really want to go (federal gov't shut down today and will be closed for Ford funeral on Tuesday - no, I do not get paid as a contractor) but I think it is part of the American spirit to know that you have the freedom to move. At least it is part of my spirit. Guess the snowshoes go back on and I can start making paths for the dogs in the backyard. At least the two young dogs who were visiting over Christmas are gone - friend came back early to get them before she got shut-in. Whine whine whine, maybe I just need to work on more chessies.

Monday, December 25, 2006

So it is Christmas day. Not one of my best days, memorial candle lit and a day of sewing and going to the movies. Took in a friends two dogs for the holidays and having a hard time getting them worked in with my guys. That is it for my whining!!! Thought I would show you the christmas elf I made for a work friend (thanks to quilters newsletter for pattern) and some of the snow at my house. I made a menorah that was going to be for a white elephant exchange but it ended up being 30" by 20" and a lot of work - I gave it to my rabbi and his wife but forgot to take a picture of it.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Denver area has been having a blizzard. Was home yesterday and sewed a lot. The storm eased off today so I decided it was time to shovel my long driveway (lets not talk about getting out of the cul-de-sac). Opened the garage door and the snow is up to the top of my thighs. This is not going to be a fast process. After an hour, I managed to clear about a six foot deep, one car width wide area. Hmmm, guess I will not need to go to the gym tonight.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Been busy making chessie blocks but took some time out to make a "Santa's Helper" piece for a friend at work. She really likes the little decoration pieces - did a turkey for her last year. Just having a good December for once - not doing as much as I should but handling everything well. Well back to my sewing area. Happy Hanukkah!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

YEAH - Pictures are back on blogger. OK still looking for feedback.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

The blogger has flipped over to beta testing and I can not figure out how to load pictures. So, I can only tell you that I have done more chessie blocks, fixed up some blocks based on some input (and my own opinions) and am very pleased how this is going. Today I put together a santa helpers block for a work friend and it was fun to work in the bright colors. Wish I could show you!!! Sybil

Sunday, November 26, 2006

I am getting some feedback from some email list people and I really appreciate it. Thought I would post a few more. I am still trying to get the "right look" that will get the auction price up. Good thing I decided to focus on this through December.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

I am sorry that there has been some trouble seeing new postings. I have switched to the updated blogger (same address) and hope that everything starts to show up.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The American Chesapeake Club National Speciality will be in Colorado Springs, Colorado in September 2007. I have committed myself to making at least two wall quilts as fundraisers for the event. I have started making 14" square blocks for this purpose but would love feedback from people. I think the wall quilts will have either four, five or six blocks in them. So, please look these over and let me know how they are coming.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Quilting the Dog Been printing of chesapeake bay retrievers so I can develop several quilt panels to show people my ideas. I am always amazed when I get in that mode where the ideas are running over each other and I can barely keep up by taking short notes of my ideas - I am not sure why that does not happen more but early Sunday mornings are the best time for it. Thinking of that, it was also the best time to write papers for me, guess my mind is clear then. Found a picture of me and my chessie Ceil running agility. Always loved this picture and wanted to share it.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Had our first snow fall and my chesapeake bay retrievers really enjoyed it. Time to show some of my latest pieces. This piece is based on the ceramic work by Clark Sorenson. He does various flowers as urinals. I did this one since my co-workers wanted to see it and one wanted to remember her home in Hawaii. I love the idea of it and think it came out well. I also worked on a chessie piece - need to do a number of them for the Chesapeake National Speciality that will be in Colorado Springs next spring. This one has a few problems so I am going to do another one to fix the problems - mostly I need more contrast.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Still have not taken the pictures I want to post but had a wonderful time at the Chesapeake Bay Retriever National Speciality in Wilmington Ohio. A rather odd place to go for a dog show but it was a sweet little town and turned out to be the hub of DHL Delivery so it was pretty well off. As always, the dog show had it ups and down and but it grand to see friends from across the country and to see the best chessies around. The house is still dirty but I have gotten back to my sewing machine - could not believe how much I missed it. Life is good.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Can not believe so much time has past without posting. I have been working but been sending much too much energy at the paying job and not enough at the quilting work. I have finished my father's piece up and shown it at my color theory class - silence again which I will accept in the positive sense. Went to the opening of the "Orange you Glad" exhibit at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum. It is very strange and very uncomfortable to see my work in public and to see people commenting on it. I even had to give a few minute talk about what I was thinking when I made it. Sitting next to a woman who had lost her adult daughter this year did not make it easy to talk about my grief for my dog. I have also been a docent there and gave tours through the exhibit - I found that I normally did not tell people that I had done the piece. I do not like to put people on the spot, probably the same urge that makes me want to give or leave people wrapped presents so they can open them when I am not around. Privacy is very important to me. I have been doing some quilting work and finished my color theory class. I will be posting the pieces and talking about them.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I have had several requests to see the quilt that was accepted. I am sorry, I had not even thought to post it because I had done that sometime ago (I have no idea what post. So, I will repost it. In addition, I have gotten my father's piece up to the binding stage. Very proud of my first portrait quilt and I know that I would never have gotten there without the quilt university class by Marilyn Belford. Got to show that one too. And just want an old college roommate and best friend to know that I always think of her.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Came home to find a letter from the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden, Colorado accepting my piece for an exhibit they are having (Orange you Glad) from August through October. This is a first for me - accepted into an exhibit - I am even going to show you the letter!!!! WHEEE

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Still working on the portrait of my father. It has been a surprising hard process and I am not sure why. While I have never done a human face, I have done lots of dog portraits. I think the emotional component has to be getting in the way. The original had him in a coat, white shirt and tie. I always think of him in his blue-grey shirts so I put him in one. I think it looks like pajamas but that seems appropriate as well. Anyhow, I have now fused it and it is ready for thread painting. This is the in-process work.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

So it is the 4th of July. Always interested me that we reverse the day and month for this one - more military. Anyhow other than having more stitches put in my young dog Echo (when will she learn when it is time to stop annoying her grandmother Aspen), I have been working on my fathers portrait. I had a very hard time starting, my reluctance stopped me for days. I finally started on Sunday and decided it did not matter where it went, it just had to go somewhere. My first effort has him looking like he had his picture taken from jail after being a terrorist. Happily, the instructor has given me some advice and I can start to fix it up. Attaching the picture just so you can see. Also got back the brown "stack the deck" quilt from the machine quilter Karen Neimi. She added aspen leafs and it looks lovely. She would like me to finish the binding before mid-August so she can enter it in a show. I think that would be pretty neat.
So it is the 4th of July. Always interested me that we reverse the day and month for this one - more military. Anyhow other than having more stitches put in my young dog Echo (when will she learn when it is time to stop annoying her grandmother Aspen), I have been working on my fathers portrait. I had a very hard time starting, my reluctance stopped me for days. I finally started on Sunday and decided it did not matter where it went, it just had to go somewhere. My first effort has him looking like he had his picture taken from jail after being a terrorist. Happily, the instructor has given me some advice and I can start to fix it up. Attaching the picture just so you can see. Also got back the brown "stack the deck" quilt from the machine quilter Karen Neimi. She added aspen leafs and it looks lovely. She would like me to finish the binding before mid-August so she can enter it in a show. I think that would be pretty neat.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Home from work and wondering about how I manage my life with a full time job, lots of dog training, quilting and friends. I chose not to work for over two years and felt like my life was full. Now, I feel like it is also full but I do not feel like I am rushing around. I have cut down on fabric petting time - just work on various projects. I did complete my color theory class project. The month of June was about creating either a "warm" piece or a "cool" piece. I decided I would use yellow (definitely) 'warm' and practice my fabric fusing. I used a gray mottled background and really felt that cooled the picture down. So, I used the same elements - red dot, curves and a second circle, and created the same type of piece all in yellow. Did not like the two pieces until I started quilting them but I have become attached to them. I think they represent some major elements in my life and I did not even know that was what I was doing.

Monday, June 19, 2006

I tend to accumulate fabrics. Two weekends ago I was not feeling inspired so I decided I would just play with my brown fabrics and use some of them up. I did a basic stack and wack and had a lot of fun. The top is going off to be quilted by Karen Niemi today. Just wanted to show this because this was fun and crafty.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Father's Day. Not a day that I have celebrated since my father died a long time ago (I was in my mid-20's). At that time I was not getting along with my parents so I had no idea that he was damaged from earlier chemo. Since then, over the years he has come and visited me and we resolved many of our issues. I just started a Quilt University class called realistic portraits and I decided to do his picture. I was leaning to a picture of him when he was thin and sick. Last night while I slept, I realized that he would have wanted a picture when he was healthy, had a mustache and was in a blue shirt. I found a picture to use and all I have to do is change the shirt and let his pale blue eyes shine.

Monday, June 12, 2006

I have definitely confused myself. Two years ago I went to another quilt guilds show and was blown away by the quilts there. They put the show on every two years and so I went to their next show last Saturday. I know the quality of work was the same, but all I could see is that the vast majority used patterns and then used a machine quilter. I did not see the originiality that I was expecting but saw basic color combinations (i.e. blue and yellow) and set patterns. There were a few wonderful pieces but they were the exception. This really bothers me because I have to have been the one to change and I do not know what the change means.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Very exciting today - I actually went and dropped off my entry application for "My Scream About Zac" to the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum, Golden, Colorado for their 'Orange You Glad' exhibit. This is my first entry to a big exhibit and, at this moment, it does not matter if I actually get a piece in or not - it just matters that I did this. The entry closing date is June 9th and I do not expect to hear from anyone until sometime in late July. The exhibit will start in late August and run for two months. !!!!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Been working hard between a full time job, my color theory class and a quilt university class. I finished the last piece on illumination - two penguins walking away. This is a big wall hanging for me, about 42 inch wide and 33 inch high. I hung it last night in my living room and had this moment - this sense that the piece moved away from me, got a life and was beautiful. I jumped around for a few minutes with my dogs to celebrate. So I show this piece with amazement and pride in my heart.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Been spending the weekend at the Denver national quilt festival and loving it. Can not be the skill, variety and imagination of these quilts and the vendors rows were pretty good. People praise my work but it is not close to the level of work that I saw there. I have a long way to go but it a fun road that I am traveling. I have been taking a quilt university class called Art for Quilters with Marilyn Bedford. Excellent lessons and I am getting a lot out of it. Once again, with quilting, I have to spend the hours and have hands on to really learn. I get to post my work and get some feedback. These are just quick (ok not so quick) fused works to play with concepts but I am please with how they came out.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I worked on my Color Theory Class using Illumination. The goal is to get parts of the quilt to appear to glow, either with much brighter colors or outstanding colors (i.e. pure light colors on a black background). I used a pattern that appeared in the current American Quilter called fractures to try out breaking up a flower. I think that it came out decently but I would not fuse again (she suggests using 1/8 inch seams) and would stick to the 1.5 inch squares. I am also going to show a larger quilt piece that I completed two years ago - I altered a shoofly block to get the effect. I am also trying to put a penguin picture together using the sun to create the effect but I am having problems with it - instead spending time working on my quilt guild's brown bag exchange.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The wedding is over and was quite successful. Had a fun drive from Denver to Kansas City through a series of tornado storms, spent more time with my brother and sister-in-law than I had for over twenty years (and had fun), saw lots of family and watched a fun wedding. Yes, my sister, you can have a victory dance. The dogs survived their kennelling with few problems and I was able to get back to quilting with an easy mind. Had another double complement piece to do so I used the paintings by Tarvay as the basis for some resting woman. I included a small memory of Zac in the piece since he died during its creation. Got to say that my quilting work has improved greatly. I got to include some silk ribbon work which I am just learning but it seemed to get lost in the larger picture.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Mazel Tov Zachary GPS June 10, 1992 – March 21, 2006 I had to put a good friend down last night. Few of you know him, he never won anything, never did anything special for the breed, and the only mark he made was in my heart. Zac was four months old when I got him. I was supposed to get a chessie pup from a big-shot local breeder who called me a few hours before I was to leave to get the pup to tell me that it was not available to me. That was going to be my first “well-bred” chessie, a big move up for me. My friend aimed me to an ad in the local paper and we went and found Zac. He did not like his first car ride with us, actually, he never did like car rides and I bought a 4x4 pickup truck with a cab on the back so he could pace back there. Since he still muttered and screamed through every trip, I finally got a van and stuffed him in a crate. He loved being places, just did not enjoy the trip. Zac was raised with my friend’s show standard white poodle Winston. They made quite an odd picture running the fields together, Zac looking intense, Winston looking rather silly in his do-dads and bounding along. Zac always liked standard poodles. Winston has been gone for many years but I bet they are together now. Zac was going to be my obedience dog. He hated obedience. He would never sit straight and he never wanted to heel. The collars got harsher and harsher and he got worst and worst (even with food in front of him). One day, the instructor had me take the collar off and he heeled perfectly. After that, he always heeled perfectly without a collar but fought any leash. I was protected by Zac. Once when someone came to the door and tried to get in – I would not have wanted to confront the Zac that appeared then. The second time, at the park, when a crazy bike person ran over another of my chessies and then came screaming at me. Zac stood between us and his response escalated perfectly as the man tried to kick at him and kept yelling. I always called Zac my “40-watt” dog because he always seemed a bit dim. Dim? Last night after he was gone I realized how well he had trained me. I keep listening for the blinds to rattle so I would know he needs to go out; I threw biscuits out for the other dogs as soon as the meal is over because Zac demanded them for dessert. I got up every few hours last night to check on him, even though he was not there. And, I kept hearing him last night. So did my three other chessies who are a bit confused that their leader is gone (even with problems walking, he stayed the leader. Zac was full of life and full of heart. Zac was my chessie. I miss him.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

PREPARATION TO ATTEND A WEDDING I have not been to a wedding in a long time. I have reached the point where my friends are either divorced or determined to stay married (usually their second or third) until death parts them. However, I am off to Kansas City in a few weeks for the wedding of my nephew David and his lady Shanna. Please understand that I am very happy for them but I am surprised by all the work involved. First, lets talk about having to take care of my four chesapeake bay retrievers, Zac, Aspen, Ceil and Echo. Zac is old and sick (almost 14) but the universe is not letting me make 'reasonabl' decisions about him. Instead, I am planning on boarding all the dogs at the vet for about $100 per day. I can live with that, then we add the $150 in shots, the $100 in fecal samples and $400 in tires, gas and hotel bills. Hmm, they will be getting a quilt sometime in the future. Actually have all the pieces but can not figure out how to put it together, assuming that they like the fabrics. Really looking forward to seeing family, travelling visiting quilt stores and stopping at the Wichota dog show on the way out. OK, it is worth it - I am a'coming family!!!!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

March 11, 2006 This is going to be a great Saturday. Listening to Alex Anderson's new podcasts ( Yes, I have been a Simply Quilts viewer since I got DISH and could watch HGTV. Been watching about two years and considered them a set of private lessons. Will miss them. This afternoon, I will be volunteering at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum. Get to docent in a room full of wonderful quilts, I see it as an opportunity to study them for three hours and to get to talk to interesting people. Plus, my bitch Echo is about out of heat - thank god, no accidents, no encounters with my stud dog, plus a get a sleeping partner back. My triad piece went over well in my color theory class, lots of laughter, a few blushes, those women understood what that piece evolved into. Not sure how it got there but there it is. Before I start thinking about my next project for that class I want to show my analogous project that I called Duck Watching Sue Hunting. I am not a sunbonnet sue fan. Sunbonnet Sue is this cutiest creature with a big hat doing such girly things. Hmm, not my style. I was thinking about a hunting girlfriend and decided to combine my thoughts (assuming I can hang on to my thoughts long enough to act on them). Plus I wanted to show how stupid it was to hunt in a big hat that covers your eyes - she doesn't see anything. So she has a duck behind her plus three 'Birds in the Air' blocks overhead. All she sees is a barren brown field. I have to remember to look around more.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

I just kept staring at the triad quilt piece (my last post) trying to figure out why it did not sing to me. Sometimes when I finish a piece, I will look at it on one of my walls and just go "wow", someone did a great job with that, then realize that it is me. Loved the shape but it was just flat. Yesterday I went into the yarn department. This is a first for me since my last knitting was as a child. Found some blue-green and red-violet yarns and just machine couched them in. NOW I like the look. I am still building the background that will let me think through options. My learning curve is very high and between the workshops and classes I take and the quiltart email list I am being exposed to numerous ideas. Right now I am still very hit and miss but I think this was improved and gives me a distorted vision of a woman. I think I will let people decide for themselves in class.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

March 1, 2006 Still thrilled about the new blog but finding working a 40 hour a week job is cutting into my quilting and thinking time. Need to find a balance between money and my creativity efforts. I have been using my color theory class to try a lot of new techniques and ideas. Am trying to get at least one or two new things in each piece. This month was triad colors. So we have a yellow-orange background, blue-green and red-violet. Interesting colors. Decided I would work on fusing again, a new circular rotary cutter and an odd shape for the piece. I am not sure I like the result but I am often neutral when I finish a piece. Must admit that it is different for me.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

February 26, 2006 Still hanging out with all four dogs. Zac is still with me though skinnier and tired. At the direction of my older sister I have been working on baby quilts new relatives. One family I barely know (darn those old family issues) but Ethan Shane was born on Feb 14th. He will be a Valentine baby forever. I decided to go big, bright and bold but used an existing pattern. The quilt went off a few days ago and was delivered but my sister is not sure it is the right address. It was fun and easy to do and did not require a lot of thinking. Great border fabric from Andover - did all the swirling on its own. One of my passions are my chesapeake bay retrievers. I show them in conformation, and agility and I wanted to learn how to quilt dogs. Got Sharon Malec's book (the dog lady) and learned her free standing applique techniques. Then I started creating originals and have had them in a few shows and sold some. Thought I would show you one that I put on a business card (Quilting the Dog).

Monday, January 23, 2006

First Entry

Wow, I am entering the blogging world. Never thought I would set up any type of website so this is great. I am a fairly new quilter (basically a toddler) with a leaning towards art quilts. I am not sure where the transition is from quilter to art quilter, or sewing area to studio so I have to say that I am working to be original. I am still flowing with life changes I made a few years ago. I left the workforce (with occasional trips back) and made a long list of things I wanted to try. While birdwatching fell off the side, quilting stayed. Joined a local guild, volunteer at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum and attended the art quilt symposium given by the museum during the summer - loved that! I joined the Quiltart discussion group and am learning a lot about the people and the process. Having always been a left brain bureaucrat (and good at it), working with a creative outlet feels wonderful. Been taking a 13 month color theory class with Heather Thomas in Colorado and loving the class. Started the class in September and am progressing through various color selections with a project a month. Started with black, white and grey; then monochromatic. The hardest part of the class is showing your piece. Is there a point where you begin to feel comfortable with that? Then I got to opposite colors. I had just been told that one of my dogs had an aggressive cancer and I was upset. Decided that I would try and show my feelings. Used "The Scream" by Edvard Munch as the basis and went off in orange and blue then. It brought silence to the class when I showed it.