Green Stag detail

PIQF Quilt Show 2011 part 2 – Fabulous Fauna


Green Stag detail
Green Stag detail

I love to share wonderful quilts with you, dear readers.

This post is tardy, but I know you’ll love seeing the amazing animals that inhabited the Pacific International Quilt Show, which was held in Santa Clara last October.

Green Stag was created by Daniel Rouse, of Oakland, California.

I was absolutely captivated with this simple yet stunning creature. The calm background and the simple shape work together to make the deer enchanting.

Green Stag by Daniel Rouse
Green Stag by Daniel Rouse

The deer is almost life sized. Look closely and you’ll see the flecks of orange and black, which create interest and dimension. It’s a must-see!

Liberace - Night of the Chameleon by Cathy Stone; 38" x 39"
Liberace - Night of the Chameleon by Cathy Stone; 38" x 39"

Cathy Stone of Grass Valley, California, showed this art quilt. It was created with raw-edge collage that is covered in tulle. The dimensional leaves were added later and it is finished with a jagged bottom edge.

Liberace - Night of the Chameleon detail
Liberace - Night of the Chameleon detail

The colors, fabrics, and the quilting are all exquisite. The attention to detail, from the shape of each wrinkle on the chameleon to the way the light shines off its back, make this so real and so appealing. I absolutely love the leaves with the holes in them, as well. And the eye! Wonderful!

Ancient Echoes detail of (Juan) Iguana
Ancient Echoes detail of (Juan) Iguana

Also from Grass Valley is Jan Reed’s masterful art quilt called Ancient Echoes.

Looking at this photo it is hard to believe it is made of fabric! The artist identified that she used both regular and reverse applique techniques as well as hand beading, colored pencils, fabric paint and metallic threads.

Ancient Echoes by Jan Reed; 40 1/2" x 34"
Ancient Echoes by Jan Reed; 40 1/2" x 34"

The three-dimensional leaves and the rock are fabulous. And the detail of the tail poking out of the frame is great!

Ancient Echoes detail of Mayan face
Ancient Echoes detail of Mayan face

I didn’t actually see the face in the background of the piece until I had taken the other two photographs. The way it changes color on the outer part of the frame is so clever and the whole piece is completely compelling.

Looking at it one feels unworthy!

Gung Hay Fat Choy by Linda Gavin and the Bulbs 18" x 56"
Gung Hay Fat Choy by Linda Gavin and the BULBS; 18" x 56"

I loved this group project presented by San Francisco’s Linda Gavin and her applique group, the BULBS. The group is based on the applique work of Nancy S. Brown and was started by eight years ago. Each panel was made by a different member and is made in each of the artists’ own working style.

Detail of Gung Hay Fat Choy
Detail of Gung Hay Fat Choy

Look at the interesting backgrounds and the people running under the dragon! I wish I had made more photos of this wonderful piece, but it was hung on the wall way too high for short little ol’ me!

Fish Kabobs by Mickey Depre; 49" x 69"
Fish Kabobs by Mickey Depre; 49" x 69"

This playful applique quilt comes from Illinois and is made by Mickey Depre. Most of my favorite fabrics have faces on it, but these fun fish have faces plus attitude!

Fish Kabobs detail
Fish Kabobs detail

I mean, look at this character!

As you can see, the machine quilting is excellent. And the background and border blocks, along with the delightful bubbles are fabulous!

Sheep Wannabees by Debora Konchinsky; 69" x 69"
Sheep Wannabees by Debora Konchinsky; 69" x 69"

There is no way I can do justice to Debora Konchinsky’s award-winning quilt by showing it in this small photo, but at least I can get you started exploring it. I know it is so special that it will be famous before the year is out!

Detail of Sheep Wannabees
Detail of Sheep Wannabees

I was lucky enough to visit Debora Konchinsky at her Critter Pattern Works booth at the quilt show. Along with her husband Paul, Debora designs and sells a large variety of wonderful animal applique quilt patterns.

She was very busy, but I was able to see some of her work in progress. She creates each section separately, creating the animals by needle-felting wool. Then she does detailed embroidery of plants and flowers.

Llamas detail from Sheep Wannabees
Llamas detail from Sheep Wannabees

To see more photos of this quilt, including the piece in progress, you can check out Debora’s Picasa site and Critterpat’s Flicker site. You’ll be amazed!

So dearests, that’s all for the fauna part of the show, but flora is still to come. Now you see why I rarely go to quilt shows – it takes me a year to review them for you!!!

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There’s an App for that…

iPhone bird
iPhone bird

Or if you prefer… There’s a nap for that.

I have to admit to being an iPhone addict! My whole life has changed since I got mine over a year ago. I haven’t read a book. I haven’t gone to sleep even one night without playing solitaire – even when I am camping!

It’s appalling!

Check out this cute quilt.  My nephew sent me this link on my birthday in December, and in all the revelry I forgot about it. Thanks, Stewart for the link.

Kudos to the quilter for her fun work!

Sargent painting and accompanying bouquet

Bouquets to Art 2012

A little baby bouquet
A little baby bouquet

It’s March in California and that means…Rain (finally!)… and the Bouquets to Art event at the M.H. de Young Museum in San Francisco.

Scrumptious arrangement!
Scrumptious arrangement!

It is a show where local and regional florists create bouquets each inspired by a piece of art in the collections. As you travel through the rooms (or, I should day as you elbow your way through the maddening crowd clawing our way to the front to get a glimpse of something,) a panoply of color, beauty, fragrance and art delights your senses.

Paris 140, January 14, 1937; by Charles Biederman and accompanying bouquet
Paris 140, January 14, 1937; by Charles Biederman and accompanying bouquet

The displays this year were as interesting and varied as last year. It seems to  me that there were more succulents combined with the flowers this year. The rooms get very hot and perhaps the succulents hold up better. But there were also every kind of flower you could imagine and very creative uses of sticks, leaves, berries, and mosses.

angel wings
Angel wings

(I suppose I should have taken notes on every florist and every piece of art to share, but y’all don’t pay me enough for all that. So my information is a little piece meal – sorry)

Tower of flowers and sticks
Tower of flowers and sticks

One interesting thing I wanted to share with you was this arrangement that went with the Untitled 1947 Mark Rothko painting. It was created by Michael Daigian of San Francisco’s Michael Daigian Designs.

Michael Daigian's bouquet to go with the Rothko
Michael Daigian's bouquet to go with the Rothko

I loved the angled tiers and the layers of texture and color, from the base…

the base
the base

through the center…

field of yellow
field of yellow pom poms

to the top.

wonderful layers as seen from my short point of view
wonderful layers as seen from my short point of view

Here is a photo of the bouquet from the 2011 show for the same painting:

Alena Jean Whiting's bouquet for the Rothko, from 2011
Alena Jean Whiting's bouquet for the Rothko, from 2011

I loved this bouquet, too. It is fascinating to see the different interpretations by the two floral designers. I’ll let you choose your favorite!

In the upstairs gallery these two portraits were accompanied by lovely bouquets.

Sargent painting and accompanying bouquet
John Singer Sargent painting and accompanying bouquet

The leaves in this arrangement were stenciled with lovely gray painted lace imagery. Exquisite!

Robert Henri painting and a silhouette bouquet
Robert Henri painting and a silhouette bouquet

The open, etherial quality of this arrangement was very interesting. Strangely, it captured the essense of Robert Henri’s 1910 portrait of The Lady In Black with the Spanish Scarf. I detectived that it was created by Natalie Bowen of Natalie Bowen Designs. For more views of this work, visit her blog.

Here is a gallery of the bouquets that most intrigued me. If you click on one photo, you can scroll through large views of each image.

My favorite pieces are these:

Waterlily Pond Floral Design Studio's version of Dale Chihuly's glasswork
Waterlily Pond Floral Design Studio's version of Dale Chihuly's glass work

Dale Chihuly’s 1988 work, titled Ultramarine Stemmed Form with Orange, was expertly interpreted by Natasha Lisitsa and Carla Parkinson of San Francisco’s Waterlily Pond Floral Design Studio. Of course, it is all about color for me… and the orange and blue came alive in this piece!

I loved this ceramic sculpture and its orchid and conch shell-filled partner.

Orchids, teapots and shells
Orchids, teapots and shells

The yellow and orange flowers with the little trail of blue – wonderful!

Trio of arrangements in the modern art gallery
Trio of arrangements in the modern art gallery

Last, but not least… Oh, these oranges and greens…

Three censers, AD 250-550, interpreted by Main Street Floragardens
Three censers, AD 250-550, interpreted by Main Street Floragardens
Another view of Three censers, interpreted by Main Street Floragardens
Another view of Three censers, interpreted by Main Street Floragardens

Succulent plants hold a special plate in my heart and I was enthralled with Marcia Maffei’s complex and exciting piece for the San Anselmo business, Main Street Floragardens.

It is quite a kerfuffle to get through the show because it is so crowded and chaotic. It’s hard to get any photos taken with all the people milling around, but it is truly a remarkable event and I am happy that I could make it again this year!

Buy yourself some flowers this weekend and put them in your room – you deserve a little beauty in your life – I have spoken and it shall be so…

P.S. Here’s a late breaking addition: I found this blog and these darling arrangements – I didn’t see these cakes in person, which is a bummer, but check them out. Wonderful!

An Extraordinary Thing Happened to Me…


Pink Tea Kettle
Pink Tea Kettle

An Extraordinary Thing Happened to Me… Someone made me a quilt!

A real two-sided, appliqued, stitched, bound and buttoned quilt. I am so excited!

You see, it happened like this…

"We love cooking with Grantie."
"We love cooking with Grantie."

I was at home, cooking with my great-niece and -nephew. Everything was under control – really! And I get this phone call from Sue, the wonderful teacher who took over the Home Ec program for me when I went on this leave of absence (to be the Maverick Quilter). She says, “Hi, Biggie! Can I stop by and bring you something” (I call her Mini Me and she calls me Biggie Me.)

"Just doing a little quality control."
"Just doing a little quality control."
"This IS helpful!"
"This IS helpful!"

Before you can say, “Hey kids, stop licking up all the batter or it will spoil your appetite,” I was holding this fabulous quilt in my grubby little hands.

Tea Kettle Quilt, by Sue Applin; 2012
Tea Kettle Quilt, by Sue Applin; 2012

I was astonished. Can you believe it?!? In all of my years quilting, this is the first time someone has made something like this for me! I absolutely love it and plan to cuddle it for many years to come.

A little bird told Sue that I might be in need of some quilty love, due to the upcoming personality transplant I am going to have next week, and she says she was inspired by the Loving Hearts blog post. She decided to JUST DO IT, and she made the background, quilted it, and added the binding, before adding the appliques and buttons.

Yellow Tea Kettle
Yellow Tea Kettle

The dark stitching outlines the kettle and forms the handle. Topped off with a button for the lid bauble – love it!

She told me that it wasn’t perfect, and that is so funny because I say that every time I give someone a quilt, too. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been quilting for a week or a decade, you always can see the flaws in what you make. But the advice I’ve gotten over and over and that I will pass on to you is – Don’t point out the flaws! Usually no one notices but you!

One is just so delighted that someone went to all that trouble to make something beautiful for them, and they love it just as it is!

Thank you Sue – It’s wonderful! You rock!

Must Have Fabric 2.2 – give yourself a little Good Fortune!

Good Fortune fabric by Kate Spain - yes please!
Good Fortune fabric by Kate Spain - yes please!

OK, here’s the deal…

I am in fabric stores all the time, and I admit I haven’t even been looking at fabric lately.

It goes like this – my creativity and how it unfolds is very cyclical. Each stage is intense and each one is quite distinct, even if they sometimes overlap. Without going on all day about it, I will just say that I have been in a finishing phase. Projects are getting completed right now. That means resolving perplexing visual issues and getting the tops off of the design wall. Then, on to making the backs and to loading the long arm sewing machine and to the quilting. I’ve completed several good quilts lately, even including the dreaded bindings. (I’ll share them with you soon)

The finishing phase this time has been followed by an intense designing period. I have designed five new quilts in the past few days. I’ve got sketches done, new diagrams and cutting lists, and sample blocks made. This is a reversion for me to an older working style, as all of the maverick quilts came fabric first and quilt design second. But, in this case, I have a clear theme in mind and the new quilt designs have just tumbled out complete, ready to make, and wonderful!

This brings me to the point (finally!). I need some new fabric. Yeah!

It was Sunday night and I was READY for new fabric. There was no waiting the 12 hours for the fabric stores to open! So, I opened up the trusty old Macintosh computer and did a little online retail detective work. Not ten minutes in to the search I found Kate Spain’s new fabric line, happily called Good Fortune. My investigation lead me to a certain fabric store, and look what showed up on my doorstep today…

Brown Box - let the fun begin!
Brown Box - let the fun begin!

One of the new quilts is designed with the possibility of using a jelly roll, and the Fat Quarter Shop specializes in pre-cut fabrics and packets. I was so pleased that they had just what I wanted – both the jelly roll and 5″ charm packs.

Good Fortune 5" charm squares
Good Fortune 5" charm squares

Would you just look at these? MUST HAVE!

Those of you who have read Maverick Quilts, taken my classes, or heard me lecture, know that I think white does an important job in a quilt. You also know that I love fabric with white in it!

Kate Spain's creative visions
Kate Spain's creative visions

Kate Spain’s new fabrics have a good dose of white, a delightful, whimsical nature and an Asian influence. They come in five different color ways and have a great variety of scale and design. The blossom fabric is so pretty you want to eat it! There are dragonflies, fans, pagodas, and sand that has been gently raked by a master gardner!

What the heck?
What the heck?

These little 5″ swatches just made me crazy. What the heck is going on with this print?!? What does the whole repeat look like? I just had to know, so more detectiving had to happen.

The first stop was to Kate Spain’s website, where I found a wonderful place to go and see her extensive work. She is an absolute design powerhouse with products at JoAnn’s, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Crate & Barrel, to name just a few. Who knew?

I read about Kate and learned that she graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design (lucky!) and has been designing for over 15 years. I like this quote from her “about” page:

Her style radiates with natural balance and freshness in palettes that offer a unique, sophisticated and widely appealing mix of harmonious color.

So, I was still looking for clues as to what that fabulous fabric looked like and then I found Kate’s cheerful blog. I know you, my dear readers, will love this little tutorial from Kate.

Pagoda (waterfall colorway)
Pagoda (waterfall colorway)

What I did learn is that this design from the Good Fortune fabric line has been translated into a line of dishes at Crate & Barrel.

Chase Porcelain Plates from Crate & Barrel
Chase Porcelain Plates from Crate & Barrel

Soooo – you could make cool quilts, tablecloths, aprons, placemats, napkins and the like – and have matching dishes – how cool would that be? Read more about the dishes on this blog post from Kate.

Fat Quarter Shop logo
Fat Quarter Shop logo

So the investigation eventually lead me back to the Fat Quarter Shop, where I was able to find a larger image and the name of the fabric.

and lookie!

Good Fortune Zen Pond Garden fabric by Kate Spain
Good Fortune Zen Pond Garden fabric by Kate Spain

It’s called Good Fortune Zen Pond Garden in this color

Good Fortune Waterfall Garden
Good Fortune Waterfall Garden

It’s Good Fortune Waterfall Garden in the periwinkle…

Good Fortune Spirit Garden
Good Fortune Spirit Garden

and Good Fortune Spirit Garden in the orange. Yummmmmmy! I MUST HAVE some of this, and soon!

Good Fortune fabric jelly roll - yumbalia!
Good Fortune fabric jelly roll - yumbalia!

The jelly roll is so pretty that I haven’t even opened it yet!

Good Fortune fabric line's Lantern Flowers
Good Fortune fabric line's Lantern Flowers

But wait! You also get the Lantern Tranquility flowers. Are you kidding me?

I JUST HAPPENED to be at my local fabric store yesterday and LOOK what I found…

More Good Fortune fabric!
More Good Fortune fabric!

Winning!

It is absolutely exquisite in person – I actually saw it from across the store and had that little lurch in my fabric heart. I practically ran to see what it was. I was stunned and delighted to discover that it was from the line I had just ordered online! Now, that’s Good Fortune! The hand is so soft and smooth – Moda can really make a fabulous fabric!

I cannot wait to show y’all what I am going to make.

So, kids, run right out and get some of this Must Have Fabric – I have spoken! (I am so excited that I am not going to be able to sleep tonight!)

AND be sure to send me photos of what you make, and we can share your work with everyone!