Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Last night was a meeting of my art quilt support group Ravenesque. The group has been floundering , to a certain extent over the past year, and I've been worried about it surviving. It is so very, very important to me. They inspire me, encourage me and keep my feet on the ground ( one of them DARED to mock my yo-yo's) We have had three new members join in the past three months. What a dynamic meeting it was last night! Two of them have been taking classes--something I haven't had time for lately--and had some of the results there. These aren't all quilting classes, as both of them have been taking some more "arty" classes from a local professional artist. These ladies are moving ahead in leaps and bounds. One can't help but find their enthusiasm contagious! One of the other new members had information on an art quilter/beader who will be visiting next month and has agreed to a private class. So now the class is full. Looks like Ravenesque will be beading for the next little while!

On the home front, I've kept working in the chaos that is my studio. Within the past few days I've put together three wall hangings and five small collages for matting. The machine work is finished on these and there is only the hand work and beading left to do. Now I have a quandry. Should I adhere to my work ethic and finish them, or start something entirely new? Since they will also be samples for a class I'm teaching in October, I think they need to be finished. I can work on this in the evenings and maybe do more machine work during the days. This has been my pattern for years, but now I have the additional challenge of so much mess that it's hard to find a flat surface to work on!

One thing we've done lately is to raise my work table by about 5 inches. This makes cutting etc so much easier on my back, that I'll never go back. But this limits the places where I can sit and work at a table, so over the next little while I'm going to have to change many of my work habits.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Best Laid plans etc

We've had a tremendous amount of rain this summer. And now we've had some water in the basement--just a little--coming from under the wall in my studio and running across the floor toward the main drain. so yesterday, DH decided that he wanted to find out what sort of problem we're looking at. So he started moving things away from the wall and taking down the panelling. this wasn't the right area and he is now working his way along thee wall, trying to find the spot where the water is coming in. Now, you have to understand that my studio is small, and every square inch is packed with "stuff". Over the years I've trained myself to keep everything in its place and to remember where everything is. The walls are lined with shelving units and bookcases and wheeled drawer units. I get terribly upset and frustrated if I loose track of something. Had I been warned, I could have systematically moved the stuff into other areas of the basement or even out into the garage, but he started work without telling me. Total chaos. When I work, I often work in assembly line style, or else I will gather everything I need for one project and place it in one of four special spots kept for just that purpose. ( don't ask--it works for me) Well, things are now just dumped wherever there was a flat space, even if that meant piling things up on top of one another.

Now, I know that this type of work can take weeks/months to finish. So I will be out of my studio for weeks. So here I am at 5:00am trying to figure out how I can impose some order on his work, how I can maintain a workable/liveable basement and hopefully still be able to access enough of the studio to keep me sane over the long term, and on top of it all, figure out where I'm going to find money for foundation repairs.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Yes, I've been shopping. I found everything I had wanted, and a little bit more. I found a very nice quilt shop just west of Detroit Lakes--Front Porch Quilt Shop. It is huge, with just about anything a quilter could want, and the lady was very, very helpful.

So, over the past few weeks there has been very little actual work done in my studio. I have several new ideas, and the wherewithall to produce them, but need to find the time to actually do the work. One idea has been floating around in my head for about 3 years. I see many rock faces during my travels between home and the cottage, and I would like to re-produce one in fabric. I've taken many pictures over the years and even found pictures in old quilting magazines of pieces where someone has tried to do this. I had thought of using one piece of fabric and dyeing/painting over the print to create value changes. I've gone so far as to buy the fabric. Well, I saw the perfect rock face last week. The composition etc are just right ( I really didn't have much of an idea of what I was going to create as much as I had an idea of how I was going to create it) I have several pictures of the rock face and a show whose theme it will fit quite nicely. What more do I need to get me going--a kick in the seat of the pants, maybe.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Fabulous weekend

The show in Sioux Narrows went well. I made enough over expenses that I plan to head to Fargo to visit Hobby Lobby. I've found that to be the best place to buy the chain I need to hang my wall pieces, and they have a gret bead selection, as well. In the past I've found some very nice quality quilting cotton there, but I'm going to wait and see what the price is. I found Heritage Quilting Cotton, in the colour I want, at Fabricland for $6.50/m, so would have to find the Kona Cotton for a comparable price, before I buy it.

The only "downer" to the two good sales I've now had, is that it was the smaller, less costly items that sold. In Sioux Narrows I didn't sell a single piece for more than $35.00. Mind you, my stock is almost depleted in that price range, but if that is what's going to sell, I'm going to have to produce quite a bit for the four sales I had planned to participate in over the next four months. This isn't why I do this! I need to sell to buy supplies for my more creative work, but I need the time to create. I really can't afford to spend time making "stuff".

The new booth configuration worked very well, and we'll be using that whenever we can. I would like to be able to make a better backdrop for my grid system, but this isn't a priority right now.

After the sale I spent a few days in Kenora with my sister. We actually drove almost all the way to Dryden to the Egli wool and sheep farm. I found dyed wool tops, and a white stranded wool both of which I plan to use in my needlefelting. The needlefelted collages were big sellers. I bought some polymer clay pieces and some hand made wooden buttons, in Sioux Narrows, that I plan to use as focal points in some of these collages. (I also got permission from the artists that made them to do that, with appropriate acknowledgement, of course. ) Then we spent time exploring local quilt shops, and found a new ( to me) one, that we quite liked. On our last day together, we spent the whole day making yo-yo's. We planned out a little hanging using them, but I may refine the design before I actually put it together.