Saturday, March 28, 2009

Still gathering inspiriation...

Today my horoscope actually told me to do my chores before I could do the things I really want to do!! Spooky...since that's exactly what I planned on doing.... I've already cleaned the bathrooms, and am on my way upstairs to organize my closet. I am giving myself ONE HOUR to do this. Then I'm going to hop in my car and take a little field trip to Kenosha to see a couple of quilt exhibits. One at the Public Museum is a quilt show by a local guild. The other is Kay Sorensen's exhibit at the Anderson Art Center.

Here's a link to her blog:

She does beautiful work, and I'm excited to see it in person. Yes, I know. That show has been there since January, and it ends tomorrow. OK, so I am the quintessential procrastinator! Anyway--I am sure seeing these quilts will add to my inspiration vessel.

I have also been organizing the work room, and getting stuff packed to take to the Reedsburg retreat. Oh my--I can't wait. Three whole days of nothing but sewing, followed by a trip up to Marinette to attend a wedding. What a happy week next week will be. Of course, I'll miss my hubby, and the doggies, but it'll be fun.
Since I haven't worked on anything, really, for weeks now, here is a pic of my FIRST art quilt. It was an "ugly fabric" challenge at my second retreat in 2006. The challenge fabric was the blue and pick stuff that I used for the ground near the horizon. I wish I had more--I'd add it to my ugly fabric quilt!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

National Quilting Day

Today is National Quilting Day, and I actually worked on a quilt! A traditional quilt. My ugly fabric quilt. I now have 12 blocks, so I can put the top together. I think Ill use a sashing, only to have someplace to rest the eye,since all the fabrics are really garish and, well...ugly.
I hope all the other quilters in the world are having as good a day as I am.

Oh--this is a direct quote from my horoscope today:
Original ideas are blasting out of your brain so fast that it's hard to keep up with yourself.
I wish someone would tell my head--things seem to be stuck...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Old Friends

I belong to a forum at, a quilty message board. One of the members posted a pic of herself as a child out on the Canadian prairie back in the 50s. So cute.

It made me think of my childhood friends, and I realized what a nice childhood I had. Even though my parents were divorced (still a somewhat scandalous thing in the early 50s) and we were rather poor, I never wanted for anything. My mother was a wonderful seamstress and made clothes for me well into my 30s! Which was a good thing, as I was tall and skinny and had really long arms. Store-bought clothes that fit were very hard to come by.

Over the years, she made several Estonian folk costumes for my sister and me. We wore them at any big event when all the Estos in Milwaukee got together:
Mother's Day, when all the kids in our group performed for the community, Christmas, Jaanipaev (St. John's Day--the Scandinavian mid-summer festival) and Estonian Independence Day, which marked the end of WWI and independence from the Russians (the first time!).

Here is a pic of me and my friends Kathy (middle) and Sylvia at the old International Institute, a meeting place for all the ethnic groups in Milwaukee.
We've been friends since we were born. And I still see and talk to them now and again.
I am very lucky to have such great old friends!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

So old, so old.

So I had an appt with an orthopod today. I've had back problems for about 4-5 years now, and had another MRI last week to see what's up. Well--turns out I have the back of a 70 year old. The discs in my lumbar spine have deteriorated to the point where I've developed a pretty good scoliosis. So--my spine is slowly collapsing. And with that comes pain and stiffness. *sigh*
No wonder I'm almost 2 inches shorter than I was 5 years ago!
Now I need to see another physician to control pain so that I can exercise more and lose weight, which is the best thing for my poor spine! If I can shore up the back muscles by some weight training, they will better be able to support the spine, and it won't get worse.
Tommy wants to get an inversion table, so I can hang upside down. I guess it couldn't hurt, and I may get back an inch or so!!

Since I did not get into the workroom for a few days, I have no current work to post. So, please to enjoy pictures of my children at my DD #1's wedding January, 2008

She was absolutely stunning that day (well, she is every day!) and her groom was totally charming.

And this is DD #2 making a toast to the Bride and Groom. Isn't she beautiful?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St Patricks' Day

Everyone's Irish today, right?! So Happy Saint Paddy's Day to everyone. To celebrate, we had Taco Bell. Yum.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Just Monday

Well--nothing out of the ordinary happened today.
We had our weekly employee meeting today to talk about the week's projects, I balanced the company checkbook, then went home and enjoyed the warm weather with two of the dogs. Dory and I played fetch till she got tired (she's 14y/o...pretty old of a big choco lab) and Georgie went next door for a short playdate with Striker, the golden. They ran and ran.
It was a glorious March day. Too early for any crocuses or daffodils coming up, but warm nonetheless. No studio today, but I did make a great (kinda) lo-fat dinner for Tom , who had a very hard day. He liked it.
So--since I didn't work on anything today, I'll post a pic of Georgie--the cutest dog in the world.

I discovered I have no picture of Dory. I'll have to take one before she goes to that big fire hydrant in the sky.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Filling the Vessel, Part II

In my most recent quest for inspiration, I've discovered a great amount of fiber art on blogs, websites, etc. It is at once awe-inspiring and frightening. I am amazed at the variety and the creativity and the level of workmanship of the art I've seen. And it scares me to death!

Like a lot of budding artists, I am very afraid that my work is not "good enough". In my head, I know that it is acceptable--better than some, not as good as others. But in my heart and in my gut, I want it to be "perfect", something that art never is, I don't think. Well, unless you are Mozart. Or da Vinci.

So--I just have to suck it up and put my work out there. I took a baby step by taking my little Mushrooms quilt to show at the Milwaukee Art Quilters Group, some of the most talented fiber artists I've ever heard about. I got a good response. That was kinda fun! The next step is to enter something into a show or contest.

I'm working on that one....

Also--for your perusal, please to enjoy this fabulous pic of Mount Rainier that my friend Carol (aka Twofatcats on the QYW Forum MB) took from her house in Washington State.
Pretty spectacular, eh?
She was nice enough to give me permission to use it, somehow, in a quilt.

This is truly inspirational....

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Filling the Vessel

Today my husband and I took about 4 hours and cleaned his mum's one-bedroom apartment. Yep--took us four hours! Kind of a mess.
Anyway--I got a lot of good thinking done while scrubbing the tub. I was wondering why, lately, I was not getting a lot of "art" done while in my work room; I've been letting myself get distracted by all sorts of stuff. Then I realized...I've been "filling the vessel". I've been reading, doing internet research, taking pictures, looking at artists' work. With these activities, I've been sorting, in my head, the quilts I want to make, and prioritizing them. I'm not sure how long this phase will last...
Not too long, actually. I have some deadlines coming up!

Update: I did find the spellcheck feature, but I need to find out how to re-arrange lettering on the title block--it's just not very...elegant the way it is. Any help would be appreciated....

Friday, March 13, 2009

What's on my design wall?

One of the members of the Quiltart email list asked this question earlier today. Now that I've figured out how to post pics on my blog, here is what I've been working on.

First is a small quilt, Mushrooms, that's not quite finished yet. I want to add these Estonian words to it, so I wrote them out on a piece of muslin and was looking for a place to add them, but I don't like them. So I've just printed them from Publisher using a handwriting font, so we'll see how that looks.
Any suggestions would be appreciated, BTW.

Then I just finished a little pillow for a friend of mine. It features a transfered image on silk that I picked up at the last Original Sewing Expo in St. Charles, IL , last fall. I made a pillow using colors from the image, and added buttons and a beaded fringe on the ends.

Lastly, I whipped up two more blocks of ugly fabrics. At our Reedsburg quilt retreat last October, we all made blocks of the ugliest fabrics we could find. There was a drawing--and I won! There were seven or eight blocks, so I'm adding a bunch more to make a throw. The left block is from the drawing; the right block I made the other day. Who knew I had so many ugly fabrics in my stash!??

Friday the 13th...

The first of a short series of significant March days. Friday the 13th is followed by
Pi Day (3.14) , and the Ides of March (3/15), when Julius Caesar was supposedly assassinated. Wow, I'm excited now.

So, this is the first post of my blog. This is where I plan to post all my observations, rants and artwork. Now I have questions:
How do I post pics?
How do I jazz it up?
Is there spellcheck?

These are important issues.

Well, stay tuned...