All About Owls

Are you sick of them yet? Yes, I have a thing for owls.

If you are also an owl lover (and I know you are out there, because I hear from you!), here are a few great sites to check out with owl quilts, owl fabric and so forth:

Drop on over to Knit One, Quilt Two to see some adorable owl coasters!

A pattern for a little owl quilt and bag are for sale at the Quilter’s Warehouse.

Check out this Hand Quilted Wall Quilt – Cute Owls!!!

And then there’s this cute owl quilt at Gather and Nest Love it!

Follow this link to the Patchwork Angel’s website and a great pattern for an owl quilt.

There, that should hold you over for a little bit! Hoot Hoot!


More Owls

I’m still working on my redwork owl blocks. I love this little guy! I decided to put a red border around them with the curved corners before I sew them all together. I like the gentleness of the corners. One of these days, these little guys will be done!


Win a Super Awesome Quilt!

Oh my gosh, I LOVE this little quilt! Isn’t it amazing? You can win it by visiting the blog called “Don’t Look Now” and following the directions. The quilt is called “Lilly Pilly.” And yes, you can win it! (Hey, but I want it!)


Keep the Arts Alive!

With the economy in a slump and unemployment rates climbing around the United States, it is no wonder those in the art field are struggling. From purchasing from the independent artist to buying tickets to the symphony or to the opera, fewer people have money to dedicate to such pleasure.

An article in the Chicago Tribune discusses the demise of the art gallery in the Windy City. The New York Times reported back in June that over twenty galleries had closed…

The question remains:
What can we do to invigorate the arts and keep them alive?

How can I love the arts? Let me show you the ways.

  1. Put a work of art in the window of every business in your town.
  2. You’re going to buy gifts for birthdays, anniversaries and holidays anyway. Treat them to a show in a town nearby, or make your gift something you have bought from an artist or gallery.
  3. Support the arts in person. Attend local art fairs, gallery shows, and museums.
  4. Encourage your child’s teacher to take the class on a field trip to the museum and teach about artists from all walks of live.
  5. Encourage your local school district to keep the arts alive by providing classes in art, music and drama.
  6. If your child… or someone you know shows potential, encourage that child by providing lessons.
  7. Help expand this list. Post your ideas in the comments section below. Remember, QUILTS ARE ART!


Walk Softly and Carry a Big Stick

Sometimes you have to sneak up on them. Sometimes you need to beat them into submission. Those flying geese, that is. The fabric variety. Or, perhaps, it is the quilter who needs to be beaten?

<–Flying Geese, 1980.

Flying Geese, today –>

You see, in 1980 it didn’t occur to me that there needed to be points on the center triangles. DUH! For some reason, triangles were (and still are, sometimes) difficult. My secret, though it takes time, is to paper piece the little buggers (see sample below).

If you have never made flying geese before, I highly recommend paper piecing. It makes for very perfect, pointed triangles every time. These strips will be 62 inches long when finished. Today’s four hours of sewing yielded about 48 inches. I will finish one strip tonight, then will have three more strips to go, soon.

Yes, a big stick is the trick for me… it’s called a YARD stick! It makes a great sewing tool.


How do you become an artist?

You explore, you create, you experiment, practice, look at the work of others, read, talk to other artists, and practice some more. One important element of becoming a professional is learning from the best. Many people take classes from random “experts” as they come through town or appear at special events like quilt shows, and that is all good and well. But what is really needed is an opportunity to study under someone who has proven talent in their field. There is nothing like studying under a mentor who is not afraid to speak his or her mind, will guide you through your best and worst work, share their experiences and help connect you to the right people who can help you grow.

Interlochen If you want to grow as an artist, there are special places you can go to learn from the best. School-age students can learn in Northern Michigan (U.S.A.) at Interlochen Center for the Arts. Interlochen has a summer arts camp as well as an academy for high school students. I can speak for the summer camp – My summers in 1972 and 73 were phenomenal experiences that will never be forgotten. I remember famous musicians coming to perform and staying for days to work one-on-one with students. Imagine sitting in your practice room slaving over a piano concerto only to have Van Cliburn walk in and sit on your bench! Or Yo Yo Ma walking in with his cello! Interlochen Academy produces some of the most talented people in every aspect of the arts. Have you heard of these people? The singer Jewel is one of many. See a list of famous alumni here.

Leslie Giammanco, Singer New York City offers a vast array of talented instructors. If you are a singer, check out Leslie Giammanco (also an Interlochen Alumni). Leslie is at the top in vocal music, having performed on Broadway and all around the country. Whether you are high school age or a seasoned adult, Ms. Giammanco is one of the best. Check her out!

Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Maine is a fabulous arts school in a gorgeous setting. Designed for the adult student, Haystack provides instruction in a wide variety of media and an opportunity to get away to a beautiful studio setting where you can immerse yourself in your art. Leave the world behind for a few weeks and just dive in!

If you have never taken an in-depth workshop with a fabulous instructor, think ahead to your future. Make plans for the upcoming year to improve yourself and your skills There is a great list of art workshop links here.

It is not too early to start planning for 2010.
Make that be the year you expand your artistic ability! Plan ahead!



Lost Quilts

Have you ever lost something precious? If you have never made a quilt, you don’t know the love that goes into each and every one, not to mention the tremendous commitment of time. Some quilts can take ten hours. But some can take hundreds! When a quilter makes a quilt that he or she has spent that much time on, it becomes a part of him/her, just as carrying a baby for nine months does.

Like anything else, quilts can become misplaced, lost or even stolen. GASP! The Lost Quilt Come Home Page provides information and photos of missing quilts. I think it’s always a good idea to check the website before and after attending a quilt show. You never know when you will see a quilt that has been reported as stolen!

Along those same lines, the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena has in its possession a depiction of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden by Lucas Cranach the Elder. A Jewish art dealer left the panels in Holland when he fled the invading Germans in 1940. Read more about it here.

Something to ponder: If you have made a quilt and it is stolen, and years later it is sold to an art dealer or flea market owner and then purchased, who actually owns the quilt?

You make quilt -> quilt stolen -> art dealer -> quilt buyer

Who owns the quilt?


Honest Scrap Award

I met my friend Coralie online, and though we have much in common and do not live that far apart, we have yet to meet in person. She passed this award on to all her blog followers, so I am following suit. To all those who are following my blog, I give you this award!

I’m supposed to tell you 10 true things about myself and then pass it on to others. So here are 10 things you may or may not know about me… a little “honest scrap” to share.
  1. I was a part of the very first AQS show.
  2. I was adopted at 4 months and know my biological family.
  3. I worked at a Girl Scout camp in Traverse City, Michigan. Everyone had to have a nickname, and mine was Snoopy (after the little dog).
  4. I attended the National Music Camp at Interlochen, Michigan for two summers. I do NOT like wearing heavy navy blue corduroy knickers.
  5. I played the organ in church when I was a teen!
  6. It really hurts when you break your elbow sledding into a large oak tree. Ask me how I know.
  7. I love and collect owls.
  8. I have always thought it would be wonderful to live on a farm and raise sheep.
  9. I think I would like living in Montana, up in the mountains overlooking a stream, as long as I have a reliable Internet connection and electricity to run my sewing machine.
  10. My grandchildren call me Grammy, and I love that name!

So, to all of my followers, thank you for stopping by and reading my blog, for sharing your thoughts and ideas with us, and for records your lives for others.


No Saturday mail?

The United States Postal Service is thinking about going to no mail on Saturdays. It won’t bother me a bit! The way it is right now, we hardly get mail on Saturdays as it is! Hubby’s business is located right downtown, and if he gets mail delivery three times a week, it’s a busy week. Half the time, the mailman doesn’t even deliver mail to his business until after he is closed for the day.

Most of the mail we get is trash or bills. Some of my bills I get electronically, and many of them also get paid electronically. We’ve switched to getting the church newsletter via email. I get my U of M Alumni newsletter by email as well. I really could do without mail altogether, if packages could be brought by UPS or Fed Ex.

How about you? If you live in the United States, would you be able to do without the USPS? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, please!


Quilt Wrestling – I won!

Obnoxious Corner

No matter how long you have been quilting, there are times when a pattern or quilt will fight you. I’m making a medallion quilt, and putting a zig zag border on it has been a real pain. It took most of Saturday, but I finished three borders (with a lot of wrestling). Border four will be completed today.

This photo of the obnoxious corner gives you a sneak peak at the fabrics and colors in the quilt. Right now, it measures approx. 50 inches square. I think it will end up at around 60 inches, a nice size for a wall hanging, don’t you think?