Monday, September 27, 2010

Powerful Influences

This is my fabric muse! She lives in a fabulous shrine and she is always IN!!!! 

This is where I sew (top right, next to sand dollar is muse)
I have been very fortunate to have been influenced by some great quilters.

JUDY IRISH was my first teacher and continues to be one of greatest supporters. She is fabulous at getting you to believe in your innate artistic ability.

A funtastic quilt collaborated on with Judy

JAN MULLEN also has a style of piecing that is very freeing. How can a gal go wrong when there are "no rules"??!!

Starz from a Jan Mullen pattern

I think it was in 2005 when I picked up a quilting book by MARY LOU WEIDMAN and fell in love with every single one of Mary Lou's quilts! The colors! The style! The stories!!! My first class with her was in Pullman, WA (with my sons happily playing in the hotel pool with my mom).  I was so overcome with the opportunity to be in a class taught by Mary Lou, that I ended up with an itchy rash on my arms!!!! Oy vay! That was the first of several classes with her and I never cease to be amazed by the happiness and positive energy she exudes!

Self portrait created in a Mary Lou class

In my self prtrait, I am a blender because I often felt that my life was a whirlwind of activity with three young boys and an often traveling husband. I am trying to keep my lid on while my plug is short circuiting! I only have two working speed buttons - "sleep" and "warp". I have on the practical pink gym shoe and the ruby red slipper because as Oprah and Mary Lou point out - our strength and power lies within!

                                                      Hoochy Mamma style Tossed Salad

In one of my classes Mary Lou mentioned how much she loved FREDDY MORAN. Ahhh.....Freddy Moran!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Let's just say that I started a Freddy Moran brown nose Fan Club on Facebook! And am often told to wipe the brown off my nose! I will most defintiely need to devote some future blog/s to my love of all things Freddy!!

                                                      Polkadotalicious! inspired by Freddy

Last weekend, my dear friend Sue and I took a class with JANET BOLTON . Janet was delightfully charming! She is from London and had loads of insight and helpful hints on how to make your quilt sing. She spoke often in "real" art terms like composition, value, weight, dominance, balance, and line which started me thinking in a new direction. Art school???!!!  All the ladies in the class were so talented and yet Janet was able to walk by and say, "What if you tried this?" and Voila! the quilt went from from great to fantastic!!

Most quilts in the class were itty bitty. I can't work with itty bitty. Janet's quilts are all in muted colors. If given a choice, I don't "do" muted colors. Yet Janet never once said anything that wasn't encouraging. In the end, we we had show and share and my quilt over powered the other quilts in size and brightness. Another gal in the class said, "Isn't her quilt stunning? She stayed true to her style." Hey! It turns out after all these great quilting influences I have developed my own style!!!!!!!!!!!!!  ")

                                                   el pez hermana (the sister fish)

I'll leave you with a photo of a little guy that lives in my studio. I continue to work on the details of my Etsy shop. Stay tuned!!!

                                                   "LET YOUR DREAMS TAKE FLIGHT"

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Following my passion

Here I go!

Self help quotes are jamming my thoughts, but the loudest one seems to be the saying that points out all journies are taken one step at a time.

DRUM ROLL please.......step one.........

START A BLOG to help promote my new business of selling my quilts.

QUILTS? Ten years ago this month, we moved our family ( then - one husband, two boys, one dog, and one fish. Now - three boys, two dogs, two fish, a hamster, and a lizard) to the Seattle area from Chicago.  While it doesn't rain as much as everyone said it would, we did seem to have more gray days than my sprirt could handle positively.

SO? How could I get more color in my life?

QUILT! Luckily, Aunt Mary's Quilt Shop had recently opened and with the help and support of some great people,  I fell into the fabulous hobby of laughing with happy positive ladies - I mean making quilts to wrap my family/friends in love.

23 QUILTS IN MY LIVING ROOM! I do believe that it is quite possible that every member of my family has enough quilts. What is the definition of "enough"? According to Webster it is "an adequate quantity". If I have 5 people in my family and there are 23 quilts on our couch, then I think we probably have enough. Doubts?

19 QUILTS IN OUR BEDROOMS! I just counted the number in our bedrooms. Here is the tally - Andrew 3, Charles 7, William 5, and our bed has 4.          23 + 19 =42 quilts

17 QUILTS NOT COUNTED YET! Then there is the pile of holiday themed quilts rolled on a shelf in the laundry room  - 8. And the 9 quilts that decorate our walls.   42 +17 = 59

59 is ENOUGH! So, a few months ago, my son Andrew, with all his 15 year old attitude/wisdom pointed out that we had "enough" quilts and that I should start a business. So, I made a list and have been chickenly mulling over the list.

STEP ONE! Today, with this blog, my first step has been taken. I am setting my intention to follow my passion, trust my gut, and focus only on one step at a time.

CREATE FROM THE HEART - Last weekend, my dear friend Sue and I went to a class with Janet Bolton at the Stichin Post in Sisters, OR. Janet was talking about her years in art school in England during the 60s. She shared a fabulous story about her friend who had to pick up Picasso at the train station. He was so nervous, he didn't know what to say to Picasso. With all the stress he blurted out, "I paint!" to which Picasso replied, "I paint too." He couldn't believe he had said something so stupid and in a valiant attempt to redeem himself, he asked Picasso how he would know if his art was any good. Picasso said, "Does it come from the gut? Then it is good."   Great story?!

Janet signed my copy of her book, "Follow your own star."


                *******Stay tuned for the official opening of my shop on Etsy *******