Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Life in the holidays

Well, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, some kind of slushy snow has landed.  The quilt for a grand daughter hangs on a design wall in the kitchen waiting for me to stay home and design it.  My sewing room is absolutely clean, why not, as I have not been in there at all!  I pass through it on the way to ladies room but don't put the light on because I don't want to see the mouse traps with anything dead, dead or dead again in them!
My husband and I went to NYC to see the lights and the windows on 5th Avenue.  A must at the holidays.  They were worth the walk in the dreary, cold rain but the bright side to that is no people braving the elements with you.  We did go to the theatre and saw a terrible play about Peter Pan and I don't have a clue what it was about as they all seem to mumble.  I laughed along with the crowd with a confused smile all night!  Many bags of Hersheys candy later, we appreciated the fact that all our family was great and OK.  We must all embrace everyday and all, around us, always as recent events in Connecticut make us believe that everyday is precious.
Back to wrapping, what am I saying, start to wrap, must make cookies and decorate, must buy more and support the economy everywhere and must listen and sing holiday carols!
Fa lalalalalalalalalalalalalalalala

Pictures of NYC Broadway, Naked Cowboy and lady and assorted store windows and Holiday tree!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Selvedge Queen: Life in Calamity

Selvedge Queen: Life in Calamity

Blogs are meant to be written more often!

I love to write but I love to procrastinate so I procrastinate and don't write.  Have you ever wondered why you wait to do the things you love?  Thanksgiving Resolution, I never seem to last in New Years Resolutions, so I am changing the date.  Make time to write my blog, thank you's, see my friends, update my Facebook page and figure out how to post pictures into this blog!  In these, I don't procrastinate.  I do make studio time to create, I do make time for my family and my quilt guilds, FAM and making the time to write should be easy.  What will you do or stop doing?

My life is truly a Lifetime movie.  Every week a new adventure.  Yesterday a friend and I saw the biggest moose ever, with antlers and looping walk.  The only other moose I have seen was also with her, although that one jumped in front of my car forcing me to come to a skidding halt.  I do that a lot.   I did a "Selvedge Queen" talk to the Proper Bostonians Quilt Guild in West Roxbury last month and I stopped to ask directions to the correct building, as there were many unmarked in this area with the same name, from 2 ladies standing in front of a building and they told me I had arrived.  It was pouring rain and I said I had traveled for 2 hours and when asked where I came from I mentioned my small town, that no one ever knows, and the woman replied, she was from there too, lived only a few miles from my camp.  How can this be?  She was visiting her sister and decided to come to the meeting!  Small world.

I went to a couple of  Quilt Getaways a few weeks back, one,14 miles from my home.  If you really want to be creative and actually create, you need to go to a Getaway.  Friends, inspiration, projects, UFO's and dancing is sparkle boots, that was me, are all part of the adventure.  Here, there is no procrastination as people, when finished a project, hang them on design walls behind them, and if there is nothing behind you and you begin to get motivated.

The biggest thing that happened this month is while attending A Quilters Gathering Quilt show in Manchester, NH, during Saturday nights pajama party I was introduced the 25th Anniversary Wearables Fashion Coordinator and commentator.  This is BIG!!!!  While dressed in my election wear PJ's with "Patriot, Revolutionary War, "boytoy" and stars bottoms and Patriots, current, blanket and pirate hat made with stuffed boy toy dolls carrying flags I reminded all to vote as this was there right but also a privilege to do, even though the outcome may not be your choice you did choose to direct the vote a certain way by your vote.  When I was Selectman in my town people, especially after a Town Meeting, taxpayers would accost me and say I spent all their money.  The first question I asked was "Are you a registered voter?"  Then, I asked if they came to the meeting.  If they answered  NO to both, well, they went away knowing that I did not spend their money but a collective group of concerned voters did.  You must Choose to be heard, as this is how elections are done and money is spent.  What the outcome is depends on the voter who came and was heard and sometimes these are the ones with issues if they don't want something or really want an article passed.  Be heard and vote.

I also took a class and lecture with Kaffe Fasset.  What an inspiring man and his books are so full of patterns and ideas and ways to be a creative.  Although our quilting techniques are different we are all artists and appreciate the differences in each other.  Kindred souls.

I was asked to make costumes for FAM, Fitchburg Art Museum, to make the paintings on the walls come to life for our Director of 39 years Retirement party.  There were actors acting out the pictures, wearing my creations, and, what a night!  Chili contest, he was called through Skpe by his son in Afganistan, whose birthday was the same night.  So moving and surrounded by friends and people who love the museum it was a great wish you well kind of evening.

Today I took a class with Jane Davila, look her up!  She brought so many old and new techniques that my pocketbook is empty but my creativity will go forward, maybe differently.  So many new products, so many things you can manipulate and change and enhance and evolve to new things.  Lots of sample and many ideas.  I needed to come outside my box and this will help!  Most people think I am way out there, out of normal range but define norm.  I love that line from Wicked, the Musical!  You can never rest on what you have done because there is so much more that is in you, so let it out!

So now I am taking out from Christmas tree.  My 1st Blog was about the adventure I had last year with doing that, me and the rodent!  This year, will be different, maybe.................
Until.......the next time......jessica

"Go Vote" A Quilters Gathering 2012
Revolutionary War "Boytoy" Alexander Henry fabric Election hat!
I just supplied the mummy wraps and missing is Hosea!
Costumes for FAM 2012

Greek Soldier

Creative and muse 
Sarah Clayton and Sarah Clayton
I made the "breasts" on this African aging fertility mother 2012

Director and me at party
Porcelain teapot
Challenge to create a quilt that is me, scary, like me! with storybook of Selvedge Queen

2500 yards of fabric from Trunk Show 2012

Garments old and new 2012
Trunk Show 2012

I get around and visit!

Eleanor Norcross, founder of FAM, painting and actress made or recycled bridesmaid dresses!

Friday, July 20, 2012

A story sometimes creates a story

Stories have a way of creating a story.  Take last years bummer summer.  I got launched off my boat, broke my wrist on my right hand, had surgery, broke my pinkie finger on my left hand, still hurts and had a black eye for 6 weeks! which led to my husband, hanging himself up in a hemlock after cutting sections of it down, with me, 3 weeks after my surgery, cutting the rope which dangled from my husbands wrist with a  5' section of the tree attached, heavy, getting hit by the section of the tree, which flipped me behind the ladder, both of us hanging by our limbs!  Now it is fodder for my Selvedge Queen talk that has been very rewarding and I get paid to talk about myself for 1 Hour!!?

Now, I talk about past stories of my ever evolving life and one includes a story about a talk while talking about one of my stories.  Whew! I did a talk and a lady in the front took offense to everyone laughing at my garments during my Runway Show.  She came onto the podium, told the audience they were rude and to take me seriously.  The problem was I am a comedic quilter and the coat the model was wearing had a tail on it!  How serious is that?  Not!  Then she took the wireless microphone, clipped it to my shirt, picked up my Selvedge Queen vest and grabbed my pants elastic waistband and shoved the mics battery down my pants and then sat down.  I had a quilt in my hands, a very silent audience that needed to laugh for me to be successful, so I opened the quilt.  It was a Challenge that Material Girls Quilt Guild had sponsored over the summer where we had to use the first 3 letters of our name, Jessica, so JES.  I did not want to even talk about this quilt after what had just happened and did not want to alienate the group but JES stands for, "Just Everyone Shutup"!  You can imagine my thoughts and the never ending shock on the faces in front of me as I stood on the raised platform and then one brave women in the front asked, "DID you 2 coordinate this?".  Shocked, I said no but it was bad timing already having that quilt in my hands but the group rallied on and were a great sport!

A story that creates a story.  Isn't that what we should try to show in our quilts.  A lot of my talk to groups is about imagining what you could do and just do it, personal experience shows in every quilt we create,  garment  or accessory we create.  It delivers a piece yourself every time you show it!  That's the best part of sewing as I can show people, yet keep something of myself behind.

Please think of me when booking your events.  I will be adding another lecture, a Slide Presentation as my children have bought me a projector. Also I will be adding a  Power Point Presentation for those places that are computer compatible.

No more bummer summer and hope your is great!


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Life in Calamity

Well, I have had a week that dealt with water, not as a cleansing but as a calamity!  My Horoscope said "don't go overboard" does that mean don't jump in!  I live on a lake and I have told everyone that if they see me in the water to rescue me!  To get back to the story, my Quilters Connection Quilt Show, www.quiltersconnection.org, was awesome and so inspiring, but tiring so I stayed home on Saturday.  I should back up, Thursday we set up  the show, then I babysat and I won't talk about the potty chair nightmare, and I went to another guilds quilt show meeting at night.  I went to get my pen and realized that the opened bottle of Diet Coke had opened in my rubberized pocketbook and it was half full of soda, covering my wallet, loads of $20"s to spend at the QC show, all my new guild membership cards, credit cards, well you know what we all all carry.  So I had a money  laundry, literally going on, so it would dry out.  So I worked at the show Friday and took Saturday off to "relax".  Waterworld revisited occurred!
My daughter in law came over so I could see the grandchildren and when I went to look for something for her in the only closet I have, I realized everything was wet and ..............moldy!  I take a Zyrtec in the am and Singular in the pm so the minute I opened that door I saw stars, as I could not breathe!  I then removed everything and found black mold growing because the water heated had been leaking!  Panicked, Nadine and I removed my vintage fabric, all our coats, winter and summer, and assorted batting! I told her to bring them out to the car and I would bring to the Storage unit I rented because I was tired of being called a "fabric hoarder"!  Did I mention it was raining, buckets of water?  It was and I had left my sunroof ,in my SUV, open.  Now there were 3 water incidences!
I drove to the QC show with the heater on, heated seats on and thermostat set at 80 degrees with the offending sunroof opened so I would not pass out and pray that water runs away!  While my pants were soggy my spirits soared because those awesome quilts were there!
Tomorrow I rest no more going "overboard!
Which one is ?

My group Round Robin for the QC show!, minus Deborah!

me, again!

Add caption

Petals in My Garden 2

Isis vest, I know it is tame for me but I used the pink silk fabric donated by Nashua Sewing and Vac that I won at the Quilters Gathering Show for my 1st place win in the P J's contest!!

My Round Robin, Dragonese 2, did you know this was stared in the Year of the Dragon in the Chinese Calender, and finished in the year of the Rabbit?!
Calamity Jessica

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Quilters Connection Quilt Show June 1-3,2012 a Must See!

me, of course

2500 yards of fabric
I did another talk for Artful Hands Quilt Guild in Mansfield.  While small in size, by choice, they were welcoming and warm.  Beautiful area!
Another plus was the Fitchburg Art Museum, FAM, flower quilts hung during their annual Art In Bloom. A success and I will do it next year!!!  Also my interpretation of an African statue and I call him "HEMAN".  I had the idea but the husband made it!
FLower quilts
Iphone APP, me again mot the FAM

Coming up is the 34th Annual Quilters Connection Quilt Show at the Arsenal Center for the Arts, Watertown , MA, June 1-3, 2012 www.quiltersconnection.org.  This is a must see show as this guild has over 400 quilters and they are a mix of every style you can think of, from Contemporary to Traditional.  This year we did a Round Robin and you have to see these as they are beautiful, strange, exciting, perfect, to die for, traditional, strange and wonderful to see how a collaboration of quilters can meet each others theme and expectations.  We also have a fundraiser:  Baskets and Bags with the proceeds going to various charities!  Come and find me in the Atrium and say hello!  I have an "Isis" vest, a Round Robin, a couple bags for the auction and 2 quilts!

I went to a getaway coordinated by a friend and we told to "dress up" for Saturday dinner.  Don't ever challenge me, the Selvedge Queen, to dress up, as this is something I can do...........maybe sometime I will talk about my "red neck" wine class!
red neck bride

Another awesome sunset here!  I think everyone should live on a lake, facing the western sunset!
another night................

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Art In Bloom, Quilted Blooms at Fitchburg Art Museum May 4th - 6th, 2012

Ok I love the Fitchburg Art Museum, FAM, and I love quilts, maybe more.  So I thought I would combine the 2, in one of another things I love, Art In Bloom at the museum.  Once a year we have this show, as I am a Docent and I can say I love it, and also because I asked if I could have a  quilt show and they agreed.  I do help with some stuff there.  The reason I thought this was a great idea is because most of us quilt something with flowers in it and all of us love flowers so the 2 mix well.  Museums need other ways to attract you to them because the art alone can't sell itself unless you know it is there.  You should check us out as we have wonderful paintings, sculptures and events at the FAM and you need to see it to believe that a city such as Fitchburg, Ma could have such a wonderful collection, especially as it was started by a woman, Eleanor  Norcross.  If  you don't support these small private museums they will cease to exist and that would be awful.  Just as if you don't support your local quilt stores they will disappear and you will be left with the chains, that are good but not special.

My show at the FAM, May 4th - 6th, 2012, will be inspiring and all about Art in Bloom, truly Quilted Blooms that are beautiful, wonderful, inspiring with techniques you want to copy!
You must come and experience all the Blooming arts in one place

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Herring Run Quilt Guild

Well, I wrote an entire post and never saved it so that is why there was a title and no info for the last post. I am speaking at the Herring Run Quilt Quild in Norwell, Ma Saturday, April 7th as a fill in speaker. So happy that people remember that I am local to Massachusetts and call me if they need a speaker in a hurry! Almost a glitch as I broke one of my hearing aids today and this was the first time In 41 years of wearing them that I broke one. Freaked out as. I am talking tomorrow at the Herring Run Guild! Luckily I called all around as, of course, my dealer was away, and found a dealer in Shrewsbury who not only fixed it but but didn't charge me. An angel!
Finally started my Material Girls Quilt Guild year long challenge "if you were a quilt what would you be"! We may think we know ourselves but try to quilt that idea.
 I also finished the final round in a Round Robin challenge for Quilters Connection Quilt Guild and I can't wait for the big, 32 participants reveal at Monday nights meeting! I wish everyone a safe and wonderful holiday and hope the warm weather remains warm!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Quilt or rake?

Well, the weather has been so wonderful that I am torn between quilting and raking. I have just done both. Sew in the morning and rake a while in the afternoon then sew some more. I am still working on UFO's and have finished another Petal Swap quilt used all the selvedgesand just found a box of leftover 2" and ranom witdh cuts and I am making strata to cut into blocks. This will make a lot of new fabric from the usable throwaway strips after a project is done. Remember recycle! I did 2 Selvedge Queen talks and will do a workshop on Saturday on Hack and Sew and Collage. It's also the season on Quilt Show, so off to be inspired!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Selvedge fabric

Well, I couldn't stand the laundry basket full of Selvedges so I used them up!  That's right, all of them.  I did throw some of the very narrow out but I was amazed at how beautiful they look when sewn in a rag rug in a previous post or this one that may turn into a bag!
rag rug or bag
The remaining selvedges I stripped pieced into  eighteen 11 1/2" squares and trying to use up the left over batting, given to my by my favorite Longarm quilter Kathryn, more strips.  I have enough to make a quilt or a jacket or one of each!
all used!

What? huh?

I have a carved Santa made by Uncle George that is dressed in "lakewear:" and he is seriously considering my latest projects!

I have also been making animals, so far 2 elephants and  2 bears out of reproduction Kente Cloth for an upcoming exhibit at the Fitchburg Art Museum.
Kente Elephant

Need to finish something that I am supposed to finish instead of  playing with other stuff.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

WHAT have you finished?

Well, Valentine's Day has come and gone and husband gone again.  I went out with another wife whose husband is out of the country on Valentine's Day.  My husband did bring flowers and card and maybe I will get a bauble too on his trip home! He has always traveled and probably has been home for 5 Valentine's Day in 38 years of marriage!
 I have been busy working on my UFO's.  I finished the chicken bag, the Twists and Twirls bag, the Marci Baker " Tiny Boxes" open Tumbling Blocks quilt, used all the 1/2 square triangles and 3/4 of the Petal swap, although they are not completely quilted yet!  I got distracted by all the Selvedges I have and felt I should do something with them as I do bill myself as the Selvedge Queen.
As you can see from the pictures I made a rag rug on a Locker Loom that my husband built for me last summer.  All Selvedges!  Thank you to all who added to my stash but especially to Sylvia Einstein because she gave me 10 years of selvedges from all over the world and some are quite exciting!
I always tell people what I like and what they could give me if they find some when cleaning out their houses.  I have gotten the fabric for the blinds, Selvedges, an antique Crazy quilt Fan design quilt top from the 1900's, an offer of beads from a mother- in -law;s broken necklaces, all this month! Think of me when cleaning as if it a textile, button, beads, or strange I want it!
I am also cutting up batting that a long arm quilter, Kathryn Amadom, hire her as she is the best, gave me! Anyway, she recycles her leftover batting and I have used it to put 3 small quilts together and also to zigzag stitch down some of these selvedge to an 11 1/2 square of batting.  It doesn't even look like I have used any so I guess I will have to make more!
Check out where I am giving my talk and come and see me!