Sunday, August 25, 2013

Fine Arts Quilt Exhibit

The Dunedin Fine Arts Center had a very interesting exhibit recently of art quilts.  If you read this blog, you know that I never make art quilts … mine are, at best, nice-looking (I hope) utility quilts for children.  But this was an especially intriguing show because of two special sections.

The first was called IQ: Masterpieces.  The format was the quilter’s interpretation of a painting by a famous artist (originally done in oils, watercolors, etc) using fabrics, threads and embellishments.  These are a few of my favorites:

The other special section of the show that fascinated me showed selections from the works of Betty Busby.  She translates magnified images from the cellular world into fantastic fabric creations.  Here again are some of my favorites:

But back at my house, I remain in love with my new quilting system.  We are beginning to understand each other (yes, there is a large learning curve!).  I can now distinguish between an operator error and a possible glitch in the system.  The operator errors are slowly being identified and eliminated – LOL.  This is a hint from my first finished quilt without a hint of help from my instructor:

And I almost forgot the deer in the yard.  There are actually two little ones – one is having a love affair with my dog.  One of the little fawns comes up to the screen to try to get the dog to come out to play – the other fawn is properly skittish.  The doe comes and gets it and chases it back into the woods.  Too funny!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

I Went to a Guild Meeting

Several friends from my Quilts of Valor group wanted to check out a local quilt guild’s meeting and they invited me to join them.  That was the perfect opportunity for me to go to my first ever guild meeting.  I am too shy to ever just walk in alone!

The guild is close by and is very active.  They hold a semi-annual major show, hold weekly sessions (some workshops, some educational and some sit-and-sews in addition to the monthly business meetings).  They are actively supporting several charity efforts.  And, best of all, they were very nice!

These are some photos of the Show and Tell at the end of the business meeting:
Spicy Spiral Table Runners from a recent workshop

cute vest - see those prairie points?

they support a local woman veteran's shelter

art quilt - painted canvas - more in a later post on these

My friends signed up as interested in joining, but I did not put my name on the list.  Due to the meeting room’s size and some other constraints, the guild limits its membership to just under 100.  If I joined a group such as this, I know I would want to jump in with both feet, especially for the charity/philanthropic projects, and I just don’t have time for that right now.  There are only a few slots open and I wanted my friends to have a chance at them.  I wish them luck!

Sometimes I go by this fountain early in the day on my walk:

And sometimes I go by in the evening:

If it’s in the evening, I can almost guarantee that I am pooped and dragging my feet  on the way home, but I had a good, long walk …

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Long Time – No Post

I haven’t been sitting around doing nothing!  I have been trying to kill off my new quilting system.  At first it was a blast, then I ran into some problems.  Now I am frustrated …

This is the lovely kid’s quilt that I did with the instructor by my side.  I had a few of the usual – thread breaks, start and stop, but those were valuable learning experiences.  Glad the instructor was here to walk me through it all.  We finished it up and it looks fantastic. 

Maybe you can see the butterfly and swirls!
The next day, I loaded up another kid’s quilt:

I picked a different quilting pattern and calculated out the repeats and set it up.  Easy-peasy.  I love this quilting system!  It was stitching beautifully through the first repeat … then the thread broke - I thought it was a simple fix - I learned that yesterday, didn't I?  But instead,  I hit the troubles from Hades.   It would not go back to the correct starting point.  Bummer.  Learning curve turned upside down.  I tried to correct it a hundred times.

Finally, I unplugged the computer and checked the machine itself.  It was being erratic – would appear to be running but the needle wasn’t moving up and down.  Bigger bummer.  It would be set in constant mode, but acted like it was in stitch regulated mode.  Biggest bummer.  Called the instructor.  Got a fix. 

Fix worked temporarily.  Got eyelashes from the bobbin threads.  Easy fix.  NOT.  I changed the bobbin, I changed the tension, I changed the needle, I changed my clothes (hey! It was worth a try…) – nothing works well now.  Needs a new switch in the handle, but I think there are multiple operator errors occurring from my trying to fix it.  Gotta wait for the instructor to come over and set it back to square one.   Oh well.

So meanwhile I try to fit in a few walks.  So much rain has caused lawn service companies fits (and I thought I had troubles) – see the high grass here as this little cattle egret hunts for lizards:

And we’ve had some spectacular sunsets:

And things are blooming:

So things can’t be THAT bad!

I finished up my kits for Quilts Beyond Borders:

They’ll be in the mail on Monday.  So, as soon as the instructor comes and whips this little operator into shape again, I'll be back to Happy Land.