Sunday, May 27, 2012

Up for Auction
Joyful Noise, the art quilt I made for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative will be up for auction starting June 1.   I'm honored that out of all the quilts submitted in the past month, mine is one of 30 for the monthly auction. 

My guild has its own page of quilts. Look at them. Several of them have been purchased, mostly by another another. Sarah S bought Holly's, Ebony bought Jacquie's and Sue's and Emily's. I had to buy Eileen's. The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative is a grass-roots fundraiser, headed by Ami Simms. What she's making us so painfully aware of is how pervasive this disease it and how much attention, research, and funding is needed.

Tomorrow is my 30th Wedding Anniversary. John and I are going to the Canadian Rockies for a week. I think it'll be a great place to clear out some cobwebs, look for inspiration, and recharge for what is to be.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Different Kind of Rich Life

                                                                                                                                                                     Rich Carey was the Athletic Trainer at LT for years and retired in 2005.  His wife Linda saved all of Rich's t-shirts.  The two of them created this layout.  I was surprised at how involved Rich was in the process.  At one point he looked at this quilt and said. "This is my life."  And it is, one in which he interacted and impacted thousands of students.  My trusted long-armers Terri and Frank did the quilting.  I supervised and added the binding.  This is a 60" x 80" wall hanging.  Credit goes to Linda for being the project's impetus!


PS - I don't often get a picture of a gift quilt when it's given to the recipient, but here's a very happy Rich. Nice!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Beauty is Truth

This is Dawn Blossom, and I must quickly say it's not mine.  Bill Winkler gave me this quilt of his wife Lois to finish.  Lois died in 2002.  This was a quilt she designed and pieced in 2000.  (Please remember that you can click on any of these pictures to see the detail.)

I met Bill 7 years ago when he gave me a quilt top to quilt and bind.  I was honored that he entrusted me with his wife's work, and I did work hard to honor the spirit of that quilt.  At the time he said he had another quilt top.  Just last month he contacted me about it.

Dawn Blossom is a master quilt.  These wonderful radiant New York Beauty blocks are paper-pieced and there is some fabulous layered applique in the quilt.  One look at this quilt, and I knew it was out of my league.  But my trusted long-arm quilters Terri and Frank Karls I knew could handle it.  And sure enough, they did.  Look at some of the detail, both of Lois's work as well as Frank's quilting:

For years I taught John Keats's "Ode on a Grecian Urn" in Brit Lit.  And this quilt has given me a new image for the "beauty is truth, truth beauty,' – that is all / Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."  This quilt by Lois is beautiful.  It is a truth that was a part of her life.  And that is all we need to know.  

A Quiltmaker's Gift

I know why I love the quilters of the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild. They are creative and generous. With generosity stronger than creativity. And this is one creative group of women. Yesterday's meeting acknowledged the outgoing guild officers with Tote Bags featured the CMQG logo. I knew about these bags, including the one for me, and this was no surprise. What was a surprise was this pillow. Terri, the head of our Programming Committee, made 4 pillows - one for President Beth, Treasurer Jen, fellow Programming Committee member Sue, and me. It's beautiful and goes so nicely with a new chair. Today I am binding two quilts that Terri and her husband Frank have long-armed - I'll post about these quilts in a day or two. Terri and Frank's quilting skills are fabulous. It's good to know talented and generous people!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Rich Life
 Isn't this beautiful?  It's one of the art quilts submitted to the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative by my Chicago Modern Quilt Guild.  Eileen O'Regan made it.  Here's her artistic statement that accompanies this quilt:   I was thinking about the vibrancy of life and how Alzheimer's slowly fades the edges of that life. 

I bought this quilt yesterday because I am so moved by its beauty and the truth.  Of course I apply this fading vibrancy to my mom.  She once was so vibrant and has now faded into what is the very dark left edge of this quilt.  When I look at this quilt and its bright center and light right side, perhaps it'll help me focus on who my mom was and accept who she is now. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Hot Pink Finish and...

 Hot Pink Baby Quilt for soon-to-be-born Isla is complete.  It's heavily quilted and has been washed once.

I think I have finally figured out what the design symbolizes:  my hair at the thought of 4 little girls before turning 30 AND being in school for nursing at the same time.  I'm impressed with my niece Laura

Now I can go back to bags.  This is the bag I made for my niece Jen.  I liked the fabrics and design so much that I am now making myself one...

And two more are in process.  I have some pretty special people in mind for these next two.  

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day, 2012

My mom and dad live with my brother Doug, and I usually see my  parents a few times a week.  We'll go to the doctors' office or to a movie or out to eat or to the nail salon.  My parents have entrusted me with their finances, and so I manage their money and their bills. I'm the oldest of their four.  My mom is in late stage Alzheimer's, and last week it finally happened.  She didn't know who I was.  My sister-in-law Kim had to explain to her who I was and that I could be trusted to take care of her.  
Doug took this picture of Mom yesterday - my sister came in for a little visit and all went out for lunch with an aunt and a cousin.  Mom lives in the moment.  She has no past she can remember, and I don't think she has a concept of the future.  But she's pleasant.  She may get confused and definitely needs help with daily tasks, which Kim does a fabulous job with.  This picture captures her "in the moment" face.  

In February my Chicago Modern Quilt Guild worked on art quiltl for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative, a small grass-roots fundraising organization started by Ami Simms.  The number of donated quilts is astounding - so many of us are being impacted by this disease.  Medications are expensive and often trial-and-error.  Funding is crucial for research and support.  Here are the quilts made by my guild - notice that almost 10,000 quilts have been donated to this project.  Overwhelming, isn't it? 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Focusing on the Joy of Quilting

While I do love to create, this current commission reminds me that I love to piece and I love to quilt.  Grandma Roberta designed this transportation quilt for her grandson and even cut the blocks but had no interest in assembly.  So I've pieced the blocks into a top and then used the leftover to create a funky back.  Simple diagonal quilting is perfect for this little boy's quilt.  The binding will be a navy solid. 

Working on someone else's design has been a welcome change of pace!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Process Post: Hot Pink, III

Piecing the backing together?  Check.  Pin-basting the quilt?  Check.  Basic quilting?  check.  Good.

I love this part of the process - the actual quilting and seeing the texture of the quilt emerge. 

I always try to finish my time in the studio by leaving my current project at a stage I'm eager to get back to.  Can't wait to get back to this tomorrow morning!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

In Process: Hot Pink, II

The camera is so good at squaring up a quilt when actually I've cut off the top and the left side.  Before I finish the back with a lot of half-square triangles and one big star made from 16 of these blocks, I am going to try to add a slash of hot pink to the lower right side.  So far I like the direction this baby quilt is headed in!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

In Process: Hot Pink Baby Quilt

Niece Laura is having her 4th baby girl.  I made quilts for Amelia, Olive, and Elle.  So of course I have to make one for Baby Isla, who is coming in July.  Laura pointed out that despite having three girls, she's never had a hot pink quilt.  Hot pinks?  Ok, hot pinks! 

But then the design.  What to do?  I thought about some of the modern possibilities but was drawn to something traditional, like perhaps a zigzig quilt. 

So I got busy, did a couple of rows, and certainly got a traditional look.  Which I don't like.   So I began to think about how to "untraditionalize" it.  I think I have it.  The 4 columns are going to be set in a radiant fashion - I need to cut v-shaped wedges the neutral backgrounds.  Challenging my inner Emilies (Emily L and Emily B from the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild), I think I'll try to do a small pieced star (planet?) and have these zigzags radiate from it. 

Stay tuned!

(And I must say it's good to work with flat things that don't have zippers!)