Quilting Cousins!

05/31/2011

 
I recently got in touch with two cousins of mine who quilt. It has been great to learn about their projects and chat with them about their quilting adventures. Here is a bit more about them and some photos of their quilts.

My cousin Jan Gessin lives in Sydney, Australia and is an expert on antique doll quilts. She sent me some amazing photos and historical information about her collection. You can see the quilts on her her website, OnlineQuilter. I was so inspired by some of the fabrics in her collection I had to invent a new project based on them. More on that soon...
Another cousin, Tamara Borok, is also a quilter. She has an impressive gallery of over 40 quilts she has made and projects in process. She teaches quilting in the San Francisco area and will be teaching traditional blocks such as the Carpenter's Square, Gordian Knot, Boxes of Splendor and a beginners quilting class soon.  Her quilt, Storm at Sea (pictured) was a 1st place winner in the San Francisco Quilt Show, 2011. Congrats Tamara!

I think we should start a family swap or block of the month club. It would be really fun!
 
 
What a treat! I got to visit the Textile Museum in D.C. last week while I was traveling on JDRF business. Those trips are usually very scheduled, but I flew in early and had a chance to explore before my first meeting. I did a quick internet search for quilts in D.C. and the link to the Textile Museum came up. I figured out the Metro route and headed over to explore.
In addition to a research library (which unfortunately wasn't open when I visited), there are two main exhibits. The first, titled simply 'Green: the Color and the Cause' had a mix of contemporary artists exploring those themes and historical pieces with explanations about how different cultures achieved the color green and what it represented. One of the contemporary artists who stood out to me was Maggy Rozycki Hiltner. I really enjoyed her piece, Hothouse Flowers, 2005 (pictured).
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Hothouse Flowers by Maggy Rozycki Hiltner
Another artist I really liked was Justin Randolph Thompson. He built a palm tree using an old quilt top and other found objects. All the artists are on the Textile Museum website : You should explore it if you have time -- lots of great inspiration out there!

The second exhibit was 'Second Lives: the Age-old Art of Recycling Textiles.' I was fascinated to learn about many different historical and cultural approaches to 'up-cycling' textiles. There were some incredible pieces from India, Pakistan and Japan on display. In particular I was smitten with an Afgan quilt made from recycled clothing . I spent some time in their lovely garden as well. The museum in right in the middle of the Kalorama neighborhood just off Embassy Row.
 
 
I have quite a few projects this week that I am working on and wrapping up. I am working on two quilt designs, had a swap pillow to finish for guild next Thursday, I took another fun free class at Modern Domestic to test drive free-motion quilting their Bernina's  (yes, I want one and they have a great trade-in offer this month!) and I entered another design in the Spoonflower fabric of the week contest. Oh, did I mention I am working on an illustration project for Columbia Sportswear and sewing a costume for my daughter's play? Yah, lots going on!

The swap last month at PMQG was to sew a square using only solid fabrics (I blogged about mine here).  I picked a lovely square by the talented Jill from Made on Main St. that goes with a quilt she is making her son. She also won the monochromatic modern quilt contest recently. Here is the finished block I made into a pillow for her, my Spoonflower entry "Rainbow Sherbet" and a new quilt project I'm working on:

Don't forget to vote for your favorite ice cream fabric in the Spoonflower contest this week. I hope mine gets one of your votes! Thanks to all of you who voted for me in last week's contest. My design was #64 out of over 400 designs - I was happy to be in the top 100!
 
 
Finished up the last of the 3 part class last night at Modern Domestic. I really enjoyed this class and am really pleased with my first try at hand printing textiles. The design is inspired by a 1920s French wall paper design (originally is was three colors) which I've had illustrated for a while. It was a perfect design to learn this technique with. There were some tricky parts to get the repeat to line up correctly but I wanted to get that experience so I would build confidence to take on this kind of project on my own. I can't wait to do this again, but first, what should I make out of these fabrics? I just can't decide!

 

Eliza at the Ascot

05/05/2011

 
Vote for my design on the Spoonflower contest this week!
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Goodness, there are 27 pages of designs in the black and white contest this week and some really terrific ideas. But I am happy to say that I am glad that I entered -- I challenged myself to draw my entry by hand and to use a theme that was personal -- not winning criteria but good for me to do things differently. My design is called Eliza at the Ascot, and is inspired by that wonderful scene in the film version of My Fair Lady with the fab black and white outfits designed by the late great Cecil Beaton. Timely I might add with a Royal wedding and all! You may find one you like better, but you can vote for more than one, so think about voting for my design, Eliza at the Ascot, and have fun looking. I did!
P.S. Patty Sionger, the winner of project selvage was announced today too! I voted for her collection, Backyard Baby. I thought she did a great job of coming up with a clever collection with a great variety. I can totally picture the quilt I'd make with it. Congrats Patty!
 
 
I am taking a silk screen class for yardage over at Modern Domestic and I have to decide what design to print next week. It has been so much fun learning about how to do this (finally!) from textile designer Susanna Scott, who worked for Jonathan Alder and interned for Hable Construction. Yesterday we prepped our screens and she gave us a demo on exposing them. I, of course, epically failed at my first try with the emulsion, but Susanna is so sweet and told me I did it perfectly. Practice makes permanent they say. Which design should I go for?