Summer solstice

Yes, I know that the summer solstice is NOT in July! I’m assigning my own meaning to those words, though. For almost all of my adult years the end of July has been vacation time…off the grid, away from everything, total relaxation time. The physical location has changed over the last several years, but I believe my mental state is definitely on vacation now.

No new projects and lots of relaxation time for the next couple of weeks. Rest and renewal. Solstice is the highest or lowest point the sun reaches in the year. This is my high point and I need to pause and enjoy it!

However, that DOES include lots of thinking about quilting!

My first ever fabric-of-the-month-club has been ongoing this year. (Color Inspiration Club from Pink Castle Fabrics) I’ve been quite pleased with the fabrics I’ve received, but this month’s selection is my favorite. It’s the essence of summer to me, so perfect for July.

IC fabric

I believe this means that the blog will be on vacation for a week or so also. I will be back by Aug. 10, with a totally relaxed smile on my face!

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Small progress

There will not be progress shots of my slow stitching project every day. However, I had some time today to work on it and I’m pleased with the direction it’s taking me!

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I started adding some beads as I went along, but I had forgotten that it’s a bad idea when using a hoop! So, I’ll do my stitching first and add beads later…and I do have plans for lots of beads!

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So far, I’ve used just the shades of blue and shades of peach threads. There may not be any other colors, but I’m not ruling it out. This is still so much in the early stages. I can see that there will be lots and lots more work to come, but I’m eager to be doing it. There is always a slight disappointment every time I move the hoop that I’ve made so little progress, but then I lay the whole thing out and I can see where I’m heading and I’m happy again!

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All that hand stitching is just so relaxing and rewarding to me. I won’t post more on this until it’s done, but that may be a while! Slow stitching is just that….slo-o-o-o-w!

Quilt Show Finale

Oh, my…we unloaded the last of the quilt show materials in a driving rain! So glad most of the stuff was in plastic storage containers!

But our show was beautiful and successful–we couldn’t ask for anything more.

Lots of big, gorgeous quilts, but my quilts were hanging with the little art quilts! Far right…

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and right again, with one by Mary Bajcz.

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Things always look better when they are hanging in a show or in a gallery. I absolutely loved this one by Sharon Ray.

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These are both by Erika Keith and the one on the right was started in a class with me! She really knows what she’s doing, doesn’t she?

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These art quilts were only a small sampling of the many wonderful quilts shown.

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And vendors, of course…I did not remain unscathed from that part of the show. But the most fun thing was winning a piece in the silent auction. June Guthrie does beautiful work and now I own one of her pieces! Wooo-hooo!

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Great show–lots of hard work setting up and taking down–totally worth it! Think very seriously about getting involved with your local show! You won’t regret it.

 

 

Starting slow

Things should be getting back to normal very soon around here. I’m busy this week teaching a class and helping with the Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild show.

I had my sewing machines cleaned while I was at camp and I’ve surprised myself by not using them yet and it’s been three whole days since I got them back! That’s unheard of for me!

My stitching right now is grabbed at spare moments and it’s all by hand. I’ve barely started on a piece that uses scrunched up hand dyed fabric and wool. I’m not sure quite where it will end, but I’m pretty sure it’s becoming part of my city grid series. You can barely see what I’ve done, but I can’t have a post without a picture or two, can I?

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I’ll throw in a close up ’cause that makes it look like I’ve done more than I really have!

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I really am embracing the idea of slow stitching, though, and there is a ‘movement’ out there that I think I need to read more about…when I have time to slow down!

Maybe next week!

Linking up to Off the Wall Friday!

Wrapping up camp

Phew! Final day and the big art show. There were hundreds of paintings and drawings and scuptures and ceramics and fiber pieces displayed. 86 kids can put out a lot of quality work in 10 days–more than I would have imagined possible.

I found that there was no good way to show everything, so I just took shots of some of the work I really liked. There was just sooooo much!

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All in all, it was a great time but it’s good to be home!

Now to gear up for The Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild show this weekend! Woooooo-hooooooo!

Notes from camp…

Silk!

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I am totally enamored with silk scarf painting. Seeing so many designs created from drawing to resist to painting…beautiful!

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We are getting close on finishing up our small wall art pieces also. The students are working very hard in our class, plus they have responsibilities in two other classes. It all happens in 10 days and they need to be very proud of themselves.

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Some of our fiber students came in without even knowing which end of the needle to thread! Many had never cut a piece of fabric, turned on an iron and most had never operated a sewing machine. Now those of you who sew—you know how much skill is involved in creating a fabric piece.

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These children had to design a piece, learn how to sew a seam, use 3 embroidery stitches and/or other embellishments and finish the edges in order to have a presentation piece for the show. I am so impressed with what they have done.

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Here are a few more in process photos…

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This has been quite a fun job!

And our students are working so hard…

Most of our fiber art students are totally unskilled in the sewing department. Some have never held a needle. Most have never used a sewing machine. A few haven’t turned on an iron or cut a piece of fabric.

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All of them have to complete several projects for the art department in general and fiber arts in particular.

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They had to draw out a design and plan it’s execution and my co-teacher and I had several criteria that they had to meet.

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I spent most of the first several days explaining sewing machines and teaching them only how to sew a single seam! “Seam” was a mysterious term to them.

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They have an incredible hodge podge of materials from which to choose and we try only to steer them away from things that we know absolutely won’t work. Everything else is open ended and I did not think I would see order emerge from the chaos of the first days.

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There is a totally different feeling in the studio today. They are focused and intent on executing their designs.

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Can’t wait to see the final products when they are hung at our art show on the final day! I’ll show you—I promise!

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