Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Express yourself through your art!

     While enjoying a ladies brunch earlier this month at our church, I made several new friends.  What a joy!  As is typical of women, we shared our passions.  Some spoke of their grandchildren, some of their hobbies, some of their educational pursuits.  Adrianna, the young woman seated next to me, said she was majoring in Art Therapy.  "Therapy!  Art therapy!?  I wholeheartedly agree!" I said, wide-eyed.  She gave me a quizzical gaze and chuckled, "Why is that?!"  I answered with something like, "All women possess creativity, but express it in different ways.  Some create a gourmet meal, some are natural-born interior designers, some put outfits together that suit their figure and coloring.  But we all need to create.  That is the common denominator."  Her next words were poetry and heart-stopping profound.  She said,

 "The reason is:  you can't always express everything you want to say with words."

     So, I submit to you that quilting is one way of expressing things that are difficult to say, such as the love you have for someone.  Haven't we thought of loved ones as we've spent countless hours (and undisclosed funds) creating something for them?  
     In addition to expressing our love, quilting can also be therapy, as we use our positive, creative energies to make something that's never been made before with our own hands. We experience a magic as we transfer something intangible and inexpressible to something tangible and beautiful.  Our grief, concerns, pain and loneliness become channeled into joy because we have created something worthwhile - which then enables us to feel of value.
     A resolution for the New Year could be to recognize your incredible potential for expressing who you are through your God-given talents and use them to bless others!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

'Quilt Gallery' & 'Pantographs' tabs now updated!

My Quilt Gallery now contains personal and customer quilts for your perusal.  This collection will be added to in the future, so come and browse the gallery often.  Perhaps your quilt will be featured (anonymously, of course)!

Click on the Pantographs tab, where you can now browse my entire, alphabetized Pantograph Collection of over 100 pantos from the comfort of your home!

For your convenience, there are two main collections: simple (less dense/less expensive) and complex (more dense/more expensive).  Perhaps in the future I'll separate these two collections into their own tabs.  Until then, try to remember not to get overwhelmed!  If you'd rather look at my panto catalog that has all my patterns tabbed into themes (leaves, meandering, juvenile, etc.) go to my Contact Me tab, email/call me and we'll get together either in my studio or at your favorite quilt shop.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Pioneer Museum Award! In 2008, three years after opening my quilting business, I found time to quilt a king-sized quilt for my son and daughter-in-law as a house-warming gift.  My daughter-in-law chose the pattern, and then she and I spent 3 hours selecting just the right fabrics.
After a few weeks I completed the quilt, and just before giving it to them, I revealed it at a local guild show-and-tell. One of the officers of the state quilt council was in attendance, and highly recommended that I enter it into a local quilt show.  I went back and forth about whether I should enter it.  After all, I make quilts to use and give as gifts, not for show.  But, why not?!  Entering it on the last day, I gave it the moniker, Grandmother's Trellised Garden and it garnered "First Place, Individual Primarily Pieced" - a cash award - and hung at the museum for about two months that fall.  The only problem was that my son and his wife couldn't snuggle underneath it for quite some time....

The 2011 Denver Capitol Quilt Show
A few years later, last summer in fact, I entered a quilt in the Capitol Quilt Show just for fun, and it was accepted!  The name of this one was Grandma's Feather Bed and hung from June-August in the State Capitol Building.  The description for the quilt went as follows:  

I found the center of this vintage '30's quilt antiquing.  After adding two borders of same-era vintage fabrics, I machine quilted it with 'voluptuous' feathers.

No awards are given these quilts, other than the obvious reward of seeing your quilt hang in such a grand venue.

For those of you with a quick eye, you've already noticed this quilt serves as the background for my blog!  So, considering this, it always works and never retires!  Pretty good for a quilt whose top is going on 90 years old....

At the Capitol, quilts hang on three floors, most of them visible from the banister of any floor, but the top floor is the most breath-taking.  

I took my mother, who isn't a quilter, but certainly enjoys these fun days together.  We highly recommend Jason' Deli nearby in the 16th Street Mall.

The view from the floor, looking up at the quilt!

The only drawback to the Show is that it opens every other year.  It's a huge undertaking, and I'm sure this is why.

Approximately 250 quilts are shown at this Show, and have been featured in the Capitol since 1988!!
Another quilt that was accepted was pieced by a client and quilted by me, shown to the right.  What a double thrill!!

I've decided to enter quilts whenever I can, regardless of whether the shows or fairs give out awards.  I still don't make quilts for the sole purpose to show, but I can enjoy the journey every now and then...and so stay-tuned for those journeys to be shown here in the near future!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The beginning of a quilting career: After retiring from a school district in our area, I realized I still had energy to contribute to something (other than family, home and church activities already in place). I made a list of talents and abilities, with quilting on the bottom, according to priority and how I envisioned it being a viable income/business venture. At this time I had no idea what a longarm quilting machine was until I attended a friend's wedding reception for her daughter. This friend was a quilter, as well, and on the wall hung the lucky couple's wedding quilt she had made. I noticed the intricate quilting stitches and exclaimed,"Did you quilt this yourself?!?!" To which she responded with a chuckle, "Oh, no. I only had 5 weeks to finish this quilt so I hired my longarm quilter to quilt it up." "Longarm quilter?" I asked. Well, you know the rest of the story. I bought my Gammill Classic+ that fall of 2005 and have been hooked ever since, opening my business April of 2006.
I am going cyber! I'm attempting to merge my little hands-on, tactile quilting world to the web in response to many requests. In the near future I hope to learn how to post pictures of quilts I've finished and am in the process of quilting. I have a confession, though. I'd much rather be working in the studio than blogging. With that, I welcome your comments to help me be a better blog designer! Off to quilting I go, with passion!